Got to see my old roomie Amanda this weekend at her Stella & Dot party! Prepare to see the new earrings I bought soon! (Michelle came too!)

Yesterday, I bought my first pair of Tom’s shoes. I have to say, I was a real holdout on Tom’s — mostly because it seemed too trendy. Like “Save Darfur” and “Free Tibet” — not that any of those things aren’t completely awesome and valid movements — but I kind of dislike jumping on massive bandwagons (I’m sure there are plenty of examples of when I have but stick with me…)

Anyway, I kept seeing them — everywhere. I knew the day was coming when I was going to break. Those dorky looking shoes were starting to seem kind of…cool.

So why NOT spend $60 on a pair of hipstery, good-cause, comfy-like-crazy Tom’s? Plus — my purchase got someone that really needs shoes a pair. It doesn’t get better than that.

Faking General Tso’s

I recently got Rick a subscription to Men’s Health. Like I often do in my mags, he found a couple of cool dishes to make for dinner. We made this one together — a healthier version of General Tso’s broccoli chicken.

You know what’s not easy? Locating all the random ingredients needed for things like this in the international foods aisles. I’m like, what the heck is red curry paste and where do you find soba nooodles? I’m learning.

Anyway, it ended up being okay but not nearly as flavorful as I had hoped. The broccoli mixed with the sauce tasted excellent. Next time, I think I would just over saturate the ingredients and perhaps let the chicken marinate in them longer. We’ve got two more Men’s Health recipes to try out so we’ll see how that goes.

Learning Life

I once read a book called “What Should I Do With My Life?” by Po Bronson. I was 23 and had no idea what to do with the rest of my life (obviously). I had finished college, was waiting tables and lacking ambition. This book was a real inspiration for me to just go for whatever my heart desired. Two things came to mind when I thought about: working in the country music industry or working in politics — both with some kind of writing. Along with the major support and inspiration from my Dad, this book helped me decide to move to Washington, DC without knowing anyone and start a life here.

My first week in Washington, DC — 2006.

What I loved about the book, though, was that the stories in it were everyone from 18-year-olds who decided to forgo college and follow a wild-eyed dreams to 55-year-old secretaries who dared to go for something they’d been thinking of doing all their lives to lawyers who gave up high power, high paying jobs to write the book they always wanted or start the small business with no garuantee. It was about not being afraid to take control of your life and do the thing you really want to do with it.

My aunt Angie is on the left of me, then my Aunt Andrea, sister Shelby and friend Stacy.

When I think about that book now, I think about my Aunt Angie — who changed careers for the second time in her 40s. She was a nurse, then got into pharmaceutical sales and now — the coolest thing if you ask me — she’s become a certified esthetician and opened her own business — Skin Express. This business is located in Ellettsville, Indiana so if you live near Bloomington or even Indianapolis, I hope you will check it out!

It takes a lot of ambition and guts to carve out a new career path, start learning a completely new skill set and follow through with it. I really admire her determination and how she’s built a business out of it. Her’s what Angie has to say about why professional skincare is a must:

“Ultimately, its good to get professional advice and services for optimal skincare. I — for sure — wished I would have always taken care of my skin instead of just when I was older. Of course, there is much more emphasis on skin cancer these days — and how ugly the sun can be on our skin. You’ve got to care for it right!”

Are you a reader in Indiana? Please check out Skin Express!

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