Happy Hanukkah!

Happy Hanukkah

What a wonderful way to start Hanukkah! We had dinner with my parents and grandmother last night, lighting Hanukkah candles at their house before coming back to our house and lighting our Hanukkiahs. Especially in the dark of winter, it’s nice to have a holiday, even a minor holiday, dedicated to bringing warmth and light into our lives! Happy Hanukkah and Happy Holidays!

The Night the Lights Went Out

Power Outage & Multiple Candles

I seriously thought that we had underground power! Yesterday afternoon my office closed early because the power kept going off and on due to an incoming windstorm. So we all went home about an hour early. No biggie, I was excited to get home and reheat the enchiladas we had made and get ready for the hot evening plans we had made to watch The Killing (amazing show on Netflix if you are looking for a new one to marathon).

I got home and turned the news on and then the lights went out, flickered, and went out. For six hours. I was more surprised than anything else because I’ve never seen power lines in our neighborhood so I seriously thought we had underground power like both of our parents, who both live five minutes away. We also didn’t have any flashlights, whoops! When I first moved in, I found one in the junk drawer but opened it and saw that the batteries had rusted and leaked so we threw it away and have yet to replace it.

So thankfully, I had tons of candles and I lit a bunch of them and just enjoyed the absolute silence. I think we are so inundated with noise and sound that we don’t realize how powerful silence can be when there is no noise.

Unfortunately in today’s world there are very few times we can truly be isolated with our thoughts and silence but at least for a little bit last night, it was me, my thoughts and some beautiful candles.

No Excuses Allowed

I really have no excuse for not blogging in so long. It was the longest break I took in my two plus years of blogging and I’ve really been missing it.

As I said in my last post, I started working full-time in July and am still breaking into my new job and discovering all sorts of new things. At the end of July/beginning of August my little sister surprised my brother and  I for our birthdays and the whole family headed down to the Oregon Coast to celebrate.

Family Bonfire

I then headed to a conference in Los Angeles where I got to stay with my sister and hang out with a ton of friends from graduate school and the two years I lived there. I also got to see both my aunts and uncles and some cousins which is always nice as well as learn some pretty awesome things.

Fun Conference Learning

I also ran to Chicago for a quick two day conference. Not much to say about that except I got a duck and a flattened penny.

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And the biggest change in the last three months? I met someone! We met through OKCupid but randomly went to high school together-he graduated a couple of years after me. I can’t even tell you how happy I am. . . we moved in together and are currently sharing a pretty sweet townhouse complete with a cat (Kitty) and a 60 gallon fish tank full of tropical fish!

I’ll end this post with some corny pictures of Jason and I and a promise to be so much better about blogging because I’ve missed it so much and am excited to be back in the swing of things!

S'mores!Hiking

Us

 

Life has been a crazy crazy place!

Without meaning to, I have let this little spot ‘o’ mine slide. I started working full-time July 1st and work is awesome yet kicking my butt! I am in the process of A LOT of meetings with all sorts of education facilities in Portland. Basically I work for a community organization with education from pre-school through adult ed under my portfolio. My first order of business has been to meet with all our community partners to find ways of connection. I’m also going to two conferences in August–in LA where I’m presenting two hour and a half workshops, gotta work on those! And a super shortie one in Chicago.

Other than work, I’ve had some good friends move up to town with their 10-month old so I’ve been taking lots of walks with them and hanging out.

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I witnessed a gorgeous sunset last night driving home from my new favorite store:

2014-07-28 19.47.48How come no one told me about this AMAZING store? I picked up some stuff yesterday (justified that it’s my birthday on Friday!)

2014-07-09 16.37.28Enjoyed happy hour with my co-workers–loved the color of this hard cider.

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And enjoyed the beautiful weather on the deck with a glass of wine and the newest issue of Bust magazine.

2014-07-21 08.10.12 HDRStuck a bird on it at work!

2014-07-24 11.59.15Witnessed a random woman walking by with two horses. Behind her was a woman with a big pooper scooper. Ahh the things you see in Portland.

picstitchI also received an awesome foodie package from Clare in Santa Barbara and am participating in the Local Flavor Swap from Chaotic Goddess Swaps


I can’t wait to shower someone with some awesome Oregon goods!

I also promise to try and be better about posting in my little spot of the internet!

A Week Off

Hey guys, I know I’ve been quiet here this week. I’ve been celebrating Passover. My best friend and sister were in town for the weekend and for the first Passover dinner so I was busy cooking and hanging out with them. Today is our first day back at work and things are busy here too.

I promise I will be back next week with a regular schedule and tons of new, fun stuff! Have a great holiday week whichever holiday you are celebrating!

52 Lists//Week 7//List the things that make you feel healthy (mind body and soul)

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My list this week from MooreaSeal

Goals Check-In

Juice Cleanse

I’ve been doing a pretty good job of sticking with my goals so far.  If you recall, I set nine larger goals and and now chunked them to smaller goals.

Here’s what I’m working on this week:

Maintain and Retain Friendships
-Talk to the biffle once time
-Attend a friend’s birthday party on Friday evening

Repair a relationships
-Call this person one time
-Text them twice this week

Create More
-Attend an art class this week

Create Blog Consistency
-Attend a blog conference
-Blog three times
-Mail books for book blog swap

Continue to lose weight and feel healthy
-Workout 4 times
-Juice fast for 5 days
-Yoga 2x this week
-Finish my water bottle 3 times

Pay down bills
-Pay off one medical bill
-Make a payment of $100 towards a surgery bill

So these are my goals for the week of January 24th-31st.   What are some of your goals this week?  Here’s to a great week!!

My Goals For This Year

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So I mentioned last week that I was going to start working with an accountability partner to really work on goal setting and accomplishing these goals.  I spent a long time trying to find my journal with my original list of 100 items I wanted to accomplish but to no avail.  My partner found her journal and found that she had accomplished ten of the original sixty some she had set.  I can’t wait to find mine–probably after I move and empty out my boxes–and see how many I’ve accomplished.

In the meantime, I decided to purchase a journal called 2014 Create Your Amazing Year-Life Edition Workbook and Planner from Leonie Dawson.  It was relatively inexpensive and I was psyched to find one of the sections was about creating a list of 100 things to do this year.  I’ve been slowly adding to this and am at 60 so far.  There was also a section on saying goodbye to 2013 and then about goals in different areas of my life.

From this I crafted 9 large goals for the year:

1.  Maintain and retain friendships

2.  Repair a broken relationship

3.  Work on a book/novel

4.  Create More

5.  Create Blog Consistency

6.  Find one full-time or no more than 2 part-time jobs

7.  Continue to lose weight and feel healthy

8.  Pay down debt and begin savings

9.  Become involved in a long-term committed relationship

I hope that by not only setting smaller goals and working with my amazing accountability partner, but by also publicly posting them on my blog, I will be able to really work hard to accomplish these goals.

My plan is to set smaller SMART goals each week.  Not every week will consist of accomplishing something for each of the larger goals, but to work on 3-4 per week.  I’m not sure if I will post weekly or monthly about my goals on the blog but I will definitely devote some of my blog to holding myself accountable for these goals.

How do you set goals?  How do you plan to accomplish them this year?

Accountability Partners and Life Coaching

So when I was living in Los Angeles from 2006-08, I was involved with a super awesome book group (I am still trying to replicate it but have yet to succeed-Portland peeps-if you are interested in a book club, let me know!)  One of the women in the group had done a few life coach groups and I immediately jumped onto the idea.

There were about seven of us in the group plus the coach and we meet weekly at her apartment.  It was all women I knew, primarily a bunch that i was in graduate school with and others that I worked with.  It was one of the best group of women I’ve ever had the chance to spend time with.

We worked through all sorts of things but one of the first items we did was pick an accountability partner in our groups.  We then made a list of 100 things we wanted to accomplish in our lifetimes in a journal.  I’ve often gone back to look at this list and I really should start crossing off the things I’ve done.

From that list of 100, we put them into large goal buckets.  We then made short term goals based on these buckets.  So I had one for health/weight loss, spiritual, creativity, etc.  From that, I picked three or four goals I wanted to work on for a two month period or so.  We then wrote those in our journals.

Each week we would pick two or three goals based on the SMART goals model (see below) and write them on a circle sticker (like the type you use for garage sales).  At the end of the week, if we accomplished our goals we put them into our journals next to the goal.

At the end of two month period we then awarded ourselves with merit badges (similar to girl scouts!).

So SMART goals as a mnemonic to help set up the way you look at goals:

S-specific

M-measurable

A-attainable

relevant

T-time bound

Lately I’ve felt that I’ve needed the accountability again that I had during that time period so I’ve decided to start with an accountability partner-a good friend of mine in Los Angeles and we will meet every Friday morning via g-chat to see where we are.

I am also going to blog about these goals on an ongoing basis so even more accountability!  If this is something you are interested in, let me know and maybe we can create a link-up or some sort of meet-up to work on goals as a group!

The Start of a New Year

I still can’t quite believe we are in 2014.  It’s been a pretty slow start to the year.  My bestie was in town for 10 days and we had a great time-going to a Blazer Game, going to Oregon Museum of Science and Industry, going down to the Oregon Coast for a quickie shopping trip at the outlets and to see some friends, trying tons and tons of restaurants around town–be on the lookout for some posts about that!

New Years Eve was super low key, my parents had a bunch of friends over and a few of my friends came as well.  We ordered Middle Eastern food, had a drinks bar (I made Dirty Shirley’s-cherry vodka, 7-up, a splash of grenadine and some maraschino cherries), we played Cards Against Humanity (if you’ve never played. . . think X-rated Apples to Apples–super fun!) and of course the countdown and watching the ball go down.

Me NYE

Me wearing all new clothes!  The skirt and sweater from GAP and the cami from the Loft.

One thing on my mind lately: goals and accomplishing them.  Based on this picture, I am proud of the fact that I’ve lost a lot of weight in the last couple of years but there is still work to go.  I’ve started using the loseit.com app and I bought a fitbit that tracks my steps and sleep.  I’m trying to keep up with drinking 8 cups of water a day (and visiting the bathroom a ton).  I also started blogilates which has been KICKING MY BUTT!  My core is so sore but in a great way.  I sprung for the beginner calendar (a whole ninety nine cents!) and have done it so far every day.

I took a life coaching class several years ago when I was living in Los Angeles and got started with SMART goals and accountability partners (I’m going to write a whole post about that experience and getting back into it later this week).

So stay tuned!!!!