Goal Setting

Goals March 2014

I love doing my goals every three months! I usually end up doing them every six months–but I think that it’s important to be able to keep general themes and ideas on where you are headed. I love to check off my goals while I get them done. 

1 Year Goals:

Finish 1L Successfully: I finished my first year of law school! It was tough and challenging and my grades were not nearly as high as they were in social work school, but I got it done! At the end of the day, I want to help people, not be a partner at a corporate firm, so my grades aren’t terribly important. 

Keep Up Social Work While in Law School: Done! I became gainfully employed at a major Boston hospital in March where I work at least 8 hours weekly doing social work. 

Run a Half Marathon: I did two! One in Maine and one in Boston….and I loved them both! Couldn’t have done it without my best friend also running and having the support of my family and new boyfriend. 

Lose the Last 20 Pounds: This has taken a bit of a back seat due to the amount of running I am doing. 

Have a Healthy Relationship: I met J in April! He was the last person I’d expect to see myself with but thus far the person who makes me the happiest! Our relationship is healthy, happy, and a work in progress. 

Start and Keep Up Blog:  This needs work! 

Next Step: I’m about to reorganize my year long goals and add some new ones! Stay tuned! 

 

For anyone who wants to do their own goal sheet: http://www.lululemon.com/files/vision_goals_worksheet.pdf

 

 

Lola’s Favorite Things

Lola's Favorite Things

These are perfect when I need to study! I can fill them with just healthy organic peanut butter (though they sell filler better to go natural) for her.

This is a dream to have this! Would be a blast to make treats.

Lola was super sick when I got her as a puppy. I had to feed her what she would eat and she loves these! She’s picky and expects a salmon or steak nightly.

pucciandcatana.com
I’d love to have this. I took Lola on a Jet Blue flight to FL and she escaped her bag, wouldn’t stay in her bag, etc. This looks comfy and pups can see out of the top which would help quench anxiety.


Lola loves these harnesses. They ruin her street ‘cred’ but are adorable.

Cuddle Cup
pucciandcatana.com

Perfect for dogs to snuggle up in they love the soft fabric on their paws.

The Black Dog
theblackdog.com

Boston pride!

Healthy and easy! Doggie crack!

The Black Dog
theblackdog.com

To make homemade dog treats.

Dating Thoughts

Since I decided to stop having serial monogamy type relationships with serial wrong for me people I have been on probably fifteen dates in the last few months. Here are some thoughts I have based on what I have learned:

One Red Flag=Bye I’ve had a few guys who have had significant red flags. One got kicked out of his program at an elitist ivy league school, one showed up on my porch extremely intoxicated (and my porch is not centrally located to my home, you’d really have to find your way there), one told me he doesn’t speak to any family members. While all people have baggage, I think you need to agree to take on baggage within reason. Leopards don’t change their spots?

Chill on the Physical: I almost always get rid of the ones that want to come up after the first date, starting sending X rated photos of themselves, or are too physical too soon. If I want to be physical with someone, I can walk down the street to the bar. If I want to get to know someone, I ‘date’ them. Thinking you’re going to ‘get some’ on the first date is unrealistic for someone classy. BUT in guys defense, I have heard date horror stories of illicit x rated pics, non stop texts and phone calls, offered for sex on the drive home, etc. I think it’s important to set the tone. 

Dinner Dilemmas; Don’t agree to dinner unless you think it’s going to work. Nothing worse than listening to some cocky guy talk about himself. I got stuck in a cocky corporate guy date and since he had already ordered took it upon myself to order the most expensive meal on the menu, the ‘duck’. I’d never had duck. But he was so annoying nothing gave me greater satisfaction than to charge it on his credit card. 

Be Kind: Even if you don’t like them, it’s good practice and manners to talk, make conversation, and learn what they’re about. Technology has brought people in touch that might never otherwise meet, and who knows, one of them could be the one for you. 

Give it 2-3 Dates to Marinate: People get nervous the first time, or tired, or stressed, or you might not always get the best impression. Like a steak, marinate the relationship for 2-3 dates and if it doesn’t work–let it fade. Usually there has to be some spark for it to maintain anywhere into the long term. 

Best Dating Cites: OKCupid, Match (which is digressed significantly) but I’ll review those later. 

Best Way to Meet Guys: The Dog Park and the Gym!

 

Homemade Coffee

Homemade Coffee
My favorite coffee making materials! As times goes on, as much as I love buying my coffee out, it is undeniably more affordable and takes less time to make homemade coffee. It’s important to have reusable thermos’s and cups in order to help your process in the morning and to use less paper, etc. With all my crafting, writing, law school, and work, I’m guilty of consuming a tree or two a year and don’t need to contribute to anymore waste.
Nespresso 
Pros: This will get you going with a singular pod or two. My caffeine baseline is having about 5-8 cups of coffee daily but the shots of espresso help me get going without having to consume so much coffee! I can have a quick cappuccino or impress guests or my neighbors with a quick cappuccino that looks like it’s from a true coffee shop.
Cons: The machine itself is expensive. And if you’re going to spend so much money on the espressos make you might as well buy the one that simultaneously foams milk.  A lot of reviews discuss the milk not being ‘foamy’ enough but you need to give the milk time in order to be able to foam up in the machine! Another con is you really can’t make a flavored Nespresso but if you want to go wild you can invest in some syrups from Starbucks. But by the time you add the pod+syrup+milk you likely are only saving a bit of money. I recommend this mainly if you are hope all day and a heavy coffee consumer that is looking for more than 1 espresso or latte daily.

Keurig Coffee Maker
Pros:I think this is best for the everyday consumer, office, business, big family, etc. You can make multiple flavors of coffee and can get the pods on ‘clearance’ (I just bought 60 pods for $7.99 at Bed, Bath and Beyond…albeit I’ll be drinking pumpkin spice coffees in July). It’s boosts morale and ‘gets the job done’. Cons:  Unfortunately, for a heavy caffeine consumer like myself you need to have a few of these. Similarly, I don’t think they have mastered hot chocolates and/or iced drinks. The iced drinks consistently taste watery and you cannot beat homemade or chain stores iced coffee. Furthermore, the hot chocolates are weak and hardly taste chocolatey. I also use this machine in a ‘pinch’ for hot water for tea or swiss miss packs and just don’t put a pod in the machine and voila, tea or swiss miss made!

Ceramic coffee mug
$9.17 – chapters.indigo.ca

Following up: I’m hoping to try this recipe this weekend, but am lacking the coffee grinder, coffee strainer but plan on using cheese cloth to try it! http://www.kitchentreaty.com/how-to-make-cold-brewed-iced-coffee-concentrate/

Are you addicted to being busy?

The Disease of Business 

While checking my twitter feed this morning, half asleep in my bed where I’m staying in the North End while my house gets ripped up from a New Years Flood, I read an article, “Are you addicted to being busy?” http://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/owning-pink/201404/are-you-addicted-being-busy 

I realized I am probably one of the worst offenders of being busy and wearing it around like a badge. “I can work overnights and still attend law school!” “I can foster dogs, and have my own dog, make a mural wall in my hallway from pinterest while I cook a new recipe and read 700 pages of con law.” I’d be lying to say that I hadn’t considered whether my business or more than just having many interests and passions….While being busy at my age (26) is relatively ‘normal’ business can also be a symptom, as this blog article above suggests, of avoidance and defense. The blog encourages one to ask “What’s behind the to do list?”

My Answers:

  • Being afraid of dedicating a lot of time to an intimate relationship that might not work. 
  • Being nervous about what to do left with my own thoughts. 
  • Worrying about life being short and needing to get things done. 
  • Worrying that not spending time on goals is not getting me anywhere fast. 
  • Hiding some of my shyness and nerves about meeting new people or just lolly gagging around…

Finding Peace with Slowing Down: 

For me, with finals approaching, work happening, and second, third, fourth dates on the horizon…there’s not much time to slow down. However, I do think daily life moments can be focused on slowing down. The blog post suggests potential mediation, but I think for myself, at my speed, a hot tea (I just put about 100 tea bags in my purse for tea on the run) as well as trying to breathe more deeply and enjoy 10 minute walks a few times a day with my dog will be about as much as I can handle for slowing down….

I have made progress this year in terms of dedicating less time to things I just don’t care about….If you don’t feel like going out, don’t! If you feel like watching 10 House of Cards Episode with a box of milanos (mint)…proceed! 

But I’ve got miles to go in terms of enjoying the moment and slowing.my.whole.self.down :) Thoughts?

Law School Survival Kit

Law School Survival Kit

I just ordered this after breaking two bags this year due to the heaviness of my law school casebooks. We will have to see how it does! Happy Easter to me!

Clinique flower perfume
$64 – johnlewis.com

I keep a tiny free sample one in my bag. I’m so busy I forget perfume and it keeps me awake and smelling nice for those around me!

Eos lip treatment
target.com

These are perfect to keep your lips moist. God knows you’ll be kissing law students at bar reviews as well as biting your lips of stress freak outs.

You’ll need ample highlighters. You can probably rack up a ton of free ones as people try to recruit you to take their bar class. But these are fun for the variety of colors and the fact that they don’t smear and destroy your page.

I take this everywhere with my initials on it. No one’s about to snag my initials in hot pink on it.

A surplus of post-its is key. Post-it notes, tabs, anything. You’ll need a rainbow of them to get your readings done in style and stay organized.

My favorite pens, paper mate felt tip pens! Are not listed in this, but I buy them by the 16 pack at target and color code the heck out of anything.
Stay cool and stay prepared and law school will soar by….(albeit with tons of long nights, and heavy caffeine)…

I love you Bean…

 

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Today marks the anniversary of the marathon bombings of 2013 in Boston. I think that it is a sensitive topic for everyone around here. The  2014 marathon looms in the distance and the city is filled with hope for a successful day. 

I have only ever lived in Boston so I can only speak to the Boston community that I know, but it is beaded together extremely tightly like no community I have ever experienced…. 

Last year, having an emergency with a client at work, I bee lined to work on Monday morning in order to be able to help the client. After finishing the therapy session, I began to drive home via Newton. I soon received a phone call from my best friend, a Boston native, in his medical internship in CA. “Where are you?! There’s bombs going off in the center of the city in Copley!” I’m in the car, I’m okay…I stated. 

My phone started filling with texts and calls as people attempted to discern where I was. My friend started to head down to Copley to find our other friend who had just moved from California and was panicking. I urged her not to and prayed she stayed put not knowing what was happening. Over the days that followed, loved ones from England, to Brazil, to all over the county contacted me to check on my wellbeing and what was happening. It is a sad but powerful thing that crisis binds people together. 

I scampered back to my house to get my then 3 month old puppy as soon as I heard that bombs were going off but could not even get to my home. With twitter rumors flying (the one time twitter was both extremely helpful and my worst enemy) that there were bombs planted all over the city, the BPD rightfully shut down the corner of the city that I live in. I worried I’d never see the dog again and contemplated parking miles out of the city and walking back through the back roads. My mother told me to leave the city immediately after getting the dog and my father, the calm one who has weathered every Boston and DC crisis since the 60’s, told me to head home….in a true Boston manner, he clearly does not negotiate with terrorists (he opened his business downtown every day during the marathon bombing crisis, even when Tsarnaev was on the run…) Being stuck on a random road in Newton with all roads backed up in sight, I went…to the gym. Of all places, the gym? It was the only place nearby and outside the city. I walked on the treadmill for hours watching the TV and monitoring the situation…my heart was pounding and the stress in the city was mounting as everyone tried to make sense of the situation. 

The days after were surreal. What was happening? How did this happen? Who did this? Why Boston? Why a child? Why young students? Why people who were really living and conquering their dreams and goals (a whole marathon! studying abroad from China so far from home!) Not being a news person, I was glued to the television and twitter constantly. I cried for Boston. I cried for people all over the world who live their everyday life wondering whether they will be bombed or killed (this took me back to my study abroad in Palestine and walking through checkpoints constantly)….the immense loss felt all over the city was astounding.

Falling asleep Thursday evening, the city began to get back in the swing of things. Waking up at 2am for water, I made the mistake of reading twitter and was horrified and what I had saw….less than a mile from my house there was a ‘young 19 year old’ who had gone to a local and well known public school (Cambridge Ringe and Latin) on the loose who was accused of the bombings along with his brother. I couldn’t leave the house for 20 hours. iPhone ordered me to “shelter in place”. My friends who work at BC couldn’t let any of the undergraduates leave the dorm and shuttled them sandwiches and waters. My dog had to hold her pee till she finally peed on the floor. And every time their was a news conference, an idiot that was not a Boston native gave vague messages with no information (praise the LORD BPD and Menino finally took over and gave us Bostonians some coherent messages in our accent with actual tangible information)….

Hours later, after I ran out of my house and fled the city and found myself drinking margaritas near the cape (if you’re in crisis, drinking tequila is not the worst idea albeit potentially selfish, there’s not much you can do), the crisis was over…the 19 year old brainwashed terrorist was found in a boat, BY A CITIZEN (god bless the people of Boston just checking out the backyard) a mile from my home. 

Boston has recovered. Boston is STRONG. Boston binds together at EVERY POINT in joy and in sadness. I love this town. I am proud to live in a neighborhood (SOUTHIE) filled with first responders such as BPD and BFD officers. I am proud to work at a hospital that provides the BEST care in the world to children. I am PROUD to be a Bostonian and one day I will be PROUD to raise a family here and have my children call it home.

I will be out on the marathon route, April 20th, praying and loving on all the runners (and a lot of my friends) while they conquer their dreams and make our city proud. We do not back down anything. Image

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50 Pounds Down…..

Losing 50 Pounds Was No Easy Feat….

There was a moment in time when I just had let my weight get out of control and I decided to get a grip and stop avoiding realities that were staring me in the face. I started working full time after my masters degree in social work was done, and of course,

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After Weight Loss (20 Pounds to Go!)

BEFORE (in the middle)

BEFORE (50 Pounds Heavier than Now!)

I let my clients and job run my life with little regard for my own personal welfare and health. In two years, I gained nearly 70 pounds….I always was average sized, active, and tall for my age so being so incredibly heavy was not fun. I avoided the scale like the plague and avoided all mirrors in sight while wearing legging constantly.

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Now! Training for my First 1/2 Marathon!

At a point in life, many points in fact, you just need to take the plunge and recognize, realize, and deal with the issue at hand. This time it was my weight and health.

After breaking up with my first ‘serious’ relationship type boyfriend on my own accord, I decided that it was time for a drastic lifestyle change. I’m sort of a ‘dive all in’ or do nothing type of person…and in 8 months I dropped roughly 50 pounds, completed my first 5k and 5 mile run, and generally felt WAY better that I could fit into stylish clothes.

Here Were My Keys to Success:

  • Know that it’s going to be a lifelong lifestyle change. You cannot go back to eating constant crap once you have ‘lost the weight’ or it will come back.
  • Know that you need to check in with your emotions, out of control eating and weight gain is often a sign of an emotions going unrecognized and unchecked that you may not be aware of.
  • Weigh yourself multiple times weekly. Know that alcohol and eating out will up your weight, but also know that hiding from the scale does not hide pounds from showing up on your body.
  • I tracked my food on WW. Track your food and be honest about it, the only person you’re hurting when you lie is yourself. (This was tough for me, ‘I swear tracker, I only ate 7 oreos and not 17!)
  • Know that exercising WILL get better. If you stick with it long enough, you will actually WANT to exercise and feel lazy if you don’t.
  • Fruit and vegetables hold you over.
  • Stock your purse with snacks (currently in mine: a luna bar and 100 calorie almond packs)
  • Know that everyone is busy and that is not an excuse. I tell myself this all the time. EVERYONE is BUSY but healthy people are STILL working out. I work overnights in an emergency room, attend full time law school, have a puppy, a house, relationships, life….it would be so easy to just CHILL and QUIT but I remind myself the benefits of exercising far outweigh the consequences.
  • Know that desserts even taste better when you don’t let yourself have them all the time, they’re a treat!
  • Know that you don’t need to deprive yourself. Just keep in your house portion sizes of treats instead of a whole bag.
  • Know that you’ll need a crisis plan. This weekend I started digging into leftover cheesecake in a drunken state with my fingers. I then poured dish soap on it and took it to the dumpster.
  • Know that people around you will be eating whatever they want, but you need to have a plan.

My weight loss has been stalled since law school started in September. No loss and a potential couple pound gain. But I’ve lost 50 pounds all together, and I intend to keep it off. Slow and steady wins the race! I’m hoping 1/2 marathon, and then next year marathon training combined with focusing on eating for training helps me lose the rest!

My Next Weight Loss Tasks: Figure out how to not emotional eat, as well as not to eat socially at so many network events (stuffing jumbo shrimp and glasses of wine down isn’t good for the tummy). Luckily, my fitness is at an all time high (boxing 1-2x per week, and running 3-4x per week)…so I think that keeps me from gaining, but…I definitely need a new eating approach! To be continued! 

Upcoming: Headed to a CBT Weight Loss Class for therapists at BU. Hopefully that’ll give me new ideas for my clients and myself!

Till tmw,

-Lo

RACE REVIEW: Cohasset Run By the Sea 10k

This past Sunday, April 6th, was the Cohasset Road Race by the Sea.

It was definitely the most beautiful race I have done this year! It should be noted that this 10k encompasses numerous hills! Be prepared to feel your quads and flutes. But, in the spirit of self-talk, what goes up must come down…so you could glide down the hills once you were up them!

There were mile signs all the way and there were kids and adults cheering and passing out waters at every mile (and even in between!) It passed beautiful mansions, bridges, and most importantly, beautiful beach scenery.

The first few miles felt long, but headed towards mile 6 I felt ready to sign up for the next marathon I found! Also, you sort of wake up and get a runners high while you keep moving. Also, this was the first sunny and warm day in FOREVER, potentially this Spring season and this race truly felt like a run towards spring.

The only CONS: parking was a bit scarce but findable, they attempted to make you wait in lines for porta potties 100 people long, and the sunburn that I got having a silly blonde moment thinking it was still the WINTER.

Afterwards there were hot dogs, orange slices, but most importantly…there was my dog and my family! All and all made for a beautiful start to Spring.

Next Race: Boston Run to Remember (13.1 Miles!) ImageImageImageImageImageImage