Wednesday, May 30, 2012

motivated wednesday

All day yesterday, I was thinking that it was a Monday instead of a Tuesday, since I had Memorial Day off from work. Isn't that the best surprise ever? When you realize (over & over again throughout the day) that you're one day closer to another weekend than you realized. 
I'm done training my eight week new hire class, and another eight week one starts this coming Monday, the 4th. So I'm trying to really enjoy this week of having a normal work schedule and not too many obligations at work - so far, so good. It helps that I had a fantastic weekend. It was filled with a little niece and a little nephew, basketball games, pulled pork sandwiches with friends I haven't seen in too long, and patio time. It didn't feel like 3 days, but that's ok. I'll take it.
I had a lot of fun putting together this Motivated Wednesday post...hope you enjoy it too!

starting a garden is #9 on my 30before30 list, but i don't want to start one in my current house since we're moving in a little over a year. so this DIY hanging basket garden seems like an easy, logical way to get some practice in before we're in our "forever home"...and it would count as a craft project, since becoming crafty is #17 on my list! it's a twofer.
also, a handy "tutoring session" on gardening, seen here.

i love this cute compilation of "travel essentials" if i needed more motivation to cross off #1 (visit santorini, greece), #15 (visit barcelona and madrid, spain) & #19 (visit maui again).

on my quickie summer to-do list, i said that i'd take more photos this summer. this is mostly so that i make sure that i accomplish #12: master taking photos the way i picture them in my brain. this is a really hard task, but shops like this encourage me to keep trying. i've been reading her blog for a couple of years now and love looking through her work. some examples:

this isn't really aimed at any of my 30befo30 goals (except maybe hosting sunday night suppers?), but i'd like to make some flavored waters to have around the house when we have guests. since our backyard has been done (and finally has, you know, grass! and places to sit!), we've had a lot more guests over and it's been a blast. i want to keep enjoying our backyard this summer, so here are a few random motivators/ideas:

backyard s'mores

i mean, i could definitely handle adding this swing chair to our current or future backyard
aaaand i would definitely not kick this chair out of bed either. oh, it's $500 you say? for a simple hanging chair? i'll just stare from afar.

and lastly, for me.

i'll be back on friday!
(see my full 30before30 list here)

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

guest post: pacific northwest inspirations

Hello! I'm Joanna, a writer for Arcadian Lighting, a terrific source for lighting fixtures of all styles. I love to write guest posts like this one to share interior design ideas and images on blogs such as 30 Before 30. My topic today is Pacific Northwest inspirations. This style would be perfect in a lodge-style home or a cabin deep in the woods. Hope you enjoy! The heart of Pacific Northwest style lies in a love of nature, which is a common element in spaces from lodges to urban lofts. Many of these homes feature diverse influences from Asian styles to early Modernism. Below are a few homes that embrace the Pacific Northwest style.
Pacific Northwest Decor
A gleaming honey-toned wood covers the walls and ceiling of a Zen bedroom. Of special note, are the logs used as beams at the ceiling. A sitting area provides a cozy space for conversation or reading.
Pacific Northwest Decor
An open plan space includes kitchen, dining, and living room. The ceiling treatment, which mimics the shape of a tipi, is phenomenal. The differing woods used add interest to the space. Strategically placed light fixtures add warmth.
Pacific Northwest Decor
Wood ceilings soar high above the spaces in another open plan living area. The pale blue gray color palette is soothing and calm.
Pacific Northwest Decor
A natural stone fireplace acts as a focal point in this rustic living room. Neutral furnishings add another natural element to the space.
Pacific Northwest Decor
An impressive example of early Modernism, this open floor plan features sweeping ceilings and an interesting circular architectural feature on the far wall. Track lights run the length of the space.
Pacific Northwest Decor
An ample use of windows brings nature indoors in this warm and cozy living space surrounded in wood.
Pacific Northwest Decor
A light filled bathroom features a Victorian soaking tub and painted wood on the walls and doors for extra brightness.
Pacific Northwest Decor
Another Pacific Northwest d√ącor with modern influences features an oversized sectional, light fixture and nature based artwork.†Images†1†|†2†|†3†|†4†|†5†|†6†| 7 | 8 Feeling inspired by this collection of Pacific Northwest interiors? Stop by Arcadian Lighting for more lighting ideas and affordable track lights, ceiling lights, and pendant lights!

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

motivated wednesday

Hey, guess who went to a 6am bikram class this morning? Yeah, that's right...this girl. I looked and acted like a monster this morning when I woke up at 5:20, but dammit, I made it to class and it was even better than the first class on Sunday. My breathing was a little more steady and I didn't even consider leaving the room once! That's progress, my friends. I downed some coconut water immediately after leaving the class - I think I chugged the whole container without taking a single breath. But still...progress.

Anyway, on to the real reason for this post: motivation! 

motivating me to accomplish goal #14: start a sunday night supper tradition
how awesome are these banana pops? they may be aimed at children, but i know i would personally love to make these at a casual dinner party.

these are made up of 4 things that i cannot live without, and could easily eat every day. cheese, tomatoes, olives and cucumbers. perfect.

plus, a whole beautiful blog dedicated to sunday suppers!

motivating me to accomplish goal #17: become crafty
geode bottle stoppers! we have enough wine/liquor in the house to warrant making some cute bottle stoppers. whether that's good or bad, i don't know. but i'm making these regardless.

motivating me to accomplish goal #22: sleep in a tree house
this place looks incredible!

motivating me to accomplish goal #1: visit santorini, greece with husband
i can't get over how amazingly beautiful this home is in greece. click the source for more pictures, of course.

Also, there's no photos for these two motivators, but I am:
 42 days away from the Bahamas &
 199 days away from my first half marathon

So with that being said:

Monday, May 21, 2012

bikram yoga + quick summer to-do list

Remember I mentioned buying that Groupon for ten 90-minute Bikram yoga classes?
Well, I went to my first class yesterday afternoon. Let me tell ya, there's no better way to spend a Sunday afternoon than sweating through every piece of clothing that you're wearing, and feeling extremely inferior because you're positioned behind a 110 lb yogi girl made of pure muscle. But seriously, there's not.
I really and truly did feel like I would pass out within 20 minutes of being in there. And if I wasn't as proud and hard-headed as I am, or if I was in there one-on-one with the instructor, I would've stepped out of the room to regain my consciousness and, you know, be able to breathe real air. But, alas...I could not bear the though of these people thinking, "oh, the newb. I knew she wouldn't be able to make it" (the instructor happily told the entire class that I was the only newcomer to Bikram. Thanks.)
Did I mention that the class was 90 minutes? Oh, I did? Well, that's a hell of a long time. I was sitting very close to the thermostat, and because I'm somewhat masochistic, I kept looking at it to see if it would ever get down to a temperature that didn't make me want to throw up. But no, it stayed at an even 105-108 the entire time.
This sounds like a lot of complaining and exaggeration, but it's not. As soon as the class was over, I felt really, really great, accomplished, stretched, and strong. I can't wait to get to another class (which I think will be this Wednesday), and hopefully this will help me cross off a goal: start a regular yoga practice.

In other news, I made a quickie summer to-do list:
Things I'm going to accomplish this summer:
(I count Summer as now through the beginning of September!)

1. Read 4 more books
2. Get through all 10 of my Bikram yoga classes (although ideally, I'd like to accomplish this before I go to the Bahamas on July 5)
3. Complete at least 2 more craft projects
4. Host a Sunday night supper in June or July
5. Take photos using something other than my iPhone

What's on your quickie summer to-do list? 
Fitness goals? Family goals? Work goals? Travel goals?

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

motivated wednesday: iPhone edition

I take way too many pictures, I'll happily admit that. So every now and then, I'll go through my photos on my phone and delete the ridiculous ones that I never really do anything with. But as I was doing that this morning, I decided that maybe all of the pictures I have on my phone are an equivalent to a motivated Wednesday post. Because damn, I've had a lot of fun these past few weeks.
I have been completely and utterly burned out (burnt out?) at work. Busier than I've ever been, and just exhausted when I get home. But! I've also had the best weekends ever lately, as mentioned in my last post, and in the past month we've had lots and lots of out of town visitors. So today I'm letting my iPhone create my Motivated Wednesday post, because going through these photos has motivated me to stop complaining about how tired I've been from work lately and reminded me that I've got pretty much the best husband, friends and family ever.
So, here are the last 3 weeks as seen through my iPhone:
(disclaimer: if you are my friend on Instagram, you've seen 90% of these)

This little tiny pup is my godson! His mommas came to visit us in Austin 2 weekends ago and we climbed Mt. Bonnell, had Mexican vanilla milkshakes, and snuggled with Fenway.

This is how I believe everyone should eat their cupcakes, of course.

Heather (pictured) and Dustin were visiting from Maui and we got some patio time in. And of course she was required to drink only Texas beers while here.

Handsome husband also enjoying patio time.

My bff in the forefront, and some of our friends in the background, playing Blongo Ball and enjoying palomas in the backyard.

Even though it's been dreary and rainy for a few days, this is what our tree looked like for weeks! Beautiful, springy and colorful.

Cutie pie husband and I at our friend's Kentucky Derby party.

I can't leave Oliver out of a Motivated Wednesday post.

This is at Frankie's birthday shindig this past Sunday (see his guest post here). He celebrated his birthday at a B.Y.O.B. Mediterranean restaurant with belly dancing! Way to go, Frankie.

And this is what this blog is all about. Growing, so it seemed appropriate! The husband ordered this sign to hang in our backyard and I love it.

This last quote obviously did not come from my iPhone, but I definitely believe it to be true.
Looking through these pictures just reminds me that sometimes I don't have to look anywhere else for motivation.

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

#21: start a regular yoga practice

So as the the title of this post depicts, we're going to discuss goal #21 on my list: start a regular yoga practice. Back in January I started attending yoga classes twice a week for an hour and a half and I was feeling really great, and really getting in the yoga mindset. But with my schedule adjusting to fit my training classes at work, I could no longer go. And I've been feeling really bummed about it because even though I claimed it was "easy" every time I was done with yoga, I was actually seeing results in my body. I've mentioned before that I've seen results with my running lately too, but they're different results.
So, Groupon has come to the rescue. In my inbox this morning, I had a nice little surprise for me...
$30 for 5 Bikram Yoga sessions. 
Now, I said I would never do Bikram yoga. Why? 
So clearly, I lied to myself when I said I would never do Bikram Yoga, since I just bought that Groupon. It's true that I might pass out and/or throw up while doing said yoga, but...I couldn't turn it down. One of the yoga studios that's offering the deal is literally 8 miles down the road from me, so it would be staring me in the face every time I passed by it if I didn't decide to go for it.

Another reason I decided to just buy the deal before really thinking about it is what went in to my body this past weekend. Don't get me wrong, I can honestly say this was the most fun I've had in a long, long time. We had visitors from Maui (who attended our wedding there!) and my best friend of 18 years came in town from Dallas (see her guest post here). So the weekend included eating grilled octopus and mac n cheese at one of my all-time favorite restaurants, loads of appetizers like taco cupcakes (yes, taco cupcakes), black bean salads and queso for a party at our house, a lonestar keg, palomas to drink, and not a single ounce of exercise! 
And I just sent the husband a countdown text to the Bahamas: 50 days.
So, see what I mean? After the weekend we had, I couldn't turn down an opportunity to try the sweatiest form of yoga 50 days before I leave for a trip where all I'll be wearing is a bathing suit. 

If any of you Austinites are interested in joining me on this ridiculously sweaty and uncomfortable adventure, here's the link to the Groupon.

Have any of you done Bikram yoga before? Am I totally going to regret it? 
Be honest.

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

the end of another hiatus

Ok so, HI! I realize it's been a long, long time since my last post and it's only because I've been ridiculously busy. But now I've got an hour to dedicate to this, so I have no excuse.
Here's my very belated Motivated (Monday? Wednesday?) post.

motivating me to accomplish #14: start a sunday night supper tradition-
these popsicles are so cute and would be awesome for a summertime supper.


motivating me to accomplish #10 on my list: start a camping tradition-
i would certainly not mind camping in this. does this count as camping?? it's my tradition so i guess i can make it count.

motivating me to accomplish #12: decorate our forever home to reflect both my husband and i perfectly
i love this space...a lot. there's so much natural light coming through and i'm a sucker for anything chevron print.

motivating me to accomplish #25: start taking a monthly photo of my children for at least 10 years, and #12: master taking photos the way i picture them in my brain.

this is motivating me to accomplish #6: give birth.
i shouldn't say motivataing me really, we're definitely ok to wait, god this is right up my alley.

motivating me to accomplish #17: become crafty
isn't this leather headband so cute??

I keep trying to find motivating pictures to help me accomplish #4: own an original art piece.
but that's been damn hard! art is something that's really, really difficult to buy, in my opinion. it's really expensive (if it's an original) and most of the stuff i've seen out there is photography. i'm not really interested in buying an original photograph, i'm a lot more interested in buying a painting of some sort.
do any of you know of an artist whose work you love and would love to own?

(see full 30before30 list here)

Monday, May 7, 2012

a promise

I promise that I will have a post ready on Wednesday! I know I've been a major slacker and I will totally blame it on the fact that things have been insanely busy at work. But if you hold on for 2 more days, you will see a post here!