Saturday, February 9, 2013

Food For Thought

Hello All! For today's blog, I will be sharing with you about how I've been wanting to get my volunteer on!
It recently started when I sprained my ankle very badly and was hobbling around like an elderly person. I really feel for the elderly. I also think that I happen to share a lot of hobbies with them, such as knitting, reading, doing puzzles, being crotchety, etc., that naturally it seemed like a good fit to volunteer at a senior home. Well, I went to Sunrise Assisted Living in Johns Creek, filled out the lengthy application, and never heard a word back from their volunteer coordinator, even after several attempts to reach her through phone and email. Lets be honest, senior homes are depressing. I can't imagine that they have so many volunteers lining up that they can afford to snub a potential volunteer, but whatever. Moving on.

Well, I attended a meeting of a service organization that I am thinking about joining, and one of the non-profits that they brought up at their meeting was Food For Thought. This organization is wonderful! They are based out of Forsyth County and the premise is that they leave reusable grocery bags on your door step for you to fill up with food items. You have two months to fill it up, then on a select Saturday they will come around and pick it up for you. It then gets taken to a storage unit where they sort out the food and distribute it to the local food pantries in the county. Love it!

At first I signed up to fill up a bag, but I decided that I wanted to do more and so I volunteered to be a pick up driver. Today was the first day and it was so much fun! I drove to about 15 homes, could have been less, I forgot to count, in Forsyth County that were close to my home. I did it by myself and it wasn't scary. All of the neighborhoods were nice. My worst fear was a large dog charging at the door barking loudly at me, and that did happen at the second house, who also happened to not leave out a bag. Boo!

I basically picked up bags that people left out full of food, then left them a replacement bag. If there is no bag on the porch, we are instructed not to knock or bother people, just leave a nice little sign on the doorknob saying "sorry we missed you". Super easy, and a good workout carrying bags of food. Most people remembered to leave out their bags but there were 3 houses that didn't. One lady ran outside in her bare feet to catch me and give me her bag before I drove off.

All in all it took about 2 hours of my morning. I loved it and want to do it again. I also hope to get other people I know in Forsyth County to sign up to fill up bags. It's so easy and since you have 2 months to do it, you aren't breaking the bank. Just buy an extra can of tuna or soup here and there. Plus I've seen the pantries where the food goes, but more on that in another blog, so why wouldn't you want to help? It's so easy!!!

For more information or to hopefully sign up, go to

And now, my photo upload......

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

So Let's Try This Again

I'm baaaaaaaaack! So I decided that I kind of missed my brief romance with blogging and I feel like I want to get back involved. Hopefully you will find my thoughts to be interesting and worthy of your time!

One of the reasons why I stopped blogging was because I felt really stupid that I had no idea how to upload a picture to a blog, and who doesn't want to read a blog with a bunch of cool pics? Well, here is my attempt to upload a picture:

This is a picture of me celebrating the fact that I finally know how to upload pictures to a blog ;)

So A LOT has changed since the last time I blogged. I finally got my Masters degree, bought a house, got married, and started a new job as a College Counselor, all in that order. Hopefully more exciting things to come this year, like babies!!! No friends, I'm not pregnant yet, but I'll definitely keep you posted.

Well I'll keep this one short. One of the things I hope to do with this blog is reviews of all sorts of things, since I'm very picky. I'm still on a search for the perfect skincare line, church, yoga class, TV shows, etc. Come along with me on this blogging journey! Stay tuned!

Sunday, April 24, 2011

It's Crunch Time All Around!

The count down is here! I can't believe that I might actually be finished with grad school soon! All of my assignments are due in exactly one week, and then I will be free of school! I can't wait!!!

So for those of you who may not know, I am in graduate school getting a Masters degree in School Guidance and Counseling. I hope to eventually be a guidance counselor back in the school system. This degree has been a long time coming. I should have been done with it probably at least a year ago, but, you know, life happens. Well now it should become a reality really, really soon.

The coursework is done for the worst class I've ever taken (Educational Research), the only thing left for that class is the final exam, which is open book. Mostly what I have left to complete are all of the assignments pertaining to my internship. I've really got to focus and knock that out this week. Unfortunately it is also crunch time at work with us about to wrap up the year with our Senior Celebration banquet, so I'm really busy all around. There's really nothing to say about that except get er done!

On another note, I've also been feeling a little bit of crunch time with the whole having a baby situation. Now that I am getting married and about to be 30, I feel like it's time to seriously start thinking about having kids, but I must admit, the thought makes me panic a bit. I'm just really nervous for all of the things I will have to give up, like vacations, spending money, sleep. I know people say you get so much more in return when you have a baby, but I can't see that yet. It's putting me in this panic mode of all of the things I need to do and places I need to go before I have kids, which means that 2011 is going to be a jam packed year if I'm to check everything off of that list.

I feel really crazy for thinking this way, and I know life does not end when you have kids, but some aspects of your life do change (if not end), and I'm just scared that I am not ready for that. Plus, I am really not looking forward to giving birth. Just thinking about it gives me an anxiety attack.

I must admit though, it will be nice to have play dates with my friends who already have kids. Also, I really don't want to be the 35 year old mom whose kids' friends' moms are all 10 years younger than me. I know I'm going to have to have those babies soon, I just hope I can stop freaking out about it. My friends The Gepperts are a good model for the fact that you can still be active with a baby. Their little one has probably traveled more than I have and she is almost 2, so I guess it is possible to have a baby and still travel, which does give me some relief. I guess that's why they make those Baby Bjorn carriers!

OK, well back to work. I hope everyone had a great Easter today. Easter is my favorite religious holiday, yes, even before Christmas, so Happy Easter everyone! Hopefully the next blog I write will be in celebration of my new degree!

Saturday, April 2, 2011

I'm baaaaaack!

It has been a little over a year since I last blogged up something. My dear friend Sarah has requested that I return to the blog, and I'm thinking, why the heck not? Lord knows I have an abundance of topics to blog about this year. One thing I need to learn though is how to post some pics so that my blog will be visually interesting as well. I'll work on it. A new camera might be in order ;)

So big news that I'm sure everyone who reads this blog already knows anyways is that I am engaged to be married on 9/10/11, and what a roller coaster ride wedding planning has been so far! As some of you might know, I can't make up my mind for crap. Calling me indecisive is an understatement. This wedding's location has probably changed more than I've changed my socks.

Here were some of the options being considered:
1.) In Tampa on a dinner yacht
2.) On a cruise ship
3.) In Key West on the beach
4.) Turn the honeymoon into a weddingmoon at Sandals in Negril
5.) In Vegas at the Valley of Fire State Park

And where am I ending up having it? At The Lakehouse at Avondale in ATLANTA! Ugh. If you can't tell from the above list, I really, really wanted to get away. To go somewhere, anywhere! Well, that's not happening, and for reasons I'd rather not broadcast on a blog, but maybe, despite all the STRESSFUL wedding planning, it will be good to have the wedding here. Let's focus on the positives:

1.) More people will be able to attend
2.) I'll get to have a first dance
3.) I'll get to shake my booty to a setlist that I picked out with a DJ
4.) I can have the photobooth I've always wanted
5.) Hopefully my photography will be of better quality than a destination location photographer

OK, that's the best I can do for now. Unfortunately though, because I was last planning on going to Vegas and had put down a deposit, I am now losing my deposit plus I am technically behind on the wedding to-do list timeline. That does not help when trying to book vendors, especially when you are having a Saturday wedding, in the fall, on a date like 9/10/11, in Atlanta. Boo! At least I got a venue.

Besides the wedding planning, the other major stressor in my life is my masters degree program. I have been working on this degree for way too long and it's about time I receive it. Right now I am in my (hopefully) last class and I should (hopefully) be finished by May. With that being said, I am grounding myself on the weekends in April till I get this work done, which really sucks. I want to go outside and play! I have to keep thinking, "get the degree, make more money, get the degree, make more money". I've never been good with long term gratification though.

With that being said, I am clearly procrastinating getting school work done while writing this blog, so I better wrap it up for now. I'll be back soon though! Follow me!

Friday, March 26, 2010

It's Friday! It's Friday! And I Finally Wrote a Blog Today!

OK, so my infamous habit of neglecting things that I've started has kicked in with my blog, as you can see from the length of time between blog posts. How am I ever going to be scouted by a publisher to write a book of witty memoirs if I can't even keep up with my blog? I could write a book about procrastination. I am a leading expert in this field. I'll get started working on it.... tomorrow. HAHA, cheesy procrastination joke.

So today I was thinking about my 40 by 40 list and I was really starting to feel overwhelmed. Everything on that list is totally stuff that I want to do, but I'm beginning to worry that I might not have the time nor the money to complete all of that stuff by the time I'm 40. I know that's at least 12 years (OK, 11 1/2, I'll give you that) away, but still, I'm hoping that I don't set myself up for failure with this list. I really want to see something through, for once in my life. I am such a wishy washy Gemini.

Last week I was supposed to be in Miami visiting my BFF, and it would have been a great opportunity to check off the list item of riding on an air boat ride in the Everglades, but noooooo, I had to get sick and cancel my trip. UGH! UGH! UGH! This is the second time in the past 6 months where fate has ruined my travel plans around a fun holiday. I was supposed to go to Savannah for Halloween with the boyfriend, but then we both ended up with the flu. This time I was supposed to be drinking green beer in Miami, but my stomach had other plans instead. Thanks, fate. I like to think that maybe I was spared from some near death experience by not going on these trips, although really, that doesn't make me feel any better, it just makes me feel paranoid. No more Final Destination movies for me, please!

There is another side list that I have been playing around with in my head. I know, I know, I haven't checked one thing off of the first list yet, but this list I feel really confident about. This new list would be more of a short term project, while the 40 by 40 list is more long term. Besides, starting things is what I do best. Finishing, well, that's another story.

So what is this second list, you might ask? This list will consist of the things that I want to do around the Great State of Georgia. There are so many places in Georgia that I want to see and activities that I want to do, so I thought I'd make a side list. You'll see what I mean when I post the list in my blog. Stay tuned....

Thursday, March 11, 2010

40 Things To Do By 40!

Recently I read a chick-lit fiction book called "The Next Thing On My List" by Jill Smolinski. Great chick lit book, I highly recommend it, if you're into that sort of thing. The gist of the story is that the main character gets into a car accident and her passenger dies. The main character ends up finding a list in the girl's purse of 25 things she wanted to do before she turned 25. The main character feels horrible about this girl's death from a car accident where she was the driver (even though the accident wasn't her fault), so she decides to complete the activities on the list for the girl before it would have been her 25th birthday. Great story, so good, in fact, that I am inspired to write my own list.

So clearly 25 things by 25 isn't going to work, since I'd be almost 4 years late on that, and 30 by 30 wouldn't work cause I don't know that I could get 30 major life goals down in a year and a half, so my goal is 40 things by the time I turn 40. 40 is such a major milestone, why not set it as my deadline. Then maybe I can start a new list when I am 40.

OK so I couldn't come up with 40 things right now. All I got up to was 30, but never fear, I will come back with 10 more things later, but let me throw these 30 things out there for now, in no particular order:

1.) Get married
2.) Still be married to the same person
3.) Have at least 1 kid
4.) Buy a house
5.) Finish my master's degree

OK so that is all the boring milestone stuff out of the way that everybody does. Here are the things more specific to Michelle Duquette:

6.) Ride in a hot air ballon
7.) Go to Vegas (no, I've never been)
8.) Go on an air boat ride in the Everglades
9.) Take fiddle lessons (I'm so serious, bluegrass rocks)
10.) FINISH a knitting project that is more complicated than a scarf, i.e. hat, sweater, something with a little challenge to it, and finish be the key word

11.) Walk a half marathon. (Yes walk, not run. I don't believe in running unless I am in fear of my life. I have bad knees)
12.) Be a weekly regular at a yoga class
13.) Go anywhere in Europe. (I've been to the U.K., but there is still so much to see!)
14.) Go to Seattle
15.) See the Grand Canyon

Now I could easily turn this into a list of 40 places to see before 40, but I'm trying not to make this too much of a travel list, so I am trying not to fill it all up with destinations. I also don't know how much money I'll be making, so I might have to save most of the international destinations for after 40.

16.) Hike part of the Appalachian Trail. ( I used to want to do the whole thing but I think that's a bit to ambitious for me now. Let's start with baby steps)
17.) Hike to Len Foote Inn (This is an inn in Georgia where the only way to get to it is by hiking to it, no driving)
18.) Participate in Relay for Life (anyone want to join me next year?)
19.) Own an English bulldog (this has nothing to do with a UGA obsession)
20.) Go to wine tastings in Napa Valley

21.) Learn to swing dance
22.) Try tap dancing
23.) See Niagara Falls
24.) See the St. Louis Arch
25.) Drive down the infamous Route 66 that you see in movies around the desert part

26.) Go skiing
27.) Go snow tubing
28.) Throw an '80's costume party
29.) See a concert at the Red Rocks Amphitheater
30.) See a Sublime cover band concert

OK so I thought of 6 more while I was typing

31.) Go to Costa Rica
32.) Take a surfing lesson
33.) Go to the Chateau Ste. Michelle winery in Washington State ( cause it's named after me)
34.) Go camping at a beach
35.) See a Redwood tree (you know, those huge ass trees)
36.) Ride in a helicopter (I'm pretty sure I've never done this)

I really want to finish this list now at 40, so screw it, I might have to add some more traveling items

37.) Go to Philadelphia
38.) Take a random, unplanned road trip to nowhere and back
39.) Visit every Georgia State Park once (crap, there's a lot of them, but I've already started)
40.) Be living a life that I would be proud of and doing my best (hard, and maybe a little cheesy, but probably the most important)

OK so that's that. I have 12 years (AGH, only 12?!) to complete these items. I'll try my best to get them done by 40, but I'll forgive myself if I can't get to everything by then.

I know one goal I'm going to set for after 40, buy an RV! I so want one of those, but my husband will have to do most of the driving till I stop being too chicken to drive it!

So let me know what ya'll think, and count this as your invitation to join me on any of these adventures!

Monday, March 1, 2010

Chips Please

OK, so I have stuff to say, but it's all pretty random. Just bare with me.

First off, even though I am a wishy washy Catholic these days, old habits die hard, and I can't resist the "fun" of giving up something for lent. Giving up something for lent is a tricky thing. I am of the opinion that whatever you give up should not be a bad habit, because you should be trying to give that up anyways regardless of lent. I think it should be something that you really like and that will be a hard thing to sacrifice, but not necessarily something that's bad for you, like cigarettes or crack.

Well, I am a salt food junkie. You can keep your cakes and cookies, but I will tear into a bag of salty potato chip goodness like it was the last edible thing on earth. Hence, that is what I will be giving up for lent. Good bye sun chips, cheese puffs, baked lays, smart food (white cheddar popcorn), etc.

Let me just say that this is going to be a lot tougher than I thought. The first day I decided to give up chips, I went to the cafe for lunch and got the meal deal. Of course that comes with chips, and nooooo, I can't substitute with a stupid fruit cup because fruit is more money. Way to promote healthy eating by charging extra! I had to force myself to pay an extra $2 to eat a bunch of crappy melons while staring at the bag of sun chips that I couldn't eat, but hell if I wasn't still taking them since I paid for them. They ended up being donated to a hungry co-worker.

I am determined to see this through. Hell, maybe it will help me get a teeny bit tinier around the waistline. I hope that the Easter bunny will leave me chips in my basket on Easter morning.

OK, so I don't want to make my blogs too long, but I just want to give a big middle finger to Chilli's and The Body Shop at Perimeter Mall.

I am mad at Chili's cause ever since I was in high school I've been ordering the same thing off of their menu, the classic nachos. Chili's had the best nacho situation in town because they laid out all of the chips and made sure that each one had an even amount of cheese and beans. It wasn't just some mountain of chips thrown on a plate, it was the perfect set-up.

Well, I went in there not that long ago to find that they changed the cheese to some crazy cheese and added something else that I was not interested in, but the server said I could still get it the classic way. Thank God! (I am a creature of habit at certain restaurants, and Chili's is one of them.)

So a couple of Fridays ago I went in there and they changed it again, and this time with no beans, and no more requesting it the classic way. I hate you, Chili's! Why did you have to go and mess with a good thing? I also thought it was rather ironic that the manager, who went around to everyone else's table, didn't come by ours to ask how it was. Oh man, he better thank his lucky stars cause he would have heard it from me. I've had a relationship with those classic nachos since I was 16 years old! They've been there for me longer than all of my boyfriends! See how much a love salty foods? Why must I be deprived! Out of protest, I ordered a fajita and have refused to go back to Chili's, at least till I decide I'm in the mood for Chili's, but it won't be the same!

OK so I will save The Body Shop Rant for another time. That is a whole other bitch fest!

Despite my lack of salty, cheesy snacks, life is good!