Thursday, January 23, 2014

National Handwriting Day

Today is National Handwriting Day. I do not have the best handwriting. It is pretty decent when I try to make it look good, but just my everyday writing it isn't too great. I have been practicing my cursive more and more since I very rarely use it and don't want to lose it. I signed up for a calligraphy class in March in Dallas that I am really excited about from Blue Eye Brown Eye. I write a ton and would like to improve my handwriting to be "prettier" and not so sloppy.

Image via Pentel

Friday, January 17, 2014

Meal Planning Organization

I have never been too terribly good at planing meals. I know what we like to eat and I make sure certain items are always in stock at my house. By default we eat things that are easy and that are quick to make. As one of my goals for the new year I wanted to try new recipes. So I finally set up this meal planning section in my home maintenance binder. Of course all the meals are not new, but many of them are things that we don't eat on a regular basis. This past week we have eaten homemade fish sticks (I have actually made this a lot), salami and gouda paninis, homemade hot wings, snapper with squash, and homemade pasta using our pasta maker. (of course we had fruits and veggies to go along with these meals)

I got the meal planner sheets from a template on Home Made by Carmona.

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Ribbon Organization

Now that the holidays are over, I have finally put away all of my decorations, wrapping paper, etc. I love to reuse bags, ribbons and bows from gifts that I receive, so I usually store it for the next year or for whenever I need to reuse those items for another gift. 

I have accumulated a ton of ribbon scraps throughout the years and this year it was a little overwhelming and I wanted to figure out a way to organize them all. I looked online and saw this way below, which was surprisingly effective. 

All you need is clothespins and the ribbon. You clip one end of the ribbon with the clothespin, wrap it around several times and than clip the other end of the ribbon with the clothespin. Super simple! 

Monday, January 13, 2014

Stamp Rate Increase

I love all the different stamps that are available to purchase now. Seeing as I send a lot of mail, I end up buying a lot of stamps throughout the year. The rate is going from 46 cents to 49 cents as of January 26, 2014. To me 3 cents is a huge increase. This means that it will cost more to mail packages as well. There is a chance it could decrease as this has happened several decades ago, but I have my doubts. Either way I just went to and stocked up on a ton of stamps. 

Some of my favorite stamps available are are Johnny Cash, Ray Charles, vintage seed packets, patriotic star, bicyclists, among many others. 

Thursday, January 9, 2014

Organization: Paper Planners

January is Get Organized month everywhere and here is Houston all the stores have their organization items out in full effect. I know there are tons of people trying to get organized and get their life in order as new years resolutions. I know that I am booking clients here in Houston who are ready to get a fresh start on their organization. 

As I have said several times on here before I try to be as eco as possible, but my vice is paper (stationery, organizers, etc). I love paper products whether it be to make various things with them, that I can send them to people, etc. 

I am not against electronic calendar organizers. They just aren't as effective for me, as I am more a visual person and like to see it in front of me and make notes.

Below are several paper planner organizers that I use for various reasons. 

This organizer I use on a daily basis for clients, personal, etc. I use the Franklin Covey compact size. I love it. I have used this for years and years. It is small enough to fit into most of my purses and it stores various business cards, notes, etc.

This organizer is a new one from Sugar Paper that I found at Target for $5. It is one that I use in my home maintenance binder. I put things on it like when I need to change filters, house appointments, dog medication, etc.

This one is a Russell + Hazel calendar that use in conjunction with their mini binder. If you have read the blog for a while you know that I love Russell + Hazel products as they are eco and made in the USA. This one is for personal use

This is another mini calendar from Sugar Paper that I found at Target. This one I currently use to store important work dates. I honestly don't know specifically how I will end up using it, but it is very compact, thin and I was thinking I may take it to client meetings instead of the more bulky brown one. Plus, it is made on part recycled paper and soy ink.

Saturday, January 4, 2014

2014 Goals

Wow I can't believe that it is already 2014. This past year went by crazy fast. Wow what a year it was. 

I'm usually not too big on resolutions, but this year I have personal and business goals that I hope to accomplish. These are all things that I think I can accomplish without setting myself up for failure.

Personal Goals:

Be more positive. I think in general I am a pretty positive person. I can be very positive for other people when they have situations, but when it comes to my situations I am hard on myself. There is always a silver lining in everything. 
Buy a home. This is something that Bryan and I have wanted for a long time. Last year when we went to get a mortgage, 2 different mortgage people told us that Bryan needed to be in his job for at least 2 years. Since his previous career was in construction and he is now in oil and gas. This was a little disappointing, but that just gave us more time to save. This is our year to buy a house!
Travel somewhere new with Bryan. Bryan and I love to travel and I hope to explore a new city, state or country with Bryan. This year we are going to California for our aunts wedding, which is my first time in California, but not Bryan's so hopefully we can go somewhere together we both haven't been yet.
Cook new recipes often. I cook a good amount at home and love to cook, but we often default to regular things that we like or that are easy. I love cookbooks and have so many, so we are going to try new things. Our first food adventure is going to be using our pasta maker we got for our wedding over a year ago. 
Try new things. I love trying new things and 2 things that have been on my list for years are learning the piano and perfecting my spanish conversation and writing skills. I hope to do either or both of these things this year and try something new like taking a calligraphy class or some other classes. The calligraphy class I really want to take is with Blue Eye Brown Eye, but the class offered in Houston for one day booked up within the hour and I was too late, so I am hoping to take a class from them somewhere else in Texas this year if I can't in Houston.
Continue to date Bryan and go on new adventures. Bryan and I love trying new things and going on adventures. Recently we have been trying to go to museums and attractions around Houston that we haven't been to. In September we went on a coffeehouse tour (although I don't drink coffee) to coffee places we haven't been to around Houston. We constantly go to new restaurants around town and we have been buying Groupons for various things to see all of what Houston has to offer. 
Shit or get off the pot about getting my Phd. I have been tooling around with getting my Phd for years now, but I am not sure if I want to take on that financial burden, extra stress and endless writing right now. Plus, Bryan wants to go back to school and I already have my masters, so it's his turn. I need to make a decision this year because I know if I keep putting it off I will never do it. I need to take the GRE and apply for fall 2015 admission. I took the MAT for my masters, which was actually tougher than I expected and I hear the GRE is pretty tough too. I have to apply in fall 2014 for fall 2015 admission.

I was very fortunate last year to accomplish several business goals that I had wanted to accomplish like getting the new site up and running, new logo and working with new clients. This year I have other goals I want to accomplish.

Business Goals:

Blog more for Eco Modern Concierge and for my personal blog. I hope to blog at least once a week or more. My business blog is just a mish mosh of things that I am interested in from eco to organization to products I love. My personal blog is mainly for family to keep up with where Bryan and I are at and what we are up to. 
Reach out more to expand my business. Whether this is to other businesses, individuals or organizations, I want to reach out and expand my business. 
Don't let fear get in the way of trying new things. There are times (not too often) that I don't give my full potential because of fear. This can be fear of failure, fear of being intimidated, fear of being rejected etc. I hope to overcome this more this year.
Finish and reevaluate my business plan. I started and basically finished my business plan years ago, but I really want to take a look at it again and rethink some things and finish it completely. 

What are some of your goals for the new year?