Take Five Friday: My Motivating Friends

We are right on the cusp of spring! It’s so close I can taste it in the air around noontime, but it’s still a bit chilly in the morning to enjoy a whole day out. This is the time of year I need motivation to tell me to Hang on, we’re close. So, this is my top 5 Friends that motivate me. Now, I have never met these people in real life, but if you can’t call people who motivate you “friends,” who can you?

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5. This e-book “How to Be Remarkable” is, well, remarkably good.

4. Rowdy Kittens – she keeps me focused on what is truly important in life: not stuff, but yourself. All her posts are full of helpful advice with treading lightly and being aware.

3. Dragos Roua’s blog is my newest motivating find. I adore all the posts, but every time I want to get jazzed about starting my day, I just open 33 Ways To Start Your Day” and get a kick in the pants a smile on my face, and the motivation I need.

2. ColorMeKatie – Katie’s blog isn’t necessarily a self-improvement blog, but she focuses on making people smile, and that is a huge focus of mine. When I feel down, I just look at some of my favorite posts on her site, and feel my goofy grin return. I also become inspired and get instilled with a sense of happy calm.

1. I have been reading Henrik’s Positivity Blog for a couple years now, and it absolutely never fails to pick me up. His fantastic article titles (“Mark Twain’s Tips For a Kick-Ass Life“) and spirited optimistic-but-not-naive outlook makes his site a must-read to feel better.

Also and honorable mention: Zen Habits and his “E-mail Sanity” post have motivated me to clear out my inbox and I feel so much lighter!

What kind of self-improvement friends do you have?

Take Five Friday: This Fun House

Now that we are (for the most part) settled into our house, I thought this Friday’s Take-Five would be five things I love about my lil house.

5. Ozark Conversation Starter. The sticker on the back with its name is somewhat old and broken to bits, but I believe that is what it’s called. People always look at it funny and ask if they can play with it. I love the endlessness.

4. Carousel shower curtain rod. When The Beau brought it home, the first thing I noticed was how the fancy “scrollwork”-type design made it look like a carousel pole. so of course I did a mini Dite Von Teese act around it before we hung it up. But now because of that I look at it almost every time I’m in the bathroom and think about one of my favorite things: carousels!!

3. The cutest little fixed bathroom window. Unfortunately it doesn’t open, but it is great for reading,

or just a beautiful spot for plants.

2. Steady breezes to keep my balloons afloat. For some reason, we are lucky enough to have a constant, beautiful gentle breeze in our upstairs office space.

Just enough wind for my balloons to stay afloat!

1. Tortilla viewing spot. Known to others as a window, the thing I use it for most is watching my little Tortilla enjoy the early spring sunshine.


Etymology Day, Part Eight

Another day, another phrase to dig around for the meaning. Thinking about old Popeye shows and even older Golden Age movies, when it was time to fight, they would never raise their hands, but always “put up their dukes.” What in the…? What does that even mean? Ding ding ding! Etymology time!

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Put up your dukes.

There are a couple main possibles roots for this phrase. 

1. It derives from the Cockney rhyming slang – Duke of Yorks = forks = fingers. At first , this seems rather unlikely. The earliest citation of Duke of York as rhyming slang (1874) lists it as meaning walk. Also, the link between forks and fingers seems tenuous at best. There is a clear link though – forks had been a slang term for fingers/hands for many years by 1859. It is recorded as slang for pickpocket in Nathan Bailey’s, An universal etymological English dictionary, 1737.  The terms fork-out (or over or up), meaning pay money come from a similar source and are recorded by 1831.

 2. It is suggested to be of Romany origin. This belief comes from the Romany word dookin, meaning fortune telling or palmistry. The palmistry association does link dooking with hands, but, that aside, the evidence to support the Romany source isn’t very strong.

Happy Mardi Gras!

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I love this picture so much.

Happy Mardi Gras everyone! L’aisser les bon temps rouler and all that jazz! Live for today, for who know what tomorrow will bring.

I wish king’s cakes were a bit more moist, like cinnamon buns, but then I guess they wouldn’t be consistent with traditions of Mardi Gras and Lent and what-not. But I just substitute mine for buns anyway, and stick a trinket baby in it for fun! I’m always queen of Mardi Gras at my house.

If you want to read up on Mardi Gras, King’s Cake, or find out just how to make one, visit this great site.

Auntie Mame: Yes! Live! Life’s a banquet and most poor suckers are starving to death!

Take Five Friday: Greek Dressing Edition

In honor of Percy Jackson and the Greek Night my friend and I are celebrating, my Take Five this week is how to infuse a little Greek into your own life.

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5. Clothing – Gladiator and easy strappy sandals, flowing embroidered tunics, Caesar style headbands winged shoes – They’re all a part of dressing the Greek part.

4. Jewelry. Bunches of bangles, statuesque profile rings and images of nature are a few Grecian staples. Don’t weigh yourself down by all at once. Depending on your mood, your neckline and your wallet, wear one piece at a time, or simple combinations.

3. Body. Olive oil, a staple in any good Greek’s arsenal, is not only good for cooking but fantastic for the outside of your body as well. Make an olive oil hair mask to smooth flyaways, split ends and dry hair. Dab a bit of warmed oil on your nails to soften cuticles before your manicure. If you’re feeling very productive, try this recipe for olive oil body butter!

2. Mind. There must have been something in the ancient Aegean that produced stimulants for the brain, because boy howdy did the Greeks philosophize. (Did I just say ‘boy howdy’ and ‘philosophize’ in the same sentence. wow.) Plato, Aristotle, Socrates (So-crates if you’re cool) and even their plays were deep and had philosophical playwrights behind them. When I was younger, Greek myths were my best friends. I was obsessed with all the powers the gods and all the thousands of demi-gods’ possessed. I also have a Greek friend Stavros who always has the most concise yet sagacious advice for me. I asked him (he’s a personal trainer) how I could lose weight and his answer was “work on building a little muscle, and don’t eat like a fat ***t.” It sounds terribly crass, but when I am deciding on whether or not to have a fourth piece of pizza, a little voice pops into my head.

1. Food. Of course this would be the number one thing on my list. I need to eat more gyros and tzatziki. There’s so much Greek food that I haven’t tried that I would love to be served from a big ol’ Greek goddess-of-a-mama.