Pay It Forward Friday

Morgan Freeman

You know that feeling that you have during the holidays, or around someone’s birthday, when you get someone a gift and absolutely cannot wait to give it to the person?  My sister Kate is infamous for that, I usually start receiving Christmas gifts around October.

Anyways, the reason that you get that feeling is because you are thinking of someone else rather than yourself.  You, somewhere along the way,  have found a gift that so embodies the recipient or your relationship with the recipient that you feel like you are going to burst out of your skin if you don’t give them the thing, whatever it may be, right then and there. I’m always looking for those kind of “things”.  Things that make me think of a certain person immediately; like unicorn salt & pepper shakers or a FO SHIZZLE car air freshener.  I like the way it makes me feel to make things for other people, to buy things for other people, and to do things for other people.

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What if you could bottle up that feeling and sell it?  No need, I’ve got an easy and (most of the time) free way have that feeling every day; it’s called Random Acts Of Kindness (RAOK).  A few years back I figured that was the key to feeding my soul without going broke so I made a promise to myself that I would do one random act of kindness a day.  When I first started I had a hard time getting one a day but now, I’m an old pro [brushes off shoulder].

Here are a few of my go-to RAOKs:
1.  Water a friends plant/ plants or pick someone flowers.
2.  Give someone who is lost directions.
3.  Put a loose change in a strangers parking meter.
4.  Tape a quarter to a candy machine at the grocery store.
5.  Clip Box Tops for Education for a local school.
6.  Volunteer in the community (just finished my Hospice volunteer training last week!).
7.  Make and deliver dinner to someone, just because.
8.  Drop a card in the mail to someone I haven’t spoken to in awhile.
9.  Pay for someone behind you in line.
10.  Bring grocery bags to local dog park for “poop bags”

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My BoxTop Collection, almost ready to donate!

Nowadays there is a #hashtag for every day of the week, why not start #PIFF, #PayItForwardFriday?  Get out there and RAOK it up, cheers!

 

 

 

Skyy Nyad! The Legacy Continues…

It was almost a year ago when Diana Nyad made the epic and record breaking swim from Cuba to Key West, FL.  Diana landed on Smathers Beach 9/2/13 and history was made.

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Diana Nyad arriving in Key West on Smathers Beach, Sept 2, 2013 after swimming from Cuba.

Well ladies and gentlemen, yesterday swimming history was made yet again in Key West.  Yesterday Skyy went swimming for the first time in her entire life!  I’ve written briefly about her before but for those of you not familiar, Skyy is my 8-year-old husky.  In 2011 she tore her ACL; after surgery her ACL eventually re-tore and she was left with a limp, or strut as she refers to it.

I’d like to preface this story with the fact that for the past couple of days Skyy has been acting like a real fruit loop.  I should have known she was up to something…

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So anyways, last night I was at a birthday BBQ for my homeslice Shannon. Of course Skyy was my date.  Shortly after I arrived and unloaded my award-winning bacon jalapeño deviled eggs, my buddy Scott asked if he could take Skyy down to the “secret” beach at the end of the park.  Of course I said yes and off my girl went, trotting behind my friend Kristy’s dog Taz heading to the beach.  About 15 minutes later Sherri and I decided to join the rest of the group and the dogs down at the “secret” beach.

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As we started walking I realized how hot it was without being in the shade and immediately thought about Skyy.  I told Sherri about how miserable Skyy probably was because it was so hot and there was no shade at that end of the park.  Skyy has never been a water dog so for her to decide to take a dip never even crossed my mind.  Anytime I put her in water and she gets right back out; even before she hurt her leg, she just never had an interest in swimming.

You can imagine my surprise when we rounded the corner and I saw my little Skyy-girl’s white head bobbing in the water as she was swimming around.  She had the biggest smile on her face, grinning from ear to ear.  Of course, proud mama mode kicked in and I immediately started cheering for her; “go Skyy, go Skyy!”  “I’m so proud of you!  Go Skyy, go Skyy!”

As soon as I got close enough I shed my cover up and immediately started towards the water.  Skyy greeted me at the beach and waded into the water with me.  She started swimming laps around me and still had a grin from ear to ear.  It was the best day of her life, and mine.  When she got home last night she was worn out, and understandably so.  She did something great yesterday and I’ve never been more proud.  Go Skyy, go Skyy!

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Myself, Libby, and Amy celebrating Skyy’s achievement!

PS.  Unfortunately none of us had our phones with us to document the actual first swim with a picture or video.  Just another reason why #ineedagopro.

Gers and Garbage Pasta

ger [guh-er]; noun

1. a frequent or favorite female companion
2. a never-ending source of belly laughs, advice, memories, and good times.

Official Origin:
1855–60; girl + friend

Un-Official Origin:
1994; Jamal the Camel Jockey

You may or may not already know this but Friday, 8/1, was National Girlfriends Day.  I’m going to go out on a limb and say that if you did happen to know it was National Girlfriends Day yesterday and you live in Key West and/or are a friend of mine there is an 90% chance that I was the reason that you knew this little snippet of information…

You see, last year, as I was paging through one of my magazines, I saw a little column written about how August 1st is National Girlfriends Day.  I cut it out and pinned it to the bulletin board in my kitchen/ dining room/ office to remind me to send a little love to my girlfriends on August 1st.  Then, as it always does, life happened and the next thing I knew it was mid-August and I had missed this important holiday.  I immediately busted out my planner and “saved the date” for 2014.

Side Note:
I feel like this is the perfect time to introduce you to one of my favorite things;  Erin Condren Life Planner.  This is hands down the best planner that I have ever purchased in my life.  There are both monthly and weekly spreads and plenty of space to write.  It’s literally the key to me staying organized.  I know, I know, you’re all like, #getwiththegets Krystal, that’s what your phone is for.  But that doesn’t work for me.  I have to write it down.  I must have something tangible; a book I can hold, page through, and plan my fabulous life in.  Here’s a peek at my planner:

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Front Cover

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Back Cover

It’s almost time for me to start designing my 2015 planner but to be honest I don’t want to trade this one in.  I just love all of the pictures I chose for the covers; although that is one perk to the new design for 2015, interchangeable covers!

So anyways, when August 1st rolled around this year I was ready to roll.  I had written myself reminders for two weeks in my planner and spent a small fortune at CVS buying cards for all my girlfriends up north.  It might seem silly to some but to me it’s important.  It’s important to nurture friendships, to keep in touch with people and to let them know how much they mean to you.

According to my financial advisor “quality of life” is not an applicable category in my monthly budget (at least not in this stage of the game);  so after work on Friday I headed home and mentally started preparing for a homebound weekend.  Then I got a text from one of my gers, asking if she could stop by on her way home from work.  Of course!  Then I invited another ger.  And then another.  And next thing you know I’m whipping up some garbage pasta over belly laughs with some of my favorite people.

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How To Be Awesome 101: Always have a cute tablecloth, witty bev naps, and tea lights on hand. Instant ambiance.

Now you’re probably asking yourself, what the hell is garbage pasta?  Well it’s my answer to not wasting food and incorporating more veggies into my diet.  Two birds, one stone.  I know I’m not the first person to come up with this concept but I may be the one who perfected it.  When I first moved out on my own one thing I had a really hard time with (and still do) was cooking for one.  I found myself wasting a ton of money every week on vegetables I had bought at the store but not been able to eat before they went bad.  I was literally throwing money away every week so I just started chopping everything up and throwing it in with my pasta.

Friday night’s recipe included: mushrooms, tomatoes, bacon, broccoli sprouts, Greek yogurt, 1% milk, fresh lemon juice and zest, and some parsley to give it that gour-met look. The key to good garbage pasta is to reserve about a cup of pasta water to add back into the pan when you mix all your veggies and sauces together; the starches from the pasta water help thicken the sauce.  Just like a good steak, once you’ve combined all your ingredients be sure to let your pasta rest under the lid of your pasta pot for about 15 minutes and bingo, ready to serve!

So in the end what I thought was going to be an uneventful Friday night turned into the perfect impromptu celebration of National Girlfriends Day, complete with garbage pasta and my favorite gers.  The moral of the story is that celebrations are important.  When you celebrate the people in your life, whether the occasion is big or small, whether it’s over filet mignon or garbage pasta, it’s a celebration for your soul.  After all, friends are the mirrors reflecting the truth of who we are and from where I stand I’m looking pretty damn fabulous.  Cheers to my gers, whether we talk once a day or once a year you are always in my heart.