Beating the Winter Blahs

27 Feb



It feels like winter has been here forever and a day.  I am Not exaggerating either.  In Chicago (best city ever) we haven’t had nearly the amount of snow we had last year (or poor Boston that has had at over 100 inches…I almost wrote 100-ft, but glad I googled that #AmateurMistake), but the frigid cold temperatures and gloomy, dark days can get the best of any of us.  Even those of us who are “irritatingly happy”.

Winter blues, winter blahs, Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD)…it has many names.  The “winter blues” as I shall refer to it,  are characterized by sadness, a lack of motivation and low energy that many people experience during this cold season. It’s more than How to be Charming or finding out How to have a Lovely Day…though both were Sensational blogs.  Chapped lips, dry skin, and bruises from falling on ice, coupled with a feeling of sadness from not seeing the sun for what feels like months…Not Fun.  So while not all of us can get a new car, adopt a new dog and have spring break just weeks away, to cheer us up, I thought I’d share some tips to get that hitch back in your giddyup!  Even those of us with all of the above can use more snap back into our step!  Plus, spring is but 3 short weeks away!  Thank goodness!!

First and foremost…let’s address dry skin, of which I desperately suffer from in the winter months.


60 Ideas to Beat the Winter Blahs…or SAD



I love, love, love “Giving out High-Fives”… Why don’t we make the 5th of every month High Five day?…and not in a drug-induced way…but an honest to goodness “Give me a High Five”!  I’m going to start that.  I have started some things that have gone viral, so why not this?



More ways to Beat the Blues



Some of my favorite things from the above list:

* Sing Karaoke…Summer Lovin’ from Grease, my “go-to” Karaoke song!

* watch cute animal videos or my personal favorite Solidier reunions…Seriously, they could have a 24-hour a day channel featuring soldier reunions and I’d be Glued to the TV!!

* Fresh flowers…and as strange as this sounds, I prefer when I buy them myself.

* Visit a place connected with fond memories…or reliving memories.  I do this often.

* Write a letter to a friend who has been weighing on your mind… Will do so this week.

* Go out of your way to be nice to everyone you encounter… Think of it as a game!  #Winning


Beat the Blues…from our friends at Huffington Post

1. Soak up morning sunshine.
According to Kalayjian, winter blues will be worst in the mornings when you’re rousing yourself from bed. She tells clients to open curtains as much as possible to get exposure to natural light right when the body is waking up.

2. Maintain your routine.
“The most helpful thing is to try to keep up everyday activities,” says Rohan. Once daylight savings time occurs, don’t neglect your favorite hobbies just because winter spurs an impulse to hibernate. You’ll feel better knowing you’re still making it to your weekly book club, basketball game or brunch with friends.

3. Work it out.
During a killer gym session, the brain works hard to override the temporary feelings of discomfort by telling the body to keep pushing. You’ll naturally release endorphins, which will make you feel happier and even euphoric. A meta-review published in the American College of Sports Medicine Journal in 2013 suggested that, for some individuals, exercise might be comparable to therapy or anti-depressants as an effective treatment for depression.

4. Flip a switch.
Research suggests that light boxes can help up to 50 percent of people who suffer from SAD. The bright light emitted from these devices helps the body awaken in the morning and decreases the hormone melatonin that keeps us asleep at night. And for those seeking a quick fix: Studies show that light therapy can spur a mood lift in just several days. “Based on the literature, [light therapy] is a very effective treatment,” says Rohan. However, since the FDA does not regulate light boxes, she recommends consumers pursue light therapy under the supervision of a professional. “It takes some trial and error to get it just right,” she says, emphasizing that timing, positioning and potential side effects should all be discussed with an expert before you begin treatment.

5. Ditch the sugar.
It’s common knowledge that too much of the sugary stuff will make us gain weight and puts us at risk for developing diabetes and certain cancers. And research shows that sugar has a sour effect on mental health, too. Countries that consume the most sugar have higher rates of depression, and scientists hypothesize that it hinders the body’s ability to cope with stress and can worsen anxiety. Many people crave sweet and starchy foods in the wintertime because they provide a temporary energy boost, but these treats will ultimately leave you just as sluggish as before. Instead, opt for eating complete meals with good sources of protein and fiber.

6. Get outside.
Both Rohan and Kalayjian recommend breathing in some fresh air each day. Studies confirm that spending time outside can relieve stress, so bundle up and brave the cold for at least five minutes to lift your spirits. “It turns out that going for a walk in the morning after sunrise can be especially effective,” says Rohan. “It gets light to the retina, but it’s also physical activity.” Two birds, one stone!

7. Develop wintertime interests.
Bummed that you can’t play beach volleyball every weekend? Rohan recommends finding substitutes for the mood-enhancing activities you enjoy in the summer. “Having fun is central to having a good mood,” she says. “What are things to do in winter that are fun to do?” Strap on some snowshoes, check out a new fitness class, take a spin on an ice rink or step up your game in the kitchen — you just might find a new passion.


8. Practice relaxation.
Some down dog could help you get out of the dumps. Practicing yoga, studies show, can alleviate symptoms of depression and anxiety. Plus, preliminary research on meditation reveals that breathing exercises and mindfulness exercises can actually change neural networks and decrease stress. Kalayjian also recommends progressive relaxation, a technique that promotes body awareness by tensing and relaxing muscle groups throughout the body.

9. Book a trip.
Prepare for takeoff, because quality vacation time will certainly boost your mood. Those that suffer from seasonal depression will benefit from additional sunshine if they head south, but taking a break from work is important for anyone’s mental health. Studies show that people even experience pleasure from anticipating trips. “Across the board, SAD patients will tell you they feel better [after vacation],” says Rohan. But she cautions against depending on getaways for happiness. “I think it’s important to learn to tolerate the place where you live instead of jumping on a plane.” While you count down the days ’til your beach holiday, find ways to get joyous about the winter wonderland in your own backyard.


I received this from a very dear friend and it made me so happy…so I pass this on to all of you.

For the Love of the World…

by, Charlotte Tall Mountain

For the love of a tree, she went out on a limb.

For the love of the sea, she rocked the boat.

For the love of the earth, she dug deeper.

For the love of community, she mended fences.

For the love of the stars, she let her light shine.

For the love of spirit, she nurtured her soul.

For the love of a good time, she sowed seeds of happiness.

For the love of the Goddess, she drew down the moon.

For the love of a good meal, she gave thanks.

For the love of family, she reconciled differences.

For the love of creativity, she entertained new possibilities.

For the love of her enemies, she suspended judgment.

For the love of herself, she acknowledged her worth.

And the world was richer for her…..



How to Increase Serotonin…the Happiness Hormone

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I do believe a massage will be in order this weekend…just after I pick up my new car!


Or maybe just I will get a new car. :)



Les Artistes.  Fun night being Monets and drinking wine with Meredith and Tracy.  Crazy talent.  #LostO’Brien.



What’s that saying, Life is too short to count your years or glasses of wine? Well, I shall do neither!  But what I will count is my blessings.


While out with friends for dinner a friend said to me, “You really do seem to have people going out of their way and tripping over each other to help you and do nice things for you and your family”.  It’s true and while I don’t like to ask for help and feel uncomfortable receiving it (have I mentioned how much I despise Raccoons?!), sometimes it cannot be avoided.  We are so lucky and thankful for some very special friends who rallied around our family and our “little water pipe” problem.  ;) John, Cindy and Ron…truly don’t know what we would do without you! <3 <3 <3. And many thanks and love to Dave and Connie for offering to  shine a little light in our lives.  I just remembered another thing that won’t be counted.  Number of bathrooms.  :)



Song of the Day: Thinking out Loud by Ed Sheeran

When my hair’s all but gone and my memory fades
And the crowds don’t remember my name
When my hands don’t play the strings the same way
I know you will still love me the same


House of Cards on Netflix.  This weekend.  #BingeWatching.  Couple that with possibly hanging with LSULeslie and I am truly giddy with excitement!  Oh yeah…and my new car!  #Yippee

Count your blessings.  Not your woes.

Peace out,










Oscar Recap

23 Feb


I cannot help myself.  I must recap last night’s Academy Awards.  Typically “Recap” is what my friends and I say on the way home from a party or event that must be “recapped”.  Same goes for this year’s Academy Awards.  So much to say, so I will edit what I choose to recap.  #BestBlogEver

An Oscar Recap According to Me

1.  While I was happy with some of the winners (and I corrected guessed all 4 acting winners, but that’s basically all I guessed correctly), I found the show boring.  Very boring. #ZZZZZZZZZ

2.  If it weren’t for Twitter and Facebook, which helped keep me entertained, I would have gone to bed at 8PM cst. Thank you Tracy, Cherai and my other funny friends!

I’ll take “Jokes that never get old for $100, Alex.” – Tracy



“It takes a lot of balls to be Neil Patrick Harris”. – I have no idea who said this, but I pirated it as my own.



* Hey Toto, you wrote a song about the wrong sister. – Tracy

* John Travolta…what’s with the hair? – Jackie

*It’s Eddie Munster and Drakula…the love child. – Tracy

I mean, seriously…



3.  Neil Patrick Harris (NPH) did pretty well.  Started out great but quickly went downhill.  His Best line, ”  * “Takes a lot of balls to wear that dress” – NPH . Balls seemed to be a running joke.



4.  While I was expecting it to be a Disaster…I was super impressed with Lady Gaga singing from the Sound of Music!  I mean, OMG!  To impress Julie Andrews singing Julie Andrew’s best songs, is not easy.  I loved it!  Second best line of night,

“Now Julie Andrews will sing Poker Face”.


87th Annual Academy Awards - Show


5.  I was brought to tears when Eddie Redmayne won for Best Actor for portraying Stephen Hawking in The Theory of Everything.  Seriously, could he be more charming?  No he could not! Charming knows Charming.



Facebook Post from Stephen Hawking to Eddie Redmayne

Public Figure · 2,528,038 Likes

Congratulations to Eddie Redmayne for winning an ‪#‎Oscar‬ for playing me in The Theory of Everything Movie. Well done Eddie, I’m very proud of you. -SH

“If you can impress someone this smart, you are doing something right”.

6.  Fifty Shades of Awkward – Dakota Johnson and her mother, Melanie Griffith.  At the end of the day, Dakota Johnson proved to be a brat.  Show respect to your mother.  Manners 101.  Google it if you want to see it.  I can’t bear to watch it again. :)


7.  $160,000 in SWAG bags is Absolutely Ridiculous.  Take that money, or the money from the products and do something productive for society with it.  Giving these bags to celebrities who make upwards of millions and millions of dollars per film, even as a “consolation prize”, is a waste.  Do something for those less fortunate than the multi-millionaire actors.  #JustSaying



8.  John Travolta providing not one, as shown above, but two awkward moments.  He must be stopped.  #Priceless



9.  Spit that gum out, Michael Keaton.  For pete’s sakes!

10.  Best Dressed – my favorites – The Ladies

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11.  Best Dressed – The Men



Eddie Redmayne.:)






My favorite line… “Call your parents”.  Thank you JK Simmons.  Wish I could do just that.

Mom and Pop 001 (2)




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Lights, Camera, Oscar!

22 Feb


Lights, Camera, Oscar!  

Tonight is the Academy Awards, “Hollywood’s biggest night of the year”.  It’s probably going to be 3+ hours, but it’s an event and one in which I look forward to. Not only about the dresses and what everyone is wearing, but I do love to see who wins, love the jokes and enjoy the speeches (the short ones).  My friend Alexandra has a friend who tweets about the Oscars and I followed him last year and plan on following him this evening, because he is absolutely Hilarious!   @AndrewRossi.  I probably won’t be able to stay up past 10, so most likely won’t see who wins Best Picture, but sure by that time I will have had my fill of all things Oscar.  I’m sure tomorrows news will be chock-full of all the winners.   This year I’ve seen at least a few of the Best Picture nominees:  The Theory of Everything and Boyhood.  I guess that makes a couple, not a few.  Plus, since Neil Patrick Harris is hosting and I think he’ll knock it out of the ballpark, it should be an entertaining evening.  So I’ve penned this blog, all things Oscar!

1. It cost peanuts to attend the first Academy Awards

The Oscars are Hollywood’s glitziest and most exclusive star-studded event, but the very first ceremony in 1929 was a private affair held at the Hollywood Roosevelt Hotel – and a ticket cost just $5.

(Sorry Oscar buffs: The awards show is still a private event, and tickets are not available for sale to the public.)

2. The Academy Award trophy has an official name – and a mysterious nickname

Everyone knows the statuette as “Oscar,” but it actually has an official name: Academy Award of Merit.

So how did it get to be called Oscar? According to the Academy, the origin story can’t be confirmed, but it’s widely believed that the trophy received its nickname from Academy librarian Margaret Herrick, who said that the little gold man looked like her Uncle Oscar.

Anne Hathaway appears on stage at the 83rd Annual Academy Awards in 2011.GABRIEL BOUYS/AFP/GETTY IMAGESAnne Hathaway appears on stage at the 83rd Annual Academy Awards in 2011.

3. The Academy likes to hand out fake Oscars before the show

Prior to the Oscars, rehearsals are held where celebs show up to practice their lines, announce the winner and present an award.

Five sets of dummy envelopes with each nominee’s name is prepared to be used during the rehearsals. And since there are dummy envelopes, there are also dummy Oscars made of plaster to hand out to the “winners.” (For those curious to take a peek, producer Neil Meron tweeted a photo of the fake awards from this year’s rehearsals.)

4. The Oscars red carpet showcases the event’s history

For the past 14 years, the Dolby Theater in Los Angeles has hosted the Academy Awards, which seats 3,400 people. All of them will walk the show’s red carpet to reach the venue, which stretches a whopping 500 feet (beating out the Golden Globes’ red carpet, which extends to around 437 feet).

To spotlight the event’s long-running history, the red carpet is flanked by two pillars that bear the name of every Best Picture winner since the show’s inception. Incredibly, there’s enough room for the Academy to keep adding winners through 2071.

Celebs walk the red carpet at the Oscars, held at the Dolby Theater in Los Angeles.  KEVORK DJANSEZIAN/GETTY IMAGESCelebs walk the red carpet at the Oscars, held at the Dolby Theater in Los Angeles.  

5. Want to be a seat filler? Too bad!

The only way for a regular Joe to score a seat to the Oscars is to work as a seat filler. But even then, he or she can’t be that “regular”: According to a seat-filler who worked at the 2003 show, the only way to score the (unpaid) gig is to know someone who works at the Academy or to be an employee of PricewaterhouseCoopers, the accounting firm entrusted with tallying the votes.

6. Bob Hope is the Oscar emcee for the ages

Legendary entertainer Bob Hope holds the record for hosting the most Academy Awards, having emceed 19 ceremonies between 1940 and 1978. Hope began hosting prior to when the show was televised, and closed out his run on Oscar’s 50th anniversary.


On the opposite spectrum, this year’s host Neil Patrick Harris hopes to avoid the One and Done Club, the celebs who haven’t been asked back to host after their first time. Stars who have membership in this dubious club include Chris Rock, Seth MacFarlane, Anne Hathaway, James Franco and “Crocodile Dundee” star Paul Hogan.

7. Oscar winners used to be announced in advance of the ceremony

In the early days, the Academy kept a lid on the results, making an exception for newspapers so that they could publish the list of winners at 11 p.m. on the night of the event.

Then The Los Angeles Times published the results in advance of the 1940 awards show, spoiling the winners before the ceremony got underway. The Academy responded the following year by sealing the results in envelopes, with their content kept secret until they are opened on stage.

8. There’s a contingency plan if the wrong winner is announced on stage

Remember those folks from PricewaterhouseCoopers? As part of being the only people on the planet who know the results prior to the show, the firm’s partners memorize the winners in all 24 categories. So if the wrong person is announced as the winner, they are authorized to go out onstage and stop the show. (Luckily, this has not yet happened at the awards show to date.)

02241311859, 10038812MATT SAYLES/INVISION/APMeryl Streep (l.) and Daniel Day Lewis exit the stage at the 2013 Oscars.

9. The Oscar weighs more than you think

When someone wins an Academy Award for the first time, the winner usually comments on heavy the statuette feels. There’s a reason for this: It stands at 13.5 inches and weighs 8.5 pounds. To give some perspective, clutching an Oscar feels like holding a gallon of milk.

10. The Academy Awards was robbed – literally

When a front-runner loses the Academy Award, there are often cries that he or she was “robbed.” But the Academy was actually robbed in 2000, when two men stole packing crates filled with 55 Oscar statuettes. All but three of the trophies were recovered after the crates were found in the trash. (The third one was eventually discovered by FBI agents during a drug investigation three years later.)

Source:  New York Daily News

All About the Dress


Some of My Favorites

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This is really hard to read.



More Oscar Stuff




Through the years…


Facts and Stats


 Printable Oscar ballot


You can right click on the above, save it to your computer and print it for your viewing party…even if your viewing party is a Party of One. :)

Song of the Day: Glamorous Life by Sheila E. Because tonight is all about the Glamour.  And speaking of Mecedes sedans… :)

She’s got big thoughts, big dreams
And a big brown Mercedes sedan
What I think this girl, she really wants
Is to be in love with a man

I’m pulling for Eddie Redmayne, for his portrayal of Steven Hawking in Theory of Everything.  Amazing performance.  Also pulling for Theory of Everything to win for Best Picture.  Long shot, but I loved the movie. Tracy saw it yesterday and said, “I may have sobbed”.  Me too.

Speaking of movies…and one that is not nominated for an Oscar…McFarland, USA.  Fabulous!  Kevin Costner. Sports movie.  What’s not to love?  Nothing… My new favorite movie!!


I am what you call, “Indoorsy”. :)



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How to be Charming

20 Feb



Beauty is in the eye of the beholder.  But I feel that Charming is what Charming does.  In other words, everyone can be charming.  Snarling, unhappy, bitter, angry, offensive, cruel…you get the idea…people, have no place in our lives. Surround yourself with Charming people.  I’ve done just that and it’s fantastic!!  You all know who you are, btw. ;)


Charming doesn’t have to be funny.  Charming doesn’t have to be witty.   Charming doesn’t have to be brilliant…though all of these help.  Charming is as easy as being polite, friendly and likable (thank you wikipedia).   I was talking about people who are not very charming with a friend (actually it was he discussing someone not so charming) and he said to me, “oh yeah, you’re charming alright”…like it was an insult.  It was not, #DUH, but I guess he was stating the obvious. :)  I am polite.  I try to be friendly.  I hope I’m likable.  That being said, I like some of these tips below.  In case you have someone in your life, who isn’t exactly “charming”, and you can’t quite “kick them to the curb”, share these tips.  You’ll thank me. ;)





how to be charming


Looks like basic, common sense, which we all need to be reminded of.  Oh, and sit up straighter…I write as I’m slouched on the couch trying to pen this blog after a fun night out with my life long friends!  Pic at end of blog.  :)



From our friends at… Helpful Tips to Be More Charming.  My comments in PINK

1. Develop interests

Sharing common interests is a great way to connect. People love to talk about themselves and will be naturally inclined to engage with you if you show interest in learning about their passions. Develop your interests and knowledge base by staying informed about world affairs, watching a quick TED talk, volunteering, and traveling in order to offer a unique and engaging viewpoint.   Being well-read, well-spoken, able to speak about current affairs, what’s hot on TV, at the movies and in sports will only help you in social situations.  You don’t have to recite every Chicago Bears statistics (though if you can, let’s grab a Stella), but knowing who won the Superbowl, being able to discuss Celebrity Jeopardy from SNL 40 years (best past of the show… Therapist…), and talking about Draft Day, the movie will certainly gain you a seat next to me at the table.  :)

2. Find your confidence

If you feel unsure about your skill set, study your technical material every day, know the facts about your company, contribute to intelligent dialogues. Improve your self-confidence through positive body language, dressing well, and working out. When your body and mind are in tune, you’ll project confidence.  People think I’m confident.  I’m not.  I do think I’m funny, and think I get funnier the more glasses of wine I consume. :)  I truly have an attitude that I am who I am, but I hope you like me for who I am.  Confidence is never about how you look or how you dress, it’s how you feel. Even when I may not feel too terribly terrific, I do try to fake it.   Only confidence, btw. :)

3. Own your story

There’s a certain magical quality about charming people—they all have a little mystery. It mostly comes from owning your story. People don’t need all the small details about how you got there or how many times you failed along the way. Instead of, “I barely got that internship,” say, “Working at Google was amazing—we created technologies that changed global business.”  Everyone has a story.  Just don’t always share the bad stuff.  I like to focus on the positive things and not dwell on what’s not great.  Most of the time anyway. :)

4. Be happy

Happy people are more fun to interact with and they make others feel good about themselves. The key is not to go overboard—ditch those yellow happy face stickers all over your cubicle. Be conscious of keeping a smile on your face, say hello to people in the hallway (yes, all of them), slow down the rush of your hectic day, and give compliments. It’s true that going to your happy place (think of your last vacation or great date) lowers your blood pressure and creates peaceful feelings, but you’re making the environment pleasant to those around you. Being happy is a choice.  I choose to be happy every day.  Period.  My friend Phyllis (my brilliant friend Phyllis) once told me that her grandmother said, “if everyone took all their troubles and threw them in a pile, you’d pick your own out”.  I think that’s paraphrased from the bible, but I like it the way she told me.  


More things charming


I happen to think you can be Gorgeous, Charming and Irresistible All of your Life.  <3


Focus on the person.





My friend, S, is Spectacular with Toasts!  Truly, we have been known to toast as many as 20 times at a sitting, thanks to S.  And remember, if possible, you need to look everyone in the eye.  Again, if possible!



I love this and really have never done it.  My very charming and very southern bestie, Kathy P, brought my kids fried chicken the day after my father’s funeral, because they told her I never made fried chicken. (What can I say, I love roasted chicken breasts).  When I told her I was bringing back the tupperware container, she told me, “tupperware containers are meant to circle the globe.  Make something for someone and give it to them in that tupperware container”.  I still have the empty tupperware container, btw.  #BusyLife

ef0b9dde3a88fd9614d68e2b78564cacTrue# :)

Cute “Charming” Quote from You’ve Got Mail

Kathleen Kelly: I thought all that Fox stuff was so charming. F-O-X.

Joe Fox: Well, I didn’t *lie* about it.

Kathleen Kelly: “Joe”? “Just call me Joe”? As if you were one of those stupid 22-year old girls with no last name? “Hi, I’m Kimberly!” “Hi, I’m Janice!” Don’t they know you’re supposed to have a last name? It’s like they’re an entire generation of cocktail waitresses.

And another one…

		Everyone is breaking up.  You.  Me.  This
		other person I know broke up with someone
		in an elevator.  I think it was in an
		elevator.  Or just outside it.  Or after
		it.  It got stuck.  I think.  And suddenly
		everything became clear.  When I saw you,
		at the coffee place, I was waiting for him
		and I was --

		-- charming.

		I was not charming.

		Well, you looked charming.

My favorite recipe of the week.  Thank you to my friends with Hyatt for a fun event, where I was introduced to my new obsession:  Truffled Popcorn


Yield: 4-6 servings as a snack
Active time: 5-8 minutes
Start to finish: 5-8 minutes

2 tablespoons grape seed oil
1 cup popcorn kernels
3 tablespoons butter, melted
Truffle salt to taste

  1. Heat a large heavy pot over medium high heat. Add the grape-seed oil and popcorn kernels and stir.
  2. Cover with a lid and cook, shaking the pot occasionally, until the kernels begin to pop.
  3. Reduce the heat to medium low and continue to cook until the sound of the kernels popping slows down considerably.
  4. Remove from the heat, drizzle in the butter and toss well. Season with truffle salt to taste and serve.

Song of the Week – Shots by Imagine Dragons 

I am out of luck I am waiting to break
When I keep saying that I’m looking for a way to escape
Oh I m wishing I had what I’d taken for granted
I can’t help you when I’m only gonna do you wrong


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Speaking of charming… some of the most charming gals I know.  And this is a Horrible picture of me, but I post it because They all look sensational.  #makesmecharming #looksAintEverything #CharmingisthenewBlack

My favorite charming kids :)

kownick kids



You know what else is charming?  Hearing from one of my very besties that she has her coffee brought to her by her husband (that’s a bit much ;) ) and waiting on my blog!  Here it is Dr. Stevie!! xo

well hello weekend

Well, hello weekend!  Make it a great one!!  I’m going car shopping!










He loves me…yeah, yeah, yeah

13 Feb


Valentine’s Day  2015.  That crept up on us super fast!  Seems like just yesterday it was Valentines Day 2014.  Last year we celebrated with a fun-filled family weekend in Beverly Hills and Newport Beach.  But what trumps Valentine’s Day? How about my son’s birthday? :) The real reason for that trip!

Before I can get to posting some favorite pics of Patrick, I should dedicate part of this blog to Valentine’s Day!  So, let’s just briefly touch upon gift ideas (or idea), fun affordable dates, love songs and sweet nothings!  Best. Blog. Ever!

Gift Ideas - I am going with only one gift, because it works for Him or Her, is affordable, and everyone can use one.  You can get this for less than $20 on Amazon.

SELFIE STICK – A selfie stick is a monopod used to take selfie photographs by positioning a smartphone or camera beyond the normal range of the arm. The metal sticks are typically extensible, with a handle on one end and an adjustable clamp on the other end to hold a phone in place. Some have remote or Bluetooth controls, letting the user decide when to take the picture, and models designed for cameras have a mirror behind the viewscreen so that the shot can be lined up. (wikipedia).




Date Ideas if you are on a budget.  Thank you Bustle!

1. Go sledding… or have a snowball fight

You know why being a kid was so fun? Because you had zero money but still had a blast just playing outside. Put on your snow pants and find the perfect sledding hill or a nearby park. When you can’t feel your fingers anymore, head inside and make some boozy homemade hot chocolate for two.

2. Play games at an arcade bar

Preferably one where the games are free. But either way, you can scrap up spare change in the name of pinball and Pac-Man. Again, alcohol and childhood nostalgia are a winning combo.

3. Hit up a food truck and explore your city

Fact: Everybody likes food trucks. Find one with cuisine you both agree on (tacos, am I right?) and grab some lunch, then stroll around the neighborhood hand-in-greasy hand.

4. Tour a local brewery or winery

So you both love craft beer or fancy yourselves sommeliers? Go taste beer or wine for the price of tour admission… it beats paying bar prices.

5. Spend a day at the museum

I know, some museums have pretty pricey admission, but not all! I recommend a natural history museum because everyone loves dinosaurs and weird taxidermy collections.

6. Go hiking or snowshoeing

The best part about the great outdoors is that it’s free — well, unless you’re paying for trail admission at a state park. Still, long hikes are an adventure, and you can always take breaks to make out in the woods. As for snowshoeing, a lot of city recreational departments offer cheap rentals.

7. Head to a roller rink… or roller derby match

Couple’s skating is darling, and if you’re lucky the rink will have a disco ball to set the retro mood. If you’d rather not fall on your face, get rowdy and go see some local derby girls kick butt instead.

8. Build a fort

Is there anything better than chilling in your very own tent fort? Yes, cuddling in it with your SO. If your fort’s big enough, you can even eat a romantic V-Day dinner in there.

9. Spend a day at a flea market

Try on weird kimonos or fur coats, ogle vintage typewriters, and buy each other a quirky token of affection at the end of the day. At flea markets and thrift stores, looking is half the fun.

10. Go to a local concert or comedy show

Going to Taylor Swift’s tour is pricey, but going to see an up-and-coming local band is pocket-money. Even if you haven’t heard of them, why not branch out and support a local artist? If they’re bad, just drink beer until they sound better.

11. Find a guided ghost tour

Patrick Swayze probably won’t be there, but you can get good deals for these on sites like Groupon all the time. Even if the tour isn’t great quality (I went on one in D.C. led by a man in colonial garb), you can make fun of it together.

12. See stars at the planetarium

It was magical for Ross and Rachel, and it can be for you, too. Even though it’s probably too cold out to enjoy the real night sky, the planetarium is temperature-controlled, educational, and all-around enjoyable.

13. Sing together at a karaoke bar

If you’re not normally karaoke people, use Valentine’s Day night as an opportunity to break out of your shells. Take a couple of shots and sing your hearts out during a duet.

14. Have a game night


18 Love Quotes that are “anything but cheesy” from Bustle!  Or Sweet Nothings as I like to call em.


  • 1. “Love is the triumph of imagination over intelligence.” — Henry Louis Mencken
  • 2. “Who, being loved, is poor?” — Oscar Wilde
  • 3. “Love me and the world is mine.” — David Reed
  • 4. “Nobody has ever measured, even poets, how much a heart can hold.” — Zelda Fitzgerald
  • 5. “Love me when I least deserve it, because that’s when I really need it.” — Swedish Proverb
  • 6. “There is always some madness in love. But there is also always some reason in madness.” — Friedrich Nietzsche
  • 7. “Love is too strong a word to say it too early, but it has too beautiful a meaning to say it too late.” — Kurt Cornish
  • 8. “The best thing to hold onto in life is each other.” — Audrey Hepburn
  • 9. “Where there is love there is life.”  — Mahatma Gandhi
  • 10. “I have decided to stick with love. Hate is too great a burden to bear.” — Martin Luther King Jr.
  • 11. “Love has no age, no limit; and no death.” — John Galsworthy
  • 12. “With our love, we could save the world.” — George Harrison
  • 13. “Love is the joy of the good, the wonder of the wise, the amazement of the gods.” — Plato
  • 14. “The hunger for love is much more difficult to remove than the hunger for bread.” — Mother Teresa 
  • 15. “If a thing loves, it is infinite.” —William Blake 
  • 16. “The greatest thing you’ll ever learn is to love and be loved in return.” — Natalie Cole 
  • 17. “We are shaped and fashioned by those we love.” — Goethe 
  • 18. “And remember, as it was written, to love another person is to see the face of God.” — Victor Hugo


Some of my Favorite Sweet Nothings!

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My Favorite Romantic Movies.  I never met a romantic comedy I didn’t love, btw.

You’ve Got Mail – love this one so much, I’ve dedicated an entire blog to it

When Harry Met Sally – Classic

An Affair to Remember – my Mom’s favorite movie.  One of mine as well.

Sleepless in Seattle – “Magic”

Runaway Bride – Great one-lines in this one.

The Proposal – we love Ramone.

The Best of Me – Mer and I watched this twice last weekend.  Love it.

Pretty in Pink – what’s not to love about a classic 80’s romantic comedy?

Never Been Kissed – I just love that Michael Vartan

My Best Friend’s Wedding – the end scene with Julia Roberts dancing with Rupert Everett is one of my all-time favorite dance scenes!  Maybe there won’t be marriage.  Maybe there won’t be sex.  But by God, there’ll be dancing!


Favorite Love Songs…compliments of Dr. Stevie!!

Everlasting Love – Natalie Cole

One – U2

Make you feel my love – Bryan Ferry

Can’t get enough of you – Barry White

True Companion – Marc Cohen.  My sister’s first dance at her wedding.

Moon Dance – Van Morrison

Love Song – The Cure

Baby Love – Diana Ross

True – – Nothing screams the 80’s like this song!

Sea of Love – The Honeydippers

Song of the Day: You’re the First, My Last, My Everything, by Barry White

I know there’s only, only one like you
There’s no way they could have made two
You’re all I’m living for, your love I’ll keep forevermore
First, you’re the last, my everything

And just like that…You are 18!  Happy Birthday to my baby boy, Patrick.  We are so proud of the kind, caring, sweet, smart and funny young man you have become.  Love you my sweet boy! <3 <3 <3

POB Yearbook 1 001

As Kevin would say, “The face that launched a thousand ships”. ;)



Patrick and I through the years…or through what I found on my iphone. ;)  I think this was 2007?


Patrick humoring his old mom in Malibu!  March 2012.



Dinner at the Resort at Pelican Hill.  Truly one of the Best. Dinners. Ever! March 2014.




Patrick and Mary






One of my favorite family photos.  We always sit in the same spot when we sit in a booth.  This was on my birthday in 2013.  Magical weekend!!


See?  ;)

Happy Valentine’s Day! <3 <3 <3





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All You Need is Love

Will you be my Valentine

Loves me Loves me not








Best. Ecard. Ever!



Jackie Kennedy Style Tips

6 Feb


Coming off January which was a month of blogs about Murphy, Super Bowl, Maxie, 30-Day Abs, Dressing like Olivia Pope, and How to have a lovely day!  Not too much about style, other than Olivia Pope.  So I thought I’d highlight some “style tips” from Jackie Kennedy, who has always been one of my style icons.   This is Dressed to a T, btw.  And again, I do appreciate those who tell me they enjoy my blogs when they are more about “my life”, but I prefer blogs Not about “my life”. #keepemguessing #boringlife #notboringgal



Yves Saint Laurent once said that fashion fades, but style is eternal. Every time I hear this quote, I immediately think of Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis.  Laura Dunn.

Laura Dunn, writes a Political Style blog, and had this to say about Jackie Kennedy’s style.  I think she happens to be right on, so happy to reblog this.

“I’ve been a fan of Jackie Kennedy for several years, with a particular interest in the work of the Kennedy Administration and Jackie’s time as a book editor. The period of her life ‘after Jack’ is similarly intriguing, and it is this era of her life that I look to for timeless fashion tips”.

Jackie Kennedy Style Tips

1. Never be without your sunglasses: I always opt for big sunglasses, or at least ones that cover the whole of my eyes! Jackie was known for the bug-eyed style of glasses, and legend has it that she had a bowl by her front door that contained many different pairs. This is a Terry O style tip, as well!  When in Rome…


2. Own a classic handbag: From Gucci to Hermes, Jackie carried a designer handbag to store her essentials. While you don’t have to spend several months rent on the latest purse, look for a classic shape and color scheme that will take you easily from season to season.  Yet another Terry O tip!  #sisters


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3. Off-duty doesn’t have to be untrendy: When she wasn’t on ‘duty,’ Jackie would opt for jeans and a pair of Keds to run around town. With endless options to choose from, there are pairs of Keds for everyone! Plus they’re very useful for running away from paparazzi!  I can relate.

jackie Jacki

4. Invest in jewelry that will last a lifetime: Timeless pieces of jewelry are always a winner, and Jackie had several items that she wore from her time as a Senator’s wife in the 1950s, up until her death in 1994. Because luxury items hold their value, consider investing in a timeless piece that will bring both revenue and style. Thank you Kevin!




5. Keep them guessing: Many of Jackie’s jewels were actually costume jewelry designed by Kenneth Jay Lane. She even had real pieces recast in paste, and many individuals couldn’t tell the difference. If costume jewelry worked for Jackie, it will work for you!  I have a knack for losing jewelry.  This is a great tip.  Take it from someone who knows. :)


Great Jackie Looks that I Love <3

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Jackie Kennedy Quotes 


I have heard about this quote for many, many years.  I have, myself, also tried to live by this quote.


You cannot separate the good from the bad…But I do try to focus on the good.


Something that we, in this social media day and age, need to remember.

Song of the Day:  Only One by John Butler Trip – Another great rec by Dr. Stevie! Love her!  Love this song!  Crazy video, btw. ;)

To me you are the only one
Who can help unwind my tangled mind
I am the seed but you’re the sun
I’m telling anybody tell everybody

460cae9bc1a997b0859ae9ee8db56f05So here we are the week after Super Bowl…and typically one of the sadder weeks of the year for me, because it’s well, “Too many to count”, weeks till Football starts up again.  Whatever will I do to fill my time? ;)


Wearing Red today in honor of Heart Disease Awareness.  #GoRed

Have a great weekend.  Maxie gets her first training class.  #BadlyNeeded #PackLeaderTraining


Happiest of Birthdays to Amelia!  Here is one of my favorite pictures of Amelia (One of the only ones I have, btw)…one of my very favorite and most stylish friends (with  this blogger and Joy, another favorite and very stylish friend).

Terry Amelia Joy

Live your life.  And last, but certainly not least… a very Happy Birthday to Bruce, my first male blog follower and someone who truly knows how to live life. :) #nopicrequired #onehalfofamericasfavoritecouple




One walking disaster.



Do this every day!






c1729bfda9236bdabb48a3f269db8240Kinda true.


Oldie, but goodie!




30-Day Abs Challenge

31 Jan

Dressed to a T:

Because Spring Break is 6 weeks away… Starting this February 1. Care to join me?

Originally posted on DRESSED TO A T:

went for a run today


Ok, I’m in…Starts June 1, 2014.  Who’s with me?  Here’s what has been going “viral” on Facebook, and I have joined this gal’s group, and hoping more will join with me.  She also has included the YouTube video links of these exercises.  This is what she has posted on Facebook:

I wanted to create an event that will begin June 1st, 2014 which will be the first of 30 days to the abs we all dream of. I need motivation to do this myself which is why I thought maybe if I created an event we can all do this together and motivate each other.

I’ll post the calendar thanks to Jodi Higgs, and what I’d like to happen (and what will happen will probably be very different) would be for everyone to post their comments of completion, or post pics or a video of parts of their workout or…

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