Why Barnes & Noble is Destined to Fail

Processed with VSCOcam with a5 preset

“I’m so done with Barnes & Noble, they had the audacity to insult a bookworm!”

I mumbled this as I typed a vicious review on Yelp. Why would anyone Yelp a chain like Barnes & Noble, no idea, but it made me feel in-control, it made me feel better.

I’m an avid reader. My reading game is serious, check my Goodreads account — it doesn’t even include all the books I’ve read or  own. My palette is diverse, though I have a propensity for science fiction, I read everything from YA series to historical biographies (the recent one on Catherine the Great is life-giving). I read/listen to at least one book a month, with my all time max being 7 books during a 4-week period. I buy books, actually I horde books. I romanticize bookstores, prior to meeting BAE, I always fantasized about meeting a hot slightly eccentric but very sweet guy at a bookstore and having a love affair of literary proportions. I actually follow hot dudes reading on Instagram. The long and short of it is, I’m a true bibliophile.

I harbor a certain romanticism about bookstores in general. My favorite thing to do when I travel is to visit a local bookstore, mostly the small business owner kind where you might find used editions and unique caffeinated drinks for sale (the stuff romance novels are made of).

Wonder Book & Video

Wonder Book & Video

So why do I hate Barnes & Noble? How did they insult me? Why do I predict their imminent (and continued) failure unless they make some changes?

Travel back in time with me to a few weeks ago… (more…)

Learn to Take Constructive Criticism

Constructive Critcism

If my daughter makes a mistake on her homework and I correct her (even in the calmest and sweetest tones), she sometimes has a melt down of emotions. Even though my reasons are honorable – ensuring she learns and no longer makes said mistake.

My daughter is 5, her emotions are not yet mature enough at times to grasp the value and purpose of what I am trying to do. She converts correction into rejection and emotionally reacts to the fact that the feedback points out something wrong, no matter how affirming my language and tone.

I’ve started noticing that adults and organizations react with the same knee jerk emotional reaction when the feedback highlights a flaw or an area of growth.

Poor habits that remain unchanged become reputation.

Why is this happening? Have they simply made excuses for the things that are slowly eating away at their potential and purpose? Is it some cultural road block they are unwilling to move beyond. Is their pride and identity tied to the wrong things?

Criticism, given in the right way and for the right reasons, should not be debilitating. People shouldn’t react in anger or shuffle to avoid an awareness of something that is keeping them from being great. But people and organizations are and their optional weaknesses inevitably have become their identity instead of being converted into a strength. Thus making these people and/or organizations the most unpleasant to deal with. The end result is rarely desired, unless they’ve become delusional in the affirming the thing that is keeping them from their true goals and purpose (something I am witnessing more and more frequently).

We all must learn to take constructive criticism and convert into actionable goals if we wish to progress in our careers and our relationships. Lest we become the Donald Trump of our own life campaign.

Here is a pretty good article outlining how to take constructive criticism without taking it personally.

Understanding My Drive & Purpose

Passion & Purpose 2

The Monday before Thanksgiving we had “Friendsgiving” dinner with our closest California friends. There were tons of jokes and laughter and we shared what we were thankful for. In my case, it was the growth born out of struggle. In 2015, I faced incredible challenges. The kind that led to tears, fears, and questioning. This past year I questioned my ability, my sanity, and my purpose.

Friendsgiving P3

I’m the girl that always thinks she knows what is and what’s next. But the spiritual fealty walk to California, a leap of faith without a parachute, was not without its challenges.

I’ve been on this journey to relinquish the idols that have defined and affirmed my self-worth for most of my adult life. Learning how to walk in my purpose and passion without career and success idolatry has been the hardest expedition of my life thus far. What was the point without aiming for the most covetous career and the sexist success? For a while there and for the first time ever, I found myself wandering aimlessly. I didn’t realize how empty my understanding of drive and purpose were.

To start, I had two understand two things better, idolism and identity:

Idolism (noun): false appearance; false belief

Synonyms: confusion, deception, delusion, fantasy, hallucination, image, misconception, myth, pipe dream (more…)

Simple & Affordable DIY Seafood Meal

Ahi Tuna 2

In the mood for a simple and healthy gourmet meal using seasonal vegetables, this is the recipe for you.

Today’s Menu

  • Bumble Bee SuperFresh® Seared Ahi Tuna, the first ever sushi quality “Thaw and serve” packaged seafood product.
  • Sautéed herb spaghetti squash, an in season vegetable that is a great pasta replacement and packs a strong nutritional punch.
  • Broccoli and kale slaw from Trader Joe’s, a quick all in one slaw mix with dried berries, almonds and sunflower seeds. The sweet and savory dressing is included and delicious!

Ahi Tuna Dinner

Ingredients/Directions

Seared Tuna Ahi Tuna

  • Bumble Bee SuperFresh® Seared Ahi Tuna, which can be found in the frozen food section of participating grocers. (1 Package serves 2)

Bumble-Bee-SuperFresh-Products-RaisingSelf

  • That’s it! The directions say to thaw 3 hours in the refrigerator, but I placed in a flat glass dish filled with cold water and three packages in the refrigerator, all three fully thawed in less than an hour.

You would think that the freezing and thawing process would somehow yield a sub par seafood product, NOT AT ALL. It tasted restaurant fresh and tender and the flavor was crisp and slightly smokey! Bumble Bee SuperFresh® smells and tastes amazing. Because you thaw and plate so your house is not filled with fishy food smells, which makes this Ahi Tuna great for entertaining. (more…)

The Hard Bits of Being Married

Love and Marriage

I love my husband dearly, but his emotions are too strong. He feels too deeply. He wants too much. He is admittedly what I wanted in a husband on many levels, but now that I have him, my mind is (occasionally) exhausted by the desires of my own heart.

Who did I marry? Why did I marry? Why am I even still married?

I know my husband is a good guy, a great guy in fact. But, he isn’t always a great guy to me. In my own mind’s eye he is, at times, unbearable. He is annoying and sometimes I want to be alone more than I want to be married.

But the truth is, I would feel this way if I married any number of other guys roaming this planet or some interesting alternate universe. It’s me. Some women are self destructively co-dependent. I, however, hoover on the polar opposite end of the spectrum. Being married is an exercise of faith: I die to self daily.

Marriage was optional for me, I didn’t have all these idolatrous views about the institution. I didn’t need it to feel whole and defined as a woman or person. But, I met a man that I wanted more than my own selfishness. I found a love that one could easily write sonnets about. But, that doesn’t mean that I fully stopped being a bit of a loner and an occasional introvert.

He isn’t an automaton (Jane Eyre anyone); I can’t just activate him when I want to be a wife and deactivate him when I want to be selfish. He has emotional needs, even when I am unable or unwilling to provide them, and that is (one of) the hard bits of being married. That I am a selfish creature fighting like hell to occasionally get out of my own head and be selfless for the man I made so many matrimonial and spiritual promises to. (more…)

I Vaguely Recall Marrying for Love

Jane EyreThe thing about marrying for love is that you will inevitably have to exist in that world following “ever after”. The great unknown, and the place where the story continues past what some people to be the only fairy tale worthy stuff. But then again… I’m pretty sure Cinderella found out too late she had ABSOLUTELY NOTHING in common with the Prince and (because she was raised by flaky mystical tree fairies) Sleeping Beauty made for an awkward addition to royal society.

I married for love, my own Darcy, Rochester, or for those whose tastes haven’t expanded beyond young adult novels, Cullen.

I won’t excite bore you with the awesome details, but our life is far from mundane. I think we are living the storybook narrative every week. Sometimes there are villains, magic and miniature happy endings within smaller chapters of an ongoing epic tale. (more…)