About Lexa

Eternal optimist, always wearing a smile. Must haves: sunshine, fitness (jogging, weight training, & CrossFit), reading, good food, writing, music, and fun with family and friends.

Why Did I Wait So Long?

It’s Thursday and I am dogged tired but happier than a pig in, well you know…  Lol!

Though I’m tired, I am feeling mighty fine now. :)

After much procrastination, dust balls spinning on the wood floors, cobwebs getting caught in my curls, and dusty windows obstructing sunrise, I finally broke down and hired a company to clean my filthy house.

There just ain’t enough time to blog, work, train, attend football practice, cook, do laundry and thoroughly clean over 4,000 square feet in one damn week. I know y’all feel me on this.

The delay was because I don’t think anyone is going to clean it the way “I” clean.  I’m icky picky about stuff.  Don’t wear shoes in the house.  Use a fresh cloth in each area. Stay out of my kitchen; I’ll disinfect it myself (even after the cleaners leave).  Yeah, you read it right.

Am I OCD?  Possibly and I don’t care; there’s no shame in my game.

Anyways, lately I have just let ish go and I spot clean. Hubby tries but the help is not consistent.   My 25 year-old daughter swears the floors are clean enough to eat off but obviously we have different standards.  If the floors are so damned clean, why don’t you try eating off of them?

I am in the basement writing this post, while a team of five are upstairs whipping my house into shape. Lord, I am thankful!

Making my day even more special, I’m sitting in my official writing space.  A writer friend (Thanks Shawn!) encouraged me to create a writing space, which I did.  During football season though, I blog from the sidelines, inside my car, my lunch break at work, or any space where I can compose my thoughts and write a few words.

writingMy writing space is filled with inspirational images and objects that make me smile. The small pic with the girl in the cap and gown is me.  After nearly 12 years of working and going to school, in 2002, I received my Bachelor’s Degree in English.

This dog is cool. The message is encouraging.

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Obama

My writing space was created to inspire me.  On Wednesday, November 5, 2008, Barack Obama made history and was elected President of the United States.  I never thought I would live to see the day when an African-American male would be elected president. Those were the happiest tears ever!

The following day, I took the day off from work and bought all the magazines and newspapers I could find. The images remind me that no dream of mine is too big or unattainable. #100HappyDaysChallenge  #100HappyDays4Lexa #Day45

The truth is this (cleaning) company is doing a better job than me!  They’re fluffing bed linen, polishing the kitchen trash can, dusting pictures on the walls and cleaning stuff that hasn’t been touched in God knows how long.

They clean.  I write.

Dummy!   Instead of being cute, I should have done this a long time ago.  I can walk bare foot again!!  Haahaahhaa!  Silly me!  It’s the little things that make me happy.

Speaking of happy, yes, I am still plugging away at the 100HappyDaysChallenge.  The challenge, pun intended, is that I capture most of my “happy” images with my iPhone. When I attempt a picture, I get this lovely message….

full

How am I suppose to capture my happy images when my storage is full?  Sometimes I use my iPad, but I don’t always have that. Hubby and I share Apple accounts.  It seemed like a good idea (before I started blogging), but it’s not working anymore.  After we get our iPhone 6 and or 6 Plus, we will separate the accounts.

The best fix is to buy a new camera!  I am working on it.

Oh wow!!  Lol!!  They (the cleaning crew) just carried Alex down to me. They are trying to clean and he wanted to play.

AlexI can’t help but grin when he chills out on the steps. :)   #100HappyDaysChallenge #100HappyDays4Lexa #Day46

Holy cow, Arnold (the owner) wasn’t kidding about the first cleaning being detailed! They’re in the microwave!  I’m doing the happy dance now!! They started at 3:15 p.m. It is 7:29 p.m. and the vacuum is in full effect.  Yay!!  Tonight before heading to bed, I’m going dance barefoot on the hardwood floors.

So back to my #100HappyDaysChallenge.

LUNCHEnjoying a quiet and delicious lunch with hubby at a quaint bistro in Northern Jersey. #100HappyDaysChallenge #100HappyDays4Lexa #Day47

Well folks, 8 O’Clock is creeping up on me and it’s Thursday.  Do you know what that means? You have to!!  Lol!

Greys Anatomy!

Scandal!

How To Get Away With Murder!

Which also means that I will wake up tired as heck tomorrow morning, but since tomorrow is Friday, rising at 4ish will be a little less painful.

Ya’ll have a fabulous night and thanks so much for stopping by and for following Lexa’s Journal.

Smooches! :)

There Is Something Good In Every Day

happy

Image courtesy of One Perfect Day Blog via Pinterest

If you follow my blog, you have probably noticed fewer posts in the past month. It happens every year this time.  Everyone in the house is back to the daily grind.  Work, school, football practice, homework, gym, game day… repeat….

Six games into football season, B’Dazzle’s JV team is kicking butt.  With a record of 5 wins and 1 loss, the team is undoubtedly headed to the playoffs.

What that really means is that in November, when evening/night temps in South Jersey drops below 40, momma dukes will be sporting a ski bib, boots, a wool hat, fluffy scarf, and wrapped (me and my chair)  in my big, ragged, but  warm pink blanket.   I get funny looks, but I would rather get the funny looks than be cold.

Yeah I know.  I can sit in the warm car, but for me, it’s not the same.  Roughing it out on the field with him is my way of showing my support.

This week we celebrated B’Dazzle’s 12th Birthday.

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Breakfast with dad, surprise birthday cake, fun at Dave & Buster’s, and cupcakes on the football field, makes for a week of happy days.  #100HappyDaysChallenge #100HappyDaysChallenge4Lexa #Day42

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What’s brewing?

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Remember… I LOVE chocolate…   Lol!!  :)

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While at The Vitamin Store replenishing my protein powder, I took a quick detour down the loose leaf tea aisle.  Why do I prefer loose leaf tea? Read this and this. Looking to try a new flavor, I read each box on each shelf.  “Chocolate Chai!”  There was no way I was going to walk out the store without this box in hand.

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 Here is the back of the box. As I write this, I am sipping the tea and trying to find the words to describe the flavor.  Umm… let’s see… it’s spicy, bold..   Now I’m sloshing it around in my mouth like I’m wine tasting!  In the center of my tongue I feel like I’m teased with a subtle hint of cocoa… just enough to suggest chocolate. After swallowing the tea, my pallet is saturated with a spicy flavor.  It’s delicious.  I like it!  I’m happy I tried it. The tea is a perfect end to a long day. Boy have I come a long ways from drinking a nightly glass of Cabernet before bed.  Lol!!

Anyways, tea will keep me in my happy mode over the anticipated brutally cold winter. #100HappyDaysChallenge #Day43

IMG_3242.JPGI have wanted shrimp for a week or so now. Late afternoon rain caused football to be cancelled.  No complaints here!  Although a crock pot full of homemade black beans was in the fridge, I took a few minutes to cook this spicy dish.  Shrimp, arugula, and baby spinach over brown rice.  It had kick and I enjoyed every bite!
#100HappyDaysChallenge #Day44

I could be cranky now because I have not worked out in 22 days and it’s driving me nuts. Although I feel physically ready to start again, I have to wait for clearance from my doctor. Meanwhile, I continue to eat clean and drink plenty of water. When I step back into the gym, the beast is coming out!  Watch out, I have my eyes set on another figure competition in 2015!

Thanks for stopping by and sweet dreams! :)

 

Happy Days!

I had a slight setback on my #100HappyDays challenge, but, for me, happiness is a state of mind, so I will not let working and B’Dazzle’s football season allow me to give up. Lol!

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$2.99 a gallon for gas!!  Praise the Lord!  Jersey hasn’t seen this a long time.  Who wouldn’t be happy about this?!  #100HappyDaysChallenge4Lexa #100HappyDaysChallenge #Day37

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Who says you can’t wear sun dresses in October?  I’m still rockin mine and my Havana twists styled by my favorite salon owner, Victoria at KinHairitage!  #100HappyDaysChallenge #Day38IMG_3153.JPGHubby surprised me with a pan of broiled turkey chops!  Heeeey!  The were delicious!  They tasted like I cooked them.  He’s a good student… I guess I taught him well!  Lol!!   #100HappyDaysChallenge #Day39

Thank God Tomorrow is Friday because I’m beat and still have to get to the football field.  :)

Hump Day Inspiration

Happy Hump Day!

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Three Simple Rules In Life

Happy Sunday! :)

go after what you want

If you do not GO after what you want, you’ll never have it. – Sitting around wishing, or worse, talking about what you’re gonna do (without action), isn’t going to get you anywhere or any closer to your personal or professional goals.

I get the fear factor situation because I too once allowed fear to nearly alter my destiny.

I stood outside of the meeting room door, paralyzed by fear, waiting for my turn to audition for a Trainer’s position.  My head and heart both desperate for the much-needed career change.

Stomach knotted, heart racing, and a wicked urge to use the bathroom. Deep inside my head two whispering voices spoke.

What if you look stupid?  What if you fail?  You have never done this before? They are going to laugh at you!

How did I get myself in this situation?  How do I get myself out?

I stand. Walk to the water fountain, sip some water and sit down again.  Bonnie (Training Director) steps out of the room,

We are ready for you.  Come in when you are ready.

I acknowledge her but grow more afraid.  Another trip to the water fountain. My hand touches the door to enter the room, but fear prevents me from opening the door.

I turn around and walk toward the exit sign.

 I can’t do this.

The other voice stops me again.

You can do this!  What’s the worse thing that can happen?

To this day, I don’t remember how many sips it took me to muster up the courage to follow through with the audition, but I am glad I did.

I walked in the room and faked every ounce of confidence like I’d presented a dozen times before.  Prior to my audition, I’d never done public speaking, but they did not know this.  I presented to executives and mid-level managers.

To assess my ability to deal with typical training situations, they enjoyed acting out roles of employees who had bad attitudes, who did not speak English, or who just did not want to be there.

I remember laughing a few times, because the scenarios were funny. At the conclusion, I was relieved and happy that I followed through.

Later I was told, I was one of the top three candidates.  A month later, I got a phone call. Although they enjoyed my presentation, the company’s policy to hire from within, broke the tie.   While disappointed, the experience was a confidence booster and life changing.

I quit my job (working a good 60-70 hours per week), but continued night college classes. We (me, hubby, and our young daughter) went to Disney.

After a much-needed vacation, I took a holiday seasonal job selling Elizabeth Arden cosmetics at Macy’s.

Stay with me…

Two days before Christmas in a crowded cosmetic and fragrance department, a woman approaches me.

Hi!  Aren’t you the woman that applied for the trainer’s position at Trop back in August?!?

Yes, I did. Why?

Someone left the department and they wanted to contact you but cannot find your paperwork!  Are you still interested in the job?

I’m thinking is she serious?

Uhh.. YES!!

She writes the director’s name and number down and instructs me to call her.  The first chance I got, I called and expressed my interest in the job.  Before my shift ended, I answered a call and this is what she said,

Merry Christmas!  The job is yours!!

Reliving the experience still makes my heart flutter.  I had taken calculated risks that paid off well.  What if I hadn’t auditioned?  What if I had never quit my job?  What if I did not take the cut in pay?  The what if’s are endless.

The bottom line is that if I did not go after what I wanted, I would have missed out on future opportunities and my path would have differed and I don’t think for the better. I was stressed out, over-worked, and burnt out.

If you do not ASK, the answer will always be NO.   I was one of 125 employees laid off from a job that I loved. While disappointed, because I loved my job and my director, I knew I would fare okay.  I felt sadness for my colleagues who cried and only saw darkness before them.

I was numb and confused.  The new president of our company had recently held a pep rally.  I was among nearly 5,000 employees who were optimistic about the company’s future. Our president told us that he valued us and the company would depend on us to move forward.

On my drive home, I thought to myself, I’m a model employee.  Excellent attendance, outstanding reviews, respected by colleagues and superiors, superb initiative and more. Why was my position eliminated?

A letter was in order.  Yup!  I sat down and wrote a letter to the new president. My main question to him was simple.

 If I am the type of employee you want, why was I laid off and not moved to a different position?

I also requested to meet with him to discuss my future with the organization.

I hand delivered the letter to the president’s administrative assistant and asked if she would give it to him and she did.

Tho I didn’t get to personally meet with him, he read the letter and responded.

I was rehired as an intern that eventually lead to a full-time position!  If I hadn’t asked the question, the answer would have always been NO.

If you do not step FORWARD, you will ALWAYS be in the same place. Both experiences were opportunities for personal and professional growth.

I could not predict the outcomes but held faith that something positive would occur for me.  I was correct. Both situations opened new doors, new challenges, and more importantly, the confidence to continue to step forward.

Not caring about what others think about my decisions, because they are mine to make and no one else’s, feels damn good.  Waiting for the approval of family, friends, or colleagues is pointless because they may not share the vision. I do understand that there is difference between seeking approval and soliciting respectable feedback.

Look around and take inventory.  We all know someone stuck in a bad place. They want to be in a different place but are afraid to step forward. The mindset creates a stifling and toxic atmosphere. Playing it safe in sports doesn’t win the game, neither does it make you happy in life.

If stepping forward were easy, everyone would do it, so do not be afraid to go it alone or with a small team in your corner.

success

By the way, Yes, I am still participating in the 100 happy days challenge. A few challenges have prevented me from posting, but the challenges aren’t keeping me from being happy. I will play the catch-up game this week.

Enjoy the day! :)

Few Words

Got out of bed at 4:15 a.m.

Went to work.

Drove to the gym.

Worked legs.

Did some gluts.

Raced home.

Showered.

Fixed a dinner plate to-go.

Sat on the sidelines at football practice.

Ate dinner.

Got cold.

Got even colder.

Raced home.

Packaged tomorrow’s lunch.

Arrived at my final destination….

Bed!

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Very happy that I am in bed before nine. #100HappyDaysChallenge #100HappyDays4Lexa #Day27

I hope you had a fabulous day.  I did and am very grateful for my blessings.

Until next time.  Chow!  :)