My Everything/Forever List

That's it. I'm doing it. I'm making a list for "everything else" that's never going to be finished because I keep adding to it. Where does this list currently exist? In my head.

Yeah, like many women, I have the running list of everything I need to do, want to do, hope to do, just going on and on and on in my brain. Well, I'm tired of it. It's time to just put it on the list when I think of it (or when I get a second to write). Then I can stop thinking about it and start planning and doing, which sounds pretty appealing. 

Rules of the List

  • Number the list because it's fun
  • When an item is complete, "cross it off" the list 
    • Write a blog post about it and include at least ONE picture
  • Add the date the item went on the list
  • Add the date the item was completed


So here goes…My Everything/Forever List

  1. Make a list for a week of work lunches/snacks
  2. Start making hummus (10/23/13)
  3. Start using homemade wipes again (10/23/13)
  4. Re-read the Five Languages of Love (10/23/13)
  5. Design Elliott's birth announcement (he's only 3 months old already!) (10/23/13)
  6. Send pictures to Minnesota family monthly (10/23/13)
  7. Start a "Baby Mamas" group at work (10/23/13)
  8. Go the Seafood Buffet at the CDA Casino with friends (10/23/13)
  9. DONE on 10/23/2013! Go to luncheon and donate to Transition (10/23/13)
  10. Make a bigger breastmilk storage box for freezer (10/23/13)
  11. Redesign MyHappyLists blog (11/21/13)
  12. Write at least once per week (11/21/13)
  13. Start a tradition of weekly date nights with daughter (11/21/13)
  14. Experiment with different eczema treatments for Baby E and myself (11/21/13)
  15. Create a visual tracking at home for goals (exercise & chores) (11/21/13)


Simplify for Success

This list is for the things that will help me be more successful by simplifying tasks.

  1. Leave a bag of frozen berries at work (instead of bringing a cup every day and then not bringing them) (10/24/2013)

Reasons to Give to Transitions


Today I had the pleasure of attending the annual Transitions Luncheon again thanks to an invite from a co-worker. After enjoying my lunch, listening to some guest speakers and hearing the stories of a participant and alumnus of the various programs Transitions supports, I made a donation. Not a huge donation, but an amount I could afford to give. Even though my finances for my family are tight and stressful, I still live a life of luxury (cars that run, smart phones, eating out, television, Netflix, Internet…all pretty luxurious things), so I can clearly afford to make a donation and just skip a couple dinners out.

Why make a donation and support Transitions? 

  • Results: they actually help children and women end poverty and homelessness in Spokane!
  • They impact our community (which means YOU)
  • No one should be homeless
  • No one should live in poverty
  • Beacause you can
  • Did I mention that their programs work?

To learn more about Transitions and how you can help, visit their website: 


**Crossing this one off my Everything List**

10 Tips on how to be more productive

After starting our new company, Wilson Media Consulting, I experienced what all home-based business owners experience: struggling with discipline and motivation.

Here are some tips on how to be more productive (no matter where you are).

1. 45/15 Split

My background in psychology and experience as a learner and worker has taught me that people have an optimal range of time of which they can learn, focus and be productive. The typical time range is 40-55 minutes. What this means for you: start paying attention to time when you're working. About how long into a task do you start to "fade" or does your creativity or productivity diminish? For me, it's about 45 minutes.

I like to start my work "on the hour" so I can easily do a 45/15 minute split. I start working at 7:00 am and at 7:45 am, I take a planned break. Knowing that I get to take a break helps me focus because I don't create excuses to not work.Mazie in action - My Happy Lists

When you let yourself expect a break, you'll be more productive in your 45 minutes than if you just take random breaks, get frustrated, and then stop working altogether for a couple hours.

2. The planned break

Before I start my 45/15 split, I have a plan for how I'm going to spend my 15 minutes break. That way, I don't waste time thinking about what I'm going to do when I should be working, or wasting my break time by trying to decide how I want to spend it. For example, I know that in 20 minutes I'm going to get a snack and play with our adorable cockapoo, Mazie. She likes to sleep in, so I won't wake her for a little while.

3. Timing my tasks

Measure, measure, measure! That's how you know if anything is successful. I measure the time I spend every day by using an automatic time tracker. Gone are the days of writing down what you're doing (especially if you spend 80% of your work day at the computer). I use a cool time tracker that lets me add new tasks and then set the timer on them when I start working on them. At the end of the day (or week, month, etc), with a click of a button I can see where all my time went. It also helps me bill clients because it's organized by client profiles. It's a breeze to use, and I've noticed that on the days I don't use it, my productivity plummets. There's something about seeing that little timer on my screen that shouts to me: GET TO WORK!


5 Reasons to shop at Auntie’s Bookstore in Spokane, Washington

Auntie's Bookstore After our fun chocolate tasting date at the Chocolate Apothecary, Tyler and I headed over to Auntie’s Bookstore to use another coupon (50% off $20 purchase).

I was so excited to get $10 free dollars to Auntie’s. Tyler and I love that bookstore. Here’s a few reasons why:

  • It’s Big AND Local. We haven’t found many local bookstore that have such a huge selection of books at such a big location
  • Downtown Spokane. There’s something fun about old downtown buildings. Auntie’s Bookstore is big, open, and old. It’s awesome.
  • Great staff. Every time we go there, the staff are friendly and accessible.
  • Huge selection of new and used. I love discovering fun little “finds” there – old used books for an affordable price.
  • Autographed books. They are always hosting book signings, from local to national authors, including the likes of David Sedaris, Jamie Ford, Sherman Alexie and Chuck Palahniuk. If you can’t make it to one of the book signings, you can still pre-order a signed book, or even purchase one afterwards.

7 Ways to end up owing taxes even though you’re poor (unhappy list)

owing more taxes 2009 The Hubbie and I (commonly known as Team Wilson) are not wealthy by any means. We work in fairly low-paying jobs (in the $10/hour range) despite our advanced college degrees. And yet, despite living paycheck to paycheck, we have managed to end up owing the government an additional $2,000 this year.

Here are 7 reasons why (my UNHappy List of the month).

1. Miniscule pay raise. I actually worked full time for the whole year and we earned a little more money since I wasn’t going to school. But that leads to #2.

2. No longer a student. Those tuition credits came in handy.

3. Debt Settlement = Taxable Income. So poor that I defaulted on a student loan and settled the debt for about 50% of what I owed. Turns out that counts as “taxable income.” Because that makes sense.


17 ways to avoid getting pulled over

We’ve all been there.  You look in the rear view mirror, see those lights go on, and panic hits you.  Sometimes I blank out the previous couple minutes, was I speeding? did I run a stop sign? did I make an illegal turn?

Here are some ideas to avoid getting pulled over in the first place.

image 1. Drive the Speed Limit.  I know this is obvious, but if you aren’t running late, it might be something to seriously consider.  An additional benefit of following the speed limit (versus speeding) is an increase in gas mileage.  That’s a win-win reason.

2. Middle of the Pack.  Need to speed? Find a group of cars going the speed you want and hang out in the middle.  The first car is likely to trigger a cop radar, and the last car is likely to get pulled over first.  Hanging out in the middle is a safer placer to be if you need to speed.

3. Follow a Speeder. Put some distance between you and the speeder and let him trigger the radar.  The distance allows you enough time to slow down when the cop pulls out.