Thursday, May 30, 2013

Another Completed Chapter: Remembering Me (August 2008 - May 2013)

This week for the Thursday Blog topic, Sara asked us to write about the following:  Memorial Day was originally a day to remember those who served in the military, but has expanded to include anyone whose lives touched ours in some way. It's a day of remembrance. Who did you remember on Memorial Day?

I'm breaking the rules ... a lot!  However, I don't feel bad about it.  With a topic like this I'd probably start talking about my dad or another family member who has passed.  Though there is nothing wrong with doing that I feel like right now it's time for me to remember someone else who hasn't passed, but has a part of them that has faded into the past.

That person is me, five years ago.

In just a few days I'll be leaving where I've been living for almost the past five years.  This isn't where I grew up or anything like that.  However, it is where I experienced some significant changes.

Honestly, I don't think much about five years ago anymore.  I haven't for a long time.  At least I don't think about it until something (someone) crosses my path and brings back a memory.  However, I've been thinking about five years ago for the past couple of weeks as I've prepared to move.

How could I not?  So much has happened here.  So much change has taken place.  I've grown in ways I never expected to.  I've overcome things I thought would haunt my whole lifetime.  I've rediscovered the person I was before all the awfulness I experienced entered my life.  Even better, in the process of rediscovering myself I also discovered things I didn't know about myself.  Taken chances I would have never done before and tried (and succeeded at) things I would have never thought possible.  Most importantly, I've learned how to love again. And even better, to love without the fear of getting hurt.

Most people would want to forget the type of person I was five years ago, and I don't blame them for wanting that.  Sometime I want to forget the person I was five years ago; however, to forget that person is to deny a part of who I was, and probably still am (to some degree).

As I leave the place I've called "home" for all these years and venture into the unknown I have so much to be thankful for and I know experiencing what I did was part of the journey to arrive where I am today.

So, to my dearest self, I bid you ado, but promise to never totally forget you.  You have made me stronger, wiser and more hopeful of what is possible in the days, weeks, months and years to come.

Now that I've talked about my Memorial Day Remembrance, please take a moment to see what my fellow bloggers have to say about theirs:

Momarock (Sara)

Merryland Girl (Melissa)

Mom of Many (Susanna)

Thursday, May 23, 2013

Turning a sour "lemon" into a sweet one

Thursday Blog Project Topic:  Things you love to hate or hate to love 
Chosen by: Me

I hated it to no end.  How could people pay THAT much for workout clothes?  Seriously!  Ok, so it was "moisture wicking".  STILL... close to $150 for one outfit (a tank/top and pants)... NO FREAKIN' WAY!!!

To fuel was hate of this brand I loved to hate came the controversy over the fact that their pants were see through.  NICE!  Gotta love it!  This made me even more positive I NEVER wanted to own anything lululemon.  That is, until, I started going to yoga class on a regular basis.

"That tank is cute" I thought to myself as I stood in warrior II.  "I wonder where she got it."  That's when I saw what I know all too well as the lululemon logo.

"Oh, crap!  Not lululemon!"

Later that day I went onto the site to see if I could find the tank.  Thankfully, I didn't because it meant that I was a discontinued style.  However, I saw a bunch of other tanks I thought were cute.  Still, it cost too much so there was no way I'd ever own one of their products.

That all took place in February.  In March controversy over the sheerness of their pants couldn't be missed in the news.  Though I'm not a loyal Saturday Night Live viewer, I have yet to hear about them spoofing this controversy on the show which is shocking to me.  Nevertheless, my morbid curiosity got the better of me and I decided I would check out this infamous store the next time I was at a mall that had one.

During my first visit I tried on a few tanks and a pair of their fitted shorts.  I wanted to see what all the fuss was about.  This is when my hate really began to turn to love... or maybe I should say where I really began to hate that I loved this brand so much.  The tanks were as cute as they looked on my computer screen and the shorts I tried on... Let's just say, I'm not sure how well they retain sweat, but they surely do shape ones body quite nicely.  I was beginning to understand why people loved this brand so much and why despite the controversy, it WOULD still thrive.   It was late March early April and I was beginning to waiver when it came to my pledge to NEVER buy something lululemon.

In late April, I broke down.  I bought one of their headbands.  I felt bad about it, but I rationalized it that it kept me from going back to the Fluevog store and putting the $300 pair of Mary Janes I had tried on just a half hour or so earlier on layaway.  $300 ... $15.... Yeah, I can manage a lulumon headband!  It's be a gift to celebrate the fact that my apartment search was over!!!

Phew!  My craving for something lulumon was over!  Yeah, right!  After Mother's Day brunch my mom wanted to go to one of her favorite clothing stores to look at something.  Since there was a lululemon just a few feet away I told her I would be in there while she went shopping.  There wasn't anything I wanted specifically other then to see what items they had on sale.  (Oh, did I mentioned though it's rare you'll ever see sale items on the lululemon site???  However, they do have them in the stores.)  That's when I found a tank, in my size, for over 60% off.  SERIOUSLY!  I had to do a double take.  A lululemon tank for $24 is unheard of.  After trying it on, I determined I liked it and was too good of a deal to pass up.  Given the amount of activity I do these days, acquiring another workout tank is like acquiring more underpants - you can never have too many!

I've worn my tank several times in the past week and a half.  I LOVE it!  I totally get why others rave about them and might actually consider buying one full price ... maybe ... one day.

Even though I am a lululemon believer, I still feel a bit "dirty" for loving this brand so much now.  Like somehow by "caving" I'm some sort of superficial person with no soul or a wantta be cool kid.  Hopefully over time this feeling will go away just like the way I use to love to hate this brand.

Now that I've talked about my love to hate/hate to love experience with lululemon, please take a moment to see what my fellow bloggers have to say about theirs:

Momarock (Sara)

Merryland Girl (Melissa)

Mom of Many (Susanna)

Friday, May 17, 2013

No Skating Allowed

This week's Thursday Blog Project topic, compliments of Susanna:   Have you ever had an injury stop you from doing something you really wanted to do? How did you deal with that?

Ever since I was a kid, I've loved to roller skate, roller blade and ice skate.  That's why for one of my birthday party's as a child I had it at a local roller skating rink.  One of the most vivid memories from that party was when I asked my brother J if he was going to skate.  "No" he replied. "Don't you remember the last time I went roller skating?"

My brother broke his right arm twice roller skating.  Both times were at roller skating birthday parties like the one I had.  Since he writes with his right hand this sorta made him unable to write.  I wonder how he'll handle it when my niece and nephew want to roller skate.  Is your abilitiy to balance on roller skates genetic?

I know none of this is about me.  Being the superstitious person I try not to talk about this kind of stuff.  Though I acknowledge that injury can happen at anytime, I don't like to think about it.  I think if I did I'd lock myself in my house and never come out... ok, maybe not that extreme, but still. 

Instead, I'll ask that you take a look at what my fellow bloggers have to say about their past injuries...

Momarock (Sara)

Merryland Girl (Melissa)

Mom of Many (Susanna)

Thursday, May 9, 2013

"Sassy" is what they called Hipster Chicks in the late 80's/early 90's

For generations and generations young girls in their early to late teens have been reading magazine like Tiger Beat, Seventeen and YM (which folded in 2004 after the editor and chief made the decision in 2002 that they would no longer run articles about dieting.)

Like these many young girls, I too read these magazines.  That is until 1988 when the magazine Sassy came to town.  Seriously, I can still remember when I saw this magazine.  It was like no other magazine I had seen before... and that was just the cover.  The model on the front of it didn't make me feel like she jumped out of a per-packaged bubblegum pop video.  This chick was edgy and had a unique style I had never seen before.

When I open up the magazine I didn't find the vapid prose telling me how to lose weight and find the man of my dreams.  Instead, the articles were smart and thought provoking.  Some of them were even written by those close to my age group.

Edgy.  Seriously!  How many other magazine in the 80's and 90's would have put a picture of a celebrity wearing an American flag on its cover??? This is just an example of the types of things that were found between the covers of this magazine.

Visually Stimulating. Sassy was the first magazine that really made me aware of how much of a visual person I was.  It was the publication that taught me how much I loved graphic design.  Sometime I would spend hours in my room studying the layout of the magazine.  Then when I was a senior in high school and an editor on the high school yearbook staff in charge of layouts I would refer back to past issues of the magazines seeking inspiration that would make our book unique, funky and cool.  Something that was "me" and would leave my mark on for those in the future to look at and potentially emulate. 

Made me feel like a person with a brain and not just a chick wanting to get rid of her zits.  This goes back to my comment about how the articles in this magazine focused on things that were important.  They looked at stories from angles that no other teen magazine did.  The spoke a language I under stood.  I mean, come on... "We suck up to a B-52".  Yes, not cutting edge journalism, but I love how they just tell it like it is and not sugar coat the article plug.  When I did a internet search of the mag online this blog post came up.  Simply put, the bloggers says, "Born in the 70s, frolicked in the 80s, came of age in the 90s.
Sassy Magazine helped me not become a twat." (Search for "twat" should you wish to.)  Long story short, Sassy made the girls of its generation strong women with brains.

Fashion.  Music.  Two loves of mine.

Growing up with parents who worked in the the apparel industry I was very in touch with what was "in" and "out".  I heard about it so much I basically rejected it.  However, that didn't mean I was drawn to fashion, especially when it was offbeat and different.  Actually, I'm sorta of surprised it took me as long as it did to finally embrace fashion and seek-out special pieces for my own wardrobe.

As for music... I have never been much into the indie scene, but it doesn't mean I've never listened.  Featuring such bands was an objective of the magazine and it did it well.

I say Sassy is what they called Chick Hipsters in the late 80's/early 90's because this magazine had a vibe that is similar to the vibe I get when I see a hipster.  Ok, so they really called in "grunge"... you say potato I say pi-ta-toe. 

Whatever the case, this magazine surely left a lasting impression on me, and many young girls of my generation.  For me it was a sad day when I found out they folded.  However, I will always have the fond memories of reading this magazine for years to come.  Sassy showed me not only the type of woman I wanted to be when I grew up, but also was an example of the type of journalist I aspired to become.

This week for the Thursday Blog Project, Melissa gave us the topic of: Magazines.  Whatever we wanted to write about them.  Now that I have talked about my favorite magazine from when I was a child, please take a moment to read what my fellow bloggers have to say about magazines:

Momarock (Sara)

Merryland Girl (Melissa)

Mom of Many (Susanna)

Wednesday, May 1, 2013

Reasons Why Findining A Place To Live Is Like Finding A Mate

My Thursday Blog Project post for last week is delayed because I've been feverishly looking for a new place to live which means I've been spending a lot of time running around on my "free time" looking.  When I do get to a computer quite honestly all I want to do is veg.

The idea for this particular week's post came from one of the people who helped me during this process.  She was telling me that finding a place to live is like finding a mate.  In this particular case she was trying to convince me to stop looking because she felt I found "the one"; however, in my eyes that wasn't the case so I continued to look. 

While I was looking I started to make a list of all the ways looking for a place to live is like finding a mate. From this came the idea of putting together one of my long forgotten "bullet points posts".  So, I incorporated it into a Thursday Blog Project topic.  Everyone was tasked with the following:  I ***HEART*** bullet points. The first couple of years that I blogged, I use to do "thoughts" post where I used bullet points. So, I'm asking you to do a bullet points post. Use no less than 5, but no more than 10. The post itself can be about anything you want, not necessarily a "thoughts" post. You just have to use bullet points in the post.

So, without further ado, here are my observations on looking for a place to live and looking for a mate:

Trust your gut.
 During one searching outing, I was on my way to look at this place and all the sudden I found myself clutching my purse a little bit tighter than normal and scoping out the area around me more intently.  Also, I started to consider just turning around and calling the realtor dude to tell him I wasn't gonna make it.  Instead I went and saw the place knowing that I wasn't comfortable in the area.  After checking out the place, I texted a friend who had warned me about sketchy areas of this particular neighborhood as it use to be her old stomping ground.  After giving her some intersections she replied back, "Yeah, that is a questionable area."

I've had this same reaction on dates, too.  Not necessarily clutching my purse... more the whole going on the date hoping to prove my gut wrong.  Let's just say, that didn't end in successful either.

•  It's a binding, legal contract - so read the fine print!
Ok, dating isn't a legal contract, but marriage is.  There are many well-off divorce attorneys because of this fact.  Whether you are renting/leasing, subletting or buying you are entering into a legal contract.  Understanding what you're responsibilities are and the responsibilities of the landlord, seller, etc. is important.  In someways I feel like this is a no brainier, but it's something that should probably be emphasized.

•  There is always a deal break!
When it comes to a place to live, and someone to love, Elsie is one of my deal breakers.

I gave up my first cat for a my ex, however at the time I felt like it was the right thing to do.  HUGE MISTAKE.  I've come to learn, the right guy will not only love me, but love any pet of mine.

Recently, during my home search, I was on the phone with one landlord who flat-out told me since his place was so in demand he didn't want any pets in the place.  I'd have to find a new home for Elsie if I wanted to live there.  Even though the place was a great deal in a hot neighborhood I said there was no way that was gonna happen.  It killed me to say it, but I knew I wasn't about to give-up Elsie just for a place to live.

Knowing your deal breakers is important.  

•  Having a list of desirable amenities/qualities is great, but you're not gonna find everything you want.
 Yes, your deal breakers are going to be on your list of desired amenities when you're searching for a place, but let's get real... you're not gonna find everything you're looking in one place.  Nothing is perfect, including places to live.

The same goes for people.  You may have an idea of the "perfect" person, but that doesn't mean you're gonna find those qualities in one person.  Knowing what qualities are most important to you and what you can and can't live without is important.

•  Sometimes you're surprised to find amenities/qualities you never expected to want.
 Yes, you will most likely not find all the qualities of your "dream" place (mate) in one home/person.  However, you might discover qualities you never thought you'd like in a place (or person) or even things you never thought of all together.  In a way it's like finding a hidden gem.

•  Words can paint a pretty picture.
 Given my Public Relations/Marketing background and love of linguistics I am uber sensitive to how things are worded.  Seriously, I've spent HOURS (sadly) analyzing e-mails I've been sent all so I really get a sense of what the person was trying to say.

Reading an ad for a place to live is, in someways, like reading a dating profile.  There are buzz words and catch phrases that are use to paint a particular picture of each.  For example, read the word "charming" in an ad for a place to live and it usually means small.

Yes, I understand the main goal of both is to paint a pretty picture and sell the place, but honestly when it comes to an add for a place can we just tell it like it is?  As for a dating profile.... well... I think being sincere in what you write will take you a lot further than what you think people want to read.

•  Why hasn't he called me back when he said he would???
This is the one leaves me perplexed.  

Almost two weeks ago I thought I found "the one".  The space was great, the location was great and the price was around what I wanted to pay.  The place was being shown by the current tenants and I was told they'd contact the landlord about moving forward with getting a lease and all that jazz.  I was also told, she was out of town so it might take a few days so it wasn't strange if I didn't hear anything until Saturday/Sunday.  Ok, cool.  I could deal with that.  I left feeling on top of the moon.  Sure, the place had some flaw, but refer to above where I talked about the fact that one place couldn't have all the things you were looking for.  Fast-forward to Monday/Tuesday...  After not hearing anything over the weekend, I e-mailed the current tenants asking if it was possible to have the landlord's contact information since I hadn't heard from her.  To date I haven't heard a peep back.  Needless to say, I'm not expecting to get the place and somewhat disappointed.  I'm not exactly sure what happened between then and now, but I know I'll never know. 

This isn't the first time a landlord hasn't returned my call, but since I was interested in leasing the place I would have expected to received some sort of communications. 

•  You'll know it when you see it.

This ties into the "trust your gut" theory.

 When you walk into your new home, you'll know it.  Maybe it's not in the "hot" neighborhood you were hoping to live in or be a super swanky pad, but there will be a sense of "home" that you get when you walk through the door.

As for love and dating... I've dated some interesting people who were fun to hang with at the time, but ultimately I knew they weren't "the one" for me.  Then there has been the moment when I had that feeling that just might be "the one".  I can't describe it, and I'm not going to tell you things will for sure end up "happily ever after".  What I will say is that when you meet a person who has great potential to be "the one" you will know it.  Maybe it will take you sometime to get there, but you will feel it.

Now that I've given you my thoughts on how looking for a place to live is like finding a mate, please take a moment to see what my fellow bloggers have to say:

Momarock (Sara)

Merryland Girl (Melissa)

Mom of Many (Susanna)