Wednesday, June 30, 2010
I think with getting fit and healthy, as with most goals you do have to allow yourself to have some 'me' time. And I realized as I was reading the lesson, that for the people who go on that show this is a big deal. They've allowed their families, friends, kids, responsibilities, and jobs to hold them back from taking the necessary steps to get their health under control. Something that could easily happen to any of us. I know that I've allowed my friends (and sometimes family) to keep me from the right amount of sleep, staying up with housework, studying when I was in school, etc.
Life is full of tough choices and while we want to make sure those we love know how important they are to us, we also have to make us time. Here's my argument though. I don't think making your health a priority IS selfish. Ultimately, you're taking care of yourself so that you can spend more time with your family and friends over the course of your life.
Balance is sometimes difficult for me. I truly love everything about my life. I love being a homeowner and taking care of my place (though some weeks you wouldn't know it from the looks of it!). I love leading a bible study for young women and growing with them as we 'do life' together. I enjoy my job almost every minute of every day (couldn't say every because data entry does not get me excited). I feel fortunate to be able to travel and see new cities as a result of said job. I'm enthralled with reading and writing. I treasure talking to my family members on an almost daily basis. Amazingly, I've started to really enjoy my daily workouts. I've always loved laying by the pool with a good book. I'm also in a book club, which I'd taken a break from while I was teaching personal finance but am now back in.
I dabble in a bit of everything. Curiosity tends to get the best of me and I find myself doing activities such as ceiling fan installation classes and wandering the library selecting new books. With the 4th of July in a few days it seems only appropriate to point out that we have an incredible amount of freedom to do as we wish. We also have an overwhelming amount of resources to learn, which a sadly small amount of people utilize. That's not a freedom that I take for granted, or that I'm willing to miss the chance to take advantage of.
So here's my challenge...if we're not getting our hands dirty helping others, then we're missing a great opportunity to give back. While I encourage getting time to yourself and doing something worthwhile with it, I truly believe that the best and most memorable times in my life are those spent helping others. The trick, is that you have to find a balance. When you give too much of yourself, allowing yourself to be worn out and pouring nothing back in - you will eventually have nothing left to give. Nothing of value or worth, at least. But when you use all your time for selfish matters, you develop no legacy to leave behind.
Tuesday, June 29, 2010
I LOVE Kelly Cutrone! I believe I've blogged about this previously but from 'Kell on Earth' to her rolls in 'The Hills' and now 'The City' - I have fallen in love with her straight forward style. She isn't afraid to bring tears to her interns eyes and make grown men cower in fear. I love that about her. Life and success belong to those who go after what they want, without fear of failure, does it not? She is my kind of girl.
I love me some Coco as well and have had this book on my Kindle 'to read' list for months now. I'm finally going to bite the bullet it, buy it and probably soak up all the fabulous advice in a day or two. After reading, 'How to be a Hepburn in a Hilton World' I'm kind of into these icon advice type books. Go figure.
Monday, June 28, 2010
The days until then we'll not be uneventful, however. Tonight I must finally cage myself into the condo and get some cooking and cleaning done for this eventful week at home. Tomorrow on our lunch break my department (which is 3 people small) is coming over for lunch. My director has never seen the condo (ack!). On the menu is White Chicken Lasagna - prepared at a previous session at Dinner Done.
While I'm already heating up the kitchen cooking tonight, I'm going to go ahead cook lunch for my Wednesday company! I'm having our interns over for lunch @ my place Wednesday. We have 6 interns this summer, which is intense. But I believe only four of them will be around for the fun. On the menu for Wednesday lunch are double stack dillas (also made at dinner done) and they're bringing dessert, chip n salsa, and drinks. Should be a fun chance to get to know them a little better - outside of the office environment.
Small group is taking a break for the 4th this week so I will have Thursday blissfully to myself before I start a 4 day weekend of relaxation, sun, workouts, and the like. I plan to get a great base tan working before I head up north to 6 days of beaches with my family. That way when I return to work, church, etc I will look like I've really been on a vacay. I love that feeling.
Still not certain how I want to celebrate the 4th this year. Honestly, my only request is that it involves fireworks! I never use to be into fireworks (even as a kid) but in my old age I'm growing more sentimental and my family has had some great 4th of Julys over the years. Seems only right I ring in this years with the traditional watching of a firework show. Considering a festival out in St Pete Friday night perhaps. We shall see.
Update on my reading: I'm still iffy on my feelings towards The Red Tent (62% done) and am closing in on the halfway mark for 'Sweet Ruin', for which my interest is mounting. Hoping to finish both this week so that I will enter July on book 27 of 50 for this year. Though I expect that I will pull ahead of my personal goals for reading over my week at the beach. Between 4 plane flights, a car ride, the beach, and nights in with the fam I expect I will knock out quite a few books in that time.
I'm once again taking recommendations, so if anyones read a good one lately - hit me up.
Friday, June 25, 2010
Thursday, June 24, 2010
Life remains busy in the bay area for this go-getter. Booked 2 more flights for 2010 this week - to Indiana for Candy's Wedding (free flight courtesy of Southwest - love ya!) and to Nashvegas in August for work. I leave in 12 days for Myrtle Beach & Isle of Palms with la familia (that's pretty much all the Spanish I know, be impressed). I fly as much as a bird these days...I may just forget how to keep my feet on the ground by December.
This weekend I'm staying put and spending time with my Tampa family - the Huhtas. Sweet Bryn's turning 18 this weekend! Can't wait to celebrate her @ Ellas in Seminole Heights (the cutest little place you ever did see!). Can't decide what to wear...what do you all think of this dress:
Image borrowed from here.
This dress was a fabulous on sale find at the local Marshalls btw - Dave Ramsey approved. I've tried it with nude Guess heels and with a Stella and Dot bib necklace and black peep toes. Votes are welcome for which to sport this weekend. I guess nude heels little or no jewelry would be more casual. Hmm.
Found a cute pair of jeans on sale at Gap for $13 bucks today. No lie. $13. Amazing. Every once in a while you walk in and hit the jackpot. I rarely even set foot in a Gap since preppy isn't really my style. I like a little more color and glitz in my life then the typical Gap shopper - but as with any store you never know what you'll find that you can work into the perfect little outfit.
You may have noticed I've been adding quickly to the book list on the left side of my blog. I am almost halfway through my 25th book of 2010. We're currently reading The Red Tent for book club. Jury is still out for me on how I feel about it. Fictional stories based on biblical characters are always a bit intriguing to me. Theres a little more of a sexual vibe to it then I care to read typically - maybe it just freaks me out that 4 sisters are married to the same man. Having 2 sisters of my own, it's hard not to be a bit creeped out by that...even realizing that social norms were different in biblical days.
For those of you who caught my video blog, you already know that I am now leading a small group (bible study) in my home! That is going amazingly well and I continue to be inspired and challenge by our current study entitled: Girls Gone Wise in a World Gone Wild. She's refreshingly frank and I appreciate a to-the-point gal. I am pleased and grateful for how the group is taking off...God is so good.
Oh yeah, I can't believe I almost forgot... I won biggest loser (the work edition). It always feels good to win but honestly, the contest itself was great for all of us and together the 3 of us lost over 40 lbs in 10 weeks. So it was a great team effort to get healthy and fit for the summer (and forever). I considered showing you all my before and after pics but just couldn't bring myself to post my double chin on the internet. Gross.
Who's got exciting plans for the 4th of July? My only request is a tan and some fireworks. I don't care where or with who. Still working on those deets.
Monday, June 21, 2010
Thursday, June 17, 2010
I wonder what my Dad would do if I got random rainbow wings tattoo'd on my back? (good thing he does not read this blog).
Excited for small group tonight - studying 'Girls Gone Wise in a World Gone Wild' how perfectly fitting for a south tampa small group, don't ya think?
Saturday, June 12, 2010
Friday, June 11, 2010
Wednesday, June 9, 2010
Tuesday, June 8, 2010
Me and my crazy coworkers out @ the Pittsburgh Steak Company for dinner.
Friday, June 4, 2010
- President Clinton on International Literacy Day, September 8th 1994
“Literacy arouses hopes, not only in society as a whole but also in the individual who is striving for fulfilment, happiness and personal benefit by learning how to read and write. Literacy... means far more than learning how to read and write... The aim is to transmit... knowledge and promote social participation.”
- UNESCO Institute for Education, Hamburg, Germany
Ok, take a walk on the slightly nerdy side with me as I explore something that’s near and dear to my heart. Literacy. Living in the ‘land of opportunity’ does not, unfortunately, mean that our country is functionally literate. Now, some of you may think, who cares? Honestly, I do. In 2003 in the state of Florida 20 percent of sampled adults were found to be lacking basic literacy skills. That’s just basic…meaning that 20% of my home state does not meet the basic literary requirements considered necessary to function in society. A fifth of my state?!? This breaks my heart.
Want to know about your state and/or county? Check it out here.
Being homeschooled myself, I didn't really witness the literacy (or lack thereof) of the average young American until I started college (at 16). My first semester I took an English course that required a mixture of basic literature reading and analysis skills as well as the ability to write a 3-5 page paper. Cake, right? False.
After being paired with a partner to exchange papers and 'peer review' each others writings I was somewhat terrified by the results. My partner didn't correct one thing on my paper (which was far from perfect), handing it back and saying, 'Wow where'd you learn to write like that?'. I managed to mark up her entire paper with run on sentences, mispellings, elementary-level vocabulary, etc. I felt terrible after for marking so many flaws in her writing when I knew I was by far the youngest in my class and had a long way to come as a writer but honestly, a 6th grader could have written that paper.
After I left downtown Indianapolis's IUPUI to further my education at Purdue University (when I was 18), I found that college was an interesting mix of people. Including those I couldn't in my wildest dreams determine the reasoning behind their acceptance into higher education and people who were far smarter than I and probably could have taught my profs a thing or two. How could there be such vast differences in the educations of students raised primarily in the same several states? Is it lack of education or lack of motivation that should be credited for the flaws in my fellow classmates educations? As for those who wowed me with their expertise, how did they get so far ahead? Being a social worker by nature and trade I'm always interested in people, so I learned as much from my observations in college as I did from any of my textbooks.
Later, after graduating from Purdue and taking a job that involved teaching in high school health classes (here in Hillsborough County) I was shocked to experience first hand (for the first time) the local public school system. In one class (I will leave the high school's name off out of respect) I was informed that they were to turn in their big assignment on my 3rd day of teaching. I inquired about said assignment to find out it was a binder they were to keep the notes they were given in, and turn in at the end of the year. Best assignment ever if I were still a 16-17 year old...they didn't even have to take the notes themselves! This was to be 75% of their final grade (the rest was determined by attendance and such). On the day this was due I watched as 4 students handed in the binder.
I was confused. I asked the teacher again if I had the correct day and she sadly said yes, that most of the students would return to repeat health the following year for not turning in their binders. Some of her students had actually been in the course previously and would return for a 3rd time before they would be allowed to graduate. Are you kidding me? All you have to do is turn in a binder of notes you were GIVEN and you don't bother to turn it in? How could you possibly let that keep you from graduating high school?
Thursday, June 3, 2010
I'm going to start by passing if off to my favorite former intern Daniel Mogg at The Mogg Blog who just got back from Cannes and meeting a bunch of famous people. You are fabulous.
Also, to Tara at That's Why Her Hair is So Big for starting Target trends...get it girl.
And Nicole because I really like her and reading both her blogs is tre trendy (I say so).
Pass it on loves.
Tuesday, June 1, 2010
Myrtle Beach, SC
Isle of Palms, SCIndianapolis, IN in Sept, Oct, Nov (x2), & Dec
And a few more I can’t publicize just yet.
First off, let’s talk about the people you meet when you travel. A few years back on a flight to Hawaii I slept on the shoulder of a man with no teeth. Crap, now you know how to get me if I ever play ‘Never have I ever’ with you in the future! Gr. Confessions….Nice guy though. When you’re exhausted and dirty from traveling for 12 hours, you aren’t picky about your travel friends. Or at least, I wasn’t.
On a flight to my sister’s wedding (2 flights, actually) I met a guy who happened to be on both my flights, in the seat next to me and was from my school. Fate? Perhaps. Regardless, we’ve been friends for 3 years now since our airport meeting and we check in from time to time to see what the other is up too. He’s working on his PhD (still at Purdue) and I’m in Florida working, obviously. He’s one of the only travel buddies I’ve ever been daring enough to share my personal info with…we started as only facebook friends.
Flying home (to Indy, I mean) I was offered a job with Verizon once! That was interesting. I met two men who headed up sales areas in the Midwest and after gabbing with them for an hour or so they took a liking to me and gave me their cards, saying if I ever wanted to move home and work for them – they would have a place for me. Presh. I’m happily employed and settled here in Florida but the gesture warmed my heart and it’s always encouraging to make a good first impression (hard to do while looking a hot mess en route home).
Let me share with you a few words of wisdom about travel (feel free to comment some additions, my traveling friends)…
- Never take a layover to save 50 bucks. In my experience your time is worth a lot more than your money when it comes to traveling. If it’s the difference between 200 and 250 bucks but you have to stop in Detroit on the way, don’t do it. Fork over the money and fly direct. You will thank me.
- Unless Atlanta is your ‘final destination’, avoid it like the plague. I have honestly NEVER had a good experience with a layover in Atlanta and en route to the Super Bowl this year my sister actually had to sleep in the ATL airport, without her bag, which they’d lost by then. Yeah, ugly stuff.
- Don’t wear complicated shoes. You’ll be in a full sweat by the time you get through security and the people behind you (who will inevitably be on your flight and close enough to glare at you) will hate you by the time you successfully get them on, on the flip-side. I recommend shoes that slip on and off… flip flops, ballet flats, sperrys, uggs, etc. (I don’t know enough about men shoes to have lots of creative ideas for them, so sorry). Please avoid crocs….please.
- Dress for the summer, plan for the arctic! It never fails if I dress for the plane to be 60 degrees, it’s 90. If I plan for it to be 90 degrees, it’s 60. I’ve learned to layer so that regardless I’m not dealing with chattering teeth or sweaty pits.
- It’s over your head. If you’re going to carry on, practice lifting your bag above your head before you leave your house. I always pick my carry on up and make sure that I will be able to lift it (even if slightly awkwardly) over my head and into the bin. If you don’t, chances are you will either crush your soon-to-be plane neighbor OR you will have to ask for help and lets me honest, people are cranky on planes! I like to be prepared…if it’s wicked heavy, take a pair of jeans out. A southwest employee taught me that.
- Establish Boundaries/Learn to Ignore. If you want get anything done while flying I highly recommend setting the expectations early on. If I plan to read or sleep, I sit down, put my ipod on and proceed to ignore the people sitting next to me (assuming I don’t know them, of course). If you start chatting at the beginning you’ll get stuck chatting until you touch down. Sometimes, I don’t mind this (in the case of attractive, single men for instance) but for the most part I prefer to be left alone with my Kindle.
If I sat here long enough I could probably tell you 100 more stories and tips but I’ll spare you. You now have the force, Luke (Star Wars reference, don’t judge). Use it well.