February 2015 Favorites

February Favorites

I am slowly making the transition to all natural beauty products and have been having fun seeking out new products to try. My goal is to streamline the amount of products that I use and have a more minimalist approach to buying beauty products. I have also been re-visiting some books in my book collection and finally getting around to unpacking some of things from my move last year. Here are my favorite things from February 2015. Continue reading

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Slow Down

I have been super busy over the past few days. As such, I have been feverishly trying to cram a lot into my evenings. Last night I found myself: 1. Watching the season premier of Big Brother (the only show that I watch on regular TV since I quit cable a few months ago), 2. Editing an essay, 3. Chatting with a friend on g-chat, 4. Listening to Pandora radio, 5. Chatting with some friends on Kakao Talk via text on my phone, 6. Looking up a recipe, 7. Surfing Facebook, 8. Eating a snack, and 9. Pondering the meaning of life, all simultaneously. I have a serious habit of multitasking. I just kept opening more and more windows on my computer and adding more unnecessary stress on myself. Finally I looked up at my clock and saw that it was really late, and I knew that I had to cook lunch for the next day and to prepare a snack.  I turned off my TV but kept my Pandora playing and continued on with my conversation with my friends as I headed to my kitchen.

I decided that spaghetti would be a quick and easy meal so I got out two pots and started boiling water in one and put the sauce and some shrimp in another.  Once I had those going, I decided to start on my snack. This particular recipe required a can of black beans. I was eager to get back to my g-chat and text conversations, so I hurriedly tried to open the lid. I successfully opened the can, but then I decided to fold the lid back so that the beans could flow easily out of the can.  I hastily grabbed onto the lid of the can. The next thing that I saw was the edge of the lid going straight into my thumb. [I could insert a really gory picture here, but I’ll spare you :-)]

 I recoiled in horror and ran to my bathroom. At first I thought that maybe I just grazed my thumb since it wasn’t bleeding, but then it started gushing blood. My bathroom looked like a crime scene. I didn’t have any bandaids, so I wrapped my thumb in several paper towels and secured them with a ponytail holder. As I sat there applying pressure to my thumb, I peered out at my kitchen to see my pot of boiling water bubbling over, spaghetti sauce splattering all over the place, and my phone buzzing all to the soundtrack of some Mariah Carey from my computer.  I had no choice but to sit there and concentrate on trying to stop the bleeding.

It took me nearly amputating my finger to realize that I needed to slow down and not try and do everything at once. I thought this was a fitting post as we head into the weekend. Take it easy! Have faith that things will work themselves out in perfect timing.

Happy Friday!

 

Why I Quit Cable: The Beginning [Part 1]

I, much like the typical person, watch a lot of TV. I used to have a set schedule of the various shows that I would tune in to each week. Sunday evenings were reserved for Bravo and VH1 reality shows. I also had to have my weekly fix of Glee, The Real Housewives of…(all of the cities), The Amazing Race, The Kardashians (don’t judge me, lol), Pretty Little Liars, Basketball Wives, Love and Hip Hop, Bad Girls Club…the list goes on and on.   My life revolved around a fixed TV schedule.

 When I first moved to Philadelphia, a certain cable company, which shall remain nameless, offered me a new customer discount. I was only paying around $60 a month for both cable and Internet. This particular company is famous for is their ability to offer service with “no contract.”  This means that you can cancel your service at any time. However, the fact that there is no contract also means that they can change your rates whenever they want. 

After my new customer discount year was over, my bill started to increase steadily each month.  By February 2012 my bill hit a whopping $120 dollars for 80 digital channels and their lowest Internet speed. I called them several times to negotiate my rate, but all they tried to do was offer me free HBO for a year and a $10 a month discount.

 I was faced with a dilemma. I could take their offer of a $10 dollar a month discount, switch to another company (their cheapest package started at 99.99), or cancel my cable altogether and just keep Internet.  I had no idea how I would function without TV. What would I do with all that free time? How would I stay up do date with what is going on in the world?

I cancelled my cable in May 2012, and I can honestly say that I don’t miss it. I’m thankful that the cable company raised my rates because it shed light on something important that I was ignoring… 

Check back for Part 2 next week.

Spontaneity

Rittenhouse Park (Taken with my Instagram)

I am a planner. Not in terms of my occupation, but in terms of my mindset. I’m that annoying person who always has to know “Who, what, where, when, and why.”  I hate surprises. Not knowing is not an option for me.  It makes me quite anxious. When I go on vacation, I am not able to relax unless I have a full itinerary planned out and Google Maps directions ready to go for each destination. Yes, it is that bad.

This morning, I knew that I had to buy a dress for one of my best friend’s upcoming wedding, so I picked out several stores to visit and got ready to head out the door. Right when I was putting on my sandals, one of my friends texted me to let me know that her phone was on the fritz, and that she was wondering if I was headed to Center City (Downtown Philadelphia) so that we could meet up and so that she could get her phone fixed at the phone store. She would not be able to call me once she got to Center City since her phone was not working, so I let her know the names of the 3 stores that I would be visiting and had her write down my number so that if she was able to find a phone, she could call me. She assured me that she would would somehow find me when she got there. My friend is very much the opposite of me. She is very free-spirited and has a “go with the flow mentality.” She was confident that she would be able to find me, but I was not so sure.

I was stressing out big time. I hated not knowing how I was going to find her and how she was going to try and find me without a phone.  Long story short, she was able to borrow a phone, and ended up being in the same building that I was in. Things worked out after all! We spent hours meandering  around the city, spending entirely too much money at Macy’s, stumbling upon a huge fountain at a park, and sitting on a park bench eating water ice (It is kind of like a sno cone).

Rita’s Water Ice (Taken with my Instagram)

I guess all of this is my long winded way of saying that it doesn’t hurt to go without a plan every once in a while. In my mind, going without a plan guarantees that everything is bound to go wrong, but today proved me wrong.  I ended up having a great day and I got some shoes. (Ok, several pairs of cute shoes.)  Are you up for some adventure in your life? Throw out that to-do list and see where your day takes you. Let me know how it works out for you.

-Sylvia