Practicing What I Preach

Over the past year, I have shared little ways that make my life a bit easier, happier, and/or simpler. Also this past year, I finally had some free time in which I could write – I had recently finished my master’s degree, finished my professional licensing, and finished teaching a 1 credit college course. My days were spent working full-time and coming home…that’s it! No thesis to write, no papers to grade, no test to study for. It was glorious! This left me time to share some of the tips I had learned to get everything done (or prioritize what needed to get done). It also provided me with a way to record what I had learned and share it with the wider world.

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Adventures in…Taming Frizzy Hair

There have been many, many days when my hair looks like I stuck a finger in an electrical outlet just before leaving the house. Okay, maybe not that bad, but I do have a halo of frizz and years of split ends. As a #lazygirl, I dislike styling my hair every day…or even more frequently than once a month for a deserving occasion, so there’s no way that I’m going to blow dry and flat iron my hair every day or even once a week.

I’m not saying that I’ve figured out how to make my hair look better, but most days it now looks better than it looks worse. Growing up, the aesthetic focus was on being clean instead of being all dolled up, and I was involved in swimming instead of dance. So, each lesson I’ve learned to tame my hair is the result of quite a bit of time on YouTube, Pinterest and Google searches, and in front of the mirror. Many frizzy days were experienced while learning my lessons and hopefully my frizzy lessons can help you reduce your frizzy days without spending a lot of time with a blow dryer or straightening iron. Continue reading

Adventures in…Giving Up Sugar

Until this past February, sugar (and especially chocolate) have been my Achilles’ heel. That’s when I stopped eating all cakes, candies, pastries, cookies, and extra sugar…cold turkey. It was possibly one of the harder things, but also probably one of the best. Now, I still eat desserts occasionally, though my exceptions are very limited. No store-bought desserts. No pastries. No frosting. Only homemade desserts, ice cream, and high-quality chocolate. Prior to February, I would’ve called myself crazy and certainly didn’t imagine a future without the amazing goodness of sugar. So why would I do this to myself?

It all started because I chose to give up sugar for Lent…and then chose to keep that going. This started out as a 40-day experiment that worked out really well and I ultimately decided that it was best for me to continue abstaining. This choice is not for everyone – just like vegetarianism isn’t for everyone – and you have to choose your own path. That said, giving up sugar and desserts has been so good for me. Continue reading

Adventures in…Being Put on the Spot, Karaoke Edition

Being put on the spot scares me, particularly if I’m unprepared. Whether it’s being asked questions in class, having to say a small speech in front of people, giving an impromptu presentation, or just asked questions in general, I hate being unprepared in the spotlight. When this happens, my entire body and brain shut down. I literally freeze, my eyes get kind of wide, and my brain feels like it’s running around in circles inside my head waving its little arms in terror. This is mainly why karaoke has terrified ever since I became aware that it’s a thing. As a consumate preparer, you’d think that I would have prepared for the eventual time when I would face karaoke, but I didn’t.

There are plenty of social situations that you can usually avoid if you don’t like them and it’s not big deal. That’s how I treated karaoke for most of my adult life until I couldn’t avoid it anymore. Unfortunately, we may find ourselves in a position one day when we really, really should just do it. I should know myself better and know that I need to be prepared for situations before they happen. I should have known that I needed a prepared karaoke song. But, for whatever reason, I only just came up with my go-to karaoke songs. Hopefully, you can learn from me and be more prepared than I was when I found myself in just that situation. And while I haven’t discussed this with many people, I have to believe that there are others out there like me who need preparation and become petrified at the thought of choosing a song, then voluntarily getting up there to sing it in front of people. So, for all my fellow karaoke-averse people out there, here is how I came around to believing that everyone needs a karaoke song. Continue reading

Adventures in…Getting Through the Afternoon Slump During a Meeting

If you attend meetings at work, chances are you’ve had trouble staying awake in at least one of those meetings. It’s not ideal, but I don’t know a single professional who hasn’t struggled with this at some point in their career. The good news is that I’ve noticed that it gets easier the more you progress in your career. Regardless, you may be invited to meetings relatively in your career and, due to a bad combination of events, you struggle to stay awake. Most of the time, the culprits are a big lunch, bad sleep the night(s) before, a dark room, a warm room, a boring speaker, tangents that don’t involve you. Picture it…you’ve just had lunch and have to attend a meeting. You’re full, maybe the room is dark, maybe you didn’t get enough sleep the night before, and you don’t have a major role. You aren’t the organizer or a main speaker, and it becomes hard to pay attention. Those early and mid-afternoon meetings can be so hard because you’re so tired.

I’ve talked before about how everything is a skill and this is no different. It is definitely a skill to stay awake during the afternoon slump. There are a variety of little ways I’ve tried getting through the afternoon slump during a meeting. Some of them have defintely worked better than others and none of them work every time. That’s why I keep trying new ways and combining them to see what works. Continue reading