Category Archives: life

Allowing For an Imperfect Life

imperfection is your ally

by Peter John Chen

Well, I could whine and harp about how I’ve been so busy that I haven’t had time to blog in ages. But really, what would that accomplish?

Instead I figure it’s best to acknowledge that I’m by no means perfect (who is?) and just jump right back in and start blogging again.

And of course, now that I say I’m going to do that, I can’t exactly think of something pithy or witty to say. Go figure.

I have realized though that often times, we hold ourselves up to some lofty and crazy expectations. In my case, I recently decided to sign up for a ten week business program with a 2 hour+ weekly commitment.

I knew that this wasn’t the best time. I was already way behind in blogging (both personally and professionally) and I haven’t touched my newsletter in weeks. I was also just finishing up my Beyond Social Media Basics Intensive with immediate plans to redesign and relaunch the program.

On top of it all, I managed to book 4 out of town trips within an 8 week window. One of those trips is yet another business conference. And all the while I need to finishing putting the office back together (some might call it organizing, I’m thinking it’s slightly closer to breaking the pre-hoarding cycle).

And as could only be expected…I feel behind in the (10 week ) program that I paid some good money for.

I could beat myself up about this. But instead, I figured I might as well practice the fine art of imperfection.

I knew before I even started that I wouldn’t be able to keep up with it all. No one could.

So instead, I’ve decided to move at my own pace and be grateful for being able to do so. I have to say, once I decided to allow for this (and chose to not beat myself up), it felt like a weight was lifted off my shoulders. I’m no longer clenching my teeth. I feel more relaxed.

Which of course makes me wonder…why do we often hold ourselves up to such high and often stress-inducing expectations? Why can’t we just go with the flow and allow stuff…life…to just happen?

As Ieyasu Tokugawa reminds us, “Persuade thyself that imperfection and inconvenience are the natural lot of mortals, and there will be no room for discontent, neither for despair.”

That works for me.

Come Out, Come Out Wherever You Are!

I can’t believe that I’m not blogging as much as I used to.  There was a time, a couple years ago, that I blogged almost daily.  Sometimes, I had more than one entry on any given day.  I loved it.  Some might even say I lived for blogging.  I loved calling myself a blogger.

Where did that excitement to blog go?

I know I’m still writing blog posts in my head.  In fact, I’m still starting them many of them as drafts.  But it seems that instead of sitting down to finish them, I just let them pile up. I’m not even getting around to posting weekly in my business blog.  And forget about ConstantChatter, I’m rarely posting there these days.  And this isn’t a trend I’m liking.

I have to wonder what brought about this change.

Is it because I’m busier during the week since I’m teaching again? Is it because I’m now running a business and that takes time each day?  Is it because I no longer enjoy sharing the day to day details of my day?

Maybe it’s because of my increased time playing around the the social networking playground.  I’m thinking that’s the case.  I noticed when I got involved with Twitter about two years ago that my post count went down considerably.  Then I started playing around with Facebook.

Nowadays if I have something to say, I tend to post about it either on Twitter or Facebook.  Let’s face it, it’s quick and easy.  And I can do it from my phone.  Better yet, I can choose how I want to leave an update via photo, video, audio, or a good old fashioned written update.  The choices are plenty.  And while I can update my blog in similar ways, it’s still more work that a quickie Twitter or Facebook update.

I’ll do what I can go get better at updating the blog, but if you’d like to stay in touch better, feel free to friend me on FB and Twitter (links below).

So where are you most likely to be spending your time online these days?

Just be sure to drop me a note letting me know who you are so I can be sure to friend or follow you back…

Facebook My personal Facebook profile (be sure to include a message or I more than likely won’t approve the connection).
Facebook My business Facebook fan page
My personal Twitter account

Time Sure Has Flown By

I’d start with an apology, but really, that’s just lame. So let’s not even dwell on the fact that I haven’t wandered into this blog (or any of my blogs for that matter), in a couple weeks now.  But I can’t help but wonder where the hell did March go?  Or more importantly, where did the entire winter semester go?

I had the semester off, so for the most part I spent it working on my business.  I’ve had some teaching gigs, a goodly amount of client consults, speaking engagements and even one-on-one client VIP packages to work with.  So I guess, when you actually get down to it, I’ve been quite busy.  I’ve even designed a couple new products that I’m in the process of finishing up before I get serious about launching.

Alas though, today I had to start focusing on teaching again. I sat down today and started working in the syllabus.  Nothing like putting it off until the last minute, I know.  Thing is, that syllabus is one of the many things I’d planned to work on last week while I was home alone and the hubs was in Austin for SXSW.

Too bad I caught some crazy cough and was totally and completely useless.  I basically spent the entire week like a bump on a log watching really bad (and some not so bad) movies on TV.  Times like that makes me regret that we don’t have premium cable channels.

The good news, I finished reading The Help and have to say…I think it’s the best book I’ve read in a long time.  This is the first time in a long time that we read a current book – meaning, it’s a book that many are reading at the same time.  Typically, we focus on older books that we can easily pick up used or at the local library.  It was nice to read something that so many others have also read.  And like I said, I thought it was a great read – good story with characters you enjoyed reading.

On that note, I’m just going to take a moment and kind of hang around in the whole “I can’t believe that school starts up again next week” world.  I don’t feel like I’ve had enough time off.  What I wouldn’t do for just one more month off.  But hey, my syllabus is finally written, so I’m more than ready to get going.

How is your March coming along?  Are you ready for Spring?

I Don’t Feel Like It and You Can’t Make Me!

I feel like Seth Godin wrote today’s post “I Don’t Feel Like It” just for me.  For a while now, I seem to have been either fighting myself or holding myself back.  And whenever I stop to question what the hell it is I’m doing (or in this case NOT doing) I find myself falling back on the “I don’t feel like it” whine.

All I can say is NO MORE!

We’re going to tell a new story now.

I don’t feel like it

What’s it?

Why do you need to feel like something in order to do the work? They call it work because it’s difficult, not because it’s something you need to feel like.

Very few people wake up in the morning and feel like taking big risks or feel like digging deep for something that has eluded them. People don’t usually feel like pushing themselves harder than they’ve pushed before or having conversations that might be uncomfortable.

Of course, your feelings are irrelevant to whether or not the market expects great work. Do the work. Ignore the feelings part and the work will follow.

Has This Been a Typical Monday For You?

This weekend I was either running around doing errands (like donating to the local SPCA) or in bed sleeping off migraines (thankyouverymuch el niño). I’m so bummed I wasn’t able to make it out to see Lauren Luke at Sephora either.

Of course, this made to today a tough day to get back down to business.

Mind you, it didn’t help that the dog was up and down all last night asking to be let out because he’s sick.  It also doesn’t help that he left piles of puke everywhere you turned.  Poor little guy.  He seems to be doing better, but he’s also all snuggled tight on the chair in a massive pile o’blanket.  He felt bad enough that he barely even barked at the lawn guys.

So today I did what I could to get some work done.  I realized that this is the last week in January and I go back to teaching again in 7 weeks.  Needless to say, I’ve got to actually accomplish something in these next 7 weeks or I’ll feel like I wasted my whole semester off.

So how about you, how was your Monday?  Were you off to a good start?

Image: Vintage Ad Browser

Beauty Blogger, Lauren Luke is Coming to LA

I am not a beauty blogger (nor do I pretend to be one). But I do love me some make up.  And even more so, I like learn what I can about applying make up.

I recently discovered beauty blogger vlogger sensation, Lauren Luke.  She’s a Brit that offers up make up tutorials and can teach you how to recreate celebrity looks.  The cool thing about her videos (aside from her adorable dogs nearby)  is that she doesn’t edit her videos, so you see how she does her looks in real time.  And she’s putting the make up on herself, so you see how you could do it yourself. And that’s some useful information, if you ask me.

This year, she actually got her own line of color palettes that are being sold exclusively at Sephora. And to spread the word, she’s been doing an Inspiration Nation road trip across the US. 

This Saturday (tomorrow), she’ll be in LA at the Sephora Century City for the final stop of her tour from 6:00-8:00pm.

This is your chance to check out her line (I’m totally eying the My Vintage Glams kit) and visit with Lauren.  And the good news, it’s totally open to the public; you don’t have to be a blogger or in the industry.  If I get the chance, I’ll definitely be asking her how she gets those amazingly long and lush eye lashes.

And let’s face it, with all the rain we’ve been having lately, you could do with a pretty little break away, where it’s dry.  And did I mention that you’ll feel all sorts of pretty?

All I Wanted for Christmas…

Was a new iPod ready, car stereo system.  Nothing extravagant.  Just something that will let me listen to something other than shitty LA radio.

Then my husband did something amazing.

He said I could go to a jeweler friend’s house and pick out something sparkly! This was awesome!  I’d been eying a WTF diamond necklace that I know had his okay to buy (even though it was totally and absolutely frivolous…but so very me).  Of course, once present with a bevy of sparkling pretties, I fell in love with a pair of earrings.  Since they were more than the necklace, I figured I’d run it by him first and get his thoughts.

So home I went.

Until I overheated.  And called AAA.  And found out that it would cost an additional $70 to tow my car home since we were out of the “7 miles free” zone.

Three hours later, we managed to get it safely to my friend’s house while we headed home to figure out what to do with it the following day…Christmas Eve.

We took about 3 hours, driving in small, three mile increments until we got within range and had it towed home.  Where it sat until we were able to tow it to the guy that worked on the radiator last time out in West LA.

Which brings us to today and my Christmas present…no sparkly jewelry.  No new car stereo.

Nope, instead, I get a new radiator cap (seems that was the whole problem), a new timing belt, a new water pump and some new spark plugs (which he suggested I get last time he had my car).

I can’t say it’s what I’ve always wanted.  But it will be nice to know that for the most part, my  car will be set for the next five or so years.

Hope your holidays brought you something that you’ve been wanting (rather than needing).

And hey, I have one last fall semester pay check coming my way.  I just might buy myself that new car stereo after all 😉

Is It Possible to Vacation Without First Shopping?

Hello, my name is Kat and I’d like to make a little confession…

I can’t seem to take a vacation (no matter how short), without first having to shop and pamper myself a bit.

The worst part, I know this about myself and typically try to stop myself from doing this and wait until the last possible minute to shop (though I have avoided the pampering part).

We’re finally getting around to scheduling a little R&R at the northern California coast before the year ends and yes, you guessed it…I’ve been shopping.

I told myself I didn’t need to shop.  We went to Ireland last winter, so I have plenty of cold-weather wear, complete with waterproof shoes and a jacket. So for the most part, I’ve managed to avoid the shopping (much like I’ve avoided actually doing any Christmas shopping thus far).

Until this weekend, that is.

This weekend I picked up a lovely cashmere sweater on clearance at J.Jill and of course, I had to pay extra to speed up the shipping.  Then on Sunday, after a solid weekend of rain, I decided that I was going to make the leap and get a pair of real Uggs (I’ve been wearing my faux-uggs to pieces since the weather changed).

Little did I know that the Ugg clogs I fell in love with were last year’s style.  Basically, I spent most of the day searching every online and local store for these babies in black and in my size.


They’ll be perfect for the cold, wet weather I’m sure to encounter in Mendocino.  Plus, they’re not quite so casual and ugg-obvious as the typical Ugg boat so I’d be able to wear them with jeans and a nice top and not feel like a slob.

Well, it took a few hours and the advice of a good friend, but I finally ordered my new shoes through Neiman’s and just had them sent directly to the hotel (even speedy shipping couldn’t get them to me on time).  Thankfully, my expedited shipping was FREE!!

That said, I don’t think I have any desire to spend large chunks of my time searching for the “perfect” must-have item any time soon.  Let alone doing so while hoping and praying it arrives in a timely manner.  That level of obsession was just a tad too freaky for my tastes.

Do you do anything particular before heading out of town –  shopping, pampering, grooming, packing weeks in advance??

It’s Official: School is Over!


About an hour ago I finished grading the last batch of assignments and turned in my online grades.  Man, it feels good to be done.

The best part…I’m off until late March.  The even better best part…I get to go to SXSW without having to worry about missing any classes and feeling any guilt.  Awesome!

Which of course means I’ll be able to settle back into blogging and working with clients again.  Can’t wait.

I’m really looking forward to doing some blog redesign for a couple of my blogs.  I’ve got an idea of what I hope to accomplish and will need to learn a thing or two, but I’m quite excited.

I’m also looking forward to doing some back posts about things that I never did get around to writing.  I’ve been to a couple cool events: car launches, local events, Got Milk latte parties, cupcake tours, you name it.  I can’t wait to get caught up.

But first up, a meeting tomorrow with a friend about a new business proposition and then a vacation shortly there after.  Woohoo!

And if I find some time, I might actually get around to getting my Christmas cards and gifts in the mail in a timely manner (maybe…but probably not).

So how are your holiday plans coming along? Have you decided to give up on anything?

Today is a ‘Love Actually’ Kind of Day

Here I manage to make it all the way through NaBloPoMo and then I just disappear. Beyond lame. But what can I say, I’ve been busy getting ready for Christmas and planning a vacation. And now, my last week of teaching for the semester and I’ve managed to come down with a cold.

So today, I’m hanging inside, enjoying the rainy weather, snuggling with the boys and drinking my Throat Coat tea (best stuff ever for sore throats). I figured with Christmas right around the corner, this would be a perfect time to watch Love Actually for the umpteenth time.

I think that movie can make anything and everything better. And of course, who wouldn’t want a wedding surprise like this one…