Thursday, November 18, 2010

Hip Hop Thursdays: Flashing Lights

"She don't believe in shootin' stars,
But she believes in shoes and cars.
Wood floors in the new apartment,
Couture from the stores department."
-Kanye West, Flashing Lights

ps. Who else is TOTALLY pumped that this day is finally here. Unfortunately it's the beginning of the end, but I'm still not going to be able to sit still today. As I have a secret mission tomorrow which includes a long flight layover maybe you'll get a review of the newest Harry Potter film. Happy Thursday!

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Quick "Pick Me Up"

Didn't get a quote in class for the first time today. Thankfully I have a whole file of favorite quotes on reserve so you'll still get your "hump day hope" post. And boy do I need it today! After taking a benadryl before lunch I have been a zombie the rest of the day. I also don't appreciate this darkness circa 5:00pm, I loathe daylight savings in the Fall.

Take a few minutes to read, let it sink in & enjoy!

"Our worst fear is not that we are inadequate, our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us. We ask ourselves, 'who am I to be so brilliant, gorgeous, talented and fabulous?' Actually, who are we not to be? You are a child of God: Your playing small doesn't serve the world. There is nothing enlightening about shrinking so that other people won't feel insecure around you. We were born to make manifest the glory of God within us. It is not just in some of us, it is in everyone and as we let our own light shine we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others."
– Marianne Williamson

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Top Five Tuesday

Ok so I am procrastinating. Don't try to tell me you've never done it.

As I've been needing some extra motivation and things to keep me going these days I've recently rediscovered my iTunes. Going through some old music last night I decided to take a gander at my "25 Most Played" list. Unfortunately towards the end of college I lost my iTunes and have been building back up, so it's sad that this list isn't really reflective of my long love-affair with my music.

And since I am loving blogging these days, especially doing fun "days of the week" themes to post more but with simple fun topics, I decided to now go ahead with Top Five Tuesday.

Today I've got for you my top five most played songs on iTunes. Some you may have heard of it, some not--so give 'em a listen!

1. "Hey Soul Sister" by Train

2. "Sweet Disposition" by The Temper Trap

3. "One Day" by Matisyahu

4. "L.E.S. Artistes" by Santogold

5. "Speechless" by Lady Gaga

Also along with this music theme, this morning at work I discovered that Pandora currently has a list of music festival playlists. You can listen to stations for such big festivals as Lollapalooza, Bonnaroo, Austin City Limits, etc. I highly suggest you check them out, I've been jamming out to the Coachella station all day and now am adding some of these festivals to my life list.

I think looking at someone's iTunes is like a sneak peek into their personality. What are you top five most played songs on iTunes?

Monday, November 15, 2010

My Life is Bananas B-A-N-A-N-A-S

In the words of Gwen Stefani, life is bananas right now. This weekend was my last bit of relaxation as things are beginning to spiral out of control to wrap up this first semester. It was nice to go out with friends on Friday to play and celebrate for my bithday. My best friend KMK was in town which was a great present in itself! I am so thankful for the awesome friends I have made here in Columbia so far that came to help celebrate all weekend.

SS & AT during birthday celebrations

Saturday was spent shopping and then watching the Gamecocks kill Florida to win the SEC East title putting them on the road to Atlanta for the SEC Championships! It was so exciting and fun to be in a great atmosphere for such a big win. Carolina Ale House played great victory music and there was much Gamecock cheering. I wish I was free the weekend of the championship game, but let's just hope we can pull this off again next season!

Garcia dumping Gatorade all over Spurrier at the game

Needed to write and warn you to not expect as much blogging the next few weeks. If you do see it, it's my procrastination tactic. I'm finishing up papers for class, projects for my two practicums, preparing for interviews, doing some Sigma extension work along with getting ready for a big event with work. Greatly look forward to Thanksgiving if I make it to that point.

Hope everyone has had a good start to a new week!

Friday, November 12, 2010

Wait, where's our bread?

Last night I went to a nice dinner with some of the ladies I work with here at Columbia College. One of the great experiences with being at CC is not only are there other graduate assistants, but we have two girls in the AmeriCorps Vista program as well as professional staff who is still younger in housing. 

We've been meaning to get together and so something for a while and so last night we finally did. We went to dinner at the McCutchen House on the Historic Horseshoe at USC. The MH is an establishment operated by students from the School of Hotel, Restaurant and Tourism Management. The wait staff, hosts and even those in the kitchen are students. They have a weekly lunch buffet, but then also do dinners on Thursdays. Thursdays at McCutchen offer a five course meal for $20, but you must make reservations because they fill up quickly!

The food was absolutely delicious! The first course was French onion soup, then we had the choice of either a Caesar or spinach salad. Next was a small pasta dish, and then the main course. We had three options to choose from, a chicken entrĂ©e wrapped in bacon with a pinto bean salsa (which I got, YUM!), pork tenderloin, and they even had duck with raspberry. I'm now kind of wishing I had gotten the duck to branch out, but hey there's always another Thursday. Of course there was dessert. We had the option between chocolate walnut pie with ice cream or what I believe they called whitemore, whitehouse (white somethin'!) pie. It was pretty much a creamy, coconutty, caramely slice of heaven. 

MA, me, LW, NB, LF & AS after dinner

Overall it was a great experience, fabulous food and a wonderful evening with friends! They even had the place decorated with American flags for Veterans Day, loved it. If you're in the Columbia area or if you ever come to visit I would suggest experiencing a Thursday at McCutchen. Not only was it delicious but it's benefiting the students who are getting real life experience from running the establishment. However, the one thing was we never got our bread. We saw dinner roll baskets at every table and were sad to never see it, but it was a great dinner nonetheless. And another note--they can't provide wine, however if you bring your own bottle they will serve it for you!

Anyhoo--it's FRIDAYYY! And it's the start to my birthday weekend. The bff KMK is headed to town later this evening and I absolutely can't wait to spend a weekend with her and other friends here in Cola. I hope that everyone has a fabulous Friday...only nine hours 'til the weekend (if you're lucky enough to be in EST)!

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Hip Hop Thursdays

"Last name ever, first name greatest. Like a sprained ankle, boy I ain't nothin' to play with."
 -Drake, Forever

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Hump Day Hope

So my professor is actually out this week, and it's funny to say I had a "substitute teacher" in grad school. Awkward. To prepare for her absence though, we got two quotes last week in class instead of one.

"The master in the art of living makes little distinction between his work and his play, his labor and his leisure, his mind and his body, his information and his recreation, his love and his religion. He hardly knows which is which. He simply pursues his vision of excellence at whatever he does, leaving others to decide whether he is working or playing. To him he's always doing both." 
- James A. Michener

Stirred up some interesting comments in class. I don't read into quotes too super deep sometimes. I find that I like it a lot actually and that things in life should be so aligned, and you should have passion and enjoyment for so many things you're doing that work isn't "work" per say and other things along those lines. Of course I think this goes to talk about people in life that have found that very thin balance between work and play and can still be respected. What do you all think?

Also, can someone help me understand why Reba is currently completely ruining performing Beyonce's "If I Were a Boy" on the CMA's right now? Get your life together. 

Sharing the Love

Yes it's early morning, and yes I should be getting ready to leave. But instead I have some wonderful news to share!

My wonderful friend and roommate from college MJC (author of Adventure: Pursuit of Life) is moving to Tampa next semester to do an internship for her last semester of school! She will be working with the Tampa Bay Lightning and St. Pete Times Forum to complete her Recreation degree.

MJC & me April 2009
(Ok so this was the most recent pic I could find of just the two of us and I was dressed 
to go to a social, and yes I was 21 at the time. M--we need some pics stat next time I see you!)

I always love to share good news, and as if I haven't already told her: I'm so proud of you MJC! I know that you'll do fabulous things and you've been waiting for a spectacular opportunity like such. I can't wait to come visit you in the Sunshine State and hear about all of your amazing adventures.

You'll get your hump day hope later this evening...have a fabulous Wednesday!

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Baby It's Cold(ish) Outside

Brrrr! This week I turned my heat on for the first time, wore pants to work for the first time, and broke out my winter coat for the first time. Ok so it's really not that cold, but alas I've turned into a baby again when it comes to cold weather.

I'm not surprised to find that Columbia is similar to Wilmington with its unpredictable weather patterns. Sweating one week, freezing the next. I found it humorous as I uploaded pictures from yesterday's football game against Arkansas (that we won't be discussing) and then looked at pictures from last week's game.
MH & me at the Tennessee tailgate last Saturday

Last week I was wearing a skirt and tank top and got slightly burnt during the game. Ok, so I did have a jean jacket (ahh yes a j-jacket, it's cute I promise) for a little while as it was chilly in the shade. But again...sun burn.

LW, LF & me at the Arkansas tailgate yesterday

This week I was wearing about three layers. I also later on from this picture sported gloves and a jacket. I couldn't feel my nose or my toes by the time we got back from the game. Also notice the lack of sun.

Despite the nasty weather this week (did I mention it rained a bunch too?) it was surprisingly great. I got a lot accomplished and still had lots of playtime. I'm also excited about lots of planning going on for the next few months. I'll be reuniting with the girls I worked with last year in Chicago the weekend before Christmas, and going to NYC with my family to see Wicked and do other fun things after Christmas. Additionally this afternoon I purchased a ticket to go sky diving which I'll be getting on my calendar for the Spring. I'm so pumped!

Most importantly my birthday is next weekend and I'm starting to get a little more excited. It's sad to see my lack of enthusiasm as I used to be notorious for birthday countdowns starting at about 100. I love birthdays but whenever I'm in a new-ish place it's always different. I'm pumped that my bff KMK is coming for the weekend, it's the best present I could ask for. Well that and the fact that the weather is getting warmer again this week and should be about 70* on my birthday this Sunday.

In the spirit of colder weather I've been indulging in lots of yummy coffees and other warm drinks. I absolutely love a warm cup of coffee, cocoa or cider. Unfortunately I don't love drinking away enough calories for it to be a meal. I decided to experiment and come up with a guilt-free hot cocoa.

Heat 8 oz. of Silk Soymilk Light in the microwave for three minutes. Then stir in with a packet of Swiss Miss Diet  cocoa mix. It won't automatically mix very well so make sure to keep stirring and break up the powder that sticks together. If you wish add a few marshmallows or small dollop of whipped cream. Without marshmallows or whipped cream this yummy treat will only cost you 85 calories and 1.5g of fat. Ta-da, yum! 

I hope everyone had an enjoyable weekend and that you're rested up and re-charged for the week ahead. Let's all keep good thoughts about warm weather this week, I'm refusing to acknowledge that it's almost winter. I'm going to have a rude awakening when I go home in a few weeks.

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Hip Hop Thursdays

Leave a mark that can’t erase neither space nor time

So when the director yells cut,

I’ll be fine,
I’m forever young...
-Jay Z

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Hump Day Hope

"Far and away the best prize that life offers is the chance to work hard at work worth doing." 
-Theodore Roosevelt

Sorry y'all I couldn't stop smirking resist when I saw this great pic of the old guy.
Moral of the day: don't do work you don't love. Happy hump day...we're almost there!

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Timing Is Beauty, Values Are Forever

I find myself constantly stumbling upon things to read, or am assigned articles or books to  that really relate to what's going on in my life at that exact moment. During my reading tonight for class tomorrow there is a large talk about values and the importance of them in the work place. The importance of employees sharing core values and needing this factor for a successful environment.

This is relevant because:
1. I'm having a big talk about values with some classmates tomorrow
2. I've been thinking about how much my experience working for Tri Sigma last year was drastically different than the offices I'm currently experiencing 
3. It makes me go back and think about all of the group work (whether academic or extracurricular) that I have been a part of, and noticing those that were the most positive and successful experiences were ones where our group had similar values

A part of this article, And the Walls Came Tumbling Down, by Jim Collins really just stood out to me and put into words something I have given a lot of thought to. (I highly encourage you to give it a read and have a similar "ah-ha" moment!)

Core values and purpose define the eternal character of a great organization, the character that endures beyond the presence of any set of people or individual leaders. In the long run, individual leaders do not hold an organization together; core values and purpose do. in the best organizations, leaders are subservient to the core principles, not the other way around. Furthermore, an individual's membership in the organization is ultimately defined by shared core values and common purpose, establishing a form of connection that often endures beyond that individual's formal activities with the organization. 

This really makes me think as well as points out that this statement is so true it's scary. Think about groups or organizations that have that deep rooted passion and dedication. I think of the military, I think of Greek life, I think of certain schools, religions and political parties. For the most part people in these sub-populations share similar values that give them a bond and tie that is strong. 

With my Greek life background this really talked to me in the sense of understanding how our organizations have been able to remain so successful since the mid to late 1800's. That even though I am tied to the core values of Tri Sigma, I am even more so just tied to the shared values that any and all people involved in Greek life share. That instant connection and bond when I meet a Tri Sigma, or someone who is Greek. Knowing that we have shared experiences and beliefs that immediately give us something in common. 

The same now goes for the student affairs profession. Meeting alumni from the HESA program, or just connecting with new SA professionals from other institutions it's again that immediate connection. That we are in this profession for the same reasons and that while we do have some differences in personal opinions, for the most part we share many values.  

At the end of this I go back to Tri Sigma and the ties I will have for a lifetime and beyond to the other amazing 100,000+ women in my sisterhood. I go back to the shared values of wisdom, power, faith, hope & love that I forever keep in my heart. I think about the special meaning of the symbols on our crest, and smile when I see it and teach new members about them knowing that our eight founders so long ago picked these over many things as important in our organization and we still up hold them today. 

I am proud of the values that I not only share with Tri Sigmas, but of my own personal values and those that I share as a professional. If you don't know and stand by your values, then there is not much else you have. I charge you to think about what you truly value and to keep those close to you. To consider those in your daily actions and in the decisions you have to make throughout life. 

Monday, November 1, 2010

On My Highway

In an interesting Monday mood. It was a pretty good start to the day getting out and about with some stuff at USC, and of course an early morning pumpkin spice latte never hurts!

I'd have to say that one thing I'm learning I have to do more in grad school is reflect. This is a huge time of learning for me, and I'm beginning to find that I am learning the most when I just sit and do nothing but think. It's been easy to be so caught up and so busy, not just now but in the past five years of my life, but actually sitting down and reflecting on my experiences is where I'm gaining the most self-knowledge. 

It's been pretty easy to think of things that I need to change, and behaviors I need to begin to be more intentional about. Recognition is the easy part but implementation is what takes some real work. 

On the flip-side of self reflection I'm also beginning to learn how to really deal with advice. I think that for far too long in life people have sugar coated things for me, which in turn has made me operate in that way as well. I'm learning that while sometimes advice may really sting at first, upon putting some thought into it later I realize why it was given. It is far too simple to think and perceive that you give off a certain vibe and attitude when in fact you may be completely wrong. 

Sundays are when I try to do the most reflection, laying in bed for a while after I wake up is always a good clear time to look at the week in review as well as start to think about the week ahead. I know that another big time of reflection for me is driving. I absolutely love driving by myself and am really looking forward to sixteen hours in the car on my travels home for Thanksgiving and back. Another outlet that has proved to work is writing. Clearly I'm taking back up the hobby of blogging and have started keeping a journal as well. 

So from now on I am charging myself to be more intentional about thinking about how I am acting, working and playing. To really think things through and give more thought to how my actions are coming across to others. To start controlling how I think and feel which will in turn work to change my behavior. I think the next year and half will provide some great points of self learning and I need to remember to stop thinking ahead to the next big thing in life but to focus on right now and the impact I can make in the things I am doing. 

My iTunes shuffle knows me all too well and put this song on as I began to write. I find it fitting and so have decided to share. Even if you don't like country I encourage you to listen to this song, not only are the words great but Jason Aldean is super dreamy!