Monsoon season…at least for me ;)

HA was foreshadowed in a precious post…my computer gave up the good fight and completely died. The hard drive is dead…lots of error messages and an inability to turn my computer on. As someone told me…when it rains it pours. Well I guess it is monsoon season for me right now haha. Trying to see what can be recovered from my laptop as well as tying to keep a positive attitude. While I had many files backed up…I hadn’t done so in awhile. So my lesson to pass on today…back up your computers my friends! You never know when technological disaster may hit. I should have known…most technology and I have short term affairs where they don’t last more than two years around me at max *sigh* Oh well. I have a roof over my head and great friends surrounding me right now so…life isn’t too bad. Just frustrating. Needless to say my blogging may not be very steady until I get a new computer. I will see how much I can do with my Kindle Fire. Hope everyone has a great weekend!

I’m baaaackkk!

Rested and rejuvenated…still without a real phone…and a little bit more crispy 🙂 I am without a camera and still don’t have my pictures from my phone but I figured I would start back with a little hello…start up the quotes tomorrow and post a recipe long overdue. I hope everyone had a fabulous Easter weekend (and if you don’t celebrate Easter…a fabulous Spring weekend/week) filled with family, friends, and great food! More on my adventures to South Carolina and back. One of the best parts was hanging out with my little sister…we even have semi-matching glasses *smiles*

Life crashes…blog pauses

Hello all!

Sometimes life is a whirlwind that picks you up and spits you out someplace you didn’t expect to be. This can be a good thing, but has the potential to be a bad thing. On my way down to South Carolina to meet my family for my few days off this Easter weekend, my notoriously bad luck struck again. Due to some unfortunate circumstances that involve food poisoning…my phone dropping into a toilet…having no GPS, camera, way of contacting people…and subsequently a loss of all my photos for the time being…I have to take a pause from blogging for this upcoming week. Internet is spotty, and as luck would have it I forgot my computer (with all my recipes and corresponding pictures) back in Washington DC (I am using the hotel’s “guest” computer right now). Instead of dwelling on all the negative that is raining down, I am simply going to take this time of not having a phone and horrible access to internet as a challenge to enjoy a reprieve from technology. I hope that this little adventure will prove fruitful, and I will come back with some new ideas, posts, and pictures! Happy Easter Everyone! See you on the flip side 😉

Chapter 1: Why ZTD?

The chapter starts with the quote

“Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication” – Leonardo da Vinci

As one can see with my blog…I love quotes. This one reminded me why I am reading this book. I tend to overcomplicate my life and let it run in way too many directions. So simplicity and focus are my zen words in this particular journey.

This chapter explains the improvements that ZTD has over other widely known productivity systems like David Allen’s “Getting Things Done”. ZTD focuses on HABIT changes and simplification within a simple structure.

5 problems ZTD addresses:

1. Problem: Attempting a series of habit changes all at once.

  • ZTD Solution: Focus on one habit @ a time
    • This is a common problem I have when I embark on improving my life. I want to change everything all at once, and then I am surprised when I only end up frustrated and not having accomplished what I set out to do. I really want to take this seriously and will be taking the advice to incorporate only 1 or 2 habit changes every month (or every two weeks) to heart. This will make this blog series a lot slower than I anticipated, but honest change doesn’t usually happen overnight. (Don’t worry there are only 10 Habits *smiles*)

2. Problem: Lack of focus on doing (action)

  • ZTD Solution: Don’t worry too much on capturing and processing the stages but focus on the DOING . It gives tips on how to actually (stress free) complete the tasks.
    • I think this is one of the tenants of the system I look forward to the most. A lot of other programs I looked into in the past seemed so intent on explaining the intricacies of the “guaranteed successful system” but left me wondering how I was supposed to DO the system.

3. Problem: Unstructured Systems

  • ZTD Solution: Offer habits like the “Plan Habit” that sets up simple routines to offer structure.
    • ZTD talks about the diversity of what works for people. Unstructured systems that focus so much on in-the-moment decisions might confuse some people and muddle up the goal of productivity. Yet, the routines ZTD sets up many not work for people that need more wiggle room. I probably fall somewhere inbetween. What I like about the ZTD approach is the “adopt what works for you” mentality. While a simple, not unique concept, it takes a lot of the pressure off my shoulders (almost always self inflicted). I tend to get stressed out when I cannot accomplish what I am “:supposed” to have completed. ZTD is a system that gives you structure but room to individualize based on what works for you…what works for me *smiles*

4. Problem: Too Many Things to Accomplish (Increased stress factor)

  • ZTD Solution: Focus on simplifying and organizing things in life so one can focus (efficiently and well) on the most important ones
    • Triaging is important in many situations in life. I believe that I have a pretty good “last-minute-balls-to-the-wall” triage system that allows me to turn in work, school assignments, pass tests, and meet deadlines, but I lack this skill in the more mundane, less stressful everyday environment. Hopefully by focusing on the important tasks on a more regular basis & not procrastinating until I need my ER room triage system I have been relying on the past couple of years, I can be more productive.

5. Problem: Lack of Focus on Goals

  • ZTD Solution: Focus on the important stuff with continual (weekly, monthly, yearly) review of your goals and where you are at in accomplishing them.
    • Being a results-oriented person, I like goals and achieving them. A lot of the ZTD system seems to refocus energies in order to get to the meat of the issue and link this back to your goals.

I am very excited to start in on this system!

Girls Day Out: Cherry Blossoms, Shopping, the Library, and the Hunger Games

Now that I am no longer house bound by sickness and the Spring weather is in full force, I finally got to go out and wander around DC! This weekend kicked off the National Cherry Blossom Festival in the nation’s capital. It is an annual event  that commemorates the 1912 gift of 3,000 cherry trees from Mayor Yukio Ozaki of Tokyo to the city of Washington, DC. This year marked the 100th anniversary of this gift – a symbol of the friendship between the United States and Japan. While I was unable to make it to the opening ceremony yesterday, my friends and I were able to go down and walk the Washington Monument grounds lined with cherry blossom trees.

The peak bloom was on the 20th so we missed that, but the trees were beautiful nonetheless (especially with the monuments as backdrops to our walk!)

The weekend progressed and spring time cleaning commensed along with some needed spring time shopping. My whole wardrobe consisted mostly of olive, black, gray and brown. I needed some color in my life! Enter DSW and a trip to Forever 21. Some of the items I picked up:

My friend Emily also picked up some very cute spring blazers (that I wish my body type would look good in!)

Another stop on my girl’s weekend out was the Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial library to pick up some books on clean eating, healthy smoothies, and of course a couple cookbooks. Hopefully once I get time to actually go through my finds, I will have some tasty recipes to post!

Last stop on my girl’s weekend was a trip to the movies for “The Hunger Games” (trailer).

Sometime I have a hard time getting into things once they have already blown up into what can only be called life forms of themselves. So, before the movie I tried to get myself to read the first book…I made it through 4 chapters. It was not that the book was not well written or I read slowly (usually I can tear through a normal size book in about 3 to 4 hours), but my heart wasn’t into it. My heart is into it now. I love when movies are well done for both sets of movie goers…the ones who have read the book and the ones who haven’t. The movie has definitely put a fire under my but to read the trilogy (probably this week). Here are some reviews (People.com and EW.com) of the movie outside of my own simple pleasure in it. Fascinating concept, great underlying metaphors and symbolism, along with fantastic acting (particularly from Jennifer Lawrence!). My only negative was the first 15 minutes were shot to make you feel like you were part of the action…the reaping…never truly focusing for more than 2 seconds. It made me dizzy and slightly nauseous…but after that the directing became smoother and I settled in to truly enjoy the movie. (Another bonus to the movie was the preview for Snow White and the Huntsman…so beyond excited!)