19 Things To Stop Doing In Your 20′s

1. Stop placing all the blame on other people for how they interact with you. To an extent, people treat you the way you want to be treated. A lot of social behavior is cause and effect. Take responsibility for (accept) the fact that you are the only constant variable in your equation.

2. Stop being lazy by being constantly “busy.” It’s easy to be busy. It justifies never having enough time to clean, cook for yourself, go out with friends, meet new people. Realize that every time you give in to your ‘busyness,’ it’s you who’s making the decision, not the demands of your job.

3. Stop seeking out distractions. You will always be able to find them.

4. Stop trying to get away with work that’s “good enough.” People notice when “good enough” is how you approach your job. Usually these people will be the same who have the power to promote you, offer you a health insurance plan, and give you more money. They will take your approach into consideration when thinking about you for a raise.

5. Stop allowing yourself to be so comfortable all the time. Coming up with a list of reasons to procrastinate risky, innovative decisions offers more short-term gratification than not procrastinating. But when you stop procrastinating to make a drastic change, your list of reasons to procrastinate becomes a list of ideas about how to better navigate the risk you’re taking.

6. Stop identifying yourself as a cliche and start treating yourself as an individual. Constantly checking your life against a prewritten narrative or story of how things “should” be is a bought-into way of life. It’s sort of like renting your identity. It isn’t you. You are more nuanced than the narrative you try to fit yourself into, more complex than the story that “should” be happening.

7. Stop expecting people to be better than they were in high school — learn how to deal with it instead. Just because you’re out of high school doesn’t mean you’re out of high school. There will always be people in your life who want what you have, are threatened by who you are, and will ridicule you for doing something that threatens how they see their position in the world.

8. Stop being stingy. If you really care about something, spend your money on it. There is often a notion that you are saving for something. Either clarify what that thing is or start spending your money on things that are important to you. Spend money on road trips. Spend money on healthy food. Spend money on opportunities. Spend money on things you’ll keep.

9. Stop treating errands as burdens. Instead, use them as time to focus on doing one thing, and doing it right. Errands and chores are essentially rote tasks that allow you time to think. They function to get you away from your phone, the internet, and other distractions. Focus and attention span are difficult things to maintain when you’re focused and attentive on X amount of things at any given moment.

10. Stop blaming yourself for being human. You’re fine. Having a little anxiety is fine. Being scared is fine. Your secrets are fine. You’re well-meaning. You’re intelligent. You’re blowing it out of proportion. You’re fine.

11. Stop ignoring the fact that other people have unique perspectives and positions. Start approaching people more thoughtfully. People will appreciate you for deliberately trying to conceive their own perspective and position in the world. It not only creates a basis for empathy and respect, it also primes people to be more open and generous with you.

12. Stop seeking approval so hard. Approach people with the belief that you’re a good person. It’s normal to want the people around you to like you. But it becomes a self-imposed burden when almost all your behavior toward certain people is designed to constantly reassure you of their approval.

13. Stop considering the same things you’ve always done as the only options there are. It’s unlikely that one of the things you’ll regret when you’re older is not having consumed enough beer in your 20s, or not having bought enough $5 lattes, or not having gone out to brunch enough times, or not having spent enough time on the internet. Fear of missing out is a real, toxic thing. You’ve figured out drinking and going out. You’ve experimented enough. You’ve gotten your fill of internet memes. Figure something else out.

14. Stop rejecting the potential to feel pain. Suffering is a universal constant for sentient beings. It is not unnatural to suffer. Being in a constant state of suffering is bad. But it is often hard to appreciate happiness when there’s nothing to compare it to. Rejecting the potential to suffer is unsustainable and unrealistic.

15. Stop approaching adverse situations with anger and frustration. You will always deal with people who want things that seem counter to your interests. There will always be people who threaten to prevent you from getting what you want by trying to get what they want. This is naturally frustrating. Realize that the person you’re dealing with is in the same position as you — by seeking out your own interests, you threaten to thwart theirs. It isn’t personal — you’re both just focused on getting different things that happen to seem mutually exclusive. Approach situations like these with reason. Be calm. Don’t start off mad, it’ll only make things more tense.

16. Stop meeting anger with anger. People will make you mad. Your reaction to this might be to try and make them mad. This is something of a first-order reaction. That is, it isn’t very thoughtful — it may be the first thing you’re inclined to do. Try to suppress this reaction. Be thoughtful. Imagine your response said aloud before you say it. If you don’t have to respond immediately, don’t.

17. Stop agreeing to do things that you know you’ll never actually do. It doesn’t help anyone. To a certain extent, it’s a social norm to be granted a ‘free pass’ when you don’t do something for someone that you said you were going to do. People notice when you don’t follow through, though, especially if it’s above 50% of the time.

18. Stop ‘buying’ things you know you’ll throw away. Invest in friendships that aren’t parasitic. Spend your time on things that aren’t distractions. Put your stock in fleeting opportunity. Focus on the important.

19. Stop being afraid.

I found this list here and here. It’s definitely long, but I do a lot of these things. It made me think and reflect, something I love to do. I’m guilty of #2, #3 when it comes to working out, and #5. What about you?

Our Office is Singing the Blues

Our office is painted. IKEA furniture is assembled and in it’s place. The curtains are in the dryer, awaiting ironing and ready to be hung. The office is almost “finished”. I still need a rug, a desk chair, to hang art, and paint some lamps. Lucerne by BM was the color we chose. Disclaimer: I’m a light and cool person, not a bold and masculine person. The color is not horrible dark, but at night, forget it.  The room has 3 flood lights on a track that came with the house, plus a window and skylight which only add mood lighting. I’ve added 3 lamps on our desks to brighten this space up at night so we don’t go blind. Day time lighting isn’t bad, that is if the sun would shine! COME ON SPRING!!

I can’t wait to call this space ‘finished’ and get school started you three the final pics!

Thrift Shop Show and Tell

I went thrift shopping again. Who knew they had special deals each day of the month set out the month prior? I always walk in and hope the deal of the day on the marker board is for what I’m shopping for. Well, an old fellow who saw my arms full of goodness informed me that the very next day the entire store was going to be 50% off. The monthly flyers were on the counter, and I saw for myself. He told me to hide whatever I wanted and come back when the store opened the following day. I had to laugh because this gentleman was a better thrifter than I am. I took his advice. But I snapped some photos of the things I eyed before I left for the night…

Adorable small stackable bowls. They were $1 each. I had 3 in my hand, and put them back for the following day. Someone must have bought them that night (or hid them) because they were all gone the next morning.

This yellow wicker ball was cute for $1. I thought it would look nice on top of a stack of books, or on a some built-ins.

This cow was plastic and funny. Placed in the right spot (like a nursery) it could be fun.

This was a candy dish. But I thought mounted in a gallery wall would add depth.

I loved this guy. Maybe spray painted, maybe not. On top of a dresser in a nursery or child’s room would be adorable.

 

These  candle sticks were in my hands, but at $5 a piece, I didn’t think they were a steal. I loved how big and chunky they were, not to mention the wood! They too were missing the next morning. I didn’t have a spot picked out for them, but was thinking the mantle…

If you’re into owls, they had these for $3 each. They, of course, would need spray painting.

This wooden bowl had potential on a book case or nightstand to hold jewelry.

I thought this tea pot would look cute on a rustic, or black and white kitchen shelf.

I didn’t have a place for this lamp/side table combo, or else it would have come home with me. It could’ve used some paint, but I loved it next to a chair.

As for what I came home with… none of which has a permanent spot in my home yet.

A small wooden dish, or piece of art.

Adorable green lattice frames. I’ll most likely remove the sea gulls.

A simple white dish to hold my sponge and dish soap by the kitchen sink.

A ceramic mushroom. I thought about spray paint, but he is as-is for now.

This wooden geometric mirror. Maybe it’ll end up in the office or upstairs hallway.

I had intentions of using this lamp on my white desk either spray painted something bright, or paired with a patterned shade. But it’s just too small. This one might end up in my garage sale this summer… but for $1, it was a painless mistake.

 

This Saturday is another 50% sale. Holla!

High Hung Remix

The curtains have been hung for almost 3 weeks.

I’ve really grown to like them. They were another sweet Christmas present from my sweet mom (hi mom). I searched for curtains for while, wanting something bright with fun design. But I didn’t want this room to be too busy, and if I changed the wall color, or pictures, or couch, I didn’t necessarily want to replace the curtains. I also wanted to possibly use the same curtains in the dining room since the two rooms flow into each other. Ultimately I went with something neutral. They are the Farrah Cream curtains from Target. At $16.99 a panel, I  my mom couldn’t beat it.

Believe it or not, I did iron these! I searched long and hard for cheap curtain rods too. They don’t exist. At least not my standard of cheap, especially when I needed a long one. So I made these. I bought 3 of these rods from Home Depot. Electrical Conduits. Don’t ask me about their intended use. These are 10 feet long and $4 a pop. I brought them home, spray painted them oil rubbed bronze, measured them out, and cut to size.

The windows by the fireplace only allowed for me to hang the curtains 9 inches from the window frame without hitting the wall, and 2 inches into the mantle.

The front window allowed for 12 inches on either side of the window frame. I wanted the curtain to just graze the window frame. This makes the window look bigger and does not block any light from entering the room.

The brackets also came from Home Depot. A set of 2 with hardware ran me about $4 each. The ring clips came from IKEA. Which are by far the cheapest out there. A set of 10 for $3.99 was a dream. The curtains could have just slid onto the rod, but I opted for the ring look.

All said and done for these 3 windows it cost roughly $115. Minus my Christmas gifts, my cost was only $47! And that I can’t beat.

A little before and after:

My curtains touch the ground. That wasn’t my goal, but it happened. I intended for the rods to hang higher near the crown molding. But after holding it there, it looked weird touching the molding. So we brought it down a few inches and now they touch the ground. I could lose the rings and be fine, but I think it looks delicate this way.

My DIY rods don’t come without flaws. My conduit rods are slightly thicker than my brackets, so they are just resting on them. I could attempt to get them in, but then my curtains will touch more of the floor, and worst of all, I could crack my plaster walls by forcing them in. So I’m leaving them be. Did you even notice that?

My rods could also chip since there are spray painted. These curtains are decorative. They will not be sliding back and forth against the painted rods. My white blinds will hide our faces at night from the outsiders.

I bought cheap finials from IKEA too, which I didn’t use. Did you notice? Does my rod look naked? They are VERY simple:

RAFFIG Finial IKEA

But there is nothing to screw these into at the end of the conduit. I thought about a glue and electrical tape concoction. Instead, I’m leaving them be. More industrial, with very clean lines.

As for the dining room and using matching curtains (since I have all the rod supplies now), Target was SOLD OUT of the 95” curtains! Until yesterday….

Closet Reorganization

Our closet shelves and floors needed some love. Our closets have slanted walls which leaves lots of unused space in the back and narrowed shelves on top.

Or, maybe we just have too much stuff. That is really the truth of it all. So, I went out and got some more things…

I purchased some bins at the dollar store for $1 to give items on the shelf a home.

Obviously jeans and such won’t fit in the bins. Hats, tennis shirts, tanks, and shorts did find a new home. Hopefully these things find their way BACK home. The before and afters don’t do much for the outsider, but it feels more organized to us.

Shoes were all over, especially in my closet, in boxes and lined on the floor. I found these nifty shoe organizers at IKEA for $6 that made for more floor space.

And my #1′s side: with a shoe rack, and another bin for winter accessories.

I also used a few command hooks for necklaces. I have a hanging jewelry organizer, but these chunky necklaces that are now in style were not fitting.

Unused space in the upper corner of my closet is where they are now living. There is definitely more room for other things, like bracelets, in the future.

Now I’m searching for some type of drawer system to fit under the hanging clothes for our clothes that are not in season.

Spring cleaning is approaching, or maybe even in progress. Consignment shops are on my list of errands, to drop off items we no longer use. I’ve also started a garage sale pile in the basement. Our city doesn’t have a “city wide” garage sale day, so maybe I’ll haul everything to my mom’s neighborhood for theirs, just like I did last year.

Happy Spring Cleaning!

 

Office Inspiration

As grad school approaches, I wanted to get the office in order. My #1 starts his MBA program this summer too. He scored a 710(!) on his GMAT (thanks for letting me brag on him). He’s still deciding on which school to attend, though he’s pretty much welcome anywhere. Xavier accepted him the SAME DAY he applied. Say What?! Oh, the life of a genius…

Last weekend we made the hike up north to IKEA. I needed a desk, and we wanted to check out their options for better storage to make the office more user friendly. We came home three hours later with a station wagon full of boxes.

My #1 has generously allowed me to be a part of his office. Moving his desk to left side of the room will allow for more ceiling to floor wall space. My new desk could then fit in the small nook next to the closet, which will allow the surf- photo gallery wall to be open. The bookcase/ TV stand and TV might live there, or find a new home in another room.

I bought TWO parson desks at IKEA because I couldn’t believe how cheap they were. I’ve been eyeing one for the craft room. I needed space to wrap presents and craft, so I bought one for that room too. $15 for the legs and I bought 2 different sized tops: $6 for the office one and $16 for the craft room top. Done.

VIKA AMON/VIKA ADILS Table IKEA The high gloss surfaces reflect light and give a vibrant look.

My #1 has a ton of junk stuff that needs a home. Electronics, magazines, books, ticket stubs, small trinkets, etc. Mostly it’s stored in shoe boxes or larger moving boxes in closets that have never been unpacked. In IKEA’s showroom, right next to the parson desk I was eyeing sat this bookcase:

BILLY Bookcase IKEA

He really liked it and picked it out all on his own. It had glass jars, white cardboard boxes and magazine holders in it, as well as books. He bought all it’s components to hold all of his stuff. I liked this cabinet because it’s exactly that. It has hidden storage as well as a glass display on top to show off prettier things. I like the big glass jars as alternative storage devices too.

We decided to pick out paint and get the office painted prior to loading everything upstairs. Ugh, picking out paint! I tend to always lean towards a light grey blue that looks almost exactly like our entire upstairs. I needed something DIFFERENT! My #1 said to pick 5 colors I like and then he’ll choose. If he had his way it’d be a rich dark ocean blue. But I thought that was too much for such a small room. I found 5 swatches which were all similar light blue-greens. I sat on those this week and finally decided I needed 5 different colors. Then, YHL announced their Ben Moore 2013 paint picks, and a couple dark blues stuck with me. Lucerne by BM:

The office is small, but has cathedral ceilings, and 2 windows that bring in a lot of light. I plan to paint the ceiling this color too for better flow. With light accents such as pillows and art, I think this color will work.

My dark grey curtains will be too dark with this color. I found these super affordable curtains at IKEA for $25 for the PAIR, AND they’re 95”.

JANETTE Curtains, 1 pair IKEA Eyelet heading works on curtain rods.

This family room will be my new inspiration. With Lucerne on the walls, the white bead board as our bookcase and new desk, and the grey couch as my #1′s desk, I’m in awe.

I emailed the color swatch, curtains, and this photo to my #1, and got the response “It looks rad!” Sold.

 

PS. Maybe I’ll use this same color for the craft room too. I’m not enjoying the pale green in there of late. And this inspiration photo with the bright white bead board is making me dislike it even more.

Finally a Place To Call Home

After a year of applying to grad schools and getting denied by two, but then accepted by one, I was grateful my journey was over. When we got back from Asia last month, I received an email from UC that began with “Congratulations”. I was stunned. Having been denied by most of the colleges I’d applied to, I assumed UC would deny me also, and Xavier would be my future school. UC’s online MSN program is ranked top 20 in the nation. It cost more, requires me to take a statistics course, allows me to start in May, is completely online, and most importantly, will make me a nurse practitioner in just two years. The pros ultimately won, and I accepted my seat last week.

I’ve been trying to live it up a little knowing I’ll have no life after May 6th. When I talk about “living it up” it only means having more than one beer and staying up until midnight. A couple of friends and I booked a trip to Florida to visit a great friend over St. Patty’s Day, which is always a blast. I can’t wait to share my last vacation (for a while) with them!

A Quick Review

I’ve searched for a decent lipstick for a while. And by search, I mean I’ve bought three different kinds the past year. I’m not a makeup enthusiast. I just wanted something simple and natural to bring my pale lips up to par. Nothing really has worked, or the color was too pink, and I always seemed to stick with my Burt’s Bees, until now…

Maybelline makes this stuff, and I bought two. I bought a peach and a purple colored one. It’s like chap stick and lipstick in one. It moisturizes, shines, and gives color. It goes on smooth and makes my lips smackable (is that a word?). The color amount is what I was searching for. Maybe this already exists and I’m just a lipstick makeup noob. This product doesn’t come without flaws. The color doesn’t last long, so frequent applications are a must.

Thrift Store Finds

I recently went thrift shopping while jamming to this song:

File:Macklemore - Thrift Shop.jpg

watch the video here

Goodwill was my place of choice. I was on the hunt for a small glass container to hold my q-tips in my bathroom cabinet, (which was a success!) and anything else that caught my eye.

This wooden pineapple was made in Honolulu (so the sticker on back says) which is where my #1 lived for a short time in college, and I of course visited him there. I decided to paint the inside and hang it by my front door. I needed some more art on the walls and I thought the pineapple was fitting to welcome our guests inside. I wanted to incorporate the green/yellow/goldish color in from the chair nearby.

I mixed some paint together to get the color I desired. I found a sample “oops” paint at Home Depot on clearance for 50 cents. I used Frog Tape to tape off the surrounding wood. I had intentions of spray painting, but could not find the color I wanted in spray form.

I used command strips to attach the pineapple to my wall. Worked like a charm.

That’s a sneak peak of another project we have accomplished (more on that later). I think I’ll eventually either add something else to that wall, or maybe something to the center of the pineapple. Or maybe the simple lone pineapple will grow on me.

I added some of the same paint to the small bird that lives on the dining room shelf, to brighten him up.

This was another thrift store find. This darling guy was $1. He landed in the family room also. He’s managed to stay away from the paint… for now!

 

Meaningful Art

While in Asia I wanted to find a Vietnamese map to hang somewhere in my house. My #1 is 50% Vietnamese and I thought it would be neat to have something from Vietnam in our home. I found a map on our last day in a small book store in the city Hoi An.

When we got home, I found a frame at Target that I thought was dark enough and blended in with my stainless steel appliances in the kitchen. The map’s size was perfect for the wall near the bar.

I used the paper with the fake picture on it that comes with the frame as my mat. I painted it with a small foam roller the same color as the darker shade of the dining room.

And simply centered the map on top to create a mat. The map is written in Vietnamese which is a nice bonus of authenticity.

PS. Please forgive me as my new layout sucks, though I’ll cheers to bigger pictures!