Sunday, September 30, 2007

Space to Breath, Space to Create, Space to Grow

Help, I am drowning in clutter. We moved from a large house to a smaller one with "more usable space". The problem is, at the old house, I had plenty of places to stick junk where I did not have to deal with it. At the new house, anything that does not have a place is in the way. I have given away or sold hundreds of things from our old house and our store (we closed more than a year ago). I find myself feeling scattered overwhelmed and hopelessly unproductive. More stuff has got to go. Loving this office at Design*Sponge.

October begins my kick to finally purge the clutter, so today as I was moving boxes around, I came up with this new mantra.

Everything I release gives me more space to breath, more space to create and more space to grow.

Thursday, September 27, 2007

Counting Calories

After an eye opening visit to the nutritionist, I was shocked to learn that my average daily menu is over 1000 calories more a day than I need. Lately I had been forcing myself to down snacks of Honey Crisps apples and cheese, only to discover that my apple was 3 times the size of the average portion and the cheese was 4 times the amount (a whopping 450 calories for a snack).

I always thought that dieting was just straight forward, but today I realized it is all about strategy; getting the most bang for your buck or taste for your calories.

I decided to create a Happy Good Guilt Free Food List of items that are good for me an allow me to stay within my calorie limits.

Happy Good Guilt Free Food List

  • · Cucumbers
  • · Broccoli
  • · Lettuce
  • · Any Steamed Dark Green Leafy Vegetables
  • · Popcorn (100 calorie bags)
  • · Red Pepper
  • · Shrimp (in moderation)
  • · Garbanzo beans (in moderation)
  • · Roasted Garlic
  • · Hummus (in moderation)
  • · Jicama
  • · Frozen Grapes (apparently these are supposed to be amazing)
  • · Blueberries
  • · Egg Whites
  • · Celery
  • · Watermelon
  • · Cheese (low fat or small piece of high flavor)

I love the structure of this list; it is almost like a Project Runway style challenge. The combinations are endless and so much more satisfying than my usual stand bys.

For instance I can have:

  • · Watermelon Blueberry Salad
  • · Steamed Broccoli with lemon (this is heaven if you love Broccoli)
  • · Sliced Cucumbers with Poached Shrimp and a little touch of rice vinegar
  • · Scrambled egg whites with herbs
  • · Red Pepper slices and Hummus

Mind you these are just snacks. I still get my regular meals (which are always to be ½ vegetables, ¼ protein and ¼ (good ) carbs. So really there is no reason I need to ever feel hungry and according to my nutritionist, two of these snacks a day will still be much less than my one apple and hunk of cheese.

Just wanted to share… this is such good info, I wish someone had told me this before I packed on the pounds.

Sunday, September 23, 2007

Good Mornings

One of those work weeks that seems too impossibly long to have only been 5 days. You know the feeling where logically something should work, but it doesn't. The feeling where you are working something out in your mind and until you can physically manifest it, in your mind it will stay. This of course means, that even though you are snug at home, your mind is still at work. All adding up to one terribly long week.

Also did I mention I kicked my Mountain Dew habit. I was up to 3 cans a day. Even though it was diet, it left me awake, but puffy with bad skin and just an unhealthy feeling. I have been clean now for 6 days. And I hate to say it, but I feel 100% better.

This of course brings me to my good mornings. I love love love early mornings. I used to be one of those crazy morning people that jumped out of bed with a smile at the crack of dawn. Soda, caffeine and late night TV slowly ate away at my morning time, until suddenly, I found myself struggling to get out of bed at 9. This led to late nights at work and a vicious cycle. So I am retaking my mornings.

I believe the perfect morning starts early with a deep breath and happiness at being awake. Throw in a healthy breakfast, a relaxed pace and a sense of accomplishment by 9:00 and I am a happy camper.

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

I remember 9/11...

I remember where I was when I heard. I remember the helplessness I felt. I remember my pledge to be a better human being and practice kindness at every opportunity.

Car Shows

Spent the weekend at two different car shows and then walked the Labyrinth at Seattle First Baptist .

Friday, September 7, 2007

Maps help us find our way...

Whenever I feel a little lost, I consult a map. And if a map does not exist for the place I want to go then I create one. The map, I am speaking of, is a sort of metaphor for getting from the place you are in your life, to the place you want to be. I have made these maps for as long as I can remember and they have been immensely helpful in helping me find my way.

Life Map Tutorial

  1. You will need scissors, magazines, a glue stick and some sort of poster board. I normally cut one of the large size poster boards in half. Now a word about magazines... select magazines that contain pictures that speak to you or inspire you. I also like catalogs, particularly ones that contain items I frequently drool over, or lifestyles I covet.

  2. In selecting images, it is a map not a gift list, so focus on more than just objects you would like to own. I like words, views, colors, and especially facial expressions.

  3. Don't limit yourself to printed material. I often find myself incorporating buttons, single earrings, ribbons and wrapping paper. Anything can trigger an emotion, I once found myself inspired by a napkin.(I kept it for years, I swear it was the softest disposable napkin I ever saw... it made me think of practical indulgence.)

  4. Arrange items on the paper until you have a pattern you like. If you are a perfectionist or have other issues, give yourself 15 minutes to arrange things and then just glue it all down.

  5. Place your finished life map in a prominent area where you can reflect on it daily. Ask yourself: What does this map say about where I want to go? What do I need to do right now to get there? I have found these maps quite good at seeing me out of hard or depressing times.

It is amazing how when you know which direction to go you can find your way out of hard times.

Tuesday, September 4, 2007

Up River...

The Duwamish river winds its way through the southern end of West Seattle and her many neighbors to the south. You won't see it on any travel brochures or quirky "Welcome to Seattle" postcards. Actually years of contamination have left the river an active superfund site, with murky waters and strange bits of beached debris. But it is getting better.

What a perfect way to end a melancholy summer floating down a contaminated river seeing beauty at every shore. A giant reminder that although life may not be perfect, there are countless opportunities to find beauty and joy.