Monday, July 30, 2012

Monday Meditation

Ch-ch-changes! I learned a lot this past weekend and taking a moment to reflect on the positive (and taking pictures of the simple beauty) surely keeps things in perspective. So I offer these words of wisdom I received recently from family and friends as my Monday Meditation

"It's always darkest before dawn." So keep your face to the rising sun... I am fairly certain I was a plant or flower in my previous life, because sunshine seriously makes the world of a difference to me!

** "It takes courage to grow up and become who you really are." This has been one of my favorite quotes by e.e. cummings since my high school days and I truly think it has shaped my attitude. You can't make someone else have courage to face a challenge or issue, you have to have the faith that you can pull it out of yourself and grow today!
Funny Cry For Help Ecard: I'm saving up for a nervous breakdown.
Ehhh may not be the best idea to save for....justsayin

*** There's a reason you're still friends with people from your youth--they are worth keeping around. Through THICK and t h i n, you can always count on them to come through for you...and make you laugh your face off (the vino helps too)!

Wine Fest with my very first friend I made in high school, Catie
11 years later she's still my homegirl

Funny Friendship Ecard: We're total fucking bad asses.
That f* bomb snuck right in there..Woops!
**** I took my 85yr old Grandma out for fro-yo on Sunday & she shared with me her life advice: You don't have a thing without your family & your health. Period. You can lose it all as long as you have your family & health. It's the simple things in life that matter most.
Wise woman's words. She still plays tennis once a week & baked me a loaf of banana bread & kissed me goodbye. She's got it figured out...
Gram dropping knowledge bombs on me
about how to cook old world style pasta from scratch
***** Gram's got it figured out and she passed a lot of that knowledge (and good cooking skills) on to my Mom. And let's face it...Moms ALWAYS know best. Blessed I gotta good one!
Homemade vegan blueberry pancakes and sausage.
Cook good, feel good.
****** "I love you more than all the leaves on all the trees in the world." My sister said that to me the other day. Sh*t just got real. It stopped me dead in my tracks when I tried to fathom how to even begin to calculate that! Unconditional & incalculable love.
Tremont Ale Fest

Always remember your roots!

******* Kanye's Workout Plan-- "That's right put in work, move your a$$, go wizzerk
Eat your salad, no dessert"
you know the next line...

Despite Kanye's  typical gigantic ego, he is actually onto something with that mantra. Sweat it out and work it out! And listening to a lil Kanye bumping in your ears never hurt during a workout either. Exercising feels GREAT and I am going to COSE's Y Days tomorrow for a free workout--I'll keep you posted.

******** What goes around comes around. Don't make me get the Justin Timberlake song stuck in your head too. Karma, people, is real!
Look at that face, JT don't play no games

********* Somebody very special to me gave me the nicest compliment that really resonated... "You are incredibly resilient."

********** God has a strange way of revealing His plan. Trust in it. It's a beautiful struggle and life always goes on....

So those are my meditations for this Monday. Digest it and embrace it. Feel free to share your own positive points too! Always welcome :) Keep JAMmin!

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

St. James Reopening

"Word(less) Wednesday" Post

Feast of St. James and reopening mass:

"We are afflicted in every way, but not constrained;
perplexed, but not driven to despair;
persecuted, but not abandoned;
struck down, but not destroyed."

- 2 Corinthians 4:7-15


Monday, July 23, 2012

Monday Meditation

I am reading an excellent book right now, full of simple yet profound thoughts. "Us" by Lisa Oz. Here are a few snippets as my Monday meditation. Read it, digest it, read it again and let it drip slow like honey into the cup of your brain.

"Spend ten minutes in meditation on your true self.
Start by visualizing the identity you project to the world--all your likes and dislikes, opinions and emotions.
  Projecting Through an Opaque Wall

Then slowly, one by one, visualize them falling away.

Those traits are things you have used to create your external identity, but they are no more a part of your inner being than that purple sweater you wore in fourth grade.

 Let each superficial layer dissolve until you are left with nothing but pure consciousness.

 Sit in that place an experience who you really are."

Thursday, July 19, 2012

CLE Foodbank

It's been a challenging week to say the least. But participating in an event at CLE Foodbank last evening definitely helped put things in perspective and made me count my blessings! Things could be much worse, and I am seriously fortunate to have a roof over my head, food on the table, and the money and resources to purchase my basic needs.
It's easy to get caught up in the daily drama and sucked into life stressers but when you take a step back, and bam! it hits you. You have an experience like volunteering at the CLE Foodbank that really helps you gain perspective about the important things in life. I was invited to join in on an evening of brainstorming and collaboration at the foodbank to form their first ever Young Professionals Group. I am tremendously excited to be a part of the opportunity to meet other like-minded YPs and volunteer for a good cause. Thanks Julie for getting me involved!

Anywho, I have participated in several canned food drives for the CLE Foodbank and even attended their previous fundraising event at Market Under Glass, but I'll be honest...I had never been to their facility before, and was utterly blown away by the volume, need, generosity and sense of community that hits you as soon as you cross through the doors. This saying displayed on their wall sums it up pretty welll:

Grain by grain, a loaf.
stone by stone, a castle.

We first took a tour of the facility and it was absolutely gigantic! They turn over their super-sized Costco-esque storage units in their warehouse within 2-3 weeks. Believe it!

The CLE Foodbank serves on average 12,000 meals a day during the summer. Pretty staggering to think of how greatly hunger is impacting our community. 1/3 of its recipients are children. Hearing those statistics surely grabs your attention and makes you stop and think.

 I was joined by other CLE YPs who also believe in the CLE Foodbank's  mission. We spent an hour or so working in the warehouse unpackaging bulk corn into smaller size bags to distribute to families for the next day The time flew by as we bonded over CLE, volunteering, work, and even blogging. I was thrilled that I finally got to meet two fellow Twitter and blogging CLE gal pals-- Jen (WhyCLE) and Amanda (ClueIntoCleveland) who were also on board. It was such a pleasure to finally get to hear their witty comments and fun stories I so often find myself reading on their blogs. It made the experience all the more better by sharing it with new friends (in real life).

Katie, Jen (WhyCLE), Julie, Amanda (ClueIntoCleveland)
Keepin it corny!
After bagging up the corn in the warehouse we headed into a productive and equally goofy creative brainstorming session. CLE Foodbank does such tremendous things for people in our community and they have an assortment of volunteer opportunities. It's about getting young people like you and me more involved with their wonderful mission! I'll will keep you posted with developing details but drop me a line if you're interested in volunteering and meeting other cool young CLE peeps. Happy almost Friday, and count your blessings!

Sunday, July 15, 2012

Good CLE Eats: Good Greens

In this day and age, there are endless nutrition options and products to be healthy. Try the latest and greatest. In this sea of healthy options of food, diets, supplements, and magical potions, it can be a real headscratcher to choose what's best and what actually tastes good!
How do I choose?

Well one of my buddies introduced me to the company he works for: Good Greens. Full disclosure: he provided me with a box of bars to do a taste-testing in exchange for writing this post. All opinions are 100% my own.

Good Greens representing at  Ingenuity Fest. Two thumbs up!
So I've set off on my nutrition bar journey by snacking my way through the box and trying the different flavors. They are soft and chewy (not chalky, dry or bland as some nutritional bars can be). And have a ridiculous amount of healthy benefits too. My conclusion, best tasting is the Chocolate Raspberry flavor.

Although I will warn that you need a compact mirror after devouring the delish bar, because you may or may not have some raspberry seeds up in your grill. It's worth the risk though because they are so flavorful and soft AND healthy!

I don't have anything in my teeth, do I?

I was also pleasantly surprised with their Chocolate Coconut too. Usually I am not a big fan of coconut, but this was just the right amount of flavor. Not overpowering but tastes like a bite of tropical goodness in your mouth to get your day started. Win!

Here's how they stack up with competitors. Proof is in the pudding (I mean bar..)

Product Comparison

GoodGreensClif BarLarabarKind Bar

Top 5 Reasons you should get some Good Greens in your belly:

1) Not only are they pretty tasty, but they are made locally! Yes Clevelanders, Good Greens is based out of Shaker Heights LaunchHouse, so you're supporting the local entrepreneurs and the economy too.

2) They are the number one selling health nutrition bar at Heinen's. So obviously fancy people like them too.
3) They are good for all sorts of folks with specific dietary needs. Vegan and Gluten free!

No moo cows were harmed or used in making these bars.

4) 100% of your daily fruits and vegetables! Say whaaat? Yes indeed! Good for kids too who don't want to eat their brussel sprouts. And let's be honest, brussel sprouts taste like dirt... but don't tell my Mom I said that...
5) They are all natural and organic. No artificial hocus pocus no GMO junk. Just natural organic good for your body bars.

So I encourage you to give Good Greens a try and let me know what you think. Here is a listing of where you can find their products, or stay up to date with their latest news on Facebook or Twitter. And word on the street is that they are launching two new flavors soon!!! I give them double thumbs up!

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Wonder Woman is Alive & Well in CLE!

"Word(less) Wednesday" Post

Yes folks, Wonder Woman is baaaaack!
And with these renewed superpowers, I can make it to the weekend!

When I arrived at my parents house tonight, my Mom showed me some old boxes she cleaned out from the attic today. And look what we uncovered? That's right! The most ultimate Halloween costume circa 1990 that I was so obsessed with as a kid that I rocked it all year long, cape and all. Enjoy!

Wonder Woman in her early years...

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

River Walking

To cool off during the recent hot weather, we packed up the car and headed on down to the river. Chagrin River. Look, I know what you are thinking, but hey, it was hot out, beautiful scenery, good company so we were off for an adventure.

Jordan and Cal Pal

Chagrin River

Soaking up the scenery
River Walking

Oh, hi there.

"Nice flow," Cal.

"Most sandstone is composed of quartz and/or feldspar
 because these are the most common minerals in the Earth's crust." Wiki, Wikipedia.

Cliff hanger

A gorgeous Sunday fun day afternoon wading and river walking along the Chagrin River. Cool down success and another CLE adventure in the books!