Monday, November 30, 2009

One's junk is another's treasure

Over a week ago I helped my boyfriend’s family go through his grandparent’s house to clear it out. After going through the entire basement we filled two large-sized dumpsters and made several different piles in the house and garage: one for donation, one to sift through, one for electronics and chemicals to dispose of properly, and one for a garage or estate sale. We had about ten people in all, and it took us nearly six hours to clear the basement alone. ‘Why, you ask?’ because his grandparent’s used the basement for the last 20 years purely for storage (and they are moving into assisted living). Silly, I know. It could have easily be used to finish two more bedrooms and a bathroom, or one bedroom and bath with an entertainment area. I wonder if 20 years ago they purposely decided to keep the basement for storage, or if it just became that way.

Anyways, during the cleaning I noticed many neat, old items such as old, old photographs of great grandparents, the grandfather's high school diploma, lots of retro clothes, etc. And when we were finished I came away with some lovely, enjoyable pieces for my apartment!

Set of two foldable lawn chairs for my balcony.

Green vase!

A giraffe figure :)

And, an old blender. I've been wanting one and this will definitely do until Christmas!

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Thursday, November 26, 2009


I am a turkey, stuffing, gravy, potato, casserole, bread and apple pie affectionista. Kitchens are thankful for the gift of great smells and uses, and we are affectionate with full bellies and great company.

Thanksgiving is one of the best days in my calendar. I clear it of all to-do's and get ready to just relax, converse and laugh with lots of family. Since I've been dating Dustin holidays have become even more enjoyable. We have the luxury of both of our families living in the Twin Cities so we never have to decide on one over the other. AND, we don't need to compromise time spent with each side. My family celebrates during daylight and his, the evening. Two feasts in one day - but absolutely nothing to complain about.

Lots of thanking to be given. Bless and be blessed.

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Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Partial weekend recap

Life's been a little crazy...or, maybe I'm just a little crazy.

Date night was wonderful on Friday night. We went to Benihana in Maple Grove and had some of the best Japanese food I've had in a long time. Lots of great seafood, fresh sushi and filet mignon. Mmmmm....

Then we headed on over to AMC with our pre-ordered tickets to stand in the largest line I've ever stood in for a movie. For some crazy reason that I am failing to recall we decided to go on the opening night. I’ve never waited in a line for a movie before, haven’t been crazy enough to go on an opening night, especially not for a teenage drama-action packed movie with tons and tons of screaming girls. Never will I do that again. The movie met my expectations; the atmosphere was just a little nightmarish. The screaming in the theater is still ringing in my ears...

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Monday, November 23, 2009

Building a mentor-mentoree relationship

I’ve been meeting with a friend/coach/mentor regularly for the past few months. She’s a communications professional at Wells Fargo and it’s been wonderful to get to know her more, share stories and experiences. For our most recent meeting I went through a mentoree guidebook to have a better idea of what usually happens in a mentoring relationships since I’ve never been in one before. We decided it’s definitely going to be informal since our relationship isn’t all going to be focused on my career path and probably won’t end once I find a job or figure out what I want to do in life.

We talked about some overall goal ideas and she gave me some to do’s…which I like a lot. My big “to do” is to figure out some things I don’t want in a job, which is a lot easier for me to figure out than things I want in a job because there are so many things I think I want.

Anyone else building relationships with mentors? What impact has it made with your goals and career decisions?

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Friday, November 20, 2009

Date night!

Date night tonight with my monkey (oops! pet names not allowed??)! I don't know where he's taking me...but he said it's something I'll enjoy. Which probably means it'll be somewhat pricey and include great food. My tastes tend to float toward the expensive, although our budget definitely doesn't allow for that very often. 

AND! Maybe we'll catch Twilight tonight also!! Whoot whoot!

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Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Pumpkin bread

I recently participated in a recipe exchange. An email was sent to me from a friend who said to forward a recipe to the person that told her to send the email message to 20 people. “What a great idea,” I thought. “I’ve wanted more recipe ideas.” So, I forwarded my aunt’s awesome pumpkin bread recipe to the person in the email list and then forwarded the message to 20 others. Supposedly if everyone you email participates, you’ll receive 36 recipes from your friends’ contacts. So far, I’ve received none. But at least I was able to share one.

If anyone would like my aunt's recipe, feel free to comment or email :)

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Tuesday, November 17, 2009

2010 Living Green Expo...canceled

Hi earth lovers, I recently found out that the 2010 Living Green Expo has been canceled. As a former volunteer, I'm pretty disappointed and saddened. The Pollution Control Agency decided to invest their money elsewhere, although this event formerly held at the MN State Fair grounds has attracted tons of local businesses, volunteers and supporters of living a greener lifestyle.

"We believe this event has made a considerable impact on the environmental sustainability of Minnesota. The future is bright — many organizations and individuals have seen the economic and environmental benefits of living green. We hope that you continue to invest your time and energy into environmentally sustainable products and practices."

Please join me in the pursuit for continuing to live green by investing time into sustainable practices and money toward more sustainable products.

Actions for Living Green

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Monday, November 16, 2009

A tea party

...for everyone, including me.

I think tea is very interesting...some like it and some don't. Some drink it only for sicknesses, others in order to calm down. And then there's those like me, who love it for it's aroma, taste, ingredients, delicacy and it's ability to warm the heart.

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Friday, November 13, 2009

Repost: Turning off the autopilot

:Six Ways to Bring Creativity to Daily Life

I like this post by Alex Fayle of Someday Syndrome. The things he writes about on increasing creativity in everyday life are consistent with many of the things I'm learning in a Creative Process class I'm taking.

Six suggestions Fayle elaborate on:
  1. Don’t always do things the same way
  2. Make yourself accountable for every minute
  3. Do things you wouldn’t normally do
  4. Live in someone else’s shoes
  5. Explore a new environment
  6. Learn to do absolutely nothing

One of the ways I'm trying to increase my Creativity is to take more time for reflection and processing. In my comment on Fayle's post I wrote, "One thing we have been challenged to do recently (in my Creative Process class) is to daily strive to be surprised, and to surprise. Maintain a daily journal and reflect on something in your day that was unique, out of the ordinary, unlikely, etc. And, try to surprise someone else. Maybe it’s a phone call to someone you haven’t spoken to in a long time, a suggestion you normally wouldn’t make, a thought that is out of line with what fits your normal process, etc."

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Thursday, November 12, 2009

Be the "yes person"

I've been reading reminders for thoughtful civility lately in "Return to Civility," A Speed of Laughter Project by John Sweeney & The Brave New Workshop.

First tip to increase civility in our world:

Be the "yes person" for those around you.
When your friends, family, or coworkers have an idea, need to talk, want feedback, or just need a listener, be the "yes person" -- the person who listens with an open mind and always says "yes, I can see your side of it" or "yes, I can help you with that " or "yes, I can see how that might work" or "yes, I am listening."

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Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Repost: Glenn Karwoski: The Idea Man

As you've probably realized by now, I thoroughly enjoy my Creative Process graduate class at the University of St. Thomas. If any of you readers are attending UST, please consider taking this class. If my opinion isn't enough to sway you, read this article by the Star Tribune on my professor, Glenn Karwoski - Mr. Idea.

"You may think you don't have a creative bone in your body. That's probably because you haven't met Glenn Karwoski.

Karwoski has forged a unique resume over the past decade and a half, teaching a class on the creative process to graduate business communications students at the University of St. Thomas while running Minneapolis-based public relations firm Karwoski & Courage.

Earlier this year, he took his classroom-tested insights on creativity and innovation into the corporate world, launching The Business of Ideas."


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Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Brave new experience

Last week my Creative Process class attended the Brave New Workshop to learn more about innovation from Owner John Sweeney. This is what I wrote after leaving:

I love it when a class doesn’t even feel like class, just like I love the idea of having a job that doesn’t feel like work. As I’m sure many are feeling, I am intrinsically pumped about my first experience at the Brave New Workshop. In fact, I just got home. Creative ideas, thoughts and innovative activities are not new to me, but every time I have an encounter with these things I get excited. As a person who’s naturally more in tune with their Feeling-side, these kinds of self-awareness and be-your-best boosters have me sweating in all imaginable places.

However, I know myself only too well. The thought-provoking creative strategies and self-esteem enhancers I’ve been taught have increased my adrenaline and have me ready and wanting anything to jump in my way and just try to stop me, but my critical, analytical-side has me looking behind me, nagging, “It’s only a few days until you forget about being energetically improvisational and start worrying about how others will judge you.” Is it really only a matter of time until the status quo starts knocking at my brain telling me to hurry up and get a job, make a “living,” be successful? I hope and pray not, because my creative wants and needs are to cling to the thoughts and desires of tonight and to my values and beliefs that truly bring me life. How lucky one must be to stay focused. How short-sighted I become so easily. How narrowly my mind becomes fixed. How much courage it takes to overcome risk.

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Monday, November 9, 2009

Understanding of self

"Everything that irritates us about others can lead us to a better understanding of ourselves."
                                                                                           -- Carl Jung

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Friday, November 6, 2009

I promise to bring my own bag because

Those who know me well know that I'm passionate about saving the environment one person at a time. So naturally my best friend thought of me when she received and start using reusable bags. And consequently her boyfriend now does also. *smiles*

I love my friends. Happy Friday!

For more information on these reusable bags donated by the Minnesota Grocers Association (MGA) and other ways to save visit Reduce Waste.

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Thursday, November 5, 2009

Independence through revolutionary action

A devotion of justice and independence for the love of mankind, 13 united declared: "We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness."

"...these united Colonies are, and of Right ought to be Free and Independent States, that they are Absolved from all Allegiance to the British Crown, and that all political connection between them and the State of Great Britain, is and ought to be totally dissolved; and that as Free and Independent States, they have full Power to levy War, conclude Peace, contract Alliances, establish Commerce, and to do all other Acts and Things which Independent States may of right do. — And for the support of this Declaration, with a firm reliance on the protection of Divine Providence, we mutually pledge to each other our Lives, our Fortunes, and our sacred Honor"
John Hancock


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Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Reorganizing a car's programmed radio stations

This week feels void of creativity so I've been thinking of ways I've done things intentionally just to do things differently. What have I done recently…my battery in my car went out, and therefore all my stations that were programmed got deleted. So, I rearranged them in a different order, it’ll take a while to get used to their new placements…but the order makes more sense now.

For some it's numerically, for others it's by type of music.

For me, currently, it's in the order of what I like to listen to the most. My station order was random before; not numerically, not by a category.

I wonder how many times one has to press the buttons of the newly programmed stations to memorize where the new locations are? My guess is something around five drives in the car. This is because I know I switch stations every few if my average drive is fifteen minutes, I've changed radio stations at least three or four times. I subconsciously change the station when DJ's are talking, when there's loud rock music I don't know or when the traffic news is being reported.

When my battery went out and it was time to reprogram my stations, I recalled this antsy finger syndrom of mine and decided to change the order of my radio stations. Now, the buttons I press more often are not the last ones on the right. I usually only use the first two, which hold two stations each.

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Sunday, November 1, 2009

Halloween unloaded

Well, Halloween was fantastically fun as usual...saw friends, family and many others!

The happenings officially started on Friday night (the night before Halloween). We traveled up north to Stacy, MN to go to my friend and her family's Halloween party. There was apple bobbing, dancing, drinks and food, and costume contests. There were over 80 people in their huge pull barn and almost everyone dressed up! It was a blast!

My costume? A "leaf blower!" I gathered leaves from outside and attached them with string to a hat. When someone asked me what I was I would blow on the leaves. Only a few people got it without my help, others thought it was fun and original. Many guessed that I was trying to be the seasons of autumn or fall.

At the last minute on Saturday we decided that we would go with option F. Yes, not an official option that we came up with beforehand. Due to other priorities during the day, such as homework, we had a hard time making plans that we could for sure stick with. What sounded nice was to hang out with friends and do something Halloweenish. We helped friends hand out candy and then, and then we went out to Stillwater, MN to go on one of Luna Rossa's Haunted Cave Tours. It was sort of scary, but a lot of fun!

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