Stay tuned…

Marissa will be posting very soon about balancing law school with life.

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Reset, Routine, and Inspiration

Starting in April and going through the end of June, I was swamped with a big project at work. I’m the kind of person who can only have so many things going on at once before everything else slips. I make sacrifices to keep my sanity. During this time I stopped cleaning the house, I bought paper plates so my dishes wouldn’t back up, I ate out a lot, I stopped couponing, I stopped exercising, and I did a minimal amount of laundry. Terrible right? I had to put my life on hiatus while I worked hard to complete the project. While it saved my sanity, it got me severely off track with a lot of the good habits I was working so hard to develop and maintain.

The first thing I did when I regained my freedom is I read a book, and quickly it became about enjoying the pleasurable things in life and shoving off responsibility. So I took a nice vacation last week where I read more books and played outside in the summer (first time in years), grilled steaks and saw movies. It was definitely what I needed.

Pueblo Photowalk

As we all know, vacations end. It’s time for me engage in my life again and my work. I need a reset. I need routine. I need inspiration.

Space

Cleaning my space at home — it helps me want to be here and eases my mind from the stress of looking around and feeling burdened by the mess.

Cleaning out my pantry and refrigerator — out with the old and stale, in with the new and fresh. Less is more in terms of keeping food, in my opinion. Right now our pantry is bursting with stuff. There’s no space. It sounds like we have a lot of food, but we sit around thinking we don’t have anything to munch on. That’s because finding things in the fridge and pantry isn’t easy and it doesn’t feel good.

Laundry and organizing my closet — will make getting dressed for work easier in the morning. Anything that helps me get to work in the morning would be very helpful right now.

Cleaning, organizing and rearranging my office — I need a change to my space there. There have been so many other changes there, circling around me, I need to make a change myself so that I can complete this transition and want to actually be there.

Connections, Communications, and Productivity

Inbox — I actually did this recently, but I still have so far to go. My work inbox has over 12,000 messages in it. For a while I had 2,000 unread messages (mostly from Facebook and Borders and messages that didn’t really apply to me). I cleaned those out and that feels like a burden has been lifted. Now to clean out the old ones that I don’t need anymore. I love to lighten my load. I did this also on my GMail for my personal e-mail.

Google — I am a fan of Google’s application suite. It happened during my big project when my assistant showed me how awesome Google Docs is. We were able to really collaborate on documents and I could access those documents from any web browser, easily and quickly. Since then I’ve been using it for everything in my personal life and continue to use it at work for various things.

One of the ways I use it is for tracking tasks. I started doing this during my big project. Instead of all of these complicated task management programs, I simply use a Google document to write down what I need to do each day, what I’ve done (after the fact) and indicate when stuff gets done. I mix up both work and personal things because it’s way easier to only have one document. There are a lot of benefits to do this than just knowing what I need to get done. So many times I can’t remember what I’ve done. This tracks it. It’s a running list that just keeps going. So call it a task list, journal of sorts that I can access from anywhere (browser on whichever computer I’m on and from my iPhone and iPad) at anytime and easily edit.

Tasklist in Google Docs

I also use Google for my personal e-mail, personal calendar, and Google+ for connecting with others professionally and personally.

Mind and Body Nourishment

peachpie-20090808-2

Meal Planning — a little time and planning up front saves a lot of time, money, and calories during the week. It also eases stress. It avoids that pesky question (that I often get), what’s for dinner? For inspiration I turn to “This Week for Dinner,” a blog that promotes meal planning and sharing menus. I’ve also just started using my Google calendar to help me plan and help me remember.

Meal planning with Google Calendar

Meal planning with Google Calendar

Breakfast and Lunch — I’m pretty good about packing breakfast, but I stink at packing or planning for lunch. Most days I skip lunch and scavenge for snacks instead. There are so many things wrong with that, but the worst thing about it is that I end up so hungry for dinner that I don’t want to cook and I pick up food on the way home. I need to correct this.  I’m currently reading:

Reading — Summer is a great time to turn off the TV. It’s also a great escape, so I’ve been spending more time reading. It relaxes me at night and it helps me wake up in the morning. I know — waking up and reading in the morning is weird, but that’s my favorite time to do it. I love using Goodreads to connect with friends and get ideas of what to read. It’s also a fun way to keep track of what you’re reading and gab about it. Find me on Goodreads and add me as a friend!

Exercise and Play — My gym routine got totally out of whack during the big project. I have a fabulous gym membership that I haven’t used in weeks. I need to start going back, so I’m fitting that into my schedule. Also — besides boring exercise, I’m just looking for more opportunities to play. Whether it’s golf or tennis, or flying a kite. Anything that gets me off the couch is a good thing.

Conference — I’m planning on attending a work conference in the fall that will help inspire me and hopefully that spark will come back. Right now things are not so good there after they made some personnel and organizational changes. My feelings and attitude are not what they should be about a job that I used to love so much. I need to find that purpose again so that I can put my best into it. Being happy at work is obviously very important.

CU-Boulder Campus July 2009

I’d love to hear your tips and advice on helping me get back on track. What do you do when you slide away from the norm?

getting back on the horse

I was in Pueblo this week which was greatly relaxing and nice, however, not good on the ‘ol diet. As mostly everyone in the world knows- it’s hard to stay on a diet for longer than a week- well for me longer than a week. Most people probably have more staying power. Pueblo is like diet kyrptanite, filled with local restaurants that do not even come on the website I’ve been using to track my diet progress. Not to mention, the food is delicious. Best food place- no joke. And it’s fattening. So needless to say. my diet was a little blown this week. I also didn’t work out on Thursday or Friday (while I was in pueblo).

The key, in my opinion, to actually obtaining my goals is to not just give up when my diet is blown a little bit, or when I skip a work out or whatever else I’m making progress with. I think it’s my nature to be like “Well I already blew that, time to just go back to the way things were”. So today, I am getting back on the horse or whatever the analogy is for continuing my health regiment despite my minor fails. It will be hard now that I’ve had a taste of the easy life .

Clutter Struggles

Okay, so I’m all about this clutter challenge to get rid of 100 things, and I know I can do it. What I really need to do is to go into the depths of my drawers and closets and truly purge the crap that means nothing to me.

I know that, so why don’t I do that?

Well so far my decluttering efforts have been focused not on those easy spots but on hard stuff.

For example, I thought that I could make some money from some of my scrapbooking supplies. I pulled together some pretty awesome Creative Memories stuff that sells very well on eBay. I went as far to take pictures and write descriptions. But then I couldn’t pull the trigger. These things in particular are retired 12×12 pages and retired 12×12 albums.

Well, I chickened out at the last minute because it didn’t feel right. And I’m actually kind of glad I did. My desire to make money from my stuff was outweighing my ability to think logically about what I should get rid of. So I held back and thought about what exactly I was doing. The white 12×12 pages can still be used with all of my old 12×12 paper. And I almost sold the 12×12 coverset that I have been saving to put my already made, just need journaling, Ireland pages. That was a close one!

What I did realize is that I will never use 12×12 black pages. They just aren’t my thing and are left over from when I was a consultant. So after some much thoughtful consideration, that is what I put on eBay.

E-Bay February 2010

So maybe I’m starting with the big stuff, and I need to focus on just the trash around my house. Build my way up to the stuff to donate, and then the stuff to sell…if I want to.

Vision Boards

Almost two years ago I learned about vision boards from my friend Amanda. Very simple concept and exercise with the potential for a huge life impact.

Here’s the idea: create vision boards, however you see fit that represent your ideal life and your ideal world. Your vision boards will activate the law of attraction, as theorized in books and concepts like The Secret.

When I decided to make my own vision boards, I sat and meditated on what I wanted for myself, my surroundings, and our world. It just flowed right out. Then I went through my magazines and cut out images, words, and phrases that matched up with those desires.

I created four boards.

1. Self, body, love
2. Home, lifestyle
3. Wealth, career
4. World, community

And placed them strategically in my kitchen.

The result has been pretty great so far. I don’t have tons of empirical evidence to prove that they work, but I just feel it. The constant visual reminder of my goals and the things that I want somehow pushes me in those four areas. There have been advances in lots of ares such as travel and money, some advances in cooking, and even in my personal relationships and self confidence.

I highly recommend this project. If anything, it’s fun to feel like a kid again and make collages from magazine pictures.

If you already have vision boards, how is it working for you?

Happy Birthday Marissa!

As you can tell from Marissa’s last post, today she turns 22!

Being that I’m nine years older than her, I remember the day of her birth quite well.

And true story, the first time I ever held her, she farted on me….. my how nothing has changed.

Happy Birthday Marissa!!

I made this for her last year, but the update works 🙂

The Clean Up: In Pictures

As I talked about in my last post, I spent a good chunk of my three day weekend cleaning the house.

Some things were highly overdue…

Like cleaning the down stairs cat box. It had gotten so bad, that my best bet was to just buy a new cat box. That’s a great example of how not having a cleaning routine can cost money.

MLK Weekend 2010

Marissa photographs me before going in to the cat box zone.

And some things I had never even considering cleaning…

Like my spice rack.

MLK Weekend 2010

Who'd have guessed? Oh that's right, probably lots of people.

And I did some good deep cleaning on things like…

My microwave.

MLK Weekend 2010

Before.

MLK Weekend 2010

After.

And the effect is wonderful….

MLK Weekend 2010

The kitchen!

I’m so excited to cook!

MLK Weekend 2010

A clean sink. The soul of the kitchen.

MLK Weekend 2010

Actually deep cleaned the stove top last weekend, but shined it up. It gets messy in a week!

MLK Weekend 2010

Living room, with Persephone.

And so excited to lounge.

MLK Weekend 2010

De-furred couches.

There are still some cluttered spots down stairs that I need to take care of. Maybe next weekend or on one of the week nights!

MLK Weekend 2010

Above the fridge. Lots of random stuff. And I have no idea what's in those cabinets.

MLK Weekend 2010

Knitting station.

MLK Weekend 2010

Baskets o'books and mail. Callie the cat models.

Three Day Weekend Clean Up Overview

First, and foremost…today is Martin Luther King Jr. day and it’s definitely a day to celebrate and remember his contributions and principles. I happened to read an MLK quotation today that I thought was quite good, particularly in this time of tragic circumstances in Haiti,“Life’s most persistent and urgent question is: what are you doing for others?”

Giving back to others is obviously a very important thing to think about and do, andI feel funny pivoting from that sentiment, but this is a  post about doing things for myself. I’m learning that taking good care of yourself, frees you to do good things for others. And boy am I no where near being able to truly help others because there’s so much work to do here.

And if turning away from that sentiment wasn’t bad enough,  I’m about to quote the movie “New Moon,” in the same post as quoting the great Martin Luther King Jr. This part of the movie really stuck out at me. Charlie, Bella’s dad, is encouraging her to see Jacob and he says You know, sometimes, you gotta learn to love what’s good for you.

Rather wise I must admit. And something that I need learn. Having a clean and organized home is not only good for me, it’s good for others. I need to learn to love it and strive toward it.

I’m not a terribly messy person, and I’m not terribly cluttered or disorganized. But I’m not solid in the other direction. My house gets messy, I neglect it and just go through the motions. I vacuum every now and again, and do the dishes when there’s no more counter space by the sink. I cook here and there, and have a decent pantry. And I do laundry when my underwear runs out. I could obviously be better about taking care of my environment and my things.

I tend to use the excuse that it’s because I’m on my own and I work full time. But what I’ve found is that I don’t really enjoy my off time because I’m constantly thinking about how I should be cleaning. And if it’s not clean, and my kitchen is not accessible, I tend to pick up fast food. My health suffers because I don’t have a clean kitchen, and the like.

So I decided that I would use this three day weekend to clean up a little bit and that’s what I’ve done. It also helped that I had a little pressure on me. I knew all week that I was going to have house guests on Sunday night to watch the Golden Globes. What an excellent source of pressure.

With all that in mind, and the great start I made this weekend, I want to work toward making it a habit, and be a big girl with a nice clean apartment.

We need to fix our sitch…bad.

Hi! I’m Rochelle. And I’m Marissa. We are two silly sisters that are trying to make things a little bit easier on ourselves in life. We’ve got a pretty good sitch…which is short for situation by the way. It’s one of our bad habits, shortening words. It drives our loved ones crazy. But even though we’re blessed and all that, we struggle at life. Struggle with money, struggle with healthy living, and just being overall kind of sucky at being mature, professional adults.

Basically, we want to be big girls.

So we came up with this concept of this blog to showcase our attempts at maturing. Follow along as we change our lives, a little bit at a time.

Read more about us (with pictures!).