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Monthly Archives: March 2013

How Far Are You Willing to Go? To the Moon and Stars…

I’m at this point where I feel people need to prove to me why they are special, and why I should work with them. I think I’ve earned it. We’ve earned it. I don’t want to take just anybody into my business and team. I want to take those that want success as badly as they want to breathe. I want those that have drive. That have determination. That have desire to grow and to change.

I’m coming to find that I don’t know enough of these people. Of all my acquaintances and friends, I know hardly any that want what I do. And when I say that, I mean that maybe they want it in their heads, but they are not willing to do what it takes to get it, therefore they do NOT want it the same as I do.

What do you want? What are your goals and dreams? What will it take to get you there? Is it something that will make you truly happy, or something that will just make you a little more comfortable? I’d rather be uncomfortable for a few years and then have all the comforts I could possibly want, than continue to stay in my semi-comfortable little bubble and never get to the dreams.

How far are you willing to go to achieve greatness? To achieve success? What is your definition of success? They are all different, but when you get to the core of the onion, I bet most of them stem from the same idea. You and I aren’t that much different, it is just our desire and drive that separates who wins, and who doesn’t.

It’s time to widen my circle and start making more friends. I’ve never been great at that, mainly because I’m not a people-pleaser. However, show me one time that you are committed to your goals, that you are willing to listen, and I’ll be willing to help you reach your goals, no matter what it takes. New ‘3 foot rule’: if you come within 3 feet of me, you’re getting a greeting and introduction. How else will I find those that want what I want? Only by going through everyone I possibly can, and sifting through the ‘no’ people to get to the ‘YES’ people.

I know a lot of people that are religious, and base their lives in faith. To me, my faith is in myself. It is in my family. It is in my sister. It is in my company. It is in my blood. If you have faith that there is a God that governs all, why can you not have faith that something out there WORKS? Why can you not have faith in yourself, and that you can do anything to which you truly set your mind? (Note: I was raised Catholic, not intending to spark any religious debate here, just truly can’t understand why faith is ok in SOME instances, and not in all)

This had a larger scope than I intended, but my mind runs a trillion miles per second, and branches off into many different paths simultaneously. I went with a flow on this one. That’s what a blog is for, right?

The Pablove Foundation – Fighting Childhood Cancer

A friend of mine reached out to me today, because she knew she could count on me to get word out on a fundraiser for her niece. Her sister, the mother of the little girl with cancer, happens to be a woman that my older brother dated back in high school, so we’ve known each other a long time. Crystal has a daughter, Keira, that was diagnosed with neuroblastoma when she was only 18 months old. Because it is a cancer of the nervous system, it then triggered an extremely rare autoimmune disorder called Opsoclonus Myoclonus Syndrome (OMS). If you want to read about little Keira and her family and their journey, check out Crystal’s blog: Crystal + Naveen + 2. The parts about Keira’s cancer and OMS start in October 2010. I have to warn you, it is extremely emotional in content, though I do have to hand it to Crystal and say that she does a better job than I would at keeping things legible and comprehensible.

This is Keira!

I gladly shared the special event fundraiser on Facebook, with the people locally that might be able to attend and participate in the event (proceeds from sales at a local pizzeria). But then I thought, what about people that might want to donate but do not live around here? So I poked around a little, and discovered that there is a page for the full fundraiser (their team: Team V One More Step), which benefits the PabLove Foundation. They are participating in a hike in San Francisco, Urban Hike (click to see details and register if you are in the area and want to attend).

I see people donating to Kickstarter campaigns all the time, helping people start off a career, a dream, a film project, an album, a vacation even…how about helping find a cure for OMS, a very rare childhood cancer?

If you would like to donate to finding a cure for childhood cancer (and in this case, specifically support a fundraiser for Keira), please donate at this link: Team V One More Step. Even if you can only give $5, that is $5 more than was there before. Team V is currently nearly halfway to their goal of $2500 raised for the Urban Hike, so please help get them to 100% and beyond!

Why Having Dreams is Essential to Personal Growth

If you’ve been reading my things for a while (I’ve written several blogs over the past 4-5 years), you know that 2012 was a bit of a change for me. Ok, well, a lot of a change. You may know why, you may not (questions are always welcome). One of the big things that changed was that dreams no longer were just dreams.

Do you know the difference?

Dreams are things that you wish you had, but never EVER will reach or achieve (according to you and your outlook on life). Many people say that even though something may not come true, dreams are nice to have. Others say that dreams are a waste of time, directly because they are merely that–DREAMS.

‘Dreams’, to me now, are goals that you just haven’t put into words yet. Goals are attainable. Dreams are big goals. Or little goals, like me wanting to own anything Oscar de la Renta (these earrings are a nice start).  But if you dream about something you desire to have, be, see, visit, etc, make it a goal! Figure out what is needed to achieve the dream, break it down into smaller goals that will eventually get you to the big dream. Write them down. Put actual DATES on them. You can always adjust later if you need to, but put them down. And don’t be safe. I’d rather shoot for the stars and perhaps fail, landing on the moon instead, than shoot just for the moon and fail, thus landing back on Earth. I know I’ll hit those stars at some point, it just may take longer than I’d like.

If you feel or think like the people that say dreams are a waste of time, I highly suggest reading Secrets of the Millionaire Mind by T. Harv Ecker. You don’t have to want to be a millionaire to read it (but really, who doesn’t? And if you say ‘me’, then you really need to read this book). It will help you learn why you have the outlook that you do about money and wealth, and if you want to, how to change that in order to be more successful (success not necessarily only defined by money).

I am seeing little dreams come true every other day, not just mine, but people around me. People I chose to align myself with in the past year. I know that my big dreams WILL happen in the foreseeable future, it is just a matter of mapping out my goals and doing the work to get there. Just ask my sister, who has her last day of work this coming Thursday, not because she wanted a new job, or was let go, but because she chose to chase a dream (big goals), and is ‘retiring’ from the corporate workforce. By choice, and at age 25. That’s a goal we should all appreciate, and likely a dream many have. Are you going after yours?

A List About How I Chose to Parent Differently Than You (Most Likely)

So I had this whole post written out, ready to go, about the different parenting styles and how mine is looked down upon by the ‘earth mamas’ of the world…and I realized that I didn’t actually want to invite the judgers to come and ruin the vibe of my blog by trying to bombard me with their ‘research’ and ‘better’ ways. So I will just share this:

  • I opted not to breastfeed. My kids currently thrive, and are showing quite high intelligence. I made a completely selfish decision (selfish because I knew it was not for me), and we all turned out pretty okay.
  • I opted to have a hospital birth, complete with an…dun dun duuuuuuuuuuun…EPIDURAL. Both times. And I’m glad I did. I like doctors and hospitals, and the controlled aspect of that style of birth. I do NOT need someone coaching me through things and telling me that pain is good. Maybe you do. Yay for you, go get a doula and a blow-up swimming pool for your living room.
  • We sleep trained both boys. They currently put up no fights at bedtime, and The Man and I do not come out of the routine with mutual headaches. Oh, and it takes less than 10 minutes for lights to be out, and under the covers. Yep, they get to watch TV in their rooms if they go to bed before 9pm (judge away).
  • We are not strict, but we ARE firm, and though they do test us on occasion, they know when we allow them to win, and when they will never, ever win. Some even call us ‘laid back’.
  • We teach them to think for themselves, and be independent. If they fall down, we wait for their reaction before having our own. If they can’t do something after attempting only once, we tell them to keep trying until they can. If they truly give it a shot, and can’t get it, then we step in. Practice makes better (nothing is perfect).
  • I will most definitely pay a little more for items of convenience, because I am about efficiency. 6 years ago (and then a year later), making my own baby food was NOT efficient. It was irritating and time-consuming. Perhaps it won’t be the next time we go through the cycle again.
  • I did not baby-wear with Ryan (boy 1), but I did with Brandon (boy 2). Why? Necessity. Brandon had reflux, and we couldn’t lay him down on his back. HE HAD TO TUMMY SLEEP, OMGGGGGG. (Btw, my generation was laid to sleep on our stomachs…hi, I’m alive). But the wrap thingie I had (I think it was a Moby wrap?) was used every day for well over a month. But again, it was out of necessity, not because I *wanted* to babywear. I just preferred it over non-stop screaming in my ear.

At the end of all this word vomit, all I can say is that these are the ways that I have parented. You may have done something else. You likely did do something else. That doesn’t make either of us wrong. Just different. I’m not going to lie and say that I respect all ways of parenting, because I do not. However, I DO believe it is your right to do it how you wish–as long as you are not endangering your child. But don’t tell me that your way is better. It is just different.

I think I feel Kumbaya surfacing…

T-Rex Has Nothing on Me

We got a gym membership. Doing this challenge kind of requires it, because strength training is necessary to a transformation, not just cardio (we own an elliptical machine).

We’ve gone a couple times now, and let me tell you, I feel like T-Rex.


I can’t really straighten my elbows. This is awkward for me, because my elbows are the kind that hyper-extend naturally. You know, the kind that you can gross people out with, because they bend the ‘other’ way? Yeah, that kind. So it makes it doubly weird for me not to be able to straighten them at all. I can’t reach too high up, or reach anything farther away than half-arm’s length. I’m sure it looks awesome (see above).

All in the name of getting in shape. But hey, it’s worth it! (PS, I’ve increased my consumption of food I thought I disliked. Except some things I really now dislike.)


The First Two Weeks is Rough…Spinach is Gross

You know the quickest way to learn what you really don’t like to eat? Eat 2 cups of it.

Part of my first 14 days is to eat on a certain diet. I’m ok with that, because it will force me to eat different foods and perhaps find some that I might not have eaten before.


It is also showing me that no, I don’t really like spinach (apart from dips and an actual dish mixed with something, or leaves in a salad. Ok, I don’t like plain, cooked spinach.). When you have to eat 2 cups of sauteed spinach, you learn real quickly that ew, gross. But I tried. I really did. I’m going to have to swap that out with zucchini or something.

I’m also trying fish, even though I haven’t eaten fish since I was little and had the Gorton’s stick kind. It’s a texture thing, I think. Or maybe I eat the wrong kind. But I’m attempting it. Problem is, I have no idea how to cook fish, period. I just picked up some tilapia that you toss in the oven in the bag and cook it. That’s about as far as I can go.

I will say that I can’t wait for the first two weeks to be over, so that I can at least eat what I choose to, albeit still as healthy as possible.

Completely Random Comparisons Part 1

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So a couple years ago, we had Comcast for TV/internet/phone. One of those bundles. Comcast then ramped up the rates ridiculous-style (nearly double), and we immediately went searching for a replacement. DirecTV looked good, price was right, so we switched. Problem there, was that DirecTV uses AT&T for internet and phone. For 1.5 years, we paid $90 per month for a phone we barely used (duh, everyone has long distance and unlimited minutes with cellphones), and shitastic internet speeds. I’m talking MAYBE 6MBps for download speeds (snail), and 512KBps upload speeds (brine shrimp). Since I have an internet business, that just didn’t work for me. Not to mention that it was erratic and spotty, and there were spots in the house that plain old didn’t get the wifi connection. WTAF.

Fast forward to a couple weeks ago, when the Comcast guy comes knocking at the door, trying to get us back. I told him what we were paying for DirecTV and AT&Crap, and said keep it under that, with at least the equipment we already had plus a couple things, with better internet speeds, and you got us back. He did it, I said ok.

Here are the pros and cons of our switch:

Comcast Pros

  • Amazeball internet speeds (over 20MBps download, nearly 10MBps upload, no connection drops)
  • OnDemand selection and speed is better (immediate watching, no downloading and waiting)
  • Gave us credits that would cover the early cancellation fees from AT&Crap
  • Kids get basic cable in their rooms for only $2 each. They can now watch Disney in their own rooms instead of ours in the morning.

Comcast Cons

  • Ghetto-ass cable guide. Seriously, our first TiVo back in 2002 had more advanced looks and features. Spice it up, guys
  • Prices will skyrocket after 2 years (that’s when we go back to the others for TV)
  • Really tiny DVR storage space. 5 HD shows recorded, and it is 10% full. Wut? Guess I have to stay on top of shows more often now.
  • Have to try to set up a series recording only a week before a show starts…I forget to do this and then have to catch up OnDemand. At least it is fast. But you have to wait for it to show up, sometimes 2 weeks.

DirecTV/AT&T Pros

  • DirecTV. Period. If we ever go back, we will just do DirecTV for satellite, and stick with Comcast internet. Rarely had a problem with service, automatically went to HD channels.

DirecTV/AT&T Cons

  • Did I mention the sucky AT&Crap internet? I mean, come on. 
  • UVerse, while an option now apparently (wasn’t for us before), still can’t touch Comcast internet speeds. Plus UVerse prices are obscene.

I’d like to point out that YES, this is one big #FIRSTWORLDPROBLEM. I don’t care. It is the world we live in.

Why Does Eating Healthy Have to be So Involved

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Back to this fitness challenge thing…part of it is a meal program. The first 6 weeks, I’m supposed to cut out grains and starches. This is not a great idea. I looked at a list of grains and starches…WHO KNEW THAT CORN WAS A STARCH?? That is one of like only 9 vegetables I eat (though I am broadening my horizons…that number used to be more like 5).

So I go crying to my sister and a friend about how obscenely difficult this first 6 weeks will be if I have to cut all this out of my diet. Like, literally 75% of my diet are these things. I will admit that I will probably drop weight like slicing off butter if I cut it all out, but DAMN, I don’t want to starve! There is only so much cucumber in balsamic and dipped in hummus that a girl can take! Yes, add protein, but I like my eggs WITH their yolks (egg whites are like air to me), and I’m not big on fish…ok, I don’t like fish at all. I may have to use the trick we taught Ryan (first son), and hold my nose while eating it. It’s a texture thing, though. Hm. #obstacle

Sister’s response is to at least go gluten-free (friend agrees). Ok, fine. I can avoid wheat in the ingredients. However. That is WAY too much thinking for me. I’m not affected by gluten normally, so it isn’t something I really care about. I really think this will work best if someone just writes out my meals for the next 6 weeks, citing exactly what I can eat (not what I can’t), and I will go to the store each week and faithfully stick to those, and those only. I’m a details girl, that follows instructions to a T (I’m suddenly wondering where that expression comes from), so if you give me a list, I will keep to it. MAKE THIS HAPPEN.

Getting Healthy and Fit for $50k? Heck yes.

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I’m sitting her watching the Blackhawks play the Avalanche (first thing to know about me is that I’m a big sports fan. Mainly Chicago sports only. Okay, the Blackhawks (hockey), Bulls (basketball), Bears (football), and Cubs (baseball). Don’t care much about the rest.), and thinking about how I really should be doing my exercises.

You see, I’ve started a fitness challenge. It runs 12 weeks, and this is the first full week. I’m easing into it, first with the altering of eating habits. The first 6 weeks, I can’t eat starches or grains. If you know me, you know that this is a gigantic sacrifice. Huge. I subsist on pasta, bread, and potatoes. I’m going to have to distract myself with peanut butter, pickles, and lots of sauteed zucchini and squash.

But really, it is for $50,000. Fifty large. Holy crap. I think that is a little motivation. It isn’t even about actual weight lost, but about transformation. Before and after pictures. I’ve got a lot of transforming to do, and it will be obvious. I’ll share those shots here when all is said and done. I won’t mind showing the fatness when it is no longer an issue.

Now that you mention it, I probably should go do my workout. At least I can watch the Hawks game while I do it.