Tag: focus

One Little Word for 2015

I recently shared some links about the idea of choosing a word to guide your year. Did you click through? Have you chosen a word for the new year?

I’ve thought a lot about how choosing a word to guide my year. I’ve gone between active words and passive words. I’ve thought about adjectives and verbs. I’ve considered words that have two and three meanings.

At first I thought I had settled on a word that I’ve heard too many times over the past several months,


But while I know it’s necessary to be brave, I’m not sure it’s a word that should define my year. If anything I’ve learned that it’s hard to be brave but sometimes even harder to be vulnerable. So, to choose BRAVE as my guiding word seems an unworthy challenge.

Instead, I thought I would choose a word that I can aspire to. A word that can help me focus my intentions on something positive and calming. A word that can be celebrated, danced and written,


noun: elegance or beauty of form, manner, motion, oraction; favor or goodwill; mercy
verb: to favor or honor; to lend grace to
The Hemingway quote, above, “Courage is grace under pressure,” reminds me of how diamonds are made—coal under pressure. I like to believe that by fixating on grace I will find more courage for the everyday. And by showing grace toward others I hope to be more accepting, more patient (the latter being one of my mini-resolutions for the year.)
Did you choose a word for the year? Do you still need a word? Learn more here, here and here. I’d love to hear your word or your intention for the year.

Donating Gets Me Every Time


Back earlier in the year, say, oh, January, I mentioned that I wanted to get organized. Well. With a move, comes the opportunity to throw out, give away or donate all the things you can bear to part with. And we did just that.

Now, in this pile, I must tell you are more than 100 things. And this pile didn’t include any of the kitchen items—random mugs, bowls, an underused toaster oven—that we donated as well. While I planned to do a nice layout of all the things we gave away, I didn’t have time. So, here’s the basic rundown:

• Clothes that didn’t fit, weren’t worn any longer or we were just “over”
• Some random office folder and supplies that we didn’t need.
• A couple duffle bags, two cowboy hats and a small radio
• Four mugs, one bowl, that toaster oven and a no-longer-needed-might-be-possessed microwave

It felt so good to take a huge carload of “stuff” to the Goodwill. Maybe something we’ll do every year.

A New Outlook Gets Me Every Time



You guys. All I can say is “wow.” LASIK was is all they promised and more. And supposedly it only gets better from here as my eyes continue to adjust.

I’ll spare you the technical details as one, you can google that, and two, a lot of people, I’m finding out, have a weird thing about all things optical. So, I’ll just say that the procedure was great, the doctor was great and my vision is the best it’s been in 20 years. TWENTY. YEARS.

I can see the clock when I wake up. I don’t have to take out my contacts or put them in. It’s easy to maneuver to the bathroom in the middle of the night. The whole thing.

Thank you all so much for your thoughts, well wishes, tweets, comments and more. Next time we meet, I’ll see you more clearly than before. And, if you have any questions about how the whole thing went down, feel free to ask. I am a LASIK believer.

LASIK Gets Me Every Time

GoodbyeGlasses_GetsMeEveryTimeToday. May 30. 2013. A Thursday. I am getting LASIK. I’m getting rid of contacts. Rid of glasses. And I’m getting the chance to see the clock when I wake up in the morning. Heck, to see my husband when I wake up in the morning.

I’ve worn glasses since 1992. And contacts since 1997. And today. No more. (Until I’m older wiser and need them to read all the things again.) People tell me it will be life changing. And I believe them.

It’s a big decision. And it’s one I’ve thought about for a while now. I can’t wait to tell you how this changes my life. For better and worse. But that’s for next week. Today (and tomorrow) I’ll be off the grid. Away from screens. TV, computer, tablet, phone. I’ll be resting my eyes, because once healed, they are getting a serious workout.


The Time Being Gets Me Every Time



realizing may showers will bring june flowers?

organizing our home.

celebrating two blissful years of marriage.

wishing our cat 5 special years.

dreaming of spray painting all the things.

yearning for outdoor space.

prepping for a busy, busy June.

balancing work with life.

capturing the special moments.

loving a beautiful mess app.

enjoying live dance. (a birthday gift from the mister)

living for friends. (and loving time spent with them)

seeing things differently. (more on this tomorrow)

documenting daily life.


May is always a fabulous month here. Hope yours has been spectacular too, friends.


Focus Friday Gets Me Every Time

FocusFriday510Let’s begin this Focus Friday by saying that I’m one week late. That April has come and gone. That it’s May, people! And that my one little word has almost bit the dust. But, I’m all for breathing life into rundown concepts. So, here we go.

In May, I’m focusing on only three things. Time Management. (I miss you guys, and I want to fix that.) Having Fun. (It’s all about balance.) Getting Organized. (Summer is right around the corner and I don’t want to miss any of it.)

That’s it for today. Not even going to mention April’s Focus… it was lost. Lots to share, coming soon, and I mean it. TGIF!


Focus Friday Gets Me Every Time


It’s not April quite yet, but it’s time to make some new “One Little Word” goals to start out the month fresh on Monday. Spring is finally here. I guess the geese, the robins and the crocuses read my post earlier this week.

1 | Reading More, again | I had started to read on the train during my morning commute in the winter, but lately I’ve been zoning out. Here’s to more reading, again. Leave book suggestions in the comments, please!

2 | Actionable Planning | Sometimes I plan to do something (i.e. finish a craft project) but I don’t plan how or when it’s going to happen. There needs to be more of that.

3 | Dancing | My students have their performance in April and so do my mom’s students. I can’t wait to take in all the dancing this month holds. Note, I’m also open to more sporadic dancing anytime, just ask.

4 | Embracing the Season | I’m ready to jump head first into spring. I just want to make sure I’m the best me I can be when it gets here.

5 | Creating Balance | This comes in all things. Salad during the week, nachos on the weekend. Work & “play” and finding the difference between the two. Balance is forever shifting.


And, let’s not forget about March:

1 | Slowing Down | I did slow down a little bit, but not enough. I mean, can you ever slow down enough?

2 | Thoroughness | Huge fail. I did not get to finish any of projects I have started.

3 | Patience | I think I became a little more patient. It’s just a matter of counting to 10 when annoyances start to creep in. Still, it’s something to think about and work on always.

4 | Me | This was my way of saying I was going to eat better and go to the gym more in March. Hmmm, not so much, but there’s always April.

5 | Time Management | I’ve definitely gotten a better hold on this. I simply tell myself I have a certain amount of time to do something then switch off the TV, wash out my paintbrushes, stop hitting snooze when that time is up.

Focus Friday Gets Me Every Time


Happy March, friends. It’s like I’m willing spring in with the light green pants, lack of socks and yellow capped ballet flats. With a non-snow forecast (finally) this weekend, I have a feeling we (in the northeast) are on our way. And now, to refocus for a new month.

1 | Slowing Down | As spring comes into view, I’d like to slow down and enjoy the cold nights spent curled under a blanket with a cup of hot tea.

2 | Thoroughness | I am the queen of starting a project and never fully realizing it potential. That’s where The Great Craft Up stemmed from. In March, I want to get around to finishing some of those projects.

3 | Patience | This is something I always wish I had more of—with myself, my dancers, my coworkers, my friends, my family… the list goes on. I don’t think you can ever have enough patience.

4 | Me | I’m ready to jump head first into spring. I just want to make sure I’m the best me I can be when it gets here.

5 | Time Management | Right along with “slowing down” and “thoroughness” comes number five. I’ve been reading a little bit here and there about being more productive with your time. One source of inspiration here is the ever-intent Jess Lively  with her take on batching.


And, let’s not forget about February:

1 | Reading | I finished the book! It was the The Creative Habit by Twyla Tharp—pick it up if you fancy yourself creative. I also read a book about blogging. I’ve also been reading daily reflections before bed which has helped me calm my mind and fall asleep quickly.

2 | Listening | I think I was successful at this, though, like patience, you can never listen too much.

3 | Preparedness | This kinda went by the wayside after one week. Maybe another month.

4 | Relaxing | I did this! I put the phone away while watching TV. I let myself zone out. It was delightful.

5 | Productivity | Was I productive? I know no other way to live. Now, I just have to finish all those projects I started.
I am digging these mini-resolutions every month. I definitely would have squashed any new year resolution I had made already. Are you still holding strong to one you made? If so, please, leave your secrets in the comments.



Focus Friday Gets Me Every Time


1 | Reading | I am SO close to finishing that book that I started forever ago. 20 pages to go! I will continue to focus on reading more in February.

2 | Listening | Sometimes I get so wrapped up in all my own thoughts that I forget to be present in conversations. I will focus my energies on the conversation at hand.

3 | Preparedness | This is everything from packing my lunch the night before to being mentally ready to have conversations. See #2.

4 | Relaxing | This is so. hard. My mind is always racing. New ideas. New inventions. Places to go. People to see. Things to make. In February, I will take time to fully engage in relaxing. Less multi-tasking. More relaxing.

5 | Productivity | It seems wildly opposite from #4, but making sure my productivity level stays high and I am fully engaged will allow me to experience more complete relaxation.


And, for accountability’s sake, here’s a quick recap of how/what I did in January:

1 | Relationships | I made phone calls. Had dinner. Had brunch. Wrote emails. Texted A LOT. More of this to come in 2013.

2 | Honesty | Remember this week’s post on my kitchen? And going gluten-free. This is a huge task… still working on asking for help when needed, I’ll get there.

3 | Creativity | The great Craft Up of 2013 has kicked off and I’m loving all my projects thus far. I will share them soon, I promise!

4 | Reading | See above, I cannot wait to dig into my wishlist of books. (20 pages!)

5 | Organization | The donation pile is still sitting in the corner of our bedroom. And I haven’t updated you on it. But it’s there. Working on it.

So, some tiny successes in January that make my February outlook a good one. What about you?

Winter Cleaning Gets Me Every Time

Before I was married. Before I lived with David. When it was just me and the cat. Not that long ago, my mother and I made a rule for ourselves. For every piece of clothing we brought home, we had to get rid of one equal piece. Bring home a sweater, donate one. Find 4 new shirts, turn 4 old shirts into dust rags. You get it.

It was an easy enough rule to implement, especially since shopping trips only happened when I was with my mom and usually in a big way. But in the last year or so, things have started to pile up. A shirt here. A new package of socks there. A dresser drawer that now hardly closes due to the number of yoga pants stuffed in there.


So, I’m imposing a winter purge. But this time, it’s not just limited to the closet and bureau. Kitchen, we’re coming for you. “Office,” watch out. And that pile of magazines I’ve been “saving” because they have great recipes in them… there’s another home out there for you.

I plan to share what we’re purging. It’ll be like Spring Cleaning came a little early this year. Do you have a set time of year for a good purge? Or do you store it all away until a big event or move? Please, do share. And to my things and yours, parting is such sweet sorrow.