Sunday, June 27, 2010

Not Good With Names

I'm not very good with names. Some of you are master's at this. In fact, I married someone who is exponentially better at this than me. If you remember names, you are lucky.

I've tried some tricks to help me. Like, think of someone you already know with that name and then find a similar feature that will trigger that name when you see the person you just met. Or say their name outloud when you meet them or 2 or 3 times in your head. Those sort of work for me. But not consistently.

What does work for me are 2 things:

First, before I go somewhere that I'm going to need to remember names I do my research. Perhaps, I'm going to a business meeting. In that scenario I will go back and review previous emails or business cards or reports that contain all the names of anyone I may come into contact with. If I'm going to a work happy hour and I have to remember spouses names, I will check Facebook before I go to refresh my memory. Another good way I do this is I ask the person I am going with, typically my huz, to just remind me of anyone's name I forgot.

Second, and this works wonders, I introduce someone who's name I know to the person who's name I don't know. You know what this does? It forces them to tell their name to the person I know. Here's how it goes: I would say, "Hey there! So great to see you! Have you met my friend Amie?". They would say, "Hi Amie, I'm Isabelle. Nice to meet you".  Ta Da!

I can't believe I'm telling my tactic, because I use it so often that no doubt many of you have seen it. And now you know that I've committed the social faux pas of forgetting someone's name. Many. Many. Times. One more flaw admitted to the world...

...QueenB Says

Friday, June 25, 2010

Friday's 5 Thoughts... With a Twist

QueenB: I have so many amazing friends who have vast expertise and extraordinary talents. Their experience, advice, and encouragement are so much of what make me who I am and what I want to be. In that spirit, I am so excited to start featuring GUEST BLOGGERS on QueenB Says. Our first edition comes from my gorgeous, classy, brilliant, engaging friend Katie (@katiemaryjones). I was telling her about today's post and wanted her to add her thoughts and experience. Which you WILL find valuable, I know.


Katie: I’m 28 and have the skin of an pubescent teen. It makes me feel self conscious and it pisses me off. I’ve got adult onset acne.

I’ve been obsessing over the fact that my skin is no longer clear, simply because I know how good it can look.

Recently I’ve spent gobs of money trying to treat it. I’ve used OTC treatments like Proactiv and prescription treatments like Retin-A. Both of them suck, don’t use them. They ravage your skin and suck every last drop of moisture out of it. In most cases end up producing more sebum to counteract the extreme drying effect these products have on their skin.

Now I’m taking a less harsh approach and am having light treatments administered by a wonderful esthetician, Leah Nickie. (Thanks for another amazing referral Betsy!). Different colors in the spectrum have varying positive effects on skin rejuvenation – such as rebuilding collagen and killing P. acnes. This light is also safe for your skin – there are no harmful UV rays emitted from these machines. I’ve now had three “blue light” treatments and around a week post treatment I see significant clearing in my skin. I’m also using more calming facial products from the GM Collin Paris line. These treatments seem to be working….so far.

It only takes a few days to weeks for my zits to make a reappearance. It’s an uphill battle. Leah Nickie and I are working together to figure out the best plan of attack. She’s helped me to clear up my “patterned acne”. This occurs when people wear sunglasses, talk on phones a lot, etc. Your skin has a reaction to the unsterile surface and acne pops up when these devices come into contact with your skin. Mine specifically was occurring where my sunglass rims touched my cheeks. I’m also working on one other big issue that I have. Picking. I’m OCD and if there is anything abnormal on my face I want it gone. I pop zits and I pick scabs. I’m well aware that this isn’t helping my situation whatsoever, but I’m making strides to break the habit.

And so I wait – I’m hoping for something magical at this point. I feel like I’m at a prime point in my life and I would appreciate clear skin. Genetics, however, tell me that since my mom STILL has acne at 60 I might not ever experience the clear skin that I had during my teens again!

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

My Perfect Look

You know that game you play where you ask, "What would you eat if you had to have only one thing for the rest of your life" and other questions like that? I play that often because it's a great way to get a conversation going, but one question that has never been asked, that I was recently prompted to answer, is "What would you wear everyday if you could only have one outfit?". You may expect me to say something like, "I would NEVER just have one outfit!" But I think I may have found something I could do every day. Here goes:

This is a Diane Von Furstenberg dress. She invented the wrap dress in the1970's and I am a convert to this flexible, comfortable, and classic style. This gorgeous black thing is not in my closet, but may be soon.

Here are the shoes I could wear every day. These have red soles... if you don't know what that means then crawl out of your hole and buy a Vogue. It is a crime that I don't have a pair of Christian Louboutins. One I hope to rectify in the near future, perhaps with these nude peep-toes. Nude heels make your legs look longer and cause you to instantly drop 10 pounds. Pinky swear.

Next is the bag. This is the ultimate, fabulous, classic, perfect statement that I hope to be able to make some day. Chanel. Chanel. Chanel. Red. Red. Red. It takes coherent sentences right out of my mouth!

The perfect way to look like you belong in the society pages of Vanity Fair is to tie a scarf around your bag. An Hermes scarf is the most popular, it's a style icon that has books devoted to it! This is the one I'd choose to tie around my bag. I love the tiger image, as it adds just the right amount of "grrr".

Jewelry that I am attracted to is typically antique, especially Victorian or Edwardian pieces. I love mixing a detailed, filigree necklace with a simple, classic outfit. This gold and pearl necklace is from the 1910's, same era as my wedding ring. It is perfect with the dress and shoes, don't you think!

I would not leave the house without some fabulous sunglasses. I lost my Chanel's in Virgin Gorda and I've been looking for the perfect replacement ever since. These are close and will give you the general idea of what would complete my PERFECT LOOK.

I could wear this combination every day.  It is classic and refined and simple and sexy and chic and lots of other words that I want to be. It is also comfortable, a word I don't care too much about when it comes to clothing, but for some reason many of you do. Personally, I'm only comfortable when I am pulled together and look good. This look can go from the office to shopping to a cocktail reception to a trendy new restaurant. And hopefully you'll see me in it somewhere soon.  Someone forward this to my husband...

.,.. QueenB Says

Monday, June 21, 2010


When people get upset or angry they resort to many different reactions. I looked it up just to give me some ideas, but you know what people do in general. Some yell, become violent, clam up, cry. I tend to lose sleep because I'm up all night reliving what I should have said or done, practicing what I'm going to say to them next time, beating myself up over what I am feeling, or being indignant about the injustice of it all. This post is not about how I am going to try to not get upset or angry anymore... that is NOT going to happen. But I am going to work on my reaction to "IT", whatever "IT" is.

My friend Jenny mentioned that she works out more to help her deal with being upset or angry. My friend Suzan gives herself a time limit to vent and then she has to be done. My mom resorts to a more internal mechanism of prayer. These work for them. They don't seem to work for me. I am coming to realize that to get over "IT" I need to get a sense of perspective. Just thinking about what someone else may be dealing with that is more difficult or remembering where "IT" really fits in the grand scheme helps me.

Last month I was driving home and a 20 year old girl coming the other direction ran a light and turned in front of me. We hit head on. Fortunately no one was injured, but my new car was totalled. I did get a mild case of whiplash, of course I had some shock at the time, a little post traumatic stress, and a subsequent fear of driving that I'm almost over (I may never drive full speed through a stop light again), but surprisingly that wasn't the worst of it for me.  

If you have ever had to deal with someone else's insurance in a total loss scenario then you know what I have been dealing with for almost 5 weeks. It is a nightmare. Their job is to try to get me to settle for the least possible amount, and to them that obviously means less than what my property is worth. They do this in a variety of ways that are infuriating! Lack of communication, passing you around to a new claim officer (I had 5), talking down to you, cancelling your rental car before you have a settlement, referencing "legal policy" that isn't really law, etc. For literally 3 weeks I lost sleep over this. I argued with them in my head over and over again, usually from about 1am - 5am. I was a wreck.

Then, after hearing of a dear friend's challenging situation that I'm not going to divulge, I got a sense of perspective.

I was able to say, "Honestly B., you are losing sleep and stressing out about a few thousand dollars and a stupid car? You walked away from a totalled vehicle unhurt and are going to eventually work through this and get a new car. And, by the way, you will realize it was silly to get this upset about something you cannot control in a few months anyway so just realize it now!".

It did eventually work out with the insurance and I settled and was able to replace my car. And honestly, after working through this I think I am in a better place. I hate trite sayings like "Everything happens for a reason", but maybe it was a life lesson I needed to learn. Here's my generative coaching from this life situation: I need to be better prepared to gain perspective more quickly in the future. Not that I plan on belittling my feelings or emotions, but I'm not going to let them effect my health and happiness anymore. Well, I'm going to try really, really hard...

...QueenB Says

Friday, June 18, 2010

Over or Under?

My company recently relocated our corporate headquarters. It is awesome. It's new, clean, open, has lots of windows, there is very little to complain about. One of the repercussions of the move is that we hired a new cleaning company. In general, they seem to do a great job. Except for one thing. They hang the toilet paper with the paper coming out from under the roll vs. over.

This post serves 2 purposes. The first is a very important PSA (Public Service Announcement) that QueenB feels the need to address. Toilet paper should be hung OVER, not under.  The biggest reason for this is sanitary... next time you have to tear off your toilet paper on a roll that is hung from UNDER notice that you must touch the toilet paper roll to do this. TOUCH THE PART THAT THE NEXT PERSON HAS TO USE. Do you see my point??? I don't want you touching my toilet paper. And I am not going to say "no offense", because I don't care if you are offended! Keep your hands off my TP! Especially after you have done your business. Which is when you tear the TP!!! GROSS!

Okay... much better.

The second reason for this post has to do with complaining. Here are some of my criteria.

I try not to complain about things that I can fix myself. A couple of examples: The coffee vendor we had in the old building was sub par. I didn't complain, I just brought my own coffee. Easy. In the gym, I don't know if other people clean their equipment after they use it. I have no reason to complain about something I cannot prove and it's easy enough to do a quick wipe down before I work out. It takes 21 seconds. No biggie.

I also try not to complain about things that have a low possibility of happening again. Like when you go out to eat and they tell you 20-30 minutes and you happen to wait 35. Complaining seems unnecessary. The hostess can do nothing about it, she has no control over how long people sit after they are done. In fact, I've probably been one of those sitters that makes your wait longer. The waitstaff doesn't care what the hostess told you or how long you had to wait and they can't really do anything about it anyway. In general, I'm just going to be easy going about things like that and let it go.

I'm not going to complain about things that are insignificant.  You can think of dozens of these. Someone talking on their phone while walking slowly in front of you. Someone standing in the middle of the aisle at the grocery store. Not being able to find your size at a store. In these type of scenarios complaining just forces you to focus on the negative for longer than it warrants.

So where does the toilet paper hanging under at work fit into this?

Can I fix it myself? Yes. I can tear off the outer layer of toilet paper, throw it away, and go from there. Problems with this solution: wasting paper means killing trees, I leave my germs for the next person.

Does this have a low possibility of happening again? No. I use the restroom multiple times a day and I use toilet paper every time.

Is this insignificant? Yes. In the grand scheme of things it is insignificant. It's annoying, but I've probably already spent too much time on this.

Here's why I'm not going to complain: 

First, 2 out of 3 of my reasons don't stack up.

Second, if I complain, I become one of "those people". I hate "those people" and you do too. And "those people" don't get any hall passes or favors when the time comes.  

Third reason, it will keep me on a list of people that can be made fun of, probably indefinitely.

Fourth, I'm not sure that I know exactly who to complain to. Facilities? The cleaning company?

And last, I'm correcting someone on their job. That they do full time. They certainly carry the expertise title in toilet paper hanging. And I'm okay letting that title go here at work...

...QueenB Says

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Style Statement

I got an Ask QueenB question a few weeks ago that is excellent:

“Do you like to buy what is in fashion or do you stick to longer lasting pieces/classics and only buy a few key fashion pieces?"

Before I answer it I want to talk about a wonderful book and concept that my friend Emma-nation turned me on to. It is called your style statement. It is a two word statement that, in their words, “helps you make empowered decisions - from your wardrobe and home to your relationships and work. When the spirit and the look and feel of your life are connected to your true nature, you feel at home wherever you are. You walk taller. You think more clearly. And the world responds accordingly".  Cool, huh?

If you purchase the book it will walk you through a series of exploratory forms where you fill in your preferences around things such as home, fashion, relationships, communication, etc. Then you reflect on your answers to come up with your style statement. The first word is your inner foundation, your 80%. Your second word is your creative edge, your 20%.

My style statement is Classic Glamorous.

Now back to the Ask QueenB question. If you posed this question to 5 “fashionable” people you would get 5 wonderful answers. I tend to go with the following when buying clothing:

  • Boot cut jeans, pencil skirts, tailored wide and straight leg pants
  • Fitted shirts I can leave untucked, cardigan sets, decorative and dressy tanks
  • Shirt dresses, wrap dresses, fitted sheath dresses
  • Feminine high heels, shiny or decorated wedges or flip flops
These basics in my wardrobe all fit with the Classic Glamorous theme. Here's a link to a few of my outfits, just to prove it.

Anything that I get that would be categorized as "trendy" tends to go towards my 20% word, Glamorous. Here are a few examples of trendy things I've purchased lately that I love:

Adorable grey and black striped tights

Fitted navy vest with gold cording and buttons

Freaking awesome taupe suede booties with silver studding

See, these may be called Glamorous Classic, right?

So, now, how do you incorporate the idea of a style statement into your life, clothes, and shopping strategy? First, consider taking the time to figure out your style statement, either with the book (an $18 investment), or peruse their website to get some ideas, or maybe you just know yourself well enough to come up with the right combination.

Next, use that style statement to know what makes you “fashionable”. You'll never go wrong once you know what makes you feel good and if you stick with that theme. I could tell you to buy 3 pencil skirts, 2 straight leg pants, a great pair of boot cut jeans, 2 button down shirts, and 3 cardigan sets – all in solid colors – and it might give you something to work with, but it would be boring. You have to add your flair to it to make it work for you. Here are a few ways that can be done with basics:

  • Add your own accessories to those basics (chunky gold jewelry, funky oxford heels, vests).
  • Switch up some of the details to each of those that make them interesting (satin cording, antique buttons, bright colors, or argyle patterns).
  • Swap out those basics for other basics you like (A-line skirts, cowl-neck tops, blazers, or tweed).

Once you have your basics in your 80/20 style, then add in your other items that fit your 20/80 style to spice it up.

  • If you are Traditional Elegance then this may be a 3 tiered pearl necklace.
  • If you are Cultivated Creative then it may be a hand painted silk shirt.
  • If you are Tailored Sparkle then it may be a fitted jacket with rhinestone details on the lapel.
One final note, if you can and are living your style statement through what you do for a career or what you do everyday, then you are set. If you work in corporate America and your style is Sensual Glitter or Bohemian Hemp, then you may have to make some compromises to fit in. But I don't think QueenB can help you with that...

...QueenB Says

Sunday, June 13, 2010

I Don't Park Next To Vans

I remember when I was younger having a fear of people in vans. My mom would never park next to them and told us it was because some scary dude might open the door and kidnap us and drive away really fast. Made sense to me then.

I think that is one of the reasons why I have this habit where I imagine the worst that could happen in a lot of scenarios. Not in all facets of my life, but more around physical safety. Here are some examples:

  • I hike a lot. There is one passage on Boulder’s Mt. Sanitas that takes me twice as long as everyone else to get through because I can completely imaging rolling down and breaking multiple bones.
  • When lifting weights I imagine that they will slip and fall on my foot or head or something.
  • I am convinced that I will die one day by falling down the stairs. I have 3 floors in my house and I work on the 2nd floor of a building and I not only hold the railings, I am slow and cautious every time I go down the stairs.
  • I don’t play sports with balls because I think they will break my nose or fingers.
  • The huz and I had to knock down a wasp nest last week and my job was to hold the bag underneath. I couldn’t make myself walk up to it so I got fired.
  • I don’t look both ways before crossing the street. I look both ways twice and a few times while I’m crossing.
Now in some ways this is a good thing. I’m cautious and rarely get hurt and I don’t put myself in risky situations. But this is also quite neurotic and keeps me from trying new things and testing some limits. Honestly though, I’m okay with that. For the most part.

I’m not okay with it when I know it’s unrealistic and is effecting me in a negative way. A good example of this is driving in the snow. I get such anxiety every time that weather is on its way, multiple people can attest to this. If I still lived in Dallas this would be okay, but I live in Colorado. I have upgraded to a great 4 wheel drive SUV. It only partially helped. Nothing anyone has said and no amount of positive self talk has gotten me past this. My next step is to take a driving class. I’ve found one and intend to sign up. If that doesn’t work, then I’ll have to try something else. But I WILL beat this irrational fear!

The trick for me is going to be determining those fears I can live with as quirks versus those fears that are negatively effecting my life. Then I need to figure out how to address them. I still won’t park next to vans…

…QueenB Says

Friday, June 11, 2010

Pedagogy vs. Andragogy and the Generations

The idea of this post came from a lecture that included a comparison of pedagogy, or teacher based learning, and andragogy, which is more of an experienced based or learner based form of learning. That got me to thinking about differences in the generations, in the workplace and in general.

I am a member of Generation X. We are a generation that is coming into our primes socially, politically, in our careers, and our earning potential. And we are not the youngest in the workplace anymore. Generation Y has made it's appearance over the past 5 to 10 years.

To set the stage, here is a short description of each of these generations:

  • Generation X: born in between 1965-1980, this generation is very independent and individualistic, we are technically adept, we adapt well to change, and work to live rather than our parent's live to work mentality.
  • Generation Y: born in the 80's, this generation is tech savvy to a point of preferring email and messaging to face-to-face communication, they are more family centric, have strong confidence, have a need to be included and involved, and require praise and reassurance.
Now, I could be remembering things very self-servingly (which is fine with me), but my generation graduated, got jobs, got training, learned from those around us, worked hard, and honed our skills. We spent the first part of our lives pedagogically - learning from teachers and books and lectures - and ultimately shifted to become andragogical learners - essentially forming our knowledge based on our past experiences, trial and error, and from people around us. (Being generatively coachable is one aspect of this.)

Generation Y is smart and quick to pick up technology and expects achievement in all areas, so once they develop more andragogically they will be a force to be reckoned with. The biggest hurdle for them will be the groundwork they are laying for themselves now, early in their careers.  The most difficult part of my dealings with Generation Y is regardless of their little experience in the workplace, they still have a strong sense of entitlement, they also have a lack of professionalism and little respect for politics.

This is my blog, so I can say whatever I want, right? Let me first say that I have met some very brilliant and incredible Gen Y'ers, so not all of you are typical of this generalization. But here is my advice for the bulk of you:

Your sense of entitlement is absurd. From what I've read, this stems from the concept of "everyone wins" and baseball games where you don't keep score. What?!? Growing up I knew who the smart kids were and who the less smart kids were, I knew who was going to get the blue ribbon in little olympics (not me) and who was going to win the spelling bee. I've literally heard, "I've been here longer, so I should get the office/promotion/title". I've wanted to scream, "THEY HAD 14 YEARS OF EXPERIENCE AT 4 DIFFERENT COMPANIES BEFORE YOU GRADUATED COLLEGE!", (I think I did scream it once at some girl and scared her half to death... whatev). Gen Y Newsflash: not everyone wins and you will lose sometimes. Also, people will rank you and you will have to compete to be ranked higher. You don't GET respect, promotions, raises, and opportunities, you EARN them. That takes intelligence, of course. But also experience and time. Get them and we can talk.

Your lack of professionalism now will follow you around forever. Don't dress more casually than the other people you work with, it makes you look sloppy and lazy. We may know what you mean when you use emoticons and text speak in emails, but when used excessively we think you don't care and don't know any better. Punctuate, capitalize, don't say ciao and other cutesy phrases. Last, and there are exceptions to all of these, don't be fake, too loud, too giggly, stupid (real or fake), or lazy. Don't put your feet on the desk, don't order 2 drinks at lunch, don't look hungover, and don't high five too often. You may not care about all of this, but the people that control the money and promotions do. And they are talking about you. I promise.

Your disregard of politics is hurting your potential. "But QueenB, the VP and I have a lot in common." No, you don't. They got where they are because they are good with all people, not just you. And you have just made everyone between you and the VP roll their eyes at your naivety. "But QueenB, I'm helping everyone by speaking my mind." Yes, but you are still about 72% idiot. Just kidding... but really, before you spout opinions make sure you know something about it. Don't give another department criticism or advice on how they should run themselves unless you've worked in it and understand the political, financial, legal, and HR ramifications of what you want to say. "But QueenB, I read this Seth Godin book and I totally see what we have to do." I love idealism, but you have to have your feet on the ground too. That means being realistic. You will never create utopia anywhere and the grass is never greener. You SHOULD read things and be inspired, but realize that change takes time, work, strong leaders, passion, and an ability to execute. Ummm... you aren't all that, so you're going to need a lot of help from others or time to become all that. Sorry to burst your balloon, but better now than when your balloon becomes annoying to people. You can have your balloon back when you are older...

...QueenB Says

Monday, June 7, 2010

My Strengths & Why You Care

I am a "maximizer", an "activator", an "individualizer", an "arranger", and a "learner". These are terms I got from a StrengthFinder assessment a did a few years ago. I, like my good friend, Emma-nation, love labels. When I took this assessment I literally said out loud, "I have the BEST strengths there are to have"... that is my maximizer speaking. But, what does that mean?
  • "People strong in the Maximizer theme focus on strengths as a way to stimulate personal and group excellence. They seek to transform something strong into something superb."
  • "People strong in the Activator theme can make things happen by turning thoughts into action. They are often impatient."
  • "People strong in the Individualization theme are intrigued with the unique qualities of each person. They have a gift for figuring out how people who are different can work together productively."
  • "People strong in the Arranger theme can organize, but they also have a flexibility that complements this ability. They like to figure out how all of the pieces and resources can be arranged for maximum productivity."
  • "People strong in the Learner theme have a great desire to learn and want to continuously improve. In particular, the process of learning, rather than the outcome, excites them."
Cool, now what should this tell you about me? I like awesome things, right now, in an organized manner with people that are unique and inspirational.

Here's how this makes me valuable to you:

I see your best. I like individualism and uniqueness. In fact, those things about you that are quirky, are my favorite parts of you. And I see what you can do with those qualities that no one else can do. I'm good at that.

I can turn negative into positive. Example: my activator label comes with a warning, "They are often impatient". Um, okay, I want it now. There is nothing wrong with that, that is an awesome way to go through life. I will also convince you that your perceived shortcomings are actually proving your strength and that your reactions are justified. I'm good at that.

I will get it done. My friend Matt is so creative in the kitchen. He has the perfect idea for whatever the gathering, he finds the best recipes and ingredients, and he knows how to put it together. I step in to help behind the scenes by keeping him on schedule, planning the timing of a meal, taking care of boring details like table setting and chopping, and I keep the area neat and clean throughout his process. I will back you up and make you shine and let you take the credit. I'm good at that.

I will make our time together valuable.  I want good food, good wine, and good conversation. I want to learn from you, so I ask a lot of questions about what you know. I share my opinions freely and ask you to do the same. We will both walk away with an experience, even if it's just a good meal. I am good at that.

What are your strengths?

...QueenB Says

Sunday, June 6, 2010

Pet Peeve: Gross Shoes

I was standing behind a woman in line at a restaurant last week in Boulder. She was larger, but had on a very flattering polka-dot wrap dress. Her hair was long and laid in messy curls. Her make up was simple and clean. She was standing tall, with good posture, and confidently reading the menu.

Then I saw her shoes.

They are black heels, but that white stuff? Scuffed up disgustingness.

All of a sudden she became a larger woman in a poorly made wrap dress, the patterns didn't even match up at the seams. She was standing in a very masculine stance. Her hair was badly in need of a wash, a brush, and a style. She didn't take the time to balance her eyeliner and shadow with a complementary lipstick or gloss. She had pale blue purse that was dirty and worn. She didn't take care of her belongings. And was oblivious to those around her.

Now you want to tell me the details don't matter? They can completely change someone's perception of you. Noticing one bad thing just leads people to notice others, and not just about what you are wearing. They'll start in on sizing you up as a person.

Just avoid the opportunity for people to notice one of those kind of details. Get a shoe polish kit and use it.  And when your shoes get that bad... throw them out. Use this advice for all of the "details"...

...QueenB Says

Friday, June 4, 2010

5 Thoughts: Invictus

Need something to watch this weekend? I have an idea. Have you seen "Invictus" with Morgan Freeman and Matt Damon? If not, see it. And don't worry, this blog will not spoil it for you. And if so, what did you think? After a slow start, I thoroughly enjoyed this movie. Multiple themes were inspirational- a nation coming together, the underdog's fight, seeing leadership in action. Here are my 5 thoughts:

  • Let's start with the actors. What is it about Morgan Freeman? He consistently gets put in the role of a leader, he consistently spouts wisdom, and he consistently gets these roles. I think it has something to do with the way he speaks- calm, confident, and only as much as he actually needs to. Hmmm... I think I could learn from that.

  • Matt Damon continues to choose roles correctly. When he and Ben Affleck came out on the scene with Good Will Hunting it seemed as if they both had unlimited potential. Well, Matt Damon has lived up to it more so, wouldn't you say? It seems he chooses meaningfully and based on what inspires him, rather than based on money or fame. And he's kinda hot. I love him.

  • Rugby. Okay, let's be honest, rugby would not do much to cause me to be proud or inspire me to change my mind or take some action. But, it obviously inspired some people. So, if other people inspire me, maybe down the line something as simple as a sport could eventually spur some social positivity in me, right?  Quit hatin' on football people, it might change your life.

  • I've said this before, but the national anthem makes me tear up every time. And it's not just the national anthem, it's really any large group display for something positive. And just a warning, it's getting worse the older I get too.

  • The poem they feature in the movie is called Invictus by William Ernest Henley. Way cool, check it out:

Out of the night that covers me,
Black as the Pit from pole to pole,
I thank whatever gods may be
For my unconquerable soul.

In the fell clutch of circumstance
I have not winced nor cried aloud.
Under the bludgeonings of chance
My head is bloody, but unbowed.

Beyond this place of wrath and tears
Looms but the Horror of the shade,
And yet the menace of the years
Finds, and shall find, me unafraid.

It matters not how strait the gate,
How charged with punishments the scroll.
I am the master of my fate:
I am the captain of my soul.

How can you NOT be inspired by this? Be unconquerable, be proud, be courageous, be yourself...

...QueenB Says

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

How I Live Efficiently

This post is not intended to highlight my neurotic tendencies, but it will. I'm okay with that and actually a little proud of my crazy hanging out every once in a while.

I rarely feel rushed, I usually have time for myself everyday, and I always get my personal to do list accomplished. Here are few tips I've learned to enable this for myself:

  1. I pick out and iron my clothes for the week on Sunday. This way every night when I get home, I just set out what I'm going to wear the next day and choose my accessories. I waste no time in the morning dealing with this. It's awesome.
  2. I get out my workout clothes for the week on Sunday. This week I have a run on Sunday, training sessions at 5:30am on Tuesday, Wednesday, and Friday, and hip hop on Saturday. I know what I have to wear to each of those and if I had to rummage around getting it together the morning of, then that is one more excuse not to get up. I can be ready in 7 minutes for the gym.
  3. We plan our meals for the week and do grocery shopping on Saturday morning. There is no wasted thought or time throughout the week in deciding what to do for dinner and we eat healthy because that is what we planned. It is also financially efficient to plan this way.
  4. If you've seen my house you know that it's always clean. I don't have someone clean it, I actually find it therapeutic to do this myself. It helps that we are both neat and like to keep things in their place. But there are other things I do that keep this up as well. Here are my 6 main categories for every week: dust, vacuum, clean hardwoods, clean bathrooms, bedding, laundry. I add in an extra category or 2 every week as well, these include: windows, blinds, baseboards, appliances, cabinets, magic eraser (if you don't know what this is, you are missing out), rugs. These each happen about once a month. My words of advice: spread the individual tasks out over a 2-3 day period (Friday, Saturday, Sunday), focus on one task a time vs. one room at a time, and find tools that simplify each task (pledge wipes vs. spray and paper towels, swiffer sprayer vs. mop and bucket, etc.).
  5. Before I go to bed I always set the alarm clock, pre-make the coffee, set out our coffee cups, put the electronic gadgets (phones, iPods) on their chargers, and make sure the kitchen is clean. This takes 5-10 minutes total, but makes for such a smooth and efficient morning.
What do you do? Are there other ways to live efficiently that I haven't thought of? Are there 1 or 2 of my tips that you will try?

...QueenB Says