Saturday, March 29, 2014

Philanthropy - Love the word and the meaning.

DWOS 2014 - Harrah's Casino, Metropolis IL
I originally was going to title this post, "Dancing with the Stars," but then I thought that people would think I was referencing the ABC show that's been on perhaps a little too long #sorrynotsorry . I'd like to  to apologize, in advance, for the crappy pictures of everything else but the food ....

First off, I love the word philanthropy. It's fun to say and for obvious reasons, I believe being charitable is important - whether it's giving money or volunteering my time. Also, let's call it like it is - I'm a relatively poor teacher, who just impulsively bought a house and has been known to buy her feelings, so when it comes to money, I like to find events that I can experience that benefit a charitable cause. 

Every year in Paducah, one of the local hospital's Relay for Life team hosts a HUGE event inspired by the aforementioned show "Dancing with the Stars." This event is a big moneymaker..I believe they are one of top 3 Relay teams in the country for money raised. They pick local people that either a) have a hefty bank account or b) have some notoriety in the community. It's typically a line-up of doctors, lawyers, newscasters, rich housewives, business owners, etc. They team up with a local ballroom dancer, practice for about 8 months on a routine, wear gorgeous costumes, and ultimately work on raising money for the American Cancer Society. They raised over $200,000 this year, with the winner of the event raising $30k+ (They go based on how much money you raise, not on whether your dancing is legit or not.. luckily the winner did an AWESOME parodied version of Miley Cyrus/Robin Thicke 'Blurred Lines' performance, complete with foam fingers sans the raunch)

This is Missy. She's a friend of mine, who also happens to be a professional ballroom dancer and has been involved with this event for years. 
 I've attended the event with one of my Besties, Heather, and her mom, for the past two years and it's becoming an annual thing. I would be lying to you if I said that I didn't want to be one of the dancers.. I basically want to stand on top of the table every year and say, "PICK ME. CHOOSE ME. I VOLUNTEER AS TRIBUTE."

Aside from the dancing, one of  THE best part of the event is the food.. 

I pretty much starved myself all day in preparation for the evening's sustenance. In my belly went: gouda grits and shrimp, mini crabcakes with remoulade, filet mignon beef sliders with bourbon barbecue sauce, mini KY hot browns, sushi, korean pork and kimchi tacos.... om nom nom...

So, here's where you may judge me.. and that's fine.... Just so you know, I paid a small fortune for my ticket.. so that warrants me sampling all of the dessert options... I want to have shame... but I just can't... All of them were divine..except for the middle of the top row with the whipped cream and lone blackberry.. it was like an orange tart something... it reminded me of the orange flavored toothpaste I get at the dentist since I don't do mint. 

There was also a silent auction, which I did have the winning bid on a few items.. First - some personal training sessions at a private fitness studio here in P'town.. They are usually hella expensive and I scored 5 sessions for about 20% of the total market value of the package.. Hot Body for my 30th B-day, here I come... Side note: Has anyone tried Dietbetter? I'm highly considering partaking in one of the 28-day bets, to kickstart things. 

Perhaps on the weird side for some... but, I also won the bid on a package for a 4-hour session with a well-known holistic practitioner in Paducah who does hypno-therapy. Word-of-mouth has been incredibly positive, so it should prove to be interesting...I'll be making my appointment soon, so I'll be sure to blog about it.

What are some charitable events that you love to attend?

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Friday, March 21, 2014

Maximize Your Life - Recap of Jillian Michaels

So, last week I went with Christin, one of my BFFs, to see Jillian Michaels on her Maximize Your Life tour, at the Orpheum (which is a stunning venue, BTW) in Memphis. She is a firecracker on TV, but she is even more so in real life. She is hilarious, has a sailor mouth and thinks my best friend has incredible legs (which she does. I included a picture so you can see them.. Note to self: Start yesterday). 

C - You are gorgeous. Loved spending time with you, love you and your legs.
It feels weird to call it a show... because it's more so like an interactive lecture...but it was chalk full of incredibly useful info.. I would HIGHLY recommend that if she comes to a city near you, or to your city, you must go. She does not disappoint and you'll walk away feeling inspired, knowledgable and motivated to tackle whatever obstacle(s) you're facing.

So, let me help you maximize your life, with a sampling of her incredible 2-hour love fest, that you really must experience...

1. Her no-nonsense approach to losing weight is simple... Eat Less. Move More. No Gimmicks. Literally, that's her secret weapon. Want to lose weight? Move your ass.

2. You don't have to deprive yourself to lose weight. She lives by the 80/20 rule (so does Christin) Basically 80% of the time eat healthy, quality foods and 20% you can splurge. Jillian eats her hamburger with a bun ya'll. 

3. Eating healthier is a matter of $20 extra dollars a week. Spend it on organic meats. They are sans hormones and all that other crap, which can contribute to the I-just-can't-seem-to-lose-weight syndrome, weight loss plateaus, and a slew of other things.

4. In regards to food, she talked about additives to avoid..half of them you can't pronounce.. 15 foods that you can buy regularly and 12 foods you should probably splurge and go organic on. Here's the Link. You're Welcome.

5.  Stop making excuses - you're just afraid of failure.. See #6

6.  Fear is a very real thing. It can be debilitating, but embracing that fear and doing what scares you anyway teaches you things. Swifty may sing about being "Fearless", but that's a crock of shit.

7. If you try to avoid fear, you're just going to manifest it. Jillian tells you that you've got 3 options when it comes to dealing with it... She is basically on-point with everything... You want to hate her 115 lb self, but she is so damn lovable.
                     1. Best Case Scenario
                     2. Worst Case Scenario
                     3. What if I do nothing? This one basically turns into your worst case scenario. 

7. You're worth it. So, get off your ass and start working for your goals, whether it's trying to lose weight, simply being healthy or achieving goals in your personal or professional life.

8. What resonates with me (I'm still dealing with some emotional baggage..) is her talk about the past. This isn't verbatim, but essentially the past isn't relevant or real anymore. It's simply a story that we keep telling ourself, a movie we keep watching. Mindblown.

We were VIP (thank you Memphis Health and Fitness Magazine), so we were able to meet her after the show. They take your picture and then post them on the webpage a day or two later. C and I both stalked the webpage for them.. LOL 

I have to reiterate, that Jillian is awesome and I outed the bestie about wearing shorts for her...again C, has some seriously amazing legs (refer to picture at top, if you've forgotten) and Jillian totally agreed, so that's a win in my book. When it was my turn, I basically told her that my Bestie and I thought she was hilarious, and we loved her sailor mouth... she laughed and said something about, "Well, I guess you learned how to say f**k at my show tonight." 

After this, I'm pretty motivated to Maximize my Life and have already started working on a plan to accomplish my goals, both personal and professional. No more being held hostage to my fears and the Story I keep reading of my past is getting closer to the bookshelf.

Are you ready to Maximize Your Life?

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Tuesday, March 11, 2014

I have baggage.. and I over-analyze... a lot.

I'm an over-analyzer when it comes to certain things, other things...not so much. I mean, I did impulsively buy my first home... in a matter of like...4 days...

This over-analyzing then leads to stress.. which if you suffer from Rosacea.. is not good, but that's another post, for another day. And then that stress rears it's ugly head in a variety of ways... I'll spare you the details since we've all been there - You know how you get when you're 50 shades of stressed..

I am definitely afraid of certain aspects of my life, and I think this fear (often exacerbated by the over-analyzing) causes me to hold back.. in my love life, professional life, etc.  I'm afraid of failing.. of all the things that could go wrong.. I think this has played a big part in me not pursuing an Event Planning career again (another future post).. I had aspirations of opening my own company and it's on the back burner right now, possibly forever.. I am afraid of the unknown, consumed by the "what-ifs" and just terrified of failing.

I've got a lot of walls up when it comes to my love life too... When you go through a devastating heartbreak...apparently I'm now starting a trend by introducing topics I'll eventually blog about... it changes you and I wish it didn't. I'd love to go back to the girl I used to be before that. I wish I could be a little more vulnerable, but I'm fearful of opening my heart up with wild abandon, only to get hurt again. I kind of felt like Natalie Imbruglia, the rug was pulled out from underneath me and it was like I was "torn...lying naked on the floor."

I feel bad for the guys I've dated since the break-up with the Lord of Douchebagistan. I feel like I held back so much that I didn't give any of them a fighting chance. I'm definitely working on those issues, or at least starting to, but I feel bad for Bombay. It's not fair that he has to deal with this version of me.. The one that is plagued with insecurities, doubts and fears caused by over-analyzing and worrying about what could go wrong. Let me make the disclaimer, that I really am a positive person, but my worry/fear can be a product of my "realistic" outlook. I truly try not to  come from a place of pessimism.


 Clearly, this quote was meant for me.

When I started this blog, I didn't want to present myself as something that I wasn't. I always want to be my authentic self, and that involves recognizing some of my least flattering attributes.. which includes my worrisome, over-analyzing nature (which probably goes hand-in-hand with nail biting... #SoDisgusting)

While I might not have made much progress on nail biting, or getting back in shape or domestic goddessification (I did get all my laundry done last week!) I think that recognizing some of the baggage that I've been carrying around and beginning to develop the desire to work towards "checking" that baggage curbside is a tremendous amount of progress for the girl who usually just sweeps it under that rug and pretends it doesn't exist. 

I'm ready to do exactly what that quote suggests.. Will it be hard? Definitely. Does it scare the hell out of me? DEFInately... Will it be worth it? Hell Yes. 

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Monday, March 3, 2014

Dear Mother Nature, I hate you right now.

Mother Nature and I are not friends right now.

I pulled this photo off a Google Search for: Winter Storm Paducah. This isn't actually my street, nor am I the photographer, but it is downtown Paducah a few streets from my humble abode. 

While Mother Nature and I are Besties when the weather is beautiful and the skies are blue, when she decides to unleash her icy wrath on my zipcode, I start to get a little irritable, 50 shades of it actually. The roads are covered with 0.5 to 0.8 inches of ice across the county, then covered by a layer of frozen sleet, then covered by inches of icy snow... 

Today, marks Day 1 of I'm not sure how many this time that I'll be out of school and since school has already been cancelled tomorrow, that'll be Day 2.  If you're a first time reader, I'm a high school English teacher. And Disclaimer: My grammar is likely atrocious in my posts, because I'm not in the classroom, so don't be a Grammar Ninja and leave hateful comments about typos or my incorrect uses of the comma.  

Random snow days here and there are alright, but missing chunks of days at a time is not fun. Why? have to make those days up... when it's beautiful outside...and the skies are blue...and the few fluffy clouds in the sky look like unicorns and puppies. Also, at the end of the school year the students get to jet out a few days earlier, but the staff are required to work a few days past the last day of school students... "I teach for the money," says no teacher ever. But definite perks, are paid summers off. 

Last time I was kidnapped by my own home, courtesy of mother nature's icy wrath, I was basically an unproductive sloth. Even Kristen Bell wouldn't have found me adorable. This time around, although I am a grumpalump at the thought of making up these days, I am determined to be more productive.

What use to be a pile of laundry the height of a tall, 3 year-old is now separated in piles... I've also successfully washed three loads... and folded them.. I have mopped my kitchen floor (Disclaimer: this is only because Pippa refuses to go to the bathroom when there is snow/ice on the ground... it's so annoying. I basically want to drop her off at the local Chinese restaurant when she acts like a diva...) I've also finished quite a bit of freelancing work and I'm about to finish this blog post....

I would say progress.. and it's only Day 1.  

And Mother Nature... I don't know what your deal is, but when it comes to this wintry weather you've been throwing at us, you need to pull up your big girl panties or let your balls drop and get past this, to move on into Spring. Bring on the sunshine and warmer weather, this icy cold bullshiz is not welcomed.
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