Thursday, May 31, 2012

Watch this.


It's rare for me to post a video on here (excluding music videos), but this is definitely worth watching.

A few key themes:
-You never forget the names of the people who teach you confidence.
-Little acts of kindness can go a long way.
-Do something. Donating to a cause and helping people financially is great, but you will feel far more fulfilled if you actually give your time and talents.

This is why STLF is so great. This is why physically being at my camp is the best part of my job. This is what I want to say in a much more eloquent fashion. This is fantastic.

Originally seen in this post on Hey Amber Rae.

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Check yourself.

I just arrived home from work; actually, I just got home from the chiropractor, where I learned my fifth lumbar vertebra was off and where my doctor thought it appropriate to tell me "sit up, this might just be your lucky day." But that's a story for another time.

So I arrive home, park my car, the whole bit. I'm sauntering up to a man who graciously opens the first of multiple locked doors. We continue up the short path.

Man: "So, how was the day at the office?"
Me: "Oh, it was a day at the office, I guess."
Man: "Yeah, another stupid, worthless, crappy day at the office."

Wait, what?

We ended up immediately diverging into our two separate ways, but his words lingered. I was throwing myself my own little pity party, to be sure, but this man who I have never seen before was obviously disgruntled.

It made me stop and think. How had I been acting that day? Wasn't I the one who decided to close my door so coworkers couldn't "bother" me? Didn't I complain to my boss that as much as I worked this morning, I felt like I wasn't getting anywhere? And then I asked for time off on Friday?

It's amazing what a quick "Check Yourself" reflection can do. This man's words affected me. They made me think about my day and how it really wasn't nearly as bad as I was making it. My own mind was affecting my day. My thoughts. My actions. Me shutting people out.

Sure, maybe this man is unhappy in his job. But he has a job. And in this economy, that's saying something. (I have a strong belief that if you are that unhappy in anything, you have the power to change it.)

This is just my reminder to take a step back and remember that our words and actions have influence on others. Don't let one bad day, one stressed-out phone call, one bum knee let you lash out on others. Check yourself.

I leave you with my last words to this man, echoing through the hallway: "Hopefully you'll have a better night!"

Sunday, May 27, 2012

Sunday's

Among many other things, the iPhone has helped me document the little things. I've started taking more photos and really enjoy Instagram and VSCo, the two photo apps I have downloaded so far. (I'm very open to other suggestions!)

I've also been snapping at least one photo on Sundays, and am now going to share them here. I think this is going to be a fun weekly feature, especially during this summer as I'll be in so many new places each week! Here are what my past few weeks have looked like, in Sunday photos:

Friday, May 25, 2012

On the job.

Nonprofits are like the summer. You have so many things planned, so many big ideas, and when it all comes down to it, it's a big, sticky, fantastic, frustrating, outrageous, people-filled time. Every day I end up learning something new. It might come from my coworkers. It might come from my students. Or, it might come from an assignment.
This past week, my nonprofit had our Annual Luncheon. This brings together hundreds of volunteers, donors, teachers and students to thank and honor one another for providing successful experiential curriculum that enhances student's business, career and financial literacy skills.
I was tasked with the job of ordering flowers for 60 centerpieces. The kicker? Each centerpiece had to come in at under $3.00. (Nonprofits are also constantly budgeting.) I ended up finding a wholesaler who could get me daisy poms for a pretty reasonable price. Throw in some bear grass, floral shears and a flair for design, and voila! We had centerpieces, for $2.28 a piece. I love a good bargain.
You can almost see the pops of yellow at a few of the back tables in this bottom photo. I'm not going to lie, I've never completely arranged flowers like this before! It was fun, but it's definitely not going to be a lifestyle change. It has, however, made me want to do my own flowers for my (someday, maybe) wedding!

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Three things.

This past Sunday was filled with fresh fruit, strong coffee, and life mapping. I grabbed a new set of Sharpie's and some tag board and decided that I needed to outline some things in a big way. It was really helpful to lay out what my expectations prior to starting college were, what my reality post-college is and what my dreams of what could be consist of. I'd highly recommend this to anyone who is working on figuring out their next step! Setting a bit of time aside to figure out how you got to where you are, and how you're going to get to where you want to be, is enlightening. Make a little conscious time for reflection soon. It might bring something to the surface that you forgot about. It might make you realize that you were completely wrong about your path. Or, it just might set you off in a better direction.

Friday, May 18, 2012

Rhubarb Adventures

My mom came up this past weekend, and brought with her rhubarb that grows in her backyard. Once she left, I decided to use it and that's when I realized: I've never made anything with rhubarb without my parents by my side. I still forged through, wanting my first creation to be a simple rhubarb crisp. It turned out pretty good. I think what was lacking was my knowledge of exactly how long to let it bake. I have a gas oven, so I'm still trying to figure out what that means with regular oven times (it's always less for this particular, old gas oven.) Either way, good friends ate it!
My second attempt at using rhubarb was in rhubarb bread. I was feeling sick, so I came home from work and laid in bed for a few hours. Finally, I realized I had wasted most of my night and hadn't accomplished a thing. This is what I love about baking: you can decide to create something, and within a couple of hours at most, it's there. I've never made or eaten rhubarb bread before, but this turned out pretty good. I think I would add a bit of flower to the topping and maybe double it in the future, but the bread was very moist due to the Greek yogurt!

If you do use the recipe I've linked to, here are the changes I made: 
I added another 1/2 cup of rhubarb (because, well I had cut up too much)
I used Greek yogurt instead of milk (because, well I didn't have milk)
I put cinnamon in the batter, as well as in the topping (that's just because I'm all about cinnamon these days)
and I didn't put the topping on until the bread had been in the oven for 10 minutes.

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Three Things Thursday

I've been addicted to these Trader Joe's cinnamon almonds. They may be too big of a hit. I already need a new bag!
Some days, you just need 10pm fancy grilled cheese. Embrace it, people.
A little reminder for us all this week. I write out a post-it with a positive quote or some form of advice on it and hang it on the right side of my computer screen. I've started changing what it says every week. This has been a really positive thing for me, as I've been entering my busiest season and need to remember to embrace the stress. When the reason you are stressed is so you can create a unique experience for other people, it's actually a positive.

Do you do anything like this at work? If not, how do you try to ward off stress when things get hectic?

Monday, May 7, 2012

Go.

Every once in a while I am lucky and get offered free Twins tickets. These are the days I love living within walking distance to the beautiful Target Field. Tonight was my first game of the season and boy, it felt good to be outside all night, surrounded by good friends, and smelling all sorts of delicious food. Spring is in full gear friends. Go outside and enjoy the sunshine and fresh air!