Thursday, December 31, 2009

2010 Goals

For me 2009 could be summed up in one word: survival. Now it's time to thrive! So I've been defining my goals for 2010. Here's what I'll be working on:

1) Get a healthy gut
  • stick to 1500-1600 calories a day
  • limit flour, sugar and alcohol consumption
  • shoot for 25 grams of fiber a day
  • take supplements as recommended by naturopath
  • drink 8 glasses of water a day
  • meditate on affirmations for 5 minutes a day

2) Run a 5k in under 30 minutes
  • quit smoking
  • jog 3 - 4 days a week following beginning and intermediate training plans
  • do yoga 2 - 3 times a week

3) Find freelance work to increase income
  • finalize resume
  • finalize online presence
  • finalize budget
  • attend 1 networking event a week (cocktail hour, class, one-on-one lunch)

4) Start dating a totally awesome man (*this is a would be nice to have)
  • pay for profile and make it awesome
  • talk to one hot guy a week

Image courtesy of Billy Alexander.

Thursday, October 22, 2009


The truth is that I've been pretty stressed and bitter lately. (By lately I mean for the last year.)

I'm embarrassed to admit that I often take it out on my best friend and it's really yucky. (Sorry J.)

Despite my crankiness, he still seems to want to hang out with me and we've been talking a lot about letting stuff go and what that means. I really didn't get it, but I think after today I it's starting to make since.

When I started handselling for Insatiable I knew there would be a learning curve, but I never expected the lesson I got today. My handselling career has been a bit of a roller coaster with days of really strong sales and days of little to no sales. Tonight while I was selling I started thinking about what makes the difference between the good days and the bad ones and a trend started to emerge.

Now that we're expected to make sales numbers I often get stressed out when it doesn't look like I'm going to make it and it occured to me that when I start to stress my sales go down. Additionally, I realized that when I am relaxed and approach the sale session with curiousity I tend to do better. So I tried it tonight. I relaxed and had fun with it and sold 7 bottles.

I just started doing yoga again in the mornings a few days a week before work and after tonight I think I finally get what they mean when they say take your yoga with you. In yoga you have to relax and breath to properly move into the poses. If you tense up it makes it harder to practice.

The trick is remembering to continue to apply this so I can stop stressing and lashing out at my friends and coworkers.

Image courteousy of Tenzin Senge

Saturday, October 10, 2009

House Wine = Fine

I've been hearing a lot about House Wine red blend from Magnificent Wine out of Washington and at Safeway it's on sale for $9.98. I love the label! But I was honestly, not a huge fan of the wine. It smelled nice like red raspberries and tasted a little like sour cherries. I found it to have a smooth, flat finish.

However, their wines have been well received by Wine Spectator, so I'm curious to find out what you think. Have you tried it?

Sunday, September 27, 2009

The Firefighter

I talked to the firefighter for the first time in almost a month. It was nice, and awkward and annoying. I thought I was totally over that guy, but it apparently I'm not exactly. Darn it! The good news is that I was the one to end the call for the first time in the history of our conversations.

Friday, May 29, 2009

Buy Yourself Lilies

I only remember three occasions when I have really appreciated it when a man bought me flowers:

1) When my friend Matt spontaneously purchase a long stemmed rose from a flower stand in the farmers market in Stockholm and gave it to me because I'd never seen such a thing before.
2) When my dad bought me flowers as a "congrats on your new office" present.
3) When my ex-husband bought me a dozen red roses for my college graduation gift.

But, it didn't occur to me until recently that I could buy myself flowers.

I started out by just buying whatever was on sale, but tonight when I was at the grocery store, the smell of the lilies (my favorite flower) was so inviting that I had to see how much they were. I splurged and bought a bunch for $3.99. It was the best decision I made all day. They're gorgeous to look at and I keep getting wafts of fragrance from the kitchen. I love it!

Image courtesy of Dan Shirley.

Tuesday, May 05, 2009

Tagged. You're it!

What's your current obsession?
Keeping up with my RSS feed, tweets and Facebook friends.

What keeps you going when days are hard?
Chocolate, Mr. T. and my mom.

What are you wearing today?
I just realized that my sweater matches my cell phone exactly!

Why is today special?
I get to see my friend Serina and my mom is coming to visit in two days.

What would you like to learn to do?

What's for dinner today?
Chips and salsa. It’s Cinco de Mayo!

What's the last thing you bought?

What's your favorite weather?
Sunny between 70 and 80 degrees.

What's your most challenging goal right now? To develop a more sunny disposition.

What do you think about the person who tagged you?
I think she’s fantastic! I learn something new about her every time I interact with her and I really need to make a trip to visit her later this month because I’ve flaked out on her a couple of times recently!

If you could have a house totally paid for, fully furnished anywhere in the world, where would you like it to be?
On a beautiful beach in a charming village with great hiking trails, wonderful people, fabulous shops and delicious cafes.

Favorite vacation spot?
Laguna beach – technically I’ve only been there for work, but it always feels like I would be really well recuperated if I went there for vacation.

What would you like to have in your hands right now?
Mr. T. I just can’t get enough of that little rascal.

What would you like to get rid of?
The cloud of my divorce and the weight I’ve gained over the last few months.

If you could go anywhere in the world for the next hour, where would you go?
It’s a tough decision I’d either go to Spain to visit my friend Anna or Salt Lake to visit my friend Adara and her new baby or Durango to visit my friend Paige or Florida to visit my friend Erinn.

What's your favorite thing about the city you live in?
The library.

If you had $150 now what would you spend it on?
My mom’s birthday!

If and when you buy a magazine at the airport, what do you buy?
I typically only travel for work now so I often feel inspired to buy business magazines like Fast Company or Inc. But sometimes I can’t help myself and I buy Psychology Today or O!Describe your personal style. Feels frumpy these days.

Who's art show would you want tickets to?
Oh my! I’m so out of the art world I’m embarrassed.

What are three live shows that you have seen?
Michael W. Smith, Tom Petty, TV on the Radio.

RULE 1 Respond and rework. Answer the questions; replace one question you dislike with a question of your own invention. (Oops! I didn’t read this rule until I was done and I couldn’t think of anything to change.)

RULE 2 Tag 7 other people you would love to learn more about. (This is easier to do on Facebook.) Here are two:

Bubble Essence

Friday, May 01, 2009

Divorce Worth Celebrating?

I can't believe it's been a year since I told G that I wanted a divorce. Now the divorce is finally official and we only have a couple financial things to wrap up (the condo and his car) and we will no longer be connected.

Tomorrow my friend K and his wife are hosting a divorce party for me at their house. We've been saving and planning for this party for months with a paper cup on my desk that served as the Divorce Party Fund sponsored by my friend J. The cup was there collecting loose change from various office mates for so long we made $28.

The party promises to be a riot with various friends and coworkers and strangers showing up, imbibing in alcohol, roasting wieners, making smores, playing croquet, splashing in the hot tub and shredding it on Rock Band, but I'm honestly having a hard time feeling festive.

I vacillate between wondering if my biggest mistake was getting married or getting divorced. Am I really better off? Were we really that badly matched?

When I asked for divorce, I was so angry and scared, I could only see G as the enemy and his actions for the following few months only solidified that opinion in my mind. It's only been in the last couple weeks that I've been able to remember the good times like the time he covered the dinning room table in chocolate for Easter because I told him how it used to be a special holiday for me as a kid. When I think of how he used to help me wake up in the mornings and make me tea sometimes before work I'm so sorry I didn't try harder. Sorry that I got angry instead of compassionate. Sorry, that I let my insecurities and fear cloud my love. And I wish I could take it back.

But then I remember that he left me at a shopping mall with no forewarning, no transportation and no guarantee that he was coming back. I remember that he held me to the floor when I came home late from work after going out with friends for some cocktails. I remember how I used to ask him to stop the car so I could get something to eat or go to the bathroom and he would just keep driving like he didn't hear me and I wonder how I got myself in that situation to begin with.

As I'm writing this post, tears are streaming down my cheeks and I get a text message from the ex saying that someone is showing the condo tomorrow. In a moment of weakness, I text him back to say thanks for letting me know and that I'm so sorry it ended up this way.

He responds "Why do you keep saying that?"

My reply: "I didn't realize I was repeating it. I guess I just wish we could have ended on better terms without all the anger and fear." I'll probably regret this later, I'm thinking as I write this. I don't know how, but he'll probably use this against me.

His response: "It natural in the end. I just wanted it over once it was started. Your a good person we were just a bad fit in the end. I wish you all the..." Stupid phone didn't send the rest of the message. I imagine it's supposed to say something like ""

I wonder how he can say that when he doesn't have a job and our house is about to go into foreclosure. This is definitely, not the same guy I married. His girlfriend has definitely done some good work on him or maybe it was God since it appears from his profile that he goes to church now. (Yes, I cyber-spy sometimes.)

Should I reply? Can I say the same? Do I wish him all the best? Do I really think we were just a bad fit? Is it appropriate to just say thanks? If I don't say anything is that bad juju?

I settle on "Thanks. Better luck in the future 2 u 2." This is because I really do mean the thanks part and that I want him to have better luck farther in the future, but not yet and definitely not better luck than me. Truthfully, I still kinda want him to suffer for a little while, but not forever. I feel awful for thinking that and hope it doesn't jinx me in some way.

He replies with "Thx. I'll sure I be ok." This raises my hackles for some reason and I realize that he's never apologized. I furiously start typing a response and then sigh and lay down my phone. I don't want to fight.

I'm pretty sure I'll be OK too.

Wednesday, April 08, 2009


I've always been a sucker for love stories, so tonight when I happened across the new show on ABC Cupid I kinda fell in love.

Sunday, March 29, 2009

I Am Because We Are -- A Documentary By Madonna

If you've read this blog before, it may be no secret to you that I am prone to pity myself. Hopefully, it is equally evident that I am frequently reminded of all I have to be thankful for, that I am, like all of us, responsible for my actions and live with the consequences of them -- both good and bad.

I was recently reminded of these wonderful truths by a film written and produced by Madonna about the struggles of Malawi, Africa and called I Am Because We Are. If you don't have time to watch the whole show, please take time to watch the last 30 minutes -- it is the most hopeful. You can also visit the website to learn more about the film or how to help.

Image thanks to Silvia Cosimini.

Monday, March 23, 2009


It's hard to believe it's been over a month since I signed the lease on my new apartment. It's been a crazy month of going back and forth between my old house and new, with a trip to California for work in the middle, but things are starting to slow down and I'm finally starting to feel at home. Not just in my new place, but it feels like it's spreading to my psyche too.

I come from a background where being busy was highly valued, but thankfully my most recent roommate helped me break through this mentality. Now, I find myself moving toward a balance.

I feel so blessed to have a home and furniture and food and a job to continue to support this lifestyle at this time. I know that this could all change at any time and that's scary, but I'm so thankful for this experience because it's helping me refocus.

I now know that there are people who are really struggling to feed themselves and their families. My heart goes out to these people and I look forward to the days when I have more money to help them. In the meantime, I'm looking for ways to give what I can. (Check out Secret Millionaire and The Life You Can Save for some inspiration.)

According to the Oregon Food Bank website a gift of $12 can fund an emergency food box that will feed a family in need for at least three days! What about you? Have you heard of any great ways that people on a tight budget are helping those who are just trying to survive?

Image thanks to Claudia Veja.

Monday, March 09, 2009

Perfect Timing for a New Routine

I used to think I was spontaneous, but this week, by myself at the old roomie's house, I found myself kind of floundering. When, I started looking for something or someone to blame and I realized it's all up to me now. I've spent the last five years going along with someone else's plan and I'm still having a hard time taking control of my own life.

So last night, in honor of Daylight Savings Time, I did a really nerdy thing. I typed up my "ideal" routine for week days and weekends. Then I printed them out and taped them in the back of my journal.

Today was far from perfect, but it really helped to have a plan. I'm thinking about trying to block out my workdays now too. My only concern is that I will become too rigid, too reliant on my routine. While it's good to have structure, I think it is also important to remain flexible.

What's your routine like?

Image courtesy of Asif Akbar.

Wednesday, March 04, 2009

TV or Radio?

I've been "roughing it" in my new apartment for a week and a half without Internet or cable. For the first time in my life I've been listening to the radio outside of my car of my own will and I've been really enjoying it. I'm learning about music and taking advantage of OPB.

As of today, I'm house/dog sitting for my old roomie and his giant TV and Tivo. I've been looking forward to watching TV for a few days now, but I'm finding that I haven't been missing that much--except for Millionaire Matchmaker!

After a night of binging on reality TV and sitcoms, I'm actually kind of missing the radio. My Internet should be hooked up on Saturday! But I don't think I'm going to get cable or by a television for a while. I wonder if I can watch episodes of Millionaire Matchmaker online... er

What about you? Have you ever given up something and then found out you were better off without it?

Image courtesy of Steve Woods.

Thursday, February 26, 2009

Peanut Butter & Sandwich Baggies

I just moved into my own apartment this last weekend (!) and I'm still gathering the essential kitchen items like a can opener or Tupperware.

While I wish I thought to take these things from the condo the last time I was there, I'm learning to improvise until I can purchase them.

Today, I really wanted peanut butter with my celery, but I didn't want to take the whole jar of PB to work, so I stuck a couple tablespoons in a plastic sandwich bag. It definitely helped me transport the substance, but getting it out of the bag is a lot messier than I anticipated.

This is the first time that I've lived totally on my own so I'm sure I'll be learning many more lessons like this in the near future. I look forward to sharing them with you.

What about you? Have any funny first time in a new place or on your own stories?

P.S. I'm also without Internet at my house right now, so I'll be posting when I can on my lunch break until I get that all set up.

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Anger. Is It Ever Productive?

The soon-to-be-ex and I went to H & R Block to get our taxes done by Bob Noel. Bob is a easy-going partially-retired tax preparer who handled the awkwardness of our martial situation graciously. If you're looking for a tax preparer, I'd recommend him.

We managed to remain cordial throughout while working with Bob. G told me all about his family and asked about my birthday plans while Bob entered our info into the system, but then when we left, the real conversation began.

He mentioned that the bank called him about the late payment. I took that opportunity to tell him that I didn't appreciate his decision to stop paying his portion of the mortgage. What I actually said was, "I just want you to know that it really pisses me off." He went on to say that he was going bankrupt, blah, blah, blah -- but I know how much he makes, I saw the balances in his bank account. I don't believe him.

I dropped it because I could see that arguing about it was futile and all I was accomplishing was working myself up. I really thought going off about the unfairness of the financial division would make me feel better, but it didn't.

Any ideas of how I could have handled this situation more effectively?

Photo courtesy of Rene Asmussen.

Monday, January 26, 2009

I Didn't Expect To Have That Conversation!

I just got off the phone with the soon-to-be-ex. We were talking about the latest version of the settlement. We both feel that we're "this" close to finally being done with this part of the process.

"We should be close and might even be able to sign the papers by the end of this week," he said.

"Sweet!" I replied.

"Just keep up that attitude and that should help make this happen even faster!"

Did he just give me a pep-talk to get me through the finalization of the settlement? I didn't see that coming 8 months ago!

Image provided by Keith Syvinski.

Friday, January 23, 2009

Deliberately Off Balance

Last Saturday I went to my first Kripalu yoga class at the Lloyd Athletic Club taught by Barbara Wood.

The focus of the class was on centering. I feel better just writing that word. But the interesting thing was that she encouraged us to deliberately shift our weight slightly off balance temporarily in each pose and then to come back to center and notice how much easier it was to identify.

We may not do this intentionally in life, but we've probably all experienced this concept off the mat. (I know, I often allow external circumstances to throw me off balance.) But each time we stop and take the time to find our center we become more familiar with it and the easier it is to locate.

(Image provided by abcdz2000 via stock.xchng.)

Sunday, January 18, 2009

Delight In the Process

For the first time in years I feel like I'm on the right path with pursing freelancing. I know I have a really long way to go, but that actually kind of excites me. I'm actually looking forward to the process more than the outcome.

Don't get me wrong, I want to get published, make money and establish a good reputation for myself, but even if I don't, I know that I'm doing the "write" thing (sorry, couldn't help it) by pursuing this goal.

Is that how you feel about your current goals? If not, have you ever felt that way about anything?

(Photo provided by Michal Zacharzewski via

Friday, January 16, 2009

Getting Things Done

I took the week off to work on my freelancing career and I've been learning a lot. I kicked the week off by taking a freelancing primer by Laurie Dart at PCC which helped me gain confidence and direction.

The biggest hurdle for me was writing and submitting my first query which I sent to Yoga Journal yesterday -- thanks to the helpful advice of Moira Allen and The Renegade Writer.

I still have a lot to learn and do:
1) Define my online presence (I want to create a website.)
2) Write more queries (My goal is to write a query a week this year.)
3) Gain more readership for my wine blog:

In addition, some of the divorce stuff seems to be coming together:
1) We meet with our Realtor on Wednesday and the condo is now listed on RMLS.
2) I reviewed what I hope is the final settlement proposal and my lawyer should have sent it to the soon-to-be-ex's lawyer.
3) I transferred my portion of the join credit card debt to my own account.
4) I am working on refinancing my car into my own name. (I hope I'm not doing the refi stuff too soon. It has to be done so I just figured it would be better to get it over with.)

Unfortunately, I was not entirely perfect. I did have a bit of a relapse and bought a pack of cigarettes. I don't like it, but I can't seem to get myself to throw them away.

How was your week?

Photo provided by Cris DeRaud.

Sunday, January 04, 2009

No Longer Up in Smoke: Day 4

I decided to quit smoking again.

It's been intense, but I'm doing it! I get anxious and irritated, but I'm learning that smoking didn't solve anything, the intense emotions don't last and I don't have to react.

Naturally, temptation is constantly striking. For example, as I was driving to my friends' house yesterday, each gas station I passed was advertising the brand of cigarettes I used to smoke and the price kept decreasing as I got closer to their house. I managed to laugh at the obvious test of my will and to keep driving.

In addition, to make sure it's a true challenge to quit, one of my worst fears has come to pass over the last few days: the-soon-to-be-ex-husband hasn't been depositing enough money into the joint account to cover his portion of the bills. Fortunately, we have overdraft protection, but it's still scary. I've tried to talk to him about it, but he refuses to acknowledge my questions.

In the past I would panic and fly into an emotionally frenzied state, but this time I'm trying to remain calm and non reactive. I just keep telling myself "This is not the end of the world. I can handle this."

I'm actually kind of thankful that this is all happening because I think it's a fabulous learning experience. You see, the-soon-to-be-ex has always been able to find my weak spots and poke them and I would react in horrible ways. I thought that being rid of him would automatically solve the problem, but now I realize that he was only part of the problem. His behavior was often less than stellar, but my response was deplorable as well. Now I want to learn to manage my thoughts, emotions and actions in a more productive and peaceful manner and this is a prime opportunity to practice.

Plus my hair smells good!

(Picture by Martin Rotovnik.)