Tuesday, March 29, 2011

I heart DC!

I recently took a weekend trip up to DC to visit some friends. Having gone to DC numerous times before, I knew I would be in for a treat. There’s just something about our nation’s capitol that excites me. DC doesn’t have quite the hustle and bustle as my beloved New York, but the energy that echoes throughout the city is undeniable.

I stayed with my lovely friend Lacy and her boyfriend Austin Friday night and with my friend Amanda and her roommate Sandra Saturday night. I’ve partied in DC with Amanda, Sandra, and their crew before and was looking forward to doing so again.

As expected, we had an awesome time. We dined on oysters and frites (no oysters for me!) at Granville Moores before watching Amanda’s beautiful ballet performance. Then, we danced to fun music at Rock & Roll Hotel for a few hours. Even though we were all exhausted by the time we got back to their house, we all stayed up for several more hours snacking on popcorn, telling crazy stories, and laughing (at Paul) more than I have in months. We had a fabulous girl’s brunch the next day at Veranda, grabbed some cupcakes at Crumbs Bake Shop (my favorite cupcakes ever!), and logged in some hours on their couch.

During my trip home and for days after my return, I couldn’t shake something. Why was hanging out with their crew in DC SO much fun? I mean, I have plenty of friends in Atlanta and do fun things here all the time. I finally realized that what I love so much about their group of friends in DC is that most of them are single. They have a big group of single girls AND guys who consistently hang out together. While there is one couple in the group, the rest are single (for now). I miss hanging out with large groups of single guys and girls SO much it hurts.

The DC crew is a riot! They refer to Amanda and Sandra’s house at a halfway house since they have had countless people stay with them for a few months while transitioning to life in DC along with numerous visitors like me. They remind me of the cast of Friends. Hanging out with them is like an amazing and refreshing blast from the past-one that I have missed for years.

Now before all the married peeps get offended, hear me out. I love and adore all of my married, engaged, and/or coupled friends more than they know. I cherish my time with them and don’t view them any differently than my single friends. The problem is that as I get older, my pool of single friends gets smaller. I hosted a Valentine’s Day party for my single friends several years ago and had a great turn out. If I had one now, I would probably have about 4-5 people attend. Again, don’t get me wrong, I love all of my friends and want to spend time with them regardless of whether or not they are married. I just really miss having a big group of friends who A) are all friends with each other, B) are mostly single, and C) are available to hang out on a consistent basis.

There is no moral to this story other than to say we all want what we can’t have, and we all long for the fun times of our past. For now, I will focus on my making my present and future the most fun possible; I will have great adventures with all of my friends regardless of their relational status. Who’s in?

Monday, March 28, 2011

You CAN shorten it & wear it again

Before you cast away unwanted items of clothing, ask yourself if you could easily alter them to make them wearable.  Have a pair of jeans that is now to short?  Cut them off to make a pair of shorts to wear to the pool or beach.  Is there a dress or top that you don't wear because you don't like the neck or sleeves?  Try cutting the sleeves off or changing the neckline.  This is a simple and easy way to go green.

I am fortunate enough to have a mom who is an amazing seamstress, and she has altered countless items for me over the years.  (Thanks Mom!)  Most recently, she hemmed a skirt for me that I've had for years.  I like the pattern of the skirt, but it was at an awkward length.  By shortening it several inches, it's now at a much more fashionable length.  She also recently turned a floor length bridesmaid dress into a knee length cocktail dress.  Yes, that's right.  I actually shortened a bridesmaid dress and wore it again.  Eat your heart out Katherine Heigl :)

Thursday, March 24, 2011

RIP Elizabeth Taylor

"When people say, 'She's got everything',
I've got one answer-
I haven't had tomorrow."
(Elizabeth Taylor)

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

New Yorkers are everywhere

"'New Yorkers are born in other parts of the world every minute," he countered. 'Sadly, some of them never get here.'"

Monday, March 21, 2011

Earth Hour 2011

At 8:30 PM on Saturday March 26th, people all over the world will switch off their lights for one hour: Earth Hour.  Having participated in this for several years now, I can attest to how fun and cool it is.  All you have to do is light some candles.  Go green this year and participate in this important initiative.

Here are some stats from Earth Hour 2010: "On Saturday 27 March, Earth Hour 2010 became the biggest Earth Hour ever. A record 128 countries and territories joined the global display of climate action. Iconic buildings and landmarks from Asia Pacific to Europe and Africa to the Americas switched off. People across the world from all walks of life turned off their lights and came together in celebration and contemplation of the one thing we all have in common – our planet."

Earth Hour's organizers encourage us to take it one step further by practicing energy conservation every day.  This is so easy guys-turn off the lights when you're not in a room, unplug appliances that you're not using, and don't waste power, water, and other vital resources. 

To learn more about Earth Hour, go to http://www.earthhour.org.  How will you go beyond the hour to help the Earth?

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Happy St. Patrick's Day friends!

An Irish Prayer

May God give you...

For every storm, a rainbow,

For every tear, a smile,

For every care, a promise,

And a blessing in each trial.

For every problem life sends,

A faithful friend to share,

For every sigh, a sweet song,

And an answer for each prayer.

Happy St. Patrick's Day friends!

Monday, March 14, 2011

Let's help Japan!

If you want to help the people in Japan, make a donation to the American Red Cross.  The Japanese Red Cross will be accepting donations from the American Red Cross for first aid, emotional support, and relief items for those displaced from the 8.9-magnitude earthquake and ensuing tsunami which struck Japan's coast on Friday, March 11, 2011.

With a death count in the thousands and thousands more people missing, please donate what you can to help the people of Japan.  If all you can do is pray, then do just that.  Even though Japan is on the other side of the world, we are all human and need to help each other when we can.  Let's work together to help our Japanese friends. 

People can also text REDCROSS to 90999 to make a $10 donation to help those affected by the earthquake in Japan and tsunami throughout the Pacific.

To donate online, go to http://american.redcross.org/site/PageServer?pagename=ntld_main&s_src=RSG000000000&s_subsrc=RCO_NewsArticle.

Friday, March 11, 2011

For you, Japan

My prayers and thoughts go out to the people of Japan today.
We love you and will help you however we can.

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Embrace your differences

Someone who doesn't look like you just might turn out to be your best friend.

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

The Help

I finally got around to reading the best-selling novel The Help.  Having finished it last night, I can't seem to get it off my mind today.  With family in Mississippi and throughout the rest of the South, this book certainly struck a cord with me. 

First-time author Kathryn Stockett tells the story of three women: a 23-year-old white woman named Skeeter and two black maids Aibileen and Minny.  She changes the point of view throughout the story, so you can see it through the eyes of each woman.  After an interesting turn of events, the women decide to write a book about their experiences as black maids working for white families.  Skeeter, Aibileen, Minny, and the rest of the maids risk so much to bring attention to a very pressing issue at the time. 

It took me awhile to get into the book, and overall, I did think it was a bit too long.  However, once I was into it, I was hooked.  I laughed, I cried, and most importantly I considered things from "the help's" point of view. 

Some of the maids in the book had wonderful relationships with their white families.  Others did not have it so well.  The laws and social rules that transpired were absolutely horrific.  I simply cannot comprehend why people ever thought they were acceptable.  My heart breaks over and over for what these people had to go through and what many still go through today.

The Help brings to light a very interesting concept.  What a strange thought that the white children love you like their mama (some even thought their maids were their moms-sweet Mae Mobley!) while the parents scorn you and treat you like a dirty, wild animal. 

My mom and aunt grew up spending summers in Mississippi at their aunt's house.  She had black maids working for her, and I grew up hearing stories about their summers there.  Luella, one of the maids, had a soft spot for my mom and even called her Sunshine.  My mom said that she went back to visit her while she was in college at Ole Miss.  She said that Luella welcomed her and her friend into her very modest home and treated them just like family.  I'd like to think that if Luella's stories had been in The Help, that they would have been the happy and funny ones. 

I encourage you to read this book immediately.  I've never understood and probably never will comprehend why people think we are all so different.  As humans, I truly think we have more in common than not.  We all want to love, to be loved, and to find true happiness.  Just because the steps you take to do so are different than mine doesn't mean they are bad, wrong, or mean any less than mine do.  Let's celebrate the fact that God made us in so many colors; what a beautiful rainbow of people.  I'm glad we don't all look the same. 

In the afterwords of the book, Stockett explains that the following is her favorite quote of the entire book.  It is mine as well.

"Wasn't that the point of the book? For women to realize, We are just two people. Not that much separates us. Not nearly as much as I'd thought."
(Kathryn Stockett)

Monday, March 7, 2011

Tax Time

Since my dad is a CPA, tax season seemed to be the 5th season in our household growing up.  As you prepare your taxes this year (or have someone do it for you-thanks Daddy!), go green and file electronically.  I do so every year and am always pleased by how quickly I receive my tax return. 

This year, I received mine one week later.  Wow!  It is easy, fast, and saves paper.  Happy filing!

Thursday, March 3, 2011

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Share your leftovers

We all know how I feel about leftovers; I try not to throw away any food if I can.  I went to my friend's annual Oscars' party Sunday night, and she made sure to send some leftovers home with each guest.  Why throw away perfectly good food when someone else can enjoy it?

The next time you have a party, go green by sending leftover food home with your guests.  If you don't want the leftovers, take them to your office.  Trust me, people will eat whatever you bring in.  I was quite popular on Monday when I brought in the leftovers cupcakes, mini pies, and cookies from Sunday's party. 

Too often, I see people throw away food, and it pains me so much.  I've also watched people dig through trashcans searching for someone else's leftovers.  Don't be the guy/girl who throws away food that someone else could eat.  Pass it on to someone who will gladly eat it.