Sunday, November 29, 2015


Dear Olive,

Last week I organized a new gallery wall in our family room.  I felt a bit panicked afterwards that gallery walls may be closing in on us.  After all, how many Ikea frames can one house take?

But then I found all of my favorite design inspiration photos and realized that I must just be a maximalist and should just embrace it.

So here are some ways to organize them

And here is our wall:

Thursday, November 26, 2015


Dear Olive,

Happy Thanksgiving!  We had grand plans to reenact this tradition from last year.  But last night, Ella started a new odyssey of the stomach flu.  So, instead of family travels, I am researching the glamour of our American holiday:

Yikes, we came awfully close to squash.

I am also watching this.  Which reminds me of my glory days of binge watching PBS's Colonial House.

Could you go back and live in Colonial times?

I can barely cook in present day.

Happiest Thanksgiving, friend!

Sunday, November 22, 2015


Dear Olive, 

I wanted to share with you the single most impactful thing I have been done in the past three months:  Life Detail Boss.

 It has seriously changed my life.  Here is why:  Throughout the day, do you get the worry wince?  You know, that feeling of, "Oh, I had better do that, or I am really going to drop the ball!"  My mental "to do list" is a cognitive merry go round for me.  I remember life details, only to lose them in a distraction moments later.

So, things like: buy that school supply, schedule the oil change, or call in that prescription, are sometimes forgotten until they are due or past.  Which is fine, except that these small fires are what keep me from being present and feeling in control.

Worry impacts productivity.  I've learned this in the workplace and have good systems for being proactive with my career.  So, why haven't I applied the same intention to my personal life?  

Enter, Life Detail Boss.  I created a graphic of all of the categories of tasks that swim in my head and started tackling them in an orderly way.  So things like: cleaning, shopping, meal-planning, and appointment scheduling are all in one place.

Then, I took it a step further and tried to think of the long term things that prime me to be more responsive.  Self maintenance choices such as exercise, drinking water, intellectual stimulation, and meditation.  I know that when I am physically active and focused on nutrition I am better able to handle rigor, but I often let it slide.  Life Boss helps me to be more  self aware.

Finally, I thought about how I want to focus on my relationships with intentionality.  How even in the craziness of grad school schedules, work, and family obligations, I want to impact the quality of interactions with my husband, kids, and friends.  So I added a section about kindness and connection.

At the start of each Monday, I get to work 15 minutes early and review last week's list.  I award myself a rating for success and then set a new goal and fill out the needs of the upcoming week.

I have had many organizational forms, agendas, and calendars in my short, type-A life.  But none have gotten it done for me like Life Boss.

Gone are the days of rushing to the store at 8pm for an ingredient or supply needed the next day.  Life Boss forces me to look ahead and make it happen early.

I honestly look forward to Mondays and the satisfaction I get from filling out this little form.  I printed out a bunch, cut them down, and keep them in the front of my planner.

Just in case you'd like to ride along with me, here is the printable.  Happy planning!