Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Busy Day

Another late post- today ended up being surprisingly busy. I accidentally woke up late and had to run out the door to get to class by 8:30. There was just enough time to grab a sandwich between classes, and just enough time to grab a coffee between my last class and work. When I finally got home from work and classes, all I wanted to do was collapse, but Lil' Bro was starving so I ended up making potato soup instead.

Now I'm going to snuggle up with my bowl of soup and my textbooks and read the night away. Sometimes I actually don't mind having busy days, because they make me appreciate the calm moments at night even more.

In other news, it's finally feeling like fall. Today was chilly and overcast, which didn't do much for my energy levels but does make me appreciate my warm house and a cup of steaming hot tea (I like this kind). I can't wait until the leaves change and start to look like the picture above (which you can check out here).

Image via dahliahousestudio's etsy shop.

Monday, September 28, 2009

What I've been doing instead of blogging...

Sorry for the slow posting everyone. I have no good excuse other than the fact that I have been feeling rather lazy. I spent most of my weekend either outside enjoying the autumn weather, or on the couch watching movies with Lil' Bro. Sometimes you just need a long-walks-and-movies kind of weekend.

Back to a regular posting schedule tomorrow. In the meantime, check out the posters for my four favorite movies above, then leave a comment with your favorites (I always need something new to Netflix).

I hope you all had a great weekend :)

Images via wikipedia.

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Family Photo Time

I've always had a thing for old family photos. When I was little I would stay with my grandma on weekends and I could spend ages looking through her old photo albums. The best part of inheriting my grandpa's old computer was getting all the family photos he'd scanned into it. These ones of my dad and his sisters when they were little are my favorites.

The bottom photo is my grandparents in California right after they got married- don't they look cute?

Have a good day everyone! I'm off to go work my butt off in class and the lab :)

All images in this post are mine.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

New School Shoes

Today marks the start of a new school year for me, a day after the official start of fall.

For some reason, autumn always makes me feel nostalgic. I remember when I was in elementary school my grandma would always insist on getting me a pair of new school shoes to start the year. I have always had big feet which were hard to fit, so we would spend hours driving all over town, looking for the perfect pair of new school shoes. I don't remember a lot about those early shoes, except that they always smelled like rubber and I was always SO excited to pull them on for my first day of school.

Flash forward a few years- here I am, 20 years old with a job and over halfway through my college career, and my grandma still insists on going shopping every August for new school shoes. So today I'm going to be pulling on my brand new size 11 navy blue Converse and heading off to my first class of the year. The shoes still smell like rubber and while I'm not quite as excited for classes as I was back in elementary school, I still love the tradition of new school shoes because they remind me that I am cared for. They are one of my favorite parts of autumn.

Happy autumn everyone! Now tell me: what's your favorite part of the season?

My rockin' new shoes.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Let's make a list...

Awhile ago I read an article in one of my favorite magazines that equated running a business to life. In it, the author discusses 10 common business strategies that can be used by everyone.

I won't paraphrase the whole article* here, but there were two "strategies" that I found particularly life-changing:
  • #1: Identify your core values. Companies list what is truly important to them so that those things can guide their decisions- that's something we can all do.
  • #2: Understand your opportunity cost. Time, energy, and money are not unlimited resources. Devoting yourself to one thing (opportunity) means detracting from another (cost). For every minute I spend on my blog, that's one less minute spent studying. The trick is to balance costs with opportunities.
The other day I was thinking about this article and I decided to figure out what my core values were. So I pulled out some paper and listed the things that were important to me (not the things I think should be important to me, the things that actually are), in descending order. At the top of the list were values like giving to others, my relationships with the people I love, my education, my health and financial stability, etc. Toward the bottom of the list were things like my hobbies, my ever-expanding makeup collection, my clothes.

Then I took a look at how I devoted my time, energy, and money. In short: not very efficiently. Even though I know what's really important to me, I devote most of my time to less consequential things. To some extent, I think we all do that.

The good thing is, knowledge is power. From now on, I'm going to try and use my values to guide the way I use my resources. That's one of the reasons I wanted to switch the focus of OHP- so that I could spend more time on the important stuff. And I've got my list taped up on my mirror now, so that I won't forget what's important to me.

Readers- what do you all think of this new plan? And a challenge to you: make a list of your own (you don't have to share it with us).

*For the curious, the article was titled "10 Business Strategies to Organize Your Home Life" by Patrick Lencioni, and it was in the Feb.2009 edition of Real Simple Magazine. I highly recommend looking it up on their website.

Monday, September 21, 2009

The New (Improved?) One Happy Panda

Happy Monday everyone!

I promised to say a little bit about the new direction I'm hoping to take the blog in today, so here goes...

When I originally launched One Happy Panda, I did it with the intention of sharing the things that make me happy. These things fall into one of two camps: those that can be bought (a pair of perfect-fit jeans, a gorgeous new lipstick) and those that cannot (less stress, more laughter, solid friendships). Typically, as you might imagine, it's the things that cannot be bought that make the most difference as far as happiness goes. I mean, c'mon, would you rather have a new pair of jeans or less stress?

However, I came to realize during my little blogging hiatus that for whatever reason, OHP focused much more on things that can be bought. Perhaps it's because those are easier to find a write about, perhaps it's because I live in a material society. The "why" doesn't really matter. What matters to me is changing OHP so that it more accurately reflects what really makes me happy.

Which is why I'm switching gears a little bit, and planning to write a little less about "things" and a little more on, well, life. In no way am I an expert on what makes a person happy, and in no way do I intend this blog to become a handbook on how to live the perfect life (like that even exists). However, I do know that even the most tiny life changes can add up to a lot more happy- and since I'm constantly trying to adopt tiny changes that will improve the way I live, I would love to share those things with you, my awesome readers. Those are things I would like OHP to focus on, though I won't be abandoning material things entirely.

PS: Along the way, feel free to suggest new topics and new directions for OHP, either by leaving them in the comments section or by emailing me at onehappypanda at hotmail dot com. I always love to hear what readers have to say, as long as you aren't too mean about it. :)

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Comback of the Year (well, sort of...)

Hello readers!

It has been SO long since I have been able to visit the blog and post. I have missed it terribly, but I felt I needed the time to focus on other things and get my life together. I can't promise that I'm all put-together now, but things have settled enough that I would like to start posting again.

A few little notes on what's happened since I last wrote:
  • I temporarily have aquired a new roommate- Brandon, also known as Lil' Bro. He's super awesome and often hilarious, so expect to hear about him from time to time :)
  • I had a birthday back in August: the big 2-0. Basically that means nothing other than I can now grumble about "annoying teenage girls" without being hypocritical :-P
  • I quit my (2nd) retail job, so theoretically I will have more time now (and free weekends!). On the other hand, I'm also launching into my honors thesis project. Which means my chances of having a social life these next few months are slim.
  • I'm reevaluating the things I'd like OHP to focus on and considering making some changes. I'll write more on that topic tomorrow, but if anyone has feedback on the blog or topics that you would like to have covered, feel free to email me or leave them in the comments.
Many thanks to all of you who have dealt with my absence, I certainly hope that some of you still remain. To anyone who is just now stumbling on the blog- welcome!

Image via my computer- it is not my photo, but I forget where I got it from. If anyone knows, let me know so I can credit it properly.