Category Archives: Personal

Falling for Fall

autumn quote

Every year, from May through August, I say, with conviction, that I am a “summer girl” who thrives on sunshine and never wants to give up afternoons spent lying barefoot in the grass, sipping on ice cold cider in a summer dress.

Then, fall comes, and I excitedly swap out my sandals for riding boots, become BFFs with my slow cooker once more, and find nothing more enjoyable than curling up with my cat on the sofa while the pitter patter of rain makes music with apartment’s window sills. Like that, I realize how much I love navy blue sweaters and infinity scarves, and how amazing it feels to come home and crawl into sweat pants. I drop my love of summer like a graduating high school senior leaving his junior girlfriend at home and quickly embracing Thursday night fraternity parties and co-ed dorms.

running shoes in the fall leaves

It really is beautiful though.

be present

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28th Birthday Core Desired Feelings & Goals

birthday cupcake

In all its chocolate and peanut butter glory

So, I’ve been 28 years old for a full two days now. Does that make me “late twenties official?” Or was I already there?

When celebrating birthdays in my early twenties, the morning after was often spent sleeping in after a lateeee night out and enjoying leftover chocolate birthday cake for breakfast (don’t judge). This year, I woke up super early on the my morning of my birthday (and the day after) to go to bootcamp at the gym. *Wah wah*

And, no, there was no massive cake to enjoy for breakfast throughout the rest of the week. I had a green smoothie in the morning to balance out my birthday treat: one chocolate and peanut butter gluten-free cupcake that I happily devoured in record time. Any more dessert and my late-twenties metabolism probably would have kicked it.

Despite these differences, there’s at least one thing that always remains the same. Every year around my birthday I focus on what I’ve learned throughout the past year and what I want to embrace in the coming 12 months. It’s like giving myself a head start on new year’s resolutions.

This year, instead of starting with a list of concrete goals, I took some advice from Danielle LaPorte and decided upon the five feelings that I want abundant in my life as a 28-year-old woman aka “Core Desired Feelings.” For me, these are: healthy, connected, confident, creative, and honest. Check out her thoughts on and list of Core Desired Feelings. They’re pretty awesome.

From there, I thought about what I can do to feel those emotions. What can I do this year to feel healthy? What can I do to feel creative? What can I do to be more honest with myself and others? You get the idea.

So, here’s my list of things I want from this year that will help me feel healthy, connected, confident, creative, and honest (in no particular order). Some are specific, some are unquantifiable, and I like it that way.

P.S. Sharing this list totally makes me feel honest. Whoop.

  • Get AFAA certified
  • Run a sub 1:50 half marathon
  • Run 3 total half marathons (including at least one destination race)
  • Get published
  • Become a morning workout person (again)
  • Draw/doodle/photograph daily
  • Podcast with Michel
  • Practice yoga regularly
  • Meditate regularly
  • Connect with more creative people in Oakland
  • Let myself be more vulnerable
  • Join (for realsies) a running club
  • Connect with more fitness professionals
  • Practice hand lettering/calligraphy
  • Make/give more gifts to people
  • Stop the “deer in the headlights” attitude
  • Take 1 new, fun class/month
  • Read 1 non-fiction & 1 fiction book per month
  • BE PRESENT
  • Practice living with more intention
  • Think less, act more
  • Be mindful
  • Focus on quality over quantity
  • All the trips and adventures
  • Banish “I don’t think so”
  • Talk about my passions more
  • Enjoy more vegetarian/vegan dishes and sustainably raised meat
  • Don’t flake on people
  • Be more generous
  • HUSTLE
  • Get some stinkin’ abs
  • Introduce and accept more creativity in my everyday life
  • Don’t sweat the little things
  • Sweat everyday
  • Be flexible with my schedule

Do you make lists like this for yourself? Shout out if any of these resonate with you; we can cheer each other on!

Cheers!

Melissa

Workstation Popcorn

Laptop in Coffeeshop

Where’d all the coffee go?!

Workstation Popcorn: It’s a real thing invented to keep coffee lovers supremely caffeinated throughout the day as they jump from cafe to cafe/workstation/pub, working on specific, premeditated tasks at each stopping point.

I recently read about this technique from Entrepreneur and decided to test it out today.

Essentially, you start your day with a clear to-do list and break it down into “task chunks”. You allot a few to-dos to be completed in different environments, moving from point A to point B only once A’s allotted tasks have been finished. For example, I gave myself the tasks of sending my new business cards to print, updating my website homepage and researching for a few upcoming blog posts at coffee shop A. Then I moved onto stop B to cross three more tasks off of my list.

I’m currently at coffee shop C (my final stop for the day), and I found the exercise to be refreshing. It gave me the opportunity to stand up, stretch and walk around in between the day, and, most importantly, the chance to talk to and observe different people in several environments instead of staying “stuck” inside of my own world, aka my laptop.

Plus, I found myself totally focused on goals, rather than just looking at the clock to see how much time I had left in my workday.

This weekend I plan on trying it even around my own apartment and, weather permitting, outdoors (which always gets my creative juices flowing).

Is “Coffee Shop Popcorn” a tactic that anyone else practices to get more done?

Blue Skies are Coming

 

Arizona landscape

New Mexico Landscape

New Mexico Landscape

Abandoned Arizona Trading Post

Let the beauty of what you love be what you do. - Rumi

The only time I ever consider not living in a big city is while I’m in New Mexico. Little rivals the beauty of a Santa Fe sunset, and there is nothing like standing below massive blue skies in the middle of nowhere.

Unfortunate circumstances brought me back home to this beautiful place this past weekend, but I’m thankful to have returned feeling cleansed, rejuvenated and thankful.

This Rumi quote has been stuck in my mind lately, and with so many new beginnings in my world right now, it felt to play around with watercolor effects in Adobe Illustrator and create something inspirational to hang in my home office.

Resolutions for Happy Health

Resolutions for Happy Health

My excellent friend, Sarah – aka  “Miss GoodbyeGluten” – is on the quest to eliminate gluten from her diet and improve herself by putting better quality foods into her system, working out daily and documenting her experience.

Her enthusiasm and drive straight out of the gate  has me inspired on multiple levels. 1. My butt is back on my blog (Yay!) and 2. I, too, want to improve my health and stay dedicated to clean eating and fitness, even when I’m faced with an increase in demanding deadlines, 12 hour workdays and the occasional all-nighter. (Ummm…let’s just say it’s been a stressful month…)

I figured a great way to stay reminded to take care of myself would be to write a list of positive happy health “resolutions.” Gretchen Rubin does something similar in The Happiness Project and swears that declaring and revisiting her resolutions often is what helped her achieve personal change.

So, here I go! Here are my basic “Resolutions for Happy Health:”

1. Move. As much as you can.

2. Love and respect what God has given you to work with.

3. Strength is sexy.

4. Sweat is a beautiful thing.

5. Sunshine is a cure-all.

6. Lean protein, veggies & fruit…always.

7. Make time for yourself.

8. Water = life.

9. Stress less and practice patience.

10. Push yourself mentally so that you can go the extra mile physically.

Wish me luck! Especially with #9…that’s my Boss Battle.