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Saturday, February 28, 2009

Little Red Wagon

I recently read about the Inspiration Cafe' and had to share. 20 years later, look at all the good one person was able to start. Do we need many more examples that one person can make huge things happen? 

Whatever project or thing you might be thinking about doing- DO IT. That nagging thing that never seems to get out of your head you've always wanted to do? The one you think would just be so terrific if you could just figure out a way to start? Just start. If your heart is there, it will work. Especially if it benefits someone else. You will most definitely be the one who ends up reaping those benefits in the end. 

Grab your little red wagon and start putting one foot in front of the other. I know, it is not easy. Trust me. But every step after that first one really does get easier.

Friday, February 27, 2009

Message In A Bottle

Or postcard, or journal. 

If you haven't heard of PostSecrets by now, you might be living under a rock. (It's OK- life gets hectic and it's sometimes necessary to live under a rock.) There have been books made and millions of postcards sent to contribute to this project. You can't not feel humbled, lucky, sad, excited, sketched-out, shocked, thankful and just about every other emotion after perusing the plethora of submissions. It is really mind-blowing. I guarantee you'll find yourself muttering "Wow. Holy crap."

Here's a similar little project of sorts going on at a beach in NC. I'm looking forward to visiting this spot very soon. I am sure it will prove to be equally as eye-opening and interesting.

Hmm. Funny how we are all internal and closed off about so many things in life but given a forum such as these to be anonymous and let it all out, the flood gates blow open. At least it's a start. Now if we could all push ourselves one step further. We might just be able to help and understand each other better.

Thursday, February 26, 2009


Here is something smart, inspiring and gives us all another way to see that everyone has a story. Interesting to see how people find their paths.

I don't always find poignant or creative ways when I write to express how great I think things like the aha moment are. I wish you could all see or hear me giggling, clapping like a 2 year old and just being totally thrilled at all the cool stuff out there I find. I hope you're able to feel my excitement in these posts and they help you to think about things harder, try things more, and love things better. 

This is such a treat for me. Hope it is for you too. 


I live here?

Can somebody please pinch me?

Welcome To North Carolina

It takes all kinds to make the world go round.

How can you not completely love this? 

Snapped this one in a random parking lot last week.

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Need A Job? Go get A Cup Of Coffee

I'm really not trying to get Starbucks to sponsor my little blog here. (Although Bux- if you want to throw some loot at me, I'd happily accept it.) It just seems that a lot happens over a cup of coffee, and I happen to love Starbucks coffee. You can have the same results at any one of your fav local coffee houses. Promise.

This guy says Starbucks saved his life. I'm not going that far, but it certainly has provided me more than just a tall Sumatra everyday and an empty wallet.

Yesterday, I was minding my own business reading the paper there and guy a started a conversation with me. Turns out he was in commercial real estate. After talking biz stuff with him for a while, he took me on a tour of a gorgeous oceanfront small business spot he is opening in a few weeks. And you guessed it- potential job op. Today, a few other businessy and "important" looking gents who were there yesterday too greeted me as soon as I walked in the door, and you guessed it- they started asking me what I did for work, etc. and yup, yet another pal made and possible job op. 
I want to note that I rolled out of bed, didn't shower, put baggy jeans, a sweatshirt, fleece jacket, hat and flip-flops. I was certainly not the pillar of fashion. I suppose I just looked approachable. It seems as if you simply walk around looking slightly pleasant and smiling a bit, people want to talk to you. 

Here's a game plan for anyone out there annoyed they can't get anywhere with their current job search:

*Get dressed in the morning in something that is you, you are comfortable in and that suits your personality. (Bonus if it's a sweatshirt, hat, etc. where you are from or went to school- a total easy conversation starter)

*Grab a coffee at any coffee shop. Don't drink coffee? Still go to a coffee shop for a beverage of any kind and linger for a few minutes. Snuggle in a chair or get a table. Read a local publication or write

*Go do something you love and pay attention to people around you

* Try something you have always wanted to or something you think is interesting and ask questions

*Look around and be conscious of your surroundings

*Smile at strangers and make small talk

It's worth a try. We all know that for sure it's not what you know it's who you know. I'll bet you a latte you'll make one connection that will lead to another and somehow lead to something bigger than you ever expected.

I'm Not Particularly Religious, But What The Heck

Today you are supposed to give up something for lent, so I figure-why not give it a try.

I'll go ahead and let you all guess as to "what" I am giving up. Peace out rabbit.
Ahhh, I feel much better already.

Here's an idea that is a time sucker and addiction for millions out there. I'm sure it'd be pretty difficult for most people to boot it for 40 days, but-ooh what a challenge it would be. 

Why not try and test your willpower and forget about something you don't really need or that's not that healthy/good for you? It will probably turn out to be a really great thing. You can doooeeet!

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Cubicle Dreamin'

I might get a t-shirt that says this when I go here. All visitors are welcome by the way:

Anything But Basic

Where should you eat if you're in Wilmington, NC? The Basics, on Front Street. Here's some press and info.

Everything is made from scratch and with the freshest of ingredients. On any given day, the homemade mac and cheese, fallen chocolate cake, oatmeal blueberry pancakes, potato cakes (especially dipped in the roasted red pepper sauce) could easily qualify as smack-yo-mamma good. I mean, how do they make something as simple as a fried chicken BLT taste that good? 

A full, fat, happy belly for around or under ten bucks in a perfectly laid-back spot. What are you waiting for?

Sunday, February 22, 2009

I Love Writing This

I mean I REALLY, REALLY love it. 
Thank you for reading everyone. 
It's starting to feel like I might be able to actually do something/write something/be something, that will help/inspire/get someone excited/light a fire in something, somewhere, somehow. 

Now that is the best feeling ever. 
Thanks to everyone who believes in me.
I will keep on keepin' on. 

SHAZAM. Get Off Your Butt!

I have found, the NY Times is not just for reading early Sunday mornings over coffee so you can "get smart" or learn something "important." Nope. It's for relaxing, taking an hour or so for yourself, and maybe even sharing some of the enormous paper with a stranger sitting in the chair next to you. That and finding out about things like Wreckreation Nation.

Oh YEAH. Compliments of today's NY Times article- here's The Get Off Your Butt Map. (Yes, I know I am a bit behind the eight-ball. This show is not brand-new. Whatever. Better late than never.) What could be more fun than competing in lawnmower racing, building boats out of cardboard, chucking pumpkins or ski joring in your free time? For real. This guy Dave (the host) has pretty much to coolest job ever. He travels around the country going to and sometimes participating in, these mad events. I just emailed him and told him that I am ready and willing to be his sidekick when he finds he needs one. I will keep you posted when and if he responds. 

Besides the above, another thing that I ran across today that I think is just unspeakably cool and I know a million of you already know about; Shazam. 
Hold your IPhone 3G up to any random sound/song anywhere and the phone tells you the name of the song, the artist, album name and links you to ITunes.

Is anyone else out there baffled, amazed, confused and absolutely thrilled like me, about the plethora of availability and opportunity of everything to all of us in the USA? Man are we lucky.

Saturday, February 21, 2009

Morning Breath And The Taste Of Red Bull

Those are two of the items in the book 11,002 Things To Be Miserable About. This book of course is a poke at the 11,001 Things To Be Happy About. "Racist Grandmothers" was in there too.

Another poke? A play on that book gazillions of us have read; Eat Pray Love, titled Drink Play F@#k. "One Mans search for anything across Ireland, Vegas and Thailand."

Crude, rude and negative? Nah. Hilarious. Bet you can't pick these up and not laugh out loud!

Friday, February 20, 2009

Longfellow Was A Poet

This is my favorite nursery rhyme, but every time I mention it- no one has seem to have heard of it. 

So here you go. Love this:

There was a little girl
Who had a little curl
Right in the middle of her forehead.
And when she was good
She was very, very good
But when she was bad
She was horrid!

Meet You In Orlando

Don't ask me how I came across this. I certainly wasn't trying. Either way, it's quite entertaining. I guess there is really something out there for everyone. Don't ever think your bizarre talent/hobby doesn't have a home somewhere.

The 2009 World Yo Yo Contest is this August if you want to brush up on your mad skeeeelz and rock it out in a few months. 

If I were as cool as these cats, I might enter the Triple A- Two Handed String Trick Division. 

OK, So Maybe I Lied

At least for a few more days, weeks-heck, maybe forever It feels to write about good, happy, awesome stuff. (Because there's enough crap in the world already) Here's some more TTAA. (Things that are awesome) Start your own list!

People who are nice just for the sake of being nice. NOT having cancer. Hot Chocolate. Moleskin notebooks. Brooklyn Pizza Co. Cheap wine that's yummy. Aerobics classes with overly excited instructors early in the morning. Going out to dinner. Mac laptops. Cheesy dance-party music. Singing loud so people look at you funny when you're in your car. Total strangers that accept and become your friends instantly. Walks in windy chilly nights near the ocean with crazy puppies. Moms and sisters who are best friends. Roasted red peppers, mozzarella and tomato. Happy hour. Little girls sporting stylin' sunglasses and hanging with their cute proud Dads at Starbucks on a Friday morning. Yoga. Nice Post office clerks. Employees at random stores, coffee shops, etc. working for next to nothing- singing and humming while they work because they totally love their jobs. Pointless fashion magazines. Finishing a really good book. 32nd birthday of my big bro today.

"To Make Mouth Happy"

Or "allow the mouth to rejoice." That's the translation of Coca-Cola in Chinese. Love it.

Here are some other fun things about that yummy stuff we all love.

Things go better with Coca-Cola, things go better with Coke-YEAH! (Yes, you are supposed to sing that.)

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Forget You Grey Winter Days!

Here we are, trucking through these chilly days of winter, counting mintues until fun in the sun. For those of us lucky enough to live in milder weather, we get treats of accasional t-shirt and short going out for a walk/run days. Those of you in the harshest of winter locales- here is a little tool that can help you plan to get up and off the couch on those frigid days. No matter where you live you always feel better when you get your heart pumping. Grab a neighbor or pal who will hold you to showing up at the gym, or that walk.

For those of you who might still have trouble getting motivated? I like the word revenge. Not to be evil, or cynical, but the best "revenge" to all those daily stresses or hard times we might go through is looking (and feeling) good.

Extra bonus? You'll look great in that itsy bitsy teeny weeny yellow polk-a-dot bikini (or Speedo) by summer. Yeah baby!

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Just Jump

Do you absolutely hate your job? I mean hate it? Do you feel sick to your stomach when you wake up in the morning or all day on Sunday because Monday morning is approaching? Do you feel like even a simple "Thank you" once in a while might actually keep you going back even though you hate it- but you still don't even get that?

If the answer is yes to all these. You should quit as soon as humanly possible.

Seriously. For your health.

No, you shouldn't quit so you can lay around all day and eat Bon Bons or hit the beach or hang with your buddies. No, every day at work cannot be perfect and some days and tasks totally suck. Sometimes you have to push through and there's a learning curve and it's frustrating. That's OK. You should however, never feel so bad that you want to scream, punch someone or cry your eyes out before your day hits 5:01pm.

I never wanted this Blog, or my writing to become all hippy dippy or some theme of "butterflies and rainbows" or nothing ranting about how to just do this and that and all in life will be perfect. I also didn't want this to become some sort of personal diary from me. (How annoying would that be?) But if I could go to that annoying place, just for this entry then go back to the good stuff, I'd like to share something to liberate myself:
I have been in the worst personal hell of my life the past couple months. (I won't go into detail, but yes- it includes tears by the millions, heartache, weight-loss, sleepless nights, you name it.) It has completely and totally ransacked and changed my life- and for the better. I honestly never knew the depths of despair I could feel as a human until recently. Thankfully, it is all so I will have a more balanced life moving forward. I could go on for hours (god help us all!:) but here's a huge lesson I have learned that I want to share in case you don't know this already; You will always be lead to what's right in your life if you listen to your heart and spend time doing what you love. You will always shine when you are happy and that's where opportunity comes. Believe that.

I thought I understood, believed and lived that before and unfortunately I didn't. Or maybe I was just scared. Either way, do yourself and all who love and cherish you a favor. Make your heart happy. Only then can you be the best mother, sister, brother, friend, neighbor...

I walked into one of my two jobs today and told them thank you, but this is just not the right fit for me. (Thankfully I have another job I love.) I then immediately felt like I had my health, my soul, my heart, my life all back in one minute. Some people feel stripped of all these things for years and years before speaking up. I have been guilty of this too at times. But what's it all for if it's making you unhealthy or miserable? Isn't there another way/option? I know this isn't easy. You might have to make a serious game-plan, downsize, move in with the in-laws, feel lonely, cry a lot, not go out for pizza for the next year-whatever. But if you are happy when you wake up in the morning where you are- you are living. That is worth any sacrifice. I had to learn the hard way and will continue to learn. Whatever timeline it takes you, if you can't quit or make a change in a day, gather everyone around you that loves you and figure out what works for you and then jump. Really jump. It might be something other than a job for you. Whatever it is- JUST JUMP. Jump into a life you deserve, whatever shape or form that is or means to you.

Thank you to any and everyone that has ever been in my life and helped me to get to this moment. I would never be here if it weren't for you. I am forever in your debt.

Now, back to the fun stuff...

Monday, February 16, 2009

185k To Cafayete

I snapped this photo on a bike ride I took to the middle of nowhere a few weeks ago.

I actually found the Blue Lollipop Road myself. And I wasn't even trying. So cool.

As our friend Buzz Lightyear says; "To infinity... and beyond!"

Saturday, February 14, 2009

Valentine's Day Rock

Who better to quote on schmoopy day than Aerosmith?

"Falling in love is so hard on the knees."

Forget You Italy! (As promised) Continued...

Pizza in Argentina

Sorry Italy, I might have a new favorite.

Friday, February 13, 2009

Available at JFK Airport

These are potato chips.


Thursday, February 12, 2009

Quitcherbitchin' And Get Creative

Hard times, mortgage crisis, failing economy, blah blah blah.

This guy got creative and scored a job. 

Recently I marched into a bunch of places I thought I might like to work and just laid it out. "Are you hiring?- I am ready to bust butt." No perusing the want ads, Craigslist or posting a resume on Monster.com. Just walking in and going for it.

The sandwich board guy? He showed up. Me? I showed up. This guy and I? We probably aren't even that cool, we're not super-heros or even a big deal. We are just regular people. We are also on the complete opposite ends of age, gender, experience, education and even geography. We still both got jobs in no time. (I was offered six actually and in only six days. I even cried at one of my interviews and still was offered the job.)

Whatever works for you, figure out some creative way to market yourself. Get out of the house and do something. Put on a monkey suit, get a mega phone-whatev. Lay it all out there. It totally works. You just have to "show up."

I mean, you could just leave fate up to that crisp white resume you left somewhere and wait for a phone call, but don't be surprised if your phone never rings. 

I Am So Not Offended

I don't care what anyone says. When you are somewhere in the south and any man or woman says to you; "You have a great day Darlin'/Sweetie Pie/Sugar" or "Thank you Doll" -it's totally charming and you can't not smile. Particularly if there is a nice little twang accent that goes along with it. 

Oh those little things I never thought I'd love so much...

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Sorry Mom, I'm Talking To Strangers

It's pretty easy to be nice, right? So strike up a conversation with someone who might look like they're feeling ignored. Say thank you and really mean it. Send a smile across the room. Don't have a motive other than to be decent.

We've got to believe that even our smallest interactions have potential to significantly impact each other. We never know what the other is going through or where each of us have come from. Someone could be having the worst day of their life and need your sprinkle of fairy dust, in whatever form that is.

It doesn't take much effort at all. Perhaps by simply being nice or giving that extra smidge of energy to a stranger,  we can start some kind of kindness revolution. 

After finishing rolling your eyes at me for being fluffy and cheesy, please join me in attempting to put a smile on someone's face for no reason. It is so fun.

Sunday, February 8, 2009

Go Daddy! Don't Puke!

Raleigh, NC. 
Krispy Kreme Challenge 2009.

What's better than a 70-degree and sunny day in February? Running a couple miles, shoving in a dozen hot-glazed and running a couple more miles with 5,000 friends for a good cause of course!

And you thought your Saturday was fun...

Saturday, February 7, 2009

Friday, February 6, 2009

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

TTAA (Things that are awesome)

Hot showers. Being able to throw your toilet paper in the toilet. The beach. Potato chips. Strangers who smile and say "Hi!" Fresh fruit. Coffee. Warm cozy blankets. Random conversations with 22 year old boys who actually seem really grown up. Supportive and helpful friends. Giant burritos. Full out belly-laughing. Sunny days-even when it's cold. Free WIFI. Hippies. Journals. The first black President. Flip flops. Love. Driving with bare feet.

Go ahead. Make my day.

Hold the door open for someone the next time you walk in a door anywhere. Wait to hold it open for a few extra seconds if a stranger is several steps away, especially if it's really early in the morning, or cold, even when you're running really late going in to grab your coffee on the way to work. 

I find the look on peoples faces when you do this is as if you have given them a million dollars. 

One effortless and tiny thing you can do to make someone's day. The best part? It will make your day.


Sunday, February 1, 2009

Ahhh... Sundays

A Starbucks grande white mocha has 510 calories and 24 grams of fat. Too much you say? Eh- who cares. It's Sunday. You're relaxing. Drink up.

*Any month beginning on a Sunday will contain a Friday the 13th. 

*6% of American workers call in sick the day after the Super Bowl. (Yes, keg-stand are fun, but maybe try one less this year? You probably don't need any more reason to give your boss to want to fire you in this struggling economy.)

*Super Bowl Sunday is #8 in alcohol sales for holidays/special days of the year behind Easter and Fathers Day. Apparently Dad's and Granny's all over the U.S. are throwing back some serious beers and mimosas. (And you football fans thought you were partiers.)

*The Arizona Cardinals originally played in Chicago, then St. Louis, then finally to Phoenix and were not named after the bird. The original team (pre-NFL) purchased used maroon jerseys from the University of Chicago to wear. When someone scoffed that the jerseys were "faded red", team owner Chris O'Brian countered that they were "cardinal red".