The moment I accepted my life was a beautiful, chaotic, sometimes a little-messy-but-always-entertaining circus was the moment I felt a true release.

There's no sense in fighting the madness, but I've picked up a few tricks to keep the show going along the way.

I hope they work as well for you as they have [and still do] for me.

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Tuesday Jams – Cake by the Ocean

Tuesday Jams – Cake by the Ocean

MBC_My Year of ACTION_Feature Image - tuesday jams 2

This song just puts me in a damn good mood. It’s so much fun to sing and I love it when it comes on my playlist during class. Maybe I’m a bit biased because I do live by the Ocean, but it’s a solid jam. Enjoy..

Warning: Explicit lyrics. Ridiculous video.

Trouble viewing this video? Watch here.

Dance on, Campers!

Jennie B

Good things happen on Tuesdays. – Sista Sista, Jessica

power of the ocean.

On January 31, 2015 this happened…..

blue gorialla tattoo

In the spirit of Don’t Just Stand There, I took action on something I’ve been contemplating for months on end.  I got a tattoo.  Below is a picture of just one day after I got it done and one month after I got it done ~

tattoo day after and month after

It’s white ink and located between my wrist and my elbow on my left arm.  The guys at Blue Gorilla here in Charleston were very upfront on how much it would fade over time, which I assured them was exactly what I had wanted to happen.  I wanted a subtle note – a reminder for myself – and the crazy part is if you’re standing just 2 feet away and don’t know it’s there, you can’t see anything.  I could not be more pleased with the outcome, and I can always go back down the road for a touch up.

A lot of people ask me what the word kaimana means.  It’s the Hawaiian term meaning Power of the Ocean. *It also means diamond, but that’s a total side note.  I’ve wanted a tattoo for quite some time, but knew I wanted it to really mean something to me.  Initially I had thought the word love, but when it came down to it I wanted something a little more.  Last Fall I started a random search for terms related to two of my favorite things: the ocean and elephants.  And that is when I cam across kaimana. Without a shadow of a doubt, I knew it was perfect for my first tattoo.

I have a vast appreciation for the Ocean that I can’t quite explain.  It’s filled with endless beauty and power.  It builds and destroys.  It’s home to some of the greatest ecosystems and creatures on the planet.  It inspires and erases.  Having the best of times, it is a place of celebration.  During the worst of times, it reminds you how small your troubles are, like tiny grains of sand, or that this too shall pass like the waves crashing on the shore.  That is why I chose this word  It’s what launched this 8 year journey in this city by the sea. The power of the ocean brought me here.

I’m fortunate enough to be a stone’s throw and 20 minute drive from the Ocean.  Luckily, though, when schedules prevent me from making the quick trip to the edge of America, I can always glance down and be reminded that even when the circus is out of whack and up to it’s crazy tricks again, these moments are fleeting and I’m just one small piece of an entirely larger puzzle.

So hows’t that for taking action?

Don’t Just Stand There, do something!

Until next time, xxo

jennie b

sassy starter : pablo neruda

{ sharing my favorite poem by Pablo Neruda to start off a new week }

Wind on the Island
By Pablo Neruda

The wind is a horse:
hear how he runs
through the sea, through the sky.

He wants to take me: listen
how he roves the world
to take me far away.

Hide me in your arms
just for this night,
while the rain breaks
against sea and earth
its innumerable mouth.

Listen how the wind
calls to me galloping
to take me far away.

With your brow on my brow,
with your mouth on my mouth,
our bodies tied
to the love that consumes us,
let the wind pass
and not take me away.

Let the wind rush
crowned with foam,
let it call to me and seek me
galloping in the shadow,
while I, sunk
beneath your big eyes,
just for this night
shall rest, my love.


When you need a little more than a smile or a cup of tea to get your week in motion, the Sassy Starter will be here every Monday to get your wheels turnin’ in a classy – sassy – fabulous sort of way.

In the wave-strike over unquiet stones

In the wave-strike over unquiet stones
the brightness bursts and bears the rose
and the ring of water contracts to a cluster
to one drop of azure brine that falls.
O magnolia radiance breaking in spume,
magnetic voyager whose death flowers
and returns, eternal, to being and nothingness:
shattered brine, dazzling leap of the ocean.
Merged, you and I, my love, seal the silence
while the sea destroys its continual forms,
collapses its turrets of wildness and whiteness,
because in the weft of those unseen garments
of headlong water, and perpetual sand,
we bear the sole, relentless tenderness.

-Pablo Neruda

sassy starter : farewell sweet summer

Summer afternoon, summer afternoon; to me those have always been the two most beautiful words in the English language

– Henry James



Labor Day in the U.S. generally marks the end of Summer. And while the salt never leaves the air in this city by the sea, and the beaches are always welcoming me, I can’t help but feel a ping of sadness as this season comes to a close. This Summer has been quite the memorable one. I must say, I believe I quite readily agree with Mr. James. Summer Afternoon might be one of the most lovely phrases ever uttered. If not for it’s sheer implications, but for it’s power to evoke memories of late nights, lots of laughter, too much bubbly, being silly, being scandalous, being care free, and feeling absolutely 100% alive.

But alas – it’s time to pack those sweet, sultry memories in a box as Fall will soon be sweeping in with many a change in store. Before you know it we will be welcoming Winter’s arrival and the Holiday Season. And so, dear sweet Summer Afternoons, I bid you adieu until we meet again. Thank you for another wonderful season, and all the memories that came along with it.


When you need a little more than a smile or a cup of tea to get your week in motion, the Sassy Starter will be here every Monday to get your wheels turnin’ in a classy – sassy – fabulous sort of way.

e.a. poe

A Dream Within A Dream 

by Edgar Allan Poe

Take this kiss upon the brow!
 And, in parting from you now,
 Thus much let me avow--
 You are not wrong, who deem
 That my days have been a dream;
 Yet if hope has flown away
 In a night, or in a day,
 In a vision, or in none,
 Is it therefore the less gone?
 All that we see or seem
 Is but a dream within a dream.
I stand amid the roar
 Of a surf-tormented shore,
 And I hold within my hand
 Grains of the golden sand--
 How few! yet how they creep
 Through my fingers to the deep,
 While I weep--while I weep!
 O God! can I not grasp
 Them with a tighter clasp?
 O God! can I not save
 One from the pitiless wave?
 Is all that we see or seem
 But a dream within a dream?

how i got to where i’m at [part 2]

.. the continuation of  part 1  ..

Have you ever had one of those nights where you just went out like a champ? I mean like you really thought you were a Rock Star. I was so tired of being worried and confused, all it took was a little “Come on J – it’ll be like old times – before all the grown up stuff got in the way.” and I was dressed, out the door & on my way to the Square.

Needless to say – that night I did forget all my worries. And a couple of other things while I was at it. And I ended up being taken home & put to bed by my dear friend, AJ, at 4:30 that morning. Now I tell you all of this because of the following: Two hours later, at approximately 6:30 a.m., I sat straight up in my bed, wide awake. My mind was [surprisingly] clear and there was only one thought – one word – on it.


That’s it. Nothing else. Just Charleston. Charleston, South Carolina. Charlestowne. CHAAAAAARLESTON. I sat in bed thinking:

  • A. How am I even functioning right now?
  • B. How had I not thought about Charleston before?
  • C. There’s a reason this is happening – one of those intuition / may not know why just yet but you better pay attention to it types of reasons.

I had been to Charleston when I was in the 2nd grade on a family visit. We went to Fort Sumter. I didn’t remembered anything about the area except for a picture taken of me here. I had pigtails and I was laughing. Minus the fact that the only person I knew who lived in Charleston was only nice to me because his parents made him be nice to me, I figured if push came to shove, I could call – even if we didn’t exactly get along. Those two things mixed with the intensity of concentrated feeling I had felt that morning all seemed like a pretty solid foundation to me. 

The process began again all over again. In May I flew out for interviews and to get reacquainted with the area. I was hell-bent on doing it by myself (just as I had in Miami) so I flew in, rented a car, and got a room in a hotel close to the airport. *I’m not even going to say what hotel I stayed at, but I will say – it was a miracle I wasn’t scared away by staying there. I had two interviews at a large resort in the area (which will remain nameless as well) that both went very well and two more that sounded quite hopeful. Overall,

It was an incredible trip for me. I had found it. I had found the place I was destined to move. There was a reason I woke up with Charleston on my mind that one fateful morning, and this was it!

About mid-July, the large resort where I had a prospective job stopped returning my calls and emails. The other two hopefuls had been filled as my moving date had been pushed back a month. So pretty much: I had no job prospect nor did I have a place to live. awesome. Regardless, I was going to make this happen. I just was. Thankfully I had money saved up from the wreck I told you about in part 1 — I guess things really do happen for a reason — so I sat down to have a talk with my Father about the most reasonable / least reckless way to make this situation work.

Together we came upon the decision that I would drive out to Charleston, stay in an extended stay hotel (cheaper rates for longer stays) for two weeks. If I found a job, I could find a place to live. If not, I get back in my truck, drive back home to West Tennessee, regroup and go from there. That seemed like a logical idea to me. Still rather reckless but at least a bit conscious of my resources.

And so I packed up my beat up old SUV and hit the road. I didn’t have a GPS or smart phone or even MapQuest directions. I had a good ol’ Rand McNally Atlas and simply knew there were a few major cities I had to hit. I arrived in Charleston on July 31 and went straight to my extended stay hotel. It had been a long drive and I had to hit the streets hard starting early that next morning.

The first couple of days are all a blur. On day 2 I ended up in a place called Folly Beach when I was trying to get to an area called West Ashley. No bueno. The realization of moving to a place all alone was starting to set in around Day 4. Luckily the staff and most of the residents at the extended stay suites soon became my impromptu support system. When I would return in the evenings I would be asked by everyone how the day went and when I left in the mornings I was sent off by high fives and good lucks. They even helped on the job hunt, asking around for whatever was available in the area. It was amazing having that unexpected support.

In summary: I did find a job that first week I was there. On Day 5 I was offered a job with the company I still currently work for. (I started on Monday, Day 8.) And you know what that meant …. I could then find a place to live! So the second week was spent seeking out different rooms for rent (Craigslist = the for Roommates) until finally landing one on that Thursday. Score!

I took my time moving things out of my hotel that weekend. It was bittersweet. Those were two fairly pivotal weeks in my life, and even though I was incredibly excited for all that sat before me, I was a little sad to leave my new-found support system that helped me get to this point. I did it. I really really did it. I drove out here with only enough things to last me for two weeks, with no job, no place to live, no real friends, and somehow …. in some crazy mystical way …. it all worked out. There really was a reason I woke up at 6:30 that morning. And this was it. Right here. Right in this city by the sea.

This city by the sea that 4 years later ….. I still call home.



how i got to where i’m at [part 1]


This city by the sea wasn’t my first choice, ya know. It’s actually a little off beat how I landed here. Some people think the story is fun and exciting, others find it crazy / borderline irresponsible. At the time I was with the fun and exciting crowd, however looking back I understand the crazy / borderline irresponsible point of view. But alas- here is where I landed and here is where I still am today. Curious as to how I got here? Well, let me tell you a little story about that …..

It all started the summer before my 5th year of college [yes, it took me 5 years to graduate – back off]. Of course I had no clue what I wanted to do with my life, but I knew one thing for sure: I wanted to live by the Ocean. I’d always wanted to live by the Ocean. I also wanted something different. Something pushing the limits of my comfort zone. Throw all of that into a hat and the only reasonable location presented itself: Hawaii. (North Shore, Oahu, to be exact.)

I started buying books about Hawaii – a place I’d never even been- and doing copious amounts of research online. My family knew my plan and I had began contacting resorts in the area to let them know Jennie B was on her way. Then I got the call from my Father. They had found the cancer in his body. Hawaii was no longer an option. There was no way I was going to put an entire Ocean and half the country between me and my Father. *and I’m so very grateful I made this decision.

The last half of 2006 went by in a blur. Hawaii was no more, my Father was going through chemotherapy, and I somehow ended up being the meat of a three car sandwich – which caused me to have surgery to have my nose put back in the middle of my face. I was exhausted and I was running out of time. I had no idea where the wind was going to take me, and so I researched a little here and there and as Winter started to arrive in the deep south, I began to settle on a new destination: MIAMI!!!!!!!! …. go ahead & say it with me now: ¡ Bienvenidos a Miami …. ay ay ayyy!

 A new plan of attack was launched. I spent the first few months of 2007 filling out countless job applications, sending resumes, contacting hotels, resorts (I was focusing on high-end Customer Relations / Spa management.) and pretty much anything else that sounded remotely interesting. By the time March arrived, I had 7 interviews lined up at various resorts, and a few other places, for the week of my Spring Break. *Yes, I spent my last official Spring Break job hunting – in Miami – but job hunting, none the less. To say I was nervous is a gross understatement. These were legitimate “big girl” jobs in a huge city, and here I was a small-town country girl, so far beyond out of my league at that moment in time, trying to take that next step. I needed to make something big happen. I really really needed it. And well, something(s) happened all right …..

  • I had a serious panic attack when I got off the plane in Miami. (In my rental car, I quickly popped in my Carly Simon’s Greatest Hits cd I’d brought for back up and turned it to the ultimate Working Girl song: Let the River Run. *If Tess McGill could pull it off – I could too!)
  • My interviews ranged all across the board from good to bad.
  • I got lost more times than I can count.
  • I was reminded countless times that I don’t speak proper Spanish. (That was a big black mark on my applications.)
  • I was offered 2 different jobs.
  • I was told to contact 2 more when I moved there.
  • I fell even more in love with the city in my time spent wandering around.
  • I was able to spend time with my Uncle and Aunt who lived in Ft. Lauderdale at the time.
  • I didn’t get upset in any interviews – not even the worst one (which was the last one) when the guy basically insinuated I was a moron because I grew up in a small, country town, and that high end guests wouldn’t appreciate such a strong, distinctive accent. (RUDE.)
  • But then came the icing on the cake: after my last (and worst) interview, I got lost for 1 1/2 hours in the not so great part of Little Havanna.

By the time I got back to my hotel, I was done. The city I loved had officially kicked my ass and I had learned whatever lesson it had set out to teach me. I wasn’t ready. It was too big of a leap for me to go from where I was, straight to Miami. As much as I loved the city – the vibe – the culture – everything – I just wasn’t ready for that big of a move.

I returned from my Spring Break with a wealth of knowledge under my belt. I had survived not only the city, the reality check, but also my first round of  “grown up” interviews. I was proud of myself for all of that. But at the same time, I was more lost, confused, and under time-sensitive pressure than before I’d left. This time I really had NO clue what to do, where I was going to live, nothing. I’d already put so much into my first two choices that had completely bombed ….. I was nervous to even pick a new destination.

After a month of sheer confusion, worry, and doubt of my future, one fateful night in late April I did the only thing which seemed practical at the time. I caved at the request of friends, threw all worries to the wind, and I went out …… and I went out like a champ …….

{ to be continued }

[source, source, source]