Blogging Hiatus: “And just where have YOU been Missy?”

               NOT BLOGGING! As you can see.  I have clearly been on a Leave of Absence from recording my thoughts and sharing them with all of you. I apparently checked out of my own advice of finding comfort in the sweet, little everyday things and judging from the lapse of time between my last post and this one…It looks like I’ve fallen victim to…mundane monotony (GASP!)

                I wish I had some fabulous story to tell in my defense of being such a poor blogger…like I was backpacking through Europe, winning the LOTTO,  teaching underprivileged children in nations overseas, embarking on a journey to become Mrs. Mark Wahlburg, or even joining the circus (I’ve always wanted to try the Trapeze!) but NO! Sadly, there is no excuse for my Blogging woes other than the fact that I have been in a FUNK. A what? A FUNK! Yes, I said it. Plain and Simple I have had a few BLAH days in a row and I let them get me down.

                What’s Blah got to do with it? Well, I just don’t feel right blogging when I’m not feeling like myself. When I’m out of touch I think my advice isn’t as worthy, my stories aren’t as witty, and my perspective is just not what it normally is when I’m mentally and spiritually on top of my game. I like the idea of a Blog that’s positive, upbeat, and optimistic but some days I just feel plain crappy. I’m sorry. So…if I feel blah, I don’t blog. C’mon…Blah blogging? No Bueno!! Haha My Mom doesn’t get this….she asked me what harm there was in my blogging when I’m in a tough spot or a bad mood. I assured her that some days, depending on how I’m feeling “…you do NOT want to read what I have to say!” lol (Kind of Joking-Kind of Not).

                But, then again Mom might be right (PLEASE don’t tell her I said so); we’re all entitled to some bad days and somedays the negativity just gets the best of us. I’m sure you have all felt the same at one time or another so I promise to blog even when I’m not feeling all that peachy. Maybe you’re having a rough couple of days or weeks or even months, and we can all commiserate together and swap stories.  Not to mention, a blog that’s all roses and ponies all the time isn’t very realistic anyway. When I feel like I have had bad luck on my tail, it’s comforting to know that someone else is feeling the same. We’re all stumbling through our first cup of coffee on Mondays, budgeting our butts off until the next payday, and worrying about our individual battles we carry with us while trucking right along!

I promise not to make a habit of it though…because nobody likes a crabby Patty, right? Right!

So please accept this semi-cynical apology for my absence and stay tuned. While I did not marry Marky Mark (Sad face) or join the circus or do anything overly fantastic for that matter, I do have a few goodies to share  in hopes of covering the time we’ve lost!

Grazi!

This entry was posted on April 15, 2012. 2 Comments

Lost a friend…Gained an Angel

Johnny

6 months ago today my Mom and I were driving home from a Country BBQ & Music Fest in Saratoga when we noticed that the cars going in the opposite direction had come to a complete halt; something had gone horribly wrong.  Two Police Officers stood looking out over the ramp that merges 787 South onto I-90 West. There was a motorcycle lying on its side and a lone black sneaker in the middle of the road.  I remember my Mom saying we should say a prayer for whoever was hurt because it didn’t look good at all.

It didn’t look good because it wasn’t. I remember the whole thing like it was an hour ago.  I remember sitting on my bed and crying over the Chapter I had just finished reading in the Kite Runner when my Best Friend texted me around 11:30pm ; “I think something happened to Johnny!” Sometimes technology can be a really shitty thing. I didn’t even have to move. My FB app was already opened on my phone with a different notification and I went right to the Facebook pages of our mutual friends; people were making comments that didn’t make any sense at all. “I’m really sorry to hear about your friend, please let us know if you need anything”…one said “I’m sorry for your loss”…and someone actually wrote “RIP Colwell!”  To say that I was simultaneously confused and panic-stricken and completely heart-broken is an understatement and it seems almost impossible that I was feeling all of these things at once. Confusion: “Something must have happened but he can’t be dead. It hasn’t been that long since we’ve talked…He’s only 24… He’s younger than me…perfectly healthy… dead? He’s full of life, what IS going on.”  Panic: I called my Best Friend and as we were piecing together the info we were seeing on FB and mentioning things about our day….I started to tell her about the BBQ, the Country Music, the ride home, the traffic, the accident…Mom saying to say a prayer…”It doesn’t look good.” Heart-break: Everything flooded together in my head at once and I realized I didn’t need any confirmation of what happened to Johnny. It was nauseating to think back and remember that I saw the bike and the lone sneaker. Then I remembered Johnny’s tattoo on his arm and the story he told me about his first motorcycle crash; what it did to his arm and how the bike needed new parts and lots of work. How his Mom told him never to ride again. I knew what happened to Johnny. I had been driving by the very scene. Hoping for the best. Praying for the person who had been involved in whatever happened. Not knowing I was praying for my friend, who was beyond my prayers. Still clinging to the hope that I was wrong, I called/texted Johnny’s two closest friends and there was no sugar-coating the news they had. No way of breaking it gently. Straight to the ugly truth of it…“Johnny passed on” and “Johnny crashed the bike.”

 Speed was a factor, and well, motorcycles are dangerous.  My Uncle used to be an avid rider and motorcycles have always been my brother’s favorite toy so I’ve seen and heard a number of horror stories. I’m one of those lucky people who aren’t bound by too many fears….like closed places or heights or fast and crazy amusement park rides. But I think recent events have moved motorcycles to the top of my list. The sound of them makes me cringe and I doubt I’ll ever get on one again.

Those of you who know me well enough have probably heard the story about how I first met Johnny one too many times, but I still reallllly like telling it and it’s only fair to share it again, for those who don’t. I met Johnny at an outdoor music concert at Altamont Fair Grounds in the middle of the summer. It had rained a lot the day prior to the festival so the grounds were completely muddy.  It was one of those random meetings that happens so often we take them for granted; the simplest encounters are often overlooked. My best friend and I had decided that this concert couldn’t be too bad. Outside in Summertime, with live music, funnel cakes and a Beer Garden. How bad could it be? Not bad at all! Had it not been for the insanely green T-Shirt with the Shamrock on the front of it that he was wearing, we might not have even met Johnny. That and the fact that his friend had started a really weird conversation with me about my flip-flops and muddy feet. Haha I think right about the time I noticed that Johnny appeared to be wearing shoes that I SWORE were bowling shoes, he commented on my shirt. Apparently Pink Plaid was a good decision for me that day…but this was coming from a guy who was wearing bowling shoes….while NOT bowling. Anyway, the day turned out great and despite the muddy grounds the sun was shining and I learned more about One Republic, who happened to be performing their hit song Secrets, LIVE!!  We all made friends and exchanged information and agreed to meet up again sometime.

I look back on that day and remember seeing him smiling in the Sun, appearing to not have a care in the world, just enjoying himself….enjoying his friends….enjoying his life.  Johnny had the best smile ever and one smile from him told you that he soaked up every minute of every day and truly LIVED it!

It’s hard to believe it’s been 6 months since he passed. I find myself remembering the tiniest things about Johnny…so tiny they seem silly at first. Like how he did in fact wear bowling shoes at the most random times…In public! His love of Boxing.  His overuse of the word “DUDE.”  How obsessive he was about his closet with shoes neatly lined along the wall on the floor, shirts hung by color, and hats on the top shelf! His amazement when I corrected him and said Scarface was from Cuba, not Italy, only to find he was testing me (Little did he know!).I literally laugh out loud thinking back to when he told me he was a Pipe layer and I thought it was a hysterical but very terrible pick-up line until I realized he did actually work in construction for the Local Union. Haha How he adored his dog Simba. The tattoo of course and the scars it was covering up. I remember his cousin mentioning in the memorial speech that even though we wanted to hate that bike, he was convinced that Johnny is up in heaven on some Holy version of Ebay searching for parts to piece his bike back together! :-)

Sometime it’s too sad to think that an entire life boils down to the few things you remember most about someone. Now the memories creep up unexpectedly and you’re left with those little unique bits and pieces of what made them the person you cared so much about. Sometimes the memories seem so real I cry…and sometimes they’re so fleeting and simple they make me laugh. But in the end, those simple things are the ones you remember. The ones that stick with you after people are gone. Those small, random, and very simple facts about someone who touched your heart and might not even have known it.  Those are the things that make chance encounters so memorable…the substance that makes an experience worthwhile.

Since Johnny passed the song Good Life, by One Republic has carried so much meaning for me. I love it because they were playing when I met him and it makes me happy to think of him on that day; smiling in the Sun and singing along. I have heard that song a million times since that day 6 months ago. And on some of my roughest days I swear it plays just for me…by request. Someone up above is subtly reminding me that even though Johnny had such a short life, he had such a Good Life,  and while the future of mine is still yet unwritten, I am lucky to have crosed paths with an Angel even for just a little while. I may have lost a friend but I certainly gained another Angel on my side.

RIP Colwell-Ride with Angels!

Good Life Video by OneRepublic

This entry was posted on January 30, 2012. 2 Comments

Out with the Old…In with the New!

My cousin Anthony and I :-)

Happy New Year 2012!

It’s that time again.  When the hustle and bustle of the holidays have calmed down and the anticipation of the coming of the New Year is waning. People begin to settle into their daily routines and it doesn’t appear that anything has changed.  But it has! We’ve bid farewell to an entire year and have welcomed the next with hopes for bigger and better things.

This year I had a great time celebrating New Year’s Eve, enjoying dinner and drinks with family and then counting down to the New Year with our friends of Jet Crash Billy at the Barrel Saloon.

I think the New Year appeals to us because it’s an opportunity to start fresh; to set out with a clean slate and a clear conscious for the next year.  I like the idea of embracing a whole year of possibilities; seeing new things, meeting new people, and welcoming meaning experiences. But, I find the span of an ENTIRE YEAR a bit overwhelming. I mean, how many times do you find yourself setting out to do something and actually doing it perfectly the whole way through, from start to finish? My guess is not that often. This is because we barely get everything right on the first try. Anything worth having requires the extra effort of another attempt!

After a few years of falling into the rut of making a resolution and failing in the first week, I realize I prefer to take baby steps. To take things one day at a time. After all, life is short and each minute counts. I’m bound to get derailed, encounter set backs, and feel a bit discouraged here and there…but I hate that feeling of ruining my whole plan for the year because  I messed up or got a little behind on my Resolution in February (Oh NO! March-Dec is doomed!).

So, for the 2nd year in a row my New Year’s Resolution has been to “…NOT make a New Year’s Resolution!” (Really???) Yupp! Well at least not any sort of tangible Resolution like “Lose 15 pounds” or “Buy a House” or anything like that. 2012 will hopefully afford us all with a multitude of blessings and warm wishes and I wish to r

2011 wasn’t a completely terrible year. I got a new job I had been looking for for quite some time and I made some pretty great friends. I’m lucky in many ways and I’m grateful for all that I have…but 2011 was a sad year for me so I’m certainly happy to see it blossom into 2012!!

~Jen, Sarah, Michelle, Paula, Me~

My thoughts for the coming year are simple but sweet. I’d like this year to be the year I shock myself and do something crazy athletically speaking, so I’m determined to participate in the Warrior Dash 2012. I’ve also been talking about plans to finally visit Italy so I’m going to focus all of my savings and all of my gift wish-lists this year on my Viva Italia trip that I hopefully take early next year. …That is…if I follow through with my Not-So-New-Year’s-Resolution ;-)

Happy New Year and May 2012 bring all of you great joy and lots of happiness, the whole year long!

Ciao,

Charly

This entry was posted on January 2, 2012. 4 Comments

‘Tis the Season….for Doorbusters!

It’s that time of year again. On Thanksiving millions of people gather around the table with those they love and give THANKS before feasting on a delicious meal that propels most of us right into “lose the 15  pounds I gained last Thursday”- mode. During the Holiday season it’s even more evident that I’m one lucky girl; lucky to be able to have so many things to be Thankful for. Such things as the roof over my head, family and friends to share the holidays with, the means to provide and indulge in the wonderful meals we so proudly serve and share with one another, health, happiness, sanity and the right to be an American (Oorah!) just to name a few. And after the great Turkey feast (or the Roast Beast if you ask the Grinch) millions of people across the country are blessed enough to venture out into the cold, braving the elements to snag the best deals!!

Well this year I was one of those millions of people whom I previously deemed “CRAZY.” I joined a friend and his Stepdad as they camped outside of Target for almost 6 hours approaching the store’s Black Friday opening at midnight! I have never, EVER been a Black Friday shopper. The day after Thanksgiving in my family is basically Round 2 of Turkey-eating. Rather than taking a plate of left-overs home on the night of Turkey Day, we simply return to my Aunt’s house the next day and eat everything all over. Only this time we aren’t as kind as to wait for everyone to get there and prepare their plates before we dig in. First come, first serve and if you snooze you lose. I also never snooze and lose when it comes to food.  I wake up bright eyed and bushy-tailed…ready to eat then nap, eat then nap, in that order!

This year seemed like a good year to switch things up a bit. So off to Target I went. I didn’t really want to leave dinner early though so I wasn’t able to get to the store until AFTER my friend and his Stepdad were already there as the 2nd and 3rd people in line. The text messages kept coming through; from “the line is really short, you have time”…”Only 2 more people behind us”…to “3 cars just pulled up and about 10 people are in line now.” Grrrr. I almost didn’t go. I mean, whenever you see those deals advertised for a popular item, the Quantity is in short supply. I figured by the time I got there, I’d never have a chance of getting the item I wanted…..considering it was the 46” LCD TV for under $300…front page DOORBUSTER in the BLACK FRIDAY ADVERTISEMENT. But, I reminded myself that my Mom’s TV had 3 large black lines stretching from the top to the bottom of the right side of the screen, causing a major picture distortion (GASP!). I simply couldn’t resist a shot at that TV. If I turned around, I’d be guaranteed to NOT get it…but if I went, I’d have a small chance.  

By the time I got there, about 15 people separated me from my friend and his Stepdad. I certainly was NOT going to jump the line. These people meant business! I was way too afraid to bypass them and plop myself next to the 2nd and 3rd person in line (NO WAY). The news is always full of stories of people getting trampled on and pepper sprayed….I was NOT going to volunteer myself for that. Thankfully my friend was prepared and set me up with a comfy chair, a blanket and hand warmers, and even drove me to Sunoco for hot coffee when I complained about not being able to feel my toes or tell if my nose was running since it was so frozen and therefore numb (FUN!). But for the majority of the wait time I found myself making friends with the people in front of me in line. Phil, Brian, and Josh kept me entertained to say the least. I was kind to them despite thinking that the minute those front doors opened I would run like crazy to get my TV because of course they were there for the TV too!! Just when I thought I couldn’t hear anymore about Phil’s hip and knee replacements , his stories of Woodstock “Summer of ‘69” and how when he was a Florida native he was hairstylist to the STARS,  Security guards came out and gave the 411 of how this whole thing was about to go down (YAY!). I was elated to hear them say that they had 35 TV’s and the first 35 people would be given a ticket at 11:30 that entitled them to a TV as long as they claimed it within 2 hours of the doors opening. At that time, they also mentioned that there were 600 people in line….a line that wrapped itself the whole way around the building! Security guards passed out a map (Really?? a MAP?)  and even a granola-protein bar type thingy and I thought that was just fantastic! The map had all sorts of SURPRISE doorbusters  that were set up to trick you….to divert your attention from the TV you came for and send you running around the store to take a chance on a sweeter TV deal. I discussed this option with my newly made Black Friday-600 people-Target-line posse, Phil, Josh, and Brian and we decided we would NOT be fooled. I would stick with my original plan!

Then, at 11:30 I got a TV TICKET! I was #21 out of 35 people with Tickets. I felt like Charlie from Charlie and the Chocolate Factory when he finds the Golden Ticket! I was getting a TV without having to run through the front doors like a madwoman and dodging swinging crowd go-ers because that was seriously the scenario I was expecting!  The last 30 minutes was easy-peasy (Lemon-Squeezy) once I had my ticket. The doors opened at midnight and I took a leisurely stroll towards the back of the store and claimed my TV right away! Once inside I felt like I should really buy myself something but I couldn’t see spending money just because I was there…I came for the TV…I conquered the TV. But then I saw a neatly wrapped package of 12 washcloths tied together with a pretty red bow for $2. SOLD!

I came down with a cold that hung around for the next 4 days after my adventures but it was a SUCCESS and I’m so excited over this experience that I will now be a Black Friday shopper every year (Only I’ll dress more warmly and bring Bailey’s for my coffee). 

Oh yes, and I must mention that the icing on the cake was that despite being out until almost 3am, I was still up early enough to make it to my Aunt’s for Thanksgiving Dinner Round 2! :-)

“Goin’ to the Chapel and we’re gonna get married”…

Exactly one month ago tomorrow, my family attended the wedding of my cousin Tommy to the love of his life, Lisa; an all around great girl who I had already made a habit of calling my “cousin” for quite some time, so now that they’ve actually made it official I can continue to introduce her to others as my cousin and actually be telling the truth (yay!).

 Tommy and Lisa are just two peas in a pod. They literally are the same person, but not. They’ve got the same “swagger”, if that makes sense.  If I tell a story to Lisa and then tell the story to Tommy completely separate from one another, I’d bet a million dollars (that I don’t have) that their responses, facial expressions, and mannerisms would be EXACTLY the same!
The ceremony was at our local church and the reception was at The Century House in Latham, NY. The entire thing was beautiful from start to finish. The bride was gorgeous and the groom looked happier than ever!! My cousin Alphonso gave a really nice speech as the Best Man, in which he thanked the people who are unfortunately no longer here for looking over us, particularly on such a special day, which made us all cry more than our eyeliner and mascara were prepared for :-). Our Canadian cousins made the trip to the States and my cousin Rose, the Georgia Peach, flew in from Atlanta and we were able to spend some much-needed time with family after the ceremony, just reminiscing while eating my Aunt Sandy’s wonderful cooking and washing it down with some equally wonderful vino (CHEERS!).
 
Now, amidst all the happiness that comes along with a wedding, I’d be lying if I said that while we were in church I wasn’t wondering if that pretty girl in the white dress would ever be me (eeeek!). I certainly didn’t have time to wonder this at the reception though; Lisa’s brother did a pretty good job of keeping me on the dance floor the entire night! In church, however,  I was reminded of my favorite girly movie….Father of the Bride!
 
This is actually an odd choice of movies for me, because despite being a girly girl, my taste in movies is pretty broad. I hate scary movies because most of the time they’re too bloody but at the same time I love Fight Club and Man on Fire, which are rougher around the edges; comedies are good but I rarely like Slap-stick ones; I have a weird obsession with movies like A Bronx Tale and Scarface; I’m a sucker for the classics like Pretty Woman and Top Gun, but I’m not a hopeless romantic when it comes to those movies that ALL girls seem to like. For example, I ABSOLUTELY strongly without a doubt dislike Gone With The Wind! Can’t. Stand. It. Scarlett is by far the most annoying character ever and Rett’s famous line “Frankly my dear, I don’t give a damn” isn’t nearly as “frank” as it should have been! (Just sayin’!)
 
After all that, I ADORE Father of the Bride! If I’m visiting with my mom and it happens to be on TV we have to stop what we’re doing or planning so I can watch it, and then of course they’ll play Part II so I’m completely glued to the TV for about 5 hours by the time we count commercials
 
But, all things considered, it’s a weird movie for me to like. Of course, I think about getting married but I’d be lying if I said I’ve ALWAYS thought about it like most women say they’ve dreamt of it since they were little. I don’t have a Dad to give me away so the whole Father-Daughter dance hoopla and Dad giving away the bride doesn’t apply. I have no clue what crazy man would be waiting for me at the end of the aisle because I think I’m hard to love. Seriously! My girlfriends at work laugh when I tell them this but at this point I’d rescue my dog from a burning building before anyone else so it’s a risk for anyone to get invested in me (kinda joking…kinda not!) Not to mention, I’m such a clumsy person that certain wedding traditions like the whole unity candle or the sand pouring (or even if I got adventurous and jumped the broom) would just be hazardous!  I’d most likely mess it up and make it look really foolish. What else? I know there’s more! Oh yes… I could cry at an episode of Scooby Doo so getting through the service and vows and all that without crying like a blubbering baby is so not going to happen. Finally, at the end of the day a wedding is a big giant party. A mandatory reason to get everyone, from  near and far together, under one roof or tent perhaps, and get down! My family is Italian so we eat and drink like there’s no tomorrow and a wedding, like any other party, is no exception.  There must absolutely be cookies and pastries at the reception, wine on the table, you must dance the Tarantella and serve enough food to feed two armies or you will be talked about for years to come (Just sayin’).  ALL of that is why the idea of a wedding gives me agiada!
Phew… I’m stressed now that I put it all in one paragraph. (Note to self, ELOPE!) Don’t get me wrong, I’d have a blast picking out colors and dresses and thinking up the little details but showtime would give me a fright! lol
 
So, in light of all my pre-wedding woes but in response to my realization of how sweet it is to actually be part of a wedding once all of  the planning is completed,  I’ve made a resolution. If by 30 (in 5 years, OMG) I am not hitched, I will find a male friend who is also not hitched, and we will simply throw the party WITHOUT the wedding. I’ll get a dress and he can rent a suit…it’ll be like PROM all over again, except I’ll wear white and my date will be tall (Please dear god let him be tall!). We can even do a BYOB type thing to save money. Family from out-of-town will get together once more, we’ll eat and drink and take fun photos in that Time Capsule thingy with family and friends, and there will be tons of dancing!
Ohhhhhh  who am I kidding? For now, I think I’ll stick with loving the picture-perfect movie and loving other peoples’ weddings! Yes, yes, yes, all eyes on them and no pressure on me. Perfect!  

Congratulations to Tommy & Lisa (10/29/11) and Best of Luck to “All the Single Ladies”

Originals…Simply the Best!

   About a week ago, my Mom and I had free movie tickets so we decided to check out the movie FOOTLOOSE (I know, I Know). I couldn’t really resist though. I LOVE going to the movies and just like anybody else who saw the 1984 classic with Kevin Bacon and Lori Singer (FAME!), I LOVED Footloose! This will come as no surprise to my friend “Paula G” (Not to be confused with “Pauly D”) who, when sitting next to me in the office as Kenny Loggins’  “Footloose” comes on, looks over at me and starts singing along telling me she could “…totally see me jamming out to this!” Hmmmm am I really that transparent? Two minutes before I was singing along to Red Hot Chili Peppers and Train. Apparently my musical taste is all over the map! If you’re not dancing in your car or your office chair when this song comes on the radio, you simply aren’t alive. It’s impossible I tell ya! Well, my friend is right! (Just don’t go letting her rub it in, eh?). I prefer to snap my fingers and bob my pony-tailed head from side to side while singing along to this song (completely off-key, I admit). 

   Anyhoo, back on topic. The movie wasn’t terrible, but there really wasn’t any need for it either. Aside from a few changes in the music (David Banner in the first 10 minutes, really Hollywood!?) it was deja vu, but with different faces and a story line that isn’t nearly as envelope-pushing or believable in 2011 as it was in the mid 80’s. Also, despite the lead characters being great choreographers and awesome entertainers (Julianne Hough is a DWTS pro turned country singer and Kenny Wormald is an experienced dancer who’s appeared in numerous hip-hop and pop music videos) there wasn’t anymore dancing in this film than there was in the original. (Bummer!) The one exception was Miles Teller, who plays Ren’s friend, Willard. Although he can’t replace Chris Penn (RIP), this dude was absolutely hysterical and critics are calling him “…the next John Cusack” he’s just that likeable!  

I think Cogsworth from Beauty and the Beast said it best; “If it ain’t broke…don’t fix it!” So, needless to say, after feeling just “so-so” about the remake, I decided to rent and watch not ONCE but TWICE, Footloose, the Original! Just to sort of get back in the right frame of mind. I enjoyed it so much I thought I’d compile a little “Ode to Footloose.” The Original. The Best!

Ren teaching Willard some moves. This movie SCREAMS 80’s….you gotta love it  :-)

Did you know?…

At the time they wrapped up the movie Kenny Loggins hadn’t yet finished the professional recording of his hit song, FOOTLOOSE, so while we see the cast dancing around to it in the final scene, they’re actually dancing to a Chuck Berry song!!! Loggins’ hit was added in later on, after the final scene was filmed! Cool, huh?

How about you? Can you think of any other movies that have been remade but can’t quite compete with the Original?

Welcome! Benvenuto!

   I have always LOVED to write! But I struggled with the idea of creating a blog, mainly because I think it’s easy for it to be utilized as a personal soapbox and an avenue for tooting one’s own horn (yuck!). I mean, typing isn’t exactly like holding a conversation face to face, one on one, mano y mano. I’ve read some interesting things online in a tone that I would most likely never hear with my own ears when people are face to face with one another. And isn’t it inherently a bit presumptuous to think people would want to read anything I have to say and maybe even offer comments or connect personally with me about something I’ve thought or experienced and then typed up for the world to see?  Hmmm….Who am I? Ya know? Not to mention I certainly don’t consider myself a professional on any one topic or craft over another by any means, so I wouldn’t want to create a blog that claims to instruct people on the various “How To”s that are all the rage these days (How to…lose weight fast, start a small business, cure a hangover, eliminate debt, or LOSE A GUY IN 10 DAYS). But then I thought, hey, maybe I could LEARN a thing or two from this process. Maybe by opening up and spilling some of my dirty laundry (just some!!) I’ll find that someone out there is thinking or feeling the same way I am right now…looking to switch it up a bit and try something new…escape the mundane and just go with the flow. Maybe someone else can relate to my need to find joy in the simple and sweet and finally embrace the life around me rather than fret on how my story isn’t exactly heading in the direction I had originally set out for. Just maybe….

So, why BLOG?

   BLOGGING just makes so much sense!  Keeping a journal of my thoughts, scribbling ideas onto paper over and over until the final draft is just right, or letting my imagination unfold in the form of a silly short story are all things I’ve always had a knack for. In high school if we were given the Essay question for the test in advance, to better prepare, I would spend hours crafting my best essay ever on that particular topic, and on test day I could reproduce it, word for word without missing a beat (Seriously!). As an Education major in college it didn’t take me long to realize my Lesson Plans were always 10 times as lengthy as everybody else’s (partly because I never know when to shut up) because that piece of paper was my opportunity to prove my creativity; to able to bring to life for the reader all the great things I knew I could do if given the chance to have my own classroom. Writing serves a purpose. It’s a chance to SHINE, to sell an IDEA, to PERSUADE an audience, to CONVINCE a critic, and to SOOTHE the soul.

Why ME & Why NOW?

   I’ve recently gotten brutally honest with myself in terms of how I’ve been feeling about where I am in my life at this very moment.  After a lot of thought and a couple of glasses of Moscato (okay, maybe more than a couple, but who’s counting?) it boils down to this: I have been living my life lately just sort of, going through the motions; as if who I am right now, where I live, what I do for work, the things that make me ME, are just TEMPORARY. I keep looking ahead for the next best thing, my big break so to speak, that dream job that makes my degree  and all that hard work worth it, or simply just that moment when it feels like things have finally fallen into place.  So there you have it. I said it (Phew!).

   Knowing all of this, however, I feel like now is the perfect time to give up on the notion that I must have taken a wrong turn on my very carefully, well planned, thought-out journey. My plan was obviously flawed. But it’s time to quit my bitchin’…to suck it up…to put on my big girl panties and stop agonizing over how I’m not where I was certain I wanted to be. Because perhaps life isn’t meant to be planned so meticulously and maybe caution is best when thrown to the wind. Okay, so I might not be where I was once originally convinced I should be by now (big deal!!)….but maybe If I allow myself to be open to it….I’ll find I’m right where I belong !

   My hope for this blog is that the experiences I gain from it motivate me to spend more time embracing whatever it is I’m doing at the moment…the opportunity to stop and smell the roses, to share my thoughts and offer up some ideas, but to learn and grow from comments offered by my readers!

  This is the fork in the road where I throw my map out the window…or these days, change the address programmed into my GPS to DESTINATION UNKNOWN!

  This blog is the chance share through writing a few of my favorite things; family, baking, music, DIY design projects  and fashion (on a budget of course!), reading books, travel, sightseeing, arts and crafts, volunteering, puppies, etc. The little things that seem to matter most…the things that make this La Dolce Vita, or The Sweet Life.

  I’d like to have a mix of seriousness and comedy, some light humor and witty posts but also some thought-provoking and inspirational ones too. I’m hoping that adding some food for thought or brainteasers at the end of posts will invite people to interact with one another. I have so many ideas already and I’m really quite excited! Oh, and please don’t be afraid…I hope to keep the posts short and sweet, not as lengthy as this one here, but I thought there were definitely some questions and background information that needed to be addressed right away in this first post!

   I want this blog to be all over the map. Not about just one thing or another. A nice mix of topics…the perfect cocktail for La Dolce Vita.

Please stay tuned & enjoy!

Ciao,

Charly Lynn