February 10, 2016

New and Notable

Now that I've entered back into the working world and I'm working nearly 5 days a week, the closet that I felt once had too many choices, is slowly becoming boring again. That said, I've added a few new pieces to my wardrobe in the last month or so. 

Here is something new and notable. 




It's a little blousy in the back, but overall I really like the fit. I can't wait to pair it with white jeans once we get a little closer to spring.

February 4, 2016

Products We Love

A number of months ago I posted about the Organic cosmetic brand Juice Beauty (post here). I was introduced to the brand through barre3 and first purchased the cellular repair cream, which is like a beauty balm. I'm still using it and like it, except for the slightly dirt like smell, but what do you expect, it is organic. 

Since my original post Gwyneth Paltrow has come on board as Creative Director for the makeup line, which makes me like the brand slightly less, but it won't cause me to take any drastic measures, like conscious uncoupling. 

Anyway, back to the products. A few weeks ago I realized that my Laura Mercier mascara was ready to be replaced, and one of my goals has been to switch to natural beauty products. Unfortunately my go-to company Beauty Counter doesn't make mascara, so I decided to give the Juice Beauty mascara  a try. 

I didn't even have to order it through the mail as they sell it at my local Pharmaca. 

I highly suggest trying it! 

February 1, 2016

Kiwi Crate Update

Sometimes I wonder if anyone is reading anymore. Katie and I recognize that we have become infrequent and inconsistent in our blogging, and we're sorry.

We hope you haven't completely given up on us.

Our goal is not necessarily to give you as much content, but hopefully great content that keeps you engaged enough to read, even if we don't post as frequently.

So thank you for being loyal. We really, really appreciate it.

On to today's post...an update on the Kiwi Crate. Katie first posted a few weeks ago on the Kiwi Crate (here). She and Dr. B gave The Mini Fashionista a three month subscription for Christmas. It has hands down been one of the best gifts she has ever received.

She LOVES it!


This past weekend we spent over an hour doing the activities in her January crate. This month was focused on "ice experiments", and I think it was my favorite of the three. Not only was it fun and creative, but she also learned things like why an object will float in salt water but not fresh water!

So cool!

If you have kids, nieces, nephews...really any child in your life that you are buying a gift for, I highly recommend Kiwi Crate. The parents and the child will both be happy with the gift!

January 28, 2016

Snow Day Play Dough

 
If you turned on the news this week or live in the D.C. area, you know we had a BIG snow storm. I mean record breaking, completely debilitating snow storm. With 25 inches at our house even this Idaho girl was impressed.

 
Even after it was over and the sun came out on Sunday, everything was at a standstill. Literally...we weren't going anywhere on these streets. 
 

 
I watched from afar as all my parent friends attempted to stave off cabin fever. A friend in California even texted me her go-to Play Dough recipe in case we were reaching our breaking point. So I thought I'd share it with you...for the next snow storm...or rainy day when you need to occupy yourself or your little humans. Thanks Paige!


January 27, 2016

The Station

A friend shared this poem with me last week. Her parents kept it on their refrigerator when she was growing up. It's very similar in message to the "Keeping it Real" post from a few weeks ago and aligns well with my Journey Mapping post from earlier this week. 
I hope it resonates with you like it did with me. 

THE STATION
By Robert J. Hastings
   TUCKED AWAY in our subconscious minds is an idyllic vision.  We see ourselves on a long, long trip that almost spans the continent.  We're traveling by passenger train, and out the windows we drink in the passing scene of cars on nearby highways, of children waving at a crossing, of cattle grazing on a distant hillside, of smoke pouring from a power plant, of row upon row of corn and wheat, of flatlands and valleys, of mountains and rolling hillsides, of city skylines and village halls, of biting winter and blazing summer and cavorting spring and docile fall.
     But uppermost in our minds is the final destination.  On a certain day at a certain hour we will pull into the station.  There will be bands playing and flags waving.  And once we get there so many wonderful dreams will come true.  So many wishes will be fulfilled and so many pieces of our lives finally will be neatly fitted together like a completed jigsaw puzzle.  How restlessly we pace the aisles, damming the minutes for loitering, waiting, waiting, waiting for the station.
     However, sooner or later we must realize there is no one station, no one place to arrive at once and for all.  The true joy of life is the trip.  The station is only a dream.  It constantly outdistances us.
     When we get to the station that will be it!" we cry.  Translated it means, "When I'm 18 that will be it!  When I buy a new 450 SL Mercedes Benz, that will be it!  When I put the last kid through college that will be it!  When I have paid off the mortgage that will be it!  When I win a promotion that will be it!  When I reach the age of retirement that will be it!  I shall live happily ever after!" 
     Unfortunately, once we get "it," then "it" disappears.  The station somehow hides itself at the end of an endless track. 
     "Relish the moment" is a good motto. It isn't the burdens of today that drive men mad.  Rather, it is regret over yesterday or fear of tomorrow.  Regret and fear are twin thieves who would rob us of today. 
     So, stop pacing the aisles and counting the miles.  Instead, climb more mountains, eat more ice cream, go barefoot more often, swim more rivers, watch more sunsets, laugh more and cry less.  Life must be lived as we go along.  The station will come soon enough.

January 26, 2016

Be Legendary

I went to the Nike Employee Store last week and came home with these Legendary Tights. 




I liked them so much that I also got them in solid black. Well done Nike. These tights are in fact Legendary!

January 25, 2016

Keeping it Real: Journey Mapping

Last week I posted this photo on my personal Instagram account. It reads "Journey Mapping."


I had two friends comment that they wanted to know more about what "Journey Mapping" is and wondered if I was going to write a blog post about it, so I thought I would. Ironically that's not my journal, but a work notebook, and the "Journey Mapping" was a work exercise, not a personal one.

A customer journey map is a very simple idea: a diagram that illustrates the steps your customer(s) go through in engaging with your company, whether it be a product, an online experience, retail experience, or a service, or any combination. Simplistically, you map how they act, what they feel, think and say at each point along their journey.

So it got me thinking, if I am the customer in my own life, what do I want my journey to look like?

I've been working a lot lately, which is why we have gone from posting on C&C nearly everyday to rarely. Between my work, philanthropic, and family commitments there just aren't enough hours in the day. As the customer in my own life, I am not getting the experience I want and deserve. I feel overwhelmed, tired and sometimes inadequate. I'm sure many of you know these feelings.

So what's my point in writing this? My point is this.

You have control over your own journey map. It's up to you how you choose to engage in each and every aspect of your life; personally, professionally, emotionally and physically. When I started thinking about this last week I realized that I need to take control of my journey in order to change the experience and the way I am feeling. One of the steps in that process included saying "no" to a commitment I made. It was hard to do, but it was the right thing for me.

I truly believe that the best way to achieve the journey you want is to map it out, put it to paper. So since writing this post, I have made my own Journey Map.

Here are some of the touch points on my map: Family, Sport, Nature, Adventure, Friends, Travel, Professional fulfillment, Philanthropy.

And here are some of the feelings that I hope to experience: joy, wonder, curiosity, satisfaction, calm, thrill, love, impact...among many others.

This is a very high level overview of my "Journey Map". It can be broken down into a daily journey, weekly or even yearly. For me the exercise is about identifying your desired experiences and feelings and planning how to make those things happen. Part of that process might include eliminating experiences and feelings from your Journey, as it did for me just last week.

Wherever your journey takes you, I hope you achieve the experiences and feelings you desire because life is too short not to be lived to the fullest.

Happy Journey Mapping!