The Fledgling Journey

Navigating a Good Life One New Experience at a Time

Month: July 2017 (page 1 of 2)

Friday Favorites 7/21/17

Today I’m linking up to share my Friday Favorites!

Quitting Books

I’ve decided to get rid of The Cuckoo’s Calling. I read about half and haven’t had the urge to pick it back up in months. I think it’s time to pass it along to someone new. Plus there are so many books I want to read. I’ve realized I need to have a few books going at once, something fun and a classic  (and maybe something non-fiction too). Otherwise I’ll get bored and reading will feel like a chore.

Crash Course You Tube Channel 

I think John Green is brilliant. The Fault in Our Stars was a great read. I avoided reading it for a while because the opening line of the synopsis says something about two teens who meet in a cancer for kids support group. I gave the book a shot and John’s writing style and ability to keep a potentially cliché subject very real and non-sappy definitely impressed me.

At any rate, John and his brother have a few You Tube Channels. John contributes to Crash Course, which is fun and informative and the Hank and John Explain series on the Vlog Brothers channel has interesting content too. I fell into the You Tube hole for a good 45 minutes while watching their videos before sitting down to write today. They have a number of 10ish minute videos that give the gist of broad and complex subjects. The “Hank and John Explain” series mainly focuses on current events, while Crash Course gives an introduction to a range of topics, from WWI to Computer Science.

Dove Promises

Dove Promises were on sale at Walgreens and a few of them after dinner are perfect to satisfy my daily chocolate craving.  My favorite flavor is milk chocolate, but to slightly cut my sugar intake (and ensuing sugar high and then crash) I got the almond and dark chocolate ones. Baby steps. <–Does anyone else think of What About Bob when they hear that phrase?

Longitude Books

I listen to the Happier podcast by Gretchen Rubin, and one episode suggested preparing for and extending a vacation by reading books about or set in your vacation destination. To search books by subject/setting location, there’s a great website, Longitude books. I think it’s a great idea to mentally extend a vacation.

World’s Most Comfortable $18 Flats

From Amazon. Free prime shipping. I actually like these better than my Tieks.


Working on it Wednesday – Breaking Big Tasks Into Chunks

Working on it Wednesday

Happy Wednesday. Wednesdays are where I write about my progress on goals I’ve set. Actually, I want to call them projects, not goals. Somehow that sounds better I want to enjoy the process. I once read that Olympic medalists are often difficult to work with in a professional office setting because they are so goal-oriented that they have a laser-like focus and tend to forget the bigger picture.

I don’t really consider myself a goal-oriented person. In fact, I’ve considered myself an anti-goal person in the past, because the goals and deadlines I’ve set seem arbitrary and I don’t usually stick with them. Sometimes I set a New Year’s resolution because it’s a tradition. But like most people, I’m off-track and forget about my resolution by mid-February. I’ve learned that for me, goals need to have specific meaning and the deadline needs to make sense.

When I say “specific meaning” I mean that I have to be really excited about the goal and see the point in completing it. I initially set out with a 30×30 list and ignored it for a while. Then I got kind of stressed about it because I knew it wasn’t going to all get done. I debated doing away with it altogether, but decided some of the goals are worthy of pursuit. Having these projects to work on keeps things interesting and gives me something to look forward to. I like to learn and I don’t like being bored. I want to improve.

I also need a deadline or else I’ll put the goal off indefinitely. The deadline is kind of a rough target intended just to keep me going. I don’t want it to feel too rigid or restricted. I still want it to be fun.

Today I thought I’d share what I’ve worked on in the last week.

Editing the Goal List

I edited my 30×30 list for some of the reasons I explained last week. I’m not quite ready to share the new list and it’s longer than 31 items, so I’m not really sure what to call it. Updates on the editing and new list are coming soon.

Breaking Down Goals/Projects Into Chunks

I broke the new list down into what I’ll work on each month, through the end of 2018. Most of the goals were just randomly assigned a month, except the ones that are seasonal, like learning to paddle board. Obviously that will need to take place in a summer month. I mentally gave myself the right to experiment and edit and adjust, so a goal can be moved to another month, it can be changed, or it can continue into the next month. The end of the month isn’t a hard deadline, the idea is just to get started. And obviously checking in here helps keep me more organized and accountable. Even if zero people read this post, it’ll keep me accountable to myself when I have to analyze my progress and organize my thoughts in writing.

July Projects

  1. Finish reading Persuasion
  2. Read a classic book (Catcher and the Rye)
  3. Watch a movie from the AFI top 100 list (American Graffiti)
  4. Learn to make a Pisco Sour cocktail
  5. Work on crossword puzzle skills
  6. Research the stock market (just to become more knowledgable)
  7. Learn the Aquarius constellation
  8. Make an Oregonian sandwich – marionberry jam, rogue creamery blue cheese, and Oregon hazelnut butter between 2 slices challah and grilled
  9. Check for Ellen show tickets 
  10. Research/sign up to volunteer to build a  Habitat for Humanity house 
  11. Update blog NYC & Banff travel pages (kind of digital scrapbook)
  12. Apply for TSA Global Entry (I’ve meant to do this for months)
  13. Make sure retirement accounts are on track
  14. Make 3 items for Etsy shop (to re-open later this year)
  15. Research blog link-ups to take part in (always fun to find and connect with other blogs/bloggers)

Budgeting Time

I assigned each goal/project to a month of the year.  I’m a pretty visual person, so I’ve broken the month’s goals into steps and scheduled each step for a day this month. The goal is progress, not perfection, so I reserve the right to move things around because things always come up. July’s schedule is below, or you can open as a PDF here.If something from the list above isn’t on the calendar, it’s probably because I’ve already completed it. As you can see, I didn’t schedule anything for the end of the month, because I have way too much going on. I also didn’t start really solidify this strategy until around the 11th and rather than wait until August, I figured I would jump in mid-month. Some progress is better than no progress.

So that’s what I’ve been working on. Next week I’ll give an update on how July went, what worked, and what didn’t. Wish me luck. I will definitely need it 🙂

Tuesday Talk – Seeking Thrills

I’m linking up with Erika and Ashley for Tuesday Talk and today I’m focusing on Seeking Thrills.

Are you a thrill seeker? I’m not inherently a thrill seeker, but I try to push myself.  it all started when I thought that maybe skydiving would help me to face my fear of heights. Long story short, it was a great experience, but I am still afraid of heights. After skydiving I remember having this euphoric feeling because I faced something that terrified  me and got through it.  The perfect thrill needs to scare me just the right amount.  I need to  think I can do it even though it’s going to make me uncomfortable. If I  think I could die or I’ll just be miserable, it’s probably not an adventure I want to undertake

Thrills I’ve Experienced

  • Skydiving – I went a few years ago and it was fantastic. Also, it was a tandem dive and I was VERY attracted to the professional I went diving with by the end of the ordeal. Nothing like facing death to make you glom onto someone 😉

Not me, but an uncanny resemblance.

  • Zip Lining  – I’m afraid of heights so this was intense. Very fun though.

Thrills I Want to Undertake

  • Swim with sharks
  • Cage of Death in Australia – I’m a little iffy on this one because it seems like kind of cruel to the crocodile.

Cage of Death in Australia

  • CN Tower Edge Walk in TorontoCN Tower Edge Walk in Toronto, Canada
  • World’s Steepest Rollercoaster in JapanWorld's Steepest Rollercoaster in Japan
  • Night Zip Lining
  • Kayak over a waterfall or whitewater raft (there’s a new kind of raft that’s supposedly unflippable)
  • Hot Air Ballooning
  • Dine in the Sky (you’re strapped in, but suspended from a crane)

Dinner in the Sky

  • Harbor Bridge Climb in Australia
  • Parasailing
  • Thrill Walk in Switzerland (I want to do this! I’m traveling to Switzerland soon. If you have any recommendations for places to go and things to see, please let me know.)

Things I Won’t Do

All of these are a little too far outside of my comfort zone.

  • Pilot an airplane
  • Bungee jump
  • Cliff Walk in ChinaCliff Walk China
  • Running of the Bulls in Spain
  • Hang Glide
  • Scuba dive
  • Cliff Dive

So there’s my thrill bucket list. I’m not sure where the line between ok and too scary is, but I know it when I see it.

Long Necklaces are Boss

Is anyone else tired of hearing about the Nordstrom sale? There are some killer deals, but I’m obstinate and start to hate something as soon as everyone else likes it. Very Portlandia of me. I’m  actually only into locally sourced  organic vegan leather goods these days. Juuust kidding,

That’s probably the best Portlandia episode of all time. At any rate, I’m always on the lookout for a long necklace that can pull an outfit together. Here are a few I’ve been looking at recently.


Loft $34.50


Amazon $9.01


Anthropologie $58


Francesca’s $20


Francesca’s $20


Francesca’s $20


Zappos Vera Bradley $48

Pretty boss, right? Full disclosure: I watched American Graffiti this weekend and am on a mission to bring the term boss back into fashion.

Chick on the left is gonna be me when I’m done. That’s right Ron Howard. I’m coming for you.




Friday Favorites

Today I’m linking up to share my Friday Favorites.

1. Arielle Says Recipes

I originally found Arielle through a Buzzfeed Facebook post where she eliminated sugar for a month and wrote about what happened. She and I both share a love of this little white dust.

It’s called sugar.

Sheesh. Anyway, her recipes are awesome – healthy and simple. I’m looking forward to trying her Grilled Cheese With Lite Mozzarella, Brussels Sprouts, and Apple and Egg Spinach Mushroom quesadillas

2. Persuasion Video

One of my 30×30 goals is to read Persuasion by Jane Austen, which I’ve meant to read for years. I started it awhile ago and remember most of it, but looked online for a refresher. I stumbled across this video. It’s hilarious and gives just enough information to get the gist of what’s going on. The creator Leah has videos of other Jane Austen novels too.

3. Separating Out Books In Progress

This is what I’d probably categorize as a happiness hack (in the words of Gretchen Rubin). It’s obvious but also helpful. I separated out all the books I’ve started and set down, but want to finish. I realize that if a book is not interesting enough to drive me to finish, it might mean I should move on to a new book. But, these are all books that I like and want to finish, I just got distracted or couldn’t find them. So I’ve put all these books in one place (my bedside table) to remind me to keep chipping away. Easy solution. If they sit there long enough, I’ll pass them along to someone who can get some use out of them.

4. Kitchen Safe

I heard about the kitchen safe through the Runs for Cookies blog. I just got one and have liked it so far. I have a self-control problem, where I feel too constrained if I don’t have access to a certain kind of food (ahem chocolate) but I also have a hard time stopping myself once I’ve started eating it. The kitchen safe lets you lock something up on a timer (24 hours or less). This helps me because gives me access but prevents me from mindlessly downing too much. You could also use it if you need some phone-free time or a really great prank…like locking up someone’s keys. Muahaha. Totally Multipurpose.

5. By the Book Podcast

I love this podcast! Kristen and Jolenta strictly follow the advice of a self-help book for 2 weeks and report back on their findings. So far they’ve covered The Secret, French Women Don’t Get Fat, The Memory Book, and The Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up. It’s equal parts helpful and entertaining. As someone who enjoys the occasional self-help book, this podcast is right up my alley.


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