Number One Thing that Living in Bermuda has Made Me Appreciate About The United States - Dana Chirps

I've been living in Bermuda since mid-March, and feel unbelievably blessed and privileged to get to experience something so extraordinary. It hasn't always been easy (despite what my Instagram depicts), and has been a massive adjustment coming from South Florida. But nevertheless, it's predominantly been an inspiring, thought-provoking, and delightful experience. Living on a teeny (20 square miles!) island has certainly made me acknowledge and appreciate certain things in America that I unintentionally took for granted. So I thought for this year's Independence Day, I'd share with you what I've learned to appreciate about The United States since moving to Bermuda. (Bermuda friends, there will be a post about what I love about Bermuda in comparison to the US coming up. I don't want you all to think I'm hating, I love this island. Every place has their pluses and minuses.)

The number one thing that living in Bermuda has made me appreciate about The United States is the size of the USA. I used to see it as a hinderance, and often wish states operated independently, as their own little countries - much like Europe. I am now undecided as far as that goes. But the biggest mental shift I've made since moving to BDA, is identifying the advantages of being from a massive country...

Cost of living. You can live, do, eat, and drink SO MUCH for relatively SO LITTLE in the US. Most of everything here in Bermuda is imported, so things like groceries are way more expensive. Cars, even old ones, are expensive. Renting is pricy due to the fact that the demand largely exceeds the supply. A gym membership (decent, no-frills type of gym) is about $200 per month. Thank heavens the beach is free. 

Education. Many locals here have to leave the island to get their college education. The wealthier families send their kids to boarding schools in the North East during grade school. I'm not saying the education is bad, I honestly haven't looked deeply into it. But I have noted that trend in conversations with local Bermudians and other expats.

Traveling. As Americans, we can travel into any and every state whenever we please. Each state has its own unique flair, and most people go their whole lives without seeing all 50 because the country is just so massive, and also due to time and money constraints. But the fact we have free access to every state is amazing. I think Americans (even myself at times) forget that our own country is so worthy of traveling. 

But it's not the actual size of the US that propels this, it's the amount of choices we have in America. More land, more people, more innovative and creative minds, more education, more businesses, more restaurants, more job opportunities, more everything. The fact we can choose from so many options of everything is INCREDIBLE. How blessed I was to be able to pick up and move to South Florida (for no other reason than I liked it), choose from a multitude of paths career-wise, and then successfully pursue the career of choice, eat delectable (and affordable) healthy food for lunch, go to a boutique gym with bells and whistles, and then choose from about 30 nearby places (no exaggeration) for a swanky dinner with cocktails... all while living comfortably (3 blocks from the beach), and still having enough to put aside like the responsible adult I attempt to be on occasion. Albeit unintentionally, I took this all for granted while living stateside. Obviously, I've since reflected and have found the vast variety of options in the US to be such an empowering, and invigorating thing to think about. It's truly a country where you can do anything, and how lucky I am to get to call this country home. 

Happy Independence Day! And a sincere thank you to our military (and their families) who serve our country. We would be nothing without you.

 

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Dana Podgurski

Hi everyone! I'm Dana Podgurski! 

I'm a foot in the mouth, tongue in cheek, head in the clouds, and heart on the sleeve kind of gal. I live for new experiences, but am a total sucker for nostalgia at the same time. I'm tough as nails, but am a complete softie for all things kids and animal related. I fly by the seat of my pants, and live for adventure. But I firmly believe that adventure is a mindset that one's self determines.

For work, I am a marketer through and through. Bringing brands to life, and content marketing are passions of mine. Many would consider what I do as nerdy, but I seriously dig it. I have been doing marketing contract work for years, and appreciate the variety it brings, and the relationships I've developed with my clients. To check out my work portfolio, or if you're interested in a partnership, click here.

For fun I love to create - writing/blogging, photography, and painting are my main three mediums of doing so. Feeling good and healthy is also high on my list, as it really lends itself to making everything more enjoyable. So I maintain a very active lifestyle, eat pretty healthy, and am outdoors as much as I can be. And if my blog didn't make it abundantly clear, I absolutely LOVE to travel. I spend any extra money I have on plane tickets, and feel so fortunate to have been to several amazing destinations both domestically and internationally. There's nothing more fulfilling than coming home from a trip and adding a been-there-pin to my map.

Surviving No Speak Week - Dana Chirps

It's been quite an interesting week or so. The surgery I had on my vocal chords was (as predicted) a piece of cake. It was way harder to not talk for a week than it was painful. My forms of communication included but were not limited to: messages on my whiteboard, whistling, clapping, facial expressions, and texting. My whiteboard quickly became an extension of myself. The tricky part was writing/texting fast enough to keep up with the conversations.

Caught in action. 

Going out in public during no speak week was a little nerve wracking. On Christmas Eve I ventured out into the wilderness that is the Short Pump Mall with my best friend, Jay. I received looks of confusion, complete skepticism, and sympathy when salespeople would try to talk to me. Luckily Jay was quick to act as my interpreter and communicator. We also put the whiteboard to good use playing hangman and tic-tac-toe while waiting for gift wrapping. We ended up having a great time finishing our last minute Christmas shopping despite my silence.

On other occasions, I felt embarrassed having to type my thoughts into a phone (those messages usually began with "Forgive me, but I'm unable to speak...) for salespeople to read, or when running into people I knew. But I appreciated it so much when those people didn't make a big deal of it. 

Quiet accomplishments:

  • At home, I was pleasantly impressed with how quickly my parents and brother learned my "whistle language." I felt like R2D2 in human form.
  • I also successfully FaceTimed with my trusty whiteboard which was pretty funny. 
  • Got out of paying a toll (wrong turn) communicating via whiteboard and very desperate facial expressions.

As far as what shows I watched:

  • The OA - This is on Netflix, and just Season 1 is out. Several people recommended this show. It's super weird, a little sinister, and very intriguing - perfect ingredients for a great story if you ask me! But if you ask my mom, she thought the show was weird as hell, and was glad when it was over.
  • Revenge - This is also on Netflix, and is an older series. Totally a chick show with tons of backstabbing and drama - it was as though Perez Hilton wrote the script. There's quite a few theatric "reminders" of why it is a bad idea to lie or cheat on your significant other, ha! My mom and I aggressively plowed through the first season.
  • Movies - I haven't gotten to movies just yet, but someone (thank you SS!) was kind enough to send some for me to watch. But since I can only speak "as needed" for the next week or two - I have a feeling I'll be watching them!

So how about my actual new voice? It's weird to say it's my "new" voice because it's sort of technically my "old" voice. I suppose a more accurate phrase would be my "real voice." I held out until the afternoon of freedom day (the first day I was allowed to talk) because I was nervous by what it would sound like! But it's a lot softer, and higher than the raspy tone I had pre-op! I forgot how girly my voice really is. The quality of my voice will continue to improve over the next couple of weeks as my vocal chords fully heal.

Everyone wanted to know what my first words would be. I'm sure this will shock the grand total of nobody, but those words ended up being, "The Bruins won last night." :)

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Dana Podgurski

Hi everyone! I'm Dana Podgurski! 

I'm a foot in the mouth, tongue in cheek, head in the clouds, and heart on the sleeve kind of gal. I live for new experiences, but am a total sucker for nostalgia at the same time. I'm tough as nails, but am a complete softie for all things kids and animal related. I fly by the seat of my pants, and live for adventure. But I firmly believe that adventure is a mindset that one's self determines.

For work, I am a marketer through and through. Bringing brands to life, and content marketing are passions of mine. Many would consider what I do as nerdy, but I seriously dig it. I have been doing marketing contract work for years, and appreciate the variety it brings, and the relationships I've developed with my clients. To check out my work portfolio, or if you're interested in a partnership, click here.

For fun I love to create - writing/blogging, photography, and painting are my main three mediums of doing so. Feeling good and healthy is also high on my list, as it really lends itself to making everything more enjoyable. So I maintain a very active lifestyle, eat pretty healthy, and am outdoors as much as I can be. And if my blog didn't make it abundantly clear, I absolutely LOVE to travel. I spend any extra money I have on plane tickets, and feel so fortunate to have been to several amazing destinations both domestically and internationally. There's nothing more fulfilling than coming home from a trip and adding a been-there-pin to my map.

Resolutions - 2016

When I think about 2015 I think about this classic quote from Ferris Bueller's Day Off, "Life moves pretty fast. If you don't stop and look around once in a while, you could miss it." Like most years in my life - the only constant was change itself. It's completely mind-boggling how fast life moves. It's scary, but it's exhilarating and exciting too.

Here are my resolutions from last year and my feedback on each of them:

Fitness

  1. Hit the gym at least 4 times per week. So especially since August, I've been diligent about working out regularly. I'd say most weeks I work out 5-6 times. But I switched things up and primarily do at-home workouts - I know how dorky they sound (and are), but this girl has lost 11lbs. since August! It's been really helpful to have these workouts when I travel. I've also become a morning worker outer - whodathunk? I still go to the gym 2/3 times per week to lift, and am constantly doing other acts of fitness - pick up basketball, walking, roller blading, etc.
  2. Deadlift 150lbs. I did. Once. But I can't say with confidence I could do that right now because I am not lifting quite as frequently or as heavy as before. 
  3. Decrease body fat %. Definitely accomplished this.

Diet

  1. Further clean up my diet - get rid of all the occasional junk, it's just not worth it. Along with my workout regiment, I cleaned up my diet. I adjusted portions drastically, and ate better balanced meals, and less shit. It's not perfect, but I don't want to be a chicken and broc kind of girl either.
  2. No more Cool Whip. Yes, you read that correctly. I am completely addicted to my ice-cream substitute. Again, it's just not worth it. I am proud to say I totally cut back on my Cool Whip intake, haha. 
  3. Attempt 2-3 cheat meals per week. One for "ritual dinner" (Friday dinner with the girls), and one (or two) for whatever else I feel like. Instead of having a cheat meal quota, I basically just eat sensibly. The exceptions to the rule would be if I'm traveling, am dining for the foodie experience, or am a guest of someone. 

Dana Chirps

  1. Don't stop. Whoo hoo!
  2. Continue with Ig and Facebook. Remember Google+. I'll be honest - I treat G+ like the red headed step child. It's like attending a party with nobody there.

Work

  1. Continue to refuse to be out-hustled. Never.
  2. Push the envelope (as far as marketing ideas go). Accomplished. 

Now here are my goals for 2016:

  1. Fitness - I really like the at home workouts. They pretty much take away any/all excuses and the portability keeps me on track when I travel. I would like to check out options for a weekly fitness class of sorts (MMA? Hip Hip Dance?) just to do something different for cardio. 
  2. Diet - Like most Americans, the holidays put a slight damper on my diet, but nothing too crazy. So when I get back to Fort Lauderdale (currently in VA visiting for the holidays), I plan to jump back on track.
  3. Work - Do my thing. And maximize the opportunities I have been given and will continue to get. 
  4. Social - I've recently achieved a much better work/life balance, and really look forward to continuing to enjoy it in 2016. 
  5. Personal - Stick to my guns. I'm surrounded by temptation in any and every form you can and can't imagine. I've made some mistakes, and although I've already moved forward from them, writing them as a goal is a good reminder to be the person my dog thinks I am. 
  6. Travel - San Antonio (ok this one is a gimme b/c it's for a work trip), Key West (maybe for my bday?), NYC, and somewhere in Europe (Iceland? Budapest? Ireland? Barcelona? Italy? To be decided...). 
  7. Photography - I bought an absurd camera, and I'm definitely getting the hang of it but still have a lot to learn!
  8. DanaChirps - Just keep writing. 

 

2 Comments

Dana Podgurski

Hi everyone! I'm Dana Podgurski! 

I'm a foot in the mouth, tongue in cheek, head in the clouds, and heart on the sleeve kind of gal. I live for new experiences, but am a total sucker for nostalgia at the same time. I'm tough as nails, but am a complete softie for all things kids and animal related. I fly by the seat of my pants, and live for adventure. But I firmly believe that adventure is a mindset that one's self determines.

For work, I am a marketer through and through. Bringing brands to life, and content marketing are passions of mine. Many would consider what I do as nerdy, but I seriously dig it. I have been doing marketing contract work for years, and appreciate the variety it brings, and the relationships I've developed with my clients. To check out my work portfolio, or if you're interested in a partnership, click here.

For fun I love to create - writing/blogging, photography, and painting are my main three mediums of doing so. Feeling good and healthy is also high on my list, as it really lends itself to making everything more enjoyable. So I maintain a very active lifestyle, eat pretty healthy, and am outdoors as much as I can be. And if my blog didn't make it abundantly clear, I absolutely LOVE to travel. I spend any extra money I have on plane tickets, and feel so fortunate to have been to several amazing destinations both domestically and internationally. There's nothing more fulfilling than coming home from a trip and adding a been-there-pin to my map.

Birthday Brunch - Steak 954 Review

So for my 25th26th27thOK FINE 28th birthday, I wanted to have a ladies birthday brunch at a place on Fort Lauderdale Beach. As soon as I saw Steak 954 post a picture of their homemade pop tarts on Instagram, I knew that was exactly where I wanted to go! I am SO glad my friends and I went there.

We sat outside because it was one of those sunny-but-not-too-hot days. You could see the ocean from the table, it was beautiful.

                                                      View from the front steps

                                                      View from the front steps

In addition to a shitload of mimosas, I ordered the smoked salmon benedict served with dill hollandaise for brunch. It came with a small light salad, and some potatoes on the side. The smoked salmon benedict was phenominalllllll. The dill seasoning was not overpowering, it was perfect.

                                        Smoked Salmon Benedict

                                        Smoked Salmon Benedict

After we enjoyed the main course. We ordered a bunch of the homemade pop tarts to share. There was a strawberry crumb flavor, and a nutella and bourbon banana flavor. The five of us classy ladies straight up ravaged them. You would have thought we were a group of death row prisoners fighting over the last crumb of their last meal.

                                                        Homemade Pop Tarts

                                                        Homemade Pop Tarts

And just as I thought we were wrapping up the feast, our server (Hi Edward, we love you!) brought out a cupcake with a candle in it! I don't know if one of the girls told him, or if he overheard the birthday toast, either way - props!

                                    Birthday Cupcake

                                    Birthday Cupcake

Needless to say it was a successful birthday brunch. I was a little uneasy about this birthday, as it was the first one being away from my family (and The Pods are big on bdays). But my friends stepped up big time, and made the kickoff to my 28th year one I'll never forget.

1 Comment

Dana Podgurski

Hi everyone! I'm Dana Podgurski! 

I'm a foot in the mouth, tongue in cheek, head in the clouds, and heart on the sleeve kind of gal. I live for new experiences, but am a total sucker for nostalgia at the same time. I'm tough as nails, but am a complete softie for all things kids and animal related. I fly by the seat of my pants, and live for adventure. But I firmly believe that adventure is a mindset that one's self determines.

For work, I am a marketer through and through. Bringing brands to life, and content marketing are passions of mine. Many would consider what I do as nerdy, but I seriously dig it. I have been doing marketing contract work for years, and appreciate the variety it brings, and the relationships I've developed with my clients. To check out my work portfolio, or if you're interested in a partnership, click here.

For fun I love to create - writing/blogging, photography, and painting are my main three mediums of doing so. Feeling good and healthy is also high on my list, as it really lends itself to making everything more enjoyable. So I maintain a very active lifestyle, eat pretty healthy, and am outdoors as much as I can be. And if my blog didn't make it abundantly clear, I absolutely LOVE to travel. I spend any extra money I have on plane tickets, and feel so fortunate to have been to several amazing destinations both domestically and internationally. There's nothing more fulfilling than coming home from a trip and adding a been-there-pin to my map.

Smelly So Good

I'm a major smell person - I love perfumes, candles, soaps, etc. A couple months ago, I was in Ulta with my friend Brandy (who is also a product junkie like myself); and we were sniffing every single godforsaken a couple of perfumes, and I across "Miss Dior."

It was love at first sniff.

So when Christmas came, and I opened a box of this Natalie Portman endorsed perfume, I was absolutely delighted to add this to my not-so-little collection of amazing smelling things.

Miss Dior Perfume
Miss Dior Perfume

And props to Dior - their packaging is so pretty, and feminine! Nordstrom's description of the scent was "Italian mandarin essence, Egyptian jasmine absolute, Indonesian patchouli essence."

Look, I have no idea what "patchouli" is, but it smells damn good. Personally, I think it's the perfect "going on a date" perfume. The likeable scent sticks solidly for a good 4-5 hours, and it goes on light so that it's not overpowering a room.

Men - I know it's a little early, but if you have a lady in your life that wears perfume - this would make an awesome Valentine's gift! Ulta doesn't seem to have it on their site at this moment, but Nordstrom does. And if she doesn't like the smell of patchouli, then dump her.

Comment

Dana Podgurski

Hi everyone! I'm Dana Podgurski! 

I'm a foot in the mouth, tongue in cheek, head in the clouds, and heart on the sleeve kind of gal. I live for new experiences, but am a total sucker for nostalgia at the same time. I'm tough as nails, but am a complete softie for all things kids and animal related. I fly by the seat of my pants, and live for adventure. But I firmly believe that adventure is a mindset that one's self determines.

For work, I am a marketer through and through. Bringing brands to life, and content marketing are passions of mine. Many would consider what I do as nerdy, but I seriously dig it. I have been doing marketing contract work for years, and appreciate the variety it brings, and the relationships I've developed with my clients. To check out my work portfolio, or if you're interested in a partnership, click here.

For fun I love to create - writing/blogging, photography, and painting are my main three mediums of doing so. Feeling good and healthy is also high on my list, as it really lends itself to making everything more enjoyable. So I maintain a very active lifestyle, eat pretty healthy, and am outdoors as much as I can be. And if my blog didn't make it abundantly clear, I absolutely LOVE to travel. I spend any extra money I have on plane tickets, and feel so fortunate to have been to several amazing destinations both domestically and internationally. There's nothing more fulfilling than coming home from a trip and adding a been-there-pin to my map.

Resolutions for 2014

I hope everyone had a fun, and safe New Years celebration last night! I get the whole "don't wait until the new year to make a positive change" thing, and I agree. However, I dig the idea of making resolutions. It's a day for you to start fresh and proclaim your goals for the year.

Here are mine:

  1. Do something other than wine-curls for exercise.
    1. Join Crossfit - Go 2 times/week. Aiming for toned body. Not She-Beast.
    2. Do something else 2/week. Rollerblade? Run? Just something.
  2. Eat less shit.
    1. I suppose I can afford to drink more water and less wine/martinis. But I will not be eliminating those!
    2. Refrain from consuming SO many processed foods. My weakness lies in the form of all variations of frozen pizza, and popsicles. This will be hard.
  3. Build She-Chirps.
    1. At least two blog posts per week.
    2. Utilize social media: Instagram, Facebook, Google+, Twitter.
    3. Don’t Stop.

Does anybody else have any resolutions? And if anyone has any resolutions that are similar to mine, let me know so we can keep each other motivated!

2014, The Year of Dana. #bringit

 

1 Comment

Dana Podgurski

Hi everyone! I'm Dana Podgurski! 

I'm a foot in the mouth, tongue in cheek, head in the clouds, and heart on the sleeve kind of gal. I live for new experiences, but am a total sucker for nostalgia at the same time. I'm tough as nails, but am a complete softie for all things kids and animal related. I fly by the seat of my pants, and live for adventure. But I firmly believe that adventure is a mindset that one's self determines.

For work, I am a marketer through and through. Bringing brands to life, and content marketing are passions of mine. Many would consider what I do as nerdy, but I seriously dig it. I have been doing marketing contract work for years, and appreciate the variety it brings, and the relationships I've developed with my clients. To check out my work portfolio, or if you're interested in a partnership, click here.

For fun I love to create - writing/blogging, photography, and painting are my main three mediums of doing so. Feeling good and healthy is also high on my list, as it really lends itself to making everything more enjoyable. So I maintain a very active lifestyle, eat pretty healthy, and am outdoors as much as I can be. And if my blog didn't make it abundantly clear, I absolutely LOVE to travel. I spend any extra money I have on plane tickets, and feel so fortunate to have been to several amazing destinations both domestically and internationally. There's nothing more fulfilling than coming home from a trip and adding a been-there-pin to my map.

A Hockey Christmas

I had noticed that the family’s NHL fan-apparel was due for replacing. So this year for Christmas, I did NHL themed gifts for my family. I sneakily did some some detective work (ok, so I straight up asked everyone) to see what everybody wanted. Being a Bruin’s fan, it is was difficult purchasing Caps and Rangers apparel... but I also took a moment to be thankful that I do not have any Flyers’ fans in the family... that would be awwwwwwkward. Here's what I found on Fanatics:

                                     Bought these for the fam for Xmas!

                                     Bought these for the fam for Xmas!

I think they liked them. :)

                               Pods sporting their new fan gear.

                               Pods sporting their new fan gear.

Dad also requested a new Sher-Wood (hockey stick). It was fun seeing him light up like a kid, “Look at all this fresh ink! Perfect for tattooing.” When my father says “tattooing” or “Give him a Sher-Wood tattoo!”  he means slamming his stick (where it says “Sher-Wood) across another dudes chest hard enough leave a “Sher-Wood” mark/tattoo on it.

The last I heard, Dad was pretty stoked to get on the ice and rip some slapshots with his new stick. Let's just hope he doesn't poke somebody's eye out. (Yes, that was an intentional Christmas Story reference).

2 Comments

Dana Podgurski

Hi everyone! I'm Dana Podgurski! 

I'm a foot in the mouth, tongue in cheek, head in the clouds, and heart on the sleeve kind of gal. I live for new experiences, but am a total sucker for nostalgia at the same time. I'm tough as nails, but am a complete softie for all things kids and animal related. I fly by the seat of my pants, and live for adventure. But I firmly believe that adventure is a mindset that one's self determines.

For work, I am a marketer through and through. Bringing brands to life, and content marketing are passions of mine. Many would consider what I do as nerdy, but I seriously dig it. I have been doing marketing contract work for years, and appreciate the variety it brings, and the relationships I've developed with my clients. To check out my work portfolio, or if you're interested in a partnership, click here.

For fun I love to create - writing/blogging, photography, and painting are my main three mediums of doing so. Feeling good and healthy is also high on my list, as it really lends itself to making everything more enjoyable. So I maintain a very active lifestyle, eat pretty healthy, and am outdoors as much as I can be. And if my blog didn't make it abundantly clear, I absolutely LOVE to travel. I spend any extra money I have on plane tickets, and feel so fortunate to have been to several amazing destinations both domestically and internationally. There's nothing more fulfilling than coming home from a trip and adding a been-there-pin to my map.

Hockey Ornament

Merry Christmas, folks! Check out my Christmas tree ornament for this year! Needless to say, it's very "Dana." Thus far, it's been a great holiday, and I'll post more about it soon. :)

                                                      Hockey + Heels = AMAZING!!!

                                                      Hockey + Heels = AMAZING!!!

Comment

Dana Podgurski

Hi everyone! I'm Dana Podgurski! 

I'm a foot in the mouth, tongue in cheek, head in the clouds, and heart on the sleeve kind of gal. I live for new experiences, but am a total sucker for nostalgia at the same time. I'm tough as nails, but am a complete softie for all things kids and animal related. I fly by the seat of my pants, and live for adventure. But I firmly believe that adventure is a mindset that one's self determines.

For work, I am a marketer through and through. Bringing brands to life, and content marketing are passions of mine. Many would consider what I do as nerdy, but I seriously dig it. I have been doing marketing contract work for years, and appreciate the variety it brings, and the relationships I've developed with my clients. To check out my work portfolio, or if you're interested in a partnership, click here.

For fun I love to create - writing/blogging, photography, and painting are my main three mediums of doing so. Feeling good and healthy is also high on my list, as it really lends itself to making everything more enjoyable. So I maintain a very active lifestyle, eat pretty healthy, and am outdoors as much as I can be. And if my blog didn't make it abundantly clear, I absolutely LOVE to travel. I spend any extra money I have on plane tickets, and feel so fortunate to have been to several amazing destinations both domestically and internationally. There's nothing more fulfilling than coming home from a trip and adding a been-there-pin to my map.