Friday…..I think it is!

buddy elf excited

Is it just me, or is the Elf gif making you dizzy too?  Try not to stare at it for prolonged periods of time, and instead – embody his same level of enthusiasm by focusing on the fact that today is FRIDAY!!!!  Yes, it’s the Friday before Christmas and the official start of my Christmas vacay 🙂  Whoop whoop!  To say I’m excited about this much deserved work-hiatus is an understatement.  I am so looking forward to having some downtime to visit my family (and meet my new niece Ryan Mckenzie), as well as catch up on some sleep, continue my ongoing organization project, and to dedicate time towards planning for the new year.  I’ll be turning 30 next year, and so I’m trying to approach 2013 with a focus that reflects my coming-of-age, so to speak.  Yeppers – I’m excited, and motivated – all at the same *bleep* time (cue Future)….who knew?  This weekend should be consequently pretty fun, though I don’t have any solid plans…..yet.  But here are some things that I’m contemplating doing in and around the Richmond area.  I hope that you immensely enjoy your weekend also, and to end my quasi-boy band dedicated week, I will leave you with my all-time fav Backstreet Boys song.  And seeing as it is the weekend & the start of my holiday break – I most definitely want it that way 😉 I’m corny, I know, but this was the jam!  Have a fabu rest of the day 🙂

Tango After Work at the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts – Third Fridays from 6-8pm

ComedySportz Improv Theatre – Saturday @ 7pm & 9:30pm

Sunday Expressions at Aurora – Sunday @ 6pm

 

Sweet Thing

andy confetti gif

“I would love you anyway

Even if you cannot stay

I think you are the one for me

Here is where you ought…to beeeeee”

I am in LOVE…..or maybe I should say strong like.  I mean, I’ve known about the object of my affection for awhile, but it’s only recently that I’ve come to the full appreciation of its being.  It’s sweet, sugary, cream cheese icing laced, get in my belly IMMEDIATELY being!  And yes, this post is dedicated to red velvet cupcakes.

red velvet cupcakes

Yummy!  For some reason, last week I had a random craving for red velvet cupcakes.  I’ve never been into sweets, so I gave into said craving and, wow – Martin’s did not disappoint.  Those cupcakes were the bomb.com…and my housemates agreed.  Needless to say, those cupcakes didn’t stand a chance in my house (and I learned a valuable lesson, that when you offer something as delicious as red velvet cupcakes to others, some people take that as license to eat all that remain…except for one, which is yours….le sigh).  Fast forward to this week, and I give into the same craving while shopping at Walmart…only this time, I purchase a single serving to keep myself in check…..and so I didn’t have to share. Man oh man, Walmart might be the devil (though they were the only ones open during the time of night that I chose to go shopping), but that piece of cake was so good!  In general, I try to eat pretty healthily, so I didn’t feel super guilty about my recent excursions into red velvet-land.  And on top of that, I’m planning to start a 30-day fast/detox in the beginning of January – so I’m allowing myself a few sweets until then.  But I’m going to have to learn how to make these babies for myself….and possibly in a healthier (maybe vegan?) form.  Hmmmmm *strokes invisible pondering beard*….I’ll keep you posted.  But the moral of this story is: Walmart = bad (seriously, they’ve been criticized on multiple occassions for offering inadequate benefits to their employees, among other things…), but red velvet cupcakes are always good.  That’s why they’re my ‘sweet thing’, tell’em Chaka:


Today’s my 20th!

high five gif

Nope – not my birthday, that ship has sailed almost a decade ago.  Today marks the 20th post that I’ve made to this blog *launch the confetti canon*!  While this might not seem significant to some, to me this is a momentous occasion because I wasn’t sure how consistent I would be with this newest creative endeavor.  In the past I’ve started some things and haven’t always seen them through.  Some for legit reasons (lack of time or resources), but for others….I simply lost interest.  I might be a little bit of a flake, or, to take a page from Emilie of Puttylike.com, I’m a ‘Multipotentialite’ who naturally moves from one project to another…honestly, depending on the day, it could be a combination of the two, but I digress.  However I choose to psychoanalyze the motives behind my actions (or lack thereof), I’m excited not only about my consistency with this project, but at how much fun I’ve been having doing it.  Seriously, just letting my brain have at it on an almost daily basis has been quite liberating and enjoyable, and I find myself cracking up at the things that come out of my….fingers.  This also signifies that this project might be worth continuing to invest into, and who knows where things could lead.  And I definitely appreciate all of you who’ve taken the time to read my random tales, motivational excerpts, or just daily thoughts, and would love to hear from you!  What do you think, any ideas, suggestions, things you’d like to know or see?  Let me know by leaving a comment or emailing me at differentnorm@gmail.com.  I’m def planning on getting some pics and videos up soon – so be on the lookout for the new hotness in the ’13 (…..wow, that sounded wack…I  feel for the high school seniors who are graduating in such an “un-cool” sounding year, makes me appreciate my 2000 graduation a little bit more).  So yeah, much thanks to you, and I hope to be connecting with all of you a bit better in the future.  In honor of this celebratory day, and the fact that I graduated during a non-wack year, here’s one of my fav songs from 2000.  This week must be the week of the boy band for me, but I loved N*Sync & Backstreet Boys back in the day…..I knew the choreography and everything….  Enjoy & have a fabu Hump Day!

 

Get Your Life – I’m a Pinterest Party Planner!

home alone merry christmas

It’s Tuesday, and not just any Tuesday – it’s exactly one week before Christmas – let the countdown begin *insert fist pump*!  I just started checking off my Christmas list yesterday, and hope to be done by the end of this week *insert another fist pump* – though I really don’t have a choice, seeing as Christmas is next week 😉  With the holiday season being in full swing, I have relied heavily on the interwebs for inspiration on gifts, recipes and even outfits for holiday parties.  I mentioned before some amazing sites that have been super helpful to me accomplishing some holiday goals (here), but today I really want to give one site in particular a special shout-out: Pinterest – I heart thee!  Seriously, Pinterest is very resourceful for a host of holiday needs, as it is essentially an online pinboard where users can post images of things that interest them.  Still trying to figure out what to give someone for Christmas – Pinterest can give you ideas.  Need a recipe for your holiday party – Pinterest has got your back.  Looking for inspiration for a classy (or tacky) Christmas party outfit – look no further, Pinterest is here!  Seriously, I have looked to Pinterest for all of the above.  I even got the idea for a dish (shrimp & grits baby!) I contributed to my office’s annual holiday party from Pinterest – and it was a big hit!   So yeah, I loves me some Pinterest, and will eventually be starting up a page of my own.  But for now,  I will enjoy the pins of others.  If you’re still in need of some inspiration this holiday season, I highly encourage you to do a google search and include ‘Pinterest’ in your title – and I guarantee you’ll find something useful – or at least intriguing…..kinda like this pic I found of a Batman birthday cake:

batman belt cake

Hmmm……this might work for my 30th…….  Anywho, enjoy your Christmas Countdown (along with this 90’s Christmas throwback by N*Sync…my Lord this video was cheesy, but I love them still) – and have a fabu rest of the day!

Monday Morning Motivation: Appreciate the Little Things

Good Morning & Happy Monday!  I hope that you all had an amazing weekend, mine was pretty good – though I’m still processing the events that took place on Friday.  Tragedies such as the one that occurred in Connecticut have a tendency to stick with me, but rather than trying to understand the “why” behind the events, I tend to focus in on the importance of life itself.  It’s easy for me to get on “auto-pilot” with my life, as there is a lot that I would like to accomplish.  And while I don’t see anything wrong with having ambitions, I do think it is equally as important to appreciate the small pleasures that occur, sometimes outside of our awareness, every single day.  Yeah it can seem frustrating to not be exactly where you want to be, or to have to go about the hustle and bustle of the day.  But in spite of life’s frustrations, there’s always something that happens, some bright spot throughout the day, that is worthy of appreciation.  For me, it’s finding a great parking spot, or seeing that my dog didn’t poop on the floor before I’ve had a chance to take her out in the morning, or hearing Michael McDonald’s ‘I Keep Forgetting’ as the first song on my Pandora station (I love that song!) – a friend of mine says that God is winking at me when moments like these occur.  Bottom line, we all have things to be appreciative of, and no matter how sucky life may seem for you now, find some semblance of good and allow that to motivate you beyond the bad.  And enjoy every moment of this precious life that we’ve all been given 🙂  Have a ridiculously amazing day and rest of the week!

It’s Friday!

carlton dancing gif

It’s not unusual…..to be excited about a Friday 🙂  This has been a great week for me overall.  Tiring: yes, headache-inducing: at times, but otherwise pretty darn great!  For starters, I’ve maintained my consistency with blogging.  And on top of that, I was able to resist the urge to go postal on someone.  Who’s winning…..this chick! So yeah, I’m looking forward to the weekend.  I’m not sure what all I’ll be getting into yet, but here are some ideas for things to do in the Richmond area, and have a fabuloso Friday!

Richmond Ballet: The Nutcracker on Friday December 14th

Dominion Gardenfest of Lights @ the Lewis Ginter Botanical Gardens on Saturday December 15th

Butterbean Jazz Quartet @ Bottoms Up Pizza on Sunday December 16th

 

I ain’t no punk…..anymore…….

I’m easily amused but not as easily entertained & get frustrated at the number of channels available and yet the lack of interesting programming (except on Thursday night when Scandal comes on – I stan for Olivia Pope & her lip quiver).  The interwebs now has become my go-to source for entertainment, and thanks to Netflix – I don’t even have to deal with regular TV.  Take that Comcast!  I’ve rediscovered the classic ‘The X-Files’, a show which freaked me out as a kid (even the theme song is creepy) but is intriguing & satisfies my “whodunit/mystery-solving/kept-on-my-toes” proclivities.  I can easily see myself becoming a fan & I’m only 3 episodes in 🙂  I’m also now drawn to finding shows/movies that maybe I wasn’t quite ready for 20+ years ago.  Ok….I was a little (as in a lot) afraid of a few things as a kid.  Which leads me to the topic of today’s random post, a show that really scared me at the tender age of 8: Rescue 911.

For those of you who don’t remember this gem of a PSA turned program hosted by Mr. Priceline himself, Rescue 911 was an informational reality-based TV series that ran from 1989 to 1996.  My fond memories of this show primarily span sometime during the years 1991-1992.  I was in the third grade and for some reason, my then teacher (Ms. Walker) thought it was a good idea to show her class of precocious third graders ‘Rescue 911’ on a weekly basis.  I’m sure her intentions were good, in that she wanted to promote safe behaviors among her students.  But from my 8 year old perspective, it made me afraid of being the victim of a freak accident – like a garage door falling on me or becoming trapped on an escalator.  On top of that, I’ve never been a fan of blood & gore (& I’m still not…..waited until Kill Bill came on cable before I would watch it), and even though Rescue 911 was arguably rated G….it still was pretty scary to my young eyes.  I actually remember crying in class on a few occasions because I really didn’t want to watch the show…

After facing my fears & watching (and actually liking) a few episodes of  ‘The X-Files’, I mustered up the courage to search for ‘Rescue 911’.  Youtube did not dissapoint, and as an adult the show actually proves to be informative on important issues like safety, accident prevention, and the loudness of the colors worn in the early 90s.  Go me for punching fear in the face *insert fist pump*!  So the lessons I’ve learned on my brief trip down memory lane are:

1. Things can take on a different perspective over time (I might want to revisit all of those old movies that I was scared to watch as a kid, like ‘The Terminator’, ‘Jurassic Park’, anything with aliens, and the list goes on….),

2. Youtube & Netflix are amazing resources for locating classic 90’s shows and movies,

3. Parents, for the love of all things sacred, PLEASE watch your children around escalators.  Erase that….just watch your kids…period, and

4. I’m not going to let fear make me it’s punk!

To conclude today’s random posting, I’d like to share a more positive childhood memory from one of my (still) favorite movies of all time: Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles 2: The Secret of the Ooze.  I so had a crush on Michaelangelo, and I’m not ashamed to admit that.  (Note to self: must raid Walmart bargain movie bin for a copy of this movie…)  Love how they break it down at 5:14 – Go Ninja, Go Ninja, GO!  Have a great Thursday 🙂

Love Never Fails……Period

I had a rough day recently.

I unexpectedly became the recipient of some pretty harsh criticism from someone whom I would have expected the complete opposite response from….seeing as I had worked hard to help them when they needed it.  Their comments caught me off-guard, and my first response was one of :

angry gif

Like seriously?  I just put forth effort to assist you in your time of need, and you’re going to express anger towards me for something that had absolutely NOTHING to do with me?!

But after my initial angry response dissipated (I’ve never been one to hold a grudge), I was left feeling hurt, unappreciated and devalued……and unfortunately, these emotions lingered for a bit longer as I reflected on past similar occasions.  Alas, it is often those who are trusted who are in the position to hurt you the most.  And I tend to have a big heart, which can make me an easy target.  But the incident in question, felt like the breaking point – and I honestly just wanted to say “F it, no more being nice, or giving, or kind to people who don’t appreciate you & probably wouldn’t think twice to reciprocate!”, followed by some act to display my new “I’ma Do Me!” mentality:

panda

But then I happened to look down at my wrist and the tattoo that I’d gotten a few months ago precisely for situations like this one, of 3:16 (for John 3:16) and an infinity symbol as a reminder of God’s never ending love.  That visual cue, along with a chat with my Moms, reinforced what my response should always be when I’m mistreated, misjudged, or misunderstood.  Quite simply, I’m to demonstrate love…..no matter what.  And not the temporal “I’ll love you if you love me back” type of love, but the relentless “there’s nothing you can do to stop me from loving you” kind of love……that love is hard to maintain, because it requires stepping outside of our feelings and what we feel we deserve, and instead putting the other person (even in their wrongness) first.  And that kind of love has to be rooted in God.

So yeah, earlier I was supremely pissed off & hurt.  But now, I’m like:

happy-troy

And with no apology necessary!  Now, this isn’t to say that I won’t be challenged in this area ever again.  But for this round, the scoreboard is looking like Walking-in-Love Angie:1, Wanting-to-Curse-You-Out Angie: 0!  My love walk will continue to be a “work in progress”, but I’m trusting that God’s got my back every step of the way.  If you’re feeling challenged in this area at all, suppress that desire to go all Mortal Kombat on someone (even if they deserve it) and instead be encouraged by this amazing song.  Have a great Hump Day!

Get Your Life – Christmas Spending

14 days til christams

Today marks exactly two weeks before we are to be visited by the fat man (allegedly) and Christmas will be upon us!  I am so not ready for the holidays, lol, and don’t even have my little fiber-optic tree up yet, smh…..get it together Angie!  But one thing I’m happy to report that I have accomplished is my Christmas spending plan.  I am a strong supporter of the real meaning behind Christmas *cue the Jackson 5’s rendition of ‘Give Love on Christmas Day’*, but also want to provide my loved ones with some small token of the love that I have for them…..without completely annihilating my budget in the process 🙂  Thanks to my bff Google, and newer companions like Pinterest, Tumblr & various blogs, I have come across some very inspirational (and low budget) Christmas gifting ideas.

I’ve convinced my immediate fam and close friends that we should do a Secret Santa gift exchange, to avoid having to get gifts for multiple individuals.  We’ve also placed a price cap on our gift exchange, to foster creativity and conscientious-spending.  If you’re friends & fam aren’t in the same area, sites like SecretSanta.com can help make the gift exchange process a bit easier.

The kiddies in my family (and there are a lot of them now…..6 total under the age of 7!) will be getting a S’mores gift basket from their Awesome Auntie, complete with a kid-friendly book that they can read with their parents whilst eating their S’mores.  I love S’mores, takes me back to my days as a Girl Scout 🙂  HGTV gives a really cute instructional on creating your own S’mores kit.

And lastly, coworkers of mine (the core team) will be gifted with a coffee mug and a nice set of coffees – courtesy of Target.  I plan to divide up a mug set among the six of them, and nicely package each set in gift wrapping.  This Pinterest also contained some amazing DIY gift ideas for coworkers.  Tis the season to show love whilst expressing creativity!

I hope you all enjoy this holiday season, including the gift-giving process.  I would like to leave you today with the soothing sounds of JD & Turk as they talk/sing the Christmas classic ‘Baby, It’s Cold Outside’…..love these guys 🙂  Have a fabu day!

Inspired – The Uniform Project

Happy Monday Everybody!

I love hearing stories of people who are truly selfless in the sense that they are motivated to make a difference in the life of someone else, and who are ballsy enough to believe that they can make a difference as evidenced by their taking action.  Such is the case when it comes to Sheen Matheiken of the Uniform Project, who was inspired to challenge herself to an exercise in sustainable fashion (which is very much in line with my minimalist desires) and successfully raised thousands of dollars to educate underprivileged children in India in the process.  Stories like Matheiken seriously begs the question: “What ideas do you have that could make a tremendous difference in someone’s life…..including your own?”  I have an idea that I’ve been mulling over that I hope to launch next year, and will continue to highlight stories of people who inspire & motivate me and hope that you too receive inspiration.  Have a fabu Monday & rest of the week!