Ch-Ch-Ch-Ch-Chaaangesss

Hey ya’ll. Is it just Michigan or is fall coming at us waaay too fast? I’m certainly not ready for summer to be over, but I have to admit this weather is making me itch to drink cider and buy fresh notebooks.

I don’t know about you, but I feel like I’ve gone through TONS of changes these past 8 months. How better to celebrate them than with a sneak preview of the photo project I’ve been working on? Since January I’ve taken a photo of the same place in my little city each month. The photos below came from my cell phone, but I’m actually using my film camera (a Canon AE-1 Program) to take all the photos (which is why I’m missing a couple of months — took them on the Canon but forgot to take a phone version as well…oops!)

Even though I’ve lived in Michigan my whole life, looking back on these photos it still strikes how different each month looks. And how just a few short months ago we were all anxiously awaiting the first sign of greenery and thinking we’d never be warm again. Now we’re nearing the end of summer and getting ready to welcome a brand new landscape. So it goes.

Check it:

January in Ferndale

March in Ferndale

April in Ferndale

May in Ferndale

June in Ferndale

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Back from my sabbatical!

Hey friends! It’s been too long! Too much has happened lately. Within the last month I moved to a new house, left my 9 to 5, and went on a 16 day road trip. Whew!

I got back into town one week ago, and it finally feels like the dust is settling. There were lots of hard moments and a few tears before we hit the road. After weeks of packing, stressing, and working non-stop, we let go of it all as we left town and had a seriously amazing time on our trip.

I still have a million things to do to get my freelance business going and finish getting this new house organized, but I’m feeling so good about the direction everything is going right now.

Here are some of my favorite snaps from the trip:

Horsetooth Reservoir
Horsetooth Reservoir, Colorado

Colorado
Driving through Colorado

Tent Rocks
Tent Rocks, New Mexico

Panda at San Diego Zoo
Panda at the San Diego Zoo

Nevada
Driving through Nevada

Grand Canyon
Grand Canyon

Utah
Driving through Utah

More soon!

How to become a morning person

road trip sunset

Damn I’ve been busy. In addition to working my butt off on some exciting projects that will hopefully help me be my own boss in the near future, I was out of town most of last week. I spent 4 days in Virginia for a work meeting, came home for less than 24 hours, and then skipped off for a road trip to the other side of Michigan to spend a long weekend full of sun and beer in Grand Rapids.

All this running around has got me thinking that I really need to scoop up a few extra hours in my day. Since time turners only exist in Harry Potter’s world for now, my next best option is to commit to goal #72: Wake up at 7am every day for a week. Waking up early is a particular kind of torture for me. If I’m not about to be late for something REALLY important, I’m totally unable to get out of bed without snoozing my alarm 1 million times. Day after day I do this, regardless of how committed I become to experiencing a morning during my waking hours.

So here’s the deal, internet people. I’m counting on y’all for some social pressure to actually do this thing. Next week is go time. I’m gonna knock this goal out and while I’m at it, build a new lasting habit that’ll extend beyond this trial week. There, I said it on the internet so now I have to deliver!

Here are my strategies for waking up early:

  1. Go to bed on time – You’re nothing without those 7-8 hours!
  2. Stop snoozing! – Real talk. I have been known to snooze my alarm (which goes off at 10 minute intervals) for up to 2 hours before actually getting out of bed. This is terrible and I know it. During those 2 hours all I’m doing is being annoyed, annoying my boyfriend (bless his heart he never complains), and getting the absolute worst sleep (can you even call that sleep?). Time to end the cycle! Wake up on the FIRST alarm!
  3. Wake up slow – My body is incapable of bounding out of bed at the first sound of an alarm. So instead I’ll focus on waking up slow, staying in bed for a little while (no snoozing allowed!), checking Instagram or reading a couple pages in a book to ease into wakefulness.
  4. Drink water – This is one of the easiest things you can do to wake up in the morning. You’re dehydrated when you wake up and being dehydrated makes you feel slothy and yucky. Drinking water first thing will help get that energy going. Bonus: nothing works better for getting me out of bed than a full bladder.
  5. Make mornings fun – Listen to music, get outside for some fresh air, treat myself to donuts. Burn into my memory that waking up early = good.

Got any other brilliant wake up early strategies? I’d love to hear them! (I’m gonna need all the help I can get)

Feel Better Thursday

I’ve been sick, y’all, and it’s bumming me out. Sure, being sick seems like the perfect excuse to curl up with my laptop and do some productive internet-ing, but that’s not quite how it goes for me. My brain goes fuzzy and the most it can handle is turning on Netflix and slouching over to the kitchen to make some tea. A perfect recipe for doing absolutely nothing productive for a week. Great.

Since my mental and physical energy are finally starting to come back, I thought I’d remind you all that I’m not dead and give you a peek at some things that have been keeping me feeling positive over the past week:

Passion-planner2

I ordered a Passion Planner a while back and it recently showed up in my mailbox. It’s a mega useful planner slash life coach all packed inside a pretty faux leather binding. I haven’t gotten too deep into planning with it yet as a result of the sickness, but I’m pretty stoked to get down to business with this baby very soon.

yes

I recently said yes to something I wouldn’t normally do (goal #83) and hired a career coach to help me figure out what I should be doing with my life and how to get there. Asking for help from other people is not my strong suit, especially when it costs me money. But this guy came highly recommended, and I’ve been struggling a lot with this career question lately, so I figured I’d just take the plunge. We’ve only met once so far, but I’m excited to keep working with him. He started me off by having me take the Myers Briggs personality test to see what types of work my personality is best suited for. Apparently I’m an INFJ. Has anyone else every taken this test? What did you think of it? I thought the description of my personality type fit me shockingly well.

And finally, cats on roombas to make us all feel better:

kittens-roomba

Cat-shark-roomba

cat-roomba

Cat-On-Roomba-Going-In-Circles

Be well, friends!

Positive Monday

Humans worldwide agree: Mondays are hard.

Let’s make them a little easier by taking a moment to think about all the things that make our lives wonderful. The word gratitude has been bouncing around the internet quite a bit lately. And for good reason, says science — practicing gratitude actually improves your health and well-being.

So on this Monday, I’m giving thanks for some things that help me chug through my week and tackle my (sometimes daunting) list of goals like a boss.

BKR Water Bottle

1L-sigh

I’m the type of person who can’t leave the house without her water bottle. I have a fairly extensive graveyard of old water bottles that just didn’t work out for me. But this one, I adore. It’s made out of glass so you don’t have to worry about any sketchy chemicals, and it comes with a cute silicone sleeve to protect it from breakage — I dropped mine once on a cement step and it didn’t even chip! Plus you can throw the whole thing right into the dish washer so it’s stupid easy to clean.

Fount

Screen Shot 2015-02-23 at 1.41.01 PM

I just discovered this amazing tool and I want to shout about it to all of you. Fount is a simple bookmark you add to your browser which, when clicked, shows you the name and style of any font on any webpage. I’m obsessed.

Miss Fisher’s Murder Mysteries

MFMM_HEADDER2

I may have stayed inside all of last week and binge watched the entire 2 seasons of this show on Netflix….it’s too cold to go outside, okay!? Set in 1920’s Australia, it follows the adventures of the wonderfully feministy Miss Phryne Fisher, Lady Detective. Season 3 is set to come out sometime this year — I can’t wait!

This is my new favorite music video:

Happy Monday, y’all!

Failed.

chess_hires

We need to talk about failure.

After just 3 weeks, I totally blew my goal to eat vegan once a week for a year. My first reaction when I realized my utter failure was to feel bad about myself for doing such a poor job at sticking with this seemingly easy goal.

I think you can all relate.

But then I started thinking — why did I fail?

Do I not want to move ahead with this goal because it’s hard? Or because it’s just not a goal that’s well-suited for me? Do I actually WANT to do this goal?

It’s not that a don’t like vegan food — I definitely do. And I ate some really great food during those first three weeks — that beet soup I told y’all about, this AMAZING vegan mac and cheese at a lovely little vegan friendly restaurant around the corner, I even made some delicious vegan marshmallows to satisfy my unrelenting sweet tooth.

I like vegan food and I think it’s good for me to eat vegan more often. Okay, so I do want to do this goal. Then what’s the problem?

I failed because I thought this goal would be easy and I didn’t plan ahead for how I would accomplish it.

This goal requires a lifestyle change and a lot more thought about what I’m putting into my body. This goal requires planning, a well thought out grocery list, the ability to say no to ordering pizza when cooking doesn’t sound like any fun. This goal requires vegan cookies, because, well, I know myself.

Yes it will require more work than my regular eating habits necessitate, but will it be worth it? I guess that’s what I’m trying to figure out.

Sometimes we make goals for ourselves that don’t actually work for us. Sometimes we make goals for ourselves that we give up on because they’re too hard. But it’s hard to know the difference until we really give them an honest try.

So I’m keeping this goal on the list. I’m going to put in the work it requires, and then if I decide that it isn’t working for me. I’m going to trash it. And I’m not going to think of that as a failure. More like a learning experience. This is a big experiment to figure out who we are, what we’re capable of, what we want out of life. Exploring goals we might fail at takes us one step closer to figuring ourselves out. We just have to make sure we’re putting in the work before we decide what is and what isn’t for us.