Monthly Archives: January 2012


I’ve been keeping pretty quiet lately. We’ve had some major busy-ness happening in our lives right now, so it hasn’t been easy to grab the time for a post. Really, I’ve found it tough to grab the time for anything that’s “extra”. Sometimes that means housework, sometimes it means exercising, sometimes it means getting online.

So instead of chunks of time, I’ve been grabbing little snippets where I can. My typical lunch break usually looks like the scene above. I get my meal warmed up, prop open my book, and have a little bit of quality time all by myself.

What have you been up to? Do you get frustrated by not having big spots of time to do things, or does just having a little time keep you invigorated?


I’m getting things done.

Have you heard of Getting Things Done? I know, it’s a foreign concept to me too — or it was, until I learned about the process called … well, Getting Things Done.  It’s an organization method set out by David Allen, and about three-fourths of the Internet swears by it — or at least, that’s what it seemed like when I first started researching it early in 2011.

Working in my first “career” position, I knew that I had to keep up with everything that was going on. I’m pretty organized anyway, but I wanted to step it up a notch since, you know, I had a salary depending on it. I read the book, got some manila folders, and made some labels. I started feeling organized at work, like I could keep track of everything because it was there in a file. I didn’t have to keep it all in my head anymore. Over the last year (I started in January 2011), I added more folders for more projects, made more labels, and found out how well this system really works.

One day when I was home sick from work, I was able to direct my staff to the folder that contained some important things needed that day. I knew right where it was, even in my feverish state. When I have meetings scheduled, I can grab the folder for the meeting and be confident that everything I need is inside.

I may not follow the system exactly to a T, but that’s what’s beautiful about it. Take the things that speak to you and implement them. If you want to take it further, go for it. If you just need a little bit of streamlining, that’s great too.

After a year of having this system work for me at work, I’ve decided it’s high time to implement it at home. Sure, I don’t necessarily need meeting notes at home, but the system can help organize bills and other paperwork, something that is sorely lacking here. I’m not sure what my labels will all include, but I’m sure I can find some inspiration out there among the masses.

Are you a GTD-er? Do you secretly dream of crisp manila folders and clean printed labels? (Or not so secretly, like me …)

I’ve added to Etsy.

I’ve added a few new things to my Etsy. There are now two magnet sets featuring vintage illustrations of Florence, Italy … a couple of necklacesa few pairs of earrings … Still not a ton of things, but I’m adding items slowly and surely.

I think these are my favorite earrings in the shop:

They were inspired by Tibetan prayer flags, and each color represents a different element. These are up for grabs, but I really need to make a pair for myself. I love the idea of spreading good wishes wherever I go.

Chore wars!

Do you ever need to get motivated to do cleaning around the house? What about your other family members? And is one of those family members an avid gamer?

If you answered YES to any of those questions, Chore Wars might be for you! Chore Wars is a site that allows you to create a character and then complete “adventures” — actually real-life housekeeping tasks. So when you, say, make the bed, just log on and claim that adventure. You gain experience points, and you may get special (virtual) items on your quest.

When I first saw this site, I thought it was hilarious. Then I realized it might be just the thing to appeal to my Dungeons & Dragons-playing husband. We both tend to fall into the bad habit of noticing what HASN’T been done around the house, instead of noticing all of the things that actually have been done. That leads to frustration for both of us. This website, while it seems a little silly, is a great way to mark down what you HAVE done around the house and gives you a sense of accomplishment when you have to fight off a zombie, like I did the other day while I was paying bills. Don’t worry, I won.

What do you do to keep things fair around the house?

Welcome to 2012!

I didn’t do much to ring in the new year – in fact, I was in bed around 10:30 on December 31, so I wasn’t doing much ringing of anything at midnight.

But that doesn’t mean that I’m not excited about 2012. I am so looking forward to this year, and I think it will bring with it many new and fantastic things. I’m not sure what all those might be yet, but whatever they are, I think they will be great.

I am not a big one for making resolutions, but I do have a couple of goals for the year. I usually set a goal to read a particular number of books during the year, but I think I’m going to change it up. Instead, it is my goal to read at least one nonfiction book each month. I usually get caught up in reading fiction and forget about some of the great nonfiction that’s out there, and I think this will be a great way to continue learning — after all, I was a student for so long, I don’t think I can just shut that off.

I also decided to try another Project 365 (actually … 366! It’s leap year!) in 2012. I successfully completed taking a photo every day in 2010, then I took a break in 2011. Now armed with my (still kinda) new camera, I want to get back into taking great shots. And because I always have to one-up myself, I am going to get prints of each 365 shot and put them in a big album so that I have a keepsake of the year. In 2010, I really didn’t do much of anything with the pictures, but I really like having something tangible to show for taking on something so huge. I think a nice thick photo album will do the trick. I also plan to write little notes to slip into different spots in the album, just explaining what’s going on in some of the shots and what I was thinking at that time of the year. I think that will be a fun supplement to the photos themselves. In 2010, I did get all of the photos taken but I didn’t get them all uploaded to Flickr, so I really hope that I keep up with that this year.

I also hope to keep up better with my Etsy shop. Even if I’m not necessarily making new things constantly, I want to keep the shop full so that there is always something to see. It would be great to bring in just a little extra cash — that would let me buy more supplies and keep doing what I love doing in my spare time. I’m hoping to fill up the shop this afternoon.

I’m sure I will come up with a few more goals for the year, but for right now I think the ones I’ve listed are plenty to keep me busy right now!

Do you make resolutions or have goals for 2012? Let me know! I love hearing what other folks have planned. And … does anyone have a good source for 500-photo capacity albums?