Sunday, January 25, 2015

Index Card Note Taking

Hey there! So what's going on? Too much? Just have been busy busy busy. School is now in full swing and more things are going on at work - it's just getting more involved and more exciting. Is that strange to get excited about work???  I'm finally settling into somewhat of a routine and just trying to take things one step at a time without getting too overwhelmed.

Then other night though told a different story - Exhausted of course, I still had homework to do, so I sat on the floor, with all my books open and just became super overwhelmed. I was tired so I didn't want to be sitting there reading material and studying notes. Not even that, I was struggling with finding a way to study & take notes that worked for me because doing things the "traditional" way was not working. Nothing was sticking and I was getting more confused.

I don't like admitting this but I never really knew how to study/learn/motivate myself etc. I was talking with my sister the other day and this was one of our conversation topics. Growing up education/academics weren't made to be important. Our parents never pushed us, like some of our friends parents had, so we kind of just got by doing the minimum. She and I went through different, but similar struggles so it was a relief to know that I wasn't the only sibling that struggled with this. Eventually she found a way that worked for her and advised me to do the same.

I couldn't sleep that night because I was debating internally on how I was going to do it all, how crazy I am for taking on all this stuff at once, what I was thinking. I was thinking about dropping out completely, or changing my major to something that didn't feel so involved. My thinking continued all day,  but the end of the day I came to a rational decision. I decided that it's okay to get overwhelmed and that even though I am overwhelmed I am actually happier and feel more fulfilled than I have ever felt in a long time. I decided that it's going to be rough, but eventually it will end and it will all be worth it. With the "New Vanessa" theme going on, I did not want to repeat the cycle I had gone through previously.

I did decide though, that I needed to come up with a way of studying that worked for me so I didn't feel like I was spending my entire life attached to a textbook. And I got rid of the mindset that I NEEDED to get A's. As long as I try my best and put the effort in, I will be happy with any grade. If I get A's - GREAT! If I don't - that is okay too. As long as I learn something in the end.

I was staring at my notes at work and wondered why I didn't take class the same way I took notes at work.  At work my notes are all over the place. Seriously, no one would be able to understand them but me. It's a total mess - BUT it works.  I don't use the lines, I write all over the place, create bubbles and charts and have lots of arrows connecting one thing to the next. I even doodle.... I also have little sub notebooks/sticky notes for things I need to remember but in there they are written in more detail with arrows, bubbles and asterisk. And I remember. It's a system that works for me. I like disorganized organization if that makes sense. I'm a visual person and learner so I'm assuming that is why this crazy system works.

(This is nothing compared to my work notes)

Now my school work: everything is organized neatly in three ring binders I write neatly within the lines- there is no sign of disorganization, no circles, no scribbles and no arrows connecting one thought to the next. It doesn't work. I don't remember anything I get lost, and end up getting incredibly frustrated. So I decided to take the approach I use at work. And it seems to be working really well. I don't know why I never applied this to school but I'm sure it had to do just "trying to do the normal thing" or "what everyone else was doing"

Rather than using 3 ring binders I just am using a cheap spiral notebook to write vocabulary words and important information when I am skimming the text (I also learned I don't need to read the entire text. Just the chapter recap and  just read the sections or Google the things I need more explanation on). Then rather than sub notebooks I transfer all the "mess" onto index cards so I can study each topic or important subject.

So there it is. That's what I'm gonna do. :-) On to the next thing to learn. 

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Monday, January 19, 2015

Ramblings & Inspiration

So how 'bout them Patriots! Whoa! I realize you all might not be fans but, well, neither was I. I wasn't biased about a particular team, I just didn't care or really know about football at all. Well this being the year of expanding my horizons and stepping out of my comfort zone, I decided to watch the game. Not only that, I will admit I do feel a little left out of conversations at work because I work with sports fanatics and they talk about sports A LOT. It actually wasn't as boring as I thought it was going to be and I'm looking forward to watching the Super Bowl. I'm hoping I can get cable by then though and not have to Stream it on my IPhone....which is how I watched last nights game. Good memories though, especially seeing Jacob get really in to it and was more than thrilled to watch it on such a small screen. 

So, what's going on? I'm going to be busy the next few months which I love! Over the last few years, I've discovered that not having a full schedule and just kind of sitting around caused a lot of my depression and anxiety. Now it's weird but I'm a full time student, have a full time job/career, full time mom and I have never been happier and full of more energy. I do have days where I'm completely exhausted and feel like everything will fall apart but for the most part I feel great. I'm sure coffee has a small role to play. ;-) 

Anyways, Would you like to know the inspiration behind my new simple blog banner?

I'm a simple girl. I always thought of myself as plain & boring so I forced myself into liking things just because everyone else like them. Rather than boring and plain, I think of myself as unique. I have a very simple style. I like simple but classy. I like clean lines but not like the modern futuristic style, I like contrast but I also like softness. My style I would say is a combination of a few differnt styles which happen to work together. It's unique. Like me. 

 So there you have it! These earrings are a reflection of that and were used as the inspiration of my new design. 

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Sunday, January 18, 2015

Freezer Cooking: Things I've learned

Happy weekend! I felt like a total adult this weekend when I got super excited about purchasing my mini freezer. I have limited space so it's only a 3.6 cu ft but for Jake and I, it's huge! I can fit a lot of stuff in there. I had been debating back and fourth wether to get one or not and decided to bite the bullet push through the anxiety (I seriously HATE spending money) and go ahead and get one. 

My reasoning? I had been going back and fourth between freezer cooking and meal planning - well meal planning just was not working out. I ended up wasting more food because by the time I got home from work, as much as I love cooking I really was not in the mood to cook. So I'd end up with wasted food, and had to spend money on takeout. 

(Don't mind my disorganized freezer!)

Buuuut, I had been doing some freezer cooking for lunch and breakfasts and made a pot pie or two and that has been working out beautifully. It's so nice to come home pick something out, pop it in the oven and not have to worry about spending the time in the kitchen after a long day at work.

So I decided that for me, freezer cooking rather  than meal planning is the best way for me to go. I've only been doing it a short time but here are a few things I've learned.

1. Do what works for you

2. When making anything double it. Eat one. Freeze one. That way you can build I your stock gradually.

3. Walk through the freezer section at the grocery store, if they can freeze it you can too. Usually for cheaper & you get more.

4. Don't stress about making everything in a day. Pick a couple things. Your stock will build up eventually. 

5. If it's only 2 of you, try to freeze in individual portions. That way each of you can just pick what you want to eat. 

I've got some great ideas for meals & snacks to stock my new freezer with so I'm sure I will be posting some of those ideas here. 

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Thursday, January 15, 2015

For the Love of Pink

I've got to say, I have only had my iPhone since the 29th of December and it has changed my life! I don't know if it's a good thing or a bad thing but I love that I can pretty much do everything on it.

So, today even though I am in deep thought and want to write about  how certain decisions have shaped me and how to learn and view everything (for the most part) in a positive light and how it can literally change your life, I'm going to spare you and show you something silly I love. 

This binder was calling my name when I was searching for some work supplies. Yeah, I could have used the company provided binders and spiral notebooks but I wanted something with a little more personality. I'm a quiet person by nature so it's important for me to add a little bit of my personality into my work. 

I realize I just turned 31 but I am not ashamed to admit my favorite color is neon pink. Not only pink but I love neon colors in general. It sounds silly but  I used to be afraid to admit I was in love with the color pink for fear or being mistaken for  the stereotypical "dumb blonde" that is normally depicted with  the color pink. Well judge for yourself, I will tell you a little bit about me.

I am a girly girl by nature. I love being a girl in almost every aspect, There isn't any doubt about that. I love nice things long hair, nice clothes, heels, wearing dresses and skirts, dressing up in general- but there is also another side to me that very select few get to see - I like to consider myself unique. I have a lot of different interests and that list is continually growing because I love learning new things.   This year with the continuation of "New Vanessa". I am going to let a little more of my personality shine through though. I'm gonna own it and not be afraid to admit I like or dont like certain things. 

So the you have it My name is Vanessa and I am 31 and I freaking love the color pink. :) 

Okay, so I did start to get a little deep. Sorry ��. That's just me

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Wednesday, January 14, 2015

Wednesday Ramblings & Ideas

Hey! I had to stay home from work today. Ugh. I feel like I've been run over by a semi 20 times over. It even hurts to blink. I don't even know why I am sitting here writing this post, but I'm getting antsy just sitting here doing nothing, even though it honestly hurts to sit here at the computer to type.

I was fighting something the last few days, then yesterday afternoon I couldn't get rid of the chill I had. Then driving home I almost fell asleep. Eeek! After I picked Jacob up, I heated up some leftovers and we both went to bed around 7. Then of course I woke up every hour tossing and turning. No fun.

So, Look above. See my new banner? I'm kind of changing my blog a bit (slowly). I tend to jump from thing to thing, as I'm sure you've notice, but I find a lot of things interesting and I like having a lot going on and doing a lot of things. One thing I'm trying to brush up on my basic html/web design skills, so I can make this blog a little more organized and a bit more interesting and more "Me". Who knows when that will happen :-) It's kind of on my every growing list of things I dabble in. But I've changed my banner as a start to reflect the look I'm kind of going for.

As for content. It's not really going to change much. It's just going to continue to be as random as it had been. I'll probably be adding some shorter posts with pictures of things that inspire me. I don't have a lot of time anymore to sit and post but I do want to keep on blogging and not fade away into oblivion.

So that's that! Have a great day!

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Saturday, January 10, 2015

Project Life: My way

Happy Weekend! I've not no excuse for my absence other than, Life. I've been super busy and by the time I get home, get dinner made, house tidy, shopping done, child in bed, I'm pooped. By the time I shower it's 9, then I just crash on the couch with a book. You'd think after last semester I wouldn't want to read for a long time, but I love my books.

I'm glad I get to read for enjoyment now, and not have to analyze everything and discuss it. Come the end of the month, I start up class again. No more Literature classes though. I am officially done for life. I have three classes this time. All business related classes. Which I am excited about. I had 1 business class this semester and couldn't really focus too much on it because of all the reading. $600 for books this semester though…and that was my pricing on Amazon which usually is MUCH cheaper. Even though I love owning my books (yes, I am weird, even textbooks) I've decided to just rent them because I really just don't have that kind of extra money. Oh well, I'm sure I will get over it. Lol

So!!!!!! As a reward to myself for losing weight, *trying* to comfortable with being my weird self, getting a new job, going through all these changes and many other reasons, I bought myself an iPhone and I am super excited about it! This is a super big deal because I have finally stepped into this century since I've been using one of those ancient basic phones. Yes, they still make them. My coworker that sits next to me already asked that question. :-P.

 This year I'm starting my own version of Project Life and I think it will be really helpful and convenient for capturing those everyday moments. As you can see in these pages here.

I debated back and fourth about going the traditional route, using the 12x12 album with the pocket pages and all the works but decided to go this route instead.  I have so many supplies that I have accumulated throughout the years that I figured it would be best to use them, plus if I fall behind (which I hope I won't) I won't feel as guilty since I didn't really buy anything extra. Plus there is more freedom this way. 

My favorite photo is in that first layout. I had just discovered you could use the camera either as front of back, so I took a selfie. What's funny is I was photo bombed by the cardboard cutout of David Hasselhoff that's hanging on my boss' door. I didn't realize it until after and knew I had to add it to this week's llayout.

Well that's it for today! Hope you all have a great rest of the weekend!

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Sunday, January 4, 2015

In the New Year

Happy New year! How's it going so far? So far so good over here. I did have a slight snafu on the first, but everything is A-OK now.  I was supposed to head somewhere last Sunday for an after Christmas get together. Well, I had to cancel because right at the last minute Jacob fell asleep then woke up not feeling well. He had a temp and threw up. Poor kid I felt so bad. Well he still wasn't feeling himself, and not eating on Thursday so I took him to urgent care because he STILL had a fever, it was on and off, but still there. Well, he ended up having a double ear infection, pink eye in both eyes, congestion, and a sore throat. I felt horrible. Thankfully we left the Dr's office with eye drops and antibiotics and he's feeling MUCH better now. What a way to spend Christmas vacation and start off the new year, huh?

I'm not going to let that bend me out of shape though. I'm ready for this year. Last year was filled with a lot of revelations, lessons and learning experiences, and a couple changes. It's so weird how things work out I am SO grateful though, because I feel that last year was the last string of many years of depressing things. That's not to say nothing bad is ever going to happen. I am not Naïve ;) but with all the things I went through in my early 20's that I carried on for years, I feel that I am in a MUCH better place.

 I had pretty much given up on life at one point, then getting sick and a few other things totally changed my view of things. It was a blessing in disguise;  Just because I had been though some not so ideal situations, didn't mean that that had to become my life. I was better than that. I deserved so much more than that. Why give up and let the past and crappy people win? So I changed.

I was actually talking with my sister the other day and we were talking about our past and complimenting me on how well I've turned out despite the crap we've been through. I barely drink, I've never done drugs - never even smoked a cigarette or anything too crazy, I don't take meds to deal with the past, & and I have a pretty good head on my shoulders. The thing is though, that comes with a price. Rather than escape it with all those things listed above, I've been angry and bitter and lost out on 10 years of my life because of it. But then again it can go both ways.

It's now 2015 and I'm clearly a slow learner, lol, but I feel like I've learned so much in the last four years. I've also learned to appreciate the things I've been through because even though I've hot a few bumps in the road, I am here, in one piece and deserve everything that I have. I don't have much, but I am so thankful for what I do have because at one point I literally had nothing. Even though that left me bitter into much of my 20's, I've learned that I am a better person because of it.

Okay…this post turned out different than expected. Lol. Going off on a tangent here. Whoops! Anyway. In the new year here are a few things I plan on continuing.

1. Be more confident and stop second guessing myself
2. Don't dwell on the past. Just because I've been through some shitty situations, doesn't mean that they define me and I have to continue that route. (started this a few years ago, so this is a continuation)
3. Put myself out there more (already did it on the job side of things -pure luck! - now I need more of a social life.ha!)
4. Maintain the weight I lost, tone up and increase my running distance so I can take fewer walking breaks. I need to find a running buddy…and I really want to run a race sometime this summer or spring.
5. Be a little bit more selfish because I'm always putting others first that I have completely have forgotten about me.
6. Continue on this positivity streak. It seems to be working so far, so I will continue.
There's a huge list but these are the major things.

A few other less serious things I would like to do (and already started some) are:

 - do more freezer cooking so I won't have an excuse to have takeout
 - utilize a planner (this one is going to tough…)
 - I can afford to get pictures developed now!!! So Scrapbooking is HUGE on this list!

I could go on and on forever, so let me stop and tell me some of your New Years goals. Do you have any achievable ones? Serious ones? Silly ones? Ridiculous ones? I'm sure I have at least one in all these categories, so let me hear 'em!

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