Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Wellness Wednesday - Why Work Doesn't Happen at Work

I've been struggling lately with not getting everything done that I am responsible for. Whether it's the dishes, laundry, a presentation for work, sending that email, calling a friend... It always seems like there are more tasks than there are hours in the day and it gets incredibly frustrating to feel like I will just never get caught up and no matter what productivity solution I try to implement I'm just going to fall out in a month anyway.

A friend of mine sent me this video and it made me wonder if the problem with work is being at work. Lately I have been spending most of my days in meetings, training people, or answering questions which isn't all bad but does take up a good amount of my day. In the end I don't accomplish the things I am getting paid to accomplish which makes me feel like it must be something wrong with me that I just can't get things done. Check out the video:

Jason Fried is the co-founder and president of 37signals , a Chicago-based company that builds web-based productivity tools that, in their words, "do less than the competition -- intentionally." 37signals' simple but powerful collaboration tools include Basecamp, Highrise, Backpack, Campfire, Ta-da List, and Writeboard. 37signals also developed and open-sourced the Ruby on Rails programming framework.

Fried is the co-author, with David Heinemeier Hansson, of the book Rework, about new ways to conceptualize working and creating. Salon's Scott Rosenberg called it "a minimalist manifesto that's profoundly practical. In a world where we all keep getting asked to do more with less, the authors show us how to do less and create more."

"[Facebook and Twitter] aren’t the real problems in the office. The real problems are what I like to call the M&Ms, the Managers and the Meetings." ~ Jason Fried
What do you do when you're feeling like you're so far behind that you'll never catch up? Do you have certain tricks you use to help you stay on task or are there things you do so you actually get through your to-do list? I find I can get things done as they come up and I am great at putting out a fire but I hate to always feel like I'm forgetting something or that I'll put others out because of my lack of planning.

Do you feel Jason has some valid points or do you believe that managers, meetings, and offices are essential to getting business done? I'd love to know your thoughts and strategies for staying ahead of the game!

Monday, July 28, 2014

Motovated Monday - Determination
What makes you get up with determination? What drives you to be the best you can be? What habits do you have that ensure you can go to bed with satisfaction every day? Check out for more motivation.

Friday, July 25, 2014

Family Friday - Happy Late Birthday Joe

Yep, it's well past Joe's birthday (June 30) but I wanted to share some fun family photos from our celebration. We kept things pretty low key celebrating with my family and having a fun dinner at home the weekend after his birthday. Check it out!

Russel practiced looking at his flash cards with Grandma.
Joe, my Dad, and I split a few sushi rolls.
For a moment I think Russell thought the ice cream cake was for him.
For our special dinner we went all out for cheese fondue!
Shabu shabu and cheese fondue by request. So much fun to interact with your food!
What do you like to do to celebrate your birthday? Are you a big party person or do you prefer a low key celebration? Share your favorite birthday story.

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Wellness Wednesday - PiYo

WOO! Another video this week! Today I wanted to share a video of the new program I'm going to try out. A friend of mine has recently become a Beachbody coach and she messaged me about a new program that's available through the same company that created P90X and INSANITY. I'd heard about these programs before and have seen how great people can look if they stick to the programs but I have had bad knees and ankles for a long time so the high intensity programs like P90X had no appeal to me because I knew I'd drop out quickly and never finish them. When I heard their new program was a combination of Pilates and yoga and that it was low impact I was intrigued so I looked around and found this video.

Oh yeah! I talked it over with Joe going back and forth if I wanted to spend the money but in reality it wasn't that much ($60) and I'd have a friend who is a coach to work with as well as a private Facebook group to go to for motivation, ideas, and encouragement. I've loved the yoga classes I've been doing with Blue Panda Yoga so this would give me a way to work out in between the in person classes and hopefully help me get and stay in shape. I also have a local friend who is trying this program out too so I figured we could check in with each other so we can stay accountable.

Right now I'm just waiting for the program to get here but soon I'll be burning it up and we'll see what kind of results I can get. Wish me luck!

Have you done any Beachbody programs? Do you like to work out at home or do you prefer going to a gym or taking classes in person? What do you do to stay motivated and on track with your fitness goals? Share any secrets you have to staying accountable in the comments.

Monday, July 21, 2014

Motovated Monday - Never, Ever Give Up

Sometimes you come across something on a social media site and it makes you grateful you didn't bail out completely and stop using the site. I totally understand how social media can be very negative but when you come across something like this it gives you a little push to keep on working hard because we all have incredible potential to become whatever we want to. Check it out! I promise it's well worth the 5 minutes to watch the whole thing.

What inspires you? Is there something you've been putting off that you want to pick back up or get started on? Life is too short to wait for good things to happen. Get out there and make good things happen! Work a little every day and find what gets you MOTOVATED.

Friday, July 18, 2014

Family Friday - Crochet Craziness

Oh my goodness! I've been working on a project for a really long time and have wanted to share but I couldn't because the work I was doing was for a gift and I couldn't risk that the recipient would see this before it was finished. Check it out...

For the blanket I used this awesome pattern from The Stitchin' Mommy that I found on Ravelry. If you don't know what it is, this is what they say in their About Me section:
Ravelry is a place for knitters, crocheters, designers, spinners, weavers and dyers to keep track of their yarn, tools, project and pattern information, and look to others for ideas and inspiration. The content here is all user- driven; we as a community make the site what it is. Ravelry is a great place for you to keep notes about your projects, see what other people are making, find the perfect pattern and connect with people who love to play with yarn from all over the world in our forums.
It's a free site and fabulous for finding patterns and supporting the amazing people who create them. It's also fun to find inspiration and get ideas for what you can do with a ball of yarn. :) If you are into any fiber arts I suggest you create a profile and connect with me. I'd love to see what you're making.

I used the same pattern but shrunk it down to make the two matching burp rag things which were really easy and quick to work up since I had so much practice making the blanket.

I wanted to have something else fun to go with the blanket so I found this fun pattern on Pinterest for a crochet bath pouf. Russell had a small soft ball like this with ribbons on it that a friend of mine made for him and he loved it for the longest time. I thought it would be cool to make my own version and so I did. It was super easy and worked up in no time at all. Plus it helped me use up the last bit of yarn I had left.

These gifts were easy and fun to make and something I'm hoping will be used with love.

Do you give homemade gifts? Do you like to receive gifts that someone made personally for you or do you prefer something off the shelf or a gift card? If you have a Ravelry profile connect with me or let me know in the comments so I can follow your work. I'm also interested in following crafters so leave your social media handles or your blog so I can check it out. Thanks!

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Wellness Wednesday - Kombucha

Today I wanted to share this delightful, wonderful, and locally made drink. Kombucha! This one was picked up at our Downtown Farmers Market from Mamachari Kombucha. You can buy it by the cup, the mason jar, or even by the growler full. It's so refreshing on a hot summers day and, as you all know, I love supporting local businesses. If you don't know what in the world kombucha is the information below from Mamachari will help answer your questions.
What exactly is kombucha?
All kombucha is a lightly fermented tea with probiotic qualities. Think, yogurt without the dairy. For people with dairy allergies or an aversion to dairy products, kombucha is a great way to keep the 'good bacteria' balanced in your GI tract.

What kind of health benefits does kombucha have?
Although the FDA has not done extensive testing on kombucha, and we won't make any outrageous health claims, most people who drink kombucha report healthier feeling GI tracts, less sugar cravings, less caffeine cravings, clearer skin, and better overall health. What contributes to this? Kombucha contains acetic acid (a mild antibacterial), gluconic acid (a mild detoxifier), lactic acid, malic acid (what gives kombucha that slightly sour taste), amino acids, and various probiotic strains. This organic acids are essential in keeping your body balanced and in good health.

When should I drink kombucha?
Whenever you want! Kombucha is a great way to start your morning and wake your body up before you eat breakfast. You can also eat it with lunch, dinner, or as a hydrating drink on a hot summers day. Kombucha also makes a great recovery drink after a long bike ride, run, or workout. We recommend drinking 4-24oz of kombucha a day, depending on how your body feels.

Mamachari Kombucha is vegan, gluten free, corn free, and nut free. 
I always recommend shopping local when you can. It supports your own local economy and helps the amazing people who are brave enough to follow their dreams and share their hearts with you. Especially in the summer you can find amazing treats, fresh produce, and locally made crafts at your local farmers market. Get the best food you can for your family by buying something that was grown locally!

If you don't have a farmers market try and see if you have some sort of CSA or other program that lets you buy a share in a basket of produce/foods. One that we have tried is Bountiful Baskets but I know there are others just like it across the country. Another local option we have is through the Wasatch Front Farmers Market where you can pick up your basket in the store during the week. You don't have to order it in advance so you can pick the ones you like and skip the ones you don't. It's always a great adventure!

Have you tried kombucha? Do you have other foods you eat to help your gut functioning and healthy? Share your digestive health tips in the comments below. If you know of other options to get fresh produce feel free to share them too!

Monday, July 14, 2014

Motovated Monday - Your Thoughts

I found this little gem on Pinterest. If you're there too let me know or follow me. This is something I have to remind myself. Sometimes the hardest part of the day is just choosing how I'll think about situations and things that happens to me. Whether you believe in concepts like the law of attraction or you think they're a bunch of crap in some ways I do think having a positive attitude and outlook can make a difference. I'm not saying it's easy and some of us need more help getting there than others and that's ok. Surround yourself with positive people and learn how to take care of yourself so you can be in a positive mindset as often as possible. I feel positivity can be inherent in a person but you can also learn to be positive. Don't give up. There's always the possibility that something great is just around the corner.

What do you do to stay positive even when things are falling apart or going poorly? How do you teach your children that's it's ok to fail and try again? Share any tips you use to keep moving forward.

Monday, July 07, 2014

Motovated Monday - Set the World on Fire!

Have you figured out what you should be? How do you plan to set the world on fire? For more inspiration follow Lean In on Instagram.

Friday, July 04, 2014

Family Friday - Happy Independence Day

Happy Independence Day! I wish everyone a safe and happy holiday weekend and hope that we don't forget why we celebrate this day. I'm excited to spend time with my family and hope you're doing the same.

This nation will remain the land of the free only so long as it is the home of the brave.
~ Elmer Davis (January 13, 1890 – May 18, 1958) news reporter, author, the Director of the United States Office of War Information during World War II, and a Peabody Award recipient.

Feel free to leave a comment and let me know what fun things you're up to this weekend. Cheers!

Wednesday, July 02, 2014

Wellness Wednesday - Travel Food

Yep... Travel food... It could mean fine dining and five star restaurants but if you're on a budget does that mean you're resigned to fast food and crappy meals? No! If you saw my post last Monday you know I was recently at the national Conference on Volunteering and Service in Atlanta, GA. I wanted to share my yummy meals along with a few of the ways I was able to still eat reasonably healthy food without breaking the bank.

f2o stands for Fresh to Order. We found this hidden gem in the food court of the CNN Center. Their breakfast menu has breakfast sandwiches (like the one I got), omelets, and a few other options. My sandwich came with some colorful potatoes that were delicious and there weren't so many you felt like you were eating a whole field. I also got a free coffee with my meal which was lovely considering the lines for coffee elsewhere were a little out of control. (That's what happens early in the morning when a conference is in town.)

I didn't want to eat a big breakfast every day and we found that the Morsels coffee shop in our hotel (the Omni Hotel at CNN Center) had a wonderful local Greek yogurt. Atlanta Fresh Greek yogurt is locally made in small batches and has no chemicals or preservatives. Both Amy and I tried this wonderful peach ginger flavor and it kind of tastes like a peach cobbler. YUM! So good, so simple, and probiotics which are great when your traveling to help keep your gut in good working order.

Fresh to Order became a staple for us for a quick and healthy lunch. I tried a sandwich one day and soup and salad another and was pleased with everything we tried. The portions were great, the food was fresh, and everything tasted amazing. I did end up getting two croissant things every time since Amy couldn't eat hers but otherwise pretty healthy overall. Lesson learned, don't knock it just because it's in a food court. There may be hidden gems there.

One thing I thought to do, that I will continue to do in the future, is bring these great little packets of coffee with me. It was both a money saving thing and a calorie saver. I figured hotel rooms tend to have little coffee machines so I could make some hot water and have coffee anytime I wanted to without paying for multiple expensive cups of coffee during the day. Plus, if I hit up a Starbucks or other comparable coffee shop I tend to end up having extra calories if I order a specialty drink. This packet of coffee is from our local Asian store Ocean Mart but even Starbucks has instant coffee and drink packets if you have a favorite brew.

Finally, I have found that even in an airport you don't have to give in to crappy, overpriced, fast food. Now, I get it that not every airport is created equal and in some smaller airports you may have no choice but to eat fast food or bring your own. In those cases I do always have granola bars, nuts, or other healthy snacks packed so I can wait until I am at my destination to get a meal. My dinner at the Chicago Midway Airport was from Taylor Street Market. We were late getting to Chicago because of weather and were delayed leaving for Utah so we had plenty of time to eat. We found a spot to sit while we charged our phones and I decided to give this place a try. They had a variety of salads and paninis and I went with the vegetable panini with sweet potato chips and a coconut water. Overall it wasn't the best sandwich of my life but it was still pretty good and a better option that a fast food chain.

Here are the top 3 things I took from this trip:
  1. Know your budget. If you are traveling for work and getting reimbursed for your expenses know what you can get reimbursed for so you don't go over that amount. You may have to vary what you're eating every day or bring a few things to supplement your meals so you don't break the bank but if you know up front what you can spend you can be prepared so you don't live eating off a dollar menu. I kept my spending reasonable by having a big breakfast one day but having a smaller breakfast of yogurt and coffee for two other days.
  2. Know yourself. I was traveling with Amy who is gluten free. In order to make sure she always has something to eat she brings apples, bananas, crackers, and other snacks that she knows are safe to eat. I know I enjoy an afternoon coffee so I brought packets of coffee to make my own in the afternoon. If you have specific dietary needs or things you like to have every day make sure you bring that with you. I didn't have to make a run to find a grocery store because I came with the snacks I knew I'd want.
  3. Be open to new things. Sure you can stick with a tried and true chain restaurant but sometimes trying new things can lead to finding some great local options. We talked to the concierge in our hotel and then finally just decided to try f20 but you could easily ask someone you meet at a conference who's local, look online for reviews on sites like Yelp, or try the recommendation of your favorite TV chef.
Overall I was quite happy with our food options on this trip and felt like the food choices I made paired with the amount of walking I did kept my health goals in check.

What do you do when you're traveling? Do you travel to eat or do you just scrape by when you're away from home? Do you have any tips on eating healthy when you're traveling?