Mental Post-Its

Thoughts, Notes and General Mental Mayhem


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Finding Peace in Losing Control

Lake Arrowhead, CA

Lake Arrowhead, CA (I loved this trip!)

I’m self-aware enough to know never to call myself “low maintenance.” 😉

I’ve always been a goal-setter and a go-getter. And I’ve always been my toughest critic.

Some of my most painful moments in life occurred when I didn’t achieve the dreams I’d set for myself. Small or large, it didn’t matter. My biggest fear has always been failure.

You may have already spotted it, but it took me a long time to realize that I was a control freak. And I’ve been in recovery for about 15 years. There are easy days and there are hard days, but I’m pretty sure that most days present some sort of control-related challenge. Though I know that the world would not be better off if I was in charge, it doesn’t always stop me from trying!

Can you relate?

Read more in my latest guest post for Yellow Co: FINDING PEACE IN LOSING CONTROL.

 


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My Current Food Obsessions

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Everyone has favorites at certain restaurants. Some people even constantly visit the same places, and order the same items. But that’s not typically me. I usually prefer more variety, including the restaurants I visit and the food I order. And I often try to patron local restaurants over chains, because I’d rather “buy local.”

However, lately I’ve found myself obsessed with some of the same food items at the same restaurants. And I love perusing the aisles at the grocery store for new brands and items, but I’ve recently been buying the same things there too.

Here are my current favorites in case you’re looking for food and drink recommendations. Bon appetit!

  • Tiff’s Treats: I both love and hate my friend, Kari, for introducing me to these cookies! This company is Texas-based, but they have expanded into Georgia over the past year or so. And there is a location only about two miles from me. Get this: they deliver, fresh, warm cookies! They’re baked once you place the order, and they are fantastic! My favorite are definitely the chocolate chip, though the other flavors are excellent too. I even turned this obsession into a paying gig. I’ll be writing about them for an upcoming magazine article. Being a freelance writer pays in more ways that one!
  • Chick-fil-A Cobb Salad with Avocado Lime Ranch Dressing: This is my biggest obsession right now. The past few weeks, I’ve even eaten it multiple times per week! I love this thing so very much. Yum, give it a try. And if you want to throw in some Icedream for dessert, I won’t fault you.
  • Figo’s Arugula Salad: This is my favorite local chain. And while it may seem odd to order a salad at an Italian restaurant, you clearly haven’t had this salad. It’s incredibly simple, and incredibly delicious. I love arugula, but it’s the dressing that makes this salad fantastic. Very lemony, slightly sweet, and lots of basil.
  • Zoe’s Live Mediterranean Salad: Yes, I’ve had quite a thing for salads lately! They are one of the best ways to enjoy summer veggies, and while I love veggies year-round, I definitely eat a lot more during warm weather. Zoe’s has a lot of great salads, but this is by far my favorite. Again, the dressing is key to this one, but I love all the ingredients together.
  • Pumpkin: Last year, I read a book about incorporating healthy habits into your lifestyle, and the author mentioned that she put 1/4 cup of pumpkin in her morning smoothies to add more fiber and thicken it up a bit. I thought this was a genius idea, so I’ve been doing it every weekday as well. And I order it online because it can be hard to find out of season in stores, and cans are heavy to carry around. You can’t taste it, and it does give the smoothie more staying power.
  • Bean and grain chips: Another switch I’ve made in order to eat a little bit healthier is sub traditional chips for ones made of beans and grains. And I absolutely love them! Simply7 has some great tasting chips! I know because I’ve had most of them. Plentils are another favorite of mine.
  • PERRIER Pink Grapefruit Flavored Sparkling Mineral Water: I’ve been obsessed with sparkling water since coming back from Barcelona last year. I had it before that trip, but didn’t like it. Weirdly, now I love it. Guess that’s the charming, European influence! I love this Perrier brand, especially because it comes in a smaller can, which I prefer. Sometimes I even add grapefruit or lemon essential oil, or a lemon slice, to jack up the flavor a bit. Very refreshing for summer!
  • Trader Joe’s Instant Coffee with Cream and Sugar: I needed to throw this drink in here as well. I love coffee, but I don’t drink it all that often. Mostly when hanging out with people, or on the weekends at home. But since my apartment has limited kitchen space, I don’t own a coffee maker. And when I tried to make it at home, the organic and all-natural creamers would often go bad because I didn’t drink it fast enough. So, I discovered these little gems, and I love them. Not as good as a latte for sure, but they do the trick for me! (My one issue is that they do have an artificial ingredient, so I’m hoping they change that.)
  • Emergen-C Energy Plus: This is probably a bit odd to throw in, but you do actually drink it. I’ve talked about my chronic illness, and because of it, I get sick a lot. This is a great way to get in some extra vitamins, and it has added energy as well. Energy is often lacking for me, especially in the afternoon, so this has been a great supplement.

 

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7 Lessons From the First Year of Business

7 Lessons From the First Year of BusinessI still have a hard time believing it, but I launched my business, Signify, on July 1st of last year! Some days it really does seem like yesterday, and others feel more like a seasoned pro. Regardless, it’s been an intense learning experience.

I created Signify out of a desire to help my friends. I knew people with small nonprofits and purpose-driven for-profits and social enterprises that needed someone like me who could lend another set of hands and breakdown marketing and communications for them. They cared deeply about their mission, since it was the driving force of their organization, but marketing and communications weren’t their strong suite. They knew they needed to look and sound more professional in order to get noticed and grow, but they didn’t have time, or maybe even the know-how.

So, I stepped in. I’d already been freelancing, giving them advice, volunteering, and helping them as best I could along the way, but with this as my full-time business, I was going to be able to help them even more.

Many of these relationships became my first clients, and they’ve even stuck around for multiple projects, or referred their friends to me. It’s been a wonderful way to sustain and grow my business. Whether they need writing, consulting, or strategy help—and most often a combination of all three—these organizations have been a privilege to serve. I wanted to assist cause-focused organizations who were doing great things in the world. They were already making a difference, and I knew I could help them create a bigger impact.

It’s been an incredible journey, and I’m eager to start year two.

But first, here are seven lessons I learned from these first twelve months.


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Happy Fourth of July!

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No matter how or where you choose to observe today, know that you are blessed to have the freedom of choice.

Thank you to all those who made it possible.


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5 More Strange Things About Working From Home

5 More Strange Things About Working From HomeAfter I started working from home full-time last year, I wrote a post about five strange things that came with the territory. And it’s hard to believe, but it’s been just over a year since I started my own business. It doesn’t seem like 12 months could possibly have passed, but if I counted the cups of coffee, I know they’d confirm it.

Working from home 24/7 has been a really interesting adjustment that I honestly didn’t expect. Since I’d previously worked from home two days per week, I assumed it would be a fairly easy transition, but in some ways it has taken me by surprise.

Here are five additional observations:

  1. I don’t see other people regularly. As an introvert (though most people find that surprising), this doesn’t bother me most of the time. In fact, I thought it would be an asset. But I’ve realized that I am more creative and energized by making a little time each week to see or talk to people, whether that is through client meetings, phone calls, or get-togethers with friends. Sometimes I’m ready to see people, and sometimes I have to force myself if I don’t already have something on the calendar, but it always proves to be beneficial in some way.
  2. I occasionally crave leaving my apartment. If the week ahead calls for a lot of writing, or a bunch of similar tasks, I’ve found that I’ll accomplish them faster if I change up my environment. This usually means going to a coffee shop or cafe at least one day a week. I didn’t foresee getting tired of seeing my apartment every day, but it does happen sometimes, especially when my To Do list involves repetitive functions. So, the best option is to switch up my surroundings. And if I don’t plan for it ahead of time, I know it needs to happen when I start feeling the need to unload my dishwasher or vacuum during the middle of the day. I think I’d like to eventually belong to a co-working space, but at about $100+ per month, that’s an expense I don’t need right now.
  3. I’ve taken binge-watching to a whole new level. With no commute, five o’clock can easily mean that the computer gets turned off and the TV gets turned on. And I don’t feel as bad about being a night owl since I don’t have to get up early, get ready, and drive to work. So, that means bonus hours of binge time! Last summer I made it through all 16 seasons of CSI, and watched endless hours of Olympics coverage! 😉
  4. I do less laundry. Yep, I basically don yoga pants and a t-shirt everyday . . . and they’re likely the same ones for an entire week. I will take a moment to note that I do not stink, though! Come on, I still have some standards. And if I have to get out of the house for meetings, to see friends, or to work from a cafe, I’m probably wearing the same outfit to all of those that week as well. #classy But I prefer to position it as further doing my part for the environment.
  5. I’m only dressed and made-up from the waist up for video calls. While part of me gets annoyed that I have to get properly dressed and put on makeup to not leave my apartment, at least I have the satisfaction of only doing it halfway. I look decent from the waist up, but I’m still wearing yoga pants and fuzzy socks. And in talking to others who work from home, this is pretty common. So, there’s a peek behind the curtain!

And that’s more about the glamours life of working from home! This is how the magic happens, people.

If you work from home, do you agree, or have additional items to add?