Around Town : The Alamo

The Alamo, San Antonio

As part of the ‘Around Town‘ series, I’ve talked about several exciting places to visit in San Antonio. You can head on down to the River Walk for some margaritas and shopping, enjoy a relaxing walk among the beauty of the Japanese Tea Garden or take in the whole city from atop the Tower of the Americas. But, there’s one place in San Antonio so iconic that there have been movies dedicated to telling its story – The Alamo.

The Alamo, San Antonio

History

The Alamo, founded in 1718, was the first of several missions to be set up along the San Antonio River. However, in 1836 this particular mission landed a special place in history when a small group of Texans managed to defend its walls for 13 days before succumbing to General Santa Anna. Today, the Alamo and its defenders, which included Jim Bowie, David Crocket and William B. Travis, serve as a reminder of courage and sacrifice in the pursuit of liberty.

San antonio, Alamo

Visiting

Set in the heart of downtown and surrounded by modern day buildings, the Alamo is a wonderful juxtaposition of past and present day San Antonio. Within its walls, you can get your history geek on by exploring exhibits about the Texas Revolution and Texas history free of charge. But, if organized fun is more your style, you can also enjoy an audio tour for $7 or opt for an actual tour guide (prices vary).

While only a portion of the mission remains today, its strong history (and free price tag) make this spot a must-see for anyone visiting San Antonio. Best of all, the River Walk is only a few steps away!

The-Alamo-San-Antonio

The Alamo, San Antonio

Cannon, Alamo

Have you ever visited the Alamo? What iconic spots are there in your city?

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10 Signs You’ve Found Your BFF

I am lucky enough to have an amazing group of friends who have been there through it all – horrible days, crazy adventures, celebrity ogling, and so much more. And today happens to be my bestie’s birthday. So, in honor of this lovely woman who has put up with me since the 6th grade, here are a few tell-tale signs that you too have found your bff.

BFF, besties, best friends

1. They know all your stories. Mainly because they lived them with you.

Besties, BFFs

 

2. You indulge each other’s richest fantasies.

bff, besties

 

3. You finish each other’s sentences.

BFF, Bestie

 

4. But you don’t need words to communicate. One look is all it takes.

Friends, Besties

 

5. You can text them anytime. Day or night.

Best Friends, BFF

 

6. You have your own language.

yoda, best friends

 

7. You share the same jokes over and over again and still find them hilarious.

besties, best friends

 

8. They’re always willing to join in your weirdness and vice versa.

dogs, besties, best friends

 

9. You watch the same TV shows or read the same books at the same time just so you can talk about them.

supernatural

 

10. Even if you haven’t seen each other in a while, you can pick up right where you left off.

Best Friends, Boy Band Sing a long

Bestie Date Night At A Boy Band Sing-A-Long

Thanks for always being there, Nattie! You’re the best friend a girl can have and I’m lucky to continue growing old with you. :) Happy Birthday!

What are some other ways you can tell you’ve found your bff? And what is your best friend like?

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What To Do When You’re Having A Bad Day

grumpy bear, grumpy, Bad Day

Have you ever had a day where nothing goes your way? A day so terrible that you want to run and hide beneath your covers until tomorrow comes?

Well, I seem to be stuck in a terrible, horrible, no good, very bad day that refuses to end despite the fact that the dates on the calendar change.

It began with something so simple that I merely shrugged it off as an inconvenience – a clogged sink. Sometimes your kitchen doubles as an indoor pool. It happens. But, this wasn’t any ordinary clog. This clog jump started a series of unfortunate events that, while completely unrelated, culminated in one very long bad day that spread over the course of 2 – 3 days. The aftermath of which left me with a $600 car repair bill and a pair of glasses jerry-rigged with tape. I’m not sure this is what they meant when they said the geek look was in.

The minute the mechanic dropped that $600 figure I finally broke, which was only fitting since everything else around me seemed to be breaking. After a good crying session, I found myself stewing in a bubble-bath (courtesy of Troy) with a glass of apple-pie moonshine drinking soaking my cares away. And it was there, between the slow pruning of my fingers and 90 proof relaxation in a glass, that I realized stressing about my problems wasn’t going to make them disappear. I wasn’t going to magically cry tears of money or re-set the clock on my horrible day. But, I could reset my mood. Instead of sulking while I was soaking, I could focus on dealing and coping with my day by not letting it break my spirit.

So if you’re having a terrible, horrible, no good, very bad day, here are a few ways that you can re-set your mood, too:

Breathe.

When nothing seems to be going your way, take a moment to just breathe. Focus on slow, calming breaths. Not only will this help you clear your mind, but it can also release some of that tension that’s building up from your bad day.

Walk away.

Hit the pause button and put some distance between you and the issue. If you’re stuck on a problem at work, switch to a different project or take a stroll around the office. If you’re at home, enjoy an hour of Netflix, read a good book, or take a short nap. Sometimes all you need is a little break to be able to re-focus.

Get out.

If simply walking away isn’t working for you, take it a step further and get out. Take an early lunch or a short walking break around your office neighborhood. Enjoy a night out on the town with friends. Or simply explore your own neighborhood. A change of scenery will help you distance yourself from your worries for a little while.

Take a bath/shower.

I’m convinced that water has some magical healing properties. I am never more relaxed than when I’m soaking in a hot bubble bath or standing in a steamy shower. Set the mood with some aromatherapy candles and light music. I guarantee it will help you unwind after a bad day.

Indulge in some music therapy.

Pump up the volume on your favorite jams. Then sing loudly and off key. Add a few amazing dance moves and pretty soon you’ll be wondering what had you so down in the first place.

Write it out.

If you’re like me, writing holds a special therapeutic quality to it. Grab your notebook or laptop and write until your frustrations have transferred from your body to the words on the screen. And if you’re a blogger, you might even be able to turn that into an awesome blog post!

Get a hug.

The power of touch is so great that some healthcare providers have been using it as a form of therapy for years. Hell, people have even started businesses to provide cuddling to those who need and want it. So next time you’re having a crappy day, reach out to your significant other, a friend, family member or even your pet for a quick embrace.

Pet an animal.

As most of us dog-moms already know, petting an animal has been shown to drastically improve your mood. But, you don’t have to join the ranks of crazy dog-mom to reap the rewards. Visit an animal shelter and spend some time making those pups and kitties day a little bit better. It’s a win-win.

Remember, tomorrow is another day.

Channel your inner Scarlet O’hara and power through today by remembering that it will end. Even a streak of bad luck like mine has to come to an end at some point. Let’s just hope it’s not 7 years from now.

What do you do when you’re having a bad day?

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Allow Yourself to Be a Beginner

allow yourself to be a beginner

By now, New Year’s resolutions are in full swing. Hopefully, you’re one of those lucky individuals who is still staying the course determined to make healthier choices, run all the races, take up a new hobby, and learn to play a new instrument by the time this year is done. I mean, we get hoverboards this year so our plans must be equally grand!

However, sometimes those grand plans end up seeming more like an I Love Lucy scheme once we realize that we simply can’t breakup with chocolate. Our attempts only lead to late night rendezvous that leave us feeling dirty the next morning when our minds (and waistlines) weigh heavy with the guilt of our chocolate indiscretions. Why are the forbidden loves the most tempting?

I love lucy

Of course, then we realize that the mere walk from the couch to the door leaves us gasping for air as if we had just run 5 miles up hill. And, in our hands, every instrument sounds more like a torture device than a source of beautiful music, even the triangle. But, that’s okay.

Allow yourself to be a beginner.

In a society focused on instant gratification (I blame Netflix) and social media highlight reels, we often forget that it’s okay to be a beginner. It’s okay not to be perfect.

Much like you wouldn’t expect a child to run before they could walk, nobody expects you to play Mozart before you can master Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star. Goals take time to achieve. Mistakes will be made. Lessons will be learned. Dues will be paid. But first you must allow yourself the freedom to make those mistakes, ask questions, and accept help. It is through your hard work, sweat, perseverance, and ability to embrace being a beginner that you will eventually become an expert. 

So the next time you find yourself facing a new goal, whether that be a career change, taking your blog to the next level, or simply learning a new skill, remember there’s nothing wrong with starting at the beginning.

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Selma: The One Film to See This Year

Selma, Movies

 

On Tuesday, I had the privilege of attending an advance screening of the movie Selma, which is to be released everywhere today. A powerful and riveting film, Selma chronicles the three month period in 1965 when Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. (David Oyelowo) led a ground breaking and dangerous campaign to secure equal voting rights. The historical march from Selma, Alabama to the capital in Montgomery put the Civil Rights Movement front and center, which led to the Voting Rights Act of 1965.

With dynamic performances, stellar directing and an amazing script, this film captures a moment in history that hasn’t been highlighted to this magnitude before now. While Dr. King remains at the center of the plot, the movie does a fantastic job of displaying the story of a movement and plight that goes far beyond him. We catch glimpses into the lives of those surrounding Dr. King, who also sacrificed and placed their lives on the line in the pursuit of equality. We witness their fears, struggles and courage in the emotional and powerful delivery of their sub-plots. And we are reminded of the bravery and heroism these individuals displayed in the wake of such blatant violence being rained down upon them.

It’s the insight into their struggles and lives that allows this film to develop a more dynamic view of Martin Luther King. For the first time, we are allowed to see behind the veil of greatness into his insecurities, failings and personal struggles, which are brilliantly combined with his grand oratory and strategical abilities.

David Oyelowo magnificently embodies Dr. King in a vibrant and humanizing portrayal of this great leader. With such an amazing supportive cast, which included Tim Roth, Tom Wilkinson, Carmen Ejogo, Nigel Thatch and Oprah Winfrey, and strong emotion-inducing scenes, this thought-provoking film reflects perfectly on our society in such a timeless manner. With civil unrest in areas such as Ferguson, couples fighting for their right to be married, and the attempts to change the Voting Rights Act in various states, it’s obvious that we are still struggling to reach a point of equality. But, I’m sure we will all agree that Selma is one of the most powerful films of the year.

Will you be watching Selma this weekend? 

 

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