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.

1519847732192.jpg

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.

1519848575167.jpg

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:

1519848624041.jpg

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!

IMG_20180218_133426_733.jpg
Photo by Cristina Fowler
1519565779127.jpg
Photo by Cristina Fowler
IMG_20180217_160939_550.jpg
Photo by Cristina Fowler (she really is good at this game!)

Working Lunch:

1519848264181.jpg

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

New Year, New Word

As you may (or may not, if this is your first visit to my blogosphere) know, I gave up New Year’s Resolutions a few years ago. I decided it was time to stop changing things about myself and start challenging myself to simply be better.

635841788720184243-1367720161_New-Years-Resolutions.jpg

Each year I choose a word that will become a mantra, a creed, a manifesto to use for the whole of the year.

2016’s word was “Free” and to be honest, it was the opposite of a free-ing year. At times I wanted to be anywhere other than where I was. But in the aftermath of the year that seemed interminable, I can’t help but reflect upon those inalienable rights that I have taken for granted, like…you guessed it, Freedom.

But I don’t want to start this year with the same mistakes as last year. The challenge is to be better. And better is what I intend to be.

With that being said, this year I have chosen the word “Believe” to represent my journey through 2017. Somewhere between New York, California and Florida I stopped believing. I stopped believing in myself, in humanity, and in basic human decency. And while my belief in God never wavered, my trust in Him sure did and my belief in His plan over mine definitely took a hit. God and I have been in a bit of a knock down, drag out for the majority of the year.

But let’s be honest, I was only one doing any fighting in this relationship.

tumblr_inline_n39f4kR3L71reg6lt.gif


Believe is one of those airy concepts like “Dream” or “Imagine.” It’s not quite as tangible as other words might be. “Trust” is a word you can sink your teeth into, but Believe…it’s more abstract. There are a lot of ways it can be applied.

That’s exactly what this year is gonna be about. What exactly do I believe? What do I believe about myself? What do I believe about the world? What do I believe are the best practices from a political standpoint? And how does my belief in faith translate to my daily life?

This is a big one, guys. You know how you never pray for patience because if you do God’s gonna throw something or someone at you that will force you to BE patient? This feels like that kind of mine field. Figuring out my core beliefs could take me anywhere.

The Liz of 2016 wasn’t ready for that kind of adventure. The Liz of 2016 wasn’t ready for that kind of challenge. The Liz of 2016 was merely treading water. But no more!

Rose-NoMore_zps5427d9ea.gif~c200.gif

I hope you’re ready to share in this journey with me. And I hope you choose a word that will represent your year. If you decide to give up on resolving to change, then share your word in the comments below and I will do my best to encourage you this year.

What I’ve learned most from 2016 is that community and encouragement are more important than ever. There are way too many things in this world, in this country that will divide us if we let them. The way we speak, the words we say, the colors of our skin, the religions that we practice. That’s why we have to find common ground. The fact that we are all flawed human beings is a great place to start!!!

Have a Happy New Year and know that I BELIEVE in you!

giphy.gif

Yes…YOU!

Lizzie’s Solo Ride

Disney World Scavenger Hunt blog

Lizzie's Solo Disney Adventure Blog Scavenger Hunt Nerd

I LOVE Disney. If you’ve been reading me for any length of time, you know this. That being said, I’ve never done Disney on my own before. I’ve always gone with friends or family. And the day is usually very mapped out. Everyone has their top picks and there is lots to cover in a short period of time. I love to go with a plan and I love to go with people, but this day was different.

There was something really freeing and exciting about a solo adventure. Just me, nerdself and I.

I did have an agenda in the form of Crazy for Disney’s scavenger hunt. It kept my day just organized enough without feeling rushed. And since I only paid for parking and dole whips, I didn’t feel like I had to “get my money’s worth.” There is no shortage of Disney adventures in my future, that’s for dang sure!

So take a look at my adventures and if you want to do a scavenger hunt of your own try Crazy for Disney’s. But also, keep an eye out for my own scavenger hunt. There were some things I definitely wanted to add on the list (and some that I did add on the list!)

20160722_133335

First up was Hollywood Studios:

HollywoodStudios11HD.jpg

1

What I found at Hollywood…

  1. A Movie Theater
  2. Large Green Army Men
  3. 1950s Diner
  4. Giant Guitar
  5. Kermit the Frog
  6. Star Wars Characters
  7. Tower of Terror
  8. Giant Letter Blocks
  9. Woody or Jessie
  10. Mickey Mouse Balloon
  11. Handprints in Cement
  12. An AT-AT
  13. A Potato Head

(Things on the list I couldn’t find or didn’t have time to find…A Giant Ant or Bug, Mater, Pizza Planet, Giant Mouse Ears, A Spaceship.)

Next was Epcot:

Unknown

 2

What I found at Epcot…

  1. Giant Silver Sphere
  2. Someone Wearing a Sombrero
  3. Boat (Monorail was on the list, but I substituted it for a boat ride.)
  4. Characters Made of Plants (this picture is actually from Magic Kingdom, I couldn’t find plant characters at Epcot to save my life!!)
  5. A Planet (BAM! I found 2!!)
  6. Statue of a Viking
  7. A Chinese Building
  8. American Flag (I spent way too long trying to get a picture of the flag flying. Alas!)
  9. A Clock Tower (thanks Germany!)
  10. A Park Bench
  11. A Street Band
  12. Coral Reef
  13. Nemo
  14. A Sea Turtle
  15. A Live Disney Character

(Things on the list I couldn’t find or didn’t have time to find…Statue of a Horse, A Double Decker Bus, A Kidcot Sign, A Dinosaur.)

Then, Animal Kingdom:

disney_animal_kingdom

3

What I found at Animal Kingdom:

  1. Tree of Life
  2. Statue of a Disney Character
  3. A Dinosaur
  4. Live Elephant
  5. Live Gorilla
  6. A Large Mountain
  7. A Train
  8. A Safari Vehicle
  9. A Stream/ Flowing Water
  10. A Bus
  11. A Live Disney Character
  12. A Large Set of Bones
  13. Someone Wearing a Safari Hat (Bonus for finding someone wearing a hat and a vest!)
  14. Someone Wearing a Vest
  15. A Truck Selling Ice Cream
  16. Street Band
  17. Rafiki (Got a two for one on this one with #2)

(Things on the list I couldn’t find or didn’t have time to find…I only couldn’t find Flik from a Bug’s Life and it was only cause I was running out of time.)

Finally, Magic Kingdom:

Magic-Kingdom

4

What I found at Magic Kingdom:

  1. Monorail
  2. Someone Wearing Mouse Ears (so many to choose from including myself!)
  3. Statue of Walt Disney
  4. A Horse
  5. A Map
  6. A Balloon
  7. A Train
  8. A Castle (Correction…THE Castle!)
  9. A Popcorn Cart
  10. A Big Treehouse
  11. A Flying Elephant
  12. A Pirate
  13. A Princess
  14. Turkey Leg (I added this one to the list)
  15. A Spaceship
  16. A Former U.S. President (Lots to choose from but I went with good ole Abe)
  17. A Teacup
  18. A Flying Carpet
  19. Mickey Mouse (sorta cheated on this one and used #2 twice…time crunch)
  20. Dole Whip (I also added this one to the list, Dole Whip is an absolute must!!)

(Things on the list I couldn’t find or didn’t have time to find…I only missed Winnie the Pooh at Magic Kingdom and it’s because I was trying to find the Pooh himself. Oh, well…next time!)

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.

Having a Moment

I was recently described by someone as “busy…in a good way.” As in, always working, always going, always doing, always trying. I do think of that as a good thing. I like to stay busy. I like to think of new projects to try, new songs to write, new blogs to post, new Instagram challenges to complete, new workouts to do. Busy is a very good word to describe me.

Last night when I got home from my long, busy day, I looked up and the moon was so bright. The stars were so pretty. I felt compelled to lay down in my drive way and just stare up at the sky, listening to one of my Spotify playlists. I can’t tell you the last time I just looked up at the stars and thanked God that He made them for me to look up at.

There were days when I was living in New York City that I begged God for a chance to stare up at the stars. But the lights of the city blind us to how bright the stars can be. The moon isn’t quite as awe-inspiring when  you’re standing in the middle of Times Square. So after 8 years, I forgot to stop being busy and to look up.

giphy-1.gif

But last night I remembered. I couldn’t even take a good picture of what had my busy brain standing still. That gif I found is cool, but it’s not what I was looking at. My phone couldn’t accurately capture the beauty of the moment. We live in such a technologically advanced age and still, transcendental moments like that can’t truly be shared with a photograph. There’s something about the experience that just can’t be translated by pixels.

Do you know all the things you miss when you don’t stand still for a moment? Florida is hot and in May, well, it’s not the hottest it can get, but it can be pretty sweat inducing. But at 10pm  when you’re not moving a muscle and you are lying on the ground watching stars, you can feel a breeze. I actually got a little chilly on a May night in Florida. I could smell Jasmine that has overtaken the fence and I could hear planes as they flew by, taking people to destinations that I dream of seeing one day. As the people on those planes slept on their night flight, I watched them and heard them and smelled jasmine and felt the breeze.

moon-animation37.gif

When I was little, I used to think the crescent moon was a completely different moon from the big round one. Of course, as I got older, I learned about lunar cycles and how the light of the moon changes with seasons and ocean tides. And how the crescent and the full moon are the same moon. They just look a little different.

I laid there contemplating how when you watch clouds, you actually have something to watch because clouds change shape as they move through the sky, but stars are constant. They sit proudly in the night sky. They don’t have anything to prove. They don’t need to entertain.

I laid there for 30+ minutes and walked away with probably as many bug bites on my arms and legs, because that’s what happens when you lie on the ground feeling breezes and smelling jasmine and watching planes and contemplating stars. You don’t even realize you’re being bitten, because the beauty of the moment outweighs the pain.You don’t care because something bigger is happening. You have become a part of something bigger. In that moment you aren’t just a girl lying on concrete, staring at the stars…you are a Queen of Narnia. You know the path is before you and the world is behind. You have transcended even just for a moment to be a part of something good and true and something you don’t even understand because you are a soda can and God is the ocean (thanks Francis Chan.)

I’m sad the moment ended, but moments have to come to an end. That’s the nature of moments. That always makes me think of the Sondheim musical “Into the Woods.” My second favorite musical of all time. The baker’s wife has a moment in the woods with Cinderella’s prince and after it’s over she wonders…”What was that?” Moments leave us wondering why we can’t have more of them. But then she sings some of my favorite lyrics in Broadway history…

“Oh, if life were made of moment,

Even now and then a bad one-!

But if life were only moments,

Then you’d never know you had one.”

tumblr_ngrsd1Xlx21r801w7o2_250.gif

Follow Friday

Follow Friday Blog from Nerd in the City

Happy Friday everyone. It’s that time again!! Time to share with you all the best that social media has to offer!! Here we go…

Community Channel on You Tube

Alona Forsythe on Vine

Alona Forsythe on Vine Follow Friday blog post

 Clint Smith’s Ted Talk

The Pancake Dad on Instagram

Brady Phelps @thepancakedad on Instagram Follow Friday blog post

We Geek Girls blog

We Geek Girls Blog Follow Friday

Nerds R Us Non-Podcast Podcast

Nerdy Curiosities Non Podcast Podcast Follow Friday blog post

If you know of a profile that I simply HAVE to check out, let me know at nerdinthecity01@gmail.com

The Redemption of Kylo Ren

The question on everyone’s mind lately… “Is Kylo Ren Redeemable?” or as my guest blogger Michael Burgett queried yesterday: “Will Kylo Ren Be Redeemed?” If that question is not on your mind, then you just haven’t seen Star Wars Episode VII: The Force Awakens enough! Go watch it again and then we can talk!

Reader, you know me by now. I’ve shared many an embarrassing story with you. I’ve told you about my dates and about my family and about my hopes and my dreams. I believe that you truly know me, in all my pie-in-the-sky optimism. So, of course, my answer to both the aforementioned questions would be yes. Yes, Kylo is redeemable and yes, he will be redeemed. In fact, I’d go further and say it is merely a matter of time till he is redeemed. And it is one scene in particular that gives me this hope for the son of Han Solo to find his way back to the Light.

star-wars-the-force-awakens-new-leia-han-162185-640x320

Han is leaving the Rebel base to go destroy Starkiller and confront his son who has turned so far from the path that Han, Leia and Luke had wanted for him. Leia and Han share a tender moment of goodbye, not knowing that it would be their last moment together. Leia says to Han “there is Light in him.” And as we know, this is a strong theme in the Star Wars universe. The presence of Light is more than just a touch of the good side…it is hope. Padme felt the Light in Anakin. Luke felt the Light in Darth Vader. That pull to the Light is a powerful feeling.

Often it is the Dark side that is given all the strength of power. And in the past we have witnessed the pull from the Light to the Dark in Anakin’s journey. Kylo’s journey, for us, starts out in the Dark with that sliver of Light still shining inside him. Light that he is desperate to eradicate and turn from.

Kylo2.0

Now, I know what you’re thinking. All that Light talk happened before Kylo kills his own father, our beloved Han Solo. Tell me something…does one deplorable act completely erase your humanity? Some might say yes, but I say no. (It’s a different story when it comes to the Emperor. Ask me about it sometime!) Kylo is still Leia’s son. And in the end if when Kylo comes back to the Light side, he will have to fully feel his actions on Starkiller base. The Dark side allows you to cloud your true feelings and boil them down into pure anger. But as any person who has experienced anger knows, there’s usually something else going on underneath it. And Supreme Commander Snoke knows this. He is pulling Kylo’s strings the way Emperor Palpatine pulled Anakin’s. The Dark side is manipulation and lies.

Now, I really like the point that Michael in his article yesterday. If this were just a villain, like Darth Vader was back in 1977, then we wouldn’t be having this argument. We don’t argue whether Hannibal Lecter will be redeemed or if Lord Voldemort will come back to the side of good wizardry in the end. But in 1983, when Return of the Jedi was released, George Lucas taught us that even a bad guy as bad as Darth Vader himself could find redemption and bring balance to the Force. Let’s not forget that lesson just because Kylo Ren has no prophecy to bring about his redemption.

We, the viewer, had no idea what history lay underneath Vader’s mask till the prequels came out in 1999. With Kylo, we know a little of his history, but none of his motivation. Why did he turn? What drew him to the Darkness? What lies about Darth Vader’s legacy has he been told? And if he finds out the truth about The Chosen One, will that make a difference?

All will be revealed in due time, reader. We may have to wait a few more months than we want to with Episode VIII being pushed from May 2017 to December 2017. But think of how happy your Star Wars friends will be to have another onslaught of delicious merchandise to acquire that Christmas. It’ll be so easy to shop! So in the end, the wait is worth it. And we can continue our speculation up until the very day when the truth is shared with us.

wishing-you-a.png

In the meantime, I invite you to come join my Nerd in the City book club on Goodreads. So much delicious Star Wars Expanded Universe reading material to dive into and dissect!! Do not miss out!

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

image

image

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

15336563015_0666945a4d
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

iTunesCoversmall-432x432
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

maxresdefault
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

1370662
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!

Tips from a 9 Yr Old Fashionista

image

Meet H. She is 9 years old. A New York transplant to California’s sunny, beachy Santa Monica.
She is an incredibly creative kid who loves fashion, writing and skateboarding down Wilshire.

She’s been begging me to let her have a post on my blog. So here she is with a few style tips and her favorite outfits.

“I call this The Fashion Girl.”

image

“When picking an outfit, it’s important to make sure your jeans aren’t wrinkled and also to roll up your sleeves because it makes you look like you always know what you’re doing.”

“This is Fashion Einstein.”

image

“Stripes show intelligence. Wear stripes to school!”

“This is called School Farmer.”

image

“Overalls show that you have talent. Make sure to leave one side unbuckled. It makes it seem like you’ve done this stuff before.”

“I call this Fun on the Stairs.”

image

“Put pep in your step and people will be able to see your fashion style.”

“Snooze Till You Never Lose.”

image

“Just because you’re going to bed doesn’t mean you can’t be fashionable.”

image

There you have it folks. How to rock your style from a 9 year old!