Wisdom Wednesday: United States of America

The last few months leading up to last night’s presidential election have torn us apart as a country. Our differences of beliefs have been plastered all over social media, and the news. Politics has become a dirty dirty game. Non-Americans would probably see us as the Divided States of America.

Seeing my friends who don’t even know each other argue on my Facebook page really heightened this feeling. The feeling of separation.

But then I started thinking about the things that bring us together. And I remembered the things we have in common.

Like knowing all the lyrics to the Fresh Prince of Bel Air Intro:

Fresh Prince of Bel Air

Here are some other things we have in common:

  • Desire to give and receive love
  • Desire to be happy
  • Desire to succeed
  • Desire to be heard
  • Dreams for the future

And here are some bad things we have all experienced:

  • Pain
  • Suffering
  • Loss
  • Anger
  • Lonliness
  • Fear
  • Judgment
  • Disappointment

Life is too short to major on the minors. Or to focus on our differences. If you want to live your life like that, it’s up to you. But why not enjoy life? Why not celebrate each other’s accomplishments? Why not support those around us instead of tear them down?

I strongly believe in our freedoms–religion, politics, speech, etc. But I do not think that our differences should divide and separate! We need to learn how to accept that not everyone has the same beliefs. And instead of spending time fighting about arguments, why not talk about the things we have in common?

A House Divided

Have you ever been in a romantic relationship with someone who you agree with all the time, about everything? I find that incredibly impossible. Most people have disagreements and sometimes it’s everyday. But if you have love and respect for each other, you find a way to make it work.

All of us were raised in different cultures, with different surroundings, experiences, outlooks, and economical backgrounds. Therefore, we are going to have differing thoughts about politics. But just like in a marriage or dating relationship, we need to find a common bond so we don’t tear each other’s hair out!

We’re all living on the same piece of land (U.S. as a whole), going to the same stores, driving on the same roads. We’re all going to work or looking for work. We all have the same basic needs: food/shelter. So whether you want to admit it or not, the U.S. is like a big ol’ house. The only way we can build momentum and fix the broken parts is to come together, accept our differences and embrace our brothers and sisters–of all races, religions, creeds, etc.

I think it’s time for us to realize again and to show the world that we are:

The United States of America!

 

Merry Monday: Still a Guy

This past weekend my dad and I attended Jeeptoberfest, which is an annual event in Central Florida and has been taking place for 15 years now.

There were over 1,027 Jeeps that entered the Jeep show. And with their entrance fee they could choose 1 of 3 obstacle courses to drive and prove their Jeepliness (Angie’s made up word).

Here are a few pictures of Jeeps being Jeeps at the event.

Photo Credit: 4LowPhoto.com

This is what I’d like to do to my Jeep Grand Cherokee!

Thank God for Jeep Snorkels!

Photo Credit: 4lowphoto.com

Maybe if I take my passenger door off, my jeep can go up and down concrete stairs??

Photo Credit: 4lowphoto.com

Even Jeeps love a good mud bath!

Photo Credit: 4lowphoto.com

Hey, how did he not get mud in the doors?

Photo Credit: 4lowphoto.com

What’s wrong with this picture? Tire missing!!

Photo Credit: 4lowphoto.com

Funny part of this post

So the funny part of this post is that while I was sitting there watching Jeeps go through the obstacle courses I heard a song that made me chuckle. I have to admit that even though I was raised in the south, and have good ol’ country roots, I don’t really listen to country music very often. So it was the first time I heard this song that has been out for a few years, called “I’m still a guy” by Brad Paisley.

If you haven’t heard it before and want a good laugh, check out the song here: “I’m Still a Guy.”

And here are the lyrics:

“I’m Still A Guy”

When you see a deer you see Bambi
And I see antlers up on the wall
When you see a lake you think picnic

And I see a large mouth up under that log
You’re probably thinking that you’re going to change me
In some ways well maybe you might
Scrub me down, dress me up but no matter what
I’m still a guy

When you see a priceless French painting
I see a drunk, naked girl
You think that riding a wild bull sounds crazy
And I’d like to give it a whirl
Well love makes a man do some things he ain’t proud of
And in a weak moment I might walk your sissy dog, hold your purse at the mall
But remember, I’m still a guy

I’ll pour out my heart
Hold your hand in the car
Write a love song that makes you cry
Then turn right around knock some jerk to the ground
‘Cause he copped a feel as you walked by

I can hear you now talking to your friends
Saying, “Yeah girls he’s come a long way”
From dragging his knuckles and carrying a club

And building a fire in a cave
But when you say a backrub means only a backrub
Then you swat my hand when I try
Well, what can I say at the end of the day
Honey, I’m still a guy

I’ll pour out my heart
Hold your hand in the car
Write a love song that makes you cry
Then turn right around knock some jerk to the ground
‘Cause he copped a feel as you walked by

These days there’s dudes getting facials
Manicured, waxed and botoxed
With deep spray-on tans and creamy lotiony hands
You can’t grip a tackle box

With all of these men lining up to get neutered
It’s hip now to be feminized
I don’t highlight my hair
I’ve still got a pair
Yeah honey, I’m still a guy

Oh my eyebrows ain’t plucked
There’s a gun in my truck
Oh thank God, I’m still a guy

Soulful Sunday: New Friends

I have lived in the same general area most of my life, so I know a lot of people in my hometown through school, college, church and work.

I have had many friends over the years who have come and gone. Sometimes I have a hard time accepting that people go. My sister and her husband and stepson live in California. My best friends live in Texas and Georgia. And I have great friends I have met over the years who live as far away as The Netherlands!

A thought that has popped into my mind is “why make new friends if they’re just going to leave?”

But the overwhelming inner response is always: “Look what I would’ve missed out on if I hadn’t been open to new friends?”

As much as I wish I could keep all my dear friends close to me physically, it is impossible–unless I become wealthy and pay for their expenses to live nearby (which I’m not above doing if I ever win the lottery).

So I remind myself to be open to new people. And when a person who I am close to announces they are leaving, I tell them I’m sad for the departure but I’m happy they have a better opportunity elsewhere. And I always think one day we will be together again!

Having friends all over makes it awesome to get to visit and go to new places. It just makes it hard to decide where/who to be with for holidays!!

How do you accept change when it comes to friends and family moving?

Super Craft Saturday: Pallet / Reclaimed Wood

I found a free pallet on the side of the road so I loaded it up into my car.

I have some thoughts floating in my head of what I’d like to do, but I have yet to decide.

I looked at a lot of ideas online and found the following link with a lot of wood project ideas.

75 reclaimed wood projects

What would you do if you had a pallet or what have you done with a pallet? What is your favorite re-use project?

Feature Friday: Healthy Living

Today’s Blog is written by my sister Josie.

I want to give a few personal tips for maintaining a healthy weight and losing weight. I am at a weight right now that I like and feel good about but this hasn’t always been the case. I usually judge my weight based on how I feel in my clothes and not so much on what the scale says. However, just like most women I know, including myself, we go through seasons where we put on weight and lose weight. My hope now is for maintaining my weight. I am not an expert on the subject but I have some things that work for me and wanted to share how I have been able to achieve weight loss success.

I went through some emotional things in my early 20’s which ended up effecting my physical body. I gained weight and ended up weighing a little over 30lbs more than I should have and was used to. Once I was back where I needed to be emotionally I realized I needed to do something about my weight and began a journey on becoming healthier. I will share a few of the things that started my weight loss and things that I use to this day; close to ten years later.

The following picture is the best before picture that I am willing to share and at this point I had already begun to lose weight.

Heavier side of Me: 2006

My First Weight Loss Accomplishment

I began to drink more water than any other beverage. It was a big deal for me because I LOVE  my sweet tea and at the time I had a pretty strong attachment to Mountain Dew and coffee. I stopped drinking soda altogether and began to limit the amount of sweet tea and coffee that I drank. I think it is best to make small changes because they are more likely to stick if you don’t feel like you are depriving yourself. When I first stopped drinking my sugar filled coffee and soda I lost 10 lbs in just a few weeks. That jump-started the rest of the changes I made because I began to feel better and it motivated me to make better choices. I still drink water more than any other beverage but when I do want coffee or the occasional soda, I limit the amount and add it into my calorie count for the day. This leads me to my next point.

Second Important Key to Weight Loss

I count my calories. When I first stared counting calories I wrote everything down that I ate to keep track but after a while it just became second nature. Now I know the calorie count for most of the foods I love to eat and can keep track mentally. I have a resource that I use and recommend that will calculate what amount of calories you should have in a day if you want to lose, maintain, or even gain weight based on your age, height, and activity level. I love this tool and especially the zig-zag feature. It will allow me to eat different amount of calories each day which will prevent my body from reaching any plateaus. I limit the amount of sweets and carbs I eat and drink but do not cut anything completely out. I believe in moderation for all things and portion control versus deprivation. I heard a tip from a nutritionist in the past who said it’s okay to have 200 “cheat” calories each day. I also have 1 “cheat” day per week to keep myself motivated. But even on that day I don’t eat everything I see, just the things that I normally don’t eat like pizza or brownies I may indulge in on these days.

Calorie Resources

Resource for calculating calories needed: Calorie Counter

Also if you would rather not write down the calories, you may want to use an online app like:
My Fitness Pal.
This app is also available in the Android and Apple markets.

Food That Works for Me

As far as actual foods, one go to food that has helped me maintain and lose weight is soup. Campbell’s Soup has some pretty healthy options available now and they carry some of my favorites like Healthy Request Homestyle Chicken Noodle Soup. If I need to lose a couple pounds quickly or want to jump-start any weight loss I will replace one meal a day with one healthy soup and it has done wonders. I told my mom about doing this a couple years back to replace her meals at night because she had to eat late due to her work schedule and she lost 20 lbs in less than a month!

Important Weight Loss Element

Let me not forget to include adding some movement to your daily life. I started running a few years back and that was awesome for my body but I don’t do as much running now. I mainly walk and use Kettle Bells, which I can expound on more in another post. However, moving in some way is important to your overall health. Walking is awesome and will help you drop pounds if you add it to your diet changes. I would suggest getting a pedometer and keeping track of your steps. 10,000 is the recommended amount of steps you should take in a day. Add more steps and you’re doing even better.

Here is me before a run I completed in 2008.

July 2008

After 4 mile run!

July 2008 After 4 mile Run

I hope that what has worked for me in my journey to healthier living is helpful to someone else. Feel free to share anything you do that works for maintaining a healthy eating plan or let us know if you decide to make any of these changes.

This is me currently, in my maintaining phase.

Thanks for reading,
Josie

Throwback Thursday: Halloween 2006

In 2006 my friend Lindsey and I were working in the same department. Our whole customer service team decided to dress up for Halloween as a military unit.

We also both entered our pumpkins in the Pumpkin Carving Contest.

Lindsey made a devil pumpkin. How adorable!

I made an angel pumpkin.

I think our pumpkins really stood out because we carved, painted and added accessories!

Are you pimpin’ out your pumpkins this year?

 

Wisdom Wednesday: Facebook Customized Posts

Let me start by saying–if you do not have a Facebook account, you will probably not find this post useful.

However, if you do, this may interest you.

Did you know you can choose who you share information with on Facebook?

I love that Facebook has so many customizations now on the the newsfeed / timeline layout. Here’s a tutorial on how to customize your readership/audience–which I use all the time to communicate with close friends, family or you can even post to yourself.

You have to be on a desktop to do this.

This is especially useful if you only want to share certain things with certain people and not everyone. Or if you know someone dislikes certain types of statuses, you can exclude them in your post. Or if someone only posts rude comments you can omit them from seeing your posts.

**Obviously Facebook is a public forum, so we should never think that what we post is private. However I do feel that there is a certain internet etiquette that we should consider. For example, if your friend posts everyday about how they’re tired of hearing about the election, you could omit them from your daily political posts. Otherwise, you may find them to no longer be on your friends list. I realize this is a touchy subject, but typically most of the people on my friends list are actual friends. So I normally try to apply the same etiquette on Facebook that I would in person.

To create custom groups, you can go here for instructions from Facebook: Customize Friend’s List.

Then to post to one specific list or to omit a list from your post, follow these steps:

What are some Internet / Facebook etiquette points that you feel should be followed?

Tasty Tuesday: Marshmallow Delight

A few weeks ago one of my bosses (I have 4) was telling me about this “Marshmallow Delight” from Publix.

See picture below.

20121023-225651.jpg

I couldn’t stop thinking about it.

So I went and bought two containers of it. I shared some with my mom, and then the 2nd container I shared with coworkers. But it was gone in 2 days.

Then I decided to make it on my own.

I looked up some recipes, and there are so many out there, I just decided to wing it. If you want to google it, you’ll find it under a variety of names, but the most common and familiar name to me is Ambrosia.

If you want to make some yourself, I will share the ingredients I used, and really it’s up to you what types of fruits you like and how fresh you prefer them.

I started mine by making whipped cream. Ever since first trying fresh whipped cream (I think at Cheesecake factory) I can not go back to the whipped topping in a bowl. I will eat it, if that’s what is served, but it’s not my preference.

I took a quart of heavy whipping cream and added a 1/2 cup of powdered sugar. Then used my hand mixer with whisk attachment to beat the cream into stiff peaks. You have to be careful not to whip too far, or then you have sweet butter!

I did not measure the exact ingredients, just eye balled it.

1 8oz container of sour cream
1 can of mandarin oranges (drained)
1 can of crushed pineapple (drained)
1 jar of maraschino cherries (drained)
1/2 bag of coconut
small bag of crushed pecans
1/2 bag of small marshmallows

Continue reading

Merry Monday: Mother Follow Up

After I posted last week’s post, I read it to my mother (here’s the post in case you missed it).

She laughed of course.

Then later in the week while we were having a conversation about some people that she has recently had confrontation with, she said “Now Angie you can’t blog about this.”

So I informed her that any of our conversations are potential blogs. But that this one time I would give her a pardon.

I will say this–without revealing her confidential information–someone looked at her purse.

Now if you read last week’s post, you will understand that she does not do well with people who do not respect the purse. She did not do anything to this person that would cause her to be in trouble but she did address the situation.

I can guarantee that if my mother had TV cameras following her, she would cause more buzz than Honey Boo Boo and her mama June.

But I doubt my mother would ever agree to that type of fame. So we will just have to settle on discussing the funny things my mom does on this forum.

What does your mom or dad do that they wouldn’t want to share publicly?

Soulful Sunday: Be a Kid

I don’t have a lot to say today, but I want to encourage you to remember your inner kid!

Today I was watching the Disney channel briefly, they have a lot of cute shows, and I watched an episode of Wizards of Waverly Place.

The youngest child was working as a fortune teller in a carnival game and he was called Salazar (something like that). It was really funny that he kept talking about how awesome it was to have a beard and mustache, so I decided since it was so fun I would like to try it out.

Here’s me with a great ‘stache. For the record, I drew it without looking in a mirror!!

20121022-001817.jpg

Don’t forget to have fun. Life is too short to always act like a grown up. There’s a time for hard work but there’s a time to play as well!

Do something fun this week! It will make you feel so good!