Friday, November 30, 2012

Sums It Up

It is not easy to find happiness in ourselves, and it is not possible to find it elsewhere.
~ Agnes Repplier

Thursday, November 29, 2012

Free Will Astrology: Not a Fixed Star

Aries Horoscope for week of November 29, 2012
Verticle Oracle card Aries (March 21-April 19)
"They are trying to make me into a fixed star," complained religious leader Martin Luther a few centuries ago. "I am an irregular planet." I invite you to use that declaration as your own in the coming weeks. You have every right to avoid being pinned down, pigeonholed, and forced to be consistent. According to my reading of the astrological omens, you need abundant freedom to mutate your identity. You deserve a poetic license that allows you to play a variety of different roles and explore the pleasures of unpredictable self-expression.

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Inspired : Looking Back, Moving Forward

Lots and lots of wonderfully thankful and reflective Thanksgiving posts are all around the Blogosphere these days. It is the season where we think about what we have, what we want, and the people who fill our lives with love (and maybe just a little drama).

In this post from Katy Loves, Thankful, she talks about hearing Dolly Parton on Good Morning America talk about changes in life and the ability to go back and change them if we could:

“You can’t think like that and I don’t. Sure there are things here and there you wonder if you could do them differently. But then, changing one thing could change everything.”

I think this wonder of coulda, woulda, shoulda, makes our present less important and special. We are either thinking of the past or considering what will happen in the future that  we often don't consider what is going on right now, in this moment, in this day, and how it affects us. 

This resonated with me, as it did with Katy, because I think about how the hell I got to where I am now. If one relationship hadn't worked out, if I didn't randomly find that website for that experience, if I didn't even try to change my situation, then where would I have been now. It's easy to think about the "what if" and if things could be better. I am constantly constantly checking myself to say that even if I wasn't the happiest in X situation, at least I experienced it, know that it didn't work out, and can then move on. If I left a situation thinking it was the worst and then came to realize that maybe it wasn't so bad after all, then that is a lesson learned.

I think the biggest thing with experiences, both big and small, are that they tell us something about ourselves; what we like or don't like, how people can lift us higher or take us down, and what we want for our lives. I suppose it is all relative to the experience but even a bad experience can teach us something and we can come away much stronger because of it.

Saturday, November 24, 2012

The Requisite Thanksgiving Post

Greetings, all!

Hope everyone had a wonderful Thanksgiving holiday and accompanying weekend! Did anyone go brave the crowds? On Wednesday, I went to see "Twilight" (um...I liked one scene!) and treated myself to a big ol' Panera lunch. Friday, I wandered into Target and World Market just to see if there was anything left and any good deals and was lucky enough to find a great things AND the checkout lines were minimal. I did the same thing last year with just going to see what's up, no expectations, and maximum amount of patience. Seems to work well for me!

Being that I am single and far away from family and friends, I make sure to still do some traditional holiday things for myself. This year, I am cat-sitting for my co-worker at her place (big screen tv, cable, kittens means perfect "vacation") and still made my version of a Thanksgiving meal.

Always on my plate: turkey, stuffing, mashed potatoes, and cranberry sauce (a la can). I usually dress up the stuffing and mashed potatoes with my own additions but went super simple this year. I did use Emily's recipe for Sweet & Sour Brussell Sprouts which were AMAZING! I subbed brown sugar for honey but these were incredibly good. Added a fancy can of diet ginger ale for sparkle and then sat down to have a proper viewing of Ryan Gosling's abs "Crazy Stupid Love." I forgot how much I loved that movie! (P.S. Don't stuff yourself full while watching gorgeous actors...feels a little dirty)

For dessert, I made mini treats of classics that my mom always makes. They aren't fancy but damn, they are delicious! I forgot to take pictures BUT they are super easy. One is just chocolate pudding mixed for pie preparation and thrown into the mini graham cracker crusts. My mom always does the real chocolate pies with proper crusts and cooking of the pudding but...that's a whole lot of effort for little ol' me. I usually make some sort of pumpkin something and this year I made mini impossible pumpkin pie cupcakes for work then some regular cupcake-sized ones for me to enjoy. Add a gigantic dollop of whipped cream on each and boom...supremely delicious.

Overall, not too shabby of a holiday and long weekend. I got a lot of sad faces and "awwws" when asked what I was doing for Thanksgiving. After being single and away from home for the last several years, I'm used to that response but definitely not something I enjoy. Being a nomad apparently has its downsides!

Any sort of traditions that you make a point of doing every year? 

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Use It or Lose It

Brain rattles for the week...

Deliciousness is actually a word. It seems like one of those cutesy (like this word) that girls use to describe things they like. I also use these words cause tasty and yummy really lose their effectiveness after a while.

de·licious·ness n.
Synonyms: delicious, ambrosial, delectable, luscious, scrumptious, toothsome, yummy 
These adjectives mean very pleasing to the sense of taste: a delicious pâté; ambrosial fruit salad; delectable raspberries; luscious chocolate bonbons; a scrumptious peach; a toothsome apple; yummy fudge.

WalMart workers to strike over working Thanksgiving/Black Friday. Normally, I just feel bad for the workers who have to have to leave the Thanksgiving table early to go to work and make a living. I try to be as nice to them as possible, making polite conversation and thanking them for working said holiday. This year though, I feel a moral dilemma of whether to support the fact that there is no longer a "Black Friday" but instead a "Let's open an entire day early just to be more competitive with any other store and sell as much as possible." I feel like it is one thing to get up early, go line up outside a store in your pajamas, and get good deals; it was more a tradition and pretty hilarious. Now it has come to people being trampled, injured, and, in some cases, even killed...and all over material goods that will most likely be on sale at the same price at another time! It makes me feel sad that holidays are less about tradition, reflection, and family but is now focused on material goods that, let's face it, most people don't need. I know a lot of my friends are struggling with the same dilemma; want to get their kids or family members something that they will love but take into account a very tight budget, especially since the economy has been struggling for quite a while now.

It makes sense why these sales are so fantastic and eventful; definitely serving a purpose to offer discounted items that are in great demand. For most retailers, this is the biggest sales weekend of the year! It is just something to consider this year; take a moment, think about the importance of the gifts you are giving, and treat each other with respect, patience, and consideration when you go hunting for those bargain deals.

I have the most random food vices this week: deep dish chocolate chip cookie and salt & vinegar baked chips.Ugh, I feel gross. Thinking I will enjoy the Thanksgiving foods then call it a cleanse til Christmas rolls around (and hopefully I'm not rolling around like Violet Beauregard in Willy Wonka).

I am kitty-sitting for Thanksgiving! Despite the "aww" faces I keep getting when I say I am spending Thanksgiving alone, I am actually okay with it AND was looking forward to it since it meant that I would get some kitten time (two of them!) and a huge TV with cable. I love being around animals again, even though apparently I got really use to having big dogs around versus teeny, tiny kittens (Currently they are in/on/around my lap!).

Honestly, it doesn't take much to make me happy. Bonus: turkey and cranberry sandwiches for at least a week! 

An extra bonus of this week, I got to see some students (well, friends, really!)I worked with during my internship that are currently GA's on campus AND my internship boss also stopped in to my office this morning! It was such a great, great surprise to see some friendly faces and catch-up. Definitely what I needed this week

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Current Status, Lyrically

Defying Gravity from "Wicked" 
Too late for second-guessing
Too late to go back to sleep
It's time to trust my instincts
Close my eyes: and leap!

The Lumineers, "Ho, Hey"
(Ho) I’ve been trying to do it right (Hey)
I’ve been living a lonely life
(Ho) I’ve been sleeping here instead (Hey)
I’ve been sleeping in my bed
(Ho) Sleeping in my bed (Hey)
(Ho) So show me family (Hey)
All the blood that I would bleed
(Ho) I don’t know where I belong (Hey)
I don’t know where I went wrong
(Ho) But I can write a song (Hey)

And just so this isn't completely picture less...

Gorgeous sunset walk from work

Got a little book crazy at the library!

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Quotes of the Day: Johann von Goethe

Goethe was a writer, poet, artist, politician, and philosopher. He has an incredibly rich history and played a significant part in many of the lives of the philosophers who we value today such as Nietzsche, Jung, and Schopenhauer. Interesting fella that Goethe.


Human beings, by change, renew, rejuvenate ourselves; otherwise we harden.

Character is formed in the stormy billows of the world.

You accuse a woman of wavering affections, but don't blame her; she is just looking for a consistent man.

To create something you must be something.

The person born with a talent they are meant to use will find their greatest happiness in using it.


Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Outstanding October? Nuzzle November?

I forgot about Outstanding October! I did this post last month detailing a few of the things I wanted to achieve over the 31 days. How did I do?

1. Embrace Halloween in more ways than candy corn. I wasn't as festive but I did participate in an office competition to make the best most "scary" treat. I won second place even! Very exciting.

 The 2nd place winner? Punkin' Gut Cups (aka Pumpkin Pie Cups). Mmmmm......They turned out wonderfully and were really easy to make. I might make them for the November birthday celebration, too!

2. Volunteer. I wanted to attend the volunteer workshop at Pawmetto Lifeline but missed the cut-off. I still want to though! I might try and make time during the holidays for smaller opportunities, possibly helping local families and children.

3. Shake up the wardrobe. I bought a coat and some cute bright blue skinny jeans from Forever 21. This was a splurge! Haven't worn them yet but I swear, soon! I also finally wore this tight, black jersey skirt (they only have striped ones now apparently?) and it is not only comfortable but incredibly flattering and comfortable. And it was only $8 at Old Navy on clearance!

Oh, and I dyed my hair a vibrant red color. Love it! I was inspired by the lovely Gretchen.

4. Participate in a blogger recipe challenge. I blame this on the sickness. I made yummy oatmeal raising breakfast cookies (posting the recipe and pictures soon) but then was so exhausted that I never did the post in the alloted time. Oh well, this month perhaps.

5. Read five books. BOOM.

And what about November? Nuzzle was the only word that made sense in the most abstract of ways.

The definition of nuzzle: 
  1. Rub or push against gently with the nose and mouth
  2. Lean or snuggle against.
This might be a stretch but with the holidays and colder weather, this is totally doable!

1. Spend time around animals. I am going to cat-sit for my friend while she and her boyfriend are out of town. Honestly, how could I turn down two black and white kittens and cable television? Best Thanksgiving plans.

2. Embrace the holidays slowly but surely. I find the holidays difficult for a few reasons but I always try and make the best out of them. I will make a lovely Thanksgiving meal (leftovers!) and a dessert or two, we have a Pinterest potluck at work that I am super excited about and I want to start the holiday shopping so that I can spread it out over the next month. I rarely ever have money this time of year but I LOVE, LOVE buying presents for people. Little gifts full of love.  I also plan to go to some of the local festivities!

3. Keep in close contact with friends and family. I need to stay on top of emails a lot better but also make time for phone dates. 

4. Take great care of myself. Sounds easy, right? I wrote up a list of 10 things I want to make habit (remember, it takes 21 days to make something a habit!) and these are all very simple, achievable things but things that are easy to forget when I am curled up on the couch all comfy or have a ridiculous craving for warm, gooey chocolate chip cookies at 11pm.

What will you do to make the most of November?

Monday, November 5, 2012

Book-O-Rama: Reviews

I swear my co-worker must think I'm a little off my rocker. I will randomly vent about ridiculous boys in my life out of nowhere then be like, "Okay, thanks, sorry!" since I feel like I sound crazy. It's clearly my own fault; my horrible taste in the mens and my lack of social life doesn't make the best of combos. Ladies and gents, don't ever be single, especially in your 30's--it is TOUGH. And on that lack of social life has given way to a flourishing book addiction!

The library seems to be a forgotten resource these days with the availability of cheap books online and now the electronic readers out there. I'm old fashioned though; I love the feel and ritual of turning the pages in a book and seeing them on my bookshelf. True, the electronic version is much easier on the back when moving but still, I love a full bookshelf full of stories and adventures; love and woes, friendship and nightmares.

I wanted to do a quick summary of some of the books I have read recently. Some of have been AMAZING and some where a bit of a let down. And away we go...

Ellen DeGeneres

 So, I really, really wanted to like this book. I was all ready to start and...I barely made it through the first chapter. It didn't really appeal to me and although I love her humor, personality, and her television show, she writes the book like she speaks and it can be difficult for the reader to follow. There were a lot of tangents and stories within stories.

Jonathan Tropper: How to Talk to a Widower & One Last Thing Before I Go

I've said it before many, many times but I am in love with Jonathan Tropper's writing. He uses such interesting descriptions and narratives that you can't help but become invested in not only the characters but the entire story itself. I have now read all but two (I think?) of his books and each time I get just as excited to dive in to a new story.

Friday, November 2, 2012

Long Week, Hello Friday

It feels like it has really been a long week. The days seem to go by pretty quickly but I swear the week added in extra days just for kicks. As the weekend approaches, I have been more ambitious with events and things I want to complete. In all honesty, I just want to put some art up on the walls and continue with my sugar detox. I read that it takes 21 days to make an action a habit so I plan to actively and consciously implement some healthy habits up through Thanksgiving. Good goal date, right? I'll make another post of said healthy habits.

And now for the showcase showdown:

1.  Something I swore I'd never do, but have ended up doing anyway is complaining about "the kids these days." I know that every generation has its pros and cons but damn, kids these days!

2.  Something I've always wanted to do is travel. I think about how big the world is and how much there is to see. My drive from Oregon to Michigan was just the tip of the iceberg. 
3.  Something I have absolutely no desire to ever do is have a big house. I don't get the point of it nor do I want to clean it. I'd be happy with a condo or a nice little house with character.

4. The best thing I ever did was move to Michigan for grad school. It was so much more beneficial and eye-opening that I had imagined and I really came into my own---at the late, great age of 30. 

5. When it comes to trying new things, I am open to pretty much everything but if it is just me doing it, I tend to get shy and don't always follow through. If friends want to do something, I am always up for it though. 

6. One thing I've never done is
fly an airplane. Not that I want to but I haven't done it!

7.  My favorite thing do is curl up in bed, open all the windows, and read a really good book. Same goes for watching movies with the windows open while it is raining. So relaxing! (I have a window obsession; a big reason I chose my current apartment is windows in every room)
Everyone have a GREAT weekend!