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New Year, New You, New…

7 Jan

…yea, yea, yea.

So how many of you have already broken your New Year’s resolutions? The ones that had you saying “I’m really going to stick to this this year,” but unfortunately you ended up reneging on it already?

Chances are, you probably aren’t the only one who didn’t keep up with your resolutions. Resolutions are, well, like rules:

meant to be broken.

(That made me sound so bad ass:  joke’s on you guys.)

But what if you call those “resolutions” something better, like (say it with me people!) “goals?” Doesn’t that now seem so much more achievable? So much more desirable?

Nothing feels better than meeting a goal, except for setting another one and meeting that as well (and so on, and so forth.)

Alright, now that we’ve agreed that the word “resolution” is indefinitely banned from our vocabularies, what goals do you want to accomplish in 2013?

*Inserts motivational song below to set the mood…*

*Inserts another motivational song below in case the video above didn’t tickle your fancy…*

I believe teamwork makes the dream work… So let’s turn those goals into a reality this year! Tell me some of your goals, I’ll tell you mine, and let’s all help each other out. (Wasn’t one of your word-that-cannot-be-said-or-typed-anymore to be nicer and more helpful to others??)

While you are thinking of what your goals are…I’ll tell you mine (and you can think of how you’ll help me…)

My goals in 2013 are (drumroll, please):

  • To become a better reporter/journalist/on-air talent (that should’ve been obvious!)
  • To get, and stay, in shape. Lost one of my favorite people in the world because of heart disease…and while I want to see her again, I have a LOT of work to do here on Earth, first. (RIP, Auntie.) Get it right, get it tight.
  • To become a better, more active blogger. That’s why I need you guys to talk to me!!! It’s frustrating to keep posting things with no followers. Then this just becomes an online journal for me…awkward.
  • To become a better daughter, sister, aunt, friend, and mentor. No explanation necessary.
  • And lastly, to do at least two photo shoots this year! Hey, it’s on my bucket list. For those of you who follow me on instagram, you know I’m a camera whore. Just kidding, if you actually know me, you know the real reason why I take so many pictures of myself; but if you don’t, then judge not (because again, didn’t we say we were going to be much nicer this year?)

So there are many, many other things I want to do this year, but now I want to hear from YOU. Tell me about what you’re going to accomplish, and let me know how I can help you!

Remember, D is always on your side!!!

One love!

In Memoriam

10 Dec

It’s been just about a week since you passed, but it feels like I just heard the news of your passing moments ago.

I am hurt, immobilized by the pain of knowing that this year’s Thanksgiving was not just the last  holiday that I would get to spend with you, but the last living moment that I was able to share with you. (Guess Mommy was on to something when she did not let me take that job Oregon…)

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We joked that you should start exercising on Black Friday, and you joked that you would start in the new year. Oh if only you had listened to your doctors and started exercising. Perhaps then your family would not be left with the pain, heartbreak, and incapability of being consoled.

Aunt Dot, if only you were a just a “great aunt,” then maybe this would not hurt so much. I could rather relate you to a grandmother, but that would not be fair considering I never had a quality relationship with my grandparents. You, darling, were like a second mother. Someone who I looked up to, someone who inspired me, someone who I knew I loved unconditionally, and vice versa.

I sit and think of all of the amazing memories I had with you, but those memories just leave me with tears in my eyes. Remember all of the times Danny and I would spend the night over your place? Until I grew up enough to realize you snored way too loudly. I remember it was near the holidays one year and you played a Luther Vandross Christmas song called “The Mistletoe Jam”…I can’t even begin to tell you how much that song makes me giggle as an adult as it did when I was little.

You took us everywhere, and accompanied us on all of our trips. You may have lived a few towns over, but you were still our immediate family member. You were there for all the holidays (and when you were not, you heard our mouths about it and you did not make the mistake of going anywhere else but our house for the holidays again), all the graduations, the “regular days,” and everything in between.

Knowing you will not be here for any more holidays, when I get married, have children, the “regular days,” etc. is just…incomprehensible, unacceptable, unbearable. I cannot wrap my head around the idea that my children will not have the pleasure of knowing the amazing Dorothy Ward. Sheesh.

I can at least say that I was blessed to have had the honor, and privilege of having you in my life. I am eternally grateful for that. I would always refer to you as my “cool aunt, who I want to grow up and be just like” to all of my friends, and today, I feel even more driven to make that a reality knowing that you are up in heaven watching over me, making sure I do just that.

Love never dies.

I know I still love you no matter how far away you are from me. And I know you still love me, as you rest in paradise with God.

As I continue to mourn losing you, Aunt Dot, one of the greatest people I have ever known, I know that in time, the pain will ease, and your transition from living on this earth to living in my heart will become, for lack of a better word, easier.

I cannot process why He took you away so soon, but He does everything for a reason. While that reason remains unbeknownst to my family and me, I pray that in time my heart heals, and ultimately, that I can live a life damn near as amazing as yours.

Promising to make you proud…

I love you always, and am so thankful for you and all that you have done for me…

Until we meet again…in my heart, always, and forever.

RIP Aunt Dot

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A Peachy Breakfast

25 Oct

Remember how I told you I was working on getting healthy and eating right? Yea, well none of that really happened last week.

Whoops.

This week things have changed: I’ve worked out, twice (so far!), and I’ve been eating better. Here was this morning’s breakfast:

It was quick, easy, and pretty healthy…Here’s how you can make it!

Ingredients:

  • 3/4 cup sliced peaches (the frozen ones work perfectly fine — that’s what I used)
  • 1 Thomas’ Whole Wheat English Muffin, sliced in half
  • 1 tbsp. butter (unsalted)
  • 2 tsp. brown sugar
  • 1 tbsp. uncooked oatmeal
  • 1-2 tbsp. cream cheese (whipped would be best – fewer calories without having to compromise flavor like you do with that yucky, low-fat cream cheese)
  • a dash of cinnamon and/or nutmeg (optional)

Directions:

  • In a small skillet, over low heat, melt butter, brown sugar, cinnamon, and nutmeg.
  • Once those ingredients have melted together, add in oats. Simmer for about 2 minutes. Tip: keep heat medium-low so that you don’t end up burning your pan or sauce.
  • After oats have cooked a bit in the pan, add the peaches to pan. (If using the frozen ones like I did, I recommend defrosting them before you throw them into the pan). Stir occasionally and allow peaches to warm up completely.
  • While the peach mixture is “doing its thing,” throw your muffin in the toaster, and let it brown to your desired level.
  • Finish it off! After the muffin is toasted, spread some cream cheese on each slice, and top with warm, peachy goodness!

Variation:

  • Don’t like peaches? I’m sure you can use just about any other fruit as a replacement. I actually may try this with strawberries before the week is done!

That was easy, right? And you start your day off with fiber, fruit, and overall goodness. I’m no mathematician, but I can tell you without a doubt that you won’t exceed 400 calories with this breakfast!

So next time you are thinking of making breakfast, try this, and let me know what you think!

Stay healthy, my friends…

-D

Can You Guess Who…

14 Oct

…has a birthday coming up in exactly one month?

Yep, you’re looking at her.

ME!!!

Woo-hoo! So exciting, right? The big 2-4 (ok, maybe that isn’t typically considered a “monumental” birthday, but every year lived is worth celebrating)!

YOLO.

What does this girl want for her birthday? Well, a few things…

  1. A GOOD JOB — is that really too much to ask for from an intelligent, talented young woman with her master’s degree?
  2. A SICK BODY — not in a sick “ah-choo” way, but I’m saying like “mmhmm, she know she bad” kind of way. Alright translation for anyone not understanding my slang: a more toned physique.
  3. A GOOD JOB!! Oh wait, I did say that already. Clearly you see just how important that is to me.

So how do I go about getting these seemingly simple gifts? (Well isn’t that always the tough part?)

Here’s what I’ll be doing to turn my birthday wishes into a reality:

  • APPLY, APPLY, APPLY! I can’t say that I’ve been slacking in that department, but I have been doubting whether or not I have the skill level to apply to certain jobs, when in reality, I do. I have to keep in mind…

  • WORK IT OUT! I’m sexy and I know it, but there’s always room for improvement. I promise that at the end of this month-long period I will post a before-and-after pic that will blow your mind. Haha, let me not hype this up so much. But seriously, the running begins, as well as the squats, push-ups, core workouts, etc. If I see my plan is working, then I will share with you all, of course!

So those are my goals/wishes for the upcoming month. What goals will YOU be working on during this time period? There’s no time like the present to start working on your dreams!

Got workout tips?

Share them? A blogging community that works out together, stays together (yep, totally made that one up, but if the shoe fits…!)

Got job-finding tips? Share them!

Let’s all accomplish great things together!

-D

Behind the Lens

11 Oct

I took this photo about a month ago at a family outing at the park for my father’s birthday. I thought it was a beautiful photo, showing some of nature’s beauty.

If you’ve been following my blog, then you know I’ve been a little down over the past couple of days, but as I look at this photo, I realize the following:

Life is sort of like photography…

Every single thing you see through your camera lens is not going to be beautiful, but you have the power to make the best of it. Sometimes looking at something from one angle won’t get you anywhere. You won’t see what you want, or what is meant, to be seen. Sometimes you have to roll around, and get down and dirty to get the perfect shot.

Are you getting what I am saying?

Every moment in life is not going to be picture-perfect.

Times will get hard. Life will throw some nasty, little curveballs at you.

But what are you going to do about it? Are you going to do what it takes to turn your ugly moment into a beautiful lesson?

My advice? Unleash your inner photographer: get creative in how you fight back against life’s challenges!

How do YOU conquer the things in life that are less than picture-perfect? Talk to me!

-D

Can Dreams Really Come True?

9 Oct

Today I write, as a broken spirit…

I said I was going to get back on track, but reality smacked me in the face today and told me to have a seat.

What do you do when the career you dream of becomes something that cannot become a reality? Do you give up? Change your dreams?

Usually I’m on “Team Dreams Can Come True,” but today, I feel as though all of the members of my team got shot and killed, and with it, so did my hope.

I feel like this post can go in a thousand directions…

I could focus on how student loans are the worst things ever, and how because I am in debt up to my ears, I cannot afford to get into the industry that I want so badly to be a part of.

I could talk about tips on how you can overcome a feeling of defeat — oops, I can’t do that, because I’m clearly struggling with that right now.

I could tell you how in times like these you have to “let go, and let God,” but even I am sitting here struggling to believe things will get better.

So alas, I finish this post the same way I started it: as a broken spirit.

The Bottom

7 Oct

If there is one good thing about hitting rock bottom, it is that the only way left for you to go, is up.

I mean, what can be worse than crying under the blankets for days, eating donuts in bed (maybe that isn’t too bad, just unhealthy), being unemployed, and broke…with Sallie Mae calling me everyday?  (God please don’t accept this as a challenge!)

Ok, so technically things could be worse, but I’ve learned that each person’s “bottom” is different, and right now I’ve reached mine.

I didn’t expect to be feeling like this two months after graduating with my master’s degree — that “on-top-of-the-world” feeling has left me.

This feeling of depression has got to go, so today, I pledge to start climbing back to the top, as that is where I know I belong.

I don’t know what your struggle is, but let’s remember this quote, together:

“It’s always darkest before the dawn.”

And now I leave you with an inspirational song, of sorts, by Florence + The Machine (who I’ve been sort of obsessed with for the past month or so…)

Enjoy!!

-D

P.S. We can and will overcome any adversity we face! Stay optimistic!