Monday, November 29, 2010

The Three R's of My "Staycation"


If I had to give a theme to the past few days, I’d have to say that it has been all about the 3-R’s: Reorganization, Reconnecting and a Redirection of my life.
Reorganization: 
I once read that to simplify your life you need to get rid of all the excess items that are holding you down. That being said, over this past Thanksgiving break I had plenty of time to myself to do just that.  Each morning I woke up bright and early ready to sweep through one room at a time trashing things that I hadn’t used in a while. I’m normally a person who struggles with getting rid of things because I never know when I might use it again but I decided that if I hadn’t used it, wore it, read it or even looked at it within the past year it was time to let go of it.   I was able to go though a lot of areas of my home, get rid of a lot of things that I no longer used. I reorganized things that for so long I have been meaning to do but for one reason or another just kept putting off.
So what was the final verdict: I now have room to walk in my walk-in closet which before I couldn’t even do, I have extra space in my home office, an area in my laundry room to actually sit my laundry basket and space in my kitchen that was once cluttered with things that I had collected over the years but never used.
I donated about 65% of my clothes to Goodwill along with some books and kitchen items and the rest went into the trash! It was shocking but I actually felt as if a weight was removed. I guess you never really pay attention to how “stuff” can add excess weight to your life and hold you down.
The lesson I learned here: If you don’t need it, let it go and this doesn’t just apply to stuff but to every aspect of your life.
Reconnecting:
One thing that people tend to do at the beginning of every year is say I’m going to start doing this or doing that and maybe we do for a few months but then life seems to always get in the way and those little things that we hoped to keep doing fade away until eventually we no longer remember why we wanted to do them in the first place. In the time I had to myself I was able to sit and think about different areas of my life that wanted to spend more time in or that I was already spending time on but not as much as I’d like. What I realized is that happiness is loosing site of the things you love to do but making time to do them.  Should we really put off today what we could do tomorrow when we aren’t even promised a tomorrow? It amazing the in 5 short days I was able to reconnect with myself, my soul and with the things that I missed and loved. Reconnecting with yourself is a lot like rediscovering who you are and then understanding why you let yourself go in a different direction.  Most people lose their selves in the daily demands of life and other commitments that caused them to push what they really want aside. How many times have you read or heard about those few people who just quit their job and go off to do what really makes them happy and to be honest, don’t those people seem happier, less stressed and more focused on what life is really about. No, I’m not going off to explore the world but I am taking it one step at a time and I’m so excited to see where my new reconnection is going to take me!
Redirection:
I have found that redirection is a lot like reconnection though for me; my redirection is with my faith and relationship with God. For a large portion of my life I have had a fairly good relationship with God.  However, I have been reading a book titled Crazy Love and the first few pages of this book completely took what I thought I was doing and tore it to shreds, all the times I felt I was close with God, nope I wasn’t even a flicker in His shadow. Because I put so much stock in my relationship with Christ, to me these realizations were so horrifying and I immediately knew where I needed to make the redirection to my focus in my life.
So these are the 3-R’s that I was able to journey through in what I call a 5-day “staycation” and to be honest I loved every minute of it. At times it was a lot of quiet contemplation and thoughtfulness while other times it was running around, cleaning and staying up late to get things done but no matter what, it was what I needed!
I know a lot of people are going to shy away from reading my site now because of my open expression to my love for Christ but that’s okay because where 10 leave, 30 more will join and even if that doesn’t happen, what really matters to me is that I’m giving glory to God, which to be honest is the whole point of what life is all about.
So that being said, you have probably noticed a few small changes to my site and a lot of them have to do with these 3-R’s, a word of caution: there will be more to come and believe me, it will all be surrounding these 3 topics!

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

City Girl Chronicles: The "Thankful List"

City Girl Chronicles: The "Thankful List": "Not to be all festive or anything, but with Thanksgiving right around the corner, I have had a lot of time to contemplate what I’m reall..."

The "Thankful List"

Not to be all festive or anything, but with Thanksgiving right around the corner, I have had a lot of time to contemplate what I’m really thankful for this year and in my life in general.  A lot of things have come to mind but there are a few really big things that seemed to stand out. I don’t think that I have ever mentioned it here before but those of you who know me personally know that I am a Christian and have a great love for God, you’ll understand why I mentioned that in a minute.
While many of you might say your thankful for your car or your job, your home or even that big diamond ring your rockin’.  All these things can easily be provided for you simply by having a relationship with God but he can so easily take them away so you won’t see any of these things on my list.

I have made my “thankful list” and checked it twice (just to make sure) and though all those things listed above are wonderful to have and without a doubt make life a bit easier I have decided on things that to me are less materialistic but instead hold a real and true meaning.  My “thankful list “ is about the things that matter most, or should matter most to us in the short time that we are here on this earth so without further ado, here are the top 3 things that I am thankful for:
First and foremost, I am undoubtedly thankful for my knowledge of and the relationship that I have with Jesus.  Without this, my life on the surface might seem to be “wonderful” but deep inside I would feel empty and lost so this is my number one thing, I can’t even express to you how truly grateful I am for this! Secondly, I am thankful for my family and thankful to my siblings for making our once small family now much bigger with the laughter of little children! Next, I am thankful for my marriage and the wonderful man that I have spent the last 11 years with! Through the good and the bad God has made a way for us and we have always been able to come back stronger! 

This Thanksgiving, I wonder how many people will ramble off a whole list of things they are “thankful” for and unquestionably half the things on their list might be materialistic items that can easily be taken away from them in the blink of an eye?  I know what I’m thankful for and what really matters in life… Do you?

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Back To The Bake-Off

Tuesday night I posted a blog about a Bake-off that I participated in for Charity and I received many well wishes from family, friends, and site fans. So thank you very much all! I wanted to clarify one thing though, the Bake-sale was not a contest, I was actually mistaken myself because the previous years that I had participated it was a contest, however, this year the judges decided that instead of awarding the winning Baker with a monetary gift they would give it to charity and I’m all for that so I’m super excited that I had the opportunity to participate. Not only did I bake 2 desserts, I also volunteered 3 hours to help serve and talk with our patrons who came by to eat some yummy desserts. I really had a great time and had some great conversations too!
So, many of your have sent in inquiring emails and message about how the sale went so I decided to write a follow-up article to satisfy your hungry desires to know.  We had a bunch of volunteers and we all had a great time talking and laughing together, getting to know one another and sampling the tasty treats (since we were volunteers, we didn’t have to pay). For 2 hours we served sweets and warm coffee donated by Starbucks!
My desserts were a big hit. All the Pumpkin Cream Pies Cookies were sold and the Baby Banana Cream Cupcakes received rave reviews! I even had people come back and ask for the recipe, all but 5 of them were sold and the rest I quickly gave away to the volunteers and others who had been waiting to get their hands on them! When I was finally able to take a breath and check my email, I had 3 more recipe requests from people who had been to the by the bake sale wanting my recipes. Wow, it went better than I had imagined! For all of our efforts and hard work, we were able to earn, in just 3 short hours, $500.00 to donate to charity! That’s wonderful. 

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Bake-off...

So tomorrow I will be entering a Bake-Off and I’m very excited about this! For that last week I have been researching, brain storming and inventing new recipe ideas to come up with the prefect dessert for this Bake-Off and there were 3 that stood out so I narrowed it down to 2 desserts!
Today I spent a total of about 4 hours shopping, blending and mixing, baking, burning, running back to the market, remixing and then baking again until the perfect mini desserts was created!

I'm sure your dying to know what I have baked up, so without further ado, (well I’m going to post the actual recipes in our Girls In The Kitchen section) but for now here’s what I've baked!

Mini Banana Split Cupcakes:
With Banana cream cheese filling.

Pumpkin Pies: (in sprite of Thanksgiving)
With pumpkin cream cheese filling

Monday, November 15, 2010

Want Women Want

We women love our families, our children, our men; husbands and boyfriends, and even our best friend but there’s one relationship that no one can touch! Yes, that’s right I’m talking about the relationship we share with shoes! Our intimate and passionate relationship with and for shoes developed long before we could even wobble around in them. As girls we were told stories of Cinderella and her glass slipper and that was the beginning of the end for us. We learned early on that the right shoe yields the right man and thus we are crowned the “Princess”, and what little girl doesn’t want to be a “Princess”?  We’d see our Mother and Grandmother’s dressing up for work, church or just to go out and what was the one thing that we loved the most? Their beautiful shoes, and granted the makeup and outfit came in second but it was the shoes that tugged at our hearts and we longed for the day when we owned a pair of our own.
Little girls all over the world snuck into their Mother’s closets and tried on her heels, prancing around even tripping a bit. But we’d always get right back up again, determined to learn how to perfect our walk, meticulously watching each foot move in front of the other while wearing shoes 3 times too big for us!
When I was a little girl, my Mother bought me a pair of plastic dress-up Barbie “high-heels” and I wore them until the heels broke off, and then cried for another pair, or maybe I stole my sister’s pair, but then again, it’s been so long, I don’t really recall (in case my sister is reading this)!
What is it about shoes that we love so much? I think it’s the fact that no matter what you look like, no matter what body shape you have, what your age or what color hair or skin is, when you slip into a great pair of heels you are instantly transformed into a sleek, elegant, sexy, powerful and trendy women (yes, shoes can ignite all those feelings)!
The shoe is like the topping on the cupcake, the cherry, if you will. You can wear a great outfit but with the wrong shoes, why even bother! I recently read one of my favorite blogs about a girl that starts her outfit with the shoes and from there, worked her way up to the skirt or pants and the then the top she feels best suite the shoes, and if the cloths don’t seem right, they are instantly replaced with a new set but the shoes always remain the same. Interesting concept, I thought, “Pick your shoes, and then build the perfect outfit around them!”  Why not!
I personally have a shoe collection ranging anywhere from 150 -175 pairs of shoes, some of which I don’t even remember buying and some which have never even been worn but I keep them regardless because parting with them would seem, well… wrong. Most women (not all, I don’t want to put us all in a “shoe” box) have two great loves: shoes and chocolate
For me, when I arrive home with a new pair of shoes, it s like opening the best Christmas present that I could have ever imagined giving myself and soon that joy is followed by the familiar sound of my husbands voice asking, “Don’t you already have some shoes like that?” And of course my response is always, “What?!  No these are a lighter shade of green,” or something to that effect, but you get my drift. How can we be expected to limit our choices when shoes come in so many different styles, colors, designs, shapes, sizes and patterns and while one pair of shoes might look just “okay” with an outfit, another pair might set the tone and completely change the outcome of your day and no, I’m not being dramatic here, believe me it has happened!
From Cinderella, to Top Model to movies like Sex and The City, a womens love for shoes is apparent and very difficult to come between.  So, too all my shoe lovers out there, “Strike a pose ladies, because I feel your passion!!”

Monday, November 8, 2010

Word of The Week: Food

I haven’t written a blog since Nov. 4th so I figured it was probably about time. What’s new with me this week? Well, if I had to give the last 4 days a theme it would defiantly be food! First, I spent my weekend checking out a new food blog, OneBigMixblog.com and then posted an article under the iReports section called New Blog On The Block reporting my opinions of this blog. BYT: that foodie has a great BBQ chicken wings recipe, I tried it, so I know!!

Then CG Chronicles just added a new Staff Writer, food blogger Morgan T. Quinn and she has put two new recipes up already, check them out, you won't be sorry! Then yesterday, my husband and I decided to go on a cleansing diet, eating nothing but fresh, non-processed foods, fruits and veggies and drinking a lot of cranberry juice and teas. So I’m expecting to feel cleaner in no time! 

I’m currently watching Bizarre Foods with Andrew Zimmern on The Travel channel and I packed up a big box of food from my kitchen cabinet to donate to the local women’s shelter for Thanksgiving. On another note, we lost one our staff writers but it's still all good in the CG hood because as mentioned we have just added Morgan so I’m thinking “Game on!!”

It’s getting late so I better head off and get ready for bed!

See you all in my virtual dreams! 

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Life's Little Happiness's...

The other day I read somewhere that at some point we should list a few things (outside of family and spouse) that make our lives a little bit better and so after much contemplation, I composed this short list:


My Blackberry/crackberry

Cherry Chap Stick

Ipad/Ipod

Lifetime TV

Raspberry ice tea

My site fans

And course my trusty dog Coco (if she could read, she’d appreciate these mentions)!


Your probably a bit taken back by me saying that my site fans make my life a little bit better but the reason why I threw that one in there is because this afternoon as I was checking my email I happened to see something that caught my attention, an email which turned out to be from someone who I would call my #1 CG Chronicles site fan and for anyone who has ever had a fan, it's actually a little exciting, well as long as it’s not a psycho-stalker type of fan, but I digress.

Reading through this email from my #1 fan, a smile was plastered across my face as I read this “I gotta be honest; I saved your site on my favorites in my iPhone, I check the site @ least once a day and read all your articles/blogs. Keep ‘em coming, I'll read anything you write!”  


Wow, knowing that there are actually people out there who really appreciate and read what I write is beyond words for me!! I’m so overwhelmed with happiness and little does this person know but these words have inspired to write more so thank you #1 fan!!!

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Bustin' Loose...

Well, it’s been crazy busy around here lately and I’m playing with the idea of going solo thanks to the suggestion of one of my esteemed writers, Chrystal Rose who recently (just yesterday) decided to go solo. Check out her site: http://xtalrose.com/

She inspired me with encouraging words by saying, “When you do things yourself, you get to have it the way you like”, and to be honest sometimes it's just a bit easier for everyone! I’m so grateful for all my writing staff and they have helped to build the site but it’s really not easy getting everyone on the same page all the time.  So like the Destiny’s Child I might do a Beyonce and go solo but right now it’s just an idea that I’m playing with, it’s not written in stone... yet!

I know the site is helping some of us with publicity and to further our writing careers and I’ve always been one to help out a fellow writer so it’s a tough decision, I want to help others but at the same time I wonder if it not better for me to go solo, I guess time will tell…


Stay tuned to find out the rest of the story!
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