Yogi Wannabe

I’m a yogi wannabe.

I'm a Yogi Wannabe. || MrsRobbinsSparkles.com

I mean, I’ve kind of always been. Yoga has appealed to me for a long time, and not just because of the clothes. (Who doesn’t like yoga pants, seriously?)It just seems so right for me. It’s like exercise without really exercising, right? (Wrong, by the way. It can totally be a workout.)

Really though, I think I like yoga so much because I love the way I feel after a class. I left work on Tuesday stressed out with so much tension in my shoulders. I’d spent most of Monday night bent over my laptop catching up on work, and I felt every minute of that time in my shoulders. But once I got to class and relaxed on my mat, the tension flowed away. I spent an hour in a room packed with sweaty bodies trying to balance on one foot, and I enjoyed it!

I'm a Yogi Wannabe || MrsRobbinsSparkles.com

It made me want to sign up to go every day. But I’m not really at a place where I can afford to go every day, both financially and time-wise. So right now my goal is once a week. I’m setting Tuesday nights aside for a yoga class. If I can work more in, awesome. If not, that’s at least one night a week where I can shut off my phone and chill the heck out. After a couple months I’ll reassess and see if I can squeeze in more classes.

But for this wannabe yogi, it’s a start. I do have a list of things I want to invest in, though! I actually splurged on some workout gear last fall, so I’m all set there. But I would love a new yoga mat. My current one is a Wal-mart special I’ve had since college. I do have a yoga towel, so it makes the current mat usable. I would love to buy this one though:

Isn't it pretty? Maybe one day I'll spring for it. Because who knows! Maybe I'll be a yoga every day kinda gal some day. Maybe I'll even love it so much I decide to teach it. But right now I just want to make it to one class a week. You gotta start somewhere, right?

Yogi cat image was altered by moi but originally taken by Lisa Campeau. Second yoga image was belongs to  Both used under Creative Commons License.

When I Grow Up: Becoming a Small Business Owner

Hey guys! It's When I Grow Up Wednesday again, and today we're hearing from Mike Lee Hoàng, a small business owner here in Oklahoma City. He is one of those people who epitomizes the word hustle. It seems like he is always working hard on new project! So let's find out more about Mike now.

Mike Hoang, Small Business Owner (part of the When I Grow Up series on Mrs Robbins Sparkles) |

As a child, I wanted to be a ­______ when I grew up. An engineer. Why? Because my parents are Asian, I thought I would do something smart, and I liked legos. When I was a freshmen in college, I met some business owners who told me about the freedom, income potential and lifestyle you could obtain in business for yourself. After that, I knew that was my calling!

How close (or far) is your current career from that dream? Completely opposite. I think as children, a lot of us are brainwashed by thinking that the only way to be successful is to get good grades and get a good job.

Mike Hoang, Small Business Owner (part of the When I Grow Up series on Mrs Robbins Sparkles) | http://www.mrsrobbinssparkles.com/blog/When%20I%20Grow%20Up:%20Becoming%20a%20Small%20Business%20Owner

What is your official job title? Business owner.

Ok, now what does that really mean? I run KM Marketing. We're like an eHarmony for online marketing services. When our clients are lost in what to do with their website or social media, we give them direction and connect them with the local company that's the best fit.

Mike Hoang, Small Business Owner (part of the When I Grow Up series on Mrs Robbins Sparkles) |

What is a typical day like? Every day is a little different, and that’s how I like it! I usually have a meeting at 7am (I’m trying that whole ‘early bird gets the worm thing’). Throughout the day is typically filled with meetings with clients, a networking or community event, maybe a board meeting and in-between people can usually find me at a local coffee shop catching up on emails, doing research, servicing clients.

How did you end up in this career? I got fired from a digital marketing job for being late to a meeting (I prefer saying I was running on ‘Asian time’).  I learned pretty quickly I made a bad employee, so I started my own business! However, since then, being on time to meetings has been a priority of mine.

What kind of education or training did you complete for this career? “Started from the bottom now we here!” I have bachelors degree in Communication, but most of my experience started from working in marketing, reading books, reading online publications, and actually doing the work and learning through experience. Once you do a good job will smaller clients, you start building your business systems, and you start having more and more confidence in your expertise to work with more and larger clients. 

What advice would you give to someone who wants a similar career? Follow your dreams, but be smart about it. Work hard. Seek out mentors. Become an expert. Have a plan.

Mike Hoang, Small Business Owner (part of the When I Grow Up series on Mrs Robbins Sparkles) |

Do you have any other career dreams? What do you want to be when you grow up? I feel like God’s called me to be successful at business, to use my resources and platform to impact people’s lives through public speaking and giving to non-profits. What does that look like exactly? I’m not 100%, but the journey has been great! “It is the glory of God to conceal a matter and it is the glory of kings to search it out.”

Any last thoughts or encouragement for others trying to decide what they want to do “when they grow up”? Do what you love. Everyone is uniquely designed with a specific set of strengths for a specific purpose. There are things that you are naturally better at than anyone else and things you enjoy doing. Figure out what that is and how to make money with it. I don’t think you will ever truly be fulfilled in life until you do what you were designed to do.

And with that brilliant piece of advice, I'd like to thank Mike for taking time out of his busy schedule to answer my questions! I love learning about careers, but I will always have a place in my heart for small business owners/entrepreneurs. 

Rodeo Round-Up: My Experience at the International Finals Rodeo 45

Hey everyone! I'm still recovering from my wonderful weekend in DC (and I'm so thankful my friends and I made it home before that storm made its way to the area!) but I wanted to sit down and share my thoughts on my experience at the International Finals Rodeo that James and I attended last weekend. *I received complimentary tickets to the IFR but all opinions are my own.

International Finals Rodeo 45 | Mrs Robbins Sparkles

It wasn't my first rodeo, but I'm definitely not a fixture on the rodeo scene. Even when my husband was riding bulls, we didn't go to rodeos very often. He mostly rode at Cowboys or bull-riding specific events. So my knowledge of rodeo is pretty limited to the basics of bull riding.

Luckily, James and I were able to attend a behind-the-scenes tour before the IFR with the Ram Rodeo Series Experience and I was able to learn a little more about everything! One of the announcers, Garrett Yerigan, led the tour for us. 

International Finals Rodeo 45 - Behind the Chutes | Mrs Robbins Sparkles

He took us behind the chutes (see above, which is where the broncs and bulls are released) and we got to see some livestock hanging around. There were some pretty cute calves just chilling. Look at how fluffy they were! In my head they are named Fluffy and Moe.  

International Finals Rodeo 45 - Fluffy and Moe | Mrs Robbins Sparkles

Garrett took us into the real behind the scenes area next. This space was HUGE. Essentially it was a second arena for the participants to practice in as well as a place to keep the livestock. Garrett took a few minutes to explain how important livestock is to rodeo, which seems obvious but I think some people miss. People in the rodeo treat their animals incredibly well. As Garrett said, "They are our livelihood, we take better care of them than ourselves." He pointed out the crew and equipment that is used in case an animal is injured. I'm sure everyone knows that EMTs are on scene in case a participant is hurt, but there are vets on hand as well. I can assure you, all the animals at the IFR were incredibly well cared for!

International Finals Rodeo 45 - Behind the Scenes | Mrs Robbins Sparkles

We walked around the practice area and ended up on the side watching a few people work their horses. Garrett invited Dusty Myers, one of the rodeo clowns, to come speak to us for a few minutes. They laughed and joked together, explaining more details about not just the IFR but also rodeo in general. 

International Finals Rodeo 45 - Garrett and Dusty | Mrs Robbins Sparkles

One of my favorite parts of the tour was hearing Garrett explain why he likes rodeo so much. To paraphrase him, rodeo is like a family. Everyone is in it together. When one succeeds, everyone succeeds. It's not like football; you will never see two opposing quarterbacks huddled together to help each other call plays. But you will definitely see two bull riders huddled together helping each other. And unlike most professional sports, there are no million dollar contracts. To earn money contestants have to actually win. If they have an off day, they go home empty handed. 

A few of the people on the tour had more questions, asking about the best rodeos in the country (turns out one of the best rodeos actually takes place in Canada!) and how exactly participants win money. One all the questions were answered, Garrett escorted us back to the lobby and we had some time to kill before the rodeo started. James and I wandered around the booths, listening to South Canadian Junction play and sipping on a cold beer. 

International Finals Rodeo 45 - South Canadian Junction

Eventually we grabbed some snacks and made our way to our seats. I was pretty excited for my nachos and to be wearing my nice cowboy boots. 

International Finals Rodeo 45 - Nachos and Boots | Mrs Robbins Sparkles

And then the rodeo began! An adorable child sang the National Anthem and dozens of horses filled the arena with flags, and then the first event got underway.

International Finals Rodeo 45 - Bronc Riding | Mrs Robbins Sparkles

I've never really watched bareback riding before, but y'all, it looks like it HURTS. They are basically lying down on the horses back. I know how rough bull riding is, and this looks just as bad if not worse. But these guys go out there and do it! 

After the bareback riding we watched the saddled bronc riding. Still very impressive but looks way less painful! After that we got to see steer wrestling, breakaway roping, and barrel racing. To be perfectly honest, I'm still not sure how those events are judged! Some are timed, some are scored. All I know is that it was totally fun to watch.

International Finals Rodeo 45 - Steer Wrestling
International Finals Rodeo 45 - Steer Wrestling

Really y'all, how do they do that?

International Finals Rodeo 45 - Barrel Racing

Barrel racing was the second to last event and was one of my favorites. I've always loved horses, so watching these beautiful animals race around the arena is a lot of fun for me. But after barrel racing was the real reason we were there: bull riding. I met my husband at Cowboys where he was riding, so this event will always hold a place in my heart. (No honey, that doesn't mean you can start riding again! I have fond memories, but I also have not-so-awesome ones. Re-read yesterday's post if you are confused.)

International Finals Rodeo 45 - Bull Riding

We watched rider after rider get bucked off at 3, 4, 5 seconds. It wasn't until the very last ride that someone lasted the entire 8 seconds. That man ended up winning overall for the weekend! 

James and I had such a great time at the IFR. The tour, the events, the nachos...it was such a fun night. I'm so thankful to the folks over at Ram Rodeo for hooking me up with the tickets! 

International Finals Rodeo 45 | Mrs Robbins Sparkles

For over 30 years the Ram Truck brand has been an avid sponsor of the sport of rodeo. The Ram Rodeo Series was established in 1981 to assist U.S. Ram Truck dealers in showcasing new products through the venue of rodeo. Ram does more than sponsor rodeos on behalf of local dealers: the brand supports two important passions of American culture - rodeos and automobiles - while paving the way for future generations of cowboys and cowgirls through scholarships, auctions and various initiatives.

Hosting more than 560 rodeo events a year, the Ram Rodeo Series has become a main attraction in the community, drawing large crowds of fans out to watch the cowboys and cowgirls face the challenges and thrills of each of the traditional rodeo events. With all rodeos being live, no two shows are alike. Whether it’s the National High School Rodeo Finals or Wrangler National Finals Rodeo (WNFR), the Ram Truck brand drives the spirit of the sport of rodeo. Through the Ram Rodeo Series, the Ram Truck brand is proud to be the Official Truck of the PRCA, WPRA, NIRA, NHSRA, and the NLBRA. 

That Time James Broke His Face...

I know it isn't Thursday so it's weird to have a "Throwback Thursday post" go up today. But it's been two years since my husband broke his face riding a bull. (Yes, you read that correctly!) Instead of retelling the story in honor of this weird anniversary, I'm just going to leave this old post here for those of you who don't know the story. This post was originally published back in February 2013, so I call James my boyfriend in it. This old school post will also give you an idea of my experience and viewpoint on rodeo in preparation for my recap of the IFR rodeo I attended last weekend that will be going up tomorrow! Enjoy. And I'm sorry for the pictures!

It’s been a crazy couple weeks. Lots happening, but one of the biggest distractions lately has been my boyfriend. A week ago this past Friday, we went to Cowboys and he rode in two rounds. The first round went great – he covered and scored 59 points. The second round, however, was won by the bull. My boyfriend took a horn to the face a few seconds in, and his face immediately started swelling. I rushed him to the nearest ER.

James at the ER

That picture was taken less than an hour after the incident

The nurses were AMAZING at the emergency room. Super nice and helpful, much more so than the doctor who came in and started poking on his face with no warning! We (including his mom who we called on the way to the hospital) spent several hours waiting while he underwent a CT scan and was seen by another doctor (a much nicer one). Around four am we were finally sent home with three prescriptions and the number of an orthofacial surgeon.

James and his broken face

The picture above was taken two days after the incident. The day after that I took him to see the surgeon. His face was already looking better – at least, the swelling around the eye had gone down immensely! The surgeon was wonderful, reassuring us that it looked like there was no serious damage. Unfortunately, their offices had different software from the hospital we went to, so he couldn’t look at the CT scans. So we left with the recommendation of a soft diet and light work, and an appointment to come back in a week.

James and his broken face, three days later

This one was taken three days after the incident at the surgeon's office.

As the week went by, the swelling in his face went down quickly and he could open his eye all the way by Wednesday. The colors around his eye changed beautifully and his pain decreased as well. He didn’t so much follow the soft diet recommendation, unless you mean choosing soft tacos instead of crunchy ones, but he did take things a little slower than normal.

Today we went back to the surgeon. The color around his eye is almost gone (at least compared to what it was last week) but his eye is super red. The swelling is about 80% gone, and he seems to only experience pain when he really pushes himself too hard (or chews gum!). We were at the doctor for less than twenty minutes – long enough to be told that the surgeon looked at the CT scan and it looks like he should heal completely on his own! It will take time, and he might have a permanent little dent in his cheek (I have one above my left eyebrow, so who cares, right?) but definitely no need for surgery.

James and the broken face, a week later

This was taken a week later when he was feeling much better. 

As I said, it's been two years since this happened. He still has some pain in his cheek when it is really cold, but overall he has completely recovered. I am still so thankful that this wasn't nearly as bad as it could've been. If you're wondering, he did ride bulls again after this incident, but he wore a helmet. He gave up riding entirely last February, a few months before our wedding. 

TGIF - Girls Weekend Edition

Whew, it's been a crazy week, right? The AT&T debacle took up way too much of my week, but we finally have all of our services back! I was actually only in the office two days this week, because I'm currently in Washington DC! 

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Well, depending on what time you read this I might still be in Baltimore. I flew in yesterday morning to visit my little sister who lives here, but today I'm heading to DC for a girls weekend! We're going to see a play tonight, tour the White House tomorrow, and go to a fun and fancy event on Saturday night. It's going to be busy and fun and amazing, and I can't wait!

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 So far I've had some awesome food (lobster mac and cheese and crab cakes), local beer, and spent hours watching Jane the Virgin at my sister's house. Anyone else watch that show? The premise seemed so crazy to me, but as long as you can accept it is a telenovela (basically a soap opera) it is actually pretty good! 

Of course we also went on a little tour of the city, but I'll tell yall about that another day. I'm off on a DC adventure! Have a fabulous weekend!