We Interrupt Our Regularly Scheduled Programming….

Hi all –

I know that I should be sharing about the Foods You Should Eat Every Day Challenge but guess what?

I have bronchitis.

And pink eye.

In BOTH eyes.

Suffice it to say I’m miserable and have been down for the count for several days.  I’m also highly contagious.  Fun stuff. 

I promise I’ll post about the Challenge just as soon as I’m back on my feet again. 

Have a great week!!!

Foods You Should Eat Everyday Challenge – Day 3

If you didn’t catch my initial post with the list of the foods you should eat every day you can click here

I mentioned yesterday that on Day 1 of this challenge my tummy wasn’t really agreeing with me very much.  That seems to have completely passed at this point and now I’m feeling pretty darn good!  I also mentioned yesterday that I had a friend coming over for dinner last night and I am happy to admit that she LOVED what I made for dinner.  Yippee!  I should confess, however, that I snuck in some additional items with dinner that weren’t on my original mean plan for the night.  I’m blaming that on entertaining a guest.  Lol. 

I’m still finding out that my original meal plan was just waaaay too much food.  As you’ll see below, there’s a lot that’s not getting eaten every day. 

I am starting to get cravings for things at this point – mostly cheese.  I love cheese.  Even though my dinners have cheese in them there’s no cheese in my lunches and I’m missing it. 

Below is my original meal plan.  I’ve scratched through some things so that I can show you what I didn’t eat on Wednesday.

Quinoa

Quinoa

Day 3 Meal Plan:

BREAKFAST:
Smoothie with 1c frozen blueberries, 1 T milled flax seeds, half of a banana and 1 carton of greek yogurt.
or

Eggs: Easy Bake Strata (recipe to come) (note: quiche/strata is about the only way I’ll eat eggs)

SNACK 1:
Apple (one very small jazz apple)
Green tea

Carrots (about 10 baby carrots)
Handful of nuts (about ¼ cup)

LUNCH:
Sweet potatoes sautéed in olive oil with garlic and onions (recipe to come)
Salmon croquette (recipe to come)
Spinach salad w/ tomatoes, bell peppers, and mushrooms (I added a few green and black olives as well as some parmesan Italian dressing)

SNACK 2:
Orange
Edamame
Green tea
Nature valley oat bar

DINNER:
Simple Baked Chicken (chicken breast marinated in Italian dressing and baked)
Fresh Caprese Quinoa Salad (recipe to come)
One piece frozen Texas Toast garlic bread
Approximately a half cup of chocolate ice cream
Large glass milk

DESSERT:
Cinnamon dark hot chocolate

Foods You Should Eat Everyday Challenge – Day 2

If you didn’t catch my initial post with the list of the foods you should eat every day you can click here.   

Well in the spirit of full confession I have to tell you that after Day 1 of the challenge I felt so bloated I was literally uncomfortable.  In addition, I had the worst flatulence I’ve had in years.  I’m sure that’s TMI (too much info) (sorry mom) but it’s honest. 

I think the reason for both of these conditions was just the enormous increase in vegetables and fiber that entered my body yesterday.  I definitely am not nearly as bloated or as gassy today.  So, my recommendation at this point would be that if you’re planning on attempting this food challenge, you should conquer one meal a day each week.  For example, change your breakfast on week 1, and then your breakfast and lunch on week two… and so on and so forth.  It should be less of a shock to your body that way. 

Oh – and I meant to show you this photo yesterday.  This is what my cart looked like at the grocery store this weekend after going through just the produce section.  No wonder my body is freaking out. 

produce-edited

Below is my original meal plan.  I’ve scratched through some things so that I can show you what I didn’t eat on Tuesday.

Day 2 Meal Plan:

BREAKFAST:
Smoothie with 1c frozen blueberries, 1 T milled flax seeds, half of a banana and 1 carton of greek yogurt.
or
Eggs: Easy Bake Strata (recipe to come) (note: quiche/strata is about the only way I’ll eat eggs)

SNACK 1:
Apple (one very small jazz apple)
Green tea
Carrots (about 10 baby carrots)
Handful of nuts (about ¼ cup)

LUNCH:
Sweet potatoes sautéed in olive oil with garlic and onions (recipe to come)
Salmon croquette (recipe to come)
Spinach salad w/ tomatoes, bell peppers, and mushrooms (I added a few green and black olives as well as some parmesan Italian dressing)

SNACK 2:
Orange
Edamame
Green tea
Nature valley oat bar

DINNER:
Bell Peppers With Quinoa (recipe to come)
Large glass milk

DESSERT:
Cinnamon dark hot chocolate

Yet again we ended up eating a really late dinner last night.  I’ve gotten out of the habit of truly cooking on a weeknight (I don’t consider opening a can of green beans ‘cooking’). 

Tonight should be really interesting since I’m having a friend over for dinner and she’ll be eating the same thing that we are which is a recipe I’ve never tried before.  I’ll let you know how it goes tomorrow!

Foods You Should Eat Everyday Challenge – Day 1

I’m suspending this weeks Window Shopping Wednesday so that I can share with you the start of my Foods You Should Eat Every Day Challenge.  Let’s get started!

If you didn’t catch my initial post with the list of the foods you should eat every day you can click here.

Almost right off the bat it became clear that the meal plan I’d worked up (as per my original post) was going to be waaaaay more food than I could possibly eat.  So, I cut out a snack group.  Instead, I’m going to eat Snack 1 on one day, and then Snack 2 the following day.  In addition, my portion sizes are pretty darn small!

Below is my original meal plan.  I’ve scratched through some things so that I can show you what I didn’t eat on Monday.

Day 1 Meal Plan:

BREAKFAST:
Smoothie with 1c frozen blueberries, 1 T milled flax seeds, half of a banana and 1 carton of greek yogurt.
or
Eggs (most likely some form of quiche since that’s the only way I’ll ever really eat eggs)

SNACK 1:
Apple (one very small jazz apple)
Green tea
Carrots (about 10 baby carrots)
Handful of nuts (about ¼ cup)

LUNCH:
Sweet potatoes sautéed in olive oil with garlic and onions (recipe to come)
Salmon croquette (recipe to come)
Spinach salad w/ tomatoes, bell peppers, and mushrooms (I added a few green and black olives as well as some parmesan Italian dressing)

my spinach salad - don't you just love my 'welcome to the 70s' tv tray?  lol

my spinach salad – don’t you just love my ‘welcome to the 70s’ tv tray? lol

SNACK 2:
Orange
Edamame
Green tea
Nature valley oat bar

DINNER:
Oven baked fish filets (not homemade)
Gluten-Free Cheesy Veggie Pasta Bake (recipe to come)
Large glass milk

DESSERT:
Cinnamon dark hot chocolate

All in all, I was very satisfied all day.  I did find myself craving some chocolate but by the time dessert came around I just wasn’t hungry.  We did end up eating kind of a late dinner so we’ll see if the same thing happens tonight.

I’ve linked up to these great parties:

Alderberry Hill
Beyond the Picket Fence
Bloom
Chef in Training
Chic on a Shoestring
Classy Clutter
Craftionary
Crafty Confessions
DIY Home Sweet Home
DIY Showoff
Ginger Snap Crafts
Handy Man, Crafty Woman
Happy Hour Projects
Home Stories A to Z
Homemaker on a Dime
Homework
House of Hepworths
I Gotta Create
I Heart Naptime
It’s Overflowing
JAQS Studio
Kammy’s Korner
Lil Luna
Live.Laugh.Rowe
Made in a Day
Mod Vintage Life
My Girlish Whims
Not Just a Housewife
One Artsy Mama
Primp
Skip to My Lou
Uncommon Designs
Under the Table and Dreaming

Thrift Store Marathon – What I Found and Where To Go!

Hi friends!

As some of you know, I’m a big fan of garage sales and thrift stores.  1, amazing deals (most of the time at least) 2, it’s fun to see the stuff that other people have at some point owned and then given up and 3, I love finding a diamond in the rough.  In addition to all that, my friend G is OBSESSED with garage sale/thrift stores and I think she’d drag me along with her every weekend if I’d let her.  Unfortunately, I’m too poor for that.  I did text my husband at one point during this last trip and say ‘we need to be rich so I can buy other peoples stuff’!!  I will say this – for the FIRST TIME EVER I went thrifting with a BUDGET and STUCK TO IT!  Whoo hoo!  Granted, I could have spent a ton more money if I’d let myself.  🙂

First off, I think I should start with giving you the names and addresses of some of the places we went (all of these are in Houston)…

GoodwillRiver Oaks
2030 Westheimer Rd, Houston, TX77098-1507US 

Charity Guild of Catholic Women
1233 Lovett Blvd, Houston, TX77006-3857US 

Women’s Home
811 Westheimer Rd, Houston, TX77006-3917US

Blue Bird Circle
615 W Alabama St, Houston, TX77006-5003US 

Houston Re-market
2850 Fannin St, Houston, TX77002-9220US 

Houston Junior League
1815 Rutland St, Houston, TX77008-4013US 

Assistance League
1902 Commonwealth St, Houston, TX77006-1836US 

Now, I thought I’d show you some of the treasures I came home with…

butter dish-edited

Anyone know what these are?  10 points if you get it right!

Anyone?

Anyone?

They’re individual butter dishes!  Aren’t the ADORABLE???  I’m dying to get started on remodeling our dining room so that I have an excuse to host a dinner party and can whip out these babies.  I’m in love!

craft projects-edited

I purchase every Scrabble game I come across because I have lots and lots of craft projects in mind for the tiles as well as for the ‘seats’ that you put the tiles in when you actually play the game. 

I was also thrilled to come across this huge bag of wine corks.  They’re the real thing, not those horrible rubber synthetic jobbies that are in wine bottles now days.  I have been eyeing a project for our wetbar area for a while now and kept wondering how I was ever going to get enough corks for it since we’re not big drinkers.  Problem solved!

drink cart-edited

I found this baby at the first store we went to and just had to pick her up.  She needs a bit of a paint job and some minor repairs.  For starters, the casters have to be replaced.  In addition, one of the handles is missing (did you notice that?  I totally didn’t until much later).  I have zero intention of trying to replace the handle – for one, it’d be nearly impossible and for two, I don’t think it needs a second handle.  Instead, we plan to just plug the holes where the handle goes and paint it.  I doubt anyone will ever know (except you guys, because you’re reading about it here). 

misc containers-edited

So my husband has a thing for perfume bottles (he’s straight, I swear).  He thinks they’re beautiful.  I’m not a big fan myself but when I saw this one I was intrigued because of the very masculine ‘stopper.’  Usually they’re very flowery.  So, in my cart it went.  Hubby was pleased. 

I have no clue what I’m going to do with this teeny tiny watering pot but I have some other stoneware (I think that’s what it’s called?) that was my moms and it sort of looks like it belongs in the collection.  It’d be cute as a flower pot on my kitchen window sill.  We’ll see. 

And then there’s this knobby green glass votive holder.  There were two… but sadly, one met a tragic end when it was rudely introduced to my tile floor while I was unpacking from the day.  *sniff*  RIP little guy. 

turtles-edited

You guys know my husband has a thing for turtles right?  If not, you can read this post here.  

Well a while back I found this lovely piece at Steinmart.  That’s right kids, it’s a turtle footstool. 

fred 1-edit   fred 2-edit

As you can see from his seriously happy face, my husband LOVES this guy.  His name is Fred. 

 Well, we needed somebody to keep Fred company so I brought home these babies.

The larger one at the top is actually a light.  We’ll probably use it as a very manly night light in hubby’s office once we finally get around to putting that space together.  Oh, and you want to know the first thing Hubs said when I showed him this lamp?  He said ‘what are we gonna name him?’  We’re dorks.  But, we’re also dorks who are totally stuck on naming him!  Any ideas?

 As for the two little turtles in front they’re both made out of some sort of stone.  The one on the right is just a sculpture but the one on the left has a removable ‘shell’ on top.  It’s just big enough for hubby’s wedding ring.  Cute huh?

wingback-edited

Lastly, but certainly not least… we found a wingback chair for my hunny.  He’s been dying for one since my mom moved out and took hers with her.  We’d been looking at this one from Pottery Barn for the living room but what he really wanted was a ‘reading chair’ so that he could read in his office.  The one from PB is nearly $1000.  This baby was a lot cheaper AND the upholstery is brand new.  I realize the color scheme is a little ‘welcome to the 70s’ but Hubs is going for a very old world/English pub/nautical theme in his office and this chair will go just perfectly.  He’s thrilled.  And Fred will have a place to live permanently (he’s currently in the living room, but he’ll go in the office with this chair). 

What good thrift store/garage sale finds have you brought home lately?

‘The Greats’ Debate: Singers Who Shouldn’t Be Imitated

Do you watch shows such as American Idol, The Voice, or X Factor?  Waaaaaaay back in the day I think I watched the first season of American Idol all the way through to the Kelly Clarkson finale.  After the first season though, I basically just watched the first few audition episodes.  It was fun to try to determine if the person was going to blow your mind in a good way or in an ‘oh, my ears!’ way.  I’ve never seen a single episode of X Factor (nor will I ever) but I do like The Voice.  Mom, the hubs and I watched the first season but we haven’t seen much of the following seasons since then.  There’s usually something else on tv at the same time that we’d rather watch, and we don’t have a DVR. 

Anywho – somewhere in the last year or so I was watching one of these shows (most likely The Voice) and someone was auditioning with a song from one of ‘The Greats.’  What I mean by this is that someone was using, for example, a Whitney Houston song as their audition piece.  This got me thinking about singers who just shouldn’t be copied.  You know what I mean, those singers who sang it absolutely perfect the first go ‘round and can never be topped?  I just can’t figure out why someone would choose such a song because, let’s face it, we’re all hoping to hear that you’re just as good as, or better than, the person who originally sang it.  And in reality, that’s a one in a zillion chance.  Voices like that in general are one in a zillion. 

I should give you some backup here by saying that I used to sing competitively.  No, I don’t anymore.  And yes, I was ok at it.  Not great, but ok.  I think I could have been much better if I could have gotten over the nerves. 

Back to ‘The Greats’…

Who do YOU think should make this list?  I’ve been thinking and thinking and thinking about this and so far I’ve come up with this:

Whitney Houston
Celine Dion
Michael Jackson
michael jackson
Christina Aguilera
Mariah Carey
Dolly Parton
dolly parton
Josh Groban
maybe Frank Sinatra (although I think Michael Bublé does an amazingly good imitation)
Johnny Cash
johnny cash
Prince
Luther Vandross
Etta James
etta james
Up until the movie ‘Ray’ came out I would have said Ray Charles but Jamie Foxx did an amazing job in that movie
Aretha Franklin

Don’t get me wrong, I’m not saying that there aren’t, or can’t be, amazing renditions of some of these singers songs.  Example: Johnny Cash has a song called ‘Hurt’ that was redone by Nine Inch Nails – both versions play on our local rock radio station.  The NIN version is very good, but very different from the original.  It’s done in classic NIN style.  They weren’t trying to copy or imitate Johnny Cash, they just took his song and put their own twist on it.  Renditions can be and have been very well done.  It’s true imitation that I think people should rethink. 

What do you think?  Am I right?  Am I too critical?  What other singers would you have put on this list?  Taken off?

(all images from Rolling Stone)

Book Review: The Premonition Series

It’s been quite a while since my last book review.  This is definitely not because I haven’t been reading.  In fact, I’ve been reading a lot.  Instead, it’s because I’ve been so completely and utterly obsessed with this new series that my friend L introduced me too.  I haven’t wanted to take the time to put the book down and write a post about it.  I COULD BE READING!  Haha. 

So this series that I absolutely cannot put down is called The Premonition Series by Amy Bartol.  So far, there’s four books…

Inescapable

Inescapable

            My name is Evie Claremont and this was to be the making of me–my freshman year of college. I had been hoping that once I had arrived on Crestwood’s campus, the nightmare that I’ve been having would go away. It hasn’t. 

I may be an inexperienced seventeen-year-old, but I’m grounded…sane. I look for rational explanations to even the strangest circumstances. Since meeting sophomore Reed Wellington, however, nothing makes any sense. Whenever he’s near, I feel an attraction to him–a magnetic kind of force pulling me towards him. I know what you’re thinking…that sounds fairly awesome. Yeah, it would be…if he liked me, but Reed acts as if I’m the worst thing that has ever happened to Crestwood…or him. But get this, for some reason every time I turn around he’s there, barging into my life. 

What is the secret that he’s keeping from me? I’m hoping that it’s anything but what I suspect: that he’s not exactly normal…and neither am I. So, maybe Crestwood won’t be the making of me, but it could be the breaking of me. I’ve been left to wonder if the dark future my dream is foretelling is…inescapable.

 

Intuition

Intuition

            I don’t open my eyes so I can’t see him, but I can smell him. He thickens the air I breathe, choking me with his scent…his aroma. I shiver. I have to resist. If I’m not strong, then I will be relegated to the same fate as this predator whose sickness infects me even now. But now, I crave him and he knows that; he has been counting on my need to end the gnawing pain. How he would savor my surrender. I’m alive, but how much longer will it take until I beg him not to be?

 

Indebted

Indebted

I hang my head in sorrow for just a moment when I know I am truly alone. I feel like I’m going to my execution, just as he had said. Then I move forward again. I hop a fence of fieldstone and cross a field dotted with Queen Anne’s lace. Goose bumps rise on my arms as I pass the cluster of windmills that I have seen in a dream. The scent is sweet in the field though, not the scent of heat, like it had been when it was forced upon me in visions. I gaze down the hill, beyond the small, whitewashed house that I knew would be there. The church looms dark and grim with its rough-hewn, timber façade, capped by tall, oblong spires reaching to the sky. Black, ominous clouds have collected above the roofline, as if Heaven is showing me the way.

 

Incendiary

Incendiary

            Cold, fine drops of rain fall softly on my cheeks as I emerge from the darkness of the ship’s interior to the gray, overcast sky of the main deck. Pulling my dark pea coat tighter to my body, the wind lifts red tendrils of my hair. I walk slowly to the railing overlooking the water. I catch my first sight of the Irish coastline; its craggy landscape makes me shiver in dread. I find it difficult to imagine now how the Gancanagh had made this their home for so long without anyone realizing it. The cold, moss-covered edifices practically scream their presence. As I study the shadows between the falling-down stone, I imagine creeping shapes of undead Faeries grasping the rock, waiting for our ship to draw nearer to their position. Tipping my face up, I let the rain wash over me. It bathes away the frigid sweat of fear that has broken on my brow. “You don’t know how fiercely beautiful you are, do you?” A quiet voice behind me asks, causing me to stiffen and fix my eyes on the rocks along the shoreline.         

 

You can click here to find out where to purchase them (they’re TOTALLY worth it!).

Ok, so I’m sure you can tell that I love these books.  And I’m dying waiting for the next one.  HURRY UP AMY!  I need to stop reading series books until the entire series is available.  This is torture people! 

I won’t lie to you though – these are definitely written for a young adult audience to some degree; and the first book seemed loosely based on Twilight.  But I loved the Twilight books (not the movies), so that wasn’t a bad thing as far as I was concerned.  If you in any way, shape, or form like Twilight or paranormal romance in general please check this series out! 

To make it even more fun, Amy has a blog where she posts pictures of what she thinks the characters would look like and even the playlists that they would listen to!  How cool is that?  In addition, she likes to review other paranormal romance books. 

Ahem – her rendition of Reed Wellington (main character):

YUM!

YUM!

Seriously, go check this series out today!

Movie Review: The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey

So the hubs and I went to see The Hobbit on New Years Eve this year.  We’re not much for partying or crowds so a quiet night at the movies on a normally crazy night is a nice thing for us.  We were both pretty excited to see this movie since we love the Lord of the Rings trilogy.  Honestly we probably watch one of the three movies at least once a month.  Yep, we’re fans.  Not really the dorky kind though… we haven’t read the books, we don’t dress up like hobbits, and we don’t refer to each other as ‘my precious.’

First off, I should say that I was somewhat surprised at how many of the original characters signed on to be a part of The Hobbit trilogy.  Part of me figured that most of them would move on to other things and not want to look back.  Perhaps there was something in their contract stating that they’d have to be a part of this if it was ever turned into a movie?  Who knows.  It was good to see some familiar faces though. 

There are also lots of new faces including 12 or so new dwarf characters.  I have to say, those guys certainly have a distinct look don’t they?  I cannot even imagine the amount of time these guys had to spend in hair and makeup every day.  I thought they were all fantastic actors and the opening scene where you meet all of them is hysterical.  I was honestly angry at ‘the invasion’ and just kept waiting for Bilbo to throw them out (if you haven’t seen the movie, go see it… this will all make sense). 

dwarfs

Andy Serkis, who plays the ever-increasingly-creepy Gollum, is spot-on yet again.  I swear this guy can give you nightmares.  I wonder how he sleeps at night? 

gollum

The absolute highlight: the return of Andy Serkis, master of motion-capture performance, as the scary, disturbing, pathetic Gollum.  ~  John Beifuss, Commercial Appeal

I did love the battle of riddles between Gollum and Bilbo although I admittedly felt like an idiot because I didn’t know the answer to a single one. 

It was a bit obvious that The Hobbit didn’t have nearly the budget that The Lord of the Rings did in the sense that the technology that made the Rings trilogy amazing is definitely lacking here.  In addition, it’s a bit longer than it should have been.  I definitely did find myself thinking ‘end already!’ at one point.  Apparently, I’m not the only one who feels this way…

There is simply not enough story to justify the inordinate length…the enormous production effort is negated by [the] disastrous decision to shoot at 48 frames per second…This makes the entire enterprise look like the world’s most expensive home video.  ~  Jim Schembri, 3AW

So, what’s my final decision?  I liked it.  I didn’t love it, but I liked it.  In the words of Rob Vaux from Mania.com “’Disappointing’ isn’t the same thing as ‘bad’.”  I will definitely go back to watch the second Hobbit movie with hopes that Peter Jackson may have made a few changes based on the reviews he receives from fans about this first Hobbit movie.   

Have you seen this movie?  What did you think?

Window Shopping Wednesday – Woolly Fabulous

I cannot remember how I found this shop but OMG I’m in love.  I just want to order one of everything and call it a day.  Odile, the owner, has wicked talent.  I’m super jealous!!  There will definitely be some of these babies purchased for some lovely ladies I know, and perhaps all of them a few for myself as well.

This weeks featured shop:  Woolly Fabulous

I know that Christmas just passed but as far as I’m concerned that just means that it’s time to start shopping for this coming Christmas!  I love this felt and zipper holly and berries brooch.  What a unique way to spread some Christmas cheer!!!

Felt and zipper Holly and berries brooch

Isn’t this felt and zipper bee brooch just the cutest thing?  If you have a friend who is an elementary school teacher I think they’d absolutely adore this!

Felt and zipper bee brooch

Ok… mom?  Husband? Are you reading this??? This white felt and zipper bird brooch really needs to find it’s way into my stocking next year ok?  Please?  (she’s got several other colors and types of birds available but I call dibs on this one!)

White felt and zipper bird brooch

Know someone that sews?  I bet they’d love this whimsical felt and zipper mushroom pincushion.  Even better, it could double as an ornament with that nifty loop at the top.  Eek!  So cute!

Felt and zipper mushroom pincushion or ornament

There’s even a red mushroom (a la Mario Brothers) felt and zipper pincushion/ornament.

Felt and zipper mushroom pincushion or ornament 2

This one of a kind felt and zipper flower brooch could be worn even in the most buttoned-up work environment.  Wouldn’t this bring just the right pop of color and FUN to a boring black business suit?

Felt and zipper flower brooch

Are you into the owl trend or do you know someone who is?  I think just about every teenage / college-age girl on the planet would love this brown felt and zipper owl brooch.  I love the little touches she adds like the little heart branch that this owl is perched on.

Brown felt and zipper owl brooch

There are lots of other nifty goodies and amazing eye candy over at Woolly Fabulous so make sure you go check out her shop today!

In Honor and Remembrance: My January RAOK in Honor of Sandy Hook

Every month on the 14th I’m going to practice a Random Act of Kindness (RAOK) in honor of the 26 victims who lost their lives in the Sandy Hook tragedy on December 14, 2012.  If you didn’t read my original post, you can go here to check it out.

raok sandy hook

I have to be honest with you guys, this first RAOK was a lot more nerve-racking than it should have been.  I had originally planned on the Hubs and I just picking up something for dinner on the 14th and I was going to pay for the order for the person behind us in the drive through.  However, after grocery shopping this weekend our left over grocery budget only came to $9.  That’s hardly enough to pay for dinner for us and the people behind us.  So, I figured I’d have to hold on to that idea for another month and think of something else. 

I decided, in turn, to take that left over $9 and turn it into change… as in literal coins.  Then I taped them ($1.25 per card) to individual cards that said ‘here’s a random act of kindness for you, have a blessed day!’  On Monday, I went to the local emergency rooms not far from my house and taped those cards with the coins on the vending machines in the waiting rooms. 

raok 2-edited

Sorry the photo is blurry.  I was shaking! (lame)

Sorry the photo is blurry. I was shaking! (lame)

In all honesty, I was freaked.  I felt nervous.  My heart was pounding.  It was like the feeling I got when I used to sing in front of people… pure nervous terror. 

Like I said, waaaaaay more nerve-racking than it should have been. 

I got lucky at the first ER.  The vending area was in a little alcove and there was practically no one in the waiting room.  The only way someone was going to see me was if they were actually headed to get a soda or snack from the vending area.  My luck held, and I was able to get everything taped up and get out of there before anyone saw me.  WHEW!

Then my luck totally ran out at the second ER.  It was absolutely PACKED.  I mean people on top of people.  AND the vending area was not in an alcove.  It was pretty out in the open.  It was sort of a mad dash to run up to the vending machines, tape the cards up real quick, keep my head down and get out of there. 

Isn’t that lame? 

I mean, what in the world did I have to be so nervous about?  I didn’t want anyone to see what I was doing.  Why you ask?  Well, I don’t honestly know.  What I do know is that I stressed about this RAOK all day long and at some point I said to myself “Self, you have no idea what fear is.  Can you imagine the way that those students and teachers felt in that school last month?  That is fear.  And they are who you’re doing this in honor of.  Suck it up!”  So I did.  For the most part.  I didn’t chicken out at least. 

Then, as I was headed back to my car after the second ER, I passed a family walking in.  There were 5 or 6 of them, and they were all in tears.  Whatever had happened was obviously a pretty big deal.  My heart sunk.  I honestly just wanted to hug them.  And then I thought to myself “what if they’re the people who find your RAOK on the vending machines?”  That thought made me smile.  What if my one, tiny, relatively insignificant act of kindness made this horrible day even marginally better for those people?  Isn’t that what this whole project is about?  Making the lives of strangers just a little bit brighter? 

no act of kindness

What about you?  Did you do an RAOK on Monday in honor of Sandy Hook?  I would love to hear your story!

I’ve linked up to these great parties:

Alderberry Hill
Beyond the Picket Fence
Chef in Training
Chic on a Shoestring
Classy Clutter
Crafty Confessions
Ginger Snap Crafts
Handy Man, Crafty Woman
Home Stories A to Z
House of Hepworths
I Gotta Create
I Heart Naptime
JAQS Studio
Kammy’s Korner
Lil Luna
Live.Laugh.Rowe
Made in a Day
Mod Vintage Life
My Girlish Whims
One Artsy Mama
Primp
Skip to My Lou
Under the Table and Dreaming