Motivation Monday: Relaxation.

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Today I am simply “relaxing”.   
I’m snuggling up with plenty of pillows in very comfy clothes.
I’m reading a book by one of my favorite authors.  Almost Heaven by  Judith McNaught.
I’m listening to a few of my favorite tunes on my Ipod as well.
We all need a little down time.  What’s your down time like?

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What I’ve Been Doing & Interesting Finds on the Web.

I know exactly what you are thinking.  Where has she been? She’s back “again”…she’ll disappear again.  Nope, I’ve made a conscious decision to stay put and blog up a storm for the month of May!  Be ready.

An update on what’s going on in my neck of the woods.

Well, the Valley of the Sun has finally reached 100 degrees.  Woohoo!  Now, I just can’t wait until the pool is actually warm enough to go in.  It’s a tad bit nippy still, at about 60-65 degrees.  It will be bath water temperature in a few weeks.  No joke!

I’ve been reading a ton and have been branching out.  No more romance, mystery.  Well, it’s still there in the background but, not the forefront of my reading “stack” for now.  Yes, I am reading Fifty Shades of Grey for the second or third time (can’t remember) and I just started Book II.  My reading topics are more for the educational benefit and submersing myself in the freelance world of writing and bookkeeping (extra money for now).  Yes, I’m reading for more than just “pure” enjoyment.  I’ll switch it up though for summertime reading poolside.  I’ve been reading books on business and freelancing.  Stay tuned for a post on these books.

Last week I read an article on Levo League that states I should be saving 25-50% of my salary… I’m like what?!  You’ve got to be kidding me.  I totally agree with 25% but, more…?!  You see, I’m in the process of paying off all of my credit card debt.  I’ll be debt-free by March 2014 – if I have it my way it will be much sooner!  Yay Heather!

I’m still struggling with the marketing plan for Blondie’s Shop and whether or not I need a virtual assistant for some tasks that need to be done regularly.  I’m still pondering it for now.  Who would have thought that having an online shop to sell my note cards, baby shower invites and announcements, wedding thank you cards would need an assistant?! 

I’m jonesing for a weekend getaway.  Airfare right now isn’t the best.  Even months out and airfare is still very high.  I’ve got some trips in the works – so be on the lookout for research posts on: Key West, Disneyland (California) and New Orleans.  I’ve got schedule fall trips already – more to come on those. 

I saw Bon Jovi in concert last week!  What a show!  Jon can definitely sing.  It is rather unpleasant when you go see an individual, band or group in concert and they are just horrible live.  Seeing a favorite musician live is the best ever!!!!  I’m going to see Bruno Mars in July!  Ellie Goulding is opening so that should be fun.

What to get my Mom for Mother’s Day…?  Haven’t a clue at this point.  Currently, the plan is to take her out to lunch and spend some quality time with her.  You can find some gift ideas here and a few DIY here (over at TAGG).

I have daily writing goals.  I’m being realistic.  Speaking of which is there any topics you’d like to see more on …this & that…?  I’ve get a few new series in the works and a few old ones that will be re-visited.  And a few other new series by guest authors.  Be on the lookout as May is going to be a spectacular month for …this & that…

Have a wonderful Tuesday and do tell what’s been going on in YOUR neck of the woods.

Motivation on a Monday: Meditation and Yoga.

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Back to the basics.  Yep, that is where I am headed.  Sometimes it’s the only thing in sight.

I’m back to working out in the morning.  By working out I mean – run a mile on the treadmill and do my abs exercises.  My goal is to run a solid, complete mile and step it up a notch to 1.25, then 1.5, etc.  You get the hint.  I ran for 6.4 minutes and had to walk for a minute.  Wow.  Little did I know it would be a challenge yet again.  This is what happens when you stop your workout routine for a bit.

I’m adding evening yoga.  In my yoga studio, aka the bedroom.  Two weeks ago, I did yoga for 30 minutes in the evening after my hour long commute and it definitely took the edge off.  Let’s just say I’m sure my boyfriend was pleased as well.

It’s important to point out that it’s not just the running or yoga it is what comes along with it.  The overall experience.  What I feel as I do it and how I feel after.  Correct?  You know what I mean? 

At 6 a.m., I’m still not awake so, I stretch my legs real quick, pop the ear buds in my ears, hit play and start the treadmill.  Then I turn on the TV and mute it.  Typically, in that order as well.  Funny, I know.  But, it’s the honest to goodness truth!

My commute home is a pain in the butt sometimes but, I have to do it.  So, I get home between 6:25-6:45 p.m. and then head right upstairs to change and get my “yoga” on!  After I kiss the boyfriend and say a quick hello.

I like the breathing, repetition, poses.  Come on the benefits of yoga are endless!  The yoga videos that I watch have an inspirational setting and I listen to that – the poses are explained in addition to a little extra motivation for focus and breath.  Candidly, I love it.  I’ll do another post this week on the instructor and videos that I watch as I’d love to hear your feedback.  However, I do wish that my schedule allowed for the “occasional” hot yoga class… Wishful thinking on my part…one day soon.  Hopefully.

Any who, it back to the basics.  Mind, body and spirit.  I need my zen back.  In order to get it – I’m going back to the basics: meditation and yoga.  It’s a no brainer, right?!

What about you?  Do you do meditation and yoga?  What’s your zen after work?  Do tell.

Goal this Week. No. 2

What to do or not to do…?  That is the question.

I’m going out on a limb here.  An admission on …this & that…

Ok, here goes…

Blondie’s Shop marketing plan in non-existent.  First things first, I need to write one and then stick to it.  And I need to determine a budget.  You see, I want to spread the word about my shop.  Grow it!  I want Blondie’s Shop to be the “go-to” online shop for note cards, baby invites and thank you cards, and wedding thank you cards.  Hmmm, how am I going to do ALL of  this without a marketing plan?!  Hmmm, I’m not.

So, this week I’m going to DECIDE and write-out a marketing plan. Type it out.  Commit to it.  And Succeed!

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What about you?  What’s your plan for the week?  Any goals?  What’s your plan of attack when you want to meet a goal?  What steps do you take?

Have a wonderful start to the week!

Goal this Week. No. 1

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I have several workout goals however, I’m starting with morning workouts first.  Due to my work schedule and travel times to and from work – I’ve decided morning is the only option, period. 

So, wish me luck and think good thoughts. 

Today’s the day, the morning workout routine commences!  By the time, this post “posts” I’ll be on the treadmill already.

What’s your goal this week?  Is it a workout goal?  Do share.

Blondie’s Shop: Monogram Division.

The monogram division of Blondie’s Shop came about by two things.  My love of note cards (and personalization of them) and the blog, Hi Sugarplum!  See the blog header here…can you tell “where” the inspiration came from?  Don’t worry I got Cassie of Hi Sugarplum’s permission – the cards are after all named the Sugarplum Monogram series.

To create the monogram series I had the assistance of my graphic artist, Kathy, that “designs” the graphic digital paper I use.  You can check out her etsy shop, Katie’s Wish.

I’ve decided to limit the color choices from 8 down to 4.  So, the colors: aqua, navy, grey, and gold.

Work in progress monogram cards. Color theme: grey and fuschia.

Hi Sugarplum: aqua and fuschia.

Sugarplum: navy blue and fuschia.

Color scheme: red and black.

Color scheme: light grey and fuschia.

These cards were created for Meaghan over at District Sparkle…these are the “District Sparkle” monogram set.


So, what’s your favorite monogram set?  Any suggestions for a new color combo?

A Love Letter.

I stumbled on this completely by accident while on Pinterest.
Tyler Knott Gregson definitely has my attention.  Does he have your’s?
He is one very talented guy.  Wow!

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Motivation on a Monday.

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To me this makes definite sense. 
From time to time we all need to step outside of our comfort zone.
Sometimes you just need to go with that feeling deep down inside.
Go with your gut.  Just DO IT!
I’ll be the first to admit it can be really scary.  Very. 
But, then I just ask myself what have I got to lose?
Have a wonderful Monday!

Motivation on a Monday.

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Ahhhh, an absolutely perfect way to start the week. 
Once you get this realization “out” of our head and move forward understanding it —
 it will make life that much more simple.  Yes, no, maybe so?

It’s Valentine’s Day.

It’s official, today is 2/14/13, Valentine’s Day.  Some refer to it as Valentine’s Day and some as that Hallmark holiday.  This year, I mailed out handmade Valentine’s to those special people in my life.

I hope each and every one of you have a wonderful day – regardless if you are a couple or flying solo.  To the couples out there be sure to steal a few moments of romance with that special someone.  To those spending the evening solo do something special for yourself.

A few ideas: 

Be sure and set the mood with the right lighting. 
Candlelight always works well in my opinion.

Another option would be lights that sparkle and create a soft light in the room. 
Drape some fabric to cast a shadow…  The options are endless!

Hope you have a wonderful day!
OR…feel free to “copy” and “paste” this picture to that
 special someone for a little hint for later in the day!
{all images via my A Must for Every Girl board on Pinterest}

Motivation Monday: A-hem.

I thought this was very fitting for today’s yesterday’s post.
And yes, I do realize this is a day late – I forgot to hit “publish”.
Better late than never, right?  Right. Precisely.
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Motivation Monday: To Travel is to ________.

If you’ve followed my blog for any amount of time now – you know that I love to travel.  A few months ago that I was on an airplane roughly every 3 weeks, give or take a few.  I was traveling to and from, my favorite city in the USA, Chicago.  My other favorite city has to be Rome, Italy. 
I came across this sign and traced it back to it’s original site to AFAR Magazine
So, let me ask you… to travel is to ___________?

Motivation Monday.

A question to ponder…  What motivates us?  Hmmm…
I think it’s a matter of the current priorities in our life and what goals we are trying to ascertain.  Does this sound about right?

For me, currently, I’m focusing on me.  I made a New Year’s Resolution for it to be the “year of me” and I’m working on that.  I mean this in a good way and not a selfish way.  I mean it with regard to mind, body, soul.  Also, it means minimize and/or eliminate the drama and stress I encounter.  I haven’t quite figured out the drama issue as of yet.  But, I do curtail it as much as possible and at times it is rather difficult.  The flipside of this equation is working out and eating right – a work-in-progress.  I reached a plateau with my work-out routine and my goal for the next 6-months is to step it up to the next level with physical results.  One of my goal’s is rock solid abs, a 6-pack if you will, and smaller hips and thighs.  Pretty good goals don’t you think?  And my motivation is the end result – the change in my physique.
So, what motivates you?  What’s your goals?

Hot Yoga Baby!

This past Saturday, I had the absolutely delightful experience of being introduced to hot yoga.  My sister has repeatedly asked me to go and I was finally able to work it into my schedule.  And I loved it!  I more than loved it.  It is absolute heaven, period.  It was a definite a-ha moment for me because I was actually able to “press” the clear button.  I thought of nothing else other than me and my purpose for that class.  The intensity was surreal, as was the focus on my breathing and movements (muscle control).
I wasn’t prepared for the “hey, I’m drenched feeling about 10 minutes in” but, I survived it.  It was actually quite welcoming.  Literally, from head to foot you are soaking wet — the entire class!  Yes, I’m serious folks.  Now, if you’ve experienced hot yoga then you know exactly what I’m talking about.  The room is set roughly 105 degrees.  And it’s this hot when you walk in the room (or there abouts).
Now, I will share that the yoga kicked my butt on Saturday.  I felt so relaxed after I got home.  I showered, hydrated and just chilled (aka sat on my couch watching a few episodes of 24).  I drank about a gallon of water and 1-1/2 big bottles of Gatorade for the electrolytes.  I needed to replenish everything I sweated out, literally. 
On a side note, lately, I’ve been looking to switch up my workout and step-it to the next level – I definitely feel that hot yoga will help me reach that level.  Round 2 is tonight and I cannot wait!
Happy Monday!
{all images via pinterest}