Monday, February 28, 2011

"Just Breathe"

It's something my Constitutional Law Professor says when someone can't think of the answer or begins to get flustered: "Take a Deep Breath and Pause."  It's the title of an article my Mom left for me to read: "Breathing to Cure Anxiety."  It's that line from Ever After when the Princess gets to the ball and is ready to make her entrance--she tells herself:  "Just Breathe."  Even my big brother texted me before a job interview a couple weeks ago reminding me: "Take a Couple Deep Breaths Em, and just be yourself" (His advice worked--but that's a different story for a different blog).

It's funny how breathing is something we don't think about--its just something we do.  'In and Out...In and Out.'   It only comes to mind when you actually hear your breath.  A sigh of relief, a sharp intake of breath prior to hearing bad news, crying or laughing so uncontrollably that you need to catch your breath.  And then you remember to breathe.

I forget to breathe sometimes...maybe because life is moving so fast, or because I'm the one moving too fast.  Then there are the times when I can do is breathe, the times when life is hard, maybe the times when things don't go my way, and all I should do during these times is exhale...but I'm too scared to do so...too scared that letting that one breath out will make everything worse.  Or the times when I've let my breath out--and I need to 'take that deep breath' so I can allow myself to succeed, or at least begin to...  And the plateau's in life when Ingrid Michaelson's Song "Keep Breathing" rings true--"All I can do is keep breathing..."  And that's what I do--I keep breathing.

So today think about breathing...remember to keep breathing, allow yourself to exhale and let go, or finally take that deep breath and let yourself succeed.

Happy Monday

Friday, February 25, 2011

Five Faves--The Gym Bag Edition

The biggest thing I've forgotten for the gym before: my shoes, okay--my entire workout bag--but that may or may not have been on purpose.  A lady at my gym today forgot her workout pants--so she was on the elliptical in a black dress skirt. I've seen businessmen wearing their dress shoes on the treadmill, or while lifting...

So here are 5 things that you'll always find my my gym bag :)

1. Face Wash and Moisturizer.  No matter what I wash my face before and after I work out.  I use Cetaphil Gentle Facial Cleanser prior to my workout.  It is such a preventative measure for guys and girls to get their skin (pores) clear prior to (and post) clogging them with sweat, dirt (if working out outside), etc.  Following my workout I use more of an exfoliating cleanser--I'm currently using Clean & Clear Blackhead Eraser Scrub. Using an exfoliating wash following any workout is key to really getting those pores clear.  After I wash my face I put on a moisturizer--with sunscreen.  I'm currently using Aveeno Positively Radiant.  It's unscented, really evens out the skin tone, and is so calming on the skin after the workout as well as the exfoliating scrub.

2. Socks.  This may sound silly, but I always have an extra pair of workout socks in my gym bag.   I've gone barefoot in my shoes before--and that led to blisters and one smelly pair of shoes.  I get my favorite workout socks at Backwoods--but you can check them out right here!

3. Padlock.  I can't stand throwing things in a locker without a lock.  Mainly because I worry about them the entire time I'm workout out.  Then since my purse isn't locked up--it is right next to me, no matter the machine I'm on...not an ideal workout buddy. 

4. Bottled Water. I don't like drinking water when I work out--but there are certain times when I don't drink as much water prior to my workout and I need a few sips.  I never want to get off whatever machine I'm on to get a drink--and interrupt my workout or even worse, lose my machine--so I bring my own. I normally use my Sigg Bottle. First, it's NBD if I drop it, it can hold a lot of water (I use the 1.0L), it has a super cute design, and finally it keeps the water really cold!

5. Hair Ties/Headbands.  It always baffles me when I see someone running really fast on the treadmill with their lustrous locks flying behind them (guys and girls alike)...Or even more common, someone constantly pushing their hair out of their face--and almost falling off their machine--because of that sudden movement (not that I've experienced that). I always try to have ponytail holders--I love Goody Stay Put.  They live up to their name, last a long time, and don't break my hair.  As far as headbands go, I use the Scunci Brand, which I normally pick up at Walgreens.  My sister-in-law however, is a Lulu Lemon Girl all the way.  She wore all Lulu for our first half-marathon together--and they twittered at her because of that (I'm super jealous!). Plus, she, and everyone else I know who wears anything Lulu, loves it!  I'm hoping to get a headband or two for our next half-marathon (5/1/11)!

Hopefully these things gave you a few good ideas of what to keep in your gym bag...What am I forgetting--what is a must-have in every gym bag that I didn't mention?!

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Thursday Inspiration


"Our Deepest Fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness that frightens us. We ask ourselves, 'Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented and fabulous?' Actually, who are you not to be? You are a child of God. Your playing small doesn't serve the world. There's nothing enlightened about shrinking so that people won't feel insecure around you. We were born to manifest the glory of God within us. It's not just in us, it's in everyone. And as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence... automatically liberates others."

In Nelson Mandela's 1994 Inaugural Speech, he said those words. I find them powerful, beautiful, inspiring, and a message of self-empowerment... I hope you believe this about yourself if not every day, at least today...

What inspires you today???

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Mr. Wrong...Issue #8

To preface, I am by no means a scratch golfer... I've golfed since 5th or 6th grade when my parents signed me up for junior golf at HHC during the summer. I enjoy golfing, it's relaxing, a great social sport, and there is something about the sound your iron/driver makes when you hit the 'perfect' shot.  When I have time, I go to the range, and try to sneak in 9-holes here and there--and when I do that consistently, my game ranges from alright to decent.  When I don't practice, 'subpar' would be a compliment to my game.
I had met this certain person who we'll call Arnold through a friend of my parents--he was home for the summer, and about to move back permanently for graduate school. 

The first time we met, we played tennis.  This was at a time when I was playing collegiate level tennis, so I was on the court a lot during that time.  I can honestly say that I 'dumbed' my game down after I took the first set 6-0 in a short amount of time...and I still won.  I tried to make light of it, but Arnold wasn't having it--he mentioned some 'foot faults' and 'questionable line calls' (all lies--if anything I was too nice with some of my calls).  He said the one way to settle this was with a rematch--but this time golf. 

We met at the range a few days later, and after sizing up the competition, Arnold suggested why don't we go mini golfing instead.  I was fine with that--until he upped the wager--with the winner buying dinner for each other ending with a smug 'doesn't that sound like a perfect date?'

To his credit, he picked me up, opened my door for me, paid for the mini golf, etc.  But, that facade changed once we got to Putt-Putt, and he took his specially made putter out of his car, and his golf glove out of his khaki shorts, and changed from his flip-flops into his golf shoes...

It was at this point, I decided to not be competitive, but just have fun--mainly because Arnold was taking this so seriously--plus every once in awhile it's fun to annoy a fun-hater.  I'm not even kidding--my first 3 holes were all hole-in-one's (which at putt putt means you get an orange golf ball, coupons for free round(s) of 'golf', and your name announced over the loud speaker), which is pretty sweet within itself, but Arnold's reaction of--a mental 'golf' breakdown following that, was pretty sweet too.

I won our golf 'rematch'--which meant Arnold was going to buy sushi (his idea not mine).  Originally I planned on offering to pay for half--but after he said "I can't believe you won" repeatedly, and began to relive each and every hole (yes every mini golf hole), and further backtracked to his bafflement of me winning our tennis match to go over every game...I had no desire to be gracious.

During dinner, after Arnold finished talking about the tennis and golf games, he asked if I wanted to go 3 out of 5 with other sports (running, go-karting, swimming, and basketball)--I declined.  He then managed to bring an aspect of competition to dinner--seeing who could drink more martinis... After losing this (darn), I made sure he had a cab home--and one of my friends came to pick me up (and we got TCBY--so typical)--since Arnold drove.

Arnold called me the next day to apologize for drinking too much, and to console me on losing the supposed  drinking competition. NOT EVEN KIDDING. I've run into Arnold a few times since then, and I always ask if he wants to play tennis again--for some reason he'll never take me up on it...weird, huh?

Have you ever dated anyone who was crazy competitive (aside from a law student)?  Have you ever beaten a member of the opposite sex quite easily at a sport--how did that turn out?

Tuesday, February 22, 2011


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I listen to the radio with the goal of winning concert tickets...Even if I don't like the artist.

What's a silly secret you have?

Monday, February 21, 2011

Changing My Path

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 I changed my run route the other day.  My normal one is about 6.75miles. It begins on campus, I head east for about a mile and a half, then head south along the river, around a 'lake', and then wind back to campus through downtown Omaha.  Over time, the route got easier and to challenge myself I tried to decrease my time, or sprint the hills (ugh), but that too became less of a challenge or for lack of a better term, just 'blah.'

The new route is about 1.75 more miles going in a completely different direction.  And it's hard.  I feel like I go slower on the hills (and both bridges), and there are times where I just want to sit down on the pavement. 

It's frustrating to be in control of something (my original route), and then to change it up completely.  But at the same time, I couldn't be more elated than, when I finish my run.  I'm proud of the accomplishment, proud of myself for sticking with it even when it got difficult, and just happy (which I can attribute to the endorphins).

I was thinking on Friday morning, while running, how this applies to so many different arenas of my life right now.  I feel like I have certain parts in control, or that I have the perfect plan--I don't--which always surprises me.  What surprises me more is when my plan falls apart, or I do--and I sit back--and realize that I can't be in control...that's not my job.  The most shocking part is when I let go--how perfectly everything comes together--even more perfectly than I would have planned.  Like the saying goes--'everything happens for a reason.'

So here's to being a little less 'type-a', a little more open to changing my route more often, and to that indescribable feeling you get after a long run.

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Valentine's Day--(and Guest Bloggers too)!

A few (read lots) of people have asked me about my Valentine's Day...and I am very happy to admit it was low-key and perfect for where I am at this point in my life.  I was in school all day--I did hand out Valentine's to my classmates as well as professors--so I was able to celebrate love in a tiny way.  I worked out, ran some errands, and ended the day with a mix of cleaning my closet for Goodwill, eating some fresh shrimp and red mango for dinner, and reading Roe v. Wade and other similar cases for Constitutional Law (yes, cruel irony).

Some of my friends told me all about their Romantic, Depressing, or Down-Right Comical Valentine's Day--and asked/mentioned if I wanted to blog about them--I should--so (with their permission) here are some Valentine's Day Stories :)

This is from one of my Closest and Best Friends who is currently out of state--we enjoy our email/bbm/phone contact.  I could barely contain my giggles when I received this from her:

Story 1:  Yesterday, as a happily single grad student, I spent the night with Chinese take-out, the Bachelor, and my massive amounts of work...just the way I wanted to! I'm feeling pretty good this morning because I had a drama free V-Day (unlike the disaster last year with a certain someone) and am rocking out to Glee en route to the store.  Seeing that _____ is an exceptionally small town, I recognize all of the checkers and baggers and they recognize me. My bagger is a young man with tattoos and bad emo hair (and may or may not sport women's jeans/guy liner).  He scampers off right as my checker starts scanning my groceries, which I thought was rude.  BUT then...I see him coming back carrying  A POTTED PLANT. Asks me if I'd like it and wishes me a Happy late VDay. I am ABSOLUTELY HORRIFIED at this point, am flashing back to the "How to Lose a Guy in 10 Days Love Fern", mumble a thank you, and bolt for the door.

This is from a law school friend who I've gotten to know more recently, and he is in Loooove.  He emailed me about his Valentine's Day--and it was so sweet--I couldn't resist sharing it:

Story 2: I met _____ 5 years ago.  We had crushes on each other but they didn't go anywhere. I saw her "around" for the rest of college but never much more than that. This past December, I remembered she was from Omaha and I friended her on facebook. From there we started texting, etc. About 1-2 weeks later we skyped--for 4 hoursWe started out as "talking as more than friends" on January 16th.  I can tell you right now that we are in love, I know it sounds crazy...but seriously. All the old adages about love (when you find your best friend, when you know you know, blah blah) they're all true. I thought I've been in love before but nothing compares to how i feel about her.
Last Weekend we met half way between us in North Platte.  When a relationship begins with long distance it is a different situation. Seeing her for the first time in years was the best ever. Everything was just "right" and that's the only way I can explain it.  We click in every way and it's such a different feeling than I'm used to It is going great and there seems to be no end in sight.
Valentines Day...Sunday before we left I gave _____ a letter telling her how I felt. Everyone should get flowers on Valentines Day and I'm a bit of an artist (not really) so i drew a few pictures of flowers and sent them in a envelope for her to open on Monday...and then had actual roses delivered to her house on Tuesday...on the card i wrote "just because its Tuesday..." I don't need an excuse to send someone flowers right? I tried to think outside of the box and I just hope it made her smile.

This is from a friend who I've know since middle school--we are currently in law school together--I got this message from her, and it was a mixture of 'oh no' with 'hahahaha.' It made me giggle because I could just hear her telling the story.

Story 3I get home from a night class (7:30) and I'm tired and making a depressing snack (frozen veggies, steamed via microwave, plain). My boyfriend approaches holding my shampoo bottles. I'm confused. He proudly announces that he has bought me two brand new bottles for valentines day because he noticed i was running out. (To be fair, they're Redken, salon quality, and are identical to my current ones, so I'll admit it took SOME thought). I'm still not quite sure what to say. I start nervously laughing and inspecting the bottles to make sure they weren't my old ones as I ask, "no really, this is a joke right? where's my real present?" His response: "this is your real present?...too practical?...I'm sorry..." I honestly am at a loss. At this rate, I guess i should just expect one of those rings you used to be able to buy at the cinema center coin-machines. ....sigh.... The take-home message is that it is annoying to see constant updates all day long of your friends getting vday goodies, and then to go home and get shampoo on what is Supposed to be the most 'romantic' day of the year. [sigh] If i had to pick a title for a blog about this story, it would be: "Nothing says 'i love you' quite like shampoo."  As of Today, for full disclosure, I came home to a dozen roses and we went out to vivaces on Feb 15... Hey, at least he's smart enough to recognize when he's been dumb :P

I loved hearing about my Friend's Days--and I hope you did too :) Get Out there and enjoy the sunshine today--and remember you can make someone feel special and loved even if it isn't February 14th.

Monday, February 14, 2011

Valentine's Day

I love Valentine's Day.  I told my mom this morning that it was my "most favorite holiday" to which she responded "it's not a holiday."  Lovely. And, yes, it still is my favorite holiday.

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I love today because the whole reason is to give love.  It's not expected, not contrived, but just pure, simple, beautiful love.  Love to those who may not normally receive it,  love to those who least expect it.

Remember today: You Are Loved. Remember to Give Others Love.

And if you're sad because today for you isn't Valentine's Day, but Singles Awareness Day.  Give love to someone you know won't really receive any valentine's or kindness today--trust me--it's an incredible feeling... And if that doesn't work, go to Cupcake Island or Whole Foods and buy yourself a Cupcake (I always get mine with extra frosting), or wine , or a little treat--and Love Yourself.

Happy Valentine's Day 2011.


Thursday, February 10, 2011

Five Favorites

February is Cold and Snowy. I'm back in the routine of Law School. And I'm really trying to keep a healthy balance this semester. Whether that be spending time with friends, going out more than once in a semester, or just remembering to breathe. Here are 5 things that I'm enjoying during the month of February.

Hula Hooping. I bought a pink, sparkle, hula hoop at walgreens about a week ago.  I suppose it could be sort of a work out (I'd be lying if I didn't say my abs were sore after using it two days in a row)...but more than that, it is FUN, mindless, and a slight regression to 4th of July 'hula hoop contests' at HHC (the term glory days come to mind).

Journaling. I'm keeping my New Year's Resolutions (this was one). I'm taking time to journal--not on a daily basis, more weekly, or as needed. It's funny looking back in my journal and realizing "Wow, I was completely off base on that situation," or "Yikes, my _________(mom, friends, outside observer) was right," or even "I'm really proud of who I'm becoming."  It's no fun to have these revelations in a boring journal--so I made sure to get a cute one, which was half the fun!  I purchased it at The Afternoon (Westroads) but they have an awesome website so you can find yours here!

Colored Eye-Liner: I'm not a huge makeup person, but the few days during the week, I try to do something more than my 'natural' look. I picked up a couple really cheap colored (Green, Silver Blue, and Royal Blue) NYX brand liners from Be Yourself--you can check them out right here. What I've been doing is a nude color on my lids then lining the inside of my top and bottom lid--and the outside of my top lid with the color--it definitely is a fun change--at least for me!  My cousin Cat who is an amazing makeup artist for MAC, let me in on a little secret--I'm right on trend with this--Colored Liner is all the Rage. Cat also gave me the great idea, to try out lots of colors with this cheap liner, then come in and visit her--where she can find some amazing colors, after I know which ones I do and don't like, that make my eyes pop--and spend a little extra for quality--you can check out her blog--about makeup too.   

Cat and myself :)

Here are some expert tips from CatRunway: Colored liner was seen in MANY shows during the last fashion week circuit, it was shown in Neon shades- Hot Pink, Lime Green, Aqua Blue and Day-Glo Orange and Bright Yellow.  Real life: These runway trends can be mimicked by keeping your eyeshadow very neutral and matte with just a pop of bright eyeliner.
Cat's guidelines to make your eyes pop:
Think of an artist's color wheel..find the color of your eyes and go directly to the opposite side of the color wheel to get the maximum brightness out of your eyes.
Green Eyes: Purple or Copper shades
Blue Eyes: Coral and Orange shades
Brown Eyes: You have pretty much hit the genetic jackpot and anything will look good since brown is a neutral, but Blue shades of eyeliner will be the best for you!

Soup-Revolution (aka the traveling Soup Van): We've all seen about the taco truck sitting outside of avanza--the hot dog stand sitting outside of the Dubliner or Barry O's at 2am, or in NYC, Chicago, DC the food carts are EVERYWHERE.  Omaha is slowly catching up in a very delicious, gourmet, and wallet friendly way. 4-5 days a week you can find Soup Revolution serving up different, healthy and amazing soup--they always have a vegan and gluten free soup--along with to die for biscuits, salads and desserts. The soup prices range from $3-7, the biscuits are $1 or $2 (and worth every cent), and I know you can buy gallons/half gallons, etc. So far I've tried the Chicken Dumpling, Baked Potato, White Bean and Barley, and Tomato Basil.  You can find where they'll be each day right here

Jaw Breakers: I love hard candy, but for some reason unbeknown to me, I always chew it. Jaw breakers eliminate this problem, they last for a year (okay maybe an hour), and they're just the right amount of sweet. I bought some of these (pictured at left) "old fashioned" kind at Walgreens--they're 2 bags for 3 dollars, or 1 bag for $1.69.

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Mr. Wrong...Issue #7

I got set up by a friend of a friend. This time with a radiologist--who had just moved to Omaha from Florida.  I received warning that he was really shy.  But I figured, shy, I can handle.  Maybe because it is the opposite of my loquacious and outgoing personality. Because he was shy, he wanted my email before--so we emailed a few times before we eventually met up--and he wasn't shy.  He was sweet, intelligent, somewhat charming, and mildly funny.

We met at Kona--and from the start I was confused. The sweet, intelligent guy who I had emailed with suddenly didn't say much about anything.  Who knew I could talk about the weather for a good 17minutes...I didn't...Finally, after finishing my wine, I asked him--why he was suddenly so shy? His response rendered me speechless--"I, don't speak many English." I think I pry did a double-take (can you do those at words?), and then stuck my foot in my mouth with," but aren't you from Florida..."

The date didn't end with a screeching halt right then, but it definitely went on a downward spiral. I awkwardly tried to explain how I knew Spanish and Pig Latin as date enthusiastically nodded, and smiled. He then ordered (by pointing at the menu) Sake Bombs and threw out the word "Massage" with a wink... (can't speak good English my foot).

I'm lucky enough to have amazing friends who are skilled actors--so I texted a friend to call and pretend something was wrong (yes, girls do actually do this)... After an Oscar worthy performance on both our parts,  I had to excuse myself from my date--who stayed with the sake bombs--but asked before I left: "Goodnight, kiss?" My response "High Five..."

Have you ever had a language barrier on a date?! Do you think my date really couldn't speak English well--or was it just an act?

Tuesday, February 8, 2011


I am not a patient person. When I was little I would eagerly check the mailbox expecting a letter in response after I had mailed a letter that morning, I prefer to get an immediate text back when I'm in a texting 'conversation,' or heaven forbid I have to wait in line, I time how long it takes til I get to the front.  Patience and waiting--not my strong suit.

Recently, one of my biggest difficulties has been patience.  Not always with others, but also with myself. Instead of doing something the way I'd like the first time, I may have to try and try again--but while doing so, find the beauty in the imperfections. Or maybe, I had these fabulous plans, but they didn't work the way I thought they should. I have to give myself grace through patience--and make a different set of fabulous plans--or maybe just make no plans at all. Or instead of trying to make a relationship or a friendship work the way I think it should, I have to be patient.  I have to realize that those people are not me.  I can't control their feelings, their actions, or even their words--and even though I want them to say something, do something or feel something at a certain time--I have to be patient.

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 What happens when I don't want to be patient or if I just can't wait for that person?  I don't know. It's scary. But, I'm learning to do just that. I'm trying to show love coupled with patience in that, sometimes when I can't be there, or shouldn't be there, for that person (and try to influence their decisions (insert evil laughter))--I have to let them go.  By doing that, I hope they will grow--and hopefully, I can gain some (much needed) patience...I'm guessing a month, a year, 5 years from now--I'll look back at this lesson, which seems painful at the time, and realize that it wasn't so bad--and was more than worth it.

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Mr. Wrong... Issue #6

If you know me past a surface level, you know I can be extremely stubborn.  Not about anything too idealistic, but more so certain ideas that got implanted in my mind somehow--and I won't budge on them.  Whether that be opinion on certain places (Parliament is one that comes to mind...), only drinking skim milk (you can actually TASTE the difference if they use something else), or even my theory that during your birthday week everything you eat has zero or negative calories.

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It frustrates me to no end when people try to change me. Which is probably one of the many reasons Wilson and I didn't work out. 

Wilson was also very opinionated--however he was very opinionated about me--and he wasn't shy sharing what was on his mind when it came to me. For example, when we would play tennis, he became a tennis pro.  He would try to tell me to change my (fantastic) forehand, into a two-handed forehand--because it could be much better that way...I would win more matches, tourneys, and not many girls could pull it off.  I would usually respond with hitting a (one-handed) forehand winner down the line to that, which he never seemed to appreciate as much as I did. 

Another thing Wilson felt strongly about was attire. I made the mistake of wearing a really cute pair of 4-inch Juicy wedges, and towering 2-inches above him--he let me know how much more lady-like flats were, how much better I looked in them.  Bottom line, high shoes just weren't me.  (This was probably the one thing that he and my mom would agree on).  Lucky for me, Wilson was also an expert on make-up--when I wasn't wearing any, and I was ready to leave, he would let me know that he would happily wait for me while I finished getting ready... and was oh-so complimentary about how much better I looked with make-up once I was ready.

Wilson also had his opinion on my hair, nails, taste in music, major in college, amount and type of food we ate, where we would go running, etc. 

But he wasn't the only one at fault (although if it came down to percentages--it would be 80% (him) 20% (me)). It takes two to tango--and once I got past the 'oh you're so're definitely looking out for my best interests' stage--I had a great time pushing his buttons....and near the end of 'us' giving him a terrible haircut, but that's a different story for a different time.

Have you ever dated someone so opinionated or stubbon that it drove you crazy? Is there any issue that you won't budge on?