I felt the need to document this day.

January 29, 2014

I felt the need to document this day, but I don't have much to say about it that hasn't already been said by some news anchor or over-zealous twitter user. 

Hashtag snow day ATL. 

Creative momentum

January 28, 2014

It's one of those days when I feel like writing something but don't have any ideas flowing. I've even got a few drafts sitting in my pending section, but I just don't have the creative momentum to finish them today. So I flip through my camera roll and find the photo above. That's Sadie. She belongs to the family for which I nanny. Like myself, she's an independent spirit who loves food, and this is obviously why she's grown so attached to me in such a short amount of time. Yesterday, we whipped out a homemade remote-control race car and took it for a little spin. I assumed the role of an audience member and watched as the car zipped around the living room. Poor Sadie got so startled that she ran to my lap, pranced around on top of my thighs and nestled herself in a comfortable spot. Every time the car approached our front-row seat, her whole little body began to quiver in fear, which is ironic since she has a skull and cross bones on her doggie sweater.

So there's that.

Here's a list I got from Setarra, who got it from Tania, whose blog I also follow. I believe this is what they call the circle of blog life.

A little adrenaline rush

January 27, 2014

I'm sure everyone has that one friend for whom they'd do anything, within reasonincluding maybe breaking the law, and I've got about four of those. One of them celebrated a birthday yesterday, but we decided to live it up with a zip line thrill on Saturday morning.

My alarm went off at 6:30am, and by 6:50am I finally rolled out of bed to brush my teeth, wash my face throw on some clothes and drive around the corner to Meredith's house. She stays so close to me that I made it there by 7:05am, and then myself and three other lovely ladies rode out to Helen, Georgia for a little adrenaline rush.

The ride to the mountains was gorgeous, at least the part that I was awake for. We passed a couple wineries that had signs for offered tours and tastings, so I do indeed believe I will be back some time in the near future.

ZipNTime was offering a sweet deal on Living Social, which is how we heard about the place. They have the longest dual zip line in the state of Georgia, and by longest, I mean half a mile across the forest. Meredith and I were more than excited, but our other friends started getting a little nervous about how high we'd be flying from. Their minds started to ease when we walked in the shop and saw this.

What to do if you don't like your engagement ring?

January 22, 2014

Once upon a time in a New York City soundstage apartment, Carrie Bradshaw found an engagement ring in her boyfriend, Aiden's, duffle bag. Then she proceeded to vomit into her kitchen sink.
"The ring was not good. It was a pear-shaped diamond, with a gold band"
Aiden was my favorite male character in the history of the TV show. He helped Carrie stop smoking, he stripped her floors, he helped with her apartment-buying struggles and he was always upfront about his feelings. By every viewer's standards, he did everything right, except pick out an engagement ring.

Disclaimer: this is not a personal problem I'm having. But I recently got to talking about this subject and decided to take advantage of the opportunity to get inside a man's mind. You never know what you're gonna get digging around in there.

Estrogen is power.

January 20, 2014

I can be a pretty spontaneous person. I'm that friend who suggests we leave Atlanta tomorrow morning and ride out to Nashville, just for the heck of it. Lately, however, I've been one, big, baked couch potato, staying warm and cozy at home during my free time. This weekend was different. This weekend, I was all over town... alllll over town. Bleu Belle - my Honda - and I got out, made moves and jump started my 2014 social life. It felt pretty good, too. Speed go-kart racing happened [pictured], hot yoga happened, lunch & a movie with Mom happened, a hibachi dinner happened [pictured], a tattoo shop visit happened [no new ink for me] and a hookah lounge visit happened. I also managed to run errands, pay bills, grocery shop, check out True Detective on HBO [Matt McConaughey is better than ever] and read an entire book.


Speaking of books, The Ocean at the End of the Lane, by Neil Gaiman, was arguably the best part of this past weekend. I started the prologue on Thursday night, and if I didn't have to get up early Friday morning, I would've pulled an all-nighter flipping through the pages. I've always been an avid reader, but even the best books often have a bit of fluff that I find myself skimming through [Moby Dick, anyone?]. Sometimes it's just a paragraph or two, but other times I'll jump over whole pages. All those excessively elaborate descriptions can put a damper on my "narrative high" sometimes. It's the intense plot progressions that keep me hanging on like an infant to a nipple, and this book did not disappoint in the intensity department. My high never came down, and I could. not. stop. reading. The photo above was taken in the car, right before I started reading again in the Chick Fil A drive-thru lane. Anyone who likes the Magical Realism genre [think Like Water for Chocolate or One Hundred Years of Solitude] will definitely enjoy the story, and I can't recommend it enough.

The four-month delay at my library was worth it, and now I'm off return it and pass the goodness along to the next person on the wait list. Then I'll start looking other works by Mr. Gaiman.

Challenge accepted.

January 16, 2014

I asked an old friend where he wanted to eat for his birthday dinner, and he suggested Chipotle. As someone who has loved Chipotle since before people even knew how to pronounce it, I almost teared up with pride. Especially since I used to have to drag him to the spot, and he'd look at me like I was Animal from the muppets every time I suggested we eat there (which was pretty often). It always warms my heart when my friends enjoy my favorite eateries, and it was kinda nice that I didn't have to fork over a hefty chunk of change for a birthday dinner.

*Tip: the dressing they give you when you order a salad is also really good on top of a burrito bowl.

My schedule has gotten much busier since the new year hit. On the days I have to go in the office, I arrive super early (6:30am) (ouch), close myself - and my door - off to the rest of the world and hibernate with the heat blasting (while wearing multiple layers, sweaters and scarves... it's gotten cold in Hotlanta lately) to knock out my increasingly heavier workload. Then, in the early afternoon, I jet off to the second job I've recently picked up, as a nanny. I'm still getting used to that title: Chantel, Nanny. And for some reason, everyone seems so shocked that I'm now a childcare professional, as if I'm incapable of keeping kids fed and injury free for a few hours. One day I'll have four of my own (yes, four - 4 - all boys, God willing). Will people be shocked then?

Also, I'll finally be starting Hot Yoga classes again this weekend. I haven't been in months, so I'll make sure to choose a class with an instructor who doesn't take everyone into the more challenging and strenuous moves. Either way, my poor body is in for a rude awakening on Saturday morning. Can't wait.

Thank you, everyone who commented on my last post. Sometimes I see this blank white space and start writing as if nobody is reading, and then I get all this wonderful insight that reminds me how freakin' awesome it can be to get another perspective on certain situations. Especially when that perspective is coming from such beautiful minds such as yourselves. Let's see if I can step my iphonography game up in the near future.

Challenge accepted.

Here's to new levels in 2014.

January 7, 2014

Last night, I went down a little rabbit hole on the blog segment of the internet. A photo on Pinterest led to a post on a blog which led to another blog and another, et cetera, et cetera. 

A little known fact about me: I originally wanted to go to school for photography. My senior year of high school was spent stressing about future college plans and simultaneously doing as little schoolwork as possible. I was supposed to write a 100 page script for my final project in film class. It didn't get written. And I spent more time chillin' in teacher's offices than any student who's not in trouble should. As a high school student [in America], they teach you how to solve complex calculus formulas, and they break down the specifics of the War of 1812, but they don't teach you how to manage money or use credit wisely, and then they still expected you to choose a path for your future and know what you want to do for the rest of your life. It's backwards, IMO. Then college students get condemned for switching majors multiple times or taking time off from their studies. Like most people, young adults need time to figure out major life decisions, but that pressure to jump into a collegiate career immediately after graduation, lest you waste your life away, is daunting. I felt that pressure. Going to college was ingrained in my thought-process from the time I started grade school. I wanted to be everything from a doctor to a lawyer to a photographer. I dropped those first two dreams like a bad habit once I started coming into my own, but photography nestled it's way deep into my heart and held on tight. After researching a couple run-of-the-mill, typical four-year universities, I decided to check out Savannah College of Art and Design, and I even toured the campus. Little did I know, fancy schmancy schools like that require portfolio submissions with their applications, and being raised by a single mother meant we didn't have the expendable funds to buy me a fancy schmancy camera to practice on and pop out some solid material, and the photos from my Kodak EasyShare Point-and-Shoot camera definitely wouldn't've made the cut. That paired with the "photographers don't always make much money" statements from certain people [namely, my mother] steered me away from pursuing a professional life behind the camera.

I'm rambling.

January 6, 2014

So this was pretty much the most interesting thing I did last week. Honestly, every day after New Year's Eve is one big blur. I spent my afternoons on my sofa with Netflix [which is now hustling me to watch The Vampire Diaries since I watched THREE episodes of Buffy the Vampire Slayer] and comfort food, slapping myself on the wrist for not being more productive. Some time on Friday I got an email about Hawks tickets; I figured I'd take the leap and mingle with people in the real world... instead of the ones on Tumblr.

We lost, in the last second of the game, when Andre Iguodala sunk a sweet three-pointer to kill our lead, and I actually started feeling kinda bitter. The Hawks lose every time I come to a game home game, except for when they're playing the Detroit Pistons, in which case they decide to wipe the floor with my home team. I take it personal.

In other news, I finally did laundry, after over a month and half of stuffing jeans into an already full laundry basket. It feels good to no longer dig in the back of my closet for clean clothes that help me become the person I want to be for the day. I even went for a run while they were in the dryer and had my first protein shake of the year afterwards. They're even better than I remember. Why did I stop making them? Oh, right... because a tub of quality protein costs $25 a pop. That's why.

I'm rambling.

So here I am on Monday afternoon, muscles properly worked and fueled, wearing some of my favorite, clean and most comfortable chill-at-the-office clothes, ready to get back into the swing of things. No resolutions for me, but we're not even a week into 2014 and things are already changing in my world - for the better.

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