Monday, December 29, 2014

My 2014 in Six Words

A six word blog, not exactly, but I will some up my 2014 in six words. All roads seem to lead me back to NPR and it should be no surprise that this blog was inspired by National Public Radio (NPR). It plays such an integral role as one of my main sources for news, media and stories that keep me informed and entertained.

Shout out to my mom for turning me on to my local NPR station, WNPR. While there are a number of shows that I love to listen, here's my short list. They include All Things Considered, Car Talk, Fresh Air, Radio Lab, Latino USA, and local programs like Where We Live, and The Colin McEnroe Show, but this blog is inspired by journalist Michelle Norris' project Welcome to The Race Card Project.

The project asks individuals to sum up their feelings about race in six words. People from all across our nation have taken up the challenge and shared their candid feelings about race in America. Listening to others share their personal feelings about race was a bit of car therapy. It made me uncomfortable. I cried. I empathized. I saw race from multiple perspectives. What a great exercise. I'm going to to steal this.

Sharing my views in 140 character or less on Twitter took some getting used to. Wrapping up my year in only six would be a challenge, but one that I welcomed. I spent the last couple of weeks pondering the words I would select. There's been so much that has influenced and impacted my life in 2014. I've experienced a roller coaster of emotions and have been saddened and moved by the actions of people. With three days to go before we say bye to 2014, here are my six words.

Addiction, Dismay, Opportunity, Own Your Life

It feels good to be in a positive place as I reflect on 2014. I consider myself blessed. I continue to learn and grow. I'm surrounded by people who love and care for me. I have missed the mark on some of my goals in 2014, but am ready to seek out new opportunities that will continue to help shape me for the better in 2015. Bring it on!

How would you wrap up your 2014 in six words?

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

YouTube's 2014 Rewind

The holidays are still a couple of weeks away, but the folks at YouTube are already out with their 2014 Rewind. The video gives the viewer a nice little highlight of 2014's "pop culture" buzz. Considering most attention spans these days, it feels a bit long, but the music and celebrity cameos make it fun to watch.

Instead of a rewind I tend to be more reflective about the activities in my life and the impact they have. I look for the game changers. However, I like the YouTube 2014 Rewind approach because it reminds me to keep it fresh, fun, and that some good things did happen in 2014. Besides, we can always use some entertainment and a good laugh. 

When I rewind 2014 here are a few of the moments I really enjoyed:
  • Adopting Billy
  • Getting a new job with Aetna
  • Receiving my second masters from Gonzaga's Communication and Leadership Program
  • Publishing my thesis, "A Post-Feminist Look At HBO’s Girls: A Critical Analysis of Character, Career, Gender, and Sexuality"
  • Being there for my bestie Tara when she welcomed Alex, her first child to the world.
  • Traveling to England to attend my cousin Kamille's wedding and catching up with family there.
  • Traveling to Paris to spend quality time with Jens and Coco and catch up with family there.
  • Attending the U.S. Army v.s. UCONN football game at Yankee Stadium
  • Fasting with Karim and seeing the Mets play at Citifield (my first time in the baseball stadium. After the game we saw a free concert by Huey Lewis and the News. Shout out to the 80s rockers!
  • Taking cooking classes at Kitchen Gadgets and Beyond. Shout out to Groupon!
  • Hosting our "End of Summer" BBQ
  • Taking my godsons to Six Flags New England
  • Watching the sci-fi series Battlestar Galactica
When you rewind the year, what are some of your favorite moments?

Friday, December 5, 2014

Black Friday Bah Humbug

It's officially a week since the big Black Friday shopping extravaganza. I don't know about you, but I was disappointed by the Black Friday deals this year. I'm not sure if it's because it seems like we gear up for holidays earlier and earlier each year allowing retailers to stretch out their deals. While Black Friday isn't an official holiday, that fact that it comes right after Thanksgiving and leads us into the Christmas shopping season has me feeling like we should make it one.

I don't need a large screen T.V., a new car (not yet) or other big ticket items and I didn't feel like hitting the stores after I stuffed myself with a fabulous holiday dinner. Thanks Nat! I'm not a morning person either, so you won't catch me waking up at four a.m. to stand in lines to hit the stores at five a.m. Not happening. I did it a couple of years ago and while I was happy with my purchases I'm not sure it was worth the gas and time I put into it.

These days I'm feeling more like a Cyber Monday and online shopping kind of girl. While there's something to be said for being able to look at  items in person I much prefer the ease and convenience of online. It's nice not battle for parking spots, stand in long lines or encounter holiday attitudes of frustrated customers. It doesn't help that you can get free shipping at a majority of retailers if you spend a minimum of $50. Some of my favorite retailers like Banana Republic, Nordstrom, Bed Bath & Beyond, and L.L. Bean offer free returns. Here's a list of other retailers that also offer free shipping and returns.

This year I definitely feel like I experienced the Black Friday Bah Humbug. I want to hear from you. Were you happy with the Black Friday deals? How was your experience? Drop your responses in the comment section. Thanks!