Tuesday, November 17, 2015

Prose and shit

Have you ever felt extraordinarily ordinary? Like “If there was a world wide competition for the art of being ordinary, I'd come in first place”. I don't mean because you fell from grace after high school. All of you jocks and popular tramps do. I'm talking about people who were actually going places. Once upon a time, You were a jet setter, top of the class, the most promising blah blah blah. Now you are just another cog in the shit covered wheel of life. You're job, while it might be important, probably isn't what you dreamed about doing when you were a kids. I promise I didn't aspire to be a rodeo clown for bad ass kids. I thought I was going to be pulling babies out of vaginas, and after I de-babied that vag, I was going to get my swerve on- I was dreaming about being a character in Grey's Anatomy before Grey's Anatomy. (Thanks for jocking my dreams Shonda!) Then I thought, “Oh yea, I like to argue, I should be a lawyer. Why not a Judge? Holy shit I'm going to be a Supreme Court Justice! I'm a bad ass!” I don't like to argue - I just don't like being wrong. But now, like everyone else, I'm just trying to keep my head above water.

As young, black, first generation college kids, we are led to believe that if we just get this degree, that's all we need. That piece of paper is a one way ticket to success. You're in a bubble with other like minded individuals who are all starry eyed and ready to take on the world. Only to eventually realize that the world sucks! I've been helping my brother with his college applications and I wish on everything that I could go back to that time in my life. When everything was new and the world was my Bword. I mean, I literally walked into the “major fair” at my college, and when they philosophy department head asked me what I was hoping to do with my life I literally responded “I want take over the world”!


Insert finger in mouth, gag, choke,

How idealistic of me! Not to mention, I didn't even answer the question. Someone should have forced me to ACTUALLY ANSWER that damn question. Us first gen college grads had no clue what we wanted to do, or what majoring in something actually meant. I thought I was going to be a philosopher before become a supreme court justice. Lofty ideals for a girl from the Bronx, but with no actual conception of what that meant.

Huge Sigh

Not that I'm not thankful. I am. I just expected…more. And I think the problem is I had more for a while. For the tiniest moment, I was living the life I thought I should. The life I'd worked for. And it was better than I could have imagined. I found myself wondering if that was it. Is it over? Has moving back to the states sucked the life right out of me? I mean, I have fallen into the exact cycle I was in before, and for what?

No, I don't think its over, but I definitely think it will be harder. There are real responsibilities on the line here. We got IRAs and 401ks and shit. Savings and life insurance. But if I learned anything from being overseas, its that American's make work the #1 priority. While it is important, sense of self is even more so. Guess who's gonna start bringing wine to work in a sippy cup! Everyone is more relaxed than us. Everyone is more focused on life than work. Even people that have nothing.

And my body is trying to tell me the same thing.

I shit you not, my body is falling apart. Why? Because I am not caring about the right things. I've not been writing enough, or going to yoga enough, or just finding things to do that make me happy. I simply go home and flop on the couch and turn on the idiot box. I made a vow to never be that person. My mom made an excellent point about how I focus on the “Now” way too much, and that I need to spend more time focusing on the bigger picture. I'm going to have to design the life that I want, within the life that I don't. Big picture! Yea, I might be sleepy today, but I will never be anything more than exceptionally ordinary if I don't get some damn hustle back about myself.

So I'm getting ready to hustle real hard, hustle, hustle, real hard.

Cue Rick Ross

Friday, October 23, 2015

Oktoberfest- Jacksonville 2015

Who loves beer!?! NOT ME!!! But it doesn't matter. I said "I'm going to Oktoberfest because I'm sure they are going to have plenty of other things to drink. Yea, I was wrong.

So I spent the first week of October trying to find something fun for us to do because Rob will be deploying soon. Although I really wanted to go to Oktoberfest in New Orleans, I found one closer in Jacksonville and the way they talked it up on the website, I thought it was going to be epic. A two hour drive to Jacksonville versus a 9 hour drive to New Orleans. Yea, easy choice. So I booked the tickets and I was super pumped about it. Then we dragged my son ( even though he's like 4 years younger than us, he's our son lol), AKA, my coworker, along for the ride with us. It was promising to be a great weekend.

So the day comes, we leave the babies with our neighbor, and headed to our beach vacation. We rented a house from AirBNB (read all about it here)  that blew our socks off. I mean, she was missing some basic shit key things, like napkins and bags in the bathroom trash can, but overall the house was gorgeous.

Friday night, we had dinner at a place called Jimmy's. The wings were awesome. Not really used to being the only flies in the milk, if you get my drift, but we sat outside away from all the bullshit country music. Blah. Saturday was the big day. Oktoberfest on deck. Awesomeness had next...

But no.

Jacksonville Oktoberfest was wack as shit left something to be desired. It was tiny. Did not cover much surface area at all. I thought it was going to be way bigger. I guess for me, since beer wasn't the reason I was going to BEER FEST (maybe I'm the asshole huh), I was hoping for everything else to be live. Even my funnel cake was shit. I mean, how do you mess up the funnel cake!?

The best part of the day was when we hung out on the beach like super stars. Wind in my curls, feeling like I was in a cover shoot for Essence magazine!

The most loved shoes in my house

So I guess we had a good time anyway. After the left down of the country music's main hit "let me see your coozie" I had to get out of there. We took a walk down the pier and drank at a few bars, met some cool people, and talked too much like we always do. The night ended with our son falling asleep on the couch and rob not falling to far behind him.

We headed out after a nice breakfast at some local beach diner on Saturday. It was ok. The best part was my Graham latte from starbucks. I didn't know. Damnit, I just didn't know it was so good!
That's right, I am princess Leia! 

Then we took an impromptu trip back to the mall where I proceeded to spend ungodly amounts of money in LUSH! My favorite place. I'd say the trip was a success, but next time, drive my ass to New Orleans!

Why You Should be Using Airbnb

Comin at you live this glorious Friday night.  You are now reading to the smooth words of the Midnight Shaytrain taking you all the way home.  The time now is 5pm on this crisp Georgia night and I'll be bringing you the latest news and the soft tunes to keep your night moving smooth.  Stay right here.

I guess I'm feeling some kind of way right now Ha!

Anyway, Rob and I are no stranger to interesting travel arrangements. From volunteer vacations, to hostels, to couch surfing, and we were a little more than amped to add airbNb to that list.

What is airbNb (from the website)-

A Community Built on Sharing
Airbnb began in 2008 when two designers who had space to share hosted three travelers looking for a place to stay. Now, millions of hosts and travelers choose to create a free Airbnb account so they can list their space and book unique accommodations anywhere in the world.

 Airbnb hosts share their spaces in 190 countries and more than 34,000 cities. All you have to do is enter your destination and travel dates into the search bar to discover distinctive places to stay, anywhere in the world.

We encourage you to share all kinds of spaces on Airbnb! Whether you’re offering a seaside villa or an air mattress in the corner of your living room, it’s free to list your space. When you’re ready to start welcoming guests, you can publish your listing for the world to see.

I found out about airbnb though an ad on facebook of all things. I usually click anything that has to do with travel because I have an obsession. People rent out their guest rooms or couches for a price that they deem acceptable. You can even find some pretty good deals to rent the whole home. Here are some pictures of the home we rented when we went to Jacksonville this past weekend (including the one above)
This fountain lit up beautifully at night

It looked much better before I slept in it!

We never met our host. She was out of town quite a bit and only stayed in the house a few nights per month. She left the key under the mat, and text me all the information I needed to the apple tv, the wifi, and pool, the fitness center and things in the general location. Way better information than what you'd receive from a hotel.

We have also stayed in the guest room of a really nice couple before. They got up and made us breakfast and it was super healthy. They brought in vegetables from their herb garden and shit (well guess who has an herb garden now bitches!!) That's another awesome part of this; all the ideas you get from other people you wouldn't meet otherwise.

Common Questions I Get:

What if they kill you?
What if they rape you?
"Uh uh not me, I couldn't do it"

And my response is- "You can get killed or raped walking home from work. Take a chance on the goodness of people, do your research. Or you can stay in that same small minded lane you've been in all your life..." Your choice.
We love meeting people. That's something we've had in common for a long time. It's nice to make new memories, and in life, we only tend to attract people like ourselves. Organizations like this make it easier to meet people who can bring something to the table that you haven't experienced before.

So give it a shot!

Have you tried it? Think you might?

Monday, October 12, 2015

Body Shots

I'm sitting here looking at the yellow stains on my sheets from the TigerBalm I've been rubbing on my ankle. Watching Star Trek. Being enamored by William Shatner. Made me think about how old he is now and how hot he was back then.

Man, twisting my ankle last week really put things in perspective.

It's like someone sent a letter to my body, informing it that I am now 30 and as such, it has to start giving me problems. Thank you very much, anonymous writer. It's cool though. I was finally getting back into the heavy swing of working out and trying to get back where I was, and wouldn't you know, my body didn't cooperate. To be fair, I have quite a bit more weight on my bones than I did back then. *Insert side eye*.

All that to say...I WENT SHOPPING TODAY!!!

I know, ridiculous introduction.

Truth is, I haven't been buying clothes for my new size. I've been living that "If I buy bigger clothes I will get bigger" type life. Well booboo, that shipped has sailed and none of my shit fits. So I've been doing some shopping lately. And Old Navy had a fabulous sale today. Looking at my old clothes has actually been counterproductive. A chick just gets depressed when nothing in her closet fits. There is no motivation to be found in depression. Ultimately, it just makes you find that happiness somewhere else...food. So I went shopping and I plan to do more and more of it. Sure, when I get back down to where I want to be, I'll have to buy new things. So be it. I'd rather be comfortable on the way down.

In other news, I've been getting more work done on "Untitled". I figure writing a paragraph a day is better than just staring at a screen. Which is also why I'm blogging. I'm trying to get my content out again with less time in between.  Nanowrimo starts soon. Can't say that I'm pleased to be writing the same novel I was working on last year, but such is life. I've given myself 3 years to get my finished novel in the hands of a publisher. Three years. No more. I was thinking about the movie Limitless, and I found myself wishing I had one of those magic pills to give me laser focus and help me accomplish all my goals. But honestly, don't we all kind of know the things we need to do to be successful. I mean, I know that crappy carbs and sugar make me feel sluggish and heavy, yet I continue to indulge. I know that I can write this book when I turn my TV off and make myself get to work. But I get so intimidated by the silence that I shy away from it. So truthfully, I just need to be my own limitless pill and kick my shit into action.

Starting with nursing this ankle back to health and taking care to make sure I don't take any more body shots on my way to fit-body-ness. 

Sunday, September 27, 2015

Grocery Shopping

Are you one of those people who love grocery shopping? I am. Walking up and down the aisles. Thinking about what awesomeness I can cook for the week. Fondling fruit in the most disrespectful of ways. I enjoy it all- while I'm in the store. But come Tuesday I am completely over it. I mean I'm like to hell with all the groceries, show me the take out menu! What can I eat so that I don't have to do anything. The work week completely zaps the Gordon Ramsey right out of my system.

I'm trying to combat this life. I don't like it. I promise I wish I had a personal chef. My oh my, that would be epic. Just come home to some food that's hot and ready. Side by side with a full glass of red. Alas, that is not my luck. I married for love...not money ha!

So this week I'm trying to focus on meal prep and easy quick foods. I'm also working on cutting down my meat and amping up my fruits and veg. Don't worry, I'm not going vegetarian...yet, but I would like a heavier rotation of all those yummy plant based foods. I want my hair and nails to get longer. I want my skin to clear up. Have you ever noticed how absolutely glow-ey vegetarians are? Now some of them look haggard and dry, but mostly, veggies look really good. Dewey even. I want to look dewey damnit!!

So the hubs and I made some kale for the first time. I put it in my smoothies all the time, but I had NO IDEA it was so delicious cooked! Not gonna lie, I sautéed 2 pieces of bacon before throwing the kale in. I think next time I'll see how it tastes with just the kale and a little olive oil. I couldn't believe how good it was. We had it with Shrimp and brown rice. I could eat like that all the time. And it was quick.  Think I've found a new staple!

That lighting is horrible. Its was late. My bad!!!

As a side note, in an effort to really move towards this healthier lifestyle, The hubs and I tried Kombucha today... It was absolutely terrible. Hahahahaha we hated it!

I had a video but the damn thing wont load. I thought this whole post had been deleted! I was about to go to bed and say no sir lol. It's already 9:43 pm and I have to finish my book so I can start Beastly bones! Anyway. Tata!

Have you tried Kombucha? What did you think? What about Kale?

Monday, September 14, 2015

New Goals

Watching Master Chef and Christina Ha is up there talking about winning the Helen Keller award for being the best chef ever...and being blind. Effing Blind Chef? And I'm just over here teaching scientific notation everyday. Really puts life into perspective!

Anyway. As I stated in my last post, I am currently reevaluating my entire life, including my fitness goals. I remember when I thought this was fat:

And this:

I was trying so hard to get to that next level. Not even taking the time to appreciate the level I was on. Which was the BOSS level in Super Mario brother. I was killing the game. If I do say so myself...and I do.

Ugh. Starting over is the worst thing in the world. I am truly not about that life. After being on that ridiculous prednisone and just ultimately being too depressed to really do anything, it seems like my health and fitness goals came crashing down around me in the most life shattering kind of way. And before you know it, you are in a rut, cycling bad habits back into your life because your goals are too far away to even matter anymore.

Then you're walking around looking like a sumo wrestler. Jaba the Hutt. Insert other fatties here. So it comes down to

How much do you want it?

I don't think people realize how debilitating this can be every single day. It can absolutely make you hate everything. Getting dressed used to give me such joy. Now...not so much. Everything feels too tight or too short. Clothes I used to love wearing are now just burdens in my closet. And I look at the pictures up top and I'm like "Damn, remember what it was like to just go in the closet and put clothes on with no concerns?" I want to get back to that life. Mediums and size 14 pants were everything to me. I was all about never seeing a size X- anything again.

However, life doesn't always go as planned.

Shit happens.

And sometimes you have to get back on that horse.

I haven't set real goals in such a long time so lets do it.

This weeks goals  
- workout 4 times
- 2 strength train  - heavy cardio (4+ miles this week logged) 
- 1 am workout on Thursday   

*plan meals the night before  
*log all activity and foods in fitness pal 
*log miles in daily mile  
*limit carb intake  
*Update blog with results next week
*up green tea intake  
*apple cider vinegar

BOOM!! There it is! Ok. That's it. Gotta go and watch Master Chef!!! LOL!

Thursday, September 10, 2015

My 30th Birthday Clarity

The pizza from Home Alone looks like the most delicious thing on the planet.

Aside from that, I've just turned 30. *Cue kazoos and confetti*

Overall, it was one of my most exciting. Throwing it right on in there with my 25th birthday in Korea. And while I had a small break down on the over the span of the fortnight leading up to it, I have to say, 30 has brought with it a clarity that I wasn't quite expecting.

But there must me a photo spread before the revelation!

Boodaddy and I

My best friend since birth (well since 5)

Always end up in bed running our mouths! 4 people on an air mattress

We all got tattoos!! This is boodaddies

Harry Potter For Life

The tattoo artists and the all tattoo-ees

How epic is it when 6 of your closest friends all run up in the tattoo parlor like you run that mother? We spent about 6 hours in there. Its hilarious that absolutely none of my plans came to fruition this past weekend. I'm such a huge planner, had all these things to do... DID NONE OF THEM! And it was amazing. I'm never someone who chooses to go with the flow. I was pretty surprised at myself.

Which leads to the clarity.

I don't know what happened, but when I woke up on September 1 I felt this serious sense of IDGAF. I mean, it was like nothing was important, except the few things that were actually important. And they are really limited in number.

I'll admit it. I've been depressed lately. I can't seem to get out of this funk. I thought it was just me. But apparently the husband felt that way as well. It wasn't until spending the weekend with friends and family in Atlanta did we realize that we aren't just old and depresso, it really is our surroundings. I've been more than a little miffed about the weight gain I've been going through.  Nothing feels great to wear. And this damn stomach seems to be determined to poke out more and more. But being with everyone and just having a good time outside of my house made all the difference in the world

Can you see my level of "Feeling Myself" in this picture!!!

I haven't been writing or blogging at all lately. I think its because all of my thoughts have been negative. I feel so stagnant here. Throw in the fact that there is never anything to do, anyone to see, and everyone I like is either pregnant, or never in the city... I'm pretty lonely here. Getting crazy with people who know and understand me was and epic eye opener...

I have to get the F#*@ out of here.

Maybe not for good...not just yet. But we most certainly have to get out of this city more often. Hang out. See people. Just... not...be...here.  It does us good. Aside from that fact that it took a full 24 hours to recover from 3 days of hard partying and little sleeping, I feel great right now.

So hubs and I are making plans to get out more. New Orleans, Florida, Charlotte, and you know we're planning on going overseas! WE have to get back to the old US, because we are losing ourselves here.

And I know I need to set aside more time for writing. It so feeds my soul when I can express myself on paper (or screen as it were). My novel needs to get some tender love and affection. My blog does as well. Let alone the countless other writing endeavors I have been talking about getting into. I think, somewhere unbeknownst to me, I have been afraid to fail...and that just wont do.

So its back to taking risks, doing things, going places, and living life. I have plenty of it left.

Sunday, August 9, 2015

My First Week (teaching) in Pictures

First day of School 

Well school is originally back in session and its ROUGH being back. Students are back, classroom is in order, but I want more vacation!

Spent the first morning taking selfies because that's just what you do on the first day of school. I love this app called Retrica that let's you see the pictures with the filter before you take it.

My classroom is all set up with cute stuff that the kids pay no attention too lol. But the classroom is about their comfort and THE TEACHER's. We are the ones who have to stay in there all day.

I LOVE this teacher planner from Erin Condren. It's gorgeous and has everything I will need all year. Not to mention, this cover full of my own precious pictures makes me happy every time I look at it. Isn't it just precious?

I spent the second day taking selfies as well. I'm still trying to work the "no-smile" look. The second day proved interesting. I got to really see who some of these kids are. It's definitely going to be a rough year.

And yes, I have caved in and bought some Crocks. Boy have I been missing out. My arc hasn't felt this wonderful and supported in years. I promised I'm about to rock these bad boys everyday. I might go to school cute as hell, but these guys aren't going to be far away. Thank you Crock Gods.

And then I thought I was going to be able to just chill all weekend, but the hubs had a crappy experience at the air port and ended up having to have a switched flight. I had to make an impromptu drive to Jacksonville which is 2 hours away. Color me pissed. But the boys looked pleased.

2 days down.  Only 178 left :/

Sunday, August 2, 2015

Books, Books, Books

I've dropped the ball once again. I've been so busy over the summer that I haven't had time to even consider writing anything. I have a few things lined up though. I went to the TFA educators conference 2 weeks ago and I came back with such a renewed sense of urgency for my career. I was starting to feel like I was in an educational pit of despair, but the conference, along with the people there, fed my spirit in a way that I hadn't even known I needed. But more on that later.

What I have been able to keep up with all summer is my reading!

And setting up my bookcases in a way that makes me SUPER happy! This is what I do. I'm on track with my good reads challenge.


Now on books 26 and 27 (because I can't just read one at a time apparently). But this pretty good progress!

This is my current obsession!

What are you reading right now?

Monday, July 20, 2015

A Book Lover's Interview

1: What is your favorite book?Love the Harry Potter series, but most recently I have been in love with the Irin Chronicles by Elizabeth Hunter.

2: What was the last book you read?The Singer by Elizabeth Hunter

3: What is the worst book you've ever read?This crime mystery that was chock full of rape. I couldn't even get through it. 

4: Top 7 book characters.Hermione Granger, Will Herodale, Matthew Clairmont (A discovery of witches), Jackaby, Sirius Black, Severus Snape, Sherlock Holmes

5: What is your favorite genre?Science Fiction/Fantasy<---- Anything to do with other worldly whimsical creatures. 

6: Book you cried the hardest reading?Harry Potter and the half blood prince. 

7: Book you laughed the hardest reading?Anything by JR Ward- she has some pretty good dialogue. 

8: Which book character(s) do you most relate to?I like strong female leads that don't have that stupid ass needy syndrome. I can't stand the "Please save me" women. 

9: Favorite author(s)?Rowling, Jr Ward, Elizabeth hunter, 

10: Do you judge books by their covers?Definitely. The cover makes me pick it up, the description makes me buy it. 

11: What is your favorite quote from a book?"You know my methods, Watson"- Holmes

12: Which book do you recommend to friends and family most?I always push Harry Potter on people. And Sherlock.

13: Which book is so special to you that you don't share it with others?I share all my favorites. 

14: Do you have any signed books?NO :(

15: Have you met any authors?I met the author of "The Maze Runner"

16: Buy books new, used, or go to the library?I don't ever go to libraries because I like to keep my books. I am not in the habit of giving them back! But I love used or new. As long as the book jacket looks good!

17: Where is your favorite place to read?Really, anywhere. I do like to go to the bookstore and hide in the back with a good book. 

18: Prefer books set in the past or the future?The Past! I feel like I would love to go back in time. Although I probably wouldn't have done well back then, being black and all. 

19: What 5 elements would your ideal book have?*Strong woman*Time travel*Some kind of magical influence*Love story- but not a cheesy one*Non white characters. 

20: Do you ever hope to publish your own book?I am writing a novel right now. 

21: Prefer stand alone or series?Prefer a series if its a good book. I always want more. 

22: Do you mark/highlight/dog ear your books or keep them in perfect condition?Dog ear my book and I will kick your ass. 

23: Hardbacks or paperbacks?Both.

24: Do you watch any booktubers?No

26: Do you like twist endings?Love them.

27: Do you reread books?I used to before I started getting down with this Goodreads challenge every year. Now I have to make my numbers lol.

28: E-readers or physical copies of books?Both.

29: A book that makes you feel comforted?The wizard of oz

30: Would you rather read any ending that makes you feel happy or sad?Depends on the flow of the book. 

31: Favorite villain in a book?Elphaba

32: Do you like to write reviews when you finish a book?Sometimes. It's hard for me to write a review without giving away spoilers. And honestly, it takes so much to write a book, I try not to knock authors' hustles. 

33: Do you experience "book hangovers"?Every single time. If any book is worth reading you will want to physically put yourself in those pages. And it's hard to let go. 

34: Favorite book cover(s)?The Lunar chronicles, Dorothy must die, Wicked, The paper magician. 

Feel Free to Cut, Paste, and Answer your favorite questions in the comments section!