Monday, October 24, 2011

GEAUX TIGERS!

What a beautiful Saturday it was for tailgating!  With a high temp of about 85 degrees in South Louisiana and just enough clouds to keep you from being cooked to “well done” in the upper east side of Tiger Stadium at 3pm in the afternoon, I’d say it was a perfect day for football.  Especially since we managed to keep our “#1” ranking after beating Auburn 45-10.  GEAUX TIGERS!!!  (LSU Tigers, that is… J)
We started our day at 10:30 am, the way any proud southerner preparing for a day game would, with some robust Bloody Marys compliments of Zin Zang.  (Good stuff, I tell ya!) It didn’t hurt that Brian had pickled okra in tow as well!  Three cheers for mixed-drink-savvy fianc├ęs!  J 
Thankfully, I wore comfortable shoes since we walked what seemed to be approximately 8.5 miles (no, really) from the River Road parking lot all the way to Touchdown Village, just past Campus Federal.  Holy cow. There’s no question that next time, I am going to either bring my kid’s scooter or trade the Bloody Marys for a ride.  Another friend of mine called to see if we were coming to meet them before the game and I advised them that the only way I’d make it to the Agriculture building was in the back of an ambulance.  I am SO out of shape.
Anyway, I digress.  Where were we?  Oh yes, beautiful day, perfect weather, yada yada yada.  We really did have such a great time with my friend Jennifer and her husband, Kevin.  We are never short on laughter when we are all together.  We also met two wonderful friends of theirs who we are very anxious to visit with again as we thoroughly enjoyed their company.  Heck, as soon as Brian realized that the “new buddy” shared his belief in never re-electing anyone, I didn’t see him again for another hour and a half.
In the end, nothing beats good times with good friends, new and old!  As for our #1 LSU Tigers… Bring it on, Alabama!  We are 8-0 and READY for YOU!  Look out, Tuscaloosa, ‘cause here we come!



Monday, October 10, 2011

What Gets Your Motor Running?

My fiance’ just told me the most inspiring story.  Have no fear -- it’s short and sweet. 
Every year he looks forward to this particular hunting trip where he spends four glorious days and nights in beautiful Natchez, Mississippi at a friend’s home to bow hunt at the opening of the season. (Which reminds me of an even funnier story he shared with me about how a small Louisiana town called Ville Platte actually closes their schools for the opening of squirrel season.  Swear to goodness.)  Anyway, so you would think a trip like this usually involves a testosterone-filled week with several huge men, grunting, drinking beer, farting, swearing and telling tall tales about the one particular buck they saw that they couldn’t quiiiiiiiite get a shot on, right?  Well, I am here to tell you to throw your stereotypes out of the window.
It seems my fiance’ stumbled upon one of these tough guys during “down time” one day, taking a rest on the couch, all camo-clad, with a beer in hand and watching… wait for it… HGTV!  Yes, you read it right.  Isn’t that fabulous???  It just goes to show you that even our “manly men” can recognize good quality programming and get inspired by shows like Design on a Dime or Color Splash!  HA.  I mean, he had a remote, right?  He could’ve changed it.  But that channel inspires people, I tell ya! It’s good stuff!  Who’s to say he didn’t go home and tackle some major “honey-do” task as a result of being inspired by David Bromstad?  It could happen…
After hearing that story, I truly believe that everyone has their own method of grabbing a little bit of inspiration in the most unexpected ways and making it their own.
We talked in my last blog about finding something you love to do and running with it.  What inspires you?  What do you love to do?  Or some of you may ask, “How do I even go about revealing to myself my truest gifts and desires?”
I am of the belief that in many cases, it takes small steps and small realizations to compose the bigger picture.
Obviously, I can’t say for each of you what will inspire you.  However, I can give you examples of ways to get inspired.   Some may work for you.  Some may not.  That’s what makes us unique individuals!
Here’s some ideas to get your motor running…
1.   Take a picture.  See something  that makes you smile?  Or something you’d like to build or paint?  An outfit you’d like to try to put together?  A business idea that looks interesting?  Snap it!  Snap it!  Snap it!  You would be surprised at the seemingly ridiculous things I have photographed on my cell phone.  In my case, I am always thinking of designs to paint onto glassware.  So if I see something that inspires me, I snap it!  It can be as simple as a decorative door knob or a button on a coat.  Here are a few things that have inspired me and ended up on my cell phone:
  • A decorative lamp shade that had a certain pattern that I wanted to duplicate;
  • An apron that had the perfect color combination of black and pink with polka dots and scrolls;
  • A fleur-de-lis medallion hanging from a co-worker’s Mardi Gras bead that had the perfect placement of polka dots that would look great on a glass! 
  • Festive birthday gift bags that featured a design that I was dying to put on a plate!
Oh and believe me when I say that soon you will get over the foolish feeling of snapping pics of gift bags in a dollar store while people give you that quizzical look.  Trust me, it’ll pass…

2.  Record every idea.  Always keep a pad and pen near you.  Keep a small one in your purse, one at your desk at work, one in your car and one by your bedside.   Ideas that may seem small to you now may reflect a totally different concept once they’ve stewed awhile in that smart brain of yours.  Never underestimate the power of even the smallest idea!  I keep a notepad in my car because I will often find myself driving along and suddenly I’ll think of a design that I would love to paint on a glass.  I literally have had to pull over onto the side of the road before to immediately draw the design out, lest I forget it!


3.  Place inspiring quotes, messages or articles in places where you’ll see them often.  Whether it is a bible scripture, an idea that warrants repeating, a quote from a famous author or just something I conjured up myself, I always benefit from having little inspirational messages posted all around me.   This can also be an inspirational picture such as one of the holy family, which I have in my car to remind me of the love that is all around me.  I have Philippians 4:13 (I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me) posted both at my office and framed in my kitchen.  If I’m feeling weak, I take a peek at that and am reminded that SOMEONE has my back no matter what! 
Desk calendars with inspirational messages dedicated for each day are great motivational pick-me-ups!  I’ve also heard of posting in your home or office a “motivational word for the day” which you aspire to embrace.  For example, “comfort” might be your word for the day, which reminds you to reach out to others.  (What would you do if “motivation” or “innovation” were your word for the day?  Hmmm.)  Finally, I have to give a shout out to one of my best friends, Todd, who would drive around with “4.0” sticky notes in his truck to motivate him to reach the highest GPA in college.  Hey, whatever works!

4.  Shake up your routine.  An easy way to get inspired is to do something out of the ordinary.  Take a different route to work.  If you're a runner, take a different path today.  Take a long scenic drive somewhere instead of trying to break a record to get somewhere via the quickest route.  Choose raspberry tea instead of cola at lunch.  Check out a clothing store you never would have gone to before.   Wake up extra early and go find a sweet spot to watch the sun rise.  Try out musicals, craft shows or concerts that you normally wouldn’t attend.  It can’t hurt!

5.  Read!  I have experienced some of my favorite adventures, all while curled up in the corner at Barnes and Noble.  I always preach to my kids that books will take you places you’ve never been before.  Pick up a new cookbook for a recipe that will make you feel like you’re sitting in Florence.  Grab Fodor’s latest travel guide to Paris to map out a dream vacation.  A book by Erma Bombeck might be the laugh you need to cast your petty worries behind you for a day or more.  Inspirational books by people who have experienced something in life that moved them enough to share it with the world are some of my absolute favorite books!  I always think, “If they can do this, so can I!”  I also get inspired by business books, self-help books, as well as DIY books.  My personal favorite right now is a Patio design book that I would keep in my pocket if it were small enough!

6.  Wish boards Wish boards are a fantastic way to remind yourself every day of the goals, no matter how big or small, that you wish to attain.  There are no rules, but in general, wish boards are sturdy poster boards that serve for gluing pictures of places we’d like to see, things we’d like to do, or items we wish to own one day.  It can even hold inspiring messages or symbols.   
Another fantastic “virtual” wishboard forum that I have chalked up as my latest addiction is Pinterest.  This is an online forum in which members create virtual “boards” then “pin” to their own boards pictures of anything that interests them – hence “Pinterest”.  You can “repin” a picture from someone else’s board or upload your own picture (using proper discretion and taste of course) to your boards.  The great part is that you make the board whatever you want it to be.  Vacation bucket lists, favorite flowers, musical artists, wedding ideas.  Heck, a girlfriend of mine has a board strictly dedicated to everything that is the color pink!  You gotta love it!
Regardless of how you make your wishboard, it is your little piece of the world that you’d like to own.  And we all need to do just that.  Own it.  Own your dreams and wishes.  Own your goals.  Own your ideas and feed them.  Find what makes your eyes open just a little bit bigger and makes your heart race a little bit faster.  And by all means, share it with the rest of us!
If you have a special way that you get inspired, please leave a comment here so that we might benefit from it as well!  Thanks and have a great day!

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