Sunday, July 31, 2011

Get to Know Someone New!

As you've might have read around here before, finding happiness through health is where I've decided to focus my blog, and while I'm working on a lot of major structural changes to the setup of That's Better, I'm going to keep posting like usual until everything's up and ready to go.

...But in the mean time I'm SO GIDDY INSIDE!!!
It's so fun to think that today is the day I can start making my dream job become a reality and that anything I do today can bring me just that much closer to what I want to be doing in life: 
Inspiring people to be healthier in all areas of their lives, whether it's Mentally, Emotionally, Spiritually, Socially or Physically.   
I'm excited to share my passions and excitement with others, and my professional training, as well.  If big companies like Coke and Kellogs can utilize marketing strategies for negative health behaviors, then why shouldn't Public Health Professionals be able to use them for positive ones!?  

OK, I'll stop diverging from the original topic of this post, but I just wanted to let you know that I'm SO incredibly excited for where 'That's Better' is going and I hope that you are, too!  In the weeks to come I hope that you can catch the vision with me and commit to making your life a healthier one, as well.

But back to the title... :)

I've told you how much I just adore lunch dates with friends before, and since then I've kept the streak running with more and more of these events with amazing ladies from my networks.  Most recently, I had a chance to go to Mulan, a Taiwanese place, with Alane, and thought I'd just say again that lunch dates are such a great way to get to know someone new!!

And if you're lookin for a super simple and easy way to be happy, this is one that works!!  Don't believe me?  Give it a try :)  Ask someone you don't know that well, or someone you'd like to get to know better to go out to lunch, and see how it goes!  Chances are:

1.  They'll be flattered you asked.  (Most people are happy to be invited to do things with someone new, it means other people are interested in them.)
2. You'll get to try out a great new restaurant (usually of your choosing!)
3. You'll have a great time as you get to know someone new and develop your friendship!

Win-Win, hombres!!  So what are you waiting for? Go grab your calendar and text a friend you don't know that much about.  At the very least, it's a great networking opportunity and hey, they might even take a picture with you while making a monkey face with an orange :)

PS  Mulan is fantastic!!!  Highly recommend the Salt & Pepper Pork Chops!! :)  So good I forgot to put my fork down and take a picture!! 

Saturday, July 30, 2011

On Dealing With Pain.

Two stories for ya today on pain and how it is just an opportunity to improve things. :)

So last week after working out I set my running shoes under the bench in the locker room so I could grab a quick shower.  Of course, I have the memory of a goldfish and seeing as how I'd decided to sneak those lil buggers all the way under the bench, turns out I'd hid them so well even I forgot they were there!  Upon realizing this later the next day when I went to go grab them, I called the gym and, of course, they were nowhere to be found. :(  I was sooo angry!!

But, being angry wouldn't bring back my beautiful running shoes, all i could do was start where I was at and use it as a chance for improvement.  So began the search for a new pair of running shoes, which led me to these beautiful babies :)  

I've been wanting a pair of bright colored kicks for a bit now, and having my shoes stolen actually turned out to be a good thing because without it, I wouldn't have gotten this pair.  
Long story short- I love these shoes!  Why?

1- They are cherry red and that makes me happy
2- They make my gym outfits feel way more stylish
3- They make me want to go to the gym more bc I want to show them off :)
4- Believe it or not (this might sound super weird... haha) but they give me confidence because they are so loud and demand attention.  

And obviously, if you've got attention on you, you've got to be confident in it or ya look like a fool :)
So yay for my Red Runners :)

OK, second story on pain.  

And this one's a little bit more serious.  So I've grown up in a culture which seems to put a lot of pressure on marriage and the importance of being a wife and mother.  I believe in that, and I believe it's my destiny, but at the same time it's been a real tough time for me over the past year or so to see so many friends take the leap and just sit back on the sidelines and watch.  

I think there's a natural drive in us to want to be with another person and build that kind of amazing, strong and solid relationship that is special just for the two of you.  I want that, and I know that the Lord has something for me, but it's been a tough time waiting for it.  

I got a call yesterday from a really old family friend who's almost like a second mother to me.  She's so sweet and in following the promptings in her heart she called me out of the blue and we talked for a while, with the conversation eventually going to my dating life.  
And in Boston, it's been invisible.  

I talked to her about how I've felt this strong drive to want to start my own family, but ya know, it's kinda hard to do that on your own (shy of being Angelina Jolie...).  I'm not normally one to rely on others, so for me, having a goal which requires another person in order to achieve it has made it somewhat of a point of frustration for me.  I'm a very Type A person who likes to just see what needs to be done and do it.  That's not so easily done when you're To Do list looks like this:

1. Find a great guy who can be loyal to God and me above all else.
2. Make said guy's heart go pitty-pat.
3. Marry great guy and live happily till diapers come. ;)  

I've realized a bit though lately that instead of focusing on him I should just be focusing on me and becoming the right person myself.  
Then Rosemary told me that sometimes, it's like this:
You tell God, 'Lord, I'm wanting something for dinner.  I've thought about McDonalds and Burger King and Wendy's, and I just can't find what I'm looking for.'  But the Lord says, 'My sweet child, I've got a gourmet restaurant right around the corner for you.'

Sounds cheesy, I know, but I actually broke down in tears because I know that it's true.  Sometimes in life we just have to go through the rough times in order to become more refined so we can do the things we need to do later in life which require us to be better.  So here is my chance to be better.  Improve my relationship with the Lord, work on my own follies and foibles, and keep the faith that the Lord knows what He's doing.  
So in the end, the second story isn't near finished yet, but I know that with the right attitude and looking at it from the right perspective things will get better.  Ya know, growth = pain, and sometimes ya just gotta stick with it and know that pain is only temporary but totally worth going through.  :)

Friday, July 29, 2011

Boston Blogger Rendez-vous!!

So I love reading up on new blogs and 'meeting' new bloggers out there, and one I recently found that I think is adorable is cornflake dreams by Jillian who writes about all kinds of cool things from cute fashions to food (yum!) to life...  

And the best part??  

I found out Jillian is coming to Boston this fall!  And she's bringing tons of other blogging friends with her!  So when I read that anyone can register, duh, I hopped on that boat. :)  I'm so excited for the Rendez-vous: New England event in September and can't wait to meet other bloggers from around the area!  

Are you going?!?
'Cause ya should!

What are ya waitin for, sug?!  Register here!

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Sure, I'll Sign Autographs

Betchya didn't know I was a TV star, didja?  :)

So I posted earlier about a community fitness event we did at Copley Square in Boston with my internship at Healthworks Fitness Centers for Women, but what I didn't tell you was that I was interviewed to be on a local TV show for it!  It was kind of exhilarating and has since made me aware of the fact that on camera it looks like my lips are invisible.  Ha!

Have you tried Urban Rebounding or would you ever participate in a Community fitness event like this??

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

The Sweet Spirit.

So I had a really sweet experience tonight talking with someone who recently lost their Mom.  Having lost mine sweet Mom just over 3 years ago, this was the first time I've met someone since then who's gone through that same trial after me.  We talked for a few hours about how amazing both of our Mothers were and it was just so amazing to feel the sweet spirit of the Lord comfort my heart and testify that we can be together again someday.  I am so grateful that I have been blessed with the knowledge of the gospel of Jesus Christ and that I know that families can be sealed together forever so they can be reunited after they pass through the bonds of death.  I love my family and I love the Lord, and I am so thankful for everything that He does for me.  I say this in His name, even Jesus Christ, amen.

I hope that if anyone is reading this and going through that same trial of losing their Mother that I send you all my love and that you don't have to go through it alone.  If you ever want to talk to someone who's been there about dealing with it or anything at all please don't hesitate to let me or someone else know what you're going through.  For a long time I kept it all in and chose to deal with everything on my own, but it sure would have been nice to have someone who'd just gone through that challenge help me with m struggle, too.  I'm here for you and my  heart goes out to you.

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Be A 'Yes' Lady!

Oh my gosh, last week was so great!!
So I've been on the prowl for fun things to do this summer in
Boston that will help get me out of my comfort zone and,
lucky me, found this interesting little event called the
Forest Hills Lantern Festival.  
It's an annual event they have at the Forest Hill Cemetery,
(yup, you read that right... party with the perished..)
inspired by a Japanese Bon Festival.

And it was so much fun!!

There are Japanese performers going on for the first part of the festival, 
then the second part is where the fun really begins!!

Anyone who wants to participate can make their own lantern in memory of someone who's passed away to float on the cemetery lake.

They literally had hundreds of frames brought in so that people could 
decorate as many lanterns as they wanted.  
After you get your rice paper you can take 
it to the Japanese inscription artists who will draw one of 
four different characters on your lantern.  The sign says
 Choose One:
Eternal Life

It made me sad to think of what it would be like if we could only choose one in real life.  Though they are all interconnected I would hate to be void of any single one of them, let alone 3.

Because of my religious beliefs in Eternal Life and the fact that I was
making this lantern in memory of my Mother, I thought it best suited what I hope for the most. :)

So while I am NOT an artist AT ALL 
(which is why I craft instead of draw hahaha) 
I took a friend with me who was able to render this beautiful drawing 
of a house with a gorgeous sunset in it and a lovely garden set among rolling hills.  It was the first thing I could think of that my mother loved so much, the sunsets at our home in KY.  

I called my friend Ms Cleo because of the uncanny resemblance the picture has to my actual house in Kentucky.

And then I freestyled on the back with a lovely stick-figure family and the forging of my mothers beautiful signature, something I always tried to do in high school ;)

Though I know she's not here physically, I always try and keep her close to me spiritually and follow in her amazing footsteps of being a true Christian, a kind and loving person.
I love you, Mom!!

So despite the fact that the event was initially a little intimidating 
because it was held in a cemetery
(lil creepy, maybe?!)
I was for sure glad that I decided to say 'yes' to trying something new,
'cause if you don't get out of your comfort box,
you'll keep on being boxed in. :)

Sunday, July 17, 2011

Quick 'n Crafty. I like it...

I haven't done anything crafty in a long time since all my crafting goodies are in Kentucky, but the other day I was reading a few blogs and saw some ladies wearing these gorgeous flowers in their hair and decided that I had to have one.

So I made a quick trip to JoAnn's, bought a spring flower that was on sale since they've already started haulin' out their autumn decorations, and made a simple flowerband in all of 30 seconds.  :)  

Now that is what I call a quickie :)

Jordan's friend Bill (or was it Bob??) said it looked like I had a flower growing out of my head.  
I said thanks, Bob.  (or was it Bill??)
I love it too.

Boston Goes Boom!

So you know me, and you know one of my favorite mental releases is baking.  Luckily, the 4th just happened, so of course I got to try a new treat!  I ended up having to do be a bit mobile on the execution as our bbq kept transferring spots and things got a little hectic.  Either way, it still tasted delicioso and was healthy at the same time!  It was a simple angle food cake in a cake pan with a cool whip topping and fresh raspberries/blueberries.  Oh my gosh I want a piece right now...

Oh, and I love America!!!  THANK YOU SO SO MUCH TO ALL OF THE INCREDIBLY BRAVE MEN & WOMEN WHO SERVE OUR GREAT COUNTRY, AND TO THE AMAZING FAMILIES THAT SUPPORT THEM DAY IN AND DAY OUT!!!  Coming from a family where military service is standard for a majority of the men, I have been always had a great appreciation for the sacrifices it calls people to make and, consequently, they will always hold a special place in my heart.  :)  THANK YOU FOR KEEPING ME SAFE AND FOR KEEPING ME FREE!!

Here are some videos from the festivities in Boston down along the Charles River.  They had an awesome fireworks show (though not quite as stellar as Thunder Over Louisville is ;) ) and I loved that they had Martina McBride there belting out her song 'Independence Day' while accompanied by the Boston Pops.  Boston was a fantastic city to be in on the 4th of July and it was so cool to see Memorial Drive, the road that parallels the Charles River, packed with people from all walks and backgrounds of life all out celebrating something we all have in common: our freedom in this great country.

Boston thinks they're smart, even when it comes to packing fireworks to make them look like atoms :)  OK, I'll agree, that's stupid cool :)

I want the ones that are going off @ :17 and :26 for my wedding reception :)


Friday, July 15, 2011

Happy As A Kid: So Much Better!

I was reading in the Book of Mormon today in Mosiah 3 and there was one verse that struck me as I read it.  It says:

For the natural man is an enemy to God, and has been from the fall of Adam, and will be, forever and ever, unless he yields to the enticings of the Holy Spirit and putteth off the natural man and becometh a saint through the atonement of Christ the Lord, and becometh as a child, submissive, meek, humble, patient, full of love, willing to submit to all things which the Lord seeth fit to inflict upon him, even as a child down submit to his father.

It made me think of my pursuit of happiness and my purpose of this blog in helping me improve my life on a daily basis...  

It's so ironic and even slightly comical to me that as we get older and experience more of the world, we come to believe that we know more about how everything works and therefore how to control it.  In my 23 years on this Earth, however, it seems that somewhere along the way I forgot how to really be happy.    In trying to find my way back to a higher norm of daily happiness and not just satisfaction I've been led back to my Christian faith and letting my relationship with God help guide me back there.  I love this scripture and the fact that it resonated with me because children are so naturally happy!  

I think of my sister Veronica and her kids and they are so filled to the brim with joy that when you're around them you can't help but smile!  Seriously, try looking at them and not smiling, even just once!!

Aww lil' K! :)

OK, you get the point, these kids are cheesers and they are a great evidence that kids are naturally happy people.  It's so awesome that even though we, meaning adults, often think that we're the ones teaching them that it really does go both ways and they help show us a few things we can improve on.  

It's interesting, I was reading a study published in the journal Child Indicators Research that talked about children with different levels of hope and how they differed in self esteem, life satisfaction and family cohesion.   The study, conducted on ~300 middle-school children, found positive correlations between a child's level of hope and their internal levels of self esteem, life satisfaction and family cohesion.   I found one hypothesis of explanation for this to be particularly interesting as it suggested that children with high hope are less influenced by counterproductive negative emotions.  

This is so inspiring to me because I've found that harnessing my emotions and ridding my mind of negative thoughts right as they begin to creep into my mind helps me keep my mental focus on positive things and being happy!  

So, all in all, here's to the awe-inspiring example of children and how amazing they can be at teaching us a thing or two!  :)  If you want to be happier today (and who doesn't!?) then YOU try taking a pointer from a kid and focusing on the positive!!  Control your thoughts and you can control your destiny!!

Sow a thought, and you reap an action;
Sow an act, and you reap a habit;
Sow a habit, and you reap a character;
Sow a character, and you reap a destiny.
-R.W. Emerson

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Community Health Events: Much Better!!

I love love loove events that encourage the community to be more active, and in my current practicum position @ Healthworks I've been able to promote numerous activities which focus on just that- getting people to get up and move it!  Most of these events are free classes which we normally have in the club but move outside for anyone to join in on!  (Think Zumba, kickboxing, etc...)

Our latest venture was an Urban Rebounding class at Copley Square, a beautiful community grass area across from one of my favorite buildings in Boston, the Boston Public Library.  Here are some pictures from the event, the weather was much more uncooperative than we wanted!!  Definitely wet from not just sweat but the rain!  Oh well, it felt kinda nice since it was a little warm!

I love these kinds of events so much because they model engaging, positive health behaviors to the community.  This is Public Health in ACTION!  This is AWESOME!!

This little boy was sooo cute!!!

Maria is awesome!!  Lovee her energy level, totally contagious!

Healthworks Marketing Department +1 Secret Weapon

This was one of the pictures we used for the promo materials.  Recognize those Thunder Thighs??! ;) 

Saturday, July 9, 2011

'Key'p Yo Mind Balanced

So my friend Shaun had a birthday a little while ago, and in a semi-selfish move I thought I'd do both him and I a favor by making him a Key Lime Pie to celebrate.  Not only do I get to benefit from baking by getting time to myself and the chance to try out a new recipe, but he gets to enjoy it as well by scarfing it down after work.  :)  Yay mental health and yummies in my tummy!

Shaun and I @ the lovely Papas 

Shaun may or may not look like the guy from this photo here: 

So the pie was a suppper easy one to make, here's everything you need!  I used Emeril Lagasse's recipe found here.  Seriously it's probably a two step pie, mix and chill... you can't ask for anything easier!

I may or may not have been rocking out to some sweet Usher while the pie was chillin in the fridge... 

Finished pie!  Yummyyy!!

Till next time, biotch.  Deuces.

Sunday, July 3, 2011

Judging Books. Or People...

Generally speaking, I'd like to think I'm a pretty non-judgmental person.  Unless it's one of the Real Housewives, a new flavor of M&Ms or some ridiculous fool posting a video of themselves on the internet that should only end up being ridiculed on Tosh.O (see post below ;) ), and rightfully so, I'd like to think of my mind as a judgment-free zone for people!  No need to worry about what I'm going to think of you, I see failure as a learning opportunity and success as a stepping stone towards something even better.  Yada yada yada. :)

Yes ladies, I judge you :)  As does everyone else in America for how insanely...bright (hahahaha!!) you all are :)

But in all seriousness, I really do try to keep an open mind about all things, including people.  This weekend, however, I realized that I'm not quite so awesome at that gig as I thought I was, and in the process I ended up learning a really good lesson about not judging people simply by their outward appearance.  In keeping with the purpose of this blog, trying to improve some aspect of my life every day so I don't just end up years down the road in the same position I started in, and continuing on the topics of mental and emotional health (things I think everyone can work on improving) I just wanted to put in a little plug for self-analyzation and looking for ways in which we might not be as perfect at something as we think we are.

Simple Case Study:  I went to a bbq this weekend (love these!!) where I didn't know anyone except those I came with.  After visually scanning the crowd I initially found it difficult to find someone to go chat with outside of the group I'd arrived with because no one seemed to look like me.  Isn't it funny how we can be comfortable with some complete strangers more than others, simply because they look more like us than others might??  Anyways, I finally grew a proverbial pair and got out of my bubble and started talking to people.

Um, can I just say we had some great conversations that night?!  In keeping with one of my favorite things about Boston, I had more refreshingly intellectual conversations that night than I've had in a while, and it was really great to experience that, as well as have total strangers teach me a lesson or two about judging.

So even when you might think you're totally great at something, there's no way you're perfect at it, and sometimes it just takes being thrown a curve ball for you to realize where your weaknesses are.  So while I might not judge people for what they say, I guess I didn't realize that sometimes I was judging them before they'd even had a chance to say anything at all.

Don't I seem great?  Haha

Anyways, one way or another, if you think you're not judgmental too, chances are there's some way you are.  :)  The trick is to figure out how and fix it.  And remember, it's not enough recognize your flaw, you have to actually change it if you want to change yourself. :)