Wednesday, July 31, 2013

there's a new blog a-comin'.

Yup. If you somehow haven't heard the news - Simply, Valorie is soon to be no more.

Yes, a moment of silence would be great here.

BUT. BUT. There's a new blog. And I've made it real easy for you to switch. You can do it right HERE:

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via email    OR    rss

Tuesday, July 30, 2013

the July EFF YEAH list

July was a really, really big -- like Big with a Capital B -- month, y'all. Here's what went down.
1. I bought a new blog domain. Have you subscribed in time for the big move on THURSDAY? ::falls over in excited squeals::

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via email    OR    rss

If the gold glitter doesn't tell you a lot about the new blog, well... !!! 

2. I got not exactly a promotion, but a new role at work. And it has to do with goalin'. I'm am the most excite about it.

3. I got ink'd! It hasn't quite finished healing yet so I haven't taken a lot of photos but I'm real excited about this one. 

4. I started doing yoga again! (I had basically accidentally fallen off the band wagon since BiSC. Whoops.) 

5. I got my finances hard core IN ORDER. BOOM. 

6. I started running again which leads to number 7...

7. I SIGNED UP FOR A 10K. Obviously this is not as exciting as RUNNING a 10k, but you guys. The Rock n Roll Brooklyn 10K through Prospect Park on October 12. I'm going to be there. Want to join me? 

8. I signed up for another BPC juice cleanse to start on August 23rd. Remember how much I loved this last time?  This time I'm doing 4 days.

9. I didn't write this, but I was pretty excited to read this article about my company's iced coffee. I didn't exactly "interview" with this, but I did meet with the author back in June, so I was proud to see it finally go live. 

10. I turned 23! I almost forgot this one. Don't know how. Whoops?

11. I remembered all my loved one's birthdays this month and either called or sent a card (or both). 

Have I mentioned the new blog by the way? Because new blog. The links to subscribe by email or by rss only lead to those pages. There will be a link to the new blog on August 1. I AM SO EXCITE YOU GUYS.

Sunday, July 21, 2013

The Mid-Year EFF YEAH List

Summer is a rough time for me. Not because I hate summer - God, I love summer - but because where I work means my summer is full of 6 day work weeks and a few too many 12+ hour days. Spring? 5 day work weeks and a few 12+ hour days. Fall and winter - somewhat normal. But summer... Man. Summer is where I fell off the wagon with all my goals last year, but it won't be this year.
And I mean, yes, I *DO* realize that it's actually July 21 already. I'm a little behind posting review because I decided to do a bit of a retooling of some of my goals for the year, based on Nicole's pretty kickass mid year review and her 15-step goal-setting formula.

My goals for 2013 looked kind of like this:
The Future
  • Apply to grad school for Fall 2014. [Frankly decided that this is not going to happen. I want to spend a few years teaching English and saving money first.]
  • Take the GRE [Welp. Don't need to take this yet.]
  • Study French four times a week. [I FEEL ALL THE GUILT. This hasn't happened. It's my number two priority for the next six months though {#1 - new blog}.]
The Relationships
  • Visit everyone in my family and several friends [I've seen everyone on my mom's side and took a trip to see my BFF in Ohio, so half done! Now I just need to schedule trips to see my dad's side and go to Texas.]
  • Remember birthdays. [It took some struggling, but I've finally got a system in place that gets all my friends birthday cards somewhere in the week of their birthday. Let's be real - day of is just too tricky.]
  • Make time for phone calls/Skype. [This had to go on because my closest friends are spread across, you know, A CONTINENT (GOD YOU GUYS)... And it hasn't been going well. I try though. Thank God for texting.]
Health & Wellness
  • One "Spa Day" per quarter [1/4 I need to be better about this - I need at least a mani/pedi and to drink champagne at noon once this month.]
  • Yoga three times a week [I was really good about this until May... And now I can't remember the last time I rolled out my mat.]
  • Build meditation into my life [Yoga was helping this, but when the yoga stopped the meditating stopped. I also find that thinking of meditation AS meditation infuriates me. Am I the only one?]
Explore! [This is my favorite bucket, and along with relationships is the one that's definitely getting done.]
  • Leave DC once a month [6/12 -- California, sailing in the bay, Ohio, Vegas, Rehoboth Beach. I need to figure out where I'm visiting in July still. Suggestions?]
  • Make a schedule of museums/exhibits in DC and hit them all [I literally didn't realize what a huge task this would be. I've started this list, but it keeps growing. And my time to see this exhibits keeps dwindling. I've been to a few favorites though!]
  • Save $150/month to start traveling. [Not a huge number, but living in one of the most expensive cities, it's what I can spare. It's going... okay. Expenses came up, life happened.]
  • Start a Dancers Photo Project [On hold. Mostly a time issue, and a lack of clarity on what I really want the project to look like.]
  • Read 2 books a month [?/12 Have completely lost track of how many books I've read when... but I'd guess I've read at least 8 this year, which is close to 12.]
  • Make writing a habit. [I did okay with this for a while, but I haven't found a way to reconcile my work schedule that can have me working until midnight one night then back up at 6:30 am the next day with any sort of timed habit, like writing.]
  • Submit to 10 lit mags. [Nope. I haven't even found a lit mag I'd like to submit to. Haven't written anything to submit to it if I did!]
  • Start a Writers' Blog. [Actually did! Then decided I wasn't a fan of the idea anymore, didn't have time to dedicate to it, and scrapped it before I really even announced it. This is how life goes.]
  • Spell 'miscellaneous' correctly on the first try without thinking about it. [I actually just added this to the list but FUCK I'm proud I just did that.]
  • Start my new blog. [This is in the works. Finishing up the header after this, actually. GOAL SMASH.]
  • Barista Certification [This is something that will happen in October.]'
Over all, I feel pretty good about the past six months.  Did I get everything done? Obviously not. Are my upcoming goals the same as the past six months'? Nope. I got in touch with a lot of Things I Actually Want instead of Things I Just Think I Want, which is really the best thing that could have happened. So here's to the second half of 2013. Ready, GO.

Saturday, July 13, 2013

It's my birthday, and I'll blog if I want to.

Remember that time I went to a blogger's conference, then totally stopped blogging? 

Yup, me too. My disappearance was part emotional hangover, part lack of time (summer at work is busy and exhausting), and part Beginning of a Relationship Syndrome, when the other person is the only person you want to talk to and see and the rest of the world doesn't exist anymore sorrynotsorry. So even when I had time, I didn't really make time. You know?

And, I mean, normally I wouldn't blog on a Saturday because omg no one will be around to read it, waaaahhh. But you know what? Today's my birthday, and I'll blog if I want to.

Basically this whole post is to say that I bought myself a new blog domain for my birthday - not like I haven't been talking about doing that forever or anything. I've been spending all my spare internet time over there prettying that up. It'll be live by August 15, barring all major catastrophes.

As for my actual birthday - I'm not sure what I'm doing tonight, honestly. Will it be fun? Oh yes.

I have a pretty good feeling about being 23.

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

I have an emotional hangover. Because Vegas.

I had no idea what to expect when I signed up for Bloggers in Sin City. I mean, "I knew" because there was an itinerary and you know, all the #BiSC tweets from last year and the year before that, so on, etc. But I was nervous - would I fit in; would I have fun; are these people all going to think I'm too young or too weird or too not-a-serious-enough-blogger to be here?

 I feel like I make this face 99% of the time.

But then I moved in with a fellow BiSC-uit, and through a few brunches met several other BiSC-uits, and suddenly the overwhelming nerves tempered down to only some kind of nerves and by the time our limo arrived at the Flamingo, I was just BELLIGERENTLY EXCITED.

What happens when you put a bunch of bloggers together in a limo? They instagram it, of course.

I don't know what it is about BiSC that creates deep emotional bonds between so many people who were basically strangers before the weekend. Is it that it's four days fueled by debauchery and laughter, or is it because it is full of the type people who would sign up to spend 4 days with a bunch of other strangers and LOVE IT? What combination of awesome people and awesome circumstances makes me cry at a brunch listening to wonderful people say even more wonderful words about all their feeeeelings?

Whatever magic comes together and makes it happen (I'm thinking glitter + 8 second hugs + Nicole & Doni's sheer willpower), I have never walked into a group and felt so instantly comfortable and loved. Between all the 8 second hugs and ALL THE EATING and all the photos together and whiskey tasting (whiskey! tasting!) BiSC was easily one of the best weekends of my life, and some of the most fun I think I've ever had. 

To go margaritas, beautiful weather, and some of the most fun people on the internet? I'm all about that life.

Pool day is the best day.
4 of the many DC bloggers. Reppin' the District in style, obvs.

Largest whiskey collection in the US. I want to go to there... again.

Our sampling. Blackberry whiskey? Delicious. The Knot? Like a warm Christmas hug in my mouth. 

And now? Now I have this bizarre emotional hangover in which I can't believe I'm not in Vegas anymore surrounded by 68 of the most amazing people ever and I just CAN'T DEAL WITH EVERY DAY LIFE, Y'ALL.  It's more than missing the planned all-you-can-eat brunches and gift bags full of goodies from Firmoo, Vega, and others and playing in the pool and using our badges to bypass the line at Pure (though those things I'll definitely miss). I can't find the words to explain the magic and the warmth of BiSC that makes people feel like they are free to be the most honest and wonderful versions of themselves -- because that's definitely true. Four days of completely genuine, lovely people all telling each other how genuine and lovely everyone is.

Sometime when I wasn't looking, I learned a lot this weekend. But the biggest takeaway I've got to offer is this: If you want to be part of amazing things (like BiSC), you've got to be brave enough to sign up for them. The moment you open yourself up to the possibility of amazing friendships and experiences, they're available to enjoy.