april's intentions

And so it suddenly dawned on me a couple of days ago that I totally dropped the ball on April's intentions. The month has come and (almost) gone and I did not commit to anything. Oh well, we all slip now and then. The truth of the matter is that I just had too much going on in April. With May fast approaching  I need to get back on track. I'm thinking about focusing on inspiration. Where to find it, how to get it, where to look when the well is dry. russell smith6

I'm not totally sure how to go about this but I still have a couple more days to give it some thought and will get back to you shortly with a plan.

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Do you have some favourite places to go for inspiration?

Image credits:
Russell Smith via Desire to Inspire

 

march - get organized

Okay...you probably saw this one coming. No year long list of resolutions would be complete without some sort of ode to organization and I've decided to dedicate March to this niggling task.  I'm a person that likes to be organized whether it's my closets or my appointments or my filing system. It's easier to find things and the days go by a little bit easier and a little bit quicker. (Nothing frustrates more than searching and searching for something I know I already own.)

However, I've learned that staying organized is an ongoing endeavor. It requires work and every now and then a complete overhaul. I think a lot of it has to do with controlling the amount of stuff we bring into our homes. There is a certain degree of ruthlessness that is required.

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There are two specific areas that I am going to tackle this month. (Notice how I didn't use the word hope...these things are really going to happen!)

  • Our linen closet/area. More on this later but this is a smallish area of our home I have never shared before primarily because it is in shambles. I'm tired of having all the towels fall on my head every time I open the door and then shutting the door as quickly as possible so nothing else escapes. This month it's getting organized!
  • My office. I renovated this space a little while back and made some great improvements. Since then the amount of stuff in the small space has just grown and grown and it's beginning to look more like a storage locker than a creative and inspiring work room. I need to take back this space which will mean some adjustments. I have a great DIY idea for a new office table which I actually started on this weekend.

I'd also love to hear what things you use/do to keep yourself organized. Everything from computer programs (I like Teux Deux for daily lists) to daily rituals (leaving every room as you found it) to calendars to actual storage systems or products (I recently transferred all my dry good like rice, beans, pasta, nuts out of the original packaging into glass jars and I love it).

What do you do to stay organized? 

Image credits:
1 - Manolo Yllera
2. Mats Gustafson's Studio. Photos by Magnus Marding

 

 

february intentions - update

Love was my intention for February and I've done alright. Not a perfect 10 by any means. Giving up sugar for a month was a goal I had to stare in the face everyday. Whenever I opened up the cupboard or walked down a grocery aisle or ordered a morning coffee I was faced with my challenge and had to make a conscious decision to walk away.

Love on the other hand is elusive. You can give it or take it as you need, when you want or as you desire.

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Here is what I accomplished and didn't accomplish on my list:

  • make dates with my husband (at least two) - NO
  • make time for my friends - YES
  • spend a special day with each child on their own  - YES
  • give daily proofs of love - SOME OF THE TIME
  • make an effort to think about what I say before I say it - SOME OF THE TIME
  • read a good love story ( I need your suggestions here) - NO
  • be generous - SOME OF THE TIME
  • make a big chocolate cake and invite friends over to eat it! - NO

Looking back trying to make two dates with my husband in a short month was a bit of a stretch but we could have tried to get out of the house once. Of course sick children can put a damper on those kinds of activities. I did spend some time with each child on their own. I  made a conscious effort to say yes to every invitation that came my way and tried to make time for my friends whenever I could. Of course, I wasn't perfect in this regard but I did try to make more of an effort. I haven't got around to picking up any of the love stories you recommended but I hope to carry that activity into March. I'm thinking of giving Sebastian Faulks Birdsong a try. I will also get around to the chocolate cake party. I promise!

The one intention that did stick in my mind was to be generous. I think this partly has to do with Gretchen Rubin's book, The Happiness Project. In it she speaks of how being generous can be as simple as paying someone a compliment, or giving them your time or full attention. On a daily basis, I tried to keep this at the forefront of my mind. If I wan't successful in other parts of my love project I hope I was at least successful here.

Of course, I still have a few more days to make some of my resolutions a reality. Maybe I can still sneak in one date with my husband!

Image credit:
Tom Humphrey

february - all about love

I have to say I'm really chuffed by all the comments and inspiration I received from all of you during January. I wasn't sure when I started this series of posts whether or not any of you would be interested in reading about my monthly goals  but it seems I'm not the only one who is interested in a little self improvement! One of my readers suggested I pick up the book The Happiness Project by Gretchen Rubin which I did. Ms. Rubin also undertook a series of monthly goals for one year in a quest to be more happy. I've been inspired by her commitment to the project and by many of her goals. _DSC4932

While I have no plans to emulate her project I do think her goal for February which is to work on relationships and love is a fitting one. I plan to do the same with my own twist. Here's a few things I hope to accomplish:

  • make dates with my husband (at least two)
  • make time for my friends
  • spend a special day with each child on their own
  • give daily proofs of love
  • make an effort to think about what I say before I say it
  • read a good love story ( I need your suggestions here)
  • be generous
  • make a big chocolate cake and invite friends over to eat it!

Since February is already underway I've already started putting a few dates into my calendar and making some move on these goals. It feels good.

Now...any good love story recommendations?

Photo credit: Sian Richards