Friday, April 27, 2012

What I've learned in the South...

1) Order the special.
2) Share it.

The food has been incredible.

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Three things.

I'm on vacation and staying at the cutest b&b. These are just a few snapshots. More on this vacation to come!

Saturday, April 21, 2012

Racing.

'Anything that gets your blood racing is probably worth doing.' - Hunter S. Thompson

It's been one of those weeks where I never left my house later than 7:15am and I never returned before 9:30pm. Our 'early bird' deadline for camp was Friday, so parents were stopping in, calling, faxing and doing whatever they could to be sure their student was signed up. It's the best part of the job!

I ended up losing my voice due to all of the presentations I made in classrooms and at schools (it just held out until noon on Friday so I could finish them!) Now I'm working over the weekend to make up for lost time and to feel great about taking a few days off for vacation! More on that soon. Have a happy Saturday!

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Three things: Monday Night Edition

I spent Monday night with this crazy lady, also known as my sister. We went out to eat, explored the Guthrie a bit, and then listened to Harper Blynn & Ingrid Michaelson. Ingrid plays music that is raw and that you truly feel. The melodies build and her voice soars. It was such a good concert. I'm still thinking about it.

Food: We shared delicious food at Bar La Grassa in the North Loop of Minneapolis. We had roasted tomato bruschetta, which came with the creamiest, most delicious ricotta I've ever tasted. We then shared two small fresh pasta plates: silk hankerchiefs with basil pesto and fettucine alfredo. Both were fantastic - the noodles are so fresh that they literally melt in your mouth.
Location: The Guthrie Theater was the perfect place for this show. It was intimate, but really whimsical because the bands played on the set of one of the Guthrie's current shows! It was an old-country home with a magnolia tree on the side of it. It fit perfectly.
Music: The music was fantastic. Harper Blynn opened; their sound was great, but I wanted a little bit more from their performance. That all changed once they played "Halo" by Beyonce. It was the only cover they did, and it was the only one they needed. They rocked out, the whole audience felt it and we were all big fans of theirs by the end of it. Their album was released on Monday; if you're interested, you can download it for free here.

Then Ingrid came on and we all remembered why we were her fans. She is funny, awkward, and really just wanted to tell us all a story. Everything from her Kimmy Gibbler references to her ukelele-playing made me like her even more. If you have a chance to see her in concert, I'd recommend it!

Monday, April 16, 2012

Behind the Year of Intent

I've set out special intentions for 2012, and am setting individual goals for each month.

My yearlong intentions include simple things and complex things. A big part of this is giving myself a structured time frame within which I'll identify what I'm hoping to get out of life in the next few years, what action steps I need to take in order to reach those goals, and what might be best to leave out of life right now (what is hindering me from reaching those goals).
To figure out what I want to focus on, I've been doing the following:
  • Reading. A lot.
  • Following blogs of people who pursue/urge others to pursue their passion (Examples include: Hey Amber Rae, Sam Davidson, Chris Guillebeau, and more)
  • Taking time to journal
  • Asking myself the following questions (from Sam Davidson's 50 Things Your Life Doesn't Need):
    • 1) What do I spend time thinking about the most?
    • 2) If I'm known for only one thing, what is it?
    • 3) What do I value?
    • 4) What must I do every day?
    • 5) What do I tell other people about myself?
    • 6) When do I feel fulfilled?
I'm not going to lie - this has been a big learning experience. I am really trying to find what works for me, and what makes me love my work. One of the ways I'll be working through this will be by writing about it here, sharing books I'm reading and updates along the way. Thanks for letting me share!

Sunday, April 15, 2012

Weekend snapshots


There was a lot of coffee, friends, music, food and writing. Hope your weekend was great!

Friday, April 13, 2012

One step at a time.

I've been feeling stressed. Overwhelmed. The work keeps coming in, but I am not crossing things off of my list. I feel like I am facing a mountain of emails, and instead of making progress going up the side of it, the mountain is actually growing in front of me. I am a lucky girl in that I get to plan summer camps for high school students. That means Spring is my busiest time of the year. We are recruiting students, trying to woo speakers, ensuring that all of the logistical things like room reservations on college campuses 70 miles away are being taken care of...it's my job, and it's fantastic, but I've been feeling overwhelmed.

I tried to figure out how I could be less static and crazy in my day-to-day life and more intentional so I don't feel so out of control. What I've discovered is, I need to take it one problem at a time. (Shocking!) I know that this is realized all over the world, but on Thursday, I decided that instead of freaking out over my 40+ overdue email messages, I was going to take them one at a time.

Figure out the problem.
Find a solution.
Fix the problem.
Move on to the next problem.

Yes, this sounds like it'd take far longer than it should. Yes, this is common sense. And yes, sometimes, when you are overwhelmed, you just need to take a step back. Because I did, problems were handled thoroughly. Instead of just typing away, I planned. People who were receiving my emails were sent well thought-out answers and solutions. And I felt calm the whole day.

In other words, it worked.

Try it sometime. Have a bunch of clean clothes lying around your house? Put them away, one drawer at a time. Have Easter decorations still lying around? Take them down, one room at a time. Need to edit papers? Edit one at a time. Intentionally.

Focus. Slow down. Take a breath.

You can surmount the mountain, one step at a time. I'll see you on the other side.

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Wednesday's Three

Three things I am loving this week:

Staying at home
I spent some time with my family in South Dakota this Easter, and got to take a little extra time to have lunch with my grandma for her birthday. It was good and calming being back, but I missed the hustle of the city.

iPhone!
I just joined the ranks of iPhone users! I downloaded instagram, and plan on taking lots of photos with this app. #noshame

Easter Candy
I ate far too many pastel-colored Twix's, Snickers and Reese's this weekend. My parents even had Hot Tamale jelly beans. Too much candy. Please tell me I wasn't the only one and make me feel better.

Monday, April 9, 2012

6 Things You Learn at 25

Today, for the very first time in my professional life, I "worked from home."

For many, this is a normal thing to do. This is not the case where I work, so it was definitely a special occasion. I was incredibly productive, doing those tedious tasks that are so easy to keep pushing aside when you are involved in the hustle and bustle of an office. I did, however, take a little break for this thought catalog article: 6 Things You Learn at 25

Pretend for a moment that I'm a year older. Or that the title says "24" because I'm going to comment on these.

1) You don't know everything.
Truth. A male friend of mine told me that the Kardashian sisters say "Bible" instead of truth. I feel like that's appropriate here.
2) Our generation is not (necessarily) better.
There are still so many people I've met who are racist, who stereotype others, who make me feel like less of a person because I am a woman. They are not my friends, but they are my peers. This is very unfortunate.
3) Your parents screwed you up.
I realized this past weekend that my mother has a lot of feelings toward particular inanimate objects. As in, she was very particular who she would let buy an instrument she had for sale. Hello, my life. It's even gotten to the point that my roommate has latched on to my ways. She told me that the lone tortilla left in the bag was "lonely" the other day. She speaks my language.
4) Expectations yield heartache.
I recently discovered this through work (get off my back about relationships, Aunt Carol.) When you are so passionate about something, you expect that passion and drive to magically rub off on others, even though email. It doesn't. Lesson learned. The other lesson? Sometimes you need to be the bigger person, even if the other individual is older and thinks they are wiser.
5) You and your friends are on different pages.
Dear world, I've been invited to nine weddings this year. That's a lot. Most of these people have no idea what I do day-to-day. I don't manufacture wedding gifts, that's for sure. However, I do love a good dance and on Wednesday of this week, I will have three bridesmaids dresses in my possession. Fashion show!
6) You're not alone.
Ya'll should probably get a roommate, though. Housing is expensive and laughing/napping/cooking with someone is great.

Friday, April 6, 2012

True life with T.

T is my roommate. We live in an apartment commonly referred to as The Shapehouse. This is for two reasons:
1) Each room is a different shape. My bedroom is a triangle, T's is a circle. Our main room is a trapezoid. Our bathroom is a square. I'll clean it one of these days and try to get photos that portray all of this. It's also in one of those beautiful, old, red-brick buildings downtown which gives it lovely character, tall windows, high ceilings, and beautiful vines.

2) The penthouse is always on the top floor. Let's not judge that our apartment building is only three floors, and our apartment is absolutely not penthouse-size.

So shapes + penthouse = Shapehouse

Thought I'd highlight a typical conversation between us. T got new Warby Parker glasses. She is also one of the most logical people I know.

T: Slightly annoyed that my glasses don't really stay up :(

Janae: Give them a little time, they are just getting used to your face.

T: Oh you're right, I should see it from their point of view.

Janae: All about looking at the problem from different angles.

Happy Friday!

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Wednesday's Three Wonders

Three things I'm a fan of this week:

Song

This Isn't Everything You Are by Snow Patrol

Show
I'm horribly, unbelievably addicted to Felicity right now. I started it when I was sick last week and haven't stopped. I hadn't seen any of the shows, so it's been really fun to dive into late 90's, early 00's fashion and drama. It doesn't hurt that the men are incredibly attractive. It's available on Netflix instant for anyone who wants to join me in texting their friends things including, but not limited to:
"Hate Ben, love Ben. Same episode. So much drama my heart can't handle."
"She confronts people like it's her job. The balls!"
"Oh my goodness, Javier is my favorite."

(On a related note, sorry Sarah.)
photo link

Food for Thought
If you could only learn one lesson in your whole life, what would that be?

Monday, April 2, 2012

A year of intent.

2012 is my first, conscious year of intent.


There are a few things I mean by this.

First, I've set goals, or intentions, for the entire year. (More on these to come.) Second, I'm setting mini-intentions for each month. The goal is to eliminate a vice, crutch, or bad habit purposefully for 30 days.

My progress:
January
Went without pop/soda/cola
Whatever you call it, it's bad for us for a myriad of reasons. After my month-long endeavor, I've chosen to have 2012 be a year without soda. This is coming from a girl who would regularly drop by McDonald's for a vat of $1 Diet Coke, so it has been a definite lifestyle change. (Vat=commonly called a McDonald's large.)

February
Went without Facebook
It's a highly addictive, stream-of-consciousness source of noise 80% of the time, and really wonderful for staying in touch with people the other 20%. I honestly felt awesome not having it for a month - I used to wake up and check Facebook and Twitter before I even got out of bed. Eliminating this reduced my dependency on the Internet greatly. The fact that I got rid of it for the "month of love" also didn't hurt.

March
Went without french fries and alcohol
Two things due to Lent, and I struggled on both accounts. I ended up eating french fries at a lunch held for State DECA judges. I judged at both the regional and state DECA (high school marketing club) competitions and the lunch was quite limited. I caved, but only that one time!

To ward off alcohol on St. Patrick's Day, I volunteered to be a DD for Finnegan's pub crawl. Great idea, right? Well, after the first couple stops I ended up not being needed (they also had a limo and a Jeep.) So, well, I, umm...caved. Rounds were bought, drinks were had. When people kept justifying that I was "drinking for a cause" (FINNEGANS Irish Amber was the first beer in the world to donate 100% of its profits back to the community), I really couldn't feel bad about it!
 Did I mention we went "blonde" because Finnegan's recently released a blonde ale?
It was definitely worth it!


Have any of you taken on a year-long or month-long goal? Do you have any suggestions of what to give up (or a healthy alternative to add) for upcoming months?

Sunday, April 1, 2012

On Returning.

What has come to light is that after college, many moves and working in a full-time job for over a year (!!!), what I needed was a shift in focus. I realized that I tired of this blog as soon as I got a full-time job, and couldn't keep up with my own expectations: things like blogging daily, keeping up fantastic content, high-quality photos, and words worth reading. It's a hard thing to do, and I fully appreciate those who have mastered it.

What you can expect to see here is something akin to the fuzzy photo above: imperfect things that make me laugh, happy, excited, and encouraged to be a better person. In the photo, I'm simply in my bedroom; it was taken on a whim by my roommate T, myself holding a project I made with the words "Go Places" on it that typically hangs in our living room. I want to have content that is worth reading, but that also gives you a glimpse into my life and what I'm interested in. It makes sense that the best blog posts are written about things that a blogger is interested in because passion breeds good writing.

Here's what you can expect:

I have challenged myself to blog every Monday, Wednesday and Friday, with an occasional weekend post. On Mondays and Fridays, you'll find life updates, book reviews, articles that triggered something in me, and/or a "Meet My Friends" feature. On Wednesdays, I'll be posting Wednesday's Three Wonders; three things I am interested in or find worth sharing. This will include music, movies, food, photos, stories, etc.

I hope that this becomes a space you check a couple of days a week. I'm really excited to share more about 2012 and the changes in my life. So, welcome back! I hope you'll stay awhile.