Monday, January 16, 2012

Youth Speaks

For the past three years I have had the amazing opportunity to celebrate Martin Luther King Jr's birthday with a group of young writers, at an event called Bringing the Noise. This event is put on by an organization called Youth Speaks. It showcases young people from all over the Bay Area who have written inspirational poems, stories and songs that embody the demand for justice that Dr. King so passionately fought for. It is one of my favorite events and I look forward to it with each new year. 

Friday, January 13, 2012

Rainforest Action Network

Rainforest Action Network (RAN) is at it again! Last night activists turned all 85 Bank of America ATM's in San Francisco into Automated Truth Machines. RAN placed non-adhesive stickers designed to look like BofA's interface on every screen the city. Instead of the checking or savings account menu, the stickers listed everything customer's money is being used for, including investment in coal-fired power plants, foreclosure on Americans’ homes, bankrolling of climate change, and paying for fat executive bonuses. The stickers also asked customers to stop doing business with Bank of America until they start acting responsibly.

I have a special place in my heart for RAN and the work that they do. I was an intern for them in 1998 and actively participated in their Don't Buy Old Growth campaign. Their mission is to campaign for the forests, their inhabitants and the natural systems that sustain life by transforming the global marketplace through education, grassroots organizing and non-violent direct action.

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Retirement 101

I recently read an article in Financial Planning Magazine about women and retirement. The article claims that nearly 53% of women do not have a retirement plan. Guess what? I am one of those 53%.

I only just started saving for retirement within the last three years. I just started investing in May. Of course, as soon as I put my money in the market, everything started to go belly up and now I have less than I started with. According to the article, 29% of the women who are planning for retirement prefer to do their own research. I too thought that I could figure it all out, but based on my record so far, I've decided to see a Financial Planner. One that specializes in Socially Responsible Investing.

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Writing a Blog

Ok, so here we are almost 12 days into 2012 and it is fairly obvious that I didn't live up to at least one of my goals! I've never been very good at keeping a journal. Why do I expect myself to be any better at maintaining a blog? I think about posting something on it everyday. It is something I really want to do, though I can't seem to find the time to make it a priority. I have so many different ideas for posts and ideas are swimming around my head all day long for weekly segments. I even signed up for a blogging class, but have yet to open up my binder. How do I make something that I really want to do a priority when there are so many things I have to do?

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Ship Shape

I am going to Costa Rica in a few days for a wedding, which means the pressure is on to be bikini ready AGAIN! I spent all last spring exercising and eating well so that I would look "amazing" on my wedding day and for my honeymoon. I actually managed to loose 15 pounds! Then I don't know what happened, I started getting lazy and before I knew it I was right back where I started. I seriously can't believe how fast it all came back.  

So, in addition to my end of the year goals, one of which is to exercise at least 4 times per week, I've decided to make "stay in shape" one of my 2012 goals. BUT, the thing about goals is that (for me) they have to be a little bit more specific. "Get in shape for your wedding day" was perfect. I had a reason to get up and exercise everyday.

So now I've come up with another reason. I am going to do a Sprint Triathlon, which is much shorter and easier than an Olympic triathlon. There are quite a few of them in Northern CA, many of which make you swim in the ocean or the Bay. I'm a little nervous about the cold water and competing against other people. But hey, I won't know what its like until I try right?

Thursday, October 20, 2011

End of the Year Goals


Now that I have decided to get back into blogging, I have teamed up with Danni at oh, hello friend and a few other bloggers to create a list of personal goals that we want to complete by January 1, 2012.  

I think that between this list and my blogging class, I should have enough content to gain some real headway into this blogging world.

So here we go...

1. Update blog at least once a week
2. Take at least 50 pictures that I think are blog worthy and post them to my flickr accout
3. Finish my blogging class
4. Exercise at least 4 times a week
5. Order and install new blinds for my office
6. Get a B in my extremely hard accounting class
7. Change my name to Sandra J. Valente
8. Finish the thank you notes for the wedding gifts that we received
9. Order our wedding pictures and start working on our album
10. Pay off my credit card
11. Buy a fashionable winter coat
12. Finish at least two of the books that I am currently reading

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Hey, I'm Back!

Wow its been over a year since I've posted to this blog and boy, so many blog worthy (for me) things have happened in my life. I got engaged, took a couple of great classes, planned a whole wedding, got married, and went on an amazing honeymoon! There was just so much going on that I couldn't bring myself sit down and capture it all in the blog - I've never been good at keeping a journal. So, I just kept on going, all the while thinking about what I wanted to do with this blog and the things that I wanted to share at a later date.


In an effort to try to organize my thoughts and create a blog that is not only useful to me, but also relevant to others, I've started a class called Blogging Your Way taught by Holly Becker of Decor8. 

I really want to take my blog in a specific direction and I hope this this class will give me the confidence and the skills I need to do that.