June 29, 2016

The Purge

Last year I challenged myself to live minimally. There were 30 tasks and although I modified some of them to be more realistic for me, it was a great challenge and I really enjoyed it.

The other day I was on Pinterest for who knows what when a pin caught my eye. 60 Things to Toss Out in the Next 60 Days. This immediately spoke to my purge-loving heart. You see, as mich as I love to purge, I also hang on to things that I probably don't need. I am by no means a hoarder, but #3 on this list? Sooo guilty!

Personally, I don't think I need 60 days to complete this list. However, I'm going to give myself the allotted time frame to see how much I can actually cross off (another pleasure!).

I actually love this list because as I read through it I realized there are quite a few of these that I have been needlessly holding on to. What do you have to purge? 

June 27, 2016

An Attitude of Gratitude

For the past year and a half I've been busy immersing myself in a spiritual journey. I started on March 27, 2016. I sat at the kitchen table and started with a simple sentence.

I am grateful for...

From there I have grown so much. I have learned things about myself. I've learned how to deal with others in a new way. A way that serves my highest good. I've learned that people's reactions have absolutely nothing to do with me, but that my reaction speaks volumes. 

While I was browsing Pinterest recently, I stumbled upon this pin from the Local Adventurer about a 52-Week gratitude challenge. I'm so into this. If there's anything I've learned it's that gratitude is everything.  Whether things are flying high, or you're doing your best to 'fake it 'til you make it' you need to have gratitude for where you are. 

I'm excited to work on this challenge. I regularly make a list of things, people, events that I'm grateful for. I plan to use this list of prompts to help me dig deeper and really keep an attitude of gratitude. I've found that it's something that's important to me. I've also found that when I express gratitude and thankfulness for what I already have, that more abundance (however you want to interpret that) flows to me. 

Do you keep a gratitude journal/list?

June 22, 2016

Deprive Yourself

Several months ago I saw a post about sensory deprivation chambers. I thought it was interesting and that was pretty much it. Fast forward to my mom asking me if I had ever heard of them. I said yes and then set about finding one around me.

Lucky for me I live in a metropolitan area so there were several locations to choose from. I decided to go with Serene Dreams because they had a website. Call me simple but any business in the 21st century that doesn't have a website isn't the place for me. I'm a digital girl living in a digital world. 

I made a Saturday appointment for a 60-minute float. I didn't do any Googling or researching because when I'm doing something new I prefer to go in with a clean slate; no preconceived notions to be swayed by. I knew it was something I'd enjoy because if there's one thing I make known about me loud and clear is that I like love my personal space.

You're probably wondering what flotation therapy is. From their website:

"Flotation is a uniquely immersive therapeutic experience that enhances your mental and physiological health. It has its roots in the scientific research of sensory deprivation. In 1954 a neuroscientist named John Lilly found that the distraction-free environment of his isolation tank led to incredibly enhanced states of mental relaxation.
When you step into our specially-designed float tanks, a precise solution of water and Epsom salts, calibrated to the body’s temperature, 98 degrees Fahrenheit, awaits. This carefully controlled environment inside the tank (quite similar to the famed waters of the Dead Sea, one of the world’s first natural health resorts) creates buoyancy that allows you to float effortlessly on the surface of the water. In this zero gravity environment you are totally free of distractions. Your muscles can relax completely, your mind can become quiet and still, and you can achieve a feeling of weightlessness and utter relaxation that cannot be found elsewhere." 

After getting the walk through the only concern I had was that the water wouldn't be warm enough for my liking. I was so wrong.

While floating I recall thinking that this was the coolest thing ever. I literally could not sink and I immediately felt relaxed. I decided to dive in and went for the full sensory deprivation experience. Basically, no light of any kind, no sound, and the lid completely closed. I shut my eyes, listened to my breathing, and fell asleep. 

At some point I woke up and figured I had been sleeping for a while, truth was I hadn't been. Maybe 15 minutes at most. But I felt so incredibly rested. According to their brochure, the mental and physical benefits are:

  • reduced stress
  • enhanced creativity and improved problem-solving
  • alleviation of depression symptoms
  • meditative-like, low-frequency brain waves
  • improves sleep cycles
  • boosts circulation
  • provides migraine relief
  • helps release insomnia
  • improves immune system
  • pain relief

After my float was over I didn't want to get out. I was just so comfortable and at peace. It was so quiet, and dark. It's definitely something I'd do again. Maybe every couple of months. 

It was so incredible. Completely relaxing. I can't even explain how peaceful it was. I highly recommend giving it a try if there's a spot near you! 

June 20, 2016

It's Not Even April

Hello, my friends! Did you honestly think I'd left you all? Not hardly! It was just time to unveil the new blog!

Say hello to Franky, My Dear!

I'd been toying around with the idea of changing the blog name for quite some time. Like, back in 2013. I remember posting about it on Twitter and I know for certain that Kelli was one of the people who suggested changing it to my Twitter handle. At the time, I didn't think I liked it. Then when I was debating it last summer a friend of mine suggested it. Still, I turned it down. It took a stroll into Central Park during lunch seated under a giant tree before the name finally hit me with clarity. This blog is me. It's about my life, my interests, my hopes, and fears. And we should have been unified.

Unfortunately, in mid-May, it was brought to my attention that my job knew I had a blog (and a business). They attempted to, what I can only describe as blacklist me, regarding a position I was very interested in because I "don't like law or corporate America". I immediately felt violated and mad. Mad because my work life and blog life do not mingle. Ever. Do any of you even know what I do? Yeah, that's what I thought...  I felt violated because I felt as though my privacy was being intensely invaded and monitored. I understand that CTAM was a public space and anyone could see it. The thing is, someone was actively "Googling" me in order to find it. And that's upsetting. Not to mention that the comments that were quoted to me were from sometime in early March, which tells me they were reading old posts. I'm sorry but I'm not okay with that.

And so, here we are. It's not the name I originally wanted (for anti-searching purposes), but it's just as much me. It's no secret that Gone With the Wind is my favorite movie of all time and the title is a nod to that. A single scene from the movie was my sole inspiration.

You'll notice that things are a LOT different around here now. For starters, check out the brand new About Me  page. Here you'll find some information and background about the blog and myself. 

If you're new, or just want to check out some favorites, then this page will give you a crash course. There's a little bit of everything it there. 

When I started looking for a designer I went to Twitter of all places and simply searched "blog designers". I got two hits. One, although great work, was illustrations and that wasn't the feel I was looking for. Then I checked out Knock On Wood. There was just something about Amanda's previous designs, and her own blog, that drew me in. I reached out to her and here we are. I knew she was the designer for me when we had our first e-mail and she revealed that Gone With the Wind is one of her favorites too. There was truly no one better to see my vision and make it happen.

If you're even thinking about giving your blog a new look, check out Amanda's portfolio. She's amazing to work with.

Today I start a new chapter in blogging; with a design I couldn't be more excited about! You can find me on Bloglovin!

Let me know what you think!

June 15, 2016

3 Signs You're Too Old for This Shit

A few weeks ago I stepped out of my comfort zone. Typically, this is something I'm all for doing. My dilemma here was that it involved music. 

See, I love finding new music to listen to, but at the same time, I like what I like and I tend to stick with it. 80's Madonna and Whitney Houston anyone? What can I say? I'm a material girl and I just wanna dance with somebody.

There was a single performer that had me typing out my credit card info to purchase a 3-day bracelet. Gary Clark, Jr. If you've never heard of him, I urge you to give him a listen. Save Me, Bright Lights, Big City, and Church (below) are probably 3 of my top favorites. I was really looking forward to seeing him. 

There wasn't anyone I wanted to see the first day except Elle King, which was cool.

It worked out perfectly because I basically did recon work. I found my favorite bar stand, scoped out the eats, and figured out who was performing on which stages and at what time. I was ready for Gary.

Saturday was pretty awesome because I found 3 new bands I liked. Have any of you ever heard of/listened to Misterwives, Lord Huron, or HAIM? I'm seriously in love with HAIM right now. They're amazing live. It actually poured during their set. And I do mean poured. I should have taken an "after" photo because this girl looked a hot mess.

Photo cred to Governors Ball
This is the downpour we stood in.

Photo cred to Governors Ball

And then sadness struck. 

Early Sunday morning they announced a delayed opening due to potential weather. 4 hours later, Sunday was canceled. There would be no Gary for me. I was disappointed but really, who wants to stand at a concert in pouring rain and strong winds? No thanks. They e-mailed some photos Monday of the destruction that took place and I'm really glad it was canceled.

Throughout the event, there were a few things I learned. 

1| If it's not in NJ there's a very high chance (read: 99%) that I will not be attending. I'm sorry. We all know NYC is amazeballs but trekking to Randall's Island for 2 days? No bueno. Let's just say I got in a LOT of steps in those 48 hours. So much so that FitBit awarded me with my India badge. 

2| Festivals are not for me. It's not that I'm too old for this shit but... I'm too old for this shit. Unless it's DMB, I don't want to do concert benders anymore. And certainly not all day with a bunch of 18 to 25-year-olds. Like, omg. totes no way bro!

3| I'm not sure when summer meant wearing next to nothing but the girls at this festival must live under bridges. Holy Jesus. My recurring thought was "Who let you out of the house looking like that?!"  So many ass cheeks!

And really, if those are the thoughts on my mind....


June 02, 2016

Life Lately

I feel as though I've been away from this space for a long time. In a way, I guess I have. Some things have taken place IRL lately that have required greater attention. Unfortunately, that means the blog takes a backseat. 

Still, I love this space. I created it from nothing and I will give the TLC it needs. 

+ I was on a self-imposed pizza ban for the month of May. I'm happy to report that I went 31 days without so much as licking a piece of pizza. It wasn't as difficult as I thought it would be but that doesn't mean I didn't think about a delicious, cheesy slice the entire time. Now that it's over I'm looking for the right place to celebrate my successful pizza abstinence.

+ Piggy-backing on that success I've deemed June no credit card month. Unless it's a tried and true emergency, I won't be using my credit cards at all for the next 30 days. This is win-win all around. And a real challenge. 

+ Home is where my heart is. 

+ I finally have to concede and admit that my body is changing. At 26 I experienced my first sunburn. At 30 I learned I need to use sunblock in the Caribbean. At 31 I have to accept that my relationship with the sun has changed. It hurts my sun-sponge heart but I can no longer bask like a beached whale. Case in point, I got heat rash on my arms over the weekend. So not cute. 

+ I’m not one to discuss politics, religion, or any other OPINION based topics on this blog, but I am going to say this: the “incident”, a/k/a murder, at the Cincinnati zoo truly irritates me. I realize that a tranquilizer probably would have taken too long to kick in but killing the gorilla was NOT necessary. And the parents? I’m at a loss for words. #JusticeforHarambe

+ The Read You Books challenge started yesterday and I've gotta be honest, I don't want to read anything on my list. It makes me sad to say that but I just don't. Maybe I should start with the shortest one and hope to build up some momentum? 

+ There's a blate scheduled for July. It can't get here fast enough. I love these ladies something fierce! 

+ I was looking forward to Governor's Ball this weekend. Now? Not so much. 90% chance of rain Friday and Sunday. Lovely. 

So that's me in a nutshell. What have you been up to?