Friday, July 31, 2009

Revealing Photos

On Monday, I begin a formal 10-week diet and exercise program. It's called Extreme Bodyshaping. Just the title is enough to make me laugh at the thought of me doing it. Let's be clear, I don't do "extreme" anything. And bodyshaping, well let's just say exercise has never been a hobby of mine.
So basically, I think this thing is going to kick my butt. Hopefully in a way that doesn't involve me crying at all. But I could use a little discipline so I think this will be good for me in a lot of ways.
The worst part of it all is this afternoon. I have to take my "before" picture. In bike shorts. And a sports bra. Ya. That alone will probably be enough to make me cry. One thing I'm trying to decide is whether to suck in and look slightly decent in the picture or let it all hang out so the "after" picture has more impact.
Let's just hope the "after" picture rocks in any case- because that's the only thing that will make up for subjecting me to this torture today.

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Giving Thanks

More than once (even this week), I have set a goal to write more thank you notes. We all know that we are supposed to send a thank you when someone gives us a gift. Otherwise, Aunt A tells Auntie B, "I gave Kelly that lovely macrame dishtowel holder for her birthday and never got a thank you note." Cue gossip spiral; family face-off next Thanksgiving...

But thank-yous notes should also be sent when someone goes above and beyond for you. Whether is was for business or personal reasons - hospitality, help on a project or just being a friend. Who doesn't love the feeling you get when someone takes the time to recognizes your efforts? On paper, in handwriting - not an email or text.

Besides that, I have a really hard time resisting beautiful stationery like this from Kate Spade:

Stationery stores are wondrous places where paper still rules. Plus, many have quirky items that make great gifts without being too generic. There are some great online stores but it's hard to judge the paper and print quality online. I recommend starting with brick and mortar. In my experience, most stationery stores are locally owned so you're supporting small business as well! Bonus! I like to visit Pink Fine Stationery, Pure Paper and Letter Perfect.Though it's not locally owned, you can find cute stationery at the ever-fabulous Target.

Of course, "the rules" of thank you notes can be intimidating if you want to get wrapped up in them. Ms. Post wasn't in the business of making anything easy. But the obvious ones are common sense; send within a week if possible (being a chronic procrastinator does not make this impossible), personalize the note, recognize the gift or gesture.

If you know the person well enough that they did something nice for you, a note hardly has to be formal. Just remember your manners, and say "thank you."