Monday, August 19, 2019

Thought for the week: #199

You have accomplished some incredible things in this life of yours.  You are resilient and kind. You make other people happy just by being who you are, Sometimes, this isn't acknowledged. Let me say this, you are a miracle. You are a gift to someone or many someones and you deserve every good thing that is being said about you. Maybe you don't think people notice or maybe you don't hear it enough (or ever) but you have the most wonderful gifts inside you.

You're going to have a wonderful week! Whatever you have coming up, you've got this!

Thursday, August 15, 2019

Chick-fil-A Mac & cheese hack

The other night I was running late and it was time for dinner. I swung by Chick-fil-A to see if they had the new much-hyped mac & cheese and they did. I picked up two servings of mac & cheese, a gallon of unsweetened iced tea + unsweetened lemonade, and a container of Chick-fil-A sauce (we put Chick-fil-A sauce on everything) and headed home.

The baby (of course) loved the mac & cheese. L and I both did too. If I had a southern grandma, this is what she would serve as a side at Sunday dinner. It has a thick, cheesy sauce with bits of crunchy, cheese topping (I loved this part, L didn't as much). We both agreed that Chick-fil-A's mac & cheese was a hit. Then I realized that we had the container of Chick-fil-A sauce that we all love and I wondered if the sauce would work on the mac & cheese. ( I realize that this probably sounds like a terrible idea but I'm also the girl who puts potato chips on her Beyond Burger.) I drizzled a little  Chick-fil-A sauce on the mac & cheese and took a tentative bite. It was so good. It was just a small drizzle but it was enough to give the mac & cheese a smoky, tangy flavor. I loved it and this is how I plan on eating it from now on. L is a purist, though, and liked his mac & cheese without the bonus flavor.

If you're a fan of Chick-fil-A sauce, try a drizzle of it on this new side. Let me know what you think!

Tuesday, August 13, 2019

Essentials: The Harry Josh Pro Dryer 2000

I have had a lifelong love/hate relationship with my hair dryer. Over the years I have had too many to count. One smelled like burning hair every time I used it. One was almost too hot to hold. Another one took almost forty minutes to dry my chin-length bob. One made a high pitch hum that made our dog howl every timed I dried my hair.

The last hairdryer I had was advertised as quiet yet powerful but it was neither. Because I dried my hair every day, I realized that this was the only other appliance other than the Nespresso machine that I used every day. I love our Nespresso. I wanted to feel the same away about my hairdryer. I searched the reviews online and while Dyson Supersonic hairdryer had excellent reviews, at $400, it was above my budget.

Recently, we stayed at a hotel that had the Harry Josh Pro Dryer 2000 in the bathrooms and I fell in love with this little powerhouse (1875 watts) of a dryer. After several days using it, I knew this was the one.  It's a significant purchase ($249.99) but there's a reason why this hair dryer has won Allure magazine's Best of Beauty Awards for three consecutive years

What makes this dryer so good:

My hair dries fast
The ionic function on this dryer made my hair feel so smooth
It feels good in the hand
It gives my hair massive volume

Yes, it's expensive but I think of this like I do about a good quality coffee maker or a well made sweater. You can spend your money buying multiple hair dryers (or coffee makers or sweaters) over the next few years or you can invest in a product that will last longer and make your life simpler or happier.

Monday, August 12, 2019

Thought for the Week: Don't Undervalue Yourself

I had spent several days working on an intensive project for a client. They had a lot riding on this project and there was no wiggle room for revisions. It had to be perfect the first time. After spending three days on the project, I emailed it over to the project manager.  Less than half an hour later I received a call from her. She loved it.  Her team loved it. It was exactly what they wanted.

She said, "Taylor, you make me look good! You hit it out of the park!"

I said, "No worries. If I had more time, I could have gone more granular."

As soon as I said it, I realized that what I said undervalued all the hard work I poured into this project. I had earned this compliment. I knew it was great work and I should have simply said "Thank you" without downplaying the time and expert knowledge it took to complete it.

I do this anytime someone gives me a compliment. I met with a new trainer who said "You did a great job in this first session!" and all I could think of was "Well, three years ago I was in better shape and I could have gone twice as long!"  L tells me "You're doing a great job with the baby!" and I say "Well, she's a good baby" but really she is almost two years-old and it takes a lot of patience and time teaching her everything she needs to become a confident, happy, smart, kind, resilient girl.

I think the reason we downplay our value or actions is that we don't want to seem boastful or maybe it's because we feel like what we do should seem effortless. However,  the things that we do, the tasks we accomplish are because of skillsets we learned through education or practice. Whether you excel at your job, or a sport or hobby, you have earned the right to  have that skill recognized. There are other things you could have done like sleep in or go out with your friends instead of learning to code or sew or shoot baskets or paint. If someone thanks you for your kindness, don't say "It was nothing!" Instead say "You're welcome! I'm glad you're happy!"

Its OK to be proud of your accomplishments or the hard work you have put into yourself. Whether you conquered a bad habit, learned a new skill or made someone else's life better, value the work that it took to get you to there.

I know you're going to do something wonderful this week so let me the first to say"Well done! I'm so proud you!"

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