“With faith, discipline and selfless devotion to duty, there is nothing worthwhile that you cannot achieve.” -Muhammad Ali Jinnah
Each generation wants to think they’re betterthan the last. It’sat the point when you start seriously noticing the differences between your generation and subsequentonesthatit makes you feel old. Well, my friendsI guess I’m “old.” I’m considered part of the annoyingmillennial generation, which has been watched by the world most of our lives. However, as a millennialI have noticed some things about the yet to be officially named generation of current 20- somethings. Not to be confused with baby boomers, the millennialgeneration as well ascurrent 20- somethingscould easilyfall under thesame umbrella, the “Me Generation.”With the rise of social media, apps that doalmost everything, and new technologies,self absorption has never been easier. Unfortunately, along with self absorption comesa lack of ambition, laziness, and anear complete disregard for other people. It’s far too easy to think(and talk, and Instagram, and Snapchat,and Facebook)about yourself all day, rather than more outwardly consider the rest of the world around you. Therefore, if you are an individual that hasn’t beenbrainwashed by social media, get out there, do something, and help someone other than yourself! I promise it feels really good to help someone else. This leads into the question of “ Would we be more fulfilled if we helped each other more?” Not only would a movement of selflessnessmake our lives more enriching, but collectively easier. If we were able to count on someone other than ourselves it would lead to a lotless stress and a lot more breathing room. Having less stress means less physical ailments and evenmanydiseases!Everyone wins. We don’t have to imagine a world like this when we easily have thepower to startamovement like this today. All it takes is one person and oneact of selflessness , simply just do it , and help start a chain reaction of kindness, love, and helping.
“You can’t get rid of fear, it’s likeMother Nature.You can’t beat it or outrun it, but you can get through it, and find out what you’re made of.”– the good dinosaur(Pixar)
Whether your influence is of the dark or of the light, both really matter. Because likein bumper cars, sometimes life hits usandwe getsent in all sorts of directions, but after the initial impact we can usually choose in which direction we’regoing to go. We all deal with things differently, and over time like butterflies, we experience a metamorphosis. Where one person can turna bad circumstance into good, others mistakenly follow or choosea darker path. The world expertly presents us with things that are“good,”but areactually cloaked in darkness. For example, all that yummy processed food that will eventually kill you, or the allure of tarot cards and the occult.This was pointed out to me in a dream recently.No matter whatyour trialis you have a choice in how to deal with it. Oftentimes our trialschangeus,like water running over rocks and changing their shapes and textures. Not only do trials and time change us, but they also show us what we’re made of.Some of us will be pleasantly surprised by our resilience, while others bitterly disappointed by our brokenness. The fact is, we all have the potential to be either built up or broken down. That’s why it’s so important to choose the paths that lead you intothe light of happiness, faith, love, and hope. Rather thanthe darkness of negativity,hopelessness, and depression.Whatever your going through there are many positive resources available to you, you just have to do some foot work! Not only that, but pay attention to and remind yourself of all the things thatgive life beauty. Whether it be in nature or in human kindness(like the video below )
Florence and the Machine sing to and for a young girl with cancer in Her hospital room that couldn’t attend their concert.
“Where words fail, music speaks.” -Hans Christian Andersen
Music has been my constant companion. It was with me all throughout high school shaping my social life, and it waftedthrough my room the entire time I lay in a coma. I have played inside of a sonic landscape since before I was born; dancing tosongs with my Mother whilestill inside Her tummy. For the record, my “first dance,” was P.Y.T byMichael Jackson.Since then my feet have found the ground and I continue to dance.I’ve danced through most of school, my family life, and even now during recovery. Without dancing, all these years I’d have just been standing still, stagnant. However, those little black notes have pushed me through to victory after victory. A sureoutward sign that I was improvingwas when I started being interested in music again. Ithas been entwinedwith the neurons in my brain; each song sparking a vivid memory, an imagined music video sequence, or feelingsof elation.Music has not only influenced my life so much as it has dictated it.Friends came and went by route of the current albums I was into.We foundour identities and a common ground containedwithin flat round compact discs, orvinyl if you were “really cool.” Even when there was aquestion concerningthe integrityof my memoryafter a severe stroke, I still rememberedeveryone’s faces and all my favoritemusical artists. The power of music runs deep my friend. There remains few people that can put into words exactly what music communicates. That’s exactly why our souls need it; Because, it communicates what mere words cannot.Indeed as an adolescent I held to the belief that a particularly well homemade mix tape could cause you to fall in love with someone, the music you enjoyed said almost more about you then the way you dressed, and to die and become a music note would be of the utmost honor. Because, if your spirit could inhabit the form of a music note, you’d touch people’s lives and live on in beautiful symphonies forever.Not to mention, once you fall in love with rock n’ roll, it’s difficult to find other people that share your enthusiasm. However, when you do, you know you’ve got an instant friend and you’reheldtogether by the invisible threads ofsound.Therefore, don’t discount its power, and keep on singing even when it rains. Especially when life gets difficult if you continue to sing, those invisible threads will pull you through.
“Victory at all costs, victory in spite of all terror, victory however long and hard the road may be; for without victory, there is no survival.” -Winston Churchill
Perhaps you’re afraid of commitment, a strong independentWoman, or claustrophobic. Therefore, youlikelydislike and understand feeling tied down. Everyone wants to feel free to do what they want to do. However, there are things in life that can restrict us, and understandably so, we really hate that. Anything that serves to hold you back, hold you up, or hold youdown must go! We forget that these things aren’t always physical, but many are emotional too. If you cannot at least rid yourself of the physical circumstances, the good news is that the emotional ones you can. After all, give anything time and work on it with determination, perseverance,with grit, and it will change. For a time in my case it was the ball and chain of medications. Ileft the hospital with a tray full of nearlyten(10!) different daily medications, a feeding tube, a daily shot, and confined to a home hospital bed. That was three years ago(2013)and what do I have now?Well, only two(2!) daily medications, no feeding tube, and a supremely comfortable new queen bed. You see? Give it time. Granted, my family and I worked very hard to get here. Even in those times of feeling defeated or utterly disdainful, I can proudly say Ialways got my butt out of bed to face the day.Why? Because like certain foods, you eat it anywaybecause it’s good for you.This is telling of the fact that you just need to facelifeno matter how scary it becomes. Because, like a taunting grade school bully, if you stand up to it, it will back down into a more manageable situation. At one time I needed medication to keep me sane, yetmore recently said medication is no longer needed. It’s been kicked to the curb. You can do thistoo, no littlepillcan “fix,” your problems as well as you can by changing your way of thinking.Perhaps, you’ll surprise yourself in finding that life gets ever better when you jump at it, rather then shrink away. If you need any reassurance of that, just ask the girlwhowas at once downtrodden but nowfinds victory in everyday living. Because, simply having the privilege to liveout each day is a victory.
“ ‘Closed timelike curve’ is the jargon for time travel. It means you go out, come back and meet yourself in the past.”-Kip Thorne.
As I stood at the gates next to my FatherI could nearly grasp those lost childhood years. The now abandonedpark that I gazed into was once teeming withactivity. However, now it stands a silent and still monument toan era of magic.Originally built in 1963 and closed down in 1999,The Prehistoric Forest (or “Dinosaur Land”)encapsulated a few years of my life within it.While Igazed into the park with a myriadnumber of mixed emotions welling up inside me; Iimagined as I shrunk back into a child the park grew upfull life again. There exists throughout time and space pieces of us and our hearts wherever we’ve passed. In this case a road side attraction hadpieces of my beloved childhood memories within it. Beyond the fencemeant to keep me out, lay 8 acres of overgrown trails, random dinosaur(some broken)sculptures, anda precious piece of me. It nearly felt as ifthere was an invisible wall and I could walk through intomy memory. So badly did I desire to relive that period, but alas time marches on with or without us. What it does leave behind for us are the memories. Even though I couldn’t physicallybe back inside of that memory,I was surrounded by the ghosts of it. I found it funny that present day I was standing in front of this park with the very people who lived in that memory with me, my Mom and Dad. Nothing will make youcherish your life more then standing in front of the ruins of it, from a marvelousperiod gone by. I could see a little me excitedly grabbing my Dad’s hand and crunching across the gravel to the now empty souvenir shop. “I want theneon triceritops stuffed animal Dad!”Although this place was fading away as each page of time was turned, it remained as vivid as ever within my memories. My Parents aregetting older and showing signs of wear, but here, in my memory they are always young. Never had inanimate objects made me consider my mortality more. I thought of all those moments that seem to go by unnoticed while they’re happening, but later become wholly significant. Because even as your living it that timewill hold great value in the future. Therefore, take lots of pictures, slow down, and tell the people whom deserve it that you love them every chance you get. To learn and see more about my memory, click here!
*blogged after a lazy Saturday and a grilled hamburger*
Yet again it’s Monday you know. Perhaps it’s not exactly magic to you but it certainly can be! Therefore, to help ease you into this week here’s a list of seven things that should be on your radar, one for each day! 1)Broadway Plays!
My oh my, are good plays overly expensive. However, sometimes it’s totally worth it. I was having a major hankering for some artistic fulfillment so I made the splurge this time. It’s even better when you can share it with someone you love. Therefore, I’m also taking a lovely little cousin to Her first play. You can never start em’ too young. Not to mention it’s the best way to spend two hours of your life, rather then on Facebook people.
2) The Henry Norman Hotel Greenpoint, Brooklyn.
This place puts the H in hip, with it’s amazing location and loft style living rooms. They have a curated mini bar full of locally produced goods, and some stellar doormen that make you feel fancy. Not to mention the sleek cars they will freely chauffeur you in around Brooklyn. I can’t say enough lovely things about how great this place is. So, if your holiday destination is in New York City, stay here and live like a local not a tourist!
3) Hard Root Beer
Pictured: Not your Father’s hard root beer, and Coney Island hard root beer. I have not been into anything with the label hard on it since sneaking ” beverages,” into my underage slumber parties. I also, didn’t realize that root beer, which is already good could be greatly improved upon with the addition of alcohol and a nifty label. 4) Pleasant Ebay Transactions – the money and the people who part with it-
It’s not often you have sweet interactions with complete strangers on the internet(unless you’re being a creeper) usually never making face to face contact with someone is impersonal, but sometimes you get surprised. I’ve been a highly rated seller(bragging rights) on Ebay for quite sometime and I still get surprised. To give you an idea, here are some of my favorites. Recently a Husband purchased an anniversary gift for his Wife from me, and We discussed when to ship it so it could be a surprise for Her. Another, was with a kind young Lady that was enthusiastic and interested in my item, and as a follow up happily let me know how much She liked it upon receipt. You just don’t get those kinds of interactions everyday as a seller, and I love when I do! 5) Coffee Wars!?
For a time I boycotted the billionaire beans peddler Starbucks in favor of local small coffee shops. Many of us already know it’s over rated but even so, I still get surprised when I find good coffee for under $3.00. One such case recently was our Canadian friends Tim Horton’s. Even though I’ve consumed enough Starbucks to be a card carrying gold member(oh how I’ve turned from my ways!) I still try to support smaller businesses as much as possible. Besides, I’m only a gold member for the benefits! 6) Childhood Memories
Many of you have positive memories of your youth(I hope) but nothing tears at your emotions quite like visiting places from your younger self. Recently I had the pleasure(and displeasure) of standing mere feet away from my favorite childhood destination, the prehistoric forest. As I imagined myself getting smaller I could see the now abandoned(tears) park coming back to life. This was the place that held so many childhood memories for me, and all I wanted to do was go back! 7) Mother’s Day everyday
If you’re in the U.S, I presume that since yesterday you have hugged, kissed, and even given your Mommy a present. It’s probably good for your bank account this doesn’t happen everyday. However, your Mother is still your Mom everyday! Therefore, if you can’t afford to buy Her things all the time, at least show some appreciation kids.
Last but not least, the drink! A chocolate margarita, find the recipehere.
*blogged after a Dunkin’ Donuts chocolate glazed donut, Oh Yeeaah..*
So, are you getting sick of Mondays,margaritas,and me yet? Has my drink pushing caused you to join Alcoholics Anonymous? If so I deeply apologize, and please don’t blame it on Monday.He didn’t do anything I swear. In fact, He has only been trying to offer youa new start and some extra time(120 hours actually) this whole year so far! Going forward with that new information I hope you’re able to forgive him. Therefore, here it is,7 things for eachday of the week, I hope you like it!
Upscale Resale Howell, Michigan.
Dear God this resale shop is so nice it made me feel slightly under dressed.Instead of buying from the conventional mall or adepartment store, upscale resale shops are so much better. Not only can you consign your discarded clothing for some extra cashbutthis avoidsfurther contributing toall the stuff already in land fills! By supporting these types of shops you help decrease on the clothing industries wastefulness. It’s like arecycling center for clothes. Instead of trashing your stuffwhy not sell it? Also, purchasingpreviously owned designer things at a discounted price not only saves you money but cuts down on the amount of stuff occupyingspace in the Earth and in numerous stores. Our Mother Earth will thank you for helping Her get healthier. If you enjoy shopping then you probably know what the best part of cleaning out your closet is, …getting new stuff! It’s much more economical andeco- friendly to go the resale shop route.
2) Starbucks Gold Membership
This is a great option if you find yourselfat Starbucks a lot, it actually saves you money, and if you’re paying five dollars for a coffee then you could probably use it. All you do is download the Starbucks app and register a card(gift cards are good for this) and through the app you can start earning rewards. Earn enough “stars,” and you’ll become a gold member – cue the oohs and ahs-This means you’ll qualify for free stuff!While the whole rewards program is really a gimmick to get you to spend more money, if you are a frequent customer it really can benefit you. Because, after all we all know more money is the last thing Starbucks needs! However, you can use the program to your advantage(take thatbig business! Not to mention, youget a fancy pants membership card that will impress your friends and strangers alike. That is, if you’re into that sorta thing. Otherwise just enjoy your free drink rewards and order the largest one possible, because you can.
3) The Kids Section?
Why is it, that at nearly every store(I’m lookin’ at you Target) the kids section is so much better!? Just because I“grew up,” doesn’t mean that suddenly I’m boring. I’d like some bright, whimsical, and cheery designs for me too thank you very much. If your in ned of a pick up tothe doldrums of the “Adult,” decor I suggest checking out the kids section. It’s there you’ll find a bright pink flowered hand towel, and that’s sure to bring some more fun into your visual life! Personally I prefer some cute kid touches floating around my space because it’s not so boring and can actually help your blaise moods sometimes! So, don’t be afraid, just take a stroll throughthe kids section every once in awhile.I promise it won’t hurt.
4) Dylan’s Candy Bar
While I know this place doesn’t need any reps from me, I’m going to do it anyway. Why? As above, the whole place is a kids section! The daughter of illustrious 1990’s designer Ralph Lauren, Dylan Lauren owns it, hence the name. It may just be a candy store but it’s actuallypretty fun place. It’s even better if you have a sweet tooth(like me) that requires appeasement once in awhile. Whilethis particular candy shop doesn’t come cheap, you’ll be sure to find at least one special item to enjoy.If you can control yourself and not fill up your basket Dylan’s is veryaffordable.
5) 7Star Replica Handbags
Up until today I thought knock off or “inspired,” handbags were just fake designer purses. You could buy them in China Town NYC, in a creepy secretive way and they break super easy and that’s that. However, woe as me was I wrong! As it turns out they(whomever they are) have a rating system for replica handbags. A seven star rated bag means that it’s the closest thing to real you can get and they’re made much better then the ones from China Town. As it turns out, you can get them online(bad idea) but they can also be found in select upsale resale shops like #1!In fact, I put a very nice Chanel number on layaway today.
6) TonyMoly Face Masks
If you want flawless skin, follow the lead of those who have it. This is where Korean Beauty comes in. Many of the “Asian persuasion,” have beautiful skin. Therefore, not too long ago Korean beauty products became popular. Not only are they exotic butalso fun, bubblemasks anyone? This particular line has a slew of very nice and effective face sheet masks. You might feel a little bit like Hannibal Lecter wearing it for 30 minutes but you’ll feel fabulous(and look it) after it’s off! You can find them on Amazon here.
7) The Jungle Book in 3D
This popular Children’s tale by RudyardKipling comes to life and in your face in this Disney directed film. It not only features the voices ofChristopher Walken, Bill Murray, and Scarlett Johansson, but the CGI and 3Danimation is stellar! All the animals are so well done you’ll just want to reach out and pet them pretty badly, especially if you love animals. Overall the storyline flows well, the visuals are great, and it will leave you smiling. Therefore go see it before it’s out of theaters!
And finally, the drink! A cool as a cucumber cilantro margarita that will refresh you and make others green with envy. Find the recipe here.
*blogged while drinking mango juice and listening to David Bowie 45’s*
Oh Monday, what can we say about you? For most of us you mean another too long work week. But for some you’re like the sunrise of a new day(or in this case week. With a myriad of new possibilities;a day to embark on missions to complete new goals and reach new heights. Whether you love it or hate it, it’s here. So, to make it a little better here’s a list of seven things to have on your “radar,” one for each day!
Wait a minute, there’s a website full of kitschy gifts and fun things I remember and loved as a kid!? Yup. If you’ve never quite grown up and want to still have some fun in this “grown up,” world consider checking out this website. Best of all it’s not too expensive! So, you can save up your pennies for the weekend or Disney World, whichever comes first. #2) Anonymous book sending
Do you love books? Is there one in particular that really helped you? Well, send it to some unsuspecting friend! Yup, if it’s something that could benefit someone you know, why not drop it in the mail and surprise someone? It’s even more fun when it is anonymous, because it becomes a gift for both of you. Not only will it potentially drive them nutty because of the anonymity, but the sudden appearance of a mysterious book will very likely prompt them to read it. Therefore, if your intention was for them to read it, mission accomplished! See, Monday is shaping up already.
#3) Pay it backward?
The next time you’re in a line, whether it’s in a car or on foot, buy the persons order behind you! It’s easier to do this anonymously in a drive thru. However, it’s not like you can’t whisper to the barista(or cashier) to pay for the person standing behind you either. This may cost you, but frankly it’s a lot of fun and you could start a chain reaction of kindness! Good deed done for the day? check.
#4) Dr. Caroline Leaf
Since my brain has become a large point of interest for doctors and me too, finding this knowledgeable Woman has been incredible. Forget the self help books, the gurus, and psychologists, listen to this lady! She has a show on television and can be found online as well. So, give Her a look here.
#5) Five Leaves Cafe, Greenpoint Brooklyn.
What can I say? Good food, Heath Ledger, and Brooklyn. Those words alone should sell you! This place is not only co-owned by the late actor Heath Ledger(before his death) but also pretty cute. The food is also good too. I had the pleasure of having brunch here on a sunny day next to a hoard of hungry hipsters. The service was sweet, the burger was delish, and I loved the location! So, give it a try cool guy(or gal) if you have the chance!\
#6) Siggis Yogurt
Yogurt, I think I’ve found your perfect form. Not only is this free of all the junk(no high fructose,colors,or extra sugar) but is also a very healthy and tasty treat. Not to mention, it’s Icelandic(Bjork fans rejoice! It also happens to use simple ingredients and not a lot of sugar. Dive in for a thick, creamy, tasty, and protein packed experience. People, just buy it.
#7) Conscious Beauty Products!
As I gazed into my drawer of old and new makeup products I thought “You only have one face.” I repeat, one face. Therefore you don’t really need 20 different overpriced eyeshadows, 6 high dollar lipsticks, and about 3 different kinds of mixing bases. I may be exaggerating but not really, and you get the idea… Just like fast fashion helps destroy the environment, so does the cosmetics industry. The production and consumption of beauty products has some not so pretty side effects on our world. To name a few, the chemicals in many products get into the environment and break down ecosystems, the waste from the packaging takes hundreds of years to decompose in landfills, and all that stuff going down your drain makes its way into our water systems. Not to mention the sheer amount of money these products cost. Walk into any beauty store and you can easily drop $100.00 in less than 30 minutes. It’s very likely your skin doesn’t want to be assaulted by three different kinds of skincare products in less than a month too. Just like any billionaire company, they make money off of making you think you need more. Some beauty companies may tout ‘natural’ on the label, but guess what? A higher demand for natural ingredients means more mining the Earth to get them fast and cheap. Therefore, certainly not sustainably. If you really want to help the Earth and your pocketbook, just stop buying so much of these pricey products.
And finally, cheers! with this agave margarita. Get the recipe here.
Love and compassion are necessities, not luxuries. Without them humanity cannot survive. -Dalai Lama
How much better could we understand each other, if we were ableto actually inhabit each other’s bodies? Like some version of the movie Freaky Friday.I certainly know that I wished someone could inhabit my body(other than me) so theycould better understand my point of view. However, there is the ability of empathy , but even that wasn’t enough for me or othersthat are in a crazy situation. Mere words were not enough, I wanted an absolute understanding and connection with someone. The support group I had gone to before,I left because it was too negative and seemingly a group of people sitting around griping and being sad.More recently I actuallyrevisited the group and found it to be better. Although, there was an overwhelming sentiment of people just wanting a relationship. Some had even never really had a romantic relationship. Whether romantic or not, it seems thatwell and“sick,” people are looking for a real connection. Why is that?Even in an age that is so well connected.What makes it so difficult to connect with another human? Have we built up our walls of protection to betoo resilient? Is it a lack of empathy?Perhaps it’s a mix of both. Whatever the reason, it’s clear that we need to be connecting to more than just the internet. Except for anyone in an isolated circumstance, the internetbecomes the connection. When you can’t really leave your house and your social life ishanging on by a thread, the internet offers some much neededsocialization. Personally, I’m very social and I like talking to people so this was crucial for me. However, what about those who only see a caregiver and don’t really use the computer!?I have often asked the Woman that comes over to help me, how much She knows about the other people Sheworks for. Of course, this is not done only to be nosy on my part. Knowing that some of those people likely desperately needa social life, why nothelp provide them withthat?Sadly, not everyone realizes how important that is until it happens to them. Again,where is thatbody switching machine!? We really do need more understanding among us. Since this occurred to me I have become so much more aware ofthe spirits inside ofsome people. The World may see a smelly, street person, but I see the person inside who really just needssome compassion and acknowledgement. You don’t have to be religious, a guru, or “new age,” tosee someonestrue spirit. You just need to pay attention in those places that the rest of the world(or those around you) ignore.
“Faces that have charmed us the most escape us the soonest.”- Walter Scott.
Everyone had left the room, so in earnest my Grandmother and Imade a rope of tied together bedsheets,and I put Her on my back andthrew the sheets out of the window. Thentogether We scaled down the side of the building and away to safety and intoaworld of happiness.At least that’s what I envisioned as I sat next to mydying Great Grandmother in a rehab facility bedroom. The family had come to the conclusion that She was soon to be departing Earth, so everyone had come to visit Grandma before She left. However, when I was left alone with Herwith this vision in my head, I started to describe the adventure We’d have together while She giggled. Of course in reality both of us were pretty much stuck in that room. I could no better sling Her on my back as much as She could make Herself young again. Sometimes, as hard as we try it seems impossible to change ourselves. Even though I wasn’t able to make our comic book adventures come true,it doesn’t mean thatnothing else is possible. In realityWe can’tall jump out of windows, even though in our dreams we can.Luckily, in thisWorld our dreams are possible ifgiven the right environment and the chance. Even though I may not have been able to whisk my Grandmother away, Her wisdom still remains. One that taught me to to get up andget dressedto meet the day even whenno one isgoing to see it. There’s something to be said for an effort thatdoesn’t beg forattentionbut is simply for ones self. This illustrates that youdon’t need validation from others to be complete.Atwhatever age until She was 97, my Grandmother got ready and dressed for the day even if She was alone just watching television. How appropriate that a Woman that had lived through the depression taught me to have class and to value what you have. By enduring an era that was so well acquainted with lacking Shelearned to value and appreciate whatShe did have. That’s something we all need to realize and work on.