My Dad said “This is what you should make a video about.”
He’s so smart. And healthy.
- Organic Fresh Lemon Juice
- Not-from-Concentrate Cranberry Juice
- Apple Cider Vinegar
- B-12 Liquid
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Video Producer & On-air Host, Jen Knoedl
My Dad said “This is what you should make a video about.”
He’s so smart. And healthy.
Tweet me @JenTravelsLife
Like Miner Dunn Hamburgers on facebook: https://www.facebook.com/miner.hamburgers
Like Capri’s Pizza and Broasted Chicken on facebook: https://www.facebook.com/CaprisPizza
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Tweet Capri’s Pizza and Broasted Chicken at @CaprisPizza1955
Tweet me at @JenTravelsLife
Just rewatching the video makes my toes curl again. Spiders freak me out. All those legs. And that web stuff. Yipes.
But also- I know they do good things. Eat bugs, walk around, maybe we make medicine from them, they save the city from bad guys…
So when I saw this one in the window- well first I screamed a little, but then I thought “Instagram“.
After sharing his/her 8-legged picture on Facebook and viewing the responses, I knew what had to be done. Here comes one “How To Let A City Spider Live Even When You’re Scared” video.
Oh yeah. I saved a spider’s life. That really happened.
(There’s a metaphor in there somewhere.)
Are you listening, Santa?
I love that this time of year, it’s ok to just ask for what you want. Of course, there are the gifts that you want or will receive from your friends and family but I’m talking about the BIG stuff.
No, not diamonds. Not a car. Not a $3000 purse. Not even a pony.
I’m talking about the intangible gifts that would allow you to enjoy the coming year even more than the last. Presents that your my heart’s desire and nighttime prayer. The things that seem “out of reach” when you want a comfortable life.
For me, that’s travel. I want to see the world and share what I learn and discover with interested and like-minded people. I want to have an accent and have others politely giggle when I do something that’s “so American”. I want to learn new languages and embrace new traditions as my experiences grow me as a person. I want to make a glorious living doing what I love, though all the while calling Chicago, my home.
So, more travel is what I want for Christmas and the upcoming New Year… And I’m encouraged to ask for it.
How about it? What “big” thing do you want for Christmas?
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GO TO CHURCH
After all, the resurrection of Christ Jesus is the reason for the Easter celebration. After Jesus was crucified (Good Friday) he was buried in a tomb. Three days later, when the tomb was reopened, his body had been resurrected. If you want to know more, LeadingTheWay.org has some fantastic videos and resources about Christ’s ministry. Expect a larger than usual crowd at church. Easter is always the most attended day of church each year.
GO SEE THE EASTER BUNNY
Sure- it’s not eggsactly what the celebration is all about, but it’s fun and one of my favorite childhood memories. And if you aren’t going to volunteer to don the FULL BODY bunny costume (not just the cute little ears), take the kids- or be a kid and see where the Easter Bunny is hopping around in your city.
If you live in or are traveling to Chicago, Peter Cottontail is paying a special visit to the Maxwell Street Market from 10:30 – 1:30! Don’t forget your camera!
GO TO BRUNCH
You won’t go wrong with a fancy hotel Easter brunch- or any brunch with mimosas, for that matter. And when you want to take it easy, and make sure you have quality conversations that are not interrupted by the kitchen timer, a good old-fashioned stuff-your-belly brunch could be just the thing. Don’t forget to overtip today. Your servers would rather be relaxing on Easter too- and it’s just the cool thing to do on holidays.
If you live in or are traveling to Chicago, OpenTable.com has a slew of Easter brunches for your to compare.
Spring has sprung and as long as it’s not storming- today is the perfect day to run around outside hiding and finding Easter eggs. Growing up in Texas, Easter was always a warm day of running around in my grandparent’s yard searching for eggs and planning my next cascarones victim. God, I miss confetti eggs. I’m sure there’s some “game” on tv, but how about instead- we all go outside and get our game on. You dig?
TELL PEOPLE YOU LOVE THAT YOU DO
If you forgot to mail a card- it probably won’t get there in time for Easter. BUT you can still send a ‘happy spring’ card, or a ‘thinking of you’ card… or any kind of card, really. Don’t we all love “happy mail”? USPS is old school and that’s what makes a colorful piece of mail all the more special. You can similarly send an e-card from Hallmark or JibJab- just make sure you personalize it. I’m gonna Skype my family since I wont be there. If you haven’t tried video chatting with people you love- Sunday’s a good day to get on it. At a minimum- call. If you are short on time, just say, “I don’t really have time to talk, but I just wanna say that I love you and Happy Easter.” It really is the thought that counts.
Ta-dah! Of course there are ton more ways to share the spirit of hope and spring, and I’d love to hear your suggestions in the comments below.
I don’t usually like or enjoy funerals. I guess we are not really supposed to… In my past experience, they are sad, long and boring. None of which I am a fan of. But Whitney Houston’s Homegoing as shared on CNN yesterday gave me new perspective on how we can celebrate life while we mourn loss. I laughed, cried, danced and called my mom to tell her how much I love her.
The funeral of Whitney Houston, or Homegoing, as it was aptly called, was so moving and powerful- my faith in the power of love, life and God was renewed. I know I’m not the only one because as I watched the funeral on CNN, I tweeted the hashtag and joined a unified discussion with millions of others on Twitter.
There really are no words to describe the emotion of the service. It was held in Whitney’s hometown church, New Hope Baptist which gave it an authenticity so hard to capture on camera. Being one of the most famous people of our generation, Whitney’s life celebration included Kevin Costner, Alicia Keys, Tyler Perry, Stevie Wonder, Dionne Warwick and many others.
Here are some of my tweets regarding #WhitneyCNN.
For more on Whitney Houston’s Homegoing Funeral check out CNN’s coverage At Houston funeral, stories of faith, courage and love
They say “there’s nothing like family” and I doubt many would disagree. Whether we’re talking about how much they drive us crazy or how much we love them, family members have a special and unique bond.
And for many (at least for me growing up) family is forever. No matter what. And in some ways, that’s just the thing that gets on our nerves. It’s what makes family members take others for granted ad vice-versa. They are stuck with you. And you, them. No matter what.
The flip side of that (the side I aim to focus on) are the wonderful memories that are created by being with people that know you like the back of their hand. People that would take a bullet for you. Literally. (knock on wood) Not to be morbid, but that’s just how my family rolls. I reckon yours might be the same.
And though we’d move mountains for each other, we may not always say it. So, after being inspired by the video above, here are 5 free suggestions for how you can show those crazy goofballs, called family members, that we appreciate all that they are and have been in our lives.
I’d love to hear how you cherish the people that are closest to you. How do you go out of your way to treat them just as good (if not better) than the people you meet on the street? As Momma would say, “Life is but a vapor. Cherish every moment.”
It’s 4:22 in the morning, so we gotta make this quick. ”Why not just go to bed and finish tomorrow?”, you ask? Because that’s just not how I roll. I like to go bed with a sense of achievement and getting a welcome video out to you guys has been on my mind all week. (In my defense, I’ve been handling UP on some website business and you can take the new subscribe functionality for a spin here.)
So, in my Happy New Year post, I mentioned my Betterment Project and now that I have a week under my belt, the video version of the invitation to join me is finally out. (Yes. My video editorial scheduling could use some tweaking, I know- but lucky for me, I plan to get better. And better. You get the point.)
All that to say- this post is about 24 hours late. And though the only one expecting it out yesterday was me, I was still kinda bummed I missed my own mark. It’s like the alarm clock in the morning when I want to wake up early. Things happen.
Anyway, here’s the worksheet for Week 2 if you’d like to join me, give me suggestions, questions, feedback or ideas. I’m all ears.
I’ll leave you with a question posed by Tony Robbins…
How am I going to live today in order to create the tomorrow I’m committed to?
I can feel it in my bones. This is MY year. It’s your year too, of course. So I guess that makes it OUR year, yes? Okay. So it’s our year… and what are we going to to with it?
If I had to guess, I’d say you’re a lot like me in that you are ready to kick things into high gear. I mean, the struggles of 2011 have been cute and all, but I’m ready to host my international travel show and I bet you’re ready to *insert your life’s purpose here*.
It’s not for a lack of trying- I definitely have been. But towards the end of 2011, I started to realize that the metaphorical journey has been just as adventurous as the African safari I’ve been dreaming of… ok, maybe not quite as physically scary, but my path has had lions and tigers of another kind.
The point is- no one ever taught me how to have the life I dreamed of as a little girl. I’ve never been diligent about setting goals, prioritizing my time or networking effectively. And I’ve decided that must be the missing link. ”The Secret”.
As I study people that I admire or are incredibly successful, I keep running into some of the same suggestions for living a good life. I’ve made a challenging daily checklist for myself, incorporating the ACTIONS that seem essential and achievable. After all- if I make the list too challenging from the jump, I’ll give up before I start. I know me. (If you’d like to follow along with me, you can download the checklist PDF here.)
All that to say, I’m switching gears a little bit. I’m still going to cover people, places and things in Chicago but I’m also going to host a “Betterment Program” for anyone who is ready for a little accountability, community and guidance. I’m scheduling group chats, relavant videos and celebratory events. It’s gonna be a challenge and I love a good challenge.
If you want to make sure you don’t miss a thing, shoot me an email at Jen@JenChicago.com and I will add you to the “Inner Circle” list. If you think you’d just like to watch- have at it. We’re all at different places. My goal in sharing this with you is that it might encourage you to “shine your light” in 2012 and have a community of people to support you.
Lastly- I’ve been on vacation in Texas and I didn’t create the personal video I wanted to accompany this post, BUT DJ Earworm’s video compilation of the top songs of 2011 is a pretty awesome substitute. (Sometimes you just gotta go for stuff even if it’s not EXACTLY how you’d like it to be, you know?) In the words of Nike’s genius campaign, you gotta “Just do it.” And so we will.
Okay. That’s all for this first Monday in January. Stay tuned. It’s gonna start coming at us like drinking water from a fire hydrant. We’re gonna need a bigger straw.
Let me know your thoughts as I build the parameters of the Betterment Project. What things would you like to see covered? Have you tried a happiness and goals project before? Do you have resource suggestions that you’d like to share?
I’m all ears.
PS: If you want to add this song to your playlist- you can get the free download here.
I met Stacy Bennet of @Dance_OutLoud on Twitter. Probably because I’m always tweeting about my affinity and love for dancing. We have that in common.
What is sadly different about us, however, is that Stacy lost her mom and 3 aunts to ovarian cancer and I wasn’t even sure what “ovarian cancer” was until I met her. They call it a “silent killer” because the symptoms are subtle at first and hard to control once it hits an advanced stage.
The good news is that instead of wallowing in fear and self-pity, Stacy, decided to to something positive about it- especially since early detection is the key.
Dance Out Loud is a movement and event benefitting Bright Pink, an organization that empowers young women who are at high risk for breast and ovarian cancer by providing them with education and support. The high-spirited event will be held Friday, November 11 at Brownstone Tavern in Chicago. Tickets to the events include an open bar, endless appetizers, costumes, prizes, an event shirt (C9 by Champion) and of course, DANCING to your favorite 80s and 90s tunes!
If you need more information, Dance Out Loud is really responsive on Twitter and Facebook- and I know Bright Pink would welcome your donation even if you can’t make it to the event.
As for me- that costume contest is as good as won.
By me- that is.
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