Sunday, October 16, 2011

Fall Break: Over. Attempt at Reclaiming My Life: Success/Failure-you decide!

Last Sunday marked the beginning of my week-long fall break. I posted that I was going to attempt to reclaim my over-booked/overly-busy/over-committed life back. Hmm. A week later and I'm wondering how successful I actually was.
  It's the night before I go back to school and the overly-enthusiastic students. I can actually say I feel pretty ready to get back. With Halloween, Thanksgiving and Christmas all in the near future, there's lot of fun events to be had with the kiddos. (And lots of opportunities for glittery crafts!) I guess if I can say I feel ready to go back to work, I must be pretty rested?
  I claimed that I wouldn't be a slave to my blackberry, well, as I wrote on Monday that didn't really work out since I switched to an iPhone. Oh, and I had a lovely time at the car dealership waiting for my car to get something installed for several hours. Aside from all of the "waiting" I embraced on Monday and Tuesday, I was really blessed to get to spend a lot of time with friends, sneak in a visit to my husband at work, and celebrate the wedding of a happy couple in a beautiful setting.
  I think I realized something about myself this week: if an empty space exists in my schedule, I will fill it. I know, that's a problem of sorts. However, what I will strive to work on is filling those "empty" spaces with things that I genuinely want to be a part of; things that I feel are positive investments in my life. As much as I hate that I'm a "busy-bee," I realized this week that it makes me, "me".  I'm learning to say "no" more and more and to not feel so icky when people try to guilt me into things. So, going into this week (and the many weeks that follow) my schedule is pretty jammed, BUT, I can happily say that it is full of some pretty wonderful things that I'm very excited to be a part of. The husband and I just committed to a new adventure, and I couldn't be more happy to start this crazy, wild journey.
   Hope you have all had a terrific week and kick-start your Monday with energy and enthusiasm! Remember, if you're a busy bee with a busy schedule, evaluate that schedule and see what things it's filled with. Invest in positive relationships and opportunities. It's never to late to say "yes" to something/someone that could change YOU forever.
             Oh, and who knew you could grow a coffee plant in the desert??? I'll keep you guys updated on it's growth! So fun!!

Monday, October 10, 2011

Taking Back Life: Day 1

Well,  day one of my fall break and my attempt at taking back life was partially a success. (For those of you that didn't catch yesterday's blog--don't worry, this blog is still about our old "green" house, I'm just taking a week off for fall break!) Just yesterday I said that I was giving up being a slave to my Blackberry. Funny thing, since my blackberry broke, today I made a trip to the Verizon store and walked out with an iPhone (Thanks, mom for letting me snag your sweet parents are constantly being robbed of their upgrades thanks to my brother and me). So, instead of being a slave to my Blackberry today, I was a whole new kind of slave to an iPhone. This girl spent almost 3.5 hours at the Apple store upgrading my computer's software so that I could sync my phone to it. Sigh. I can never win with technology.
  So, in regards to technology, I lost today's battle. However, for those of you that have heard me joking about it for weeks, I did spend an entire day in yoga pants. 
  Day one coming to an end, and I can honestly say that I feel like I reclaimed time and was able to appreciate the day (and the Apple store as well as its friendly employees). 
  - I managed to sit on the patio, lab-pup in tow, at one of my favorite coffee shops and just BE. This was slightly difficult for me at first as I am absolutely terrible at sitting still and doing nothing. Oh, and the weather was very much FALL weather. 
 - I had a fabulous lunch with my parents before they head off for Ireland! 
 - Myself and the Apple genius team had a lovely conversation and laughs about how "outdated" I am in the technology world. 
 - My friend that is watching our neighbor's home invited me over to check out the chicken coop and pick up some fresh eggs! Once you go fresh, it's so hard to buy a dozen eggs from the market!! 
- Ended the evening with a lovely dinner and glass of wine on the patio with my love. 

 I'd like to say that I reclaimed several hours today and that day one was an absolute success. Day 2 and all that's in store- I can't wait! 

Sunday, October 9, 2011

Pitching The Schedule; Taking Back Life

  I just finished reading an article titled, "It's your time, how do you want to spend it?" by Geraldine Sealey.  While my posts are normally about green living and other household projects, today I'm kicking off my fall break by writing about how I can reclaim my life. If you are a busy, type A, over-achiever, BUSY person like myself--hopefully you will find a bit of inspiration in this.
  Today is my New Year's, pre-New Year's...if that makes sense. We are only weeks away from 1 of several major holidays and I refuse to spend another year being "busy" through the holidays. Lately my "busy" schedule has been a major topic of discussion in our house. In fact, I came home the other day and wrote down my daily work schedule, in addition to everything I do at home and discovered that after working 40 hours a week, I'm coming home and working another 20-25 hours, Monday-Friday...that doesn't even include the weekend or hours I spend volunteering. Enough is enough folks! This mid-20s girl is taking her life back.
  In order for me to get started on this week-long mission to stop being the "busy-bee" that I am, I'm taking a look at why I'm the busy girl. Here's some of the reasons why I've become this way:
  1. I think I allow my busyness to validate my self-worth. Yep, I said it. I buy into this American way of life and feel that, if I'm not busy, I must be lazy/not working enough, etc.
2. I feel that if I let someone else take on a project, I won't be as pleased with the results.
3. I'm afraid that if I don't do something, it won't get done.
4. I struggle with saying 'no' to people.
  Okay, these are just a few of the reasons why I think I am so busy. So, I'm going to begin the week by tackling these "hinderances" in my path. Here's how I plan on making that happen:
1. I will not be a slave to my blackberry this week.
2. I will not let other people dictate or create my schedule. I refuse to be the "yes" girl. Recently, I saw a quote that said, "If you want something done, ask the busy girl"....I quickly realized that I don't want to be the lazy person's yes girl anymore!
3. I'm not going to obsess over the disasters my dogs seem to be creating on a daily basis in my home. My friends and family are dog-lovers and I need to start embracing the fact that I do not have a full-time staff like Martha Stewart that will take care of the daily disasters.
4. I'm going to take time to pursue my dreams this week.
5. I'm going to spend more time reading.
 These are just a few of the ways I plan to get started. I realized that I can't enjoy, "Our Old Green House," if I'm too busy being busy. So this week I plan on spending more time loving on the ones I love and taking time to breathe.
Can't wait for daily morning walks and runs with this girl

Can't wait for sunsets with the one I love

Excited for meals and great conversations with family and friends in one of my most favorite spots.
   Here's my challenge to you this week: replenish your energy, kindly decline offers, put away the phone a little more. We only get to enjoy this life for a such a time. Fill your day with the ones you love and spend more time doing things that you love and that matter. At the end of your life, I doubt you'll say: "I wish I would have spent more time emailing, more time working, more time cleaning." 
  Happy Sunday afternoon, everyone!

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Fall Burlap Banner: Because I refuse to be defeated by a roll of burlap

Although I continue to write about the woes of working with burlap, I'm too competitive to give up working with it. I absolutely refuse to be "owned" by a material.
  I attempted make a "Fall" burlap banner for my kitchen window. After a frustrating hour of cutting/fraying/glue/glitter/hanging, I decided I'm officially on the hunt for a better burlap. It seems my problem might be that I'm simply using the wrong type of burlap. Either way, a fall banner has been made and I'm not too terribly ashamed of it. I used old book pages to cut out the word "fall" and then outlined the word in Martha Stewart's coppery/orange glitter.
  Here's the result:

      I'm keeping my eyes out for a better, less frustrating burlap so that I can get started on a Thanksgiving/Christmas banner. It certainly seems to be the thing right now-as all the antique stores and boutiques I've been in have these hanging all over....clearly, there has to be a more user-friendly burlap.
  Friends, I'm happy to report that FALL (in the weather sense) is finally hitting this desert girl's city. When I drove to work today it was 65 degrees- brrrr! I absolutely love it! Now, if I could just get a side of rain so I could bust out my Hunter rain boots!
  Happy FALL everyone!

Sunday, October 2, 2011

Pumpkin Trees: Or Shall I Say Ornamental Eggplants?

A couple of weeks ago I mentioned that I had found pumpkin trees at our local Trader Joe's. (This should tell you how busy I've been, when I'm going weeks in between updates....sigh...I just asked my husband the other day if life would ever slow down) Anyways, after discovering pumpkin trees and not buying them my first time around, I had to travel to several Trader Joe's before finding them again (apparently they sell out fast).
  I absolutely love how fun these little pumpkins are, but my husband-being the researcher that he is- discovered that they are really not "pumpkin trees," but ornamental eggplant.

      I decided to try placing some inside and outside. Our cashier at Trader Joe's shared with us that TJ's has been carrying the "pumpkin trees" for 12 years and that she has been unsuccessful at keeping them alive for longer than a week. I'm hoping that they last until Halloween atleast, but we will see! When my husband read up on the "pumpkin trees", he also discovered that they can be dried out as well.
     If you have a Trader Joe's near you, or perhaps a market or nursery that carries these, give 'em a try! I think they make a fabulous centerpiece and are a great talking piece.
  Hope you guys have all had a fabulous fall weekend! I'm excited to say that the husband and I found some fabulous estate sales this weekend and scored on some pretty sweet pieces! Some days it pays to have a lab pup that wakes us up way too early in the morning!!