Monday, November 30, 2009

Staycation Ahoy!

My first non-traveling, non-holiday, non-weekend time off from work in nearly 2 years! Last week, I kissed the old job good-bye and get to bid the new one hello in 8 days. After the roller coaster I've been on this past year, I think I deserve the breather!

I kicked off my Staycation with a lovely massage from a local massage school. Quite obvious that my masseuse was a student, but a rubdown is a rubdown and I enjoyed my full hour. At $30 a pop, I can afford to treat myself every so often.

Of course, I don't intend for the week to be a complete pamperfest. My shopping cart is only half full of the Christmas gifts I need to buy. My living space is STILL a mess--I pretty much gave up on it right after my last blog entry. There's much to research on my new job so I can go in thinking like a pro. I'd also like to look like one, which involves a bit of wardrobe shopping (darn).

My last goal on the list is to hit the gym in ways I don't typically do so. I've been an avid Zumba goer for several months. I enjoy it, but am aware that it's not the gateway to a magnificent bod. I'll be hitting up a Body Sculpting class that I didn't last 15 minutes in a few years back as well as a different Yoga session taught by a terribly frightening instructor. I'm not out to get the best body in the world, but I'd really like a toned bum and some physical stamina to boot!

It's near lunch for most people. For me, it's time for a shower to wake me up and get this Staycation started!

Friday, November 13, 2009

Tidying Up

So I thought the majority of the mess in my bedroom was all the clean laundry I didn't fold. (sidenote: I don't mind washing clothes, but I DESPISE putting them away for some reason!) I've restocked my closet and feel much better about that, but for some reason I don't feel like it's opened up anything in here! Little piles of clutter EVERYWHERE! How does one come to live a clutter free life?!

I'm going through my things and trying to get rid of the obvious--clothes I don't wear, junk mail, old magazines, etc. I've got a pile of stuffed animals to donate to the police department (they keep them in their car for little kids).

Can I just pay someone money to come do a huge sweep of my room at get rid of all the clutter? It's in almost every corner. Pictures, awards, gifts I never gave, gifts I never cared to receive.

And then I just have little things with no place--headbands, jewelry, nail polish, candles.

I realize I make it sound like my small living space is absolutely terrible. It's not as bad as it sounds, I swear! This is just NOT my forte.

Oh well, back to work. Maybe I'll be able to de-clutter a corner without moving everything to the NEXT corner.

Monday, November 9, 2009

I Did It!

Only one direction to go from here and that's up! How many times can I thank the Lord for agreeing that I've endured enough? I kept telling myself that all of the no's or just flat out lack of responses meant that something better was out there waiting for me and I think I've found it.

I know that I'm about to bust into a whole new world of awesomeness. This is my chance to grow and shine with a cause I believe in and have so much passion for.

I'm way too excited to be able to sleep tonight!

Friday, October 23, 2009

Project Time!

I am in the mood for projects! I've got a small list forming and can't decide what to tackle first. But in any case, I hope to have transformed a few spaces and added a new hobby or two to my agenda within the next few weeks.

So far on the list:
Transform bedroom (caved in) closet to a small office space
Organize spare bedroom (replacement) closet to house my clothing without caving in
Start a small vegetable garden--late in the year, but Florida weather should comply
Paint bedroom furniture to match the color scheme of the bedroom
Transform the spare bedroom into...something?

I am a HUGE list person and I rarely accomplish all that I list out, but I'm hoping to at least knock out half of these before the end of the year. I love the sense of accomplishment I get after finishing a sizeable project. With any luck, I'll get off my butt and do something and have some cool before and after pictures to show off. Fingers crossed!

Monday, October 5, 2009

It's All About the Practice

I've done yoga more than a few times. I'm far from great at it, but I can stay fairly still in various poses for a good amount of time. In truth, I really don't like yoga all that much. I'm not flexible enough, I huff and puff the whole time despite being completely still, and spend 75% of the practice trying to squeeze my cheeks tight enough to stifle a poot.

I do, however, love the way I feel after. It's always been very difficult for me to try and "let go" as they ask for you to do at the beginning of the practice. Lately, it seems darn near impossible. Yet, by the time it's over, after I've suffered through about 15 annoying poses, I seem to be completely soothed. Somehow, when I wasn't paying attention, all my stresses seemed to dissolve and I face the day feeling so much lighter. It truly is peaceful.

It's been a little while since I've given it a try. It's also been a little while since I've had that sense of calmness that I so need in my life right now. Perhaps I'll have to pull up a mat soon, take a few deep breaths, and succumb to the practice. After all, practice makes perfect, right?

Yoga teaches us to cure what need not be endured and endure what cannot be cured. ~B.K.S. Iyengar

The yoga mat is a good place to turn when talk therapy and antidepressants aren't enough. ~Amy Weintraub

Monday, September 28, 2009

Riverside Art Market Find

This pretty little lady caught my eye this weekend at the Riverside Arts Market.

I wouldn't say that I have the best eye in the world for great art, but I find that this picture goes well with the mood I've been in lately. It made me smile and I couldn't' help but buy it. I think I just need that reminder sometimes to suck it up and be a big girl. Thankfully, I'm not yet in need of wearing Spanx.

Saturday, September 19, 2009

Fall is Coming!

It's just around the corner. I swear I felt it this morning, but at 82 degrees, I think it was wishful thinking. Perhaps it was walking by the open screen door while passing under an air vent that gave me the illusion. In any case, I'm strangely excited. Fall always seems to give me that "feel-good" feeling inside. Comfort food, camp-fires, spending more time with family. It's such a cozy time.

For years I was anything BUT a fan of cold weather. Two years ago I finally accepted scarves and jackets as wonderful accessories and I've been transformed ever since. I'm not saying "bring it on" to freezing temperatures, but a slight chill in the air has something so refreshing about it. Not to mention, this is Florida, and there's no serious chill factor until that one week in February right before it hits 90 degrees.

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Some Like it Hot

I’ve never been a big fan of spicy food. As a little kid, I was even scared to put black pepper on my food for fear it’d be like fire in my mouth. I once tried to please my father, a hot sauce lover, by adding two drops of Tabasco to my black eyed peas and rice. Sadly, that was one meal that didn’t get eaten, and I know there were several starving children in China who would’ve gladly consumed it for me.

My biggest bought with hot sauce though is a vividly memorable day in St. Augustine, Florida when I was 13. My father took us there occasion to spend the afternoon wandering the fort and old shops. This particular day, he was on a mission to add to his ever-growing hot sauce collection. It wasn’t long before he discovered Dave’s Total Insanity Sauce.

Immediately, my brothers and I started making bets on who of the three of us could try (and survive) Dave’s Total Insanity Sauce. Assuming I could outsmart my brothers, I went first. I stuck my finger close to the rim without touching it and acted like I tasted it. My older brother realized I had tasted nothing and proceeded to shove my index finger back fully into the jar. Thinking quickly, I licked the tip of my middle finger instead fast enough for him not to notice otherwise. I appeared victorious. My brothers both followed, taking tastes and ending up with watery eyes, runny noses, and sweaty brows. The game was over and we washed our hands and headed off to see more of St. Augustine.

A few minutes later, I mindlessly rubbed an itchy eye. This is when all hell broke loose. I began screaming bloody murder. My eye and much of the right side of my face felt absolutely on fire. Luckily, we were next to a ladies room and my father shoved me in and waited outside. I began flushing my eye with water but it only seemed to be making it worse. My eyes were burning so badly, I could no longer see. I pawed my way out of the bathroom, wailing.

“I’M BLIND! I’M BLIND!” I shrieked, staggering toward a blurry figure I hoped was my father.

My father threw me into a headlock. He wasn't exactly a small man at 6’2” and 250lbs, and me at 5’5 and 100lbs. I was in hysterics as he dragged me down the street with my brothers trailing behind trying to keep me from hearing them laugh. After about 2 blocks, we came upon an old fountain, which happens to be a popular part of the street with many onlookers. This is where my father threw me down, still in a headlock and proceeded to toss as much water in my face as he possibly could with his free hand. All the while I’m still screaming. And then I’m choking from water. And then I’m laughing hysterically as my vision returns and I see about 50 horrified faces, all strangers who happened to be passing by just in time for my performance.

Needless to say, I still shy away from the hot stuff. I’ve added black pepper to my spice rack and occasionally enjoy a bag of Buffalo Ranch Doritos. You won’t see me near a sauce bar or ordering my chicken wings extra spicy. And you definitely won’t find me making bets on who likes it the hottest.

I’m just fine keeping it chill!

Monday, July 27, 2009

Its Passenger is its Engine.

Lately, I've gotten to where I absolutely love a good bicycle ride. There is something so fulfilling about hopping on my yellow and teal Winnebago of a beach cruiser and taking in whatever parts of the city I come to find myself in that day. Whether it’s the beach or historic neighborhoods along the river, the perspective is entirely different from any that I can get driving in my car at triple the speed. It’s amazing the things you miss when traveling so fast. At 12 miles an hour, I’ve witnessed an early morning bum fight, spotted a road side Girl Scout Cookie stand before it was too late, and been an audience to street performers.

Despite my opinions on the sort of shape I’m in, I always seem to amaze myself at the distances I travel without even realizing how far I’ve gone. Whether it’s the 2 mile trip to visit a friend or the 8 mile round trip to work, or the 12 mile ride just because we could; I’ve never parked my bike and once regretted taking it out in the first place. Just one hour of pedaling can defeat my worst of moods. I can’t complain about the amazing number it does on my leg muscles, either! Not necessarily a new habit, but definitely one I don’t want to break any time soon.

Bicycle Ride

The bicycle is just as good company as most husbands and, when it gets old and shabby, a woman can dispose of it and get a new one without shocking the entire community. ~Ann Strong

For instance, the bicycle is the most efficient machine ever created: Converting calories into gas, a bicycle gets the equivalent of three thousand miles per gallon. ~Bill Strickland, The Quotable Cyclist

Get a bicycle. You will not regret it if you live. ~Mark Twain, "Taming the Bicycle"

Nothing compares to the simple pleasure of a bike ride. ~John F. Kennedy

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Badass in the Making

23, barely out of college, and boy do I have a list of things I'd like to do for myself. I am constantly dreaming up new scenerios on how I will break out into full grown-up-ness and completely own it. I have a motivation to make things happen, but my thoughts and dreams are spinning so wildly around my head that I haven't a clue where to begin, which task to tackle first. I want it all now!

I'm a badass in the making. I hope I never lose this feeling of confidence.