Sunday, January 8, 2012

What Does Change Look Like?

As you might know, this blog post is well overdue & I'm sorry about that! I've been busy...haha, just kidding. I have been busy job searching, playing on Pinterest, Facebook stalking people, Tweeting, Instagraming...and trying not to shop. But, things need to change...I'm not made for this sedentary life & I'm determined to find something to fix that.

I've already started, I recommitted to Weight Watchers after seeing my friend Suzi Storm in the new Weight Watchers "Believe" commercial on NYE. (See her awesome blog here: "OK, just one more beer"). I had already decided I needed to go back to the "dub-dub" because I'd lost most of the weight I had gained at the end of tour, but still had a few pounds to go. I also have a lingering "goal weight" I wanted to get to...and I BELIEVE 2012 is the year! I'm approaching it a bit different this time though, it's always been about my health and being comfortable, not my appearance and being vain...but I want to be that "Suzi Storm" in someone's life! I would love to set an example for women (and men) that are overweight, unhealthy or unhappy with themselves...because I know personally how awesome it is to get to that point where you feel the change & let me tell you, it's a great feeling! So, I'm on my second week tracking food & working out more regularly & I'm feeling good! (Shout out to Bethany, Jess, Natalie, Melissa & Lindsy who are other women that have inspired me in health & fitness!)

Secondly, I want to volunteer! While listening to a sermon from Christ's Church of the Valley church, on Joseph's life...where from the beginning he had the world against him but never got discouraged, and even found ways to encourage other people, that's when I knew I had to step up. See, if you don't know the story, Joseph was hated by his brothers because he was his father's favorite and basically they deceived him & had him sold as a slave, so he went from "spoiled" to "slave" in the matter of minutes. Joseph was eventually sold to a man of high esteem and through dedicated work, he became the man's "personal assistant." (Right there shows you that he accepted his role as a slave & didn't complain, but did the best job he could!) Then, he ran into a bit of a problem, because the man's wife soon took interest in Joseph, and even though he resisted the temptation of this women she became angry at him for denying her & lied, saying he came onto her & was then thrown in prison. While in prison, he made friends with the warden (another admirable thing for him to do) and was put in charge of other prisoners. This is where the sermon came in...basically the Pharaoh's chief cup bearer & chief baker had been put in prison, they were upset about dreams they had had & with God's help Joseph helped them interpret their them, letting them know the cup bearer was to be restored to his position and the baker was to die. Now, he could have ignored the men completely, but he didn't...he paid attention to them and tried to help them to the best of his abilities, he even told them the complete truth when he could have very easily given the baker a backwards answer & let him be surprised by his death. He was an honest man and he was full of integrity, he also wanted out of the prison so he told the chief cup bearer to mention his name to Pharaoh when he was reappointed, but when this happened, the cup bearer "forgot about him." Joseph stayed in the prison for two more years before the Pharaoh thought of him again...and I won't spoil the ending of it for you, but feel free to read Genesis 41 for how the rest of the story goes! (Bible)

From this, I have taken that even when "bad" events happen in our lives, don't be discouraged and perhaps, the best way to beat discouragement is to encourage someone else! I had been putting off finding a volunteer opportunity because I wasn't sure if I'd be staying in this location or if I'd be moving for a job, but after this message I have realized I should volunteer and help someone else in need instead of risking discouragement that I hadn't found a job yet! And here's a quote from the sermon that I LOVE:

"Every failure contains the seeds of your next success" - Paul Allen

Lastly, I'd like to take a break from the "social media scene" a bit. I've come to realize that I broadcast nearly every second of my life between Facebook, Twitter, Instagram & my blog and while I don't necessarily find anything wrong with that, I know I could be using my time and energy for better things. I'm not going all "cold turkey" and deleting all my accounts and going back to a basic phone or anything, but I am going to make a constant effort to engage myself in personal relationships and invest time in things that are meaningful and useful. For example, I'm going to try & write hand written letters, notes and birthday cards to friends instead of writing on their wall, I'm going to actually go out & buy the supplies to make something I re-pin on Pinterest and I'm going to print my favorite photos and make photo albums! My life has become very virtual and I want to see it become more real, I want to feel life, not just see it on a screen!

It's also my goal to update my blog more often, but have a better structure and subject matter rather than the occasional "life update"...we'll see if I can pull it off!

Hope all is well with my readers, until next time...muah!

Thursday, December 1, 2011

A Bakers Dozen: Cupcake Review

While traveling, I made it a point to try as many cupcake places as possible and in 10 months, I visited 13 different bakeries & some were repeat offenders! ;) I even obtained the "Bakers Dozen" badge on Foursquare...times 5, which means I've checked in to TWENTY different bakeries, so I say I've done my research!!

We started off the year in New York City which is where I experienced my first and fourth bakeries, Crumbs and Magnolia Bakery! Crumbs has a fun atmosphere with oversized cupcakes & I enjoyed a "Super Bowl special" for my chosen treat. It was a good cupcake overall, large & a bit more of a novelty item than a flavor-rich cupcake, but it was definitely good! At Magnolia bakery I found that the cupcake was the perfect size and it had the perfect amount of frosting as well! While I wasn't that impressed with the cake (it was just a little too crumbly for my liking), the cream cheese frosting was SUPERB!

The next cupcake shop was my least favorite of them all and as I was really excited because of the hype by locals, I was let down completely by the actual cupcakes. I had a Guinness cupcake and a s'more cupcake at The Flying Cupcake in Indianapolis, IN, and had high expectations for two flavors that I LOVE...and no only were the flavors lacking, but the cake was not good at all. The positives were, this bakery goes "outside the box" with their flavors & had a good cake to frosting ratio, but honestly...that was about it. Another one of my least favorites was Just Cupcakes in Virginia Beach, really was just not good. The cake was very dry and the flavor of the buttercream frosting was too rich, not a good combo. Maybe I just got a bad batch...

Next up was Sprinkles, "The Original Cupcake Bakery". While I give major props to Candace Nelson, founder of Sprinkles, because without her...I probably wouldn't have been able to write this post, I have to say that while her cupcakes are good, very good...they weren't my favorite. The cupcakes had great cake to frosting ratio and good flavor, the cake was barely moist enough, because I really love a moist cake and the frosting was good but I felt as though it was too creamy of frosting, I like mine a little lighter. Overall, it was a good cupcake, just not my personal favorite.

Moving onto one of the most famous cupcake shops, Georgetown Cupcake in Washington, DC...more widely known from their television show, DC Cupcakes! And again, while these cupcakes were good, they were not a favorite of mine. I found the cake to be very dense and the frosting to be very thick and too sweet. When I choose a cupcake, I do so because I want a light, yet flavorful treat in a small portion, and this was just far too much for my palate. I do have to compliment them on their 'hibiscus mango' cupcake (a seasonal option), even though it was still too dense for me, the flavors were so original! However, my co-worker who enjoys a more strong flavor found this bakery to be one of his favorites. Just personal preference!

Sugar Mountain Bake Shoppe in Rochester, NY, was our next stop and I have to say, I'm not sure I can fairly judge this when I arrived I was forced to choose a flavor I wouldn't normally choose due to the fact that they are a bakery that, once a flavor is's gone for the day. I chose the tiramisu cupcake because while I prefer a simple chocolate with vanilla frosting, I do love me some coffee & chocolate! Again, this cupcake was too dense & rich for me and I was unimpressed with the texture of the cake, it seemed a bit overdone...and I'm not a huge fan of filled cupcakes in general. The atmosphere is really unique here, as the bakery is placed in a house with a small cafe & the employees were super friendly and upbeat!

Going with the theme of "too rich" I'll add another to the list, *ndulge cupcake boutique in State College, PA. Again, these cupcakes were filled, therefore making them a bit too sweet for me, flavors were good but this was the first time I couldn't even finish one cupcake! I had the peanut butter cup, by recommendation of the employee in the bakery and it was good, I do like peanut butter, but my goodness...just too much.

A last minute stop at Gigi's Cupcakes in Lexington, KY, made me a believer in mass chain cupcake shops! The cake was good, the frosting was good...although a bit over the top, they'd be better with less frosting! However, overall the cupcake was pretty tasty! I do have to say, the girl that was currently working at the one I went to seemed very uninterested in being there & tried shoving several small samples at me to "get rid of them," makes the experience just a little less special.

After doing some research and finding the website listing "Best Cupcake Bakeries" by National Geographic, I sought out a couple bakeries on the list! First up was Molly's Cupcakes in Chicago, IL! I tried the infamous cake batter cupcake (which I ate, knowing it was filled) and I have to honestly say I was a bit grossed out! I understand the concept of them putting the "cake batter" flavor filling in the center, but it straight up tasted like runny, raw, cake batter in the center of my beautiful, bright blue cupcake! It totally ruined the cupcake for me & had I not been so turned off I may have tried a different one...but I just couldn't after that. The next bakery I tried on the list was The Atlanta Cupcake Factory in Atlanta, GA. I tried this one right around Halloween, so they had a lot of unique "scary" flavors to their treats which was kind of cool. They didn't have many "normal" flavors at the time I visited (I'm a sucker for classic chocolate/vanilla frosting!) so I resorted to the sweet potato/bourbon cupcake & I wasn't much of a fan. The cupcake/frosting ratio was spot on, but the cake was a little dry and I wasn't crazy about the flavors. I just don't think I'm a huge fan of "crazy" flavors...again, personal preference. I was impressed with all the different unique flavors they had, I just wouldn't be the right person to try them all!

Now, I've saved my two favorite places for last! One of them is in my very backyard, which is both a good and bad thing (only bad for my waistline)! I had tried this place, as suggested by my sister & have visited it many times, before AND after sampling all these other great shops! It is called, Nona's Sweets and is located in Charlotte, NC! I have to admit, I think I like this and my favorite (coming up next) bakeries because their cupcakes taste the most like mine! Nona's cakes are a perfect texture and their frosting is light & delicious! I also like that they have a "cupcake bar," meaning you can mix & match cakes, frostings & toppings to whatever you feel like that day! My favorite is their classic chocolate cupcake with either their vanilla or almond frosting & I love adding sprinkles!

And to end this post is my very favorite cupcake bakery, it's a cupcakery! Smallcakes Cupcakery has locations in Kansas City, MO, and Atlanta, GA and I've been to both states to test out their DELICIOUS cupcakes!!! I have to say, every single time I've been to their bakery I've had a delicious cupcake! My first one was on St. Patrick's day & it was FREE because they often do sweet deals on Foursquare and Facebook!! If I lived in one of these areas, I would be in BIG TROUBLE because they have the MOST delicious cupcakes of any I've ever tasted...they might even be better than mine! ;) I've been back several times, mostly for my favorite chocolate! Combining my favorite flavors with one of my favorite colors...PINK & little pink sprinkles! I also tried their vanilla pink, birthday cupcake & key lime cupcake!

So, there it "Bakers Dozen" review of 13 different cupcake bakeries! I hope I didn't make anyone upset by my opinion, I tried to be very honest & tactful! Personally, I'm a fan of a classic chocolate cupcake with vanilla frosting...moist cake and creamy, yet light frosting, which is what I found in my two favorite shops! I hope y'all can check out some of these places and let me know what you think of them as well! ...until next time, MUAH!

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Home Sweet Home

Hello from Charlotte!

Well, this is a little overdue, I know...I've been home just over two weeks, which in itself just sounds crazy! I'm very, VERY happy to be home & am LOVING the time with my family. I've been watching television shows & movies a bit more lately which makes me miss traveling a little, since I'll see places I've been or places on my "to visit" list!

Since being home I've unloaded all my things from my car to the spare bedroom at my sister and brother in law's house (which I am ever so grateful to them for letting me stay!). I've also had to reacclimate myself with the new location of the house, since it's on the opposite side of town & I've got myself all turned around (thank goodness for GPS on my iPhone). Also since being home I've been filling out LOTS of applications for marketing jobs which is probably one of the most tedious tasks in the world. BUT, I'm praying it will pay off and I'll land a great job (and if you're an employer, you should hire won't regret it!) haha!

The most exciting news since returning back to the Carolinas, besides how much I'm loving the warm, sunny, that I got an early Christmas present!!! I've been waiting a long time for this gift & my former co-workers/travel partners can vouch for me when I say that I talked about it nearly every day, I finally got my KitchenAid stand mixer in the raspberry ice color! It arrived via my sister's mother in law (since the store I ordered it from made a mistake & switched my billing & shipping address, which sent it to MICHIGAN!) and it arrived just in time for Thanksgiving dinner! I made the dinner with the help of my sous chefs, my sister and her mother in law! My menu included, Martha Stewart's "perfect roast turkey" and let me tell you, it was delicious & worth the couple extra steps of brining and soaking cheesecloth with a butter/wine mixture throughout the roasting time. I also made sides, Bobby Flay's sourdough, wild mushroom & bacon dressing, Sunny Anderson's roasted brussel sprouts, Food Network magazine's mashed potatoes with herbs and cheese, gravy and popovers! Dessert I made included, a pumpkin cheesecake with a ginger snap crust, french apple pie with a crumb top and a classic pecan pie with vanilla ice cream and/or whipped cream (the ice cream and whipped cream were the only store bought items). In all honesty, two days in the kitchen were exhausting (I baked the desserts the day before as well as brined the turkey)! However, I very much enjoyed EVERY second of it! I will just plan a little better next year & accept more help from my sous chefs when they offer! :) Overall, everyone was very pleased with the meal, the desserts and the leftovers! I ended up making turkey tetrazzini with the turkey leftovers, which was really good too!

I also have made homemade brownies and peanut butter chocolate chip cookies with my new mixer & I'm gathering many more desserts and dishes to whip up in the beautiful kitchen accessory (that still needs a name by the way)!

Now that I've told you all about my food, you might be wondering about all my gripes about not being able to regularly attend the gym while on the road...and what I'm doing about that! Well, to be honest...not as much as I should, BUT I have gone a couple times! :) I signed up for a 5K race that is December 3rd, and as I type this I realize that's next weekend (holy crap!) I've been to the gym a few times and have gone on a couple runs outside as well as played tennis with my brother in law once! Now that I have a break in the holidays, I am making a commitment to start to go to the gym regularly as well as start planning my meals!!!

Well, that's pretty much all I have for now but I'm going to try & update something interesting at least once a week...we'll see how well I do with that! ;)

I hope everyone had a wonderful Thanksgiving weekend and have a blessed little break before Christmas! Until next time...muah!

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Where I've Been - One Month Left

Hello AGAIN from Columbus, OH. Pretty sure this has been my most frequented location of tour...and let me check - Yep, according to foursquare it has been (47 check-ins here to be exact).

Well, I only have ONE MONTH left of tour now, which is so stinking crazy! And to be precise, I have 29 days until I'm on a plane back "home" (which is going to be NC at this time) and because we have to drop the vehicle/trailer off in Wisconsin & finish up work in Chicago before we fly home...technically I only have 25 days left of actual "event" work. I cannot believe that it's almost been a year & that I've been living out of hotels for almost ten months now. Ha.

I could officially do this at the very end of tour, but I feel like writing about it now, the "best & worst" of Map Team 1 (aka Team Jetfire) from my perspective & a review of the last 9+ months.

We've been to 23 states, driven approximately 39,000 miles...visited countless cities, (I) made it to 12 MLB stadiums and 2 Spring Training stadiums. Our most common event to do in our "free time" is shopping, whether it was just window shopping or actual shopping, we found ourselves in a mall in basically every city that had one. My favorite cities were, Orlando (probably because it was right after spending a MONTH in Indianapolis in February...), Kansas City, State College, PA & Milwaukee (disclaimer: when we visited these cities, the weather was PERFECT & usually the events were fun, which had to do with my "decision" on this). My least favorite cities were; Annapolis, Maryland...rude people, nothing special to look at or do, Wheeling, WV - terrible, just terrible...oh & I also disliked the entire state of New Jersey.

Let's talk food: Best cupcake (and we tried SEVERAL) goes to Smallcakes Cupcakery in Kansas City, which is also where I had the best BBQ of my Oklahoma Joes! Best Brazilian place (we tried a couple) was at Brazil Grill in NYC on 8th & 48th, most of the staff spoke Portuguese & according to Michelle, the food was pretty authentic! We had a running theme of finding "fro-yo" in places & basically Menchie's has the best. And the best brew I tried along the way (didn't have much of an opportunity for this) was White Beer from Lakefront Brewery in Milwaukee.

While at work: My favorite event to work as far as the "cool-factor" goes, was probably the Jets/Giants Draft Party at New Meadowlands Stadium (aka MetLife Stadium). While I enjoyed working NFL, NHL, NBA, MLB, PGA, LPGA, NCAA & Minor League Baseball events...that one really stuck out since I actually got to go on the field (first time EVER on an NFL field) and be a part of the action, it was really fun! The most interesting event has to go to the Lunar New Year event in NYC, our very first event! It was SO different than any other event we worked & will forever stick out in my mind like, yeah...I just did that (along with driving a SUV & trailer through Manhattan!) Another cool event was the series of Droid Scavenger Hunts we did for the launch of the Samsung was really fun to be a part of something so interesting & viral-marketing driven! The only "celebrities" I saw/met were, Steve Nash of the Phoenix Suns while in Indianapolis, Jack Nicklaus in Dublin, OH and I got to meet Dan Mead, President and CEO of Verizon Wireless, while at State College, PA.

While at play: My favorite thing we did on our day off is when Kevin & I were able to go to Universal Studios in Orlando to see the Wizarding World of Harry Potter! I have a whole blog post about it back in March, if you haven't read should. :) I also very much enjoyed going to sporting events, I got to see baseball games at Yankee Stadium in New York, Kauffman Stadium in Kansas City, PNC Park in Pittsburgh, and Miller Park in Milwaukee as well as the Braves vs Tigers spring training game at the ESPN, Wide World of Sports Complex in Kissimmee, FL! And just recently I was able to watch the Red Wings take on the Blackhawks in a pre-season game in Chicago at the United Center!

The most beautiful place we went would have to be Traverse City, Michigan, and I would say it's because I'm biased...but looking back on all the places, that really was the most beautiful in my opinion. It also had my favorite hotel we stayed at...the Great Wolf Lodge, which we stayed at by force, due to a complete sell-out of hotels for the National Cherry Festival!

I think that pretty much sums it up for now, hopefully I can do a more complete overview with some exciting stuff to throw in from these next 25 days! Hope this posts finds you all well, MUAH!

Friday, September 23, 2011

Back in Black

Hey y'all! I'm currently in Lexington, KY (again). In the past three weeks I have been to nine different states: Virginia, Ohio, Kentucky, Tennessee, Alabama, Georgia, South Carolina, North Carolina, Maryland! Crazy stuff. Just about seven weeks left of tour!

So, you might think that my blog post is going to be about AC/DC or something...but you're wrong. It has to do with my wardrobe! Back in college, when I gained a substantial amount of weight, I didn't want to wear anything but black, because it was "slimming" and it would hide all that extra weight I was carrying around. So, that's basically what I wore, mostly black with some items having a splash of color or a little polkadot action. After I started to lose weight, I rediscovered the rainbow of colors I was missing out on, I wasn't afraid to draw attention to myself anymore. Now, since I've been on can't exactly fit a wide variety of clothing unless you want three suitcases (like some people I know, eh-hem, lol). But for me, it's more, less is more while I'm traveling, so I packed a lot of basics but still tried to keep a variety of colors & styles for the days that I wasn't in "uniform".

The last three months of this tour have been brutal on me, I got used to the waking up in a different city every day & the sporadic schedule changes, but man...I wasn't prepared for 70 hour work weeks & a schedule so unpredictable I don't know where I'm going in THREE DAYS! I knew before I started this tour that I liked structured flexibility, and to many of you that might be an oxymoron but it makes perfect sense to me. Structured flexibility is constant change with a plan...I like to plan, I like lists & a constant but I also like things to change to keep things interesting. So, when I was no longer in control of anything in my life (other than maintaining a relationship with God), I have kind of "let myself go". Which brings me to the fact that I'm "back in black" when it comes to my wardrobe!

I feel a little disheveled & haggard lately, my hair hates me for switching up hotels every few days, the climate changes (going from Maryland to Alabama) are awful on my skin & the constant on the go, or don't know where I'm going causes stress that is also not helping my skin or those giant circles under my eyes! Haha. Let's not mention the fact that there seem to be no L.A. Fitness locations in the cities we go to & the fact that I'm just too tired or lazy to work out lately & my eating habits are extremely difficult to manage out on the road.

I think I'm writing this blog post because I have gained some weight since being on tour & I've seen myself go back to some of my old ways of wearing black more often, being totally uncomfortable just sitting in front of people & being disgusted with myself when I look in the mirror and I'm TERRIFIED I'm going to let myself slip back into that downward spiral that I was in three years ago! All those factors about my current lifestyle have made it more difficult for me to maintain or lose weight, but they are also excuses & I need to make sure I'm not slipping back into my old ways on account of me feeling sorry for myself. And that brings me to the declaration that things need to change in my life, I have seven weeks left of tour & I want to enjoy it! I want to spend the next seven weeks happy to take pictures with Kevin & Michelle & feel good about myself! So, there it you know, I'm struggling but I will come out of this tour feeling good about myself!

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

From Here to There and Everywhere!

Hello from the car (that’s a first)! On our way from Annapolis, MD to Prattville, AL with a stop in Knoxville, TN tonight. Now, your first thought if you know me is…Knoxville, TN!? Like University of Tennessee country…Neyland Stadium!!! YUP! When I visited Tennessee back when I was a teenager, I totally fell in love with everything, the people, the schools, the football and the state as a whole & I’m still in love. UT is my second favorite college…right after my Alma Mater of course, Western Michigan University! So needless to say, I am STOKED about passing through Knoxville!

Now, let’s talk about Annapolis, MD. If I had to describe this city in one word it would be…rude. I swear to you, everyone I met that was from Annapolis acted as though they had GIANT stick up their butt! Ugh, what a way to live! But seriously, I did not meet one nice person there unless they weren’t FROM Annapolis! But, it officially wins the award for the rudest, most unfriendly people in all of the cities I’ve traveled to so far. A close second would be all of New Jersey, but to be fair…I’ve only been in the Carlstadt/East Rutherford areas mostly…but besides their people, their road systems SUCK…no left turns!? What is a JUG HANDLE!? I’m excited to be heading South for some southern hospitality, that’s for sure!

We’re going to be in the South for a couple weeks, we’re heading to work the LPGA Golf Tournament in Prattville, AL, and after that we’re doing a couple University of Kentucky football games. I’ll be experiencing fall in the South for the first time, which is almost a bummer because fall in the Midwest is my favorite part! I know that working at college football games is going to bring back a rush of nostalgic memories of being at WMU with my best friends in the whole wide world! Ahh, just thinking about it makes me miss those days!

Speaking of sports, we’re coming to my favorite part of the year! This is when baseball season is serious business, football season is underway & hockey is about to start! It’s even better when the Tigers look like they’re headed to the post season (magic number is 7!!), the Lions had a great pre-season & won their first game (even though they turned into the typical Lions & made the end of the game pretty nerve-wracking!?) AND the Red Wings may have had some crucial changes due to retirements, but we still have a solid program that is going to bring it home this year! Man, I love being a Detroit sports fan! I’m a fan win or lose, but when they’re winning it’s a whole lot more fun! I’m really pumped about the Tigers, seems they really have their pitching down which is what we’ve been missing for a while & I couldn’t be happier (okay, maybe if we had the Phillies’ record, but still).

Well, that’s kind of an update on my life lately…I would update you with the rest of the month, but out schedule isn’t posted yet! I never realized how much of a planner I was until I live my life week by week & sometimes don’t even know four days in advance what state I’ll be in!! Talk about anxiety…ha, I guess it’s helped me manage the fact that I’m no longer in control of ANY part of my life! And guess what…tour is almost over! Saturday will officially be our 8-month mark, meaning only two months left! Crazy.

I miss all my friends & family back home & am so blessed I’m able to have them as long-distance support when I need it! Until next time…MUAH!

::Update:: Made it to Alabama & am staying in an INTERESTING hotel...

Monday, August 1, 2011

Help is on the Way!

Hello from Milwaukee, WI.

You know the saying, "you don't know what you have until you lose it?" Well, while I've been on tour I've realized something about myself & it makes me kind of sad. I didn't know how much I WASN'T doing until I couldn't do it. For instance, Michelle & I have been visiting churches every Sunday we can and a common theme from church to church is "small groups" "outreach groups" "community involvement", etc. Obviously in my state of nomad-ness I cannot become a part of any of these things & it makes me realize how much I WANT to be a part of them & it also makes me think, why on EARTH was I not a part of these things before I started this job? Now, to defend myself specifically with church...I've grown a lot in the last couple years & just recently have felt the urge & desire to join these types of groups. And actually before I moved from Michigan I started the process of joining the church, wanting to get involved with a small group, etc...but then I moved to NC where I worked retail & usually worked Sundays & relied on the podcasts of Lake Center Bible Church in Portage, MI for my Sunday service since I hadn't found a new home church yet. But that aside, I should have been doing more & not just in the church!

How many times have you thought to yourself, "I want to volunteer" or "I wish I could make a difference in someone's life"? Personally, I think that a lot, but then the excuses start pouring in...I don't have money to give to people, I hardly have enough time to get my own personal things done, what if I fail at it? Do you know how much you can do with just your TIME that doesn't involve money at all? And time, if that is your excuse...I challenge you to go about your natural course of your week, but count how much of your precious TIME you spend on your smartphone, computer, tablet or whatever device you use or how much television you watch or if you sleep more than 8hr a night, how much time you sleep...THEN tell me you don't have enough time. If you're a business owner, perhaps you could donate your services or items once a week to a special cause, every little bit can help! And the ever-present issue in any human being's life, "what if I fail at it!" me, you won't fail. While I was in college I participated in the Big Brothers, Big Sister's program & after I had to quit because of time & money reasons, I felt like a failure...but I can guarantee you that the year I spent with my little, the very small amount of time I spent with her, was an escape, a fun adventure & moments she will remember for a long time. Same with Habitat for Humanity, I helped build someone's HOME, a home they will live in for a long time...and walks/runs to benefit cancer research, I made a difference in SOMEONE's life.

I can't do much while I'm on the road, but the first thing I plan on doing when I'm in a steady place again is volunteer my time, join a church & get involved, put a smile on someone's face & make someone's day better. If you're too shy to do something for a stranger, start with your own family! Go visit an elderly relative that doesn't get visitors often, sit & talk with them, play games or offer to do chores & run errands with/for them. Every LITTLE thing helps & I encourage you to go out TODAY & do something for someone else!

August 3, 2011 - Addition

Per feedback from some of my readers...this post was in no way intended to make you feel bad, but if it did make you feel bad maybe you should think about why it made you feel bad & decide what to do about it! :) Also, as I was listening to KLove, a christian radio station available online ( yesterday before work they were talking about a current ministry "Water of Life" that provides families in Rwanda with water filters which is CRUCIAL for life there. I was interested in the ministry to begin with, but it was after the radio show host said, "if you've been wanting to do something, to help out, to make a difference & you don't have the time, perhaps you have the means to monetarily donate to this cause" that I was called to read further into this charity. It is a beautiful thing that is happening here & I encourage you all to take a look at their website & see what wonderful things are taking place!

Love y'all! Muah!