Ever-Changing Reflection

Your pain is the breaking of the shell that encloses your understanding... It is the bitter potion by which the physician within you heals your sick self. Therefore trust the physician, and drink his remedy in silence and tranquility.
~ Kahlil Gibran

Friday, July 30, 2010

I've been dreaming of you all week long.

Hmmmm... Friday... let it float around your brain for a minute. Doesn't it feel good? 

This happens to be a Fill in the Blank Friday, which I heart. Know what I also heart? My two new readers! Welcome! Everyone say hello. We're now up to 70, friends. I love how this little Nifer community is blossoming. 

Since there are so many of you, I really hope you will post these blanks with your answers on your blog. If you do, link up on Lauren's blog and comment here so I can read your answers. This week's theme seems to be sleep, of which I plan on getting a lot of this weekend!

1.  The last thing I do before going to sleep is      give Jed and Morris (my dog) a good night kiss  .

2.  When I can't sleep I     toss and turn and stress out, which totally does not help the situation .

3.  The first thing I do when I wake up is     take Morris out to pee and then I get to pee   .

4.  When I'm tired I      am a bitch to be around. Sleep is my priority. I do not function tired   .

5.  My dream bedroom would be     white and pale tan. Calming, welcoming and soothing with a beachy, casual feel. Big and airy with French doors out to a balcony or deck, skylights so I can see the stars as I fall asleep, and a luxurious master bathroom attached, complete with jetted soaking tub and two-person walk-in shower.

6.  If I could wake up anywhere tomorrow morning it would be       on a cruise ship, docking in Hawaii   .

7.  The longest sleep I've ever had was      after a very bad hangover    .

8.  I sleep on my     stomach or my side. Rarely, I will wake up on my back and surprise myself .

9.  When I sleep, I like to wear        cotton PJ pants, capris or shorts, usually with t-shirts  .

10.  My bedtime is usually      between 10 and midnight during the week. If we're out doing stuff on the weekends, it can get as late as 3am before my head hits the pillow    .

What are your plans this weekend? I don't have many, which I'm perfectly fine with since my main objective is to relax, rest and get over this yucky cold. Tomorrow, however, there will be a cookout at my BFF's house complete with s'mores and a dip in the hot tub. We may or may not have a girls' shopping outing in the afternoon as well.

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Late one Wednesday night...

{one} if you could rid the world of one thing, what would it be?
Terminal illness. No one should ever have to face that, ever.
{two} if you could go on vacation for the next month with an unlimited budget, where would you go?
Do I have to pick just one place? Ok, of course not, unlimited budget for a month... I'd travel all around Europe: Italy, Greece, Ireland, Germany, Poland, England, France, Belgium... you get the idea.
{three} cats or dogs?
I was never a dog person, but now I am so a dog person. Plus, they come hypoallergenic, and that's hard to find in cats.

{four} would you rather date a lot of people or be in a committed relationship?
I tried, and I couldn't handle, dating a lot of people. It's just not me. I'm a hopelessly committed romantic.
{five} would you rather own a luxury yacht or a private jet?
Gimme the yacht! I'm not a good flier, and I adore the water.
{six} what was the last book you read?
"Marketing for Dummies" by Alexander Hiam. I'm just starting "The 22 Immutable Laws Of Marketing" by Al Ries and Jack Trout.
{seven} would you rather be really hot or really cold?
Really cold. I can always layer more.
{eight} if you could change your name, what would you change it to?
Samantha. I always loved that name.
{nine} what did you dream about last night?
I don't remember. I'm sick and I was medicated, so that doesn't make for a good dream-memory state.
{ten} if you had to throw away either your tv or your computer, which would you throw away?
Bye bye TV. I'm trying to withdraw from it as much as I can, so the choice is easy. Plus, I could always watch my shows on the computer.

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

"Bachelorette" Men Tell Nothing New

We are one week away from finding out Ali's fate on The Bachelorette. Will it be Chris or Roberto? I have no idea; I like them both, although I'm slightly more attracted to Roberto. I'm hoping Ali knows! Ha ha. I really think she would have picked Frank if the whole thing didn't go up in flames in Tahiti, and that would have disappointed me to no end. I lost all respect for Frank when he started whining about the other guys' existence in Ali's romantic life.

Also in one week, we will be introduced to The Bachelor Pad. Lord help us. I'm not quite sure what the purpose of this show is -- something about $250,000 -- but it looks like a shit show. Seriously. First of all, last night's previews showed that both Craig M. (who was not in attendance for The Men Tell All) and Jonathan, a.k.a. "The Weatherman," are on the show. Whoa... I wonder if their drama will continue. I don't know if I could take much more of that. Second, Jessie, from Jake's season of The Bachelor and of I'm-going-to-rat-out-Justin-to-Ali fame, is on the show. I read, last week, that after last night's filming of The Men Tell All (ugh, they said nothing we didn't already know), Jessie and Kirk "felt a connection." Yes, Ali's "friend" Jessie from last season is supposedly dating Kirk, the fourth-to-last guy Ali eliminated. Hmmm... interesting. I'd like to see how this plays out on the new show.

Ok, about last night's episode.

Kasey proved he can come up with a catchy, original tune when he sang to Ali, after EVERYONE blatantly made fun of him all night to his face.

Justin didn't show, Frank didn't show and Craig M. didn't show. Three guys I really wanted to see.

Chris, a.k.a. "The Phantom," spoke more than anyone has ever heard him speak. His phantom segment was probably the funniest part of last night's episode. That had me rolling.

I was shocked Jonathan kept his mouth shut as much as he did.

I wanted to hear more from Ty. I liked him.

I also wanted to hear more from the guys that were cut right away. Like the "Outdoorsman." Is that a profession? Legitimately? Someone please explain to me what an outdoorsman does because I really always considered that a hobby, not a career.

The best part of the show was Chris Harrison. He should win an Emmy. I love that guy, and he would be the one I would hand the last rose to if I was a bachelorette. He has been there for Ali so much, and he's pretty cute.

Did you guys bother tuning into last night's special episode? Will you watch next week's finale? Who gets your vote: Chris or Roberto? ... Or maybe someone who was already eliminated?

Sorry if this post is a little all over the place. I'm sick (again!), and I'm a tad scatter-brained. Oh, and before we wrap, I'm sending a huge congratulations and best wishes and a happy birthday to the Lawlors, who welcomed Baby S this morning!

{Image via Ali's Bachelorette Blog}

Monday, July 26, 2010

What I'm Reading: Marketing Edition

I stumbled upon this meme, hosted by Sheila, via Classy in Philadelphia. Since I am upping the ante and trying to read a book every week (or two) so I can blast through my 30-before-30 list before my 30th birthday, I thought I would play along. Maybe this can be a second accountability factor for me.

Last week, I finished reading The New Rules of Marketing and PR by David Meerman Scott (who blogs at Web Ink Now). My boss recommended this book to me, and I have to admit, I really enjoyed it! I thought it was well written and authoritative, and it gave me some great ideas to implement in my new marketing role. I'm a marketing rookie, and I have never taken a marketing class, so this book was really helpful in making me feel more confident. I would highly recommend this book to anyone working in marketing or PR, or anyone interested in marketing.

This week, I'm working my way through Marketing for Dummies by Alexander Hiam -- also on the list of books to read from my boss. I'm only about 40% into this book, but I'm not relating to it like I did with Scott's book. This is a real dumbed-down approach to marketing, and so much of it seems common sense to me. Of the For Dummies books I've browsed, I'm not a big fan. They make for handy basic reference guides, and that is about it. I'm gaining some knowledge -- because I suppose I am a marketing dummy -- but I'm not feeling inspired like I was reading The New Rules of Marketing and PR.

Next week, I'm hoping to get my hands on The 22 Immutable Laws of Marketing by Al Ries and Jack Trout. You guessed it, another work recommendation. I want to get through the four books recommended to me before I dive into my more "fun" 30-before-30; that way, I'll be all read up on the marketing world and ready to put my ideas into practice. Let me tell you, though, after four non-fiction marketing books (that I'm sure I would have read in college if I was a marketing major, that's what it feels like anyway), I'm so ready for a nice juicy fiction novel! I need a little break from reality.

What are you reading right now? Are you on Goodreads (please friend me if you are!)? Have you read any of these books?

Friday, July 23, 2010

Where are my blanks???

No Fill in the Blank Friday today. Oh no, poor Lauren had a rough night last night -- you can read her blog to see why. Today, friends, we are doing Roses and Thorns. I know, I know, I love it too! <-- Me being a complete dork today because I can't think straight.

Roses to raindrops today because I don't have to water the plants! Natural watering is always best, IMHO.

Roses to going to the beach tomorrow.

Roses to going to a cookout tomorrow night.

Roses to the weekend! I freakin' lurve weekends. Don't you?

Thorns to feeling sick. Stuffy noses and sore throats are not my favs.

Thorns to the library sending back the first marketing book I reserved from another library because I didn't pick it up on time. Don't they know I'm a busy girl who can't always make it to the library?

Thorns to not having a clue what's for dinner tonight. I'm usually much more organized, I swear.

Thorns to cleaning the bathroom tonight. Not exactly the Friday night fun I was envisioning.

Sorry for the lack of posts. My brain has been working on overload, and my body is clearly tired since it decided to get sick. Hopefully I'll be able to rest up this weekend. Wishing you all the loveliest of lovely weekends!

{Image 1, Image 2, Image 3}

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

all good things on this tuesday

Please, please, please, go wish my lady a super happy birthday today! She rocks, and I would love to be able to celebrate this day with her in person.

Since I didn't get to watch The Bachelorette last night, there will be no commentary today -- maybe tomorrow if I get to watch it today! Therefore, I will be doing a quick grateful post.

Today I'm thankful for my new job. I'm flexing my brain muscles and getting really excited about all of the projects I'm going to be working on! I'm so grateful for this opportunity.

Today I am thankful for summer thunderstorms with awesome lightning bolts that dart across the charcoal gray sky.

Today I am thankful for my local public library. I just got a library card two weeks ago and checked out my first book. I have two books I reserved from other libraries waiting for me to pick up, and I'm looking forward to reading a lot more often and economically!

What are you thankful for today? I'm dying to hear!

{Image 1, Image 2}

Monday, July 19, 2010

Beantown, country music, waves and sand

Whoa, I thought last weekend was a good summer weekend; this weekend was a GREAT summer weekend! All of my favorite summer elements combined into this one weekend, and it couldn't have been any better unless I escaped to the Cape for the entire weekend or something.

As I mentioned Friday, Jed and I ended into Boston to say goodbye to one of my friends from college who is moving back home. We checked into our hotel downtown, then headed out to my college stomping grounds and my favorite college bar, T's Pub (well, now it's 973 Commonwealth, lame). I was thrilled to see Absolut Boston behind the bar, so Boston ginger (as a bartender called it) became my drink of the evening. 

We headed back to the hotel pretty early, but stopped in the piano bar off the lobby before heading to our room. That stop over turned into two hours of old school piano tunes, sung by a mix of a 1940's era female singer and open mic. I told Jed I felt like I was dreaming, or on a cruise ship. The bar looked like something out of the 40's, and there was even a group of people dressed in era-appropriate outfits! 

While drinking Boston in Boston, a friend texted to let me know that she had an extra ticket for me to see
Saturday night at Great Woods (ok, it's supposed to be the Comcast Center these days)!!! I jumped on the chance to see this country legend -- performing and making country music for 22 years, according to Tim himself -- live! On top of that, Lady Antebellum opened for him, and I just love me some Lady A. 

Totally cheesing with Tim

It was probably one of the best shows I've been to; I love live music anyway, but it's even better when the musicians are full-blown entertainers. Lady A sang all my favs, and Tim sang a couple of my favs and turned me into a true fan. I'm going to work on downloading his extensive library of songs. He announced he just celebrated his 43rd birthday, and lemme tell you, he is not showing his age. This country boy can still rock! I was so impressed with his show and him in general. 

I've realized that I've really become a country music fan, and I think I should try to go to more country shows. There's such great music, great artists and great crowds. Lady Antebellum is returning to Boston in October, and I think I, along with these girls, are going to try to get tickets.

Yesterday, I slept in since it took us almost two hours to get out of the parking lot after seeing Mr. McGraw, then I was in my bikini and ready to hit the beach! I decided last week that I'm going to make an effort to go to the beach more this summer. It's really my favorite part of summer, and it is so relaxing for me. Plus, it gives me a prime opportunity to read, which I need to do a lot of to get through my 30-before-30 list (check out my GoodReads in the right sidebar to see what's on the list!). Now that I live a little closer to the beaches, I'd love if I could spend at least a couple hours on the sand every weekend.

Jed had to get some work done, so I flew solo, which was actually really nice. I packed a few drinks and snacks, my beach chair and my book, and I just chilled. The huge waves crashed on the sand while I read and lounged. It was perfect.

If only every weekend could include Boston, the beach and live music! This would be the best summer ever! 

Spill: What did you do this weekend? Was it a perfect summer weekend?

Friday, July 16, 2010

Mindless Friday

I'm just tired of thinking. Is that bad? Yeah, probably. I'm getting a mini break tonight as Jed and I will be heading into Boston (holla!) to raise our glasses to a friend from college who is bidding Boston adieu and moving back to her home state of Maryland.

To kick of the relaxation, I'm posting another Fill in the Blank Friday, courtesy of Lauren at the little things we do. Head on over to link up!

1.  A very nostalgic place that reminds me of being a kid is    My grandmother's house. We went there almost every weekend when I was growing up, and I usually spent a week during the summer there, so I spent a lot of my childhood there .

2.  If someone really wants to show me how much they love me      they should be thoughtful. I really appreciate the little things, and they made me feel so loved... like the night last week Jed cooked dinner because I just didn't feel like it  .

3.  Lately I've been wondering a lot about    my life and where it's heading .

4.  When it comes to saving money I am       trying and struggling. I almost feel like I don't have enough income to support myself and what I want (yes, I already have a second job)  .

5.  I'd prefer     travel    over    real life    any day! 

6.  I wish I knew how to make      my own clothes. Instead of hitting the mall to find the perfect dress or top, it'd be awesome to just be able to make it   .

7.  I'm just waiting for      my next vacation! Some people live for the weekends; I live for travel     .

I'm wishing you all a weekend of relaxation. What is your favorite thing to do when you just want to chill out?

Thursday, July 15, 2010

This is just disgusting, but let's not rush it.

I've posted about this before, but this is the first news I've seen or heard in a while, so I thought I would speak out on it.
Oil is still gushing out of the BP Deepwater Horizon well in the Gulf of Mexico, after three months of so-called officials and experts debating like dummies. THREE MONTHS. I find it almost impossible to believe that NO ONE has been able to resolve this issue in three months. That is one whole fiscal quarter, people! Down the drain... literally. That is disgusting. Why was this thing even built and put into production if we didn't know how to STOP it? Such a classic case of a company rushing forward without thinking.

The latest news is BP has developed a cap for the well with three shutoff valves, which will be shut one-by-one while the pressure in the well and against the cap is evaluated. Sounds like a good plan to me, but the US government wanted to hold off until some additional research was conducted. The concern? The pressure in the well would cause another, and possibly worse, leak.

For once, I'm agreeing. This was a valid concern, and I'm glad someone actually stopped to consider the consequences before taking action. Kudos to the US!

Now, let's cross our fingers and say our prayers that this cap works. Even if only a valve or two can be closed off, the remaining leaking oil can be siphoned by ships on the surface.

Sound off: What do you think about the government holding BP back while the cap solution was thoroughly investigated? What do you think about the whole Deepwater Horizon situation in general? Have you felt any effects where you are?

{Image via TODAYshow.com}

This post was inspired by:
Mama's Losin' It
Prompt #1: Choose a headline from The Today Show website and write up an opinion post based on the story you chose.

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

A wee bit of me...

I'm sorry, but I cannot remember through whose blog I found this lovely feature, so if you're reading this, you know I read your blog, and you participate in a week bit of me Wednesdays, please let me know!
Anywho, I found this feature through one of the amazing blogs I read, and I found Leigh Ashley, and I thought this would be a good post for me to do every so often. So, here we are! If you are going to play along, of course let me know, but you can also link up on Leigh Ashley's blog (click the button below).
{one} do you believe in ghosts?
 Not in the traditional sense, but I believe in angels.

{two} are you more of a talker or more of a listener?
 Talker, although I really wish I was more of a listener, and I'm working on that.

{three} would you rather get up early or sleep late?
Sleep late, no doubt, but not so late that I feel like I wasted the day.

{four} if you could instantly become an expert at one type of dance, what type would you choose?
 This is tough for me because I am a dancer, and I can, and have, done so many different types of dance. If I had to pick one, I think I'd go with contemporary/lyrical because it always challenged me when I used to dance, it's the form I most enjoy watching, and I think it's the form that most touches people.

{five} what's your favorite drink?
 Probably tea, iced and hot, of all varieties. When it comes to alcohol, I almost always stick to my three: beer, wine, vodka.

{six} if your house caught fire and you could only grab three things, what would they be?
 My laptop, my photo albums and my jewelry (because it has sentimental value)... while shooing my dog out the door.

{seven} if you could only visit one restaurant for the next five years, which would it be?
 The Red Parrot in Newport, RI, because they have everything on their menu.

{eight} who inspires you the most?
My best friend because she got it right: career, marriage, life. She's kind, generous, honest, funny, patient and happy -- all traits I want to have.

{nine} if you had your own talk show, who would your first three guests be?
Julia Roberts, Jennifer Weiner, Tom Brady

{ten} sneakers or sandals?
Sandals. I'm a beach gal at heart, and my feet love to be free.

Monday, July 12, 2010

What makes a perfect summer weekend?

Hello lovelies! How are you? Did you have a lovely summer weekend? Do tell me the favorite thing you did or the highlight.

My highlight was my impromptu shopping trip with my mother. She was in my neck of the woods Saturday morning to get her hair cut, so she stopped by my house, and we headed to the Wrentham Outlets

My mission was to go to Cost Cutters for my leave-in conditioner spray, but I also checked out the new Vera Bradley outlet and got a new bag (everything is about half price of any other Vera retailer, and it is huge!), picked out some new sunglasses at the Fossil outlet, and found a cute top and linen pants at the Gap Outlet (remember Mom gets a discount!). All-in-all, a productive trip! And, I spend less than $100! 

Vera Little Betsy in Bali Blue, $29 at outlet

We just beat the pouring rain and came back to my house for PB&J sandwiches.

The rest of my weekend in a nutshell:

  • Jed made me dinner Friday night because I didn't feel like cooking.
  • Saturday night keg party.
  • Lazy Sunday afternoon.
  • Sunday evening cookout with friends, complete with s'mores.
To me, that was pretty much the perfect summer weekend. The only thing that could have made it better was a lazy Sunday afternoon on the beach.

{Images via we heart it and kaboodle respectively}

Friday, July 9, 2010

What does forever young smell like?

I know, I come back to blogging, and I write two posts in one day! I had to share this though, and I wanted to catalog it for myself.

I just received a tiny sample of Philosophy's Eternal Grace fragrance in the mail today. I wish I had known I was going to love it, and I would have saved it for AFTER I showered today so I could wear it out!

Philosophy describes this scent as a timeless fragrance that is youthful and uplifting. I'm with them on the timeless, but I think it's more sophisticated and classic than youthful. I'm not one for citrus fragrances, but this one mixes well with the floral undertones, and it works on me!

I've never purchased a Philosophy product, but I just might have to snag this scent when it comes out! You can check out the collection on Philosophy's site.

{Image via Philosphy}

Making my way back with a fill-in-the-blank Friday

Wow, I have missed being here! *deep sigh* I haven't had much time over the past two weeks to update the blog, but now that I'm here, I realize that I haven't totally felt like myself without posting. This is a piece of me -- part of my figurative home -- and I'm not quite sure when or how that happened!

I hope to get back on a regular posting schedule. What that will look like going forward, I'm not quite sure of yet. Some of the weekly features may be leaving or changing, and I'm hoping to get out some new and different content.

All I know for sure is it's good to be back here, and I hope to keep coming back!

So, let's get to the fun. As I'm sure many of you know, Lauren at the little things we do hosts fill-in-the-blank Fridays every other Friday, and I love playing along! If you want to join the fun, you can click over to Lauren's blog to grab the blanks and link up your post. I'd love for you to let me know if you do so I can come check out your blanks!

1.  My favorite thing about this week has been     my central air in this heat wave! Seriously, learning the ropes in my new job. I got a new job! I still work for the same company, but now I am in the marketing department handling internal communication, which represents a huge career step for this writer and communications guru. I couldn't be happier, although that's what's been keeping me away from all of you the past couple weeks .

2.  The weather this week has been      HOT! I'll second that, Lauren! Monday was oppressive outside - 95 and humid - and Tuesday was even worse! I think we were at a 105 heat index. This weekend we're supposed to be getting cooling rain .

3.  The last (interesting) item I received in the mail was    the Yankee Candles I ordered from the annual sale online  .

4.  The last movie I saw was       The A-Team. I wasn't quite sure what to expect going in (I watched the show, but I was, like, three at the time), but I really enjoyed it! It was the perfect mix of action/comedy  .

5.  If I could be doing anything I felt like today I would     not be working and laying on the beach reading a book. It's the perfect beach day. Ok, all week has been perfect beach days because it's been too hot to be anywhere else outside .

6.  As a teenager I was    such an angst-ridden drama queen. I kinda want to vomit a little when I think about how much harder I made life for myself  .

7.  I wish I could trade lives for the day with    Oprah. I'm dying to know what a day in her life is like. It must be incredible   .

Have a great weekend! I'll be attending a legitimate keg party tomorrow (yes, I have not been to one of those since college, should be interesting), and we'll be having dinner with friends, possibly, tonight and Sunday night. Looking forward to a fun weekend with fun people!

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Review of Dan Brown's "The Lost Symbol"

The Lost Symbol (Robert Langdon, #3)The Lost Symbol by Dan Brown

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Like Brown's previous Langdon novels, "The Lost Symbol" is a page-turner. It kept me in suspense chapter by chapter, and there were nights I had trouble putting it down. However, the ending - the last eight chapters or so - was slow and dragged out. I feel Brown could have concluded long before he did. His strength is suspense and puzzlement, not descriptive, poetic prose.

View all my reviews