Saturday, October 31, 2009

To give pumpkins or scare?

I'm still trying to finalize my plans for the spooky evening...all I know is that I'm hanging with my man (hopefully with friends also) and we're dressing up.

Some options we've pondered:

  • buy a ton of pumpkins that are on 'clearance' because it's last minute and give them out as treats to kids 
  • Last year we did this and placed them all around my past year's house's yard for party guests to laugh
  • dress up and go somewhere publicly to pretend like we're eery stationary scarecrows, and roll eyes around for extra spook affect
  • hang out with friends and do the whole scary movie, apple cider indoor, low-key bit
  • go bowling in costumes, I always love cosmic bowling!
  • call up friends last minute and plan party at boyfriend's parents' house (yes, he still lives there...but for good reasons), this would definitely include use of an amazing hot tub and big screen television screen
So with a little bit of desperation, which of these options or other would you do...if you didn't already have plans? Or, what are your plans??

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Happy Trick Day!!

My boyfriend and I finally carved pumpkins last night!

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Friday, October 30, 2009

4 steps to having a genuine smile

How to smile with your eyes is about smiling, genuinely. (See me <-- left? this actually was a genuine picture with some lady friends)  WikiHow suggests that the Duchenne smile -- a smile that goes up into your eyes -- is the most authentic. For me, my eyes form a crescent shape.

As a friend of mine used to tell me, "You have moon eyes, babe." It can't be forced. So practice ways to sincerely be happy and smile!

4 steps to smile from within...

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Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Past years' Halloweenish ideas

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Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Escape the cold with a puzzle

As the weather cools, reminders of beautiful times in far away places keep my mind occupied and more at peace.

Having this puzzle from Target would do it...

Venice, Italy - $20.99 @ Target

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Monday, October 26, 2009

Congrats Kirby & Tyler !!!

So the other day I posted about my friend Kirby's birthday...and I am now able to share that they are engaged!!

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Sunday, October 25, 2009

No advertisements and the use of magenta

I bought a magazine this week that I don’t believe I’ve ever bought. It’s called ShopSmart and is produced by ConsumerReports. Without looking or considering the content, I bought what magazine first caught my eye. I actually found it very interesting, but what grabbed my attention was the use of bright magenta on the cover. It’s in the images on the front, is part of the background, and is used in part of the magazine’s title. The accent color is a teal blue.

Besides color, I found the main content sub-titles interesting which includ Online Shopping Secrets, Easy Fall Wardrobe Updates, and Store Brands that Beat Big Brands. From this I figured that the magazine probably shows consumers how to search for great deals and bargains when shopping…which seems to be a very appropriate topic for all who are running with the theme of ways to save money in our economy.

Inside the magazine I noticed quickly that there are no advertisements. By reading the editorial page I found out that the magazine is a non-profit and therefore doesn’t get paid to publish support for advertisements of products. There are a lot of reviews of products in the book, but they are done through lab tests and surveys of people not being paid to be biased. I like this; it makes the magazine sound more truthful and honest, and actually would encourage me as a consumer to avoid buying magazines that do otherwise. (Even though I'll probably forget about it the next time I see Vogue.)

ShopSmart also has a lot of their content online, including information about how they test products for review.

What attracts you to the magazines you pick up off the shelf? Do you go with whatever first pulls you in, or do you buy purely based on the inside content?

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Friday, October 23, 2009

Happy birthday Kirby, my dear!

Happy birthday to my dearest friend, Kirby!

Kirby and I go way back - before high school years! My highly creative friend resides far from me today in NYC and is working her way up in the fashion industry. She specializes in all things bridal design and innovation.

Visit her inspiration at Colors of Honey, or buy her fabulous products on Etsy @ Button + Boo.

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Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Allowed to fail and discover

"Television commercials give such a strange view of what life is supposed to be. And a lot of people buy it. Life is not easy and comfortable, with nothing ever going wrong as long as you buy the right product. It's not true that if you have the right insurance everything is going to be fine. That's not what it's really like. Terrible things happen. And those are the things that we learn from. People are incredibly complex. I read a book last winter called Owning Your Own Shadow, by Robert Johnson. And one of his theories is that the brighter the light, the darker the shadow. Which is often true."  Madeleine L'Engle, quoted in Creativity, by Mihaly Csikszentmahili.

I would think a lot of people can resonate with this and find internal meaning. Today's days are tough. We fail and make mistakes. A lot of bad things happen in our lives that may result in pain, regret, worry, sorrow, tears, fear and loneliness.

However, it's by working through these emotions and situations that we are able to grow and shine. There is a light, a hope worth living for. The endeavors are difficult, but ultimately joyful. Through trial and persecution, suffering and loneliness, we find foundational meaning and reason for breathing. A rock to stand on and truth to feed broken souls.

L'Engle said, "Human beings are the only creatures who are allowed to fail. If an ant fails, it's dead. But we're allowed to learn from our mistakes and from our failures."

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Monday, October 19, 2009

Defending my life

There are many points in one’s life that stick out as defining moments, accomplishments and transformative milestones. Not all of these experiences and events would be used to “defend” one’s life though. In “Defending Your Life,” by Albert Brooks, the moments that are used to defend his life are those where he might have showed restraint or bravery, put his feelings behind him, and/or overcame fear.

I think when we’re presented with opportunities to overcome challenges and fears it’s easiest to turn around and run away. How often we have something in sight that we’d like to happen, but when the decision is actually presented to us we shy away or justify excuses so that we don’t need to deal with uncertainty, risk or possible failure. We’ll whine and make reasons why we shouldn’t be the person to complete the task, or why someone else would be a better fit.

As I’ve been thinking about some of the major events in my life, I cannot say that I would use most of them to defend my life. Most times I can recall that I was scared, worried or nervous. And, if presented with a way out of the situation, I probably would have, and did, take it. Some of the greatest accomplishments in life are those where we are encouraged (or forced) to make a decision, implement an idea, or take a risk. It’s in these situations that I’ve seen myself grow, become more confident and press forward in life. I may not have overcome all fear in life, but I’ve learned to take risks in order to achieve or gain something greater.
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Saturday, October 17, 2009

A week of introspection

This past week I’ve been in limbo a bit. It’s a health-related issue that didn’t actually last more than a few days, and I won’t go into too many details here, but the need to be flexible and look inward has been tremendous. To pay attention to what I am capable of doing and feeling at the moment has impacted my decisions this week more than I usually let it. Some days my major accomplishments were seemingly minor things such as eating a normal meal, exercising and getting out of my apartment. Seeing life in a different light can be a humbling experience. And I find looking inward very important, especially when faced with decisions and choices to make. I was recently told that nothing can better determine the outcome of current decisions better than our past decisions.


One of the things that occurred on Saturday was my dad’s guitar show. He plays at Dunn Brothers Coffee Shop for fun about once every other month. My dad has been writing music and playing the guitar since he was very young, but just this year he started performing. It’s been something he’s wanted to do his entire life. While at his performance with family friends, I had the same ideas that I have had multiple times in regards to my dad’s playing. I’d like him to play at other venues as well…maybe similar atmospheres, and I think he should have a blog or something to direct fans to (if that comes in the future). I’ve taken photos while at the show and he has an email set up, but I sort of have the desire to be his agent in a way. I think it would be fun, and a lot easier for me to manage than him. What do you think?


The Creativity book by Csikszentmihalyi has gotten me thinking about my youth a bit lately. I’ve been thinking about things that I naturally enjoy (like volleyball) and evaluating whether they might be careers. Currently, I’ve had a hard time remembering these interests and why I no longer am interested in them. I really can see why I no longer do some things that I once was good at, such as math. In this case, I was in upper-level classes and had a lot of really math-smart friends. Although I also was math-smart, I didn’t have the time/energy to be the best at math that I could have been. I had other priorities and interests.  Such as broadcast jouranlism - another interest I’ve had since I was young. I love the whole process. And, I was really good at it in high school and college. I also had a teacher who really believed in me. He motivated me and told me that I would go far. Maybe this was part of the reason why this field was and has been so important to me.

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Thursday, October 15, 2009

Blog Action Day in Duluth, MN

I'm heading up to Duluth, MN this morning to see the beauty of fall and explore nature. Although I'm very excited to hike around, spend some time in the city, etc., the best part of the Duluth drive for me is always...the drive. So many pretty trees, winding roads and beautiful scenic shots along the way. It's always necessary to make multiple pit stops.

And, today is Blog Action Day. Couldn't have picked a better day, or a better way, to celebrate the environment and climate than spend a day in it.

As there are so many reasons to be thankful for a healthy environment and climate, it's hard to actually purposefully think about it. We interact with the environment and climate daily, and it's hard to feel a sense of purpose in terms of what one can actually do to keep them safe and healthy. We think of how the climate impacts us, not how we impact it.

Although I am not an expert on climate change, I do feel an obligation to be a responsible citizen, and I deeply care about others and the environment.

One thing that goes with climate change is trying to reduce one's carbon footprint. Although I will be driving to Duluth, I will definitely be paying attention to how much gas we (my boyfriend and I) will be emitting while by reducing how much we drive around and reducing idling time. With this we will also be paying attention to the kinds of activities we do. We most likely will be hiking on trails and spending a lot of time with nature, so we will be making sure to stay on the trails and trying not to interrupt natural ecosystems as much as possible.

I will also be paying attention to what and where we eat, what things we buy and what organizations we choose to support. All of these could adversely affect the climate in direct or indirect ways, and I think it's smart to know where your money is going and what you could be supporting.

There are lots of great ways to make a dent on climate change.

What do you do to reduce your carbon footprint or work toward climate change?

Check out Blog Action Day, or the EPA for more information on climate change.

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Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Canvases are finally hung up

As promised, here are my canvases all hung up. I finished them about a week ago, but finally figured out where I wanted them. Eye-level (which is just over five feet for me), and in-between my orange chair and orange/yellow/flowery sofa.

Thank you MOMA of NY for the inspiration!

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Sunday, October 11, 2009

Welcome, fall...or winter?

So many fun things about the fall, as I've already expressed my excitement for the season.

My top five things about this season:
  1. sweaters
  2. fall colors
  3. leaves
  4. sleeping well at night
  5. hot apple cider/cocoa/tea
I'm not quite ready to express anything positive about winter. There are some things, and I will definitely be willing to share the beautiful aspects in a few months...if fall will stick it out a little longer. (It's already snowed in Minnie. And, sadly, we're destined for more in the near future.)

Until then, I'm resisting winter coats and snuggling with my blanket and cocoa.

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Friday, October 9, 2009

What's an MBC?

Most probably don't know, but I'm in a Master's program called an MBC (Master of Business Communication). Many can bridge the gap and sort of understand what's the difference between the MBA and the MBC, but there's a better explanation out there.

MBC Director at the University of St. Thomas says the MBC provides "...the language and cultural context necessary for exceptional business communication, while including specialized courses on communication leadership and strategy that prepare students to excel in any aspect of corporate or marketing communications management..."

Read Porter's full memo on the MBC. back to studying.

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Thursday, October 8, 2009

Autumn - the perfect photo season

Two of my beautiful friends chose to get their engagement photos done this month. Which, in my opinion, is the best time for beautiful photos! Lots of leaves changing, fall sweaters and smiles.

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Monday, October 5, 2009

Tell me a little about yourself

Green is my favorite color. And, I believe it somewhat represents me and my interests – earthy, natural, life and all things living, especially people. Green has been my favorite color before I recognized these interests/values though.

I went to a job interview last week and it ended up being more self-exploratory than self-praising, if that makes sense. I didn’t get called back for a second interview, but I realized during the interview that it probably wasn’t something I would have been happy doing anyways. It’s definitely in line with many of the things I think I enjoy doing, but it didn’t have the people interaction I need.

My favorite question, “Tell me a little about yourself.” I gave my somewhat pre-developed answer and was ready for the next, “Tell me what kind of experience you’ve gained up until now.” I explained many of the things I’ve done in past jobs, focused on the positive things I’ve learned, developed and enjoyed. However, the next thing out of the recruiter’s mouth struck me – something along the lines of “so it seems that most of your experience and what you enjoy rests in coordinating events and projects.” That, and people, yes…but the job I was applying for had little to do with these elements. I definitely enjoyed the recruiter’s interpretation abilities and the fact that she repeated what was coming out of my mouth back to me to make me more aware of what I was saying, and really wanted.

What I’m trying to figure out now is what elements do I need in a job, what do I want in a job, and what elements am I okay not doing in job – instead they could just be hobbies.

The next time a job opportunity comes up I'll have a better idea of what types of jobs are actually a good fit for me (I hope).

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Saturday, October 3, 2009


In an earlier post you read that I have been working on some canvases, mimicking the ones I saw at the MOMA in NYC during my last visit. Well they are finished, and looking as great as I imagined!

Sneak preview:

Anticipate more photos!

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Thursday, October 1, 2009

Rain, rain everywhere

I love it! Fall is finally here. Hope everyone enjoys the beauty of fall as much as I do (and all the fun rain)!

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