Inspiration

How to Put Your Distracted Brain on a Schedule

by Lindy

Can I interrupt you from the important task you really should be doing to share this riveting 20 minute podcast? It is about counteracting constant tech distractions (which leads to burn out) with practical tips. I stumbled upon this Harvard Business Review IdeaCast, “Your Brain’s Ideal Schedule” with Ron Friedman, Ph.D on SoundCloud today (while avoiding daunting tasks). In the audio, he discusses how to structure your day to get the most done, with the most satisfaction.

This discussion is so relevant for busy professionals like myself who are always connected to their smart phone (and now Samsung Gear Fit smart watch) with all the email and app notifications, which leads to being reactive instead of proactive with your work load and communication. Much of the stress, anxiety and frustration I experience stems from the constant interruptions, inability to focus, prioritize and disconnect. If I implement Friedman’s advice for an ‘ideal schedule for my brain’, it would greatly diminish my stress level and increase my overall contentment.

I like how the interviewer brings up how some driven people turn their passion/hobby into the demands of more work (i.e. taking it very seriously and making it all encompassing.) Play is very important, just for the enjoyment of it; not for the ‘return on investment’ per se. I need to practice that.

Do you struggle with the inability to disconnect like I do? How do you schedule your day for maximum productivity and enjoyment?


Operation 40 Anthem

by Lindy
Peter Pan Syndrome | Forever Young

Peter Pan Syndrome | Forever Young | Operation 40 | Pirates go down with their ship

I hear this song practically every morning Monday through Friday on my Pandora Radio alarm clock. It is has been my official ‘Operation 40’ anthem and my ultimate refusal to ‘sit down, shut up and most of all grow up’. I turn 40 this May and I’m not going over that hump without a solid fight!

Enjoy this little ditty by Frank Turner – Photosynthesis!

What is your anthem? Leave a comment or perish!

Lyrics to Photosynthesis by Frank Turner

Well I guess I should confess that I am starting to get old
All the latest music fads all passed me by and left me cold
All the kids are talking slang I won’t pretend to understand
All my friends are getting married, mortgages and pension plans
And it’s obvious my angry adolescent days are done
And I’m happy and I’m settled in the person I’ve become
But that doesn’t mean I’m settled up and sitting out the game
Time may change a lot but some things may stay the same

And I won’t sit down
And I won’t shut up
And most of all I will not grow up
And I won’t sit down
And I won’t shut up
And most of all I yeah I won’t grow up

Oh maturity’s a wrapped up package deal so it seems
And ditching teenage fantasy means ditching all your dreams
All your friends and peers and family solemnly tell you you will
Have to grow up be an adult yeah be bored and unfulfilled
Oh when no ones yet explained to me exactly what’s so great
About slaving 50 years away on something that you hate,
about meekly shuffling down the path of mediocrity
Well if that’s your road then take it but it’s not the road for me

And I won’t sit down
And I won’t shut up
And most of all I will not grow up
And I won’t sit down
And I won’t shut up
And most of all I yeah I won’t grow up
And I won’t sit down
And I won’t shut up
And most of all I will not grow up

And if all you ever do with your life
Is photosynthesize
Then you deserve every hour of these sleepless nights
That you spend wondering when you’re gonna die

Now I’ll play and you sing
The perfect way for the evening to begin
Now I’ll play and you sing
The perfect way for the evening to begin

And I won’t sit down
And I won’t shut up
And most of all yeah I won’t grow up
And I won’t sit down
And I won’t shut up
And most of all I will not grow up
And I won’t sit down
And I won’t shut up And most of all I will not grow up


Signorelli – Mix: Beautiful Handcrafted Italian Jewelry

by Lindy
Janine Signorelli | Signorelli - Mix Jewelry

Janine Signorelli | Signorelli – Mix Jewelry

Allow me to introduce you to Signorelli – Mix handcrafted Italian sterling silver jewelry.  Jewelry designer, Janine Signorelli, is a family friend who  lives in Los Angeles and travels to her ancestral homeland of Italy each year for inspiration, sourcing and collaboration with top jewelry makers. Janine has recently launched her Signorelli – Mix Etsy store and is populating it with all her beautiful earrings, necklaces and rings. Go take a peek at her shop and see what you think.

I find the way she makes each piece fascinating. I wish I could watch it firsthand; especially if it involves going to Italy. I’ve enjoyed wearing several items of her jewelry this past week and have received many compliments. I’ll share more photos on social soon – #signorellimix.

From Janine: All Signorelli – Mix earrings with stones have all been cast and set in Italy. Each pair has the official Italian stamp for Sterling Silver. The jewelry is exclusively designed by me in my Santa Monica, California studio.

I spend my summers in Italy, and have had the guidance of a top jeweler. My stones are made in my home studio fired away with a personal high fire kiln. Each stone is made one at a time, shaped, carved, dried, fired, glazed, then glassed on the 3rd round with an occasional 4th firing.
*Note: specific processes for each item of jewelry may vary and details for each will be outlined in her Etsy store.

Signorelli - Mix Earrings Etsy.com/shop/signorellimix

Signorelli – Mix Venetian Date Earrings
Etsy.com/shop/signorellimix

Signorelli-Mix Handcrafted Italian Sterling Silver Necklace

Signorelli – Mix Handcrafted Italian Sterling Silver Necklace
Etsy.com/shop/signorellimix

Signorelli-Mix Venetian Date Earrings

Signorelli – Mix Venetian Date Earrings
Etsy.com/shop/signorellimix

Signorelli-Mix Dureta Calla Lilly Earrings

Signorelli – Mix Dureta Calla Lilly Earrings
Etsy.com/shop/signorellimix

Signorelli – Mix Handcrafted Sterling Silver Daisy Ring
Etsy.com/shop/signorellimix

Janine has always been a creative and talented individual. In the next few paragraphs, she describes her personal journey from professional Italian chef to beautiful jewelry designer.

“I am a professionally trained chef who has always had an eye on small, colorful bites. I knew I would move back to my homeland (Italy) since I was 3yrs. After 1 year of college studying theatre arts, I took what was planned as a semester off. That semester turned into what I call having the opportunity to grow up again. Since I was still a teen upon departure, a young woman upon return. I earned my culinary degree from a 2 year program in Umbria, then continued on apprenticing in top restaurants including Pappagallo in Bologna & Gualtiero Marchese in Milan. My eye was always drawn to the tiny bites, appetizers, colorful desserts, especially shiny chocolates dressed in edible gold & silver leaf.”

“Before all that, my favorite art class was ceramics. My specialty was carving out shapes then filling these with recycled glass. Over the years I occasionally fired my glass works for special gifts. I’ve created a few tiles and the tile is what gave me that spark of genius. Tiny shiny objects, my love for color especially in glass, I created my 1st piece of jewelry, a ring with a miniature tile. Traveling for Christmas in Egypt with my best girlfriends (I was living In Italy then) I  purchased a silver bangle ring in Hurghada, a scuba divers dreamland off the Red Sea in Egypt. I took that original ring to a friend, a jeweler, and asked that he add a small bezel atop the bangle which holds my first tiny tile. The ring is now available recreated using the lost wax technique with the bezel holding an array of my tiny colorful tiles. I extended the use of the ring idea into a pendant, again with the help of a very well known Italian jeweler friend. I designed the pendant adding a simple round and an oval creating a tear-dropped design. The pendant is available as a first generation where the stones, my stones I call them, are simply set with epoxy. My 2nd generation pendant with exclude the epoxy, the stones will be set using prongs.”

“I moved on from the culinary arts to the art of jewelry creation. My jewelry continues to be entirely designed by me, now also carved or dripped with wax by me before sending off for casting in silver. I spend my summers in Italy, I have had the opportunity of the guidance of a top jeweler and currently creating my pieces in Santa Monica, my hometown.  My stones are made in my home studio fired away with my personal high fire kiln. Each stone is made one at a time, shaped, carved, dried, fired, glazed, then glassed. 3 firings total, before being set in a silver setting. Many steps to the end game. I find the artwork meditating, not more or less than my cooking, I just love creating tiny things that last.”

Here is some more interesting information about Signorelli – Mix jewelry.

“Deruta Calla Lilly” earrings are named after a small town in Umbria “the Green Heart of Italy” where Janine lived for 12 years. Deruta is famous for its ceramics and the shape of the earring resembles the flower.

“Venetian Date” earrings are named after the fruit and because Venice, Italy is world renowned for the colorful art of glass creations.

There are several more jewelry selections to choose from when you visit the Signorelli – Mix shop on Etsy, and each piece has a unique name and story. I invite you to take a gander at it – www.etsy.com/shop/signorellimix.

Let me know what you think! If you like her jewelry, please ‘follow’ her shop on Etsy, share it with friends on social and buy something pretty for yourself or someone special. Most items cost about $50 on up.


Homemade Typewriter Poetry Valentines Cards

by Lindy

Happy Valentine’s Day!

I hope your heart is filled with love on this special day for romance. Here are some homemade Valentine’s Day cards that I made for a pen pal swap through Seattle paper magnate, Lyndsey at The Stationery Place.

This is my second year participating; it is a rewarding to receive thoughtful, homemade valentines from new pen pals from across the globe. I like to make the homemade valentines using my red Olivetti Lettera typewriter (named Beulah Hildegard Francis) to create my typewriter poetry cards.

This year’s poetry includes:

Love is a game. Love is war. Love is patient. Love is kind.

Love is a many splendored thing. Love lifts us up where we belong. All you need is love.

Love is a verb. Take action.

Homemade Valentines by Lindy | "Love is a game. Love is war. Love is patient. Love is kind."

Typewriter Poetry Homemade Valentines by Lindy | “Love is a game. Love is war. Love is patient. Love is kind.”

Typewriter Poetry Homemade Valentines by Lindy | "Love is a many splendored thing. Love lifts us up where we belong. All you need is love."

Typewriter Poetry Homemade Valentines by Lindy | “Love is a many splendored thing. Love lifts us up where we belong. All you need is love.”

Homemade Valentines by Lindy | "Love is a verb. Take action."

Typewriter Poetry Homemade Valentines by Lindy | “Love is a verb. Take action.”

Here are the homemade valentines I’ve received from my pen pals so far, from gals in Iowa, California, Washington, England and Australia.

Homemade Valentine Card Swap | The Stationery Place

Homemade Valentine Card Swap | The Stationery Place

Homemade Valentine Card Swap | The Stationery Place

Homemade Valentine Card Swap | The Stationery Place

Homemade Valentine Card Swap | The Stationery Place

Homemade Valentine Card Swap | The Stationery Place

Homemade Valentine Card Swap | The Stationery Place

Homemade Valentine Card Swap | The Stationery Place

Homemade Valentine Card Swap | The Stationery Place

Homemade Valentine Card Swap | The Stationery Place

Homemade Valentine Card Swap | The Stationery Place

Speaking of handcrafted, I also received some beautiful Signorelli-Mix “Venetian Date” Italian sterling silver earrings in the mail this week! The designer, Janine, is a family friend who has her heart in Italy as well as Los Angeles and creates beautiful jewelry out of silver and colorful Italian glass. Please take a moment to check out her unique selections on Etsy. I will be writing and showing more photos of her beautiful jewelry later this week.

Signorelli-Mix Venetian Dates Earrings | For Sale on Etsy

Signorelli-Mix Venetian Dates Earrings | For Sale on Etsy

Finally, here are the homemade valentines I made for my eight year old’s classroom using my fun typewriter poetry. I believe they were the best valentines in class and received a standing ovation (in my overactive imagination). Poems included were:

Love is a verb. Take action. (3rd graders need lessons in English, so this is an educational poem.)
Roses are red, violets are blue, sugar is sweet and so are you. (An oldie but a goodie.)
You are just my type. (See the fun play on words?)
Friends are like family, but better. (Profound, huh?)

Typewriter Poetry Homemade Valentines by Lindy | 3rd Grade Edition

Typewriter Poetry Homemade Valentines by Lindy | 3rd Grade Edition


Public Speaking Tips for Introverts

by Lindy

I’m a member of a small writers group on Linked In. It’s a great group with very lively and supportive members.  Last week, when I told the group about my recent Toastmaster’s speech and my hesitance to speak in public, one of the group members, Charles, shared some of his public speaking tips he learned from training and years of experience. They are very practical and inspiring tips.

Charles’ 10 Public Speaking Tips for Introverts:

  1. Breathe like a baby, from your diaphragm, which will save the throat from overworking and becoming raspy. Besides, those muscles will not give you the power to project; volume comes from the diaphragm. You’ll also pick up greater range without effort.
  2. Pretend you have a ping pong ball floating in your throat, and your job is to keep it steady.
  3. Imagine you have a string coming out of the top of your head, like a puppet, which will help keep you from becoming too rigid. You’ll feel relaxed and flexible. Also, keep your knees slightly bent. Fainting can be a problem, and this will prevent it.
  4. Move around. The standing joke is it makes you a moving target, but people focus on movement, so they will tend to pay attention more.
  5. Make eye contact with as many people as you can, and move up to them at times. This keeps them wondering and therefore attentive.
  6. Smile. The best way to make your smile authentic is to imagine them sitting in their underwear.
  7. Slow down. About a beat per second is ideal.
  8. The mantra is: “Tell them what you’re going to say; say it; tell them you’ve said it; say it again.”
  9. Avoid jokes unless you really know your audience.
  10. The KISS principle: Keep It Simple, Stupid.

My next Toastmaster speech is coming up next week and I’ll be certain to implement Charles’ techniques.

Do you have any other tips you’d add to the list?


Uplifting New Year’s Resolution for 2014

by Lindy
New Year's Quote

Uplifting New Year’s Quote

Just say NO to New Year’s Resolutions!

Here are some top resolutions that I WON’T be making:

  • Lose weight. Unnecessary. I’d like to redistribute my current weight though if possible. With a rolling pin perhaps?
  • Save money. I already save like a champ. I should spend more to do my part to stimulate the economy. Or not.
  • Cut out caffeine. I did that several months ago. Also helps with saving money. Bye Starbucks; it’s been fun!
  • Exercise more. I exercise in my sleep. Multitasking has its benefits.
  • Stop smoking. Never started. That was easy.
  • Relax. Overrated. Laundry can be zen-like.
  • Wake up earlier. Nope. Sleeping late is when I do my best dreaming.  Crucial for creative thinking.
  • Drink less alcohol. Sorry, I’m concerned with my heart health, so cutting back could be risky.
  • Be more optimistic. No, the glass remains half empty. So fill ‘er up! The world needs more realists. We are critical in pointing out the obvious so that situations can hopefully improve. Is that too optimistic?

That is a Cliff Notes version of my new year’s resolution philosophy. I prefer to set up healthy habits and goals ongoing throughout the year and veer from them at my discretion. That way I can avoid the guilt that comes when you inevitably fall off the wagon.

If anything, I might resolve to eat more vegetables this year. I say that every year and slowly but surely, my vegetable intake is steadily increasing.

I would also like to write/create more regularly. Purists would say, “you have to make your goal measurable in order to be successful”. Fine. How about publishing a new blog post once a week, a new podcast every two weeks and making something creative offline once a month?

There. That seals it. I have a 2014 New Year’s Resolution so my life won’t suck this coming year. But that’s a bit optimistic, isn’t it?


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