Friday, November 30, 2012

Day 29: Five Weird Things I Like





Happy Friday! I'm excited for the weekend, because I am travelling again. I know I said the last time was the last time this year, but I think I have two more trips in me. :)

Today's 30-Day Challenge is all about weird things I like, and I realized I am loving too many weird things. I cut it down to five; it was hard, but I did. Oh, we have one more Friday to go and 30-Day Challenge will be over. It only took me a year and 4 months to complete...Dang! I am glad I stuck through, and to be fair,  I did mention when I introduced this challenge many decades ago that it might take me a while. But more than 365 days? :(


  1. I like going to the movies by myself... I do this a lot.
  2. I like guys who own motorbikes: I plan to both marry one (we shall see) and own my own bike.
  3. I like talking to myself...I act out scenes a lot sometimes while walking down the street. Huh? :)
  4. I like holding my pee for a long time and rushing to the rest room when I can't take it anymore. Sad to say, but I enjoy the jolt/feeling that goes through me when I do pee...especially the jolt that goes through the middle of my palms.
  5. I like holding back a sneeze and/or letting it out without a sound. It is very tasking and uncomfortable  but I enjoy doing it.
What weird things do you like?


[About 30 Days Challenge]

Beloved, You are Loved Absolutely!

Image via

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Instagram Love...National Monument!




This week Instagram image is from my friend @peteberlin. When I first saw this picture...my heart skipped. It is a great shot of the National Monument sitting majesticly in the distance. When I fly in or out of DC, I always gaze at the monument. It is a wonder to behold from above...especially at night.

Follow @peteberlin on Instagram. He is an outdoorsy person and his Instagram images of nature are beautiful

Beloved, You are Loved Absolutely!

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Book Review: Something Borrowed by Emily Griffin



Genre: Adult Fiction
My Rating: 4 out of 5 stars

Something Borrowed is the ultimate chick flick, and the story is told from the point of view of Rachel, a lawyer living in NYC. She is your quintessential good girl and very different from her best friend, Darcy. Darcy is fun, happy-go-lucky, self absorbed and engaged to Dex, Rachel's friend from law school. Darcy is the life of the party, and she throws single gal Rachel a surprise 30th birthday party. At the end of the night, Rachel and Dex ends up in bed. Oops! What are Rachel and Dex to do...they actually have feelings for each other. 

Griffin brilliantly captured the emotions and nuances that can be typical in girls' friendships. She explores the fine line between friendship, love, betrayal and envy. Something Borrowed puts front and center the competitiveness, jealousy and insecurities that destroys female friendships. The desire to be better, to be more beautiful, to have the most handsome and accomplished man, to have the best butt or bosom...you name it. However, the book goes further by engaging us in the decisions that come in the aftermath of envy and betrayal. In addition, Griffin does an absolutely good job of making us like the protagonist, one that we should hate. 

As intended (I think), I liked Rachel, but she clearly needed to grow some gumption. I did wonder if I should be rooting for her; she betrayed her best friend. The book goes as far as to imply that Darcy deserved it, because she was a self-absorbed woman who would have done the same if the tables were turned. I could not be Darcy's friend; having everything be all about you gets old pretty fast. I don't understand how Rachel puts up with her, but Rachel and I are on extreme ends of the personality chart. Darcy was written to be hated making it easier to root for Rachel and Dex.

The premises that there are shades of grey in love and friendship, and nothing is black and white was prevalent. Stealing your best friend's fiance is black and white wrong even if she has been trampling over you your entire life and you let her do it. I had the same uncomfortably feeling I got watching the movie as I read the book...I was being set up to like Rachel and Dex while romanticizing infidelity. Then why did I not feel bad for Darcy? :) Things are not always easy... love, guilt and envy are powerful forces.

I had issues with Dex; he lacked balls. I wanted to yell at him to man up and get it together. Break up with Darcy already or call it quit with Rachel and suck it up in your crumbling relationship. Do something! Anything!

I liked Something Borrowed though I don't agree with its premises, but Griffin also explores the nurturing and sharing part of female relationships.

The Book vs. The Movie: I read the book last month. I saw the movie last year and also liked it. However, I always try to read a book before I see the movie. It gives me the freedom to create my own characters untainted by the movie depiction. In addition, I get to enjoy the movie angle of the book and the lines adopted from the book. I was a little disappointed that Darcy who was a brunette in the book was a blonde in the movie. Very Hollywood and stereotypical.  As a female, it made me uneasy. 

Ethan (played by John Krasinski) was not a big part of the book, and he was already living in London working on his book. I did appreciate how the script writers incorporated him into the movie to set him up for his bigger role in a potential movie version of Something Blue. 

Something Borrowed is a perfect beach read; it is light, flirty and fun. Griffin did an excellent job.

Have you read "Something Borrowed" and/or seen the movie...what do you think?"

Beloved, You are Loved Absolutely!

Image via 

Monday, November 26, 2012

Pick of the Week...Do You Hear What I Hear?

This week and the next few weeks will be all about Christmas.
Did I mention that I love Christmas? I'm pretty sure I did.:)

Do You Hear What I Hear? is one of my favorite song of the Christmas season. No surprise it is my pick of the week. I hope you enjoy. This version is by Carrie Underwood...my favorite idol second only to Kelly Clarkson.:)





PS: I like sharing "My Pick of the Week" posts, because it lets me share the things I like, enjoy and are passionate about. I will be keeping it for the rest of the year, maybe into 2013. Finger crossed! However, it will be moving to Wednesday starting in December; two posts a day is doing too much for me. :)

Do you like Christmas songs? 
Which is your favorite?

Beloved, You are Loved Absolutely!

Now That Christmas is Near...


Happy Monday Blogfam.
I hope you had a wonderful Thanksgiving weekend; mine was fun and laid back. 

A few of the highlights from my weekend were:
I had dinner with my friend and his family on Thanksgiving. (I gifted the family lavender scented stone). 
* I also spent quality time with family.
* I watched many Christmas movies. (this is fast becoming my personal Christmas tradition)
* I ate until I had to stop.
* I snubbed Black Friday and heading to a billiard bar to play pool.
* I changed my blog's comment platform to Disqus. I'm excited to see what difference it makes.

Tis is the season to be jolly!
It is also the season I turn my radio off, because as much as I LOVE Christmas, I am not the biggest fan of listening to Christmas music for a month. I do like Christmas music especially the ones I grew up with like Silent Night, Gloria, Rudolph The Red Nosed Reindeer and  Jingle Bell Rocks among others. It is having to listen to them all month long that grates on my nerves. That said...I AM SUPER DUPER EXCITED FOR CHRISTMAS! 

I love the magic in the air at Christmas and the expectations for a new year. Christ was born...that is enough reason to celebrate. He is still the best person to have happen in my world. I hope you are excited for Christmas like I am.

I would love to talk about Christmas all post long, but it is Monday and I still had to shop my closet last week. I went into work once last week and here is what I wore from my closet. I think it is my favorite thus far. Second would be Day 2 outfit from week one. I am over my hair, but I did not get a chance to take it out this weekend, maybe next.



Week 3 - Day 6: Thursday
**Heels: Ross
Skirt: Custom Made
Sweater: Wetseal
**Belt: Nine West via Marshalls
**Bracelet: Jess LC
Necklace: Mom
Ring // Earring: Can't recall


What was the highlight of your Thanksgiving Weekend?

Beloved, You are Loved Absolutely!

Friday, November 23, 2012

Day 28: Somewhere You'd Like to Move to or Visit

I hope you all had a wonderful Thanksgiving. I did!

I feel like a broken record on my love and desire to travel the world. A simple answer to this challenge question is I will love to move to, live and visit San Diego, CA and Italy. I might change my mind when I get there, but for now these are the places I want to go.

In addition, Paris, San Francisco  and Peru are not bad options. 


San Diego, CA

[via]

Vienna, Italy




Milan, Italy


[via]
Top of Machu Piccu, Peru 



San Francisco, CA



Paris, France

[via]

Where would you love to visit and/or move to?

[About 30 Days Challenge]

Beloved, You are Loved Absolutely!

Thursday, November 22, 2012

Happy Thanksgiving...





I am thankful for Christ, Love, family, friends...I am thankful that I am this far along in my journey. I am thankful for my readers, fans and followers. I am thankful for life, the possibilities and the anticipation for the adventure ahead.

I am thankful for courage and boldness. 

I am truly thankful.

Beloved, You are Loved Absolutely!

Image via

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Oh What to Take to Thanksgiving Dinner...


Thanksgiving is tomorrow, and I'm excited to hang out with an old friend and his family. I usually spend Thanksgiving with family, friends and familiar faces, but this year I am doing something different. He is driving into town from Philadelphia, and I will be spending Thanksgiving day and most of the weekend with him and his family (i.e if I don't get on the bus on Friday and head to Philadelphia). Anyways, I'm not sure what to expect on Thursday, but I like meeting new people. :)

The question I am asking myself is "What is the right gift to bring?"
A fruit basket? Flowers? Candles? Scented Stones? Sweet potatoes casserole? Nothing?

I am going shopping today!

What do you all think?

Beloved, You are Loved Absolutely!

Image via

Instagram Love...Minneapolis


Follow me on Instagram: @jostwrite

I miss Minneapolis! I took this picture in early October while running around Lake Calhoun. I plan to print and frame. I love Minneapolis and I miss it, but I think my life there is over for now. :(

I'm yet to share this on here, but I'm sure most of you figured it out already.
I am back in DC; the move happened over Labor Day weekend. 
Last year on August 1st, I moved back home to my parents after I left my last job, and I really thought I was done with DC. God had other plans. 

My parents have been talking about moving out of Minneapolis, and moving closer to us (my siblings and I) for a while. 2012 was the year it happened. They wrestled between moving to DC/Maryland, Florida or North Carolina...well, DC/Maryland won that battle. Late July, the house sold and my parents packed up many many many years of Minnesota into a huge truck and moved. That was almost three months ago. 

It has been okay to be back...if you follow my blog, you know I like DC, not love it. I lived here for four years before I moved back home last year. Oh well, it is home again for now. I plan to make the best of it...you never know it might grew on me. :)

 Is there a city you lived in, left and miss?

Beloved, You are Loved Absolutely!

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Another Season of Introspection...

 
I can feel the magic in the air. I love holidays. My favorites are Christmas and midnight on New Year's Eve, yes I am that exact. Midnight! So much magical possibilities and anticipation in the air. Don't you think?

Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Year season and my birthday(July) are when I take the time to get deeply introspective about my journey. I do get introspective throughout the year, but I go deep into it mid-year and end of year/beginning of the next year. I love doing this, because it helps me assess and re-focus. I also do it, because it involves list making, planning, change and empowerment. Many of these things I enjoy. :) I do my best to avoid resolutions, I make goals and state specific intentions with deadlines.

2011 was a hard year. The dam began to leak in summer 2010, and it burst open in 2011. I am still cleaning up, however, I enjoyed 2012. It was emotional, challenging and a roller coaster in many ways, but it was a calmer year. To be honest, I never want to see a re-occurrence of 2011 in my life ever again. It was that bad.  2012 was the beginning of sanity, and I deeply believe and declare that 2013 would be a much better year. It will be emotional, challenging and a roller coaster, but in a much more joyful and delightful way.

Because I know and believe this, I am excited to plan for 2013. I am excited to sit with a cup of warm apple cider, some cookies, a notepad and a pen. I am excited to make plans for what I want to see in my life in 2013 for my career, my relationships, JostWrite, 1000Miles...I am excited. I was excited last year for 2012, and it proved to be a better year, and I know 2013 is the beginning of the best years of my life.

Over the next weeks as 2012 runs down, I will be reading through my bucket list, my 30 before 30 list, my 2012 congratulatory letter and my letter to my future. I will be re-assessing all the dreams I have written down or have swimming in my head. I will narrow down my goals/intentions for 2013. I will get specific and realistic about what I hope to accomplish by this time next year. I am excited!

My framework  for my weeks of introspection (which you can also adopt) are:
  • I will focus on what I can control
  • I will take steps on things I can't control  -  I will do my best and pray for the best.
  • I will be specific about what I want, need and hope to achieve.
  • I will narrow down sections into 3-5 priorities. No need trying to achieve 10 goals under "Health" or 25 under "Travel."
  • I will not WORRY or STRESS or be ANXIOUS even if I miss a goal and/or a deadline.
I have used different strategies in past years to map out my goals and intentions. These strategies are usually similar. This year, I'm adopting The Everygirl "What do you want for yourself in 2013?" steps. It is not necessarily different from what I did in the past, but it is nice to have a guideline in one place. In addition to these steps, I will spend time looking back over 2012 to figure out what worked and what did not.

 Are you setting goals and intentions for 2013?
How do you map out your goals and intentions?



Beloved, You are Loved Absolutely!

image via

Monday, November 19, 2012

My Pick of The Week...Amanda Catherine Designs Prints


I am not a decor expert, but I do enjoy decorating. I like outrageous colors blended with neutrals. My decor/design mantra which is also my fashion/style mantra is "Black plus LOTS OF COLORS." You are probably tired of hearing me write "I am a big fan of entrepreneurs and small businesses." Oh well, I am, but don't ask me why I am just getting into Etsy. Sad huh? It took me that long. 

I came across Amanda Catherine Design earlier in the fall. Her tagline "Decorate Darling Without Breaking the Bank," is right on, because a huge percentage of her colorful digital art prints are $15. Her pieces are simple, playful, flirty and colorful. I can see one in my kitchen, another in the bathroom and maybe one by my work desk. I cannot wait to purchase one or two, but lets wait until I finally get my own place again. These art pieces are on my list.

AC Designs is also a proud partner with Love146, an organization dedicated to end child sex slavery and exploitation. Proceeds from every purchase made will go to fund Love146 and the meaningful work they do. 

Sex trafficking is an issue close to my heart. I wrote for Making Noise, a non-profit organization that uses the arts, media, drama, and blogs to raise awareness of social injustice issues in the continent of Africa.

Here are a few of my favorite items from the store.






Which of these beautiful prints rock your boat?

images via

Beloved, You are Loved Absolutely!

Oh Shop Your Closet...

Happy Monday BlogFam, I hope you had a wonderful weekend. It is Thanksgiving week, and that means CHRISTMAS is around the corner. My favorite holiday of all time!

I am in a good mood today; I had a blissful weekend. 

I saw the newest Bond movie: Skyfall and I loved it. 
Two books I ordered arrived and that totally made my weekend. Book reviews and a 2013 reading list update are inevitable before the year runs out. Does anyone else get excited when something you ordered ships or arrives in the mail? Anyone? Well, I DO, and I do MAJORLY. I am awaiting two more items: a book and something oh so special...I have been lusting after it for a while. :)

Anyways, 


Shopping my wardrobe for week 2 was easier. I'm getting into the swing of things, and I hope it is upward bound from here forward. I mentioned last week that I might need to buy a few NEEDED items, and I did. I promise to share soon. I went into work twice this past week (I had Veteran's Day off), and below are my outfits for the week. I am kinda over my hairstyle...I want my 'Fro back. :(


I'm sure by now, you are aware I get loads of gifts, and I think it is because I give gifts. Like I warned you last week, I am brain fried regarding where I got most of the items in my closet. Sorry! I am not a fashion blogger..that remains my excuse. 




Week 2 - Day 4: Tuesday
Pants: I cannot remember for the life of me. I've had these pair since college and they have been there through many weight gains and loses.
Sweater Top: A gift from a friend

Purse: Nine West 
Shoes: Tahari via Marshalls

Belt: My mom was decluttering and I snatched it from her pile of "trash"
Earring/Red beads: A gift from my sister
Necklace/Gold beads: A gift from friends

Gold band/rings: No idea where I bought them





Week 2 - Day 5: Thursday
Skirt: Second Time Around
Turtleneck Sweater Top: A gift from my sister
Cardigan: Wet Seal 
Shoes: DSW

Belt: Nine West via Marshalls
Purse: Nine West 
Scarf: A stall in the middle of the mall
Earring/Sea shell bracelet: Can't Remember
Smaller gold beads: A gift from a friend

Ring: A gift from my mom's friend


Do you want to join me and shop your closet for the rest of the year?  

Beloved, You are Loved Absolutely!

Friday, November 16, 2012

A Sweet Serving With a Thankful Twist...


Today, I am thankful for my siblings.They ROCK! I love them dearly. Last Saturday, I was stuck at the train station; my card refused to work, and I had no cash on me. I FELT stranded. I got brave and asked a few people for a dollar or two explaining that my card was not going through. For the first time in my life, I understood how people who ask for a dollar or two to get on the train feel. It was weird! I felt both invisible and very visible. Dang! People just said no and some did not say it nicely. 

I called my siblings. My one brother did not pick up, because he was sleeping. My sister, her husband and my other brother who was on call (bless his heart) all rose to action. They rushed over from different parts of town and showed up even though it was an inconvenience to all three of ‘em. I am thankfull!



[via
"It took a while for me to get there, but ultimately, I realized that it’s okay to evolve; it’s a long journey from ages five to 35, and it’s okay to want different things for myself today than I thought I wanted then.  So, here I am, with new dreams and all new possibilities."
- Jamenda McCoy, President and CEO of BellÄ“ Up Maternity via The Everygirl

Beloved, You are Loved Absolutely!
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