Monthly archives of “May 2016

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THE FIVE MINUTE JOURNAL

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Around the same time I started reading The Law of Attraction, I bought this journal:

Complain less, appreciate more, and become happier with The Five Minute Journal. Built from leading positive psychology research, The Five Minute Journal is a simple guided journal that focuses your attention on the good in your life. It takes just 5 minutes a day and features daily inspiring quotes.

Interestingly, you don’t start journaling right away. The first 50 or so pages explains why you’ll love the journal and how it works, basic principles, the morning and night routines, weekly challenges, commitment, solutions THEN the journal.

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My journal arrived Saturday; therefore, my first entry was during the night routine. Because I read a host of reviews before purchasing, I found out that some people complete the entries as a family so I’ve been doing mine with Husband. For example:

Some of the things we’ve been grateful for: Donuts, our bed and good sleep, and my Beetle

Things that would make our day great: Productivity during and after work

Daily affirmations: Being an unlimited being, a successful blogger, architect and financially stable

Amazing things that happened: Being productive, spending quality time, and dancing and singing around the apartment

How could the day have gone better: Not eating pizza from a new restaurant we tried (because it hurt my tummy), exercising, and drinking more water

This is a great way to start the day, it makes me feel more energized and motivated. We even enjoy the motivational quotes but most of all, it doesn’t really take five minutes to complete. Maybe it’s because we are smart…

Of course, you could write this stuff in your own rinky-dink journal but I doubt you’ll do it. I can smell your lack of consistency from here. Shop the journal here or via Amazon here. I was also checking out their Productivity Planner but I need them to add a calendar. When you guys do that, let me know.

You’re welcome.

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HOW TO BE A CREATIVE

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Completely focusing on my education and career drained me of my creativity. As a result, I was left with a void in my life. Five or so years ago, I made the decision to increase balance by doing all of the things that provided me with a creative outlet. Because I am a super helpful, I thought I’d share my list with you.

#1 Everyone won’t understand but that’s none of your business. In the words of Sheree aka She by Sheree: “Who gone check me boo?”

#2 Surround yourself with other creatives. Check your local newspaper, social media… Hell, try Craiglist (although you may get murdered). Hang where they are, join their group and become an active member. Praise report: If I had not been reading about an entrepreneurship organization, I wouldn’t have become a participant then organizer. I would’ve never been motivated by other innovative entrepreneurs, never would have found out about Startup Weekend and never would’ve won first place!

#3 If you have more than one creative outlet, embrace them all. Shouldn’t you love your children equally? I love blogging but still like art and still want to try photography and am interested in how I can bring innovation and technology to my fields of policy and urban planning.

#4 If for some reason you can’t locate your local creatives, subscribe to blogs, magazines, newsletters, etc. If it’s free or if I can afford to maintain it, I subscribe. Everyday, I read something to improve my skills (usually in the morning, before I get out of bed).

#5 Last but not least, carry a notebook with you. I have a bit of a stationary addiction so I buy notebooks all of the time but it’s good to have one handy, because ideas usually come to me when I’m unable to act on them.

So, it’s important to understand that you can’t do all of these over night. I don’t expect you to be as awesome as me. But set a goal to do at least one per month. Now go out into the world, be creative! Throw glitter in someone’s eye or something!

This past weekend, I sent Pink Gumbeaux’s first newsletter. For people who viewed it on their mobile devices, the format sucked. Go back and look at it on your computer or iPad, lol. For those of you who haven’t, subscribe here or I’ll judge you. Follow me on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Bloglovin. Check out my last blog post: Take It off!

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TAKE IT OFF!!!

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I’m talking about nail polish… In So Your Manicure Won’t Suck, I told you how to keep your nail polish on.  Now, I’m going to tell you how to take it off.  Specifically, the removal of glitter and gel manicures.

First and foremost, I love glitter nail polish. It’s fancy, lasting, and uplifting.  Yes, nail polish does have the ability to put me in a good mood.  In contrast, it’s really difficult to remove.  Who wants to damage their nail beds by trying to peal and scrub polish off? And, this is what some of you do when trying to remove your gel manicures which is damaging enough.

It is highly unlikely that I will travel to a nail salon to get anything removed. That’s a waste of money. So, what do I do? Here’s what you’ll need:

  1. Acetone (100%). You can find this at your local drug store, grocery store, and beauty supply store.
  2. Aluminum Foil. You’ll need enough to wrap around each of your fingers and or toes. Tear a few extras. You don’t know what you’re doing and may mess up.
  3. Cotton Balls.

First, soak cotton ball with acetone, press against nail then wrap foil around your finger tightly. I can do this easily on my feet and left hand. I usually enlist the help of Husband with my right hand; although, it’s doable. It just takes more time.

If you’re removing glitter, let it soak for 3 to 5 minutes. If you’re removing a gel or even acrylic manicure, leave on 10 to 15 minutes. While waiting, ask yourself “why did I put myself through this?” You could’ve had a regular manicure and would’ve been done removing your nail polish 10 minutes ago… Buff nails and proceed with your life.

Good luck and godspeed.

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ZITI AL ASHLEE 

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Ziti Al Forno is one of my favorite dishes and a couple of weeks ago, I said to myself:

Self,

You’re capable, you can Google, you can cook-ish, why not? 

So, I traveled to my local Kroger with recipes in hand and bought only a portion of the ingredients because I didn’t feel like spending all day at the grocery store… As a result, I free styled. And, it turned out really well. What you’ll need:

  1. Ziti Noodles.
  2. Salt, Creole Seasoning, Garlic Powder and Onion Powder for taste (unless you lead a bland life).
  3. Alfredo Sauce (you can find this in a jar and no I don’t know the size, good luck with that. Get the small?)
  4. Small bag of Parmesan and Mozerella cheeses.
  5. Chicken (2 chicken breasts or 3 tenderloins? I don’t know. What would Jesus do?)
  6. Frozen shrimp or fresh if you have it like that. I bought a small bag, it equaled about 20 large shrimp.
  7. A small bag of bacon bits. Not the crunchy kind, the chewy kind.
  8. Green onion, yellow onion, and garlic.
  9. Butter.

Mince veggies while noodles are boiling. This is usually done by my Sous Chef (my little brother) and I tell him to cut what he think is appropriate. Maybe a half cup of each? Just go for it!

Add a dash of salt to noodles. Apparently, it helps noodles cook faster. That’s just what I heard on the streets.

In a skillet, cook chicken. I like to season with garlic powder and onion powder on both sides. After, remove chicken, toss a stick of butter in skillet with minced veggies and shrimp. Add a few dashes of creole seasoning. Cook for 5 minutes. Don’t burn it, that would suck.

Oh, did I mention you should preheat your oven? This is only if you want a light brown crust. If you’re super hungry, don’t worry about it.

Ok, now it’s time to toss in the cheeses, chicken, and bacon. Add the jar of Alfredo and a handful of parmesan and mozzarella. This may equal a cup of each but I’m not sure. We’re free styling. Bring to simmer and make sure the cheeses melt.

Mix content with noodles, add to baking pan and pop in oven or eat as is. Whew, and we’re done!

You’re welcome.

If you try this, let me know! If you mess it up, keep it to yourself. I don’t need the bad publicity 🙂

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MY TINY WEEKEND

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Rarely do I include my professional endeavors. First, it’s boring and secondly, I need a break from it. You know, so I can have some balance in my life…  But here we are and here I am telling my business.  You guys are so nosy.

This past Friday, Husband (who is a construction project manager, urban planner and an almost-architect) and I (policy analyst, urban planner and badass) presented at Startup Weekend Jackson.  A startup is basically a new and scalable business.  So, the first time I heard of this event was last year.  I wanted Husband and I to participate but he thought it was too short of a notice. This year was also a short notice but I told him we had to pitch his idea.  Although the primary focus was technology and education, we pitched tiny homes in distressed areas of Jackson. Yes, I know this concept isn’t new but it’s new to Jackson.

30 mins before the event, I was too tired to go. Plus, I was supposed to attend another event. Husband still wanted to go so I figured we would “pitch” our idea, loose, go to my friend’s event that Friday night and use the remainder of the weekend to complain about my dissertation and binge watch TV. It didn’t go as planned… Out of 23 pitches, 8 were selected.  We were one of the 8. For the next 52 hours we would spend time forming a business group (people with supporting skills), developing a business model, creating a 5 minute pitch and presentation then the final pitch. Now that we were competing, I had to win.

We had to arrive at 8AM on Saturday morning. I was cool with that because there was breakfast *shoulder shrug* Additional team members included an accountant who is a sophomore in undergrad, a health, safety and environmental manager, and a friend who does basically the same thing as Husband. Overall, the group process was cool. I thought I would be the most difficult group member because (1) I don’t like people wasting my time and (2) I am a perfectionist. Interestingly, it was HUSBAND! I’m not sure if he was passionate or on his cycle.  Had we been on our own, he may’ve gotten punched in the stomach. Because we were in a group setting being watched, I figured I would take the high road. Plus, it made him look like the bad guy and I’m all for that. “Look at me, I’m just an innocent woman.”

*insert more good meals here*

A couple of hours before our final pitch, we met with pitch coaches. I thought we were cool until one coach rained on our parade. On one hand, she gave great advice. On the other hand, I think our concept went over her head. Here we are, broke and ambitious, pitching new and innovative housing in distressed areas. The nerve? After I thought, what are we doing? The group wasn’t going for it, we made a few changes to our pitch and not only did we win “crowd favorite” but we won 1st place *dabs on haters*

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You guys should recognize Husband and I.  I won’t list the other member’s names, you guys look like stalkers. We won awesome prices, are in the process of forming our business and putting tiny houses all over Jackson.  Vacant neighborhoods, the parking lot of Red Lobster, the drive-through of McDonald’s?

If I didn’t totally bore you, follow our journey on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

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