Archive | July 2012

23 years…and more to come

Today I turn 23 – and I must say, I don’t think I could be more blessed! Even through stressful weeks – days like today that make me realize what a great group I have surrounding me.

WIthin 23 year I graduated from high school, graduated from The Ohio State University, participated in the Walt Disney World College Program, lived in Florida for nine month,  grew into a young adult, decided to return to school to pursue my MBA and more!

Even better, I feel like I am just starting to get-going in life! I can’t wait to see what the coming years bring.

 

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this was sent to me in a birthday email from Ms. Ellen – thanks for the smile!

 

Thank you to everyone for the birthday love and wishes!

“The secret of staying young is to live honestly, eat slowly, and lie about your age” – Lucille Ball

 

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Are you indispensable?

This book took me a little over two months to read (what can I say? The family vacation to Hilton Head and studying for the GMAT cut into reading time!). But, overall, I enjoyed this piece by Seth Godin. This book talks about the timeline of factory workers, lizard brains and workplace perception. A major part of the book is becoming a “linchpin”  in today’s society and in the workplace – going above and beyond the call of duty, adding human element to every task and making personal connections.

Godin, through many paths and stories, explains why we should be  a linchpin and not simple factory workers. Linchpins cannot be replaced and do not settle for the status-quo. They think outside the box, they push their limits and they come in to work everyday with passion and excitement.

A real linchpin: a fastener used to prevent a wheel or other rotating part from sliding off the axle upon which it is riding (wiki definition) 

Another topic discussed at length was art. Everything is art and everyone is an artist. I had never considered my passion an “art” – it open my yes to thinking about a proposal, business plan or memo as art.

Godin talks about how every person has two sides: one that focuses on survival and basic function, and one that thinks outside the box. While I do not believe our lizard brain is our “original brain”, I do think that anxiety and nervousness can take over a person during scary situations. Godin discusses letting fear pass through and not wasting your energy on things you cannot change, a lesson I need to learn!

The main part of the book was breaking through the mold and choosing your own destiny. Don’t be afraid to stand up for yourself and for others, find energy every day and change how YOU view the world. I love that idea. It was inspirational to hear that I had a challenge in the workplace, I needed to become someone a company needed. 

breaking the “factory setting”

But other parts were  almost too much. My critiques of the book are that is came across as a lecture and Godin attempts to make you feel guilty if you do to want to be a linchpin.

Personally, I know my father worked long and hard at his job – but he left his work at the office. He went in, worked, came home. Was he a linchpin? Maybe not. Was he the best dad on this planet? attend each one of my soccer games, swim meets, theatre shows, horse shows and award banquets? Did he coach my sports team as a kid, have a seat at family dinner and stood by me as a became a college graduate? YES.

Where is that aspect in this book? It is so deeply entrenched with how to make your work life so enriching by going in early, staying late, making human connections, thinking outside the box and so on…it loose the “human feel”.

As always, just my opinion.

Thanks for reading!

The hunger edge

“No thanks, I already had a piece of bread.”

“You’re only eating one piece?! I thought it was a girls’ night and we weren’t counting calories.” 

My new favorite recipe: Teranga Pasta

Peer pressure.

To be more specific, peer pressure about FOOD. Eat more, get fries, split a dessert, or my biggest flaw, a delicious fried appetizer and a drink (and let’s be serious, we all know that a fruity sangria is NOT low calorie).

The conversation above happened a few weeks ago when I went out with some of my girlfriends for dinner, drinks and dancing. Meeting out for drinks and food is pretty usual, and I typically eat a small dinner beforehand while I’m getting ready.

Because really, I am starving at 5:30pm and we don’t usually head for till dinner till 7 or 8pm. I’d wither away from hunger if I didn’t eat sooner! My pre-meal is mostly carrots, a banana or some type of fruit/veggie combo. Nothing major, but something to take the “hunger edge” off (And cheaper! As I budget my life, I do to have the funds to eat out every weekend).

I’ll admit it, I do watch everything I eat very carefully – and I am very strict with myself about how much I eat and what I eat on a daily basis. Want to know why? Because I LOVE food and I can become an unintelligent eater very quickly. If I don’t think through what I am eating or how much, I can blaze through a full meal and dessert within 30 minutes and probably still be hungry.

Great to munch on if you want to eat a smaller dinner later, or after the gym! The brighter and more colorful, the healthier!

It’s ridiculous.

So to make sure I eat healthy I try and eat slowly, eat till I’m full and embrace cooking. Since returning from Disney and having a “normal” routine, I have been able to try new recipes (and Pinterest, I love cooking now because of that incredible website – I am not afraid to admit I have a problem).

I feel that you are judged by what you eat, and what you DON’T eat. Go out with friends and order a salad and suddenly people ask why you’re on a diet. Go on a double date and Red Robin and eat burgers and fries, and suddenly it’s a big deal and we are celebrating.

 

Again, it’s ridiculous.

I firmly believe that people are always on a diet – that is simply what you eat every day! You have the choice to make it health, or you can eat things that have no nutritional value and are not good for you. As a runner, I appreciate whole grains and bread. But I make sure I have my protein and veggies as well.

What I’ve learned recently is portion control. I am really trying to train myself to measure how the proper size of noodle when I make pasta, two teaspoons of dressing for salads and things of that nature.

It is OK to eat. In fact, it’s pretty critical. However, it  cannot be something that we obsess over and discuss while we are enjoying a meal. And on the other hand, it cannot be something we indulge in every day. We have to find  balance!

One of my favorite treats – ANYTHING from Pattycake Bakery

My tips are to cook more at home, eat intelligently when eating out, and split food is possible. It is common knowledge that portions at a restaurant are HUGE, so split with a girlfriend! If you are craving some dessert after the meal, pass on the fries.

Want to try cooking at home? Invite some friends over and cook for them! You’d be surprised how much fun it is to entertain others. Ask them what they look to cook and where they find their recipes. My old roomie in Disney, Ally, made INCREDIBLE meals and helped foster my love of cooking.

But most of all, live life and be happy!

wedding bliss

This past weekend I was in one of my best friends’ weddings and learned more about lace and taffeta than I thought possible. (I’ve always loved wedding planning – and I can officially say I’m hooked!)

After setting up the reception hall on Friday and the actual wedding, I learned a few, crucial, items: I know that baby wipes help take a mysterious stain out of a bride’s train, a pack of coasters even out a table, flowers can be arranged, rearranged and rearranged AGAIN to meet the bride’s expectation.

I also learned that a wedding doesn’t need to be perfect to be wonderful. The priest may flub a line, the flower girl may whisper (or yell – whichever) that she’s bored during the ceremony and the 103 degree heat may cause the wedding party to feel a little sluggish during photos. But, everything, and I mean everything, turns out ok in the end.

Things happen, plans change, life goes on and the little moments mean the most.  Those four expressions seem to be my motto for my life. Unlike my undergraduate career, I am not really concerned about my weekend plans or what I’m wearing to the big house party on Friday. I look forwards to friends’ wedding showers, date nights, exploring Columbus and finding delicious restaurants/bars that I never knew about. Why start planning the weekend on Monday when you have other things to focus on during the week?

I am slowing letting go of the iron-grip on my personal life and learning to go with-the-flow and relax … but I need to bring that to other aspects of my life.

Why do we put so much pressure on ourselves? I feel that I try so hard to prepare for ABSOLUTELY everything, but I sometimes forget to enjoy what’s happening around me. No one else noticed that table skirt was starting to sag during the wedding dinner (which I later fixed), but all through my meal I couldn’t stop looking at the daggon’ table.

Sometimes the easiest advice of relax and let life happen is the hardest to accept.

family vacations: the good, the fun and the togetherness

It can be a touchy subject. Family vacation 2012: translation, lots of family time on Hilton Head Island.

Lots.

Want to know the best thing? It was wonderful! I ate fabulous sea food, ran on the beach, saw dolphins, spent some quality time in the sun and allowed myself to relax.

I feel like my life is in a weird limbo. I am still figuring how to act towards my parents as an “adult”. I am in charge of my life and starting to figure out things such as the importance of credit scores, financing and saving, but I still depend on my parents for support and guidance. Even when they don’t always know what to say or how to help.

And my parents’ house is a great place to send my important mail. Because honestly, I don’t think I have lived in the same apartment for more than two years.

This vacation I felt like a visitor joining in on the fun. I wasn’t aware of the new inside jokes, my parents’ schedule and felt slightly like a mother as I asked my sister about work and preparing for college. And I talk to my parents almost EVERY DAY.

It was almost awkward having my parents pay for my meals – and now that I am maturing, I realize how blessed I am to experience such great vacations. I know the price of gas and how much it costs to take a family of four out to dinner.

Lots of togetherness, lots of love and lots of (good) changes.