Foto Friday ~ Project 365: Week 35-36-37-38-39 Recap

Foto Friday is back with 5 weeks of recaps…wow! Let’s do it!

Week 35 of my Project 365:

Photo 238/ 365 ~ Saturday, January 21, 2012

Went for  a 20 milers and 2 Miles into the run it started to snow and it was coming down pretty good. Roads were slippery, went to the Newton Hills and back. There were not many people out running. Of course when I got home my hubby was ready with the camera.

Photo 239/ 365 ~ Sunday, January 22, 2012

The usual set up!

Photo 240/ 365 ~ Monday, January 23, 2012

I love my inspirational corner!

Photo 241/ 365 ~ Tuesday, January 24, 2012

You should hear the sounds she makes=)

Photo 242/ 365 ~ Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Awwww

Photo 243/ 365 ~ Thursday, January 26, 2012

I love this little flower shop at the mall!

Photo 244/ 365 ~ Friday, January 27, 2012

Yes, you got it! It’s Viva’s amazing side table guacamole. Can’t be beat!

Week 36 of my Project 365:

Photo 245/ 365 ~ Saturday, January 28, 2012

We had Luca over for a sleepover! Luna LOVES Luca!

I love this photo=) Luca and his passion for Lego!

Photo 246/ 365 ~ Sunday, January 29, 2012

Took Luca to see Hugo, which by the way it’s an amazing movie and saw the ad for the upcoming Titanic in 3D.  If you don’t know Titanic it’s my favorite movie of all time. When it came out in 1997 I still lived in Italy and no joke I went to see the movie at the theaters 4 times=) April 4th can’t come soon enought!

Photo 247/ 365 ~ Monday, January 30, 2012

First time making popsicle with one of D’s Xmas present. The Zoku Quick Pop makes freezes ice pops in as little as seven minutes right on your countertop without electricity. Can you see it freezing=)

Photo 248/ 365 ~ Tuesday, January 31, 2012

lululemon Natick’s windows for February, the love month!

Photo 249/ 365 ~ Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Luna way to wake up daddy!

Photo 250/ 365 ~ Thursday, February 2, 2012

Dustin started a Paleo diet challenge where he would eat Paleo for 30 days. By the way Wednesday was his last day (nice job honey) and he lost 13 pounds! The paleolithic diet , also popularly referred to as the caveman diet, Stone Age diet and hunter-gatherer diet, is a modern nutritional plan based on the presumed ancient diet of wild plants and animals that various hominid species habitually consumed during the Paleolithic era.

Photo 251/ 365 ~ Friday, February 3, 2012

It’s Wear Red Day and the Natick mall is having an event to bring awareness against heart disease in women.

The Eighth Month of My Project 365 is done!   Here is the recap of all the photos I took in January.

Week 37 of my Project 365:

Photo 252/ 365 ~ Saturday, February 4, 2012

When I woke up I found Luna in my place…cuddling on Dustin’s chest=)

Date with Gregg and Diandra in the city! They took us ice skating, it was soooo much fun!

Here the 4 of us!

Photo 253/ 365 ~ Sunday, February 5, 2012

Look what kids made with those Red Solo cup…Go Pats!

Photo 254/ 365 ~ Monday, February 6, 2012

Bob has this hobby where he counts each one he loves days of life. So apparently it was my 14,000 days of life…wow that sounds a lot to be around for. Amanda’s gift!

Photo 255/ 365 ~ Tuesday, February 7, 2012

We were supposed to have a make over girl night but Dianna had to work last minute. So here is how Blair feels about that!

Photo 256/ 365 ~ Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Stocking stuffer from the GBs…love!

Photo 257/ 365 ~ Thursday, February 9, 2012

Dustin got me an exercise ball to sit on at my desk, instead of a chair and guess who’s scared of it?? Look at that poor pup’s ears…awww I wonder what she think that is. The other night we were downstairs and Luna was upstair in the dark barking very angry at something, so we sneak upstairs to find out she was barking at the ball…hmmm weird dowg! The strange thing is that she LOVES balls

Photo 258/ 365 ~ Friday, February 10, 2012

Last day of Jeff at the lulu in Natick. Jeff is the new lead designer for men at lulu.

Week 38 of my Project 365:

Photo 259/ 365 ~ Saturday, February 11, 2012

Love this swirl art! Another great gift from the GBs=)

Photo 260/ 365 ~ Sunday, February 12, 2012

On Saturday we went to Portsmouth to visit our friend Steph and Jamie. We went to this amazing restaurant called t The District  located in Downtown Portsmouth and had the most delicious scallop dish ever! While walking around this beautiful neighborhood we stopped by this very crafty pet store and got Luna homemade cannoli. Here she is drooling waiting for the okay to eat it.

Photo 261/ 365 ~ Monday, February 13, 2012

Who loves the sun?

Photo 262/ 365 ~ Tuesday, February 14, 2012

On Valentine’s day my love grilled for us a delicious dinner. Then we watched another Oscar’s movie. The Help…amazing!

Photo 263/ 365 ~ Wednesday, February 15, 2012

One of the dozen red roses Dustin sent me to work for Love day!

Photo 264/ 365 ~ Thursday, February 16, 2012

Love in ice cubes! Okay I actually didn’t take this photo cause I stayed in bed all day as I would get super dizzy  when I was trying to get up… the stomach bag got me and it wasn’t pretty!

Photo 265/ 365 ~ Friday, February 17, 2012

I love our store manager Jess!

Week 39 of my Project 365:

Photo 266/ 365 ~ Saturday, February 18, 2012

Had dinner at the GB’s to discuss with Amanda our trip to Chicago. Oh and we watched another Oscar’ s movie, “The Descendants” . Laura Valentine’s roses=)

Photo 267/ 365 ~ Sunday, February 19, 2012

Haven’t gone in a park in a while, and Sunday was the perfect day to see my pup run around sooo fast! She is obsessed with the ball!

Photo 268/ 365 ~ Monday, February 20, 2012

Dustin needs a lot of limes to put in his sparkling water.

Photo 269/ 365 ~ Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Love Clementines..i Mandarini in Italian!

Photo 270/ 365 ~ Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Here are my loves…head fighting??

Photo 271/ 365 ~ Thursday, February 23, 2012

This week we finally took out all the Xmas presents(I know kinda late). I love this vase that Tom and Laura gave me=)

Photo 272/ 365 ~ Friday, February 24, 2012

It’s snowing out! Missing my family a lot, new goal for the month: Decide when are we going to Italy!

This weekend I will be running the Hyannis Half Marathon and support my favorite girl Fabiana running her first Marathon…Forza Fabs!

Enjoy the last weekend in February!

Guess who’s back?

There is more to life than increasing its speed. ~ Gandhi

As you noticed I took a LONG break from blogging, well lately it was feeling more like I was only really posting on Fridays for the photo project as I literally had no spare time for anything else. Yes, I was feeling overwhelmed by the stresses and tasks and projects  and emails that weigh upon them.  How did I deal with it? One Friday (with the encouragement of my hub) I just went to bed without doing the weekly photo friday post and didn’t feel bad at all about it. I am that kind of person that when starts a project or commit to something I just do it no matter what. The mantra of my ego is more. It’s never satisfied. No matter how much I achieve or acquire, my ego will insist that it isn’t enough. Well this time, my ego lost! I think my body and my mind really needed a break that they locked up my ego somewhere I couldn’t find so I could just be.

I love the blog  Zen Habit. It is  the Top 25 blogs and Top 50 websites in the world!  Zen Habits is about finding simplicity in the daily chaos of our lives. It’s about clearing the clutter so we can focus on what’s important, create something amazing, find happiness. Here is a post where Leo talks about being overwhelmed. Leo Says:

Why We Get Overwhelmed

I think the tendency for most of us is to say “yes” to most of the things coming into our lives. Maybe it’s that we’re too nice to say no. Maybe it’s that we are overly optimistic about how much we can get done. Maybe we don’t want to look bad by saying we can’t do something. Or maybe we’re afraid to miss out on opportunities by saying no.

Saying “no” to any commitments we can’t handle would be ideal, of course, but like I said, we usually have a tendency to say “yes” to more than we can actually handle. And we become overwhelmed, stressed, and exhausted.

As you know, simplicity is the key to my philosophy. If things get complicated, I say you should simplify. Don’t try to do more. Reduce.

The Effects of Stress and Overload

We all know that too much stress is bad for us. Sure, you can’t avoid stress completely, and without some stress we would never grow. But too much stress? It leads to problems.

Stress leads to many health problems, for example: headaches, muscle aches in your shoulders, neck, back … it ages you prematurely, leads to ulcers, heartburn, high blood pressure, heart disease, overeating and more. Not a pretty picture.

But there’s more. Overloading yourself also leads to decreased effectiveness. Taking on too much means we don’t do as good a job with the work we attempt. We often switch between tasks, jumping from one to another, so that we actually take longer to do things and often don’t complete tasks. Or we’re so rushed with the tasks we do complete that quality suffers.

I submit that doing less makes you more effective, and thus more productive. It’s worked for me, at least. I have a tendency to slash things off my to-do list, to cut back on my projects when I feel overwhelmed. The result? I’m less stressed, and I actually complete projects — from my ebook to this blog to projects at my day job to new projects I’m finishing up … I’ve been getting very good at knocking out the 2-3 projects I have on my plate at any given time.

Reducing the stress: Even better than the positive coping methods, of course, is reducing stress at the source. What is stressing you out? See if you can reduce that source of stress. For this article, we’re going to assume that it’s your workload, whether that’s personal or business work. And the way to reduce that source of stress is to cut back on your workload. Let’s look at how to do that.

How to Cut Back

The problem is, most people who are overwhelmed feel like they just can’t cut back. They feel like they need to work harder to get everything done that needs to get done. They think that taking a break, or cutting back on their workload, is out of the question.

If that’s you, you’re probably the person who needs to cut back the most. Of course, I’m not in a position to judge you, but it’s something to consider.

So how do you cut back when you feel like you can’t? Based on stuff that’s worked for me, here are my recommendations:

1. Step back. In order to make the decisions necessary for cutting back, you need to take a few minutes to clear your head and think. Stop whatever you’re doing (or if you can’t, then schedule 30 minutes for sometime today), and take some time to consider everything you have going on. Take a walk to clear your head if necessary. Get some fresh air.

2. List everything. Make a list of all your tasks and projects (or one list for each if you like). Put everything on there, including personal stuff, civic commitments, everything. In order to make good decisions, you’ll have to see everything at once.

3. Set limits. It may seem impossible, but if you set limits for yourself, you will be forced to choose only the essential. The actual limits aren’t as important as the act of setting them at this point — you can adjust the limits later depending on what works for you. I recommend you choose just 3 important tasks to accomplish today, and limit yourself to only 3 projects.

4. Prioritize. Once you’ve set the limits, you can take a look at your long list of tasks and projects, and choose which ones you’re going to focus on. Which tasks and projects are the most essential? NOT the most urgent, but the ones that will get you the most long-term benefit. Which ones will have the most impact? Often some tasks and projects will seem urgent, but it’s only in our head. If you ignore them, they often lose their urgency (not always, but many times).

5. Eliminate. Of the tasks and projects you didn’t choose as your top priorities … are there any that can be just eliminated? Any that you can put on a someday list? Any that can be delegated or automated? You don’t need to do everything on your list — slash it mercilessly.

6. Renegotiate commitments. Of the stuff you decide not to do now, but can’t just eliminate or delegate … you’ll need to renegotiate them. Go to the person or people you’ve committed yourself to, whether that be a boss or a client or a team or a spouse or friend, and tell them honestly that you just cannot do everything on your plate right now, and ask for a different deadline or timeline. Can they wait a week? A month? Set a new date, and try to stick to it.

7. Take time off. This step is optional, of course, but if you can possibly take a day or half a day or even several days to relax and recuperate, that’s the best possible scenario. That will mean renegotiating everything on your list, probably, so that you don’t feel stressed while taking time out or overwhelmed when you get back. Push everything back a week, two weeks, or a month, depending on the commitment, so that you don’t have anything urgent when you get back. Then take time off, and don’t do any work. Don’t even think about work. Do that when you get back — upon returning to work, take at least 30-60 minutes to prioritize and plan so that you can focus on your most important projects and not be overwhelmed (see next step).

8. Create the ideal workday. What would your ideal workday be? When would you work on your most important tasks? When would you start and end? When would you take breaks, hold meetings, have lunch? I suggest mapping out your ideal workday, with blocks of time for certain types of tasks. For example, I might choose 2 hours in the morning to write, another hour for communication (email, etc), 2 more hours to work on my most important project, an hour to exercise, an hour for smaller tasks, etc. By creating this map (and sticking to it as much as possible), you create a structure that will prevent you from becoming overwhelmed, and that will have you at your most effective.

So I cut back! But now, as I am going to pass on the lululemon facebook page to a colleague…why?? Because I accomplished my mission to make the page greater! Well, I am very proud to say that I elevate our facebook page as I did something that no one was doing to make it greater. I had someone from another store complimenting me for the page and asking me tips to how they can elevate theirs. The way lululemon works is that they give you 100% responsibility on a project or areas in the business (as it was our own company) and let you manage it until you become really good at it. When you get there you are ready to move on and give someone else the chance to learn that part of the business and you can take on on a new part of the business you still have to learn. Pretty awesome, right? So, I am ready  to pass that knowledge to who is going to take over next.

Oh and it’s 53 days before the Boston Marathon!!!