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Well, I have not written in ages.  In a nutshell, 2012 and I did not exactly see eye to eye.  I feel like I had great success in my career life and found myself loving my work and being excited about it moving forward more than ever. Unfortunately, on the health front I was given a pretty hefty diagnosis (more on this in later posts, I hope).  And, in the realm of relationships, I pretty much shattered.  Besides health and relationships, I’ve experienced serious life events, such as the death of a friend and the appointment as Fairy Godmother (I know this sounds crazy and maybe some day I’ll post on it. But for now, just know it’s like being an ultra-dedicated and loving family member, kind of like a mom and a best friend rolled into one).  Both deeply significant events, both significantly demanding on my emotions.  But, that was then and this is now.  2013, I’m moving forward with you and hoping for a better, brighter future! 

Happy New Year, everyone!  I hope 2013 is everything you need it to be!

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It’s very easy for each of us to get bogged down with the boring, normal day-to-day life.  This is especially true when your job is just a job and not a passion.  As someone who freelances, I have the luxury of not spending too much time at one job.  I can’t tell you how many times, though, someone has said to me (in response to my complaining or frustration at a particular job) “it’s just a job.”

While that is one way to look at things, that “it’s-just-a-job mentality” can really perpetuate a problem of unhappiness.  In this economy the smarter thing to do may be to just keep going to the job and making money but there really is a larger picture at stake here.  Every minute that passes is a minute that will never, ever happen again in your life.  It doesn’t matter if it’s just one single minute.  That is still one single minute that you will never have again.  It’s so easy for our lives to be built on throwaway time. You know, what I do in this minute doesn’t matter –> which soon adds up to what I do in this hour doesn’t really matter–> which adds up to what I do today doesn’t matter–> which soon adds up to what I do this week doesn’t really matter in the scheme of things –> which very quickly can add up to “what did I do this year?” or even worse “Where did my life go?” We can become so caught up in the insignificance of little things that we forget that we only have one shot at life.  We really need to remember to grab life by the horns!

Me at work on one of our very, very long days setting up for Commencement. Definitely looks like I’m in danger of slipping into the “it’s-just-a-job mentality. (when this picture was taken we were doing some serious troubleshooting of a system that wasn’t working out for us)

A really great example of this is my mom.  She was unhappy at her job.  Her and her boss just didn’t see eye-to-eye.  Her boss was not a clear communicator and just always seemed unhappy with whatever my mom was doing.  Eventually this unhappiness really caught up to my mom and rather than throwing away another 40 Hours a week until she retired or found something else –which, let me tell you, in this economy it may have taken until she retired to find something…okay that might be a slight exaggeration–she quit!  I’m very proud of her for doing so.

My mom and me on a trip to the art museum!

She took hold of her own life and made a decision to improve her overall well-being. I don’t think I’d ever be able to do that unless it was absolutely horrible and physically harming me!  I’m too much of a worry wort!  I like to know that I have income.  And, although her and my dad have to really watch their expenditures now while she is looking for other work, she is overall happier.

Happy Mom!

So, what if quitting your job stresses you out more than just sucking it up and living with the “it’s-just-a-job mentality”?  There is another way you can help yourself feel more fulfilled and happy in life and that is through hobbies and creative outlets.  Some people may like being artsy, some people may want to join a local soccer team. Whatever it is, do it!!!  There’s no point putting it off! A little adjustment in your life can go a long way.

I, personally, have really been working out regularly and also crafting!  I want to be healthy, hence the working out.  And I love designing and creating.

Three of the fascinators I made

So, making jewelry and accessories, especially out of unusual things is another activity I started doing.

One of my favorites! A cocktail ring I made out of an old clip earring!

Recently, a friend of mine even asked me to submit some of my crafts to a benefit she was involved with.  That was extremely flattering!

My Accessories, all tagged and ready to go to the Benefit!

(Her and her husband are also encouraging me to put the stuff I make up on Etsy to earn a little extra income… which, time permitting, I may do over the summer.)

Before I really started digging in and doing these things, I always thought, I don’t have the time, I’m too tired, blah blah blah.  Well, little changes really go a long way.  I find that now I feel more energized, I wake up in the morning happier to start my day and things don’t annoy me as much as they used to.

So basically the points I am trying to share with you for today’s Wisdom Wednesday are:

–  Don’t waste your time just coasting through

– Every Single Day do something that makes you happy (whether it is working toward a new career or something outside of work that you enjoy)

– Grab life by the horns and make things work out the way you want them to!

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Hello folks!  Today my tip is short and sweet and I can’t believe I haven’t posted about it before.  This tip is a cooking aid.  Have you ever had a bunch of random ingredients in your house but no plan for what to cook?  Well, Supercook is the answer!  This wonderful website allows you to input the ingredients you have in the house and it will tell you what types of appetizers, entrees, and desserts you can make with the ingredients you have (complete with recipes!).  It will also show you recipes that you could make if you added just one or two more ingredients.  I have had some great success with recipes from Supercook out of basically no ingredients (just because I didn’t want to go to the store).  I have had one maybe two not-so-successful attempts with recipes from Supercook…but that was probably just a taste thing and not the actual recipes or site.  And who cares anyway because I used ingredients I had laying around my kitchen AND I tried something new.

Supercook searches several recipe/cooking websites and matches your ingredients to recipes it finds.

So what should I make for dinner tonight?  I really don’t feel like going to the store on this rainy day. Guess I’ll SUPERCOOK it!

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For Christmas, my boyfriend took me to Disney. Here are some shots from that adventure!

Landing in Orlando! I think technically I wasn't supposed to have my camera on at this time, but I couldn't pass up the chance to get such a great shot!

 

The Christmas Decor in Disney was so lovely!

Epcot on a chill sunny day

 

 

I Love The Magic Kingdom!

 

 

Fireworks display in EPCOT

 

Allie and Dave on the Toystory Ride in Disney's Hollywood Studios

Such a fun vacation!

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I love exploring new and exciting ways to work out and keep in shape.  The reason for this is probably that I have an extremely short attention span and need fun exercises to keep me going.  One of the exercises I love doing is Zumba and another one I just recently discovered is the Exercise trampoline or Mini trampoline.

The Exercise Trampoline is a small trampoline only a few feet in diameter that rises only about 6″-9″ off of the ground.  Besides keeping my attention, being fun, and being is to use while watching TV, I love the mini trampoline because it is so small.  It can even comfortably fit in my tiny apartment.

For Christmas, I received one of these Exercise trampolines.  The one I got was the Gold’s Gym circuit trainer.  So far, I have not really utilized the “circuit training” aspects of it.  But it’s fun to be able to just bounce up and down while watching a show.  It is kind of reminiscent of being a little kid again and bouncing on your bed.  Furthermore, there are great benefits to exercising on a trampoline, also known as rebounding.

Here is a picture of the one I have, found on Walmart.com. You can see the little panel that keeps track of how many jumps you've done, the amount of time you've been jumping for, and the estimated amount of calories burned. There are also resistance bands for strength training.

The Benefits!

According to HolisticHealthTools.com, rebounding is considered a cellular exercise because it is the entire body moving at once.  This cellular exercise is beneficial to the immune system because unlike the circulatory system, that has the heart, the lymphatic system does not have any sort of pump.  The way the lymphatic system circulates is through body movements.  Rebounding is so great for this because it moves each body part at the same time.  You really use your whole body when rebounding and this allows not only for the lymphatic system to flow but it also aids it in getting rid of toxins.

Another nice thing about rebounding is that it is considered a low impact exercise and is sometimes recommended for people with joint problems and is sometimes considered therapeutic.

Because of the difference in forces experienced when rebounding, the weightlessness when reaching the peak of the bounce and the double force when reaching the bottom of the bounce, it has been cited as up to 68% more effective than other typical exercises.

Rebounding is not only a cardiovascular exercise but also helps to strengthen the muscle groups.

Some additional benefits associated with rebounding that  I read about include increase in the respiration capacity, aids in heart rehab, increases functionality of red bone marrow, improves metabolic rate, promotes tissue repair, improves balance, helps detox your body, relieves constipation, improves endurance, allows for easier relaxation, encourages deeper sleep, alleviates depression symptoms, improves self-image, keeps one feeling energized, and many, many more.

It really is an easy exercise to do.  And so far I am definitely enjoying it.  Furthermore, there are so many YouTube videos and workout suggestions on the web that I feel like I have an endless supply of tips and ideas for keeping my workouts beneficial and fun.

So whether you squeeze it in for the ten minutes before you need to leave for work, or 45 minutes while watching your favorite show, rebounding seems to be a fun and easy way to get some exercise into your daily routine.

Want to know more?  Here are a few of the places I checked out when considering the mini trampoline.

SOURCES:

33 Ways the Body Responds to Rebounding  – This is ReboundAir.com’s article describing 33 effects rebounding has on the body

Rebounding Exercise – Getting a Jump on Great Health and Flexibility– This is HolisticHealingTool’s article discussing the benefits of Rebounding

Why Rebounding is So Beneficial– This article from Healing Daily discusses the benefits (with diagrams!) of why rebounding has a positive effect on the body.

The Surprising Health and Fitness Benefits of Rebounding– Busy Women Fitness article on Rebounding and its benefits.

Where to Buy:

Walmart.com

Amazon.com

Jumpsport.com

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Well, I’m sure the hot topic these past few days has been New Year’s Resolutions. How many of us have tried to make resolutions like lose a million lbs and wake up 2 hours early and blah blah blah.  Well, I was going to write this post about the statistics around New Year’s Resolutions and tips for making positive changes in the new year, but instead, I am going to post about one thing I want to emphasize in my life this year:

Taking more time to do what I want to do 

Taking more time to do what you want to do is really important.  My cousin, Gerard (photo below), and I had a big discussion about that this past week.  He firmly believes in allowing yourself a minimum of 1 hour per day to take time for YOU.  During that hour, you can do whatever you want to do as long as it is something that you truly want to do. Well, in this discussion, I realized that I don’t even come close to 7 hours a week just doing what I want to do.  Then it’s always cramming stuff in that I want to do when I can squeeze out some time in my life.  And, because I try to cram everything in during a short window of time, I wind up getting more stressed or exhausted.

As a freelancer, it’s really hard to find time to do things for me.  I can’t say “no” to gigs because I worry that I won’t make enough money or I won’t make the connection that I need for a breakthrough.  But really, after three years in the same city, I know deep down, what gigs I can pass up.   Now I just need to gain the courage to say NO to allow me time to do the things I value most.

The tip: Take time for yourself!  Aim for at least one hour per day!

Things I am hoping to make more time for: Crafting, photography, attending choir practice, cooking, relaxing, exercising, reading, spending time with family, spending time with friends, coursework.

This is going to be a good year.

BELOW: Photos of my cousins ringing in the new year with me!

Cousins on NEw YEars

My Cousins and Boyfriend celebrating New Year's Day. From left to right: Gerard (check out his band here), Katie, Erin, Christine, Jenny, and Dave

"The Train will be delayed due to ongoing signal work" That is what we heard as we sat on the Subway on New Year's Day 2012, waiting for it to take us to the Mummer's Parade! From left to right: Katie, Gerard, Erin, Jenny.

Gerard and Erin riding the Subway New Year's Day 2012

Gerard and Erin riding another subway on the way to the Mummer's Parade. Don't they look like they should be famous!?

Jenny blowing her horn on new Year's 2011-2012

Jenny blowing her horn on new Year's 2011-2012. Jenny is super creative and made the hat she is wearing. Notice the crazy neighbors on my block setting off GIGANTIC fireworks!? A few of them almost hit us.

Photo of the cousins on New Year's Eve 2011-2012

The photo we took in a mirror at my house. The goal was to send the parents a pic of all of us. From left to right: Jenny, Dave, Christine, Me, Gerard, Katie, Erin. Happy New Year!

I wish each of you a Happy New Year complete with time for YOU!

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Why I missed this past week’s Photo Friday… in Photo Form!

Sense Science: The Headlong Performance Institute's Final Showcase. The program cover is shown over shots from the show featuring HPI's class of 2011

The scaffolding we used to rig the lemon and eggs being lit by my side light.

HPI Students Warming up before the final show.

Backbone. Created and directed by Stephi-Lyneice Breining in collaboration with performers Katie Croyle, Amanda Hunt, Adam Kerbel, Alex Romania, and Ilse Zoerb.

An Occupation Piece Created by Adam Kerbel with significant input from the performers: MiMi, Alex Romania, and Anna Szapiro

The performers of HPI's Class of 2011 taking their curtain call at Final Dress.

Working with HPI was such a great experience.  Everyone had such a positive attitude and was truly a joy to work with.  I hope to see them all around and cross paths in the near future!

HPI is currently accepting applications for Fall 2012.  both undergraduates wishing to study away in Philadelphia for a semester and post-bacs can apply, and all students earn a full semester of transferable college credit through partner institution, Bryn Mawr College.

HPI is a mission-driven program of Headlong Dance Theatre, a nonprofit organization that relies on contributions from supporters.  Each year, it receives applications from talented young artists who are unable to attend HPI due to financial obstacles.  Please consider a tax-deductible gift to the newly established HPI Scholarship Fund, allowing the opportunity for these amazing artists to be a part of our program.  Donate Here.

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