Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Working from Home by Violet

My company’s offices in Bellevue are currently being remodeled. And I am without an office. I have a temporary and shared space in the office two days a week but the other three days a week I’m on my own working from home until February.

In the interest of full disclosure, I’ve never been very good a working from home. There’s something about being at the office that keeps me honest. And I find the presence of my TV, refrigerator and bed incredibly distracting.

Since I’m going to be working for home for quite a long stretch, I thought I better figure out some ways to help me be more productive. Here’s my plan of attack:

Go to the Gym
I’ve been on the morning workout train for the last few weeks now and I want to keep the momentum going. I’m going to keep getting up early and get the gym time in before I start the work day. Get my day started in a healthy and energizing way. This will help me not be tempted to cut out early to hit the gym at the end of the day.

Get Ready
It’s very tempting to stay in my pjs all day. Putting on a pair of pants really helps put me in business mode. I’m less likely to lay around on the couch all day if I actually went to the trouble of putting make up on.

My addiction to TV is BAD. If I even turn it on to watch the Today show in the morning, my whole day is shot. By resisting the urge in the morning, I can get a lot more done.

A Space to Work
I’ve taken over JP’s office for the next few months, he's being really nice about the whole thing. Having a space, away from the TV, removes some (not all) of the distractions.

So far, I’ve had two days working from home and I would say it’s just going OK. While the tricks I really help in the morning the afternoons seem to be when the distractions come in – laundry, errands, starting dinner. It also doesn’t help that I’m trying to start a movement to Save Thanksgiving.
Does anyone have any working from home advice? Help me get more productive?

Violet in UGG Cozy Knit slippers (What? I said I would put pants and makeup on but shoes?)

Friday, November 4, 2011

Save Thanksgiving by Violet

I’m starting a movement to save Thanksgiving.

I should clarify, Thanksgiving isn’t in any real danger, it is still on the calendar. As many people have bemoaned (and I am one of them), Christmas seems to start earlier and earlier every year. In fact this year, people starting talking Christmas the day after Halloween. The. Day. After.

I see that as an affront to one of the greatest holidays there is - Thanksgiving. There are many reasons why I think this is a great holiday; here are just some of the reasons why.

The Concept
It is a day to give thanks. It’s a time to stop and recognize all the wonderful things we have in our lives. A day to count your blessings. A day to be around friends and family and say, you have made my life better. Not with an extravagant gift but with the simple act of sharing a meal together.

The Execution
Thanksgiving is all about the food, in a tradition as old as the campfire, we gather those we love around us and break bread together. Every family does it a little bit differently but the general ingredients are there, a turkey and all the trimmings. I have yet to meet a person who isn’t psyched about a Thanksgiving meal.

The Stress Level
As holidays go, Thanksgiving is pretty low pressure. Sure you have to cook a big meal and there’s likely some travel involved but really on the scale of things that’s not so bad. There are no crowds to fight at the mall. No stress about a long list of people to buy gifts for, no serious wallop to your bank account. Sure there might be some fear of messing up the turkey but in comparison to Christmas that’s nothing.

Thanksgiving is a holiday free from religion. Religious holiday are great but then tend to come with baggage. It sure makes it easier to celebrate when you can invite everyone to the table. Everyone can get behind giving thanks, eating a giant meal and taking a nap. If you can’t then, clearly something is wrong with you.

My point it, Thanksgiving is a great holiday. And I think it’s getting the shaft. Christmas is sucking up all the oxygen. At a time when budgets are tight and people are on the streets protesting corporate greed, I can’t think of anything better thing to do than gather those you love around you, share a meal and give thanks for what you do have.

In order to save Thanksgiving, I’m not paying Christmas any attention until November 25. For the next month, I’m going to talk about how excited I am for turkey, football and spending time with my family. And not about shopping malls, deals, Santa Clause or any such thing.

I encourage all of you to do the same. Give Thanksgiving the due it deserves. Take a few weeks to pause before life gets hectic and give thanks for the blessings in your life. And for Pete’s sake, #SaveThanksgiving.

Violet in Born Waverly Sauor Full Grain

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Goodbye to a Seattle Landmark by Violet

Seattle is losing a landmark - the Alaskan Way Viaduct is coming down. We are at the beginning of the process of replacing this aging and ugly elevated highway with the best view in town. Here in Seattle it’s been an epic battle over how to replace it, multiple votes, council meetings and court cases. No one really seems to agree on anything other than it need to be replaced. But we are forging ahead with a deep-bore tunnel which means that we are saying goodbye to the old girl.

Demo getting started
The first day it closed the city let people walk on it without traffic before tearing it down. Since this is a roadway that JP and I take just about every day it seemed like something we needed to check out.

In classic Seattle style, it was raining pretty hard for the Viaduct’s last day. It was pretty easy to spot where to go since there were more than a few other people who wanted to say their goodbyes as well.

We trucked up on the onramp and got as close as we could to the big machinery already starting demo.

I have to say it was a pretty neat experience to walk on a roadway that I have driven too many times to count. It’s a way different view.
Even though the Viaduct is pretty ugly it was hard not to get a little bit nostalgic for the thing. It has clearly found its way into the hearts of a great many Seattleites.

I was especially grateful to the city for allowing us the opportunity to give the Viaduct a walking goodbye. And, the best part, the opportunity to take a little piece of it home.

JP with his piece to take home
Violet in Saucony Jazz - Red/White