as straightforward life, love, and world can get

Mint Lemon Ice Sticks

It’s that time of the year again. Time to fancy up your water for those incredible summertime outdoor get-togethers! I recently made some mint lemon ice sticks using an ice stick tray. Easy, refreshing, and oooh… So Fancy!

mint-lemon-ice-sticksAdd mint leaves, tiny lemon slices, and water into the ice tray mold. Freeze and enjoy. Imagine all the yummy refreshing combos you can make!

mint lemon ice sticks3Using them as stirring sticks is such a fun way to enjoy your water or with any other ice-dependent drinks.

mint lemon ice sticks2mint lemon ice sticks4And when the ice sticks melt, your water will still be prettily infused.

Have a great Tuesday!

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Black Swans: Foresight is 20/20

In an intelligence course last year, we studied the phenomena known as “Back Swans” 

Black Swan: You can’t conceive that something exists until you see it.

  •  Cannot be predicted from traditional analytical means 
  • Has to have very high impact
  • Only After a Black Swan happens, can it an explanation for why it occurs fit into mental model

Essentially, Black Swans are an event that is such an outlier from what would fit our normal patterns of thinking and processing that we ignore all the warning signs. While this was applied to the relationship intelligence institutions and governments have with intel information, I have recently been thinking about Black Swan phenomenas on the micro-level. 

Black Sawns are thought of as a game-chaning event you didn’t see coming. You couldn’t see coming. You were not ready to see it. It didn’t fit in the patterns you were used to looking for. Now, for financial institutions, governments and the intelligence community these occurrences are  product of a systematic blind eye turned to red flags. But what about the red flags we ignore everyday? When we set our own course for success and failure in relationships, we tend to kick ourselves when a Black Swan appears in our own lives.  You know how shocked you are when you found out your close friend was against you for months, your boyfriend has been cheating, the coworker that stole your ideas. How do we wake up to these Black Swans? 

Am I lying to myself?

There is nothing easier than to say: “It’s all in my head”

Especially, when it’s a tough reality to face lying to ourselves is the fastest way soothe worries. Listen to your gut, intuition, and instincts. If you are dealing with a deceptive person, a good one anyway, it might make sense to place the blame on your mind or emotional feelings. Fight the urge to suppress your voice of reason. If you suspect something, resist the urge to label yourself as crazy. Chances are, you might be on to something.

Am I making excuses for them?

I find myself doing this one a lot. A girlfriend will point out something off about a person I care about, and my first reaction is to go on the defensive for them. Without realizing it, I’ll defend this persons’ thoughts, feelings, and motives. You might have information your girlfriend doesn’t and she might be wrong. But her head isn’t clouded by the relationship you have to this person. She might just have a point. If someone points out a negative trait,  before going to bat for the person in question, put a check on your perspective. Seeing from someone else’s point of view can be a refreshing look at what is really going on. I will stop defending people to my friends who don’t make a strong case for themselves. Justifying someone’s actions isn’t your job, it’s theirs.


Am I sacrificing too much? 

Do I spend more time and energy making this person happier than myself?

Being selfless isn’t a bad thing, but losing sight of your own goals, and personal characteristics is never a good path to go down. If it is a friend that is too needy or a relationship that is changing you, stop and ask yourself why? Do I actually enjoy this dynamic or am I doing more to sustain this relationship for the sake of the relationship? When it is all said and done, and people leave your life make sure they don’t take the foundation along with them. Staying true to yourself will help you be more successful in and out of personal relationships.

Keep your bullshit meter finely tuned and these red flags will not go undetected. Black Swans are not inevitable, they are the product of a conscious choice to ignore and distort the information around you. 



Redecorating Scrap Book:

ImageSleek lines, sea creatures on the pillows for a pop of color, and a few modern but classic furnishings makes this theme seamlessly tasteful.

Worst of Political Polls:

#3 HuffPost – You tried. You failed.

ImageImagine a voter whose ‘single issue’ is a ban on high capacity-magazine clips for ammunition.  Ok, now that we are done living in that post-apocalyptic dystopia, let’s talk about the poll.  

1. The question behind this question: do you care more about people having bullets for assault weapons more than party lines/platforms/other political issues? 

You don’t. So shall we move on?

2. Assault weapons ban, and gun control are still along party lines, and assault weapons are 100% legal.

If you are interested in gun control, or at least a ban on assault weapons, how does opposing something without support ever get anything done in congress? Did you see how the ban on assault weapons bill failed?

The weapon is still around, and not going anywhere any time soon. It has no Republican support. Empty rhetoric about the bullets, clips, and magizines won’t make a registered Democrat vote Republican, sorry.

3. Are we talking Congressional election, Senate race, Presidential?

This is crucial and not even mentioned. How am I supposed to imagine this election when you won’t tell me in what context– Local, State, or National?

Let’s go with local: Congress might matter more to a voter since it is local and changes your home district- Hands down, Congress would be the most entertaining debate. Imagine a Republican opposing assault weapon ammunition against the whole entire party. That’s social suicide. Who will he/she eat with in the congressional cafeteria? How will they raise money for reelection? What about the lobbyists? No one, nothing, and the NRA will team up with CrossRoads and the Tea Party candidate to take them down. If Majority Whip Kevin McCarthy is anything like Frank Underwood, he’ll strangle that poor guy with his bare hands, like a dog hit by car, to put him out of his misery.

#2 Politico- Filler Poll or Slow News Day?

Explanation not needed. This is probably the most useless data gathering and sorriest excuse for a public opinion poll. Sorry I can’t refund your 20 seconds. – Winner of the WTF Award

Not a poll, but this ad on is too good in the worst way.

This organization “asks students to classify themselves according to the four-fold ideology typology”

The Self-Test that requires students to answer twenty questions—drawn from national surveys—which are equally divided between the conflict of individual freedom vs. social order, and the conflict of individual freedom vs. social equality. Based on their responses, students are classified into one of four ideological types. Their ideological scores are then compared with the scores for the public’s responses to the same twenty questions.

At the end of the quiz you find if you are a young Reagan or Lenin, how disturbing.