Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Currently October

Current TV: The most exciting this so far about the official debut of Fall 2014, is that my shows are back. OUAT, Castle, Agents of Shield. I'm a big TV buff

Currently Natural: I love finding recipes for natural non-toxic beauty and household products. I just bought a few new essential oils to make Thieves.

Current Celebrity Crush: Scott Michael Foster... yum

Currently Craving: Speaking of yum. Now that a chill is in the air I'm craving fall foods: soups, stews, pumpkin bread, macaroni and cheese.

Current Recipes: Last night I made a banana bread and prepped everything to make mini apple pies.

Current Drink: My pumpkin spice coffee is my go to every morning. I did make a recent beverage blunder. I purchased some apple wine from Gene's, and it's horrible. I don't think mulling could even save it. I may just let it ferment more and turn itself into vinegar. It already tastes like it.

Current Lesson: I don't know if I have ever worked this hard. I have never thrown myself into a job the way I have with this one. In one month I'll have been there a full year. Every job has it's joys and frustrations. And of course this is no exception. I'm thankful for the edification that comes my way through work.

Current Blessing: While this season has been kind of hard on my personal life, I am so thankful that I have great foundation. I have a loving family who I can call on at anytime, I have great friends who have lasted with me for years, and I have a wonderful church family who is right here when I need them.

I did an exercise recently, that feels hokey, but is needed. I wrote affirmations of myself in my journal. Things like, "I am enough." "I deserve love."

It feels weird to write these things out, let alone say them out loud. But I have noticed that I often (as many of us do) think about my self in negative ways. I think I should be doing more, and if something isn' going well, then it's my fault. I needed to take a step back an choose to insert some positivity from myself, not just waiting for others to say these things about me.

Current Song: At work I listen to Pandora. I have a broadway/show tunes station, and my favorite things to listen to are the tracks from Spring Awakening and Avenue Q.

Current Need: A massage

Current Ailment: My allergies are just going berserk. I'm sneezing all. the. time. Big powerful sneezes, one right after the other, where people have to stop and ask me of I'm ok and stuff.

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Do The Thing

I just finished up my first month of tae kwon do classes.
For almost my entire life I have wanted to do martial arts. And for most of that time I have always had a reason not to (money, time, other commitments.)

A couple months ago I was coming back home from work on a Saturday. Bryn Mawr Ave was closed off to host Korean Fest, and the Pirates of the Caribbean theme was playing. Now if you have the sheer audacity to play the Pirates of the Caribbean theme, you'd better be doing something fucking awesome.

I hear this, and as always beg the question- for what purpose? The purpose was a martial arts demonstration, particularly one lady on stage who was showing self defense maneuvers in the most bad-ass possible way. I stopped and watched the rest of the show and really enjoyed it. 

I rode away afterwards and the tough occurred to me. I have always wanted to learn that. Why haven't I done anything about it? 

This has been a growing year for me. This has been the year that I've tried to do "The Things". 
The things that I have always said I wanted to do, or would do but never have. 

I joined choir. 
I went to Chicago's Comic Con
I started Tae Kwon Do

It's a start. There's still more to do. There's still so much more that I want to do that I have put off or rationalized away. 

But this is good. Really good. 

I'm actually really really good at this. And the thing is that I always knew that I could be. I always knew that I was capable of this and that my body could do amazing things. It wasn't just that I walked in and started, it was also that I nailed an axe kick on my first try. 

That's what's up. 

Sunday, September 21, 2014

Let's Review!

I've been on an extended blogging break, but I thought I'd come back with a review post of some new and old favorite products of mine.

Off we go!

Frozen Swag
 Our pastry chef at work made me this cake for my birthday. It's and Olaf ice cream cake. I can't even.
I picked up two items at Hot Topic, this "Let It Go" ring and the phone cover pictured below. I love the ring, but wear it sparingly because the metal is pretty cheap quality and turns my finger green.

The phone case however is working out great. I've never had a case on my Android S4, because I keep it in a pocket in my wallet. Android cases are generally harder to find and less available in stores, so I did have to special order this from Hot Topic. But it's working out great, and still fits in my wallet which is an absolute must for me.

Star Trek and Comic Con Swag
 I broke out my Uhura dress for Wizard World Chicago. But while I was there I also purchased a new "red shirt". Say what you will, but I love it, and I also ordered a "red shirt" for my nephew Elliott.

I ordered a TNG communicator from Amazon a week before the convention. I had hoped to rush order it, but that was a lost cause. The morning of the convention I check my e-mail and had a notification that said "Delivered" So I rush downstairs to find absolutely nothing. Nothing in my mailbox, nothing in the delivery section. Nonetheless, I put my disappointment aside and go to comic con.

Of course while I'm there I spend an absurd amount of money. My new red shirt,
a TOS Reboot style insignia, a few movie shots, and an autograph.

It took another week for my TNG communicator to arrive. I had to make a couple calls to the post office and to Amazon, but the post office tracked down the package and it got to me. 

Essential Oils

Everyone knows I love my essential oils. Last week I had a cold, and these were a lifesaver. Pictured are Lavender, lemon, grapefruit and diluted peppermint. I added lemon and grapefruit to my water. I use the diluted peppermint to ease headaches and inflammation.

Clean and Green Beauty

I've heard a lot about this product from Sephora called "Glam Glow" it's insanely expensive, but really popular. Of course I took to Pinterest to find a "homemade" version. This may not be exactly the same thing, but it is a natural, non-toxic, clay based mask that feels great on my skin. I like to use this after I exfoliate my skin (every two days or so) and leave it on. It has lemon and tea tree oil, so I don't use a toner afterward. I just wash it off and moisturize with a little coconut oil and frankincense.

Last summer I switched over from a chemical sunscreen to a natural one. This year I have dumped my antiperspirant and switched to an aluminum free version. It's kind of hard to find a natural deodorant that is just as effective as it's chemical counterpart. But they are out there. Right now I am using Trader Joes brand deodorant. It's inexpensive and actually does a good job of keeping me dry and smelling nice.

I'm going to continue to search for natural and homemade alternatives to conventional products. I'm becoming more and more aware about what ingredients are in our everyday health and beauty products. I definitely want to write more about this and what alternatives are available. 

Food Creations
These days, I am not making as many meals these days. After long days at work I tend to reach for what is convenient. But last week after too many pizzas and pot pies, I just got the urge for something real and homemade. I went grocery shopping and that night came up with this killer chicken parmesan. It's butterflied chicken breast pieces, breaded in flour, breadcrumbs and parmesan. The chicken is fried in oil until golden, then I add a can of tomato sauce, and cover in mozzarella cheese and a little more parmesan. What makes this recipe work is that I use my cast iron skillet as the only vessel. It can go from stove to oven at any time. This way I know my chicken is cooked evenly, and the cheese can melt properly. 

Monday, September 1, 2014

Life According to Svetlana

Full Name: Svetlana "Lana" Kardashian Jackson
Nicknames: Lulu
Her name was Lana when she cam to me, but I lengthened it to Svetlana to emphasize her exotic, aloof, regal demeanor. I still call her Lana, or sometimes just Lulu.
I have never seen Lana more content or sedated than when she watched Keeping Up With the Kardashians. She pretty much wants to be one.

Breed: While I don't know specifically which breed or combination of breeds she is, Lana is long haired and a bit on the larger side (about the size of a raccoon). Research that I have done, points to her being at least part Himalayan, Siberian, or Persian.

Food: Merrick Purrfect Bistro  is what I feed her. When she came to me she was eating Purina One. I kept feeding that for a few months before I started looking for a more natural alternative. When I worked in childcare I encountered a lot of parents who were very particular about what their child ate. Most of the time it was totally understandable, but occasionally it would border on the obsessive. I have to say now, that I understand this desire now that I have Lana. Every time I go to the pet store I  read the ingredients label on everything I buy. I started researching the best dry foods for cats and Merrick brand definitely ticked all the boxes. It's in the moderate to high price range. 12lbs is about $30. One bag lasts Lana about two months.

Fun: Lana loves catnip. I put it in her scratching box. I also want to buy some catnip essential oil not just for her, but because it is an effective insect repellant. She has a basket full of toys which she seldom plays with. But the go to toys are my braided belt and jingle balls.

Hot Spots: Rag rugs are the best things ever. They are durable, easy to clean and low maintenance. Lana like to lay out and occasionally wrestle the rugs. Lana's favorite resting spots are on the bathroom floor, or in the middle of the kitchen floor.

Grooming: Lana is not a fan, but since she is a long haired kitty brushing is a necessity. It's also a huge ordeal for us. I usually wear snowboarding gloves, attach her leash on, and have to hold her down. I have a few brushes for her, but the most effective is the Furminator. It removes a lot of the fluffy undercoat, which reduces trips to the groomer.

Thursday, August 28, 2014

Be The Fangirl You Were Always Meant To Be

My last blog post was two months ago.

What happened?

This time last year, I was dead broke working two part-time jobs, and wondering how to get this whole blog thing going. But then the two part-time jobs, turned into one full time job, and before you know it your attention is pulled completely away.

That's what's happened. I don't know when I have last talked about bike advocacy here. I do infrequently IRL, but I cycle every day. Communicating that silent simple message, "Life is better on a bike."

This year has taken another hold on me, the fan girl hold. I've always been an enthusiast for my fandoms. I've become much more open about this, instead of classifying it as "my guilty pleasure" or "this thing I like that I don't really talk about." Why should something you truly love have to be a guilty thing?

Let's talk about how awesome this weekend was. I went to my very first comic convention here in Chicago. I got to meet some great celebrities, Sir Patrick Stewart, Brent Spiner, Levar Burton, Jason David Frank. I passed by Michael Dorn and waved, he waved back. I even walked up to Jonathan Frankes and said hi.

I have a lot of respect for the talent that comes to these events. They do so much for their fans, and I appreciate every bit. My fellow fans were also wonderful. I loved making conversation with them while we were in line for photos and autographs. Even beyond that, some of them offered me tickets to panels that they couldn't make or had extra admission for. The spirit and enthusiasm of my fellow fans created a fun and vibrant environment. These are my people.

This year for me, has been all about Letting Go. Letting go of my fears, my past failed attempts; and being genuinely and honestly open about who I am and what I love. I love Star Trek and I'm so glad that I got to be a part of this amazing event. I'm sure it won't be my last.

Monday, June 23, 2014

Currently in Summer

Today is Monday, my day. This is the day I have to run errands and clean or just to stay at home with the kitty and watch TV. It's my day, and that makes it my favorite day.

Current TV: I haven't had a television in my home since I lived with my parents. I wouldn't count common room TV's in dorms, since they weren't exclusive. But technology has certainly changed in eight years. I love watching TV online through Hulu, Netflix and YouTube. Not only can we get regular antenna broadcast, but I can easily stream shows from the internet. It's really amazing to have that available. Summer shows are on. My roommate and I will watch the Bachelorette, or America's Got Talent. But I still mostly stream.

Currently Reading: The Most of Nora Ephron. I needed a good book to get me back into the habit of reading, and this is a great choice. I love biographies, autobiographies, and a good ol' novel. This is actually a little bit of each.

Current Hashtag: #summer #olaf

Current Color: I love the pink/white combo for summer

Current Kitchen Creations: Since I get a meal at work every day, I try not to over buy groceries at home. I stick to lighter fare, mostly fruits, vegetables and breakfast food. I'm actually having a lot of fun making my own sauces, jams, juices, and dried fruit. I'll do a post about this in the near future.

Current Drink: My summer drink is Steigl Radler. The grapefruit flavor is most common, but the lemon variety just knocks it out of the park. The is a beer/soda, and shandies sometimes get a lot of shade thrown at them for being "girly" drinks. Not Steigl Radler. It's so refreshing and easy to drink, I've seen men go after it just as easily as women. I like my men how I like my beer, egalitarian.

Current Team Sports: It feels odd for me to be on two team sports, but hey. This is my third year with my church softball team #covsoftball. I have moved up from catcher to short center. It's a very exciting move for me to be on the outfield. I also play pick up Ultimate Frisbee with many of the same people from my softball team. I've never been sporty, but I really have a lot of fun this way.

Currently Dating: For the first time in my life I am experiencing what it's like to throw yourself into work. I sometimes find it hard to stop what I'm doing and leave work. This means a rebalancing of my personal life. Not just a rebalancing, I feel like I'm rebooting. But I actually managed to go out a few times this week. How about that?

Current Shame: My face is in front of a screen about 90% of the time. Shit.

Current Blessing: I'm content in the set up of life, and I need to remember that. I'm also finding a place to dream bigger and want to do more. The more goals I set at work, the more I want to achieve. That is a very new feeling for me. I want to know what it would feel like in other aspects of my life.

Current Needs: The sun on my skin and a good belly laugh

Currently Looking Forward: My birthday is coming up, what?!
I'm going to be 27. This getting older thing just doesn't go away. But it also doesn't sway older people from reminding me how young I am. Thanks.

Current Social Media: My name is Naomi, and I am addicted to Tumblr.
#summer #olaf #tomhiddleston #Frozen

Friday, June 20, 2014

My Social Media Life

This week in absurdity... 

Social Media is weird. Knowing that we live in this era is just a little weird. I'm having a moment of realizing this after two events this week.

After watching America's Got Talent this week I decided to exercise my first amendment rights and tweet my opinions. Always a good idea.

Featured on this week's show was an opera singer called Maggie Lane. Maggie is clearly a well trained, professional opera singer. But during her performance she shed her dove gray wrap dress and revolved herself in a barely there red bikini. I mean wow. Everybody was a gasp. Not only could she sing, but she's a total babe. So of course the judges gave her four yes's and sent her on her merry little way.

My only question is why? She can clearly sing, and would have gotten through on that, and should have. Of course AGT provided the hashtag #BikiniOpera, so I did my duty as a proud American and tweeted my opinion. Even more I got several likes and retweets. To my surprise Maggie Lane even responded. Unfortunately her response was just about as confusing as her act.

In other news I received this lovely message from a guy on Tinder.

I should just say that Tinder is a bizarre basket of cats. You never really know what kind of guys your going to meet (It's just like real life!) And this is certainly not the first eye raising opening line I have received. But I do believe that a stupid question deserves a pile driver answer.