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Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Feeling INSPIRED

Just shy of five years ago, I started my job career at Ralph Lauren.  I am not lying when I tell you I love my job.  I can't say every day is perfect, but I still--STILL--after five years, get up out of bed excited to go to work.  I tend to love my closest co-workers like family.  I know I'm lucky.  Most people hate their jobs.  

It helps that I've made some great friends along my journey.  I know you've heard the saying that God puts people in your life for a reason.  I've always believed it to be true. Today, I'd like to introduce you to one of those friends.  We met in the call center working in the trenches. He's funny and witty, as his Cheese is Funny page on Facebook will prove.  Be sure to check out Movie Quote Thursday.  His smile is contagious and almost rarely absent from his face.  He has a million friends and, honestly, nobody messes with Yosef (did I get that right, Mike?).  A few years ago, he started his career in management and put his natural writing talents out there in hopes of inspiring others. Yesterday, I had an email from him about Inspiration.  

Sometimes we get bogged down by our own problems, our own insecurities, and a fear of failure.  So bogged down that we forget that we may be an inspiration to someone else.  His email reminded me to live Inspired.  It inspired me so much I wanted to share it with you.  Here goes:

“That the powerful play goes on, and you may contribute a verse.” - Walt Whitman

This has been a weird couple of weeks. Thanks to social media I’ve been constantly reminded to mourn, yet celebrate the life of one of my favorite actors. Through the same medium I’ve witnessed a lot of my friends dumping a bucket of cold water on their heads. Other than the delivery method of these messages, on the surface they don’t seem to have anything in common. They do.

The first “grownup” movie I saw in the theater with my Dad was Good Morning, Vietnam. We laughed together until our faces hurt. That movie won Robin Williams a spot as one of my favorite actors. Every time he appeared on the TV or movie screen I laughed. That is an incredible gift. Even though he didn’t pen the lines from Dead Poets Society, he is the person who delivered the advice “carpe diem.” I’ve always thought “seize the day” is one of the best philosophies to live by that I’ve ever heard.

Whether or not you believe that dumping water on your head is an effective way to raise awareness, you can’t argue with the results. Since June 1st the Ice Bucket Challenge has helped raise over $50 million for ALS (their total contributions for 2013 were roughly $19.4 million.) One of the most awesome aspects of this is that The Ice Bucket Challenge wasn’t the brainchild of a top marketing firm. The ALS Foundation barely has a marketing budget. And this campaign costs them nothing. Whether you donated $10 or $100 or dumped water on your head, you are a part of one of the most successful charitable fund raisers of all time.

So what do Robin Williams and the Ice Bucket Challenge have in common? They made/make a difference. Robin raised millions of dollars for charity through his various foundations and Comic Relief. But, he also made us laugh and through some of his movies taught some great life lessons. And the IBC? Yes, I’m tired of videos of my friends taking ice water showers clogging up my feed…but, $50 million dollars? That may not be enough to cure a horrible disease, but it will provide funding for a lot of research. I can put up with a few more videos interspersed between the cat pictures and game requests.

Now, you’re asking yourself “self, in spite of his disclaimer, isn't Mike eventually going to make a point regarding Customer Service?” Good question. And, no…not really. I want you to think about what you contribute. What is the part you play in this wonderful, fun, scary, incredible journey we all share? Do you make people laugh? Do you comfort them? Do you dump water on your head to raise awareness? Do you provide Legendary Customer Experiences? (Okay…I included one thing about customer service). What kind of influence or inspiration do you provide for those around you…your friends, your family?

You all make a difference to someone. Most of you, to a lot of someones. The great thing is that we get to choose what kind and how much of a difference.

“’That the powerful play goes on, and you may contribute a verse.’ What will your verse be.” - Robin Williams as John Keating / Dead Poets Society

What will your verse be? Have a great day.


MikeD, as I fondly call him, is a Team Manager at Ralph Lauren Ecommerce-North America.  He lives an inspired life with his better half, Sonja, and some weird cat they found somewhere (Just kidding about the cat, Sonja!), as well as a multitude of friends in the 'boro.



I encourage you to let your little light shine today!

Be the light
Matthew 5:14

Happy Tuesday, y'all!
xoxo,
Laurie








Sunday, August 24, 2014

Sunday Social

WILL I EVER BLOG MORE THAN ONCE A WEEK?

I've got that question on my mind this morning.  I want to write more, but I will be darned if I have time.  I'm still getting settled into the house.  I've been busy with work and outside of work activities.  It's not an excuse, but it's my reality.  For September, my goal is to blog at least three times a week.  I have found that I do well with goals and completing them, so I think it's best that I just put that out here for the world to read.

Hey, did y'all hear who's back blogging?  My favorite Gal of the Gulf Shore, Daphne!  Check her out.  If you've been blogging for a while, you know her.  If you don't know her, introduce yourself.  She's just a southern treasure!
Get on over there and be social with her:

Let's get on to the reason we're here.....to socialize.  Plus I need to get to the Wally World before the HPU kids clean it out again this morning.  I'm glad those kids are here, but it sure puts a crimp in my grocery weekend.


1. What are you most looking forward to about Fall?  
I love the warm days and cool nights.  I look forward to the crunch of the leaves and especially--Halloween!

2. What is your favorite sports team? 
College Sports:  NC State and ECU.  I know it's a conflict of interest, but I went to ECU and my friends and I will watch the games and text each other he entire time, as we live all over the southeast.  I was an NCSU fanlong before I even though about going to college.  NFL--Carolina Panthers (with the Washington Redskins a close second).  PS--I'm also a Seahawks/Russell Wilson Fan.  Do I really have one favorite?  Nope.

3. If you could go back to college is there one thing you would change? 
I would have worked harder and quite possibly majored in medicine.

4. What was your favorite class you ever took? 
I loved my American Literature class in high school.  Mrs. Samet always selected my weekly books to read from the library.  As an adult, I am very grateful for the books she selected for me.  I wouldn't have read any of them otherwise.  Though I was lazy in high school, I have always loved to read.  In college, it was definitely Historic Interiors.  I have a great love of architecture and historic preservation.  I didn't realize it at the time, but it is something that is important to me today.

5. Reach into your purse what is the first thing you grab? 
My sunglasses sit right on top. I don't even have to reach in for that answer.  My fingers hit that hard case every time!

Next Weeks Questions:

1. What is one thing you hate doing?
2. What is the one thing you hate shopping for?
3. What is one thing you love doing?
4. What is one place you love going?
5. What is your favorite thing to do that you do daily?

I'm off to stock the fridge for the week.  I even menu planned yesterday.  I'm not sure if I'm finally fed up with eating late or if I just want to know what's for dinner before I leave for work in the morning.  Either way, I hope this planning meals works out because I have never been good at it!

Happy Sunday, y'all!
xoxo,
Laurie

Sunday, August 17, 2014

Sunday Social

Whew!  What a week it's been.  I've been on the go non-stop all week and there's no rest today either.  From meetings, to birthday parties, to working the Wyndham Open.  I've been busy.  I really want to get back to blogging, but it's been a real challenge finding the time.  I figure if I keep up Sunday Social, I'm at least visible once a week, right?

Let's not waste anymore time, then.  I've go to get out to he golf course for more work, I mean fun. 

Sunday Social


1. One item you wish you could splurge on right now.

I'd take a massage and a day of rest.  Seriously, though, I'd love to be able to splurge on a week at the beach.

2. If you had an entire weekend of no plans what would you do?

Get out in the yard and weed and then get my closet organized.  I hope next weekend will be just that kind of weekend!

3. Next place you are visiting outside of your current city?

Since technically, I don't live in Greensboro, I'll be there today.

4. Are you a neat freak or a clutterbug?I am a little of both.  I like the organization, but tend to have clutter all the time.

5. Favorite Summer purchase?
I'm not sure I've made a favorite purchase this summer.  Kind of low-key this year.

Happy Sunday!
xoxo,
Laurie

Monday, August 11, 2014

Social Sunday on Monday

So, for the last few weeks, I've been a little busy moving.  Moving is probably my least favorite activity--ever.  First of all, I have too much stuff.  Seriously.  TOO MUCH STUFF.  I thought I was going to have a studio again, but I'll tell you again, I have too much stuff.  There isn't any room for all of my stuff. I've spent the last week throwing away stuff. Getting rid of things that no normal human being would hang on to for so long.  It feels good o get out from under this borderline hoarding.

I woke up early this morning and wanted to get back to blogging, so I'm playing catch up from yesterday.  I give you....my Social Sunday for Monday


1. One Show you would love to see on Netflix that isn’t there.
I may be the only person in the free world who doesn't do Neflix (yet).  I am satisfied with what I have to watch on the hundreds of channels on my Directv.

2. One song you wish they would play more on the radio.
Long Cool Woman by the The Hollies
It's my favorite song and I could listen to it over and over again.

3. Your favorite song to sing loudly to in the car.
If I know the words to a song, I'll sing it in the car.  I can't say there is just one song I'm performing on the way to and from work right now.

4. What Movie/TV show do you quote the most? 
When Harry Met Sally, Star Wars, You've Got Mail, SuperBad
Take your pick, I'm betting that I use a quote from at least one of these movies daily.

5. One silly thing you do daily. 
I'm such a quirky person, I don't believe anything I do daily is silly.  I was called out by one of my managers the other day for humming a tune while we walked down the hall.  I guess I never realized I'm a "whistle while you work" kind of gal.  Typically, it's not even a familiar song, it's the song in my head.  Yep, I'm quirky.

Next Weeks Questions:

1. One item you wish you could splurge on right now
2. If you had an entire weekend of no plans what would you do?
3. Next place you are visiting outside of your current city?
4. Are you a neat freak or a clutterbug?
5. Favorite Summer purchase?


Happy Monday, y'all!
xoxo,
Laurie

Sunday, July 20, 2014

Sunday Social: Random Thoughts

Good Sunday morning to you.  This past week flew by. I lost a special friend, I've worked on getting my life packed up to move next week, all while continuing on my normal life and working.  I'm worn out!  It's time for a break this morning and you know what that means. It's that time of the week.  Time for Sunday Social.



1. What is the most difficult thing you have been through?
I think this is an odd question, but one I'm sure I would have believed more profound when I was in my 20's.  In my 40's, I've been through many things.  Luckily, I have never lost a parent.  I think that would have to be one of the most difficult things.  I've never lost a sibling.  That would rank up there with losing a parent, I believe.  I think the most difficult thing I have ever been through is losing my house.  My home.  The place where I thought I would spend the rest of my life.  It's a long story, and I will not bore you with it.  I will only say that the economy took it's toll on my life a few years ago and we lost our house to foreclosure.  It was hard. It was emotional.  I was angry.  No, I was livid that this was happening to me.  I think in some respects, I'm still angry.  I am trying to forgive, but some days it takes everything I have.

I had this epiphany the other day.  I was sitting in the Baptist Church (I'm Methodist, y'all) watching a slide show of the life that was my friend, Ray's.  I was thinking about how we work so hard to have these things.  Yet, to be truly close with God, you need nothing.  It is what you give to others that matters.  Whether it's a smile or lending a hand, it's what you give that is going fill you up.  That single thought has given me comfort. It's not what you have, it's what you do with you have that counts.

2. What was your best birthday?
Hmm, when I got my driver's license?  When I turned 21?  I don't know.  I remember these fabulously fun skating parties when I was young.  I loved those parties.  I remember a surprise party for my 18th birthday that my two best friends planned with my mom.  Two of my best friends and I had a fabulous 30th birthday party complete with the Fairlanes playing for us.  I'm no sure what my best birthday was, but I know that I always celebrate another year of living!

3. What has been your favorite thing you’ve done in your own city?
Being the small city that is High Point, we have lots of great things here.  We are the furniture city capital of the world.  I don't think I could narrow down just one thing that I've done here that is my favorite.  I enjoy attending the Cycling City Classic.  I enjoy running in the Rives 5K.  I enjoy all of the arts around our great city.  If I had to pick a bucket list item that I checked off in my own city, it would be seeing Peter Frampton live at a Market Party.  Intimate setting, but still the full performance.

4. What is your idea of the perfect date night?
One of my favorite date nights is Mexican at San Luis.  Good food, cold beverages, and excellent prices.

5. Have you ever been to a blogging conference? If so which one(s)? If not do you want to?
I have never been to a blogging conference. I used to want to go to one, but I've not been all about my blog as I once was.  Today, I'm happy just posting when I can and meeting bloggers through blog hops.  I'm not in it for the money.

Well, I'm off to Costco with my parents.
Happy Sunday, y'all!
xoxo,
Laurie

Sunday, July 13, 2014

Sunday Social: The Special People

Good Sunday morning to you.  I hope you've had a great weekend.  I have been busy packing up to move. I can't wait.  I'm moving closer to my parents and back into a neighborhood where I can get out and walk and ride my bike.  I'm really excited about it, but we all know how much fun it is to move (it's not).  Just a few more weeks, though.



1. Tell us about the family you grew up in, parents, siblings, grandparents.
I'm the oldest of 4 children.  I have a brother and two sisters.  We are all very close and live in the same area....in close proximity to our parents. Holidays and birthdays are a big deal and celebrated in grand fashion.  We fight, we bicker, but we love each other.  Blood is thicker than water and you should never forget that when messing with one of us.







2. Tell us about your husband, fiancé, boyfriend, significant other.

Hubs is five years older than me.  We have been married for 11 years and together for 14.  He loves to snow ski and is a member of the Ski Patrol.  He is a middle child and has an older brother and sister.  




3. Tell us about your children. If you don’t have children, talk about your fur children.
My fur babies are our kids.  Daisy is my 17 year-old Westie.  She's been with me most of my adult life!  Gracie is our younger baby, but a 7, she's no spring chicken.  She was a rescue and is the smartest dog.  Our mailman told us once that she was much more hostile toward intruders if I was home alone.  Gracie loved our mailman, so for him to notice that meant a lot to us.


4. Tell us about your best friends. How long have you known them? How did you meet?
Jeez...my best friends range from BFF to sisters from other mothers.  Some, if not most, I've know for my entire life.  We love and fight like real siblings.  They are my Framily.  We have fun together, we run together.  I am blessed by the MANY, MANY friends I have!








5. Tell us about any other special people in your life.
Are there any others?  There are a lot of people that I work with that I love.  I am very lucky to have these mentors and friends in my life.

Happy Sunday Funday!
Go Argentina!
xoxo,
Laurie

Sunday, July 6, 2014

Sunday Social: That's Entertainment

You may have noticed that I had to re-post last week's Sunday Social.  I was not pleased about that at all.  I have started using different methods of posting. Sometimes my lap top with a finicky T key (sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn't), my iPhone, and my tablet.  I'm wondering if this has anything to do with it.  

So, since I had to "re-post" last week's Sunday Social, I'm now ready to move on to this week's questions.  Hoping to complete the post in one sitting so I do not have that issue again.  Here's goes:



1. Favorite Genre of Music?
I love all kinds of music, but Rock and Pop are my favorite.  I believe I equally love Motown, disco, and 80's music--Duran Duran being my favorite.  I love Depeche and the Dead, too, though, so I love all kinds of music.  Sometimes it depends on my mood.  Yesterday, I was cleaning out an old file cabinet and I was dancing around the garage to some good ol' funk from the 70's.  

2. Favorite Genre of movies?
Romantic Comedies.  Nora Ephron, rest in peace.  Nothing will ever be the same now.  I could watch When Harry Met Sally, You've Got Mail, and Sleepless in Seattle over and over again!  Seriously, if one of those movies is on TV, I will rearrange my errands, or chores so I can watch it.


3. Do you watch Reality TV? 
If so what was the first show you remember watching
I am not a fan of reality TV, but that doesn't mean I've never seen it.   I was in college when MTV started the Real World series.   That Halloween, I happened to live in a house with three guys and two other girls.  We "dressed up" as the Real World ECU that year.  

4. Actress you’d want to be BFF’s with?
This will show my age for sure, but Meryl Streep.  I think she'd be a fabulous BFF.

5. Actor you’d be happy to be stuck on an island with?


Tom Hanks.  He seems to be the kind of person that would be resourceful.  Or am I just remembering an old movie?  If I'm going to be stuck on an island with someone, I want them to be resourceful and full of interesting conversation. 

Next Week's Questions:

1. Tell us about the family you grew up in, parents, siblings, grandparents.
2. Tell us about your husband, fiancé, boyfriend, significant other.
3. Tell us about your children. If you don’t have children, talk about your fur children.
4. Tell us about your best friends. How long have you known them? How did you meet?
5. Tell us about any other special people in your life.

Happy Sunday, y'all!
xoxo,
Laurie

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