Mama’s Advice

Today we are celebrating the life of my sweet grandmother “Mama”. She left us a very special book of memories as well as her favorite quotes and other advice. I will cherish these stories forever and recommend everyone take the time to record special memories like this for their loved ones.

Here are some of Mama’s favorite quotes:

Grandma book

“Sometimes we are so busy adding up our troubles that we forget to count our blessings”

“Be true to your own self”

“The honor that is lost in a moment cannot be restored in a hundred years”

“The journey of 1000 miles starts with a single step”

“Do unto others as you would have them do unto you”

“Dream dreams and act on them”

“Some things that happen are good, but there are going to be bad times also – I want you to learn how to deal with both” – Kathleen Zimmerman Thompson

Childhood picture of grandmother

I loved all of my time spent with Mama – she taught me to care for others before myself, to always write handwritten notes, and best of all she taught me how to cook her most delicious recipes – including macaroni & cheese, chocolate chess pie, and homemade biscuits. I am very thankful for all of the time we got to spend together. Love you Mama.

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30 Things to Do Before I’m 30

One of the best daily emails in my inbox is The Listserve – every day one random person is chosen to win the “Listserve lottery.” The subject of the posts vary and I always find myself entertained, inspired, or learning new information. One of my favorite posts was December 23, 2014: 30 things to do before I’m 30. The writer, Rachel from London, inspired me to make my own list!

30 things to do before I'm 30

  1. Run a marathon
  2. Find an organization to volunteer with on a regular basis
  3. Visit 5 cities I’ve never been to before
  4. Go to 10 concerts
  5. Visit a winery
  6. See Wicked in New York City
  7. Run a Disney race
  8. Explore 10 new breweries
  9. Take a calligraphy class
  10. Go camping
  11. Help organize a 5K race
  12. Take a week long vacation
  13. Play 18 holes of golf
  14. Fall in love
  15. Take a job risk
  16. Try cycling
  17. Find my signature cocktail
  18. Read 50 books
  19. Read 10 classic novels
  20. Learn to swim laps
  21. Have a picnic
  22. Clean out my closets (seriously clean out my closets) and donate to the Bargain Box
  23. Go skiing
  24. Purchase NC State season football tickets
  25. Try 5 new foods
  26. Plan as many trips with my girlfriends as possible
  27. Visit Savannah, GA
  28. Take a spontaneous/unplanned trip
  29. Hike beautiful places of North Carolina
  30. Go to a music festival

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One Word 2015: Mindfulness

mind·ful·ness, noun
  1. the quality or state of being conscious or aware of something.
  2. a mental state achieved by focusing one’s awareness on the present moment, while calmly acknowledging and accepting one’s feelings, thoughts, and bodily sensations, used as a therapeutic technique.

This year I am choosing one word to guide my actions and focus in 2015. If this is something you are interested in doing, check out #oneword2015 on Twitter and join me in Sam Davidson‘s challenge to come up with one focus word for the year. 2014 put me at a crossroads in some ways, and 2015 will be the first year in a very long time (20+ years) that I am not in school for any part of the year. The timing is right to be more mindful.

Mindfulness image

“It all begins and ends in your mind. What you give power to has power over you”

During this year of mindfulness, I will:

Be non-judging
Practice moment by moment awareness and acceptance
Grow with my faith
Care more; worry less
Be patient
Pay more attention to what is happening here and now, not necessarily what is wrong or right, good or bad
Have a beginner’s mind
Approach everyday things with curiosity and savor them
Trust others
Forgive mistakes – big or small
Be generous
Show gratitude for good moments and grace for bad ones
Practice compassion
Make peace with imperfection
Embrace vulnerability by trusting others (and myself)
Accept and appreciate that things come and go
Let go
Reduce stress
Strengthen my mind, body, & soul
Re-evaluate my priorities
Realize and experience the good in me and what’s around me.
Acknowledge the bad and be wise enough to know whether or not it’s worth worrying about
Spend more time with friends, less time on my phone doing stupid things
Be present when it matters
Say what I mean, mean what I say
Care more & worry less
Do more good
Be intentional with the people I care about
Love well, live well, and realize a life more abundant is not about abundance of things but of life

Have you chosen one word for 2015? If so, please share in the comments and join Sam’s One Word Group. Cheers to 2015!

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PS – Tis blog post I found on Twitter helped guide my thinking about mindfulness and what it would mean for me this year.

Thermoball Jacket Review

The first product the The North Face selected for me to review is the Women’s Momentum Thermoball Hybrid Jacket. They chose this jacket based on a survey I filled out about my lifestyle.

Never one place always one jacket

Initial thoughts when opening up the package: this color looks familiar.

Jacket image

Does it remind you of anything? It’s not a color that I would pick out on my own but it is nice to have a unique color when most of my jackets are black.

This jacket is very lightweight and feels thin, but it has kept me warm every time I have worn it. The sleeves are stretchy so it is good for walking around or being active on a cool day. It definitely does not feel bulky. Over the past few weeks I wore it out shopping as well as in between innings at kickball games.

sitting in jacket at dinner

On Saturday I tested the jacket out on my first run! It was about 35 degrees outside and I went out for a quick 3 mile spin. The jacket’s tight fit makes it perfect for running or other activities. The zip-up pockets are perfect for gloves or snacks/tissues you might carry on a run. I was almost too warm wearing this jacket for 3 miles at 35 degrees. I can already tell the Thermoball jacket with a short sleeve shirt will be my go-to choice for a run when the temperature is below freezing.

I love this jacket and definitely recommend it to others. There are many Thermoball options on the site, but I recommend the momentum style if you are looking for one you can wear while running. My only critique of the jacket I received is the color – I am not a fan of this Parlour Purple color. Baby Bop anyone?

babybp

Thanks for reading! Try out a thermoball jacket for yourself and never stop exploring.

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Disclaimer: I received these products complimentary from The North Face for testing purposes.