Monday, January 31, 2011

Resolution Update

Remember this post about my 2011 resolutions?

As for Lack of Facebook, it's been over a month since I deactivated my account. The good? I've definitely felt (and have been) more productive. The bad? I no longer have access to photos posted to Facebook, unless I sign on Brian's (or my sister's) Facebook account. Our group of friends in Raleigh is always getting into something, going places, doing things. All of this is usually documented by some photographer other than myself. Take this photo for instance:


Aaron's 30th birthday party was last weekend. As you can probably guess, this photo was taken toward the end of the night, when things start to get loud and dance moves start to get crazy. Unfortunately, I needed Facebook in order to see the picture. 

Have I missed Facebook? No, not really. Can I live without it for another 11 months? Absolutely. 

What else have I gotten myself into? 
Last weekend I went to the pole dancing class I've been wanting to attend.
My book club is getting off the ground.
School is going good and has not been too overwhelming...yet.
Cake decorating classes start in February!

So long January, hello February....

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Thankful Thursday

I've had this goal since August of 2010.

I've listed in in my "Goals" posts every month since then.

It still has not been completed.

But the end is in sight.....




My scrapbook is almost done! 

I'm so thankful that I decided to procrastinate on my school assignments this week and I actually took the time to work on my 2009-2010 scrapbook.

I already have a lot of pictures and ideas for my next scrapbook--my 2011 scrapbook. Which will probably be done circa 2015. 

Happy Thursday everyone!

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Project Happiness, Lesson #3

Today I was going to give you another Happiness Lesson from the book The Happiness Project, but I misplaced the notepad that I had all of my notes in. Oh well. I will give you my version of a topic the book touched on a bit.

Leave three things unsaid each day.
It's that simple. Go to bed with three things unsaid.

I think back to John Mayer's catchy lyrics "say whatcha need to say, say whatcha need to say, say whatcha need to say, say whatcha need to saaa-ay-ay-ay-ay."

Wrong.

Sometimes it's better to not say what you need to say. If you want to complain, nag, gossip, or get in a little jab at someone because it will (for one second) make you feel better--Stop. Just leave it unsaid.

Research shows that if you gossip about another person's flaws or negatively speak about someone else, the person you are talking to will instinctively feel more negativity towards you and apply negative character traits to You! So if you want people to admire your character, to respect you, and to think highly of you, speak more kind words and less of the ugly ones.

That's your lesson for today. And a lesson that I can definitely learn from myself.

Also--side note--I just noticed that the word "project" in my Project Happiness blog series can have two meanings. I'm so clever.

Go forth and project happiness today!

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

A Dog's Wisdom

After a day spent studying the ancient texts of Aristotle and Descartes...

And pondering the ideas of realism, pragmatism, and existentialism...

Colby has, in fact, discovered that...


A hard day's work deserves a good night's sleep. 

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Thankful Thursday-It's the Little Things

Have you ever thought about how many times a day you give thanks?

It's probably a lot more than you think.

I actually pause, breathe deeply, and in my head say "Oh, Thank You God.." about a hundred times a day.

And while I definitely still take a lot for granted, I try to appreciate the little blessings throughout my day.

So far today, for instance, I've been thankful for:
1. Cinnamon Bun Coffee Creamer that gets me out of bed in the morning.
2. There was little traffic on my way to school.
3. The TA for my physics lab was helpful and enthusiastic.
4. I checked the delivery status of the textbook I purchased online and it's in Durham!
5. I had my last class today and I don't have another until Monday night!

I had about twenty more thankful little moments today, but I don't want to bore you. I just hope to inspire you to think of every little thing you are thankful for today.


"If the only prayer you said in your whole entire life was "thank you,"
that would suffice."


Happy Thursday!

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Wednesday Recommendation

I'm a girly-girl at heart.

In a perfect world, I would have an extensive make-up routine, wear dresses everyday, and always match my bra to my panty.

Panty sounds funny.

Always match my bra to my panties?

Whatever.

Today I want to recommend my favorite beauty products that will definitely turn your world upside down.

Victoria's Secret Sexy Little Things.

It's phenomenal. Splendid. Subtly sexy. Absolutely perfect.

I never want to smell like food or flowers ever again.

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Project Happiness, Lesson #2

Lesson #2 from The Happiness Project is a vocabulary lesson.

The Happiness Project was a fairly quick and easy read, so I took the opportunity to also extend my vocabulary during the reading process (this goes back to Lesson #1, when I decided I would set a higher standard for myself as a student). I noticed early on that there were a lot of words Rubin used in her book that I did not know the definition of. In context, of course, their unknown definitions did not slow me down; however, I figured that if I took the time to look up what these words meant, perhaps I would be more likely to use them in my everyday dialogue.

When I mentioned my vocab project to Brian, he was quick to point out that he probably knew all of the definitions of the words on my unknown list. He then proceeded to confidently scribble definitions beside each word, and I will humor you with his answers....

Devolved- opposite of evolve
Inertia- movement
Detritus- poop
Culling- mass killings
Carp- fish
Diatribe- long going on about self
Stringent- strong


Correct definitions:
Devolved- transferred or delegated to another
Inertia- lack of motion, inactivity
Detritus- disintegrated organic material
Culling- choosing; selecting
Carp- to find fault; to complain (it is also a type of fish)
Diatribe- attack or criticism
Stringent- strict; rigid

One of my favorite moments was when Brian and I were discussing the word diatribe and our friend Ben, who was in the kitchen, shouted that it had probably had something to do with colorful Native Americans.

 Um, wrong. The word is diatribe, not dye-a-tribe!

Monday, January 17, 2011

I Hear Ya, Brotha!

I stumbled across an interview with Taye Diggs while reading Good Housekeeping this past weekend.

Because it's MLK Day and Taye Diggs is black, I felt the need to title this post "I hear ya, brotha!" to show how far we've come and all.

Anyways,
I loved his responses to the first two interview questions.

The best thing about your relationship is.....
"Having your best friend by your side constantly"

The toughest part is...
"That your best friend can get on your nerves more than you thought anyone ever could"


Well Taye, I couldn't agree more.

Friday, January 14, 2011

Photo Blog

A couple weeks ago I mentioned the new camera that Brian received for Christmas. We both have really been enjoying the Cannon Power Shot--it takes awesome pictures and our wonderful friends Allison and Eric sold it to us for a great price.

Brian put the camera to use during his Christmas holiday in Maryland. I really want to more diligent this year about taking pictures, so hopefully I will be able to share photos with you on a fairly regular basis.

These pictures are courtesy of Brian--my sexy boyfriend/photographer.











Okay, the last picture is courtesy of me. That's my sexy boyfriend/photographer playing pool at Sharky's, his favorite bar.

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Thankful Thursday/LOF Update

Today I am thankful that I showed up to my physics lab, even though the physics labs apparently don't start until next week. How was I supposed to know that they didn't start this week? The lab is not yet up on Blackboard and nobody sent out an email! It's like they actually expect you to attend the physics lecture or something. Obviously everyone else in the lab knew that it didn't start this week.

Except me.

And except David, my new friend. I met David wandering the halls, looking equally as confused as I did.

David and I have a lot in common. We are both pre-dental students. We both like Starbucks. And we both had no idea that physics labs don't start until next week. Okay, that's actually about all we have in common that I know of.

But today I am thankful for meeting a new friend and being such a devoted student that I showed up to lab a week early.

So David and I went to Starbucks, since we both had time to spare and nowhere to be.

And the first thing David does is pull out his computer and asks if he can send me a Facebook friend request.

Literally, First. Thing.


"Uh, actually David, I don't have a Facebook."

"Oh. (long pause). You're one of those." (Emphasis on those).

I don't even know who those people are. Perhaps the crazy oddballs that lack a Facebook?  Not sure. But I immediately got a lecture on the necessity of having a Facebook, if not for the social perks, for the ease of which it would be to communicate with David.

His next question (swear to God) was "Do you have a cell phone?"

Um, Yes, my dear David. I do, in fact, have a cell phone.

So that's my Lack-of-Facebook update.

Two weeks into my LOF year and I'm already getting crazy looks from people, missing out on Facebook invites, and apparently I won't receive any of the new Facebook Deals.

Fifty four weeks to go.

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Project Happiness, Lesson #1

Last week, I read The Happiness Project by Gretchen Rubin.

While this book was not as enlightening as I had hoped, I did take away some invaluable lessons on finding more happiness in an ordinary day. Today and throughout the coming weeks, I will share with you some of the lessons I learned from Rubin's book.

I was interested in reading The Happiness Project for several reasons. I started the book on January 1st,  and I knew that the book followed Rubin's year-long quest for happiness. I felt it was an appropriate read for the new year. Also, I definitely relate to Rubin, who says that she is not necessarily unhappy, but often fails to find the happiness in an average day.

I vividly recall a conversation that Brian and I had one romantic evening in the early weeks of our relationship. We were out on his patio sharing stories about our families, our lives, and our life goals. Now that I'm thinking about it, I'm pretty sure I downed an entire bottle of wine that night, so maybe my memory is a bit fuzzy (In reality, it was probably not romantic and I probably went on for hours about my family, my life, and my goals while Brian appeared to be listening). Anyways, I said that my goal in life was simple: just to be happy.

And I am happy. But are there things I can be doing that will make me even happier?

Of everything in Rubin's book, what stood out to me most was this:


How can I set a higher standard for myself as a wife, a mother, a friend?


I immediately applied this to my life and asked myself "How can I set a higher standard for myself as a girlfriend, a student, a friend, etc?"

How does this sentence look for you? And in what ways can you set a higher standard for yourself?

Yesterday I woke up and thought of ways that I could set a higher standard for myself as a student and as Brian's girlfriend.

By the end of the day, I had skipped my very first Physics lecture and I had called Brian a douchebag.
I threw the higher standards right out the window.
Oh well.
Tomorrow I'll try harder.

This week/month/year I challenge you (and myself) to set higher standards.  And if (like myself) you fail miserably on some days....

Don't worry. Be happy.

Monday, January 10, 2011

Just Because

There is a pile of Kleenex tissues surrounding me as I write this. So gross, I know. I'm craving a hot shower, another cup of coffee, and a full day of doing nothing.

Maybe I will get my wish. Snow and ice in the forecast. Class tonight may or may not be cancelled (please dear God, cancel classes).

Despite feeling somewhat of a bum (no makeup, hair is a mess, and I just spilt coffee all down the front of my sweater), I've been somewhat productive today.

I managed to clean Brian's house a bit before heading back to Durham. Due to my being sick this weekend, I've been receiving death threats from my once loving boyfriend ("If I get sick, I swear to God Kelly...."). Okay, in reality, he hasn't sworn to God anything or even threatened my death, but he has made a point to say he will be mad. Point taken. Sheets washed. Door knobs Lysoled.

To update you on my life in a list:
1. I've started planning my blogs for the week in an effort to be more organized.
2. I've made an "Inspiration" file on my Macbook, so I can keep track of cooking/decorating/etc ideas that I run across while reading different blogs.
3. I want a Great Pyrenees and a Bernese Mountain dog. Google image these. You will swoon.
4. I've decided I will name my future children Sam and Julia.
5. Said future children may or may not have four legs and wagging tails.
6. My book club starts this week and I am very excited.
7. I am (as of tomorrow) going to wear heels more often (for reasons unsure). I bought a new pair at TJ Maxx last week, which was somewhat out of character. I rarely wear heels, but I wore them everyday last week. I felt...well....prettier.


Well, no matter how pretty you feel, at some point you have to admit heels aren't very comfortable. At our New Year's party, someone caught me taking mine off. Next party = no bare feet. I promise.


Happy Monday everyone!

Thursday, January 6, 2011

Thankful Thursday

Today I am thankful for books.

I know, I know. I'm a huge dork, but I'm completely okay with that fact. My sister and I have always been big readers, beginning in elementary school with the Goosebumps series. Fiction, non-fiction, self-help, mystery, biographies--there is not a genre I don't love. Okay, take that back. Romance--I could take it or leave it. I'm not much into romance novels. Nicholas Sparks' books don't tempt me in the least.

Here are the books that have changed my life. Seriously. Changed. My. Life.


Animal Farm
I read Animal Farm in the sixth grade. I knew immediately that I was smarter than the average bear because I recognized the underlying political themes at such a young age. Okay, maybe I'm not smarter than the average bear, but Animal Farm is the reason I'm a Republican.

Life of Pi
Life of Pi is my favorite book of all time. I attribute my passion for reading and writing to Life of Pi (and my AP English class in general). It was a pivotal moment in my life because I was a senior in high school when I read this book, and I knew at that moment that I wanted to write.

One Thousand Splendid Suns
I thought that the Kite Runner might take the cake as best book ever written (other than Life of Pi) until I read One Thousand Splendid Suns. Khaled Hosseini is a literary genius.


Other notable mentions: Lord of the Flies, Water for Elephants, The Great Gatsby, Into the Wild


I am currently reading Lit by Mary Karr and it is fabulous. This is my third book of the year (I read The Happiness Project and Loose Girl earlier this week) and this book blows the other two out of the water in it's very first page. Karr's writing is phenomenal. 


I will leave you with a quote from my current book that gave me a pause:


I was miserable of course, for I was seventeen, 
and so I swung into action and wrote


And it was miserable, for that's how I thought 
it worked: you digested experience and shat


literature.
-William Matthews


Happy Thursday and Happy Thanks Giving!

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Q & A with Kelly

Alright, I finally have a moment to answer all of your pressing questions regarding my weight loss.

Are you on a diet?
No. Not now, not ever.

What advice would you offer someone who is trying to lose weight?
1. Diets don't work.
2. Stay busy.
3. Try to stop eating before you are uncomfortably stuffed. But if you do end up in a food coma after a meal, don't beat yourself up over it. It happens to me all the time.

Fact or Myth?....
You must exercise to lose weight? Myth. I exercise less now than when I weighed more.
Eating breakfast is vital to weight loss? Um, myth. Brian doesn't keep breakfast food on hand, so if I'm at his house I often go without. Coffee sometimes counts as my breakfast.
Skipping meals is an absolute no no? Myth. Due to school, I often find myself skipping one meal a day. Sometimes it's breakfast, sometimes it's lunch, sometimes it's dinner.
It's better to cook your meals at home than to eat out? Myth. When I cook, I like to make big meals, which usually means I eat more. I also eat while I'm cooking the meal. For me, eating out hurts my wallet more than my waistline.

What is your favorite food?
Ice cream

What have you eaten today?
Hmm, what haven't I eaten today?



Okay, there you have it. If you are trying to lose weight, I probably have not offered you one piece of solid advice. Oh well. But I will advise you to try mixing a spoonful of peanut butter into your bowl of vanilla ice cream. It is sinfully delicious. Eat said ice cream/peanut butter mixture sparingly.

On Weight Loss

Today,

Because it's a New Year...
Because everyone always has the same New Year's Resolution....
Because I've been asked about it one hundred times since Saturday...
and Because I love ya....

I will share with you my weight loss secret.

Ok, just kidding. I have no weight loss secret. But I will answer all of the questions that I typically get asked.

If you have asked me about my weight loss, the conversation has probably gone something like this:
You: Have you lost weight?
Me: Yes, school is stressful.

And that's about as far as you'll get.

That's because I hate discussing my weight. I hate the fact that our culture is currently (in my humble opinion) weight-obsessed. I hate that girls feel like the number on the scale is the measure of their self-worth. And that guys often care more about how a woman looks than how a woman thinks.

Okay, enough feminist ranting for one day.

Here is my weight story (the short version) :

Tiny, little, skinny, thin--I never knew any different until my college years. I started my freshman year at Elon weighing a mere 102 lbs, height 5'6. The scale creeped up throughout the four years I spent in college until it reached it's peak at approximately 148 lbs. You may remember this post I wrote back in 2009 about my weight gain. Anyways, even though I was undeniably chubby at my heaviest weight, I never lost my inner skinny bitch. Even when I was a size 8, in my head I was a size 0.

When I left college, ten pounds melted off immediately. Since I started dating Brian a year and a half ago, fifteen more pounds have disappeared.







Look away, look away!

This is me when I weighed 148 lbs. on my 22 birthday in May 2009.













This is me now (as in right now). I just snapped this picture as I'm writing this post using the Macbook photobooth. I had to edit it using the "antique effect" so that you wouldn't see the blemishes on my face!

And to be completely accurate, I went and weighed myself for you.

121 lbs.










Stay tuned for a following post where I will answer Q & A about my weight loss.

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

January Goals

Well, 2011 is off to a great start already!

I've been in an wonderful mood all year! Okay, all four days of the year. But today might be a test of my mood because I have agreed to work at our Durham Main BB&T located in downtown Durham. This branch has clients that are, well, um, hmmm.....what you would expect to find in downtown Durham.

Alright, here are my January Goals:

Finish 2010 scrapbook
I thought I would be able to complete it this week, however, I have agreed to work at the bank everyday, I am babysitting every afternoon, and every weeknight is tied up with plans.

Stay Organized!
I bought a new planner at the start of the year, which I'm really thrilled about! Few people (maybe Meg?) can relate to the joy of buying a new planner, but lemme tell ya--it's joyous! Meg, this makes me miss you and wish we were sipping coffee, organizing our lives, and writing it all down in our planners together!

Cake Decorating Class
This is gonna happen in January. I'm stopping by Michael's today to sign up!

Read Between the Wines
Maybe you've noticed the new link on my blog, maybe you haven't. Maybe you've noticed the one member who has a little profile under the "Members" link--that would be me. But actually I have six current members who have joined my book club! This is probably the one thing I am most excited about for 2011. I have wanted to gather together a group of readers, like myself, to start a book club, but I never knew exactly how to organize/run/create a book club. I still don't know any of these things, but it will be a learning experience, if nothing else.

Happy goal-setting (and goal-conquering) to you all!

Saturday, January 1, 2011

Happy New Year!

 One of my New Year's Resolutions that I decided upon one minute ago is to take more photos in 2011.

While I am definitely no photographer, one of the joys of owning a MacBook is that I can edit the photos and make them look really cool.

In the coming weeks, I will share with you some of my favorite photos. For now, I will share with you photos from last night.

We had a wonderful time bringing in the new year with our good friends at Aaron and Laura's house. The night started with some chit chatting, which led to competitive games of beer pong, which led to a dance party in the living room!

New Year's Party 2011