Next up, 2014

cheers banner

live life quote

Last year I decided on themes from 2012 and set ones for 2013, and it turned out to be one of my favorite posts. From time to time, I would look back to see how I was doing at my resolutions or if, most likely as I feared, I had forgotten about them entirely. I’m probably way too proud to say I really did accomplish last year’s goals, so I decided I would do the same style this year.

2013 was the year of…

Creativity. I made great strides as a budding amateur photographer and even won the Innovator Award at my agency’s annual peer-voted awards ceremony for the most creative strategies, ideas and campaigns (and tights, due to my daily variation of colors and patterns).

Relationships. Last year I was excited to announce the return of one of my best friends (now roommate). This year I had another lifelong friend move to the DFW area and managed to make some pretty huge strides in my romantic relationship. November 2012 I was sure I was on the brink of a break-up, yet somehow we grew together in a way I didn’t see coming, leading up to our engagement November 2013. Crazy! No offense meant to the rest of you guys, but I’m pretty sure I’ve locked down the most caring, intelligent, witty, handsome guy out there.

Travel. My real goal, if you haven’t caught on yet, is to make every year the year of travel. In 2013 I visited El Paso, Washington D.C., Austin, Chicago, Wisconsin, Tulsa, New York (twice!), Istanbul and Atlanta. What a great year!

Health. After battling what appears to be food allergies in the form of super swollen eyes and lips, I finally have the uncomfortable issues and itchiness under semi-control. I reached a pretty low place when my physical issues were leaving me ugly and sleep deprived, but I have been so blessed with a loving boyfriend, compassionate boss, tireless parents, understanding friends and the BEST DOCTOR EVER (aka Dr. Crawford). I also got to experiment with new recipes and restaurants in line with my new gluten, dairy, soy, egg, nut, bean – free diet.

2014 will focus on…

Engaging. Recently I realized that my natural inclinations to keep my head down in the grocery store and zone out to the tune of my to do list at work are just not what’s important. Life is not at all about me, and I want the way I live to reflect that. Some ways I plan on doing that include smiling more, asking questions, complimenting others, inviting people to coffee and lunches (heck, actually taking lunches) and dedicating one night a week to catching up on message replies, texts, maybe even a “hey, how’s life” phone call or snail mail note. I’ve let far too many close friendships grow distant and opportunities to connect with strangers fall by the wayside. No more.

Using time intentionally. This looks like lining up podcasts for my daily commutes to hear from Ben Stewart, the Bible app, TED talks or Italian lessons. This also looks like using my nights and weekends to pursue others and my interests, rather than pick up dinner at Whole Foods only to waste away on Netflix (no matter how good Sherlock, Parks & Rec and White Collar are). For instance, I have been promised a trip to Italy once I become fluent. Motivation, secured. I came across this quote the other day by H. Jackson Brown Jr.:

Don’t say you don’t have enough time. You have exactly the same number of hours per day that were given to Helen Keller, Pasteur, Michaelangelo, Mother Teresa, Leonardo da Vinci, Thomas Jefferson, and Albert Einstein.

Rediscovering reading. When I was younger I read multiple books a week. Now, the same length book takes me at least a month. This year I want to read more, in turn increasing my appetite for even more books. Reading also has the side effects of inspiring creative juices and providing much needed rest, both of which I can always stand more of. I also really, really want to start a book club. I’ve been talking about this for at least a year, and enough is enough. If you’re in the Dallas area and love books and brunch, you should probably think about joining. More info coming soon as I figure out just what this looks like, but I’m très‎ excited.

Traveling. Up next is a road trip to Marfa, a leisurely beachfront long weekend in Maine, Austin for SXSW (and most likely my bachelorette party), another trip (or two, or three) to New York City and of course, our honeymoon. Right now, Italy’s Amalfi coast and Naples or Spain’s islands and Barcelona are in the lead.

That’s it! I could go on and on when it comes to goals and to do lists, but hopefully these themes give you a good idea of where I’ve been, where I’m at and where I’m going.

What have you got planned for 2014?

Setting the tune for June

June1June2 June3

I never really thought June would arrive. It’s so been so far away for so long that I assumed it would take another year or so for that pesky calendar to get around to it. Despite my resistance and by some twist of fate, here we are. June. June 4th in fact. I celebrated the end of May pretty fantastically packed with brunches, doggie dates, prosecco, mambo taxis, boyfriend time and present shopping. Which is really setting the right tune for June. June is busy busy and so expensive. My poor little credit card is not going to be happy with me after all the birthdays, brunches, wedding gifts, doggie care and travel expenses. You can thank me latter, BOA.

I’m also making some adjustments to my workout routine. As it turns out I am a pansy and anything above 83 degrees is too hot for me to get a good 6 mile run in – especially with that ferocious Texas sun beating down on my back and my dog’s black fur. And waiting till 8 or 9 PM to go running isn’t the best strategy for a good night sleep or a decent dinnertime. So I’m trying my absolute best to become a morning runner. It’s so hard. Like..guys..so hard. First off I can’t breathe in the mornings. My lungs are tight and don’t allow me to get a good breathe going. And then there’s the whole “this is so early and my bed feels like an absolute cloud” part of it that is a wee challenge to get around.

Monday was my first go at it and I loved it. It was so cool and crisp in the morning, there was hardly any traffic and I felt energized the rest of the day. But the real best part? I spent yesterday evening reading, cleaning and lounging – I even cooked a dinner that was more than a protein shake. Hell, I even read while I walked my dog – no small feat I might add. I’m still working out some kinks to the ol’ work out routine, but I am really enjoying getting my workouts done early. By 9 AM I already feel so accomplished and I am able to focus better while I’m at work. It’s also opening up my afternoons to be able to focus on a bit more on toning on my running days with some ab work, pushups and lunges.

So anyhoo, I am trying to welcome June in with energized open arms. It will be an exciting, tiring, expensive, draining and super fun month. Thank goodness for caffeine.

My dream weekend

ten-broeck-by-messana-o-rorkeLow bed envy: 11 home inspiration photos

seattle sunsetSeattle dreaming: all the details on Seattle’s neighborhoods

Today my brain is all over the place, which makes it actually kinda the perfect weekend to have the boyfriend and two of my closest friends out of town.

This weekend I’ve got a date with myself. I’m going to hole up, read, think and journal. I keep coming back to a conversation I had last weekend about settling and wondering, am I settling at all? At work, relationships, life…sometimes it’s good to check-in for a little personal diagnostic and make sure everything’s “on track.” There’s so many things I want to do and places I want to see that I haven’t thought about in awhile. It’s time to bring those dreams up again and maybe even focus in on new ones.

Part of the reason I might be thinking about dreams and new experiences might be more than a little inspired by co-blogger Lydia’s fantastic European adventure. You might have noticed her absence this past week (I know I have!), but rest assured she’s having the time of her life, with the instagram feed to prove it.

Here’s to a productive, thoughtful weekend!

follow your dreams quote

On the path

My roommate and I, over homemade cappuccinos and freshly baked muffins on Saturday morning, had a brief discussion on our conflicted feelings about our career paths. Depending on our mood, time of the month and amount of caffeine we’ve had, our perspective about our place on our career path changes. There are two basic attitudes we have. The first is the good days. When we are like, I love being young! Being in your early 20’s is aw-some because we can really direct our career path wherever we choose and finding this path is exhilarating and exactly what we daydreamed about in our boring university courses. We are putting one foot in front of another, excited to see where we land.

lifeled

The other is when we aren’t eating desserts to shed some pounds, had an exhausting day and the dog is acting up. It’s when we feel so stressed and tired just thinking about the next years in our career. We have a desire to move around and work hard, yet we are still working to prove to everyone that we are capable. We get frustrated and ask, “Why am I not there yet?” Keep in mind we are both 23, a fresh 2 years out of college and both realized our career passions later in our college life. Our mentors, parents and bosses all say that we will have an enticing path ahead of us, but on these particular days we don’t buy it. We get frustrated not knowing exactly what it is we want to do. We’ve narrowed it down to an industry, shouldn’t that be enough? What if we take a wrong job, in the wrong city for the wrong company and completely ruin our chance to be something great and realize our full potential. What if…we fail.

uncertainty

On this particular, caffeinated morning at Ascension Coffee I am feeling the first. Despite my dog being mauled by a pit bull on an early run, the depressing look at my bank account after purchasing my ticket to Europe (can I even really complain about that?) and the grotesque burn on my chin from my curling iron, I am feeling optimistic. Tomorrow might be another story (it will be a Monday after all), so I thought I should take note of this optimism and positive energy so that maybe when I’m feeling a little down I can look back. And hopefully think to myself, “I was so right yesterday.” I can choose to revel in the uncertainty of my future, take a nice long sip of my coffee and continue to daydream, work hard and set goals.

First and second image  both found on Pinterest.

Looking Ahead

New Year Quote

happy-new-year-cupcake

 

I’ve never been one for New Year’s resolutions, but clearly we’re goal driven people around Finding Tiffany’s. I do believe in striving to my best self every day, and I’m excited to continue learning and growing in the year ahead. The new year holds exciting opportunities at work, plenty of occasions in the works to play hostess for people I care about and travel sights set on D.C. and Chicago.

2012 was the year of…

Career. I launched my first blog and received two job offers to start my first “real” job.

Travel. New York City, Austin (twice), Atlanta, Fayetteville, Boston, Norman (three times) and New Mexico.

Community. A best friend moved back, I met two roommates, bonded with coworkers, joined a bible study with 20 amazing women and reconnected with some old friends in the area.

Independence. My own apartment, a new car and bills…all paid by yours truly.

2013 will focus on…

Health. Commit to yoga, run, eat (way) less sugar and finally follow through on some long-postponed healthcare appointments.

Relationships. Practice intentionality by actually responding to Facebook messages and in a timely manner, remembering birthdays and embracing snail mail for cards and notes.

Creativity. Learn photography with my new DSLR, dedicate more time to watching documentaries and independent film again and continue writing and blogging.

 

What do you think about resolutions? Have you set any goals or themes for the new year?

 

Sarah’s List

The list goes on and on due to an overwhelming desire to do, see, learn (and meticulously organize) everything. Somewhere along the line of growing up, people seem to accept this idea that we have to pick one thing in life to be, to do. But why limit yourself when there are so many great things and great people to experience them with? So here’s to doing it all and (hopefully) doing it well.

Below illustrates some of what “all” is for me. You can tell a lot about someone by their priorities and dreams; Lydia and I hope sharing some of ours will help you get to know us!

photo credit (from left, down):  1 | personal | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8 | 9 | 10 | 11

Lydia’s List of to do’s

Sarah and I decided to make “to do” lists. In addition to enjoying our lives to the fullest, we don’t want to forget about those big things. The big ones that require planning, saving and vacation time. True to our nature, we are covering all of our bases.

I make New Years resolutions every year. I never remember them as they are usually decided moments before I fall to sleep and typically involve weight, exercise and “do less” of something. I much prefer to refer to this list as a “To Do” list. I love to do lists. I live for to do lists. Any kind of lists, really. The feeling of drawing that clean, straight line through an accomplished task or activity is like having a piece of chocolate (which is not to say that upon crossing something out on a list you shouldn’t celebrate with a Dove Dark Chocolate. You most absolutely should).

Anyhoo. My list is more for the next two or so years. I feel my interests are constantly changing. For instance as of today I have no interest in deserts in the least. But who knows, maybe in a few years I’ll be yearning to ride a good camel.

Without further adieu, my list.