Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Time management.

If you're a reader than inevitably you hear people say regularly, 'Oh, I wish I could read but I just never have the time'.  The truth is that there are 24 hours in all of our days, how we use them is up to us.  If you find yourself saying that you wish you had the time for an activity, hobby, sport, or educational experience - well, then perhaps you should reevaluate how you could.  

An equally popular comment is that 'people have time for what the value'.  Isn't this true?  You may think you're too busy to read or workout but somehow you manage to eat 5 times a day.  Hmm.  You don't have time to cook or clean but amazingly you spend an hour and a half per day doing your hair and makeup.  None of these things are bad.  I just feel it's important to call a spade a spade.  What I don't do, is a result of a lack of priority in my life.

Many of us have commitment issues.  We'd love to take a class, join a group, maybe volunteer?  But EVERY week seems so daunting and permanent; we shrink back in fear.  Giving in the to the 'what if' game we convince ourselves that we can't possibly commit to one more thing!  Is this starting to hit home for you?  This is the land I've lived in friends...do not feel alone.

I recently stepped down from a commitment that interfered with my new work schedule.  With traveling for work now, Friday nights weren't feasible for me.  Work does trump other commitments to an extend in that at this point in my life I both need to work and love to work.  I'm fortunate to be in a place that I'm excited to be a part of.  However, that doesn't take away from the fact that I was disappointed at having to let go of another commitment.

Almost within the same stride I took on a new undertaking.  For those of you who kept up with my entries last week, you know that I started the Dave Ramsey course at my church.  Dave Ramsey's Financial Peace University includes a several month long commitment, in my case on Thursday nights.  This gave me Monday, Wednesday, and Thursday evening commitments on top of work 5 days a week, traveling a weekend or 2 per month, and church Sundays.  That felt a little overwhelming in my head as I tried to work through whether or not to take the course.

Being financially responsible and more importantly free needed to be a priority in my life.  At 24 years old I'm in a place that many people twice my age would do nearly anything to be in - debt free.  Not being naive enough to believe that I can remain so without a plan, I knew that I needed to make time in my crazy life and schedule to learn.  Learn about saving, budgeting, investing, etc.  So, I signed on and commitment both to myself and my classmates to be there every week I possibly can.

When you make a commitment it's important to stick with it!  Too often we realize something is 'a good idea' but we can't quite be committed to following through.  Am I right?  To gain from the experience we have to really BE there.  In mind, body, and spirit.  Otherwise, we might as well stay home and watch TV.

There's not any one perfect schedule you can map out for your life that will keep you perfectly balanced.  However, it is important to evaluate your commitments from time-to-time to see if your getting the results you want in life.  This includes me.  Some of my commitments to date are book club, small group, financial peace university, work, church, book reviewing, and an accountability partner.  Now, one area I'm still struggling with is working out.  I value the health (and mental stability) benefits of getting my walk/jog in at least in theory...BUT I tend to make time excuses where this is concerned.  I already get up at 6am...5am just seems daunting.  I don't get home til 9pm some nights and by then I'm tired (and a little scared to wander off alone).  So, knowing like I do that we all have the same amount of hours in a day...how am I going to squeeze it in or what needs to give?  That is the question.

You make time for what you want to do.  So perhaps the questions you need to ask yourself are: does what I want right now lead to the future I want later?  What do I say I want to do but don't make time for?  What needs to give in my schedule?  What do I need to move up on the priority list? And if you anything like me...where do I start?

Baby steps. : ]


GP #5

Week five of talking about guilty pleasures.  Featured this week?  A new addition to my GP list as of the last few weeks...Starbucks 100 calorie fraps.  You know the fraps that come in those glass bottles you get at the grocery store?  They come in 100 calorie versions now that are just as good (shockingly).  I had one of these every day of my new commute the last two weeks at 730am and it was a little slice of heaven.  The new mocha lites were on sale at Publix and Super Target last week so I got myself a stash.

I highly recommend.


Sunday, September 27, 2009

(my) Best Buys of September 09.

I always hate to say goodbye to September it's one of my favorite months.  But with November and December just around the corner (Tgiving and Xmas!) I supposed it's ok to move on.  I found same great steals this month and I wanted to share them as a sort of goodbye to this month.  So here is the best of my September purchases...

This sweater from New York & Co.  I bought it when Sarah was in town for my bday and it's featured in the Deals & Steals section of the October In Style. : ] I was ahead of the game on this one.  I love this mustard color for fall.

Sorry for the homemade pics. : ] But I couldn't find these online.  This dress also from NY&Co got my oodles of compliments both at work and out on the town last week. : ]  One of my new coworkers even wanted it so bad I gave her my other coupon so she could get herself one.  Sarah decided after seeing it on when we hit Soho that she wanted it as well.  I promise it's better on than it looks flung on my bed. 

THIS little darling was my most excited find of September 09 - an Italian leather Abro bag!  These are hard to find and especially for a good deal.  But I snagged this on Clearance and I'm in love.  The pictures makes it look brighter than it appears in person (great new camera - can't help it) but it's really a Magenta-ish leather.  I've been wanting one this color since I found out this color was going to be big this fall and finally found one I could justify spending the $ for. Yay.

These I found at the DSW clearance this weekend. They were on the sidewalk sale rack and I love them. Thank you Nine West & DSW. I have a few great outfit ideas for these babies.
My new Sony Cybershot 12.1 pixels takes beautiful pictures. I sprung for the Carl Zeiss lense as well.  Love love love this. I also have a hilarious camera story for you all soon. Look forward to that soon.

My iTunes buys of this month that are now staples on my fall playlist? These include: Birthday by Flo Rida (the edited version, of course), Never Say Never by the Fray, I Gotta Feeling by Black Eyed Peas, and Paparazzi by Lady Gaga.



Quote of the week.

"To love at all is to be vulnerable. Love anything, and your heart will
certainly be wrung and possibly broken. If you want to make sure of
keeping it intact, you must give your heart to no one, not even to an
animal. Wrap it carefully round with hobbies and little luxuries; avoid
all entanglements; lock it up safe in the casket or coffin of your
selfishness. But in the casket- safe, dark, motionless, airless--it
will change. It will not be broken; it will become unbreakable,
impenetrable, irredeembable."

CS Lewis

This quote was borrowed by 'What God has Joined Together's' Blog.

Seaside Letters Book Review.

We join Tucker and Sabrina one year into an intense relationship via e-mail.  Each knows who the other is in real life but both believe they're still anonymous.  Tucker is the definition of a 'dream boy' and is confident that Sabrina is the love of his life. Sabrina's past haunts her and a long history of hurt keeps her from being able to open up but how long before her love for Tucker and his persistence will penetrate her hard exterior?

Denise Hunter weaves an intricate web of emotion's in Seaside Letters.  The story of Sabrina and Tucker will tug at your heart strings regardless of your experiences with love.  This story hits home for anyone who has felt unworthy, unlovable, or astonished by how far grace can extend.  I finished the book in three days. I couldn't wait to read how Hunter would bring the characters together in the end.  A great read, with a few unexpected twists.  I've already recommended it to every young lady at my office.  Hunter did Christian romance proud.  I give this love story 4 stars.

I reviewed this book for Thomas Nelson Publishers.  If you're interested in receiving free books to review on your blog, visit http://brb.thomasnelson.com/join

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Enter Dave.

The adventure begins - the adventure being financial peace and freedom from money related stress.  In honor of being transparent here I was able to become debt free about 3 months ago now and I feel great about owning my education and my car...but what now?  I'm newly 24, I want to buy a condo, I have a great new job; how do I keep from screwing up in my finances? 

I started the Dave Ramsey course 'Financial Peace University' tonight with 2 of my gal pals.  You know me, I like to have backup.  Sticking to a budget can be war (between me and my desires) and I wasn't about to go to battle alone.  It is important to have friends who will push you to grow and also allow you to drag them along when you know it's time you grew up.

You may have heard the sayings that money is something that shouldn't be talked about...BUT according to the author of Rich Dad, Poor Dad people who talk about money get money and people who don't, stay poor.  The point of taking this class is not to be rich but to be stable, smart, and responsible.  I know, unpopular ideas for my age range.

One thing that jumped out at me today was this stat - 70% of people in America are living paycheck to paycheck.  Right now, I'm one of them. That's what I want to avoid.  One of the steps that Dave Ramsey helps you through is putting away 3-6 months worth of money incase you ever need it.  That's probably the first big step for me since I don't have debt to tackle.  Budgeting so that I can save and have an emergency fund.  I refuse to live paycheck to paycheck, I'm going to find freedom.

I'll keep you posted as I (of all people) learn to stop spending on everything that catches my fancy.  It's time to start 'acting my wage', Dave Ramsey style.  Note: prayers are accepted...this could get ugly.


Wednesday, September 23, 2009

What happens in Vegas...

I recently received an invitation to attend a missions trip to Las Vegas, Nevada in December of this year.  You may remember from this entry  my first up close encounter with Current.  When I received an e-mail detailing (or at least beginning to outline) their Vegas mission I was intrigued.  Despite long years of church attendance I have yet to serve on a missions trip.  I'll leave explanations and/or excuses to your vivid imaginations and say simply, my time has not yet come.

Now Current isn't just an organization for  Christians so why are they doing a mission trip?  Isn't that a churchy thing?  I imagine the answer to this lies in the mission of Current itself to Grow, to Give, and to Go.  And go they will - to Vegas to partner with 'Strip Church', located on 'the strip' in Vegas and servicing what I can only imagine is the very definition of a lost and hurting world.  It earned the title Sin City, did it not?

You may recall that what I fell in love with during the laundry love experience was needs being met.  In the crisis that our country is now experience it is more clear than perhaps ever before that their are needs in our country.  We think of Africa or Asia as being the places where people starve or in desperate need of our assistance and that is correct, many countries have needs greater than ours.  That being said, there's plenty of need here in our country as well.

The Vegas trip will be people like you and I meeting real needs of the people on the strip.  Feeding the hungry.  Building shelter for families and orphans.  Helping provide dental and doctor services to those in need.  Giving personal hygiene products to those currently going without.  Nearest and dearest to my own heart, they will also be providing resources and 'spiritual aid' to those who have a desire for it.

For a slew of reasons that I don't go into I won't be able to lend my own person to this adventure BUT I am trying to work with Current to girl them assistance in any way possible as they prepare for this journey.  

The bigger picture here is that whether or not you have time to go commit time to de-worming orphans in Somalia or nursing Aids victims in Africa - there are great organizations paving the way for you to do something here.  When I see people on the side of the road begging for work it pains me to imagine my own father ever having to experience that.  When I think of what it would be like to watch one of my sisters have to go without food or medical care they needed - I ache for those in this country that experience this reality.  Most of all my heart hurts for those who lives are lacking in love.

'The most terrible poverty is loneliness, and the feeling of being unloved, ' - Mother Theresa

It boils down to this: making a difference in lives of people requires that you meet the very real needs in their lives and that your motivation can be reduced simply to love.  


I tell you the truth, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers of mine, you did for me. - Matthew 25:40

NFL Week 3 Pickems

I got 10 out of 16 games right last week.  I'm shooting for at least 14 this week.  Here are my predictions...

Eagles (v. KC)
Giants (v. TB)
GB (v. St. Louis)
Minnesota (v. San Fran)
Jets (v. Titans)
New England (v. ATL)...again, I'm not saying I want them to win. 
Houston (v. Jax)
Redskins (v. Detroit)
Baltimore (v. Cleveland)
New Orleans (v. Buffalo) - But I'm cheering for Buffalo.
Miami (v. San Diego)
Oakland (v. Denver)
Cinci (v. Steelers)
Indy (v. Cardinals)
Dallas (v. Panthers)



Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Let's go there.

I'm as sick as I'm sure most of you are of the hype surrounding Kanye West's poor manners at this years VMA's.  I admit to watching his scandal a few times (in a row) on YouTube and watching Taylor Swift's reaction as well.  With all fabulously public mistakes there is a lesson to be learned so let's chat for a brief moment about those that can come of this years outburst.

As we grow up there will be times in which we disagree with those in charge.  Whether at work, within our families, our churches, even with managers at various stores and vendors.  When we lack the power to put into effect what we think is right we have few options.  We can pull a Kanye and make people hear us (some may chose to equate this to throwing a temper tantrum), or we can chose to use opportunities such as these to develop character.  If you've ever heard your parents say 'life isn't fair' than you know what I mean here.  It is inevitable that you will experience 'wrong' in life, how you react in those situations speaks volumes to your level of maturity and the nature of your character.

Secondly and perhaps most importantly I would like to point out that while we are all guilty of making mistakes and lets face it we've all thrown our own temper tantrum at some point, how we rectify these situations is also telling.  What Kanye failed to realize when he used his own blog to 'apologize' is that when your apology includes more justification for your actions than desire to take responsibility, than you have in fact wasted your breath.  An apology should include the desire to be forgiven for your mistake or wrong doing - not a paragraph defending it.  

Apologies are tricky.  See we live in a world in which people often times blur the lines on what they are sorry for.  In reading one writers interpretation of Kanye's apology I thought she said it well when she said, 'are you sorry for what you did or for the bad publicity you brought on yourself'?  If were being honest with ourselves Kanye's not the only one who's been sorry he got 'caught' instead of sorry for his actions.  His behaviors and words since the incident would indicate he isn't sorry for what he did, he's sorry for how it was received.  Big difference.

I leave you with this...

'It is better to remain silent and be thought a fool then to speak out and remove all doubt' - Abraham Lincoln.


GP #4

Magazines!  Where was I for the first 20 years of my life?  I remember my grandparents paying for me to have some magazine called 'Ranger Ricks' about wildlife but I don't remember reading that much.  However, in recent years (midway through college on) I've realized what a great resource magazines are!  I get all my best makeup, clothing, shopping, and financial tips from magazines.  Currently I receive In Style, Kiplingers personal finance, Real Simple, and Glamour (I got a free subscription).  

I know four magazines may be a bit excessive but hey that's why they make the GP list.  I love a good magazine.  They're easy to tote to work for lunch break reading, to the gym while you're doing cardio, or browse at home while watching ESPN (or whatever you prefer to watch).  I prefer to receive them on a variety of topics but if you write about a subject getting 3-4 magazines on the same subject would be a great way to get ideas.  Many of the ideas I have for my blog come from magazine articles I read, as you may or may not have noticed.

Check www.magazines.com for great deals on my favorite publications or to sign up for your own.

A 'ha ha' for your Tuesday from this months Glamour?  In the 'Hey it's ok!' second is says... hey, it's ok to be secretly terrified of getting sucked down the airplane toilet'.  I laughed out loud when I read this.  I hate airplane toilets for this exact reason.  They totally freak me out.  Thanks Glamour. I feel better already.


Monday, September 21, 2009

Mondays are for makeup v2.

Glamour said this month in a blurb about how to wear blush this fall: 'The new way to wear blush is more of a soft flush that starts at the apples, sweeps down across the lower part of your cheeks and is subtly blended so that it looks like your own rosy hue'.  Hmm, good to know.

Also, if you're looking for new blush colors the best list of colors for your complexion I found recommends the following...

Fair skin: Giorgio Armani in No. 3
Fair to Med: Nars in Orgasm
Med to Dark: Nars in Orgasm
Dark: Nars in Exhibit A

Also, try a cream blush for longer lasting, more natural color that won't fade.  Nars has great ones in a cream blush stick that are less messy than using your fingers.  But I don't mind the mess for the results so I use cream blushes from various brands.  As always, Sephora workers are a wealth of wisdom.  Don't feel bad asking lots of questions - they'd be bored without us nosey people anyway.

One more tip: if you drop your powder blush don't cry...get vaseline.  You can make lipgloss out of your mistake.  If it looks great on your cheeks it will look great on your lips as well.  Just something to keep in mind to save you after an oops moment.


Sunday, September 20, 2009

Never say never.

You have probably heard it said, 'never do for free what you can do for work'.  Or some version of that quote.  Normally, I'm inclined to agree.  I would hesitate to ever recommend that you 'volunteer' to do work in your given field.  However, with all the gifts we're given we have the opportunity to bless people and sometimes the 'payment' you receive from doing this for 'free' is worth far more than the monetary value of your service.

Don't go rush off and offer to work a day a week for free or anything crazy...but consider how your gifts and talents can be used to bless people.  You may find that the person most blessed by the experience is you.  Not the reason to do it of course but a nice little bonus.  Besides what goes around comes around.

When I was studying photography in college I had the opportunity to do a really nice project for a family that was close to mine.  I was able to count the project both for school and bless them with hand developed photos of their kids that would have been outrageous if they'd paid a professional.  Normally, I charged people for my work.  I made a good bit of money doing freelance work while still in school studying.  This particular family however, I just wanted to do something nice for them.  They did feed me a great lunch of pb&j during the shoot too. : ]

To this day (it's been 5 or so years now) one of those pictures is hanging in their living room.  The husband was able to have it matted, mounted, and framed as a gift to his wife that year.  I can't tell you how many times they thanked me for my work.  Not to mention how wide spread the word about my skills got as they told everyone I made it for them.  If I'm being completely honest here, I had a blast.  I love their family and enjoyed spending a day with them.  Developing pictures of their boys was fun!  But most of all I'd never had a client that was grateful!  I felt blessed.

Recently this came full circle and a long time family friend of ours did me an even greater 'favor'.  I was not expecting it (nor was the family I helped) but when she blessed me with serving me free of charge (in her given field) it brought tears to my eyes.  I would have gladly paid and she would have been worth every cent and more.  But for her to take her gift and use it to benefit me with no reward to her, blessed my heart for days (not to mention my budget for this month)!

So my lesson of the day is just that - blessings are worth your time and effort.  Bless someone with your talents and I hope that each of you will also be blessed by someone else's.  


Quote of the Week

"The most courageous act is still to think for yourself. Aloud." -Coco Chanel

Friday, September 18, 2009

Happy Friday.

Happy Friday to all...

Watch this great video blog by Tony Dungy, where he talks about his responsibilities as a Father AND talked about my Dad. : ] I loved it. I hope you will too.


Thursday, September 17, 2009

My NFL picks for this weekend...

So, my new office mates are obsessed with football like I am so I got in on their NFL pickem's. Here's my picks for week 2...

Tennessee (v. Houston)
New England (eck - over Jets)...I hate NE but I do think they'll win.
Oakland (v. KC)
Jags (v. Arizona)
New Orleans (v.Phi)
GB (v. Cinci)
Skins (v. STL)
ATL (v. Carolina)
Min (v. Det)
Buffalo (v. TB)
Seattle (v. SF)
SD (v. Baltimore)
Chicago (v. Steelers)
Denver (v. Cle)
Giants (v. Dallas)...this I was iffy on but I'm going Manning.
Indy (v. Mia)...obvi.

Let me know your thoughts.


Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Unmet expectations.

Currently I am doing a bible study (with a small group of wonderful girls) called Me, Myself, and Lies by Jennifer Rothchild.  This study is about giving yourself a total thought closet makeover.  Now for me this study has had good and bad weeks.  Relatable and irrelevant.  But this weeks concept applies to you whether your 'religious', of faith, or not.  

One thing that can get your thought closet really out of wack is unmet expectations.  Now this may or may not speak to your daily life but it does to mine.  I'm the queen of high expectations.  I put a lot of energy into work, friendships, my relationships with my family members, just about everything I do.  Now that being said, I also EXPECT a lot of the people in my life.  If you know me and you're not instantly agreeing with me (about myself) than that's probably because my ability to express my expectations is sorely lacking.

While I'm quick to hold people to my standards, I'm slow to communicate those standards.  For example, giving gifts is something I love to do.  I love to pick out gifts for someone, write out a long well thought out card, and hope that this makes them feel special on the day they receive it.  One year for my birthday I had high expectations not of getting the perfect gift but of getting a well thought out gift from a particular person.  It could have been from the dollar store but I wanted it to have personal meaning.  What did I get?  A gift card.  

If you're thinking oh boo hoo, tough cookies for me. Well then I'm with you.  Now, in hindsight it seems silly that I took this as a smack in the face of the hard work I'd put into this persons past few gifts.  I actually LOVE gift cards and every year for my birthday I ask for money so I can get exactly what I want (I'm picky).  These reasons are probably exactly why I got that gift card but I wanted a significant piece of jewelry, a spa day with them, a journal with a 'foreword' by this person, something of that nature.  So why didn't I just tell them what I wanted?

What I got for that birthday was unmet expectations.  That's a silly, stupid, girly version of what I really mean.  I place expectations on my career, myself, my friends, my family members and when those expectations go unmet my thought closet throws up.  I get hurt.  I get angry. I get disappointed.  This range of emotions depending on the particular incident.  But what goes on in my head is ugly.

Worse yet?  I FEED those ugly thoughts.  I throw myself a little pity party in my head and remind myself over and over that I deserved better.  That I was wronged!

When you get upset, whichever particular emotion you may have ie: anger, resentment, frustration - how do you react?  I react by isolating myself.  I tune people out and go to this place in my head where I can justify how I feel.  I don't blow up, scream, or usually even cry.  I bottle up my emotions and fan the flames of the chaos in my thought closet.

One thing someone suggested to me was to ask myself, will this matter in a year?  

I haven't had opportunity to try this yet but it makes a world of sense.

This week I'm purposing to keep lies out of my thought closet and express my expectations AND my emotions.  I hope that this little window into my head has been helpful to you in some way.  And hasn't made you afraid to give me a gift card in the future, I promise I really do love them! 


Let's talk careers.

This recent post got quite the response! Seems that there are a few of us who are really trying to make careers, not just hold jobs. I'm completely fascinated by the work world and have been for years, taking my first job at 15 because I couldn't wait any longer. Most people say don't rush the 'real world' but honestly, I love it. I couldn't wait to be out of college and out on the grind (even though I worked full time most of my college years just because I wanted too). I've always loved to work. Don't hate.

I loved some tips from my girl Ebony Jewel who's grinding it out in the software sales biz. I can tell from her blog and our twitter chats that she gets after it. I asked her to take a peak at my entry and let me know if she had any great insights I might not have thought of. I LOVED her ideas. One being her 'little black book' and no this is not of the boy toy variety. She keeps a small notebook with to do lists and at the end of each day either checks them off, X's them as irrelevant, or CF and 'carries forward' the task until the next day. How brilliant. I love this. Especially as I start my new career (Monday!) and will need to be that much more detail oriented.

Her other tip made me CRAVE an iphone! She recommend Tripit.com to organized all of your travel details. For those of us working girls always on the go this sounds amazing. You forward all the info you get (with those pesky confirmation numbers) to Tripit and they keep track or anything for you, neatly in your phone so you can reference it as needed without whipping out folded pieces of paper (as I did just last week). I travel ALOT lately, with my family being everywhere but Florida. Soon I'll be traveling for work as well. So if Verizon would hurry up and get the iphone, I'd be IN on this. Until then, those of you with them should sign up and continue to make me jealous.

I was excited to see that all the commenters agreed with me about Thank You notes. We are a rare and possibly dying breed we thankful ones. Keep it up ladies, keep it up. Laura even said she knows of someone who hired the only person who sent her a thank you for the interview she gave (out of 30). See readers, I'm not steering you wrong! Five minutes to write a thank you note could tip the scale in your favor. If you're not willing to go the extra mile, there's someone else out there who will.

In response to the admission from all of us that personal phone calls don't get the prompt response that work phone calls get...well, there's something to work on. Friendships are important and as 20-somethings were in the phase now where we are (or should be) making the friends we'll have for life. Great relationships require effort on the part of both friends. If we can do it at work, we can do it at home. My problem is I return all my phone calls (personal that is) while driving. Bad habit. And yes, I've seen the bloody PSA that's circulating facebook.

Another great thing that came of said entry from earlier this week was that I added a new friend to the Coach Planner Cult. I live by my Coach planner and have been for almost 4 years now. One of my best buys ever. And that's saying something if you know my shopping habits. Welcome to the family, Ebony Jewel. : ] I recommended highly using a planner and while tweeting I specifically recommended the largest size Coach planner, as they're stylish and professional (and lets be honest, fashionable) - as well as functional and the inserts are reasonable. The planners themselves are a little steap (hint: hit the outlet malls for steals) but the inserts run about 14-16 dollars per year. My planner and I have been to heck and back - or wait, that was Hawaii.

One more piece of advice for this week when it comes to careers. Set your coworkers up for success. Your office shouldn't be a place of competition. You should want your company to succeed and look good, so make sure that you build up your coworkers along the way. No one likes the girl who takes all the glory and blames all the mishaps. Don't be 'that girl', ever. Let your work speak for itself, while you encourage the image of your company as a whole.

We'll talk more careers later loves.


Tuesday, September 15, 2009

GP #3

Drinking out of a 2-liter.  I know, totally shameful.  But I love it.  As an avid-diet-soda-addict I love a good 2-liter of diet cherry 7-up, diet cherry vanilla DP, or diet coke with lime.  I think this is my version of drinking out of the milk carton since I don't actually drink milk.  Since the year that I lived completely on my own, I've loved this.  Since I know that no one drinks my soda (don't worry I keep cans all the time anyway), I do like to occasionally drink right out of the 2-liter. Classy, I know.


Monday, September 14, 2009

Mondays are for makeup!

I looove makeup. Always have. From the days of putting on my Mom's lipstick and prancing around the house (I believe this started when we were living in Boston, I was five) to present I've always thought of makeup more as an art form than beauty practice. Now before you worry about me, I promise I'm not crazy in the way I wear it. In fact, most the time I'm pretty mellow in my choices. Getting wild only when for costume parties or nights on the town.

Most of what I know about makeup I learned from magazines. I'm a religious In Style reader and over the past year have been enjoying my free subscription to Glamour courtesy of Smartbargains.com. I always flip immediately to the makeup sections to see what's hot, what's not, and how the heck they do that.

I want to do a series for the next few mondays about makeup.  This week, I'll tell you my ow personal favorites.  Here's your insider scoop...

What's in my makeup bag? Well, that depends on WHICH makeup bag, I have a few. But the one I use daily includes most of my favorites so I'll start there in my sharing.

I use the only foundation I've EVER loved, Mac's face & body foundation. It's really heavily based in water and therefore when you sweat it doesn't get all crazy. It doesn't bead or run, it just reabsorbs. For me, being a heavy sweat-er and living in the sunshine state, this is essential.

Mac is one of the best companies I've found in general for my face BECAUSE being part Hawaiian and living in Florida, I'm not exactly white but I'm not quite black. This may sound funny but when it comes to makeup, many companies don't work hard on the in betweens! In past consultations with several companies I've been encouraged to buy from the African American collections. Which is fine, but often times there not quite right. I get plenty dark enough, especially in the summer but I'm more of a bronzey, glowy color.  And in the winter for obvious reasons, I don't stay quite as dark.  I'd rather wear African American make than qhite though.  Better than having a Casper the friendly ghost face on my suntanned neck and bod but still leaving much to be desired.

Mac meets me in the middle with their N5 foundation and NW35 loose powder. Now, I know there are plenty of you mineral freaks out there as well. Let me clarify, I did TRY using Mac's mineral powder for a bit. My biggest complaint was that it came in this stupid container that had a horribly designed shape that made you dump a large portion out all over the counter every time you used it. What a waste!  Also, I didn't see much difference. I didn't think it was superior and it cost more, so for me it wasn't worth the extra expense. They also (when I tried it) were more limited in color options for minerals than regular powders. This was a barrier.

Blush. I love blush. For those of you who have naturally rosy cheeks or manage to work up a good blush on your own several times a day, I envy you. I love the healthy glow of color in a girls cheeks.  Short of going sunscreen-less for an hour or two in the blazing sun, I rarely get that look naturally.  I keep several blush options for the day to day.  My absolute favorite, which I found because In Style recommends it as THE blush for the medium to dark skin tones, is made by Nars and come in a color (I'm embarrassed to write this) called Orgasm.  Yeah, sorry about that name, I think I just blushed naturally. Also note that this is the color recommended for fair to medium skin as well.

My favorite Mac color is called Springsheen and I use that frequently as well.  I have tried a few other Mac blushes including: Desert Rose, Tenderling, Shy Beauty and Warm Soul.  Warm Soul is from the mineral blush collections.

For day time I usually wear a thin line of eyeliner only below my eyes. Below opens them up giving the appearance of bigger eyes, while put eye liner on lower and upper lids or just on upper makes them appear smaller.  Most days I wear just eye liner typically in brown or blue (blue brightens your eye color - but for day I'd stick to a navy blue).  Depending on the day and outfit though, I'd been known to sport some shadow instead.  My favorites are the Almay trio  collection for Hazel eyes (but I own the ones for Browns and Greens as well).  If you want eye shadows that make your eyes pop, this is a great place to start.  They do a fantastic job.  But I will also cover more of that in a future makeup issue (per Kate's request... : ] ).

My latest addition to my everyday makeup bag I found via a lovely lady working at Sephora.  It's a creaseless cream eye shadow (and yes, that's actually true) made my benefit.  My favorite color (so far) is Stiletto.  It's a plum purple color and quite lovely.  I'd venture to recommend trying a color that works well for you in the same form, it stays on all day, no creases, no rub off, no fading!  I dig.

Also in the eye department I wear a illuminator just under my eyes and in the corners by my nose.  This just brightens your face and gives you a peppy, glowy look.  Again, per a Sephora rep I found Christian Dior's Pro Cheeks (yes, it's actually a blush) in Limelight.  I'm not sure how it would work as a blush...I imagine if you're really fair skinned it could.  But it works well for illuminating the eye area.  It's a little pricey at $31 dollars but I've had mine for well over a year and it's only half used...so, that helps me justify.
Now on to the two more important 

Moving right along, let's talk about my last 2 essentials which happen to be my favorites...mascara and bronzer!  Honestly I've tried a vast array of mascara. Currently, I'm using that hot pink tube with the lime green cap from the drugstores for 4.99(ish). After trying a great many designer mascara's including but not limited too Dior's Diorshow mascara, Chanel, Clinique, and Bad Gal - Maybelliene really just has the corner on the market as far as I'm concerned. It's called 'Great Lash' and I prefer it in the non-waterproof, brownish black.  I've also been known to sport Bad Gal's blue mascara which brightens the whites in your eyes on occasion.  Blue is not for the everyday but if you're going to a wedding or somewhere you know you'll be photographed a lot, it's not a bad choice.  I love to loud on the mascara, so using an inexpensive one just fits me better.

Bronzer.  Now I'm sure plenty of you don't use bronzer and if I can't convince you too, that's fine.  But when used right, I think it's fabulous. I use it every single day.  My favorites I've found to date (and I think I've tried about 50 now) are Kimora Lee Simmons in Sunny I believe it's called or Sephora's 'Pot of Gold'.  Now KLS's has a matte finish and Sephora's is pretty sparkly.  So take that into consideration!  Also, if you're not fairly dark complected I would ask when you visit the makeup store, because they can help you find one that won't turn you orange or make you look like you got a bad spray tan that's fading.  I will say, I hated Mac's bronzer when I tried it.  Eck.  It was like darker powder but not bronzy at all.  Total waste of money.

Last but not least, lips.  Now I'm probably the dead wrong person to recommend my personal regimen here.  I promised you honesty though, so here it is.  I use Chapstick and then a thin layer of Victoria Secrets Beauty Rush lipgloss in ' Strawberry Fizz.  It's glossy but pretty basic and natural looking.  It also smells cute.  This is my daily wear.  I do occassionally sport some Mac lipglass colors but I'd say a couple times a month, usually for going out to dinner or church.

Whew, that was a long entry. So there's my jumping off point.  I'm going to give you makeup scoop for the next couple Mondays but I thought I should start with telling you MY personal favorites.  In the weeks to come I will tell you some great tips for doing things you see in magazines, some money saving secrets, and what colors are recommended for your skin tone.

Your tip-of-the-entry is that if you use Mac products save your containers.  When you've collected 6 to recycle, take them back and pick an eyeshadow or lipgloss of your choice on them.  I did this earlier this week and got a $16 lipgloss free.  I dig this concept.  It pays to recycle.


Sunday, September 13, 2009

Review: Fresh Start

Fresh Start: God's Invitation to a Great Life.
By: Doug Fields

Throughout our lives we all reach a point in which we want nothing more than a Fresh Start.  A 'do over' or a chance to move beyond that which is holding us back from the future our hearts desire.  When you reach this place, Doug Fields is ready to tell you just how to get 'unstuck' and start moving forward, with faith as your guide.  Whether it's issues of forgiveness, defining who you are, overcoming rejection in your past, moving beyond your anger, or finding freedom from sins God's already forgiven - this book offers you a method, a system.

If I'd found this book a few years ago, I can't imagine how much faster I would have arrived at where I am today.  Still, when I found this book through Thomas Nelson Publishing I was still drawn in by the topics it was said to contain: Finding true friendship, overcoming discouragement, even defining success. If you feel stuck in a rut than this book has answers you need.  The book was directed at those early on in their walk or going through a long dry season spiritually.  However, even in my current walk I found this book refreshing, renewing, and a testament to how far God can bring you from where you've been.  Doug Fields presents his message in a way that allows anyone to be able to read, understand, and receive it should they approach it with an open heart.  I recommend this book to you if you feel trapped by something holding you back from God's best, whatever your particular 'rut' may be.

It is God's desire for you to 'have life...and have it to the full' (John 10:10).  Don't stay stuck! There's freedom through the power of Christ.


Interested in reviewing books?  Visit www.brb.thomasnelson.com

Quote of the Week.

'Go confidently in the direction of your dreams. Live the life you've imagined' -Henry David Thoreau

Props for honesty.

I was flattered to be tagged here for my honestly while blogging.

One of the biggest debates bloggers face when they first start out is choosing their audience. Do you let people you know read what you write, knowing that you're opening yourself up to judgement? Do you lock your blog and pick your viewing audience carefully so you can say anything and everything you want? Do you pick a 'blogger name' and let anyone who wishes read your blog but no one know your true identity?

That is the million dollar question for us blogsphere dwellers. And I was not without my own debate. Shop Girl (check my noteworthy blogs) addressed this a few weeks back. And honestly, it IS a tough call.

Eventually I determined for myself, that I am who I am. I totally and completely understand why people don't want to subject themselves to the criticism of the people they know...but I deteremined I could handle it. While I'm sure people have had plenty of questions about my blog... Why doesn't she blog more 'Christian stuff'? She actually watches Gossip Girl? Why does she talk about fashion so much? Does she HAVE to talk about football all the time?

The beauty of the internet is that anyone can read what I write, but no one has too. I was honored to be recognized by Helen and really appreciate the props. Thanks girl.  To the best of my writing ability I will continue to be honest with you all.  I don't write deep, heart string tugging entries often but when I write about my own life I will try to use my heart, not my head.  Or at least a combo of the two. 


Saturday, September 12, 2009


I had a great time in Soho tonight with my friends. We went to dinner @ the Lodge and I ate sushi for the first time (even if it didn't have fish in it).  I also got a free dessert in a moose (pic).  I even won @ darts.  Only took about an hour.  Thanks for all the b-day wishes via cards, presents, free meals, tweets, facebook, texts, calls, etc.  I am so blessed to have you all in my life.

Love ya.


Hello 24.

So scared of getting older

I'm only good at being young
So I play the numbers game to find a way to say that life has just begun
Had a talk with my old man
Said help me understand
He said turn 68, 
you'll renegotiate
Don't stop this train
Don't for a minute change the place you're in
Don't think I couldn't ever understand
I tried my hand
John, honestly we'll never stop this train

John Mayer, Stop this Train

Today I am a year older. A year wiser? Perhaps. This year has certainly not been without it's share of stretching moments. I have grown up more in my year of being 23 than in any year prior. I suppose that's what living on your own, in the 'real world' does to one. But I admit that I'm sad to see 23 go. It has been an incredible year and I would relive it again & again.

When I started this blog I struggled to decide what I would name it...the theme over the past year of my life has been just that, I'm scared of getting older. While I got an amazing education at the Purdue University, no one prepares you e to struggle through your first big disagreement at work, or really budget when you're living on your first salary, or all the details that come with buying your first home (mine's been in the works a year and I still feel clueless).  I've finally gotten good at being young. So now what? I'm 24. Who defines old? I feel so much older than I did at 21 or 22. I'm out of school, out of debt, and out of Indiana. I'm self aware, self sufficient, and self confident (usually).

The question remains now, am I still scared to get older? Sometimes. When I think that getting older comes with losing loved ones and leaving behind the carefree ways of youth. I've given up much of my childish ways but I've got a few I'm not ready too.  I never want to be too old to curl up with my Daddy, even if I have to watch golf!  I never want to outgrown watching movies with my parents and making my Momma scratch my back.  I refuse to believe I'll ever be too old to lay on top of my baby sister while she's trying to ignore me and watch TV because she doesn't like to be cuddled.    I will never be too old to make mixed CDs of radio songs and drive around singing with my Rae.

What takes the fear out of growing up for me now is that as I've stepped out in faith and begun the process, God has been there to guide me along the way.  I've had a few meltdowns, temper tantrums, and screams but even through the hardest moments of 23 did I ever feel alone.  God has provided me with an amazing family, wonderful friends, and a book with all the answers.  If I'm making one non-secret birthday wish for 24 it's that I would seek Him first will all my heart and quit leaning on my own understanding (or lack thereof).  

People are always pushing independence and self sufficiency. I believe that in some ways those are great qualities.  However, there's not enough emphasis placed on a little dependency.  I depend on God to get me through every crazy, beautiful, awkward, joyful,  and hard day of my life.  I depend on my family not to be perfect but to be there.  To be excited and welcome me back with open arms every time I need to come home and unwind (or act 5 again).  And yes, 'I get by with a little help from my friends'.  I depend on them to coach and cheer me through this crazy little thing called life.  To call me out when I'm messing up.  To push me when they know I need to do better.  And to never let me give up, even when I feel like it.

I'd like to end my birthday post with a few thank you's.  Thank you God for your grace, I'd be lost without it.  Thank you to my incredible family - you are the best 'present' I've ever received.  Not a day goes by that I don't feel blessed to have each of you in my life.  A special thank you to my friends both old and new, I wouldn't want to do life without you.  After years of searching for great friendships I have finally found some.  You know who you are, and I hope you know every day how much you mean.  'I thank my God every time I remember you'.  And lastly, but not least thank you to each of you who has been reading my crazy blog over the past weeks, months, or year.  Your comments encourage me and your blogs have taught me much.

I sadly say goodbye to 23, which was the best year yet.  But here's to 24 knocking the socks off 23.

Don't for a minute change the place you're in.


Friday, September 11, 2009

September Must-haves or Must-do's.

1. Birthday cake. Well, that is if you're me and your bday is in September - or if you happen to be near the Christensen house because my mom make's THE best birthday cake in the world. Too bad Josh doesn't like chocolate, huh Candy? : ] Oh well, more for us. If it's not your birthday in September, you can eat some in honor of me.

2. Gossip Girl Season 3 party - check. Thanks to some other addicts I helped get started - we're getting together to celebrate the return of Chuck Bass to the screen on September 14th. Ow ow.

3. Attend a best friends wedding. Also, done & done already in the month of Sept for this girl. Congrats to Alyssa & Rob.

4. Kindle 2. Mine's on it's way and I'm SO excited. Therefore the Kindle 2 makes my must have's or must-do's for September 2009. First book I'm going to buy? The September bookclub book - 'Girl with a Dragon Tattoo'. Hurry Kindle, please hurry.

5. Chic-lit. I've declared September my month for Chic-lit. So go to Borders and pick yourself out a new Shopoholic book, read some Jennifer Weiner, or join me in reading some Candace Bushnell. Oh wait, and I already read Lauren Conrad's book to kick the month off.

6. Attend Fashion Week in Tampa. Well, you don't have too but I sure want too. September 23rd-25th.

7. Company. I love to have company come to stay with me. Maybe growing up in a household where we constantly had people staying over is to thank for this. This month my friend Sarah is coming from Jacksonville to spend my b-day weekend with me. I can't wait to show her around SoHo!

8. New Knowledge. When I think of September I think of the start of school. Well for those of us out of school why shouldn't we still consider September a great month to start learning something new? This month for me, I'm tackling Dave Ramsey's Financial Peace University with my church (Grace Family) and a few girlfriends. Perhaps my Kindle will be my last splurge for a while once Dave gets a hold of me!
9. New planner inserts. Time to start thinking about 2010. Hard to believe, I know. I've got mine, thanks to Candy and Coach.

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Get Ahead in One Hour - Total.

With the utter lack of effort on so many 20-somethings parts these days, it's not hard to get a leg up. If you do need a few ideas however, start here...

Thank you notes. Send them after interviews (Hey Shop Girl, I don't think the horrible shoe company deserved one...just fyi). Not only does this thank the person who took time out of their busy schedule to hear you out but it also puts your name across their desk (and mind) one more time. When I recently stopped by for an interview myself I found out that for a different position that was opened they had received 300 applications! With 299 people in competition, that leg up can't hurt.

Don't limit thank you notes to interviewers only. Who doesn't appreciate a good thank you note? My mom and I recently had a conversation in which she said that my relatives (namely her side of the family) had pointed out how appreciative they were to receive thank you cards from me after gifts. Not half as thankful I'm sure, as I was to be the recipient of their generosity. No good deed should go unthanked, right?

Another great opportunity to use this? When someone helps you out at work. For example, at my soon-to-be-old-job we had to gather volunteers for events. This task fell on me several times. Taking the time afterwards to send a personal note to each person who gave up there day or weekend to aid us with our tasks went a long way in making those people feel appreciated. They would have been appreciated either way, but now they have the chance to know it.

I'm big fan of cards in general as I talked about here. But for now, I'll just stick to encouraging notes of the thank you variety. It takes 5-10 minutes to write a thank you card and drop it in the mail...just do it. I'll be generous and say that takes 10 minutes of the time (you have to walk to the mailbox, after all). That leaves me 50 more minutes to help you get ahead.

Return every phone call. Yes, I said it. Every stinking one. There's nothing worse than having to phone-stalk someone to get the answers you need. Don't be that person. Besides, with all the people participating in the bad habit of dodging phone calls, how much more will returning them set you apart? My friend, Meredith, recently called several magazine editors - she was shocked (and impressed) when the biggest fashion magazine name she called, called her back!

The phone call which took less than five minutes for her to get the desired answers not only made her day, but turned her into a fan. Insta-fans. Never a bad idea.

This requires about 20 minutes if you do it well. Sometimes more, I admit. Don't feel like you have to talk as long as each person wants...BUT set aside time every day to return calls. This again, is not limited to work only. How many of us have had to phone stalk friends as well? Or relatives? I joke often with my sisters about how I have to call them five times to get one return. Which is pretty much true. They're worth it, lucky for them. Most people, however, are not. Meet people halfway...this will help you get ahead in life both personally and professionally.

Be Early. My Dad always taught me to be the first person at work. Beat your boss. I also recently heard someone explain that it takes as much effort to be late as to be early - but only one of those will set you apart from your coworkers and lets be honest, 90% of your friends. Admittedly, I'm great at doing this for work....not so great at this on the personal life side. I'm working on it though. 10 more minutes used on this. You'll be surprised how much less stressed you will feel when you're not dodging pedestrians to get to work 'on time'. I've now used 40 minutes of your time...

Pack a lunch. This way you won't eat crap that will make you tired for the rest of the day and you won't waste your time going out. This time I've recently discovered is much better spent reading. I'm going through an extra book or so a month just by reading on my lunch breaks. I do love to find more time. 10 minutes to gain 30? That's my kind of math.

Planner power. I learned from my Momma that if you keep a detailed planner and reference it every morning, you won't forget the important things. This saves me missing appointments, forgetting to pick up that one thing at the store, or calling a friend to say 'Happy birthday'. My mom manages a schedule like no one I've ever met - and this is one area I don't mind turning into her. I even keep mine color coordinated (a bit excessive, I admit) by personal, important, work, and church functions. 10 minutes.

One hour to getting ahead...done and done.

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

LA Candy Review.

I've been a huge Lauren Conrad fan from the beginning of her 'career'. I've been watching The Hills, her reality show since it's premier four or five years ago. I also own every season on DVD. I realize that much of what I observed of her life on The Hills was in fact a show, not real life. But she's a girl from Laguna Beach who has built a TV career, a fashion line, and a name for herself. In many ways, I respect that.

Also, I think much of my LC love comes from the fact that she's my age. She's relatable in that way. She's going through (whether real or fabricated) that drama of jobs, bosses, friendships, and boys. What 20-something girl can't relate to that on some level? When I think about doing it in front of America that seems even more overwhelming. Society is not very forgiving.

When the rumors of LC's first book began circulating I was wicked excited. Here's a girl I've faithfully followed since high school and she's doing one more thing I've always wanted to do - write a novel. I couldn't wait to get my hands on it and read every page.

I didn't have many expectations, honestly. I didn't know what the book was about or what her writing style would be. I attach to writers more based on their style than content. I'm a weird literature consumer I suppose.

In my opinion, the book was an epic fail. First off, in writing a book for 'teens' (it's produced by Harper Teen) doesn't that mean the target audience is 12 and up? Well then it's not appropriate to encourage underage drinking as glamorous and something everyone does. Breaking the law is not in fact chic. Also, the f-bomb? Really LC? Was it necessary to add profanity to a book marketed to teens let alone the f-bomb MULTIPLE times? Call me old fashion but that is not okay. I would not want my 12 or 13 year old reading that.

Language and underage drinking issues aside let's talk about 'Scarlet', one of the characters in the book. Painting her promiscuous lifestyle as 'cool' really left an unsettled feeling in my stomach. Whether or not my girl LC meant to or not, what you write does in essence promote something. I was disturbed and turned off to the book by the promotion of hooking up with guys whose names you don't care enough to know. Do I even need to go over the emotional and physical consequences that come with this sort of lifestyle? I doubt it.

Even the more innocent character, Jane, 'cheated' on the guy she was dating with his best friend. Sneaking her one-night-stand-turned-love out before her soon-to-be-ex-boyfriend came up the stairs. Real classy.

With spotlight driven success comes responsibility. Like it or not LC you're a role model to young girls everywhere. What you do with your time in the limelight is up to you but it also says something about who you are and where your priorities lie. Do you in fact understand that?

I would have liked to see someone with LC's platform write a novel about success. With a leg up in the fashion world, why not dwell on the positive aspect of a successful fashion career in LA? Write about fashion shows, meeting designers, what it's like to intern at Teen Vogue. Now that would have been worthwhile reading material.

Sorry, LC but this book gets a thumbs down from me.


Tuesday, September 8, 2009

GP #2

Guilty pleasure of the week is ....Gossip Girl in combo with my friend-crush on Chuck Bass. Judge me all the want, I'm totally on team Chuck. Sorry, Nate Archibald.

Excited to watch the Season Three preview on Sept 14th.

Monday, September 7, 2009

The Mr. & Mrs.

    Me with the Bride & Groom.

            My partners in crime.

A great time was had by all at the Everson/Kuhmichael wedding this weekend in Ft. Wayne.  Not only did they pick amazing venue choices but the couples special day was a real tear-jerker.  The fun was made better by the 2 lovely ladies I teamed up with for the trip.  After resting up and stuffing our faceswith my early bday cake (my mom makes THE most life-changing cake ever) - we hit the road Saturday morning in a vehicle made for 10 to travel up to the Ft.

Despite the rude help, we had a blast staying at the Hilton.  The wedding was beautiful but not half as beautiful as the bride (my freshman year of college roomie).  Mer & I (with the help of some wedding partying participants and the bride herself) did the youtube wedding dance to Chris Brown's Forever during the reception.  We can't help it, we're the life of the party. 

This includes jumping on the bed (sorry Hilton) and singing 'I'm in Miami Trick' - Kourt and Khloe style.

Sunday, September 6, 2009

Quote of the Week.

'Never mind what others do; do better than yourself, beat your own record from day to day, and you are a success,' -H. Boetcker

Also, I'd like to wish a very Happy Birthday to my baby sister, Ruthie! I love you.

Saturday, September 5, 2009


While looking at clips of great football tackles on Monday I came across this video of some insane cheerleading stunts.  Now, normally I'm not a big fan of cheerleaders.  Mostly because in the NFL they never really do anything except for shake their goodies which I could see on MTV anyday of the week - BUT this is actually skill-heavy stunting.  I like.

Thursday, September 3, 2009

Words from the Wise.

One of my favorite suggestions I've reached so far in White's book (see previous entries if you're confused) was to ask your closest friends the following two questions...

- Where do you see me next?
- What do you think would make me happy at this point in my life?

As a 20-something we have to be thinking at least a little ahead. It seems for me and my friends at least, that there are always decisions to be made and changes to be faced. In that, it's important to seek council and most importantly wise council. Don't ask advice from those who will tell you what you want to hear! What's the point? If you're going to do things your own way, then don't waste their time and words. Seek advice from people who will give you open, honest, real responses.

I sent an e-mail to three ladies I most often seek life & career advice from and asked them in their own time, to answer these questions for me. Feeling that their insight would be beneficial as I'm making some life and career choices over the next month. Job related decisions are always difficult and for me, intimidating! Also, I'm facing some decisions about whether or not to move forward with purchasing my first home! This decision is uber exciting but again, intimidating.

The three ladies I chose love me and have been shown to tough love me when I need it and tell me what I may not want to hear but need to hear at that time. For them, I am grateful. Good friends are diamonds in the rough in today's society and I hope it will never be said that I take mine for granted. Having gone through a season of my life full of acquaintances and lacking true friends, I make it a priority to honor them!

Here is some of the advice they gave me... Note: I'm posting this a while after this advice was given as I was waiting until I determined what would happen with the new job. These ladies being some of my best friends knew about it before I could reveal the idea via the Internet, for obvious reasons.

From C: Okay, so where do I see you next. I feel like this is hard because I know what you want next but when I think about it I believe it's who you are and truly where your life is headed. I see you definitely staying in Tampa, and making roots there and finding a home for yourself-so you can be independent :) I see you taking a job with a bigger organization so that you can reach out to more people and feel more challenged and use your gifts fully. I see you possibly continuing your education so you can learn more and gain more knowledge about the world, maybe even in a different area than social work. Even if I knew nothing about the Family First deal I would see you going to something bigger than where you are now. It's who you are!

I think there are a few things that would make you happy right NOW! although i thought a new handbag may be one i decided maybe that's not pertinent :) anyway, i think being independent, financially, spiritually, and mentally is the number one for you. and i totally think you are doing that! I think you are happiest when you feel like you are accomplishing things and making it happen on your own! Although you work awesome with others and recognize what others contribute to your success you like to be free and make decisions on your own and feel confidant in your ability to do so. I think the second thing that makes you happiest is giving. Being able to make a difference for other people and give back to others makes you thrive. You have the most giving spirit of anyone I know, and I personally need to strive to be more like that. So with that said, being in a position (job) where you feel you are making a contribution to people and helping others find happiness would make you the happiest. Finally, learning and growth makes you happy. You are always looking for knowledge and wisdom, especially spiritually, to better yourself. Therefore, any opportunity for you to learn would make you happy.

She knows me so well, doesn't she? It is a blessing to have encouraging, wise, and insightful friends. She allows me to use her as a sounding board and let me just tell you I'm full of thoughts ALL the time. My brain feels like it's on speed sometimes, I can't keep up with all the ideas running through it. C is a fabulous friend and a joy to be around. I wish she was here in Tampa so that I could spend more time with her but of all my friends I moved away from she has probably done the most to ensure that our friendship hasn't suffered in the least from our distance. As you may have guessed, I'm taking much of this advice - including enrolling in a personal finance course for next month and increasing my involvement at church.

Mer as per her normal way had a short but sweet response that including being a 'baller' in the events field with Fam First (I will be pleased if I can just be a baller assistant ; ] ), buying my first home (which is somewhat in the works), and she recommends finding a rich, hot husband at one of the events while I'm at it....easy to see why I love her, huh?

White's book while offering some advice that doesn't sync with my belief and moral systems also gave some great advice about how to keep your life in balance, how to succeed in the workplace, and how to take full advantage of your resources including your best friends. If you're in a place where you have some life decisions coming up or even if you're not - I highly recommend asking these questions of those you trust to help provide guidance in your life. The responses will encourage you and perhaps shed light on your 'next step'.


Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Guilty as charged.

I've decided that Tuesdays are entirely too boring. There's almost never anything exciting about Tuesdays. So at least until I run out of them Tuesdays are going to be for sharing guilty pleasures. I use that term loosely because if I really felt guilty about them a. I wouldn't do them and b. I wouldn't tell you about them here, now would I? : ] So maybe they're more quirky 'likes' of mine than legit guilty pleasures. Either way, this weeks is inspired by my Tuesday night activity...

GP #1 - Facials!

They are the single most relaxing 2 hours of my month! I haven't found anything that relaxes me like getting a facial. I look forward to them for the 29 days between. Having the world's best facialist (if you live in my area I'd be happy to pass on her info) certianly helps. I think it's a justifiable GP because it's a healthy outlet for my stress. It's great for your skin, especially when you live in a state like Florida that's murder on your skin to begin with. I would honestly get one every day if I had the option (and the money). But for now, this once a month GP tickles my fancy.

Feel free to share one of your GP's. : ]