I am such a bad friend....

because the HOTTEST book of 2014 was released in April and I  just finished it today.  Because I keep her laughing, I've been forgiven. 

This is not an objective book review. I fully admit that I'm totally biased. I have known the lady who penned this novel for over 15yrs. It gives my heart so much joy to see her doing her thing. 
I think my favorite thing about Before I Say I Do  is that it is very relatable. It was a reminder that we all need to love, to be loved and that there is no GREATER love than GOD's love.  It was a little LUST in there too, but you'll have to read about that yourself.
" Love is the flower of life, and blossoms unexpectedly and without law, and must be plucked where it is found, and enjoyed for the brief hour of its duration."
D. H. Lawrence
Tara used a great level of detail, yet somehow managed to leave room for the imagination.  I don't want to give too much away, so I'll finish by adding this. It was an easy read. Seamless transition between scenes, storylines and characters.  The perfect book when you want a fun,  flirty, sexy escape during lunch or before bed. 

Click HERE to get your copy today!


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Failure to thrive.

No matter what the truth is, when you tell people you're moving back home for a while, images of a bad break-up, being escorted from your office, a twin bed or a bank account with spider webs spring into mind. Because of his grace and mercy, I can happily report I moved home by choice and not force. 

I'd been thinking about leaving that city for a while. When I actually voiced the thought out-loud a year ago, I got mixed reviews. Some thought it was to save money for backpacking around the globe.  Others were more concerned about my social life. 

This year, I took all of that into consideration ( especially the backpacking around the world) and ended my lease at a place I'd called home for seven years - with the intention of moving back in two months. Not one, but two apartments fell-through and I had an epiphany. I decided not to force what no longer fit. I'd moved there in 2007 always knowing it was not where I wanted to lay down roots, but "you go where the job is" or at least, that was my  mantra back then. Now, not so much. I don't regret my time there at all but, like the title of this entry, outside of my career, I failed to thrive.

Everyone knows I have a love/hate relationship with my hometown. As soon as I got a job, I started a "Never-Going-Back-to-Fresno Fund." The only way I was moving back home was to care for my parents - no exceptions. Oh, how time has a way of changing your mind and perspective. My cousin thinks my mother and I are going to drive one another crazy, but I'll get on her nerves before she gets on mine. 

My colleagues say, " What about the drive?" Surprisingly, I look forward to it. It's very scenic, sets the tone for the day, and forces me to be organized and on a schedule. Before I was 5 miles away - if I left something, no worries. I just turn around. Late night? Go home at lunch for a power nap. For the first half of the drive, there isn't mobile phone reception. Instead of calling someone for a distraction, I listen to music or a podcast or ride in silence to get my thoughts together. Last week on my commute, I came up with the concept and outline for a conference presentation. #BOOM

Continue to fight the good Teen Pregnancy Prevention fight by day, plot to take over the world at night and cloud hop when I want. Basically what I've always done. 

Thanks for stopping by,

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Seems like a great time to visit.....

San Juan......
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March 1st my cousin Lena and I participated in 
The Color Run

Turn UP the volume and Press Play! 

With encouragement from  my friend  Jordan { Runner/DataDiva/Seamstress/All Around Cool Kid}  and a little hard work, I'll be able to actually RUN more in the next 5k.

Thanks for watching!

P.S. Still  learning how to edit videos, so the quality of this one is not that great. 

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My cellular phone died

and I was forced to simply focus and pay attention without trying to snap a photo or live tweet a powerful quote. My dead phone forced me to sit and take in every moment of TedxCharlotte. Thank goodness. It was an amazing experience. Totoally in my element. 

Shockingly, lots of people have asked, " Who is this TED person you are so excited about going to see?" So for those of you who aren't familiar, let me introduce you to TED. 


TED is a nonprofit devoted to Ideas Worth Spreading. It started out in 1984 as a conference bringing together people from three worlds: Technology, Entertainment, Design. TED conferences bring together the world's most fascinating thinkers and doers, who are challenged to give the talk of their lives (in 18 minutes or less). ( www.ted.com)


#TedxCharlotte is what I attended. The TEDx program gives communities, organizations and individuals the opportunity to stimulate dialogue through TED-like experiences at the local level. TEDx events are planned and coordinated independently. ( www.ted.com)

I strongly encourage everyone to follow your local Tedx on Social Media and to watch the videos on Youtube. I promise there is at least one video that you will love. 


Right now, the one that is reigning supreme is “We should all be feminists” by Nigerian writer Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie. It's several months old, but it resurfaced in the new Beyonce'Knowles song Flawless. 

Thanks for reading,
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A day at the beach

All of this cold weather is making me think of warmer days.
Here are a few of my MUST HAVES for a day at the beach.


1) Water Proof Bag.  This one came from Ikea. As you may have guessed deep orange is my favorite color.
2) Water Proof Camera: I have ruined too many camera from water damage. I dropped enough hints and was gifted one for my birthday.
3) Paper and Pen: The beach is the perfect time to zone out. I normally put my phone away and enjoy the moment. Take the time to journal, thought dump. It also comes in handy when you meet people and need to write down a name/number or the address of where you'll meet for dinner.
4) Solar Chargers are the best return on investment ever! It's free power. I take so many photos when traveling my camera battery is always running low. Just sit it in the sunlight and charge away.
5) EZ Towels: One year I attend a public health conference about Emergency Preparedness. We got these in our goodie bag. At first glance, I thought, " Glad I got it for free, I'd never buy". However,  they have proven to really be  handy. All you need is water and Vola! A towel to nurse a bloody nose, wipe feet after a day in flip flops, or  to freshen up after a long day of shopping before heading to dinner.
In case you are wondering. it's
123 days, 4 hours remain till Summer

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All day every day

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Snow & South Africa

I believed to really connect with a culture, you must eat the food and  dance to the music. I have yet to experience authentic South African cuisine, but Sunday I took a trip to South Africa without leaving  South Carolina.  The award winning Soweto Gospel Choir performed at the Peace Center in Greenville, SC and  when I say award winning, I mean Grammy- Emmy Award winning.
The show was nothing short of magnificent.  It's their 10yr anniversary and the performance is  dedicated to the beautiful Miriam Makeba and great Nelson Mandela

Today I am snowed in, so why not update my blog.
Well, I'm not literally snowed in.
I've been for a walk to get fresh air.  
Recently someone asked why I haven't updated my blog. My response was, " I haven't been anywhere, so I have nothing to share." They went on to remind me that I have plenty to say when it comes to researching, planning and paying for a trip, culture and life in general. And I used to, but the instant expert on everything that social media has lead us all to believe we are has made me more conscious of what I say. Travel should be safe though? Right?

So here goes. I am about to share more about what's going on with me. More not all b/c part of being a lady is being a little mysterious and unpredictable. One thing I am excited about is  the opportunity to introduce the wonderful world of Travel to the girls at Zippy's Place.  A local not for profit I volunteer with. Normally,  my hours are spent behind the computer, so this is an opportunity to work directly with the participants. I have weeks until our program, but I've already done a little window shopping at Party City.

Hmm what else has been going on with me? I have been writing a deleting a blog entry about how to pay for travel for the last four months. Talking about money in general is uncomfortable and even though this is simply my opinion and creative ways I save for travel, I am still hesitant about posting it. We shall see.

As usual, Thanks for reading.
If you are in the South East stay warm.
Meredith ♥

PS. I signed up for a 5k next month. That should be interesting.

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