How To Write a Better Goals List

This time of year, a lot of us talk about and contemplate a list of all the things we’re going to do in the new year. We often freely toss in tons of things onto our list, unrealistically thinking we can accomplish them all, and we declare new year’s resolutions that often end up being empty promises to ourselves, which we don’t follow through on and later make us feel like failures.

In_Honor_Of_Design_Anna_LiesemeyerAn article by Martha Beck* and a video by Marie Forleo, recently left me inspired about how to write a better list of goals.  How to (1) clear out the things from our lists that waste our time and drain our energy, (2) add in the things that nourish us and make us feel fulfilled and content, and (3) make our goals happen. Below is a summary of tips I learned from them.

Edit down your list by scratching these things off

  • Things that aren’t spiritually profitable – things that won’t feed your soul
  • Things that, for the most part, are just to feed your ego
  • Things that revolve around toxic relationships
  • If it’s a business goal, projects that don’t make sense financially

Filter Questions to Edit Your List:

Does this goal make me feel joy and excitement?

Do I want to experience the activities involved in this goal, whether or not I achieve the milestones associated with it?

Do I want to do this to feel superiority toward people who haven’t done this thing?

Do I want to have this experience even if no one else would ever know I had?

Would I be thrilled to do this even if everyone thought it was weird or stupid?

Does this goal involve trying to change something that can’t be changed?

Am I leaving out certain things from my list because they aren’t socially considered as “important things”? What things am I leaving out because I feel guilty, like I’m not allowed to have/experience/achieve them?

What little things could add more joy to my everyday?

What things can I do to be more appreciative, present and purposeful?

What business projects will be both spiritually and financially profitable?

Making it happen

Schedule it!  Things will just be empty promises if you don’t take action towards them. Make a plan by listing the actionable steps of each goal and scheduling the first steps. This will create momentum.

What do you think? Do you find these tips helpful?

Image above: home of Anna Liesemeyer, photograph by Chelsey Heidorn
*Article referenced is: “To-Do List, or Not-to-Do List” as seen on page 45 of the November 2013 issue of Oprah Magazine
Posted in lists, planning tools, time management | 2 Comments

Round-up: Stylish 2014 Planners, Diaries and Agendas

Do you use a paper planner?  While I use an electronic organizer to manage my daily to-do’s (more on that later!), I like to use a paper planner to jot down workroom weekly notes for my biz, and another one as a health and wellness diary. If you haven’t gotten your 2014 planner yet, check out my round-up below of the most stylish ones out there:

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1- Black Stripe Day Designer, 2- White Gold Metallic Leather Desk Diary, 3- Parisian Chic Weekly Planner, 4- Luggage Robinson Agenda, 5- Classic Kraft Planner, 6- Leopard Desktop momAgenda, 7- Blush Buffalo Diary, 8- Pink Postman’s Lock Pocket Book, 9- Black Perfect Bound Planning Calendar, 10- Gold Mini Three-Ring Binder for use with -> 11- Weekly Planner Sheets, 12- Dove Grey 2014 Fashion Diary, 13- Peach Leather Diary, 14- Red 12M Planner Daily, 15- Silver Gunmetal Tab Jacket for use with -> 2014 Planning Diary

Posted in home office organization, organizing products, planners & calendars, planning tools, productivity, time management | 1 Comment

Gift Wrapping Inspiration: Simple & Pretty

Sometimes the simplest packages are the most elegant and pretty…

gift-wrapping-inspiration-arianna-belle-blogBeautiful ribbon is all you need to dress up solid colored gift wrap or boxes. More inspiration here.

Posted in christmas, gift wrapping | 2 Comments

Things to Enjoy this Time of Year

Do any of you make a bucket list of things you want to do this time of year?  The month of December usually flies by so quickly that I’ve found it helpful to jot down a list and roughly plan things out in order to enjoy the season as much as possible.

Here’s what’s on my list:

Pick out a fresh Christmas tree -did this this past weekend!

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Decorate the apartment. Three fourths done with this – will post a few pics on Instagram soon!

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Snuggle up on the sofa with the hubs and pup and watch favorite holiday movies. So far have watched: Love Actually, Jingle All the Way, Charlie Brown Christmas, and When Harry Met Sally. Still want to watch: The Holiday (my favorite!), Home Alone, Elf, and The Family Stone.

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Sip several cups of hot chocolate.  We picked up some Ghiradelli hot chocolate mix when we went to San Francisco last month, so will enjoy some of that for sure, but also love drinking Abuelita- a Mexican classic I grew up with.

hotchocolateIce skate – There’s a cute little outdoor rink near our apartment that’s beautifully decorated with lights that looks magical at night.

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Make lots and lots of christmas cookies and treats to eat and to share.

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Pull out the winter wear.

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Wrap presents – I did most of my shopping online, so once everything comes in, I’ll pull out the paper and pretty ribbons, get together with some peeps, and have a little wrapping session.

gift-wrapping-partyListen to Christmas music all throughout the month. My favorites are Michael Buble, Mariah Carey, Harry Connick Jr., Diana Krall, Josh Groban, Joe, and Christina Aguilera.

What are you enjoying this season? What are your favorite holiday movies and songs?

image sources: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 1112
Posted in christmas, christmas decor, winter | 2 Comments

Thanksgiving Tablescape Ideas

Can you believe that Thanksgiving is only a week away? This year my husband and I are hosting a dinner again, and while he finalizes the menu, I’m finalizing the table decor. Below is a round-up of images that are inspiring ideas.

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p.s. More inspiration here.

image sources: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8
Posted in fall, holidays | 2 Comments

Travel Tips

With the holiday travel season upon us, I thought I’d share with you a few travel tips I’ve learned, including some from our most recent trip to San Francisco (pics here). Hope any of you who will be jetting off soon find them useful!

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the view from my airplane seat, arriving to San Francisco

Accommodations

Instead of booking a hotel for our trip to San Francisco, we used the website Airbnb to find a place to stay per the recommendation of one of my husband’s co-workers.  Through the site, we found a cute apartment in a great location and paid less than we would have for a hotel. This was our first time using a site like this and because we had a good experience, we will probably use it again for future trips.

Luggage

Suitcases with four-wheels, a.k.a. spinners, are awesome. When I was in college I worked at a Samsonite store one summer and learned about all the different types of luggage. Ever since then, I told myself that the next time I was in the market for luggage, I would for sure get one with four wheels.  I ended up getting a hardcase spinner and loved it.  So much less annoying to travel with than those with two wheels.  A four wheeler can be pushed alongside you instead of having to drag it behind you, and it doesn’t topple over when left standing. Check outlet stores and discount stores like Marshalls, Ross and TJ Maxx for good deals.

Things to Take

Checklists are a great way to make sure you pack all the essentials.  Ideally write one out a few days in advance. Doing this will allow you the time to add to the list additional random things that will inevitably come to mind later on. With checklist in hand, come the day before your trip, you won’t be worrying that you’re forgetting something.

Clothes & Accessories

Stick to a color palette and bring pieces that coordinate well with each other allowing you the option to mix and match. If possible, wear your bulkiest items on the plane so that they don’t have to take up valuable suitcase space.

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what I packed for my trip to San Francisco this past weekend 

Cash

Don’t forget to bring cash! I’m so used to using my debit and credit cards on a day-to-day basis that I forget that when I’m outside of my normal routine/area, there may be cases in which I need to pay with cash.  While traveling, $1 bills come in handy for things like tipping and riding on public transportation.

Water Bottle

While you can’t bring water with you past the security check to carry on, you can bring an empty bottle with a built-in filter that you can use at the airport, and anywhere else you go during your trip.  Do this and you won’t have to spend money on overpriced water.

Snacks

While waiting to board the airplane to head back home from San Fran, I was hungry and ended up buying overpriced not-so-good-for-you snacks to stave off hunger.  Needless to say I wish I had brought more snacks along with me.  Raw almonds, trail mix, and apple chips, are a few favorite healthy options I’ll be taking along with me on my next trip.

Flight Delays and Cancellations

Keep your eye on your flight status. Ours was supposedly going to be delayed 2 and a half hours and so we went to go eat breakfast.  It ended up being cancelled and had my husband not been keeping an eye on it, we would not have known and may have likely missed an opportunity to rebook on the next earliest available flight.

If your flight gets cancelled and the next flight is fully booked, book what you can and while you’re waiting, hang out at the gate of the flight you’d like to get on. While we were waiting for our 11am SF flight, my husband and I hung out at the gate of the 10am SF flight. We sat close to the boarding area and service desk. After everyone boarded, the guy at the service desk came over and asked if we were on the 11am flight, said they had a few seats available on the 10am, and if we’d prefer to get on that flight.  Yeeessss!

Getting Around

When we weren’t walking or taking public transportation, we used a taxi to get around the city. The app Uber made getting one super easy.  It detects your location and allows you to request a taxi (or fancier car) to pick you up within minutes.  You pay with your credit card through the app, so you don’t have to stress if you’re not carrying cash.

Hope you found these tips useful. If you have any travel tips of your own you’d like to share, please share them in the comments section below!

*In case you’re wondering, Airbnb and Uber did not pay me to include them in this post. 
Posted in travel | 6 Comments

San Francisco Bound

APoT_LoSons

Bags are packed and we’re headed up north.  Excited to explore a new-to-me city! Will be posting pics throughout the trip on my Instagram.

image via a piece of toast
Posted in travel | 1 Comment

Inspired By: Blue Print

While reading the Domaine feature on Cynthia Collins, I learned that aside from being an interior designer, she is also co-owner of Blue Print – a store in Uptown Dallas.  I clicked on over to the store website and immediately fell in love.  They sell handpicked antiques, original artwork, accessories, and high-end furniture, all inside a really charming and architecturally beautiful old home:

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They do such a beautiful job with styling:

blueprint2 blueprint3 blueprint4 blueprint5 blueprint6If I ever go to Dallas, I’d love to visit the store. Looks like such an inspiring place!

All photos via Blue Print Store
Posted in decor, interior decor, little details, living room, wall art | 1 Comment

Cynthia Collins Home Tour

livingroom1-cynthiacollinslivingroom2-cynthiacollins

So delighted that our Raja Embroidery pillow was featured in Domaine Home as part of the ‘Get the Look’ portion of their post on interior designer Cynthia Collins’ home tour. Cynthia’s home is absolutely beautiful and her design aesthetic definitely resonates with me.  Each space is bright and airy, yet cozy, with just the right dose of color.

livingroom3-cynthiacollinskitchen-cynthiacollinsbed+bath-cynthiacollins

Photographs: Courtesy of Collins Interiors
Posted in bathrooms, bedrooms, home tours, interior decor, kitchens, living room | Leave a comment

Traveling to San Francisco!

sanfranciscoIn less than a week my husband and I will be flying out to San Francisco together for my birthday weekend! I’m so very excited because not only will it be the first time we’ve flown somewhere together since the one time years ago my husband accompanied me on a work trip to Arizona (back when I used to be a commercial real estate appraiser), but it will also be my very first time visiting the city.  I’ve heard so many great things about San Francisco and I want to see and do everything, however since it’s only a 3 day trip, I have to be selective and leave the rest for future visits.  This weekend, aside from celebrating my little sister‘s birthday, cleaning the house, and doing a bit of work, I’m squeezing in some time to plan out our days, and possibly start packing.  If you have recommendations of must-sees/dos I’d love to hear them!

image via here
Posted in travel | 11 Comments