Friday, January 29, 2016

Fundraising Friday #1

Meet at sleep-away camp.
Married a few years later.
Have 2 beautiful girls.
Travel throughout the United States.

You were a:
Wife
Mother
Daughter
Sister
Aunt
Best Friend

and one hell of a fighter.....

Everyone misses you infectious smile. Your spunky attitude. Your loud voice. You fire-engine red hair.

You missed graduations. You will miss weddings and grandchildren. You will miss special moments mothers and daughters share. Even though you are not here physically your presence is always with us. It doesn't mean it hurts any less.

Cancer took you, MOM  from us way too early. Now dad will do what he loves and knows well. He will ride in your memory. You can read his whole story by clicking the link below. Thank you in advance. No donation is too small.

https://www.bike4chai.com/Stevenrides



"The ride won't be easy, but neither is life for a child with cancer or other serious illness. Camp Simcha and its sister camp, Camp Simcha Special, are Chai Lifeline's flagship programs. Every year these two camps offer 420 children a chance to forget about illness and just be kids again. To learn more about the camps, visit campsimcha.org.
I will be biking to camp on Wednesday and Thursday, August 3rd & 4th. My objective is to raise at least $5000 by then and I hope you will help me reach this goal. All donations are 100% tax-deductible and no donation is too small.
Thank you for supporting me and doing so, helping children and their families cope with the diagnosis, treatment and aftermath of serious pediatric illness."


XoXo,
Tracy

Tuesday, January 26, 2016

Blizzard 2016.....Not from Dairy Queen


The East Coast finally experienced winter this past weekend thanks to #WinterStormJonas or #Blizzard2016. Between the thousands of photos on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram you could see it paralyzed many areas. Some areas in DC are still recovering. South Jersey was also hit pretty hard leaving flooding and hundreds of people displaced from there home. If you are paying attention to the Presidential debates Governor Christie is taking heat for some disgusting comments about the weather destruction in South Jersey as he should be. He isn't in the least bit nice and someone who should probably just go away. Unfortunately that isn't happening anytime soon. 

Thankfully we didn't lose power only had one full day in the house. It consisted of cooking lessons from my sisters boyfriend. Plenty of wine, movies, and a few rounds of scategories! 

The aftermath wasn't pretty but I was able to get to work Sunday and the roads for the most part are all now cleared! 

I'm hopeful ( not to jinx anything) that was the major winter storm we see this year. 







Wednesday, January 20, 2016

You only hurt yourself

While watching The Biggest Loser on Monday night I was brought back to my own sabotage. The teams were changed this week making it harder for some contestants and others took the challenge and ran with it. Sometimes being taken out of your comfort will force you to achieve greater things. Who doesn't love Bob Harper and his constant motivation. I do!!

Back to the change: Erin a contestant who was actually on another favorite show of mine; the Voice was switched to Team Jen. We are all going through things and I can relate to her as I have hidden things from my family and grieved differently the death of my mother, she her father. That change wasn't what I was referencing; instead Lauren her teammate and original Team Jen contestant was about to get weighed in when Bob asked..."What's wrong?"

Her response: I was the strongest female on the team until Erin got placed on our team. Now I am falling back to my old habit and comparing. I am not as pretty, as strong, as confident, etc... This 1) brought tears to my eyes. 2) Transformed me right back to where I was about two years ago when a new colleague was placed on my team. Never once did I open up about my habit and comparing myself. I hid and I did a pretty good job.

Right before stepping on the scale, Erin said these words to Lauren and I wish someone had said to me. We are on the same team. We are fighting the same battle. We need to talk to one another. Encourage one another. Push one another to be their best.

Erin....I believe you are going to do wonderful things I truly look up to you as an inspiration.

 
Don't let the above statement dictate your life another minute. Step out of the fear. Live for yourself. #WiseWordsWednesday.
 
XoXo,
Tracy 

Monday, January 18, 2016

Celebrations: Life & Death

What a weekend it has been with some highs and unfortunately some lows. As from the title you can probably guess we celebrated a birthday and attended a funeral.

On Sunday morning we gathered around the kitchen table of my cousin's home to celebrate her son's 4th birthday. Blake, wanted a "Key" themed birthday and since he was a baby we called him Blakey Boy. See the Key in there. Leigh, the mother is super creative and did a wonderful job decorating for this birthday. We had brunch filled with Eggs, Bacon, French Toast Bake ( which is delicious) and Bagels. As you can see from the picture below we also had a wonderful cake!

 
We are a small family and all within a 30 minute drive from each other. It makes these parties even better since no one is missing. Unfortunately my father's fiancé was working that day or she too would have been in the picture.
Below from (L-R) Me, Aunt Bobbie, Dad, Leigh, Emma ( Younger Sister)

 
Friendships I was taught are the most valuable relationships you will have in life. My mother was blessed to have three best friends from Kindergarten that remained the best of friends through life. When my mom passed away a few years back those women were my "moms" that I could go to for anything. Along with my family we moved forward. We spend holidays together and all the kids went to sleep away camp together. Its with a sad heart that the husband one of the women passed away on Friday night from a massive heart attack. As I attended the funeral today I was brought back to my mother's own funeral and how she would have loved to be at her great nephews birthday party this past weekend.
 
A lesson I took from this weekend: Life is short, hug your family, tell them you love them and just LIVE!!!
 
XoXo,
Tracy 

Friday, January 15, 2016

Friday Faves

Happy Friday!

Boy am I ready and excited to have a full weekend off. I will be spending time with friends as well as celebrating my cousin's 4th Birthday on Sunday. Any fun plans this weekend?

This is my first installment of "Friday Faves" and I am excited to share them with you.

Sperry 'Saltwater' Duck Boots





These boots are perfect now that winter seems to have arrived in the Northeast. From 70 degrees on Christmas to about 20 degrees today these boots will be making their debut sometime soon I know it. Waterproof, comfortable, and fashionable are the three main reasons for this holiday purchase!







Best Friends = Knowing what makes the other smile. I am a huge fan of chunky necklaces and Bauble Bar is right up my alley. I have yet to break out this necklace because I am saving it for the right party! I have three other pieces that I absolutely adore and know this is just the beginning of my collection! 
 
 





Blog Content & Writing Session



I made my 2016 word "Commitment" and with that came making sure that I was organized and ready to start the journey. I have kept a journal here and there. I have written for the school yearbook and newspaper. I even started and deleted a few blogs over the past few years. For a while I didn't think anyone would want to read what I had to say. Who was I? Just another blog. I was selling myself short. What I realized was I needed to write. Even if three people read this I am happy because I am putting words out there. A glass of wine never hurt a writing session either.
 

Bedroom Re-Design

 Last but not least I got rid of cable and removed the TV from room in hopes of getting a better night sleep. I added some photos, candles, and awards to my bedside table. I am in love with the memories that I see when I look over each night. And my mom is watching over me.


Thursday, January 14, 2016

Screen Down

Wednesday, January 13th.

11pm- Jump (literally) into bed. It had been an long day of sending out resumes, filling out online applications, and following up with colleagues. 

11:10pm: 5 Minutes of mediation in hopes that my brain will turn off and I will fall asleep tonight with no major distractions. From the title of this post you can come to your own conclusions. 

11:45pm: Browsing Instagram. Lost on Pinterest. Checking out what's new on Netflix. 

Insomnia rears its ugly head once again. 

12:15pm: Watching old episodes Blue Bloods ( Donnie Wahlberg) 

1:40pm: Still can't sleep. Drink a glass of Hot Water with lemon. 

The next thing I know it's 7am and my alarm is going off. I made my 2016 word "Commitment" and I plan to stick to it. Moving forward I will turn off my phone 1 hour before bed and place it out of my reach. This means it's time to buy an alarm clock for my nightstand. Any suggestions? 

Just re-visiting the evening is making me exhausted all over again. 

XoXo,
Tracy 

Tuesday, January 12, 2016

#DontJustGiveGiveBack

I think the title of this post speaks for itself. Growing up I believed that in order to make a difference you had to make a monetary donation or donate food to a local food bank or shelter. What I didn't know at that young age was there are so many ways to make a difference in the lives of those around us. Some are less fortunate, some are fighting an illness, some are just struggling all together.

The woman in the picture below was a wife, daughter, mother, sister, aunt, cousin and friend to so many people. She was the life of every party or gathering. She worked full time, part time, and raised two young ladies. All while fighting Breast Cancer for 17+ years. You would have never known that at the first look at her. Even speaking with her, she barely would mention being sick. Most days she was fine. Of course there were good and bad days. She was my best friend, my hero, my mom. On June 4th 2010 she lost her battle to cancer. I have walked in her memory, fundraised for American Cancer Society & Susan G Komen, and made donations to many friends. That is just the small things that I do in her memory. But I know there is more to be done. She always said someone was fighting a harder battle and that she was lucky. Personally I was lucky to have her for 23 years here and to have learned from the strongest person I know.
 
I am able to donate money and food; but I have a deeper passion for volunteering and that is because my mother always said give back in ways others can't. Donate your time or services. Helping an elderly couple with their groceries is just as important as making $5 donation. 

 
Recently at work our store sold the most socks, the #1 requested item for homeless shelters across the country. In a short time frame we sold the most socks and won a contest allowing us to donate a box of socks to a shelter of our choice. As the leader on this project that was a no brainer for me. My aunt works for the state and she would donate them to the shelter. Sure the employees also received a pair of socks for winning but the million socks donated to the homeless shelter makes them the winner. So if you have extra items laying around this winter season and you won't use them donate them. Or better yet visit the shelter and see how you can be of assistance even if it's just for a half hour. You would be surprised at what skills they could use. 

 
#DontJustGiveGiveBack
 
That's my motto this year. I want to commit to volunteering at least twice a month. How will you give back this year?
 
XoXo,
Tracy 

Monday, January 11, 2016

Monday Motivation

Happy Monday!
 
 
The drive-thru line is 7 cars deep and inside is not a single customer. I have fallen into the drive-thru line every once in a while but today I parked and entered Starbucks ready for my fuel for the day. A tall ice French Vanilla coffee with Soy Milk. I was greeted by smiling faces and my coffee ready before I paid. Being a regular has its perks and but also hurts my wallet. It was a pleasant morning chatting with the staff and this quote was at the register as well as on a good friends Facebook wall.
 
 
Where is there? When will you get there? I am constantly asking these questions however I am the worst person when it comes to relaxing, breathing, and being patient. Ask anyone who knows me and they will all tell you I am the complete opposite of those three words. Many times I have tried to change/grow and after a week for two I give up and back up to my old self. I am not proud of that person. As a young adult now is the time to grow. I need to work every day on being more patient, taking a deep breathe before speaking and just walk around more relaxed rather than running around like a crazy person. I am motivated to make these changes as I will be transitioning in the next few weeks since I will be losing my job, as the Gap is closing there doors at my location.
 
Deep Breathe = Think before I speak.
Relax= 5 minutes of Yoga/Mediation in the morning. I will wake up five minutes earlier than my alarm clock is set for. ( PS. I am buying an alarm clock so I won't have to use my phone anymore and I can leave it in another room.)
Be Patient = This is the hardest for me. I am the most impatient person I know. I need to just remember everything will get done in time. Just remind myself patience is important.

 
 
With that I will work on those areas and one day will get to where I was meant to be. Looking forward to the future and to see what's in store! 
 


XoXo,
Tracy

Friday, January 8, 2016

Starting Fresh- 2016

This is my fourth or fifth attempt at keeping up with a blog once I start one. Many times I land up quitting after a month or two because I feel irrelevant or I over think what I am saying.

My 2016 word for the year is Commitment and I pledge to commit to building relationships with friends and family, attending events/young professional groups, volunteering more and finally really putting my words out there even if only 1 or 2 people read them. As my father taught me; "It's not about the numbers."

With that I am excited for this small space in the corner of the Internet. From volunteering to giving back, trying new restaurants and exploring new places to just my random thoughts I will share it all. I look forward to writing and having my thoughts out of my head on this blog!

Have a great weekend!
Tracy