July 2019 - 3 For 30

3 For 30 – Week Three & Four

Is it seriously August? How did that even happen? I feel like I blinked in May and woke up here and I’ve just barely managed to keep my head above water. Anyone else having that kind of summer?

I had this great moment of clarity at the end of June. I wanted to make more open, honest and simple posts about minimalism and living a slower life. I wanted to help people feel free and empowered to live their own lives, far from the burden of possessions, jobs and societal pressure. That’s my goal with my time on this Earth for myself, and if I can share my journey there and help even just one other person start to think about their own time in a different way then I’ll be happy.

But it’s been so hard to do that when I feel like I can finally breathe for the first time in two months. I looked at my weekend today and I couldn’t believe I had nothing going on. I knew July was going to be busy, but I had no idea work would ramp up around this time too and I would regret having overloaded myself on the things I could control. But some things you just have to roll with and bite your tongue and do them even if you’re exhausted. It’s a choice to say yes and to follow through on commitments even if you made those during a time when you thought you’d have time for them.

Hence my good intentioned July challenge. Doing three things for thirty minutes a day doesn’t sound that hard, but when you add it up that’s an hour and half of time and all that time has to happen after work for me. So if I’m off at 5 and having nothing going on (this usually only happens about 3 days a week), then I come home and make dinner, finishing that up and the eating bit around 6:30. Then I want to shower, throw laundry in, prep for tomorrow with lunch, etc. and that takes until about 7:30. I’m in bed asleep by 10 on a good night so now I have 2.5 hours of free time. If i do 1.5 hours of my 30 minutes a day with little breaks in-between for water or anything else, then it’s 9:30 when I’m done. Then I’ve got the teeth brushing and the face washing and then I have to get to bed.

So that’s on a work day where nothing else is going on but work. I signed up for summer kickball so that’s one night a week. I usually do a happy hour with old coworkers or a friend once a week. The point is, I wasn’t being honest with myself during this challenge about the time I had to complete it. So now I’m being honest with you all about that. Which feels good and I hope you don’t mind too much. It’s hard to write blog posts about the failures instead of the successes, but I’d rather be honest about it than have you read some garbage I wrote up about learning Spanish, writing the next great American novel or beating my mile pace time in 30 days. The last thing I want to be on here is unauthentic because in the end it hurts everyone.

So I’m still writing. With the business trips this month tripling and the exhaustion from trying to ‘do it all’, the writing hasn’t been as frequent, but I’ve been trying to fit it in. The Duolingo app is still my favorite to open up during a Lyft ride or a quick coffee break. And finally, the walking has had to just be fit in when it can. Today I walked over to the park and did laps around it for a few hours just testing out my pace and I haven’t lost any momentum in the past month, but I haven’t gained any either. Overall, I didn’t set out to do what I wanted with July, but July was so unexpected for me, and I think you remember bits of that in your life much more than you’d remember and cherish the slow times.

I spend a weekend in Bend, OR, a week in LA for work, another weekend with my husband’s family, a weekend back in LA with family and then work in LA again and now I”m just catching up and flowing back into my slower life that I love.

Is there anything that you started to do but didn’t follow through with? I’m sure we’ve all done this before. I used to make myself feel so guilty about it. I would even finish books I didn’t like just because I felt like I couldn’t NOT finish. I’ve started to make very deliberate decisions with my time though and instead of forcing myself to follow through on certain things, I’ve just learned to let go more. It feels good and it’s good for me. I hope if you’re a pusher or a perfectionist these stories might help you realize it’s not the end of the world if things don’t go just as you imagined they would. Sometimes it’s nice to take a step back and readjust your priorities when you have to.

On that note, monthly challenges are going to get scaled back to when I feel like I can fit one in, and lots more posts will happen on the simple, honest life I’m hoping to start with you all.

July 2019 - 3 For 30

3 For 30 – Week One & Two

I am a planner. It’s one of the things I love about my monthly challenges – the fact that I know what my goals are for the month, I can work towards them and at the end of the month I can be satisfied knowing that I’ve accomplished them.

I will push myself so hard to follow up on what I said I’d do. It’s why I’m never late to anything, and if I say I’m meeting you at 5pm, I’ll be there at 4:45pm. It’s definitely something I take pride in, but I’m also super hard on myself when I can’t follow through.

I started this 3 for 30 with so much optimism and realized very quickly that I had taken on too much. For one, I started this challenge during the fourth of July weekend, which was super fun and didn’t leave a lot of time for focus on my three things. Then I had an unexpected work trip, which really took me for a spin and threw all my planning and self care out of whack.

It is also super hard to start goals during a vacation. I managed to follow through on almost 2/3 of the 3 of 30s this last week, which wasn’t ideal. It was much harder than I thought though to keep up momentum when my daily routine was thrown off by travel.

So I’m going to walk you through my 3 for 30 for the first two weeks of the challenge and be open and honest about my ups and my downs.

Walking

This one was easy to step into because we were moving around so much over the long holiday weekend. I hit the 30 minutes of consistent walking every day except the 3rd of July because I spent a lot of that day in the car driving.

I wasn’t able to time myself this week, but I did keep my apple watch on through all of the awesome hiking we got to do during the week.

We spent the 4th in Bend, OR and had a great time just walking around the town and exploring. Bend is really charming and we’d driven through it before and had lunch, but hadn’t really spent a lot of time there. I definitely want to go back.

We had a great drive down and stopped anywhere we felt like it along the way. Timberline Lodge on Mt. Hood, The Cove Palisades State Park, Peter Skene Ogden State Park and Smith Rock State Park.

Smith Rock State Park – we enjoyed the stop so much we came back the next day to hike around.

We went hiking at this natural rock formation wonder park on Friday. Side note of candor: always remember to bring enough water. We did not and had to turn around before we wanted to because it was hot and I was worried we were going to die (I exaggerate only a little). I made it half way up a trail called ‘Misery Ridge'(that should tell you all you need to know) and the lack of water and the fact that we were only half way up made me turn around right then and there. I believe in pushing yourself, particularly in exercise situations, but I also knew it was hot, I was sweaty and my water was low. Not a good combo. I did bring my water shoes though and as we hiked back down the ridge we found a good spot in the river to swap out shoes and cool down. Heaven.

I ended up in Los Angeles the week after the 4th for work. Surprise trips are not really in me. Like I said, I usually have a plan for the week and this threw me off pretty bad. It was a lot of work, a lot of sitting in fancy buildings in fancy chairs staring at large buildings. The Pacific Ocean was nearly legible through the smog of the city, but I was over it. Southern California is my home and it was weird to be there and be too busy to visit my parents or see any friends. On top of that I didn’t get to walk a lot this week so my 3 for 30 with walking started to slack. We were working 12 hour days with mandatory group dinners after so being active and healthy and outdoors was not going to happen. That’s not to say I didn’t have fun. We snuck in a good time on Wednesday and went to the top of our office building, which apparently is the highest point in LA, and enjoyed the sunset with a glass of wine. Of course several other people did as well so as beautiful as it was, always remember that Instagram isn’t reality.

Language

This one I’ve had some success with. The Duolingo app is honestly amazing, so easy to use and great and reminders that aren’t overbearing.

I’ve had a ton of fun using it. I took Spanish in high school, but never retained anything other than a few simple phrases – my particular favorite “Podria ir al bano”, which was the only way to get out of class.

This screen shot is a little old. I’m already up to level 5 in travel and working my way through it. I’m having a great time with the app. I practiced today at my eye appointment, I practiced in-between meetings in LA and even on our vacation to Bend when I wasn’t driving. I’m feeling confident in keeping this one up even after the month is over. I’m having a great time with it.

Writing

I thought writing would be the easiest of my 3 for 30, but it’s been the most difficult so far. I think it’s because I like to be in a certain place and mood when I write. After a long day of hiking or after a day of meetings, I’m not really fond of sitting with my laptop and typing away about nothing. I’ve got too much nature in my head after a hike and after a long meeting I physically don’t have it in me to just go back to staring at a screen.

I think my take on my writing based off these past weeks is to not think of it has something that has to be done so formally. I work best on writing when I’m relaxed I’ve come to realize. So starting this week I’ve been taking my writing where I can get it in. That means on my notepad app in bed, typing away random thoughts when I have a few moments at work, scribbling on a little pad I keep in my bag while I’m waiting for my food somewhere. I work best on writing when I don’t force it. When I can relax with it. That’s the biggest lesson these last two weeks and I’m hoping I can take that with me for the next two.

To recap

Well, that was my 30 minutes of writing today and it felt good. My language is right on track and my walking needs to be upped a bit. What are your three things that if you did them for 30 minutes a day, would make a big improvement on your life? Even just one thing is okay! One of the most uniquely human things we do is to constantly better ourselves. I think we just need to take the pressure off ourselves every once in awhile. We’re only human after all.

May & June 2019 - A Photo A Day

A Photo A Day – Week Eight

June 22

Sunday was wedding day! I cannot express the joy I felt watching my beautiful (inside and out) friend walk down the aisle to the true love of her life.

The wedding itself was so touching and the after wedding party was great. A lot of catching up with old friends and really just having a good time. It was exactly how one hopes a wedding goes.

June 23

Before we left Sunday, I made sure to say a good goodbye to the cutest dog, Boscoe. This is my In-Laws little boy and he is just the cutest. He’s a spoiled little thing, but I adore him.

We left Spokane around 10 and got home around 4. Laundry and rest was had and then an early bed to get back into the week.

June 24

Nothing says Monday like stocks. I snapped a pic of my average morning on Monday. I usually get up at 6 and zone out on the couch for a half hour watching the morning news and waking up. Around 6:30 I grab a cup of coffee and try to wake up more efficiently. At 7 I get dressed and I’m out the door by 7:30 to make it to work around 8.

It’s getting kind of old and I’m starting to constantly wonder what’s next. Is this it? We’ll get to that next week….

June 25

I felt like I finally got a chance to play the new Niantic Wizards Unite game on Tuesday. This game came out while I was in the wilderness with no cell service. This caused a late start for me and with all the wedding stuff and driving I hadn’t really had a chance to play.

Now that I have though I’m really enjoying it. I am a Magizoologist at level 8. Add me 4602 9212 0437.

June 26

I had a great happy hour after work with friends but we were having such a good time I didn’t take any photos. I kind of love it when that happens. It means you were fully in the moment, which I’ve been trying to do more when I’m with other people.

I think the best thing about Wednesday was this dog patiently waiting for her owner to come back. I was waiting for a smoothie I’d just ordered and this little thing was so cute. Dogs are the best.

June 27

Thursday we were supposed to play kickball, but we had a huge thunderstorm roll in. It rained most of the day so the game was canceled.

I was using kick ball as my 30 minutes of activity this day and with the lightning I didn’t think I was going to get any walking in. Luckily at work we have a great indoor desk treadmill you can use so I hopped on it for a half hour after lunch. Too bad indoor walking doesn’t help open portkeys in Wizards Unite.

I came home and made my favorite five layer dip and vegged out on the couch to catch up on Big Little Lies.

June 28

After work on Friday we went to finally see Toy Story 4. People were describing it as the sequel we didn’t know we needed. I disagree. It was a good film, but completely unneccessary. Also, *spoiler* that goodbye between Woody and Buzz was a letdown.

I took this photo in between advertisements before the movie started. I remember when I worked at a movie theater when I was 16-17 we had this really annoying thing before the trailers started called Movie Tunes. I hated it because to someone who worked there I heard all the same 25 songs they played over and over. Now though, I would prefer Movie Tunes to all these advertisements for Gieco and spoilers to upcoming films. It’s a constant loop that never stops playing. Bring back the music.

Now that June is essentially over, thanks for sticking with A Photo A Day for TWO months instead of just the one. I’m honestly not sure what I’m doing for July on here. It’s been kind of a weird few months for me. I’m hoping some time in nature this weekend will help bring me out of a funk and back to you all next week with something different and exciting.

May & June 2019 - A Photo A Day

A Photo A Day – Week Seven

June 15

We did nothing this weekend and it was so nice. Our weekends are packed starting this upcoming weekend and not letting up until July so it was nice to not go anywhere or have plans.

I spent Saturday on the deck in the shade eating outshine lime bars and reading books and it was perfect.

June 16

Again, nothing exciting Sunday except this vegan sandwich I devoured in seconds. It was smashed chickpeas, avocado, cucumbers and a ton of veggies.

It wasn’t much to look at so I didn’t post it anywhere, but the bread was fresh baked and it was amazing.

June 17

I went to this great nail salon in Portland on Monday called Finger Bang. I’ve been there a few times and they even did my nails for my wedding.

I’m not a big fan of sitting for an hour just getting my nails done. I honestly go maybe twice a year, but this place does really cute nail art and I wanted something special for my friend’s wedding.

June 18

Tuesday was my last day of work before vacation. We celebrated my boss’ birthday a bit early. I think we might have gone over the top with decorations, but it was fun.

I came home and cleaned and packed. I’m usually a light packer but for some reason with it being a wedding weekend and all I brought a ton of stuff. Way more than I actually used. Lesson learned.

June 19

Wednesday we drove all day to get to the cabin that my Aunt owns in Idaho. We were ready for two days of solitude and swimming.

Unfortunately the weather was freezing and there was rain in the forecast. I took a lot of beautiful photos of the lake and the cabin, but didn’t really share what we spent most of our time doing.

We relaxed in front of the fire, drank wine and played board games. Not super photogenic time, but we loved it.

June 20

Thursday we had a morning dip in the lake (it was freezing) and then we drove to a hike that took us down some perilous back roads. The one pictured was easy, but there was a point where it took us 30 minutes to go four miles.

We spent the entire time hoping we didn’t blow a tire on accident.

The hike was amazing and afterwards we drove into Sandpoint and had amazing Mexican food and awesome ice cream. My brother-in-law drove up that night and we spent some more time in front of the fire and had BBQ.

June 21

Relaxation time was officially over on Friday and I raced back into Spokane in the morning to have a lunch with a friend and meet her adorable baby for the first time.

After that I was officially on a time limit and I took a quick shower and dressed up for a wedding rehearsal and dinner. Bridesmaid duties included walking up and down an aisle about seven times and seeing old friends. Pretty easy and fun.

We cooed over my friend’s new baby some MORE – as pictured – and many ridiculous times were had in preparation for the Saturday wedding.

May & June 2019 - A Photo A Day

A Photo A Day – Week Six

June 8

My Dad came into town for the weekend and on Saturday we went to the farmers market in the morning and I found this amazing croissant/muffin (cruffin?) booth. They had a rose water raspberry vanilla one and I was NEEDING THAT. I had just eaten though so I was gonna pick up one on my way out. Unfortunately, they ran out of those ones so I stuck myself with the a coffee caramel one…which did not disappoint.

June 9

On Sunday we went to a Scandinavian Mid-Summer festival. Dad and I made flower crowns, which I posted a picture of on Instagram.

I also posted a ton of stories of the mid-summer pole being raised. That was all very photogenic and cool, but my favorite part was enjoying an older group of dancers doing traditional Scandinavian dances. It was all very fun and rather cute to watch them dance and enjoy themselves. Not very photogenic, but it was my favorite part of the festival. I took Dad to the airport on Sunday and spent the rest of the day doing laundry and grocery shopping to prepare for the rest of the week.

June 10

Monday was kind of crazy. We had a deadline at work so I came in early and downed coffee until we got all our deliverables out the door.

After work I recorded the Cinemabysmal podcast with Nick and Dylan. We had a great episode about Stephen Chow films, specifically The Mermaid and Kung Fu Hustle.

June 11

Tuesday I rushed home to make dinner, edit the pod and have everything ready for The Bachelorette. We always watch on Tuesdays because watching live on Monday means too may commercials.

I poured a salted caramel stout and got my amazing lemon garlic pasta ready and it turns out the show was a day behind because of the NBA finals. Just one of those things. It was also 100 degrees this day and I was melting.

June 12

Another 100 degree scorcher. After work I went to a friends home and sat out on her porch in the shade drinking gin and tonics with fans pointed all around us. It all felt rather southern.

When I left the sun was setting and it was so gorgeous outside, despite the heat. I snapped a little photo just to remember how the sky looked.

June 13

Had the first kick ball game of the summer season on Thursday. I was an avid softball and soccer player growing up so I felt like I was going to do okay, but was still a little nervous.

Luckily the temperature dropped down to a high of 86. Probably would have melted wicked witch style if it had stayed at 100 again.

We won the game, which was great, and I managed to not do anything really stupid or get hurt so it was a win win. Go Honey Badgers.

June 14

New music Friday! Taylor Swift announced her new album called Lovely, and had a really awesome new single come out supporting the LGBTQ communit. Just in time for pride weekend here in Portland.

Work went by really quick and we got off at 2pm to do some pre-drinking before our work’s brew cycle event. Brew cycle is one of those things that looks terrible until you actually do it. in fact you’ve probably made fun of people doing it, but trust me, just do it once and it’s pretty fun.

Always guaranteed to a be a shit show.