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finish this…

Finish This… #4: Plant life, secrets, deals, organization, gentlemen, and handwritten notes.

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Hey! Guess what! I redesigned my whole site, and instead of bothering to do something awesome to launch it, I just went straight back to working on work stuff, so I’m just going to pretend like nothing happened. No, seriously. I hope you like the new site. I think it’s pretty amazing, but it still needs a lot of work.

Anyway, Finish This… is a weekly link-up hosted by Nicole (Three 31), Jen (The Arizona Russums), Becky (The Java Mama), and I.

If you’re a blogger, join in! Check the link-up link below to add your post and read other bloggers’ Finish This… posts.

1. I use my “green thumb” to…
Drive any plant I want to live to my boyfriend’s sister’s house. I kill all plants in my possession. I killed a peace lily. There’s no coming back from that. I own two plants, both of which are under her care and thriving. One is a hibiscus that someone sent me in a box for my birthday in 2009. It’s quadrupled in size, and it’s beautiful. The other is a fig tree that started out as a stick in a bucket. My grandfather gave it to me for Christmas a few years ago. It spends winters in Lauren’s garage and all the other seasons in her yard because it’s too huge to move anywhere until I’m ready to plant it in the ground. Other than that, I stay away from plants. For their own good.

2. The secret to life is…
A sense of humor, a camera, music, and the ability be your own friend.

  • Everything is funny to me. Everything. And I don’t know how I’d get through a day if that weren’t the case.
  • I think my love of photography makes me capture all the little moments during the day that make me smile. Then when I’m feeling stressed or sad, I just scroll through my pretty Instagram pictures, and I think, “life is pretty good.”
  • I can change my mood just by listening to certain music. I know exactly which songs make me feel relaxed, energized, focused, happy, sad, fun, silly, serious, mad, determined, excited, and nostalgic.
  • You can’t always count on everyone else, but you can always count on a good time if you’re actually nice to yourself, value your own existence, and don’t mind spending time alone sometimes.

3. I get my money’s worth by…
Putting my expert shopping skills to good use. I always Google coupon codes, look for items on eBay, shop on Amazon Warehouse Deals, and pretty much never pay full price for anything. I’m almost always willing to compromise having something right away in order to get a good deal. Sometimes, I’ll wait years to find some article of designer clothing on eBay, so I can get it for $14 instead of $400. šŸ˜‰

4. On a scale of 1 to 10, my level of organization is…
A 7. Maybe. Based on the sheer volume of tasks I complete on a daily basis — both at work and in my personal life — I think most people make the mistake of assuming I am super organized. I’m not. I’m good at organizing, but I don’t think I’m very organized. I’m good at organizing files or data or stuff, but I’m not good at managing lists or keeping my car clean or doing things in the right order. I also tend to start more things than I can finish. I start them all off organized, but…you know how that goes. But I have a quick mind and a little bit of a photographic memory, so I’m mostly able to make up for any lack of being organized by just knowing what’s going on a majority of the time.

5. A gentleman always…
Does what he says he’s going to do.

6. Handwritten notes are…
Irreplaceable. Nothing on this earth will ever replace a handwritten thank you note, birthday card, letter or postcard from someone awesome.

Link-up your Finish This… post and browse other posts HERE!

Want to join us next week? See below for the writing prompts. =)

Prompts for Week Five (February 4)
1. I will never outgrow
2. I splurge on
3. My worst habit is
4. My passport represents
5. My most ridiculous fear is
6. My favorite thing to give is

Finish This… #3: A typical day, an iPhone addiction, an unattractive trait, a (lack of a) purchase, and an expectation.

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Finish This… is a weekly link-up hosted by Nicole (Three 31), Jen (The Arizona Russums), Becky (The Java Mama), and I.

If you’re a blogger, join in! Check the link-up link below to add your post and read other bloggers’ Finish This… posts.

1. A typical day in my life…
Has absolutely no rhyme or reason to it. I wake up at a different time almost every day. If it’s a weekday, I get up earlier, so I can go to work…unless I’m on vacation. If it’s a weekend, I sleep in…unless I’m feeling motivated to get up early. If it’s nice out, sometimes I go for a walk or a run or a bike ride to the beach. Sometimes I pick out an outfit for work in my head before I get out of bed; sometimes I’m scrambling to iron my pants; and sometimes I’ve hung an outfit in my closet the night before. Some days I wear makeup. Some days I don’t. If it’s a weekend, I might get dressed up to grab brunch…or I might just stay in my pajamas and cook myself breakfast. Or I might not eat at all. If I’m at work, sometimes I’ll go to lots of meetings…unless I have no meetings, in which case, I will sit at my desk with my noise-canceling headphones on and get some work done. Some days I listen to classical music. Some days I listen to country. Some days I listen to ska music. Some days I listen to music in other languages. If it’s a weekend in the winter, I might clean the house or go shopping or watch movies all day or I might spend the whole day outside walking, running and hanging out with the dog even though it’s cold. If it’s a weekend in the summer, I might spend the day at the beach or the pool or reading on my patio. If it’s a weekday in the summer, I might to swimming in the ocean after work or ride my bike to listen to some music at the beach. If I’m on vacation, none of these rules apply. Sometimes I go out to lunch with co-workers, but sometimes I go get a facial at lunchtime or just go walking around the mall or Mount Trashmore by myself. Sometimes I cook dinner, but mostly I don’t. Sometimes John cooks dinner for me, but mostly we go out to dinner. A typical day in my life usually consists of something unexpected because I don’t do very well at planning. Most of my days are pretty busy. If they’re not, I find a way to make them busy. I don’t like to waste days, so even if it seems like I’m doing nothing, I’m usually doing something…even if it’s only in my head. I always feed my cats even though I think they don’t appreciate me very much. And I almost always take a picture of something…every day.

2. You’ll never see me…
Without my iPhone. It’s sad, but true.

3. It’s really unattractive when a guy/girl…
Says no to something without thinking it through. I hate when people refuse to help someone or try something new without even considering it.

4. If I could buy one thing right now, it would be…
Nothing. I don’t feel like buying anything at the moment. Maybe I would just buy something expensive I could sell on eBay and put the money in my IRA.

5. I have high expectations for…
The outcome of the project I’m managing at work. I’m really excited about it, and I hope it has a positive impact on a lot of my company’s business processes to make us all more successful.

Link-up your Finish This… post and browse other posts HERE!

Want to join us next week? See below for the writing prompts. =)

Prompts for Week Four (January 29)
1. I use my “green thumb” to
2. The secret to life is
3. I get my money’s worth by
4. On a scale of 1 to 10, my level of organization is
5. A gentleman always
6. Handwritten notes are

Finish This… #2: Trees, smiles, nature, and washing.

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If you don’t know by now, Finish This… is a weekly link-up hosted by Nicole (Three 31), Jen (The Arizona Russums), Becky (The Java Mama), and I. Clearly, this weekly writing task is becoming the only thing keeping my blog afloat while I’m busy at work managing a huge project.

If you’re a blogger, join in! Check the link-up link below to add your post and read other bloggers’ Finish This… posts.

1. If I could make anything grow on trees, it would be…
Money. But mostly just at my house. Then I could give it away to whoever I want, pay other people to work for me, and control the economy by occasionally forgetting to water the plants.

2. I can’t stop smiling…
When I listen to my favorite songs.

3. I get back to nature by…
Going for a long walk (or run) down by the water on the beach.

4. I dread washing…
My hair. It takes so long to blow dry, but I can’t bring myself to cut it shorter.

Link-up your Finish This… post and browse other posts HERE!

Want to join us next week? See below for the writing prompts. =)

Prompts for Week Three (January 22)
1. A typical day in my life…
2. You’ll never see me…
3. It’s really unattractive when a guy/girl…
4. If I could buy one thing right now, it would be…
5. I have high expectations for…

Finish This… #1: Grown-ups, being one-of-a-kind, Spanx, traditions, bedtime habits, and happiness.

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Finish This… is a weekly link-up hosted by Nicole (Three 31), Jen (The Arizona Russums), Becky (The Java Mama), and I. If you’re a blogger, join in! Check the link-up link below to add your post and read other bloggers’ Finish This… posts.

1. I first felt like a grown-upā€¦
Grown-up? I’m only five feet tall. I’m not sure I’ll ever feel like a grown-up. Maybe yesterday when I managed to I survive the polar vortex with just my usual winter accessories and an extra coat of lipstick. Or it could have been the day I ripped out the mirror and the medicine cabinet in my bathroom the first day I owned my condo…and then replaced both of them all by myself. Perhaps it was the day I packed up my stuff and moved to Virginia Beach on a random Tuesday or six weeks later when I rented my first apartment.

Nope. I’ve got it. It was one day a few years ago. It was a beautiful, warm, sunny morning, and I was driving to work with the windows open. I was wearing a lovely outfit. My hair looked good. My makeup looked good. Everything at work was going well. I had a great boyfriend and a handful of awesome friends. I wasn’t stressed out about money. I had gone running the night before and gotten up early enough to eat breakfast before work. One of my favorite songs came on the radio. I really had it together that day. (Or at least that morning. Who knows what happened after that.)

I imagine that day felt a little like this.

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2. I am one-of-a-kind becauseā€¦
…I am a wealth of contradictions. I am realistic and imaginative; silly and serious; outgoing and introverted; confident and self-conscious; anxious and fearless; happy and nostalgic; coordinated and clumsy; wordy and articulate; organized and messy; put-together and casual; smart and naive; deadline-oriented and prone to procrastination; good at a lot of things and easily bored of them; attentive and careless; genuine and sarcastic; calculated and compulsive; thoughtful and blunt; talkative and shy; self-assured and worried what others think; creative and technical; strategic and spontaneous; conservative and uncensored; argumentative and non-confrontational; a great storyteller and a horrible liar; detail-oriented and able to see the big picture. I’m sure I could come up with hundreds more pairs of opposites, but I think you get the point.

I’m also the only person I know who still wears Hawaiian shirts from high school and isn’t afraid to pair them with a leopard-print belt. Come to think of it, I think I’ve worn a leopard-print belt every day for the last three-and-a-half months with everything from plaid to gingham to stripes and prints and polka dots and green velour pants. Does that make me one-of-a-kind, too?

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3. Spanx isā€¦
…not something that should be worn as shown by some random individual in this photo taken by me at PURE Nightclub in Las Vegas, May 2010.

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4. My favorite family traditionā€¦
…is Christmas Eve at my grandparents’ house. It was my favorite tradition in elementary school when I had to write a paper about one, and it remains my favorite today. I love having the opportunity to catch up with all my aunts and uncles and cousins at least once a year.

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5. The last thing I do before bed isā€¦
Put my phone on the charger and tell one of my cats to stay the hell away from my pillows. (This one is particularly sneaky.)

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6. Happiness isā€¦
When all the little things seem to go right — one after another for an extended period of time. Or when that fails, a sun-drenched day spent basking in the shade of a colorful umbrella on a sandy beach while listening to my favorite music, sipping an ice cold drink, and reading a fabulous book.

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Link-up your Finish This… post and browse other posts HERE!

Want to join us next week? See below for the writing prompts. =)

Prompts for Week Two (January 15)
1. If I could make anything grow on trees, it would be…
2. I can’t stop smiling…
3. I get back to nature by…
4. I dread washing…

Finish This…

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finishthis

A few months ago, my best blogging buddy Nicole asked me to co-host a weekly link-up in 2014 called Finish This… After 10 years of blogging, I know I could use a healthy dose of inspiration to write about some new topics, so of course, I agreed, and I’m pretty excited about this little project.

Starting Wednesday, January 8, Nicole (Three 31), Jen (The Arizona Russums), Becky (The Java Mama), and I will be providing you with a few sentence prompts every week in the hopes of inspiring great blog posts while having little fun in the process. We’ll also provide a link-up at the end of each of our Finish This… posts for you to link up your own responses and/or check out some of our fellow bloggers’ posts.

Details & Instructions
1. Sentence prompts will be provided every week (prompts for Week One are located at the bottom of this post). Bloggers: simply answer the prompts, publish on your blog, and add the URL to the link-up.
2. Finish This… occurs every Wednesday beginning January 8, 2014.
3. Please include the green button in your post.
4. Tweet about your post and tag @nmhutch, @lisadenoia,Ā @jenrussum, andĀ @thejavamamaĀ using the hashtag #FinishThisLinkUp.
5. Above all else, have fun! šŸ™‚

Prompts for Week One (January 8):
1. I first felt like a grown-upā€¦
2. I am one-of-a-kind becauseā€¦
3. Spanx isā€¦
4. My favorite family traditionā€¦
5. The last thing I do before bed isā€¦
6. Happiness isā€¦

Come back next Wednesday, January 8 for the first Finish Thisā€¦ link-up party answering the six prompts above. Be sure to share wherever you like, and invite others to participate, too! Even if you’ve never had a blog before — here’s a perfect opportunity to start one and be inspired once a week indefinitely. Happy writing!