30 Days of Nerdy Hair – Day 10

30 Days of Nerdy Hair blog post

Day 10: California Mountain Snake from Kill Bill

I’ve done it. I’ve finally gone and joined the Deadly Viper Assassination Squad. Don’t try to change my mind. The minute I put the eye patch on, I knew that my destiny was set. Can you blame me and my nerdy hair? We can’t help it!

30 Days of Nerdy hair day 10 California Mountain Snake Kill Bill blog post

30 Days of Nerdy hair Day 10 California Mountain Snake from Kill bill blog post

30 Days of Nerdy Hair – Day 9

30 Days of Nerdy Hair blog post

Day 9: Cruella de Vil from 101 Dalmatians

I had to go a little different direction with this one. I couldn’t find white hair spray and my white hair chalk failed me. But the two-tone effect is still there, making villainy that much easier!

30 Days of Nerdy Hair Day 9 Cruela de vil 101 Dalmatians Disney villain hair blog post

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.

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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.

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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.”

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Pink!

When I was a kid, I hated pink, with a vengeance. My deep and utter loathing extended into middle school and high school and even into college. I thought myself to be a cool-colors kinda girl, gravitating to blues, greens and purples instead of pinks, oranges and yellows.

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My insistence on the evils of a mere color were, to the modern me, a bit of a head-scratcher. Why did I hate it so much? As I’ve mentioned before, I’ve always loved Disney Princesses and they are not above wearing pink. There was a time when I eschewed all things girlie in favor of all the toys and franchises that my brother liked. Power Rangers (hello! Pink and Yellow Rangers, anyone?), Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (Rafael and Michaelangelo were always my favorite… red and orange), X-men (I loved Jubilee who wears…yellow) and then, of course, Star Wars.

Looking back, the signs were all there. I’m a warm-colors hurricane and there’s no getting around it. I’m not sure when I began to let the pinks and reds and yellows into my life. There was no turning point for me.

One day I hated pink, the next day…pink water bottle, pink yoga mat, pink notebook, pink skirt, pink dress, pink pillow, pink hair, etc. Pink had invaded and it was like I had finally accepted the real me. The pink-loving, Princess dreaming girlie girl who loves Star Wars and Marvel and Power Rangers, who has a sword collection and is way too prepared to survive a zombie apocalypse.

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The problem was that I thought the two were mutually exclusive. Because girls like pink and don’t love action movies and boys hate pink and only talk about GI Joe, right? Of course, that’s not right. I wasn’t right back then. I just didn’t know better or really realize that there is only about .5% of the world’s population (maybe a little more) that cares about those traditional gender assignments. They care about girls being in “their place” and boys being in “their place.” (Whatever the hell that means.)

These are the same geniuses that are upset that there’s a female lead in the new Star Wars movie (actually they’re pissed about The Force Awakens and Rogue One.) They hate the idea that there will be ladies busting the Ghosts on the big screen soon. And they probably really, really hate all things pink.

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The joke is on them because the world has changed and is changing everyday. Girls like whatever they want. Boys like whatever they want. We all share a planet, so fighting about it seems like a big waste of time, if you ask me!

So ladies…go bust those ghosts and kick ass in space and like pink if you want or if blue just butters your bread…like that! You do you.

Men…you do you too.

And to the .05% population of haters out there that just love to hate…you can do you too, cause no one else is gonna do ya with that attitude!

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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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Welcome to #TheSweatPack

I love fitness! I really do. I love the feel of straining dormant muscles (most especially dormant after the holidays.) I love taking classes at Soul Cycle and Title Boxing Club (where I am a member.) I love running by the lake in my neighborhood and lifting weights and jumping rope. I love to feel like I’ve pushed myself, truly pushed myself outside of my box and past my limits. The limits I set in my head. The ones that tell me that I can’t go any further or that I’m never gonna be good enough. Some days those limits win out…but most days I kick those limits in the ass!

#TheSweatPack running

My last blog post was about the tone of my New Year. I’m going to be living this year with a freedom that can only come when those limits are abandoned completely. Is there something that’s holding you back from working out or asking for a promotion or jumping out of a plane? Live Free!! What’s the alternative?

Maybe this doesn’t sound particularly nerdy to you. And if The Big Bang Theory is to be believed, then nerds don’t really choose to sweat much (unless they’re running away from bullies.)

But guess what…I’m a nerd! A BIG ONE (this much you already know.) I love fashion and Firefly. I love music and Marvel. I love sports and Star Wars. I don’t fit into the “normal” nerdy categories and stereotypes that are out there. Never have. That includes the stereotype that nerds aren’t sporty. I just have to beg to differ. Or beg for that stereotype to be buried once and for all. Because I believe that when it comes to nerdom…there is no “normal.”

#TheSweatPack

So, I’m partnering with the lovely Grace Kelle of Lean Girl’s Club and we are kicking the New Year off with some serious sweat!

Frankie had Deano…Emilio Estevez had Judd Nelson…and me? I have Gracie. No, we don’t live in the same city anymore. She’s still living that big city life up in the Apple and I’m beachin’ it up down in the F-L. But when it comes to #TheSweatPack, distance is only a number!

Liz Tailor and Grace Kelle are #TheSweatLPack

You’re wondering where you come in? Well, the beauty of #TheSweatPack is that it’s open to all. Come join Gracie: @leangirlsclub and me: @nerdinthesand over on Instagram and jump into our weekly challenges. It could be 1 picture a week, it could be 7 or 17 (if you’re the overachieving kind!) Wherever you are in your Sweat Pack journey, we want to meet you there!

Listen, if I can do it so can you! And probably way better than me anyways. So show us your sweat. Let it shine! Get up, get moving and get out of that little box!

This week #TheSweatPack is… taking The Stairs!!!

#TheSweatPack taking the stairs Instagram challenge

What’s Your Word?

Goodbye 2015, Hello 2016

The past is very important. Of course it is! It’s the path we’ve taken to get to where we are today. There is value in the past. Value in learning from the mistakes we’ve made (and we’ve made mistakes.) Value in celebrating the magic we’ve experienced (and there sure was some magic!)

I’m someone who easily forgets and yet somehow I still hold on with both hands. I hate to admit that I find myself dwelling on those darker, harder, sadder, angrier moments occasionally often frequently. The ones I shouldn’t hold on to at all. Sometimes I get bogged down with the beautiful moments too. Trying to recreate the past. Instead of allowing new moments to be created, I’m too busy trying to relive moments that have come and gone. But they were just that good! Shouldn’t I want to find that happiness again? Isn’t that a good thing?

The thing is, this is rather a new revelation about myself. I didn’t realize I did this. At least not to this extent. WOW. That mirror can be a hard thing to look into sometimes.

Instead of lamenting this…well…lamentable behavior, I’m actively choosing positivity (it’s sorta my thing!) I choose to inspire myself to be better. No one else will work as hard as I will to inspire the future I want to see for myself. NO ONE!

I won’t recount to you my hardest trials and biggest triumphs of 2015. You can go look to past blogposts or my Instagram, Twitter and Facebook for the cliff notes. There was good…there was great (birth of my nephew deserves a shoutout!) There was bad…and there was certainly ugly with a capital UGH!!!

Forget all that! I’m walking forward…no…running forward. I have big, bright moments in my future and I’m eager to get to the good stuff.

I’ve mentioned to you, gentle reader, that I don’t believe in New Year’s Resolutions. And I don’t. Resolutions tend to be about changing ourselves. Temporary solutions that don’t last longer that mid-January or if you’re really lucky February even. The truth is, I don’t want to change who I am. I like me! Moles on my face and all!

I want to inspire and allow me to become my best self. So instead of a long list of character flaws that must be changed immediately, I pick a word. A word I want to live out in my daily actions for the whole year. Sure, somedays I’ll fall short. Other days I’ll jump high and long and clear the hurdles. But the point is, I’ll be trying. Me…this unholy mess of a girl.

In the year 2016, I Liz Tailor, choose to live FREE!

Free in 2016 New Years, Same Nerd

-Free from my past actions.

-Free from unrealistic expectations.

-Free from debt.

-Free from negativity.

-Free from judgements.

-Free from convention.

-Free from borders and boundaries.

-Free to create.

-Free to live.

-Free to love.

-Free to travel.

-Free to come back home.

-Free to share.

-Free to inspire.

-Free to write and sing and run and fall.

-Free because I serve a MIGHTY GOD who “knows the plans for me. Plans to prosper me and not to harm me, plans to give me hope and a future.” (Jeremiah 29:11)

freedom in 2016 New Year

Part of discovering what it truly means for me to be free, I also want to explore how I can help those who aren’t blessed with the freedoms I have. Human Trafficking is a cause that has long been on my heart. So I hope you’re ready to hear about my journey to learn more. And perhaps the causes you are passionate about will take a front seat this year as well!

Tom Petty Quote "Freedom"

I hope you join me in choosing a word to live by instead of unrealistic lists (I know that up there is a list, I like lists) that you cannot ever hope to live up to. And I hope with all my heart that you find what you’re looking for in 2016!!

What’s your word this year?

Finding Inspiration

I’m a pretty inspired person. I find inspiration in music. I find it in movies. I find it in books and blogs and friendships and in daily quiet time with God. Out here in California I find it when simply gazing at the sunshiney sky or a perfectly placed palm tree.
But sometimes the well runs dry.
So I made a list of the things that usually help me get my inspirational groove back.

Step 1: Turn to God
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This is usually the first place I turn. I admit, sometimes it takes a back burner in the quest for motivation and inspiration. But it should always be first. My favorite devotions are “My Utmost for the Highest” by Oswald Chambers and “Jesus Calling” by Sarah Young. I try to do these consistently. When I reach a stagnant moment, I will always have a place to turn.

Step 2: Make a List
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After placing my path back in God’s hands (time and again) I try and list the dreams He’s placed on my heart. The passions that I can’t shake. The “unreasonable,” “unaccomplishable” musings that fill my brain and heart constantly. In list form, they seem much more attainable!

Step 3: Watch any and all Marvel movies
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For some reason the MCU really sparks my imagination! I dream of being a superhero. I dream of saving the world. And after watching Captain America or Avengers, it just seems easier to accomplish.

Step 4: Walk, Run, Jump, Spin
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When I’m in a season of laziness and drought, it’s easy to forget or ignore the things I love most. Happiness doesn’t seem attainable in the darker moments. But I love working out! I really do. I had a guy at Crunch gym, a guy who was trying to sell me on a membership by the way, tell me that people work out to lose weight or gain weight or look better, but never because they love it. To which I responded, that’s nice…show me to my spin class. Cause I love spinning!! The feel of aching muscles, muscles that you may have forgotten existed is what keeps me moving.

Step 5: Read
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In addition to my Bible and my daily devotionals, I love to read biographies and autobiographies of inspiring people. People like Cary Grant and Katharine Hepburn and Bobby Kennedy and Mindy Kaling and Ellen Degeneres and Rock Hudson and Felicia Day and Amy Poehler and anyone else who strikes me as an inspiration. Their stories inspire my own.

Step 6: Write
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How can you expect to write about life if you aren’t living one. Staying home and catching up on 11 seasons of Supernatural may lead to some searing pieces about the show, but it won’t give you life experiences or insight into the greater struggle. So do all the other steps on this list and then write it all down. Share your life with people. Or take up a challenge like #NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month.) I’ve never written a book in my life…but I’m gonna try it!

How do you stay inspired when inspiration seems lost?