Saturday, February 25, 2012

Kerry{ed} Away

I've been head over heels in silver screen "like" with Kerry Washington for nearly 10 years now. But come on...who can blame me right? She's, in my opinion of course, bathed in an impenetrable film of awesome and pretty much rocks everything she puts her name to...true story. To add to that, she's Greek-goddess friggin' gorgeous, seriously...sometimes it's hard for me to even believe she's real, and wasn't computer generated just to fool us common folk'. That's exactly why when, while on a shopping trip to my local Target, I happen to stumble on the latest issue of Essence magazine with none other than Miss Washington gracing the cover, I absolutely had to pick it up. 

Ok, first off, she's stupid beautiful...really, it's just not fair to the rest of us who also have to share the earth with her- and could this dress be any more adorable? I want it- it will probably cost me a months rent, but I want it. I know it may sound a bit bias to say seeing as how I'm knee deep in layers of super fan soup that even I am somewhat ashamed to admit (somewhat), but I really do feel like she's the shizzle and I absolutely adore her  for it. And the woman knows how to rock the red carpet...

I fell in "like" with Kerry after seeing her portrayal of a sassy-smart, curly haired, no BS taking, high school student and teenage mom in Save the Last Dance. The movie itself was cheesetastic and heavily overacted, but I loved it to reese's pieces (hey, no judgement peeps!) and watched it at least once a week (please refer to my previously indicated statement regarding judgment) just because of Kerry Washington's character-the girl had some crazy funny one-liners that I just could not get enough of.

Even though she wasn't the main character, I found myself cheering her on more than any other character in the film, and felt more for her character then I ever expected I would. That was the first sign of just how awesome she is...true story.

After my Save the Last Dance obsession played out and I *cough* grew up *cough*, I almost forgot all about my budding "like" for Kerry until I sat down for one of my many "Indie Nights" that I frequently hosted, to watch the highly raved Independent film, The Human Stain. She, again, didn't star in the film, but I still found myself captivated by her performance, which this time unlike her role in Save the Last Dance, was so rich and oozing with depth. I was officially in "like", and absolutely proud of it. 

And let's not forget about her performance in Ray, the film that depicts the life of uber famous and extremely talented, the late-great Ray Charles. I LOVED her in this film, LOVED. After Ray I knew my aforementioned statement of being bathed in awesome would not only stand true, it  flourish to heights even Hollywood wouldn't be ready for...and I was right!

She continued to amaze me and audiences a like with her roles in : The last king of Scotland, The Dead Girl, Woman in Burka, Mother and Child, Night Catches Us and The Details.  And now she's set to star in a new series created by another one of my fan-ism obsessions Shonda Rhimes, Scandal, scheduled to premier this April. BATHED-IN-AWESOME I tell you!  Did I mention how gorgeous she is?

Yeah, I think I'm bumping up my fan-ism "like" to an overwhelming "love". It's safe to say that I heart her...true story.

What actresses (or actors) do you fan-out for? send me an email or leave a comment!

Thursday, February 23, 2012

WW Resource: The sound of music


I don't know about you, but music absolutely rules my life. It starts and ends my day, I use it to relax me after a tense work day and pump me up and motivate me through an intense work out. Music is my mental peace-maker- what I didn't realize until now is that listening to music has been linked to reducing anxiety, depression, restoring focus and memory, and even increase brain function(s). Holy cheesesticks right! 

Now before I start rambling (because we all know my rants can easily rival a ridiculously long session of monopoly- and we all know how long that can be), let me give you a little bit of history on the subject of music as therapy. First, Music therapy actually began in the 20th century with community musicians visiting veterans' hospitals around the country, to play for those severely traumatized and by war. In many of these cases, the military personnel that were visited had, what was known back then as "Battle Fatigue" (Um...What the fig is Battle Fatigue?), now know as PTSD (Ohhh...Now we're talking!). There were so many positive responses from the treatments, especially in sessions that were used to reduce restlessness due to anxiety, that many hospitals decided to hire the musicians full-time to play for their patients.

Recent studies suggest: music may be used to influence physical, emotional, cognitive and social well-being and improve quality of life for healthy people, as well as those who are disabled or ill. How's that for alternative medicine! I know that for me, just having music playing throughout my day helps to comfort me during my profusely Eor episodes that I sometimes experience, and has the power to completely change my entire mood depending on what's playing and for how long.  Recently, I've been playing my iPod at night for my husband who often (and by often I really mean every friggin' night) experiences restlessness and nightmares, and I've noticed that it has significantly improved his sleeping habits and ability to sleep throughout the night, as well as promote a reduced rate of anxiety the next day. I had no idea that music was linked to non-traditional treatment of anxiety, but I'm incredibly happy to have found so many studies that support the overwhelming evidence of music treating anxiety. 

If you have a chance to try it out for yourself or your wounded warrior, I'd love to hear how it turns out for you. Send me an email or leave me a comment!

Happy music-love, peace, and  all things delightful to all!

*Ayana language 101- Eor; a state of blah. use to describe a feeling of uber emotional hell. please refer to Winnie the Pooh for reference*

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Pearls of Wisdom

Last week on February 15th, we celebrated my grandmother's (Grammy as we call her) 92nd birthday. My Grandma has always been appreciated for her Gandhi/Maya Angelou influenced homespun southern words of wisdom, and on a day like today (seeing as how many of those pearls of wisdom have saved my rear on many a' moons) I am happy to pay homage to her. I have to admit I was a little choked up in the early morning hours the day of her birthday because although, my grandma is still alive and kicking (literally- she kicked the hell out of one of the nurses in her nursing home, twice...ouch) she has Alzheimer's and sadly doesn't remember who we are, or who she is for that matter. It's hard to watch someone I remember to be so incredibly strong, with such an invigorating taste for wisdom and knowledge loose the one thing that she prized the most about herself...her memory. Nonetheless, I was still overjoyed as soon as my work day ended, and I was able to rush over to her nursing home to visit with her. As I sat at her bedside running my fingers over the thin (and few) light wrinkles of her hand, I couldn't help but let my mind wander and fill up with both curiosity and nostalgia at the thought of what her 92 years of life-experiences and endless world of knowledge has meant to me. She had so many quirky catch phrases, and life quotes that were both ridiculously funny and wonderfully insightful that I actually started a journal just to remember all of them for future applicable needs. One of her quotes I will never forget:

" Wisdom comes to those brave enough to accept that knowledge is only as useful as your ability and willingness to not just seek to expand your mind, but also expand your heart".

As one of my high school friends always said "That's some good learning!". As I sat by her side, and for days after her birthday, recalling as many of her life-changing ah-ha quotes has been lightly simmering in every crevasse of my mind; it's motivated me so much that I decided to share a few of my favorite Grammy quotes that I've collected over the years in honor of her 92nd birthday. Enjoy our family's treasure chest of little pearls of wisdom peeps!

"Life doesn't stop no matter how bad your hurting. Hurt is just a reminder that life is still alive and well and requires more tending to."

"If I let every nut ball opinion of outsiders sway decision making, I'd be asshole full of regrettable dumb ass decisions. Don't let other peoples shoulda' woulda' coulda's make you doubt yourself."

"If you never show people what your worth by respecting and loving your self, you'll never give the the option of respecting or treating you with value in the first place. Worth and love starts with you first. Everyone else will only follow down the road that you paved for their travels".

" People will people, will be people, will be people. Some are kind, some nasty, some sweet, some are assholes. No matter which type of person you are forced to encounter throughout your life, remember to not let their perceptions of you become your reality. At the end of the day, how you feel about you is far more important than anything someone who may or may not have a role in your life will be. After all, the relationships you have with others may not be lifelong, however, you are my dear stuck with yourself forever- might as well love yourself and let the other factors fall where they may."

"Love is what you make of it. It hurts, it's hard, it's complicated- it's a battle that you will always see as an uphill climb. What makes the difference is how you plan to make that climb- are you going to strap on the weight of life on your back and only make it a few steps before it breaks you, or are you planning to travel light in order to keep a steady pace and  retain your stamina?"

"Don't hold on to hurt and anger. Don't hate those that have wronged you. Understand that holding those feelings only hurts you in the end, because the truth is, the people who have hurt you aren't being affected by your rage and usually fall into two categories: one half won't even recognize your anger, and the other half just don't give a damn in the first place. Moving past your anger, and forgiving the circumstances behind it will make the difference between you moving forward happily and productively, and you moving beneath the people who you hold so much rage for."

"Live the life you want to live, enjoy the life you live, and treat every moment you wake up to take your first morning breathe as a chance to further yourself and your happiness. Life is a blessing."

Happy Birthday Beautiful! I love you, love you, love you, and thank you for wisdom I cherish more and more each day!

What pearls of wisdom have you collected over the years? Send me an email or leave me a comment! I would love to hear them and share them here!

Thursday, February 16, 2012

I heart Thursday

I received a chain email from a fellow warrior wife, Darlene called 5 things that I heart, that was so much fun filling out, I figured I would post it here and share with all of you. 5 things I heart has been floating around the blogosphere for some time now- its just a fun list of 5 things this month that you absolutely love(d) and insist on passing around for all those that may be interested to hear. Now, I usually don't share or respond to chain emails, but this one was pretty frosty and gave me the opportunity to wax quixotically about my recent (and ongoing) obsessions and fancies for all things music, food, fun, and girly. I'm really leaning toward pulling one of these together once a month; maybe on Thursday's? We shall see.

You'll have to pardon me if this post turns into a melty ball of cheesetastic mess as I tend to babble whenever given the opportunity to talk about things I'm super interested in- but I digress...anyhoo, here's my list, hope you all (Darlene) enjoy!

1. 2012 Grammy's- I heart this year's Grammy's for many reasons. First- my two favs, Adele and Foo Fighters dominated in their categories taking home 11 Grammys between the two of them! I seriously almost fanned out on behalf of them each time they won, and besides that, could their speeches have been anymore adorable?! I think not- they rock, and I rock for hearting them the way I do. Second- Nicki Minaj; Holy priesthood hell (literally), showing up to the Grammy's in a frock closely resembling the closing curtains of my local movie theater, provided many hard laughs that even days after the ceremony continue to erupt here and there throughout the week. Poor NIcki; if she was trying to relay a high-fashion look, the only thing that translated was how badly she needs a stylist that doesn't shop at for red carpet garments. Epic fail, so sad...funny as shit, but sad nonetheless.

2. Chloe Coscarelli- For all those who didn't read my WW resource post Fighting anxiety with food, I have over the last month become Vegan in an effort to try and heal my body from the inside out, and finally be rid of this monstrous fatigue. My hubby has also adapted a 75% vegan diet as well to see what it can do for his body, mind, and anxiety as well. Yay! cheese however is pretty friggin' boo. I had no idea giving up traditional milky goodness cheese would be such a huge battle. I caved more than I care to admit, and almost gave up my vegan adventures just to get my hands on a piece of creamy cheesecake sans the side of piping hot food guilt. Cheesecake [insert drool here]...oh the shame. I tell you, this vegan thing is hard, that's why I was overloaded with joy to find recipes that on a blog by Chef Chloe Coscarelli after watching an episode of Cupcake Wars, that were both ridiculously yummy and stayed true to my new vegan principles. She is, in a word, a-MA-zing (only people who watch Happy Endings will understand that one). Now, after obtaining a few vegan tricks and tips, I can say with full honesty, being vegan isn't all that bad, and is much easier than I thought. And she has a creamy cheesecake recipe that is easy and all kinds of yum. Thanks Chef Chloe!

3. Happy Endings- The show is great. It's frostylicious; yep, frost-y-licious. That's my new word yo! Yep, I just said yo- it's ok, I'm bringing it back. It comes on channel 7 on Wednesday nights at 9:30pm and its bomb. Check it out; I'm sure you'll think it's a-MA-zing too!

4. Color Me Mine- I recently (thanks to my cousin CJ) had the chance to take my ladybug to our local Color Me Mine pottery studio, and paint a few original decorative items for our home. It was so fun, super affordable, and a great way to kick back with my kiddo and spend some much needed mommy/daughter time together. If you have a Color Me Mine in your area, I highly recommend you stop by for a visit.

5. Urban Decay Naked Eyeshadow pallet- I first fell in love with Urban Decay a few moons back, after a clerk at my local Sephora store cornered me during a Christmas shopping run and insisted that I try an eye shadow primer potion that they just received a fairly large shipment of that morning. First off- I've been a hard core Sephora shopper since I was old enough to apply makeup minus the threats of imminent death via my mother. Because of this fact, I pretty much trust the opinions and advise of the makeup deputies (as I refer to them), and will gladly take their suggestions and run with them. Needless to say, I loved the primer potion- its since become a staple item in my makeup bag, which is why when I initially saw the advertisement for their naked eye shadow pallet, I immediately ran to Sephora and snagged it before they ran out.

Unfortunately, I had a dog that loved to destroy only the things that were extremely expensive and ultimately my favs at the time. I came home one day to find that my dog had ransacked my room and completely destroyed my naked pallet. Oh the loathing- also equally unfortunate, my hubby was no longer in the military so we were on a very tight "We wanna eat, and keep a roof over our heads" budget that restricted me from replacing my beloved naked pallet. Because of said budget I figured I'd just have to start saving if I ever wanted to afford another Urban Decay splurge again, but after a series of surprised unfortunates, I sadly was unable to save enough " me money" for my makeup splurge. Even sadder, I over the years due to lack of funds and time forgot all about my Urban Decay ambitions all together. Luckily, and again thanks to the cuzzo, aka. big baller C, aka. Oprah rich, who pretty much oozes of awesome (she gets it from me), I was supplied with a I'm rich bitch generous gift card to Sephora for Christmas. Urban Decay love restored! I was, with abundant enthusiasm, in makeup lovers heaven. Thanks Cuzzo!

Well, that sums it up for this month. This was fun but oddly difficult to come up with 5 things to review. I may just have to reduce this list down to just 3 or 4 for future post depending on how active my month pans out. Until then, keep the blog funzies coming, and thanks again Darlene!

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

WW Resource: A little Goodwill

Everyday I try  to search the web as much as I can to find new information and resources that I can share that may be useful to other warrior wives and their wounded warriors. Today I was surfing the web and stumbled upon a little advertisement regarding a promotional event the Goodwill is sponsoring for all active duty  service members and Veterans to help reintegrate them back into civilian life as well as the workforce. 

Tomorrow, February 15, 2012 all Goodwill stores will be offering a $50 purchase credit to active duty service members and Veterans alike toward suits and business attire in an effort to put our Vets back to work. I really thought this was something worth sharing for all those who really need it. While researching I was also able to come across this incredibly sweet program Goodwill set in  motion for Vets as a Valentine's day surprise. More than 400 valentines made their way to veterans in VA hospitals and nursing homes this Valentine's Day, thanks to the big hearts and helping hands of the staff and program participants at Goodwill Industries of Tulsa. I can honestly attest to how much these thoughtful cards and well wishing mean to Vets, as my hubby and daughter took time out themselves to hand deliver cards that we made in addition to my daughters entire class for Veterans Day. The Vets at both the VA hospital and nursing center that received cards and letters from us were moved to tears; it was truly worth while and meant so much to them to receive recognition and appreciation. Good job Goodwill!

To read more about Goodwill's special Valentine's Day surprise visit Goodwill's website and show some love.

Happy Valentine's day everyone!

Thursday, February 9, 2012

WW Resources: Operation Home front-Wounded Warrior Wives

About a month ago I signed up with a group called Wounded Warrior Wives which was suggested to me by a fellow Wonder Woman and friend, Karie. Karie was also a wounded warrior wife until the unexpected death of her husband a couple of years ago; she now writes an amazingly inspirational blog called Wife [Widow] of a Wounded Marine. I wasn't exactly sure what to expect from the group, so instead I decided to just look forward to meeting and speaking to other warrior wives that could potentially share useful knowledge and much needed support.

Early this week, I came home to find a package waiting for me in my living room from Operation Home Front. It was a pretty good size box wrapped and finished with a pretty bow- shocked was exactly the expression that overcame me once I opened this lovely gift box. Inside was information about the resources the group provides that are available to me, a $50 dollar Walmart gift card, stationary supplies, and pamphlets that were packed with resources about their program. Shocked by far best describes my sentiment. It was such a thoughtful gift- I'm not really one to cry, but I definitely felt the water works bursting at the seams of my tear ducts. I was so incredibly pleased to see how many resources are available and how much real support I have waiting for me whenever I need it. I decided to really dig into their site and pull as much information as possible about their [my new] group, as well as how I can contribute to their efforts. I figured I would share their link with all of you who may be interested. Please take a moment to visit and show your support as well you can find them here.

Hope this is helpful, and I hope all of you will spread the word about this amazing group!