I spend a lot of time thinking about the quality of life. Always striving to create an environment where I, and others, can not just survive, but thrive. Since moving into the new Runway offices from my home office and travel schedule its been fun to take in the new environment and work through new challenges.
A lot of you, I'm sure, set New Years Resolutions. Get healthier. Be fitter. Spend more time with loved ones. Whatever they may be, the truth is a lot of us are also busy business women and men who tend to drop some of those by the wayside come January 31st because we feel like we are just to busy.
An amazing website, the Quality Of Life Observer, has much to say about how the quality of life, in all areas, correlates with how we work. I am such an avid believer of this. Sharing an office with awesome co-workers lets me to creatively work in an environment that allows me to still take care of myself. I have included a list of tips below of what a typical workday in an office environment can look like if you take the time to take care of you, without sacrificing taking care of your daily duties.
This post is part of International Quality of Life BlogIt Day, sponsored by Sodexo
The Quality of Life Observer lists the six pillars of a quality work environment. I myself, set my own goals within these categories. Whether I'm working from home, from the offices or from a hotel room or airport terminal, I try to employ these tips for healthy work/life balance.
1.) Social Interaction –
This one was a big one for me this year. I resolved to be more present to those that I love and those I work with. Here are some tips to improve on your social interaction within the workplace.
- Simply, communicate. I've worked in many office environments through my managerial roles, and there's been times where oddly no one speaks. You never know where new friendships lie, or when a new idea can spark just by talking to those who surround you every day.
- Bond Through Outside Activities. I always host the holiday party every year. It's puts me out there, it bonds me to my co-workers and employees outside of the office and it allows me to do something I LOVE, host. A win/win.
- Back to communication. If you are running late or if you have something big happen in life, share it. (no need to over-share, but keeping people in the loop shows you care) Your employer, employees and co-workers will appreciate your honesty.
2.) Ease & Efficiency –
These are lovely words. I thrive on organization and organization leads to ease and efficiency.
- For me this means lists. I keep a planner on my desk where I have my daily tasks written out and I check them off as I go. This keeps me organized. I make this list the day before before I wrap up to go home. So when I come in in the morning, I already have a set plan. My Monday's list is done on Fridays as well, so I don't stress on my weekends when I'm traveling or growing my blog and brand.
- Plan meetings ahead. My co-workers and I plan our meeting dates and times ahead of time. Usually a week out at a time, that way everyone is always prepared and no time is wasted.
- One Thing At A Time. This one is huge for me this year. I juggle a career in publishing, a blog and brand, a music writing career and a home life as a wife. If I focus on ONE job, ONE task at a time I can breeze through it with focus and creativity and not feel panicked or overwhelmed.
3.) Physical Environment –
This. Just this. You've all seen my glorious pink office right?
What you don't see is the chandelier above me and my pink custom chair that matches that frame.
- Make your space your own. While some offices don't allow for much customization, or maybe you don't have an office, make whatever space you do have your own. If that means pulling out all the girlie stops such as mine, then go for it! If it means just a small plant to connect you to nature, or a photo of your family, make sure that surrounds you, it's important.
- Organization. A clean work space is a happy work space. Everything in my office has its place, otherwise it would make me feel anxious to work amongst clutter. You don't need anything crazy, a pen holder, an in and out box and a file cabinet would be a great place to start.
- Get Outside! Staying in a stuffy office for 8+ hours isn't good for anyone. Make sure you get some sunshine and good old fashioned vitamin D in your day. Even its just to stretch your legs in between emails.
4.) Personal Growth –
I love supporting those around me and working in a field where I can always grow, learn and achieve my next goal.
- Be a cheerleader. My co-workers and I are great about supporting each others projects. We are all multi-career jugglers and its important to ask about how their other projects are going. It shows support and builds community.
- Use your knowledge to help others - Through my new position I've gained so much knowledge through seminars, conferences and meetings. These tools are things you can use to help others grow and better serve their purpose. Remember that sometimes we learn things that are less for our own benefit, but more for others.
- Create an environment where people can thrive - There's that word again. If you yourself are the employer, create an environment where your employees can grow. When people have something to strive for and work towards it breeds hard work and dedication.
5.) Recognition –
A pat on the back can go a long way.
- Recognition is huge to me. In every place I've worked, if I had employees I always wanted to let them know I appreciate them. When someone is working hard and being loyal I like to extend a "thank you" and a pat on the back, to let them know they are valued. Because I know how much it drives me when I'm on the receiving end.
- Small gestures. Aside from bonuses I also do incentive programs or small gifts to say thank you. By working on #1, social interaction, you will learn about your co-workers and next time you're in line at Starbucks or seeing the new action flick, you may feel so inclined to get Barb or Dave a gift card to show appreciation for a job well done.
- Goal Boards - At our office our goals are everywhere. Lists. White boards. Call sheets. We are a production office, so its a necessity. But its helpful when everyone is cheering everyone else on to accomplish the collective goal. It keeps the atmosphere lively and helps everyone to work with intention.
6.) Health & Well-Being – This is personally my number one. If I'm not healthy, I'm not the best at my job, or best at anything in my life. I could write a list of 20 tips on this topic since I hold it at such a high regard but I will keep it at three so we don't mess up our flow here.. but, if you'd like more ideas, feel free to contact me. And feel free to share your ideas too! I'd love to hear them.
- Breathing and Stretching. These are SO crucially important and so EASILY forgotten when we get busy. I start my day deep breathing, I end my day deep breathing and in the middle of my day I slow down to make sure I'm not holding my breath. I also do posture checks throughout the day and I keep a yoga mat by my desk. I don't care about the looks I get. It keeps me balanced and healthy.
- Walking Meetings. When I take meetings, or have conference calls on my cell phone and don't need to be at my desk I take a walk outside in the sunshine. Walking meetings not only help get your blood and creativity flowing, they reset and refresh your mind.
- Bring Your Lunch. I have always promoted for my co-workers and employees to bring their lunch to work. You save calories, preservatives and money by doing so. It's a good idea to invest in a mini fridge for your office if your work doesn't have a break room with a refrigerator. If you are going to eat out while at work, map places close by that have healthy options. I found a Sprouts Market a mile from my work that I didn't even know was there by doing so!
I would love to hear how you are implementing these six pillars of health and growth into your work environment. Use the hashtag #QoL on Instagram, Twitter and Facebook to share YOUR ideas.
Christmas morning is one of my very favorite times of the whole year. Mr. Charming and I spend a good amount of the holiday season running around, working a ton and hosting multiple parties. (his work, my work, his family, my family, friends) And while we ADORE time with our loved ones, friends and co-workers, on Christmas morning there's this magical quiet time where it's just him and I alone celebrating the birth of Jesus with our fur babies and it gives me joy and peace deep into my soul.
I'm just now getting around to recapping our Christmas. Truth be told I just got around to editing the photos Mr. Charming took with his camera and I hadn't yet decided if I wanted to speak on what really was going on during this season for us.
But I started this blog as my journal. A place where I felt safe to expose my fears about sickness, and mental health and food issues and what I found was a community of women who were battling the same battles and dealing with the same issues and I want this space to always remain authentic. During this season, Mr. Charming and I lost a baby a few days before Christmas. A baby that showed us we are able to conceive (hope!). A baby we have been wanting for almost two years.
I trust God 100% in this journey, and though it was hard, really hard to lose something we've been wanting for so long, I trust that our baby will come when God feels its right. A lot of people said that this was the worst time for it to happen (thanks for that by the way, haha) I was happy that I had Christmas and something much bigger than us to focus on. The birth of Christ. Celebrating Him as a baby took the focus off of losing ours and it healed me in a way I can't explain.
I wanted to share, as this is a deeply important part of my journey and I know it's everyones personal preference to share, and it wasn't until I was in the hospital, that so many women I know came forth with their own stories of loss. I was saddened and comforted by those stories all at the same time, to know that I wasn't alone and if anything comes of me putting this out there, its that I want anyone experiencing that pain to know, you aren't alone.
Now that the Christmas season is behind us and a New Year is stretched out before us, we continue to live our lives, just one day at a time. Because, as I've learned, it's much to hard to try to live it in the future.
This week we go back to the doctor for a new game plan and a specialist to take the journey with us. Your prayers and good thoughts are appreciated. I hope you all had a beautiful Christmas and a very Happy New Year! Here's to 2015!
This past weekend I was honored to be one of the official bloggers for a second year in a row at the Gluten Free and Allergen Free Expo in Phoenix. Being in a community of people who celebrate healthy living, gluten-free and dairy-free eating and who just enjoy the companies of others who do, I always get freshly inspired to make new recipes, to inspire others myself and to write and connect with you all even when my schedule is crazy.
I decided this year to do something a little different. Instead of a walk through play-by-play, that already played out on my social media, I wanted to highlight my Top 5 Favorite Vendors of the weekend. A few old, that I've been a fan of along my gluten-free journey, and a few new, who I was pleasantly surprised by. Below my review on each... (note that none of this post is endorsed, in any way, by any of these companies. This is purely my personal opinion.)
My Top 5 Favorite Vendors
And #1 Goes To....
Beanfield's offers delicious gluten-free, corn-free, bean and rice based chips in a variety of flavors. The sea salt flavor is my favorite and is delicious by itself or with your favorite salsa. I personally pair them with fresh avocado and Trader Joe's Peach Salsa.
Mompops was new to me! And although their products are not yet available on the West Coast (bummer!) they should be coming here soon and offer 100% fruit pops with just 2-3 ingredients per bar. They were serving up a mango flavor and a coffee variety at the show and the company reps were some of the most charming and friendly people at the entire show!
Wildtree offers gluten free bread (YUMMY, gluten free bread) that is also YEAST free. Enough said. Yummy. Yeast Free. Buy some now.
Neal's Yard was promoting various products including teas, but their beauty products stuck out to me. All created with essential oils their deodorant and face masks caught my eye and may be popping up on my beauty reviews soon.
Jovial Pasta. I've never eaten a pasta that tastes LESS gluten-free than this one. In a lot of brown-rice pastas you get that heavier texture and that after taste. Gluten-free foodies, you know what I mean. And rarely do I find a pasta with such fresh, pure taste. They offer a variety, from lasagna noodles to penne, spaghetti and egg noodles (my absolute FAVORITE), so you can mix it up. When I'm tolerating grains well, this is one of my top go to dinner party pasta.
Overall, an amazing show again this year! There were so many more people this year, and so many amazing food, beauty and home vendors. Make sure to check it out if and when it comes to a city near you.
Did I mention ours was within walking distance to an H&M? So I just had to...
Until next time my lovelies...
Weekends. Weekends are bliss. This is a fact I totally started to take for granted having worked from home for the past two years. I started my new position last week and it puts me in the magazine offices five days a week. Love my job, love running a magazine, writing, editing, managing is just in me. But the on-the-freeway-before-dark and leaving my fur babies has been a big adjustment.
I believe God puts changes into our life so that we need him. Me personally, I believe its so I cling to him. After what we went through over Christmas and the physical pain I am still dealing with with my pelvic issues, I know this new venture is a struggle, but when I look to Him every morning, noon and night (and all the moments in between), I can see my blessings and it makes it easier.
Which is why I now savor, not squander, my day of rest.
This past weekend was wonderful. You know those weekends that feel really long and totally satisfying. Like a long, warm hug, or a deep, comfy bed you just want to roll around in and never leave? It was one of those weekends. And I am so thankful that it was because it was much needed. Over Christmas we hosted multiple parties and I think almost every family we have was hosted in our home, and though I adore every single one of them, a weekend with my darling Mr. Charming was so badly needed.
We started the Whole 30 up again, and Mr. Charming does SO well eating well. Doing Paleo, I'm awesome at it. But take away my grain-free baked goods and honey and I'm a crazy woman. At least this time around there's no bad headache. Hallelujah. From time to time we visit our dream home developer and walk through the models. Even though we love where God has us, we like to dream and it helps us stay focused on our goals on rough days.
We are looking forward to this weekend, we will be grooming the doggies, as they are starting to lose their winter undercoat ALL OVER THE HOUSE. Well Princeton is, little Charlie doesn't shed at all. Love schnauzers!
I will be an official blogger on Saturday at the Gluten & Allergen Free Expo. I'm excited to visit my favorite booths and hopefully see some new companies. For Christmas, Mr. Charming got us tickets to see Whitney Cummings at the Improv. I miss her show and am excited to see some awesome comedy.
The rest of the weekend I hope to catch up on the blog, worship, read and savoring... every... moment.
I am in love with the "Time Hop" App. I had seen so many people using it on Instagram and Facebook that I decided to download it myself. I am SUCH a memory and picture person, that I love logging in everyday to see what yours truly was up to this day in the past.
And I realized, by checking today, January 10th, that today is kind of awesome in the past world of Mandi.
1 year ago today Mr. Charming and myself headed to Disneyland with our friend and her kiddos.
3 years ago today I was finding out that I was getting my job at Runway... and
4 years ago today I was picking out my wedding dress, and found the one I would marry Mr. Charming in...
Pretty magical 1/10. Pretty magical.
This post has really no point, other than I wanted to document the awesomeness. Count my blessings and be thankful and tell you all you all to try out that app. It's pretty neat.
And CONGRATS to the FIVE winners of the Free Gluten Free Allergen Free Expo Tickets! Kortney, Shauna, Tiffany and friends, you're going to have a blast!! I'll see you all there. And thanks to Kortney for the awesome Primal/Paleo Blueberry Muffin recipe. I can't wait to try them!
A Gluten Free/Dairy Free Strawberry Pie recipe that I cooked up tonight. Told you 1/10 was awesome sauce. What day isn't a good day if you've made PIE?
I also have FIVE FREE tickets to give away! Excitement much?
GUYS! One of my FAVORITE expo's from last year RETURNS again to the Valley of the Sun in less than two weeks! I am excited to announce I am again one of the official bloggers and will be blogging about the amazing vendors I find as well as reviewing the best of the best gluten-free and allergen-free products.
This years expo is Saturday January 17th from 10am-4pm.
My favorite part about attending last year was some of the amazing women and men I met. The girls from Red Apple Lipstick were dolls and I fell in love with their gluten-free glosses. The guys at Beanfields were awesome and provided me with a delicious crunchy snack while I walked around, taking it all in. The cookbook authors were fun to meet and I'm excited to see everything going on this year. I will also be doing live social media posts from the event, keeping you up to date with all the sights and tastes as I experience them live!
As well as early-bird promo codes for early purchase. So if you are interested in attending, contact me and let me know!
To win a FREE ticket, send me a recipe of your favorite gluten-free and dairy-free meal (photos not required, but pretty ones always help!) And if I choose to feature your recipe you will be the proud owner of one of the golden tickets!
Like I said I have FIVE to give away! Use my CONTACT page to send me your favorite original recipes and make sure I get your email address to notify you if you win!
Looking forward to seeing you all there!
Getting back into the flow of normalcy again, I have SO much bursting from within that I want to share with you all. Before life of kind of took over I had SO many recipes planned to share with you all. And I will. I still have them. I just need to get organized and get them on here. One thing at a time.
Mr. Charming and I had embarked on a Whole 30 back in November, prior to Thanksgiving. And I SWORE I wrote a post on the recap of it. And maybe I did. Maybe its scratched in a notebook somewhere, in a sea of papers taking over my office of everything that needs tending too now that's it 2015.
Or maybe it was all in my little head. My heartfelt recap explaining why we ended on Day 22. (Did I tell you all of this?) Wow. Seriously need to get back into my flow on here. Anyways, I spent a weekend celebrating the holidays with my record label CEO and label mates and they made me amazing gluten-free treats, that were not Whole 30 friendly, but Mr. Charming and I decided that the touching kindness and moments spent with them over good food was more important in that moment, and that was our personal decision. I applaud anyone that completes the thirty days. Heck, I applaud anyone that completes 2 days. 5 days. 10 days. This ish is hard.
So, its January. And that means newness. And in the newness that God has blessed us with we are giving it another go. I am scheduled to be in L.A. for writing, recording and movie studio goodness, but this time I'm prepared and I whole-heartedly want to knock out the 30 days. It did such good for us once I got through the wretched detox period that I am hopeful for it to bring back those vibrant parts of me.
I don't want to make this post a novel, so I will organize my thoughts and put up good posts, recipes and recaps of life and Christmas and such as I go along. I do have a couple things that are AWESOME to watch for though!
I will be guest posting on one of my FAVORITE blogs and as soon as the first post is up I will share.
I will also be blogging at my FAVORITE EXPO again, so watch for a post on that this week too. I even have FREE stuff for lucky people. WEE!
Welcome! My name is Mandi & I hope you stay in this happy little space a while. I'm a Christian, a wife to my Mr. Charming, mama to baby Greyson, healthy food-lover, traveler, professional journalist and Personal Nutritionist who hopes to inspire others with my story...
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