Friday, January 31, 2014

Final January NaBloPoMo entry

  1. Are you good at influencing other people?  
  2. If you could persuade people to do one thing right now, what would it be?  
  3. Did you feel a lot of pressure with January's NaBloPoMo?
I know I have been missing in action these past three days but I wanted to finish up the NaBloPoMo January challenge by answering the last few questions listed below!   

1.  I would like to think that I am good at influencing people as I am now in sales/recruiting.  I am just starting off in the field though so I hope I continue to improve my influencing ability.  As I mentioned earlier I am naturally an introvert but I enjoy connecting and influencing other people.  I just need my alone time to recharge now and then!

2. If I could persuade people to do one thing right now it would be to ship me some chocolate and free clothes for being awesome!  OK, just kidding.  I would persuade negative people to be more understanding and considerate of others.  I have seen too much negativity lately and I think life is too short for that.

3. Surprisingly, I did not feel a lot of pressure with January's NaBloPoMo.  I thought I would but my blogging has slowly become a habit.  Except for the last three days of course!  I will cut myself some slack since this was my first week on the new job.  In fact, I enjoyed this month's challenge so much that I am going to sign up for February!  Plus, it's a shorter month!

Happy Friday, all!


Monday, January 27, 2014


Which of your responsibilities stress you out the most?

Right now I am fortunate to be at a point in my life when I don't have a whole lot of responsibility.  I guess that's part of being in your 20s?   Also, I still live at home with my family which cuts back a lot of things I would otherwise have to take care of.  I do pitch in around the house though!  ;)  

I just started a new job today and while I am apprehensive about the next few weeks getting adjusted, I am optimistic.  Today was a good first day on the job and I am going to take it in baby steps. This is a new perspective for me as I usually put a lot of pressure on myself from the get go as I did in my last job.  It takes time to learn and adapt to a new work environment though.  So, I am going to practice self -love and trust that I will pick things up in time.

This entry reminds me of a little song by the one and only Miss Whitney Houston entitled "Step by Step."  

I'm takin' it step by step/bit by bit/stone by stone yeah/brick by brick. Step by step/day by day/mile by mile yeah/go your own way.

Rest in Peace, beautiful Whitney.  

Sunday, January 26, 2014

Perfection doesn't exist

What puts more pressure on you: time constraints or achieving perfection?

Time constraints put pressure on me, not achieving perfection.  I have come to the conclusion that perfection is non-existent.  Don't get me wrong, I do have perfectionist tendencies.  Instead of aiming for perfection though, I try to aim high and be the best version of me.  I think that the quest for perfection is useless and that all we can do is our personal best.  

Are any of you familiar with Don Miguel Ruiz's The Four Agreements?  I am a big fan of his work advocating personal freedom from beliefs that create unhappiness in our lives. They are listed below.

1. Be impeccable with your word.
2. Don’t take anything personally.
3. Don’t make assumptions.
4. Always do your best. 

If everyone abided by these agreements, I feel like the world would be a better place!  

With all of the images of "perfection" in the media that we encounter on a daily basis, I have to make a point to remind myself that perfection does not exist!  The perfect looking woman on the advertisement has been retouched and has tons of makeup on.  The perfect looking family has their own set of problems and issues to deal with.  The perfect home in the magazine is not always well kept and sparkling clean.  Perfection is an illusion.  

Friday, January 24, 2014

Channeling anger through exercise + Turning over a new leaf re: procrastination in 2014

Never fear fellow NaBloPoMo bloggers, I haven't disappeared!  Just took a brief hiatus yesterday and now I'm doubling up on the entry for today.  
Do you think it's possible to control your temper when facing enormous pressure?
It is possible to control your temper when facing enormous pressure although it certainly makes it much more difficult!  Even as an "easygoing" person I remember often times crumbling under stress when I was in high school.  My high school years were very challenging academically as I took several advanced level classes each semester for college credit.  There were times when I lashed out passive aggressively at my family when really all I needed was an outlet to release stress.  Now, I have learned to channel any frustration and anger into exercise.  Zumba and Dance cardio classes at my local YMCA are my personal favorites!
Does pressure ever make you want to rebel and do the exact opposite of what is being asked of you?
At work, no.  I know I can't afford to rebel or else risk losing my job!  In school and at home, I think procrastination is often a form of rebelling and avoiding pressure.  I put off math homework in high school especially as it was not a favorite subject of mine.  Then at the last minute I would try to cram everything in for a test which just led to increased stress.  I shaped up in college and began tackling my tougher subjects like math  in more incremental doses so it wasn't too much in the end.  I need to work on this at home too as I will often put off household chores I don't want to do.  Then, at the last minute when I am forced to do it I can get into a panic mode.  Not healthy, I know.  Perhaps 2014 can be a turning point for me in not procrastinating!

Hope everyone has a great weekend and stay warm!  You know it's bad when schools in the South shut down because of icy roads.  No school for the kiddos today in our neighborhood!

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Controlling those lovely things we call emotions

Do you have a bad temper?  How often do you lose your temper?

I don't have a bad temper and I am generally pretty easy going.  I am a very passive-aggressive person though.  I tend to keep things bottled up in order to avoid conflict.  Then every once in a blue moon, I will unleash some of the feelings I bottled up.  Usually those bottled up feelings will come out in tears when I am alone in my bedroom.  This is not a particularly good system and perhaps I should lose my temper every now and then to release some pent up frustration!

I really pride myself on keeping my cool in the workplace though.  I once cried in front of one of my first bosses for an internship in D.C. and regretted it deeply as I had let her mean words get to me.  I swore to myself that I would never again let that happen.  I would much rather cry it out at home or have a drink after work and talk it out with a friend.  My boss doesn't control my emotions, I do!  

What about you, fellow bloggers, how do you release your anger?  Maybe I can steal some of your ideas...;)

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Perfection is overrated

Do you feel pressure to be perfect?  How much of it is tied to what you see online?

We as women tend to be very self-critical, myself included.  I wonder how much of this self-criticism stems from being exposed our whole lives to the airbrushed images of models in the media.  I used to feel more self-conscious about my looks, especially when I was in college.  I would compare myself constantly to other girls and wonder why I couldn't look as good as them or receive as much attention from guys as they did.  I am slowly learning to embrace my imperfections though.  I am not one hundred percent there and I don't know that I will ever be. Like most other 20 somethings, I am an avid social media user and maintain accounts on Facebook, Pinterest, LinkedIn, Twitter, etc.  I often find myself comparing my life to a peer through looking at their postings on social media.  This is especially true with Facebook.  I have to tell myself that I do not and never will know a person's whole story judging from what they choose to share on social media.  So even if I wanted to compare, I couldn't!  Still, I catch myself wondering why my hair can't look like someone else's, why I can't find a guy like that and why my life doesn't look nearly as exciting.  I know it is human nature to compare but I need to remember that no one is perfect, especially me.  So, why waste my precious energy? Plus, it's our imperfections and quirks that make each one of us unique.  Living in a world full of Barbie dolls would be boring.   

Do any of you recall the 2008 Dove film/commercial, "Onslaught" which presented the impact that the media/beauty industry can have on young girls?  Well, I found it to be very insightful and relevant to our prompt's "pressure to be perfect" theme.  I believe it was a part of Dove's ongoing Campaign for Real Beauty.  Check it out below and let me know what you think!

Monday, January 20, 2014


Do you still feel pressure of conform?  If no, what age did it stop?

As human beings I think we all feel pressure to conform to a certain extent.  And we should.  In our daily lives we all adhere to certain norms in order to gain acceptance from society.  I get dressed every morning and brush my teeth to conform to what is expected of me as a person.  And if I didn't, I would hurt a lot of people's feelings!  We abide by traffic rules and regulations to ensure the safety of our fellow human beings on the road.  If I drove on the left side of the road tomorrow morning I would be a huge safety hazard to all.  And I would be given the bird by fellow drivers and rightly so!  Conformity is not a bad thing; it all depends on context.  

To turn the table a little on conformity, I no longer feel pressure to conform to others expectations of how I should act.  I am by nature a quiet introvert.  I digest information differently than extroverts do.  I used to question why I couldn't be more talkative or outgoing like my younger sisters.  I think I have embraced my introversion over the past few years.  I am much more comfortable in my skin as an introvert.  In fact, about 30 minutes into my last job interview, my interviewer asked if I was an introvert to which I proudly said yes.  And I got the job!   For all of my fellow introverts out there, I suggest you pick up the acclaimed New York Times bestselling book Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Won't Stop Talking  by Susan Cain.  I thoroughly enjoyed the book and felt empowered after reading the stories of other quiet people navigating the often high charged world of work.  Below is a link to the author's website--check it out!

The Power of Introverts- Susan Cain

Fellow bloggers, what do you think about the pressure to conform?  

Friday, January 17, 2014

Handling pressure

Do you think you handle pressure well, or do you usually fall apart?

I like to think I am better at handling pressure now than I was in the past.  I mentioned in an earlier post that I am a natural born procrastinator.  I can thrive on pressure when it comes to working against a deadline.  The key word there is 'can.'  It really depends on the assignment/project I am working on.  For example, I thrive under pressure for writing assignments but for an oral presentation I would need significantly more time to prepare.  I am not a natural public speaker by any means.  If I waited until the night before to write a speech I would likely melt on stage.  Likewise, in my cold calling job I had to prepare ahead of time to reach my goal. Preparation and hard work were key to fighting against the intense pressure I felt from my boss to meet my number each month.  If I had waited until the last week to meet my target, I would have most certainly fallen apart not to mention receive a good ole' pink slip!

For assignments I really enjoy though such as these blog entries, I can wait until right before midnight to post for the day and be fine cranking out an entry for you fine folks!  Then again, maybe my entries would be better if I started earlier.  I'm going to try posting earlier this next week so (knock on wood) my entries might be even better!  Also, I just started a fiction writing course and I have an assignment due for my class next Thursday.  My first inclination is to wait until Wednesday night but I am going to fight that urge this time and see if I can come up with an even better story.  Wish me luck! 

And Happy Friday everyone!

Thursday, January 16, 2014

Pressure from within

Who puts the most pressure on you -- yourself or others?

This one is easy for me!  I am my biggest critic by far.  I am sure others of you can identify with this.  I am the oldest among my three sisters and by nature, the oldest child can tend to be an achiever.  I actually just read a great article in the Huffington Post about how birth order affects personality. (Huff post article by Dr. Gail Gross)  As the eldest child I fit the mold for the most part.  I am a perfectionist, an approval seeker and a mini-parent.  My parents never had to put much pressure on me to study and do well in school.  I put the pressure on myself.  It also helped that I went to a highly competitive high school and was surrounded by the type of people who did homework at lunch instead of just socialize.  

Even now, I put pressure on myself to succeed as an adult.  I want to earn a living and simultaneously live a life of meaning.  After being out of work for three months, I can proudly say I just got a job offer this week.  So I feel like I am on the right road now, but I want more out of life this year.  I want to cultivate interests outside of work like my blog and writing in general.  I want to continue to make time to exercise through Zumba and maybe even include a cycling class in my regimen.  I also want to nurture my friendships outside of work and find a church home.  And I hope I can even find a special someone this year.  ;)  These are all goals I want to achieve for myself.  Perhaps I could call my self-motivation internal pressure?  Regardless, I am motivated to live a life that I can be proud of for me, not others.  

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Grace under pressure

"Courage is grace under pressure" is a famous quotation by Ernest Hemingway.  Tell us about a personal moment of your grace under pressure.

 In my last job grace under pressure or courage was essential for success.  I cold called up to 50 different companies a day.  My job was to hook the person on the line through my introduction to our company and services.  If I reached a receptionist or 'gatekeeper' my job was to 'break through' them and get to the decision maker. My goal for each call was to set an appointment for the salesperson to provide further information/pricing to them.  This appointment was classified as a sales lead.  Needless to say, I encountered a lot of people who were annoyed with my calling during the day and let me know it.  I can't blame them as I would probably react the same way to a telemarketer!

My goal was to get 30 appointments/leads per month for the team which was not an easy task.  I set a weekly goal for myself each Monday and worked towards it the whole week. Pressure?  Yes.  I found the old saying that you catch more flies with honey than vinegar to be very true in this role.  I learned creative ways to counter the refusals and objections on the other end of the phone.  I remained cool under pressure which put my prospect at ease along with my team and myself. 

It took time to learn this kind of grace as it didn't come natural to me at first.  I am naturally a very nervous person.  Through the job, I learned how to channel my nerves and calm myself down in order to reach my goal.  When I first started calling, I was easily rattled by someone who was even slightly annoyed with me.  A year into the job, I could have cared less if the person on the other end raised their voice at me.  "On to the next one!" became my motto.  I hope to use this skill of maintaining grace under pressure in future work endeavors and hopefully relationship endeavors as well!  ;)

By Jahoe (Own work) [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Queen Bey

Marge Piercy said: "A strong woman is a woman determined to do something others are determined not be done." Tell us about a time when you did what couldn't be done.

I don't have an answer to this right now although it is a great prompt and something I hope to answer personally at the end of 2014.  I want to do something unique and "something that others are determined not be done."  If God gives me the grace, I hope to complete a historical fiction novel of my own.

I do however have many female role models, both celebrity and non-celebrity, who have done something that others determined not be done.  One of these role models for me is none other than superstar Ms. Beyonce Knowles.  As many of you know, Queen Bey dropped her album on Dec 14 just after midnight on the east coast.  She debuted her 14-track self-titled album on itunes.  There was no pre-promotion or singles to promote the album.  She did what had never been done before.  And her album has been at the top of the album charts for weeks now.  My mind is still boggled by how she kept recording such a huge album secret.  Not to mention all of her video shoots for the visual component of the album.

I have appreciated Beyonce's music since her Destiny's Child days.  I remember dragging my poor Mother to Wal-mart for a chance to see Beyonce, Kelly and Michelle at the 'Survivor' album debut.  Why do I love Beyonce so much?  She is not only beautiful and talented but a strong, positive role model for women.  She has succeeded on her on own terms in the music industry.  I think her most recent album is her best so far.  The album, like Beyonce the artist, is intelligent, vulnerable, honest, creative, fierce, sensual and yes, sexual.  She is a feminist and defines the term in her song "Flawless" through an excerpt from author Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie's writing.  One line that I love from Chinamanda's excerpt: 

     "We raise girls to be competitors not for jobs or accomplishments which I think would be a good thing but for the attention of men.  We teach girls that they cannot be sexual beings in the way that boys are.  Feminist: a person who believes in the social, political and economic equality of the sexes."

Beyonce set a new precedent with this surprise visual album drop on itunes and I wouldn't be surprised if her peers follow suit with this model.  I expect that Beyonce will continue to do things that others say cannot be done in the music world.  Go get 'em, Queen!

Queen Bey in concert!
By Cornel Pex from La Senia, Spain (File:Beyonce 2.jpg) [CC-BY-2.0 (], via Wikimedia Commons

Monday, January 13, 2014

Escaping a close call

Eleanor Roosevelt said: "A woman is like a tea bag - you can't tell how strong she is until you put her in hot water." Tell us about a time you felt your strength.

I love this quote from Ms. Roosevelt.  I felt my strength seep out in hot water when I first arrived in Barcelona for a semester long study abroad program in January 2008.  Stepping off the plane, I was simultaneously excited and scared out of my mind.  I was in a new foreign country by myself for the first time.  

Upon landing I called my parents assuring them that I had landed safely.  My Dad warned me to keep an eye out at the airport.  After checking in with my program and meeting a few other students in my program at the airport, I headed toward the airport exit to catch a taxi to my home stay.  I was pushing a cart stacked high with luggage with my laptop bag on top.  Upon exiting I was stopped by woman asking me a question.  She spoke in fast Spanish and I felt bad that I couldn't understand her.  "Lo siento, no comprendo," I said with regret.  I continued walking and was then stopped by a man who was told me where to go for the taxi line.  As I was about to reply in my broken Spanish I saw a tall man in a black trench coat and top hat out of the corner of my eye.  I watched as he swiftly snatched by laptop bag by the handle and walked away.  I sense of panic spread across my body.  I acted on my initial reaction and lunged forward grabbing the bag back.  "Excuse me!," I exclaimed as I took back my bag filled with my laptop and all my electronics.  The man who had been talking to me slowly slumped away.  My terror dissipated into shock and relief.  I finally hailed a taxi and loaded my precious cargo into the trunk.  I breathed a sigh of relief.  I gave the taxi driver my home stay's address and we sped off into the city.  

I will always look back on this incident and think about what could have happened.  Had I not grabbed my bag back, I would have lost hundreds of dollars in electronics and been without technology for a good part of my stay.  I felt my strength that day and I thank God that He gave me that strength.

Friday, January 10, 2014


Have you ever tried acupressure to treat a problem? What was your experience with it?
Yes, I have gone for acupressure treatment in the form of Reflexology.  My mother convinced my sisters and I to go for two sessions.  The first time we went I was under the impression that this would simply a massage on the upper part of my body.  I didn't realize that it would be a full body massage!  (I was glad I got to keep my clothes on though!)  It was very relaxing though and I definitely felt a sense of calm after the treatment.  I would recommend it to anyone looking for a way to relieve stress and/or soothe tired muscles.  

For those of you who don't know, that acupressure method focuses on meridians in the body.  The idea is to break up patterns that cause blockages and release them which in turn allows energy and blood flow in the body to improve.  The result is reduced stress and better circulation.  It has even been known to help with hormonal imbalances, migraines and digestive disorders.  I am obviously not an expert though and for more information I would suggest searching on good ole' Google.  If you haven't been for acupressure treatment before though, I would highly recommend Reflexology!  

By Stacy Simone [CC-BY-SA-3.0 ( or GFDL (], via Wikimedia Commons

Thursday, January 9, 2014

Pressure points

A pressure point translates in Japanese to "tender spot." What are your pressure points?

I like to think of myself as easy to get along with but I do have a couple tender spots that will set me off.  OK, more than a couple, a few!

1. Overhearing guys make derogatory comments about women.
This is by far my worst pressure point.  I especially hate the common usage of words such as "bit*h" and "slut."  I can tolerate them when used by women casually but when men refer to women like this in a demeaning way I can get hostile.

2.  People who complain to no end.
I am human and I like to complain once in a while.  I am a realist and I know that no one can be happy 100% of the time.  This week has been very cold and I have logged in my fair share of complaints.  However, I do not like to be around people who are constantly whining about something.  We all have troubles in life and I respect people who can keep their complaining to a minimum.  

3. People who spread negative gossip about others.
We have all been around those people who are always in everyone's business.  Nosy people are fine by me but it's the gossipy ones that can get my riled up.  Sure, we all spread juicy tidbits about others every now and then.  When the negative gossip from you exceeds a certain level though, I start to question whether you are spilling my bad news too.

Do any of you identify with these pressure points?  Or, are yours entirely different than mine?

Wednesday, January 8, 2014

Peer Pressure: A Two-Way Street

Can peer pressure be positive? Why or why not?

I believe that peer pressure can be either positive or negative depending on the context and situation.  For example, I was pressured by my peers in my challenging, top ranked high school to study hard and take schoolwork seriously.  It was almost cool to be a nerd.  My smart peers influenced me to do well in school.  I wasn't nearly as intelligent as my fellow classmates but their dedication pushed me to do better.  My college coursework was easier to handle after my rigorous high school academic life.  I now consider myself a life long student.  Even now that I am not in school, I enjoy keeping up with current events, reading new books and learning new things.  Of course, we all know the flip side of peer pressure in high school where kids get involved with a bad crowd and in turn jeopardize their futures.  Peer pressure is a two-way street.

Tuesday, January 7, 2014

College sans alcohol

Tell us about a time when you didn't bend to peer pressure, and you swam against the stream.

The first few weeks of college usually conjures up images of new classes, bonding among fellow classmates, and drunken debauchery.  Well the first two applied to me and the the latter not so much.
My freshman year of college I chose to be on a substance-free hall.  Our dormitory hall was encouraged to have fun without the social lubricant that is alcohol.  I was just 17 when I started college and I was intent on meeting people and having fun without drinking.  And I did meet people!  I made friends who chose to drink and friends who didn't.  I didn't take part in wild parties like most other freshmen but I thoroughly enjoyed the pizza parties and movie nights with the people on my floor.  Perhaps my anti-alcohol stance until 21 can be attributed to my upbringing in church or the morals that my parents instilled in me, but mostly I think it's just that I wanted to be in control and I didn't want to break the law.  I didn't want to wake up wondering what I had done last night or throw up in the courtyard.  I enjoyed being a nerd in college and I didn't care if that made me different. Sure, sometimes I felt like the odd one out when everyone else was discussing the wild frat party but in the end, I wanted to have fun on my terms.

I studied abroad at age 20 in Spain where drinking was permitted for 18+.   The fact that I had not drank before (outside of sips of my parents' drinks) made the Spanish sangria even tastier.  And when I turned 21, I used my ID for the first time to buy none other than a margarita!   Was it worth the wait?  Yes.

What about you fellow bloggers?  Are there instances when you swam against the stream?


Monday, January 6, 2014

Thoughts On Being Yourself

Since we are on the topic of peer pressure, here is a video from one of my favorite you-tubers, Jenna Marbles, on being yourself.  I love it!

"The single greatest gift you could ever give the world is to be exactly who you are and that that is your whole journey here on planet Earth as a human in the human experience."-Jenna Marbles

"You are the only you that there is, you are the most rare and majestic you there ever was and ever will be."  -Jenna Marbles


Bending to peer pressure

Tell us about a time you bent to peer pressure.

Happy Monday, fellow NaBloPoMo bloggers!  I can feel the holiday rush lifting as everyone returns back to work.  Yes, I am up at 6 am typing this.  And no, I am not a morning person so please forgive any incorrect grammar usage!

I would like to think of myself as a lofty individual who has always taken pride in being unique.  But, alas, I was just like any other kid, susceptible to following the latest trends.  I bought into the trends in middle school especially when all I wanted was to fit in.  Do you all recall gelly roll pens and beanie babies?  Oh, and giga pets?  All my friends had them so I had to also!  Yes, I was just a money sign in the eyes of companies aiming at the 'tween' demographic.  None of this 'consumerism' peer pressure resulted in any dire consequences for my young life but I'm sure my parents' wallet could have done without it! 

When I first saw this prompt though the first instance that came to mind was in second grade.  I had gone to a pool party for a little friend's birthday.  I was impressed by all my friends doing jumps,  flips and dives into the pool.  I watched in amazement while I doggy paddled in the shallow end.   A classmate dared me to dive into the pool.  I resisted but she kept pressing me to do it even though I told her I had never dived in before.  We compromised on me doing a 'twist' jump into the water.  I also saw that I had gained an audience and I didn't want to disappoint.  Casting aside my fear, I jumped into the air twisting my body as I fell to the water.  Seconds later, my chin hit the brick siding of the pool busting it open and leaving a gaping wound.  I remember crying and calling my Mom to come get me.  I went to the ER and spent the rest of that afternoon getting stitches in my chin.  Fun?  No.  A valuable lesson?  Yes.  I thought twice before taking a dare from anyone again.  Turns out peer pressure can hurt!

What are your stories of peer pressure?  Did your choice(s) have consequences?


Friday, January 3, 2014

Procrastination vs. To Do Lists

Do you have a tendency to procrastinate, or do you like checking things off your to-do list?

As I mentioned in my earlier post, I do have a natural inclination to procrastinate. Procrastination was my middle name last year.  And on top of that, I rarely maintained a to-do list.  Well, good bye 2013!   

This year, I want to check things off my to-do list like I used to.  Back when I was in school, I was the queen of to-do lists.  I got immeasurable joy from checking items off my extensive lists.  Don't get me wrong, I would still procrastinate in school but I knew what had to get done and by when.  There was a method to my procrastination madness!  The 24 hour computer lab by my dorm was my best friend.  So, in addition to getting my tech life organized, I am going to start 2014 off by writing a daily to do list.  Most likely this will end up being a weekly list but hey, it is better than nothing.  And even if I do procrastinate on it, at least I will have the joy of checking items off eventually!

How about my fellow bloggers?  Do you have a daily or weekly to-do list?  How do you hold yourself accountable for things that need to get done?

Hope y'all have a great weekend.  Happy Friday!


Yes, that's me posing outside my beloved 24 hour Computer Lab in college. 

Thursday, January 2, 2014

Happy New Years!

Hello to all on the second day of 2014!

I had a great New Years' celebrating with family at home.  We had some delicious food/drinks to help us ring in the New Year.

Here are a few treats I helped to create along with the ingredients below.  I decided to keep it simple after royally messing up some Nutella cookies for Christmas.  The Nutella cookies recipe was from a British blog and more complex to make than I had anticipated.  My cookies ended up tasting like flour and my family voted to trash them.

Luckily, my New Years' food contributions turned out exceedingly better and I was able to redeem myself somewhat.  My motto for cooking is to keep it simple and go with recipe sources you can trust.  :)
My New Years' Brownies!  (OK fine, they were from a package but I still had to make them!)

You too can make these delicious Hot Chocolate brownies with marshmellow swirl in less than an hour with the help of my good buddy, Betty Crocker.

Love you, Betty.

We also decided to ring in the new year with a healthy fruit salad which was easy to make and a crowd pleaser.

Mango, strawberry, blueberry, grape, raspberry salad.

And last but certainly not least, we rang in the new year with homemade mimosas which consisted of a blend of champagne, orange juice, sparkling soda, and sliced oranges for aesthetic appeal.  

Ringing in the new year right!

 Now, to answer the NaBloPoMo question of the day, I am currently feeling pressure to organize my tech life in 2014.  By that I mean I need to: 1) back up all of my files from my laptop,  2) sort through old e-mails I never delete and 3) look into getting a  new computer.  I have never been that tech savvy and doing all of this is a chore but I  know that it will pay off in the long run for me to be organized.  I have to keep my eyes on the prize.  It will also make my blogging life more pleasant!  I currently have a Dell laptop that makes a loud vacuum sounding noise every 5 minutes and takes forever to load.  Do any of you work from a laptop/desktop that you love?  If so, would your recommend it?  I am open to suggestions although leaning toward a Mac right now since my sisters both have a Mac and love it.  

Hope you all are having a great start to the New Year!  What is it that you are feeling pressure to do this year that you don't particularly enjoy?  How to you plan to make it more enjoyable?

Wednesday, January 1, 2014

Jan 1, 2014- Beginning NaBloPoMo- Blog Her

Happy New Year, all!  January 1, 2014.  I hope you all had a wonderful time celebrating with your loved ones.  Like most people, I love the feeling of beginning a new year and starting a new chapter.  Of course with a new year comes change and for me, with change comes anxiety.  I am a creature of habit and a person who loves the familiar.   My big resolution this year is to embrace change better.  To quote someone famous whose name I cannot recall,  "Change is the only constant in life."  I am also resolving to drink more water and hopefully (knock on wood) do some serious stomach toning in the new year.  I ate my weight in food over the holidays so Lord knows I need some of that!

By signing up for this NaBloPoMo I hope to achieve another big resolution to get my blog up and rolling this year!  It was great to find a community of fellow bloggers in BlogHer that will inspire my writing.   

To answer the first prompt of the month, I do work well under pressure in some cases.  Writing is one of those cases.  In college, I was the chick who stayed up all night in the 24 hour computer lab working on her research paper assigned at the beginning of the semester.  I fueled my body with bottles of Coca-Cola and junk food.  (Not fitting for my stomach toning resolution!)  Having a deadline for my writing motivated me and often times resulted in my best work which is what I hope will happen here!  My strategy of procrastinating and waiting until the last week/few days before a deadline worked wonders for most of my liberal arts courses in college.  This strategy did not work, however, with my more challenging subjects such as Calculus and Chemistry where I needed weeks of review to manage even a B on the test!

So, in sum, the pressure cooker works well when I am completing assignments that I enjoy or excel in.  In other areas, not so much.  So, fellow bloggers bring on the pressure!!