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Starting An Idea List Gets Me Every Time

12353394_1516436431989091_1305896528_nWhat’s the different between an idea and a goal? I ask myself this all too often. Do I *need* to accomplish all the ideas that I have? Do I have goals set that I actually want to achieve? Do I need them?

I’m not sure I have the answers to those bigger questions, but I do have one idea that helps me sort them all out. Actually, it’s because I have many ideas that they even need sorting.

I started an idea list. I know. Nothing ground-breaking here. It’s a notebook in my Evernote app and when I have an idea, I put it in there. So, when a concept for a book pops into my head, into the idea list it goes. Or if I think of a party/activity I want to be a part of, into the idea list it goes. And when I think of the perfect gift idea for that person who’s so hard to buy for, into the idea list it goes for safe keeping.

Recently, the things that have gone into my idea list are book concepts, dreamt-up websites I think would be useful and photos I’d like to take. Now, I know I won’t get around to all of them, but I hope that the ones that are still good ideas in a month or a year or whenever do get some of my attention.

There’s no goals and no pressures around the idea list. Just me and my ideas that I’m not quite ready to bring to fruition or bounce off anyone. The hardest part for me is trying not to bring them all to life.

I want to know, how do you keep your ideas safe and how do you know which ones to chase after?

The Internet Gets Me Every Time | November 13th Edition

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1 | Sometimes we need to be reminded to “just keep swimming”. And next summer we’ll get it with Finding Dory.

2 | If you need another reason to dance, listen to Missy Elliott’s latest, “WTF.”

3 | As we’re in the season of thanks, here’s 8 uncommon ways to show your gratitude.

4 | It’s also soup season and here are a few recipes I’ve been eating up recently: Quinoa Veggie Tuscan & White Bean & Chicken Tortilla

5 | Shameless plug time. I’ve been super busy at work, and one of the things I’ve been creating is a Toast to Sinatra’s 100th Birthday (he would’ve been 100 on 12/12/15). Check it out and share a toast on Instagram.

The Internet Gets Me Every Time | July 17th Ed.

1 | That above video. Warning there are some choice lyrics so if you’re sensitive to that you might not want to watch. And if you work in a real office (read: not ad agency) you might want to grab the ol’ headphones.

2 | Speaking of being at the office… A 32-hour workweek? That sounds idyllic.

3 | I tweeted this link earlier this week, but here’s a few pointers for approaching grieving friends that’s worth mentioning again.

4 | Dear all my favorite readers (that’s you), I entered this giveaway and if I win, I’ll take 3 of you. You should enter too. (and take me, obvs.)

5 | I love Gretchin Rubin’s “Secrets of Adulthood.” This one is no exception and I plan on doing it this weekend. Are you in?

6 | “Fear can be a motivator…” and other insights on backsliding in work and life. (For entrepreneurs, but really for life.)

Heard, Read, Watched. Spring, 2015.

KindleSpringHEARD
Serial (finally) yes. It took a few months. But I was busy in the fall, letsbehonest. And now that I’ve listened, I’m totally ready for the next story.

Currently: Nate Reuss’s Grand Romantic I’ve been in love with following Reuss since I was in college and he was front-manning The Format while smoking on stage. Last time I saw him live he’d quit the habit and, of course, sounds as great as ever on this solo album.

 

READ
The $100 Start-Up I read this because I’ve seen some solid reviews of the book. It’s a quick read, has some great examples and is a nice baseline of what it might take you to be an entrepreneur. Note, I’m not quitting my day job, just reading a lot of various things.

Lean In Just like Serial, I was late to the party on this one. But I picked it up and read it — the same week Sandberg’s partner died. My heart aches for her. As for the book, I quickly devoured it. Side note, if you haven’t read this post by Sandberg on the end of sheloshim, I suggest you read it right away. So much of what she shares about approaching someone after tragedy is so true. (especially the note on asking, “How are you?”)

The Hive confession. I picked this up off the library shelf because the spine said “Hornby,” the last name of one of my faves, Nick Hornby. Well, you’re not supposed to re-shelf books, so I didn’t and I read it and it was just OK.

#GirlBoss my 22-year-old self would have benefitted from this book a lot more than I did now. There’s some interesting tidbits in there but I would recommend it to my college-aged cousin, not my working-gal-bffs.

Not That Kind of Girl so what if I totally hopped on the femme-mindset book wagon? I enjoyed this collection of stories from Lena Dunham not as much for the content as I did for the writing style.

A Room of One’s Own this is actually where my the whole female reading began this spring. Maybe closer back to where it began. Basically, Wolfe talks about how a woman needs a room of her own in which to write. In which to make. In which to think. It’s more about independence than a physical room though, so the message, while difficult to get through, is still relevant today.

Jab, Jab, Jab, Right Hook another confession. I didn’t make it through this. Maybe because this is the stuff I deal in on the daily? Just couldn’t get into it, so I put it down.

Currently: On Writing, A Memoir of The Craft I’m not even a quarter of the way in so I’ll report back later on this summer.

 

WATCHED
Biggest confession of the post here, people. I don’t make time for watching TV and/or movies. I’d rather spend my time with people, cooking, outside, reading, listening, dancing, etc. I do hold a few programs on my DVR. So recently, I’ve watched the season finales of Bates and Gotham. And of course, the series finale of Mad Men, single tear.

Currently: So You Think You Can Dance. My summer’s guilty pleasure.

 

And now, I want to know what you’re reading. Let’s connect on GoodReads. Or leave the names of what I should hear, read, or watch in the comments, yo.

10 things to do this week rather than be bored

I was never that child who was bored. It’s simply not in my DNA. It made for some hefty carry-on bags, still does, but I’m seemingly never lacking for something to do.

It seems hard to believe that with all the media, gadgets and to-dos anyone could be bored these days. And we’re probably not bored with “nothing to do.” More likely bored with what we do have to. Or what we are doing — staring at screens all the live long day.

Here’s a few thoughts on how to not be bored this week. Turn off. Unplug. Tune out. And do something different.

1| Read a book. it’s the cheapest way to be transported somewhere.
2| Go on a walk. it’s another cheap way to get somewhere.
3| Make something. anything.
4| Have a conversation. connect or reconnect with someone who you haven’t spoken to in the past month.
5| Clean out your car/your closet/your attic. and donate or sell those things you no longer need.
6| Write a letter. not an email. a letter. and send it.
7| Fix something. it’s been broken for a while, and it hasn’t fixed itself yet.
8| Rearrange. The furniture, your bookshelf, etc. Get a new perspective.
9| Do that one thing. scan the photos, shred the mail, transfer your VHS to DVD… the one thing that you keep putting off. do it.
10| Do nothing. and embrace it. 

How else can we turn off the screen — and boredom — this week?

image.

Slow Sunday Links [1.11.15]

Maddie is back in another Sia video (above), this time with Shia LaBeouf, and it’s a little odd. (One current child star with one former one… how do we think this story will end?)

Hot words for 2015 to get you through these cold days.

Soon enough the winter salt will make our cars dirty enough for car art.

Instead of making resolutions, many people are into picking one little word. Find out more here, here and here.

These paleo chocolate chip scones have too many ambitious ingredients for my pantry, but if someone decides to whip up a batch, let me know.

2014 Gets Me Every Time

SugarPlanner2014Sometimes I am “over” a day… that’s typically every Monday.

Sometimes I am “over” a week… this crops up on Thursdays or Fridays.

But I don’t think I’ve ever been “over” a year. Until now. 2014 has given me so many experiences. Filled me with so many emotions. Tested me in ways I never imagined. And, I’m over it.

Here are 5 posts that are my, or your, favorites from this past year. If you missed ’em, catch up now and let’s put the year behind us.

1. I like crafts. If you do too, you should see The Craft House.

2. A story about a special little girl.

3. How we decided where to buy a home.

4. Crafts, remember? Like this little llama.

5. On achieving happiness. It’s possible.

Now. Please, stay to your right as we make our way over to 2015.

Small Talk Gets Me Every Time

via Emily McDowell

 

Alternate title: 10 things to say when you’re not sure what to say.

Are you ever unsure of what to say? I am. And now, I’ve become acutely aware of when others have no idea what to say.

So, when you’re not sure exactly what a person is going through (trauma, strife, personal problems), here’s my advice on what to say (or not say.) Because talking to people is hard. And sometimes, we’re not all that good at it.

So, I say, don’t start with questions that you could probably guess the answer to. (i.e. “how are you?”)

Don’t start with the obvious questions you want to ask. (i.e. “what happened?”)

Don’t start with the statements that are only going to make the conversation more strained.

Do start with one of these 10 things to say when you’re not sure what to say.

  1. Say something boring. Like “how about this weather?” Or “Monday already?” “Gas prices have dropped, huh?”
  2. Ask about the latest and greatest. “How was your (insert most recent holiday/event)?”
  3. Start with a something superfluous. “Great shirt/necklace/tie. Where’s it from?”
  4. How about a recommendation? “Know where I can find a plumber/a dog/a great croissant?”
  5. Just be there. “Let me know if you want to grab lunch/coffee/a drink?”
  6. Talk about you. Tell the person a story, what you ate for lunch, how much you hate water polo. Something. Anything.
  7. Simply acknowledge the person is there. “Good to see you.” and then just walk away. Sometimes, less is more.
  8. Ask for that person’s expertise. “Can you help me with x/y/z?” Make that person feel useful.
  9. Talk about the place you are/activity you are doing. It could be work, the gym, the playground.
  10. Nothing at all. Perhaps mom’s rule about “having nothing nice to say” also applies when you’re unsure what to say.

Now go, say something, or nothing, to the person who might need to hear from you right about now.

Journals (+ Writing Prompts) Get Me Every Time

Some Journals for starting 2015 | Gets Me Every Time

Yesterday I mentioned my top 5 reasons to journal. And well, that bonus #6 item got me scouring the internet for my next journal.* So, here are six of my top finds to fill with your greatest, or worst, memories, ideas and thoughts. (PS. These make great gifts too!)

one | two | three | four | five | six

Sometimes when I blog or journal,  I follow daily writing prompts, but I also love the idea of following one journal prompt to fill an entire journal. I brainstormed some that were really awful, some that might be good enough to turn into books and some just fun ones. So, above, some journals to fill. And below, some journal prompts to fill them with:

Journal Prompts for 2015 | Gets Me Every Time

  1. “This is what I dreamt last night”
  2. “The Dailys” (outfits, meals, movies watched, placed visited, exercise routine… etc.)
  3. “If I were a…” (Fill in with a dream occupation)
  4. Changing the world one page at a time (Ideas of how you’d change daily norms.)
  5. “My name is…” (Change your name, and write about your fictional life)
  6. “This one time during my childhood” (Write down as many childhood memories as you can.)
  7. “If I had a million dollars” (A different outcome every day)
  8. “Objects in my home” (Write the story of all the things you have collected in your home)
  9. “People I’ve met” (Start with your family, your friends, your coworkers, then go to the bus driver, your dry cleaning guy, etc… document their places in your life.)
  10. “An invitation to dinner” (A series of dinner invitations to anyone you want, what you’d serve and how it’d go.)

*NOTE, I have a drawer full of empty journals that I’ve been hoarding over the years, so I’m just going to admire these through the screen!