Five Things Friday Vol. 46

Five Things Friday: just five things I’m thinking about or things that made my week, or things that I otherwise feel like sharing.

On Monday, I had a to-do list that was a mile long and I knew that it was going to be a busy week. But nothing is more satisfying than crossing stuff off said list, amirite? I’ve recently started using more and more online tools for work in order to optimize task scheduling + note-keeping (for personal stuff, I still prefer organizing in my paper planner + iPhone calendar app). There are a lot of tools and a lot of ways to do this. I am currently trying out the Outlook Task List. It’s a side pane next to my email inbox that I can keep open throughout the day and 1) I can put new tasks there in form of a to-do list and keep track of things that need my attention, but don’t necessarily have a due date (although I can set a reminder for tasks that do!) and 2) I can digitally “cross off” the tasks that I mark as completed. Very satisfying!

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I feel so silly. I was “this week old” when I found out that I can use my AirPods with our SmartTV. I mean I probably “should have known” that our TV (which is only 6 years old) might have Bluetooth capability, but I never checked for it and I never tried to connect my headphones. But you can bet I have complained a gazillion times when Jon didn’t want to watch TV and I ended up watching the news or (the occasional) show on my laptop. 

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Next week, I am starting the new Fall 80’s Power Zone Challenge with my team PZP-166 #lookwhosstreaking, and not only am I looking forward to another power zone training cycle (my 5th!) but I am also excited because Tanja will be back from her camping road trip and will finally join me back on the Peloton bike again. Woot.

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I am also officially starting half marathon training. Yup. I am putting it out there. It’s been too long since I had a race to work towards and my (running) training is always better when I follow a training plan. Don’t get me wrong, I have been running. But if I don’t have a specific training goal, I tend to “wobble” a bit (figuratively speaking). 

As Elisabeth very eloquently pointed out in one of her last posts, “sometimes you just have to run” for the sake of running, and I 100% agree. And I did this over the summer, but it’s now time to get a little bit more serious about my training again. I haven’t picked a race yet, but I know that I need to get something on the calendar. So, I’ve started a training plan and will adjust when I know the actual race date. 

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This weekend, I am planning to finally hit up the Farmers Market again. I haven’t been there in a while but talking with my Mom this week reminded me that it’s plum season again and I need to bake German Plum Streusel Cake at least once this season. Unfortunately, you need to find the right plums. They’re called Italian (or Empress) plums, and I have never been able to find them at a regular grocery store, but luckily the Farmers Market had them last year. Wish me luck!

Have a nice weekend, friends!

  1. Ooooh my husband loves plum cake; I wonder if I can find those plums here.

    Good luck with your training! Sometimes I think I should train for something, but then again, sometimes I just like to run!

  2. The plum torte that I LOVE calls for those plums, and I have only ever seen them once. (I use regular plums the rest of the time and it is still delicious.)

    Our TV has bluetooth but I don’t think I ever would have thought I could listen to it via headphones! That is… such a good idea! Maybe I can convince my husband to try it on those nights when he wants to watch the (depressing) news and I want to read on the couch!

  3. I just bought some new earbuds and it seems like they won’t pair with my laptop and I’m having a bit of a crisis about whether or not I should return these otherwise pretty good earbuds for this one reason. I guess I could use corded earphones with my laptop. *shrug* I feel you on learning how to use technology every day!

  4. One of my work hacks is that when I’m having trouble focusing is to make a task list. It’s one of the few things that I do on paper because it’s just so satisfying to cross things out as I get them done.

    Yes once you’ve learned the magic of pairing airpods with a TV you’ll never look back! OK, OK, technically I pair them with the laptop that I plug in to the TV but it’s the same concept.

    Congrats on your training! I’ve gone in the opposite direction where I’ve been non-stop racing for a while and I’ve realized that I need to switch to “just running”. It is fun to have a goal.

  5. Crossing my fingers that you can find those plums.
    I am continuously switching between online tools and analoge ones for my to-do lists. I seems like when my list is really full I always need pen and paper. I don’t have a real workflow yet.

    All the best with your training plans.

  6. I NEVER buy plums (I just tend to prefer other fruit more), but people seem to be mentioning plum recipes constantly. Our recent houseguests brought some along and I remain underwhelmed by plums but maybe baked into a cake they’d blow my mind?!
    Congrats on the training. It can be both fun and inspiring to have something more concrete scheduled in than “just running.” I’m doing my first race in October – “just” a 5K and I’m genuinely excited for the kids to head back to school so it’s easier for me to get back into the routine of frequent running. I also LOVE running in the fall in Canada – crisp mornings which are just so pleasant for exercise.

  7. I use Google Tasks for personal tasks (I keep Google Calendar open on my computer all day, and it’s a little sidebar there, or from my Gmail. And I can access on my phone! So I find it very handy!) I have been using the Outlook task list too though for work tasks recently. I like having a DIGITAL place that I can dump things I need to do- no matter how small. Sometimes something comes up and I find myself reaching to make a note- but let’s be real, a little slip of paper is going to get lost or buried in my desk!! So the digital option is much smarter!

    I also never thought of pairing headphones to the TV!!! That IS genius! I had a similar “eureka” moment when I realized I could pair my Airpods to my work desktop computer… I got a new computer and my old headset, which I would plug in and use for meetings, no longer works with the new computer. So for several weeks I was just using the computer microphone for audio, which is awkward and always makes me feel like I’m shouting to make sure people can hear me! I don’t know, I prefer having up close audio in my ears, I guess. Then I realized I can just use my airpods, until I hopefully eventually figure out a new compatible headset! :)

    Finally, congrats on committing to a half marathon!! I know exactly what you mean about wavering between “just” doing something for the sake of doing it, but also enjoying turning the dial up sometimes….

  8. It never occurred to me to see if my airpods would pair with our tv. It is pretty old, though. Older than yours – probably around 10 years old? So I am thinking they likely won’t pair but I should look into it on the very rare occasion that I am watching tv w/out Phil and he’s in the room/other room and doesn’t want to hear what I’m watching!

    That is exciting that you are going to train for another marathon. I love having a training plan laid out for me!

  9. I don’t think I would have ever figured out the Airpods can be used for a smart TV – but of course they do! That could really come in handy for some households for sure.

    I’m excited that you’re going to start training for a half-marathon. I can’t wait to see your progress!

  10. I have a mile-long to do list in Evernote that is completely out of control. I had a “comprehensive” version (still do) and a “focused version” (ditto) but the “focused” one is starting to look more like the comprehensive one. The thing is, I don’t have it set up as a checklist in Evernote, and I tend to just print the darn thing out most weeks when I update it so that I can cross things off. So it’s hard. I wish I had a digital tool that was truly a to do list – Evernote is GREAT for notes from my meetings (I’ve used it for almost 10 years for that and love it). But I’d really like to find an app where I can put my tasks/to-dos and then… check them off/cross them out. I keep thinking I’ll like ToDoIst but… haven’t managed to commit. Sigh. I’ll be eager to hear if you maintain your use of the Outlook Tasks… (Sorry for the long comment…)

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