Friday, August 31, 2012

Coffee is good, Politics are bad.

OMG.

(This morning deserved that, right?)

I woke up after a FANTASTIC night's sleep. Something so rare and elusive that I wanted to savor those happy feelings for at least an hour.

I began my routine, as I begin every morning.. I stumble to the bathroom, then make my way back to my bed. One of two things will happen- I will curl back up and reset my clock pending how my hair looks upon awaking (which means I could possibly skip the washing,) or I prop up a few pillows and open my laptop.

To view FB.

I read the comments from a status I wrote about the RNC. Nothing earth shattering, I just talked about how Condi did a great job, Ryan distorted the truth, Clint Eastwood bombed, Rubio was a cutie and I simply implied that Mitt made me yawn. For the record, there has never been any confusion on who I am voting for. So, in respect to the RNC and my friends that are staunch conservatives (I can't even bring myself to say Republican anymore - because these people are sooooo far right, I see very little of the original idea of the Republican party - that I posted my new profile pic (post) Mitt's speech. It's of me and Obama. One month before he was elected President.

Then I got some of the most mis-directed, hateful remarks. Some in box, some in the comment section. By well-meaning, ill-informed people.

Someone said, "I feel sad for you."

No honey... I feel sad for YOU.

Granted, all of this took place before my morning coffee.

Thursday, August 30, 2012

Healthy Choices ~ Metabolism Speed

I probably have the slowest metabolism known to mankind. I happen to suffer from a little issue called Polycystic Ovary Syndrome. That's a post in and of itself. Basically, one of the side effects is a slooooow metabolism.


Well....

There are SOME things I can do.

1. Eat Breakfast. (That will boost my metabolism.)

2. Increase my protein and fiber.


INTERESTING.

Why not give it a little try!?
AND.. Check this out:

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Things I am Obsessing over

This week - It's more music.

I've been in quite the musical mood.

Want to see what I have been listening to (or obsessing over?)

Here you go!

I think I listened to this song 500 times this week:



A few times I played this one:



I fell asleep to this one this past weekend:



This song helped me do laundry!



My best day this week involved a morning of classic Madonna..



Finally, I heard this one yesterday - I played it a few times. Hmm... I can definitely relate to this one. ;-)




What are you listening to?

Monday, August 27, 2012

Bonjour!

 
It is a good day, isn't it?
 
I don't know if it is the way the sun is trying to peek through the blinds or if it is because I had a really good night's sleep, but I feel a sense of peace in my heart, something that has been lacking for a couple of weeks.
 
Maybe it's the spiritual exercises I have started (from my book I mentioned yesterday.) There is some REALLY good stuff in there. Goes to show that even though this was written in the 1500s, it can still be relevant today.
 
Mondays have actually become good days for me. For one, my museum is closed on Mondays, however we do go in.. but not until 11am. I will actually head in a little earlier, I have to interview a potential Marketing Intern. She's from one of the local universities. I certainly hope she is a good fit. I could definitely use some good help.
 
 
For those of you who sent me a request to join the private blog (since this past Saturday,) I am so sorry but I will not be accepting any one else to read that one. I thank you for caring enough to want to read it, but I decided that due to the private nature of the subjects I am discussing on there, I want to limit it to a few people I know. Please understand.
 
I promise.. THIS is the blog you want to follow. Where else will you get quirky posts, crazy suggestions, and random photos? ;-)
 
I want to wish all of you a fantastic week! Time to wrap August up!
 


Sunday, August 26, 2012

Weekend In Review

Snapshots of my life this weekend...
Do you have a junk plate or bowl? This is my bathroom junk plate.

I made a chocolate peanut butter pie with fat-free milk! PS - For my parent's anniversary.

So many of us use powdered flavor for our water... but I beg you, please pick the proper stuff. See this one? Good stuff.

Even made with Truvia. Give it a try... much better for you than the chemical stuff.

Love my soaps.. random shot of some soaps on stand by. (I buy different kinds and stock up.)

They finally make it BIGGER bottles!

All of my subscriptions came in on the SAME DAY - Friday. It was like Christmas!!! What do you subscribe to?

The two books I'm reading now..

My snack plate in the frig. Do you keep a bowl or snack plate?

This morning I was writing my blog on my balcony.. drinking my coffee...

Working on the crust for the dessert.

The "cleaning the spoon" self portrait.

YUM. With Mediterranean Sea Salt mix sprinkled on top.

Look who came for lunch?

She said she missed me. It's been two weeks since we saw one another...

Such a prankster.


She is such a story teller

How cute.. Autumn left me a little present....

Random shot.. See that little crystal tree? It's from my Brazilian exchange student. He says all families have one.. and it is supposed to bring happiness.

right after we rumbled!

The fruit bowl. ;-) What's in your bowl? We have pears, bananas and oranges.

My wax warmer... in the kitchen.

Do you enjoy hot tea? We've got Truvia for sweets.. Green Tea with Lemongrass and Mint, Green tea with orange/passionfruit/jasmine, and an arabic cardamon tea.

Have you tried this yet??? WOWOWOW.

Mom brought me fresh basil from their garden. A little organic herb!

I actually broke out the cds this weekend. Listened to Andra's Verdi and Romanza and Angelique.

Spiritual Exercising

I LOVE Sunday mornings.. don't you? I love them so much more than Saturdays. I find that I am still so keyed up from the week on Saturday morning that I just can't seem to unwind. Oh.. but Sunday morning, I feel just fine.

Today I am sitting on my balcony writing this. It's hot, no doubt about it, and it's only 10am. I would guesstimate it is about 89 degrees if not hotter. It's early enough that I still hear the cicadas and a tree frogs, and luckily not a lot of traffic, considering I live very close to a highway.

It's moments like these that I feel really alive.

Today I begin a four week spiritual journey. That's right! I bought a book by one of my FAVORITE saints, St. Ignatius. It's called
 
I found this book by accident. Last week, one of my co-workers fell through some glass shelves we have at the museum, I took her to get stitches. On one of her follow-up visits to the doctor, she said she really felt like she wanted to go somewhere and pray. I told her that Catholic churches are always open. She told me she had never been to one. Since we were less than a mile from mine, I took her to my church. Let me just say that my church is definitely one that will take your breath away. It is absolutely gorgeous. Google St. Joseph's Catholic Church in Macon and just view the images. Anyway, we happen to have a book store, and it is hit and miss as to whether it is open. The open sign was on! We went in, and I selected a St. Michael medal for my friend and happened upon some books.
 
I actually have the biography of St. Ignatius and find him to be completely fascinating. Here is a guy who was powerful, wealthy, and quite the Ladies man and partyer.. who one day turned his entire life around. He is also the founding father of the Jesuits. Think Catholic mysticism.. and you will get what I am saying. Super spiritual.
 
Speaking of which.. this is his actual book. Like.. yes.. he wrote it. The book description is as follows from Amazon:
 
 
St. Ignatius of Loyola wrote the Spiritual Exercises between 1522 and 1524, and today, nearly five centuries later, Jesuits in training are still required to study it and follow its precepts during their first year in the novitiate. Not designed to be read cover to cover in one sitting, this book is made up of daily meditations meant to be closely examined in isolation over a period of about four weeks, under the guidance of a spiritual director. Though The Spiritual Exercises have traditionally been read primarily by those training for the priesthood, in recent years increasing numbers of lay people and non-Catholics are discovering its joys and insights. This edition-edited by Father Elder Mullan (1865-1925) and published in 1914-is essential for anyone interested in strengthening his or her faith and relationship with God. Spanish priest and spiritual philosopher SAINT IGNATIUS OF LOYOLA (1491-1556) has been described by Pope Benedict XVI as "a man of God," "a man of profound prayer," and "a faithful servant of the Church." The principal founder of the Society of Jesus, Ignatius was canonized in 1622. His writings include Letters and Instructions of St. Ignatius Loyola 1 (1524-1547).


There you have it! Granted, I;m not going to be entering the priesthood or working with a spiritual director, but I am going to embark on this little journey.

Each Sunday, for the next 4 weeks, I will share with you what I have learned, if it is appropriate. If you want to follow along, pick up a copy - clearly Amazon sells it.

Have a great Sunday! 



Saturday, August 25, 2012

Things I Have Learned This Week

1. ......

2. I am addicted to Tomato Soup with Louisiana Hot Sauce.

3. You can live off Turkey Bacon and Egg whites, as long as you can indulge in a little spicy tomato soup from time to time.

4. There is a femi-nazi deep inside of me. She sort of reared her ugly head this week.

5. Depleting my caffeine consumption is never a good idea. I just need to accept the fact - My name is Nicole and I am a coffee addict.

6. I choose joy. I choose life. I choose to block out that negative $%#@&... there is nothing I can do about it now, so why wallow in self pity for the next 6-8 months. Just. Bide. My. Time.

7. I'm officially a grown up! I was accepted into the Downtown Rotary club. Probably not the youngest member, but very close to it.

8. I am also going to do something exciting - going to my first Writer's meeting in Macon. There are some creative people here.. can't wait to see what it is all about!

9. That the big university in town is going to have some incredible public art soon. Curious to see what's coming up after that. (In other words - would love to see works strategically placed around the city.) Was disappointed in the lack of diversity at that forum.

10. By implementing a private blog to completely vent.. I feel SO MUCH BETTER.

11. That exfoliating with a hard bristle body brush is such a wonderful way to feel baby soft and super clean. Can't explain it. Would have loved this thing back when I was a party girl was recovering from a long night.

12. That my sense of humor may not always translate. My apologies.

13. I have decided to dive into some art history and art marketing books and magazines. I need to better understand my product. Maybe a few African American history books would not hurt either. Brush up on what I have forgotten over the years.

14. Interns. Sometimes it just a lot of work. Kind of like having children, you have to check in on them, give them chores, double check it was done well... Maybe it's my age, but it's getting more and more difficult to get excited about having new ones. I like my old ones. It's more difficult to come up with projects at an institution versus a health-related cause.

15. Concealer people. Do I need to say more?

16. I'm ready to head back to mass. Like really ready. Bought a great book - Spiritual Exercises of St. Ignatius. 4 week personal retreat to do at home. Let the transformation begin!

17. That Hell House (the movie.. documentary on Trinity Church's scare tactic to get people to commit to Christ) is absolutely insane. I watched a scene where they told people that anyone with Aids was going to hell. Then said that the Hebrew bible was translated to the King James Version. O.M.G. Seriously?  Don't make me step on my Catholic soap box....
That may have inspired a post.

18. In regards to #17 - Just because you are told something is.. does not mean it is. Bless their hearts.

19. York Peppermint Patty Coffee Creamer makes me happy.

20. Yep - I'm BACK!!!!!! (Can you tell?) ;-)

Thursday, August 23, 2012

Healthy Choices ~ Eating Food in Season

One of the best pieces of nutritional advice I ever got was from a little organic farming book. I found this treasure of a read at the library in Alabama, and for the life of me I cannot remember the name of it. It was written back in the 70s and had a comprehensive list of fruits and veggies. This list would refer to when you should eat something, where it should come from, how to preserve it and numerous ways to cook it. It was one of those books you wish you could "lose" and just pay the library for. Of course, I could not keep it for myself. I took some notes and returned it on time.

What I wanted to share with you today is something that has stuck with me ever since. Eat Food In Season.

When I walk past the apples in the grocery store, and it's the dead of summer, I tend to just pass. There are basic fruits most of us are familiar enough with to know that it's not harvest time for that item. So ask yourself, why is in sitting in your grocery produce department? How was it grown? How far has it traveled? If we are talking fresh fruit, what type of pesticides were put on this piece of fruit to keep it "fresh?" The very thought freaks me out.

This next video is a QUICK intro to seasonal and healthy eating. If you don't have time to watch the next video which goes into great detail, please take a moment and watch this one.


This next video is phenomenal for understanding why I am sooooooo passionate about eating seasonal, organic and local.



That young lady has a series of videos. Just click into Youtube and check out her channel.

If you are at work and can't turn your speakers on - here is a quick visual chart to check out:

 
I hope this has been super helpful for you.
 
Even if you are not dieting or limited on funds to purchase organic food - you can totally shop better by at least purchasing what is in season.
 
Don't forget, your local farmer's market is SUPER cheap. Make a point to stop by, you'll be surprised.
 
Good luck!

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Things I am Obsessing over ~ September

I am thrilled beyond belief that Fall is right around the corner. Crisp air, the smell of dead leaves, the birds beginning to migrate and flying overhead in their magnificent formations... it's all just a WONDERFUL time of year.

What I am NOT looking forward to is - September.

I've written this blog for 3 years and you all know that September is my hell month. Scared to death of September. So I guess.. I am obsessing over it this week.

As I was going through my desk calendar, reviewing the meetings I have lined up, I saw that September is.. well.. just a few days away. My pulse quickened, my breath shortened, my stomach felt like someone had punched me - all because I knew September was drawing near.

Without providing links, just go to my sidebar under any ole year and look at the month of September. Read a few stories.. it's all there. Just last September, I lost my home. Oh.. and the hits keep on keeping on in previous years.

September.

The only GOOD thing it brings is fall..

And Pumpkin Spice Lattes from Starbucks. ;-)

Monday, August 20, 2012

Should this be the end?

I am not sure what is going on, but on several occasions over the past couple of weeks I have been toying with the idea of ending the blog.

I know.. I know...

You might be asking, WHY?

Well....

I have several reasons.

Maybe they aren't good. Maybe they are silly.. but I am just not feeling like.. writing here.

Weird?

I am coming up on 3 years, almost daily sharing on Destination Unknown. I have poured my heart and soul out on this page.

In the beginning, it was sort of an unknown little place to share my life with my exchange students and family around the world. Imagine how incredibly difficult it is to send letters, flooding someones email inbox, or even calling around 14 students, and about 10 friends and family in Egypt. (Let's not forget my family living in Georgia.) It worked as a place to sort of.. share.

I don't know what changed, but by March of 2010, suddenly my 8 followers blew up into 56 followers (and hung in there for months.) Interesting bloggers from around the world started sharing their lives with me. I felt honored and intrigued by their comments, and was blown away by their blogs. It sort of opened up a whole new world for me. I think back then, my total blog views for an entire month was around 100.

By 2011, I had hundreds of followers, maybe 2,000 a month in views, and a dedicated group of actual friends on FB following and commenting. It was fun to share my life and my challenges with people from my past and getting feedback from them. It served a purpose during a difficult transition for me,  an even better distraction from a difficult job and even more challenging cultural exchange at home.

Here we are in 2012 and right before I started my new job I was reaching almost 56,000 views a week (now the views are much lower... around 23,000 or so a week,) and hundreds more are following. I'm not bragging.. I promise... but I am actually getting to a point -

I am having a hard time not sharing my personal life. Does that make sense? With my new job, I am thrust back into the public eye and in a much smaller pond and it sometimes feels like my every move is being judged. Heck, I even got hate mail after doing a tv interview. I don't know how you would handle it, but for me.. it really sucked. There is no other way to put it.

My personal life is basically shit these days. By having to keep it a little more personal, it is actually driving me more insane. I thought about starting another blog, an anonymous blog, and using that space to tell my more personal story.. but I am not a big believer in hiding. I like to live out loud.. and unfortunately, it's not as much an option as it used to be.

Also, I don't get a lot of feedback anymore. No.. I'm not doing it for feedback, but it does make  the experience sooo much better. I see the numbers - but the sharing of thoughts is sort of gone... and as a writer, though we hate to admit it, we need that feedback. Our writing is like a conversation, one we throw out there and hope that someone will eventually read our thoughts and say to us, "Yes.. I understand." It makes it all worth while.

*exhale*

When I stop to think about.. who wants to read this crap? Who actually reads it? WHY do you read it?

I feel so self-indulgent sometimes.. sharing everything with anyone... and... oh... I don't know...

What am I doing right? What am I doing wrong? WHY do I bother?

Do you get anything out of this?

Is it even worth it to continue?

These are the questions I am pondering....

Sunday, August 19, 2012

My meditation

Don't laugh.
It's television.

Lately, that's my therapy.

Typically on a Sunday I will share something "spiritual" or "inspiring" for you. Honestly, a good belly laugh and thought provoking storyline can be as inspirational and foundational as any time I spend listening to a quick sermon at church.

Hope that did not sound too sacrilegious. But it's true. I learn. I laugh. I cry. I sometimes strive to be a better person. I root for the under dog. I feel... good. Isn't that good for the soul?

With that being said, here are the trailers for my absolute favorite television shows. The ones I have watched from beginning to end. Disclaimer: Not all are wholesome, so don't confuse what I said below with the idea that I am cleansing my soul. Sometimes enjoying myself is just as satisfying.

This is just a sample of the shows in past year I have re watched or watched entire seasons. Enjoy!
























(With my fave dancer!!)









What about you????

Saturday, August 18, 2012

How to cultivate a relationship


We all need to know how to cultivate a relationship, especially when it comes to business.
Typically substantial research is conducted on the person of interest- your job is to dig deep both professionally and personally.
My question to you is...
Do you do that with personal relationships?

I guess the whole thought came to me today as I was indulging in my second love - Coffee. I was sitting with my sister at a local coffee cafe downtown called Roasted, and as we were discussing our jobs and potential donors and proposals pending.. and it hit me... what would I find if I were to research myself?
How could someone cultivate my friendship/relationship/business expertise?

Which then made me think of the non-negotiables in my life. The things that are truly important to me.
Okay.. game on.

I am not an easy person to get to know. Not in person. Yes, I am friendly when we meet and yes, I can be a talker.. if I meet the right people with the right chemistry, and I HAVE to be in a good, caffeinated mood. But what really makes me tick? What is at the core of who I am? Those things that get me to open my eyes a little wider, smile a little more, and quickly start rambling... because folks, if you truly have my interest - I make direct eye contact. If I am bored, or uncomfortable or simply not agreeing with you.. I don't focus, I pick up my car keys or phone and I look for a quick escape route.


If you want the keys to my heart or friendship (which are one in the same...) make sure to brush up on the following subjects:

- I'm a bleeding heart liberal. There.. I said it. I wasn't always this way, but I am now. I am super compassionate when it comes to human rights/civil rights. Regardless of my religious dogma - if someone or something is holding the other back by means that stifle their dignity, freedom and basic rights, I will fly off the handle. I get quite passionate about this subject. I keep up with the pleas for social justice on Amnesty International's website. Want to get me talking for hours - pick a human injustice subject and watch me ramble.

- Animal Rights. Oh my goodness... I am CRAZY about protecting our furry friends. No, I'm not the crazy  cat lady, nor do I think a dog is my "baby".. but I am hypersensitive to the treatment of our animals. Zoos are slightly cruel in my opinion. I even feel bad for our fish friends in the aquariums.. but I do understand what we can learn by watching them in a controlled habitat... ooops... wait... there I go...


- Organic Living. I think the best way to live is by consuming organic, clean foods. I am against harmful pesticides, genetically engineered fruits and veggies, monoculture farming, and cruelty to farm animals.

- Understanding your genetic risk factors. I could talk for hours about understanding your health. Look, I'll be the first to say I struggle with following the "rules" of healthy living, but I like being informed. I think everyone should know at the very least their cholesterol, their blood sugar level, their blood pressure, and know if their triglycerides are high. Understand your BMI.

- READ. I am a voracious reader. Sure.. sometimes the books are just crap, but I always have SOMETHING to read. People who do not read.. honestly... turn me off completely. Yes, I judge.

- Expose yourself to the arts. My mom and sister are artists. My dad is a calligrapher. My sister and I write. My sister and I were involved in community theater. I was a dancer. You want to light my heart on fire? Talk to me about the arts. We'll be best friends for life.

- Be passionate about SOMETHING. Okay.. I sometimes talk badly about my ex's love of NASCAR, but the truth is.. at least he was passionate about something. I am blown away by people who have NO interests. Even if it is as simple as maintaining perfect nails (like my friend Lisa,) have something that is uniquely YOUR thing.

- Love to cook..or experiment with food. I love to try new recipes and I like having dinner parties.

- Play a board game? Then that's another way to guarantee I'll show up at your house.

- Foreign films, documentaries and horror flicks. Three of my favorite things to consume. Yes, I said consume.

- I love to write. My blog, though it is not award winning or even close to being grammatically correct half of the time ... IT IS MY PASSION. One way to get on my good side, read my blog. If you are a friend, and you have not at least tried to scan it before we meet up, and you tell me, "I have no idea what's going on in your life." I suddenly think, well..... hmmmm....

- Putting down the egyptian is off limits. Look - I know my relationship with my other half is less than perfect. Not even close. But do NOT bash. It doesn't fly with me. I know what's up, and unless I ask you a direct question or request your opinion- zip it. I'll deal with it in my own way in my own time. It takes me a LOOOOONG time to make a decision, especially the big ones, and I am super careful not to make any mistakes. I'll be okay. I use my blog as a place to vent and leave it here. Saying you worry for me is one thing.. but bashing him is another.

- Understand that 

- I don't like advice on losing weight.

- I love discussing religion. Seriously. BTW - I am catholic. A very liberal catholic.

- I live for music. I do! I listen to all kinds of music.

- I LOVE to go dancing, but only like dancing if there are a lot of other people dancing. Types of nights I enjoy? Good music, good vibes and GREAT dancing.

- I love being a tourist. I love to travel. Tell me about all of the amazing places you have been. Ask me questions about my favorite places.

- I love taking pictures. No, I am NOT  a photographer, but I LOVE LOVE LOVE capturing moments and telling a story with them. If you like my pics, tell me. It means a lot. Do not be that weird person saying you hate having your pic taken. If you do - then don't get anywhere near me, because I am always packing a camera.

- I love social media. I could talk about it and the impact it has made on society for hours.

- I am very, VERY proud of the work I have done in my life. Ask me about my career and I will love you.

- Family is important to me, but I typically have an identity outside of my family.

- My friendships mean a lot to me. I have a handful of super close friends that know EVERYTHING. I am fiercely loyal - even when they are behaving badly. I have tons of acquaintances and I draw a very thick line between the two. Don't confuse my friendliness as being a BFF. I work in PR, it's what I do.

- I love collecting interesting people. Seriously. Get invited to a weekend away with me, or a party at my home and there will be the most bizarre menagerie of friends.

- I HATE SMOKING. I do, however, I approve of cigars and the sheesha. I am totally for the legalization of marijuana. For the record, no.. I don't smoke.

- I do not watch sports. At all. I do enjoy a live Ice Hockey game for the fights. Instead, let's plan a trip to an art gallery or movie or great restaurant, etc.

- I am a super freak when it comes to skin care and cosmetics. I put a lot of time and money into both.

- I am private when it comes to sexual matters. I don't want to hear about your escapades.

- I could spend hours in a library or museum. I also have a wonderful addiction to coffee and conversation. YOU HAVE TO BE a great conversationalist. PS, having a wicked sense of humor would be great also. Some people think my personality can come off a little brash or bitchy, but I am just really sarcastic.. it's my sense of humor. Very dry sometimes.

- I do love the outdoors. I like hiking, water sports, etc. I would give anything to find a good group to go camping this fall.

- I say NO, very easily.


- finally, don't invite me to sandwich shops. Especially chain sandwich shops. Our friendship will end.

That's it for me.. at least for  the big stuff.

Tell me.. what are a few of your "cultivation" factoids? What is most important to you? 

Breathe. Step. Repeat.

An actual playlist on my Ipod - called, Breathe. Step. Repeat.





















Friday, August 17, 2012

Things I Have Learned This Week

1. My museum is on the verge of something HUGE. I can't wait to slowly leak it out. (Don't worry, it's okay.. it's my job to do that!)

2. I work with highly creative, highly intelligent people (for a change.) It's a nice feeling. No more boxes to work in. No more micro-managing. Gone are the days of being judged by a number.. now it's the quality and actual impact (out are the ridiculous goals tied to numbers you got from a billboard in my previous life.) THANK GOD.

3. That time spent apart (almost 2 weeks now) and absolutely no time talking (almost two weeks now).. unfortunately, nothing  changed. He walked in and said absolutely nothing to me.

4. Even if you do and become everything your significant other wants... it does not mean it will make that person happy.

5. I think in a few more weeks.. it may very well be the end. Or it may not. Who knows. ZERO communication.

6. I am completely heart broken.

7. I am resilient. I will be okay.

8. I did everything I could.

9. I am learning to be alone. Thank goodness for cheesiest tv marathons on Netflix and my books.

10. I need to get out more. (meetings don't count.)

11. That I guess I am officially a grown up. I have joined the downtown Rotary club in Macon.

12. That so many good things are happening, and I have no one to celebrate them with. That hurts too. Not even a proper BFF these days. Damn.. I need to make some new friends.

13. That coming down with a wretched cold won't actually kill you, but it feels like it should.

14. That being alone, having a HORRIBLE cold with fever, not talking to your other half and having a FULL week of meetings will not kill you either. But I am surprised it did not.

15. That I can smile and pretend everything is okay. I really should win an academy award.

16. That I can lose more weight if I take cold medicine and sleep the night away. (No dinner.)

17. That my nails look pretty painted red.

18. That I can STILL live off egg whites and turkey bacon.

19. That I finally feel like I am home (in my new place.)

20. That even though all of these bad things (personally) are happening around me, without me being able to  control it or change it on my own, I am actually okay. No, really, I am. Even through the cold, the hectic schedule and the lack of support - I can still find things to be super happy about. For ONCE.. they are overshadowing the bad.

Praise God.

;-)

You have got to see...

Last night I was in an interesting medicine induced delirium and decided to watch Permanent Midnight. LOVE.

Yes, I feel as if I am just a little late to the party on this one, but it has always been on my radar to sit down and check out.



Fabulous movie based on the autobiographical book (by the same name)  of Jerry Stahl, a television comedy writer who battled a serious drug habit.

He wrote for such television shows like Thirty Something, Alf (in the movie he called it Mr. Chompers) and Moonlighting.

Throughout the movie, I got totally caught up in this guy's ability to totally screw up everything... all for heroin. Not just a little.. an obscene amount.

If you are looking for something that is ever-so-slightly dark in humor, give this one a try. It's my MUST SEE of the week.

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Friendship & Forgiveness ~ a healthy choice

How many times have you heard someone say, "I am just going to cut her out of my life?" Or perhaps you have said, "I would never do that to someone else. I don't need them in my life!"

I know I have.

I used to be the queen of completely cutting someone out of my life if I felt they had "wronged" me. To be perfectly honest, it wasn't very difficult to do this "wrong" to me either. I was hyper-critical of others around me, yet somehow those same standards I held up to others were never applied to me. Luckily, I have outgrown that behavior, however I do see it happening to so many others around me.

I guess what I would ask each of you - Is it worth it to cut out a friendship because your feelings are hurt? Shouldn't we all attempt to nurture our relationships and implement forgiveness?

I saw this fantastic video about friendship and forgiveness and had to share it with you:


How many times have you heard people say, "I don't care." Just like in the video, I agree that when you say, "I don't care," the truth is.. you really do.

I would love to hear about your "moving on" and forgiveness stories with friends. Feel free to write about it and ad a link in the comment section or just tell us there.

As for me, I have learned forgiveness. I am practicing it and I think I am better off for it. ;-)

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Things I am Obsessing over

1. Used books. I've always been a fan of a good book store, but I am truly a fan of a book store where I can pick up some good reads for around 25 cents to $3.99 a pop. In middle Georgia - I tend to head to Gray to Kema's Hobby Bookstore. This past weekend I grabbed 7 books for $8.29. SCORE!

2. Kleenex. Fresh tissues that is. I am sick. Nothing like a soft, fresh tissue.

3. Guacamole. I know, I know.. you have always known I love the guac. But I did step away for a while, now I am back on my guac kick and happy as a lark.

4. Moisture Surge Tinted Moisturizer with SPF 15 from Clinique.

5. Not fixing my hair. Yeah.. I'm feeling lazy lately.

6. Tomato soup with lots of hot sauce. I think I consumed 4 cans last week. You would think with all of that vitamin C I would not be sick... booo.

7. Lime green.

8. Finding some art history classes to take.

9. Realizing I want to stay in the museum field.

10. I am on Season 3 of The Wonder Years.

11. Wiping the counters. Seriously. I am a nut for clean kitchen counters.

12. Hot boiled peanuts.

13. Blackberry jam.

14. Weighing myself each morning. If I see the scale go up a little, I cut back on the sodium, etc. (PS - Down 14.6 pounds!)

15. Finding a gym without ridiculous upfront fees. A $25 fee to use the equipment? Seriously?
Isn't that what the membership is for?

16. Laughing at people, right in their face, when they attempt to be "self important." There is a serious problem with this here. I don't know how many people I have met that are soooo "self important" and I literally start laughing. They think I find them funny. I'm actually laughing at them. Pathetic.

I thought I would stop at 16. I'm sick, I'm moody, and knowing the thoughts that pop into my head, perhaps writing more would NOT be a good idea.

Hope to be back to normal soon!

Achoo

It's bad day for Nicole. Tons of meetings and a TERRIBLE cold/flu just whipping my tush.

I woke up yesteday with a sore, dry throat. By lunch I was barely coherent. I sneezed the crucial sneeze at 2:30. I was completely congested by 5pm and spent the rest of the night trying to walk a straight line (from the crazy stuffed up ear to the pressure in my sinuses.) Chilled to the bone in 90 degree weather and achey muscles.

I have one important meeting at 9am.. then I think I need to call it a day.

My eyes are so blurry trying to write this.
Sheesh.

Blech.

Monday, August 13, 2012

The show must... Go On!

I do love a good line from a movie. Only a handful of friends of mine totally get my humor, as many of the things come out of my mouth are actually lines from movies, musicals, theater, books, tv shows and music. Several dear friends suffer from this affliction, and I have to say, it makes for hours of good laughs. While the girl on "Sex in the City" had tons of puns, my friends and I can quote just about any good movie or song you can imagine.

With that being said, I have picked my favorite scenes/lines from movies that I reference quite often. Maybe you will see the humor or the lesson or the beauty.. maybe you won't. But I wanted to document this for my record, so when I need a good laugh (like tonight,) it will be right here waiting.

(Tiny little sampling of clips I could find....)

Favorite Scenes from Movies I Love:
Guess why?!

1.

2.

3.

4.

5.

6.

7.

8.

9.

10.

11.

12.

13.

14.

16.

17.

18.

19.

20.

Sunday, August 12, 2012

Finding My Happy Place

Life is full of wonderful choices- various paths, scenic detours and exhilarating bumps. Each day, I make a choice to either get moving or sit stagnant. My biggest challenge is to enjoy the journey.

Sometimes... I forget that part.

I did something I promised myself I would not do - let the negative in.

I could kick myself for that.

I guess the key is to show myself how resilient I am, because the truth of the matter is - I am.

I prayed last night. I prayed for a really, really long time. I cried. I just sat in silence. I needed that cleansing moment. That moment where I reach out into the infinite and ask for what I want or need. I prayed for the healing of hearts. I prayed for the healing of my own heart.

I often write of needing to "take care of me" and let me tell you, I have been doing a much better job in that respect. I am eating better, I am more conscious of my actions. I am listening more... etc. etc. I've always been good at treating myself and saying no when I am overwhelmed, but there are other areas I have fallen short on. One of those is to truly love myself. Be my own happy.

I made the stupid mistake of trusting. Yes, I know.. you are thinking, it's okay to trust and should be able to trust. Yes, I know this. But for whatever reason, I tend to allow "not so nice" people into my life. Like a moth to the flame, I get involved with people who may not have my best interests at heart. Independent souls that disguise themselves as a perfect match, with no intention of being that other piece that completes me. I let my guard down, I was vulnerable, and now I sit here with egg on my face. I don't like food on my face. ;-)

I am about to get 30 days solo. Training for the other half in another city. This will be good for him and equally good for me. I get to work on me and I hope he figures out, once and for all, what he wants. I choose happiness. Period.

I know... I given 500 million chances. Just so you know, nothing terrible is happening, it's just the way I am treated. Ignored. Disregarded. Nothing earth shattering like the big stuff that rocks a relationship.. just a complete disrespect for who I am. I deserve better than that. Every one of us do. No one deserves to be treated as if they don't matter or exist. Maybe it's cultural or maybe it is just the other person. Who knows... I give up trying to label it all.

So.. for the next 30 days, I will attempt to find my happy place. I will pray. I will exercise. I will eat right. I will organize (even more..) I will read. I will socialize.

It's been said that 30 days of any behavior or thought pattern will soon become habit. I hope to choose good habits, and good things will hopefully come my way.

The funny thing is - I choose my job. I choose this home. I choose the people I have let in, and I choose him. I have to leave it to the ultimate powers to see if he will choose the same.

Saturday, August 11, 2012

Things I Have Learned This Week

1.


2. Friends are fantastic mirrors. They remind you of what is really going on in your life. Sometimes we just don't like what we see in the mirror.

3. Unless it is in writing, it may not come to fruition. Then it STILL may not come together, though you do have a little more "something" to work with.

4. Using a normal toothbrush is strangely refreshing. My electric/rotary.. overpriced toothbrush is spazzing, but a normal one. Felt.. rather.. nice.

5. Always run out of foundation and concealer the week of Clinique bonus time. SCORE!

6. Using a facial brush is a wonderful way to exfoliate. (Thank you, Stephanie!)

7. That people in Macon are super supportive of welcoming new comers into our city.

8. Sleep is NOT over rated. Repeat - sleep is NOT overrated. Forget what I said all of those years ago.

9.


10.




Thursday, August 9, 2012

What I Do That Helps Me


One thing we know for sure as a member of the human race is - nobody has it all figured out. Nobody. Or should I say, no one?

Doesn't matter.

But as we get older, we sort of figure out a few things, a few tricks and we incorporate those ideas into our lives.

It's Thursday, which means it is time for me to share my healthy information. I am on week 8 of Weight Watchers and I had hit a mini-plateau as of Sunday. However, I made some adjustments, and I am happy to report that the weight is beginning to fall again.

I'm not going to pretend to be the healthiest person in the world. But I am adamant about trying to do a better job... and that goes for all aspects of my life.

I decided to share with a little list of items that were once goals and are now habits. My life has improved drastically because of these things.

1. I eat more protein and fiber than I do carbs. However, my protein is mainly coming from plants and dairy, not meat. What have I noticed? The pounds are coming off. The sort of "sleepy" feeling after eating is gone. I am calmer. Weird?! I'll have to look into the correlation between carbs and anxiety. Not sure if it exists... but..

2. I am eating breakfast each morning. (For the most part.) What have I noticed? I am more focused at work. The pounds are coming off. I am not as hungry throughout the day.

3. I have cut back on sugar intake. Almost completely. What have I noticed? Less pounds and less cravings.

4. I have purchased more "whole foods" and organic items. What have I noticed? Nothing as far as what I can 'see.' But I can taste a difference in the fruit and veggies. Plus, I know that my body is not consuming toxins or genetically mutated or hormone ridden meats.

5. I have cut out processed food. What have I noticed? I do not retain as much water, I am not as thirsty, my blood pressure is better, the pounds are dropping, and I feel better.

6. I am spending more time with friends. What have I noticed? I am laughing more, I am feeling better (mentally,) and I have more self confidence.

7. When I meet people, I say to myself, "Let me radiate light and love." What have I noticed? When I say this silent mantra, I am able to look at someone and really see them. It sort of makes me try to be a better person and I listen.

8. I am learning to forgive. What have I noticed? That I am not as anxious. The truth is, I get mad about something everyday, but the difference is, I can't let it define my mood.

9. I am forcing myself to listen. What have I noticed? Something I have known all along, but quit caring about.. and that's the fact that everyone has a beautiful story and path. When I talk to you, I want to hear about your journey. When I meet someone, I want to learn from them. So much can change when you take the time to listen.

10. I am finding balance. What have I noticed? By breathing, yoga, meditation, spiritual books, praying, as well as immersing myself in nature.. I am able to find that elusive balance.

At the end of the day - drink more water, sleep well, breathe, forgive, listen, eat a diet full of fruits and veggies.... and you are going to be alright.






























photo credit: 27147 via photo pin cc

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Things I am Obsessing Over ~ K Pop

Perhaps it's the bright, bold colors. Perhaps it's the nostalgia of the 80's bubblegum pop that I used to love. Whatever the reason, I have a new obsession - K-Pop.

K-Pop is an abbreviation of Korean Popular Music. It's a musical genre featuring dance, electronic, electropop, hip hop and R&B music from South Korea. Believe it or not, K-Pop is getting a lot of attention from around the world and is even inspiring a fashion concept.

What I find completely fascinating is the whole music industry in South Korea. It takes the whole idea of "studio created" to a completely different level.  The talented hopeful enter into an "apprenticeship." It is the universal strategy for nurturing girl groups, boy bands, and solo artists in the K-pop industry. To guarantee the high probability of success of new talent, talent agencies fully subsidize and oversee the professional lives and careers of trainees, often spending in excess of $400,000 to train and launch a new artist.

Through the practice of apprenticeship, which often lasts two years or more, trainees hone their voices, learn professional choreography, sculpt and shape their bodies through exercise, and study multiple languages all the while attending school.

But don't take my word for it.. see for yourself:











Finally.. looking to see how serious this K-Pop is, check out this quick story on K-Pop. Will blow your mind!

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Thyme & Eucalyptus Back Relief Soak

I've been trying a wide variety of holistic/organic recipes. Some involve the food I eat, and some actually involve using foods, herbs and oils for medicinal purposes.

Now let's talk about something I know MOST of us deal with- a sore achey back.
I found a simple aid ~ thyme and eucalyptus.

It's been said that thyme was used for medicinal purposes as early as 3,500 BC. Thyme was used to relieve asthma, coughs and colds; to kill yellow fever organisms; to reduce swelling provoked by gout; and to treat nervous disorders. The Romans, who believe that thyme promoted bravery, would frequently bathe in the herb before going to battle.

Eucalyptus oil enhances the action of thyme.

All you need is:

15 drops thyme essential oil
4 drops eucalyptus essential oil

Mix oils in hot bath water and soak for 15 minutes.

Follow us with a massage of your achey joints and you will feel an amazing difference!

Monday, August 6, 2012

Weekend In Review

My niece came to spend the night with me. On Saturday morning, we headed over to Rose Hill Cemetery in Macon.






It was blazing hot - so we drove down the street to Gateway Park.


Otis Redding. He's from Macon!


Sunday, August 5, 2012

Home is Where the Heart Is.

I left a long time ago screaming at the top of my lungs, "See you, suckas!" only to find myself right back where it all started. I'm back in Macon.

If you have been following my blog over the past couple of years, you know that from time to time I would  write longingly of my old friends and family, of the "good old days," and how I really missed everyone. However, about a decade ago, I could not wait to go try something different. I longed for crowded streets, tall buildings and more money. I wanted to dine in some of the snazziest restaurants  with world-class chefs. I wanted sip over-priced martinis on a roof top bar overlooking a city skyline. I wanted to jet off to the airport, flying to my next meeting and slap down my corporate credit card in some random hotel and feel that sense of being an important business traveler.

Those things happened...
Then fate brought me back - home.

I think I am very lucky in the sense that I have always seen the beauty of my fair city. The Greek revival columns mixed with the Victorian mansions lining the streets. The cherry blossoms and magnolias blooming each year, and the beautiful twinkle of lightning bugs (we call them that down here, you might call them fire flies.) Speaking of lightning, how about the "heat lightning?" The summer skies light up all night, creating a magnificent spectacle. All of these things make my home.. well, home.

I often give you sneak peeks and I have even gone so far as to write a post or two about "home." But now, I really want to entice you. I have been back, and officially living here long enough to see the changes, not just tell you about the attractions, but really share with you what makes this place so special. I'd like nothing more than to be your tour guide, if you ever choose to visit. I mean that.

With that being said, let me give you my recommendations for a weekend trip. Sure, I'll probably accidentally leave a few things out, but I assure you, it is not on purpose.  Let's pretend you only have a weekend to visit ~

If you really want to stay someplace spectacular, I would recommend the 1842 Inn. It's right on College Street, in walking distance to so many attractions and truly in the heart of downtown Macon.



Or perhaps you are looking for a basic hotel, I would probably recommend the Marriott (downtown/convention center) or La Quinta in North Macon (near shopping and the Interstate.)

Food? Oh my goodness.. so many excellent choices. If you would like have a really nice dinner, I would go for Marco Ristorante Italiano or The Tic Toc Room or Dolce Vita. Looking for great coffee, I have fallen in love with Roasted (they also serve fantastic middle eastern/Mediterranean food *authentic.) Lunch? Definitely Molly's Cafe or Market City Cafe.  Looking for a good beer? Perhaps pop on over to The Rookery. (Did you know that outside of Marco, each of these restaurants are within 3 blocks of one another?  Granted, there are tons of great places to eat at The Shoppes at River Crossing. (Maybe you want to shop and grab a quick bite.. that's a great place to stop.)


Now the question may come down to what to do? There's shopping, galleries, museums, historic homes, LOTS of outdoor activities - the best part? The weather is great year round. (Well, outside of being HOT.. but hey, we survive, just keep drinking water!)

Try a little paddle boarding or paddle board yoga on Lake Tobo..


Want to see what else you could get into outside here? Another very short video by Gateway Macon:


If you are into the more "active" trip..


What you may not know.. Macon is know for it's music scene.. It's true!


TONS of museums (hint hint..)


Galleries (another thing my family is REALLY involved in..)


Finally.. the history and the architecture is what makes most people fall in love with our little city..


I hope you will consider visiting me.. visiting here. We are only about 1 1/2 south of Atlanta - AND there is a wonderful shuttle from the ATL airport to Macon. We are 2 hours from Savannah and 2 hours from the Mountains and 3 hours from Florida. Soo.. the next question is...

(IF NOTHING ELSE.. WATCH THIS FABULOUS VIDEO ABOUT MY CITY..)


For info and details on all of this and anything else I missed please go to:
http://visitmacon.org and for all events and activities *not listed anywhere else, visit http://ovations365.com

For my blog friends, consider it! If you write about art, food, history.. etc...

Check us out! We need more bloggers to talk about where have down here!

YOUR AD HERE!

Interested in purchasing ad space? Your ad could be RIGHT HERE.
Email snicoleabdou@gmail.com for more details.

LinkWithin

Related Posts with Thumbnails