Wednesday, April 16, 2014


Hey Everyone!

I've moved this blog over to it's own domain.  Don't be alarmed if you are auto-directed there shortly.

Monday, April 14, 2014

Life Without Blogging

I was having the best weekend last week.  It was a beautiful day and we took our puppy to the dog park.  It was "Spring Black Friday" and I was tearing it up at my local nurseries.  I got all the seeds I wanted for my garden, grass seed, and a couple plants.  It was fabulous.  Then my husband and I went out for slushies and we headed to one of our favorite local places to get barbecue.  That afternoon, we did tons of yard work and I was still all pumped.  

We decided to get dinner and as I'm eating I notice that my stomach just doesn't feel right.  Maybe I'm just worn out from overdoing it?  Does this taste ok?  I don't think I should try to eat anything more.

I try just relaxing to shake off the feeling.

I lay down.  Often if my stomach feels upset, I'm able to just force myself to sleep.  I'll wake up the next day feeling fine.  So, I force myself to sleep even though it's barely 8PM.

At 11PM, I'm awake again.  I try re-positioning.  To force myself back to sleep.  It doesn't help.  I feel that rising inside of me.  For the next 8 hours I can't even take a sip of water without it making me sick.

After that comes the fever.

I rearrange my work schedule for the next three days.  Anytime I try to eat, I can tell it's too soon.  

I head back to work though with a modest supply of yogurt and chicken noodle soup.  Because of the missed days I need to make up, I'm working 10 days straight. I'm exhausted from being sick.  I'm exhausted from work.

But, finally, on Saturday....a week later, I was able to eat a meal again without being sick.

I don't think I'll have pork again for a long time though.  

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

One of those topics you are never suppose to bring up...

This week for Dani's Journal Prompt series over at Sometimes Sweet she asks:
Would you consider yourself a religious person? Quite simply- what do you believe happens when you die? Have you always believed this? Do your current beliefs align with what you were taught as a child? And if not, what was the turning point? This week, talk about your religion or spiritual beliefs (or perhaps your lack of), and try to sum up, if you can, what you believe happens "next."
Such a heavy question.  I would like to say that I did not grow up in a family that went to church.  My parents taught me about God and Jesus only in the sense of a very generic explanation of what Easter and Christmas meant.  I'm not sure what prompted me but at a very young age I was concerned with what happened when we die.  I asked my mom about it and she told me how she believed bad people went to Hell to be punished and people who believed in God or Jesus went to Heaven.

A few years later I began going to Christian churches with friends and then with family.  I was really into church life during my teenage years and never missed church, did choirs, youth group---everything.  By the time I graduated High School, I didn't hold a lot of the beliefs that I had been taught in church (that being gay is a sin, non-believers go to Hell, etc) and I haven't really attended church since then.  

I believe in God.  I believe in the Gospel of Jesus Christ.  I believe in Heaven.

I guess when it comes down to it, is that I'm a privately religious person and kind of above everything I just think Jesus seemed like an awesome guy.  He hung around people most church folk wouldn't.  He took on the burden of his family, friends, and strangers.  And he just lived a very good life.  That's what I strive to do.   
I choose to be loving and accepting of everyone.  I choose to be kind.  I choose to be open.  I choose to believe. 

Friday, April 4, 2014

Five Things Friday

  1. I got my first pedicure of the season.  I went to this nail place I had gone to last year on my birthday.  Their pricing is great and they did a good job with my birthday pedicure.  This time though my pedicurist was awful.  She ended up cutting the bottom part of my nail on my big toe.  It bleed and then proceeded to burn the whole time.
  2. In the early hours of the morning, we got hit with a huge thunderstorm.  I felt my dog jump into bed and cuddle up with me at 4am as the storm started.  At 5AM, when it was at it's peak, my poor dog got so scared and wouldn't stop squirming.  So I was up to put on his Thundershirt and give him super cuddles.  Thankfully, the Thundershirt mellows him out.
  3. After the storm, it was the perfect Spring day.  The fresh air just smells gorgeous and I am loving having the windows all open.
  4. Tomorrow is the Middle Tennessee plant show.  This will be my first time going and I can't wait to get some great deals!
  5. It is also "Spring Black Friday".  That means pretty much every store is having great deals on gardening stuff.  My husband has no idea what he is in for.  

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

The Effects Of Social Media

This week for Dani's Journal Prompt Series on Sometime's Sweet she wrote: 

Do you use social media in your daily life? Do you think it adds to your relationships with others, or takes away from them? And furthermore, do you think social media adds more positive or negative to your life? Write about your relationship with social media, and talk a bit about how you got started, and what role it plays in your world.
I thought when Social Media was introduced, it was just so cool.  I can't even really say how I got introduced to Social Media.  Since before Blogger or Google were even companies, I've always had online webpages where I would write out my journal entries.  Then there were Yahoo! Groups and message boards.  Then Myspace and it all just amplified from there.  It gave me a way to connect to my family and friends that lived far away and it was such an wonderful way to meet new people.  I also met my husband through a friend because of social media.  So I should be someone who really love it.  

As I get older though, I hate it. 

I hate that the way my family communicates is through a quick little blurb on Facebook.  I hate to think that I might not have any contact with them if it wasn't for social media.  You would think that somehow having a closer connection to someone would deepen your relationship, but I hate the lack of intimacy.  I wonder what it would be like to live in a world where you waited for a hand written letter from someone?  I wonder what it's like to spend hours on the phone catching up, instead of watching someone's life go on through whatever their latest picture post is.

I feel because I'm so connected online that my relationships have become more disconnected.  I came to the decision at the beginning of this year that I was going to make more of an effort in my relationships.  With that decision, I decided to try to take a step back.  I'm still think Twitter is a lot of fun, but for things like Facebook I want to limit what I post.  I want to try to write letters to people.  And with that, I think I may need to go stationary shopping tomorrow. 

Saturday, March 29, 2014

Best Blogs Of The Week

J has done it again!  My favorite posts of hers are the monthly posts where she writes about what she spent her monthly clothing budget on.  This is something I'm still struggling with and I made a resolution to be better about setting a monthly clothes budget (i.e. not just binge buy during tax free weekend).  If you need help creating a budget, J has a post for that.

In my goal of trying to be healthier, I came across this great post over at 100 Days Of Real Food.  I've been trying to think of healthier lunch options.  Depending on the taste test, overnight oats might be a quick and convenient option.  

I've always loved following Young House Love as they take old brick homes and transform them into something a little more modern.  This is what my husband and I are trying to do with our 1970s brick home.  This week they took the old school lighting out of their home and put in something a little more modern.  After buying our home, we immediately took out all the old lighting in the bedrooms and replace it with ceiling fans.  Now if we can just get the boob lighting out of all the hallways and bathrooms.

Friday, March 28, 2014

Five Things Friday

  1. After yesterdays viral blowup against Self Magazine, the Editor-In-Chief has agreed to discontinue the "BS Meter" page and did a brief interview with the courageous Monika Allen.  In the article it states, "Monika told me today that she felt we had taken a bullying approach, and she wished our item was more positive and encouraging. I agreed."  I can't see the magazine making any positive changes.  Not in a world where it pays to be mean and be a gossip.  And since we're on the topic of women's empowerment and equality don't forget to check out Self's amazingly informative article The Spring Cleaning Workout.

  2. Today is one of the first days that it actually melt like spring.  Do you know the saying, "April showers bring May flowers"?  Usually in the South it's, "February flowers bring March flowers".  Instead in February and a good chunk of March we just had cold with some snow.  I think after this past week, we are finally done with the cold.  We had a giant rain storm last night all the way through the morning.  Afterwards, it warmed up and you could smell the dogwoods and all the bulbs hanging in the air.  I love this time of year.

  3. Speaking of the warm up, my combo skin has gone from winter dry to summer oily.  Time to research some mattifying something or other.

  4. This week Taco Bell launched their breakfast menu.  You should know that my favorite food is breakfast food.  And one of my greatest loves is breakfast burritos....and waffles...and pancakes...and everything breakfast related.  I had been salivating for a Taco Bell waffle taco and breakfast burrito since I first heard they were beta testing it. When it finally launched yesterday, you better believe I hit up that drive-thru at 7:15AM, as you may know if you follow me on Instagram.  Sadly, it was a BIG FAIL.  Do not eat it and have your dreams crushed like me.  

  5. I start my new schedule on Sunday and will be working with my new team.  I'm a mixture of sad about saying goodbye to my old team and excited to see what lays ahead.  One thing is for sure, I'm super glad that I won't be dealing with 5PM rush over anymore.  Nashville traffic is awful.

Thursday, March 27, 2014

Way To Go Self Magazine

By now you've probably heard about Monika Allen.  (Side note:  I originally wrote Monica Geller.)  Monika helps support the non-profit Girls On The Run by selling tutus that can be worn by runners participating in marathons.  The organization is geared towards helping tweens and teens with both health and confidence.

Monika was contacted by Self Magazine asking if her picture could be featured in their magazine.  Considering Self Magazine is all about women's health and fitness, it seems like Monika and her story would be a great fit for the magazine.  Instead, Self decided to feature Monika's picture under their "BS Meter" to document "what's lame this month."

Now the story has gone viral.  Not only are Self editors learning that the tutus are worn to support a non-profit, but also the lady in the Wonder Woman shirt, Monika, was battling brain cancer and going through chemotherapy when this picture was taken as she ran in the LA Marathon.  

Now Self is in a public relations's nightmare.  Their Editor in Chief Lucy Danziger has said she is "personally mortified" and the magazine has taken to their twitter to apologize.     

Don't worry though.  There is no mention of this at all on Self's website.  You can still navigate easily to the feature article of the month:  Is That Easter Candy Worth It?  

The Self Magazines are exactly what is wrong with the world.  They tear down the what could be an amazing, inspirational story.  If you want to market yourself as a women's health and beauty magazine, then be a magazine about such things.  If you want to be a magazine that mocks people, then turn your magazine into a tabloid.  

When will women and women's publications learn that we should be empowering each other instead trying to be "mean girls"?  

Divergent Series: A Non-Spoiler Review

Selfless.  Brave.  Intelligent.  Peaceful.  Honest.  Those are the five types of factions that exist in book series Divergent.  The year your turn sixteen, you choose the life you want to lead.  Will you spend your life serving the members of your society?  Or will you spend your life defending them?  

What role would you pick if at sixteen years old you had to decide your fate?

I power-read through the Divergent trilogy much like I did for Twilight and The Hunger Games--trying desperately to get through the series before the movie launched.  There will be no spoilers here but overall I loved the series.  I thought the author, Veronica Roth, who published the book when she was just 23 years old, did an amazing job.  I'm older than her and sometimes I can't figure out what I want to blog about, let alone write an entire New York Bestselling series with a movie option.  

My favorite thing about Veronica Roth:  I thought she was brave in her storytelling.  She was true to the story.  She was true to the characters.  Do you remember how people HATED Breaking Dawn when it was first published?  The story built up and up, then suddenly it was so anti-climatic with a happy-ever-after bow on top.   From Divergent all the way through the conclusion of series, Veronica Roth goes there.  

This is one of the YA series that surprised me yet again.  I knew from the premise that I would love Harry Potter and Twilight.  When I read the premise of both Hunger Games and Divergent I didn't think I would like them at all.  It's amazing to have female authors writing about strong female characters.

And to answer the question above, which one of the factions would I choose?  My heart tells me to go with Amenity.  My heads tells me that I'm all Candor.  

Monday, March 24, 2014

Transforming Jackie: Week 2

Last week, I wrote about how I was wanting to make some changes, specifically when it came to my health.  I decided to start with baby steps:  follow my meal plan and just generally be more active--with the goal of doing one walk and one day of gardening.  

I wrote yesterday how awesome it was that we stuck to our meal plan for the week.  The being more active is going well too.  The weather cooperated and I was able to get out and do some gardening.   I didn't go for a walk like I planned, but we did go to the dog park twice.  I've also been up and doing more house chores.  More cooking, more cleaning, more grocery shopping.  It feels good.  

This week I'm going to stick to the same action plan:  focus on home cooking all my meals and just be active.