Monday, April 24, 2017

Weekend Tips to Help Your Monday

Monday morning is here... how often do you think to yourself, "Man... I sure can use one more day of the weekend!"? I think that's why most of us drag on Mondays. It's not an extension of Saturday or Sunday, but instead it's the start of a new workweek.

I came across an article titled, How Successful People Spend Their Weekends which really helps me put things into perspective on the weekends. Although I'm not back in a grey 4-walled cubicle in the corporate world, life is still busier than ever these days. I have a 19-month old boy who needs attention at all times, I'm 27 weeks preggo and constantly nesting in my home making room for a family of four, I'm teaching a graduate course online and I am striving to find the direction I want to head in with my career, whether it be entrepreneurship or not. I want to ensure that my time is used wisely on the weekends because whatever I do (or don't do) on Saturday and Sunday affects how my week starts off.

// Spend time with the Hubs
My hubs has a job that's not a typical 9-5, Monday through Friday deal. He's around the clock, primarily 6 days a week. The minimal free time he does have is SO valuable for us, that it forces us to prioritize that time wisely. On the weekends, I want to ensure that we spend some QT together, whether it be over a movie, sharing a meal, or just talking without any electronic disturbance. This time helps reset for a longgggggg workweek ahead of us!

// Get some YOU time
The one, sometimes two, days that my Hubs is home, I carve an hour or so to be alone. I like to escape to the nail shop, to Target by myself, or even just lounging on the couch catching up with my shows. Try and make this YOU time about relaxing, not working or cleaning... it brings another side of you that allows you to just breathe!

// Get some type of work done
By work, I mean something that will help you progress in your passion. Whether it's soul searching for a new direction in work, or assessing your current career, there's always room for improvement in how you make your living. As the Forbes article says, pursuing a passion can help stimulate different creative ways of thinking. Give yourself that creative space to think outside of the box!

// Focus on at least one home project 
I have been fascinated with minimizing my closet, my kitchen, my kids' rooms... anything and everything around my house. I just tend to look at things and think if I would honestly utilize it in the near future. If I haven't touched it in the past year, I have no problem letting it go. Things such as cleaning out the basement, putting up new shelves, or even gardening really helps my week ahead by having a comfortable home to live in. I'm sure there are many things you need to get done around the house, but if you put one project on the list each weekend, you will see slow and steady progress and also thank yourself during the week!

These weekend things definitely help me have a better week. What are some of your successful weekend tips?

Monday, April 17, 2017

Easter Weekend

Easter weekend was amazing! The Husker Football team had an excellent run at the Spring Game on Saturday with over 78,000 people. Can you believe that many Husker fans came out to support their guys in some good ol' rummaging against one another? Another reason I love the state of Nebraska... the fans show the utmost support in all of America!

On Easter Sunday, the family kept it light and mellow. The LO was able to dig through a few Easter baskets he graciously received, and played with all sorts of toys that caught his interest a few minutes at a time. The greatest thing was watching him pick up the eggs the Easter Bunny left behind on our lawn and putting them in his basket.... well that's until he discovered they had goodies inside. Once he discovered the taste of a jelly bean (thank you Trader Joe's!), it was GAME OVER. He stopped picking up the eggs and wanted to open the many in his basket just for the one jelly bean I mixed in with cranberries and Aunt Annie's cheese rabbits.

The neighborhood kiddos were out and about, so Mata got to enjoy some fun and play with them and Dada!

We wrapped up Easter Day with a delicious dinner, and called it an evening (after some ice cream). Though we weren't home with all the kiddos to hunt for eggs, we made special memories with our little family here in NE, AND enjoyed my Dad and Stepmom's lovely company! It warms my heart watching the LO interact with family.

Friday, April 14, 2017

Happy Easter

Easter is such a special and spiritual holiday for me. We typically start our Easter day bright and early back home, by attending sunrise service. Sunrise service is always special... the message of Jesus rising from the dead is such a powerful one, and to celebrate that together with family, friends and fellow Christians completely fills the heart. Then we usually visit our loved ones who passed away, paying respects to our family at the break of dawn. For the past few years, we found a park that accommodates our huge family and allows us space to play sports, run on the playground, and hide Easter eggs for the little ones to collect. We love spending the entire day there, lounging, eating, laughing and watching the little ones play and dance together. It's GLORIOUS!

This year, we won't be home to join in on the festivities with the family... so we'll have to start our own Easter tradition as a little o'hana here in Nebraska. Fortunately, the community we live in hosts tons of different Easter festivities, beginning the week before Easter (last weekend). I took the LO to Michaels a few weeks ago to paint some eggs, which was a ball! We might partake in some Easter fun Saturday morning before the Husker Spring Game (WHOOP!)... then I think we'll set up a nice easy-peasy Easter egg hunt for the LO at our home. There's nothing cuter to see than the kiddos actually finding the eggs all around and putting them in their basket!

What are your plans for Easter weekend?

P.S. Isn't the shot above stunning?! Nebraska sunrises will make for another beautiful Easter indeed!

Monday, April 3, 2017

Husker Babies

As time ticks closer to July, things become more and more real about having another sweet little baby join our family. We are three months (and some change) out and much to get done before she arrives. I bought our first item for the nursery last week and it's motivated me to get a move on her nursery!

We also started to get cute little outfits and pink thangs for baby girl from dear family and friends. One of my FAVES by far has been baby's first ever game day attire... as you know how important game gear is for us! Our sweetest sitter, Claire, gifted Mata and baby girl the most adorable vintage Husker gear for the season. One of her good friends opened up a shop, where she makes and sells  cute Husker gear and also customizes based on what your heart desires.

I mean, how adorbs are these two fits?
Her shop is called H.Flynn based here in Lincoln, NE. Check out her website if your local or not!

We are STOKED for football season to begin later this year... and of course d-day!

Wednesday, March 29, 2017

Social Media Chat

I think most of us can all agree on the fact that social media has taken a huge BOOM in our society as of the past 7 years or so. Just think about these questions for a second... how many times do you pick up your phone to check Instagram? Then switch it over to Snapchat? Now time to check Twitter? Then see what's the happs on Facebook?

I am certainly guilty of picking up my phone quite frequently to see what's the latest and the greatest with everyone and everything. Commercial on TV... check it. Break from working and grading papers... check it. LO is playing on his own or fell asleep... check it (and record it while I can!). It happens so frequently and quickly that when I stop to actually think about it, it scares me!

I think there are some amazing advantages of social media in today's world. Some of which are:

// Hearing about BREAKING NEWS other than waiting until late at night to watch the news. Reading about the news on Twitter has helped keep me in the loop with the things I find most important, instead of hearing about things that I would rather not engage in.

// Reading about BUSINESS ARTICLES that help in today's work environment. Today's workforce is changing, one reason being the immediate access we have to the internet (great article on technology and generational differences). Word travels fast, which can make competition a bit more interesting. But it can also help benchmark on current trends and what's possible.

// The ability to read or hear about PERSONAL STORIES from others who might be going through similar situations as you are. This point is HUGE for me and social media. I love following business people, moms, wives, go-getters... people that align with my personal values. It's extremely helpful to read about what worked for them, how they reacted, or referring someone in any situation.

On the flip side, social media and technology alone can also be...

- Draining of presence and time
- Unrealistic [come on... how many times can you think about yourself taking bright lighting pictures or plunged yourself in beautiful looking blooms?!]
- Depressing to compare yourself to others

All that said and exposed, it's time I take a serious minimalistic point of view on this social media ordeal. I pledge to utilize different technology for all the right reasons and purge all those bad reasons!

What's your stance on social media today?

Tuesday, March 21, 2017

Springing Outside

Yesterday was the official first day of Spring, and I am excited for spending more and more time outdoors with my LO! I'm sure you can tell by now, but playing sports and staying active is a huge part of our lives, from both my hubs family and mine. Not to say I'm a sucker for reminiscing about the good ol' days of playing outdoors with all of my cousins... from kickball... to pretend carnivals... to ice skating (aka rollerblading). We LOVED being outside and using our imaginations to be whatever we wanted to be. And I will fully support that with Mata and his sister-to-be!

Yes, it would be great if he picked up a sport here and there (football never disappoints my cheering game!), BUT I also don't wanna be a parent who pressures him to be this or that... not as young as he is anyway. So you can imagine how excited I am that Mata loves any type of ball, ever since he was able to hold his first Husker football. He loves watching me chase after the ball that rolls down the street when he throws it out to nobody. I may get tired after the 5th ball rolling down the street, but it's well worth hearing him laugh and giggle.

I swear there's such a huge difference in my LO's attitude and sleep from when we spend time outdoors rather than staying inside the whole day. Moving to Nebraska requires some tolerance of winter days meaning you just can't seem to leave the house when it's freezing and snowing. BUT it also makes us that much more grateful for gorgeous days where we can actually enjoy the weather outside!

In any case, if you're wondering what we've been up to lately... a whole lot of sunshine and catching some fresh vitamin D outdoors!

Wednesday, March 15, 2017

3 Translations of Football to Business

I just LOVE when sports and business are intertwined (especially football!). When I worked for USC, we spent time on professional development as a team once a quarter. We would utilize these days as a condensed version of a retreat, where the day would be structured around spending time away from the computer and connecting with one another. There was always some type of theme we would base our day on, and when it came to the day where I had a part in planning, you KNOW I was about to do my all to insert sports in the day! We ended up heading to the football practice field, and spent the afternoon with my fave coach (the Hubs) talking about how football translated into our business world... same discipline... same teamwork... same leadership.

I came across an article on Football Scoop written about how Pete Carroll breaks down his practices for the Seattle Seahawks. I couldn't help by get a sparkle in my eye when I heard ALL TYPES of my lingo in the video interview. I've actually read about Pete Carroll's leadership philosophy in a few different books, and I've got to say... he's got this leadership thing working on his side. Just look at the successes he has carried throughout his coaching career!

I thought I would share the three main areas of importance Pete Carroll mentioned in his interview, which I thought were key in his leadership approach:

Pete (yes, on a first name basis now) talks about how his coaches meet 30 minutes before practice every day to get on the same page. They are expected to exert the energy they want to see in their players. Just as managers and leaders in an organization should demonstrate... leading by example in a transparent manner helps employees gain a clear perspective of what is expected of them. A key quote from Pete... "It starts with ME." ** Leadership stars all the way around! **

The Seahawks spend 2 hours practicing, and no more. They key is shaving down time during and in between drills by saving the chats with teammates for before or after practice. They also run to their next drill alongside the coaches to bank even more time. Although it's important to network and socialize at work to work on personal relationships, the more employees are mindful of how much time is spent socializing vs. getting work done, the less they have to jam pack in a day's work.

I love this point Pete makes about his players! He says competition is about striving for what you want, and not beating the other person down. Many employees get caught up in showing up another person so they can prove they're more qualified for a promotion or bonus. The only person we should be competing against in life is ourselves, striving to get better than what we were yesterday. "The guy across from you is the guy that makes you."- Pete Carroll

One other key thing Pete mentioned was effort. If players don't execute the way expected, coaches will first and foremost critique their effort. The effort players demonstrate is much more important to provide feedback on than the mistake they made in the run, play, or whatever went wrong.

These types of tips will not only help the leader (coach) out, but it also benefits the employees (players) as well as the organization (NFL or NCAA) in entirety. I'm excited to finish/start reading a few books that also translates sports into business... The Inner Game of Tennis and Legacy.

What speaks to you when you think of leadership?

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