Month: January 2016

New Year, New Look

gender-neutral-nursery-baby-boy-sarahshermansamuel

I’m a homebody. I really, really enjoy being home, especially if said home is perfectly decorated. I also happen to be a very extroverted extrovert, so my best moments are when people come to my house. And said house is perfectly decorated.

I always thought I had a specific taste in mind when it came to decorating my home, but over the years, that taste has morphed into a perfectly -or maybe not so perfectly – balance of different styles. And I like changing stuff up around he house.

So this is why I have compiled this list of cheap and easy ways to change the look of your home in a cinch.

  1. Paint. Paint is one of the easiest ways to make a big impact with a little cost. If you can paint, then try it! It will change how the room feels and you can definitely try different ways: all of the walls, an accent wall, 3/4 of the way up, just the ceiling? The options are endless.
  2. Re-arrange your furniture. Moving things around can give you a fresh angle to decorating. Sometimes we move into a space and envision furniture a certain way and sometimes moving it around can work much better with how you use your space.
  3. Shop in your home. Do you have some pillows in your bedroom that you are growing a little tired of? Maybe move them to the living area! Same with throws, curtains, chairs. There are many possibilities to change the look without investing in some new pieces.
  4. Art. Art can be one of the most impactful  (is this even a word?) add ons to a space. Just make sure that you go big to fill the space and create the most impact. There are a lot of places where you can buy art at affordable prices, like Minted or Etsy.
  5. Add some texture and don’t be afraid to mix things up a bit! Texture can bring your flat space to a more 3D level. You can do this by adding a fluffy pillow, a rustic console table or even some inexpensive plants in different sizes.

What are some other, inexpensive ideas you have to refresh your home?

Source: Top 15 of 2015 by Sarah Sherman Samuel

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Career goals 2016

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I’ve spoken here about my personal goals for 2016 and I laid out a monthly plan for tiny goals to achieve that will make for a nice, whole year.

I also have separate career goals or resolutions for this year. I’ve been working at the foundation for a year and a half already, and I still have a lot to learn – both about how the foundation operates and also about philanthropy in general. I want 2016 to be the year that I do something significant, whether it is learning something new, develop or further my career or just being prepared for wherever the job might take me.

So here are some resolutions / goals / steps I want to take in 2016 to improve as an employee:

  1. Be an intentional learner: As I said before, I have only been in this job for 1.5 years and this is my first time in philanthropy, so I still have a lot to learn. I am continuously looking for ways to learn about philanthropy and in 2016 will intently look for opportunities for classes, conferences, workshops or networking events that can further my knowledge. There is a big conference in September in Detroit that I have my eye on.
  2. Take ownership and have a purpose: One of the many great things about my job is that I have a lot of ownership of the projects I do. However, sometimes it’s easy to get lost in the task and not remember the purpose. So this year, I want to think about the purpose: know “what” to do, “how” to do it and achieve it, think about “why” I’m doing it, and “when” to accomplish it. The goal is to take a strategic approach to the task and having a clear sense of what I want to accomplish.
  3. Be concise and smarter with words, talk straight to the point and be confident. My boss always says that I am the expert at what I do, so I shouldn’t be shy to raise my voice and talk about the work.
  4. Be cooperative and respectful: Not that I am not, but be mindful of my team and work together towards one goal, which is to advance the work of the foundation and not just to manage my tasks.
  5. Network and gain visibility: One thing that I haven’t felt prepared to do just yet is to network. I don’t feel like I know everything about the foundation / philanthropy so I shy away from talking to others about my work. But I’m ready to do this! I’m already part of a Communities of Practice group in Seattle, and I think that this could be a great jumping off point for me.

Happy New Year! Do you have any career goals for this year?

Photo © Maria Rigou for Groundhog Design

Welcome 2016!

Welcome2016

This is the last full year before I turn 30, so I have decided that I am going to treat m’self all. year. long. But it’s not only about material stuff, I also want to do things for me that can make me feel better about myself, my career and my home.

Starting today, I will take on a new goal each month that will build on until the end of the year. Towards the end of 2016, I will come back and revisit my ‘resolutions’ (if you want to call them that) and grade me on how well I did.

So, without further ado, these are my monthly goals:

January: Start eating healthier! I don’t eat a lot of junk food but I am slightly disorganized with my meals. I never eat breakfast and I drink way too much Diet Coke. I started the Whole30 plan (not a diet), which eliminates certain food groups from your daily diet to ‘reset’ your metabolism. It basically consists of eating protein, vegetables and fruit and no grains, dairy, sugars, legumes and processed anything. So far, not good. I’m starving but I think it’s all in my head.

February: Start training for a Half Marathon. I think I’m going to enroll in the Rock n Roll Half Marathon in Seattle in June. Run a 5k.

March: Plan an anniversary getaway for me and my husband. It doesn’t have to be the trip of a lifetime, but maybe a weekend away to somewhere picturesque like Leavenworth, WA.

April: Promote my art: I have a new show this month. It’s at Local Color, in Pike Place Market here in Seattle. The idea is for me to get out there and be more active with my artwork. Hopefully I’ll sell some art! Run a 10k.

May: Plan a mid-ish year vacation. We don’t go on vacation enough and I would like that to change this year. Maybe Disney World, just because we can.

June: Run a Half Marathon and finish decorating the condo (this could be tricky as I change my mind every single day about my furniture!)

July: Enjoy Seattle in the summer. They say that Summer in Seattle is from 4th of July until Labor Day, so I plan to go to the beach every. single. weekend.

August: Conquer a fear: I am deathly afraid of heights so I think going sky diving is the perfect cure.

September: Take another vacation. I think that if I take small, strategic breaks throughout the year, I won’t burn out by the time December rolls around. This year I was this close to burnout it wasn’t even funny.

October: Create something and remember it: plan the most EPIC Halloween costume of all times.

November: Learn something new. Maybe enroll in a life-drawing class, or a sewing class, a graphic design course, or a social media certification? Who knows. I still have time to plan this out.

December: Have fun.

I never set ‘resolutions’ when the new year rolls around. This isn’t something that is very common in Argentina, but I think that the new year is a good opportunity for some changes, either minor or major. Though most of these goals are quantitative, I think that my whole idea for this year is to grow as a person, as a professional and a wife, and be ready to receive the big 3-0 in 2017.

What are your goals, dreams, aspirations or resolutions for this year?

Photo Isla Catalina, Dominican Republic; © Maria Rigou for Groundhog Design