Monday, August 22, 2011

Presentation with Typography

So I'm hard at work on some fun projects right now, and stumbled upon this amazing graphic on Typography I just had to share!  
With visual stimulators being the primary method through which we take in information, it is critically important to present things in visually the right way so as to appeal to your audience most effectively.  


Check out the original post here: 

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Rendez-Vous Reminder!

Just a reminder about Rendez-Vous: New England Blogger event!!  

It's coming up in 3 1/2 weeks and registration is still open for any New England area bloggers interested in joining!  We'll be going on an amazing chocolate tour of Boston, organized by the wonderful Jillian of  cornflake dreams!  Yumm! 

Are you going?!?
'Cause ya should!

Saturday, August 13, 2011

On Being Friends With Girls... and New York!!

I have been completely MIA this week thanks to moving, finishing my internship, packing for Utah (yay!!) and getting things ready for my practicum presentation.  Whew!  Even just saying it all makes me get a little antsy!  haha 

But I wanted to post about my recent trip to NY to go visit some girlfriends from high school.  

L-R Me, Jess, and Krissy outside the MFA getting ready to go see the Alexander McQueen exhibit.  It was amazing!!

So, little confession to make here, but I think it's one that a lot of girls similar to me can identify with and benefit from, so I'm sharing it.  Growing up, most of my really close friends were all guys.  I think it was part a result of what was available and part a result of having developed a misconception about the relationships I was supposed to have with other girls.  

Somewhere along the lines I developed this notion that girls were generally people I had to compete with if I wanted to do anything successfully.  If I wanted to be Student Senate president in high school, I had to beat the other girls running for it.  If I wanted to be friends with the cool kids, I had to be cooler than the other girls.  If I wanted to date a cute guy, I had to be prettier than the other girls.  It was all about competing with the other girls, but it totally shouldn't have been!  

As I got further through college I was lucky enough to meet some amazingly great girls who showed me we didn't have to compete all the time and even that together we could do more than if we were just trying to succeed on our own.  

Having great girlfriends, not just girls your friends with, can afford you some of the best times in life!  They offer similar perspectives on things, understand how to empathize, and can simply relate better to wherever it is you're coming from.  Girls love to talk, and a lot of times, just chatting about things can help improve your day while strengthening your relationship and your bond with each other!

Outside the MFA again :) 

My beautifully bubbly friend Carissa, such a great girl!!  She is always super nice and happy and I love her for that!!

Magnolia Bakery is delicious!!

So over the years I've come to realize though that it takes work when you're trying to change years of unhealthy social behavior.  But it definitely is possible if you have some good staple standards up your sleeve, and here are some you might want to try if you're working on developing a better friendship with your girlfriends (or any friends!)

1. Be nice to people.  Seriously, it seems like a no-brainer, but oftentimes we as girls are super quick to judge and criticize each other.  Stop it!  That puts people on the defense and then they're really not going to be your friend.  

2. Compliment the other person on something or show sincere appreciation for something.  This is a great way to break the ice when talking to someone, and obviously helps build your relationship.

3. Be a good listener.  Pay attention to your friends when they talk!

4. Do things together that you enjoy! Um, spa day anyone? ;)

The girls after getting home from church on Sunday!  Our shoes were hurting, so barefoot it was! :)

In the end, no one can replace a really great girlfriend.  I only wish I'd learned about these amazing relationships before now!!  But hey, since September is coming and that's apparently National Women's Friendship Month, go celebrate by planning a fun girls night out!!  Gotta love reasons to celebrate! ;)

Saturday, August 6, 2011

Get Up and Work Out!!

If you don't work out, 
you should!

It's so good great for you {in so many ways, too} and really, the only thing keeping you from doing it is yourself.  Yes, blah, blah, blah, we all can give excuses for why we 'couldn't get up earlier this morning' or 'didn't want to carry our gym clothes to work today', but seriously, if you give it a chance and change the way you look at your workout then you'll start to fall in love with it and it can change the way you look at your life!

Instead of seeing the gym {or the outdoors} as an awful place that requires tons of time, energy and the right mood, think about the wonderful things the gym can do for you mind and your body!  

Including, but not limited to:
-brightening your mood
-raising your energy level {times about 100!}
-increasing your metabolism {aka how fast you burn calories throughout the day}
-provide you a time to mentally release and allow 
your mind to just THINK
-give you time to emotionally work out things, like stress or frustration 

So remember these sweet buys?

Ya, so they've definitely been gettin' me into the gym more, but because of the free gym membership I've had this year thanks to the $20k/semester tuition... {can you say 'deal' 'steal'?! haha} I've been way better at being consistent with my 5+ mile runs. 
And these definitely get you in shape!

Over the past year I've not only lost more than 20 big fat L-Bs thanks to these runs, but I've also dropped from a 10/12 back down to a 6/8.  Um, LOVE THE GYM!! :)  My BMI has gone from a 26 to a 22, and I have grown to love the skin I'm in.  I've never felt this confident in my body my entire life, and I've always been athletic!  
Random pictures over the years... I'm definitely a pear shape!! :)
That's not to say that I don't have bad days or times when I just don't feel like startin the GTL of the day, but over the months I've come to realize some great points for anyone who wants to start increasing their distance on the treadmill {or the sidewalk} :)  We're equal opportunity exercisers around here :)  

So lace up your own colored kicks and lets hit it!

7 Easy 'Steps' to Running Up the Mileage on Your Treadmill

1. Strength train before you hit the ground running.  Not only does this increase the rate you burn calories at, but it jumpstarts your energy levels and helps warm up your muscles.

2. Slowly increase your speed throughout your run.  Once you find your sweet spot {the pace your body can run at for miles and not give you cramps}, cruise at it.  Starting out you may find yourself around an 12-13 min mile, depending on your recent cardio training, but gradually increase your speed until you hit that sweet spot.

3. Do something to distract yourself.  AKA don't watch the clock!  I like to watch the Food Network {seriously!!}.  It's one of my guilty pleasures, and I don't feel so bad watching TV if I'm working out while I do it!  I also pop in my headphones and just jam out to some sweet tunes.  It's fun to get songs that match your cadence, too, and oftentimes that can also push me to run faster.

4. Kick up the pace for your last mile.  I do this in increments, again, at 1 mi, .5 mi and .25 mi till I've hit my goal distance for the day.  Nothin' like a good sprint to the {imaginary} finish line!

5. DO NOT FORGET COOL DOWN!  This helps bring your heart rate back to normal while also giving your insides time to settle.  If I skip this one, someone's usually gonna yak (especially if I've done #4 right!) 

6. S-T-R-E-T-C-H.  Revel in the chill you feel on your quadriceps and hamstrings.  That means they've been working.  A lot.  Nicee.

7.  Stick with it!!!  I aim for 3-4 solid cardio sessions/week.  Planning these ahead of time on your calendar makes them happen a lot more assuredly and at the end of the week {er, day... :)  } you'll know you've earned your chocolate cake.

{Go here to learn of my obsession for chocolate cake.}

But seriously, we all know how important it is to work out, and you really won't know the benefits of reaching your fitness goals until you've attained them.  So I've said it before, but I'll say it again.  

If you don't work out, 
you should!

This is my blubbery self back in '09 with my Grannie in Texas.  Me oh my how that face is padded with cheeks!! :)   Love ya Gran!!

Friday, August 5, 2011

'Me' Time

In the past few months since I've been on this self-evaluative journey I've realized that one thing that's crucial in order for me to keep my sanity is having time for myself to do some of the things I like.

Such as:
-enjoying the sunshine in the summertime
-being physically active
-reading new books that let me explore
-cooking/baking delicious bites for me to eat

Setting aside time so you can do the little things you enjoy in life is necessary.  It's easy get to the end of a week, a month, or a semester and look back and realize you haven't enjoyed it all that much because you've been too preoccupied with other things in life.  Those other things may be important, but the internal balance that comes from enjoying even the little nuances in your life which make you happy bring not only mental stability, but emotional stability as well.  

As I've said, one of my favorite things to do is be outside and enjoy the sunshine, especially during the summer.  I can't seem to get enough of the brilliant sun and love how it warms every inch of my skin.  

On pretty much any given week you can find me at the park or by the reservoir at least 3-4 times with my blanket, a book and some sunglasses, just enjoying the day.  

I love me time!
 I usually end up taking a ton of stuff and only have time to get to 1/2 of it!  

Except last time when I went, there was this awful satan duck that kept getting daringly closer and closer to me.  I kept having to stand up and show it that I was bigger than it in order to get it to run a few waddles away!  It was so awkward whenever people would walk by because I didn't want to seem like I was a crazy person trying to pick a fight with a duck, but seriously the thing wouldn't go away!  
Braveheart the Duck.

Aight homes, it's 10.30a, and early enough for me to go hit the gym and the park before I go see my new Brownstone in Brookline!!  I'm so excited to move back into the city again!  

OK, I'm going to get my 'me time', go get yours!  Deuces!

 PS What DO you do for your 'me' time?  I think it's so interesting to hear how others keep a good mental balance!

Thursday, August 4, 2011

'arry Potta

So this is definitely just a fun post, but I had to share it because it was so awesome!   

I'm definitely a Harry Potter movie fan, but to say that I'm in love with them goes a little too far.  On the other hand, my friend Chelsea LOOVES Harry Potter, and for the past 3 years has been hosting a Harry Potter party at her house for each of the past movies.  

And can I just say, Chelsea knows how to throw a party!!  That girl had the most delectable treats, all in Harry Potter theme of course, bubbling magic potions and even dark side tattoos we all put on so you'd know we were serious when we went to the midnight showing afterwards! :)

Some of Chels' delicious treats! 
On the way to the movie it came out that I've never read any of the books, nor seen any of the other films at a midnight showing.  To which the ever-hilarious Colleen responded, "So why are you here?!!"

Well Colleen, I was there for the tattoo!!  :)  How sweet is this bad boy?!

Here we are at the movie after it got out, proudly bearing our Death Eater tats. :)  In my opinion tey were wayy better than any of the costumes people wore.

But I may be biased... :)

It was a great experience for my first midnight showing of a movie!  Too bad no more Harry Potter movies so I could go to another one! :)