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Thursday, January 31, 2013

A Well Timed Pep Talk

There is nothing like a well timed pep talk. We all need them every now and then. I saw this last night after a rough day. It made my night and I've carried that good feeling into today. The video has gone viral at this point so you may have seen it. But, just in case you haven't, I give you, Kid President. Now, get out there and do something awesome!

Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Boiling Over



See that pot boiling over? See the wooden spoon?

A few months ago, on Pinterest (of course), I saw a tip about putting a wooden spoon across the top of a pot to keep it from boiling over. Apparently, the spoon prevents the heat from building up at the center of the pot and below the pot by absorbing some of the heat, hence preventing it from boiling over. The spoon will also pop the bubbles and keep it from boiling over quickly.I haven't tried it yet but I had a moment today where the visual immediately came to mind.

See, the pot is me and the spoon is a good co-worker/friend that helped calm me and keep me from losing my job temper. The work day started with a very condescending e-mail. My friend saw it before I did and she had to take a walk. I am generally pretty zen. Little upsets me after surviving the world of BigLaw--although I'm not there anymore so query whether I "survived" or whether I recovered/healed/lived on, etc. But, I digress.

I got the e-mail and was so mad I had to close (ok, slam) the door for a moment. I prepared to write back an equally biting response but was able to vent to my friend before pressing send. I calmed down enough to open my door and later went to the person who wrote the e-mail to tell him I was offended at the tone and that he was out of line. He re-read the e-mail and later apologized, explaining that it wasn't his intent to be mean but rather to offer helpful advice. Case closed.

It could have gone so badly if I went with my gut response. I find myself again appreciating the importance of an outlet. It could be a friend. It could be writing a response to get it out and then throwing it away. It could be going on a walk. The point is that it is important to find a calming tactic to avoid making a bad situation worse. I could have ranted and raved but it wouldn't have fixed anything. Taking some time to (1) check whether I was overreacting and (2) vent to a friend calmed me down enough to respond with grace.

I was assertive and stood up for myself but I wasn't an irrational Tasmanian Devil style screaming banshee. Not that I ever am...but you get the point. I was at a rolling boil but there was a spoon to absorb some of the heat, preventing me from boiling over. Thank God for friends and the ability to take a moment before reacting to the BS life drops in your lap.

Monday, January 28, 2013

Monday Quotable


This quote struck me today because I tend to look at larger goals, which can make achieving them seem daunting. I posted before about breaking large goals into small steps. This quote reminds me of that. Taking the first step (or the necessary one) gets you moving and before you know it, you're knocking on the door of completion and marveling at your fabulousness. Happy Monday.

You'll notice a slight change of format with the Monday Quotable. I decided to start using my photos as backdrops for Monday's quotes. This photo is from my trip to Chicago last year.

Friday, January 25, 2013

Friday Playlist: Love

I was in a weird mood today. The playlist started out as a celebration of love and then I stumbled upon some of my favorite songs that were about love but not romantic. Unrequited love, breakups, "I'm leaving you" anthems...they all made the list. So this week's playlist is a mish mosh of songs. The common theme? I love them. They've gotten me through a myriad of moods. Nothing more.

What songs do you love? What music speaks love to you?

Happy Friday my friends.

Thursday, January 24, 2013

Valentine's Day Is Coming...

...and I am still stuck on Christmas. Seriously, I haven't put my ornaments back in storage or changed my dining room table. Sigh. I was grocery shopping last night and noticed that the front section of the store was filled with teddy bears, heart shaped boxes of candy and other assorted Valentine's Day themed stuff.

I haven't even started thinking about it. Ash and I usually cook for each other and have a nice dinner at home. We don't do the roses and candy thing. We do exchange silly inexpensive gifts. The tradition started years ago when he got me a dollar store coffee mug with a heart shaped handle and hugging teddy bears on it. In return, I got him a pink bear that screams I LOVE YOU and makes a kissing noise. Over the years, the gifts have gotten a bit more sentimental but still under $25. We've exchanged paintings, penguins (it's a thing for us), and love letters. I have no clue what we're doing or cooking this year but whatever we cook, there will be a post about it on Scalded Pot.

For friends and family, I sometimes do cards or baked goodies. Over the years I've done dinner parties with my single girlfriends (complete with a strawberry cake with Boys Suck emblazoned on the top), gone out dancing, or gone old school and exchanged those cute little cards that come in packs of 25 that I used to give out in elementary school. I think I'm sticking with that type of retro simplicity this year. Little cards and homemade chocolate lollipops? Maybe chocolate chip cookies in heart printed cellophane bags with curly red ribbon? Heart shaped brownies?

Have you started shopping for your loved ones? If you need ideas, the folks at To & From Magazine have put together an awesome gift guide. Check it out below. If you can't see the virtual catalog below, click here.

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

My Life Lately



Hi!! I dropped off the blogosphere Friday without so much as a "see ya later." Sorry about that. The weekend started off well--except I wasn't getting along with Grooveshark and couldn't post the Friday Playlist. Saturday, I went to a friend's house for dinner (read about it here). Left feeling great. Woke up feeling like I got hit by a steamroller. Literally. Rolled. Over. First, I thought I was having a heart attack. Then, I thought it was flu (despite my flu shot). I strapped on the oxygen, took my meds and proceeded to spiral down into sickness. Not fun.

Today, I'm back in the mix. Feeling better and able to do things other than read, sleep, watch Downton Abbey on Netflix (way late to the game) and swallow meds.

I know it's Wednesday but there's a playlist and a quotable in your very near future. Humpday Playlist coming right up. The Monday Quotable will be in its own post.


In the photo: My survival kit: Stash Organic Chamomile Tea (tea is a must for a sore throat--though I am a tea fanatic as you know from last week's Tea Zone post), Mug from Think Happy Stuff (love this company's spirit and positive message products), Kleenex pocket packs (love the print--it's the small things). There were also throat lozenges and tons of medicine but they didn't make the photo.

Monday Quotable


If you can't fly then run, if you can't run then walk, if you can't walk then crawl, but whatever you do you have to keep moving forward.
--Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

I was out of commission on Monday but had to post the quote for the week. This Monday was the national holiday honoring Martin Luther King, Jr. He is so well known for his "I Have A Dream" speech, that you don't hear much about his other writings. Today's quote applies to all sorts of life events: struggles for equal rights, motivation to pursue dreams/goals, fighting a sickness while focusing on healing, etc. I've certainly felt broken to a point where I can't "fly" in my life. When I am in a low place and feel like giving up, this quote speaks encouragement to me. I hope it does the same for you.






Friday, January 18, 2013

Detox or No?


Generally, I am not a fan of detox diets/cleanses. I used to feel like you can make some life changes that will help cleanse your system over time. Scratch that. I still feel that way. What I should say is I used to question the point of cleansing your system in January and then going back to burgers, cocktails, and junk for the rest of the year.

When I first started a vegan diet, it was tough but after 30 days, I felt awesome. That made me stick with it. Now, I am vegetarian (to account for my occasional dairy splurge). I still feel pretty great most of the time (despite my illnesses) but for whatever reason, I feel like I could benefit from a cleanse. Perhaps it is because of the bar food and cocktails that fill my weekends...anyway, I started a search for something that would work for me.

My only rule for a cleanse is that it has to be feasible. I am not interested in detox programs that call for weeks of drinking spicy lemon water and flushing my system with salt water. No offense to those who swear by the Master Cleanse. I tried it years ago in a desperate attempt to lose weight. It's a no go for me.

After some research, I settled on Dr. Oz's 3 Day Detox Cleanse. Here is the run down of the program complete with a shopping list.  I plan to go shopping this weekend and start next week. Depending on how I do, I might make it a monthly thing. I'm trying to rope Ash into doing it with me. It's always easier to have a partner in crime...or in cleanse. Look for another post when it's over.

First 5 Things



The first 5 things are ready to go. Among them are shoes that I love but never fit right despite being my size. They've never been worn and have been sitting among my shoes for at least 4 years. Can't believe it myself. Why didn't I return them??? Who knows.

I am also donating a sweater that was abandoned a long time ago by my sister, a scarf that I no longer wear, a coat that I got someone as a gift (it didn't fit and was on clearance so I couldn't return it), and a laptop bag that I got as a gift and never used.

To charity they go. I hope someone gets some use out of them.

This week's 5 things was actually pretty easy I will admit that as I was pulling things, I started to get that "oh, I forgot about this dress/shirt/cute pair of jeans. I might wear it again. I can't get rid of it yet!" feeling. It is hard to put that aside--at least for me. But, I'm in this. I'm committed. It's just going to be harder as I run out of things that don't fit or that weren't intended for me. Pep talk anyone? Happy Friday!

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

5 Things (The Purge Project)

I...no, WE (because hubs is totally part of the problem) have TOO MANY clothes. It's like they are multiplying on their own. Last year, we turned one of our extra rooms into a dressing room and converted our walk in closet to an office/jewelry making space.

I like the added space and the ability to hang almost everything. That said, it's time for some purging!


I decided to do a 5 things project where I get rid of 5 pieces each week until I have rid my life of things I don't wear anymore (and haven't worn in ages). Everything wearable will be donated. Someone needs them.

To make it easy, I will set up a donation bin in the center of the dressing room. As we pull things, we can fold them and drop them in the bin. When the bin is full, off it goes to a local shelter we chose. Kind and clutter free all in one action.

When we finish with the clothes, maybe we'll venture into other areas of the house...I have some pots that have seen much better days! For now, let me not get too ahead of myself. Focus = Clothes Purge. Here are the first 5 items being donated.

Do you have a hard time getting rid of things you don't wear anymore? If you've purged, what's your process?

Monday, January 14, 2013

Monday Quotable

“Time is your most precious gift because you only have a set amount of it. You can make more money, but you can't make more time. When you give someone your time, you are giving them a portion of your life that you'll never get back. Your
time is your life. That is why the greatest gift you
can give someone is your time. It is not enough to just say relationships are important; we must prove it by investing time in them. Words alone are worthless. "My children, our love should not be just words and talk; it must be true love, which shows itself in action." Relationships take time and effort, and the best way to spell love is "T-I-M-E.”
--Rick Warren, excerpt from
The Purpose Driven Life: What on Earth Am I Here For

Today's quote isn't so much a quote as it is a chapter--ok, I exaggerate a bit, but it's not the bite sized tidbit I usually give. I heard the last sentence of the excerpt when watching Lifeclass last night and that by itself was going to be the Monday Quotable. Then, I dusted off my copy of The Purpose Driven Life and found the language around the quote. I had to add include at least this much.


One of my resolutions this year was to preserve date night and to spend as much or more time with family and friends. In today's world, it is so easy to rely on text messaging and social media to stay in touch. At the end of the day, liking my friend's Facebook status update about getting a new job isn't the same as taking her out for drinks to celebrate. Texting to say "I hope you're well" isn't the same as arranging for a lunch to actually talk about how someone is doing. Sitting in the room with Ash while we're each multitasking (watching TV, working on computers, playing games on my iPad, etc.) isn't really spending time. There are times when I have to ask him what he said 3 or 4 times because I'm listening to the TV, working on a blog post, and texting with friends all at the same time. Focusing on each other and truly hanging out is the real way we develop our relationship. That's why date night became so important to us.

So, share some time with those you love this week. Dinner, drinks, conversation--even on the phone. Stop playing Temple Run or loading pics to Instagram for a few minutes. Live and love in the present moment. Truly be there and give your time (love).




Friday, January 11, 2013

Friday Playlist: Something About Mary



This week's playlist is all about Mary J. Blige. Today is her birthday. When I heard that during my commute this morning, I knew I had to do a playlist of my Mary favorites. I have been a fan since high school. Something about the emotion in her music grabbed me during some tough times and I've been hooked ever since. From dance songs to ballads. From heartbreak to inspiration. It is all in her catalogue. So, let's raise a glass. Happy Birthday Mary! As for all of you, cheers to the weekend!

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

What I'm Reading

I've always loved to read but have never joined a book club. I do like when someone I know is reading what I'm reading so I can share my outrage, happiness, etc. I also don't mind talking about my thoughts over a glass of wine and some snacks. What I don't like is the formality of questions and talking points. It feels like homework and strips away a bit of the enjoyment that comes with getting lost in a book (at least for me). This new series isn't meant to be question heavy. It's just my gut reaction to what I'm reading. It will keep me reading throughout the year and answer friends who ask if I've read anything good lately.

If at any time you are reading the same thing, I'd love for you to share your thoughts in the comments. I only ask that you note if your comment contains a spoiler alert.

So, what am I reading? Ironically, in going down my list of books to read (yes, I keep a list in my phone), the next one up is Oprah's latest book club selection: The Twelve Tribes of Hattie by Ayana Mathis.




Not your cup of tea? Check back next month...actually, check back all the time (wink) but focus on the What I'm Reading posts when you like the book I'm reading. Here's my reading list through Summer. It may change if something comes out that I'm dying to read.

February: Dark Places by Gillian Flynn
March: The Sense of an Ending by Julian Barnes
April: Room by Emma Donoghue
May: Let's Pretend This Never Happened by Jenny Lawson
June: Where'd You Go Bernadette by Maria Semple
July: Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn
August: Fame by Daniel Kehlmann


Accountability: Resolution Tracker


Here we are, nine days into the year and I am already trying to come up with a way to track resolution progress. It is not because I am ahead of schedule on any resolution and need a place to applaud my progress. Indeed, it is just the opposite. Ash and I agreed to check in on our resolutions each month to hold each other accountable but I think I will be woefully behind and entrenched in my bad habits if I let it go that long. So here, I am in week two looking for a better path forward.

Report card? To do list? Online tracker or iPad app? What works best? After giving it lots of thought this week, I settled on the following options.

1. Start a resolution group with friends. Having a weekly or monthly check-in with friends who have similar goals may help encourage progress. It can also lead to having a buddy to work through resolutions with. If writing is a goal, join a writing group. You'll have someone to review your work or someone to share it with. You'll also have assignments and someone to share your progress with. The same goes for living a healthier life. You can weigh in together or even work out together. I know if someone is waiting for me at the gym, I am more likely to go than I would be on my own.

2. Break resolutions into daily, weekly or monthly to do lists. I find that breaking goals into smaller bites makes them seem less daunting. For example, "Lose 30 pounds" can be broken down into the following for the first week:
      a. Weigh in for starting weight
      b. Plot your starting weight and goal weight on a chart (or join a service that does it for you)
      c. Look at your daily calorie intake and figure out how many need to be cut for you to meet your goal
      d. Join a group or online community (Weight Watchers or Sparkpeople (free)) that can help with meal
          suggestions, recipes, exercise suggestions, encouragement and calorie tracking
      e. Make a grocery list and stick to it
      f. Find healthy menu options at your favorite restaurants
      g. Do some form of exercise at least once this week

3. Create a visual reminder of your progress (or lack thereof). Having a calendar or chart in a prominent place (i.e., next to the bathroom mirror, over your desk, on the fridge) that you can mark everyday to show whether you were on or off track can help encourage your forward. Get creative with it. Use stickers. Whatever gets your through. I'm thinking of doing a calendar and putting green stickers on days where I am on track and red when I am off. I think seeing more than a couple of red dots will get me moving.

4. Reward yourself when you stay on track. I may not eat a huge piece of cake as a reward for eating healthy all week but I may go out to dinner rather than cooking at home. I may treat myself to a massage after sticking to my 365 project for 60 days or go out for drinks with friends after sticking to my health resolutions for 30 days. For me, that would kill two birds with one stone since spending more time with friends is one of my resolutions.

These options may or may not work for you. Heck, they may not work for me. Part of figuring out the best path is to know yourself. I know I am a chart and list maker. I get joy out of crossing things off of my to do list. It feels like stress melting away...or freedom. Whatever I settle on will require some form of daily list. I also know that I respond well to working towards a reward. The group thing is harder for me but it has worked before so I'm down for it.

Ultimately, the reality is that I just have to get up and get going. No one is going to give me the time. I have to create it. I certainly carve out time to watch TV or to sleep in on the weekends. It's time to do that for the betterment of my life.

What are your ideas for sticking to your resolutions?

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Pajama Party


Over the holiday break, I took as much time as I could to relax. There was even a day after the holidays that Ash and I had an official pajama day. What's pajama day? A day when you don’t get out of your pajamas, you don’t leave the house and you barely leave the comfy confines of your bed or couch unless you need food. We made a big breakfast that morning, and after we ate, we tried to figure out what we had to do that day. The answer was nothing that couldn't wait. Within minutes, we were back in bed for a Netflix-fueled pajama party complete with snacks left over from our Christmas Eve family party and plenty of cocktails. It was a great time! Mentally, I could use one of these days every weekend but I’d never get anything done.


Instead, I decided to plan one every few months. What do you need for an adult pajama party? Let's start with the pajamas. I have a few sets of pajamas but I seem to find myself going back to yoga pants and a tank top most of the time. Comfort first. Then, my sister got me cute (and comfortable!!) pajamas for Christmas that I’ve fallen in love with. It got me thinking outside of the yoga pants box. Time to window (at least virtually) shop! Here are some of my favorites:

I’m not a huge fan of the formal pajama set, but love the pop of color on these pajamas by Bedhead ($145).


You can also go for a bargainista option and grab these cuties from Old Navy ($12), which can be paired with a simple cami ($6).



I’m also a fan of the nightshirt. These are from DKNY ($29), PJ Salvage ($48), Josie ($46) and Calvin Klein ($59).



 

Warmer climates (or houses like mine where the heat is cranked up to tropical) call for lighter, cooler options. I usually go for something like this romper from Josie ($68) or a chemise like this one from Gilligan and O'Malley for Target ($13).







To complete your pajama party, you just need great snacks and easy cocktails (or mocktails). We were lucky because we had so many snacks from the party. Load up a tray (like this one from the $25 and under gift list) with some of your favorites. We went with dips (hummus, spinach and artichoke dip, guacamole) and things to dip (pita, veggies, tortilla chips, crackers), toasted or flavored nuts, and a selection of cheeses. I also made margaritas (nothing fancy--I used the pre-made mix, added some tequila, salt and some extra lime juice). Finally, choose a couple of movies or TV shows you've been wanting to see from Netflix, Roku, Hulu Plus, or your cable company's On Demand option. Crawl under the covers, fall back into the pillows and indulge in a lazy day.

Monday, January 7, 2013

Monday Quotable

"Have the courage to follow your gut and intuition. They already know what you want to become. Everything else is secondary."--Steve Jobs.


We're all born with the gift of instinct, yet we rarely follow our gut. There are many times in my life where I had a bad feeling about something (a job, a project, a relationship) and kept moving forward. Finding the courage to say no to things and follow my gut instead is something I've gotten a lot better at. I am a work in progress but I know what kind of life I want for myself and I am living in a way that pushes me towards that life. It is the primary thing on my mind and as the quote says, everything else is secondary. Genius advice from a brilliant mind. Happy Monday!







Friday, January 4, 2013

Friday Playlist: Resolution Mix



For those of you looking to crank start your fitness level as part of your New Year's resolutions, here is a little music to get you moving. If you aren't into working out, turn it on and wiggle in your seat. Whatever your preference, this Friday's playlist has you covered. Happy Friday! Enjoy the weekend!

Sometimes, Ya Gotta Treat Yourself



When I was in elementary school, I had a teacher that would send us home at the end of the week with a little post-it note meant to describe our conduct that week. At the time, it was the source of much stress for me because I knew that a frowning face could mean a very craptastic weekend (not that it happened very much). As an adult, there are not post-its with faces. Sometimes, there are promotions, raises, awards, etc. but they are generally linked to doing well in my pursuit of a paycheck.

Yesterday, after I posted my New Year’s Resolutions, I started thinking about the accountability portion of it. Ash and I agreed to check in monthly to make sure we are accountable to someone other than ourselves. The idea is to stay on track—especially since a lot of our goals involve each other.

Naturally, the next thought was of what happens if we’re on track—or woefully off track for that matter? Will there be a report card? Will the smiling post-it make a comeback in my life? Neither idea worked for me. I decided the result of the check in was the best time to honor an intention I set a few years ago to treat myself without feeling bad about it.



I think it is something we should all commit to. First, it doesn’t take much. It is about honoring yourself and celebrating the achievement of a personal goal. It could be a toast over dinner or a fancy dinner out. It could be a new outfit or a new wardrobe (especially if any of your goals relate to weight loss). It could be a luxurious spa trip or a manicure at your local nail shop. Heck, it could be a manicure in your own home courtesy of your own hands. It’s not about the cost. It is about taking time to reward yourself for a job well done.

As for the moments when you don’t deserve a smiley face, ask yourself why you got off track. Address it or work on addressing it for the next month. Don’t beat yourself up. If you get halfway through the year without being on track once, consider reevaluating the goal. Is it worth having it on the list? Can you achieve your desired goal with the 6 months left in the year? Should it be bumped to next year when you might be better prepared? Don’t chicken out but if achieving a goal is beyond your capacity for any number of reasons, revise it or tuck it away. The goal will be there until you achieve it. No one can steal it. Once you’ve reevaluated, take a deep breath and treat yourself for recognizing your limitations but not giving up on your dreams.

Cheers and happy achieving!

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

Happy New Year/Resolution Redux



Last year, I decided to keep my resolutions simple and manageable by breaking them into bite sized goals. I think the system worked really well for me. I only had 6 resolutions and I'd say I largely achieved my goals. I did a meditation course and have made meditation a more regular part of my life. I got much better at quieting my mind. I saw my family quite often and even did a family vacay in the Outer Banks. Date Night stayed consistent (we had one or more almost every week without fail except when I was in the hospital or adjusting to new meds and even then, we managed to share a sandwich or soup in bed). I pursued other interests. Because of Ash's work schedule, we didn't get to shoot my film but we're in pre-production now that things are slowing down. I revised my direction with the cookbook and decided to do an e-book that I'm hoping to launch by month end. The desire to grow the Etsy shop turned into a family event and morphed into the desire to set out our own online shingle. We'd planned to launch at the end of October, but it turned out to be more work than we bargained for with very hectic work schedules. We postponed and are pushing ahead to get our shop up and running in the first quarter of the year. Finally, I resolved to accept whatever came my way and boy did some doozies enter the picture. I can say that I am at peace now and ready for a year of miraculous recovery and exceptional health.

What did I fail to do? Achieve optimal health. I didn't exercise much because I spent a large part of the year in need of an oxygen pump. When walking from the parking lot to the office feels like running a marathon, it's kind of hard to think about running (or walking for that matter) a mile. This year, I am on new medications and have largely adjusted to them. I'm looking forward to carrying over the optimal health goal in 2013.

What else? Well, again, I'm keeping it simple and manageable.

1. Do a 365 Project (or two). A 365 project is something you commit to doing every day. I've seen them on Instagram (photo a day) and on writing sites. I am committing to a photo a day for 2 reasons. First, I want to be better about documenting my life in a visual medium. Second, I am trying to dust off and improve the photography skills I picked up in the classes I took a while back. I am also committing to writing for 30 minutes a day in an effort to finish my first novel. 

2. Make Random Acts of Kindness (RAK) a normal part of my monthly routine. There isn't much to elaborate on here. It started with the gratitude projects from last year, grew with the 26 Acts campaign and morphed into a resolution for me.

3. Do what I can do. This could really sum up almost any goal on the list this year but for me, this is the revised optimal health resolution. I can take my medications consistently, minimize stress, exercise, get enough sleep and eat right. God has to handle the rest. I'm working towards and praying for good great optimal health in 2013.

4. Keep date night sacred. It worked for us last year and the year before. No reason to change it now. Seriously, though, this isn't the only thing that makes our marriage tick but it certainly doesn't hurt. We have so much fun together and have grown closer as friends. What can be bad about that?

5. Keep working on making meditation part of the daily routine. Every day begs for quiet time to let the day wash off and to unwind. I've been meditating in the morning only but I want to try to do it twice daily this year. Once when I wake up and once after work. I also want Ash and I to work on meditating/praying as a couple. I think it will help us be present, focused on gratitude and on what we can do to make a difference in the world--however small.

6. Blog, blog, blog. I want to continue building my blogs. I'm hoping to find the right person to work with this year to make them over and consolidate them into one page with tabs rather than 5 (1, 2, 3, 4, 5) different url's. I also want to promote the blog more (read: stop being scared of judgment).

7. See family just as often but under better circumstances. The good news is I saw my family a lot this year. The bad news is a few times it was when I was sick or just out of the hospital and they were coming to help Ash around the house and taking care of me. (Thanks sis for pedicures of my mangled feet and yummy dinners even when I didn't have an appetite.) This year, we plan to vacation together again at least twice. Ash and I are also renewing our vows, which will bring family together again. This year, the hope/prayer is for happy times (though I'll still take the pedicures and food!!).  Ash and I also plan to make a concentrated effort to spend more time with our nephew. Being there for the kids in our life is super important to me.

8. Be more assertive. I wrote about this goal earlier in the year. I am still working on it but have made progress. Whether it is feeling empowered to say no when I am overwhelmed or speaking up when I think I deserve better, it is all part of the plan in 2013. It will help in making connections, feeling at peace at work, growing our business and pursuing creative passions.

9. Stop procrastinating. It doesn't ever lead to anything positive unless you are putting off something you are not ready for. Otherwise, just do what you need to do when you need to do it. I've gotten into some stressful situations this year at my own hand. Not doing that in 2013. Ash and I decided to do a monthly check in on goals to hold each other accountable.

10. When overwhelmed, call for help. This applies to so many parts of my life. The superwoman in me thinks I can do it all, but the reality is often, I need help. For example, if the house is messy, I usually make a plan and then a million other things get in the way. I end up doing laundry when I run out of things to wear. I end up cleaning right before we have a visitor. Why not call a cleaning service before we're knee deep in laundry and mail to sort through. I said I was going to do that several times last year and I never did. I got a couple of quotes but never followed through. This year, I'm cutting back on something in the budget to accommodate this luxury. I'm also getting a larger shredder and scanning system so mail doesn't pile up. If you have recommendations, send them my way. 

11. Spend more time with friends. I think life has a way of taking over and before you know it, you haven't talked to or seen your best friends (outside of frequent e-mails) in 3 months. One friend finally called me on it last year and I agreed with her that "I'm busy" in response to every missed phone call and dinner invite was not acceptable. I am a busy girl BUT if you asked me, I'd never say that sending one more e-mail at work or going home to sleep was more important that my friends. I CAN plan around my obligations. Doing the dinners showed me that. So, specifically, I'm going to plan a spa day with at least 2 of my local friends who like stuff like that and host at least 2 brunches. I usually fret over combining groups of friends who've never met for fear that people won't gel but, we're all girls. I'm sure we'll find some common thread...and if we don't, I'm sure I'll plan future gatherings more carefully. LOL.

12. Vacation (for real). I got to the end of the year with about 9 unused vacation days. When I was on vacation, I worked a lot of the time (I still have sand in my blackberry because I have mental issues and was checking e-mail on the beach). I will say that I was out sick a LOT this year so there wasn't a lot of time to fit vacation in. Somehow, "Hi folks. I'm back from the hospital. Going to head to the shore next week. I won't be reachable" totally doesn't work for the job I have or general corporate courtesy (yes, there is such a thing). BUT, this year, I am going to actually plan time off and schedule it all by the end of the month. I know there may be times where I have to cancel or modify plans but the goal is to take the time I'm given. It's there for a reason. A burnt out employee is nobody's friend or go-to resource.

And there we are. The amount of resolutions have doubled but I'm ok with that. Here's to making 2013 a great and memorable year. Cheers!

Do you make resolutions or consider them a waste of time (been there)? If you do, what are your resolutions this year?