A tribute to my name

Yesterday on the Ellen show, Stevie Nicks (my favorite singer of all time) and Rod Stewart announced that they were going on tour together. My response…BRILLIANT! I’m already planning on buying a front row ticket.

This glorious news spawned a revival of Fleetwood Mac songs throughout my day. And on facebook a friend of mine sent me a link to the song “Sara” posted on YouTube. What a magical voice Stevie has. How lucky am I to have a song written by her with my name in it!

Sara Song #1: To kick off the list of my top 5 Sara songs, here is that link to Fleetwood Mac’s song.

Sara Song #2: Another all time favorite band of mine, also circa 1970’s, is Hall and Oates. Over the years I have grown more and more fond of their hit song Sara Smile. I’ve been fortunate enough to hear it live several times, including once while I was watch from back stage at a show in Baltimore.

Sara Song #3: I’ve always kept track of all the songs with my name in it. Starships “Sara” was never a favorite of mine, but I’m going to rank it as my third favorite because of all the memories it evokes (I will also rank it as the corniest). I would always get annoyed when I would introduce myself and it would cause someone to break out in song. (Sara, SARA…storms are brewing in your eyes). Thanks for that, drunk guy at the bar.

Oh you’ve got to love a good 80’s band music video. The hair, the clothes, the dancing!

Sara Song #4: The discovery of this song and the impact it’s made upon me has remained dormant up until now. Thanks to google, I found this old Bob Dylan song that was written about his ex-wife Sara Lownds. It’s actually very good! And I wouldn’t expect anything less from Dylan. I’m surprised that this has fallen off of my radar after all the years of researching Sara songs. Gotta love a good harmonica.

Sara Song #5: And this final ballad by Ray LaMontagne holds a special place in my heart. I like to imagine that these words are from my dad to me. The lyrics make me think about how young my parents were when they met, leading to their divorce when I was three. He fought for us when I was young, then in my high school and college years I was the only one reaching out.

Wow, that was deep. Sorry that I turned into a Debby (as in Debby Downer) for a minute there. The list just would not be complete without that song. I would hate to have to end on a sad song, so to end on a positive note (no pun intended), here is another good name song that I have always loved! This one will get you dancin! Happy Friday!

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Spread the word

I made a pact with myself that I would only buy things that I absolutely LOVE. Since I have started out 2011 unemployed, my home improvement budget is very slim this year (unlike my waistline). Sometimes it can be a pain to wait it out when I’m in need of something new. It’s tempting to just settle for something that will get me by, but I am not going to do that this year.

For over a year now I’ve been shopping around (online and in stores) for a duvet cover that would protect my white down comforter. If you are the owner of cats you probably understand the need to cover anything that is white. Having a duvet would allow me to wash it whenever one of my little hairballs decides to cough up a little hairball of their own!  Much to my disappointment, I never found anything that I just had to have. But I was absolutely thrilled to find a bedspread that I just fell in love with. As soon as I saw it, I knew it was the one (especially after seeing the price). I guess I will just have to live without a duvet cover for now, which is fine with me. I think this quilted bedspread is  very thin, which will work well for any season. I can throw it over my down comforter when the bed is made and it’s light enough to throw in the wash. So without further ado…I introduce to you (drum roll), my new bed spread!
I found it online at Worldmarket.com for only $69.99. Here’s a closer look at the detail.

I cannot wait until I get this baby in the mail! Once I can study the colors I plan on painting the wall that’s behind my bed to add a pop of color to the room. A term that this room is very unfamiliar with at this time.

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Under Construction

So again I have fallen out of the blogging routine. After being laid off from my job two weeks ago, I am taking some time to re-evaluate things. I’ll be back online soon!

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Our little ballerina

My niece had her first ballet class this weekend and my sister posted a video on YouTube for the family. It’s just the cutest thing, so I had to share!

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Moving on

As we all know, sometimes life’s circumstances can take a hold of us and test our overall sense of happiness and security. I was in a car accident several weeks ago and that’s why I haven’t written in awhile. Instead of reliving such a terrifying event I would just like to say that I am ready to move on and accept change. I wasn’t ready for a new car financially, but I have to accept the fact that this extra monthly payment will be worth it. After all, I have a brand new car that is safe and fun to drive. I am very blessed that I, or no one else involved, was seriously injured. So it’s time to move on and celebrate new beginnings. Here is to my new car! And here is to this blog. I know that getting back on track and continuing to post about things that make me happy will bring joy to each and every day! And as I gain more readers, I hope that this blog brings them joy and inspiration as well.

Please bear with me as I gain back my momentum. (picts of the new car coming soon)

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A weekend away

I went on a trip to Chicago to see my cousin this weekend. She just had a baby boy 3 months ago. The last time I ventured out there was for her wedding, which was three years ago, so it was great to see her and be back in Illinois again. Seeing her as a mother was really cool.

Saturday we went to brunch in the city then walked around Millennium Park. Got to see the Bean in person for the first time; a new landmark in Chicago that was built four years ago.

The highlight of my trip were the evenings at the house; Erin and I chatting with Cal passed out on her chest. I missed feeling that special connection that we have with each other. Since I am an only child (with only a step-brother and sister) and my dad and that side of the family are no longer in contact with me, it’s good to feel that bond with a blood relative. I have that with my cousin. We kind of look alike, she finishes my sentences…it’s great! Although my visit was short I got to do all of the things that were on my list of things to do; meet the baby, tour the city, and eat sweet corn! Check, check and check!

I got home on Monday in need of some down time, so I took myself to a movie and saw “Eat. Pray. Love.” I left the theater feeling inspired. Oh how I often wish I were able to go on a spiritual journey like that. It reminded me of the quote on my calendar for the month of August that reads’ “Happiness cannot be traveled to, owned, earned, worn or consumed. Happiness is the spiritual experience of living every minute with love, grace and gratitude.” (-Denis Waitley)

So I’m wondering if it’s possible to go on a spiritual sabbatical without actually going anywhere. Even though I would so much love to drop what I’m doing and hop on a plane, I sure as hell can’t afford to travel to a handful of third world countries. That would also mean that I would have to quit my job and possibly sell off all of my belongings. Some would say that’s part of the journey, but I have a feeling it would cause added stress. If I can take the advice of the quote on my calendar, then I don’t need to go anywhere to find true happiness. I just need a few lessons on how to find it within me.

As I set here at my desk at work, listening to the soundtrack of “Eat. Pray. Love”, a list begins to formulate in my mind. If I cannot physically go to these locations that are considered for spiritual healing, I can still learn about them. I can still plan out my own spiritual journey by doing things on this list:

  • Read books and watch videos about other cultures. Discover why their religious and spiritual rituals are so sacred and important to those people.
  • Meet people that also appreciate and practice these cultures.
  • Take a mediation class
  • Sign up for yoga or other forms of spiritual exercise
  • Cook meals from these other cultures
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Second bedroom makeover: Part 1

Well, after living in my condo for a little over a year, I finally did it! I finally painted on the walls (of my second bedroom, for starters)! The weekend was rainy and so I did it all in one weekend and posted a great blog titled Picking out paint colors to match your personal style on my work blog.

Like the banner?! Yeah…I did that. It pays to be a graphic designer!

I had some great fun on doing research for this “how to” column style post. But I felt an added sense of pressure knowing that I was actually giving out advice! I think I did a good job though. It was good practice for me!

It was quite challenging to photograph the room and try to get the actual color of the paint! I had to amp up the saturation a bit in Photoshop because the light in the room made to colors look a little washed out, but it still looks pretty close.

Here is a before picture that I found on my iphone.

and here are a few before shots of the room right before I started painting…

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I think it took longer to tape off the everything than it did to actually paint it. And of course I ran out of paint half way through the second coat, so I have an extra 3/4 of a gallon left. FABULOUS! oh well, I think it looks great!

Tada! (this desk was a thriftstore find…I plan on repainting it)

Tada! (This dresser was also a thriftstore find that I repainted. Check out my before and after from the work blog here)

Tada!

TA-DAAAAAAA! Did you notice that I didn’t include the tread mill in the final photo shoot? It didn’t really look right for the final reveal, but I do still have it. I have some fun and crafty plans for dressing up the walls, window treatments, etc…and more info on the wall decal later!

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