Around here

I finally got new running shoes, and my body is adjusting well. I used to run on neutrals and these are anti-pronation shoes, so my muscles and joints need to get used to them. And boy, am I in love with these shoes. How could I not be, they're silent, flashy and pink.

Autumn is just around the corner, and I'm enjoying every last minute of summer. The days getting shorter and Christmas decoration popping up in stores remind me of the months of cold, dark and dreary being just around the corner though..
To fight this I'm trying to focus on the lovely weather we have now, soaking up as much sun as I can. I try to remind myself of the good things those months also bring: candlelit evenings in, autumn storm and winter glow tea, the colors of autumn, listening to Smith and Burrows, buying Christmas gifts for my loved ones, my birthday, Christmas decoration (I've decided to try and DIY a lot of our decorations this year), hot chocolate with marshmallows, rainy days spent under a blanket on the couch - cup of hot tea and a good book in hand. O, and SNOW, let's not forget about snow. I know we were all pretty fed up with it when we had a white Easter last year, but still... snow is magic.

I'm dreaming of something like this planner (and come on, it already has my name on it!) for 2014. I'm planner less at the moment, which is really a first for me. I love planners, but being at home most of the time now and having a schedule of weekly recurring events, I don't really need one. I'm planning on having a job soon, though, so I'll need one. Good enough excuse for me.
However, 2013 has 4 months left, and I don't really want to buy a 12 month planner for just those four. So I've decided to make my own out of a graph paper notebook. A lot cheaper and actually quite fun!

Since last week I'm tutoring a high school student again: in French and Dutch this time. My student lives in a small town 10k north of my house, so I'm cycling 20k a day twice a week. Which is actually pretty nice! I'm listening to the audio book of The Hunger Games (I've read the series before, and was planning on rereading them anyway). I'm really enjoying my bike rides now :)
And I'm really enjoying my tutoring lessons. I keep forgetting how much I love studying any language, but French in particular. It's great to dive into the words and the grammar again, and I have quite a good feeling about my student. Good times.

I'm trying out a new way to keep myself focused and productive: the pomodoro technique, named after the tomato-shaped kitchen timer. It's super simple, really: at the beginning of your day you make a list of things you want to get done. Then you get a kitchen timer (mine is egg shaped) and set it to 25 minutes, work on your task, and when the timer rings you take a 5 minute break. Repeat. After about 3-4 'pomodoros' you take a 15 minute break, and start all over again.
So far this technique has been working pretty good for me, since it's helping me stay focused for 25 minutes
at a time, and it's making me take breaks in between as well.

Still working on my travel journal. It's taken quite some time to collect the pictures I want to include, but I have them now and I'll be printing them soon. I just need to decide which ones will be a full 10x15cm print and which ones will be printed as 7.5x10cm. I see some Photoshopping in my near future.

I'm working on 30 days of lists again this month. I've decided to keep it easy and focus on the writing this time. Hopefully I'll be able to keep track this way. So far (6 days in) it's going quite well.

Whew, that's a lot of words... congrats if you've made it to the end ;)

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