Sunday, November 4, 2012

The Importance of Family

It took me about 22 years to realize the importance of family. Until I graduated from college and moved out permanently, my family was more of a burden than a blessing to me. In my eyes, all they ever did was tell me what to do, and yell at me, and I was beyond ready to move into my own place and get away from it all.

But since I moved out almost a year ago, I've gotten closer and closer with my family, finally realizing how much they've actually done for me and how much that means. I spend time with them whenever I can, and now I view them as close friends rather than enemies. This weekend, I went home to spend it with them, and as always, I had a great time.

When I got to their house on Saturday, my mom and I immediately took off to go shopping. Over coffee, we discussed the path I want my future to take, and instead of resenting her for her opinions and advice, I realized I was actually taking what she said seriously, and I was grateful for her point of view. While she and I may still differ on what we believe is best for me, instead of immediately shutting her out, I'm much more likely to thoroughly consider her opinions.

At dinner later that day with both of my parents, we had some conversation about friendships and loyalty, and the kinds of people I should have in my life. They helped me to realize that not only do I not WANT bad friends in my life, but also that I don't DESERVE "friends" who treat me poorly. It was then that I determined that if I had actually listened to their advice and wisdom my whole life, instead of just recently, I probably would have avoided some of the messes that I got myself into and saved myself a whole lot of stress and heartache.

One point that really drove home the whole element of family this weekend was a line from the movie Dark Shadows, that we all watched together Saturday night: "Family is the only real wealth." I believe this is incredibly true, because no matter what is going on in my life, I know that as long as I have my family I'll be alright.

So as I watched my parents bicker this morning about how to best take the door off of the refrigerator before I left (they're currently remodeling their kitchen), I smiled, and realized that in my them, I already have everything I need to be happy. And at the end of the day, that realization is enough for me.

Sunday, October 28, 2012

Kate Spade Love

It's no secret that I'm absolutely in love with everything Kate Spade. If I could only wear one designer for the rest of my life, this is obviously what I would choose! Lately, I've been obsessing over so many things (both ones I've purchased and those I'm still lusting over!).
My Randi Too rain boots have proved to be perfect for puddle jumping!
This Is The Year To bangle has so many fun ideas!

This Freyda dress is so colorful and playful, I'm in love!
Do you love Kate Spade? What products are your favorite? If you could only wear one designer for the rest of your life, what would it be?

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Election Red White & Blues

I've got the election red white and blues. I'm so sick of hearing nothing but politics, and the constant bashing of both political parties is really starting to bring me down.

We're only 12 days from the election, and I couldn't imagine getting more tired of the political banter than I already am (but inevitably in the next week and a half that will happen!). I can't remember being this fed up last election, but I was also a freshman in college, didn't watch the news, and people around me cared more about parties than politics.

But this time, it's different. Whether it's discussions among people at work, news stories, or the constant smear commercials on what seems like every channel, it's virtually impossible to escape it all. And not only is it the bombardment of electoral materials that's getting on my nerves, but the sheer ignorance and rudeness coming from both parties. There are some nights I just have to avoid Facebook and Twitter entirely, simply because I can't stand to see the terrible things that people are actually saying.
Photo from Yahoo
When you think about it, what has the election caused? A complete and utter rift in our country. Now to me, that doesn't seem very productive. And no matter what party you affiliate with, I think you can agree that all this fighting over who will be king of the mountain is really distracting us from the dire state our country is in. It's almost like distracting a child who falls and scrapes his knee. Yes, he stops crying for a few minutes and ignores the wound, but as soon as he loses amusement with the toy you gave him, or the show he was watching ends, that wound, and the pain that comes along with it, is still there.

I generally make it a point to avoid politics in general. Yes, I do my research on the candidates and the issues, and know which party I align with. And of course I vote! But I don't feel the need (as so many do) to go posting/proclaiming/insulting/badmouthing/persuading all over the place. To me, that's just not classy. I think you can be perfectly American and exercise your rights without being downright disrespectful. And I think that's what many people in this country (BOTH candidates included!) need to learn.

Red rover, red rover, can the election PLEASE be over? That was my two cents, and you may now return to your regularly scheduled political bashing.

Saturday, October 20, 2012

Review: Moo Business Cards from Klout

Recently, I received a perk from Klout for 50 free business cards (plus shipping) from Moo. Shipping was only $5, so I figured why not? I decided to tailor my business cards around my Twitter account and blog, that way I could try to start building a bigger following.

When you create your business cards, you can upload your own images. My cards also have the Klout logo on them (a condition of the perk). I chose a few of my favorite photographs I've taken in the past few years. On the back, I put my name, Twitter handle, blog URL, and email address. I chose the glossy cards, because I thought they would be prettier that way.

This picture doesn't even do them justice! So pretty.
When I received my cards in the mail, I was FLOORED. They were amazing, and way better than I thought they would be! I'm so happy I went with the glossy, and my photographs looked amazing as images on the cards. I think they'll definitely stand out amongst other plain, standard business cards.

I'm so happy I got this perk, and I'll definitely reorder more cards from Moo in the future. They also make postcards, stickers, invitations, etc.

An example of Moo's amazing work!
Do you have business cards? Are they for work or for personal ventures?

**I was given a free product or sample because I'm a Klout influencer. I was under no obligation to receive the sample or talk about this company. I get no additional benefits for talking about the product or company.**

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Building Good Habits

Today I learned that it takes 21 days to turn something into a habit. This really got me thinking. 21 days  is only 3 weeks, so a new good habit could be only 3 weeks away! That seems like such a short amount of time for something that could really impact your life. Immediately I started thinking of new habits I wanted to develop, envisioning myself successfully acting on those habits without a second thought in 3 weeks time. But as I sat there thinking of my long list of desired habits, I realized that I can't do them all at once. I have to choose somewhere to start and build from there.

But what habits to start with? Which are the most important to develop? Health and fitness habits? Financial habits? Organizational/work/study habits? All of the above?

I think this all depends on the individual. Someone working to lose weight would highly value health and fitness habits, while someone with credit card debt might really crave better financial habits. Some people who are fairly balanced in all of these areas could still strive to improve in all of them!

After some serious thought I decided to work on two main habits first: going to the gym three times a week, and putting everything back in my apartment where it belongs.

I've never been athletic, or a gym-rat. I would work out occasionally, but never anything on a regular basis. I know that I feel good after I work out, and it's great for my health, but I never wanted to take the time (or energy!) to do it. I've decided that I'm going to start going to the gym right after work on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays. This way, I don't have time to go home and get trapped in the black hole that is my couch. If I go on my way home, the energy I get from my workout will be enough to carry me through the evening until bedtime. No more evening naps for me!

I'm also lazy in terms of putting things away. If I get a book out of my bookshelf, I usually end up leaving it on my coffee table long after I'm done with it. I throw my keys wherever (and often can't find them the next time I need them!) and I have a terrible habit of leaving dishes in the dishwasher and laundry in the dryer. I also have random shoes scattered literally all over my apartment. I want to be organized, but every time I try I seem to fail. But making a conscious effort for 21 days doesn't sound too hard, and if I succeed my apartment will look so much nicer!

So here goes my 21 day habit creation sprint. Hopefully at the end of this, I'll have created some lasting habits that will really benefit me and improve my lifestyle.

(And by the way, I DID go to the gym after work today, just in case you were wondering ;) )

Sunday, October 14, 2012

Candles, Candles, Candles!

I am absolutely obsessed with candles. I love the flickering, dim light they give off. I love all the scents they come in. And call me weird, but I even love the smell of the smoke when you blow them out.

I was never allowed to burn candles in college because of dorm room policies, and my family never burned them too often either. So when I moved out after graduation, I immediately started stocking up! I've taken to lighting a candle or two shortly before I go to bed. I turn the lights down and just watch the light dancing around the room, which relaxes me before I go to sleep. The best thing is when the scent is still lingering when I wake up in the morning!

I get candles from everywhere, and I've listed some of my recent favorites below.
1. Slatkin & Co Cinnamon Nut Bread from Bath and Body Works

2. Mainstays Hazelnut Cream from Walmart

3. Yankee Candle Cherries on Snow from Yankee Candle

Do you like candles? What are some of your favorite candle brands/scents?

Thursday, October 11, 2012

Power Songs

I believe that everyone has a power song. You know the one. That song you randomly start belting out in the shower, walking around your house, and even the middle of a store. This song doesn't require a music cue, the lyrics just come. And when they arrive and you start singing, you start to feel really happy for some unexplainable reason.

Your power song isn't necessary the "song of the moment," but it can be! I certainly would't consider Call Me Maybe in the running for my power song, but if it's yours then sing it with pride! Some power songs have special meaning or make you recall a memory, whereas others you have just latched onto because you love them!

I found myself singing my power song in the shower less than 30 minutes ago. I also have it set as my alarm to get me pumped up in the mornings. Singing this song just makes me feel more positive about whatever situation I'm currently experiencing.

So what is my power song? Don't laugh at me, it's terribly 80s. It's We Built This City by Starship.

I am absolutely in love with this song. The beat, the lyrics, the girl singing the high pitched "oooOOOoooOOOOO" in the middle, all of it. It's great for driving, cleaning, just about everything. It's always been my power song, but a few months ago some memories became attached to it when my friend and I played it over and over on vacation. I also freaked out when they used it in the Muppets movie!

Even though this song was once rated as the number one worst song of the 1980s, I will always love belting it out to brighten my mood. And that's what a power song is all about.

Do you have power songs, and what are they? Are they as embarrassingly horrible as mine?