Thursday, November 6, 2014

54. Pay to run from bar to bar in a coordinated fashion within a specific time frame. And sip (or chug) at each one. For a good purpose (DUH!)

The woman shall participate in a creatively costumed pub crawl.

Cool people reside in every zip code.  So do cool pub crawls and the committees that plan them.

A pub crawl (sometimes called a bar tour, bar crawl or bar-hopping) is the act of one or more people drinking in multiple pubs or bars in a single night, normally travelling by foot or bus to each destination and occasionally by cycle.

I'd never heard of SantaCon, but the amazing folks in Augusta, GA, have brought me into this universe of creatively costumed Santas, reindeer, elves, and other numerous holiday support characters that shift their patronage from bar to bar every 45 minutes.

With 12 bars to populate from 4:00 pm till midnight strikes, that's a lot of holiday cheer in a glass.

Here's a shot of the 2014 SantaCon Augusta volunteer committee at work viewing the newest clip of some marketing material.   The final version will be edited soon, and we can't wait to share!

The SantaCon in Augusta is pretty special, as it is one of the few crawls that raises money for a charitable cause.  Each year, SantaCon Augusta raises funds and contributes them to a local nonprofit.  This year, we're partnering with the Ronald McDonald Charities of Augusta as they prepare to open a brand new home in the Garden City (y'all go!).

We've got a few more weeks of planning, nailing down some sponsorships.....and finding (or making) really unique costumes.  If you're interested in joining the holiday fete, take a visit here to get your tickets.

If you're not in the Augusta area, no need to fret - I bet there's a crawl somewhere near your zip code.
The SantaCon website lists all the events that are happening around the globe (323 US cities and 44 countries!!!).

If there's not a SantaCon in your hood, make your community the 324th host...and be sure it benefits a good cause.  It's a great way to ensure the season is extra merry:)

Ho, ho, ho!

Friday, July 18, 2014

53. The woman shall protect her heart, for everything she does flows from it.

The woman shall, at all times, protect her heart not only from the nuances of romance, but more importantly, from the unintentional relationship-based liabilities hat she may impose on herself. 

Guard your heart, lovelies, not just so you won't get hurt, but more importantly, so that you continue to be the amazing, energetic life source that God (or whoever rocks your universe) intended you to be. 

In our westernized format of processing love and romance, sex and misplaced emotions serve as our relationship compass. That's not how He intended it to be. 

Guard your hearts by not giving it away too quickly.  As women, we give it ALL up WAY too quickly.

Our love.
Our thoughts. 
Our time.
Our bodies.
Our cooking. 

When we give it all up way too quickly, it has multiple serious implications. We send a signal to the man that:

1) He no longer has to place effort nor interest in pursuing a romantic partnership with us.
He's already got it. 

2) He does not have to value us.
We didn't value ourselves to wait for his investment, too.

In the work to establish and build a fulfilling relationship, there's got to be an investment on both sides, and too often, we invest way too soon. As a result, we give it ALL up way too quickly as part of our investment practices. 

Also, when we give it ALL up WAY too quickly, we place undue burdens on the relationship because our own expectations are now out of proportion.

 When we give it all up way too quickly (at a level that has not been matched by our partner), we fast-forward the relationship at an unrealistic speed - which leaves us drunk and falling down.

When I think of how I'll stop giving it ALL up WAY too quickly, I'll base my investment decisions and timeline not only on my man-list, but also on the man-list that I know Mom had in mind for me. 

Trying to get this right,

Saturday, January 4, 2014

52. Give, give, and give.

The woman shall give her time, her talent, and her treasures however and whenever she can.

Giving feels sooooooooooo good - no matter the check size, level of recognition, nor recipient - it feels good, yields good, and it is good.

We've been taught to give as part of who we are.  As members of religious communities, citizens of this generous country, and as participants in global humanity, we give. 

We give when natural disasters occur.
We give to the tin cup held by those without homes.
We give to United Way campaigns directly from our paychecks.
We give to the Girl Scouts when we buy cookies.
We give to numerous causes through the donate-a-dollar option at the cash register.
We tithe.
We volunteer.
We mentor.

Giving is a habit and attitude that is ingrained in our culture both for the benefit of others...
and ourselves. 

What we don't always do, and what I certainly haven't always done, is give regularly.  I've given cheerfully, but not consistently.  I'm working on that piece, and there have been a couple tools to help me along the way. If you're working on the same thing, hopefully, these ideas can help you along your way.

1. Research and become a member of an organization that you wish to support.  Out of sight, out of mind, right?  Well.....keep giving back in your sight:)  Research the organizations that you care the most about.  What's your passion? 

I bet there's a phenomenal organization that enacts a mission in
the arts
social services
that you really dig. 

For the past years, I've researched awesome organizations and asked them to sign me up!

Even though I don't live near all the organizations, contributions help ensure that I support their work for all the communities they serve.  As a member,  I receive frequent reminders about campaigns, fundraising drives, and end-of-year contribution opportunities, which keeps giving back on my radar.

2.  Serve as a board member.  Being a board member offers such great discourse about active giving for a specific purpose.  It's my second year as a board member of the Community Investment Network, and being a part of this dynamic organization has been incredibly enriching.  Giving back is a major component of board service, and it's a privilege to know that you're supporting an organization's work at this level. It makes you responsible about your giving.

3.  Give through automatic deduction.  I was over the moon when an organization that I like to contribute to incorporated an automatic deduction tool to coordinate monthly contributions.  If the organization asked me EVERY month for a donation, that might get annoying.  For me to give a certain amount automatically (and receive an automatic thank you note) each month - I can get down with that!  Take a look at to learn more.

4.  Read about giving.   Check the excerpt from the Good Book below.  We know there are more academic sources, but this is where it all starts for me.  If there are other scriptures that you wish to share, let us know!

Luke 6:38

New International Version (NIV)

Give, and it will be given to you. A good measure, pressed down, shaken together and running over, will be poured into your lap. For with the measure you use, it will be measured to you.”

New Living Translation
"Give, and you will receive. Your gift will return to you in full--pressed down, shaken together to make room for more, running over, and poured into your lap. The amount you give will determine the amount you get back."

51. Bucket Lists

The woman shall, in order to live an aspirational, fulfilling, proactive, and self-directed life, record and execute a bucket list - and look back at it!

We live life in lists - to-do lists, grocery lists, man lists, woman lists, Christmas card recipient lists...and well..the "list" goes on.  One list I've got to work on though (and perhaps you, too?), is the Bucket List. 

The trouble with the bucket list practice is that there are, at times, hefty price-tags attached, and that's always been my stumbling block.  Everything that I want to do is sooooooooooo cost prohibitive, and so I've elected to stay away from producing one.

To my great discovery, though, I recently saw a Facebook post from a very inspirational lady (and proud fellow Clemson alum), and it was so cool to see all of her fun, adventurous, and terrifically interesting items that make for a really cool list.  It was even more awesome to see how many friends were willing to lend their time, talent, and treasures to help reach her goals. 

That was just enough motivation for me to put in some work, and I've compiled the list below.  I'll revisit this blog post on January 4, 2015 to see what I can cross off and what I can add.  Here's to a list of fulfilling fun in 2014! 

ALLYSON'S BUCKET LIST...well, an abbreviated version
(always in draft form, because stuff will be crossed off and added, per life's serendipitous generosity :)

1. Plant a vertical garden
2.  Run a marathon
3.  Type my Mom's journals
4.  Attend a NASCAR event
5.  Tailgate at a Philadelphia Eagles game
6.  Hobnob at the Kentucky Derby
7.  Create and maintain an Official Woman Laws website
8.  Perform a set of songs by Prince at a jazz spot (that means I have to learn how to sing!)
9.  Graduate from a culinary school program and master Spanish food
10. Complete TESOL certification and teach abroad
11.  Learn how to play chess
12.  Learn how to drive a stick shift
13.  Learn how to sing I know I've been changed
13.  Learn Polish
14.  Make really great sushi
15.  Buy a home when the time is right, and with lots of confidence
16.  Run for elected office
17.  Go to the Olympics
18.  Go to Essence Music Festival
19.  Visit Greece
20.  Serve on the board of an arts museum

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