The Fall Frenzy

As it does every year, the travel season for my work, no matter how much or how little travel I have, tends to knock all energy and inspiration out of me. The hours are filled with constantly checking my calendar to see what’s coming next, in the next hour, the next day, the next week. When I’m out, I’m constantly checking Yelp reviews so I don’t end up in a fast food drive-thru, which inevitably happens at least once a trip just because I’d rather eat in my room with HGTV. The Property Brothers were my constant companions this trip. I now find my self looking at house listings and thinking about how the space would look with two walls torn down.

Those are the tough parts of travel. I try to make it less tough by venturing out and enjoying the area. Last week, I was in Las Vegas, so I saw Britney Spears. It was more than a little ridiculous, but really fun, and I’m glad I went. It was like I was a teenager again. The next few days, I was in Reno, which doesn’t have as much excitement, but does have Lake Tahoe to the direct west. So I drove up to see the lake, and on my whole drive, I went from sunshine to rain to snow and to a beautiful rainbow in less than two hours.

Now, travel season is over. And as usual, I’m feeling antsy to write and to keep my blog going. This month, I’ve joined a group of my blogging friends to post 3 times a week. I’m always hesitant to tell everyone that I’m blogging for a challenge. It tends to make me feel pressured to find something to write about. However, I think I’m evolving a bit with what I want to talk about, beyond the books I’ve read. We might be seeing a few more life (mostly puppy) updates and a little bit more about other entertainment I’m consuming. I’ve also embarked on a new project with my best girl friends, so I’m looking forward to letting you know about that in due time. I think having a goal of writing more will let me experiment with how those things work within my little space on the Internet.

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Still Here

I had a month when I didn’t read. I couldn’t focus. I couldn’t find my space.

There were many things in that month that needed more of my attention and energy. But even though it was a month full of good/great/amazing/awesome change, it was hard because I wasn’t reading. I realized after that month that finding my space and energy and focus to read is much more important to me than I ever realized. And I am so happy to say I’m back there again.

I haven’t finished anything yet, but I’m in the middle of some amazing literature, and I can’t wait to share it with you. Because almost as much as I love reading, I love sharing with whomever is still here.

 

WeVerb14: Compose

I found out yesterday that WeVerb is back! I participated in WeVerb12 at the end of 2012, and was sad to see that there wasn’t one for the end of 2013, but I was wrong. WeVerb14 is here! I will be loosely participating as I would like to reflect more on the future, rather than being caught up by thoughts of 2013. If you are interested in participating, or would like to read other entries, you may follow along at www.weverb14.com.

Yesterday’s prompt was “Compose”. Write a haiku for 2013 and one for 2014.

2013:

Came with challenges

Escaped with literature

Sunshine as we left

2014:

Move forward not back

Craving peace and permanence

And also a pup

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Oh, 2013, What?

This new year certainly started with a bang (story to come), and just kept rolling. I can’t believe we’re 2 weeks into 2013, and I haven’t posted yet.

I didn’t know how I wanted the first post of the year to go. Usually, I start with a goal list, but since the 25 Before 25 list exists, I don’t see any point to add onto it. That could be a recipe for a crazy breakdown. Participating in WeVerb12 definitely helped me reflect on 2012, so there was no need to do one reflection post. I haven’t finished a book yet, so it couldn’t be a book review either.

So, what does that leave me with? For right now, not much. Easing into 2013 is no longer an option, so I’m just going to keep rolling with it. And I’m sure I’ll have something to say soon. And hopefully more pictures, because that is probably a goal I should add to my list that won’t hurt. 😉

#WeVerb12: Sacrifice, Empower, Connect, Capture, Aspire

Happy New Year! This is a catch-up post. I really let myself settle into holiday vacation and didn’t use my computer very often. But, I’m back and wanted to finish #WeVerb12 because I have enjoyed it so much. 

Sacrifice: What did you, as an individual, let go of to further the greater good this year?

As much as I love shopping, I think I truly grasped the concept of mindful spending this year. I’m not perfect, and I still wish for things sometimes, but I know that small things now will not be as meaningful as big things in the future. I’d much rather live that future with my husband and future family than enjoying some shoes for a few months now. 

Empower: What made you feel powerful in 2012? 

2012 was full of events that encouraged me and instilled in me more self-confidence. I don’t know that there was any one event that really empowered me. I think getting a promotion was a huge step for me. It really helped me to change my outlook on where I wanted to be professionally. I’m happy with what I have achieved so far and know there is so much more room to grow and learn.

Connect: With whom did you make the most worthwhile connections in 2012?

I was a much more social person this year, on the Internet and in real life. While I am happy for all the friends I have made, the most important connection I solidified was with E. We were married. I became his wife and promised to be his partner through life, and I think that is quite a worthy endeavor, don’t you?

Capture: Post a picture taken of you or or by you this year when you were happy.

This photo is everywhere in our lives because it is my favorite of the day. It helps me express the complete joy I felt that day, but especially in the moments right after we were married. 

Aspire: What is your biggest aspiration for 2013?

In 2013, I want to take steps to feel more settled. But since I can’t control everything, I also aspire to be patient and happy with the things that I have now. I aspire to do more things I see on Pinterest. And I aspire to take more pictures because it is too easy to forget the smaller memories in a year that has passed.

WeVerb was an excellent month of reflection, and really inspired me to write more and think about the year more critically. Thank you to the WeVerb creators and to the WeVerb contributors. I have enjoyed reading your posts and have enjoyed writing mine. Best wishes for 2013! I can’t wait to find out what this year has in store.

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#WeVerb12: Exercise

How did you live actively in 2012? What will you change in 2013?

I didn’t really live an active lifestyle this year. I tried to start it off actively with a half-marathon, but that didn’t go as well as planned. I got bogged down by wedding planning, commuting, and work. After the wedding, I went straight into working. These are not excuses. They are simply facts.

We did some active things, like hiking and spelunking, but they were exclusive to vacation. I need to make an effort to make these more regular events in 2013. The first thing I’m going to do is change up my morning routine. I have time now to work out in the morning without sacrificing a ton of sleep. I’m also going to try to implement some of the workouts that are floating around Pinterest, like the barre method and ab workouts. My 25 Before 25 list has a goal of losing 15 pounds by September, so I’m going to make it happen.

There really is nothing more to say about the fact that I need to get my butt in gear. I’ll have to be more mindful of my foot, and implement different techniques, but I am looking forward to getting my stress levels back down and I’m also looking forward to getting outdoors more, which I think E will really appreciate.

My last goal is to get back into half-marathon training. I may not run another one by my birthday, but I hope I can do one again.

Do you have any tips to help me get back into an active lifestyle?

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#WeVerb12: Replicate

What were you inspired to create/make this year based on something else? (i.e. a pin from pinterest, recipe from a friend, etc.)

Oh my goodness, this is the question, isn’t it? Well in a year of finishing up wedding planning and starting to fall in love with the Crock Pot, I got pretty cozy with Pinterest and replicated quite a few things. Now, I actually didn’t do as much from Pinterest this year as I did last year, but I think there is one thing that was a huge hit. Technically, I started this project in 2011, but I did the majority of them in 2012, even in the last two weeks before the wedding! It was crazy. And those were the favors for our wedding, personalized Scrabble tile coasters.

Here was the inspiration:

And here was my version:

And then, multiplied by 100.

I’m really proud of this project because it was my stamp on the wedding. They were a hit! At the time that I found these on Pinterest, there weren’t too many people on there yet, and the same pictures hadn’t circulated around through everyone’s boards. So, this was a surprise to most people, and I get really happy when I go to someone’s house and see them using their coasters. One couple we know has them hanging on the wall! Embarrassingly, ours are actually in storage with all the other wedding things. I have tons more tiles, and I have pinned quite a few craft ideas so that those tiles don’t go to waste! Plus, I’m hoping to make two more tiles to make a complete set of 4 in our house, maybe with our last name and with the word “love.”

I really like that Pinterest gives me a creative drive, even what I’m making isn’t all that original. It really has helped me feel more confident in crafting and in cooking. We’re hosting a party today, and the centerpieces are a Pinterest find. I would never even care to make a centerpiece before Pinterest. I’m hoping that in 2013, we have some place where I can do more crafting. I have a backstock of things I want to make, and I just can’t wait! Any projects you’re proud of this year?

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PS- If you haven’t clicked on any of the 7 links to Pinterest from this post, you have one more chance! You can follow me on Pinterest by clicking on the link in the right tab. My username is ayestria.

#WeVerb12: Associate

What blog/book/article spoke to you the most in 2012?

I read a lot of books and could have chosen two or three that matched this prompt, but what I read daily are blogs. Besides Weddingbee and all of the blogs that I have followed from there, I have really enjoyed reading my daily dose of Hello Giggles. The website was created by actress Zooey Deschanel and her two best friends. It’s a space for young women, mostly, to write about everything from analyses of America’s favorite romantic comedies to serious issues such as the shooting of a young girl in Pakistan who blogged about equality for women. The stuff in between included the election, frustrations with policies on rape, constant praise for Downton Abbey, book reviews and a daily picture of someone’s amazing manicure. Sometimes, it’s hilarious, and sometimes, it’s pretty serious. But for the most part, it is a great space to find people and get a fresh take on the news out there. I wouldn’t be surprised if, tomorrow, alongside the “Illustrated Tweet of the Day” and “Everything I Needed to Know I Learned From Elf,” there is an article about censorship in America. It’s a forum that doesn’t take itself too seriously and brings me smiles everyday.

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#WeVerb12: Enliven

Was there a book or article that inspired you to make a change in your life this year? What was the source and what did you change?

The book that helped me shape my year and gave me a new perspective on life was something I finished right at the end of last year. It was the first book I reviewed this year as well. It may seem cliche, but The Happiness Project by Gretchen Rubin really made an impact on my life this year.

image via bn.com

image via bn.com

I will admit that I didn’t love this book, but I loved the mantra I took away from it, which is “Be Ayesha.” It seems pretty obvious to be true to yourself. But, up until this year, I spent so much time focused on what I should be doing, rather than what I could be doing for a happier me. I had to realize that it’s ok that I don’t want to go out dancing every weekend because then I wouldn’t be me. I had to realize that it’s ok to not be a foodie, because you wouldn’t know whose fridge you were in if you didn’t find cheese, rice, and possibly a Hot Pocket or two in mine. I had to realize that I shouldn’t waste money on a Groupon activity that I would never do so that I could buy books and shoes.

I’m glad that I applied the mantra this year when Pinterest would tell me what the latest and greatest crafts were, and wedding world made me feel like our wedding wasn’t pretty enough or stylish enough or unique enough. I wouldn’t be me if I said yes to everything. “Be Ayesha” helped me maintain my sanity, and I’m confident that I will be able to carry that with me in years to come.

Have you ever found great advice from something you didn’t entirely love?

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