The Core Value System

I don’t normally post about self-help-esque topics or existential musings. In fact I have a slew of post ideas in my head dealing with DIY patio fun and Raleigh development. But today I’m feeling inspired to write about the drivers of happiness which is something that has been on my mind a lot lately. People often struggle when they are advised on how to “be happy”.

What does being happy mean? (Aside from cherishing the obvious friends, family, Quailford, and not counting relishing in life’s niceties like flowers on the table or a $20 hidden in a winter coat pocket). The things that make me happy can all be summed up in something called The Core Value System. A dear (and wise) friend of mine defines “core values” to be the things in life on which one is not willing to compromise. These are the things that cultivate the most happiness for us as independent human beings of society. Being happy means making choices. I choose to hold fast to these core values because I know they make me happy.

Hilgs’ Core Values

  • Yoga: This is an obvious core value of mine because I sacrifice SLEEP for yoga. I’ve been going to Early Bird Yoga at Blue Lotus since late September. Twice a week. Every week. At 6:30am. The evening classes were too difficult for me to commit to (because of things like the next core value). It took me a few weeks to forgo the “snooze” button, get out of bed, and groggily travel the .6 mile to get to the studio. I would set my alarm clock but never make it. Now, when I wake up on Tuesdays and Thursdays, it is like my body is craving the mat even though my head is saying “whyyyy!!!!”. My body knows what it needs to do before my brain does. Yoga has not only given me strength and flexibility, but confidence and of course happiness.
  • Book Club: For the past four years, I have been a member of a book club. I think I have missed one meeting. I think it was when I was on my honeymoon (tropical vacations should be a core value of mine). Growing up, I wasn’t an avid reader. My mom is probably the most proud of me for joining a book club out of all of the things I’ve done. I consider the monthly book club meeting a sacred time for me. Who doesn’t love drinking wine, great books, and meeting up with new and old friends?! Perhaps most special part of all is that we are able to discuss our opinions freely without judgement. I am so grateful to the other ladies in the book club that are dedicated to keep meeting throughout moving houses, getting married, and even having babies!
  • Food: Duh, we all need to eat. But I’m not talking about the necessities of life – food, shelter, water. And I don’t think I’m considered a foodie either. I just need to know when and what I’m going to eat next. I am infamous for being hangry. Hence, food = happiness. Plus, if food is involved, there’s a chance that a party is happening. Food = maybe a party.
  • Breaking Bad: I will not compromise on the fact that Breaking Bad is the best show ever. Breaking Bad is incomparable. You can’t find a more beloved underdog than Jesse Pinkman nor a more conniving anti-hero than Walter White. I sought out to find another BB fanatical coworker at my new place of employment to confirm that this was the right career path. Thankfully, yes, this is the right career path for me. The other night, we had a few friends over for an impromptu Memorial Day cookout. As many conversations do, the topic turned to television. Everyone at the table watches Game of Thrones except for me so that show naturally took precedence. After a while, someone apologized to me for talking too much about it since they know I don’t care about GoT. Even though I was a little bored of the topic, I just thought of how much I love Breaking Bad, and if my friends at the table love GoT as much as I love Breaking Bad, than this discussion must be amazing.
  • Raleigh: Sometimes I experience a brief moment of sadness about how I have not really lived anywhere else because I have already found the place I want to live forever. (Sans my stint in NYC). It’s a very fleeting moment until I quickly realize how good I have it here.
  • Being Accommodating to Guests: When it comes to hosting guests, there are certain rules I live by. I don’t have the most modern or fancy guest accommodations. None of my towels match. I only have a pull-out sofa. But it is important to me that despite these pitfalls, guests have what they need to feel at home. These self-made, self-followed rules are:
    1. toilet paper that is readily available in an intuitive location should the guest be faced with the inevitable last square
    2. an outlet (granted it might not be grounded) in the guest room that is easily accessible for device charging
    3. snacks that meet the dietary needs of the guest (see core value: food)
    4. enough wine

    Rule #4 is obviously the most important. If I live by rule #4, then the first three matter less. Popular advice tells us that we need to put our own oxygen mask on before we help others, but doing these little things for my guest makes me happy. Hopefully these practices make my guest happy, too!

  • Outdoor Seating: There are restaurants that I frequent yet rarely have been inside: Mellow Mushroom, Boylan Bridge Brewpub, Village Drafthouse, MoJoe’s, to name a few in Raleigh.  I will not eat at these places if there is no outdoor seating available. Even during the winter months, I don’t go inside MoJoe’s. Part of this core value is derived from my preference of dog-friendly establishments. The fresh city air is just as important to the flavor of my Magical Mystery Tour pizza as is the side of ranch (which could also be a core value of mine). I am one of those crazy North Carolinians who loves the heat and humidity and will always choose outdoor seating over indoor when given the option.
  • Exclamation Points!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Read more about my passion for this peppy punctuation mark here.

I encourage you to create your own Core Value System. Maybe your list will include sleep, ability to travel, achieving 100% attendance at NC State football games, alone time, not wearing pants, etc… It’s a system that is unique to you, and will help prevent straying from happiness when making decisions.

A Breaking Bad Tour of Albuquerque

In this day and age, preparing for a special occasion can include coming up with a hash tag to use on social media. Not only does this hash tag provide a “brand” for the event, but it helps keep track of all of the Instagrams and Tweets the people in your party post to the web! I was very excited to come up with a hash tag for our winter vacation (it’s the little things in life, isn’t it?). We decided on #pritchettsbreakbad because it defined our final destination of ABQ. But I think it also of mirrors the spontaneity of the entire trip, which we are not necessarily known for! 🙂

We flew into Las Vegas Christmas night and over the course of a few days made appearances at the Hoover Dam, the Grand Canyon, and among the red rocks of Sedona before ending up in Albuquerque for a self-guided tour of Breaking Bad filming locations. You may call us crazy/obsessive fans, and I may agree with you but ABQ is the Hollywood of critically-acclaimed, Emmy award winning television!

Before leaving for our vacation, I created a Google Custom Map with all of the locations we wanted to check out. Making a custom map is really easy and fun! I made one previously for Historic Raleigh Sites. Since many people have already done the Breaking Bad “tour”, there was a lot of info out there to help us research exact addresses. The Breaking Bad Wiki was also very helpful! Here’s our final map (I hope to improve upon it for future BB tourists – still needs some cleaning up):

Using Ben’s Android smart phone, we navigated all over New Mexico’s largest metropolis to see the sites! Here’s a brief (seriously, we saw A LOT of sites) pictorial review of Breaking Bad’s Albuquerque. If you are as much of a super fan as I am, you will instantly recognize these locations and be able to remember the scenes, but I’ve included AMC screenshots for reference! I also need to apologize for the quality of some of the photos – I took a few out the car window (plus I don’t have the skills nor the means that cinematographer Michael Slovis has).

WARNING: I can’t promise that the following doesn’t contain spoilers, but I’ll try to steer clear 😉

A1A Car Wash | Octopus Car Wash
A1A Car Wash | Octopus Car Wash
A1A Car Wash, Abiquiú - AMC
A1A Car Wash | Episode Shown Here: Abiquiú | Debuts in Pilot
Jesse Pinkman's House
Jesse Pinkman’s House | Another BB Tourist took our picture!
Jesse Pinkman's House - AMC
Jesse Pinkman’s House | Episode Shown Here: Caballo Sin Nombre | Debuts in Pilot
The White Residence
The White Residence
The White Residence - AMC
The White Residence | Debuts in Pilot
Crossroads Motel - "The Crystal Palace"
Crossroads Motel – “The Crystal Palace”
Crossroads Motel - "The Crystal Palace"
Crossroads Motel – “The Crystal Palace”
Crossroads Motel - "The Crystal Palace" | Wendy's Residence - AMC
Crossroads Motel – “The Crystal Palace” | Episode Shown Here: …and the Bag’s in the River | Featured throughout series
Schrader Residence
Schrader Residence
Schrader Residence - AMC
Schrader Residence | Episode Shown Here: Seven Thirty-Seven | Featured throughout series
The Dog House
The Dog House
The Dog House, Seven Thirty-Seven - AMC | Also shown in Crazy Handful of Nothin' and Blood Money
The Dog House | Episode Shown Here: Seven Thirty-Seven | Also shown in Crazy Handful of Nothin’ & Blood Money
Tuco's Headquarters
Tuco’s Headquarters
Tuco's Headquarters, Crazy Handful of Nothin' - AMC
Tuco’s Headquarters | Episode Shown Here: Crazy Handful of Nothin’
Jesse & Jane's Apartment | A very nice neighbor took our picture!
Jesse & Jane’s Apartment | A very nice neighbor took our picture!
Jesse & Jane's Apartment, Breakage - AMC
Jesse & Jane’s Apartment | Episode Shown Here: Breakage | Featured throughout Season 2
Beneke Fabricators
Beneke Fabricators
Beneke Fabricators - AMC
Beneke Fabricators | Debuts in Negro y Azul
Saul Goodman's Office
Saul Goodman’s Office
Saul Goodman's Office - AMC
Saul Goodman’s Office | Debuts in Better Call Saul
Combo's Corner
Combo’s Corner
Combo's Corner
Combo’s Corner

 

Combo's Corner, Mandala - AMC
Combo’s Corner | Episode Shown Here: Mandala
Combo's Corner, Abiquiú - AMC
Combo’s Corner | Episode Shown Here: Abiquiú
Los Pollos Hermanos | Twisters
Los Pollos Hermanos | Twisters
Los Pollos Hermanos - AMC | Debuts in Mandala, featured throughout season 2, 3 & 4
Los Pollos Hermanos | Debuts in Mandala, featured throughout season 2, 3 & 4
Los Pollos Hermanos | Twisters
Los Pollos Hermanos | Twisters
Los Pollos Hermanos, No Mas - AMC
Los Pollos Hermanos | Episode Shown Here: No Mas
Million Dollar Deal | De Anza Motel
Million Dollar Deal | Motel de Anza
Motel de Anza, Mandala - AMC
Motel de Anza | Episode Shown Here: Phoenix
Lavanderia Brillante | Delta Laundry
Lavanderia Brillante | Delta Laundry
Lavandería Brillante
Lavanderia Brillante – Superlab | Debuts in Más, featured throughout season 3 & 4
Lazer Base
Lazer Base
Lazer Base, Full Measures - AMC | Debuts in Abiquiu, also featured in Hazard Pay
Lazer Base | Episode Shown Here: Full Measures | Debuts in Abiquiu, also featured in Hazard Pay
4th level of Copper St. Parking Deck
4th level of Copper St. Parking Deck
Gus Fring walking toward his car in End Times - AMC
Gus Fring walking toward his car | Episode Shown Here: End Times
Casa Tranquila | Medical Complex
Casa Tranquila | Medical Complex
Casa Tranquila, Face Off - AMC | Gus visits Hector prior to this episode
Casa Tranquila | Episode Shown Here: Face Off | Gus visits Hector here prior to this episode
Denny's
Denny’s
Denny's, Live Free or Die - AMC
Denny’s | Episode Shown Here: Live Free or Die
Vamanos Pest | An auto mechanic shop
Vamanos Pest | An auto mechanic shop
Vamanos Pest - AMC | Debuts in Hazard Pay, featured throughout season 5.1
Vamanos Pest | Debuts in Hazard Pay, featured throughout season 5, part 1
Cafe where Lydia meets with associates | Grove Cafe & Market - very delicious!
Cafe where Lydia meets with associates | Grove Cafe & Market – very delicious!
Cafe, Gliding Over All - AMC | Featured throughout season 5, part 1 & 2
Cafe | Episode Shown Here: Gliding Over All | Featured throughout season 5, part 1 & 2
Extractor Pick-up Location | John B Robert Dam
Disappearer Pick-up Location | John B Robert Dam
Extractor Pick-up Location, Confessions - AMC | Also featured in Ozymandias
Disappearer Pick-up Location | Episode Shown Here: Confessions | Also featured in Ozymandias
Civic Plaza
Civic Plaza
Civic Plaza, Rabid Dog - AMC
Civic Plaza | Episode Shown Here: Rabid Dog
To'hajiilee
To’hajiilee

 

To'hajiilee - AMC
To’hajiilee
To'hajiilee
To’hajiilee
To'hajiilee
To’hajiilee
To'hajiilee - AMC
To’hajiilee
To'hajiilee
To’hajiilee
To’hajiilee | Episode Shown Here: Ozymandias

Best Quality Vacuum Repair | On the Spot Vacuum Repair

Best Quality Vacuum Repair | On the Spot Vacuum Repair
Best Quality Vacuum Repair, Granite State - AMC
Best Quality Vacuum Repair | Episode Shown Here: Granite State

 

Romance is a Warm Gun

Today’s theme will be quite the change of pace compared to Monday’s post.  I’m going to talk about how I celebrated Valentine’s Day, aside from my ogling over the obligatory bouquet of flowers my husband gave me (they were beautiful irises by the way).

Valentine’s Day is one of my favorite holidays!  You might be thinking: “well of course you would love it, you’ve had a significant other for 10 Valentine’s Days straight”.  That may be true, but… ok.  That is probably true.  But it is also because of adorable stories like this one that you can read if you click on this link.  And because of witty memes like this:

I was going to document the making of our Valentines Dinner with photos so I could blog about it, but of course fetching the camera was the last thing on my mind when there is the aroma of filet mignon simmering in a Cabernet sauce wafting about the house.  Note that the recipe I linked to begins with the word “Pan-Seared” but I actually used my non-stick grill pan.  Scrumptious.

After nourishing our bodies with nutrients and delicious cookies (see recipe on the back of the bag of white chocolate chips), we retired to the living room for some culture.  If anyone knows my husband, you know he loves this show… Breaking Bad.  I was skeptical when within the first few episodes, something very bad happens in a porcelain bath tub that I won’t get into here.  But I gave it another go and it turns out that even though I get sweaty palms and an increased heart rate within the first 5 minutes of the antics that Jesse and Walt put themselves through, the show is awesome. And addicting.

So what says romance better than sharing a moment like this?