what fuels me…

July 5, 2012

I was in church this past Sunday and my pastor is doing a great series called “Running on Fumes.” During the message he had us do an exercise and write out a list of what fuels you and what drains you.  As I sat in church thinking I realized that it was much easier for me to rattle off all the things/people that drain me than it was for the my list of things that fuel me.

He suggested that we spend at least 15 minutes a day doing something on that list to recharge us and if we know that we are going to have to do something on the list that drains us that we allot some extra time to prepare us.

To hold myself accountable I thought I’d put down my list here so I can always have a reference point (outside of my handwritten journal) of the things I need to do to refuel me and give me energy when I’m having a tough time or just need to be refreshed…

What Fuels Me:
Writing (which is why I’m carving out more time on here)
Music (especially some classical or jazz)
Quiet time on the water
Long Drive
Sleep
Walking on a trail
Reading (a real book)
unplugging (no phone, computer, ipod, etc)
baking
kitchen prep (dicing, chopping, etc to make a big meal )
time with my mom
volunteering
time with my niece and nephews
weekend getaway

I’m sure there is more I can add. But those are my top things right now. So what refuels you?

xxxi

July 3, 2012

A little over a week ago I turned 31. I usually write a post on here on my birthday just to honor and respect life and to show my appreciation for all the things I have, have been through and to where I am going. In last year’s post I was very reflective because it was a “big birthday.” But as I grow older I realize each new year of life is a very big deal.

There were people in my life last year that are not this year, whether it be by death or just as a happenstance of growth. But I’m so grateful for the part they played in my life. This last year has had some highs and lows for me. But I’m still really grateful. I learned a tremendous amount, about my self, about others and about how I want to shape my life.

I learned the importance of friendship and the great role certain people play in my life. I continue to learn about purpose and about working to listen to God speak to me versus jumping out on my own. I’ve learned about trust and who I can and cannot depend on.

One of my biggest lessons this year I’ve learned is trusting my “gut.” I wish I could elaborate on those circumstances more but out of respect for myself and others I’d just say that gut/intuition/feeling on the inside you get is nothing to be ignored. Another great aha moment in my 30th year of life was making the transition to do more of what I want to do vs. always trying to be everything to everyone and very little to myself.

All in all this last year has been beautiful. I’m still breathing, I’m living, I’m loving, I’m serving, I’m traveling, I’m growing, I’m evolving, I’m connecting and most importantly I’m healing.

pinterest

June 18, 2012

While I’ve been away from blogging I’ve been pinning my life away on pinterest. For those that don’t know what it is the basic answer is it’s a virtual pinboard.

For my old job I presented on it to senior leaders and had my agency all about it. If you’re not on there get hip.

I’ve been a member since October of last year and it’s such a great way to have a vision board, pin recipes, outfit ideas and really anything that inspires me.

So if you’re on there I’d love to connect

Follow Me on Pinterest

seven ….

June 18, 2012

It’s been about a month since I’ve been on here writing. So much has been going on… from leaving behind a job where I was über comfortable and had a lot of freedom to dealing with my nephew going to prom, graduating and getting ready for college. I’ve also been spending “real life” time with friends.

One of my goals for 2012 was to reignite friendships and that is exactly what I have been doing. I’ve seen some friends more in the last six months then I have in the last six years. I’ve also opened up myself to connecting with more really great women that will add to and enrich my life.

This weekend I’ll be celebrating 31 years of life and this year I decided I didn’t want to do anything except what I wanted to do and I would do it on my terms.  So I created a cute little invitation and decided to invite about 10 fabulous ladies to join me for dinner and then I’ll wake up the next morning and head to NYC to enjoy the city, check out a broadway play and bring in 31 on Sunday with my NY friends.

For the past couple of years during “birthday season” I decided to take on something called “project seven.” Most people who know me know that seven is a very significant number for me and so for me and if you research it the meaning and what it represents to so many different cultures is quite interesting.

For me this mini project is about giving back. Many years ago I started watching my mom do something pretty amazing. Instead of receiving gifts on her birthday she always gives back to others. Whether a small gift, sending a card or a small gesture she gave to others on her birthday. So two years ago I started to do the same thing. Because 30 was significant to me, last year at my party I gave the biggest gift to my mom to thank her for the lessons she has taught me. This year I decided that I’d spend the seven days leading up to my birthday doing something for someone else. Just to show my appreciation for all the blessings I’ve received and another year of life.

Yesterday I kicked it off with my mom, I have no idea for today yet but I already know my plan for tomorrow. This should be a fun and interesting week of just doing small gestures to help celebrate life and others.

Even if you don’t have a birthday on the way try and do something special to make someones day a little brighter : )

Over the weekend I had the chance to head to the Westin in Annapolis for the second Buick Discovery Tour sponsored by Food & Wine magazine and of course Buick. This was my second year in attendance and it was just as interesting and exciting as last.

The day is basically a day dedicated to exploring new food and wine and of course new cars.

This year I was in group A which meant I got to test drive first. They had a fleet of cars outside ready for us to test out and I chose the Buick Regal turbo. Surprisingly it was rather sleek and was very modern and my speed. I also love that you can change to sports mode which is great for those that love to drive a little fast (like myself). I liked the course this year in Annapolis versus last year when it was in Alexandria. I had the chance to spend a little more time in the car and I got to drive on different surfaces since Annapolis has some cobblestone areas. Overall the car was really nice. I’m not quite in the market to buy yet but I definitely told my mom about it since she’s considering something in the near future.

Buick Regal Turbo

Now on to my favorite part. The food!

Our second part of the journey we went into a session with Ben Roche the pastry chef from Moto Restaurant in Chicago. He was outstanding and very innovative in his cooking which I enjoy. If you aren’t into fancy food it may not excite you but I was thrilled in the presentation. He made a ‘bacon maple syrup and sage ice cream’ in a stand mixer with liquid nitrogen. It sounds awkward but it was kind of weirdly fantastic.

Chef Roche using liquid nitrogen to make ice cream

And yes I haven’t eaten meat in ages but I figured why not and if I’m going to eat it why not in ice cream lol.  So back to the ice cream, on out plate it was accompanied by a s’mores bomb which was like a chocolate shell filled with a liquid graham cracker that was lit on fire like a little bomb to give the smokey flavor.

bacon maple sage ice cream and the s'mores bomb

Our next stop was to see Dublin native Chef Cathal Armstrong, who was named as one of Food & Wines best new chefs. I wasn’t familiar with his name but I am really familiar with his restaurants the Majestic, Eamonns and Restaurant Eve. They were all within miles of my old job so I frequented them all (especially Eamonns for the fish and chips). He made the most amazing sashimi dish and was so amazing and engaging with the crowd. He discussed buying local and American when it comes to food and his journey as an immigrant from Ireland to America. Any chef that convince and entire room to eat american red snapper sashimi has to be doing something great.

sashimi of snapper w/pumpkin spice vinaigrette and a butternut squash and pecan relish

Our next stop was to see Michael Green who returned from the year before. His presentation last year  is the reason that I can say gin is one of my favorite alcohols to mix with. This year he focused on wine. As usual he was very funny, entertaining and educational at the same time. He condensed all the info you needed to know about wine into a great 20 min presentation. I love that he told the crowd if it tastes good to you that’s all that matters when it comes to wine.

2010 Rodney Strong Sauvignon Blanc & 2009 M. Chapoutier Cotes-Du-Rhone

The main presenter was Chef Ming Tsai  from the PBS show Simply Ming  and owner of Blue Ginger. I’ve only seen him on tv but he was a really great fun and interactive chef. he had the ballroom in the hotel smelling absolutely amazing and he inserted colorful humor and great tips and techniques into his presentation to the crowd.  He demo’d chicken chow mein and sweet and sour mango pork and we got to sample the chicken which went perfectly great with the wines we had out as well.

chicken and tri-bell pepper chow mein

An added bonus was we all received a signed copy of his book One Pot Meals and got the latest copy of Food & Wine

One-Pot Meals

This was a great event and like last year it keeps Buick in my mind when considering or recommending a car. Also if you are just a lover of food it’s a really fabulous event to attend. I’m definitely looking forward to it next year.

Also. I wasn't paid for this post. Just thought I'd share a really great event that comes around yearly

a real vacation…

September 10, 2011

I’ve learned a lot about myself in the past seven days. I’ve been away from home, the office, major responsibilities and stress and pretty much doing absolutely nothing.

I decided earlier in the year I wanted to take a vacation. I didn’t want a big city, go to the club every night, see all the sights type of vacation. But a have nothing on my agenda, sleep when I want to, get up when I want, to eat what I want to, wear what I want to type of vacation. And it has been pure bliss.

A week ago I hopped on a plane and a ferry and I’ve spent the last seven days walking around, shopping, meeting people, wandering and exploring. I’ve been to the beach every single day. I’ve eaten lobster and other seafood like it’s going out of style. I’ve eaten real ice cream and drank wine by the goblet, I’ve been slightly ashy, curly-headed and makeup free all week and I absolutely enjoy it.

I haven’t had a tension headache, didn’t care what was going on my social media timeline and really let go of what was happening at work. Did I mention I also had no cable and I survived quite amazingly.

I’ve learned this week that in spite of all the things I have and things I like to do, that living a simple life can be quite rewarding. Things aren’t what make me happy, my job title isn’t what makes me happy, even the people I have relationships with aren’t what makes me happy. Just living life, being encapsulated in love and taking in all the God supplied beauty that is around me is really enough for me.

I appreciate the time I had away. God knows I needed it. Below is a picture I took while away. I’m printing and framing it as a reminder not to take life so seriously, enjoy simple things and just to live.

la vie en rose

August 17, 2011

a good friend closed her email this morning with the line  la vie en rose

it made me think of this lovely song…

and in french…

Hold me close and hold me fast
The magic spell you cast
This is la vie en rose

When you kiss me heaven sighs
And tho I close my eyes
I see la vie en rose

When you press me to your heart
I’m in a world apart
A world where roses bloom

And when you speak…angels sing from above
Everyday words seem…to turn into love songs

Give your heart and soul to me
And life will always be
La vie en rose

knowing when to let go…

August 16, 2011

A friend and I were having a conversation the other day about relationships and how sometimes we stay in them for all the wrong reasons.

I know in the past I’ve stuck around with people because I was worried about hurting them, I was comfortable, I was afraid or I was just content (lazy). But as I grow older one of the most refreshing things I’ve learned to do is simply walk away. Now I don’t mean walking away from major responsibilities and bills and things of that nature, but walking away from things that aren’t making you better or helping you grow or are just simply holding you back.

This process doesn’t just apply to dating but also to friendships, partnerships and sometimes even jobs. Recently I’ve struggled with this in all of the above. For me one of the biggest concerns I always battle with is worrying about hurting/how this will effect others. But I’ve grown to realize that worrying about others while I feel trapped isn’t doing anything but hurting me.

As I continue to grow and value my self and my greatness even more I realize staying in stagnant relationships, dead friendships and unproductive careers isn’t helping me to blossom at all. I’ve discovered that one of the greatest gifts I can give myself is knowing when to let go.

Hello loves,

Yes I’ve been missing. Like I said in the last post life has had me a tad bit busy. I’ve had my regular job, freelance work, family life, this whole dating thing and trying to manage sleep and relaxation somewhere in the mix. What has kept me pretty focused was my regular refuge, music. I swear even when I feel like pulling my hair out, screaming, crying or just simply need to relax music is such a mood changer in my life. So you know I was THRILLED when I found out about spotify which is seriously just amazing. A library of music where basically any song I desire I can just plug-in and listen to ALL day long.  So if you can try it please check it out.

In other news I’m thinking about redesigning the blog a little bit. With all that’s going on my life I need to be more motivated to write on here (it’s a release) so when I decide on what I really plan on doing I’ll let you all know. I know the first thing will be a dedicated url and I hope to add  vlogs, highlight events and travel and make it more of a hodgepodge of my life.

Over the next month I’ll be on the road every weekend. So what I plan to do is write some pieces on cool things to do in other cities. I also hope to capture some video especially in my travels to Martha’s Vineyard.

Also I am still tackling that summer reading list. I need to update it, some I’ve scratched off and I’ve added a few more. So far my favorite has surprisingly been “The Best Advice I Ever Got: Lessons from Extraordinary Lives” by Katie Couric. It’s A book full of life lessons and short stories from celebs. It’s a light and interesting read that offers some motivation.

Ok that’s all I’m going to ramble about today. Since it’s Monday, here is some music. Today’s song is really old school. My friend made me a mix cd of all these old school songs and I absolutely love this one, mainly because this is a song I remember from some basement parties that used to happen at my house when I was little lol. Most people probably haven’t even heard of the group that sings it.  But today’s selection is It’s Forever by The Ebony’s

Also if you get a chance check out my piece in Pynk Mag: The Other “B” Word

be inspired

August 3, 2011

Yes I’ve been slacking. Majorly. So I apologize. I have sooo many projects that I’ve been working on that I am wearing myself thin. So I thought I’d come back in to at least say yes I’m alive.

Lot’s of opportunity on the horizon though so I’m excited and hopefully I can share all the great things to come asap

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