year of virtues, month five: resolution

Hi everyone! Since we are already midway into May {how did this happen??} I wanted to write a brief post about my focus for this month from Ben Franklin’s List of Virtues. During the month of April, focusing on industry was very helpful in moving forward on some important projects that had sort of stalled-out midway through.

  • I completed and submitted a short story that challenged me {in a good way} and that I think is one of the best pieces I have written since graduate school. It ended up being a much longer piece than I had originally envisioned, and it felt SO rewarding to complete it!
  • I also made a whole bunch of headway on the publication of Dancing With The Pen II, and organized a book launch pizza party for the Bay Area contributors.
  • And Allyn and I made lots of progress in the wedding planning arena. Proof: our “wedding corner” is slowly taking over our apartment!

Wedding corner

I really want to continue this momentum, so for May’s focus I decided to go with number four on Ben Franklin’s list: resolution.


RESOLUTION: Resolve to perform what you ought; perform without fail what you resolve.


To me, this is a virtue that requires two steps:

  1. First, figuring out the most important things you wish do to {perform what you ought}
  2. And secondly, resolve to perform these tasks without fail {make it a habit}

May seems like the perfect month to look back at those resolutions we made in the shiny potential of January 1st and re-evaluate them. Which resolutions are working for you? Which ones are not? Are there any resolutions that you made with the best of intentions and have since let drop to the wayside? Maybe this is a good time to re-commit to those activities or goals.

At the same time, you might have made some resolutions that were more based on your “fantasy self” than your real self. Gretchen Rubin talks about this on her podcast “A Little Happier.” We all have ideal versions of ourselves, but these self-images can be based more on fantasy than on reality. For example, maybe you like the IDEA of being someone who does CrossFit, but in reality a long solitary run or a low-key exercise class like Zumba is much more up your alley. If your resolution was to join a CrossFit gym and go three times a week, and you have yet to make much progress or have stalled out, perhaps it is because you like the idea of being “someone who does CrossFit” much more than you enjoy the actual activity of CrossFit. In that case, it may be time to tweak your resolution to fit your ACTUAL self and the activities you actually enjoy or find the most meaningful.

For my resolutions this month, I am resolving to continue my healthy habits of drinking a green smoothie every morning, going to yoga at least once a week, and working on my creative passion projects for at least half an hour first thing every morning. I am also resolving to continue last month’s momentum by completing my work on Dancing With The Pen II and officially release the book into the world! I can’t wait to share it with you guys when it is available on Amazon.com. Stay tuned! 🙂

Questions of the day:

  • What does resolution look like to you?

valentine’s week: an adorable owl craft project

valentines week

Hi everyone! Happy Friday! I’ve got a little craft project to share with you today as part of Valentine’s Week. I was  browsing Target the other day and this adorable little owl sewing kit caught my eye:

owl sewing kit

I scooped it up, put it together last night, and I am so pleased with the result! Look at this cute little guy:

valentine's owl

The kit I bought had all the pieces pre-cut and the sewing holes pre-punched, so all I had to do was assemble it. But I was thinking that it would be quite easy to make from scratch {and I might do so in the future to make more of these cuties!} You could even make it simpler by making a heart shape, for example, instead of an owl.

Here’s the materials that you will need:
– red and white felt
– a needle and pink/red thread
– red & black markers for drawing on the owl’s eyes and beak
– fabric scraps or stuffing

1. On a piece of red felt, draw the shape of an owl and cut it out. Trace the shape onto another piece of red felt and cut that out two. You should have two identical owl shapes made out of red felt.

2. Cut a heart shape out of the white felt to be the owl’s “face.”

3. Sew the white heart onto one of the red felt shapes.

4. Draw two black eyes and a red triangle beak onto the white felt.

5. Sew the two red owl shapes together, leaving a hole at the top.

6. Fill the owl shape with fabric scraps or pillow stuffing.

7. Sew the top of the owl closed.

Ta da! You have a cute stuffed owl to give as a Valentine’s gift!

Hope your weekend is filled with rest, laughter and love!

Till tomorrow,
Dallas

goals for the week of 12/9

Looking back over my goals from the past week, I am filled with gratitude! I got my thesis manuscript submitted to my advisor, which is a big project I have been working on all semester. It was such a proud moment for me to click that SEND button and shoot it off to him. Hooray!

I also am feeling really happy with my Christmas progress. My goal was to buy and wrap all presents early so I can really enjoy the season with my family and loved ones instead of being stressed out trying to get everything done at the last minute. This week I finished up pretty much all of my Christmas wrapping! I still have a couple little gifts to buy, but for the most part, I’m all done. And it feels good!

Here’s how I did this week:

  • complete rough draft of thesis manuscript and submit to my advisor (!! this is a big one!!)
  • finish reading This is Not Your City by Caitlin Horrocks
  • wrap & mail Christmas presents
  • use Groupons for Nature’s Pharm & Re-Usables {decided to wait for the groceries until we’re back in Indiana!}
  • return items to Amazon
  • take donation box to Goodwill
  • get new windshield wipers installed on car
  • wash kitchen & bathroom floors
  • use or freeze all perishable food items before Mike & I leave for California on Saturday

And here are my goals for this upcoming week:

  • send out newsletter about book drive and writing camp
  • finish & send the remaining post-grad applications
  • read The Zero by Jess Walter
  • watch Christmas movies with Gramps
  • address and mail Christmas cards
  • get email inbox and computer desktop cleaned out and organized

What are your goals for the week? Feel free to share in the comments below!