Do the Sh!t That Scares You


I have two fears in life.

Heights.
Public speaking. *

I did one of those things this week. Hint: it did not involve heights.

A couple weeks ago, I was asked by a friend to be a part of the panel speaking about social media for the New North Social Media Breakfast, (#nnsmb on Twitter) a local social media group that meets once a month here in the area. The other three members of the panel are good friends of mine and I was happy and honored to be a part of the group. And then. Then, I realized this would involve public speaking. Whoops!

Part of my New Years resolutions plan was to “do the shit that scares me” and this is an A1 primo opportunity to test this baby out!

I was assigned managing multiple social media accounts, link shortening tools and Hashtags (of which I am a known fan). These are all areas I am comfortable with and know, enough about to create a very insightful and organized presentation (in my head) and a cute little Prezi, I had it all planned out.
But then they handed me the mic.

Ok, let me back up a little bit.
I had had some nerves, but I was well rehearsed. I know that I do better when I don’t plan things out too terribly much, but I knew what I wanted to say and how I wanted to say it. I even know what wacky improved jokes I was going to whip out of the blue. I had my laptop ready to hide behind at the table, my cheat sheet of notes in case I blanked…. I was set!

Yeah, um… No.

This was a stand up in front of a crowded room, holding a microphone while being broadcast live on the Internet.

Crap.
I bucked it up, I mustered… I only swore, like twice! I survived.

Once we were all four finished with our presentations and seated, it was time for Q&A. For this part, I was fine. I answered my question about Pinterest with confidence, and maybe some charm.

So all in all, one down and stronger for it! I loved being a part of it, and (maybe with the help of a shot of whiskey beforehand) I’d be happy to do it again!

Bring. It. On.
*and birds, clowns, creepy crawleys and inanimate objects staring at me.

In other “things that scare me” news….
Now that unGeeked has been canceled, I have been looking at other events to go to. Because my boss rocks! I spent the day looking at some other conferences and at this point it is down to two. The #140conf in Montreal and Blogworld Expo in New York. The way things are looking right now, all things are pointing Blogworld. Then I realized… the idea of spending a week in NYC scares the wits out of me!

Stay tuned!

***UPDATE***

Where do I begin with the updates? I’ve done so much since I originally posted this.

*While  I didn’t get to NYC – I did roam the streets of Chicago on my own while  I was there for a conference

*I rode a ferris wheel 

*I spoke at a conference

*I was interviewed live on the Pulse Network

Romancing the Me!


About a year ago, (well – a year ago on St. Patrick’s Day) I won a gift certificate for the “Romance Package” from the Kress Inn in DePere. It has spent the goodly party of this year magnet-ed to my refrigerator waiting to be used. I had been debating on using it, waiting for the perfect romantic weekend opportunity. Well, I think we all know how my love life has been this past year (if not – catch up here) I had been worried I would let it go to waste. Not being the kind of girl who would waste a good freebie – inspiration struck! On 2/28, I would be part of the panel at the nnsmb (New North Social Media Breakfast) that was being held at the Marq in DePere. Eureka! Perfect. I packed my bags (yes. bags. I am a chronic over packer) arranged for a sitter for the puppy and headed up to DePere.

I checked into my amazing room (the executive suite thank you very much) and was greeted by the lifestyle I would like to become accustomed to.  King sized bed, fireplace, whirlpool, champagne & Seroogy’s chocolates!

Walking into this setting wiped away the dorkiness I felt booking the “Romance Package” for me and a night of working. After a couple of hours of work, and some bragging about my situation) I decided it was officially time to de-stress and I did something I rarely allow myself to do – I unplugged. I turned off the computer, closed the iPad and put my phone on silent.

It was time to bubble my stress away.  While I love what I do, and enjoy the extra curricular projects I have been involved in, the stress has been getting to me. To the point of my neck seizing up on me, so this night could not have come at a better time. So  I filled the tub, turned on the bubbles, poured a glass of champagne, opened the candy and did the most “spoil myself” thing I could do: I turned on Bravo & threw away the remote!

Normally, the only time I get to watch it is on the treadmill at the gym, and then I only get 1/2 an episode! Now that I am way more chilled out, I can plug back in and get back to work, breathing much easier.  And by working, I mean sitting fireside in my jammies with my Bed Buddy working out the last bit of bad neck and finishing another glass of champagne. All in all – good night!

So thank you, fine folks at Kress Inn & Bravolebrities!  You rock my socks! Tune in to the nnsmb UStream channel to watch our presentation here.

UPDATE:  I get up on my soap box often about customer service. I am a believer that the experience can be make or break for any place. This morning, I had to get my room re-keyd three times, but the front desk rep, Ben, was awesome about it. The first thing he did was apologize (I understand the situation and was laughing the whole time). He was friendly and helpful the entire time and got me into my room without letting me feel like a fool or treat me like it was my fault. I worked at hotels, you do kind of always assume it’s operator error, you just don’t show it.  Ben made a bad situation a positive and funny one.

Kudos Ben!

Reasons I Sucked at My First Attempt at Yoga but WILL Do it Again Tomorrow


So, I have been writing for Supple about joint pain for over a year now and suffering from my own issues for longer than that. One of the biggest things I have learned in this time, is the importance of moving and exercise. The practice of yoga has been spoken of as one of the better exercises for people with arthritis and other forms of joint pain.

For me, 2012 is the year of “practice what I preach” and it is getting off to a fine start. I have already started working on the Kitchen Challenge with my Twitterfriend Peachy.

My satellite package includes a few preview channels every month and this month, it included Veria a health and fitness channel featuring a show called“Yoga for Life”. Today, I gave it a try.

Now down to the list of why my first try was such a comedy of errors:

  • I have wood floors & no yoga mat – I blame up to 30% of my falling down to this
  • My dog thinks that if I am on the floor, its time to play. – Because Ralphie coming at me with a slobberd up decapitated stuffed lobster is TOTALLY zen
  • I am a 100% complete & utter klutz – um… duh
  • I can’t breathe, concentrate and balance all at the same time – My mind would also wander off to places unknown. I also tended to talk back to the host when I got frusterated
  • I kept getting my lefts & rights mixed up – no comment
  • I have NO sense of balance what so ever. -um, yeah

And the three reasons why I’ll be back at it again tomorrow:

  • I am impossibly stubborn
  • Despite the confusion, the falling down, the swearing when I messed up…. I feel great!
  • I have a killer downward dog – yeah! Suck it stand on one foot with the other foot behind your ear pose

While the lists are still not balanced, I’m not giving up! I feel a strange confidence knowing that I’m just going to get back up on the horse and do it again tomorrow. But I’m pretty sure I won’t be taking any public yoga classes anytime soon. ;)

So stay tuned I’ll keep posting on my progress!

Photo Source

(Most of) this post originally posted on asthesuppleturns

Kitchen Challenge – 1/9/12 Homemade Hummus


Well so far this year, it’s Carrie – 1 – Resolutions – 0!

That’s right folks, I made my first recipe for the Kitchen Challenge. I decided to start easy with something I didn’t actually have to cook.  My skills in the kitchen are not what you would call “enviable”. I have in fact, set my self* on fire twice in one month just trying to use my gas stove! If you follow this blog for no reason other then the fact I may do something tremendously silly, embarrassing or otherwise train wrecky, that’s totally cool with me.

The first dish I decided to make was “Rummy Hummus” by John Schlimm, author of The Tipsy Vegan,  from the Organic View blog. For the original recipie click here. (The picture alone is worth the click) I chose to take out the chipotle peppers & served it as a dip, but other then that, I stuck to script.

Ingredients:
1 (14-ounce) can of organic chickpeas, rinsed and drained thoroughly
2 canned organic chipotle peppers, stemmed if necessary, with a teaspoon of the adobo sauce they were canned with (add more peppers, if desired)
1 large organic garlic clove, coarsely chopped
* 3 tablespoons organic tahini (mixed well before measuring)

3 tablespoons fresh organic lemon juice

This was the first time I’ve used my citrus juicer thingey -LOVE it!

2 tablespoons organic extra-virgin olive oil
2 tablespoons white rum (or more to taste)
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt, plus more for sprinkling
1 large English (seedless) cucumber
1 tablespoon sesame seeds, toasted in a dry skillet just until golden brown

Directions:
In a medium bowl, place the chickpeas, chipotles, garlic, lemon juice, tahini, olive oil, white rum, cumin, and 1/4 teaspoon salt. Puree with an immersion blender, scraping down the sides of the bowl as necessary, about 2 minutes, until the mixture is smooth and fluffy. Or use a standing blender (see note below).

Use a vegetable peeler to peel the cucumber skin lengthwise at 1/4-inch intervals to create a striped pattern around the circumference of the cucumber and slice it crosswise into 1/4-inch rounds. If the cucumber skin is tough, peel the entire cucumber. Arrange the cucumber discs on a platter.

To assemble, just before serving, lightly salt the cucumber rounds. Top each round with a generous teaspoon of hummus. Sprinkle with sesame seeds.

Yield: ABOUT 35 HORS D’OEUVRES

Note: Don’t be tempted to use a food processor to make this spread because you won’t get that perfectly smooth texture.

* I could only find tahini in my local grocery store in a 12oz jar. If anyone has any good recipes to use the rest of it up, please let me know!

To go with my “Rummy Hummus” I made homemade pita chips as well:

Cheers to all the rest of you healthy chefs both experienced & the noobs like me!

Originally Posted on asthesuppleturns

Well, Just Swash My Buckle


While reading about the weekend passing of Bob Anderson I realized he is quite possibly single-handedly responsible for my fascination with the world of fencing.

Swashbuckling
Sword Fighting
Light Saber (ing)

Just extreme awesomeness!

I have always wanted to learn how to wield a sword (pronounced Sa-Ward since childhood, because I’m cool like that)

I just love it! The grace and agility of two people gliding back and forth in an elegant dance of danger… My earliest Hollywood heels came from Star Wars and The Pirates of Penzance. The ‘clink’ of metal on metal (or the hum of light on light) excites me. It will always be my fight scene of choice.

Every foot step placed, every move of the head, flick of the wrist, every thrust of the sword, has a flow to it that I just can’t take my eyes off. The scene in Princes Bride is my favorite. The way Inigo Montoya & “the Man in Black” move across the ground and the rocks makes an ungraceful girl like me green with envy.

As I child, I would always “play swords” if I was ever lucky enough to get my hands on an empty cardboard roll from paper toweling or gift wrap. I would run about attacking the walls or stuffed animals or the cat. To this very day, if I’m given the right shaped object, I bust out my “Star Wars Pose”. I have also been known to have a go if I happen to find a toy sword in my hand.

Because of the elegance of the sport, I grew up with the thought (and please don’t women’s lib me on this one, I was a kid) I thought it was ‘ok’ to do as a girl, guns were boy toys, but there were women pirates wielding swords for centuries.

When I was in my teens, this belief was further proven to be correct when MTV featured a female cast member on its series The Real World who was a champion fencer. Catherine Zeta Jones in Zorro is another great example of a female Swashbuckler. If I ever decided to take on the double life of a superhero, I would be one of the Zorro variety

Learning how to fence is on my bucket list, if any of you are interested in doing it with me, let me know!

*My extreme lack of grace has also had me eternally longing to be a ballerina. But that’s a blog for another day

Photo 1 Via

Photo 2 Via

My Lust For Lists


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My 3 Words -

Goals
Lists
Accountability

It’s the very first day of a whole new year, and everyone is talking about resolutions. Every December I plot in my head all these grand schemes for self betterment that inevitably fail by Superbowl Sunday.

This year, I am trying something different. Doing something that (hopefully) will work.

If have a strangely split personality when it comes down to organization and achievement. Deep down in my heart of hearts, I’m a control freak. I yearn for structure, habit and control. On the outside, I’ll admit it, I’m a bit of a flake who is easily distracted by shiny objects.

That is why I love lists: shopping lists, to do lists, packing lists, there is a satisfaction in the crossing off of items. There is an accountability looking at you in the eye when you see the items that are not crossed off.

So this year, my resolution is a small one. To make lists. One list specifically. In my kitchen, next to the door where I will see it every single day, is my board. I have my goals for the week staring at me and waiting to be crossed off.

Time to cross writing this post off the list. Day 1 and my resolution is already a success!

Yay me!

Happy New Year everyone, 2012 is going to be awesome!

Weird Sh!t That Has Happened To Me in 2011 – and other semi fascinating tidbits


• In January, I moved into a haunted house that included the following items:

o One rusty water pump
o One broken Corinthian column
o One gynecological exam chair (no, seriously – see pic)
o Assorted belongings from previous tenant

• I lived in the house a week before my furniture arrived

• I introduced the “Buzzer of Inappropriateness” at work. People get buzzed a lot

• I got a fake husband who I love dearly

• Thing I actually said to a police officer “Well, I suppose. If he had his hand up my ass like that, I’d scream too”

• I got my first Smartphone and a great love affair began

• I marched in the two biggest St Patrick’s Day parades in WI

• Two bands rocked my world “Lonely Island” & “Folk – Irish”

• My (3rd) cousin toured the world performing with Brandon Flowers

• I went to Florida for “workcation” and the following occurred:
o I walked on the beach at sunset
o I rode a Segway
o I dipped my feet in both the Atlantic Ocean & Gulf of Mexico within a 24 hour period
o I ate conch
o I drove over the Sunshine Skyway Bridge and did not die (or wet myself)
o I went to Walt Disney World
o I drove from Ft. Lauderdale to Orlando
o I got to have lunch with a cousin I had not seen in over a decade

• My upstairs neighbors came with a phone booth

• I spent every possible weekend in Milwaukee

• I carried a sheep

• I was an earlier adapter on both Google+ and Pinterest

• I let my geek flag fly

• I live tweeted Oshkosh Irish Fest

• I got to interview Patrick Murphy from Gaelic Storm

• I became very close friends with someone I never thought I’d be this close to

• I had wicked bad car problems

• I was bitten by a spider but did not gain any Spidey sense

• I drank whiskey with the boys

• I discovered ‘professional tug of war’

• I touched a piper

• I spent the night in a hotel with someone I met online (not as creepy as it sounds)

• I had to block a Twitter creeper (IS as creepy as it sounds)

• I worked out at the gym every M-F in September

• I pulled my hamstring & sprained my ankle (not related to each other or going to the gym)

• I bedazzled my cast & crutches

• I was included as a speaker in a panel talking about social media

• I blogged, a lot… just not here

• I participated in four different walks for the Arthritis Foundation 2 in FL & 2 in WI

• I ran hurling drills for a work video

• I had my heart broken

• I did not have a baby (it may not SOUND like a big deal, but with so many of my dear and dear having babies this year, I consider my self to be highly original)

• I made some AMAZING friends, that I have never met in person



• I have removed some toxic people from my life• I have perfected my official picture pose• I took a profile picture I actually like —- >• I accidentally set my self on fire twice within a few weeks time. (side note: I am not a fan of gas stoves)

My birthday gift in response to the fires....

• I finally had the confidence to wear the gold dress from my CA shopping spree (this dress will henceforth be known as the ‘holster dress’)

• I had an awesome birthday cake made to look like my phone!( thanks Julie)

• I spent Christmas day at the hotel my mom works where she was on duty at the front desk and I wrote this blog

• My mom and I both gave each other hats for Christmas

Thanksgiving Thank Yous


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Its been a crazy year filled with some wonderful, some sad and lots of normal. When I think of what I’m thankful for, its people.

Here are the thanks I owe that I don’t always say enough…

M:
Seriously, there are no words to express my appreciation for who you are and for all you do for me. You are always my first call when I need help or I want to celebrate. I love and treasure you.

C:
You care so much for those who can’t ask for help, its inspiring to me. You have taught me how to have fun & just not give a damn what other people have to say. Your crazy life lessons & advice are the best. You have helped me show a part of myself I never thought I would. You are the beyotch to end all beyotches!

J:
I don’t know where we are or where we’ll be in the future, but I can tell you what I have learned about myself this year because of you. I can fight for what I believe in & not have to pretend to agree with someone because we are friends. You let me give myself permission to be myself. To embrace the the geek, appreciate my perky, but stand my ground and even let that inner bitch shine when she needs to. I feel smarter for knowing you, and you make me feel pretty.

P:
I think it is safe to say I’ve never had a friend like you, (insert song from Aladdin here). You help me to find the fun, you help me when I’m down & you gave me my confidence back. You are someone I’ve grown to trust like family. The future is wide open and who knows what is next? But my guess is Blues Egg might just be involved.

B/J:
I would never ever ever say this to either of your faces. I have changed so much since knowing you… I think that’s a good thing. All the little comments that I would just think to myself, I now just say them. I have embraced the side of me that loves to jump the line of correctness. You are both “a fucking genious “. I will never look at beanstalks, black hole or sandwiches ever again.