A Brief Hiatus

Hey World,

If you've followed along on my blogging adventures, you'll know that every few years, I completely re-invent myself. 

It first started back in 2009 with They Call Me the Golden Child for much of college, then I shifted to Tanzania 365 in 2012 when I learned I would be moving to Tanzania to teach for a year. In late 2013, I re-branded as A Path Unpaved, where I've mediocrely documented my life in NYC & back in Tanzania.



I think you can guess where I'm going with this...

It's time for something new. My hallmark birthday is coming up (27!), I'm married, and I'm becoming more and more certain that the greatest adventures of my life haven't even begun. At the same time, I'd like to move into a more structured lifestyle blog to capture all of the things: being married, traveling, being a woman at work, chasing happiness, trying new recipes, what I love reading...you know, everything. 

I'm really excited to put together (what I hope is my final iteration) and launch in the next couple of weeks -- stay tuned! 

xoxo,
M


Monthly Mantra: Obsessively Grateful

Hey World,

It's time for the seventh edition of monthly mantra

In case this is your first time stopping by, at the beginning of the month I share one quote I've come across to give a positive frame of reference for the coming weeks. They will be shared without explanation, as inspiration comes to each of us differently!

If you have any suggestions for a single sentence mantra, leave it in the comments, and you may see it in an upcoming month! You can check out all of my previous monthly mantras here.  



xoxo,
M

Image Source: Instagram

My 2017 Management Reading List


One of the (many!) great perks of my job is a small annual stipend to devote to self-driven professional development. I thought about looking for some online courses, but I then I noticed some of the books on my reading list that could probably fit the bill - so I organized a large order of books delivered to my mom's house over winter break to bring back and read throughout the year!


I think there are a couple missing from the shelf here, but most of the books that I selected are on here! In particular, I'm excited about Adam Grant's 2 reads Originals & Give and Take, as well as Multipliers.

Most of these I saw for the first time at airports (why do people LOVE buying management books in airports?!), but corroborated reviews with Amazon before clicking "purchase". 


Since January 1st, I've read these four. I actually loved every single one of the above! 

The Checklist Manifesto was a recommendation from a direct report & my boss, and it's a super interesting read about how checklists can save lives & work smarter, not harder. 

Payoff & Beyond Measure are both mini-books published by TED, by guest speakers who have had extremely successful TED talks. They are only ~100 pages each, and are so easy to read. I really, really think these should be the Little Golden Books for adults in management! 

Finally David & Goliath (was a bit of a stretch for management work) but it Malcolm Gladwell does a great job at pushing your limits of understanding and challenges your perspective of the world as you know it. David & Goliath starts with a second look at the biblical tale, and then goes on to share many 'underdog' stories, always highlighting the advantages of alternative perspectives. I devoured this in a weekend - highly recommend! 

I try to make sure I either wait two weeks between books, or read 2-3 personal books before diving into another. I've been in hyperspeed in terms of reading so far this year (I imagine it's going to slow down soon), but I'm going to try and hold to this principle. 

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If you've read anything that you especially loved that you haven't seen above, let me know! I'd love to add books to the list for next year's stipend. 

xoxo,
M

March Goals (2017)

Hey World,

The calendar is dragging us to the end of the first quarter, and I am excited at the pace 2017 carries with it. I can only imagine the whole year is going to be as packed as these past two months have felt! I've been able to prioritize a lot of reading and a lot of resting (which I am immensely grateful for!), defied all desires for online ordering of clothes (the sales though!), and mapped out a savings/spending plan for Brady & I for this year. In short: I'm ready to keep plugging along!

Here's how my February Goals went:

1. Get passport with my married name (!!!!!) 
The passport has been applied for and now I'm trying to figure out in-country DHL to do the ol' switcheroo with the embassy since it's made it one way...but not the other. 
2. Begin/Resume wedding posts on A Path Unpaved  We kicked off with two posts on our wedding readings and our wedding vows
3. Go to Sauti za Busara for my MA thesis (research, part two!) Thank you BG for coming and keeping me focused for a couple of days to get what I needed! We took over 300 images and got some critical information for eventually wrapping this thesis up.
4. Keep going to Yoga at least 1x a week ...yikes. Not so great here. 
5. Execute 2 kinds of "givingness" this month, that are not money-driven I wrote about the Valentines Day cards I made, but also signed up to be an online resume volunteer through a nonprofit. I'm still waiting for an assignment from them; hopefully in March! 
6. Finish reaching out to my far-away friends for much needed catch-ups  I feel like the list here always gets longer instead of shorter here, but I still have five days to finish it up :)
7. Discuss our 2017 donation plan with BG again We had an honest conversation, and basically determined this is not the year to commit a larger amount however we'll discuss items throughout the year and the amount which we think we can give!

And now time to dive into March! 


1. Host my friend Rose in Iringa! (Funny story: Rose & I have actually never met, but all signs indicate we're going to be BFFs) 
2. Plan a small adventure during my work trip to Rwanda 
3. Begin teaching myself calligraphy with the tools I brought back over Christmas
4. Update my contacts book with another 20 contacts! 
5. Prepare three wedding posts for the month of March 

xoxo, 
M

#BecomingTeam Grimes: Our Wedding Vows


A couple of weeks ago I shared our wedding readings, and today I wanted to talk a bit more about our wedding vows.

Brady & I talked on the day we got engaged (hiking back down the mountain!) about writing our own vows. We loved the notion of spending nearly a year pondering and finessing the words we would say to one another that would try to capture our marriage promises. In fact, I started writing my vows in a draft document in February! Brady is a bit more laid-back, and wrote his on our route back to the US before the ceremony. 

Despite having no one look at them for comparison on content or length, and being extremely secretive during the writing, Brady and I were pretty darn similar in our messaging, which made my heart swell during our ceremony.


I also ordered these simple vow books, personalized with our names on them, for our ring bearer to carry for us from Etsy, and I would recommend them to anyone looking for something well-crafted and simple! Paperpunched has a bunch of different options, each for $20-30 a set. Now, I have them tucked in a 'wedding basket' alongside a few other items we'll cherish forever from our big day! 






(Sidenote: Did you notice the similarities!?)

While our ceremony was private, B & I have also talked extensively about why sharing our vows more widely is important -- they are not only to one another to hold ourselves accountable, but for our entire support network of family and friends to also assist us in accountability, which is why I'm really excited for this opportunity to highlight our promises to one another. In March, I'll be sharing what we've invested in to make these vows an integral part of our every day. 

 In the meantime, what vows did you choose to do, or are thinking about - traditional or custom? 


xoxo, 
M




All photos featured here were taken by Jen Hudson Photography








Following Positive Vibes

Hey World,

Last week was quiet here on the blog save for my Galentines Day post -- but I'm prepped and ready to make up for it this week!

Today (as part of a two part series), I want to share some of my favorite Instagram followers that share good vibes, encouragement, and motivating quotes with me almost every day. Though I do love a good picture of cute puppies, succulents (!), and lots and lots of drool-worthy travel destinations, I also appreciate more positive reminders.




Conscious Magazine is one of my favorite follows. I love their quotes and their recommendations for books to read. If I was in the US, I would definitely want to order their magazine! 





Levo is all about women who work, and finding a career path they are most passionate about. 





This is a second magazine that I wished I could read in person! So much positivity. 




Boss Babe is sassy, and drops the occasional swear word. However more often than not, I think a crazy dose of inspiration is good for the soul :)





I've saved the best for last. Rank & File is the final magazine feature, which if their instagram is any indication, is one that I would run to the grocery store myself in order to purchase! Also, they describe themselves as "purpose-driven entrepreneurs who believe people are worth serving & business can create change". Yes please!






Have you found any great Instagram accounts that you'd recommend? 

xoxo,
M




Treat Yourself!


As I'm sure your grocery stores have been reminding you since January, tomorrow is Valentines Day! I'll be celebrating at work with my team and a slice of cake, and hopefully convincing Brady to cook dinner for us with St. Paul & the Broken Bones or Leon Bridges playing. It will be low key, particularly because I'm allergic to flowers and chocolate (see babe, I'm a catch!). 

I've always loved organizing a Galentines Day because it carried less expectations, and opened the opportunity to love up on some of my closest friends. In high school, this looked like chocolate-dipping our own strawberries and having pasta with vodka sauce. In college, it was dressing up and going to a nice meal. In recent years, it's looked like a girls camping trip, a day at the shooting range, and sending a lot of funny cards about being single and reciting of the phrase "Treat Yourself!" from the show Parks & Recreation. 

In light of that, and a lack of Galentines celebrations planned for this year, I wanted to put together a little montage to remind me of some feminine things perfect for February!


Find some time in your schedule this week to go for a walk or a bike ride, curl up and read a great book, buy your favorite sweet snack at the grocery store, or sit down and write that letter you've been meaning to send to a friend you've lost touch with. In short, treat yourself!

xoxo
M