Thursday, January 31, 2013

Good Friends + Good Wine = Good Times

The crew at winery #3
I've been remiss in thanking Kristie for hosting me along with some Nashville friends, Alyssa and Shea a few weeks back. It was awesome. And she and her fiance were great hosts--like above and beyond.

The making of the chocolate abomination
I'm not going to recount the entire weekend in its full glory for a couple of reasons: 1) I can't remember it all. It was that good. 2) protecting the names of the innocent AND guilty. 3) It would take too long and make too many people jealous.

However, some of the highlights included:

  • Visiting three wineries in Temecula and having chocolate wine for the first time. I also believe I ate my weight in Brie, as apparently that is the only cheese worth serving at all wineries. 
  • Scarfing down a cheeseburger at 9 p.m. on Saturday night like it's 3 a.m. on a Saturday night because I'm getting old. Or maybe it's because we started wine tasting at like 2 p.m. Yeah, that's it. 
  • A beautiful brunch on a rooftop at a hotel overlooking the ocean in Laguna Beach. You would swear places like this were too pretty to exist. 
  • Watching perhaps the grossest chocolate bar ever being made. It included red hot Cheetos and crystallized ginger. I forget what else, but I never did find out what the final verdict was on the taste.
  • Making even more memories with great friends who hopefully had a blast in California (and perhaps can be persuaded to move here).
The beautiful sunset in Santa Monica

Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Birthday Recap

Khubla looks at my chocolate wine.
It was perfectly paired with a
Krispy Kreme donut for my nightcap.
I should be doing a post about a great visit some friends from Nashville made to me and a friend from Laguna Beach, but instead I'd decided to leave that post for another time (it's late. it can't hurt to be later, right?) and do a birthday recap.

Yesterday I turned 34 years old. When I was younger, I thought that was old. And even on some days now, I feel it is. But on the by and by, I don't see myself as old. Mostly because people only think themselves old when they're really, really old. And I think that's appropriate.

I decided a few years back after a particularly rough birthday in the office that working on your birthday is balls. And now unless there's a very very good reason, I don't do it. Even if my birthday is on a Tuesday like this year. How often do you get a random Tuesday off with nothing else around it? Rarely. So I enjoyed it and pretended I was independently wealthy and didn't have to work.

First I slept in until I damn well wanted to and then got treated to delicious breakfast of Crossanwiches (yes, plural. It was my birthday, dammit) from my loving husband. Then I leisurely got ready and went for a mani-pedi. The place I went to treats you kind of like you're a car in the pits at the Daytona 500, so I had two people working on my talons. They were so talented that they had the massages timed so they were rubbing me down at the same time. It was heaven.

Roses from my awesome husband
Then I grabbed Chef and we went shopping. I got to go to Sephora (and thanks Jack for the gift card) which is annual tradition because I like to get my free gift, and some fun goodies. I got a lipstain I had been lusting after and the BEST smelling peony-scented lotion from Philosophy. Then Chef gave me his present. It was my favorite because I wanted it really badly and it's AWESOME, but I'm not telling what it is because too many people could read too much into it. Let's just say it is an technology gadget and leave it at that.

Then we got Krispy Kreme donuts (because donuts can be better than cake some times), and went to eat at my favorite sushi place. In between, I got to check the wonderful birthday wishes everyone left on my Facebook page. (Honestly sometimes I think that's the best part of Facebook).

To cap it off, I watched a screener of Silver Linings Playbook. It was good, but I probably would've liked it better had I seen it before all the hype.

All in all a great balance of my favorite things, my favorite people and relaxation.

And then I went back to work today :). Until next year!

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Cutting my Cotton Ball Budget to Nearly Nothing!


Fingernails-mid removal
Do you find yourself spending oodles of your beauty budget on cotton balls?

Yeah, me neither. But for some reason there was a pin on Pinterest that promised to cut your cotton ball budget and it caught my attention. Less because I am fearful of using more than my fair share of cotton, and more because I would love any easier way to take off nail polish.

Because that was what the pin actually helps do. It shows a way to take off nail polish that uses less cotton AND less time. I was up for anything that could potentially peel off my dark nail polish without have to scrape and chip away.

The idea is simple: peel apart a cotton ball (I used a cotton pad and it worked fine), soak a little in nail polish remover, stick it to your nail for a few minutes, then peel the polish off.

These little piggies weren't quite as lucky.
I tried this on my toes AND my finger nails. I can absolutely say it works brilliantly on my fingers. I can get all my polish off using two cotton pads (used to use about 5 before) and only a few minutes. It did not work as well on my toes. I might just stick to my old method on that.

All in all, two polish-free thumb nails up!

Friday, January 18, 2013

Because I Know about Fake Significant Others

I feel compelled to write about Manti Te'o for several reasons: 1) it's just a bizarre case, 2) it's a case that kind of pisses me off, and 3) I know a thing or two about fake significant others.

I'll start in order. I have a hard time believing that this guy didn't know that his girlfriend was fake. She gets in a car accident AND gets leukemia, and he didn't visit her at all? She DIES and he didn't go to her funeral? What a shitty boyfriend. Not only that, even after Te'o said he knew the girl was a hoax, he still perpetuated the story a few more times.

Also, how come Te'o's father told the South Bend Tribune that his girlfriend had visited him in Hawaii and they had met at Stanford if they were only online bf/gf as his statement says. That means that his father either 1) lied to the media a while back or 2) was in on the thing and let his son lie to the world. Neither scenario would qualify someone as father of the year.

Next I get a little pissed off at Notre Dame. The athletic director, Jack Swarbrick, SO believes this ridiculously unbelievable story that they not only hold a press conference, but he CRIES during it. He shed tears over a FAKE woman. Not only that, they hired private investigators and sprung into action.

Yet a few years back a 19 year-old student who had accused a football player at Notre Dame of sexual assault and the athletic department did nothing at first. The girl committed suicide from the harassment she received for making the allegations and only AFTER she died did the university investigate the matter. The Notre Dame athletic director certainly didn't cry for the REAL WOMAN who died.

That pisses me off.

Lastly, I had a fake boyfriend. His name was Toby. I developed him before the advent of a lot of social media. He helped me have an easy out if I got unwanted attention from a guy. I even had a picture of me and my friend Amanda's then boyfriend (now husband) that I could flash as my "Toby." Toby was easy to maintain because I wasn't a nationally recognized football player, there was no Facebook, and checking a background of someone wasn't a few keystrokes away.

I guess what I don't understand is why the hoax was so perpetuated in the first place. The media now is reporting it all over and they could have been the ones to have nipped it in the bud. I know it's hard to want to question someone's hard luck, heartwarming story, but that's what the media is for. Doing a rudimentary Google search to see if there was a Stanford volleyball player who had died is pretty easy. The media is supposed to be skeptical of everything--that's what is supposed to make them our line of defense from BS stories like this.

And with that I say, good luck in the NFL, Manti. May you enjoy your time with the Bengals or Raiders.

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

The Joys of the Democratic Process

One of the fun parts of my job is the diverse things I get to do. Yesterday was one of those times....sort of. I have in the past and am once again working on public relations around politics (aka government affairs). The joy of this is an event like last night---the public hearing.

If you've ever been to a public hearing, you know these things are simultaneously boring as hell and highly entertaining. If you've never been to a public hearing, it's pretty much just like you see in Parks and Rec. Last night there was a table on stage with two chairs and two government officials there to listen. There was an audience in an auditorium and a microphone in the middle of it all. There are really two types of people that come to these things: 1) people representing a larger organization that have well-planned and thought out ideas to express. These are usually people that do these things for their job. 2) pissed off citizens.

Public hearings are kind of like live versions of comment sections online. Rarely do you have someone comment or review something online that they love. They are usually just itching to complain and show how smart (or smart ass) they are.

Last night's public hearing had to do with a city planning proposal and it pretty much followed this formula. Here are my favorite highlights of the night:
  • The very first lady (who was pissed off) introduced the phrase "ho motel" into our vernacular. She was loudly concerned that the proposal did nothing to address the three ho motels in her neighborhood. 
  • A woman wore a denim poncho made from several parts of various jeans all sewn together. Ponchos are a mystery to me in the first place because I don't see the point of them unless their plastic and used to protect from the rain. She sported hers over a hooded sweatshirt which just added to my confusion. I was also a little concerned because the jeans looked well worn and her head went through the area that used to be crotch. 
  • I saw a hippie crossed with Mr. Garrison from South Park. He said "MMkay" a lot, had an earring and was advocate for more public space. He also had the most well-coiffed rat tail that I've ever seen. And I lived in the South for more than a decade. This thing was about 3 inches above his waist. I would've laughed if I wasn't so impressed with his tenacity for a long forgotten hairstyle.
If you have the chance, go to a city council meeting or some other public event where people can express themselves. At the very least find a cable access channel and log in some time or best of all watch several episodes of "Parks & Rec."

Monday, January 14, 2013

My Take on the Golden Globes

Here's the first shocker: I  thought Tina Fey and Amy Poehler were fabulous. Not so shocked? Yeah, that was pretty predictable of me. I would watch the two of them do nearly anything together. But I will complain that they weren't on stage together nearly enough and you can tell that some of their gags were stifled by the powers that be. However, they were funny and better than most of the lame hosts they get to do these things.

Awards shows are generally a real loser when it comes to hosting. The show itself is long, boring and by the end of the night the room is filled more with disappointment than with joy. Plus there are so many people in the room that "control" what happens in entertainment that the hosts are never allowed to go all out and be the entertainers that made them desirable to host the show in the first place. It's a lose-lose situation.

But unlike most of the shows, I actually watched this one start to finish. And by "start to finish," I mean that I DVRed it and then fast-forwarded through most of the acceptance speeches. I even whizzed through Jodie Foster's speech and deleted the show before I saw all the buzz that it was getting on twitter. But because I live in LA, the Golden Globes are shown twice. The first time live and then immediately after to run in prime time. I flipped back over and BAM! Jodie Foster was getting her award.

The whole thing was a little awkward and stream of conscious. If she had been any of the other recipients, that would make sense, but she knew she was receiving this award. Then she "came out" as a lesbian, (but she had unofficially come out before so this was not AS shocking?) and then she retired, but in interviews after immediately said she was still going to act and direct and produce. I think Jodie Foster is brilliant. But being brilliant doesn't make someone a great communicator. I've read a few essays she's written (including the infamous one defending Kristen Stewart) and they've all been like her speech was last night-- a little all over the place. The raw materials was good, but the construction was kind of a mess. Also, I realize she's not a reality show as she's infamously private, but when was the last time you saw a news story on Jodie Foster? She's done a good job at being out of the spotlight, so either others should take note or she should give some classes.

Anyway, the show last night was pretty good. Glad that Argo was recognized as it was my favorite movie last year. I definitely recommend it if you haven't seen it yet. Anne Hathaway still needs some weight and hair because all I saw of her onstage was bones, lips and teeth. I thought Lena Dunham's dress was great for her body and the occasion, but rarely does Zac Posen go wrong. Of course, it probably helped that he used to BABYSIT Lena Dunham, so he was probably well familiar with her proportions. I wish more women would wear some color instead of all the nude and pastel dresses.

And I hope Tina and Amy come back again for next year. Or that NBC just gives them an hour to do whatever they want with. I'd be up for either.

Thursday, January 10, 2013

There's No Crying in Baseball...or the Boardroom

I hate crying at work. I mean I absolutely loathe it. I actually don't really like crying in front of people in general. From time to time I've even hid my tears while watching a movie so that Chef won't see what a sap I am.

And it's not like I hate crying in general. I actually find it very cathartic. There are times that I just want to get a good cry out so I can feel better about something. And I give myself permission to do so.

I realize that sounds really cold. That I give myself permission to cry, but that's what I don't really like about crying. The timing. I don't really like to be surprised by my emotions. I don't like to suddenly be overcome. It's just not who I am. So if it happens, I like for it to happen private.

Which goes back to the whole thing about crying at work. I can only think of a handful of instances where I've cried at work ABOUT work. And typically it was because I was stressed about work and something sent me over the edge where I landed in Teartown. For example. I remember a huge breakdown in the back parking lot of the AHA when I had a shitty day dealing with a coworker and then my car finally died and refused to go forward. It would only go in reverse. Tears are pouring and I'm having a nervous breakdown, but my friend (and boss) and another supervisor got out of their car in heels on their way to an event to help push my car back into a parking spot. I was losing it at work, but my work friends came through (I would like to think they were also alarmed that I was crying because again--rarely happens at work).

Most of my work tears have been personal things that have happened to me that I have carried into the office. Luckily, I've been able to scoot around and find some privacy to make that happen.

I bring up crying not because I've spent today in tears (although yesterday morning dealing with a plumbing problem before work was a whole different matter), but because I read this article about crying at work. The article spells out that it's not all bad; that crying at work can actually be good for a group. However, my cynical eyes read it and ended up thinking "This person is really advocating using properly placed tears to sway emotional advantage and camaraderie in the work place. Really? Really?".

Because that's the thing with tears, no matter how much you may want to, you can't really control them. It just seems weird to try. 

Wednesday, January 09, 2013

Quick Laugh: Celebrities Read Mean Tweets About Themselves

This cracked me up. It's from Jimmy Kimmel Live. He has celebrities read mean tweets about themselves. Anderson Cooper's response  made me crack up. Some of the tweets are just mean, but some of them are pretty clever in their meanness. Check it out.

Tuesday, January 08, 2013

Sock Bun: This Week's Pinspiration

Squint and you can see the
back in the reflection.
So I made a pledge to try something new each week from Pinterest, but seeing as how I don't really do resolutions it started a few weeks back. I said that I'd share the stuff that worked or even failed miserably if it was interesting.

I actually already shared pics of this on Facebook, but since I wore this today, I can now show an accurate picture of the sock bun after several hours of wear. I will note that it is quite odd to be sporting a thick ass boot sock that is actually gray and white flecked in my hair, but honestly no one sees it, so whatever.

Full Frontal Sock Bun
I am hair challenged. I never learned the french braid and only ever wear my hair down or in a pony tail. Mostly i think because I was traumatized as a teenager. I wore my hair in a side pony for softball practice one day and they made so much fun of me that I have yet to rock a side pony again. Seeing as the side pony is now a completely acceptable hairstyle, I prefer to think that I was just way ahead of my time.

That being written here is a link to the sock bun tutorial. If I can do it, you can too. After reading this, it made me want to try other hairstyles from Pinterest. I pinned a few to give a whirl and will let you know if they actually work. However, one thing that I gleaned from Pinterest is that some girls just spend way too much time on their hair every day. I mean, I only did the sock bun because it take about 2 minutes to do. How do these people have 30-40 minutes JUST to do their hair everyday?

UPDATE: bonus to the sock bun is that if you are prone to bumping your head, as I am, it gives you a good cushion. Already saved my noggin tonight from a sure concussion.

Monday, January 07, 2013

Remember When: Musings from the Internet's Infancy

I just finished a good ole hot pink book from the era when I read them a little more religiously (aka before I was with Chef and therefore loved reading about neurotic women pining away in unrequited love while Mr. Perfect was right there the whole time. Now I read about murder, acid-throwing and war.) I picked it up because it used to be one of my faves: Jemima J by Jane Green. It was her first book and she's now gone on to write a shit ton more.

The first time I read the book was back when it came out--13 years ago. A few things have changed since then: I met Chef (online), I lost weight, I moved to Nashville and then LA, and the world became more technologically savvy. Why does all that matter?

The book is about a girl who loses a ton of weight, dates a guy online, goes to LA to live with him, and then finds the man of her dreams was not all she thought he was. Minus the last part, that was pretty much a snippet of my life.

But anyway, the funny part is reading about online dating in 2000. They use a dial-up connection at her job to get online. They were sent to class at the beginning to learn about the Internet. No one used email in the workplace. No one carried cell phones. The journalists in the book used FAXES to confirm interviews. I have never worked in an era where email wasn't the norm in an office.

All of which got me thinking, remember when the Internet was scary?

I remember when Internet dating was so taboo that when I told my friends I was doing it, they were a little worried that I might end up cut into tiny pieces and found in a garbage bag on the road somewhere. (In their defense, I did end up meeting a lot of weird dudes--and one awesome one.) I chatted with these guys using AOL Instant Messenger and was on the Internet for hours because I only had dial-up in my first apartment. I didn't download music because it took too long to get a song.

And remember when we all had different names for the various online identities we had because were too afraid to use our real names on the Internet. Here are some of the online monikers that I used to employ:
PepperClark (my dog's name and my middle name),  PepperCrtr (my dog's name and Crtr was for Carter, as in Nick Carter, as in the obsession of the moment-- BSB was big back and I was a fan, okay?), ClarkCrtr, and CricketClark (other dog's name and middle name). I chatted online to people with names like noname123, TigrRoar2000, and HoosierDaddy0367.

In fact, when I started my blog Chef was called Chef because he didn't want me to use his real name online. Now everyone is pretty transparent about what they're doing on the Internet. I'm not sure that's entirely a good or bad thing, but it's interesting, nonetheless. It feels like that feeling of "Isn't that quaint?" that used to take years or generations to happen is now happening on a monthly basis. "Oh you use Snapchat? you should try Facebook Poke."

Sometimes I wish it would slow down a little. Maybe I'm getting old, but I long to use a typewriter again. I had one growing up and love the "click click click" of the keys. But I guess now I could just download an app for the sound effect. If we're still using apps, or keyboards or sound effects when you are reading this.

Friday, January 04, 2013

Touching Survivor Story Told Differently



I saw an article on another site about this ad from Arnold Palmer Hospital and had to give it a look. It's one of the best hospital pieces that I've seen done for a few reasons:

  1. It's very emotionally compelling. I was choking back tears at work, but mostly because I loathe crying at work for any reason. 
  2. The doctor appears SANS lab coat and tells his personal experience with Chloe and her father. He doesn't present her like a case study. He appears human.
  3. So many hospital ads feature the patients. While this ad does have Chloe's story in it and does include shots of her parents, the only voice you hear is the doctor's. 
  4. It's simple and it's short. Too many online videos try to viral but fail because they're too damn long. The average person will watch videos without clicking off that are about 3 minutes long MAX. 
Having worked on medical patient stories for a good part of my career, this one hit home and not only touched me, but made me want to replicate it. But here's something that every PR/ Marketing/ Advertising person struggles with: how do you find these stories? So many times, they go untold simply because they don't float around to the right people. But when they do. . .Magic. I say this because everyone has a job that they hear interesting things at. When you hear them, do me a favor and tell someone in your communications or PR/marketing department.

What do you think? Is this video a touching success or just like everything else?

Thursday, January 03, 2013

My Bra is Killing Me and I'm Crabby

I feel like a giant blob today. My pants were designed to keep flab in with this lycra shell, but today that lycra is not my friend. It is indeed keeping my flab nice and flat in my pants, but it can't make it disappear. So the flab is then pushed up towards my boobs.

And my bra was quite obviously designed by a masochist. I know, I know. All bras were designed by masochists, but this one is trying to saw me in two. It's tight as hell and now not only battling the large amount of breast matter that I have on my chest, but also the fat that the lycra pants are pushing up. Essentially I'm just a big ball of tightened lumps and red marks.

I realize both of these issues could be just physical and psychological manifestations of my weight perception,  but I don't want to think that hard.

Which doesn't really do a lot for my mood. Today I'm quite crabby for no real reason (other than the aforementioned fashion faux pas). I feel like a blob, I'm not wearing any of my favorite clothes and people are either annoying me or ignoring me. I'm throwing a pity party. It's a party of one.

And I did something today that I don't typically do which is reply to someone's asinine political post. They had a picture posted of some gas station owner's sign where they had gas prices in the $1.80 range and underneath it read "Just kidding! Those were the gas prices when Obama was elected."

That just pissed me off. First of all, unless you're Fox News when a democrat is in office, you should realize that the president doesn't control gas prices. Gas prices contribute to what a president can do or at least the perception of what can be done.

Secondly, the highest average US gas price that we've recorded was at $4.12/ gallon in the summer of 2008--six months BEFORE President Obama took office.

I would ask people to think for themselves before they post or repost something on the Internet, but then it would obliterate Snopes and I love that website.


Wednesday, January 02, 2013

Why I Can't Stand Gwyneth Paltrow

It's oh so fashionable to hate on Gwyneth Paltrow, but it's really hard not to when she makes it so damn easy. And I am not immune to her getting on my nerves. I do not like when people hit the genetic lottery and then tell us little people that all we really need to live the perfect life is a gluten-free, dairy-free, cruelty-free diet with 4 hours a day of meditative yoga and to live abroad. 

Let's face the facts: Gwyneth Paltrow was born in LA to actor parents, so that's half the battle right there. Actually more than half: genetically thin parents born in an affluent area with connections into the career path she chose. Good for her for finding success, but she's become a caricature of herself with her very out of touch quotes. And when you look at the things she's said, done or put up for sale on the website she "curates" just for us, I realize that this chick really doesn't get it. 

Here are a few examples:

  • Holiday wrapping paper on Goop sells for $52. Merry Christmas--your present is the wrapping paper. Enjoy!
  • Gwyneth doesn't let her children watch TV unless it's in Spanish or French
  • "I would rather die than let my kid eat Cup-a-Soup."  I'm sure there are starving kids all over the world that would gladly sacrifice Gwyneth Paltrow to eat some Cup-a-Soup.
  • From her cookbook:--On making her own root beer: "The day we were finding the formula, my daughter, who was four years old at the time, walked into the kitchen and asked me what I was drinking. 'Soda,' I replied. She looked at me with her big blue eyes. 'What's that?' she responded." Is her daughter not allowed in public? was the taunting because of her awful name too much?Who hasn't at least heard of soda?
  • From her cookbook: "I love basically anything that comes in a hot dog bun...except hot dogs (sorry, dad)" Seriously? How about just saying you love sandwiches?
  • More obnoxious quotes including one about how Reese Witherspoon does too many "stupid romantic comedies". 
Any other celebrities that you wish would just shut up?

Tuesday, January 01, 2013

You Say You Want A Resolution. . .

I'm posting another reflective piece because it's that reflective time of year. I mean is there really any other time of year, other than perhaps a birthday or anniversary, that brings out the mushy "What is life really about?" thoughts? I didn't think so. I'm not immune.

I also have a thing about not making resolutions, because nobody keeps them. And I'm not really breaking that rule this year. Mostly because I broke that rule last year and promised all these update posts, but didn't follow through. I didn't follow through for a couple of reasons. 1) update posts are good for me, but really boring blog posts unless I get creative with them 2) I don't think it's helpful to obsess over how many days I'm over or under my daily calorie allotment. At least not in public. I can keep those convos in my inner monologue.

I will, however, start breaking my larger goals into smaller ones and if they're interesting enough, I'll share. If they're boring and personal, I'll spare you the details. But looking back over last year, I have to say that I'm proud of a few accomplishments: 1) I made better use of my time. This meant that I gave up a nice job with good pay that ate at 3 hours of my personal time every day for a long commute.  But in helped with 2) Making a big dream come true. I have always wanted to work in an agency with a big brand and I'm working with a great, international agency on the  McDonald's brand. People love it or hate it or deny they eat there, but I love working on the brand. It is FASCINATING to see how a company can grow to be one of the top 10 biggest brands IN THE WORLD in my parent's lifetime. Truly been a blast to work on. 3) Write more. I made a big breakthrough on the never-ending project of a novel that has lead me to rewrite most of it and add a bunch to it. It's been excruciating, but here's the good part: I love writing it. Clearly I want to finish it, but before I had dreaded sitting down to write it and now I love it. It's been a blast and already I'm excited to start writing other things. But first things first. I'm determined to get this puppy done. Or at least the most done I can let it be before moving on because I've come to terms with knowing that it may never be complete in my eyes.

With those accomplishments behind me, I look forward to 2013. As I said, I hate making resolutions, so what I have below are goals. Some of them I've already started on weeks ago. Some I will start tomorrow or in coming days. None will begin today. That's my way of wiggling out the resolution thing. All of which will need my "Follow Through" theme to move forward. So here goes:

1) Concentrate on being well. This is intentionally vague. I want to concentrate on my health--not only my weight, but any lingering ailments that need attention. I want to renew my love of being active (which I hope my new Fitbit will help with), renew my belief that paying attention to what I eat makes me feel better. I want to stretch my arthritic hips, soothe any lingering emotional pains and try to continually remember that putting others before myself does not make me selfless. It is just the easy way to put myself second.

         1a) Don't say 'skinny' when I mean 'healthy,' and vice versa. 

2) Write daily. The only way to  be a better writer is to write more and read more. I read plenty. I love reading. This has been a passion that has never and will never die. But I have learned that writing even when I don't want to has made me love it even more. So I've literally taken away every excuse that I can to not write. I have access to all my files at home and work and anywhere (Thank you, Google Docs). I have an app on the iPad that can access and connect with Google Docs better than their mobile interface (which really does suck) and I have an actual notebook with various musings, novel chapters, lists, and notes that I carry with me everyday, as well as a small notebook in my purse. No excuses. A word counts. Sometimes the first word is the most excruciating.

3) Be a better blogger.  There never has been a theme to this blog nor do I intend on implementing one other than Ashley's random thoughts. But I will be more random, more honest, more consistent. Or I will pack it in. It's time to get serious or get going.

       3a) I will try at least one thing a month that will help improve my blog in some way. First stop, a content  calendar. It's super sad that I've made at least two professional blogs for clients or companies I've worked for successful and have yet to implement the things that made them a success into my own blog.

4) Try new things. Again, purposefully vague, but I will make a concentrated effort to eat new things, drink new things, do new things, see new things and meet new people in 2013.

     4a) Try new things from Pinterest at least once a week. I'm pinning up a storm lately and will try new things that I've seen there. If they work, I'll let you know. If they fail, I'll take pictures. Either way, it'll be fun.

So that's it. 2013 will be a year of being well, writing daily, blogging better and trying new things. All of which will take a good bit of follow through.

What are your big plans for 2013?

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