the luckiest people on earth

Posted: July 20th, 2010 | Author: | Filed under: life | 2 Comments »

Just to spook you, because we all love that terrifying feeling of narrowly missing a major disaster, check out this collage video of some folks avoiding disaster by just a fraction of a second. It’s a strange combination feeling of relief and terror.


I’m not so sure this is all due to luck, but it sure is crazy to watch, regardless! Thanks to my buddy Brandon for posting this one on Facebook.

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gluten-free: my two week adventure

Posted: July 19th, 2010 | Author: | Filed under: food | Tags: , | 10 Comments »

For the last several years, I’ve been fascinated by learning about nutrition, dietary habits and food manufacturing. What’s good, what’s bad, what’s true and of course, what’s false. With so much information already out there and new studies/findings being published every day, it’s impossible to feel like you are educated enough to make good decisions about what to eat, but I sure like to try. For example, I just recently learned that fruit, as wonderful it is, is best eaten alone, since it requires so little digestion compared to most other foods we eat (think about eating a chicken breast and then some fruit, having your body trying to break down the chicken breast while the fruit sits in your tum, rotting before your other digestive organs have a chance to extract the nutrients).


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I’m of the belief that we should be eating as close to the Earth as possible, with as little processing and unnatural additives as possible. Michael Pollan’s Food Rules booklet has some great bits of advice along these lines, one of them being “Don’t eat anything your great-grandmother wouldn’t recognize as food.” Think about all the crazy foods we’ve invented in the last 50-100 years, thanks to the wonders of preservatives, additives and high-powered food manufacturing. Back then, everything was organic. You ate what was available to you, and much of the time, that was whatever you could grow, pick or harvest yourself. I believe today we call this “eating locally.” Another one of Pollan’s rules was something along the lines of, “If you can’t picture it growing, don’t eat it.” Haha! Makes perfect sense when you think about it. Here’s a great interview with Pollan about the book, filled with more awesome advice. One of my favorite parts of this article is when he talks about french fries and junk food. Fast food has taken the work out of preparing labor-intensive foods, like french fries, and given us easy round-the-clock access to these unhealthy foods. If you had to make your own junk food, I guarantee you’d be eating a whole lot less of it.

Anyway, I’m rambling, and quite off-topic, because I just want to make a public declaration that after a good bit of research, I’ve decided to give the gluten-free lifestyle a try for the next couple of weeks. I’m not sure if I am one of the 3 million Americans who has celiac disease (wheat or gluten allergy), but my Mother has been allergic to wheat her entire life, and given my own issues with tummy pains, I figure I might as well give it a go and see what changes may happen in my overall health. I’ve read and heard such phenomenal things from people who gave up wheat at the recommendation of their physician or nutritionist or at the simple suggestion from a friend. Might as well see what happens, right?

However healthful eating gluten-free may be, replacing wheat with sugar, heavy fats, salt, etc. isn’t exactly a recipe for success, so I’ll be attempting to keep that low as well (though it may be tough – baby steps). I’m also gonna try to take a tablespoon of apple cider vinegar (diluted) a day, which has been said to aid circulation and ward off diabetes, cancer, high cholesterol and high blood pressure.

I’ll be checking in along the way and will ultimately post a ‘wrap-up’ when my two weeks are up on August 8, 2010.

To get inspiration for living gluten-free, I’ve been reading The Gluten-Free Girl and the Chef and Cannelle et Vanille, two awesome blogs. Do you know of any others that I should be reading? Any other tips or information you want to share with me as I embark on this challenging-yet-potentially-beneficial journey?

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‘band of horses – the funeral’ by liz lee

Posted: July 17th, 2010 | Author: | Filed under: music | 1 Comment »

Despite being married to a Top 100 YouTuber, I spend minimal time watching videos on the site, and even less time watching shows on MTV (I don’t even have cable). But I found this video on my girl Whitney’s blog and was really blown away by this girl Liz Lee’s musical talents. I guess she’s got a show on MTV or something about her life as a high schooler, and so you’ll notice clips of comments from “mean girls” about this talent show performance of her covering Band of Horses – The Funeral (a personal favorite song of mine).

Check out Liz below:


P.S. For another great cover of The Funeral, listen to this cover by Serena Ryder & The Beauties. It’s gorge.

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eat pray love

Posted: July 16th, 2010 | Author: | Filed under: movies | 2 Comments »

Last Spring I was utterly engrossed in reading Eat Pray Love by Elizabeth Gilbert, so when I found out several months back that it was going to be made into a movie starring the always enjoyable Julia Roberts, my heart sang. I am so looking forward to seeing this movie!


Oh, boy! This trailer came out, oh, four months ago? But I am just now seeing it, because I am that out of touch. I think. Who cares. Javier Bardem and James Franco are in it. I am super happy that they chose Florence & the Machine as the trailer soundtrack. Love + love = super love.

Ladies – anyone else already making plans to see this film? It’s out on August 13. Have you all read the book? Promise me you won’t watch it until you do. It’s really amazing – uplifting, inspiring, touching, etc.


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three word phrases to help your relationship

Posted: July 16th, 2010 | Author: | Filed under: family, friends, life, love | Tags: , , , | 2 Comments »

Today I’m cheating. And by that I mean I’m reposting something written by someone else, because quite honestly, she (Deena Munsamy) says it better than I ever could and you really don’t need me chiming in with more input.


Three-Word Phrases, can be tools to help develop every relationship.

There are many things that you can do to strengthen your relationships. Often the most effective thing you can do involves saying just three words. When spoken sincerely, these statements often have the power to develop new friendships, deepen old ones and even bring healing to relationships that have soured.

The following three-word phrases can be tools to help develop every relationship.

~ Let me help:
Good friends see a need and then try to fill it. When they see a hurt they do what they can to heal it. Without being asked, they jump in and help out.

~ I understand you:
People become closer and enjoy each other more when the other person accepts and understands them. Letting your spouse know – in so many little ways – that you understand them, is one of the most powerful tools for healing your relationship. And this can apply to any relationship.

~ I respect you:
Respect is another way of showing love. Respect demonstrates that another person is a true equal. If you talk to your children as if they were adults you will strengthen the bonds and become closer friends. This applies to all interpersonal relationships.

~ I miss you:
Perhaps more marriages could be saved and strengthened if couples simply and sincerely said to each other “I miss you.” This powerful affirmation tells partners they are wanted, needed, desired and loved. Consider how important you would feel, if you received an unexpected phone call from your spouse in the middle of your workday, just to say “I miss you.”

~ Maybe you’re right:
This phrase is very effective in diffusing an argument. The implication when you say “maybe you’re right” is the humility of admitting, “maybe I’m wrong”. Let’s face it. When you have an argument with someone, all you normally do is solidify the other person’s point of view. They, or you, will not likely change their position and you run the risk of seriously damaging the relationship between you. Saying “maybe you’re right” can open the door to explore the subject more. You may then have the opportunity to express your view in a way that is understandable to the other person.

~ Please forgive me:
Many broken relationships could be restored and healed if people would admit their mistakes and ask for forgiveness. All of us are vulnerable to faults, foibles and failures. A man should never be ashamed to own up that he has been in the wrong, which is saying, in other words, that he is wiser today than he was yesterday.

~ I thank you:
Gratitude is an exquisite form of courtesy. People who enjoy the companionship of good, close friends are those who don’t take daily courtesies for granted. They are quick to thank their friends for their many expressions of kindness. On the other hand, people whose circle of friends is severely constricted often do not have the attitude of gratitude.

~ Count on me:
A friend is one who walks in when others walk out. Loyalty is an essential ingredient for true friendship. It is the emotional glue that bonds people. Those that are rich in their relationships tend to be steady and true friends. When troubles come, a good friend is there indicating “you can count on me.”

~ I’ll be there:
If you have ever had to call a friend in the middle of the night, to take a sick child to hospital, or when your car has broken down some miles from home, you will know how good it feels to hear the phrase “I’ll be there.” Being there for another person is the greatest gift we can give. When we are truly present for other people, important things happen to them and us.

We are renewed in love and friendship. We are restored emotionally and spiritually. Being there is at the very core of civility.

~ Go for it:
We are all unique individuals. Don’t try to get your friends to conform to your ideals. Support them in pursuing their interests, no matter how far out they seem to you. God has given everyone dreams, dreams that are unique to that person only.

Support and encourage your friends to follow their dreams. Tell them to “go for it.”

~ I love you:
Perhaps the most important three words that you can say. Telling someone that you truly love them satisfies a person’s deepest emotional needs. The need to belong, to feel appreciated and to be wanted. Your spouse, your children, your friends and you, all need to hear those three little words: “I love you.” Love is a choice. You can love even when the feeling is gone.

By Deena Munsamy
Macronamystic Coach
“I Choose Today to give Myself the Best Life Ever”
®Aneed4life ©
Coaching
Life -Sports – Business – Family
Personal & Corporate Programs

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do you have a wardrobe palette?

Posted: July 15th, 2010 | Author: | Filed under: fashion | Tags: , | 6 Comments »

I’m noticing a distinct pattern emerging in my ‘Fashion Finds’ board on Pinterest.* I mean, I already knew I was really into navy blues and greys, but I had no idea I was so drawn to pastels! Being a fair-skinned person, I always assumed those colors just washed me out and made me look ghostly. That could also just be the fluorescent lights I’ve worked in for the past, oh, seven years?


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I recently read a minimalist article about paring down your wardrobe to contain only items you love in flattering colors that you adore and would wear all the time (and ditching everything else). I love this idea, my closet is FULL of items that I don’t love, bought because they were on sale, or that I thought “yeah, I might wear this once in a while.” Imagine having a closet full of stuff you actually love, that you would feel GREAT about yourself in.

So, tell me about you my friends - do you generally stick to a certain family of colors/shades for your wardrobe or are you more of the “anything goes” type?

Here are a few more images from my board:



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*Besides just being a great image collecting apparatus, Pinterest is a great tool for bookmarking fashion/home pieces that catch your eye and discovering what your overall palette should be. If you want an invite, leave a comment or shoot me an email – I have 5 more!

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things i love thursday

Posted: July 15th, 2010 | Author: | Filed under: things i love thursday | Tags: | 2 Comments »


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I’m not going to lie, it is sometimes challenging to come up with a list of things I love each Thursday. Especially if I’m sitting in my cubicle at work while doing so… I start to look around me and think “do I love a stapler? how about this tissue box? this mousepad?” The best way for me to create these lists is to keep an on-going list through the week – on a pad of paper, an open “note” on my iPhone, a document on my computer, whatever it may be. Whenever something truly awesome happens or I remember something that makes me giddy, I quickly add it. Mental notes work sometimes, but I tend to forget most of the little things, so that isn’t my preferred method. But enough about this! Let’s get to the real bread & butter:

things i love thursday

handwriting genuine cards/thank you notes to people and sending them via snail mail | buying gifts for my newly engaged, newly wed and newly mommies friends… so much fun! | finding cute things that would make for cute gifts and bookmarking them for later | having a $10 budget for free food at work, except for the fact that it makes me buy things that I otherwise wouldn’t eat (like brownies) | very quick and efficient meetings | the way the sunlight comes in through my window in the late afternoon | having a clean car | my in-laws (I KNOW RIGHT? I’m an anomaly) | looking at my wedding rings | late night fireside double dates drinking raspberry beer atop the Petit Ermitage hotel with Rhett and Link | exciting new deals happening for my husband, seems they are rolling in everyday now, I am so proud of him | lilac candles in my living room | cajun chicken pasta, still one of my favorite recipes ever | waking up with Scout sleeping on my chest | nights when Scout does NOT knock something off the bedside table | having a husband who is handy enough to fix the vacuum after I accidentally vacuumed the phone charger | Dyson and Apple, who make products that can survive a vacuum-sucking-phone-charger incident and still work perfectly fine | discovering that if I pour my cream BEFORE I pour my coffee, I don’t have to stir it and dirty up a spoon | it finally being hot outside | having an emergency fund | being the annoying older sister and sending uplifting mass texts to all my siblings | being the first born | evening emails from my Julia in Italy, who is 15 months pregnant and awake at 4:30am | stretching in the morning on my bedroom floor | our new living room setup at home, it actually FEELS like a home now | keeping fresh fruit in pretty bowls | birthday conversations with Dad | being sore for days after hiking (I guess I needed it?) |

AND HOW ABOUT YOU?!



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old spice: better & better

Posted: July 14th, 2010 | Author: | Filed under: funny | Tags: , , , | No Comments »

These Old Spice commercials just keep getting better and better. What is it about this guy that makes women faint and men question their sexuality (read the video comments to see what I’m talking about)? As if it weren’t enough, the Old Spice guy is now on Twitter and making videos recording shout-outs to various Twitter users like Alyssa Milano, to whom he apparently sent roses. He even made a video for a friend of mine, @TechFrog. Confused? Me too. But I love it! EDIT: This helped clear it up. Genius!

This guy is also pretty intense but entertaining:


P.S. When I brought these up in a meeting recently, I was told they are a blatant rip off of Axe. I will choose to ignore this comment.

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bits & pieces: july 14, 2010

Posted: July 14th, 2010 | Author: | Filed under: consumerism, food, funny, home, love, money | 2 Comments »

Hey friends! Ready to let your mid-week worries slip away? Here are some distractions that should do the trick. Hope you all have the best Wednesday in the history of Wednesdays!


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10 reasons why being married is better

amazing jewelry display, so easy to DIY

more personalized stamp love. please and thank you

paul the octopus predicts other things, too

loooooove this princess & the pea photoshoot!

adorable chapel turned into a loft

a list of overused fashion words that have been banished from the up and coming Velour magazine. see ya later, LBD, celeb and fashionista!

so what IS the American dream exactly?

the truth about agave nectar – oh geez. i had no idea :(

helplessly in love with these personalized sherbet-colored notebooks

oh yes, we need one of these unique custom illustrated portraits

25 things I’d never trade for money
- and –
7 minimalist lessons I’ve learned from my kids

The net worth of US presidents, from from Washington to Obama, via my friend budgetsaresexy

oooh yes – lavender lemonade ala Sunday Suppers


gorgeous spring furniture collection from Cisco Brothers

Blueberry oatmeal bread recipe that looks delicious and is EASY! No yeast or kneading required.

10 tips to overcome negative thoughts

customizable chocolate bars! so creative and yum! via via simple song


One last thing. Please vote for 100 layer cake for best wedding blog… because they are indeed the best! And because i said please. Thank you & goodnightday.


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how many times did you overdraft last year?

Posted: July 13th, 2010 | Author: | Filed under: consumerism, money | Tags: | 6 Comments »

If I asked you how many times you were hit with overdraft fees in the last year, you might give me a nasty look and tell me that is a rude thing to ask. You’d be right, and fortunately for both of us, I would never ask you. Luckily we have polls to give us information about these sorts of things.

Warning: this is a bit of a rant. I just took a quick poll on USAA (my credit union/insurance company) and guessed that the average number of times the average household had to pay an overdraft fee last year would be about 4 times. I was wrong. I was also really disturbed by the actual outcome.

You’re an optimist, aren’t you? Actually, the average U.S. household with a banking account incurred nearly 13 overdraft fees in 2009, according to management advisory firm Bretton Woods Inc. Add it all up, and those fees cost Americans a whopping $38 billion they could’ve spent elsewhere.

WHAT?! 38 billion dollars!! Between that money and parking tickets, it’s a wonder we as a country are in the sticky financial situation we are. But I’m no economist. All I know is, this is such an easy problem to resolve and it blows my mind that Americans (no idea what the spending habits overseas are like) are so undisciplined that we can’t even manage to keep some reserve funds to cover fees like this. Because it’s not the fact that we overdraft – I mean, it happens sometimes, even to responsible folks who try and keep the bulk of their money in interest-earnings accounts versus non-interest-earning checking accounts. But most banks today offer overdraft protection, like USAA who pulls from my emergency fund if and when I ever get low. Why is it so tough to set a dollar amount and say, “Ok, I will not let my balance dip below this line.” Or even to set aside a few hundy in a savings account that can transfer funds in a temporary lapse of spending judgment?

By the way – I totally understand that some people simply do not have the means to have emergency funds, but I would argue that given our silly lifestyle of living beyond our means and the amount of money we spend on cars, clothes, fancy food, spas, alcohol, etc… there is no reason that $38 billion number should be so high.

I also realize that I am in the minority as a person who enjoys budgeting, spreadsheets and forecasting net worth, etc. – but it doesn’t take a total nerd to be able to run a proper household budget, with goals and safety nets. There are like a thousand free downloadable programs and websites (like mint.com) that can make it as easy as 1-2-3. It’s REALLY NOT THAT HARD. And I’m telling you, the relief you will feel from knowing that you’ve got cash in case of a REAL emergency (not of the Louis Vuitton nature) is truly life changing.

Is this little statistic grossing anyone else out or is it just me? Why do you think people prefer paying overdraft fees and being strapped for cash to curbing their frivolous spending habits and saving money?

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