Friday, August 31, 2012

Guilt-free Friday!

Hi kittens and happy long weekend to you! I just finished all my work for the month and I am one happy camper. Seriously, is there anything better than meeting a deadline, finishing an assignment, and crossing things off your to-do list? I don't think so. Well, maybe ice cream. Yes ice cream is better. And massages. ahhhh

Are you doing anything fun for Labor Day? It has always been one of my favorite weekends. Even though I'm remarkably nostalgic and I hate everything that possibly signifies the end something good (the end of summer, the end of my 22nd year) I can't help but feel a little exuberant about the new things to come (fall! winter! spring! a new month, a new year, 23!) 

I hope your weekend is light and lively, filled with fun and celebration. A giant bear hug until next time...

Hey! It's ok...

if new glasses* make you feel infinitely smarter, more mysterious, deeply intellectual and interesting. But a new watch will never, ever get you somewhere on time. 

and while we're on the subject... what is it with these people who set clocks 5, 7, 10 minutes early? 

to be a total diva on your birthday. I mean why should you act any differently than you do every other day of your life?

to have a full, legitimate conversation with your dog. Why talk to yourself when you can share your ideas with a furry friend who will listen attentively and even tilt his head inquisitively throughout the conversation (as long as you slip in a few key words... treat, leash, out)
Julian sent me this picture one day and I adore it. 
When he's not being living the thug life, Yoshi is actually quite dignified. And a great listener. :)
**New glasses:
They might make me feel smarter, but I can't resist the urge to make funny faces and take awkward, unflattering self portraits every time I put them on...

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

hi & imissedyou

Spent last week with my grandparents in Kentucky. It was a nice break from it all, even though technically I still worked 3 days while we were there. 
I came down with a cold. In August. Problems with this: a. It's August b. I don't get sick. I'm going to blame the flight and its recycled, germ-infested air. 
Now it's deadline week. I still have quite a bit of writing to do. I've been getting some negative feedback lately from one client, which is kind of a bummer. I think the crux of the matter is they don't really know what they want, which makes it hard for me to give them what they want. Conflicting ideas, contradicting opinions, everyone wants a piece of the pie, but they can't decide which pie to slice. 

Yesterday, I got one particularly disheartening email. Disclaimer: I'm overly sensitive. And when it comes to my writing, I sometimes take feedback too personally. From anonymous blog comments "You don't like raisins but you like genetically modified ingredients?" (response: yes, as long as they're not genetically modified raisins) to the red-lettered scribbles my college professors occasionally littered my papers with... I get this self-righteous, pompous "I'm and artist" attitude. Yes, maybe I am "an artist" (though doubtful) but they're paying my bills. 

Anyways, I digress. I got that email and felt hot tears burning my eyes. Which is especially dumb, because I was at the gym. I had one other email at the time, and decided to read it to try to quickly distract myself from the impending doom that is my life. It was a blog comment, from my mom,* that simply said, "Lovely..." One word, simple but remarkably reassuring. I don't know what it is about that woman, but she always knows how to put me in my place. At 15 "putting me in my place" was something quite different, but that's another blog post entirely. 

So here's the thing, the lesson I learned in all this, just do your best. Your absolute best. If I continually put out the best product I can, work that I'm proud of, content I find compelling... then I won't be disappointed. There's a Dita Von Teese quote I've been seeing around lately, and it rings true. Not that I always take advice from burlesque dancers, but this time it works...
And additional encouragement, in the form of an early birthday present from my sweet cousin. Chocolate (of course) and a little notebook (for brilliant ideas) I love the Emily Dickinson quote on the front. 
[Dwell in possibility.]

*aka my most faithful follower. If that doesn't make me a complete loser I don't know what does. 

Wednesday, August 22, 2012


I ran through the cemetery today. It wasn't so much a conscious choice, but I was running and the shade of her trees provided a welcome reprieve from the sun. Her twisting path seemed like a nice alternative to the bustling street and the cars that kept pushing me off the shoulder. The gate was open and, for a cemetery, she seemed oddly inviting, comfortable, familiar.  

I ran through the cemetery today and your name stopped me dead in my tracks. It's not your name, and it's not your grave but it stung just the same. Harris, Johnson, Clark, Lewis, Parker, and then there it was. It grabbed me. The kind of sly, choking fear that sneaks up out of nowhere and sucker punches you, a grappling hook straight to the heart. It steals your breath and knocks the life out of your stride. It's not your grave, but I couldn't help but wonder what if. 

I ran through the cemetery today and it wasn't your name but it put your name in my head and in my heart. There may come a day when that's just the name of my daughter's playmate. Or it's just the name of the person who cuts my hair. Or just the name of the friendly person behind the counter. But for now, it's yours, and it stings like sand in my eyes.

I ran through the cemetery today.  
[iamge via]

Friday, August 17, 2012

Guilt-free Friday!

It's the weekend! After loads of fun last weekend (best friends visiting and family in town) this one will be spent playing catch up. You know what they say, you gotta pay to play. Besides I have exciting travel plans on the books for next week... but I think I'll hold out on the details. I hope your weekend is lovely. Until next time...

Hey! It's ok...

... to tell yourself that a Sunday afternoon detoxifying mud mask will counteract the weekend's shenanigans.

... and to rely on whitening toothpaste and Listerine to counteract all the coffee you drink.

... to pretend you didn't hear it. Snide remarks, cat calls, condescending commands, nosy questions... ignore, ignore, ignore...

... if "cleaning the house" means a quick spot sweep, dimming the lights, and lighting a few candles.
[When it comes to candles, I'm definitely a Trapp girl. Their fragrances are seriously intoxicating (orange vanilla is my favorite) and they make your house feel like a home. So cozy and inviting... love it.]

Monday, August 13, 2012

bar none

I'm a busy girl (when I'm not lounging around poolside sipping Mai Tais. Kidding. Kind of.) I also have a pretty quick metabolism. Not in a "look-at-me-I'm-so-skinny-and-I-can-eat-whatever-I-want" kind of way, but more of a "If-I-don't-eat-something-every-2-hours-things-are-gonna-get-ugly" kind of thing.  But between blogging & working at the restaurant, mealtimes aren't necessarily as defined as they used to be. 

When I'm on the go, I try to compensate with bars, but there's one tiny problem. I hate raisins. Not just whole, chewy raisins, but even if they're pureed and mixed into the bar, I can taste them. And no me gusta (I'm lookin at you, Clif Bar.) Also, I'm not into bars that taste like the cardboard box they came in (cough*kashi*cough) What can I say, I'm hard to please. So here's a roundup of some bars that I love and you will too, even if you're as picky as me.  
Kind: Almond & Coconut and Cranberry Almond. Natural, simple, straightforward. 
Special K Chocolate Peanut Butter Protein Meal Bars. Packed with protein (just opt for the meal bars, not the snack ones.)
Luna White Chocolate Macadamia (I thought I was eating a cookie. Which is always the goal.)
Larabar Bananas Foster (I'm picky about bananas, but this came in my Birchbox and I gave it a try... and promptly went out and bought 5 more.)
What can I say? Snickers Satisfies. 
juuuust kiddingggg... kind of. 

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

On my mind...

rain, coffee, thunder, words
it's always days like this that make me think the most
introspective, reflective, thoughtful, and as deep as the puddles
there's something silly about sunshine, 
fickle and fleeting
dancing behind the clouds and calling it quits as soon as evening rolls around
rain though, he's dependable.
a steady stream that seems to say
"I'm in it for the long haul."
of course there are stray showers,
summer storms that materialize and vanish just as quickly
but my kind of rain lasts all day 
& isn't scared off by the dark of night
and streeeetch. deeps breaths. mindful. present.
the more i do, the more i want to do
accomplishment breeds accomplishment
from cleaning my closet to vacuuming my car
running a few miles or reading a few chapters
i can't help but feel energized by the accomplishment
no matter how big or how small
"dream big, but start small..."
but where to begin?
compass, atlas, new directions...
forging a path, blazing a trail
progress change growth
but don't be afraid to sit and stay for a while.  
so much to look forward to, so much excitement, 
so much work
so much love.
soak it all in.
but first... shower
your turn. xo

[images via Modern Hepburn]

Thursday, August 2, 2012

bad habits & pet peeves

I'm a peach when it comes to my skincare regimen... washing my face every night and cleaning my makeup brushes regularly... but if we're being honest I hold on to mascara way too long. I just like it better after it's a few (meaning 6) months old. My mom is totally cringing as she reads this.

I can be a little bossy without realizing it. A friend once called it "oldest child syndrome," explaining that everything her oldest sister says sounds like a command! I asked my younger sister if she found it to be true, and (of course) she agreed but consoled me with "I know it's just how you are..." 

When I like a song? I listen to it repeatedly. Like, start-it-over-before-it-ends, repeatedly

Another bad habit? I generally don't like people off the bat. Which is dumb, and as soon as I get to know someone I think "Why didn't I like you to begin with?" 

I hoard coffee mugs. Dirty ones pile up all over the house. I don't like to wash them too soon, for fear I might need another cup later in the day. Every. Single. Day. It drives my dad crazy. I'm like the girl from Signs who leaves water glasses all over the house. I will point out that she saved their lives when the alien invasion happened, so maybe my behavior is justified. (That's how the movie went, right? I've never been crazy for science fiction.)

I have a voracious sweet tooth. It got so out of hand, in fact, that I was starting every single day with a cookie (with my morning coffee) and craving dessert after every meal. I've tried to cut back, but there are still days (like today) when I can't resist something sweet and chocolatey.
It's silly though... even with all my bad habits, I still have pet peeves, or things that other people do that drive me crazy. Nail biters (literally) make me nauseous, there's something about the germs that get trapped under your nails that really makes me feel sick when I see someone chomping away. I cannot stand a sense of entitlement (as is so typical of my generation.) And I hate being told  commanded what to do. Bad manners, copy cats, and rude drivers are up there too. (But if we're being fair, I guess that means we should add road rage to the list of bad habits too...)

So spill... what are your bad habits? And pet peeves?

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

sitting and staring

Since I started blogging, er, getting paid to blog, I've been spending a lot more time in front of a computer. Sometimes I get so caught up in my work that 6 hours have disappeared before I realize it. Other days, sitting and staring really gets the best of me. I'm no expert, but over the past few months I've come up with a few tactics to beat that stir crazy feeling.

1. Visual Breaks. This one... I'm working on. I try to remind myself to do it, because staring at a computer screen all day can damage your eyes. But sometimes it's hard to break away. There are apps you can download that force you to take a visual break periodically, but let's be real, this girl doesn't like being told what to do. So in the mean time I'm trying to be more mindful of my retinas, I'm wearing my glasses more regularly, and I scheduled a long overdue eye exam. 

2. Stretch. When my back starts cramping up and my butt goes numb, I stand up and stretch for a minute. At home, I can do all sorts of crazy things, like sun salutations and tree pose and the YMCA. When I'm working in the office though, I try to be a little more discreet. I've learned a little something about office life... You can play "Party in the USA" on repeat or you can do intense yoga. Not both. If your taste in music is as questionable as mine, here are 6 Stretches You Can Do At Your Desk by Yoga Journal. 

3. Mental Break. When I catch myself getting distracted or my mind starts wandering off too easily, I walk away from my desk for a minute. I'm not gonna lie, I usually go make a cup of coffee, so I cannot testify if it's the caffeine that aids concentration or if simply putting down the task at hand and coming back to it helps me regain my focus. It's no wonder all of my notebooks have coffee rings on them, as seen above, but I take it as a sign of hard work. 

4. Rewards. Note: I'm 5 years old. This is something I've done since my school days (Finish reading a chapter? Apply one coat of nail polish. Homework and manicure in one, multitasking at its finest.) I break up a long list of arduous tasks with little treats as I accomplish things. Sure, checking something off your to-do list is rewarding. But not quite as rewarding as eating a handful of peanut m&ms. Sometimes you just need a little motivation. (Cue Kelly Rowland) 

So tell me, how do you make it through a long work day?


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