Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Weekend 4Cast: Who inspires me, why not to skip breakfast, why blazers are magic, and what book I couldn't put down in Hawaii

* Weekend 4Cast *
The 4 things I'm dying to share with you that can't wait until Monday.

1 -  Inspiring Person: Kristin Harmel - 
I realized today how often other people inspire me. The core of the book I am writing was inspired by how much I learned and succeeded based on learning and meeting other successful people. Think about who you surround yourself with. Do they inspire you? Challenge you?

Today' inspiring person of the week is Kristin Harmel, talented writer and author. I know I mentioned her in a previous post a few months ago, but being in Hawaii these past 2 weeks ignited my yearning and dream to eventually be a full time writer and speaker. It seems so lofty and so often out of reach, but Kristin Harmel is someone who is making it as a full time writer and just knowing her helps me believe it is possible. 

She writes wonderful fiction novels and travels to places like France for a month to research a book. Both the reality of her day to day and the attitude, passion, and vigor with which she approaches her work inspires me whenever I feel doubtful. 

2 - Health: Are you a Breakfast Skipper? - 
So I'm no expert but the more I've learned about food and how connected it is to so much of our health the more I try to do my best to try to eat healthy. So much of it is just about knowledge, and sadly so much of it seems connected to wealth (have you seen the price of organic cereal?!). 

However, I think investing in your day to day function and long term health is vital, yet so often forgotten. How many times do you stay up all night for a test on energy drinks and candy bars? How often do you feel sick that day or a few days later? Not good.

And in addition to skipping sleep, something else I see most college students skip - breakfast. No matter how many times we were told "breakfast is the most important meal of the day" when we were young it doesn't seem to ever sink in. I too sunk into the "I'm not hungry in the morning" routine in early high school. However as soon as I changed the habit I saw a huge difference. 

My favorite healthy morning energy booster and full nutritional blast? Spiru-tein. Just get one of those 1 serving blenders from Target and buy a can of Spiru-tein for $16 online and at 17 servings a can you're having an awesome, quick, easy, delicious, nutritional breakfast for less than $1/day + cost of milk (I'm slightly lactose intolerant so my fav is almond milk). 

3 - Fashion: Blazers -
I first fell in love when I found a blazer that fit me off the rack from Gap right before my first job. My second affair was with a cotton navy blazer from Banana Republic (pictured right). Neither were cheap but I wear them almost every other day and they have become staple pieces to my wardrobe. 

Blazers are magic because you can even put them over a T-shirt and still create a professional look. Invest in one asap (it can take a while to find one that fits) and you'll feel like a rockstar at your next classroom presentation, job interview, or night out. 

My favorite stores where I found blazers, from least expensive to investment pieces, are H&M, Kohl's, Express, Gap, and Banana Republic. (Guys I've linked to the ladies' blazers only because guys' blazers are so much easier to find than women's - but you should def. get one too if you haven't already). 

4 - Books: Douglas Kennedy - 
Did you ever see the movie Pursuit of Happiness? It was based on a book by one of my new favorite authors, Douglas Kennedy. I picked up his fiction book Leaving the World randomly while perusing the library and have since read almost all his books as I've fallen in love with his introspective characters, the tragedies they find themselves in, and how they make sense of their lives and the world through their trials. 

I always walk away with a new insight into the world and a new phrase that I savor like fresh strawberries: "It's all random. Just as space is blue. And birds fly through it."

I realize I go through stages in what kinds of books I like to read and this past year I've been obsessed with books with sprinkles of words that I need a dictionary for, quick insights into the nuances of our society and its enigmas, and first person narrators who are self aware, and unassumingly poetic while navigating the muddy waters of adulthood. 

If you're in a reading stage like me than you'll love almost everything by Douglas Kennedy.  When I finished 2 of his books in Hawaii I literally couldn't read anything for the next 3 days because nothing was as good as what I had just put down. (and if you have any  book recommendations for me PLEASE send them my way :)

Have a great weekend and I'll see you on Monday with lots of inspiration from Hawaii and the Jack Kent Cooke Conference this weekend :)

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