Friday, February 28, 2014

Seeking Free-Spirits

So this past year has been less than fun for me. I am working on changing that in the current year. This is the year of me - I'm reading more, watching more, doing more, and loving more. And I hope that by changing me instead of putting all of my energy into changing everybody and everything else, other things will change in turn. On one particularly hard night in December I was at my sister's when she grabbed "This Book Will Change Your Life" off of her bookshelf. Needless to say, I was intrigued and immediately reminded of how much I enjoyed the Post-Secret books and Milk, Eggs, and Vodka . All I knew in that moment was that I could use a life change :)

Click here to order

I began thinking: maybe we don't need to let our happiness be dependent on having enough money, or a secure job, or the companionship of a spouse, or the esteem of friends. Here's a novel concept - why don't I rely on me to make my own happiness?  You may be wondering how a $13.37 book translates into making my own happiness. You may also be thinking that sounds pretty silly/stupid/fill in your own adjective. Maybe your right and maybe I am.

But the point is that I'm using the book as a jumping off point. A way to get me out of my own way. I'm trying to be more open to possibility this year. I'm hoping the book will help me push my boundaries, face fears, find new avenues of excitement, and revisit old ones! 

This could be a total bust. I could throw in the towel by page 5. I might do some things too half-ass for some people's liking. I could end up embarrassed or embarrassing others (I can already see my mom shaking her But, oh well -this is me. The same girl who in my late twenties seriously considered taking horse back riding lessons again, the same girl who has been unsuccessfully trying to learn Spanish for the past three years, the same girl who bounces from one grandiose idea to another, and the same girl who still wants to join the peace corps and travel the world. But I love who I am and I figure that if something truly every tragic happens to me and I end up as a feature on Dateline, that in that segment where they interview people who knew me best, it is likely that the following descriptors may be used:  'dreamer', 'romantic', 'escapist', 'spirited'.  All things considered, not such bad identifiers. I think Jack Kerouac would agree - one of my favorite quotes by him reads:

"The only people for me are the mad ones, the ones who are mad to live, mad to talk, mad to be saved, desirous of everything at the same time, the ones who never yawn or say a commonplace thing, but burn, burn, burn, like fabulous yellow roman candles exploding like spiders across the stars..."

I don't know a whole lot of what the book contains as I stopped skimming through it as soon as I decided to try it (which was immediately). The actual ordering took me a little longer as I wanted to complete viewing all of the movie suggestions friends offered up on the blog first. I am trying to improve my completion rate where blog lists are concerned...ha!

If you may just be willing to let go, and let chance why not join a few others crazy enough to do the same (or maybe I will end up being a camp of one - that is okay too!)

March 20 is the first day of spring which brings thoughts of new beginnings, rebirth, metamorphosis. It also leaves enough time for book delivery :) Here is what I am proposing - order a book in the next week and on March 20 let's start with page 1 and chronicle our collective experience in following the suggestions given in the book.

If interested in this social experiment, please first become a follower of the blog so I can easily @people. I will have a new post each day where I scan the page of the book we are on and people can post their experiences in the form of comments. Please post pictures and/or videos of whatever escapades this book leads you into via my blog's facebook page

Oh, and a little post-script here - I think there might be some fine print in the book regarding liability should one be arrested, divorced, married, , re-married, broke, etc.

Thursday, February 27, 2014

Welcome to Editing, Inc.

Hi friends,

Please visit my professional site Editing,Inc. I offer editing services for a variety of projects, now including college entrance essays. If you know of anyone who can benefit from my services please pass along the site info. and/or my contact information.

As always, thank you for your support.

Wednesday, February 26, 2014

I suck at selfies

Okay so I tried to take a selfie today and realized I suck. I even used the tips offered on the Kathie Lee and Hoda "Toast to 2013" special that advised one to hold their camera phone up and at an angle.  As you can see it didn't really help:

Tried Smiling

A peaking shot

A second attempt at peaking

Okay maybe different lighting and a serious shot will help....

No dice.

So what can those of us who suffer from ugly selfies do? Perhaps I should have tried studying these:

3 Ways to Take Good Selfies

11 Fantastic Tips on Taking Good Selfies That You'll Be Proud Of

At least I'm not alone in feeling awkward in front of the camera -  (I stumbled across this post as I was checking out this blogger's curated collection at Joss & Main whose opening picture I heart - Love the sign and couch combo)

Hopefully, in time my selfie will look more like this:

I look like her, right?!

Anyhow, the whole point of me taking these in the first place was to showcase my new gafas (spanish for glasses) :) I have 20/20 vision, but have been obsessed for several years now with wanting glasses. In high school I tried to get my mom to buy me a pair of $400 frames that served no functional purpose. When that plan didn't pan out I resorted to borrowing Amy Fitzpatrick's. When I went off to college, I went from borrowing one Amy's glasses to another Amy's glasses. Below I am modeling the glasses of +Amy Madigan
Circa 1999

 And this past September I snatched my aunt's spectacles for a group shot:

Wearing Aunt Di's glasses
The funny thing is that as much as I loved 'reading' glasses, I have only recently started sporting sunglasses.
So what is consensus? It actually doesn't really matter as regardless of what people think, so long as I can get used to these on my face for any extended period of time, I think you can now officially start referring to me as "four-eyes". I'm owning it!And loving it!

Sunday, February 23, 2014

Melt Bar and Grilled - Mentor

So the first time I tried Melt in Cleveland Heights I didn't feel as if it lived up to the hype. It very possibly could have been the 2.5 hr. wait that put a damper on things, but I was less than impressed when I left. I believe back then I had ordered the Parma, Italy. I really had no interest in returning until I got the Cleveland Independent Restaurants deck. Anyone who knows me knows if I can cross something off a list, use a deck from a card, etc. then I am on board. So my family and I decided to visit the Mentor Melt on Saturday.

Here's how it panned out:

Wait - 20 min. Not terrible for 12:30 on a Saturday
Service - Stellar (The waitress did forget my side of mayo but upon reminding her she brought it right out).
Food - Depends on what you get.

I ordered a burger, slightly pink, american cheese, lettuce, tomato, onion and fries. Joe got the Cleveland Cheese Steak (we were told this was one of their best sellers) with fries and a diet coke. Actually, it would probably be more accurate to say I got both entreees as I usually try to talk Joe into letting me pick everything and then we 'share' plates. Olivia got the chicken fingers off of the kid's menu.

The burger was good, loved the fries, cheese steak was ok, and hated the chicken fingers (they were way too deep fried). Good thing Liv liked the chicken fingers, because the restaurant didn't have the milkshake I promised her the whole way there. What?!? It should be some kind of crime to have a burger/grilled cheese joint that doesn't offer milkshakes.

Pro/Con - As we were sitting their eating I realized my card from the deck required that you needed to spend $30 not including alcohol, tax, and gratuity in order to get the $10 off.  Now I was panicked  as I thought we would miss the $30 mark by a buck or so. I scanned the dessert menu and was disappointed by the lack of choices: a piece of apple pie or bread pudding. Yuck! No cheese cake, no cookies or brownies, and no ice cream!

Well, as luck would have it the extra ranch we asked for came in at 75 cents which tipped us over our target. However, I must say that if I  hadn't been trying to meet all of the requirements of the coupon card I would have been livid that I was charged extra for a condiment.

A plus from our visit: I am now a little smarter than I was yesterday. The name tag they gave me as we waited for our table read Natasha Vidal. I had no idea who that was, but thanks to Melt and Google now I do. Do you?

Saturday, February 22, 2014

Relay for Life

Hi Friends - I am co-captain of the relay for life team 'Trust in Tomorrow' and I need your help - the walk will be held at Lake Catholic on June 7 and the theme is the 50 states.

Our state is Wisconsin - does anyone know any interesting facts about Wisconsin? Carassa Franzone SchultzHave any ideas for fundraising? Have any connections to cheese distributors or ice cream shops (Wisconsin is the home of the sundae in case you didn't know!)

Please check out my personal page below. We are looking for more team members, donations, and ideas - whatever you can offer. One really cool way to honor a loved one is to buy and dedicate a luminaria in their honor (only $10).

Relay for Life Personal Page

Thursday, February 20, 2014

Things in the works...

Working on a few big personal projects right now:

Relay for Life Team Preparations and Fundraising

Business website - +Jamie Ovens  tell Jim he inspired me. I can't wait to show him what I have come up with. Also, encourage him to follow blog!

I'm counting today as having kept to my Thursday blogging since technically I did add something to the Spanish tab, updated my profile, and included the following "in other news" notes below:

In other news:

  • Finished "The Affair" and excited to start "The Painted Girls"
  • Joined Twitter (I can't believe I finally submitted to the pressure)
  • I need $40 in sales to reach my $100 free for Stella & Dot - Who needs jewelry? My trunk show closes this Saturday so I promise to quite badgering people then :)
  • In the middle of watching the recommended "We're the Millers" movie and loving it. Thanks +Ashley Keene. So far my favorite scene is below. Check it out: 
We're the Millers Haircut Scene

Stay tuned!

Friday, February 14, 2014

Happy Valentine's Day

So even though I felt like complete crap last night Liv and I did manage to finish our Valentine's Day treats. Thanks so much to Funky Polkadot Giraffe (valentine, you're my main squeeze) and The Idea Room (Hi, I'm Olaf and I like warm hugs) for the ideas and free printables. mucho amor!

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Great Gift for a Foodie!

So one of my most favorite Christmas gifts this year was The 2014 Cleveland Independents Deck which is like a modern day Our Town and All Around coupon book, but solely aimed at foodies (it also fits much nicer in one's purse than the big bulky coupon book which I have been lugging around).

My sister +Ashley Keene  and I really like to give the gift of experiences when we can, and so I was thrilled when she gave me the deck and also by the fact that we had a built in double-date couple to dine with! (The only problem is that after reading the fine print the deck indicates only one card per party which sort of stinks since she bought a deck for her and her hubby and gifted the other one to my husband and I with the idea that we can enjoy many a fine night together at one of the featured restaurants).

Here's how the deck works: there are 49 coupon cards for independent Cleveland restaurants and two Joker cards. Most of the cards entitle the bearer to $10 off a $30 food purchase. The Jokers allow you to revisit two of your faves from the deck.

Joe and I will be using our first card from the deck to celebrate Valentine's Day. We will be visiting Pier W, voted by Travel and Leisure Magazine as "One of America's Most Romantic Restaurants," this Saturday (one of the restrictions of the cards is that they can't be used on an actual holiday). As an added bonus, we used Open Table to make our reservation which will allow us to accrue points toward a dining certificate at one of the site's member restaurants. If you don't currently use this free service, you may want to check out more details here:

Excited to keep chronicling my foodie fetes!