Monday, March 28, 2011

New Beginnings

Today, is the start of a new beginning for my career.  It is my first day at Nue by Shani.  I am excited and nervous for this new adventure - which is natural.  I get the opportunity to continue doing product development as well as technical and some production.  This is such an amazing chance for me to grow within my career.  I am looking forward to this unexpected undertaking.

We keep moving forward, opening new doors, and doing new things, because we're curious and curiosity keeps leading us down new paths.
~Walt Disney~

Friday, March 25, 2011

Closing a Door

It is time for me to close a chapter in my life.  After four wonderfully crazy years I have decided to leave my first job out of college.  Today is my last day with the company.
In June 2007, just a month out of college, I started my career in the twisted fashion industry with Priscilla of Boston.  The position, Lectra Operator, (I don't think I am even going to dare to explain what that entails) I applied for required 5 years experience.  I, however, had NONE!  But that didn't stop me from sending in my resume - and I am glad it didn't!  I was called in for an interview and was offered the position a few days later.  Now, go figure right after they offered me the position someone with 12 years experience applied for the position!
Within no time I became a member of the tightly knitted dysfunctional clan that worked in the Charlestown, MA factory.  They were like a family!  After 2 1/2 years I was informed that I would be losing my job, but I never did! I actually got promoted instead with the help of some wonderful people - how often does that happen?!?!  I packed my things and moved to NYC for the new job.  Once again I became a member of the tightly knitted dysfunctional clan here in the New York office.
However, it is now my time to move on to something else.  I truly love everyone that I work with and will miss them dearly, but I have been given and opportunity else where......

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

The Best Revenge

Thank you, Sir Chuck Palahniuk (whomever you are) you couldn't have said it better! 

National Puppy Day!

Today, March 23rd, is National Puppy Day!

Aw, this makes me want one!!!

Monday, March 21, 2011

You Are Not Alone

I know that many of us feel alone through our trails and tribulations in life, but we need to remind ourselves (no matter how hard it may be) that we are not alone.  You are only alone if you choose to be.  There is always someone that isn't too far away with a hand reaching out for you, all you need to do is grab on to it.

I search for love
When the night came and it closed in
I was alone
but you found me where I was hiding
and now I'll never ever be the same
It was the sweetest voice that called my name

You're not alone
for I am here
let me wipe away your every fear
My love I've never left your side
I have seen you through the darkest night
and I'm the one who's loved you all your life
All of your life

You cry yourself to sleep
cause the hurt is real
and the pain cuts deep
All hope seems lost
With heartache your closest friend
and everyone else long gone

You've had to face the music on your own
but there is a sweeter song that calls you home

You're not alone
for I am here
let me wipe away your every tear
My love I've never left your side
I have seen you through the darkest nights
And I'm the one who's loved you all your life
All your life

Faithful and true... Forever
For my love will carry you....

You're not alone
for I... I am here
let me wipe away every fear... Oh yeah
My love I've never left your side
I have seen you through your darkest night
Your darkest night
And I'm the one who's loved you all your life
All of your life
~Meredith Andrews~

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Put A Spring In Your Step

Today, March 20, 2011 Spring begins!!!

It has been a long, exhausting, cold winter and I am happy to see if go!  Spring is such an amazing time of year.  Not only does the city return to life, but so does nature!!  There are endless options of things to do; walk around Central Park, view the Macy's Flower Show, farmers markets, street fairs, seasonal flea markets, dining outdoors, drink of rooftops, bike through the city - oh I could go on and on.

Make sure to check out Time Out New York's 101 Things to do in NYC in the spring.

Friday, March 18, 2011

A Picture Says A 1,000 Words

I have to give credit to Miss Hayley Paige for this one.  I stole it from her blog and thought it was also fitting for mine!

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Happy St. Patrick's Day!

Here are a few things that you may or may not have know about Saint Patrick, how the holiday and its tradition came about.....

The (Christian) holiday is named after Saint Patrick (AD 387-461), the most commonly recognized of the patron saints of Ireland.  However, he is not from Ireland! He was born into a wealthy Roman-British family.

He was also know for wearing BLUE not GREEN. 

So, you question where the green came into play?  Well, he did use the shamrock to explain the the Holy Trinity to pagans.  He also wore a shamrock which is how the color green became associated.

How come the holiday falls on March 17th?  Well, that is the day that Saint Patrick died.

Now, I am sure that you are wondering how the drinking became to be a popular commodity to have on this day......

For those of you who aren't religious and don't know, but St. Patrick's Day always falls during Lent.  Lent is the preparation of of the death and resurrection of Jesus.  During this time believers prepare themselves through prayer, repentance, almsgiving, and self-denial - in other words they normally give up things such as drinking.  However, on St. Patrick's Day the Lenten restrictions of fasting and drinking are lifts; therefore, you have an excuse to get drunk!

Funny Lent Ecard: I'm giving up drinking for Lent and giving up Lent for St. Patrick's Day.

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Lend A Helping Hand

It is so sad to have to read about the horrible situation that Japan is going through at this time.  First of all count your blessing at this time and be thankful for all that you have in life.  Secondly, there are many ways that you can help out (without getting scammed).  You don't have to donate a large amount of money and remember that every bit counts!  Here are a few non-profit organizations that are providing relief to those victims.

For decades, Japan has supported UNICEF's lifesaving work by assisting children in their time of need. UNICEF is now there for Japan's children.

The American Red Cross is also sending relief over to the victims of the earthquake and Tsunami.   Not only can you make an on-line donation, but you can also text  "REDCROSS" to 90999 where a $10 donation will be made and will be billed to your next cell phone bill.

The Salvation Army has joined the texting trend as well!  Text "quake" or "japan" to 80888 and $10 will be automatically donated.

These are just a few of the many wonderful organizations that are out there helping support this catastrophic disaster.  I understand that times are tough, but truly every penny counts.  Perhaps, you can give up your morning coffee or bring lunch instead of buying it and with that money you would have spent donate it.  Just a thought!

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Use Your Mind to Change Your Body

Once again I found another article I would like to share with you.  This time it is from March 2011 Self issue.

Your body's best friend? Your brain! Cutting-edge research proves mind/body techniques can ease aches, illness, insomnia and more. A skeptic's guide to thinking yourself well —Erin Bried

There's a good reason you feel like a goddess when you walk out of yoga class, and it's not because you finally got your money's worth out of your gym. It's because yoga and similar mind-quieting methods have the potential to work as well as many medications at treating what ails you. "We now have compelling scientific proof that the mind can heal the body," says Herbert Benson, M.D., director emeritus of the Benson-Henry Institute for Mind Body Medicine at Massachusetts General Hospital and author of Relaxation Revolution. The latest promises:

Your body dials down stress. Dr. Benson's research has found that mind/body practices—meditation, yoga, tai chi, deep breathing, visualization—all elicit the relaxation response, quelling the release of stress hormones cortisol and adrenaline. Your heart slows, blood pressure falls and digestion eases.
Your immunity soars. The relaxation response causes cells to release micropuffs of nitric oxide, a gas that dilates blood vessels and stabilizes the immune system, Dr. Benson reported in Medical Science Monitor. Mind/body methods worked as well as drugs designed to do the same thing, without the side effects.
Your brain grows. As you get older, your brain begins to shrink. But in a study in NeuroReport, researchers discovered that the prefrontal cortex and the anterior right insula, areas linked to attention and sensory processing, were thicker and more robust in those who meditate. "It's like exercise for the brain, making it stronger," says Rick Hanson, Ph.D., a neuropsychologist in San Rafael, California, and author of Buddha's Brain.
Your genes change. Here's the real slap-your-forehead news: In a study in PLoS ONE, Dr. Benson compared the genes of 38 people, half of whom meditated regularly and half of whom never did. Controlling for other factors, he found that genes associated with stress-related illness behaved differently in the two groups. "These genes control not only stress but also premature aging and inflammation," he says. It seems meditators' genes were essentially telling their body to stress less and age more slowly.
Despite the powerful evidence, 45 percent of you remain skeptical of mind/body medicine, according to a poll, and 2 percent say it's out-and-out baloney. Read on and we guarantee you'll change your mind—and your body, too.

Your relaxation Rx
Which mind/body treatments have the most rock-solid science backing them up? Brent Bauer, M.D., director of the Complementary and Integrative Medicine Program at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota, provides the big picture.

For…                           Try…
Back Pain                   Yoga
High Cholesterol        Qigong
Depression                  Music therapy, qigong, yoga
Eating Disorders         Meditation, yoga
Fertility                       Visualization, yoga
Heart Health              Deep breathing, qigong, yoga
Immunity                   Breathing, chants, meditation, qigong
Insomnia                    Acupuncture, visualization, yoga
Joint Pain                   Music therapy, qigong, yoga
Migraines                    Acupuncture, yoga
The #1 health habit you're not doing…yet
Only 13 percent of SELF readers meditate regularly, but two thirds of you say you'd be willing to give it a try. What's holding you back? Avoid your biggest roadblocks to inner peace and find your way om.
Roadblock 1: "I don't know how."
Twenty-nine percent of you merely need instruction, so here goes: Pick something simple and recurring to focus on, a mantra. "It could be your breath, a prayer or a saying, like, 'May this be a good day,'" says Hanson, who teaches meditation. Then repeat it in your head as long as you can, up to 20 minutes. "If you get distracted, that's OK," he says. Gently refocus until the mantra has recaptured your attention.
Roadblock 2: "I have no time."
Stop everything to do nothing? No can do, say 18 percent of you. Luckily, you may get benefits from meditating for as little as five minutes. If even that's a stretch, you can reduce stress simply by doing daily chores more mindfully. "Staying steadily, attentively present with everyday tasks such as doing the dishes or brushing your teeth can be a calming, informal kind of meditation," Hanson says.
Roadblock 3: "I can't sit still."
Patience is the issue for 36 percent of you. Instead of fostering a quiet mind, meditation sets off a mental ticker tape of to-do and should-have-done lists. If you're a fidgety or anxious type, try a walking meditation, Hanson says. As you stroll, focus on the sensation of breathing or on your footfalls. Walking not active enough? Yoga, tai chi and jogging can all elicit the relaxation response.

Breathing lessons
There may be no quicker way to trigger the magical relaxation response (and all the good genetic changes that come with it) than by controlling your breath. Not only will deep breathing lower your blood pressure, but recent research shows sucking wind, as it were, can also increase antioxidant levels in your blood, helping protect you from oxidative stress and all the dastardly conditions associated with it, including heart disease, hypertension, Alzheimer's disease and plain ol' aging. It's sort of silly to think you'd need instructions on how to breathe, but trust us and try this exercise from Dr. Bauer, who is also the author of the Mayo Clinic Book of Alternative Medicine. Do it twice a day, and you'll feel better.
1. With eyes closed and shoulders relaxed, inhale through your nose for six counts. Expand your belly, not your chest.
2. Try to hold your breath for four counts.
3. Exhale through your mouth for a count of six. Repeat the sequence three to five times.

It's not all in your head
But a heck of a lot of it is. Tap into the amazing power of placebo.
52 percent of you feel wholeheartedly that mind/body medicine works—and that belief alone may make it true. A study in The Journal of Neuroscience shows that if you are feeling discomfort and are given a placebo you believe to be a painkiller, your mind will instruct your body to release feel-good endorphins. And the effect is lasting:
79 percent of depressed people who responded to a mere placebo had avoided relapse even after 12 weeks, the Journal of Psychiatric Research reports. The studies used sham pills as a placebo, but you can use mind/body methods for yours. But do note: Research says folks who get real meds, plus a placebo, feel the most relief. Dr. Benson's take? "Use your innate powers and the pills."

Wait. Yoga can help cure that?
Those Sun Salutations, Downward Dogs and Chaturangas are your ticket to much more than sexy curves and a lean body. Choose the right method and you can pose your way out of…
Back pain
What we know People who attended only one 90-minute yoga class a week for 16 weeks reduced their back pain by two thirds and their pain medication usage by 88 percent, according to one study in the aptly named journal Pain.
How it works One of many theories: Pressing into the floor activates your pressure receptors, blocking the neural pathways that signal pain, suggests Tiffany Field, Ph.D., director of the Touch Research Institute at the University of Miami.
Which type to try Skip the hard-core yoga and emphasize meditation and stretching. "Tight muscles can be a factor in pain, and calming your nervous system will help relax them," says Timothy McCall, M.D., author of Yoga as Medicine.
What we know Still more proof of yoga's power to alleviate ouches: Migraine sufferers who took up the habit for three months reported fewer and less intense headaches, a 2007 study in the journal Headache shows.
How it works For starters, yoga reduces cortisol by relaxing you. "Nasty stress hormones only aggravate pain," Field says. Yoga also promotes better sleep, and the more soundly you snooze, the fewer pain chemicals your brain secretes.
Which type to try As with treating back pain, pick a calming practice, Dr. McCall advises. Zenning out in a long Savasana (Corpse pose) at the end of class will help. So will focusing on exhalations. If it feels good, make each twice as long as your inhalations.
What we know People on antidepressants who added thrice-weekly yoga for two months said they felt less depressed, anxious and angry, University of California Los Angeles research notes. In 65 percent, their depression went into remission.
How it works Your hormones are at work here, too. "Yoga helps your body produce serotonin, a natural antidepressant, and helps lower cortisol levels, which are elevated in people with depression," Field says.
Which type to try If you're in a slump (but still fairly fit), energizing poses such as Sun Salutations may lift you out of it. "There's a misconception that yoga is only about relaxation," Dr. McCall says. "Some practices can stimulate you."
Eating disorders
What we know Could a yogi heal your eating issues? In a recent study of 50 adolescent girls with eating disorders, scientists found that an hour of yoga a week for eight weeks reduced subjects' symptoms and their overall preoccupation with food.
How it works Anxiety and depression pop up more often in people with eating problems, says study coauthor Amber Frye-Johnson, a research scientist at Abbott Northwestern Hospital in Minneapolis. Yoga fans have lower rates of both.
Which type to try "All yoga makes people more accepting and loving toward themselves and their body," Dr. McCall says. You may need a relaxing or energizing class based on symptoms. Consult your doctor and to find the right one.

Monday, March 7, 2011

Keep Your Chin Up

As, I read Fitness Magazine in bed on this rainy Sunday morning.  I came across an article I wanted to share; however, I am having a hard time finding it on Fitness Magazine's website.  For those of you who have the magazine (or decide to get it) the article starts on page 110 of the March 2011 issue.

The subtitle reads "A few choice words can turn a downpour of negative thoughts into a sunshiny day.  Learn to tape the power of mantras."

The basis of the article is finding your own mantras to void out negative energy.  For those of you who aren't sure of the meaning a mantra is a sound, syllable, word or group of words that are considered to be capable of creating transformation (spiritual transformation).  The use of mantras are now widespread which are based on the the practices in earlier Eastern traditions and religion.

Now, the key to creating the correct mantra is to NOT place a negative in your series of words.  For example if you are trying to eat better don't say "I am not going to allow my job to stress me out" but say "I am going to remain relaxed in my job."  Think of the Little Engine that Could....

Thursday, March 3, 2011

Happy Hour

First of all, why do we call it Happy Hour and not HAPPY HOURS!!  Let's be honest it has never lasted for a hour.  My maternal grandparents would always have happy hour and sometimes they would just drink their dinner.  Cheers to that!  Now, I have a better understand of where I get it from......

I have certainly found that I have a tendency to leave my information (phone number and email address) at local bars around the city.  I can't complain one bit about doing so!!  I have won two happy hours!  My first was at Calico Jacks on Saturday February 19th.  I drank for free from 10 pm - 1 am while my friends drank for half off OR for $30 could have an open bar during the time frame.  I mean how could you not!?!?  I had over 10 people come which I then received a $25 certificate for the next time I dine at CJ's.

Tonight's Happy Hour is at the Irish Exit.  They are offering pretty much the same deal as above.  I drink for free from 6-9pm and my friends drink half off.  Once again if I have 10 friends attend I will get a $25 gift certificate.  After 9 the bar has $1 mugs of beer and $5 bombs - now that sounds like a recipe for a disaster to me!

However, what is great about this is that it gets my friends and I to come together when we necessarily might not of had plans to do so. 

My younger sister who normally calls me and asks me where I am going tonight would probably agree that this picture explains me...
Basically she believes I am lush just because I have a pretty lively social life....

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Hacker McHacker

This morning my email account was hacked into and everyone on my contact list received the following:


I'm sorry for this odd request because it might get to you too urgent but it's because of the situation of things right now, I'm stuck in Cardiff Wales with Family right now, we came down here on vacation we were robbed, the situation seems worse as bags,cash ,credit cards and cell phone were stolen at GUN POINT, It's such a crazy experience for us, we need help flying back home, the authorities are not being 100% supportive but the good thing is that we still have our passport but don't have enough money to get our flight ticket back home, please i need you to loan me some money, I will reimburse you right as soon as I'm back home. I promise

Thanks In Advance 

Of course I was not thrilled when my phone started going off at 6 a.m. with text messages and phone calls to let me know about the email.  It became quite annoying within no time.  However, as the day went on I realized how many people that haven't heard from me in a while were so concerned.  I began to think how lucky I am!  If I was to ever find myself in a bind I know that there are SO many people who would have my back.  I am truly blessed with such wonderful, supportive, loving family and friends.

Who would have ever thought that a SPAM email would remind me of my blessings?