31 December 2012

balanced goals.

what a boring blog post title, right?

last year i mentioned that i don't do new year's resolutions.  thanks to my mom, i do something called balanced goals and objectives for the coming year.  they are so much better than resolutions, because they aren't big pie-in-the-sky unachievable wishlist type of goals.  they have to follow a certain criteria.

S - they must be specific
M - measurable, so you know if you've achieved it
A - they have to be achievable, not too out-there
R - realistic [see above]
T - time-based for quantifiable results

there are six different categories plus three additional categories that may not fit other goals.  there should be at least one goal for each category, or as many as you want.  

career/financial - can be both business + personal
relationships - family, friends
well-being - health + physical condition
spiritual - spiritual + intellectual growth
personal - what are you going to do for yourself

what am i going to STOP doing this year?
what am i going to START doing this year?
what am i going to CONTINUE doing this year?

so they sound kind of labor intensive, but it's not that hard.  i mean, think about a typical resolution: 'i want to lose weight,' or 'i want to cook more.'  what is more?  what is exactly losing weight?  making goals that are specific and measurable are so much easier to achieve. 

this will be my third year of making these goals.  and to help keep myself on track, i thought i would share some with you [but some i am keeping to myself ;) ]

career: find a fulfilling, meaningful career using my new degree
relationships: see my brother at least once a week, trip out to nyc at least once per quarter
well-being: run a 5k
spiritual: find an organization to volunteer with in boston within my first three months here
personal: cook at least 3x a week
wild card: make photo albums of all our trips [carried over from 2011 's goals!!!]

what am i going to STOP doing: stress eating [big vice of mine]
what am i going to START doing this year: surprise pi at least 2x a month with something special
what am i going to CONTINUE doing this year: blogging - upping it to at least 3x a week

hopefully this will help keep me on track.  i have a lot of things i want to do this year, and i want 2013 to be MY year.  now that school, the election and everything else has settled down i am so looking forward to a fresh clean slate.

feel free to take the SMART criteria and make your own goals + objectives... and stick to them.

have a happy and safe new years eve all!  see you in 2013!

til next year...

30 December 2012

christmas on the farm

there is not nearly enough space to share all the photos i have from christmas... but here are a few.  it was such a lovely [and freezing] holiday.

our holiday farmhouse

my handsome husband


nanny + i

ollie + his love, uncle joe

laughter at our table

no plans for new years tomorrow night just yet... maybe just a nice dinner out and some champagne at home.  it is icy and freezing here, and our tradition is twilight zone marathon and champagne.  sounds pretty good right about now :)

29 December 2012

starting over [kind of].

one of the things i am super excited about with our new apartment is kind of starting over, design and decor wise.  we are moving from our 100+ year old four bedroom single home [which i miss so much] to a one bedroom loft in the heart of boston.  it's a big change, obviously. 

most of our furniture and decor is obviously the same - but there are a good amount of things that we left back in denver, simply because we won't have the room.  which means there is room for new stuff, reinvention of old stuff, and new decor ideas.  so i did what any girl would do... i raided my pinterest board for inspiraiton.

i started a new board for our new apartment with all my new ideas... i can't wait to move in and start decorating!  here's a few ideas i have...

 would this be absurd in my living room? 

lovely in my living room! 
eclectic rooms 

til next time...!

28 December 2012

the hunt is on.

so, here we go, apartment hunting.  while i loved house hunting soooo much, our house was the third house we saw on the first day of hunting.  so that was pretty fast.

but here we are in boston, and since we just got here, all the apartment hunting i have been doing until now has been online.  it's not very helpful.  so since the day we got here (2 days ago) we have been on the hunt.  we saw once place on the 26th, one place this morning... and then we stopped at a building in the south end that i have been emailing for two months.  and you know what?


we just put the application in today... so i don't want to say much else until we get the approval.  but it's gorgeous, and i can't wait to share pictures.  so now, it's just about waiting!

hopefully i'll have news to share soon, but in the meantime... stay warm :)


25 December 2012

24 December 2012

welcome to massachusetts

well, we finally made it to massachusetts.

we live here now.

but we are up in the most adorable town you've never heard of - great barrington.  we are holed up in a little farmhouse for christmas, watching movies, catching up, drinking and laughing.

this is the best pic i could get as we blew past the NY border into MA
here's a few quick pics to catch you up on the last few weeks since i've blogged:

my sister anne came out from tennessee for graduation
I GRADUATED.       :)

my parents threw a brunch for me at my fave restaurant after graduation
we threw our annual christmas party/goodbye party for all our friends

goodbye dinner with my best girlfriends all together [almost]

we had a very tearful goodbye with our house...

and we packed up our cats and drove from denver to mass.

since i am now not working or attending school lots of updates will be coming... but for now i am putting on love actually, wrapping gifts, and drinking champagne.

merry christmas to all!

13 December 2012

so much to look forward to!

hey all!

so here is my first blog post post-school.  it feels pretty good.  today was absolutely insane, as all my days are, even though i am done with school.  i anticipate all of my days to be like this, at least until we move to boston - if not until we actually move into an apartment.  school is just one less thing i have to worry about now.

i worked all day yesterday and today is my last day.  i am not going to lie - it is actually really stressing me out that tomorrow is my last day.  i am having a hard time relinquishing control of some things, and i am really worried about what is going to happen after i leave.  but i know most people who leave their jobs feel like this [so says one of my girlfriends, j, who is an hr expert anyway].  so it will be interesting to see how it goes, because right now i just feel kind of anxious.  we had a team outing yesterday afternoon for the holiday and we did a cocktails and canvas event - and i totally loved it!  painting was such a great way to relieve stress... wish i could do it more often (and be good at it). 

my first painting!

after my work outing, i stopped for happy our with j at el camino.  it felt so great to just sit, drink, talk, and not worry that i was blowing off homework or something else super important.  i am really going to miss our random but always much-needed happy hours...

i am starting to get super excited for this weekend.  in less than 12 hours my sis anne will be here - i can't wait for another visit with her!  my brother aj also arrives in just a few hours... before you know it the rest of my family will be in tomorrow and it will be time for graduation on saturday morning.  saturday night is our annual christmas cocktail bash so anne and i have a million things to do to get ready.  but this is the good kind of busy - not writing term papers and reading til 1am kind of busy.  i like this kind of busy :)

i don't know if i'll have time to blog again til after the crazy weekend - but stay tuned!  lots more coming up!

til next time...

12 December 2012



i am done with school. forever.

i turned my paper in today after spending over an hour editing it.  i can hardly believe it - i kind of feel like i am in shock or something.  i was hoping that it would feel like all my stress just melted away... but with the move and the party coming up there is just no chance of that happening.  but i do feel less stressed.  i don't think it's really going to hit me until graduation on saturday, to be totally honest.

i want to say so many things to all the people who helped me.  but right now i am so tired i can hardly type this... so we'll save it for another day :)

finally.  goodnight all!

11 December 2012

thanks, robert ingersoll!

i was hard at work on my political philosophy paper last night, and i wanted to share this beautiful quote from robert ingersoll.

while i am opposed to all orthodox creeds, i have a creed myself; and my creed is this.  happiness is the only good.  the time to be happy is now.  the place to be happy is here.  the way to be happy is to make others so.  this creed is somewhat short, but it is long enough for this life, strong enough for this world.  if there is another world, when we get there we can make another creed.  but this creed certainly will do for this life. 

awesome.  i can't believe that i went to school to study stuff like that.

and no, i didn't finish my paper yet.  the writing stage is totally done - but it just has to be edited tomorrow before i turn it in.  then i will truly breathe my huge sigh of relief.

10 December 2012

christmas shopping!

due to my absolutely absurd lack of time this holiday season, i have done nearly all of my holiday shopping online.  this is fantastic for a few reasons:
  1. i am lazy.
  2. i can shop with a glass of wine and in my underwear.
  3. there is a much bigger selection of shops and items!
so this year i wanted to try to do like 90% - if not all - of my christmas shopping from non-profits and local and/or small businesses.  so i thought i would share a few of my favorite cites to shop from so far.

punjammies - amazing pajames made by the international princess project, which helps women from lives of forced prostitution.

invisible children - fantastic jewelry, bags, scarves and more made from east african citizens directly affected by joseph kony and the lra's evil presence

etsy - this one is obviously not a non-profit, but it is a great way to support people who aren't necessarily professionals but who create things they love, which is awesome.  check out one of my favorite shops, a salvaged home, for unique pillow covers and gorgeous one-of-a-kind vintage finds.

i am heading out to a mission supports christmas shopping event at the merc wednesday night and hope to find some fabulous and helpful christmas gifts - so i'll update this list if i find new great places to shop for a purpose. 

what are you favorite non-profits to shop from this holiday season?

day of firsts and lasts.

 upside down

well, it is finally over.  i finished my LAST CLASS EVER today.  it felt really good, and it was a really great class too actually.  we had a mock-constitutional convention, which i felt was a great way to end my adventure back to school.  it was sort of anti-climactic though, since i still have a term paper to write this week.  and get this:

my term paper is on my own personal political philosophy.  i think that is such a fitting way not only to wrap up the class or the semester, but the perfect way to sum up before graduation on saturday.  it will require me to really reflect on everything i've learned this past year and decide what i really stand for, and hopefully might help me prioritize in searching for jobs out in boston.

it was also a little anti-climactic because i couldn't go celebrate with my favorite carpool/study group buddies, lp + cw, but instead had to rush home to sign the lease for our house!  yup - the isbouts home is now officially going to be occupied by someone else come january 1st.  it's bittersweet, because i really am still super nervous about having someone else live in the house - but this also means it's one less thing that i have to worry about now.

after the lease was taken care of, pi and i rushed out to get him to the airport.  another first today - he left for his first business trip for his new company.  even though he started his job officially on the 26th of november, tomorrow is really his first day.  he hasn't had to go into an office or even really meet anyone from his company yet, so tomorrow is a big day for him!  he's gone all week - won't be back til friday afternoon - but it gives me lots of time to finish up my final paper, pack, and prep for the party this weekend.  i better get used to him being out of town, so i am keeping myself super busy this time around.

i am still kind of in shock about being done with class.  i don't think it will really hit me until i finish my term paper this week - but i am hoping i can actually knock it all out tomorrow evening so i can get on with all the stuff i have to do.

goodnight all!

til next time...

05 December 2012

a christmas memory.

this song came on my iPod this evening as i was driving home and i thought i'd share it with you all, along with a little special memory i have of it.  i love it :)

back during my prague days, we took a little road trip over thanksgiving break.  now, of course they don't celebrate thanksgiving in the czech republic, but american students still do.  so basically we skipped class on thursday and friday.  we rented a little car and left prague on thursday afternoon, and then drove to vienna.  it was awesome for so many different reasons - one of which was road trips are just a little more interesting when you are trying to drive your way around europe.  also, PI and i were just becoming an item at this time, so it was a special time for us. 

but best of all, it was christmastime.  and christmas time in vienna is something very special.  we were all on a very tight budget, so we found a nice hotel and shared a room with two twin beds between five of us.  but during the day we would wander around the city and spend time in the amazing christmas village in the city square.  now i am really huge into christmas carols during the holiday season, and one day while we were walking around the christmas village, i found this old frank sinatra christmas album and just had to buy it for our car trip.

well, that night we were all going to bed in our cramped little hotel room and we decided to put on some christmas carols as we went to bed (yes, we were kind of strange college students i guess).  the first some on the album is this one below - which just happens to be my favorite christmas carol of all time.  no joke. 

at the end of the song frank says 'merry christmas.'  and as we all laid in the dark, PI and i cuddled in a twin bed together with some of our best friends, we all at the same time said 'merry christmas frank.'  it was such a weird thing, as soon as we all said it we all just busted out laughing.

it is such a random memory but one of my favorite holiday memories.  just wanted to share that :)

03 December 2012

holy panic attack, batman!

happy day - first post of december, the month i have been waiting for all year! holidays, graduation, family gatherings, graduation, new job for PI, leaving my job, packing up the house and moving... oh wait, that's too many things.

but that's right.  those are all of the things happening this month in the next few weeks. 

my school countdown today is down to
10 days
that's right.  only 10 more days of schoolwork. but what gave me the real panic attack today was that i gave my official last-day-of-work notice to my job!  my last day is now december 13th.  which means that the 13th i will have my last day of work, my annie and my brother get in thursday night, PI comes home from his first business trip, my dad and his wife will arrive.  craziness.
it all just is starting to seem so real now that i picked my last day of work.  stupid, i know - we've been talking about this move for over a month.  but it's all really happening now.  we'll have our house rented by the end of the week i hope, and by sunday night all my classes will be over.
it's all really starting to happen, and i am really starting to panic.
going to go find a glass of wine... til next time!