Monthly Archives: August 2012

The Bag is Clutch!

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Tell me I’m not a purse girl and you will immediately be proven wrong.  I love purses so much I’ve had them since I was at least three years old.  I have baby pictures of me showing off my bags, early memories of stuffing my purses with anything and every object in sight, and a vivid image of the hooks on the wall behind my bedroom door being tested for strength by the dozens of handbags hanging from them.  To this day, I still love my purses and I keep my growing collection close by in my room.  However, I’m not completely selfish when it comes to my totes, clutches, and hobos.  In the sixth grade, I remember spreading the gift of purses by encouraging several of my friends to indulge in them.  By the end of the school year, they were regularly carrying a purse around and had an expanding collection of their own.  I guess you could say I was giving fashion advice before I even knew it.

Now, it’s been about 17 years since my love affair with bags began and, although my fashion addiction has spread to shoes, clothes, and other accessories, purses still hold a special place in my heart, earning them the spot as staple item of August.  Trust me when I say that a bag can make or break an outfit.  If the color is off, you look chaotic.  If the size is wrong, you look sloppy.  If the shape is unfitting, you look shameful.  Try using a beach bag at a cocktail party.  It just doesn’t work.  This is why I suggest you stock up on a variety of bags, so you don’t end up looking desperate to hold an outfit together.  I, personally, have enough handbags to go around, but that’s a problem I haven’t addressed in my life yet.  For right now, I’m just grateful to have one for every occasion!

If you’re new to the world of fashionable purses, you may want to get at least four different bags… your everyday purse, your schoolbag, your party clutch, and that special one.  Your everyday purse is the easiest one to go for.  It’s comfortable to carry, fairly neutral, and fashionable, but not too eye-catching.  You want this kind of purse to be able to go with jeans and a t-shirt, as well as, your sundress.  The kind you can throw everything into and be on your way in five minutes.  Lately, I’ve been fond of crossbody purses and big leather hobos.  They’re perfect for almost any kind of day.  Second is your schoolbag, which can also be known as your work purse.  This is sort of like your everyday purse, but this one has to be large and a little bolder.  Say goodbye to the Jansport backpack and at least trade it in for a black leather backpack or crossbody.  Something that says, yes, I have my laptops and books, but I’m not sacrificing my outfit for them either.  Next comes your party clutch.  If you’re only getting one, try to keep this neutral, too.  Black and metallics are usually a good place to start.  You want this bag to be usable for nightlife and more elegant special occasions, but it also needs to be practical enough to fit your phone, wallet, and chapstick (well, for me, at least), so keep that in mind, as well.  Lastly, you can move on to your special purse.  The one that makes the boldest statement and just screams your personal style.  You can get a bag with a funky print or even a bright color.  It can be uniquely shaped or anything you want it to be.  One of my most recent “special ones” is a neon yellow purse and I love it oh so dearly.

Besides the way they look, the most important thing to remember when stocking up on purses is practicality.  It’s meant to carry your things, so don’t by a purse that only fits a pen.  It also needs to be easy to carry.  You don’t want to lug a hassle around, so make sure it’s comfortable to wear.  As your collection grows, keep in mind that variety is your friend, not your kryptonite.  Don’t buy five red purses or only black bags.  You’ll only be limiting what options you have and the money in your pocket.  Lastly, you need to embrace your purses.  They’re important accessories, too, so they need to make a statement and reflect your style at the same time.  Take it from a purse girl… they can take your look to the next level just like that!

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Welcome Back Stress!

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It’s that time of the year again… school is back in session, which only means that my life is back to being a giant pile of organized chaos, but hey I wouldn’t be myself if that wasn’t my life.  My students are back in school, so soon enough I’ll be going to meetings every week and I won’t spend more than a few hours without talking to my kids.  Not only will I be playing mentor to my high schoolers, but I’ll also be doing a lot of administrative things that have been in the works for the past month.  Yup, even though I’ve been working all summer, that first day of class just means that it’ll be kicked up a notch.  I’ll be a mommy, mentor, and friend, while also managing to be a Program Director, too.  Pretty cool, right?  On top of that, my first day of school is today.

Yes, that is correct.  Today is my first day as a senior in college and I couldn’t be happier.  I am absolutely dreading the abundance of papers, readings, and quizzes.  The late nights and early mornings are going to be inevitable, but I’m not complaining because the sooner I get through these last few classes, the sooner I will be a college graduate.  Plus, I like to think I work better under pressure.  When I know I have all of the time in the world, I’m much more relaxed, but the old devil named procrastination always wants to come out and play.  Under a tight schedule, it’s much easier to squeeze in the work that I need to get done in an appropriate timely fashion.  Like I said, it’s organized chaos and I wouldn’t be who I am if I wasn’t busy so much of the time.  So instead of sitting here and complaining about the stress I’m about to endure, I’ll welcome it with open arms.  It simply means that I’m being productive and moving toward progress.

The Legacy That Must Continue Toward Peace

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Today, Michael Jackson would have been 54 years old.  Unfortunately, his time was cut short just as he was preparing for his This Is It Tour, however, Michael continues to be a huge influence for people all around the world.  I at least know that he continues to have a positive impact on my life.  Throughout his life and career, MJ did encounter plenty of bumps and lows and he wasn’t always shown the proper support and love that he worked so hard to deserve.  There were many times where people forgot what Michael truly stood for, but I think this song and video reminds us of that.  Michael may have been wrapped into scandals, but that doesn’t mean we should linger on those moments.  Instead, let us celebrate the positive energy that he spread during his life and that he continues to spread today.  He cared about everybody and he only wanted peace.  I don’t understand why it’s so hard for us to want that, too.  I think we all, including myself, have to honestly listen to this song and hear what Michael was trying to tell us.

Bang Bang Perfection!

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Last week on So You Think You Can Dance, the all-stars were released into the mix and the level of dancing expected was raised that much higher.  For some, I thought the routines were good and, in other cases, I thought they were better.  Chehon’s hip hop with Lauren was far from perfect, but it was definitely a step up for the ballet dancer.  His contemporary pieces have gained my attention and he has slowly been showing his personality to the audience, but this routine is where Chehon showed his most.  He loosened up and gave some character, which was very nice to see.  I’m honestly looking forward to what he brings this week.  Cyrus was another who didn’t deliver perfection, but definitely pulled off his dance.  The animator was given contemporary for the first time and, although he’s no Travis Wall, he gave his all and he did his best.  There is no doubt in anybody’s mind that he loves to dance and is willing to learn, but now it’s just a matter of if he can continue to keep his passion alive.  On the other hand, Eliana was the sole competitor that, in my eyes, gave SYTYCD fans everywhere perfection.  Being paired with Alex, one of my favorites, and dancing a Stacey Tookey routine, there was a lot she had to live up to, but Eliana, without a doubt, nailed it.  From the music, to the lights, to the costume, the dance was beautiful, but those were only the nice details added on to Eliana and Alex’s flawless dancing.  Hands down, Eliana was my favorite of the night.

Define Results

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I like to think of myself as a person who likes to see results.  That’s a big part of what keeps me motivated in life.  In school, I work hard toward getting good grades.  When I get them, I want to continue that pattern, so I keep on working hard.  If I don’t do as well as I thought or if the information just isn’t sinking in, I lose interest fast.  That probably explains my complicated relationship with science.  At work, I like to see kids getting better and learning.  If they’re not registering what I’m telling them, I start to get frustrated and I don’t know what to do.  I like to see more Twitter followers for ROM and more likes on the ROM Facebook.  It reminds me that people are interested in the work that we do.  For my blog, I look at the followers and the views and the rest of the stats.  Sometimes I’m pleased, but sometimes I think things could be better.  Like I said, I like to see results, but, for a long time, I thought that the things I described are the only kind of results that exist.  I used to think that only hard results were the only ones that mattered, but, after giving it some thought, that’s not true at all.

When it comes to seeing results, the ones you literally see aren’t the only ones that count.  For example, if you change your lifestyle to become healthier, chances are you aren’t going to see those extra pounds just disappear overnight.  You’re more likely to feel the change within yourself before you even notice how loose your jeans have gotten.  I’ve recently tweaked my diet and schedule to become healthier.  Sure, I want to lose weight, but I’m mostly doing it so that I can live a healthier life.  In the past, I tried the shallow diets and intense work outs for fast results, but I would always give up within the first month; however, now, it seems to be lasting and it’s not because of the compliments people give me but because of how I feel.  I feel much better about myself after working out or not choosing to eat a burger, which makes me want to keep going.  The change I’ve noticed in my attitude, energy, and self-esteem are the results that motivate me to continue.

For my blog, I used to care about how many people viewed my posts and if I didn’t get a certain number each day, then I wouldn’t be content with my work.  I’ll admit, I still care who reads my blog, but not to just get another hit.  I care because I don’t want to let you all down.  If you took the time to click on my blog or to become a subscriber, I don’t want you to regret your decision.  I want you to feel like it was worth it.  I feel like my writing can help others and maybe that’s what will make your trip here worth it.  Maybe a poem I posted helps a reader express their own emotions or perhaps a post I’ve written helps someone be more optimistic.  What I post on here may even just make someone smile or give them a good idea.  All I know is that after I finish each post I feel much better.  I’m proud of my writing and I think I leave each post feeling a little more enlightened with how to live life better.

Personally, I’m learning to appreciate the not so visible results as opposed to the short-term ones.  Like I said before, I’ve recently been seeing a lot of positive changes within myself and everything that I’m doing in my life is a part of that.  Through school, I feel like I’m learning and preparing myself for something bigger.  That bigger being my career.  Through work, not only am I helping others, but I’m also helping myself become a better leader and more independent.  It makes me feel good to know that I’m a part of the beginnings of organizations and companies that are destined to be something great.  Through my personal endeavors, I’m learning about myself, I’m coaching myself to a better way of life, and, maybe I’m even doing the same for you.  We all have to learn to not stay hung up on a number or a letter.  It helps to look at what you have gained versus what you hoped you had gained.  Yes, always stay motivated to do better and never settle, but remember what matters.  Remember what will have a longer lasting effect on your life, which aren’t always the results you “see,” and focus on that.

The Fury Around The Peace Within

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The trees are blowing in the wind.

The leaves shaking and falling.

The raindrops pound against my window.

The beat is hard and steady.

The lightening flickers through the sky.

The brightness is shocking and alluring.

The thunder pounds through the earth.

The force threatens to tremble my surroundings.

All of this is Nature’s work.

The inevitable part of living in her world.

Yet here I lay in my room,

Unharmed by her fury.

Just warm enough with my blanket.

Just cool enough with the morning air.

I lay peacefully in my room,

Listening to the orchestra of chaos around me.

Happy Birthday Tim Burton!

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Ever since I can remember, I have loved Tim Burton’s work.  One of my earliest memories involves me being amused, intrigued, and slightly creeped out by the classic Nightmare Before Christmas.  There was just something about the dull colors, odd faces, and unconventional story that absolutely fascinated me.  I was then introduced to his other notable works, such as Beetlejuice, Edward Scissorhands, and, one of my favorites, Sleepy Hollow, which all had the same charm I found in Nightmare Before Christmas.  As the years passed, I continued to follow his work and have recently fallen in love with more of his films, like Sweeney Todd, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, and Alice in Wonderland.

To many, Burton is an oddball who makes quirky films, which is true, but it can also be said that Tim Burton is an auteur with a distinct way of telling stories.  Somehow he manages to entertain you, warm your heart, and freak you out a little bit all in the same film.  In my opinion, he forces audiences to look past traditional beauty, allowing them to fall in love with something strange for its heart as opposed to its looks.  Edward Scissorhands could have easily been a ruthless monster, but instead he was more child-like than enything else.  Jack Skellington was the Pumpkin King of Halloween Town, yet he wanted to celebrate Christmas, one of the happiest holidays ever.  He also had a bit of an innocent character with his eagerness to learn about the mysterious “Santi Claws.”

I once heard Tim Burton’s work described as “a candy core wrapped in barbed wire” and that’s exactly what it is.  I can’t wait to see what else he comes up with, but, in the meantime…

Happy Birthday Tim Burton!