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Awesome Things Thursday: Read, Think About & Make

IMG_0910.JPGEveryday is spontaneity day for her

IMG_1051.JPG These wraps, in my tummy

IMG_1050.JPG Self Care = Self Love

How To Find Your Purpose in Life (sorry, no picture this time – just wise words)

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Weekend Wrapup Wednesday: Virginia is for Girls Trips

IMG_1044.JPG What happens when you get 3 long time friends together? That’s right – a girls trip!

This time the trip was filled to the brim with activities – the beach, DC, baseball game, the Smithsonian and lots of delicious food, food, food.

IMG_1049.JPG The Highlights:

Virginia Beach – We arrived there late Thursday night and took a beach walk to the pier. The moon cast a beautiful, eeiry glow on the water and the laughter of teenagers enjoying the last of their summers filled the air. When we arrived back to the hotel, we were disappointed to find out that a very large portion of the beach was “banned” from wading and swimming due to higher than normal levels of bacteria. After we got over the ick factor, we realized we would need to go only a few blocks south to be able to swim in the safe areas of the water.

The next day, we spent our time lounging on the beach, talking about weddings and sipping on some crazy vodka-coke concoctions.

DC: Saturday morning we ventured to DC, checked into our hotel and made our way to the metro. I somehow become the metro guide (probably because I was carrying the metro map, but I’d like to think it was because I have so much experience navigating the  Paris metro) and landed ourselves right beside the Nationals baseball stadium with a fair amount of ease. We made it to the stadium with lots of time to spare so once they opened the gates we did a couple laps to explore our food and beverage options. Let me just say, the beer was absurdly expensive, but, dear me, there was so much time to kill – and come to find out, I really can’t concentrate on baseball, like not.at.all. So I may have had one or two too many overpriced drinks by the end of the night. And oh yeah, the home team won in the 9th inning, just by a hair. 

The next day we visited the Smithsonian Musuem of American History. My fave had to be the Emancipation Proclomation exhibit that gave a brief but inspirational history of slavery, emancipation and the march on Washington in 1963. The original Star-Spangled Banner was also on display and a very large, seemingly endless exhibit on transportation in America. Afterwards, we had lunch with a college buddy of mine and her husband at the Elephant and Castle, which had the most fluffy, salty, perfect pretzels ever.

But eventually the fun had to end and we had to make our way back home. Good times were had, good stories were told and new ones were made.

Note: During much of our “down” time we ended up playing this ridiculously fun game called Heads Up. If you haven’t played it, download it now, grab a friend and get ready for a ton of tears-inducing laughter.

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Eating Healthy & Saving Moolah on Vacation

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Today I head to Virginia to hang out with some high school buddies and have a fabulous ladies trip to the beach and DC. While I’m totally psyched to have this time to hang out and catch up with old friends, I’m also a wee bit nervous about my spendings since I’m unemployed and starting to feel the financial crunch. I would’ve tried to reschedule it but we’ve been planning this trip for months and so it just didn’t feel right.

But in an effort to cut down on my spendings (which will mostly be gas and food), I’ve decided to make a bunch of food that I can take with me so that I will be able to order less food when we invariably go out to eat.

On my ladies trip to the beach a month ago, I got some pretty good practice at making travel-worthy, healthy, easy food. My advice? When in doubt, cook some meat that is yummy cold (like pork tenderloin) and prep some hard veggies and fruit. Here’s what I’m taking on this go round:

•Massaged Kale salad
GF bread for sandwiches 
•Bell peppers (red are my favorite for snacking!)
•Homemade black bean hummus
•Apples (Granny Smiths are great!)
•Almond butter
•Yogurt + granola
•Mango+banana bars from Trader Joes
•Lots of water 

What kind of healthy, whole food fuels you when you’re on the go? Do you have any tried and true tricks that you use? I’d love to hear about them!

See you on the road!

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Reflection Friday: On Ideas, Creation & Showing Off

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I have been struggling with the process of idea to action to publication. Does that ever happen to you? You have a great idea (or what seems great in your head) and you know you’ve got to do it. You even have the energy to make sure you have all the tools to make the idea a reality and so you start making it.

You think – awesome! I’m doing it!

But then you get stuck. You’ve thought of it, created it, maybe even taken pictures of it and now you’re thinking – what now?

Maybe you start jotting down a few lines of text that would go along with this creation, but your flow just doesn’t seem right or your written voice sounds more robotic than what you actually sound like. Sound familiar?

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I think a lot of writers, bloggers and makers go thru this, but don’t talk about it enough. To us, those other bloggers seem to create awesome, relatable, yet aesthetically pleasing content on the daily (or what feels like daily) and you’re left feeling like a poser – like how in the world can you create some awesome stories? Why does it take you so long and why do you struggle so much with getting these awesome stories and ideas out of your head and out for the rest of the world to see and be inspired?

No? Yes? Sometimes? Maybe it’s just me, but I don’t believe that. Or maybe, reader, you’re just a reader, or a creator, and not a look at me, look at me person who feels like they should be showing off to the world what they are doing, making and loving on the regular.

Well, that’s how I often feel, dear reader, like I’m trying to show something off the world, but I’m not so certain what I should be “showing off”. Sometimes that feeling is stronger than others, and sometimes it’s just my ego making me doubt myself.

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How do I get to the other side? By simply working through those feelings and start writing. Write, write and write a little more. Look over it. It may not be perfect, but no one is, so to at least some extent it is reflective of you. Accept it and move and continue to create and write. Keep on doing it and you’ll get to the other side.

My mantra to myself and you for today, friends: Accept, continue and you’ll get there.