Musing Over Lynda

It seems as if a year's time has gone by. Hi love cakes! I am alive and trying to figure out life, but aren't we all? 

^_^ I'm a nut

Lover Man and I got married and it was great. Honestly, I'm glad it's over. I was never the girl who dreamed of being a princess and marrying a prince in a grand ceremony with every single person I've ever met in attendance, remember the introvert thing? But I will say that I really enjoyed our chill, outdoor ceremony with some of our biggest supporters, family members, and best friends. It was an experience we won't forget, but this marriage thing is turning out to be way cooler.

So, this year has been hectic. Two graduations, a marriage, two moves, a new job down and a job search underway. I am currently a house wife. Sounds amazing, but only when you're absolutely rich. I don't spend money because I'm not helping to bring any in! And God knows I want to raid TJ Maxx/Home Goods, Target, and Lowe's and make our house a magnificent reflection of me the two of us. So, until this lady finds a job, I'm sittin' on the wallets!

Like, for real. She knows my heart.

So, searching for a career opportunity and buying nothing that makes me happy leads me to share with you the finds that I'm absolutely obsessed over! Have you ever heard of The Muse? As in, themuse.com? It's a wonderful career advising site for young professionals filled with articles about resume writing, interview prep, job-related etiquette, and so much more. When I say I'm obsessed, I mean, truly I am. I'm even on their mailing list so I get interesting articles (that are usually quite relevant) sent to my inbox, maybe twice a week. Definitely check them out if you're on the hunt, like myself, or just looking for some inspiration on how to become more awesome at the role you're currently in (or want to be in and how to get there.) Seriously, I wish they paid me to say this!

Also, before I graduated I had free access to a site called Lynda.com. It's a site where you can learn almost anything and get better at, you guessed it, career-related things. I know, you're probably saying, "That's what Youtube is for!" But let us not judge so hastily, my friends. Your average nut (and professional nut) can post anything they want to Youtube,not matter how accurate or inaccurate it may be. Lynda has trusted contributors AND all of the videos are skillfully composed and presented. You won't have to worry about some shady guy teaching you public speaking from the comfort of his shared studio apartment while chillin' in his underwear. Want to become a better presenter/speaker? There's a video series about it. Want to learn how to edit stuff? There's a video about it. Got an entrepreneurial spirit? Hit this site up! I even watched a series titled "The Science of Logo Design". I don't know if this is common knowledge to the creative geeks and freaks, but it went in depth over the A.R.M.M model. Loved it! So, they have plenty of artsy/creative things on there, too. 

While TheMuse.com is free, Lynda isn't, BUT their membership fees are so affordable. I plan on signing up myself (once I get an income again!) And, let's be serious, you spend more at Starbucks and on manis and pedis each month. If you're looking to have consistent access to great material, the membership is worth it... Again, wish I was getting paid for this!

Anyhow, the take-away from this is that you can always polish up your professional life by musing at things named Lynda... I kid, I kid. Seriously, there's always room for improvement, and there's always great resources out there (free and priced) that can help you improve. Seek them out and use them! You'll thank yourself for it later.

Oh, and Lover Man was disappointed that I wasn't writing about him this time around, so this is me writing about him. Isn't he the cutest? (More things about him and our whole wedding ordeal to come, if you're into that kind of thing.)

haLf.baKed or die love cakes!



Introvert Smintrovert

Lordy May! Grad school is almost over and hopefully I will resume writing more often. Merry Christmas, Happy New Year, Happy Valentine’s Day, and Happy First Day of Spring! Whew! Now that that’s out of the way, let’s move forward.

I must say, y’all look beautiful! Yes, you stuffing your face right now. You, too, who’s sitting half naked in front of this screen. Nice of you to visit. How’s my life, you ask? Life for me is going well but very hectic! Grad school is wrapping up soon. An intense internship search is underway. I’ll be moving from my wonderful apartment back closer to home. A very close friend is having a wedding in Florida this summer [Bonus: mini vaca with Lover Man!] Lover Man will be graduating, too. And oh, yea..

Also, we’re getting married. J   

True story. [insert girly shrill here] Jump for joy. Cry with happiness. Find our registry and buy us a gift (but give me time to register for a few things first!) Despite my blog presence, I’m actually a rather private person. I’m selective about what I share, and upon learning a ton about myself over the past year, low and behold I’m quite the introvert! I would say I’m an extroverted introvert sometimes, but on the whole I value my alone time tremendously and don’t like much attention. Sharing our engagement, though I know nothing but love and congratulatory wishes would be in order, would open the flood gates to lots of attention and interaction. Which I don’t prefer. I don’t welcome it. It makes me nervous, very nervous.  I even have to prep myself for small talk over the phone with family members. I hate it! Love the family members, but hate the awkward small talk (siblings, close relatives, parents, and besties not included).

Well, we are engaged. We are in love. But most importantly I am just excited that he’s my man – married or not. Marriage is cool and all, but you don’t have to be married to be happy with someone or to trust that they will be faithful. However, I do believe marriage is something very important and sacred for those who do choose to enter into it. It’s a lifelong commitment filled with meaningful words and actions that two people make to each other with promises to uphold forever. Excuse the French, but that's a big damn deal! By no means do I take this lightly! We could have been married years ago, but what for? What was the rush? I wanted to make sure we were both in good places – emotionally, vocationally, intellectually – to make that choice. [And I’m still pretty young to be jumping brooms all willy-nilly and whatnot.] I think it’s a very grown up decision, and though my age indicated that I was, indeed, an adult, I had not yet passed my own SeriA.-Certified Adultology Certificate program. Now? Meh, I guess I’m an adult. The bills coming to my house say so. 

But truly, we have grown tremendously as two people and as a couple throughout the years, and I think the universe  matched us well. He’s day, and I’m night. He’s peanut butter, and I’m [strawberry] jelly. I’m the sun, he’s the moon [and I happen to be seriously obsessed with the moon.] The "Opposites Attract" theme has never been truer than with us. I’m excited for our marriage, and extremely thankful that I’ll be inheriting wonderful in-laws. Seriously, I feel sad for those who have less than awesome relationships with their in-laws. I think it’s a really important factor and can truly contribute or hinder the growth of a relationship. But my in-laws? They’re awesome! I have absolutely nothing to worry about. My family is totally in love with Lover Man as well. I would always joke that if we were to ever break up, our families would have a harder time than we would. Welp, now both families are stuck with the two of us. Hope they’re ready!

And hope y’all are ready for the best damn couple in America to join the Marriage Club. . . That was childish. I’ll simmer down. Writing this thesis proposal is sure to help me do so.

we're gonna be great together ;)
he puts up with this tomfoolery

haLf.baKeD or die love cakes… And feel free to telepathically send your congratulatory wishes IF you wish to do so ;) (nervous, smervous.)



This Is 25: An Introduction

Well, hello there love cakes! Grad school has sucked all types of motivation out of me, BUT... I've gotten it back! So, here goes.

I wanted to title this This is 25 because I think us twenty-somethings are in a new age that our parents didn't necessarily experience. I honestly think in some regards, our parents and grandparents were better off. Life was simpler. Happiness seemed easier to obtain. Nowadays, we have so many options - too many options, so much time and so little time - that it leaves us in a paralysis of sorts and we find ourselves lost, aimlessly wandering, sometimes goal-less, and somewhat empty. And y'all know how I feel about social medias! While technologies have exponentially increased and in some ways made our lives easier, they have also made our lives busier, cloudier, and more stressed. How many times have you looked at your friends' Instagram photos and Facebook posts and thought, "She has the best job." or "His girlfriend is fucking hot perfect." or "She's got it all together, living her dreams!" and you begin to feel so far behind the curve? News Flash: you're not alone and they don't have their shit together either. How easy is it to post about the one great day that you've had out of the entire month? Photo editing makes everyone's pictures perfect. That perfect job might have a few good perks, but I'm sure there are a few downsides that balance everything out. And that hot, 10 girlfriend of his probably is more of a 6 or 7 once you get to know her.

We don't have it all figured out! None of us! And those who do are lying! They're LIARS!

this doesn't exist... at least not at first
(unless you're that one person working for Google)

Same thing goes for societal and family pressures. Because our parents had a simplistic road map to follow and traditions were ordinarily honored, they went to school, got married, found jobs, and had kids. That was the blue print. Our generation is . . . different. Some of us follow that same blue print, but a lot of us don't. . . At this point, anything I say from here on out is a catharsis to some degree but feel free to read on. 

Babies. . . They're great. They're cute. They're funny. BUT they aren't for me and it seems that the subject of babies, particularly me having one, has come up, LITERALLY, every day for the past 5 days in some way or another. It's actually quite freaky. So, I'd like to discuss this and hopefully get feedback, again (this is my 2nd post about a child-free lifestyle.)

So, let's get one thing straight. I don't dislike children. I think they're awesome, so long as they don't belong to me. People find it bizarre that I say I don't want children but I don't. Some people want kids because they've always envisioned their lives with one; A kid will complete them; They feel the need to reproduce to put something productive into the world; They are narcissists and want a Mini Me of themselves running around; They have a lot of love to give and wish to shower a baby with it... Yada, yada. That's all fine and dandy, but I cannot identify with any of these reasons. I haven't always dreamed of having a family. I don't feel that one will complete me. I don't think it will be all that fun. I feel that I can contribute enough to the world without contributing a child to it. Simply put, I don't think children are for me. However, for the record, I would like to say that I am pretty great with them.
they love me!
So, my This Is 25 rant is about being the marrying age and apparently the birthing age, and not having crossed either off my list, and most importantly - not wanting to cross one off my list. The pressure is on and quite frankly, I'd like to turn it off. I understand that parents experience some great, indescribable joy and sense of accomplishment from parenting their children that can only be experienced by becoming a parent but that sounds like a risky gamble. It would be great if everyone else is right, I'm wrong, and we have kids and love them to death and live nice little soccer mom and super daddy lives. BUT, what if, just WHAT IF, I am right? Then what? There's a kid here on this Earth that I didn't want in the first place that the stork won't take back! ::nightmare on Elm Street:: And quite frankly, I think the quality of a child's nurtured, limitless, attention-filled life is entirely too important for me to make that gamble. So, I'll live vicariously, or not, through my parent friends, love the time I spend with my nieces and nephews, and wait for "that feeling" to hit me. I'll never say never, but I won't be holding my breath.

My Truth: I don't think I want my own kids even though everyone else wants kids from me! This is 25.

what's your 20-something truth?

be haLf.baKed or make poor lifelong decisions! ;P



Tables & Boobs

Well, hello there love cakes! I've been on hiatus - clearly - but I'm back. This will be quick, promise! I enjoyed summer, even though I was stuck taking classes for the majority of it. However, the end of summer was spectacular! I visited home for longer than a few days. It was closer to a few weeks! Lover Man and I got to go on a week-long vacation which was awesome! It rained a good bit of the time we were there, but the weather was warm, there was a beach nearby, and I got to eat at H(.)(.)ters. SO, all was not lost!

(via USA Today)
((if you didn't know, I love Hooters. What's there NOT to love?? Look at that plate of wings! ;) ))

I also chose a project for me and my Daddy to tackle while I was home. You ever heard of a farmhouse table? They're all over Pinterest, but they're quite easy to make. I found the perfect template from Ana White. (Click her name to look at what we used, but there's thousands out there. She has a lot of different ones as well.) So, with my enthusiasm, my mom's discount to Lowe's, my daddy's tools and good attitude, and one of my twin brother's muscle, we built one! It's beautiful!

It was so fun to make and I have a horrible tank top tan line to prove my hard work! It still hasn't faded. It looks ridiculous. I hate it. BUT I had the best time with my daddy and my brother. My dad mostly laughed at me while I fussed at my brother for trying to take over. He thinks he runs shit. . . He doesn't. :D But I have to give most of the credit to them. While I did find the blueprint and was the mastermind, they were definitely the manpower.

I look like a boy 0_0

Lover Man got in on the staining action, too! 

Finished product!
We stained it and it is currently sitting pretty. Under tarp. Outdoors. Not being used. HOWEVER, there is a special event happening next year that it will be perfect for. And if nothing else, my parents can entertain with it. You're welcome Ma!

I've also been contemplating my future career path as of late and I'm catching the What-Will-I-Be-When-I-Grow-Up bug. . . again! I'm assuming that this is something that everyone catches several times in life. In childhood, it's full of anticipation and curiosity and excitement. Every little kid wants to possess the powers that adults have. As we get older it causes a sense of slight urgency because our choices begin to dictate what we can or can't do. During and after college it's full on panic mode! We have to start making a living from whatever we plan on doing.
Shit. Gets. Serious.
I love wellness and things of the sort, but I really love my creative side and I haven't been able to express it as much as I've gotten older. I think it's my true passion, but my talents aren't specific. I don't know how or what I would pursue that would be fulfilling and pay the bills, but I'm sure there's gotta be something out there. . . Perhaps I should create this said position and conquer the world. Or maybe I should start by making a sandwich first. I'm starving. No one can conquer anything on an empty stomach.

Enjoy this delightful imagery of a
delicious BLT I concocted the other day.
 You're welcome :]

Otherwise, life is going well. I would like to clarify (specifically for my mother because I'm sure she's reading) that I am absolutely, positively secure in knowing that I will be happy and successful after graduate school ends with whatever I do. I'm glad I chose the degree program I did and I don't have regrets. I'm actually excited to see what opportunities and experiences my adult life holds for next year. It's just that I've always been quite the creative person and I'm not engaged with it like I used to be in my everyday life, which is exactly why I love doing things in Microsoft Publisher, PowerPoint, and on here! NERD! :D I'm sure everything will work out perfectly along the way and I will be selling my creations in someone's flea market on the weekends.

I'm back yall! Hope you didn't miss me too much! Here's a glimpse of my summer vacation. Help yourselves!

 Full of family and fun times!
(The feet at the bottom make me smile.
Me & my daddy went to a baseball game together & it was a perfect night.)

haLf.baKed or die sweet cakes!


Southerners & Gays

Well, hello there lovelies. I was hoping that my particular interesting, and random, title would lure you in. And if you've been at all connected to the national and/or entertainment news as of late, you probably caught on to what I'll chit chat about. Let's cut to the chase.

Paula Deen y'all! I absolutely love that crazy lady. I'll name a few reasons.

1) She's as Southern as Southern gets ya'll!

2) She makes delicious, fat-filled, heart attack-worthy food in all of its glory.

3) She's a beautiful lady, with those big blue eyes.

4) And, I've always wanted her cookware to be on my wedding or
    housewarming registry (whichever comes first.)

via KFYO

She was accused of saying the N-word, which she fessed up to, but that did not at all calm the raging storms that be her sponsors, even after she delivered an apology. . . Here's the thing, everyone has said something they wish they hadn't said - whether they are sincerely sorry or only sorry they were caught is irrelevant. If someone is sorry, then they're sorry. And I don't particularly see a woman so southern and that deeply rooted in Southern ways to be a racist in today's time, particularly because of her notoriety and her success with Southern food. Black people love some Southern food. Now, I won't lie, she did say some suspect things, but on the whole I do not think my girl Paula Deen is a racist.

Approaching the same subject from a different angle, if it were a Black person saying the N-word no one would have even flinched. I know we have this idea that it's okay for Black people to say it, but not for White people to say it and I have to say, I think that's complete bullshit poppy cock! Black people essentially took a word meant for degradation and "turned" it into something positive? I see absolutely nothing positive about that word. And not only do some people think there's a positive spin on it, but that same idea is what makes it okay for everyone else to use it. This is 2013. You don't go to jail for saying racial slurs, especially when most people don't even use it in a racial context. I just feel that we can't get upset for other people using the word if we use it ourselves. We haven't copyrighted it. It does not belong to us. We can become offended when we stop using it and see it as a derogatory term. It's not fair to turn the tables. Me saying the word in a friendly context and a white person saying the word in a friendly context is technically the same thing. It's about intentions and if a White person uses it the same friendly way we use it, what's the harm? . . . I still find harm, which is why I don't think anybody should be using it. Let's just air on the safe side of things. 

I saw some post on Instagram that listed all of the positive attributes that a woman would want in a N-word and I immediately thought it was an oxymoron. First of all (and only of all) I would never refer to my man as an N-word and think it was a positive thing. He is a man. He is a gentleman. He is a great partner, son, brother, and friend. He is a hard worker. He is a lot of great things, but he is not an N-word. And being a Black person who doesn't say it, I have to say it's been very awkward for me to be in the presence of White folks who do ::and sometimes even Black folks who overuse it.::
Awkward or uncomfortable or both? I'm not sure, but it is weird to say the least. I'm also fully aware that the younger kids all use it - no matter the race. They use it in passing to each other like my friends used the words bro and dude when we were that age. I don't choose to partake in it, but it's weird from any angle I look at it.

Now to my favorite part, Gays! Earlier this week, DOMA was overturned. DOMA, per Wikipedia.org, is "the Defense of Marriage Act that is a United States federal law that allows states to refuse to recognize same-sex marriages performed under the laws of other states." Thank you good 'ol Wikipedia! Specifically, a piece of this was ruled unconstitutional because DOMA had also "effectively barred same-sex married couples from being recognized as 'spouses' for purposes of federal laws, or receiving federal marriage benefits." Thank you again oh great Wikipedia! Honestly, I'm baffled that this is still a legit issue in 2013. America is supposed to be a country where everyone is free to believe and practice whatever we want  to believe and practice, so long as it does not negatively impact those that live their lives alongside of us... 

Someone else being gay and marrying the love of their life who happens to share the same sexual reproductive organs has never interfered with my life. It only bothers those who have a strong ::might I say outdated:: religious pull and those who think their beliefs are better than others. I mean, we might as well be flashbacking to when Blacks were trying to prove that separate is not equal; women were trying to gain voting rights; and different races weren't allowed to date or marry. Seriously?? This is the same discrimination! I'm glad our America, the one we want to be proud of, is coming around on the matter.

I, for one, can't wait to see all of the fabulous weddings that are sure to stimulate the economy. They should make a show out of it and give gay couples free extravagant weddings. With all the shit-rated reality TV shows we already have out there, this would be something worth watching and being a part of. They definitely deserve it.

Now that my ranting opinion is over, it's Friday y'all! Go out there and partake in life's activities. Have fun, try new things, and remember to be safe!

haLf.baKed or die cupcakes ;)



Step Away From [Insert Favorite Social Media Here]

Well, hello there love cakes! This idea of social media has been on my brain and it's so very interesting to me. It started in its infancy as emoticons and pre-set away messages on AOL chat ((ah, middle school days.)) And of course now we have MySpace, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, YouTube, and the list goes on. But is it weird to anyone else how social media's entire point is to have you, yes YOU, share yourself with others?... That's it! Businesses benefit the most from this - it's free advertising! But for regular people like me and you, we just like sharing things about ourselves, like:

*selfies! ((guilty))
*status update: just went to Starbucks #ImThatGirl #AddictedToStarbucks
*food photos ((guilty))
*pet photos ((super guilty on this one))
*toilet bathroom photos ((my all-time most hated type - remove the toilet background))
*more selfies!
*status update: I hate everyone and life but I don't wanna talk about it... #sad  
  #FirstWorldProblems #MommyIssues #DaddyDoesntLoveMe
  #IDidntGetEnoughHugsAsAChild #ImPathetic #dramatic
  #IShouldBeAnActress #INeedDoughnuts #IShouldPostThisToTwittertoo
  #AndInstagram #SeekingPity #HashtagEverything #ILoveMyLife

Soooo.... We're an obsessed culture who thinks that everything is about us and that everybody else actually cares. Of course, other people do care, which is how these social medias thrive, but again, it's interesting to me how we love to share everything but complain about nosey people, page stalkers, and "haters" people who want to exploit and misapply the negativity in our lives (from things we post) and use it as their ammunition... Um, hello?! We hand over that ammunition. So you better not be complaining about it! [rant ensues]

Oversharing & Chatty Kathy's and Ken's:

*Don't share things that you wouldn't want anyone and everyone to see. Remember, that drunk photo with your ass out may have been funny at the time, but now your Facebook friend co-workers can see it and so can your mom.

*Pity parties that never stop are annoying. It's cool to get encouragement from time to time, but no one likes a graveling, pessimist. Quit it and go read a self-help book.

*Do not, I repeat, DO NOT share the ups and downs about your relationship if you intend to remain in that relationship for a longer period of time. Your entire feed, including your middle school English teacher, the little 5th grader you tutor, and your grandmother do not need to know that you and your significant other are arguing again. Keep that under wraps. You will be in love again in five minutes and all 750 of your followers will still know that y'all argue every other day. ((And you're giving the go-ahead to the girls and boys who you think already want your man or woman))

*Do not have full on conversations (with one's self) in your status. It is a status update. Keep it succinct and keep it moving.

*The use of proper and intelligible English is often underrated. It truly makes a world of difference. . . Seriously. Try it.

*Do not use social media to be a bully. If you wouldn't say it to their face, then don't say it on the screen. Play nice.


*Think before you type. Why are you really posting that picture with that caption? Are you seeking attention? Are you genuinely wanting to share this particular thing/idea with others? Are you trying to be a covert mean girl/boy?Think about it! Post accordingly!

So, love cakes, next time you complain about social media stalkers, lurkers, regular users, or even your mom (hey ma!), remember that you, yes YOU, put that information in their hands. That's what social media is for - so that others can learn aaalll about you from behind a screen :) Social media works because as human beings we, for whatever reason, are so interested in how other human beings operate. Are other people like me? Am I the only person who does X, Y, and Z? What do other people do in their spare time? It's only natural, but in today's technologically-run world, we have to examine why we put out the information we do. And that, love cakes, is the fun part!

disclaimer: I am in no way perfect and I have been guilty of several of the aforementioned no-no's and still commit some. However, I am a growing creature and I'm allowed to learn from my ((and other people's)) mistakes... So there! :P

be haLf.baKed or become a social media casualty ;)



Kiss My Grass

Well, hello there my spring time love cakes! I finished out my first semester in grad school with a 3.8 GPA, which I will happily take any day, and with more miles on my car than I've racked up in a whole year (probably... I have no real proof of this.)

However, I've been home twice, flown twice, driven in snow and ice enough to make me never want to live in the Midwest, been to a baby shower, celebrated my anniversary ((rawr)), grilled out, visited a botanical garden, got my feet wet at the beach, and eaten at a local seafood place that I and Lover Man put off going into for a year... This semester hasn't been all too bad.

With the warm weather comes warm weather outfits, which also means I revert back to being a southern hippie and not liking to wear shoes. I absolutely love the way it feels to have fresh, soft grass crush beneath my feet and in between my toes. I don't even mind the asphalt walks I endure when I take off my shoes and socks immediately after a run or in the car when I've worn uncomfortable shoes all day (or just for an hour or so) and can't stand to wear them any longer, even from the car to my front door. Nature's floor always welcomes me even though she has a humor streak. When we were at the beach I got two natural little thorny knick knacks stuck in my feet, on separate occasions, back to back, one in each foot. I pulled them out pretty easily and they didn't really hurt or leave splinters, so it was okay.

at the botanical garden
at the beach
Lover Man bought me a new camera (Nikon s3500) for the anniversary and I captured some phenomenal pictures during my last visit and voyage. I'll throw them in here and hope you like them. I was so excited that I was able to get so many beautiful shots. I secretly wanna be a photographer but I don't have the dedication you need to master it. Kudos to the photogs! Enjoy the pics and I'll harass yall again soon!

I love that you can see his footprints

LM finally found his perfect cup of she-crab soup!




Nature Photo Bomb.
The one flower bulb was directly over my face.

Crabby Patty

This burger,
especially crafted for me by Lover Man,
was delicious.
p.s. - burgers are one of my absolute favorite foods (or meal...?)

take in everyday beauty love cakes!
haLf.baKed or die!