The Fledgling Journey

Navigating a Good Life One New Experience at a Time

Month: August 2017 (page 1 of 2)

What’s Up Wednesday

Why hello there. It’s Wednesday. No complaints on that front 🙂 As you may have guessed, I’m linking up for What’s Up Wednesday.

What I’m eating

As I’m writing this, I’m eating this no-bake cookie dough from Chocolate Covered Katie. I highly recommend it.

What I’m Reminiscing About

My trip to Europe. I got back from said trip about two weeks ago. Some of the best parts of vacation are looking forward to it and looking back on it. Happy memories 🙂 This trip was not all smooth sailing. It was my first solo trip. My camera broke. I got slightly lost. Parts of it felt a little lonely. The weather didn’t cooperate. It was crazy expensive. But hey, I was in Europe. Absolutely no regrets. Well actually I regret spilling water on my camera, but mistakes happen. Switzerland was very easy on the eyes. I took this photo of Lake Lucerne from Mt. Pilatus.

What I’m loving

The bracelet from my sister and seasonal beer. Also, dark nail polish. If you wanted to describe me as basic right now, I wouldn’t even fight you on it.

What I’ve been up to

Working away at my goals. If you want, you can read more about that here.

What I’m dreading

I was in a minor-ish car accident where I was rear-ended so I’m dealing with insurance right now. Not my favorite thing.

What I’m working on

I’m writing and trying to silence my inner-critic. It’s an ongoing battle. I was listening to the Fiction School podcast and learned about beat sheets, which are basically screen-writing plot templates that can also be applied to novels or short stories. I constantly struggle with plotting and planning and outlining and feeling overwhelmed and hating every word I’ve ever written. So shortcuts like this might be a really good jumping off point. There’s more about these templates in a blog post by Jami Gold here.

What I’m excited about

Such a cliche answer but, come Friday, I’m ordering a pumpkin spice latte and wearing boots. I don’t care if it’s 90 degrees. It’s happening.

What I’m watching/reading

I’m watching Do The Right Thing as I write this. There are some slammin 80’s dance moves, but ona  more serious note, it examines hate and bigotry, which continue to be highly relevant. I have a few criticisms of this movie, but I’ll keep those to myself 🙂 I have nothing but respect for Spike Lee. This movie is on the AFI Top 100 Movies list, which I’m slowly chipping away at.

I’m reading Persuasion by Jane Austen, The Call of the Wild by Jack London, and The Catcher and the Rye by JD Salinger. Ordinarily I try to have three books going that are a little more varied – one classic/ literary fiction book, one fun book (usually a thriller or mystery), and one non-fiction book. But these are all on my 30×30 book list and I am motivated.

The 10 minute timer method is helping me get started on the drier books that I want to read but find more challenging. I subscribe to the philosophy that you should ditch a book if you don’t like it, but I also don’t think you should skip a book just because it’s challenging. For me it’s kind of like running; sometimes you look forward to it and sometimes you don’t, but and you’re always glad you did it.

What I’m Listening To

A lot of podcasts. Trying some new ones. I reviewed a few here. Most recently Anna Faris Is Unqualified. Jury is still out on this one.

What I’m Wearing

Per usual, a lot of black. The season doesn’t matter. It’s basically my uniform and makes getting dressed in the morning easy. Just add some fun jewelry or a scarf and you’re good to go. Please excuse the dirty mirror and bad selfie.

What I’m Doing This Weekend

It will be a pretty chill weekend. Last week was rough, so I’m taking it easy. I also have zero desire to travel on long weekends because most of the popular places are busy and expensive and traffic is a mess. Especially if you’re in the Seattle area and need to take a ferry. Plan on waiting a few hours.

What I’m Looking Forward to Next Month

Since I’ve already told you about cliche fall things…. I don’t really plan very far ahead. I’m actually seeing Chris Botti perform live for the second time in September. I don’t follow him closely, but he gives a solid live performance. In case you don’t know who he is, he plays the trumpet and performs mainly pop and jazz music. He’s performed with Sting, Frank Sinatra, Arethra Franklin, and Paul Simon. His main fan base is probably more of my parents’ generation, but it should be fun 🙂

What Else is New

I added some info about my New York art trip. You can find it here.  I’m pretty proud of this photo.

Show and Tell Tuesday – Best Day Ever

Today I’m linking up for Show and Tell Tuesday, Best Day Ever. I’m designing a future best day and we’ll just go with what’s on my mind right now. Sydney, Australia.

Sydney Harbour

The places I’d want to visit in Sydney are mostly chosen from a few Design Sponge “24 Hours In” posts found here and here. It would be a busy day, starting with…

Taking an early morning swim here. I mean…the picture says it all. I swam for a year in high school, but practice was at 5:30 AM in the dead of winter. So one year was all I could take. I still enjoy swimming though.

Swimming in Sydney


Next I would check out some sculptures by the sea. I love art.

Then a walk through The Intersection Paddington fashion district. I’m not stylish enough (nor do I have enough money) to buy anything, but I love walking through places like this.

checking out fashion

Next a visit to Cockatoo Island. It has a bit of a sordid history. Maybe see a ghost. Then have a picnic from one of the viewpoints.

picnicMaybe this is cheating, but I think it’s required to do something in the ocean if you’re in Australia. I wouldn’t have much time, so I would schedule a time to go to surf school here.


Then have a drink at the Opera Bar. Maybe anonymously pay someone else’s tab. That’s always fun 🙂


Take a walk to see the Forgotten Song art installation – an alleyway with suspended bird cages that’s supposed to be very pretty.

Maybe attempt the Bridge Climb. Maybe not, because it’s probably a day-long commitment and I have a huge fear of bridges. My stress dream ordinarily involves falling off a bridge. But maybe I can challenge this fear?

Sydney Bridge

Then I would finish the night at the St. George Open Air Cinema. I like movies and as I mention a lot, am working my way through the American Film Institute’s top 100 movies.

If someone I cared about were there with me, that would definitely make it the best. day. ever. I like this link up idea and am curious to see what the other best days entail!


Friday Favorites 8/26/17

Hello and happy Friday! Here are some things that were my favorite this week.

The Real Real

I heard about this website on the Happier in Hollywood podcast. It’s a website that consigns designer items at pretty reasonable prices. One of my 30×30 goals was to own a Burberry or Louis Vuitton purse. It probably won’t happen soon because it’s kind of superficial and I have other spending priorities, but this website makes me think maybe it is possible at some point. Food for thought. I like it better than eBay because there’s no risk of getting a counterfeit item and you don’t have to worry about bidding. Plus there are some very high-end items that are just fun to browse. Part of me is fascinated…who has the money for some of these things? Cartier jewelry. Valentino shoes. Rolexes. I mean if I could afford a $20,000 watch, I don’t think I’d buy it, but if I were accustomed to a different lifestyle, I’d probably see it differently. The above link is a referral link btw. I think if you click it I get money off and you do too. I may have purchased a Missoni scarf for $35. Just saying…


The Flash Pack Travel

These adventure trips are designed for solo travelers in their 30’s and 40’s. I really want to see the rainbow mountain in Peru, and Machu Picchu, so this trip is calling my name. Time to start saving up my money.

Doops Designs

This kind of design is my jam. Love it. The Etsy store is filled with clothes and household items in fun and colorful graphic-style prints.

Mini Quilts

I’m thinking a mini quilt gallery wall could be really fun. My only problem is the amount of time and patience quilting takes. It might be something I end up doing by hand while I’m watching TV or something. It might also urge me to practice patience. I could use that. Hahaha. If you’re wondering what I’m talking about, you can turn to Pinterest here.

Whippy Cake

I found out about the Whippy Cake blog & instagram account @WhippyCake through one of my favorite bloggers/instagrammers Jordan Page @FunCheapOrFree.  Her embroidery floss hair “braid” tutorial is fun and unique. I love it. I pretty much want to be her. Her style game is on point. Her “Girl In Progress” videos are great, I like that she promotes confidence and ideas that are more than skin deep. She did random acts of kindness for her birthday, which is such a good idea! It’s not entirely altruistic because you get all the good feelings from it 🙂 She writes about what she did on her 26th birthday here and her 28th birthday here. <–tons of ideas for fun Random Acts of Kindness if you’re looking for any…kinda want to try some out.

Working on it Wednesday – The Strategy of Scheduling Doesn’t Always Work

I have a 30×30 goal/bucket/project list that I’m chipping away at. I ignored it for months and finally realized I need to plan better if these are truly priorities. So I’m checking in every Wednesday, which is helping me keep track of my progress and keeping me accountable.

Progress on August Projects

  • Finish reading Persuasion, start Sense and Sensibility – on page 198 of Persuasion. I have about 50 pages left. Just got to the part where Anne’s friend Mrs. Smith is like “hey this dude who seems like he has designs to marry you (dude’s wife died six months ago and he’s Anne’s cousin) is actually a huge POS.” Intrigue. I mean I already know the story line, but still. Mrs. Smith is being very direct, not in keeping with some of the social customs and norms of the time. Thank goodness I didn’t live in that era. It seems like a lot of social-climbing. But props to Austen for writing something unique compared to her peers.
  • Finish The Catcher in the Rye and The Call of the Wildon chapter 6 of The Catcher in the Rye and 71% finished with The Call of the Wild. Probably won’t finish The Catcher in the Rye in August, but I’ll continue to work on it. Right now I read a chapter on my lunch break. The chapters are short, so this strategy is working well.
  • Watch a movie from the AFI top 100 listI signed up for Netflix DVD delivery because I basically had two options A) stream through iTunes for about $4 per movie (and only get access for 24 hours from when the movie first viewed) or B) Netflix DVDs delivered via mail for $8/month with the first month free. I’ve already seen all the movies I’m able to stream over Netflix and have had problems with getting the movies within a reasonable amount of time from the library (and returning them on time too). I think I’ve already paid over $20 in fines since January. Oops. I’m about half way through Ben Hur, which is 3.75 hours long. Too. damn. long. I have to admit the chariot seen is impressive. 
  • Learn to make a Pisco Sour cocktail  + one other cocktailno progress ,also cut out the “one other cocktail” part. Not feasible right now.
  • Work on crossword puzzle skills – no progress
  • Make an Oregonian sandwich – marionberry jam, rogue creamery blue cheese, and Oregon hazelnut butter between 2 slices challah and grilled – no progress. I might need to simplify this and make something similar, like raspberry jam with peanut butter and a cheese on normal bread. Blue cheese really isn’t appealing to me in that sandwich. Progress not perfection.
  • Check for Ellen show tickets – done, request submitted. fingers crossed.
  • Update blog with NYC, Banff, & Switzerland travel pages (kind of a digital scrapbook)no progress
  • Finish applying for TSA Global Entry no progress
  • Finish up making sure retirement accounts are on trackno progress
  • Make 3-6 items for Etsy shop (to re-open later this year)worked on this but not complete
  • Finish researching blog link-ups to take part in – researched some. still working on this.
  • Try a Skillshare class – Done. I finished three classes about blogging and definitely want to keep up with other classes. I’m part way through Writing for Online Engagement and the content is solid. Gives me a ton of ideas.
  • Try paddle boarding or kayaking – eh shelving this for now
  • Write 500 words of fiction per day for 4 days – no progress
  • Do 5 year journal entry done


What’s working: The 10 minute timer strategy (pick a project/task, set a timer for 10 minutes, work on it for 10 minutes only…I mean you can keep going if wanted but only 10 minutes are required) is working well. Progress not perfection. <–I will say this 10,000 times. I need constant reminding.

What’s not working: I posted here about breaking down goals into tiny tasks and scheduling them. That proved too daunting and confining. I want a little more freedom from constantly feeling like I’m behind. I also want the flexibility to pursue whichever project I feel like, not being assigned specific tasks on specific days. Accordingly this strategy has gotten the axe. Breaking down larger tasks is helpful, but I think my weekly check-ins are helping with that. I’m glad I broke down the 30×30 list into monthly goals, that’s working well.

Podcast Review August 2017

I enjoy listening to podcasts on my commute and have a few vetted favorites I’ve probably mentioned before. I’d like to branch out and keep track of the ones I like. So, every month, I’ll talk about some of the podcasts I’ve listened to. If you have any suggestions, let me know.

Heather Dubrow’s World


Category: Entertainment

Heather Dubrow was on The Real Housewives of Orange County TV show on Bravo. Her podcast gives weekly glimpses into her life where she discusses about what she’s doing and what’s new. She interviews a guest most weeks and has a beauty tip or “hippest hottest newest” segment with a product or tip that she likes.

Thoughts: Her life is difficult for me to relate to. Sometimes it’s entertaining and interesting to see how someone semi-famous and very wealthy lives, but sometimes it just seems out of touch with reality. For example, she suggested having a book of pictures of every item in your wardrobe so you don’t forget about any of your clothes, accessories, or shoes. Most people don’t have enough clothes to justify this and if you don’t remember a piece of clothing or part of your wardrobe, it’s time to get rid of it. I also don’t find that many of her guests are particularly interesting, but occasionally she has a good one, such as Dr. Drew, Jamie Lynn Sigler, Fran Drescher, or Sabrina Soto.  I’ve never heard of most of her guests.

Bottom Line: Good for the occasional listen, about 1x a month. Pick one with an interesting guest.


Category: Self improvement

Summary: Gretchen Rubin is a bestselling writer and former clerk for Justice O’Connor. She writes about happiness and healthy habits. As you would guess, her podcast gives a lot of tips and insights on developing healthy habits and increasing happiness.

Thoughts: I love this podcast and listen to every week. I usually come away feeling inspired. On occasion Gretchen’s laugh makes me cringe because it doesn’t strike me as genuine. Girlfriend is definitely tightly wound. No judgment. I’m sure she gets more done before noon than I do in two days. That’s my only complaint and a pretty weak one at that. I appreciate Gretchen’s motto “accept yourself and expect more from yourself.” She focuses on making happiness and habit strategies work for you.

Bottom line: Subscribe! So many insights and nuggets of wisdom.

Happier in Hollywood

Category: Self improvement

Summary: This is Gretchen Rubin’s sister’s podcast that’s similar to the Happier podcast. Liz and her friend/writing partner Sarah discuss a number of topics ranging from Botox to career advice to eating healthfully. Per their website, they “demystify Tinseltown by making career and personal struggles universal. Guided by blind optimism and a Midwestern work ethic, Liz and Sarah have survived and thrived in Hollywood’s male-dominated entertainment industry. Along the way they’ve learned a lot about kicking ass, kissing ass, and office yoga.”

Thoughts: This podcast is really fun because it has useful information and it’s an inside view of Hollywood. They explain what it’s like to be a writer and all those Hollywood things you’ve heard about but don’t really know much about…like spec scripts, agents, producers, script assistants, how to get an “in,” what to wear to a Hollywood interview, etc. It’s also slightly more irreverent than the happier podcast, which adds a level of authenticity that I crave.

Bottom Line: Subscribe! I doubt you’ll be disappointed.

Side Hustle School

Category: Self Improvement

Summary: This podcast discusses various small side business money-making endeavors, explaining how they were dreamed up and what made them successful. The host, Sean, discusses the concepts from each success story and how they’re applicable to a side hustle you might be interested in starting.

Thoughts: I’ve learned from this podcast and gets me thinking about possibilities for a side income. I also appreciate the variety of side hustles covered, from the mundane (beard grooming) to zany (chicken saddles) to the one I want to have in my life (Japanese candy subscription box). They also range from ones that generate a few hundred dollars of income per month to those that generate six plus figures per year. My gripe is that there are too many lame jokes and puns, especially when it comes to ad introductions. I wouldn’t recommend listening to multiple episode in a row for this reason.

Bottom Line: Good for a couple of listens a week. The episodes are only about 5 minutes long and come out every day of the week, so there’s more breadth than depth. The weekly recap episodes are a good place to start because they answer a listener question and cover the highlights from the week.

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