That 5 Talent Life

A couple weeks ago, I heard the story of the talents, from the Bible. A story I’ve heard countless times in the past. But for some reason, this time…it hit me differently than it had before. Perhaps you’ve heard this story…

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Graphic from TremendousLifeBooks.com

A master gives each of his 3 servants a number of talents. The first man is given 5 talents. The second man is given 2 talents and the third man is given 1 talent. They each take them and later on the master comes back to get an accounting from the 3 men…he comes to settle debts. The first man returns with the 5 original talents given and has doubled his talents. He took what was given and used it to the fullest. Full stop! This is where it hit me.

Every other time I’ve heard this parable, I’ve focused on the 1 talent man who brought back only the 1 talent he was originally given. He’d buried it out of fear and therefore had nothing to show for the master’s investment, but the initial 1 talent. The parable is about faith over fear. The parable is about living out the best life you can with the talents you’ve been given! But for some reason it’s this five talent man that got me trippin’. The speaker asked if we’d ever known a 5 talent person. He asked if we felt we were a 5 talent person. And I had to answer…no. I’m not a 5 talent person. This doesn’t mean that I don’t have many talents, maybe even 5 talents to speak of. It means that I often choose to watch 3 episodes of Seinfeld over pursuing my dreams. It means that I may put something in my calendar that I really want to do, but when the day comes to do it, sometimes I chicken out.

For a very sad example: One time I went to a party in New York. There were going to be “people” there. Important “people”…”people” that I could meet and network with. That party had the potential to be a banner moment. I got dressed up…took a cab to the location…paid the cab driver…walked to the door of the restaurant…looked inside at the all the “people” and turned around and went home. Hating myself every minute I didn’t turn back around and use those talents to the fullest. This is one example, but there are countless times when I’ve buried my talents.

I want to be a 5 talent person. The speaker who was telling this whole story talked about meeting Billy Graham, a 5 talent man. No matter what you think of Billy Graham…the man used what was given to him. He spent his life using his talents. And when the speaker met Billy Graham, he knew he was in the presence of a 5 talent man. That doesn’t mean that there weren’t days when Billy Graham walked to the window of the party, looked inside and turned around. Every single one of us have days like that, no matter how many talents we have or how successful we are at using them to the fullest.

But the days you let fear win cannot outweigh the days you kick fear’s ass to the curb.

I want to be a 5 talent person. I want someone to meet me one day and say…”Damn, she’s 5 talent!”

So…how do I do that? How can I become a 5 talent person?

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Pairings Retreat: From Dream to Reality

One day, shortly after the beginning of the new year, my friend Cristina from Your Personal Producer and I were on G-chat as we normally are, sharing our dreams for 2018. She was in a funk and I was in a post-Paris high! 2017 had seen some serious ups and downs for both of us and we didn’t want 2018 to end up being the same old song and dance. You know…dream big at the beginning of the year, start off strong and lose it somewhere around mid-April.

In a moment of honesty, she blurted out: (paraphrasing) “I wish I could just get away. Go on a retreat and get my thoughts in order for 2018.”

And I said “Let’s do that!”

The funny thing is, it’s usually me who dreams beyond my reach and usually she steps in to tell me: “That’s possible.” But on this day our roles were reversed and soon our dreaming turned into a game plan!

She threw out a concept, I took it and threw things back at her and an actionable plan formed not only in our minds and on our proverbial cocktail napkins, but also on a shared Google Drive folder that would soon become an actionable itinerary for the retreat of our dreams.

Pairings Retreat

We started off with the dream of a beachy, intimate retreat filled with instagrammable drinks paired with vision board creations. Photo sessions paired with content calendars. Adorable products from bakeries like P is for Pie and brands like band.o to inspire our own creative juices. It all came together like the stories you hear of visionaries in restaurants spit balling ideas and then…one day, we have Twitter. Or in a parent’s garage and all of a sudden…Apple is born.

In fact, Cristina and I have this thing that happens to us when we really get going on an idea on G-chat. One of us will type out an idea and hit send only to find the other person has thought of almost the exact same thing as well. Leading to a lot of “GET OUT OF MY HEAD” and “HOW IS THIS HAPPENING?”

In moments like these, we are so like-minded that our dreams and visions become transcendent. Like somehow God is planting ideas in both our heads and because He had the good sense to make us friends, He’s smiling at His handiwork when we, humble creations that we are, realize how our ideas fit together just as they are meant to!

So fast forward through all of our pre-planning and big dreaming to the retreat itself.

Road Trip Reunion:

Cristina flew in early Tuesday morning. We didn’t want to skip a beat or miss precious time enacting our respective visions. I grocery shopped and product sourced ahead of time with a handy shared shopping list on the G-Drive (the thing that helps us get all things done.)

Pairings Retreat - a creative retreat for blogger by Cristina and Liz

The drive to Madeira Beach is about 2 hours from Orlando, so we had plenty of time to get our thoughts in order and make some plans ahead of our scheduled time of making plans. Plus, we had a chance to get important friend catch-up time in there as well, which is vital to a partnership like ours! We strive very hard to strike a balance between best friends forever and business partners. And that comes with equal helpings of dream casting and venting about elements of our everyday life.

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Werk Werk Werk:

Once we reached our destination, we were in for a penny, in for a pound. We wasted no time unpacking the car, setting up our rooms and our work spaces, making our first round of drinks and getting our hair into sensible work pony-tails. We had a quick lunch on the beach of Publix subs, because Publix subs are the be all and end all of sandwiches for any home grown Florida girl (and we both are!)

Pairings Retreat - a creative retreat for bloggers by Cristina and Lizzie

Next, we set about our goal setting. With the help of some materials Cristina brought along, we began to ask really tough questions about our goals. What we wanted to achieve in life? What was stopping us? What did we allow in our lives that caused road blocks we may not even be aware of yet? What emotional juggernauts did we each have to work on and overcome in the coming year to make space for big dreams? So…no big deal. Just the extremely big, life-altering questions of the every day life, right?

Visionaries:

Following that, we set to the task of vision boarding. Cristina’s board was and all-encompassing snap shot of the life she wants to create for herself. A sensible 11×17″ format that would fit nicely in her carry on and be easy to take home with her.

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My vision board…well, you know I don’t do anything the “normal” way. Mine turned into more of what I like to call, a vision journal. Each page representing a different aspect of my personality that I wanted to highlight or work on or change altogether.  (more to come on vision journaling!)

Sunsets are Non-negotiable:

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After getting a whole lot of WERK done, we made a rule about Pairings Retreat…Sunsets are non-negotiable!! So we walked out to the beach (which was mere steps away from the front door of our beach cottage) and watched as the day sank into nighttime. Sunsets are the best way to end a day, IMHO. They remind you that there is beauty waiting at the end of whatever you just went through. And they reminded us to consider that the world has so much to offer.

Winner, Winner, Pesto Dinner:

When pairing up with a Forever Friend and future business partner, it’s nice to combine skills. Some of which I have, some of which she has and some of which we share. But making a delicious Pesto Chicken Pasta for dinner…that’s all Cristina!

Throughout our day we were cognizant of the moments when we wanted to hunker down and get through our list, as well as making room for moments when we needed a little R&R to refresh us for the hard stuff. Pairings Retreat quickly became about so much more than scheduling blog posts and creating actionable plans for our future. It was only the end of day one and already we both had the feeling that we had stumbled upon something really special.

Second Verse, Better than the First:

We awoke at a reasonable hour in the morning on Day 2. Actually, I got up a little earlier to go sit on the beach and watch the day break. Breakfast was mimosas and bagels from Brooklyn Water Bagel, a local place in Winter Park and a favorite place of mine (shop small!!!)

Pairings Retreat - a creative retreat for bloggers by Cristina and Lizzie

We analyzed our schedule for the day over breakfast and made some adjustments. We wanted to have more time for photo sessions and wanted to take advantage of the weather in the morning. Being flexible in the midst of a set schedule became really important for us. We had things to accomplish, but we also wanted to be free to move with the day as we needed to.

Snap My Picture:

Cristina has gotten very good at taking my picture. From our days of working on my web series in New York to her constantly being my photographer for fitness series and fashion posts. Me…I’m not as good at it. But this was a chance to stretch myself. I’m usually the one in front of the camera, because I like to be there. She’s usually behind it, for the same reason. But Pairings Retreat is about challenging yourself. Creating what you need. And learning that the walls you have to climb are only as tall as you let them be. Learn to climb and you don’t have a wall problem anymore, do you!

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Photo by Cristina Fowler
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Photo by Cristina Fowler
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Photo by Cristina Fowler (she really is good at this game!)

Working Lunch:

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We continued to bump things around and change our schedule as our needs dictated for the day. Lunch became a working lunch. We put the finishing touches on our vision boards and started in on our writing session. Whatever that meant for each of us. We are both bloggers, but I took that time to continue filing out my questionnaire about my future, which became addictive and illuminating. I didn’t realize some of the things that were coming up in my answers and it allowed me a perspective on my future that I had not considered yet.

Treat Yourself:

Who among us isn’t energized by a treat? The mere mention of a cupcake in the vicinity and I perk right up! Prior to the trip, I had procured a couple special treats for us. Pies from P is for Pie, cupcakes from Small Cakes Cupcakery and extra large Hershey’s chocolate bars for each of us (milk chocolate for Cristina and dark chocolate for me.) We had a drink pairing for each portion of our day and delectable meals lined up around every corner.

Pairings Retreat - a creative retreat for bloggers by Cristina and Lizzie

We didn’t over eat. We didn’t get drunk or binge on sweets to the point of sugar comas, but we did enjoyed our time together to the fullest and took time to treat ourselves as we worked hard and got our check lists done! This is now a founding principle of Pairings Retreat. TREAT YOURSELF!!

Bring Me that Horizon:

As I  mentioned before…sunsets are non-negotiable at Pairings and we took the chance to get another photo session in before the sun took it’s bow for our last night on retreat.

On the Town:

To add a big, shiny bow to our fabulous and very productive 2-day retreat, we went out to dinner Wednesday night. We couldn’t believe we had only started the morning before. We had gotten so much done!

There’s something about fresh seafood on the porch of a beach town restaurant that is especially rejuvenating. We had more fruity drinks and more delicious desserts. And we talked about how we wanted to expand our idea for Pairings. What if we offered this experience to more bloggers who were looking for what we had found here?

To the Future:

It’s funny. After a certain age, things like camp and sleep overs and getaways become hard to come by because of life circumstance or frowned upon because of age. 30-something women don’t have slumber parties anymore. Adults don’t go away to sleep over camp. We grown-ups have it all figured out, after all. But I call shenanigans!!

Pairings Retreat - a creative retreat for blogger Cristina and Lizzie

We need to get away sometimes. We need to recharge our batteries away from the people who spend the most time using our batteries up. We need time with other creatives to spark our own adventures and dreams. That is exactly what Pairings became for us.

And even better, that is what Pairings can be for you too!!

If that sounds like just what you’re looking for, then…Stay tuned!

Pairings Retreat - a creative retreat for bloggers by Cristina and Lizzie

#PrincessBootCamp – Moana Fitness Plan

Princess Boot Camp Moana Week Nerd Disney Fitness Blog

I am a summer girl through and through. So Moana Week is right up my alley with the beachiness, the tropical food and the love of water. Next to Pocahontas, I think Moana is the next Disney Princess that I most connect to.

Disney Princess Boot Camp Moana Week fitness blog post

The call of the unknown certainly calls to me and sometimes I feel like I don’t have the freedom to just pick up and follow that call. But also like Moana, I continue to learn over and over again that “the call isn’t out there at all, it’s inside me. It’s like the tide always rising and falling!”

In order to get fit like Moana, this week, here’s a look at the activities that will help you channel the spirit of Moana:

Surfing

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Picture from Patagonia.com

I wasn’t actually able to take surf lessons this week. But it’s on my master bucket list of things to do one day. And, I think, if surfing was an option on the tiny island of Motunui, Moana would really be great at it. It’s similar to our next fitness activity, but much harder. The reason I decided not to go through with a singular lesson, is because it’s an activity that needs a lot more dedicated lessons and practice to really get down. One day!

Paddle Boarding

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Picture from paddleboardthrills.com

Paddle Boarding is having a serious moment this summer. It’s a cousin to surfing and utilizes a lot of the same muscles groups, but is far easier. You don’t have to be as attuned to the ebb and flow of the tide for paddle boarding. In fact, I did all my paddle boarding this week in a lake. So no need for tides at all! What I love about paddle boarding is that you can do it a couple different ways. You can stand and paddle or sit down or be on your knees. You can also go on full paddle boarding adventures and take breaks during the day. I packed a little lunch, threw it onto my board and had some really amazing moments out on the water. No one else was around and it was relaxing and energizing at the same time. I went out on the water 3 times this week. This is an activity that can feel like you aren’t burning as much as you are…I was sore, to say the least! The good kind of sore!

Hula Dancing

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Picture from Vimeo.com

To finish out the activities this week, I added Hula Dancing to my list. Hot Hula to be exact. There was actually a hula class at the community center that I wanted to try out, since the community center had worked for me during other weeks. But the scheduling didn’t work out. I think I will try it some time in the future, though. And if you have a live class available to you, I encourage you to try it. I always prefer a class of other human beings over a video at home. There’s something great about doing something new with people. It helps you create new connections. But this week, it was videos for me. Specifically these on You Tube:

 

Enjoy!!

#PrincessBootCamp – Cinderella Week Meal Plan

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Starting is always the hardest part with it comes to a new fitness plan. At least for me it is. Months of eating poorly and choosing Netflix over any strenuous physical activity had left my body in very poor shape. I live in a 2nd floor apartment and stairs were quickly becoming my nemesis.

At the start of 2017, I chose the word “Believe” as my word of the year. I picked it at a time when I was having trouble believing in anything, myself least of all. But I saw this challenge as a chance to start believing again. And for the next 8 weeks, that’s what I did. I dove into #PrincessBootCamp with both feet and I started to believe that I could do things I hadn’t done in a long time, believe that I could do things I’d never tried before!

As I said in my introduction post, I’m in a different place than I was when I was an #AvengerinTraining and repeating what worked then simply wasn’t an option. So a new series was born.

Week 1 I focused on Cinderella.

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Cinderella is the story of a girl who loses her mother, then loses her father and is left in the care of her evil stepmother and stepsisters. She is basically held captive by these uncaring women and with little love or compassion, is left to a life of slavery and cruelty. Her socio economic status makes it impossible for her to break free from this household.

Being the kind-hearted, optimistic young women she is, Cinderella takes each challenge as it comes to her and never lets it make her cruel or bitter herself. She is a hard worker who spends plenty of time dreaming of what could be. Does she dream of princes? Yes. But given her situation in life, and her view of the palace, can you blame her? It’s a tangible representation of the life she could have, if only…

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Photo by Cristina Fowler @thelittlestfowler

Cinderella spends her days in the kitchen cooking for her “family,” in the garden working her fingers to the bone. She does the chores in the house and she makes sure everything is in working order. If there is back breaking work to be done, it falls to Cinderella’s slender shoulders and do we ever hear her utter one complaint in most of the movie adaptations? One bitter invective? No, we do not. This Princess is kind and persistent and she does not let the circumstance of her life change her kind heart. Now, that is something to aspire to!

In an effort to channel Cindy for this first week of #PrincessBootCamp I created a meal plan for the week based on what a 19th century peasant girl might have been eating at the time. My shopping list looked like this:

-whole grain bread (the cheapest kind)

-butter or low cost jams

-oatmeal/porridge

-eggs

-inexpensive cuts of meat (ie: ground beef, chicken, whatever is cheapest at the market)

-greens (brussel sprouts and spinach)

-apples, blackberries, raspberries

-water, water, water

-tea

Monday through Saturday, I adhered strictly to the above list and DID NOT DEVIATE…can I tell you what a win it was to make a plan and stick to it. Even for 6 days. It was a bloody triumph!!! Now the amount of food I ate from day to day varied. With an elevated level of activity, some days I needed more energy than others. And since all the food on my list was good stuff, I felt perfectly fine not counting the calories and just trusting my body. I also gave up weighing myself for the whole 8 weeks. In fact, I encourage you to do the same with any fitness plan you take on. That scale becomes a crutch very quickly if we let it. Don’t let it!

On the seventh day, I let myself go to the ball and I indulged in a delicious piece of chocolate cake from my favorite place in Winter Park: The Briar Patch. In order to fully embrace your inner Cinderella, you have to accept that home girl probably got her eat on at that ball, despite what we see on screen! I think she would have taken the chance to taste something delicious at some point in the night. Even if she was short on time and dazzled by a handsome prince! Think what you want…I choose to believe in the power of cake!

Next up: Cinderella Week Fitness Plan

Heartbeats

Stop what you’re doing. Just for a  moment…stop. Reach out your hand, doesn’t matter which one. Take the opposite hand and press two fingers to your wrist. Press hard till you can feel your pulse…your heartbeat. That gentle tick tock tick tock. If you can’t find it there, reach up to where your chin meets your neck and press in. Count the beats. Were you just waking from sleep? Did you go for a morning run? Is it slow, is it fast? How fast does your heart beat this morning?

Heartbeats blog post tragedies

Now let go. And think about the 2 men who’s hearts no longer beat today. Alton Sterling and Philando Castile. Think about the 5 cops in Dallas who lost their lives mere hours ago. They had heartbeats too.

Think of the victims who died in Baghdad days ago and in an Istanbul airport days before that and the victims of the Pulse shooting before that. Reach back into our too near past and count the heartbeats that have stopped. Ferguson, Paris, Sandy Hook, Newtown, Virginia Tech, Columbine, 9/11 and on and on and on.

What do these events have in common? There are different evils at work in each case, but there is a common thread. Heartbeats. Hundreds of thousands of heartbeats. The light and healthy heartbeats of children and teenagers. The heavier heartbeats of young, middle-aged and older adults.

It’s true…we have a race problem.

We have a terrorism problem.

We have a gun problem and a bomb problem and a hate problem.

None of which will ever be fixed if we don’t stop and think that the people standing next to us have one thing in common with us….a heartbeat.

I have one…you have one. Alton does not. Philando does not. Stanley and Amanda and Oscar and Aracena and Rodolfo and Antonio and Darryl and Angel and Juan and Luis and Cory and Simon and Leroy and Mercedes and Peter and Juan and Paul and Frank and Miguel and Javier and Jason and Eddie and Anthony and Christopher and Alejandro and Brenda and Gilberto and Kimberly and Akyra and Luis and Geraldo and Eric and Joel and Jean and Enrique and Jean and Xavier and Christopher and Yilmary and Edward and Shane and Martin and Jonathan and Juan and Luis and Franky and Luis and Jerald do not. The cops in Dallas, who’s names haven’t been release yet because their deaths are that fresh, do not.

Pulse Victims names heartbeats blog post
Photo courtesy of CityofOrlando.net

Don’t become immune to this violence that is plaguing our country…our world. It would be easy to do. Terrible events like these are becoming more common and our news sources are flooding us with images and video footage and statistics and outrage. This is their job. And I think it’s all they know to do right now. They have heartbeats too remember!

As I’ve said before, I don’t know what to do to fix it. But I know I was given a voice. We all have that in common too. See how alike we are.

I didn’t forget that we’re different. I didn’t forget that you live there and I live here. That maybe you’re a Republican and I’m a Democrat. That maybe you’re an Atheist and I’m a Christian. That maybe you’re gay and I’m straight. That maybe you’re black and I’m white. I didn’t forget.

I just don’t care about what makes us different. I care about what makes us the same. I’m asking you to care about that too.

It’s not enough. Change must happen, we must demand it. That is important. This is the time. But right now, reach your hand back and feel your heartbeat and thank God or whatever you believe in that you still have one today. Cause not everyone does this morning.

It’s sad and it hurts and it’s wrong. I hope you feel all those emotions that remind us we are alive. But more than that, I hope it makes you mad. I hope you get so mad that the demons know you’re coming for them.

And in the aftermath of death and death and death I hope we start preserving and protecting heartbeats. All heartbeats. Mine and yours and his and hers and theirs. They’re all the same.

Hey, we HAVE to start somewhere. Start now.

Follow Friday

Follow Friday

You know what I love about Fridays? The fact that they always come back around again. Fridays never leave us nor forsake us, gentle reader! Fridays are steadfast and ever constant. And so shall my Follow Friday Blog series be.

I want to help you discover the multitude of internet talent that may be hiding just around the river bend. You deserve to enjoy fun photos, sweet music and hilarious posts that will help remind you that the world is a beautiful place and God put beautiful people in it!!

As always, if you have a suggestion you’d like to send my way for consideration please email me at: nerdinthecity01@gmail.com. I always love to hear from you, readers!!

Emo Kylo Ren on Twitter

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Do you love Star Wars? Did you see The Force Awakens and wonder to yourself “Hmmm…I wonder what kind of things that moody, little twerp Kylo Ren would tweet if they had such things as Twitter in that galaxy far, far away?” Well, wonder no more. Because Emo Kylo Ren exists for your reading pleasure on the Twittersphere!! And boy is he hilarious. Just take a look at the above tweets. There’s more where that came from. Go follow @KyloR3n right this instance!

Maxwell Glick on YouTube

Allow me to introduce you to the wonderful world of Maxwell Glick aka Mr. Cheezy Pop. Maxwell is best known on the inter webs for his charming portrayal of Ricky Collins in The Lizzie Bennet Diaries web series (which again, if you haven’t seen…you must see immediately.) He was also in School of Thrones and Muzzled the Musical (both of which deserve your viewership as well.)

But it’s his You Tube channel that I want to draw your attention to. In this age of digital trolling and Trump on TV, it’s fair to say that we could all use a little positivity in our lives. And that’s exactly what Maxwell has to offer. He LOVES Disney and his channel has is a veritable treasure trove of fun including, but not limited to: original parody songs (my personal favorites,) Disney tours, reaction vidscommentary and a whole lot more.

The point I’m trying to make is that you should give Maxwell a try!!

Momma’s Gone City on Instagram

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Photo Courtesy of Momma’s Gone City

Meet Theo and Beau. A pair of best friends who love to take the most adorable naps together. Luckily mom, Jessica Shyba had the good sense to document the adorable that took place and put the resulting pictures up on Instagram, where these pictures feel right at home.

Beau was just a toddler when he found his new best friend in puppy, Theo. Both were tiny tykes when Jessica started out. They have both grown, but don’t worry the cute still continues in this family’s newest endeavor “Naptime with Theo and Beau.” A children’s book that is now available everywhere books are sold. And “Bathtime with Theo and Beau,” their follow-up book,  just landed in stores on January 19th, 2016.

But that isn’t all, in 2014 the family welcomed home Evvie, their newest edition. And guess what she loves to do…take naps with adorable animals like Theo and the family’s cat. Don’t miss a single moment of the adorable that this family has to offer with the popular hashtags: #TheoandBeau and #TheoandEvvie and of course @mommasgonecity herself!!

Reactor Radio Podcast

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Photo Courtesy of Reactor Radio

Marty, Michael, Brandon and Jared are four nerdy dudes who decided to start a podcast together. Each Tuesday on their weekly podcast, they break down what’s new, exciting, infuriating, etc. in pop culture. It could be a new trailer that dropped, a TV show pilot, a game launch…if it’s nerdy and they have a reaction, they’ll be discussing it on the podcast.

They occasionally have guest reactors including your truly! But don’t take my word for it. Check them out every week and make sure to weigh in on any reactions you may have or burning questions you want answered on their Twitter page.

Eh Bee Family on Vine

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Photo Courtesy of the Eh Bee Family

If you enjoy clean, fun, family entertainment then let me introduce you to the first family of Vine. The Eh Bee Family is a hilarious group consisting of Mom, Dad, Daughter and Son who love to tell funny 6 second stories on a daily basis. They have over 2 million followers on Vine and over 12 million followers word wide over various social media platforms. Check them out on You Tube, Instagram, Twitter and their native platform Vine. This group is safe to share with the little ones. The kids and parents alike are talented and have found a way to share the joy of their family with us all.

Emma Watson’s Book Club on Goodreads

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Photo Courtesy of Goodreads

Calling anyone who loves to read and believes in equality. Emma Watson has been working with UN Women and in an effort learn more about equality and to prepare for her role as feminist icon and all around lovely human being, Emma has started her own Book Club on Goodreads. The group is called “Our Shared Shelf” and the first book we’re reading is “My Life on the Road” by Gloria Steinem. The perfect choice for this group.

In a world where more and more people are escaping direct interaction with the online community due to the huge insurgence of internet trolls and hate mongering, Emma Watson takes a bold step towards greater connectivity with her fans and creating a conversation about equality that is positive and productive to the narrative of our culture. She has a big dream for the women of this world and she’s not afraid to share it!! So get onboard the Hogwarts Express…ok, I had to make a Potter reference somewhere!! Moral of the story is, join in!

And, of course, if you aren’t yet following little ole me on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, You Tube, Pinterest, Podcast coming soon, Periscope (@nerdinthecity), Vine, Snapchat (@nerdinthesand) and on the very Blog you are currently reading, then now’s the time to pick your favorite platform, cause I have a little something for everyone!

Thanks for reading. Go forth and discover something or someone new!

Martin Luther King Jr. Day

Martin Luther King Jr Day quote

When I opened Google this morning I saw that today’s logo was dedicated to Martin Luther King, Jr., as well it should be! When I clicked on the logo, I was taken to Google’s search page where all manner of MLK Jr. information lies. The first thing that comes up is NationalService.gov, a site that encourages people to make MLK Jr. Day a day on instead of a day off and where you can find opportunities to serve in your community. The next thing that comes up is Martin Luther King, Jr.’s Wikipedia page with the history of his life and legacy. And third, from the “in the news” section, a list of stores that are open and closed today…. In fact when you click Google’s “News” tab it takes you to even more listings of stores that are open and closed today.

What is disheartening is that today has become merely another bank holiday. Another blessed day off work to run errands or go to Disney or what have you. And I even understand that work and the daily grind can be hard. Days off are precious.

Martin Luther King Jr Day

I was talking to someone the other day who had never gone back and watched MLK Jr’s ” I Have a Dream” speech. It’s available on You Tube, right there for all of our eyes to see. And King didn’t just give that speech, he gave a great many more that are poignant and important and inspiring. His “I’ve Been to the Mountaintop” speech is wonderful! Now, I didn’t scold my friend for having never seen it, I merely suggested that maybe this was a good year to go back and watch it.

I get it. That was then and this is now. That’s history. This is where our focus should be. The past is the past and we should leave it there. What I want to point out, is that perhaps the things that King was preaching and speeching and dreaming about are not just issues that are behind us. Look at our political climate. Look at the relationship between the races in America. It ain’t good, guys!! I think that if Martin Luther King, Jr. were to come back to life today, expecting to see his dreams realized, he’d be disappointed. It’s the year 2016 and we are lightyears behind where we should be!

I don’t know how to fix it all. If I did, I’d run for office! But I know when things feel wrong. I know when it feels like there is more that we as a country should be doing. More that I as an individual who believes in freedom, should be doing! And I wish I’d discovered NationalService.gov in time to be able to volunteer for some of the projects going on in my area. Next year I’ll know that there are other people who believe that today should be a day on, not just another day off!

Martin Luther King Jr. Quote

Today, on Martin Luther King, Jr. Day, please go back and watch the speeches that were made and maybe pick up a few books about King’s life. If you have the change to volunteer somewhere, this is a great day to do so. Yes, our past is behind us. That’s how time works. But being able to remember and learn from our past, that’s a gift that we greatly underuse.

I HAVE A DREAM

I’VE BEEN TO THE MOUNTAINTOP

And so many more…

Martin Luther King, Jr. Speeches

Martin Luther King Jr Day Let freedom ring

Here’s a poem I wrote about King a few years ago.

39 Times Rom Coms Pissed Me Off

You know what really burns my butt? Romantic Comedies!! Because here I am over here…liberated female, free from the ties that bind me and then a movie like When Harry Met Sally comes on and all that level-headed nonsense goes right out the window because…reasons! It just burns. It stings actually.

Pissed Off Yoda

And the worst part is that Romantic Comedies and Dramedies and Sitcomedies and all manner of romance, to be honest, make me weak at the knees. One shot of a semi shirtless Mr. Darcy emerging from the pond at Pemberley and I know what I’ll be dreaming about that night. One little romantic speech from Tom Hanks and farewell normal, everyday human male specimen…don’t even bother, cause you’re no Hanks! Again I say, it burns! Because I don’t want to have that vision in my head. That romantic ideal and yet there it sits. Waiting for the moment to strike. The moment when a guy chooses to take me to a Starbucks for a first date instead of guerilla paintball a la 10 Things I Hate About You. Or at the airport while boarding my plane and no one comes to stop me from getting on…how rude! Or how about when I’m at a holiday party with no date and then…no one bursts through the door to save me.

The beautiful truth is that I can save myself, thank you very much. Always have, always will. The crappy side effect of my frail humanity is that I still want to be saved sometimes. In moments of weakness and ice cream… I want it.

And I’ve decided that Rom Coms are to blame. It doesn’t mean for a second that I’ll stop watching them, because I’m a weak human girlie specimen. And also…reasons! Regardless, here are the 39 romantic moments that just piss me off!!! Who’s with me??

(**This is not the order in which I love hate these movies.)

39.The Switch

The Switch Jason bateman gif Rom Com Movie Moments

38. Love and Basketball

Love and Basketball Gif Rom Com Movie Moments

37. No Strings Attached

No Strings Attached Rom Com Movie Moments

36. Leap Year

Leap Year Rom Com Movie Moment

35. Never Been Kissed

Never Been Kissed Rom Com Movie Moment

34. My Big Fat Greek Wedding

My Big Fat Greek WEdding Rom Com Movie Moment

33. Someone Like You

Someone Like You Rom Com Movie Moments

32. She’s All That

Freddie Prince Jr. She's All That Rom Com Movie Moments

31. Jerry McGuire

Jerry MaGuire Movie Moments

30. The Bodyguard

The Bodyguard Movie Moment

29.  Grease

John Travolta Grease Rom Com Movie Moment

28. The Wedding Planner

The Wedding Planner

27. Ella Enchanted

Ella Enchanted Rom Com Movie Moments

26.Say Anything

Say Anything Boom Box Movie Moment

25. Lady and the Tramp

Lady and the Tramp spaghetti gif Movie Moments

24. Clueless

Clueless Paul Rudd Rom Com Movie Moments

23. The Nanny Diaries

The Nanny Diaries Rom Com Movie Moments

22. Friends with Benefits

Friends with Benefits Justin Timberlake Rom Com Movie Moments

21. Jane Austen Book Club

The Jane Austen Book Club Rom Com Movie Moment

20. Because I Said So

Because I Said So Gabriel Macht Rom Com Movie Moments

19. Hitch

Hitch Rom com movie moments

18. How to Lose a Guy in 10 Days

How to Lose a Guy in 10 Days

17. Dirty Dancing

Dirty Dancing Patrick Swayze Movie Moments

16. Emma

Emma Movie Moments Mr. Knightley

15. Moulin Rouge

Ewan McGregor Moulin Rouge Movie Moments

14. Sleepless in Seattle

Sleepless in Seattle Rom Com Movie Moment

13. 27 Dresses

27 Dresses Rom Com Movie Moments

12. Pretty Woman

Pretty Woman Rom Com Movie Moment

11. The Mirror Has Two Faces

The Mirror Has Two Faces Rom Com Movie Moments

10. 13 Going on 30

13 Going on 30 Rom Com Movie Moments

9. 10 Things I Hate About You

10 Things I Hate About You Rom Com Movie Moments

8. While You Were Sleeping

While You Were Sleeping ROm COm Movie Moments

7. The Proposal

The Proposal Rom Com Movie Moments

6. Love Actually

Love Actually Rom Com Movie Moments

5. The Princess Bride

The Princess Bride As you Wish Movie Moment

4. You’ve Got Mail

You've Got Mail Tom Hanks Rom Com Movie Moments

3. Bridget Jones’ Diary

Bridget Jones' Diary Rom Com Movie Moments

2. Pride and Prejudice (mini series)

Pride and Prejudice Mr. Darcy Movie Moments

1. When Harry Met Sally (My favorite of all time!)

When Harry Met Sally Rom Com Movie Moments

 

OK, so some of them aren’t Rom Coms. There are Rom Drams and Rom Musical Coms up there, but you get my drift. Romance is stupid and yucky and I love it hate it!!! Hate with a capital H and that stands for Hate and that rhymes with Hate!

Which Rom Coms are your favorite least favorite!!

7 bonus movies that I was reminded of after hitting publish:

Fools Rush In

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The Holiday 

tumblr_ml7g5qtiKA1rxac0bo1_500

The Decoy Bride

mBkbZzc

My Best Friend’s Wedding

giphy

Return to Me

tumblr_n7rh9rZsDq1rv5diio3_250

Sweet Home Alabama

sweet home alabama 1

Runaway Bride

4-Runaway-Bride-quotes

Come join #TheSweatPack

#TheSweatPack

2016 is in full swing at Nerd in the City and Lean Girl’s Club. We are determined to make this year count for more than just 12 sheets of pretty calendar paper!! This is THE ONE! I say that every year. Because every year it’s true. Every new year is a chance to make it. And this one is no exception. Exciting things are happening for me in 2016 and I hope they are for you as well. The moral of the story is that life is moving forward. It doesn’t stop because we aren’t ready for what’s coming around the corner.

We can either jump on board or get bumped and bruised from trying to fight the flow. Trust me, I’ve been on the bumps and bruises side of life. I fought for love that wasn’t right for me. I fought to leave New York, when New York wasn’t quite done with me, and then I fought to stay there long after it was. I’ve fought against jobs that were right for me and for friendships that were wrong. I wish I was a quick learner, but when it comes to making the “right” choices, it takes time. And if someone is telling you that it’s easy…they don’t know what they’re talking about! No one has it easy.

That’s why it’s so important to reset every year. Give yourself a chance to start fresh. If you gained weight (like I have) forgive yourself and move on. If you lost a job, accept the change and move on. If you lost a love, find a place for them in your heart and move on. It’s not easy, but it’s possible.

If fitness is an area that you have been struggling with (like I have) please join Grace from Lean Girl’s Club and me over on Instagram for our 2016 fitness challenges. Every Monday we’ll be starting something new. Last week Grace and I were all about the stairs.

She took the stairs,
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I took the stairs…

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and some of you took the stairs too…

Taking the Stairs Fitness Challenge Blog Collaboration Lean + Nerd
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This week we are jumping rope. So Step 1: Get yourself a jump rope and then show us what you got. We’ll be doing this challenge all week, so there’s plenty of time to jump in! (See what I did there!!) 😉
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