Friday, July 20, 2012

Reading Material

I love finding a good article online and love finding recommended reading from other bloggers, as it is almost like a mini book club of sorts. I have read some things lately that have really resonated with me for different reasons. A few thoughts on some of the things I have been reading lately for you:


Some of you may have see the article about the "Pledge Prep" article that ran in the New York Times. My first reaction was shamefully "Wow, I want that job". What has followed in the past few days has been many voices from my connections into the Greek community about how ridiculous the article was and how it brings up one of the most fundamentally sticky issues of sorority or fraternity membership.

You have to have new members to stay alive. Recruitment is your blood line. It is the metric for a healthy chapter, and a chapter that is sustainable. Recruitment is an emotional experience for anyone who has been through it. You are picking an organization that you will forever associate yourself with. It is not a four year commitment. It is a lifetime. Not a lifetime of volunteering, or wearing your letters, or chanting Boom Boom (It certainly can be if you want--which I do) but sorority life brings to you some of the best friends you will ever have, and some of the best memories you will ever create. That is a big decision when you are deciding which letters to wear.

As much stress that recruitment can bring, I do have to say the Response to "Pledge Prep" published over at Phired Up, brings up some of the changes that the Greek community needs to address and also reminded me that my experience taught me that sorority life is anything but a scripted, superficial experience and we as alum and members of the Greek community need to make change to ensure that the experience as a whole-from recruitment to alumni experience is meaningful and empowering.


Through reading a Cup of Jo I was led to a huff post article on 15 Ways to Stay Married for 15 Years. Not only do I LOVE weddings. I love marriage. I love the idea of it, I love knowing that you can spend yourself tied to someone who you just can't get enough of for the rest of your life.

I also am realistic. Life experiences and cold hard facts of life have shaped me into someone who is cautious and protective of my heart. I am firm believer in finding those people who are happily married, and have great relationships and learn from them. Soak up their philosophies, their tips and tricks, and mindset that contribute to a happy and healthy marriage. This article has real, practical, and a not-too-serious-but-just-serious-enough advice. I know there are parts of this that I have tucked away for my relationships and one-day marriage.

I particularly liked point 10. "Stop thinking temporarily". Here is an excerpt that I found incredibly poignant and moving:

"Marriage is not conditional. It is permanent. Your husband will be with you until you die. That is a given. It sounds obvious, but really making it a given is hard. You tend to think in "ifs" and "thens" even when you've publicly committed to forever."

"Accept that you're going to stay with him. He's going to stay with you. Inhabit that and figure out how to make THAT work, instead of living with the "what if"s and "in case of's."

The other point that really stuck was number 15: "Trust the person you married"

" Harder to be loved than to love."

Say what?

But it is true.

"Love them completely and let them love you. If it all goes to seed, it's going to hurt either way. Better to have gone into it full throttle. Full throttle marriage is a thrilling ride."

Read the article. I loved it.


Finally. Making friends as an adult. Hard shit. This article explains it all so well. If you aren't near your college friends, I am sure you can relate to this just as I have.

There you go my friends! Some reading material to keep you occupied and thinking.

Anyone else have some good reads lately?

Thursday, July 12, 2012

I am, I was, I want to be: Work Edition

I wrote this post a long long long long time ago. An old sorority fireside tradition that I should make more regular. But here is a work edition of I am, I was, I want to be.

I am...

really struggling to find motivation with the items that don't have pressing deadlines.

I was...

so stressed that I was going to fail at doing my job a few months ago and am relieve that I have found that I did just fine.

I want to be...

more creative with what I know and applying that to my job. There is a lot I can expand upon if I just carved out the time.

What Really Gets Me

Seeing a man carry flowers.

I have no idea where these flowers are going. Maybe they are
  • going home to his wife/girlfriend/SO for an anniversary or birthday. Or maybe just because he loves someon
  • for his daughter after her dance recital
  • for a sick friend
  • to congratulate someone on a new baby
  • for a co-worker who needs a pick-me-up
  • for his mother who he hasn't seen in weeks because he has been too busy with work
Regardless, it makes me smile. While flowers don't last; they wilt and you can't keep them forever- I think that is what makes them so special.

Such a gesture of affection.

They don't last, they are sunk money, and something you don't have forever. In a way they represent an acknowledgement that a reason for flowers can be just a fleeting as the flowers themselves. Bringing them home to the person you love just because at a certain moment you remembered how pretty they looked or how well they fold your socks.

It gets me. Tugs right at my heart strings. Makes me smile at the guy carrying them and restores my faith in the belief that there is always more good than bad in the world. So thank you to all the flower carrying men in the world.

Monday, July 9, 2012

My Mom Makes My Heart Sing & The Easter Bunny

For anyone who knows me, it will come as no surprise that I am crier. I don't like to cry, and it usually happens in the worst situations when I want to be strong. The pattern I see is that I cry about things that are so very very very important to me. I don't cry over everything, but when I do cry. I CRY.

Well to my adorable story that gives me warm fuzzies and makes me smile in and out. After my post yesterday about the Salt Water Sandals, I got an email from my Mom today. Now, another thing I am sure most of you have picked up on, is that one of my biggest dislikes of being on the LEast coast is not being able to around my family. To put it lightly- I love my family, and they kind of rock.

So back to the email.

My mom wrote me this cute email where she told me she loved my purple salt waters from when I was little and that she wants to buy me a pair as a congrats for passing my PHR. Needless to say, it was such a cute and nice email, so I started crying. Not like ugly cry. But happy cry, because again- my family is amazing. My mom is the cutest and she has always been one of the most thoughtful people. She seems to always know what my heart truly desires and has figured out a way to make it happen.

To go off on a memory tangent here...when I was little we were shopping at Albertson's (big grocery store back on the Best Coast) right before Easter. There were always these stuffed animals that would hang from a chain hanging from the ceiling by the check-outs. Well there was this large (we are talking at least 2/3 feet tall) fuzzy yellow bunny that was holding a stuffed orange carrot. He also had these long bunny ears that were lined with a satin pink fabric that could entice any little girl. I locked eyes with that bunny and it was L-O-V-E. I wanted that rabbit more than my pre-ten-year-old-self could comprehend.

Well Easter rolls around, and I remember dragging myself upstairs (I have NEVER been a morning person- ask ANYONE I have ever known and they will tell you so) to find our Easter baskets brimming full of candy and treats from the "Easter Bunny". Now our family "Eastern Bunny" always went far beyond just bringing chocolate, Peeps, and jelly beans. Our bunny brought gifts. I can't remember what my sister got that year, but I moped off to the "green room" (it had teal carpet at the time) to mourn the fact that my stuffed bunny was not in my basket.

I was just about to sit in my favorite chair and THERE was my BUNNY! I grabbed him, wrapped my arms around him and came trotting out to the kitchen with the biggest smile on my face.

We still talk about how happy that bunny made me, and how big my smile was.

Now I am all weepy. But case-in-point. My family "Easter Bunny" is pretty amazing.

Thanks mom for the email! You made my day week, possibly month! Love you! mom votes red for the sandals. I am leaning that way too!

Sunday, July 8, 2012

Fashion Repeater

When I was little my mom got me these fantastic purple Hoy Salt Water Sandals. I loved them. They were purple. They were sandals and I think I wore them every day for the summers that they fit. So Naomi over at Rockstar Diaries has herself and her adorbs daughter Eleanor decked out in red salt waters. Seeing these cute shoes again reminded me how much I loved mine when I was little and put me on a quest to find an adult pair. I have tracked down the women's version at, and now I just need someone to help me pick between the silver or the red pair! (Oh and someone who wants to get me a new pair of shoes :) )

What do you all say? Red or Silver?

Friday, July 6, 2012

Empire State- New York Day Two Cont.

After the ESB adventure we started walking up 5th Avenue in pursuit of a macaroon shop I had seen over at Amanda's Blog.It was the perfect walk to see many of the New York-y things I had wanted to stumble upon.
We had been walking and my neck was starting to get sore from starring up at all the amazing buildings when I saw it. My feet immediately did the excited scuttle step that the bf says I do when I get excited about something. But there it was. Magnolia. Cupcake mecca.

We had to try the vanilla/vanilla cupcake that has been the focus of my cupcake baking for awhile now. The cupcake did not disappoint. The cake was incredible, and true to form--the frosting was beyond yummy. The store was really cute and I even found a "Baked Fresh" onesie for Miss Ava!
We pressed on despite our feet really starting to get tired at this point.

But then the fun really started. The story goes like this: We are walking, nearing Central Park and the boyfriend goes, "Hey, we should get you a crazy extravagant engagement ring, and matching necklace. Because I just love you that much". I naturally couldn't refuse. So off to Harry Winston we went.
And I decided on this ring and complimentary necklace. Well the boyfriend decided that Tiffany’s was more our style and since we were right cross the street….

Ok. I kid. I kid. There was no ring shopping. Well not past window shopping and my wishful thinking!
So as I mentioned, Amanda had written about some of her favorite places to snag a macaroon in New York. One of her pictures in particular really caught my eye. There were 8 little perfect macaroons nestled in a cute little box that had POODLES on it. Well I had to have this box. So we tracked down Macaroon Café.  The box did not fail to have adorable little poodles on it, and it is one of my favorite souvenirs from NY. Both the boyfriend and I are yet to to be completely sold on macaroons, but we did vote that the less “florally” flavors were the best. I loved the mocha and traditional vanilla. It was fun to sit in the park with our ice tea and treats and got to people watch.

We found a perfect little bench to plop on to rest our feet and I could have sat there forever! Central Park has a magical quality to it that had me head over heels in love.


After people watching for an hour or so and walking around the little lake we headed back to our hotel to relax before celebrating our version of Valentine’s day.
I am a celebrity chef groupie, and I have a particular interest in the Top Chef contestants. For dinner the boyfriend treated me to an amazing meal at Tom Colicchio’s restaurant: Colicciho & Sons.
The food was incredible and the décor was really well done. We bailed into a cab to avoid a horrible rain storm and quickly crashed after our very full day in our big comfortable hotel bed.
Our last day was brief due to the rain and without any photos, but I do have some fun things to share!

Thursday, July 5, 2012

Talking Walls

I've spent my evening trying to get my fancy new iPad up and ready to do some blogging. I purchased the Blogsy app and spent some time getting acquainted with that. Hopefully I will shed the bulky laptop and be on my way to iPad blogging!

Speaking of shedding things. Go with me here and I promise I will finish New York posts. I keep tending to go back, literally, physically, going back to places that make me feel disoriented and lost. It is amazing how a place. A physical place--can hold memories. A vessel of intangible thoughts and feelings that you seem to run into in just that place. Have you noticed that? The words "if walls could talk"...well I am starting to wish I could hear the story some of the walls I have been in would say.

It is hard to let go of memories, because with memories are the idea that there may be another course your life could have taken. You can analyze memories and see where they could have led you, or better see how they were leading you somewhere.

There can be a muscle memory to being somewhere. Despite time passing, and you retraining yourself to adapt to a new place, you can still find yourself falling back into old habits without effort.

I know this is one of those illusive posts that no one likes, but this is my blog, no? (Just kidding). But if I have learned anything from my young professional life, it is to keep my professional life away from my blog and personal life. So this is the dividing line. A cryptic post about feeling totally disjointed tonight and unsettled.

Hopefully nothing that a good nights sleep can't fix!