Today, I am back from a LONG LONG hiatus!

Oh. my. goodness. have we been gone for quite a long time?!. However, I still remember what Markie’s mom mentioned to her. I don’t remember the exact wording, but that it’s important for us all to keep up with this blog, to post our thoughts. Afterall, we’ll turn this into our best-selling memoir, right? 🙂

It’s been about 1.5 years since we first started this blog and so much has happened. On my end, I’m confronting the multiple crossroads that Charkie refers to her in her analysis of Rules of Civility. But I’m just struggling along on this road, so much that I decided to take a trip to Fallingwater last week. If you ever get a chance to go, I’d suggest going! 🙂 I know you shouldn’t run away from your problems, however, this was the perfect location to just listen to the sound of the waterfall, bathe in the sunlight that crept through the foliage, look at a cool-ish building, and think. Sometimes, it’s easy to stress ourselves over what will happen next. Which path will I take next? A job or further schooling to launch a career? Some reflections of my friendships and of the relationship that slowly slipped through my fingers. But whatever happens happens and we can only build and grow from those experiences.

Anyways, the Kaufmanns were a well-to-do family living in Pittsburgh who loved to vacation in the mountains of Western Pennsylvania. Having made this trip myself, I find it very easy to see why they would have enjoyed such a thing. Their summer camp home here had originally been just a little cabin with no heat and no running water, however, they turned to Frank Lloyd Wright to design this building over the waterfall. What makes this house unique is it’s utilization of cantilever structures (terraces, furniture inside, etc) over the water.

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Today, I take the #100HAPPYDAYS challenge (Day 1)…

Today, I join the #100HAPPYDAYS challenge (click here to check out their website). We all have our ups and downs, we all have busy days. We all have meetings to attend, pets/plants/friends/family/lovers to tend to, deadlines to meet, hobbies to pursue, books/movies/tvshows to watch, and so forth. However, I felt this challenge would be perfect to allow me to take a few minutes out of my day everyday to realize what makes me happy.

According to the website, you can use instagram/facebook/twitter to document the 100 days or you can email your photos to them to keep anonymity. I chose the instagram option and you can follow @todaycommai, however, I have decided to all document these next 100 days via our blog. I’m starting my challenge today, February 27, 2014 and will (hopefully) successfully complete it on June 7, 2014. In addition, you supposedly will receive a booklet documenting the 100 days of happiness. Have you already joined the challenge? Will you join the challenge? What makes you happy? 🙂 

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Today, I lean in…. (#leanin)

It has been sooooooooo long! What have I been up to? Catching up on House of Cards, of course! Did ANYONE watch episode 1 of Season 2?!?!??! Let me just say. Wow. What else has been happening? I suppose just work, bonding with my friends that I have made over the previous 1.5+ years of living in the metropolitan area of the capital of USA, continuing to keep in touch with the lovely -arkies (what would I ever do without them?). Oh yeah, and I’ve enrolled myself into a linear algebra course at the community college near me.

IT FEELS SO GOOD TO BE BACK IN A CLASS… with my textbook, my notebooks, writing utensils, backpack, and my brain. Hahaha, the things you thought you’d never miss like homework, quizzes, exams, annoying classmates (just kidding). It has made two of my otherwise Netflix/Breadcrumbs-in-bed-on-pj’s-weeknights a little more eventful. My experience over the past 3 or 4 weeks has reminded me of Sheryl Sandberg‘s Lean In (check out Charkie‘s Booktalk #3).

I remember sitting through a couple of classes with a classmate next to me continuously commenting how how to solve the example problems that the professor was going through. In my mind, I was pretty sure that he was wrong, but was unsure about how much “pretty” that entailed. I found that more than a couple of times, I just shrugged and said maybe or “ummm… I’m not sure.” I also found that if I did solve something with MATLAB or in my line-filled notebook paper, he’d be quick to jump to the conclusion that I was wrong. I also also found than more often than not (let’s say 99.99999% of the times), he was wrong and I was actually right.

I came back and discussed this with my friends and had that deja vu sensation. No wonder! I’d read about similar tales in Sandberg’s book! I’m fully capable of learning the material taught in class, however, why was I lacking the confidence that my classmate of mine had so readily stored in him? Interesting – I have indeed been holding myself back

Last night, my professor made a mistake on the board. I scanned through his calculations again to check again. I found myself starting to address this quietly to the classmate next to me. However, I realized that I’d never #leanin fully, so instead of leaning in towards my classmate, I leaned towards the front of the classroom and spoke with as much confidence I could muster. I was indeed right. My professor thanked me politely.

I know this is a small small event that does not directly address larger gender gap issues…So what if he got the sign wrong? However, for us to fully achieve our full potential, we’ve got to dig deeper into those inner layers of the onion. I realized that I had been holding myself back. Have you ever had such a moment? What are you #leanin thoughts? Let’s, as Sandberg calls for us to do, change the conversation from what women can’t do to what we can do. 🙂

And now I #leanin to my spicy buffalo chicken sandwich....

And now I #leanin to my spicy buffalo chicken sandwich at work….

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Today, I bring a little luck (Allure Free Stuff August 2013 Goodies Pt 1)…

It’s been a while! I’ve been a bit MIA lately, but I finally have some time to myself and am in a pensive mood. It’s crazy how some things in life really do come so unexpectedly.

When one door closes, another door opens; but we so often look so long and regretfully upon the closed door, that we do not see the ones which open for us.
-Alexander Graham Bell

It really seems that a lot of luck has flown my way in the past few days. However, I’m beginning to wonder if this is really considered luck. Maybe it’s just that, in the words of Taylor Swift (<– yes, click on that link), “for the first time, what’s past is past.” Now I can actually see all the new open doors: new people and experiences have come into my life. Speaking of luck, I’ve apparently won a lot of goodies from the Allure Free Stuff August 2013 Giveaway. Here’s a look at the first few that have come my way. I definitely have positive experiences with the cleanser and the hair treatment. Have you tried any of these products? Have you won anything from the giveaway? 

Left to Right:

  1. Cetaphil Daily Facial Cleanser (retail value: $11.99)
  2. NYC New York Color Lip Stain in Smooch Proof (retail value: $4.99)
  3. Rimmel London ScandalEyes Waterproof Kohl Kajal in Brown, ScandalEyes Waterproof Kohl Kajal in Black, Lasting Finish 1000 Kisses Lip Pencil in Rose Quartz, Match Perfection Blush in Light, and Glam’Eyes Quad Eye Shadow in Smokey Brun (retail value: $24.95)
  4. Nuance Salma Hayek Leave-in Treatment (retail value: $9.99)

I’m excited. I still have a few more products coming in, but so far, the total value of all the free goods I’ve received has come to ~$51.92 which is more than I expected. 🙂 🙂

Happy Veterans Day!

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Today, I wake up early and think.

Dearest friends bought me a livingsocial deal to make my own skincare products tonight (this shall be documented, of course), so I decided to take public transportation to work (I’ll omit the details). It really isn’t too terrible of a commute–about a little more than an hour of a trip. I hadn’t taken the metro in so long that I actually enjoyed it. The idea “distance makes the heart grown fonder” has appeared once again. 🙂 What is your commute to work/school/life like? What do you enjoy doing during that time? 

I recently received an email from a dear friend who is teaching in Indonesia and was impressed that she was able to wake up an extra hour early to be able to have some quiet thinking & reading time. While I do not have the ability to wake up that early, the hour-long commute gave me a moment and an excuse to have that alone time, to read or catch up on the morning news. Loved every second of it!

Waiting for the lovely, free circulator to carry me to the metro.

Exiting the duPont Circle Metro, long escalators scare me.

Waiting in line for the shuttle bus. It looks like a school-bus. I feel like a student, once again.

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