Showing posts from 2019

Grace and Dignity in Difficult Times

Sometime back, a situation arose at work where someone was behaving pretty disrespectfully.  When I called attention to this, I was told, "she is going through some things at home" and that I needed to give her a break.

I took exception to this.  There are some things I would gladly overlook or have compassion for when there are issues.  Sometimes when people have a lot on their mind they forget things, they overlook things, they make mistakes.  But to behave with blatant disrespect didn't seem acceptable, regardless of what was going on behind the scenes.

Recently, a friend and coworker of mine went through a truly heartbreaking time - for the second time.  I won't go into the details of her situation, but with her permission I will allude to it.  This woman has been dealt a very tough hand, and yet all I see in her is grace and dignity. 

I had sort of a revelation about this in a meeting a few weeks ago.  I had just heard the news about the difficult time she was f…

My Thus Far Experience with Rosetta Stone

I started using Rosetta Stone to learn French a little over a month ago.  I hesitate to call this a review, because one month is not long enough to tell whether I will be successful at this.  However, one month in I definitely have some opinions to share!  Surprised?  I didn't think so!

So, to start, I bough the electronic version of this from Rosetta Stone itself on a pre-Christmas deal.  I believe the 2 year subscription package I bought was normally $250 for one code to be used on the app and on the desktop.  However, I got two codes for $150.  I felt like this was a pretty good deal, and I was able to give that code to my sister so she can learn with me!

I should preface anything further by stating that I am a dunce at second languages.  I managed to avoid them in high school by taking law, economics, keyboarding...anything at all to keep me away from it.  When I was attending a local college to get my basics for my degree, there was a requirement for a second language.  I too…

Celebrating My Friend

Some friendships are like a gift wrapped in so many different and lovely layers of packaging and when you finally get inside you discover that something precious and unexpected is there.  I have a friend that I have known for 23 years on January 6th, and as I celebrate her birthday today, I recollect that even now, she continues to surprise and delight me in unexpected ways.

Of my childhood friends, she is the sweet one, the kind one, the one who could be simultaneously compassionate and completely hilarious.  Growing up, we had some tumultuous moments, two opposite personality types clashing at a challenging time in adolescence.  We got into trouble together, went through puberty together, have suffered some very difficult times together, and last year, when she visited me in Texas for the first time, we got to have some international adventures together as well!

A child when I met her and now a grown woman in her mid-thirties, I have had the pleasure of seeing her grow into the pers…

Review: Vega One All-In-One Shakes

I've written before about my food sensitivities and how discovering them has helped me make better choices about what I eat and how it affects me.  I have long known that I am lactose intolerant, and so I have often struggled to find protein shakes that do not contain milk products.

I had read that some people with lactose intolerance can manage Muscle Milk but I tried that and felt so bloated after a couple days I thought something was wrong with me!  I stopped drinking them and immediately felt better so I knew that option was out.

I had found Orgain Organic Nutrition Plant Based Vegan protein shakes, pre-made and easy to transport.  While not exactly delicious, they were very smooth and creamy for plant based protein.  I find plant based protein powders and drinks can be a little on the chalky side. While this shake definitely didn't make me feel as bloated as Muscle Milk, I was still struggling.  Taking a closer look at the ingredients, it contains chia protein, and alas, …

Taking out the Trash

Home organization and de-cluttering blogs and vlogs are becoming increasingly popular.  As people become busier, their home lives become more disorganized and messy.  Popular TV shows like Netflix' "Tidying Up with Marie Kondo" and YouTube stars such as Mrs. Hinch have amassed huge followings by people who are eager to learn tips about cleaning and decluttering their living spaces.  Mrs. Hinch's followers even have a nickname - Hinchers!

I have no trouble with keeping my living space clean.  I am a neat freak, and inherently driven to organize.  I am not a minimalist, but I do embrace the less is more approach.  I have recently simplified my life from carrying a standard purse to carrying only a wallet sized clutch, and I recently donated several huge boxes of clothes to charity in an attempt to make my closet more practical.  I have no problem letting go.

But sometimes it is not our living spaces that need a cleaning up, it is our lives.  Our habits, our pastimes, o…

The Year of No Excuses!

I always run into a few pet peeves in January.  One is increased congestion of "resolutioners" in gyms and on the pathways where I get my miles.  These are the folks who get out there hard core at the start of January but by month end they have disappeared.  Another is the often repeated and rarely completed goals of people to lose weight, save money, or achieve other goals that they talk a big game about in January but by March have long been forgotten.

Worse are the people who, instead of making resolutions, make excuses.  They often go like this: I can't lose weight because of genetics/hormones/stress - it's never "I can't lose weight because I eat fast food for lunch at least four days a week, I'm fairly sedentary and I overeat at every meal."  Or: I can't save money because I don't make enough.  It's never "I have poor spending habits and make bad financial choices and therefore I do not save money."  Or: I can't fulfi…

Day Zero Project - Progress Report

2019 is underway and on December 3 of this year, my Day Zero Project time will be up and I will calculate how many of my goals that I have achieved.  As a recap, this list tracks 101 goals you intend to accomplish in 1001 days (which is 2.75 years)   I feel like I set myself a very ambitious list of things to do and so far I have done well.  Some of the harder things I included on my list that I have completed:

Paying off all my personal debt (which was a substantial amount)Finishing my graduate degreeDoing a half marathon for 12 consecutive monthsWalking a full marathon distanceSquat the weight of my body on a bar (I actually squatted 10lbs more than I weighed at the time!) My list is actually comprised of 110 goals, not just 100, and of those goals I have completed 54%, with 7 goals currently in progress.
I am hoping to fail less than 10 of the goals, and look forward to scheduling in some of the more fun and less serious of the goals this spring, including visiting several museums, …

Review: Method Cleaning

Sometime last year, one of my sisters became deeply passionate about home cleaning.  Already a germaphobe and neat freak, she started following YouTube cleaning "celebrities" learning their tricks for a cleaner home.  During this time, she started using Method cleaning products and she introduced me to them as well.

I love clean. I have always joked that I love nothing better than the smell of bleach in my home.  I didn't think I could go for "natural" cleaning products.  When it came to clean, the more chemicals the better!

My sister first recommended the Method Daily Shower Spray after I complained about a funny smell.  I scrubbed my shower top to bottom with a Clorox bleach spray and still couldn't get that musty smell out.  I finally gave in and tried a vinegar spray and I was so surprised to find it worked!  My sister then recommended the Daily Shower spray as a way to maintain that fresh, clean smell everyday.

It was love at first sniff.  Made with no…

Review: Sheet Suspenders

One of my pet peeves is when the corners of the bed sheets start sliding off the bed after a couple of nights.  You wash your bedding, it's all fresh and snug on the mattress and then within a few days it's shifting, slipping off the corners and bunching up.
I always buy nice sheets.  I like the softness and how they hold up with frequent washing.  I like that they are intended to stay put on the mattress.  However, my thick and plushy mattress just seems to be too much of a match for even the best sheets, but I found the ultimate solution!
Sheet Suspenders, which I purchased on Amazon for less than twenty bucks, stretch underneath the mattress to create an X, clipping gently and safely to each of the four corners.  This holds them into place firmly without damaging the fabric of the sheet.  I have been using them now for about three months and I love them.
I was worried they would take a bit of finagling to get into place but I have been able to do it by myself and re-clip the…

New Year, New Blog Post

2019 is here, and as I look back on 2018 I am proud of several achievements, but one thing I have missed is writing this blog.

2018 was a hectic year to say the least.  In July I finished my graduate degree, but just prior to that I had started a new position at work where I took on new functions and direct reports.  As the year drew on and I was working more hours, time for writing sort of fell by the wayside.  I feel the loss of it very much.

To add to this, in all that I have done in my last few months, I have read new books, watched movies, tried new products, been on trips and in all of this I have developed opinions on things that I am eager to share!  I have new inspirations, new thoughts, new reviews and new hopes for 2019!

I have three New Year's resolutions this year as well that I hope to document through my writing.  One is that I am learning French (and I am about 3 week into this now).  Another is to take a solo trip at least once a quarter.  The third is to finally …