#Last90Days Ending the Year on a High Note

Have you heard of Rachel Hollis? Or, maybe, Have you heard the book title “Girl, Wash  your Face” ? Rachel is a lifestyle blogger, motivational speaker, coach, and author that I only recently stumbled upon. You can get a better grasp of what her empire is by clicking here and visiting her site. Why do I bring this up? Rachel is running a challenge for the last 90 days of the calendar year to inspire and motivate individuals to kick-off their goals NOW. There’s no need to wait until the new year, anytime is a great time to keep a commitment to yourself.

I’ve yet to read her book, but I can get on-board with her ideas to end the year strong; so I’m committing to my usual goals, but with more motivation than I can usually muster as we settle into late fall/early winter.

She provides ideas with her 5 to Thrive list that I’m using to loosely plan the next 90 days.

These are mine and  you can see her items below.

  1. Wake-up an hour earlier (or carve out an extra hour of focused time)
  2. Workout for at least 30 min. Walking, Barre3, and circuits will be my focus
  3. Drink half our body weight in ounces of water. Yup, done.
  4. Alternative: Throw in a serving of veggies at each meal. Done.
  5. Start a gratitude journal. 3-5 things each day.

 

Are you IN?

She Says : He Says: Reading

Yesterday I returned from the library with four books in tow, to add to the library book I’m fifty percent through completing on the coffee table. Also, I currently have one book club read sitting on my desk that is 75% complete, but on-hold until we have a club meeting date set.

Please, raise you hand if you are also  reading multiple books. I’d like to confirm that it’s not just me?!

 

Reading

She Says: He Says: How to Dress for a PNW Winter

We’ve just had the first major rain in Seattle. It’s reminded me that I need to start replacing my flip-flops for real shoes and cardigans for raincoats. It also reminded me of the infographic we started creating last year on the differences of the perpetually cold person dressing for winter and someone that runs on a much warmer body temperature.

PNW Winter

 

How do you dress for the colder months of the year?

Scenes from the Weekend: Sunriver, Oregon

We spent the final week of August in Eastern Oregon. It was full of biking, hiking, and soaking up vitamin C. IMG_4148-EFFECTS

 

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This was part of our 18 mile biking day – Benham Falls.

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Group hike/walk around the Lava Lands park with Lava Butte in the background.

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Brian and I looking for our the log where we take our annual photo….

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Group mini golf outing!

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Trying allllllll the beers at Sunriver Brewing Co.

 

And now, back to reality. It’s September, summer is winding down, but i’m not quite ready to hang-up my paddle board for the season.

 

 

Personal Development and Business Books I’m Enjoying Right Now: GRIT

Here’s a fun metric. I’ve increased the total books read (this far) in 2018 by 500%.

Your next question is likely, “How can you increase you’re reading by so such a large percentage?”

Well…It’s easy to do when I’m unable to recall completing a single book that I started in 2017.

BAM

I know I’m not the only guilty person that picks up multiple books and puts them back down without reading the final page.

But, at a certain point in time the internet becomes boring, nothing new is on Netflix, my eyes glaze over upon opening Instagram, and the dust is piled so high on my bookshelf it’s now a hazard to my respiratory system. So, I blew off the first layer of dust and swiffered off the second layer, and finally reopened my books.

If you read my completed books list you’ll notice a theme – all of them are some form of personal development (aside from Gail Honeyman’s novel). Business skills, personal growth, leadership are on my mind now, and it doesn’t seem to be fading anytime soon.

Book Review:

I most recently finished Grit by Angela Duckworth (here the link to her TED talk.) She’s studying what exactly is grit, how some have grit, what does it take to grow grit, and how can we measure our personal grit.Image result for grit duckworth

When asked if hard work or talent is more important the average person will respond “hard work” but studies show that deep down we still believe it’s talent. When the going gets tough it’s easy to say, “I’m just not any good at (insert activity here)” and halt any further progress. Angela studied Olympian athletes, National Spelling Bee champions, and NFL teams (Seattle Seahawks) and found that, yes, some of them were naturals, but many had to learn grit along the way. Talent will only take you halfway across the finish line, it’s the deliberate practice that pushes the person to the finish.

You can have talent and effort that grows the skill. But! Talent x Effort X Effort = Achievement. The deliberate practice has a more impactful outcome than pure skill/talent.

One way to stay motivated to improve your goals is incremental goals that build upon each other to meet your long-term goal. DING DING  DING.
Commonsense, but how many of us aren’t working toward a single goal? You go to work, come home, occasionally enjoy a night with friends, rinse and repeat. It’s easy to roll through life on autopilot, complacent, when you’re not growing. Those goals become little magnets that help pull you through these ruts.

The other personal takeaway from Grit is choosing your Choosing Your Hard Thing. Grit is grown when you pick one personal “hard thing” and continue to pursue and grow a skill. It is one thing that is difficult that you must work on daily to improve. You can quit the hard thing, but not until the season, semester, membership, etc is over. It’s a nice reminder to try new things, fail at them, maybe a few times through the season, but see it through until the end. A small way to flex your grit muscle.

All in all, the book is a compelling and quick read. It provides what I see as tips you can use to improve your performance at work or skill at home. It shows us why we see some succeed and others stagnate.

What is your “hard thing” that your currently working on?

or

What would you like your “hard thing” to be?

 

In case you’re curious……

Completed Books:

  1. Man’s Search for Meaning – Viktor Frankl
  2. Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine : A Novel – Gail Honeyman
  3. Grit: The Power of Passion and Perseverance – Angela Duckworth
  4. High Performance Habits – Brendon Burchard
  5. The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck

In – Progress Books:

  1. Smarter Faster Better
  2. How We Learn

Virtual Coffee Date [4]

If we were having coffee…

I’d tell you that  I’ve recently started drinking many more homemade Matcha Lattes.
I’ve followed the blogger trend and will blend my matcha to achieve optimal foam. One part water, one part oat milk, a dash of sweetener, and one teaspoon matcha powder. Blend it up for 30 seconds and pour into mug. It really does make the best foamy at-home matcha.

Allergies in Seattle this year are insane. I once swore I did not suffer from seasonal allergies, but there’s no escaping the pollen, grass, tree, and EVERYTHING that is floating in the breeze.  I’m not feeling so “Claritin Clear” this year.

Jumpsuits. I’m really digging the return of the jumpsuits for similar reasons that I adore wearing dresses; you don’t have to take time to match an outfit and you appear as though you spent great time putting yourself together. Do I look like Audrey?

 

Jumpsuit

 

We just returned from a wedding in Davis, CA. A long weekend with all of my favorite people from college under one roof was a treat. Five years later and we’ve all changed, but have largely stayed the same.

 

I’d tell you that Mamma Mia 2: Here We Go Again is a much higher quality movie than Mamma Mia 1. This movie is most enjoyed in theaters while wearing a jumpsuit to really immerse yourself in the era. We sang and danced and had a really, really, really, good time (name that song!)

 

Cheers!

 

Iceland in Three Days

How to plan a trip to Iceland – Our Way:

  1. “Can you get time off work for a long weekend to Iceland?”
  2. “Well…only three days…sure, let’s go!”
  3. Book tickets
  4. GO

And that’s how we took an extended weekend to the Nordic Island where, in the summer, the sun never sets.

Four friends, one digital guidebook, a rental car, and a hunger for adventure we set out on three packed days our touring.

Our itinerary went something like this:

Day 1: Reykjavik

  • Take a 3 hour nap to off-set the zero sleep
  • Walk around Reykjavik downtown and pop into any museums we find of interest
  • Drink espresso, eat lamb hotdogs, try local beer, and hit the hay early to prepare for our driving tour

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Day 2: The Golden Circle

  • Drive the scenic route, through the “mountains” (foothills compared to the PNW)
  • Stop at Gullfoss, Thingvellir National Park, Geysir Geothermal Area,  Secret Lagoon
  • Stay out until 4am at the bar singing-a-long to American songs

 

 

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Day 3: South Coast

  • Wake-up at 1pm and begin our day
  •  More Waterfalls: Seljalandsfoss and Gljúfrabúi, Skogafoss
  • An Iceberg you can walk on and around
  • Vik’s Black Sand Beach
  • Drive until we are too tired to do anymore and then head home. Arrive home at 12:30AM (and it’s still bright as day outside)

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Day 4: Blue Lagoon and Fly Home

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Highly recommend. Would travel to Iceland again. 14/10

Zagreb,Croatia and Plitvike Lakes [3]

We left off the last Croatia post as we boarded the plane from Munich to return to Croatia, this time landing in Zagreb. Zagreb is the polar opposite of Dubrovnik, it’s a fast paced metropolis that slows down in the evening only to continue business meetings over dinner and drinks. I enjoyed the hustle of the scene, but was ready to head back to the slow old city feel of Dubrovnik.

We stopped over in Zagreb for two nights and after four nights sharing a room with four strangers in a hostel we decided to splurge for a 4 star hotel. Chocolates on our pillows and beer in the fridge was the ultimate warm welcome.

We walked around and enjoyed the city views, breakfast off the square with the freshest eggs I’ve ever tasted, and many prosciutto platters.IMG_20171013_080300-PANO.jpg

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We rested up and after two days rest began our drive out to the Plitvike Lakes National Park. After taking an electric boat off the main entrance visitors choose to take one of five routes. We opted for a shorter hike, approximately 5 miles due to starting later in the day and still having a long drive to go. You can expect to see dozens of waterfalls, birds, and beautiful lakes that are essentially untouched.

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This hike was the highlight of my trip. If we’d known to plan for more time around the park we would easily have spent an entire day and gone for a longer hike. If you visit Croatia, this national park should be a must see on your list.

Where’s The Food Club {WTF} Fried Chicken Sunday: A Restaurant Review

We kicked off  WTF 2018 with some good ol’ southern style fried chicken. We have a few folks with hometown roots in Kentucky and Texas and they take their fried chicken seriously. “Ain’t nothing better than a good ol’ piece of fried chicken to warm the soul in the middle of Winter,” said our native Kentuckian.

A new restaurant, JuneBaby, opened in Ravenna, a neighborhood just north of the University of Washington campus. JuneBaby boasts of a nightly dinner special paired with a quality southern side. Chicken fried steak, roasted turkey leg, brisket, and mac and cheese are just a few of the authentic daily main specials. Our table made reservations specifically to indulge in the Sunday night fried chicken. We ordered a few appetizers to tame our appetites while we awaited the main course.

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Crispy Fried Pig Ears 

If you’ve been itching for a taste of frog legs or crispy pig ears, have no fear- JuneBaby’s crew can fry a mean pig ear. Having never tried pig ear before, I was impressed that frying something makes everything taste great. If pig ears aren’t the appetizer you’re looking for, the charred okra should suit you just fine.  The okra is dressed in a smoked chili vinaigrette with peanuts and is a lighter appetizer to start your evening.

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Sunday Night Fried Chicken

Our table  exclusively ordered the fried chicken this Sunday evening, as word on the street is they run out by 6pm,so it must be something special. Half a chicken each, a buttermilk biscuit, and diced yams appeared 20 minutes later and we were not disappointed.  Those with lighter appetites were able to bring home some chicken, but easily gobbled down their biscuit and yams. The biscuit was drizzled with cane syrup and was lighter and fluffier than your best homemade biscuit. The diced yams, equally  great as the biscuit, were mixed with diced pineapple and tossed in a light honey habanero sauce. The sides balanced the salty fried chicken perfectly and left everyone content and satisfied with their JuneBaby dining experience.

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JuneBaby is open 5 days a week for dinner and lunch on weekends, closed Monday and Tuesday. Reservations are available for parties greater than 10 guests.

WTF Club gives JuneBaby 12/10 for Sunday Night Fried Chicken, cocktails, and an overall terrific dining experience.

 

 

Basic Coding is to 2018 as Basic Typing is to 1997 [and other ‘Friday Thoughts’]

It’s another Friday and we’re two weeks into February, six weeks into the new year, only 319 days until Christmas (better start shopping now).

First, a few housekeeping items, how are your goal sheets coming along? They aren’t? Well, feel free to download your copy of “Champion Your Life” the bullet journal gone digital here. I’ve knocked one item off my list and see being able to check one more off this weekend.

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Second, have you checked out the “He Says, She Says” section?

If not, take a peek at some of our comical takes on life ranging from commuting, reading, and computer usage. This series is still up and coming, but we’d love your feedback!

Now, onto High-Five Friday Favorites/Thoughts:

    1. After numerous conversations with friends in varying career paths (psychology, marketing, teaching, and tech), we’ve decided that going forward basic coding will be an essential skill in life. Knowing any HTML, CSS, or Python, might be useful in the future. Kids are already taking programming classes in 3rd grade, many millennials may need to up their skill set to stay current in the near future.  What are your thoughts on this?
    2. Boats that are actual hot tubs AKA hot tubs boats are amazing. Everyone should give it a try, AKA something new I tried last Sunday.
    3.  Housing is so expensive to rent or buy in Seattle, I’m going to be poor the rest of my life. #shouldHaveBeenAnEngineer #iWishIwasBetteratMath #maybeI’llFranchiseHotTubBoats? 
    4. Old Friends are Gold. Even across time zones. I’m grateful for having friends near and far.
    5. We had a Girls Night Out and watched the latest 50 Shades of Grey. I’d never seen any of the others, so my expectations were LOW. This movie turned out to be a little funny and have some action. I was pleasantly surprised, I’d give it 1 out of 5 stars.

 

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What’s one highlight for you this week?

Are you teaching yourself to code?