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Thursday, April 30, 2009

Treats Are SO Good

Sugar drives around NYC selling all kinds of yummy stuff to people. Meet The Treats Truck. 

Sugar dots, brownies and crispy squares oh my. What a smart concept. Can you imagine working with this clan and tooling up to an office during a work day to come to the afternoon slump rescue? What a fun job and how excited would everyone be to see you? Sign me up.

I'll take two chocolate chippers please.

Monday, April 27, 2009

Two Hot Dudes

Looks like you might need to take a trip to Texas the next time you feel like having the BEST burger ever. Twisted Root Burger Co. has a great story. The guys seem like they'd be a trip to work and hang out with too. They even worry about making things so de-lish and fresh, they make their own ketchup and mustard.

Who says if you go to culinary school you have to go off and cook at some fancy schmancy restaurant? These guys told off the corporate world and are serving up thousands of juicy burgers to the lines out the door because they just love doing it.

I'm craving...

Road Trip! Texas or bust!

The Nicest People...

...are in Wilmington, NC. Really. 

Sorry other places. I love you, but Wilmington, NC never ceases to amaze me.

If you haven't been before, do yourself a favor. Visit. Maybe it's the beach, maybe the sun. Who knows.

The people in Wilmington always pass the parmesan at pizza joints when you can't find any, let you cross the street every time, strike up conversation in the grocery line to tell you where the recycling center is, welcome you over for dinner when they don't even know you, always look straight at you to say good morning- even if when it's way too early to be pleasant, and are just REAL.

It's just plain great.

You could really teach other places some things Wilmington. Thanks!

Sunday, April 26, 2009

This Is A Double Decker Bus

And it's how Argentineans travel. Everywhere. No trains, just mac-daddy buses. These are my feet. Let me tell you, the full service double decker bus rides are like nothing else. Food, drink, movies, games, music, blankets, full fold down seats to sleep...

What can beat first-class service and a full view of the Argentina landscape? Yep, they even come around with champagne until you tell them to stop. 

Forget you flights! This is so much better.

Friday, April 24, 2009

Music Makes The People Come Together

-Madonna is not the only one who believes and sings about that. 

DJ Astro does too and has created the Sonic Nomad Project. Check this out. Some interesting and exciting stuff to peruse as you are daydreaming about the upcoming weekend.

Hear it. Feel it. Shake it. Oh yeah.

Thursday, April 23, 2009

The Go-Giver

You must read this book. The cover says it's a little story about a powerful business idea. In my opinion, the book is just powerful. 

Trust me. Grab a copy. You'll gobble it up.

Thank SA.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Meet Willy Robinson

I saw him fishing this morning. He looked like he was loving life, just having a peaceful and relaxing time. I introduced myself and asked him if I could take his picture. He was very sweet and welcoming. Made me smile a lot.

Here's to simple mornings going fishing in the sunshine.

Love it.

Thanks Willy Robinson. 

Enough Said

Just When You Want To Start Feeling Bummed

Remember this:

"Your life is your garden, your thoughts are the seeds, if your life isn't awesome...then you've been watering the weeds.
-Terry Prince

Isn't this the truth. 
Thanks BB.

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Peace Out Cubicle

Here are some fun options for you if you want a part-time gig. Maybe your "real job" is a drag and you could use a lighter environment. Maybe you just feel like switching it up or could use some extra cash. Either way here are a few, especially if you're interested in meeting all different walks of life:

*Flower delivery guy or gal; Flowers always make people smile regardless of the reason for delivery. (Didn't you ever see that cheesy movie Bed Of Roses? Don't lie- you know you did and they were totally on point.)

*Magic Man at Chick-Fil-A; This guy does magic tricks for kids during the lunch rush. Brilliant and what a treat for any age. I was fortunate enough to experience the magic recently. (Made the nuggets taste even better if you can believe that's possible)

*Barista; Talk about a revolving door of every Tom, Dick and Harriet! Let your personality shine and just see how fast some big wig from whatever company offers you a job, or you meet the man/woman of your dreams. Everyone drinks some kind coffee or tea beverage, rich or poor. It's almost as if baristas have a stage to perform on everyday. Rise and shine and rock out that latte art!

*Walmart Greeter; Yeah, yeah Target is cooler. Whatever. This persons job is to stand and greet all day. What a great little part-time gig for a retiree. 

*Cart "Girl" at a golf course; Yes, they actually pay you to drive around a golf cart, on a golf course, in the sun, eat peanut M&M's and serve icy cold beverages to golfers. (OK, so eating the M&M's is optional- but I sure enjoy it.) No this is not a lie. 

Oh so many more I will have to add on as time goes on. There's no time like the present to try something new. When you do something you love and have fun with it, just always seems as if more opportunity falls in your lap. Gotta love that.

My Office A Couple Times A Week

It's hard work, but someone's got to do it.

Sure beats a cube.

Lucky me.

Sunday, April 19, 2009

This is Not Disney World...

...but I've said many times that this is one of my happiest places on earth. 

Thanks to yesterday I was shown once again that something like this is what I need to see when I wake up in the morning. 

I'm coming to get you water. Much sooner than later.

Where's your happy place? 

What gives?

I consider myself to be a pretty chatty and friendly person who likes to talk to strangers. I never refuse the chance to talk to someone in the grocery store or coffee line. To me it seems natural and sort of just decent and respectful. Maybe it comes from how I was raised. It still amazes me the difference in level of welcoming and/or chatty people from place to place I have lived and traveled. The differences I have experienced are huge. I am currently in a place where neighbors talk to each other, people genuinely smile and say hello, and the majority of everyone is just plain nice. I really love that and feel very lucky.

So here's my question; Why such the difference from one place to the next? Can someone enlighten me? Is it the weather? Big city compared to smaller city? North to south- east to west? Being from the lovely and ever frozen New England, now living in the south- I have said at times that perhaps it's too damn cold in the north for anyone to be chatty or lingering. It sort of makes sense, but I know plenty of lovely sweet Northerners and after all, that's where I came from and like I said, I'm the chatting kind.

Either way, I have to say it's such a pleasant surprise in an ever seemingly falling apart world to be in a place that people just greet and talk to each other with no motive other than to do just that.

Gotta run. Someone I have never met before just asked me to join the morning coffee talk...

Saturday, April 18, 2009

I Hate Black Dress Pants

You know that feeling you have when you get up and dress in something on you love and feel totally comfortable in? (Yes, it can be anything from flip flops and sweats to a suit or froofy dress.) On the flip side, you know that feeling you have when you get up and force yourself to put on something you hate or are uncomfortable in? Kind of ruins your day huh?

I call it KC.

My KC (kryptonite clothing) is black dress pants. They're just not me. Crazy as it sounds, I never had great days when I wore them. It's bigger than a pair of pants though, its symbolic. Wear what makes you feel great, have a great day. Wear what makes you feel awful, have an awful day. It's amazing how this stuff works. My perfectly-fitting, trendy Banana Republic pants have since taken a trip to the Salvation Army.

Sure, we all have jobs, events and things we should "dress" for to be responsible and respectful. Of course. I am not saying we should throw all business attire in the river and live like cavemen. However I am suggesting that you wake up and put on whatever actually feels right for you and makes you feel comfortable in your own skin. If you don't own anything that makes you feel great, maybe a bigger look than getting rid of some clothes is what might be helpful to you. 

I know. I am amazed too when I realize how significant these little things are sometimes.

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Gas Up The Car!

*Vermont has the only state capital in the U.S. without a McDonald's (Here's to a heart-healthy VT!)

*Arbor Day was started in Nebraska (Good job Nebraska!)

*The state of Rhode Island could fit into Alaska 425 times (Holy crap. I would have never guessed that.)

*In Montana it's illegal for married women to go fishing alone on Sundays (That's hilarious.)

*The Eskimo Pie was invented in Iowa (Yum.)

*Alabama's state horse is a rocking horse (Ok, really- is this a joke?)

*There are only about 12 people per square mile in New Mexico (That leaves a lot of room to run and frolic!)

...Just a few little fun tidbits to start getting you fired up for that cross-country road trip this summer. 

Not Just For Idiots

Isn't this little book smart! As much as we all try to pay attention, read and watch news- all this information is still hard to wrap your brain around sometimes. What a great easy resource to help that's in plain english.

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Crying In Starbucks

I am 30 and a waitress at a place called Two Guys Grill.

Does that sound like a comedy title? If so, maybe someone will come along at some point and offer me a movie deal. That'd be great.

The reality is, this is true and this is my life right now. Sure I have other things going and believe me I am one of those people who has an aspiration list a mile and half long that I am constantly trying to check off. Right now I really am a waitress at a beach joint that serves burgers and beers. This has nothing to do with the economy and and a job I "had to take", but everything to do with the choices I have made and where my life is right now. And that is OK.

I have lived my life as a giant race, like so many- to be bigger, faster and better. I have stressed myself out, ticked people off, been exhausted for years and lost people I love. (In addition to having some incredible adventures. laughs and love of course.) Thankfully now at 30 and not 60, I have realized that I have been racing against myself at a pace that is too much of an ideal and unrealistic. I don't want to race any more. I just want to serve some burgers at a place called Two Guys Grill and hit the beach on a sunny day off. I am finally accepting that this is enough for now.

I know I will accomplish whatever goals I have simply because I "show up" and try. I get up early, do at least one thing a day to learn something and try my best to be good to others. I will screw up, I am sure I'll always have to "check" myself and I will never be perfect. The difference between today and yesterday is that I am finally starting to really own that I can make mistakes. None of us need to rule the world and it really is OK where we all are today.

Balance and life is a work in progress that never ends. It's hard as hell, but pretty awesome. Sometimes you tear up in Starbucks or wherever at random. I have been doing that a lot lately. They are never sad tears, but learning tears (and those I have found- are the hardest but best ones.) 

I am off to Two Guys to sling those burgers and just take it all for what it's worth.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

A GIANT Way To Help A Community

Gary Greff started quite the project 20 years ago to help bring people and business to his community in North Dakota. He has created the Enchanted Highway by building enormous metal structures from grasshoppers to geese that stand tall off interstate 94.

This gent had done no welding or artwork prior to the launch of this project. Clearly he had a vision and a lot of heart which as we all know is really what makes all the difference anyway.

The Enchanted Highway has been featured on Round America, PBS, Roadside America and others as one of those can't miss on a road trip places. I sure look forward to checking it out when I am out there again.

Props to you Gary, for believing in and loving your community so much. They are lucky to have you!

Listen To Your Elders

I've realized recently how great it is to be the "dumb/young guy" in the room. Even if you are the driven and intelligent kind, think about how much you've learned those times you find yourself around people who are just really good, interesting and motivated. It's not easy to just shut up and listen, especially when you feel like you might have a lot to contribute, but it is so worth it.

If you can manage, try to weasel your way into a crowd that has way more experience/expertise or might be older than you. When you get there, pay full attention. Trust that someone that has lived even a week longer than you probably actually does know more than you do.

It's pretty simple right? Surround yourself with the best kind of people you can that have lived longer than you and you'll learn a lot. 

Free lessons are fantastic.

Monday, April 13, 2009

What A Good Morning

It's 7:14 am and my day is already made. It has something to do with walking into a Starbucks and having a random stranger stop, look up and give a genuine smile and "good morning!"

These things make all the difference.

Thanks guy with green jacket. I have already passed it on!

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Marshmallows On A Serious Diet

Click on the photo and take a closer look.

Are they kidding? What kind of campfire marshmallows are these, the kind you roast on a toothpick? If you can't eat a S'more that's at least the size of your fist- forget about it!

Ceramic Gnomes Are Cool

People buy these things. With money. For real. I saw them in a store today. 

What's another good word for WOW?

I love that there is free entertainment in every direction, at every minute. What's better is that I can snap a simple picture, post it here and help spread gnome love around the world. (And hopefully make you roll on the floor laughing with me of course.)

Saturday, April 11, 2009

Two Words

Mamma Zu.

The place where the service experience is typically like that of The Soup Nazi, the line is always out the door, and you always leave so full, fat and happy you can't wait to go back. 

Do yourself a favor if you are ever in Richmond, VA and eat at Mamma Zu. There's just nothing else like it. It has that dark and dingy joint charm that somehow works. The chalkboard menu is chucked full of the freshest and most de-lish food you could ever want. The white pizza is pretty much to die for, and I still say the cannolis are better at this place than anything I had in Italy. 

The best part is that you can get an appetizer, a couple of pasta dishes, a bottle of wine, dessert and coffee for fifty bucks. 

Oh Mamma Zu, how I love you.

Friday, April 10, 2009

Jem And The Holograms Were Always My Girls,

but over lunch today I was enlightened with some very important info. that anyone who was an 80's kid will appreciate. I'm not sure why, but for some reason I wasn't aware that the saying "And knowing is half the battle" came from GI Joe. Clearly I was far to distracted with my after school episodes of Little House On The Prairie. 

I have just found some hilarious PSA's/spoofs on the Real American Hero. You can Google the adult versions. (There are enough to have you rolling for a while.) I'll keep it clean here and link you to an original version for a good bit of flashback fun.

This reminds me. Just a couple weeks ago, I walked past some college kids and gasped with delight when I saw they were using Trapper Keepers. They informed me "Oh yeah, everyone is using them these days, you can buy them a ton of places now." Hmmm. Maybe I should have moved forward with my idea for t-shirts a few years ago that would have said; I have a Trapper Keeper. (Seems like they'd be quite popular.)

Here are some images that I dare you to try and not laugh at. My 1st Trapper Keeper had a light blue ocean scene with a sweet looking dolphin on it. Between that and rocking my side ponytail almost everyday, I felt like one hot ticket. Maybe I'll try dig up an old photo to post sometime. Better yet, why don't you send me a photo of your super sweet Trapper Keepers or Hammer Pants? Oh what fun.

(This post is for you E. Because we share the same ridiculous humor, I know it will make you laugh your a** off for a good half hour at least. Love it. Hows that for a birthday present?!)

Thursday, April 9, 2009

When You Stand Up For What You Believe In...

...things like this are what you can help make happen. 

No matter what side of any opinion/fence any of us stand on, we all have to support anyone who's out there fighting for what they believe in. 

I am so proud of you B. YOU ARE MY HERO.

One For One

While we're talking shoes...

TOMS is a remarkable company giving away one pair of shoes to kids in need for every pair they sell. Yes. One for one. How cool is that?

This story is pretty amazing. People laughed at this guy and told him he was crazy to think that he could give so much away. Now he has given away thousands of shoes on Shoe Drops and inspired droves of people to jump on the helping bandwagon. If I were 20 again I'd be the first in line to be a TOMS Vagabond. Heck, maybe I still have time, they could nickname me grandma!

Really, how can you read about and see this stuff happening and not want to join the movement?! Or some movement. For all the bad in the world, there is always so much good. 

Thanks Blake Mycoskie. You freakin' rock.

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

A Walk In Someone Elses Shoes

This was an unplanned photo I took with a group of people I hung out with recently. Clearly from our shoes choices we all have different tastes.

From Crocs to sparkly heels, we all got along famously. Why? Because cool and fun people come in all varieties. Variety is the spice of life right?

Here's to putting a dash of variety in your day!

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

The Mother Of All Coffee Cakes


That's all I can really say about the warm homemade coffee cake at Jesters Cafe' in Wilmington, NC. I am all about coffee cake and can tell you this was some of the best.

Jesters is an adorable little house fixed up with tables inside and out on the porch. All the food coming out of the kitchen looked delicious and the staff is so friendly and laid back they make you want to stay all day. Now that I've found it, this will be a spot I plan meetings and hang on a regular basis. 

I'm a little disappointed they don't have a website I can share here, but I guess it's more fun to pay a real visit and see for yourself anyway! Here's some info. to help you find your way.

Did I mention I recommend the coffee cake?

Monday, April 6, 2009

A Day I Have Been Looking Forward To...

...and a bunch of you who have asked to keep you posted...

Today was the day. 



Cheers to knowing when it's the right time to say peace out rabbit.

Dear Life,

Thanks for another great lesson in why none of us should surround ourselves with people we'd never want to be.

From Argentina To Vermont

Here are two reasons why you should always carry a camera and that I've never believed in boredom.


Sunday, April 5, 2009

Grab Your Pillow And Hit The Streets

Oh Yeah! 

International Pillow Fight Day was yesterday. What's not to love. Try to participate in a festivity like this and not blow off some steam and get some good laughs.

Oh how the simplest (and free!) things can be so much fun.

Saturday, April 4, 2009

Worth All The Ketchup Stains

I've waited tables for years on and off. So much of those wait shifts involve drama, smelling like bacon and salad dressing, running around exhausted, irate customers and all that other glamourous stuff.

Even with all the above, I have to admit I have actually loved my occasional restaurant jobs because of the customers and conversations I get to have. Today I was a part of the best interaction in all my years of slinging burgers and beers.

3 young guys, probably not more than 22 came in, sat at my table and ordered lunch. They were clean-cut, very nice and polite. A couple, probably in their early 50's then came in and sat at a table next to these young guys. Somehow the two tables got talking and I overheard that the young guys were in the military. Next thing I know, the husband of the couple was giving me the signal and telling me to put the food the young guys ordered on his bill on the sly. Lunch ended, I told the guys that their bill it was taken care of by my other table. The guys got up, thanked the couple and shook hands. The couple told them "Thank you for your service. Stay safe and take care of yourselves." The young guys said "Yes sir", thanked me and walked out. I literally teared up.

I will likely never see any of those people again and they will likely not ever see each other. Total strangers, a treat, simple thanks and respect from a couple to 3 young guys who help protect us all and allow me to write and share this story with you now.

Thank you strangers. You are great examples to us all. You will be one of the added reasons why I'll be thankful for all that I have in my life and continue to try to pay it forward like you do.

Friday, April 3, 2009

Jelly Mongers

These gents sure have certainly found a fun way to make a living by playing with their food. 

If you're wondering if your most ridiculous thought or idea won't work, just take a look at companies like this.

Molded, wobbly, glow in the dark jelly. For an actual business. (Go ahead, read that line again. Yes, I am shaking my head and laughing too. Awesome.)

I'm going to go hang out in a kindergarten class to get the next big idea and give these guys a run for their money. 

Thursday, April 2, 2009

Save A Buck, Save The Planet

Why buy the newspaper when there are so many tossed aside at the coffee shop you go into every morning. Lets do the math. A buck or two, times 365 days a year...

Yeah, that's a lot of dough. You could make an extra mortgage payment or something and save a tree or two. (I buy jars of Nutella to eat by the spoonful with my savings.)

I am a proud and daily "dumpster diver" for the papers I read. You should try it. Saving loot and the environment? That sure starts the day off right along with that cup of joe.


Intransitive verb

1.) To dance and skip about in play; to frolic
2.) A skipping or leaping about in frolic


How can you not love that word? 

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Find Your Spot

"If you don't like what you are doing, where you are living, or who you're living with- make a change." 

This was part of a speech I listened to at a lunch I went to last year. It's pretty simple, but so smart.

I've been lucky enough to travel and move all over the place for the past several years. The people and experiences I have had in search of the "perfect place" are irreplaceable. I hate to admit though, I have learned there isn't one. Nowhere is perfect all the time. One of the best lessons I have found to be true though, is that if you live a place that you love, it's such a big part of being happy. There is something to be said for waking up on a free day, seeing exactly what you want to do, then being able to do it right where you are. I have lived and been in places where I have woken up on those free days, shrugged my shoulders and hit the snooze button. That is a total bummer. It is not a bummer however, to live in that spot where you want to jump out of bed to take advantage of what's all around you. 

Me? Thankfully I'm not hitting the snooze button anymore.

The spot that you love living might change as your life does. It might stay the same forever. What works for one person doesn't necessarily work for another. Either way, you owe it to yourself to be able to "hit the" whatever- on those completely free days or after work when you want to. 

Here's a fun little site to play around on if you have a few minutes.

Call me when you're ready to pack the U-Haul. I'll help.