Category Archives: Friends

My Mother; The Blogging “Expert”

Acquiring blog readers is hard.  Simple as that.  At times, the vast technological universe that many of us partake in can make it difficult to attract those that are the target audience you are searching for.  However, that involves you actively trying to attract an audience.  When I started this blog back in January of 2011 it was for me to share experiences that were taking place at work, at home and within my day-to-day structure.  I’ve blogged about my divorce, my job changes, working with other managers, fashion, sewing, dating, dancing, running and living with Fibromyalgia just to name a few of the most popular topics.

I started the blog as a way for me to get things off my chest that I wasn’t able to openly talk about until people started mentioning my blog.  Placing links to my blog on my personal Facebook was a way for me to share with my friends and family what I was going though.  During my marriage I lost touch with many people and have been trying to rebuild those relationships ever since.  I thought that maybe if people had an opportunity to see all the pandemonium that was going on in my brain they would understand what had been going on when we lost touch.

Outside of my circle of friends it never occurred to me that there might be others out there that are interested in hearing about my sewing projects or management techniques.  Who knew that my stories of being a 21st Century Gal would be that interesting to others?  Oh yes, that’s right…my mother!  Even at 29 it is still hard to admit that my mother is almost always right.  See what I did there with the “almost” part?  I’m sure there is something out there she might not be right about; such as biomechanical engineering or space travel.

It was my mother who started blogging before me and has shared her tips and tricks, so I guess I haven’t acquired these readers all on my own.  I might make management sound amusing, but you should see what my mom can do with the topic of cancer.  Never thought I could be laughing about cancer, but that’s how things work under her roof.  Anything and everything has the potential of being funny.  I’ll tell you what, it is rough knowing that as a teenager but quite amusing when you finally grow up and realize your parents aren’t as uncool as you once thought.

Thanks mom for sharing yet another life lesson with me.  Check out her blog, The World According to Alexandra, if you’re looking for a good laugh.  She even makes bodily functions funny instead of shamefully disgusting.  Thank you to my readers who stop back regularly.  For those of you who are just lurkers I invite you to subscribe to my blog and stick around for a bit.  There are some big changes on the horizon and I can be you won’t want to miss out on them.

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Filed under Blogging, Culture, Dance, Dating, Fashion, Female Management Skills, Friends, Parenting, Sewing, Taking Charge of One's Health

As Friends Transition

Have you looked at a friend of yours and wondered at what point you stopped having anything in common that you could talk about?  That moment just happened to me within the last month.  I actually questioned what prompted a friend to text message me out of the clear blue after barely speaking to me over the last 4 years.  Since it was via text message I cannot be sure of my friend’s reaction, but I can guess that it didn’t cause a warm fuzzy feeling.

It was at this moment that I realized we don’t have anything in common anymore and we probably haven’t in a very long time.  Quite a while a ago we both went in our own separate directions and have changed very much since then.  I started thinking about when we crossed paths in the last few years and realized that we lost the ability to even be able to understand each other’s point of reference in conversations.  Our lives have become so different that essentially it is like talking to a whole different person.

It made me consider if I was the only person who has felt this way.  When do you acknowledge that you’ve grown apart from a friend and become just acquaintances?  Do you even acknowledge something like that out loud?  Considering I know that the internet is a vast space this blog is publicly available on, I’m going to assume that this friend may stumble upon this at any point in time after it has been published.  Therefore, I don’t mean this to be rude or insulting but I am wondering where we lost touch?  Maybe it was the very different paths we decided to pursue or even the things we learned along the way.  I guess it is possible that others who became involved in our lives along the way could have had something to do with it as well.

I’m not sure when it happened or what caused it, but I do know I barely know this person any more.  We have completely different lives, interests, and goals.  I can’t remember the last time we had a conversation in person that was about anything actually meaningful.  To be blunt, I’m not even exactly sure why this person keeps my phone number in their cell phone at this point.  I have a few other friends I met around the same time and even in the same settling.  We’ve all been there for one another in times of need.  Those friends and I have laughed together, cried together and made stupid (but funny) decisions together.  We all still text and speak frequently about everything from serious life decisions to ice cream recommendations.  However, this other friend took a right turn without me somewhere along the way and became an acquaintance.

As someone who has only a few friends that are kept close, it’s hard for me to admit that a friend has turned into an acquaintance but I think it’s time to be honest.  Our friendship transitioned a long time ago and I may never understand why but I know you are once again onto another adventure and I wish you nothing but the best.  Maybe one day our paths will cross again and we’ll remember exchange a warm “hello,” but I think it’s safe to say that we’ve grown apart.  Enjoy each moment of your journey through life and thrive in the opportunities that come your way.

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Filed under Culture, Friends

Threading The Needle of Family Traditions

Family traditions can be hard to continue on as so many things change from generation to generation.  From as far back as I can remember my grandmother has been stockpiling fabric for her amazing sewing projects.  When I was young I used to watch my mom and grandma work together on creating me a new wardrobe for school or dance wear for all of my classes.  It was always fun to go to the fabric store and get to pick out what kind of Lycra I wanted my leotard’s made out of for that year.  Little did I know at the time that many years later I would still have some of those dance wear pieces since they were made with such attention to detail.

As a child I took sewing lessons at the fabric store and then continued to learn more by working on projects at home with mom and grandma.  Earlier this year I was passed down my very own sewing machine for the first time.  It didn’t take me more than a few weeks to decide to tackle my first project.  It’s been more than a decade since I had sewn anything, but you just don’t forget the basics.  It’s a bit like riding a bike.  I took on a very easy project as a start to get my feet wet again.

I LOVE the look of those infinity (multi-way) dresses, but I don’t like the fact that they cost between $65.00 – $85.00 before tax to get them from most retail stores.  I found a few on Etsy that I had thought about considering, but they were just barely cheaper than the retail price.  After a little online research, my mom and I had a loose set of directions to wing it by.  Without a pattern I took on my first dress with none of the proper tools of the trade and managed to pull it together.  Without pins, weights, a pattern or even a cutting board I managed to turn a pile of fabric into my new favorite dress for only $16.00.

As soon as I made it I immediately decided I knew a good friend of mine that deserved a dress equally as awesome for herself.  After another trip to the fabric store and a few borrowed tools from mom I began her dress perfect for her measurements.  I found myself holding my breath while cutting as I knew this dress was actually going to someone else.  It was one thing to experiment on a dress that I knew was meant for me, but a whole other story for me to be making something for someone else.

The first dress for myself was made out of a casual summer material and the dress for my friend is as well.  A big online fabric sale prompted me to buy material that can pass the “little black dress” test.  I have enough for one whole black dress and another that will be black and kelly green.  I have an event to go to in July so the plan is to crank out both of these dresses soon so that I can wear one of them that evening and revel in the fact that I’ll be the only one there with an original dress, that I made with my own hands and spent less than $20.00 on.  While everyone else if flaunting their fancy designer labels I’ll be enjoying how my hard work will allow me to be comfortable and creatively stylish all at the same time.

Sewing is a family tradition that I’m so very happy that my grandmother and mother passed along to me.  I know that one day I’ll pass the craft along to future generations, but in the meanwhile I’ve got some more outfits to dream up.  What family traditions did you learn from earlier generations?  Do you think they will stand the test of time with future generations?

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Filed under Culture, Fashion, Friends, Sewing

Ever Heard Of Good Ol’ Exercise?

I don’t mean to be crass, but the trends for dieting are getting out of hand.  Most of the options that have come to light can barely be considered “dieting” as I equate that with sweating from exercise and following a healthy eating plan.  Now you don’t have to do either of those.

On the radio this morning they were talking about a new diet fad that is crossing the pond from Europe and happening right here in my own state.  Then I get to work and I see a link to articles about it when I open up my web browser. A quick search later and I find that TIME’s online magazine, The New York Times, ABC and Fox News are all covering this breaking news story.  SERIOUSLY?!?!  After being in disbelief, I can think of a handful of other ladies sitting in the cubicles around me that would totally be filling out a $1,500 check to make this happen ASAP.

ImageIt’s called the KE Diet or the “feeding tube diet.”  Oh yes, you read that right.  It is being marketed directly to brides as a way to lose 20 pounds in 10 days.  Sounds so simple.  All you have to do is walk around with feeding tubes shoved up your nasal cavity and down into your stomach that continually pump protein-only liquid meal replacements into your belly 24 hours a day for 10 days.  I’ll tell you what, who wouldn’t want to look at their soon-to-be bride with those nasal tubes just a few weeks before their wedding nuptials?  You’ve got to be kidding me.  How about hitting the gym and creating healthy living habits for your future instead of tricking your body into shedding the pounds.

Check out the video and let me know if I’m the only one who is finding this to be crazy.  I know not everyone is a fan of running, swimming, dancing, playing sports or just plain going to the gym.  I can recognize that fact.  To be honest, most days I’m not a fan of running until I get out there and am in the midst of doing it and can leave all of the stress of my day behind me and just enjoy myself.  I do it because I know that I have to for my health and that each day is more manageable for my Fibromyalgia if I just keep moving.

Will you be one of the first in line at the South Florida office for the KE Diet?  If not, what do you do to keep your healthy lifestyle going?

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Filed under Dance, Friends, Taking Charge of One's Health

‘Tis The Season

It is that time of year again guys and gals.  The time to be surrounded by our families and all the craziness that goes along with that is upon us.  It is time to enjoy hot cocoa and the plethora of sweets that surround us everywhere we go.  The tree has been up, the presents are wrapped and I’m still trying to vacuum all the glitter out of my carpet from the bows I chose to use this year.  Nonetheless, it’s a time to sit back and reflect upon the year that is about to be behind us before the next one is off to a running start.

My life has changed drastically in the last two years, but I wouldn’t trade a moment of it for anything in the world.  I changed my job, changed my car, and the company of those that surround me.  For the last few years I lost touch with my friends and regretted each moment I missed out on.  However, 2011 gave me the opportunity to reach back out and apologize for my distance.  I am thankful that I did as it has reminded me how awesome many of my friends truly are.  Those who welcome you back with open arms are the kind of friends you know that will be a part of your life for the long haul.  While sitting around a table enjoying the brisk fresh air, just the other night, I was reminded how wonderful it can be just sitting around and talking about nothing with those who know you best.

I am thankful for this beautiful holiday season, for my friends whom I once again hold near and dear to my heart and for my family who supports me no matter how crazy I might seem some days.  This is my very first holiday season that I’ll be facing with the knowledge of being diagnosed with Fibromyalgia.  That’s another thing to be thankful for…my diagnosis.  There are many health issues my family is facing amongst us, but the most important part is knowing what we are up against and learning how to handle the holiday season appropriately.  This holiday season I’m thankful for each moment I get to spend with those I love and I urge you to consider what you are thankful for.

Are you thankful for your new bike that Santa brought you, for 8 days of Hanukkah celebrations you’ll have with your family, for your new boyfriend that fate led your way, or even the possibility that your most recent Rituxan therapy might be your last one?  It doesn’t matter what you’re thankful for as long as you take the time to see how lucky you are and enjoy the holiday season.  To those of you who are facing health difficulties or harsh economic times just remember that there is a silver lining in each situation if you will just allow yourself to see the glimmer of hope for even a moment.  I wish everyone a Happy (late) Thanksgiving and hope that there are Happy Holiday’s ahead.

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Filed under Culture, Friends, Taking Charge of One's Health

Is There A Handbook For That Stroller?

I will start by saying I am most definitely not a mother; at least not yet at this time in my life.  However, I do work in the hospitality field in Orlando and therefore get to see many families that are on vacation each year.  My friend John once pointed out to me a child that one would assume is much too large to ride in a stroller still and ever since then I have been noticing just how often I see this.  I am aware that there is not a handbook that is distributed for stroller etiquette, as if there is I would clearly not get hit by them so often walking through the theme parks here in town, but I do wonder at what point do parents put their foot down about stroller usage.  One parent in the Mothering.com community posted the following rules as to when a stroller should stop being used:

-he grows to big to fit in the seat,
-his legs grow long enough to drag the ground,
-he learns to propel the stroller on his own, or
-he decides he would prefer to walk than ride.

In my world those don’t seem like bad suggestions.  It is understandable that each child is different and therefore there is no specific age set in stone to stop using a stroller.  In all of these instances I am discussing children who are not facing any type of disability.  With Give Kids the World right down the street I am very accustomed to seeing their sweet faces in strollers and small wheelchairs, but this is specifically aimed at children who have no limitations.  Cafemom.com even did a poll to find out when most people have decided to do with their kids.  Their poll results uncovered the following:

Question: What age did you stop using a stroller?

1 year old: 0%,  2 years old: 27%,  3 years old: 34%,  4 years old: 10%,  5 years old: 3%,  Other age: 24%

Out of 29 voters it seems like the most common answers were between two and three years old.  However, here in Orlando you can walk through any of the major theme parks on any given day of the week and see large quantities of 8, 9, even 10 year old children in strollers.  They are easy to identify by their feet dragging on the ground and the way they are hunched down to even fit under the canopy for shade.  Granted sometimes you can see a younger sibling in toe and therefore you can understand why the stroller was originally brought to the theme park, but usually there are no younger siblings in toe and only an older child directing his or her parents around from their royal stroller seat.

Borrowed from TooBigForStroller.com

This trend is one that I am having extreme difficulty understanding.  I grew up as an only child so I’m not used to having anyone younger than me in tow on outings, but I don’t remember being in third grade and still utilizing a stroller because I just didn’t want to walk.  Is this a sign that parents are giving in to their children so as to keep the complaining to a minimum on family trips?  Or is this one of the many items that is contributing to childhood obesity?  Taking a look at TooBigForStroller.com you’ll see many of the photos that author Laura Miller has collected that demonstrate exactly what we see daily here in the theme parks.  Although many may find her points to be way off the mark, I can’t help but agree with her about how funny a sight this is.  It seems as if pediatricians might be on her side while they say that it could be a disservice to growing children to use strollers well past toddlerhood, but obviously there are parents out there that disagree.

Since I know many of my friends have children (obvious by looking at my Facebook news feed about first steps, first foods, and the lack of adults in most profile photos) maybe one of them will be able to explain this to me.  This isn’t the first time I have brought up this topic so it’s apparent that I am really hoping to understand this, so please feel free to let me in on your opinions and feel free to start a parental debate on the subject so those of us not yet parents can understand.

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Filed under Culture, Friends, Parenting, Vacation

Thank you Mr. & Mrs. Minneci

This week’s theme has clearly been about Chicago and I’m going to kind of keep that going.  The main event for our second trip to Illinois was to attend a wedding of a dear friend of mine.  Oddly enough our friendship started by me cyber stalking his blog after judging a hysterical class project he was a part of during my stint working at a college.  Who would have thought that about 5 years later that we would still laugh about that.  We’ve been connected through various paid and unpaid jobs over the years.  The more I’ve gotten to know him and his family the easier it has been to declare the Minneci’s as kind of a big deal.

As long as I’ve known John he’s told me stories of how wonderful Champaign, Illinois is.  I’ve learned about his time working at the Custard Cup, the fact that you can reach your hand into the stomach of a live cow at the fair, and that overall it is his dream city to return to one day.  After failed attempts to make it to Chicago over the years, I wasn’t sure how I would ever get to Champaign to see what John’s been talking about all these years.

John proposed to his girlfriend, who ironically knew Matt from her high school years, in the most epically (I couldn’t even find a real word to describe how good it was) ingenious way I’ve heard of.  Sandi, also being a lover of John’s home town, agreed with John that the wedding would take place in Champaign and thus I was destined to finally make my visit when they invited us to be a part of their special day.  I thought it was enough that I was going to get to see this town that I had heard so much about and witness their union with the rest of their friends and family.  However, after the date was set and Sandi began her dress shopping John approached me with the most wonderful honor I’ve ever been given.

   On October 9th, 2011 I had the privilege of watching an amazing couple take the dance floor for their very first dance as a married couple.  There were ooo’s and ahhh’s when the crowd quickly realized that this wasn’t going to be any normal first dance.  This couple had turned their first dance into a full-scale production.  The entire reception crowded around the dance floor to watch the couple as they strutted their stuff in true Minneci style.  While others clapped and cheered them on I stood front and center filming them on my camera while beaming.  After only 2 rehearsals I watched Sandi and John take the steps they were given and turn them into so much more.

Over three minutes later the dance concluded and the crowd burst into applause while I teared up with such pride.  I was so very proud of the couple’s performance and honored to say I was lucky enough to be asked to choreograph their first dance.  I don’t know if John and Sandi will ever understand how much it meant to me for them to have the faith and trust to let me craft their first dance as a married couple. 

With a little traditional ballroom, some Broadway, and a lot of style the groom successfully dipped his lovely bride and she kindly returned the favor before the dance was done.  Guests cheered, chucked at their humor, and lovingly applauded their performance.  Watching it unfold in front of us was a memory I’ll never forget.  After many years of taking a chance on John and knowing it would pay off in the end, I am very thankful that he was willing to take a chance on me this time around.  Thank you to the lovely couple and I’m so very proud of what they did out on that dance floor!

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Filed under Friends, Uncategorized, Vacation