Friday, August 31, 2012

Quote of the Day: Say Yes.

“The warrior’s approach is to say ‘yes’ to life: ‘yes’ to it all.”
--Joseph Campbell

Have a good weekend! <3

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Free Will Astrology: A Few Adjustments

Aries Horoscope for week of August 30, 2012
Verticle Oracle card Aries (March 21-April 19)
I'm afraid your vibes are slightly out of tune. Can you do something about that, please? Meanwhile, your invisible friend could really use a Tarot reading, and your houseplants would benefit from a dose of Mozart. Plus -- and I hope I'm not being too forward here -- your charmingly cluttered spots are spiraling into chaotic sprawl, and your slight tendency to overreact is threatening to devolve into a major proclivity. As for that rather shabby emotional baggage of yours: Would you consider hauling it to the dump? In conclusion, my dear Ram, you're due for a few adjustments.

....bahahahaa. Oh horoscope, you are full of BS yet so on point. How does that happen?

I couldn't agree more with few adjustments. I desperately need to get my head straight, stop thinking too far into the future, and maybe sleep in my bed. I need to push myself a lot harder, treat myself better, and figure out WHAT IS UP, YO.

Over on the decor8 blog today there was an amazing post about being happy and how the summer was a bit of a going with the stream time. She says that "In the end, I think it’s really my heart and soul that needs a safe place to rest right now." And she says it so perfectly that I was a bit taken back. Earlier this week a co-worker was advising a student and said "sometimes you have to go way, way, way out to figure out that you were actually in the right place in the beginning."

Simple words remind us that life truly is and can be just that simple. 

Thursday, August 23, 2012

A Day of Many Hurdles

This was my Thursday:

Go to work. Shadow the other advisors and learn that I might just remember how to be an awesome advisor. Prepare for meeting tomorrow.

Brave the new student crowds and hit up the campus post office. I nearly got ran into about five times by students looking at their phones while walking. If this were a Looney Tunes cartoon, there would have been at least one uncovered manhole and an anvil to take out the extra slow ones.

Leaving work, I notice the sky has turned a deep, evil gray color. Chaos ensues while the rain comes pouring down, hailing for a few moments, and then continues pouring creating rivers and puddles. I have now learned after being in Columbia for almost two months that it is easier to take my shoes off and walk than tread in any sort of footwear.

Almost get run over by a taxi and slightly slice a toe but eventually make it to my car. I drive home slowly, barefoot, and even manage to make it through Piggly Wiggly despite the fact that the entire left side of my body is soaked through.

Get my Piggly Wiggly card, make a killing on sales for date night dinner ingredients, and make it home in record time to shower and clean the apartment. Clean meaning hide large amount of recycling and do dishes.

Make Monica's bomb tofu taco "meat" recipe and watch "Arthur" with friend. Hilarious 80's movie and I now have a new appreciation for Liza Minnelli. Eat awesome chocolate chip cookies. Have awkward conversation.

Fight with my Roku (which I am convinced is evil and has PMS) and eventually give up on watching another movie and instead listen to the Spa channel on Pandora to calm me down.

End scene. (I actually had to look this up to see if it was "and scene" or "end scene")

Happy Friday!

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Free Will Astrology: Controlled Burn.

Aries Horoscope for week of August 23, 2012
Verticle Oracle card Aries (March 21-April 19)
Do you know what a controlled burn is? Firefighters start small, manageable fires on purpose so as to eradicate brush that has accumulated too close to wooded areas. With less fuel around, bigger fires are not as likely to ignite accidentally and turn into conflagrations. I encourage you to use this as a metaphor for your own life, Aries. How? First, identify a big potential problem that may be looming on the horizon. Then, in the coming weeks, get rid of all the small messes that might tend to feed that big problem. Make sure it'll never happen.

Not sure what to make of this one considering all the issues floating around in my head. It feels a little more like the rinse cycle than a forest fire but I'll take it into consideration.

Monday, August 20, 2012

Quotes of the Day: Kindler, Gentler

Haven't had a little quotes posting in a while! This particular post is inspired by the Positivity Blog's recent post: "Self-Love: 9 Ways to Be Kind to Yourself."

“Three things in human life are important: the first is to be kind; the second is to be kind; and the third is to be kind.”
― Henry James

“Do your little bit of good where you are; it's those little bits of good put together that overwhelm the world.”
― Desmond Tutu

 “People are often unreasonable and self-centered. Forgive them anyway.
If you are kind, people may accuse you of ulterior motives. Be kind anyway.
If you are honest, people may cheat you. Be honest anyway.
If you find happiness, people may be jealous. Be happy anyway.
The good you do today may be forgotten tomorrow. Do good anyway.
Give the world the best you have and it may never be enough. Give your best anyway.
For you see, in the end, it is between you and God. It was never between you and them anyway.”
― Mother Teresa

“My religion is very simple. My religion is kindness.”
― Dalai Lama XIV

“All I'm saying is, kindness don't have no boundaries.”
― Kathryn Stockett, The Help

Thursday, August 16, 2012

It's Friday, I'm in Love

Have love on the brain. Specifically, love and relationships and oh my goodness, how do you stand someone for year after year after year. What makes people fall in love? What makes people do crazy things?

You get where I'm going...right?

From Pinterest
A couple was asked on their 75th wedding anniversary, what made them stay together this long. The wife turned the question over to her husband to which he sweetly replied "We never fell out of love with each other at the same time." A friend of mine was telling me this story and we kidded about when you really just want to smack your significant other with a frying pan sometimes or just hide in the woods for a few days cause you can't stand the other person but after putting all that work, effort, and love into a relationship, why would you ever give up? Why would you ever stop trying?

Personally, I think the "woo-ing" should never stop. Ever. If a guy is in a store buying beer and sees those 25 cent candy necklaces near the check out, he should grab one to bring home to his girl. If a girl is at the store and remembers her "boo thang" (new slang for honey or boo from my hilarious co-worker) had some nasty ol' holey socks at home, she picks up some more. I think the little things mean so much more than any kind of crazy expensive gifts or gestures. Small surprises equal daily sparks.

The idea of BEING LOVED is also pretty overwhelming. We take all this time and energy to find someone (or people) who can love us, put up with our quirks, moods, and attitudes, and yet still love us each and every day. When you think about it, that is an overwhelming and humbling concept. Being loved has to be one of the biggest blessings in life and also one of the scariest. This great article (linked from How Sweet It Is's post) is a reminder that we shouldn't give up on the idea that someone can love us and we can be worthy of love.

This sweet couple also celebrating their 75th wedding anniversary has some serious laughs and you know they have truly enjoyed their lives together.

He notes that someone commented that they often hold hands, and explains there's a reason for that.
"We hang on so we don't slug each other," he says, laughing.

How do you make a marriage last three-quarters of a century?
Both glance at each other across their front room.
"Keeping my mouth shut — sometimes," Wilma says, grinning.
"Humor," answers Noble. "I learned to say 'Yes dear, yes dear.'"
They share smiles.

More sweet stories:
Couple in 90s renew vows for 75th anniversary
Reedley couple celebrates 75 years of marriage
Wedded bliss for 75 years "Two Manhattans a night!"

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Wednesday: Cravings

I have noticed that the higher my stress, the more I crave comfort...for obvious reasons. Lately that comfort has been in the form of food (resorting to old ways) but there have also been very specific cravings for things that provide comfort, relaxation, and reflection.

For example, last Friday I said out loud to myself "I really want a nap and a piece of cheese pizza" and that truly was all I needed to make me happy at that moment. Neither of them ended up happening but it was very specific.

Sunday I was craving vegetables and fruit (a sign I need to go grocery shopping) and a walk or something active outside. I have been dying to go for a hike, sweat, and do some physical exertion. Have I attempted to as of yet? No. I don't want to go hiking alone nor do I have the energy to start my Couch to 5K just yet.

Monday was not so much a craving but a ridiculous non-stop jukebox of Eminem and Whitney Houston echoing in my brain. I have come to learn that my brain has to be at least 50% song lyrics. True story. 

Yesterday was the strangest craving though..a bubble bath! I was sitting in a meeting (which was a fine example of Southern thinking vs. Northern thinking) and I randomly thought how amazing it would be to go home, get into a nice hot bubble bath, and just breathe deeply.

Any strange cravings happening for y'all lately? Food or otherwise? Do tell!

Monday, August 13, 2012

Leap of Faith

Faith is something that is incredibly personal, incredibly unique, and incredibly amazing. I have always believed that you need to have faith in yourself and faith in the universe and those things will help guide you through life. I am someone who follows my instinct and intuition and whenever I have gone against those, things have turned out less than fantastic...every.single.time.

After reading the blog post from Tina over at Carrots 'n' Cake, I thought about how many leaps of faith I have taken throughout my life thus far especially those that I don't regret despite however difficult things may have been along the way. 

2001: Moved to Seattle. Partied like a college kid without actually going to college. Lived with a ton of people and learned a lot about myself.

2003: Took part in Americorps National Civilian Community Corps. It was an 11-month service where you traveled, works, and lived with a team of 20-somethings. It has been compared to "The Real World" many times only we did some service work in between the drama. It was a life changing experience that gave me some serious sassiness and the confidence to speak up. I also met some amazing people that I am still blessed to know and love.

2005: Became a nanny. I started working at a daycare center and when that became more trouble than anything, I found a nanny position with an amazing family. I'll admit I was worried I wouldn't be able to handle it, taking care of a one-year old and a two-year old, but in the end it cemented my desire to have kids and made me realize I can be awesome and do anything if I really want to.

2006-2009: Went to Oregon State University to complete my degree. Never, ever thought this would happen but something told me that I just needed to do it...go full force and get it done.

2010: Drove cross country alone. This was something that I did more so for economical reason but the experience will stay with me forever. I planned everything out, took amazing pictures, and was constantly surprised that I was in the middle of the country, just me and my car, and doing just fine.

2010: Went to grad school in Michigan. I was super lost and super unsure of what the hell I was doing. Applied to grad schools, got into one that also offered an graduate assistantship and went for it. Loved it all and was amazed at the opportunities and experiences I had. I also met some people there that I depend on and who have become my mentors and closest friends. 

I am a decide-do it kind of person. Once something isn't working, I figure out an alternative and make it happen. I usually want things to happen fast because I am ready and the more I think about something the more clouded I get by other opinions and "what ifs" and soon, my voice is lost. This can be seen as impulsive but I am also someone that thinks things through (hello alliteration) and that is it. I usually see the pros and cons and can deal with them both.

I don't know how it came about but I love the way my brain works--logical, analytical, instinctual, but also incredibly sentimental and sensitive. Confusing at times but never boring!

Sunday, August 12, 2012

Food Favorites

My eating routine has been hit or miss lately. Between training for my new job which includes a whole lot of free lunches (yay and nay) and attempting to establish some sort of regularity and utilization of SparkPeople again, I have been feeling gross and out of shape. I finally got a scale this last week and while a lot of people don't think a scale is an accurate interpretation of progress, I feel like it motivates me. Apparently I have gained a few pounds but I think more so, I have lost a lot of muscle. Since muscle weighs more than fat, I lost some but gained some fatty goodness back.

I wanted to show a few of my favorite go-to foods and snacks that have kept me mildly on track as I figure out how to cook again!
I literally lived on this combination for the last few weeks: Ak Mak crackers, Oscar Meyer Oven Roasted Turkey Breast, and Wild Garden red pepper hummus. I usually try to add some carrots and grapes to round out the plate but damn, this combo is so good! Bonus that the crackers are healthy without any additives or weird ingredients, and I am definitely getting my protein and fiber boost.
My favorite frittata that I keep forgetting to get a picture of:

Take two servings of frozen tater tots, defrost in microwave then smush (technical term) into the "crust" of a pie plate.

Take a big random combo of frozen veggies from the freezer and defrost. I usually include spinach, broccoli, pepper mix, onion/garlic/shallot mix, and whatever fresh veggies I have on hand. Layer that into the pie plate.

Next take four eggs and a couple of glugs of egg whites and whip them up nicely in a bowl. Add in seasonings (S&P, garlic powder, italian seasonings, etc.) and then add the secret ingredient: MUSTARD! Yep, just trust me.

Pour the egg mixture evenly into the pie plate. Add some feta cheese on top and mush into the rest so that it is covered my the egg mixture (shredded cheese is okay but forms a hard shell on top when baked).

Pop that all into a 375 degree oven for about 45 minutes until the middle is set. I consider this four servings that are nutritionally balanced AND decent in the calories and fat department.
A few other to-go snacks that are good when I am on a time crunch:
Nutri-Grain bars (always in strawberry)
Clif Kid Organic Zbars (always in iced oatmeal cookie)
Earthfare Organic Animal Crackers
Pretzel Crisps (every and all flavors welcome, usually dipped in hummus)

Thursday, August 2, 2012

Trivial Exploration

I figured I owed y'all a little update since things have been busy but yet, not so much. I am in the middle of training with my entire office so my days are spent sitting in a small room with a bunch of great people and discussing student affairs, doing ice breakers, and then reflecting. I appreciate training and feel like it is incredibly useful however I am reflected out! I feel like I need an entire day of strictly veggin' on the couch, doing an art project, and baking some tasty treats. Back to the simple life, right?
This has been my life lately: 
 Bought a bed online that is actually rolled up (ie. compact) then you open up the package and it "rehydrates" to normal size. Only problem? I thought it came with a frame, it did not, and therefore this one might be going back to the store while I continue to stalk Craigslist for good deals.
 Got a haircut. Three times. Yep, it took three attempts to get my haircut and the end result is a little too short, a little longer on one side, and has me wishing I would have stopped at the second haircut. I did get it cut two of the three times at the Paul Mitchell School which is great and a really good deal at only $10. (Sorry for the horrible, grumpers car picture!)
 This is my "dream" couch. I don't own it because I can't even attempt to pay $899 for a couch but I loved the store, Whit Ash, and could have easily decorated my entire place from just this one store (oh, and maybe West Elm, too).

This is the couch that I did end up buying. I was hoping for something a bit more colorful but this is very neutral, comfortable, and allows for some fun accessories like a big ol' crazy rug and side tables. I hope you'll appreciate my high class green Rubbermaid tub serving as my coffee table and my little vintage chair serving as a night stand. What you don't see? My yoga mat serving as a throw rug in front of the TV. We do it classy here in SC. 
Randomly, on Craigslist the other day, they had postings for cheap furniture that turned out to be auctions. I was a little suspicious and actually forgot that I even bid on these two items but by the end of last week, I apparently won! The table has two leaves that slide out from below and has a great art deco design on the legs. I plan to sand it all down and then either re-stain it or paint it a great glossy black. I think I might randomly go with stools instead of chairs with this one but whatever pops up on Craigslist just might be the way to go.

The little tiered tray on top was only $3 and I just couldn't resist. I plan on holding some jewelry and scarves in it once I get the bedroom set up.

Last but not least, a date! The other night I went out on my first proper date in at least the last 3-5 years (oy, that sounds bad, right?). We did a casual start by hitting up the Carolina Ale House and had some beers and appetizers. After getting bored with the scene there, we braved the insane humidity and wandered over to a bar that featured awesome desserts, Nonnah's. The wait staff was super friendly and the key lime pie was ridiculously good. Not wanting to end the night too early, he took me around the State House to show me some of the history and statues. I wish I would have brought my real camera since the lights were amazing AND there was also crazy lightening going on so really, I don't think that tour could have gotten much better.

I have told many a co-worker and friend that dating is terrifying. I consider the dentist to be my ultimate fear and dating to be not far behind but this first date wasn't too bad. I did come to realize that I don't want to date several people at a time nor do I enjoy that kind of awkward, figuring each other out time. I like the crazy butterflies and missing the person between dates time. I miss that ease of being in a relationship and the other person just kind of gets you without needing to say much. I guess the whole point of dating is to find someone who gets all those fun feelings going AND just happens to be awesome. Kiss a bunch of frogs to find the prince, right?


Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Free Will Astrology: Most Interesting Man in the World

Aries Horoscope for week of August 2, 2012
Verticle Oracle card Aries (March 21-April 19)
The astrological omens suggest that you now have a lot in common with the legendary Most Interesting Man in the World -- adventurous, unpredictable, interesting, lucky, one-of-a-kind. To create your horoscope, I have therefore borrowed a few selected details from his ad campaign's descriptions of him. Here we go: In the coming weeks, you will be the life of parties you don't even attend. Astronauts will be able to see your charisma from outer space. Up to one-third of your body weight will be gravitas. Your cell phone will always have good reception, even in a subway 100 feet underground. Panhandlers will give you money. You could challenge your reflection to a staring contest -- and win. You'll be able to keep one eye on the past while looking into the future. When you sneeze, God will say "God bless you."

Just waiting on all that positive affirmation and reinforcement of my self-esteem!