6 Oct IMG_9711

hi.  thanks for reading.  i’ve taken some time off to start a new job but anxious to jump back into appreciating life in this blog.  i’m starting a new series based on all the travel we’ve done recently.  it’s a quick weekend itinerary in cities worth visiting around the country.  While these we “tested” with us – a couple – these are perfect trips for singles, girlfriend getaway or families.

we’re going to start with beautiful santa fe, new mexico.  want to head there for a getaway with your loved one for a weekend?  here is where to go, what to do and where to stay.  follow this, like we did, and i promise you’ll have a great weekend!

arrive friday afternoon and stay here:

la posada de santa fe

this place is utterly breathtaking, unique and perfectly located.  stay here and you don’t need to rent a car because you can walk everywhere.  and it’s different… not a typical resort.  instead of one big hotel, these are separate buildings that hold four rooms each with their own outdoor space.  every late afternoon, they light up the outdoor fire pits with that distinct fall smell of pinion wood.  most importantly, the bar is fun, lively and from popular talk…haunted.  we used points to stay here – it’s a starwood resort.  located walking distance from the plaza and my favorite place – canyon road.  also- this place is dog friendly!  in fact, one of my good friends from my chicago years drove down with her adorable pup drove down and met us for dinner

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photos courtesy of la posada de santa fe

Screen Shot 2015-10-06 at 5.38.47 AMfriday night dinner:


132 West Water
Santa Fe, NM 87501
(505) 983-1615

after you’ve settled into your beautiful room at la posada, maybe had a delicious jalapeno margarita at the bar, head out by foot to coyota cafe.  this is one of ROF and my favorite restaurants in the country!  we’ve been here several times and it never disappoints.  get there about a half hour before your reservation and have a drink at the rooftop cantina connected to the restaurant and the views of the plaza won’t disappoint.

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really weak photos, i know.  sorry.  ROF won’t let me use the flash because i take too many pictures (haha) but here was a snap from our walk to the restaurant.  i’m told that the reason why santa fe is so magical (best word to describe) is that the light dances.  and it does – amazing!


now, walk home, go on, it’s safe and believe it or not the sky is still as bright as the picture.   hold hands walking through the resort to your room (not required, but recommended!)

saturday morning breakfast:

what?  still full from the night before?  no way!  sleep in a little bit, go to the resort spa or workout then head here.  and plan to wait but it is worth it.

cafe pasqual’s – 121 don gaspar road

just walk there.  we walked everywhere.  here are some pics from pasquals.  i bought a long sleeve tee which seems to be my thing to collect now….

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saturday afternoon  – things to do

take a open air bus tour.  it’s a great way to see a city and ROF and i do this everywhere we go.  walk over to the loretto chapel – through the end of october only – jump on this tram and tool around and hear some great tidbits about sante fe.  my take away?  people paint their windows and doors blue to keep the bad spirits away.  there… worth the couple of bucks.

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saturday later in the afternoon ….

ok, enough of that, now let’s have fun.  sign up in advance for a cooking class at the santa fe school of cooking.  they couldn’t be nicer here and we are so glad we did this.  we met fantastic families from all over the country, learned a lot and got to get our hands dirty.  plus, now we are expert salsa makers! 

santa fe school of cooking 125 N Guadalupe St

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saturday night dinner:

geronimo… a must go.

from the owners book on the restaurant:

Featuring huge overhead beams, creamy stucco details, and a fireplace sporting oversized moose antlers, the 250-year-old hacienda that houses Geronimo restaurant is a welcome addition to Santa Fe’s trendy Canyon Road. Restaurant owners Cliff Skoglund and Chris Harvey along with chef Eric DiStefano have created a refined retreat in this once rough-and-tumble town, serving exquisite contemporary cuisine that rivals the best in the country. …Geronimo restaurant is named for Señor Geronimo Lopez, the former owner of the hacienda in which Geronimo is housed.

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sunday – all about art

santa fe is the oldest capital city in the us.  did you know that?  did you also know that georgia o’keefe is from santa fe?  i’m a bevy of information.  so, it’s sunday, you’ve slept in and are ready to get some exercise.  walk around the corner and hike all the way up canyon road.  here there are over a hundred contemporary art galleries in one half mile.  there are also restaurants and boutiques.  it is so much fun to stroll through these galleries and look at the art and figure out our “art style” together.  ROF and i have the same taste, which is awesome to discover.

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hope you get a chance to visit santa fe soon!  let me know if you have a favorite place there to visit.

5 lovely links (you’ll love!): pumpkin

23 Sep

Amy Fulford:

Flashback to posts long ago…pumpkin, it’s more than just a latte!

Originally posted on the appreciator:

i think you get the point by now, i love fall and everything that goes along with it –

cool weather, sweaters, squash, chili, the holidays.  i especially love starbuck’s pumpkin spice latte.  it’s the only time of year i like starbucks.  but pumpkin flavor, color or the actual vegetable i’m all over.  here are some links to everything pumpkin: 

link #1:  better homes & gardens shows some creative ways to decorate with pumpkins

link #2: pumpkin pancakes.  to-die-for!

found these on a blog called “annie’s eats”  .  and you can get the recipes there too.  just look at these…

link #3:  skinnygirl pumpkin pie dip

here is link to original post at skinnytaste

Pumpkin Pie Dip
Gina’s Weight Watcher Recipes
Servings: 12 • Size: 1/2 cup • Old Points: 2 pts • Points+: 3 pts
Calories: 102.9 • Fat: 0.1g • Protein: 1.8 g • Carb:…

View original 215 more words

encouragement for today

17 Sep 47ad1502574900cbf7e611cf615d75fc

ok, so i went a little crazy on pinterest

this weekend and pulled some goodies.

it’s thursday, so read and be encouraged – or at least laugh!

make today a great day.  xoxo


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the grass is greenest where you are now.

1 Sep


i’ve been accused of having a positive attitude.  i’ve heard it several times over the years.

i’m not sure if that’s good or not, but i would say that it beats the alternative.  there is nothing i hate more, in business or life, than a complainer.  actually, that’s a lie (i don’t hate liars…ha!) i hate whiners.  everyone’s got to complain now and then.  that is just venting, letting it out – letting it go.  that, every now and then, is no big deal.  it’s whining that i can’t stand.  don’t whine in America.  go whine in a country where your freedom is limited, go whine in a place where you don’t have a choice.  i’ve been in a leadership position now for over 15 years and my advice to someone who whines or gossips about their job is – for crying out loud – leave!

my positive attitude stems from this: the grass is greenest where you are now.

think “what if.”  this just doesn’t have to do with your career but your life in general.  think to yourself “what if this is as good as it gets and it is only my attitude that sucks?”  do a check on your attitude and outlook on life in general and if the answer then is – no this truly sucks, then move on.  it’s taking ownership of your life.   by switching your thinking that the grass is actually greenest where you are right now should change your perspective from pointing to external circumstances and pointing the finger at yourself.  how am i in control of this?  

“i know of no more encouraging fact than the unquestionable ability of man to elevate his life by conscious endeavor”  – Henry David Thoreau

i think it’s important to be hyper self-aware before you make sudden moves.  my positive attitude stems from the question i  try to ask myself: “did i make a positive contribution to my surroundings, my goals and my team today and did i do my very best in this situation?”  i’ve trained myself to think this way.

it also stems from something i learned in advertising almost 22 years ago: a good account executive shows what they are made of when they are under fire.  i learned that when i was 22 years old and it stuck with me.  when the shit hit the fan, i wanted to be the leader -even if i was the intern! –  that rose above the anarchy (that ad has to go out tonight!! the client hates the font, the meeting was moved to today, she quit and went to the competition!!!) and said “BUCK UP, LET’S DO THIS AND DO IT WELL!”

while i may have a positive attitude most of the time, it doesn’t mean i’m a pushover or pollyannish.  but it does make me realize that someone’s else’s crappy or bitchy attitude probably has more to do with their outlook on life than on me.  <hopefully!>

if you don’t already, start thinking about your life in the terms that the grass is greenest where you are right now and see where it takes you! oh, and read this book asap.  i promise it will change your life!

happy tuesday!

dallas restaurant review: stock and barrel

23 Aug IMG_9253


you’ve got to check out the bishop arts district of dallas.  i can’t wait to go back and explore more.  there have been so many changes since we moved away and back.

i was there recently and just popped in to stock and barrel to have dinner  with friends last weekend and catch a concert at the historic kessler theatre down the street.


i loved my first impression of stock and barrel.  it was busy but not obnoxiously packed, had a great crisp and nice/casual aesthetic  and it had this delicious and faint smell like barbecue bacon inside.    we were seated right away at the time of our reservation and our waiter was attentive but not too much so and had spot-on recommendations.

as you can probably tell from my instagram posts – we eat out a lot.  i find myself ordering similar items no matter where we go.  i’m pretty predictable.  salmon or scallops and sometimes a steak.  big whip.  but here i tried something new.  the wagyu meatloaf with smoked bacon and melted onion hash.  it was outstanding! wait- rewind – we started with the crushed avocado toasts with spanish chorizo and balsamic gastrique and the goat cheese dumplings….oh my.  i think i could have just had that and been done.  everyone was very happy with their dinner and when we looked at our watches and realized our show was about to start, the waiter was awesome at getting us out quickly.


photo creds: top left and bottom: A. Fulford and top right and bottom: Kye R. Lee, staff photographer at dallas morning news.

i would highly recommend stock and barrel in the fun bishop arts district in dallas.

if you’re not running to a show, stay in the neighborhood and go here for a drink afterwards or here for some specialty chocolate

then we got to see some great live music.  for starters it was matt stansberry & the romance.  i loved this band from OKC!


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the headliner was the relatives of dallas and they were awesome!  we had so much fun.  they had us rolling around on the floor and jumping up and down.  we couldn’t help but laugh.  check them out here:



party of one

18 Aug

if you have to eat alone, do it with confidence and have fun.

here are 4 things you can do other than stick your face into your mobile phone and text people stupid things:

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  1. sit at the bar.  don’t be afraid, ladies.  men have this down but they don’t own it!  move in and make the space yours.  great way to meet new friends and at least exchange words with the bartender.  at the bar, you can check out other loners and try to guess their story.

Screen Shot 2015-08-14 at 1.19.10 PM2. write.  i actually did this a lot in my single years in my 20’s and 30’s.  grab some paper and writing utensil and write about what you see, where you are (like literally…where you are) what you’re feeling and what is going on in your life.  these are great to put away in a box and open it up years from now.  i have a ton of stuff i wrote as far back as 25 years ago and i can read it and totally remember what i was up to… because i wrote it all down!  also, it makes you look important.  the guy next to you at the bar is thinking ” she must be an author!”

3. strike up a conversation.  if this sounds terrifying to you – all the more reason to do it.  everyone is afraid of person-to-person conversation now.  everyone texts!  what will you say?  here are some great openers:

  • been on any good vacations lately?
  • fred, it’s great to see you!  oh!  i’m sorry, you’re not fred!  (the embarrassment wears off quickly and you’re left chatting it up)

4. be observant.  just look around and think of it as an adventure.  you can only do this if you’re uber confident because everyone else will rely on their trusty cell phone and google stupid song lyrics or worse, the menu at the restaurant they’re sitting at! <gulp>  pull your shoulders back,  sit up straight, smile.  order a drink and enjoy it!  check the room out, chat it up with the wait staff.  boy this sounds stupid doesn’t it?  i take this all for granted for as much as i (used) to travel.  i realize their might be some women out there that don’t have to eat by themselves.  and that is fine but if you get the chance DO IT.  it may be an adventure.

girls weekend itinerary in new york city

24 Jul Girls-Weekend-NY

just got back sunday from a to-die-for girls weekend in new york city.  amazing how simple it was to coordinate being that i’m in dallas, susan and sarah are in chatham, nj and sara beth is in atlanta.  so if you’re thinking of heading there, check out our itinerary for 2015.  short, but certainly sweet!

Friday night:

Dinner @ Schillers Liquor Bar @8pm

great little casual place in the lower east side.  great energy, food + drinks.  plus the wait staff has great ink!  perfect place for us to squeal and laugh and catch up with each other.  also, you’re in “real” nyc – not too touristy.

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walk the high line

if i lived here, i’d do this every weekend.  the art was fantastic!  the flowers and trees – beautiful.  this park located UP on an old elevated train line is not to be missed.  it was a beautiful day to walk through here, stop for some coffee and snap some pictures.
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Brunch reservation @ 12:30 at Greenwich Project 

we then walked a block to this quaint, adorable restaurant sara picked out.  the part about walking a block was an inside joke because everything was “just a block away” – according to the native NYers – SBP and SP.  this was really a 47 block walk (ask susan) but well worth it.

we caught the service here on an off day.  but we still had a couple of brunch bloodies and sangria and awesome food.  the best part?  they comped our entire meal because of the service.  scheeesh!  that kind of made our whole day!

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Reservation at Bite Lip Lab to make own lipstick @ 2:30

this place was bad ass!  i have to say the two lipsticks i made are the best i’ve ever had – better than MAC!  seriously!  they smell awesome – mint/vanilla – and are super soft!  this place is the size of a postage stamp but i want one in dallas.  it was a lot of fun to watch them mix the colors, then sample then mix some more!

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SoHo Shopping

you can’t go to NYC without shopping in SOHO.  i snagged an unbelievable snag – a chloe marcie hobo bag at a consignment shop.  it took me exactly 2 minutes to decide.  i know that’s a shocker.


Mary’s Fish Camp in the West Village @ 8pm

loved this place!  small, crowded, don’t accept reservations,  no air conditioning but completely non-touristy and the most delicious lobster roll ever.  mary popped around the restaurant bringing wine and delivering food.  what a find!
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central park!

our last day – my flight was at 4:50.  woke up late, ate at hotel and grabbed some last minute clothes at the j crew sale then took off through central park.  we stayed at the essex house – a jw marriott hotel located right on the south side of the park.  it was hot but a beautiful, sunny day.  central park is so much fun to people watch!

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Sarabeth’s for brunch

this place was awesome but we waited an hour and half for a table which actually wasn’t so bad because it was great people watching and the tuna salad was worth it!

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so to recap our short girls trip itinerary in NYC:

stay:  essex house jw marriott on the park (or try a cool boutique hotel, i used points so it was free!)

eat: schillers liquor bar, greenwich project, mary’s fish camp, sarabeths for brunch

do: shopping in soho, bite lip lab, central park



what keeps me motivated.

15 Jul Screen Shot 2015-06-25 at 2.24.59 PM

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my weight loss journey has been a long one.  as is it with most people.  but the one constant that keeps me focused and on track is God.

right now i’m into running and yoga.  running is extremely hard for me.  it’s boring and the minute it starts to get hard i want to quit.  now, if ROF is reading this (and he probably is) he might think that i motivate myself by the way i scream at the top of my lungs while i do my couch to 5K running app on the treadmill.  it cracks him up to hear me bellow out rap lyrics and mix in random spurts of  YOU CAN DO IT and ONE MORE MINUTE!  and KEEP RUNNING to myself.  

it’s fun, but not my real motivator.  my real motivator is saying this over and over to myself:  “you are fearfully and wonderfully made.”  that is what keeps me going.  i am fearfully and wonderfully made.  really?  you mean i just don’t willy nilly exist from an evolved ape?

it’s from psalm 139 and it is one of the most comforting passages in the bible to me.  here, read the NIV version for yourself:

For the director of music. Of David. A psalm.

You have searched me, Lord,
    and you know me.
You know when I sit and when I rise;
    you perceive my thoughts from afar.
You discern my going out and my lying down;
    you are familiar with all my ways.
Before a word is on my tongue
    you, Lord, know it completely.
You hem me in behind and before,
    and you lay your hand upon me.
Such knowledge is too wonderful for me,
    too lofty for me to attain.

Where can I go from your Spirit?
    Where can I flee from your presence?
If I go up to the heavens, you are there;
    if I make my bed in the depths, you are there.
If I rise on the wings of the dawn,
    if I settle on the far side of the sea,
10 even there your hand will guide me,
    your right hand will hold me fast.
11 If I say, “Surely the darkness will hide me
    and the light become night around me,”
12 even the darkness will not be dark to you;
    the night will shine like the day,
    for darkness is as light to you.

13 For you created my inmost being;
    you knit me together in my mother’s womb.
14 I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made;
    your works are wonderful,
    I know that full well.
15 My frame was not hidden from you
    when I was made in the secret place,
    when I was woven together in the depths of the earth.
16 Your eyes saw my unformed body;
    all the days ordained for me were written in your book
    before one of them came to be.
17 How precious to me are your thoughts,[a] God!
    How vast is the sum of them!
18 Were I to count them,
    they would outnumber the grains of sand—
    when I awake, I am still with you.

how does that knowledge motivate me?  because they are words ordained by God and spoken by one bad-ass dude – David.  and it isn’t about just me and what i want for me but what God wants for me.  he put a lot of thought into me and i was fearfully and wonderfully made.  so push on because i was made for it!

 not that it matters, but bono is moved too by the psalms…

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i have this book right on my nightstand.  it’s just the psalms alone with an intro by bono.  i’ve had this book for a long time and it’s dog-earred and highlighted and torn.  i didn’t even know that U2 based their song “40” on a psalm!  here i was in my 20’s, screaming “how long” in soldier field in chicago and waving my hands in the air (probably sloshing my beer all over everyone) not knowing how much this book of the bible would influence me in my future.
“So then we had this slightly unusual piece of music and we said, ‘OK, what are we going to do with it?’ Bono said, ‘Let’s do a psalm.’ Opened up the bible and found Psalm 40. ‘This is it. Let’s do it.’ And within forty minutes we had worked out the last few elements for the tune, Bono had sung it, and we mixed it. And literally, after finishing the mix, we walked out through the door and the next band walked in.”
– The Edge, U2 By U2 2006
this is a snippet of how bono tells his story in the introduction of this book:
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anyway, in addition to running, i have been loving yoga.  probably because i’m just able to move now better than i used to.  but it is a great way to connect with my body in a loving way, not a hurtful way like in the past…”you can’t wear clothes like that….you can’t do this….you can’t do that…i hate my body…” but it is a way to meditate on this psalm.  even though yoga stems from a different belief system than Christianity, I totally can respect it’s origin and people but continue to silently meditate – while i sweep my hands in the air and take a long stretch – on the fact that i was “fearfully and wonderfully made…”

have a great day!

25 things to do with blueberries

13 Jul Screen Shot 2015-07-13 at 1.15.47 PM

if you’re like me, you walk into whole foods or your local grocery store of choice and walk right into the fresh produce section.  there sits beautiful mounds of blueberries all nicely packaged and wrapped with care.  i tend to daydream as step closer to them – thinking of all the hard work that went into getting those blueberries to us.  you know… how they have to  be picked, sorted, packaged, shipped and then they have just a few days (if that) of shelf life.  yes, i know, that goes for all produce.

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but i never end up grabbing a pint because i  just can never finish a whole one and they end up going bad.  and then i feel guilty.  so i walk past the blueberries and think …next time…


i’ve specially curated a batch of 25+ blueberry recipes for you from some of my favorite bloggers and pinners.  don’t miss the one here – a hysterical v-logger that i love!  those little blue nuggets of goodness will never get wasted now!  i’ve only collected recipes that look good to me and that i would make.  or i liked the name of the recipe like cloufouti.

here are 5 blueberry recipes and for the rest, go to my dedicated pinterest page here.

be sure to click on the “by” for the recipe.

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baked blueberry oatmeal

from cupofjo blog

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blueberry chopped chicken salad

from us highbrush blueberry council

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blueberry sauce crepes with honey whipped cream

by diethood.com

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summer corn + blueberry salad

by food.com

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blueberry lemon cake

by food52.com

Screen Shot 2015-07-13 at 1.18.39 PMand if you’re looking for 25 things to do with peaches…. click here!  or check out this awesome recipe for a tried and true delicious peach cobbler recipe.

women + babies + judgement

6 Jul Screen Shot 2015-07-06 at 6.49.50 AM


a couple of weeks ago i found myself having a group lunch in dallas with a couple of acquaintances.  the three of us were positioned at the end of the table and having that good but somewhat awkward conversation given we’d just met each other.  one of us was in her 50’s ,one in her 40’s and the third in her 30’s.


the woman in her 50’s told us about her children and how she was a single mom with two kids.  having divorced their abusive father when the kids were young, she said “i got two great kids out of the situation!”


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then i said – I did the opposite!  no one can be certain that divorce isn’t in the cards, but i waited through my 20’s and my 30’s to discover who i am and grow my career and find a husband that was most compatible to me.  by the time that happened, i was older than i wanted to be to start a family.


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the third woman – the one in her thirties – said that she had been married for over 10 years but couldn’t get pregnant.  and she shared that her cousin called her that week to say that she was pregnant and “they weren’t even trying.”  she said this as she choked back tears and pushed her hair out of her eyes.

it was such an honest conversation between women that had just met.  we were simply stating our situation – not making any claims or judging each other for their decisions or feeling any regrets.  just stating what is. we talked about how rude people can be when talking about kids and asking about kids and pushing their thoughts on to your lifestyle.

made me think how many times people quickly jump to conclusions about someone else’s life.


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it’s all about the choices that you make.   you are where you are because of the choices you made and because it is where God thought you could handle it.  yes, there are things that happen to you that you couldn’t control – things that you wouldn’t choose.  but you control how you react to them and you choose where to go from there.

what this conversation also taught me was to dig deeper.  you don’t know the whole story on people so don’t be so harsh on them.

one of my biggest pet peeves is PEOPLE magazine and magazines like that.  giving the “people” the scoop on celebrities.  you probably don’t know them and you’re going to judge them on the small snippet of true or not true information you’re given. oh wait.  people do that now with everything. not just gossip mags but news articles, facebook – everything!  give their quick reaction or judgement call on just a snippet of information.

michael hyatt, one of my favorite author and speakers says this about being slow to judge.

Screen Shot 2015-07-06 at 6.49.50 AM have a great day!!

two tip thursday: lynda + pretty pegs

25 Jun Screen Shot 2015-06-25 at 6.08.29 AM

happy almost-friday day!

i’m still in las Vegas as I’ve been all week attending the promax conference.  i’m fresh into a new job-opportunity and absolutely loving it.  but excited to head home today.  i miss these two faces:

on to the tips.  very random today.

tip #1: lynda.com

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are you familiar with this one? it wouldn’t surprise me to be late to the game on this first tip.  wouldn’t be the first time, friend.  but everyone needs to join and join today.  i don’t care if you think you know everything already, your brain is wired to learn and learn all the time.  too busy?  i call bullsh*t on that.  i get more done between 5am and 7am for myself than any other time of the day.  go to bed early, wake up early and treat your brain.

Screen Shot 2015-06-25 at 5.59.44 AM Screen Shot 2015-06-25 at 6.00.54 AMthis is what i started watching here at 5am this morning.  outstanding stuff:

Screen Shot 2015-06-25 at 6.07.39 AMbut more than stuff like this, you basically can learn anything from the best in their industry.  very technical things like specific photoshop classes to more general business classes.  i’m digging in and digging in deep.

tip #2: peg legs for furniture

in a nutshell, turn furniture (namely ikea furniture!) into your own with these really cool peg legs for furniture.  i first heard of this through on of my favorite blogs: simply grove. 

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she did this with her daughters room.  amazing! who thinks of this stuff?  i don’t know but i’m in awe.  they aren’t affiliated with ikea at all but inspired by customizing some of their furniture.

as an added bonus tip (mainly because i just stumbled on to this myself…) is houzz.com videos.  love this…

happy happy friday!

19 Jun 10463041_10152968372979498_1830222183456824396_n


i’m excited for this weekend.

first,  ROF comes home after being gone all week traveling on business.  (yea!)

second, we are taking my mom on an overnight trip here to celebrate her 74th birthday and mothers day.  i treasure this special alone time with ROF and my mom.  we’re going to get facials and massages and maybe float the lazy river.  maybe not that last one.

you might remember when the three of us went to chicago a couple of years ago and had a blast:

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yep, we’re celebrating mom on father’s day which is totally appropriate for us!  you can read more on that here.


have a great weekend!  XXOO

two tip thursday: beck + privacy on facebook

18 Jun IMG_7868


in today’s brief, i’ve got two random tips for you.

one you are going to love and one is a bit controversial so take it or leave it.

tip #1: listen

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beck is my age. which, to me, says that you can get cooler as you get older, not just older.  this is promising.   he is <hands down> the coolest artist i know.  well, i don’t really know him.  personally.  but you know what i mean.

the tip today with beck is to listen to his new song, dreams.  listen to it super loud and get ready to dance.  this is so unlike the music on his last album for which he won album of the year this year – which is – one of the best albums ever.  you can listen here.

the other cool thing about beck is this:

“Feeling like “a total outcast”, Beck dropped out of school after junior high.[13] He later said that although he felt school was important, he felt unsafe there.[10] When he applied to the new performing arts high school downtown, he was rejected.[14] His brother, Channing, took him to post-Beat jazz places in Echo Park and Silver Lake. He hung out at the Los Angeles City College, perusing records, books and old sheet music in its library. He used a fake I.D. to sit in on classes there, and he also befriended a literature instructor and his poet wife.[14] He soon began a stream of menial jobs, including loading trucks and operating a leaf blower.[13]  (excerpt from here)

tip #2: be careful on facebook

as social media becomes more and more ingrained in our daily life and part of just “what we do”,  it’s important to not just mindlessly move through social media.  it’s important (yes, preach it sister!) to pay attention to what is going on.

the red flag i have on social media – namely facebook – is kids photos on there.  it’s just a red flag  – you know one of those things that flies when your subconscious tells you something could be awry.

here’s why i think what i do.  because facial recognition technology is being mastered and built by facebook.  don’t believe me?  read it here in fortune magazine.

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my second tip is to just please read this article and come up with your own pov on it.  as technology grows and collects and is saved – think about what you’re putting out there!

that’s it for today.  over and out!


what i made this weekend. beans, popsicles + shrimp scampi.

15 Jun IMG_7867


i was feeling very domestic this weekend.  there is something i love about making and building – and just doing – things.  i guess it stems from staring at a computer screen all week.  i was very pleased with myself this past weekend with everything i got done.

first I bought and planted this lilac bush by the pool.  i love it.  i hope it doesn’t die.

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then i made the pioneer woman’s black bean recipe.  just a sidenote on that… probably didn’t need to make the whole recipe.  she cooks for a family of 6 and i cook for 2.  these took 2.5 hours to make and I have, like MILLIONS, of beans.  if you’re reading this and live in dallas and want some good beans, call me.

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for dinner, Sunday night, we had grilled shrimp scampi, a bobby flay recipe.


lastly, i made one of my favorite blogger’s recipes for blueberry popsicles.  they were SO GOOD.  Blueberries, milk, basil, honey – YUM.

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i hate to say that i remembered to take a picture of mine too late – already ate half of it so check out her blog.  i guess i have some work to do before i’m a professional blogger!




two tip thursday

11 Jun gesture-422566_640


hi. i realize i’ve been more absent than usual on the blogging scene.  i changed jobs and am in a whole new industry – moved from advertising agencies to the media world – a media holding company.  my concentration has really been on that.  i’ve also been struggling with revamping this blog… but that’s another post.   this is about two tip thursday.  a new series i’m bound to keep up at least through two thursdays (alas making it a series…)

and they are going to be random tips.  because that is me.  random.  for those of you that know me, you know that i have self-diagnosed ADD and tend to move on in the conversation faster than the other person intended.  therefore making things RANDOM!

here are two things i know that i want to share with you today.


wow.  if you haven’t seen this yet, watch it now.  is it odd for me to say i’m so proud of her?

“Public shaming as a blood sport has to stop,” says Monica Lewinsky. In 1998, she says, “I was Patient Zero of losing a personal reputation on a global scale almost instantaneously.” Today, the kind of online public shaming she went through has become constant — and can turn deadly. In a brave talk, she takes a hard look at our online culture of humiliation, and asks for a different way.


today, try listening more than talking.  i’m just as guilty of this as the next person so this isn’t a “i’m more mighty than thou” tip here.

Others listen only long enough to figure out whether the speaker’s views conform to their own, says Bernard Ferrari, author of “Power Listening” and dean of the Johns Hopkins University Carey Business School, in Baltimore.  Still others interrupt to spout solutions—often before the problem has fully been identified, Dr. Ferrari says.

this article in the wall street journal says: The failure to listen well not only prolongs meetings and discussions but also can hurt relationships and damage careers. However, it is possible to improve your listening skills—first, by becoming aware of the ways you may tune others out.

i learned how to listen from a couple of different sources.  the biggest was becoming a stephen minister ten years ago.  this was intense training on listening to people who are going through huge life changes.  from the death of a loved one to a divorce to a loss in a job.  but the other source was improv.  i talk about that here a little.  but you can’t keep a scene moving unless you are listening.  in fact, you can look super stupid if you don’t listen to your team on stage.  read more about that here in this article.

we all remember that linda wasn’t listening too well, right?  take it from our boy:

appreciating this: be good to yourself, for once

8 Jun

Amy Fulford:

anyone else need this reminder today?

Originally posted on the appreciator:

we all need to hear some kind words.

and sometimes you need to be the one who needs to say them

to yourself.

see if you can pick up what i’m putting down here. happy almost friday!

hope that felt good! rinse, rewind and repeat as necessary.

all these great images and where they came from are on my “words” board on pinterest here

View original

routines, escalators and long goodbyes

22 May Screen Shot 2015-05-22 at 9.14.33 AM

so i actually haven’t ever really counted, but i think i have seen this view below at least 762 times in the last four and a half years.

you’ve seen it too, haven’t you?

do you think it’s odd that i took a picture of it?  well, i also took a picture of our parking garage at agency 720 because i don’t want to ever forget.  these stairs are so routine,  as is much of our daily life.  right?  that is until something disrupts our routine.

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as soon as i know my routine is going to be disrupted, because sometimes you know and sometimes you don’t, right?  i start to take snaps so i don’t ever forget.  when i look at these stairs i remember all the great supportive people at agency 720 that brought social media to their clients.

i remember all the dealer meetings – the THOUSANDS of dealer meetings i had with chevy and the excitement i had for teaching new avenues of marketing with social media.  the best part of my job was working with car dealers.  i loved being a resource to them.  they are entrepreneurs, no bullshit, smart people.  dealer meetings from new york to dallas to cleveland to minneapolis – all over!

no, i take that back. 

the best part of my job was all the wonderful people i worked with at the agency.  it started at the top and flowed all the way down.  i loved shooting vine videos with harold and dani doing the michael jackson slide throughout the agency before a long weekend, i loved going on new business pitches and staying up late going through it again and again.  i loved my friday status meetings with my boss.  I liked my routine.  but i believe it’s important to keep growing and moving forward – so my routine must be broken!

oh, i could go on.

but i won’t bore you with my long, drawn out goodbye (too late) but i do hope we stay in touch.  i can’t wait to continue to build + create + learn.

this dog is going to learn new tricks.

did i just call myself a dog?  i leave you with some of the crazy photos I’ve taken through the years.


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listening to this now… detroit playlist

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who am i kidding?

i’ve been listening to these songs for the past two months straight, not just now. they aren’t for everyone.  which is just how i like it.  i do believe i’ve worn ROF down playing them as much as i do.  i see some head nodding and wavy hand motions if he thinks i’m not looking.

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the music i love the most is stuff that could be the background music for my life.  just press play when i get up.

this particular mix is called detroit because i commute so much up there and stay at my cousins house out in rochester hills.  i get up super early and head out on 75 to make my way downtown.  after getting my flat white at starbucks, i press play and tear off for the motor city at 6:30am.  this is what i listened to in my headphones headed north.  i love this mix. especially spells by cannon.  <sigh.>

what is going through my head while listening to this is that i’m not actually driving down beat-up 75 at 6:30 in the morning.  i’m lounging by an infinity pool in mexico or i’ve got my feet in the sand in belize.  this is playing over the speakers.  it’s breezy and cool.

but now that i’m back in dallas for a week, i play it by our pool and think of detroit and 75 and early morning flat whites.

where to eat this week: detroit

27 Apr IMG_6437

IMG_6437the dime store, located in one of detroit’s oldest buildings  – the dime building, now the chrysler house – is definitely a place to check out while in detroit.  i’ve only eaten there for lunch and both times, it has been excellent.  deb and i shared a huge grilled cheese and truffle fries and each got some butternut squash soup.

i’ve only done two reviews so far in this “series” – this one and this one and i can already tell you i stink at it.  here is my review:  just go there.  i’m not one of those people that can wax poetic about the right crisp around the edges of the cheese that is grilled and the silky, smooth butternut soup that has a kiss of nutmeg at the finish.  wait.  maybe i can?


get here early at lunchtime or else you’ll be waiting in a long line.  the service is kind of like “we’re cool, so you’ll wait while i handle 10 tables” friendly.


the menu is different and i like that.  this is just a snapshot above.  and these fries with the truffle mayo were so scrumptious!  so not on my diet but we split them.  and after it was said and done, we each only paid $10 for one awesome lunch.


check it out:

the dime store

719 griswold street


moving outside your comfort zone is living!

25 Apr secondcity

the other day i was cleaning out my office closet and came across all the journals i wrote in my 20’s.  there are tons of them.  all funky colors, dog-eared and written in different color inks.  i love these books.  i can transport myself back to my 20’s which were oh, so far away <sigh>

i don’t often open them up and read them, but when i do, it makes me smile.

may 13, 2001

today was an excellent day.  this whole weekend was wonderful.  it’s not too often i write about such great times.  i usually am too busy having fun to sit down and write about it!  today i had my ‘level c’ improv performance on the main stage at second city in chicago!  on the main stage!  it was awesome!  the place was packed full + we rocked it.  everyone laughed!  i think i am still nervous.  the lights, the stage, the people – !

i remember that like it was yesterday.  it was so much fun but completely + utterly nerve wracking at the same time.  i felt so alive and present because of it.  i found these pictures:




all in all i believe i took 40 weeks of improv classes.  i wasn’t very good but it sure did get me out of my comfort zone.  it certainly helped me learn how to present with confidence and conviction in my ad meetings.

to be a person living with passion, you have to get out of your comfort zone.  for some that means jumping out of a plane.  for others it means taking a walk after dark.  doesn’t matter.  do one thing today that is out of your comfort zone.  otherwise you may grow old just “being.” you may think there is nothing wrong with just “being” but i say you will never know what you were meant to BE without stretching past what you know.  just do it.


happy saturday!  i would love to hear about something you did that was outside your comfort zone.

restaurant review: north dallas: mexican

19 Apr IMG_6347

IMG_6347i’m starting a new series called… ROF’s restaurant reviews.  we’ll explore some places all over the country and give you the scoop.

up first is…. la comida.  

Overall – B+



la comida

5100 belt line road

addison, texas (north dallas)

next to kenny’s italian kitchen and neighborhood services

yelp review here


in dallas, mexican food is a dime a dozen.  everyone has their preference of place with the best margaritas, best chips and best food.  there is miasmi cocina and one of our favorites, meso maya.

but for lunch yesterday, we decided to check out a place neither one of us had been to yet.  this isn’t always easy to get ROF to do because he is a creature of habit.  but he was game.  he threw out mexican and i got on yelp and luckily we stumbled on to this place.

whether you live in dallas or are visiting, patio grazing is where it’s at.  it’s just the thing to do on a saturday or sunday afternoon.  hang out with friends or family on a patio, munch on chips and salsa and sip margaritas.  this would be a perfect place to go.


here is our mini review:


  • great vibe inside and out
  • hip music, kinda like mexican resort beat
  • great colors and decorating
  • excellent chips + salsa
  • service was perfect – no complaints


lacomidainsideminor minus’:

  • my black bean soup was tepid. would have been great hot
  • i wasn’t a fan of my “skinny” margarita but robert liked his.  i don’t like little ice cubes in drinks (except at sonic)

all in all – check it out!

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i’m digging this!

17 Apr IMG_6310


here are some things i’m currently digging:

happy friday y’all!

pajamas please

6 Apr tumblr_ng0ob9wx9b1s0q65no1_1280

i hardly watch any television.  or i watch an entire series all at once. it’s one or the other – nothing in between.

because i travel a lot and sometimes it’s hard to work on my laptop, i download a series and watch them straight through.  my latest travel project was all three seasons of the mindy project.  mindy kahling is brilliant and the show is a lot of fun.  if you haven’t seen it, you can get a little taste of it here:

mindy, in the show, has a big variety of cute pajamas.  i think she has millions of different kinds.  i mean, google it.  I did and came across these for starters:

mindymindy2i think the next “appreciator” project will be to collect cool pajamas too.  i love that idea!  i’ve started a pinterest page here.  but here are my favorite pajama places:

1. bedhead

2. natori

3. 3JNYC

4 hard-boiled egg recipes. you may have some left over tomorrow.

4 Apr egg_salad_sandwich_300

after Easter, you will undoubtedly have a couple dozen hard boiled eggs left over.  and you’re feeling guilty about throwing away eggs that the chickens worked so hard to give you.

i’m just kidding, i have no idea if it was hard or not…

so here are four recipes that are somewhat unique that you can do with leftover eggs.

but read this today so you can work these ideas into your Easter lunch or dinner ideas!


roasted asparagus with garlic-lemon sauce


from: eating well, March/April 2009

Roasted asparagus is delicious drizzled with a sauce inspired by Caesar salad dressing.

Low-fat mayonnaise makes the sauce creamy without a lot of extra calories or fat.

4 servings | Active Time: 15 minutes | Total Time: 25 minutes


  • 2 bunches asparagus, (about 2 pounds), trimmed
  • 2 teaspoons extra-virgin olive oil, divided
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 2 tablespoons low-fat mayonnaise
  • 2 tablespoons shredded Parmesan cheese
  • 2 tablespoons water
  • 2 anchovy fillets, minced
  • 1 small clove garlic, minced
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 2 chopped hard-boiled eggs


  1. Preheat oven to 425°F.
  2. Toss asparagus with oil and salt in a large bowl. Spread on a baking sheet and roast, stirring once halfway through, until tender, 15 to 20 minutes.
  3. Combine mayonnaise, Parmesan, water, anchovies, garlic and lemon juice in a small bowl. To serve, drizzle the asparagus with the sauce and top with hard-boiled egg (if using).

curried egg salad


from: real simple

i know that egg salad isn’t a real unique way to use hard-boiled eggs.  there i said it because i know you were thinking it!  but curry isn’t something most people use everyday.  so there.


8 large eggs
1/3 cup mayonnaise
1 teaspoon curry powder
1 tablespoon chopped fresh chives
 kosher salt and black pepper
4 slices pumpernickel bread
4 large leaves Bibb lettuce
potato chips, for serving


  1. Place the eggs in a saucepan and add enough water to cover. Bring to a boil, cover, remove from heat, and let sit for 12 minutes. Rinse the eggs under cold water, peel, and coarsely chop.
  2. In a medium bowl, combine the mayonnaise and curry powder. Fold in the eggs and chives; season with ½ teaspoon salt and ¼ teaspoon pepper. Dividing evenly, top each slice of bread with lettuce, then the egg salad. Serve with the chip

egg, nut + mushroom pate’


from: food.com and patty trowbridge filippone


  • 1 medium sweet onion, peeled and sliced thin
  • 1 large clove garlic, peeled and minced
  • 1/4 pound mushrooms, wiped clean and sliced thin
  • 1/2 cup butter or margarine
  • 6 hard-cooked eggs, peeled and quartered
  • 1 cup walnuts
  • 1/2 cup unblanched almonds
  • 1 Tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper


In a heavy skillet over medium heat, saute onion, garlic, and mushrooms until soft, but not browned, stirring often. Remove from heat and let cool.

In the bowl of a food processor fitted with the metal blade, place hard-cooked eggs, walnuts, and almonds.

Pulse about 5 times until minced. Add cooled onion mushroom mixture, Worcestershire sauce, salt, and pepper.

Process about 5 seconds to combine.  Pour into serving bowl, cover with plastic wrap touching the top of the pate, and refrigerate a least two hours to let flavors meld.

Before serving, let pate sit for 30 minutes at room temperature. Serve with your choice of crackers, melba toast, or toasted bread rounds.

egg, garlic + cheese baguette


from: foodnetwork.com

to me, there really can’t be a better combo.  well, maybe.


1 baguette
4 ounces soft garlic and herb cheese (recommended: Boursin)
4 hard-boiled eggs, thinly sliced, recipe follows
4 tomatoes, thinly sliced
1 to 2 teaspoons balsamic vinegar, for drizzling
1 green onion, green part only, finely chopped


Preheat the broiler on high. Make 4 sandwiches, but cutting the baguette in half lengthwise, and into 4 crosswise. Spread cheese on both sides of the bread. On 1 side of each sandwich arrange the egg slices. On the other side, spread out the tomato slices. Put on a baking sheet and broil until the edges begin to turn golden, about 1 to 2 minutes. Drizzle each sandwich with a few drops of balsamic vinegar and sprinkle with green onions. Arrange on serving plates and serve.

Perfect hard-boiled eggs:

Lay the eggs in a single layer in a large saucepan. Cover with cold water by at least 1-inch. Bring to a boil. Cover with a lid, turn off the heat, and allow the eggs to sit for 15 minutes. Rinse with cold water.
let me know if you use any of these!  happy Easter!

loving dallas + our home!

3 Apr IMG_6103


ROF and i moved back to texas this past september.  you may remember our 1928 craftman-style house we had in texas before we moved to detroit.  now that we’re back, we bought a newer house – 1967, i believe.  it was flipped so completely re-done.  we still have lots and lots to do to it and to decorate but considering it’s about 1000 square feet bigger than our rental in michigan, i’m so happy how well our furniture fits.

so i had fun with my camera yesterday after work.  and relished in the fact that the maids came and our house looked so … clean!

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recipes to entertain!

31 Mar bc4ed9b6da44e617be5a746858f350d6

i love to entertain.

what do i love about it?  i love caring for people.  you know, putting thought into what i’m going to make, planning each recipe out, thinking about the timing – all of it.  so i’m going to share some of my entertaining secrets in the hopes that it helps you with your summer visitors and that you in turn, share with me.  oh, and invite us over.

here are some tried and true company recipes you can have at your fingertips.

let’s start with breakfast, shall we?




for a big group, make this enchilada breakfast casserole.  thank you to “what megan’s making” blog for this recipe.  i’ve made this several times and with rave reviews.  make it the night before and just pop in oven.  it’s pretty filling so serve with just some fruit and coffee.

Breakfast Enchiladas



1 lb bulk breakfast sausage
1 medium red pepper, chopped
1 small onion, chopped
½ cups chopped green onions
2-½ cups shredded cheddar cheese, divided
10 whole flour tortillas
2 cups half-and-half
6 whole eggs
1 Tablespoon flour
salsa and sour cream, to serve


In a large pan, cook the sausage, peppers and onions together until the sausage is done. Let cool slightly. Stir together sausage mixture, green onions and 2 cups of cheese in a large bowl. Use a 1/3-cup measuring cup to scoop out cheese mixture onto a tortilla. Roll up tortilla and place seam side down in a 9 x 13 inch baking dish. Repeat until all the tortillas are squeezed into the pan.

Whisk together half-and-half, eggs and flour. Pour over tortillas. Cover and let sit overnight.

In the morning, preheat oven to 350ºF. Bake, covered, for 30-40 minutes, or until eggs are set. Sprinkle remaining 1/2 cup of cheese over enchiladas and bake, uncovered for 10 more minutes, or until the cheese is melted.

Serve with salsa and sour cream.


for other breakfast ideas, go here or here or here!



i’m not going to post any lunch ideas because really, that is what pizza delivery is for – or tomato soup and grilled cheese.  but let’s move on to appetizers.

here is our friend kelly’s killer guacamole recipe:


kelly’s killer guacamole

  • avocados (about 1 per person)
  • bunch of cilantro
  • red onion
  • jalapeño (or go hotter, if you dare)
  • sour cream
  • sriracha sauce (don’t tell anyone about this – this is the secret punch)
  • lime juice

first the chopping – chop up a handful of red onion nice and fine.  

next, cut up the jalapeño

then, pull the stems off the leaves of cilantro

cut avocado in half (either way) and scoop with a big spoon it out of the shell.  pop a knife in the hard core and twist the core out of the other half.  scoop that half out and put in bowl.  squeeze with lime to keep from browning.  mash together like crazy insane person.

add the cilantro and onion and mix up.

now give a squirt of sriracha sauce.  if you are not familiar with this – taste it first.  it will burn the crap out of your mouth, but mixed in with the avocado, it goes quite nice.

very last step, stir in a dollop of sour cream.  this makes it creamy.

oh, one more step – season.  get out the salt and pepper and put a little in and taste and repeat until you love it.

tip – if you screw something up – kelly says just add another avocado!

serve with BLUE chips (the best)

so now you’ve had a great breakfast, shown your friends a little bit of the town.  you’ve come back, popped open a cold beverage and mixed up some guacamole.  what’s next?  sure, you could go out – but why?



any decent entertainer will tell you that the trick to dinner is planning.  the last place you want to be is in the kitchen slaving over dinner while your guests pick their noses in your family room.  the exception to this is if you can get everyone involved.  guests typically don’t want to have the feeling that you’re killing yourself over dinner while they are sipping mai-tais and dipping chips into creamy guacamole.

so be prepared to just pop a few things in the oven or on the grill and BAM you’re done.

my cousin, britt, did this just last week when i visited her in beautiful san marcos, california.   she whipped up the most delicious dinner with chicken, onion and pepper kabobs on the grill, roasted potatoes, tzatziki sauce and other goodies.  i didn’t even know she was cooking.  smooth move, couz.  she rocks.  by the way, a grill (and a husband) is the secret technique.

so, stuck on what to cook?  here is one recipe i like to do and then i created a pinterest board for some more.

slow cooker barbeque pork sandwiches with crunchy slaw

serves 6

i’ve actually made this and can vouch that it is very awesome!  plus, perfect for company.  throw it in the crock pot, pre-make the slaw (or KFC!) get some chips and you’re good to go.  we made tacos instead of sandwiches.  this ensures that you are not racing around like a mad-woman before dinner.


2 pounds boneless pork shoulder or butt, trimmed of excess fat
1/4 cup packed brown sugar
1 teaspoon chili powder
1 garlic clove, chopped
kosher salt and black pepper
1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons cider vinegar
1/4 cup mayonnaise
1/4 cup sour cream
1/2 teaspoon granulated sugar
4 cups coleslaw mix (2/3 of a 14-ounce package)
1 cup barbecue sauce
6 soft sandwich rolls, split
bread-and-butter pickles and potato chips, for serving


  1. Place the pork in a 5- to 6-quart slow cooker. Rub with the brown sugar, chili powder, garlic, 1 teaspoon salt, and ¼ teaspoon pepper. Add ½ cup of the vinegar and ½ cup water.
  2. Cook, covered, until the meat is tender and shreds easily, on high for 4 to 5 hours or on low for 7 to 8 hours (the low setting will make total cooking time 8 hours, 10 minutes).
  3. Meanwhile, in a medium bowl, whisk together the mayonnaise, sour cream, granulated sugar, the remaining 2 tablespoons of vinegar, and ¼ teaspoon each salt and pepper. Add the coleslaw mix and toss to combine; cover and refrigerate until ready to serve.
  4. Before serving, transfer the pork to a bowl, discarding the liquid. Using 2 forks, shred the meat. Mix in the barbecue sauce. Serve the pork on the rolls with the coleslaw and the pickles and chips, if desired.
Caroline Wright August 2010

what are your secret go-to recipes?  can i feature them here?

capturing a moment: holiday inn

10 Mar IMG_6673


it’s tuesday morning and i’m outside jackson, mississippi at a holiday inn getting ready for a meeting.  i’m in my new black dress pants, a nicely starched french blue shirt and pointy heels.   i’m sitting down in the breakfast area munching on a stale piece of wheat bread with one half mini tub of peanut butter schmeared on it.

just giving you a visual.

there is a young woman sitting next to me with what looks like a 9 month old, a two year old and a four year old.  and they’re not happy.  i feel for her as she has her hands full – literally.  this holiday inn is brand new so even though it’s loud with screaming kids, it’s pretty clean and nice.  but with stale bread.

i decided to capture this moment because as i’m sure you’re very aware, there are things that happen all around you all the time that jolt you out of your routine and comfort zone.

this was one of those moments.

a man about 34 years old and what appeared to be his adorable daughter were at the coffee station with an older woman who was working in the small hospitality area.  the daughter looked about five years old, had braided pigtails and a southern accent as thick as pancake syrup.  the older worker woman had this conversation with her.  i was seated close (so i listened in)

OW: well, hello there!  how are you doing this morning?

LG: i’m doing ok, ma’am.  how are  you doin’?

OW: pretty good.  you here on vacation?

LG: naw, i’m here with my dad to visit my nawnaw.  she just had twin babies and one died.  

(dad clarified that “nawnaw” was her aunt)

OW: oh my, that must have been very sad.

LG: it was, i was there.  we was all there and we all cried.  one was a girl and one was a boy.  the girl lived but the boy died.  (she said this very maturely)

OW: i sure am sorry to hear this.

so here i am, in my french blue shirt getting ready for a meeting eating stale wheat bread with peanut butter.  i’m surrounded by a young woman with a son smearing jelly on a plate on his table and this darling sad little girl with her dad.  visiting her nawnaw.

i have it pretty darn good. 


passing through:jackson, ms:saltine

9 Mar IMG_1017

well, who knew?

I was taken to this awesome restaurant in a part of a big, old 1926 elementary school in fondren, mississippi.  as mainly an oyster bar, it’s appropriately named, “Saltine” and it shouldn’t be missed.  we were there quite early as we were starving and so glad we went.


622 dulling ave

Jackson, ms


i had the flounder chowder that was out of this world.  i was so entrenched in it that i forgot to take a picture of it.  it came with pan seared gulf flounder, sweet potato, clam chowder and this unbelievable pork belly croquette.  of course, we had some oysters too.  ah-mazing.

i snagged these pics off of yelp.  If you find yourself in these necks of the woods – you won’t go wrong eating here.  instant wow factor walking in door and the food is a triple wow. only mistake was getting too full for desert.

good job Jesse + rachel houston! my husband, ROF, wants to learn about oysters and I think you know your stuff.  let me know when you come out with a book!

hope i get around to this…

4 Mar FullSizeRender


impromptu little post tonight coming to you live from Erie, PA.

sitting in my picturesque (not) hotel room looking out on a walmart parking lot.

just wanted to paint that pretty picture for you.

so i really bug myself because i have so many ideas and such little time.   here are some of my ideas that i hope i get around to soon:

  • yoga + wine at my house with my friend, JG, as the instructor.  this is actually going to happen in april and i can’t wait.  because i just attended my first yoga class this week and i’m in love.  namaste, my friends.  really didn’t know i could do that, but i can.  bend, that is.  i think we may drink wine first and do yoga second.  nah, just kidding.
  • “blurb club”  this is a play off of the good ole “book club.” because bite size is how we roll nowadays.  books are for vacation and early morning business reading (ok, i disagree with that statement but i’m going with it.)  we’ll read an article that will be edgy and evoke all kinds of point of views, then just like book club, we won’t read it and come together and drink wine.  kidding again.  i think this is more doable.  maybe our first article will be this.  or this.  of course, we’ll nibble on something  healthy like this or this.  nah, let’s go for this!
  • cards – why don’t people play cards anymore?  my mom has so much fun playing bridge 100X a week with her friends, what is my generation (X) going to have to do?  beer pong club?  seriously.  cards keeps your mind sharp.  plus you’re not just sitting around staring at each other, your playing cards! chatting it up, yaking it up – etc, etc.  i don’t know how i’m going to pull this one off, but the answer may be – neighbors.  if you just have to walk across the street or down the street then maybe people are more apt to commit.  then again, it took 18 emails to plan a group happy hour last week that eventually got cancelled.  how will i ever get this off the ground?  ideas?

that’s it for now.  off to sleep.  have a great wednesday.

product review: Nerium AD

25 Feb heather2



have you heard of this skincare line  nerium ad yet?  i hadn’t when my good friend (from high school!) told me about it.  to be honest, it sounded too good to be true.  when you watch the videos and research the product and see the before and after pictures, a little red warning light goes off in my mind that it doesn’t seem possible.

but i’ve got to say – i really love it.  i’ve been using it for a little over a month and i can see a difference.


my friend heather is the oldest friend i have.  not her age – no – i’ve known her the longest, since we were in grade school.  that is a lot for me because i went to several grade and high schools across the country.  she is smart (mba:northwestern, bba: university of michigan), fun and i’m so glad we connected after all these years.   she was hip to nerium ad, tried it, loved it and now sells it.  full disclosure: she gave me the day cream, night cream and body cream to try. doesn’t mean i had to write about it though!  

i don’t know about you, but i need my moisturizer to have some oomph to it.  the minute i put it on nerium ad, i can feel it.  both creams are fantastic but it’s the night cream that really makes the difference.   i have these wrinkle lines on my forehead and lines around my mouth and they have really been minimized.

heather did her own before and after shot:


i’m buying some more from heather.   i recommend that you reach out to her here  and check out the 30 day satisfaction or your money back dealio or you can email at  heatherharrold2222@gmail.com.  i’m hooked!

you know what other product i’m really liking a lot?  i love this product line.

travel: detroit’s corktown

22 Feb gold-cash-gold

detroit’s had a bad rap for a while.  if you didn’t know better, you’d think it was just one giant wasteland.  you’d be surprised to know that detroit has loads of little nooks + crannies of streets and neighborhoods with many great restaurants, shops, breweries and coffee houses.  one of those areas is called corktown.

Screen Shot 2015-02-21 at 3.16.28 PM


here are some key places to go in corktown.

1. eat: gold cash gold


a pawn store turned restaurant  has a small but delicious menu.  what they did to the 132 year-old space is incredible and i noticed all the details.  stop here for lunch, dinner or soon – brunch.


2. coffee:  astro coffee

i don’t think hipsters refer to places as a “hipster place” (that was me calling me a hipster…. ha) but this place is pretty damn cool.  funky music + vegan food offerings, this place has great coffee made by cute guys with unusual facial hair.



3. eat: mercury grill

i took some girls on my team here for lunch last year and we had a blast.  just a good ole grill with awesome food (look at that dog!).


4.  see:central michigan train station

i don’t know where to start with this building.  built in 1913 after detroit’s original train station burned down, this abandoned train station is one of the most beautiful building i’ve ever seen.  even abandoned and destroyed with graffiti it’s unbelievable.  in fact, it has been said that it is a premier example of ruins photography or ruin porn.  i first fell in love with it when i saw it for the first time during a lunch break at work.  here was my first sighting of this building.  i think my mouth fell wide open.

IMG_9427now, i don’t recommend that you go in this building, but if you were, this is what you’d see:


5. eat: slow’s bbq

arguably better bbq than anything i’ve had in texas!  (them are fighting words down here!) but this place is so good!   it’s always crowded but eat at the bar if you can – it’s more fun.  and buy a long sleeve tee like we did.


this is so very annoying!

19 Feb Should-You-Exercise-When-You-Are-Sick-C

have you ever found yourself doing something.. whatever… and that very thing that you’re doing you found very annoying in other people?  (you may have to read that twice to get what i’m saying.)

well, i’m doing that right now.


i’m on a plane, first class, no less (free upgrade), and have a very nasty cold.  i can’t help it.  who knows i may not even go to the meetings i’m flying to be in, i’m that sick.  i’m dripping, sneezing, sniffling and crumpling up napkins, kleenex and anything that can be used to help soothe my acheing head.  i hate those people.  seriously.  i’m the whisperer that says “why didn’t they just stay at home!?  Why do they want to get us all sick?  how selfish!”

now, that’s me.

just wanted to say that.  that’s it.

– sniffy.

5 things i’ve learned during my career

15 Feb superhero
i’ve had a career in advertising over the past 23 years (i’m old!)and i’ve learned a thing or two that i’d love to pass along.  i’ve been mentoring and talking with girls in college and it made me think to do this.

1. don’t become irrelevant.  

work hard to stay relevant.

and what that means is less about keeping up with the jones and more about staying knowledgeable and curious. this has always been a big deal to me.  it was when i was young and now that i’m in my 40’s.  it should have been a big deal to brands like radio shack and blockbuster video – right?

in my career of advertising this couldn’t be more true.   it’s important to be up on how marketing is evolving and being aware of how consumers are communicating with brands is changing.  when i hear people in business almost brag about not being in touch with social media it makes me sad for them.  it’s sad because it’s like saying “no” to knowledge.  when i hear that someone is too busy to learn modern technologies to better their lives, i know they are slipping down the path of not being relevant.  and that is their personal prerogative, but for my career, it has served me very very well to strive to be relevant.

2. be passionate

if you don’t have passion for what you’re doing, then you’re going down the wrong path. turn around.  change.  figure it out.
we were made to do what we are passionate about, you know.   you can’t hide passion.  it doesn’t matter if you’re running a company or driving a bus – passion AFFECTS people.  it gets you noticed – and not from your words, smarts or know-how.  people feel passion and passionate people always win.
yesterday, ROF and i went to the nespresso store to buy espresso.  it was our first time in the store and we were helped by dan.  let me tell you, you would have thought that dan owned nespresso and was part-timing in the store in paris.  he was fantastic.  he gave us an experience of the store that will make us come back for sure.  he knew what he was talking about but delivered it in a way that got us excited about coffee.  he bagged our coffee, taught me how to really make espresso (whoops, doing it wrong), made me a coffee and gave us his opinion on machines.  we can’t wait to go see dan again when our coffee gets low.  be dan.

3. have a POV

this is the difference between an A and B player in business.  one of my favorite bosses and people of all time told a group of people this and it has always stuck with me.  when you think about it, it goes along with having passion.  having a point of view spiked with passion is awesome.  kinda like this:

knowing when to speak up with your point of view is key.  just because you have one doesn’t mean the people around you want to hear it or you should necessarily express it.  but always have one.

how i start to get a point of view on something is i run it through this filter:

– do i know anything about this subject?  no – read up + formulate.  no – don’t care (by the way, this is a POV too)- does it ladder up with any of my morals/values/beliefs i have in general?
throughout life, you will be strengthening and building upon the point of view you have on things.  as i get older, i find that my POV on some important topics changed just because i experienced something first hand.  for example, you can have a POV on how to react to death but until you experience the death of a loved one, you can’t truly have an opinion.</

4.  be a great leader

you don’t have to be a boss to be a great leader.
this comes from the POV that to whomever you come in contact with on a particular day, be an example of love.
people can hear advice and reprimands and they can do a to-do list but they FEEL love.  just like they feel passion.  being an example of love means simply caring about people and their lives.  and i do believe that to be a quality of leadership.   even though we’re talking about a career, work is just a part of life.  if you care about the bigger picture – the person – the smaller picture – work – always benefits.
whether you are the boss, the entry-level person, the walmart greeter, the cashier, the fashion icon – you can be a leader.  lead with love.  i personally follow the tenets of servant leadership.
always lead with love.

5. be true to yourself

why is this good career advice?  i don’t know, really.

what i do know is that throughout my 23 years, i haven’t always been true to myself.  like most people, you just want to do an outstanding job and when i was in my 20’s, i was willing to stay the late hours to get the job done.  i went in on the weekends and checked voicemail constantly (before mobile phones, if you can imagine that!)  And there is nothing wrong with that.  working hard is good!
but if you’re in the game long enough, that work hard philosophy evolves ever so slowly.  going the extra mile for work can, if you’re not careful, turn into sacrificing what you really want in life.  WATCH THIS!  it sneaks up on you.  a mid-life crisis can ensue where your old self – the one that was there all along but got smooshed down way low- says WAIT A MINUTE!  HOLD UP! i’ve been working so hard my whole life but i’m not doing what i’m passionate about!    what happened to…me!
i’ve seen this happen with colleagues and friends and it’s such a wonderful thing to see their real passion come out when they choose to pursue it.
thankfully, i’ve always been very passionate about my career and what i’m doing.  working with creative people, leading the way in new technologies, having a strong POV and striving to be relevant have been cornerstones for me the past 23 years.  i can’t wait to see what the next 25 years hold.

digging this

5 Feb IMG_6887

happy thursday!

i’m happy because it’s ROF’s birthday weekend (starting today and running right up to the big day on monday) and we’re taking off for the great white north – upper michigan.  yes, it’s going to be close to 80 degrees here in dallas and we’re headed up to a tangy 7 degrees but we don’t care – we’re snowmobiling again!  we’re going with some of our favorite people in the whole world and staying at one of the most beautiful houses i’ve been to lately.  can’t wait!



here are some way random things i’m digging lately.  check them out!

1. trader joe’s frozen french onion soup.  

i know, it doesn’t sound that appealing, but trust me, it is so very delicious! they come like you see below, pop them in a small crock soup bowl, microwave for 3 minutes then pop into the over for 20 minutes.  the onions are caramelized, the broth has depth of flavor and there is only 210 calories to boot! run, don’t walk today!

frenchonion_soup_sealed imgres2. glenn harrold sleep app

i think i’ve talked about this one before.  but i use it so much i’m going to throw it in here again.  you can look at this and think it is a little weird, and i’d understand, but it works.  if you have trouble sleeping or your husband snores – pop in your head phones and let your mind take a little ride while listening to this.  i guarantee i’ve never heard the end of it because i’m out!



3.  misterwives

love them!  jamming out now…

4. cup of jo

this blog by joanna goddard is so much fun to read.  i look forward to every post!  rss it now.



hope you have a great thursday.

pay it forward with social media

30 Jan imgres



my mail lady – monica  – did something exceptional last week.  i was anticipating a very important package that was being delivered via USPS and it was very late.  not to the fault of USPS, but the company shipping it.  it was something i needed very badly – medicine – if you must know.  i saw last week that while the parcel had been delivered to our local post office, morgan typically didn’t get to our neighborhood until after 6pm.  i was thinking that i would drive and pick it up myself.  the thought of orchestrating this was daunting to me.  but i called the post office and here are all the extraordinary things they did right:

  • a real person answered the phone (and the office wasn’t even open yet.)
  • they listened to my request and thought about it.
  • they told me that i should talk to my mail lady – and – oh, here she is!
  • they put monica on the phone and she too listened to me and said she’d call me back once the mail was sorted, in an hour.
  • she called me back in an hour.
  • i could come by and pick it up, she’d set it aside for me.
  • but wait, she could drive by now before she starts her route and drop it off for me.

ummm.  wow.  really?



so that isn’t even the point to my blog.  riveting story to this point, i know.  but here it is.  i was blown away.  wouldn’t you be?  i mean, it’s not like monica and i knew each other – we didn’t.  but what a nice, kind gesture.  so i did what any good social media user did and i tweeted about it to @USPS.  and that’s my point!  while many of you may think social media is just a tool those young kids use – this is actually a very pay-it-forward sort of deal.  via twitter, i can get straight to who counts at USPS because this is what happened.  i tweeted:

Screen Shot 2015-01-30 at 8.32.02 AM

then i got back this:

Screen Shot 2015-01-30 at 8.33.48 AM

granted, it could have been responded to MUCH QUICKER, but maybe they’re learning.  And that day, i got a frantic doorbell ring and knocking combo at my door.  it was monica.  she was beaming from ear to ear.

“thank you so much for the nice complement via twitter!  i’ve been recognized at work, they took my picture and i’m going to be written up in the company newsletter!”

then she handed me a card, which was unnecessary but super nice.




tweet good stuff.  as more and more companies work with social media folks like myself, they are getting smarter by keeping their ear to the ground of their customers.  they can turn monica’s good nature and willingness to go out of her way for me into a “raving fan” story for USPS.  now they know about monica and a new fan!


january playlist: snow & birdcage

21 Jan Bdz60aKCQAIOusX

when thinking of life’s most important things, music doesn’t typically come to mind.  probably not even in the top 5.

or 10.

but for me, music is key to sustaining a smashingly good mood.  and that’s worth something.  believe me.

this year, this website will highlight playlists every month.  all curated by yours truly.

this months playlist name comes courtesy of this website.  pretty funny name generator.  here’s another.

Screen Shot 2015-01-21 at 4.44.32 PM

while you listen to this playlist:
you’ll either be:
a) pouring a glass of wine and surfing the web. check out this blog, this blog or this blog.

b) fixing dinner made of pasta, homemade tomato sauce and meatballs (and drinking a glass of wine)

c) cruising in your car, top down and wind blowing through your hair. (no wine)


photo: @livenation
this month’s playlist is full of fun, moody riffs as well as some songs that will make you say… “i liked that song a long time ago but had no clue who it was!”

here are a couple of my favorites:

LAPSLEY:  falling short.  this has me written all over it.  just had to hear the first few notes and i was sold.  whole album is awesome.
GUSTER: long night.  oh wow.  first with satellite then comes this song.
BIG DATA: dangerous.  they had me at the claps.
BROODS:  old song but love love love.
SIA:  i want it to be known that i’ve loved her for over 15 years.  it all started with this song.  this live version brings big tears to my eyes  – she’s just that good.
sia photo courtesy of here
you might want to join spotify as it’s the only way to listen to music – if you’re a music lover.  follow me here!


4 reasons not to strive for perfection

19 Jan e6eed9fecc6000b450927a33803d5144
striving for perfection has always been seen as an admirable goal.  whether it’s getting into the right schools, cleaning your house just right or toning your body, perfection is what we want.  or is it?
here are four reasons not to strive for perfection:

1. when we are hyper-focused on perfection, there is a chance we may miss the things that would truly make us happy.

In her 2012 article in Harvard Magazine titled “Effortless Perfection”, Isabel Ruane wrote:
“Last winter, I had wondered how I could ever reconcile my guilt at having relaxed my work ethic with my certainty that doing so had allowed me to grow in other ways. I had worried about where my duty lay: to Harvard, for offering me an education and paying a great share of its cost; to my parents, for raising me, guiding me, and making sacrifices for me; or to myself, maybe more in need of reflection and friendship than a spotless transcript. Now I realize I was worrying about the wrong “duty.” My duty to the world isn’t to be perfect. It is to take care of myself as best I can so I can give back to the world the love and care it has given to me. If slacking off was what I needed to make myself happy and available to help others, then this decision reflected no disrespect for my parents, for Harvard, or for my own work ethic.”

2. perfection is subjective and abstract.

there is nothing wrong with having personal goals and wanting to achieve them.  i try to achieve my personal best every day.  with my career, with my personal life – everything.  having goals is what guides my day-to-day living.  on sunday, i write out goals for the week and if i achieve them- to me that is perfection!  But this is MY personal best with which i connect with perfection, not yours.

it becomes judgement when we start projecting our “strife for perfection” on others.


perfection is subjective because with social media and just media in general, everyone can photograph and video their best foot forward – always.  some blogs that i follow, you’d think they only live a life of crisply curated +  snapped recipes and coiffed living rooms.  they can build the perfect career and host the perfect dinner party – NO! – not a boring dinner party but a bollywood-themed movie night complete with belly dancers. to me, the takeaway is  that they are PERFECT.  and that un-truth can bring someone down.  ok, sometimes i’ve been brought down by it.  ok, sometimes i contribute to it.  <sigh>

so good for danielle guenther  who photographed brilliantly the not-so-glamourous life of parents.  she says “capture the moment, because in the end, all we have are the memories.”

7356173_orig 1362499_orig
 and lastly…

2. perfection is unattainable.

you’ll never get there – ever.  as a Christian, we believe that only Christ is perfect.  why oh why can’t i remember that?
“I am careful not to confuse excellence with perfection.
Excellence, I can reach for; perfection is God’s business.” 

4. if you strive for only perfection, you may fly by the lessons that failure teaches us. 

“Ring the bells that still can ring
Forget your perfect offering
There is a crack in everything
That’s how the light gets in.”

3 fabulous + easy chicken meals

10 Jan IMG_3335

wanted to share with you a delicious + easy way to stretch out a chicken dinner.  this is great for:

it’s too easy to get into a habit of ordering take out or running through whole foods to get something quick and somewhat healthy to eat. but why?  i’ve got something more delicious and quick and easy for you.

so… meal #1.  go to a specialty grocery store on a sat or sun morning and get a couple of marinated chicken breasts. you’re going to get 2-3 meals out of this so buy accordingly.

you could marinate it yourself and if you do there are some good marinades here and here.  but if you’re busy – why?   if you live here in texas, we go to central market where they have a lovely choice of millions of kinds of marinated chicken breasts.  maybe not millions.  but you know what i’m saying.


meal #1 -DINNER –  grill or bake those chicken breasts, add rice and simple roasted vegetable.  done.  easy.

(SIDENOTE: to roast your vegetables just heat oven to 400 degrees, wrap a cookie sheet with tinfoil, throw some cut up brussel sprouts or broc or cauliflower (um yum!)  a drizzle of olive oil, some kosher salt and sprinkle of pepper, toss, throw in oven. watch them after about 15 minutes and take out when crispy with blackened edges.  if you want to get fancy, throw some of this on the veg before roasting.  i’m always fancy and i love this spice!)


ok that wasn’t the fun part.  big whip, you’re thinking.

so now, you should have some extra cooked chicken breast.  cut them up into tiny bite size pieces.    put them in a airtight container.  i start my year with tons of these.

meal #2 – LUNCH THE NEXT DAY – Chicken and cheese quesadillas!  oh, these are so good and actually kind of fun to make.  buy flour tortillas and keep them for exactly this purpose.  these can be as healthy or fat-laden as you want them to be.  the technique is the same.  the tortilla has to be big enough to fold in half.

here is the step by step:


  • get a big fry pan  – i use a cast iron skillet
  • spray it with PAM and also drop a pat of butter in there. get it nice and hot!
  • take your tortilla, and put a thin layer of cheddar cheese on half
  • top with your leftover chicken
  • cut up some green onion and sprinkle on top of that
  • finish with a little more cheese.  this is key – there must be cheese on the top and bottom – that’s the glue that holds everything together.
  • Fold it in half and put in the pan.
  • VARIATION: you can also use two tortillas like i show above.  as your butter melts, swirl one tortilla around in the butter and pull it out and place butter side up on a plate.  put another tortilla down and fill cheese- chicken-onion-cheese and place the other tortilla butter side up on top.
  • let the tortilla cook for quite a while.  i wait until i smell slight burning… but you don’t have to do that.  then flip!  take a big spatula and flip quickly using your hand as a guide.

meal #3 breakfast

use that small amount of chicken breast you cut up to throw in scrambled eggs.  chicken and scrambled eggs?  yes, you heard me correctly.  lots of protein in the morning is super good for you and keeps you less hungry throughout the day, says this.

let me know if you try the quesadillas!  i adapted my technique from the one and only pioneer woman here.  she rocks.  i’m making shrimp ones later today!

happy new year!

1 Jan IMG_6103

i love new starts.  

2014 was a long but good year.

on the plus (+) side, both ROF and i have lost a considerable amount of weight.  it was a long, hard journey and we’ve got a lot more to go but it gives our 2015 resolutions a good start.

on the plus side again, we relocated back home to dallas.  sigh.  so good to be home.  where great friends and new adventures abound.  one of the friendliest places in the US, we’re glad to be welcomed back with open arms.

as “the appreciator”, i’m thankful for ROF’s exciting new position with a new company here in dallas.  he’s pumped and the opportunities are endless.

on the not-so-positive (-) side,  we had some pretty scary close calls in regards to health.  ROF’s blood clot and PE put him in the hospital for a week.  that was extremely scary.  i’m so thankful for him.

also, being stuck in the flooding in detroit for 9 hours was a moment in 2014 i’d like to forget.  you can read about that here.

back to new starts.

what has you excited for 2015?  i have my goals for the year set up in three categories: MIND/BODY/SOUL.  i’ll talk more about those later.  right now,

i need coffee.

best flank steak recipe

23 Dec IMG_5121

need a “go to” steak recipe?  this is it.

i call it the “girlfriend steak dinner” because it’s what ROF served his girlfriends if they made it to date #4.  i know this because one saturday while we were visiting in his kitchen (let’s call this date #5), his friend came over and asked if ROF had fixed me “the famous flank steak yet.”



ROF’s face turned a shade of red i hadn’t seen before as he tried to shrug the comment off and grab his friend in a head lock to shut him up.

the previous weekend ROF had indeed fixed me this famous flank steak recipe along with his butter noodles and some nice red wine.  evidently this is what lover boy did to pull out all the stops for his lady friends!  i’m glad that those lady friends now are my mom, sister and his wife!

well, here it is.  transcribed from a handmade and passed down cookbook.  you can’t go wrong.



2 tsp unseasoned meat tenderizer

1 tbsp sugar

2 tbsp dry sherry

2 tbsp soy sauce

1 tsp salt

1 tsp accent seasoning (see photo below, in case you don’t know what i’m talking about)


honey (to drizzle on steak)

  • pierce surface of flank steak at 1 inch intervals with sharp fork.
  • combine ingredients except honey
  • put steak in pan flat and drizzle with honey on both sides
  • put steak in large baggie and pour ingredients over steak and let stand at least 1 hour at room temperature
  • grill meat over high heat for about 5-7 minutes on each side (use a timer, flank steak is bad when well done!)
  • slice with sharp knife into thin slices carving at an angle against the grain


IMG_5122518b32b3aeeca5f0762bea7edb0fee8ffor more steak ideas from ROF, click here!

walk down blog memory lane

21 Dec IMG_8664

this year and my blog got away with me.  where did the year go?  my goal is to re-launch “the appreciator” with the new year.  believe it or not, something that started as an experiment grew to 350 posts!  i’ve had good friends and family contribute, made some confessions and documented important times in my life.  what i like most of all about my blog is that it’s a creative resource for me.  i’ve found when i can’t be creative and write and work in photoshop – i’m a sad girl and that frustration comes out in other ways.

so on the eve of my 45th (!!) birthday, i wanted to celebrate some of the things i’ve appreciated over the past few years.  just click on the highlighted words to go back in time…

that was fun.  now, i’m hungry!

2 reasons to quit boot camp and eat bon bons

8 Nov

i can’t let the last post stay up any longer.  i feel like a fake… a fraud.


yes, i went to boot camp and yes, i wrote a post about it the day i went.   that’s all true.  but i didn’t go back.  i was in pain for a full five days afterwards.  if my muscles would talk they would have sounded like this!  here i was, all gung ho boot camp girl.  wakin’ up at 4:50am to grab the 5:15am ride with a friend to ‘boot camp’.  i’m all about the image.  that image looked good to me, in my head.  heck, i’ll even write a post about so everyone knows how warrior-like i am.



so i’m here to finish the image for you – although i’d be more than happy to just keep on keepin on with you thinking i was this boot camp convert.  it’s kinda like looking smoking hot at a party but then posting an instagram photo of you mixing sweet & low in your coffee the next morning.  the real image is that i need to share about my boot camp experience is that i took my fit bit watch off, threw it on my desk, limped and moaned over to the couch in my office and plopped down with my computer and didn’t move all day.

am i a quitter?  maybe.  or maybe i just didn’t find the activity for me.  so here are my 2 reasons to quit boot camp.  (this may be more for me than you, but again, it’s my blog)

1. be realistic about your commitment level

if it isn’t something you can commit to on a regular basis, move on.  boot camp <or insert any activity here> may be for some people and not for others and that is why there’s 31 flavors.  just don’t give up (amy!)  look at the experience as a good trial run, rate it as something you could do often or not.  if the answer is not, keep looking for what your thing is to do.  the important thing is to move.

2. be encouraged, be motivated but don’t be pressured

i’m not talking about pressure from others – i’m talking feeling pressure from yourself.  that ugly voice i spoke about here coming out and telling you negative things.  like YOU COULDN’T HANDLE BOOT CAMP, JIGGLE ARMS!!  if it’s not for you, fist bump yourself for getting a good one hour workout in and move on.

so there, i feel better now that i’ve come clean to you.  has anyone else tried something like this and decided it was not their thing?  i’d love to hear from you.

*photo of apple cider cupcake with nutmeg frosting courtesy of eatrunlive.com

3 reasons to do a boot camp.

29 Oct

not that i’m some expert.  in fact, this morning was my first one.  ever.  so don’t read this like i’m preaching.  i ain’t preaching.  i’m just saying that here are some reasons to do boot camp or something similar.

#1 by showing up, you already started your day with one positive, healthy decision.

truly,  who wants to get up at 5am, leave the house at 5:15am and run around a dark parking lot with a bunch of strangers who may judge you?  not me.  however, i am getting up that early on saturday morning to head out to a flea market to shop on saturday morning.  see what i mean?  you made a good choice just by showing up. mark that off your to-do list, babe.


#2  you learn quickly what your “inside voice” has to say.

are you an encourager to yourself or a hindrance?  does it say “just take it at your own pace, you got this” or does it say “you’re a fat a**.  no wonder you gained so much weight” why is this a reason to do a boot camp?  because you force this voice to come out (well in your head, anyway, hopefully.)  you can do something about that voice if it’s negative.  if you don’t do something like a boot camp, that negative voice may be in your head influencing your thoughts and you’re not even aware of it.  so if it’s there, now you know, now you can change.



#3 having other people there is good accountability.

i like getting on my treadmill and pounding out 45 minutes and a couple of miles but it is VERY EASY for me to talk myself out of doing it.  however, if someone is picking you up in the morning (you know who you are…) and you show up and there are other people there too – there is just something that is encouraging in that.  you don’t want to be the person with the excuses like i have when it is just me, myself and i on the treadmill.

i imagine it would be the same if you had a walking or running partner.  built-in accountability.  yea.

so now that i’ve written this blog post it would mean i REALLY need to show up now for my second “boot camp”, right?

back to school

7 Sep

i miss going back to school.  not the school part, but the outfits part.  my memories of back-to-school shopping are so alive and vivid and thinking back to that time makes me feel warm and happy.

there are a few places in life where you feel totally yourself.  where it’s safe to be silly and maybe even a little bratty (if called for) and be surrounded by unconditional love.  back to school shopping with mom and my sister was one of those places.  i always feel that way with them, but bts shopping sticks out as an annual event that we’d always anticipate.

starting in grade school and going pretty much into college, the three of us would designate a day in August to hit the stores and pull together outfits for the coming school year.  the excitement started in late july when the august issue of seventeen magazine was sent to the house.

Screen Shot 2014-09-07 at 7.39.58 AM

it was thick with knowledge and glossy pages of what we were to expect that season.  that magazine sat in its wrapper on the kitchen counter like a present i was too excited to open.  when the time was just right, i’d take it upstairs, close my door, lay on my bed on my stomach, open it up and slowly analyze each ad and editorial.  only after i was done and i’d let some time pass would i let my sister take a look.

we were totally spoiled.  i’ll admit that right now.  it was the one time of year where we just went crazy and stocked up on all the fall and winter clothes, shoes, bags – everything.  it was GIRL POWER all the way and dad always insisted on a fashion show once we got home.

so to understand the comment i made above about back-to-school shopping and being totally yourself – you have to know joan.  joan is my mom and you can read more about her here and here.

Screen Shot 2014-09-07 at 8.15.54 AM

my mom doesn’t mince words… at all.  she tells it how it is.  not one of those people that will say “looks so cute” and then say in her inside voice “not so much.”  her inside voice is her outside voice.  and the best part about that is she is my mom.  not someone who could be swayed by other intentions.  i know my mom has my best interest in mind.  so bts shopping became this time of extreme bonding with mom and katie.   we laughed, joked and threw clothes over doors.  we tried on millions of clothes.  the best was all three of us getting in one dressing room.  sometimes we laughed so hard that we had to gather ourselves together before exiting the stall. mom would sit on the little stool and direct:

“katie, give that top to amy, that color looks better on her.”

“amy, those pants are very slimming but the top is too short.”

“amy, stop standing on your tippy toes and making that silly face.” <laughter>  

“oooh  oooh, i like that!  that is cute, let me get more colors.”

together we went through the preppy phase where it was all about wide wale corduroys, button-down shirts and penny loafers. then we struggled through the grunge phase of ripped jeans.  we trampled through the limited and the limited express.  in high school, i ended up working at the limited because i knew their inventory better than they did.

we always had lunch at the food court and did a recap of our purchases and then hit it again.  at the end of the day, we got a diet coke at the mcdonalds drive through, went home and proceeded again to take inventory of our purchases by laying everything out by outfit on mom and dad’s bed.  only then did we start to think about which one would become the big FIRST DAY OF SCHOOL outfit but we had time for that.

my favorite part of the day was at dinner when at the urging of my mom, my dad would INSIST on seeing everything in the way of a fashion show where he would put on some duran duran or loverboy <whatever us kids listened to> and we’d parade up and down the stairs and into the family room, pivot, step up on the mantel and show off our goods while dad ooohed and ahhhed.  it made us laugh because we knew it wasn’t his cup of tea but he always played along.

how very blessed i was to be able to do that and have those clothes but most of all it’s the memories i cherish the most.

flooding in detroit + my story

14 Aug

when you catch the nightly news and you’re watching a weather disaster, thoughts of horror probably come over you.  

they are matched with sadness and many other emotions.  but you’re still sipping your coffee and then maybe you flip off the TV and go to work.  after all, what can you do but pray and think about the atrocity.  been there, done that.  i get it.  

on monday night i was one of those people you may have seen on the nightly news. on second thought, maybe not. after all i was completely shocked how little this tragedy made headlines.  i don’t think the world cares about detroit.  this is another atrocity.  i don’t get it.   simply the scariest night of my entire life.

so i wake up on a typical monday morning, get in my brand new 2014 chevy impala which is totally bad ass and head to work.  normal so far.  i like my music loud, so it’s pumping, my coffee is steaming in the cup holder next to me.  i park in the garage at one detroit center, jump into “work mode” and do my thing.  we’re on the 19th floor of an incredible building and have the best view of the river and detroit.  normal so far.

flash flood, i mean, forward to heading home.  had to leave a little earlier than normal but i had gotten in nice and early so i didn’t feel bad about it.  it was raining out but no big deal.  normal so far.

got in the car and headed out on interstate 75 pointed north.  it was coming down pretty hard but nothing at all unusual.  however, two hours later when I’ve only moved about 10 miles out of the city – not so normal.  while waiting in the horrible traffic, i go on to Facebook and look to see where my work buds are and one of them posts “do not go on the freeway, massive flooding, cars being routed off”.  not normal.  what?  i was smushed in between three semi’s and to my right, i see cars going THE OPPOSITE WAY on the shoulder.  i flip a couple of posts past the first and see another shot of water up to the windows of a car, people getting out of their cars to which the post reads “horrible flooding – this has what has held us up in traffic for 4 hours!”  now i realize all this was happening right in front of me.

APTOPIX Flooding Michigan

i’m a stranger to flooding.  honestly, it has been the least scariest natural disaster to me.  this is out of complete ignorance.  tornados – i’m all over them.  i know where to hide.  earthquakes, been in them.  scary, yet.  flooding – who can’t deal with a little extra water?!  i can swim!  so this is my mindset up until this point.  this is where i’m coming from.

right now, my pulse is raised but only at the horrendous thought of exiting the freeway at an unknown point.  this is detroit after all.  second only to flint having the most murders per capita.    some of you reading this have absolutely no clue what bad is- and that’s good.  but this isn’t a couple of blocks of nasty houses.  we’re talking miles and miles of blown out houses turned into drug havens.  i’m not going to belabor this because i believe in the good of detroit rather than the bad.  but let’s just say i never – ever – wanted to -ever- get off interstate 75 early.  not here.   i start to see the underpass and the cars under water and i reluctantly motion to the semi next to me to please let me and my little car over… i need to get off the interstate.


it was so amazing how little communication was going on.  the news sucks here.  sorry.  it does.  robert was watching it for me and there was very little warning out there on what was going on.  he said to me “be careful – i’m real worried about you getting off the highway.”  i told him i was going to call on star and will talk to him soon.

i was in a shitty area.  it was now about 8:30pm and getting darker.  i was exiting 75 and had on star on the car system with me.  i love them.  one lady stayed on the phone with me two hours past her shift had finished.  she tried really hard to get me home.  but there was absolutely no way.  i was on low gas and every way i turned in this god forbidden area was flooded.

i’m not going to lie.  i was absolutely terrified.   i thought that i was headed in a good direction on a side road to 75 when suddenly there was a barricade and i had to turn around.  i weaved through some awful neighborhoods until i got to a main street… 8 mile.


8 mile at 75 is two lanes exiting and then three lanes merging from the bridge that went over 75.  all 5 lanes came together in water that came up to the top of my tires.  when it was my turn to follow the car in front of me, i had to weave up on the sidewalk between a burnt out brothel and a dead street light.  my heart was pounding through my chest.  my hands were sweaty and i started to pray out loud.  i don’t pray because it’s the in thing to do – i pray because i believe in God and He can make stuff happen.  fyi.  research that. 

i was on with my on star rep who was seriously ready to get home and get her drink on.  as i merged into the flood, I now knew why i should fear floods.  if i were to stall out, i would be stuck with no police, no husband, no one to help me.  all night.  i put my credit cards and license in my bra and hid a credit card in the back pocket of the car.  smart, right?  as i go through the water, car after car is stalling out but not me.  i got through the water and made it to the other side.  that is where i breathed a huge sigh of relief.  even if i was on 8 mile in the #2 murder capital of the world.  just head west to woodward, i said to myself out loud.  i live off woodward.  Lord, get me there!  it’s only a mile down 8 mile.  so i excitedly go down 8 mile and right into a road block.  woodward is closed.  75 is closed.  i’m trapped on 8 mile and it’s now 10:30 at night.

<commercial break.  get a glass of wine.  take a sip.  I am. >

i go to a gas station and get gas (thank you God!) and introduce myself to another scared-to-death girl in her 20’s.  we were all over the place!  wide-eyed, mascara smudged faces looking around with our eyebrows raised and don’t-mess-with-me pretend faces.   i asked her if she was stranded and she said that she was trying to get to lavonia.  i didn’t even know where that was.  she tells me that the nice man in front of her is showing her the way out of 8 mile and pointed in the right direction.  i was afraid to be alone so i asked if i can follow (mistake #1) and she said sure.  so we all headed out on 8 mile and turned right on a street called john r (mistake #2).   i thought 8 mile was bad.  after all eminem sang about 8 mile and produced a movie on how bad it was. but john r was worse!  now, i was on a side street that was unlit, a bunch of warehouses and a ton of stranded cars strewn all over the street.  there were scary crackheads hanging out on corners too.  it was a long wait and by this point, i’ve clued in that typically means there is a flood area up ahead.  AM I IN HELL?   ROF was on the phone with me and he told me to stop driving around that i was going to get stuck and that would be the worse thing that could happen to me.  so I turned around, left my friends, and headed back the same way to 8 mile.  my home base.


when i got to 8 mile, i could now only go right which meant –  i had to go the wrong way down 8 mile, go over 75, turn around and go through THE HUGE ASS FLOODED AREA AGAIN!  excuse my french. 

i’ll spare you the commentary.  it was now 11:30pm.  but i’ll just throw out some words/thoughts:

“ you ain’t gonna make it across, you gotta cross the median.  you ain’t gonna do that with your impala.  oh now wait, you got 20’s – give it a shot”


“amy, go park somewhere, you are going to get stuck.”

i made it through the huge flood area now – water up to the middle of my drivers side door.  i don’t know how, but i made it.  i drove straight to my favorite citgo gas stations sandwiched in between a strip bar and a cool restaurant called SOUL FOOD.  thank god, i never got kicked out of the citgo parking lot because i stayed there for 2 more hours.  i met a really nice indian woman and her friend she had picked up from the airport.  she had come in from india. WELCOME TO DETROIT!  she was going to 12 mile and woodward – near me – and she said “we are scared to death, can we follow you?”  i said sure.  after all, i do have all the answers.

i’ve been in the car for over 7 hours at this point.  no bathroom, no water, no food, no wine (mistake #3, always carry emergency wine)  ROF urged me to go to the strip club and have a drink but he was just joking.  i think.  my friend from india- gina – and i just parked close to each other and hung out while thug after thug got gas.  we even watched one tinkle between the two cars.  real nice.  i had my foot on the break, my hand on the shift and my mirrors positioned to see any funny business.  it was now 1:45 in the morning. rollin’ with my homies.

this was my breaking point.  i had called 911 because we were stranded and they said some words i’m sure they didn’t mean but were stressed out.  this whole time i had only seen 2 cops.  but i looked on google maps and saw i could take a side street to 9 mile, turn left and hit woodward and then go 110 mph home.  so i called on star because they are my very best friends at this point.  i did think it was cute that they would say “i will call the authorities if anything happens to you” it was reassuring but this is detroit, honey, ain’t nobody got time for that!


so i rolled down my window and told gina and her friend to follow me, we were going home.  she said OK.  i told her to KEEP UP.  she said OK.  we headed down a side street which was obviously flooded out earlier because cars were strewn all over and on top of each other.  we made it to 9 mile but it looked like a war zone!  semi trucks were pulled over one by one along the side and cars were all over the place -stranded.  gina wasn’t keeping up and i thought for a split second to blow her off but couldn’t.  it was 2am.  i was shaking at the anticipation of getting home.

i pulled into a gas station and let gina catch up.  i rolled down the window and asked her to please step on it.  she said OK.  so we weaved down 9 mile together until we got to a sign that made me cry:  WOODWARD AVE!

Screen Shot 2014-08-14 at 10.52.30 PM

gina wanted to turn the wrong way, so i waved her down and together we headed down the now open woodward together.  as she turned off at 12 mile, she called me.  we had exchanged numbers.  “ i just want to tell you that i would have never gotten through tonight without you.”  sure you would have!  “no really, i wouldn’t have.  i would be asleep at the citgo on 8 mile!”  we both laughed.   i told her she was a comfort to me too and we said goodbye.  i thanked God for putting an angel with me for the night.

i have this night on my mind a lot.  i think i will for a while.  i’ve written in previous posts how much i like to be jolted out of my comfort zone.  this was a good jolt.  after all, the day started off so normal!  but what should i learn from this?  what is normal??  you never, ever know what can happen in a matter of minutes let alone hours.

appreciate everything you have now.  cuz tomorrow may not be the same.


losing 75 pounds + what i’ve learned

10 Aug

so far,  i’ve lost a little over 75 pounds.

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that’s a shitload of weight, if i do say so myself.  i’m far from done too and have at least 50 more pounds to go.  i felt like sharing some of the things i’ve learned about myself during this process.

1. boy, do old habits run deep.

i kind of pride myself on remaining relevant.  whatever the hell that means… i guess i never wanted to be one of those people that gets stuck in their way and goes through life on auto-pilot.  and, i’m not.  but this process i’ve been through has taught me how important it is to recognize a negative pattern and revise it.  revising it means evolving your thinking and replacing that habit with something else.

let’s think about that negative habit.  it may not be something your spouse or family think is negative – it may not be “bad” in the world’s eyes – but for YOU and your new vision of yourself, it’s not good.  i’ve needed to lay down the law to myself.  here are some of my bad habits:

* mindless snacking.  i now share an office with my team in a big room because i’ll be commuting from dallas to detroit each week except for two days.  so i gave up my office.  so my team-mates are probably snickering right now because they have witnessed this first hand.  mindless snacking to me is having my hand in a popcorn bag 24/7 because i’m typing and thinking and writing and talking and my hands/brain always have to be doing something.  damnit to hell.  hate that!  because i recognize that, my solution is to drink more water instead and walk more.  i also track all the mindless shoving of snacks in my mouth in myfitnesspal app and punish myself with watching the calories add up.

* exercising. losing over 75 pounds makes exercising a lot easier.  and this is what i’ve learned.  my body WANTS to move.  all the time.  my energy level is so high now that exercise is almost a given.  but my negative habit is deeply, deeply engrained into my head.  and that is “i just don’t exercise”.  never have, never will.  boooorrring.  it was not stressed growing up and i do not stress it to myself.  when i played tennis in high school i used to do everything possible to get out of the sprints and the running.  i used to HIDE IN THE TENNIS CURTAIN!  <confession> so turning around this thinking is really hard.  when you tell yourself something that “you’re just not this or you just don’t do that” it is really debilitating.  so i just do it now.  i tell myself “i am a walker”  and that I love to move.  and i’m starting to believe it!

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2.  all the things they tell you to do on a diet really do work.  

the simple things like drink a lot of water, eat protein, chew small bites, eat slowly, get daily exercise and avoiding processed food.  all that works and works really well.  it took a lot for me to learn that – a lot.  but one way i’ve lost the weight is focusing on these things.

3. forget vanity, life is much better minus the weight. 

life really is that much better now that i’m lighter.  i’m just being honest.  this has nothing to do with trying to fit in because  fitting in, to me, is so easy and extremely boring and un-creative.  <had to get that in>.

but something i’ve learned is that the mean-girl voice in my head has gone away.  you know, that inside voice that said things that kept me down + held me back.  all that conflict is gone.  poof-bam-blitz!  and on top of that, getting dressed for work in the morning is a lot more fun.


4. just get through it. 

it’s been a long journey, i’m still on it and always will be.  it’s amazing what you can do just by telling yourself to get through it. tomorrow is a new day and i want to be in a new place.  it’s not as simple as it sounds.  but no matter what you’re going through, you’ve got to hope that tomorrow will be different.  so push through, endure + persevere.

thanks for reading!

in my feedly

6 Aug

i’m slightly obsessed.

but by now, you’ve probably already clued into that.  and my obsession of choice is not TV (hate watching it unless it’s a really good series in which ROF + i tend to watch them all at once like this and this) or exercising (even though it should be.)  but my obsession is reading blogs.  i think i can contribute my A.D.D. to it.  like magazines, they are quick reads.  but i get so much out of them.  or you could say i know a little bit about a lot.  design blogs, food blogs, health blogs…<sigh>… i could go on forever.

i’ve also tried several different kind of readers or rss readers.  rss stands for <real simple syndication> and i’ve gone back to feedly.  they’ve been revamped quite a bit and they bring all my blogs into one place so i don’t have to jump around.

as you can see i follow a lot of ‘girly’ blogs.  but if you are one of the two guys that reads my blog,  besides my husband, feedly can pull together all your boy things as well – from business reads to sports to news —– it can all be put in one place.

like how i totally generalized in the previous paragraph?  made me chuckle a little.  crack myself up.  not that women don’t read that stuff.  you know what i mean.

here’s what i have in my feedly:

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going home to texas

3 Aug

my whole life, i’ve connected moving from city to city and moving forward in life.  that’s how i was raised.  because we moved around so much, my mom helped us think of it as an adventure.  new house, new friends, new schools – everything new!  moving was never a sad thing.  sure, maybe there were some tears saying goodbye to friends + family but then the open road is ahead of you.


the other thing my parents did growing up, was teach us that our new city became “the city” to be in.  whether it really was (Chicago) or not (Flint), my parents always took pride in where they were.  after all, it’s where we were – so it had to be great, right?  when guests came to visit us, my parents knew the best route to our house (not past any bad areas, just the nice parts), the best restaurants, the neatest shops and we were always happy to be there.  i’m glad that is how i was raised rather than a bah-humbug sort of mover.  and it’s how i looked at where we live now, in Birmingham, michigan.

as much as i’ve “moved forward” from Cincinnati to Dayton to Cleveland to Boston to Grand Blanc to Brookfield to Naperville to Chicago to Dallas then to Birmingham... i’ve never moved back.  i’ve always moved on.

until now.


and it’s such an awesome feeling.

as i grow older, thoughts start to creep in that maybe we weren’t moving forward but just moving around.  nah, i push that thought out of my head.  after all, i wouldn’t have this outgoing personality if i wasn’t forced to put myself out there growing up – going to three high schools in three cities- in the land of judgement (you know, junior high angst and high school peer pressure) and that’s the truth.  but when you’re over that middle age hump (read: 40) you start to think – wait…i want people that know me around me and i want to have a history with them.

so back to texas we go.  obviously for more reasons than these but we’re so thrilled.  we missed you texas, with your crazy storms, wide open spaces, friendly people and most of all we miss all the people that missed us and stayed in such good touch over the past two years. we’re hoping to pick up right where we left off.

oh, and i get to decorate another house.  yay!

until tomorrow…

25 things to do with peaches

25 Jun

Amy Fulford:

This is a repost of one of my most popular blogs on what to do with peaches!

Originally posted on the appreciator:

what do you do if you suddenly find yourself with a boatload of peach trees and those trees are producing a boatload of peaches?  

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well, first you bring them into the office and try to unload some of them.

then you ask for help…. and here i am.  

i’ve put together an awesome pinterest page called “25 things you can do with peaches” and you can find that here.

but before you check that out, my dear friend, Suzanne put together this fantastic blog post on her award-winning peach cobbler.  i can personally vouch for this cobbler because i’ve cobbled it.  that means wolfed it down.  get that story and recipe here.

here are some, what i’d consider… unique things to make using up all those wonderful peaches:

1. vanilla peach bourbon jam

terrific on toast, pancakes, ice cream and french toast.   make it, save it, eat…

View original 161 more words

pretty obsessed

24 Jun

welcome to the stuff i’m obsessing over now…


i’m writing this on a big daddy airplane on my way from detroit to la.  listening to old school massive attack in my headphones.  it’s a gargantuan  miracle that they can get this puppy airborne.  it’s a 2x3x2 across.  i swear i can hear it saying “i think i can, i  think i can, i think i can” as it flies down the runway.  

i love flying.  nothing – almost nothing – is more beautiful.  my favorite part is when you break through the clouds to the pristine blue sky and separate from the clouds.  i always ponder the fact that is how life is <sigh>.  sometimes you need to clear through the clouds to the clear opening to get a new perspective.  here’s the riveting footage i took, if you’ve never seen this:  

obsession #1:  chatelaine magazine
we already know i’m obsessed with magazines, but this one is a new one to me.  my friend, alex, may know of it because it is canadian.  there are few magazines i believe have truly useful information in them.  real simple is one of them + country living is the other.  all the others are just fine and fun to flip through- no offense.

chatelaine totally fits in with the need-to-know bunch.  i found this gem when i got 2 free months of #nextissue on my ipad (see next obsession) it is jammed packed with fashion, recipes, travel ideas and music …for those in the know.

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obsession #2: nextissue app on ipad
just get it now.  don’t hesitate.  130+ magazines that download quick, you can read off line – what else do you need?  i don’t know.
free month on sign-up then $15/month.  it’s the spotify of the magazine world.  i just saved us about $500/year, ROF.

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obsession #3: food52.com 
get hip to this and quick.  not  just the recipes, not just the fun emails – the shopping!  oh my- do they have cool stuff.  i’m constantly putting stuff in my virtual basket (and then taking them out because i ask myself, do you really need this, and i say no. but then i say yes later and go through the process again and again…)

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obsession #4: sam smith
not new, i know.  but when i saw him on saturday night live singing this song, i’m not going to lie, my first thought was “this guy is that young and… white?!”  my second thought was “how the hell-o does his voice go that high?!”  slightly obsessed with this boy and wearing him out on spotify.  don’t listen to this song early in the morning, you won’t get it out of your head!


obsession #5: homemade sugar scrub
i wrote about this here.  but i have to say that after using this pretty much every day or every other day throughout the winter, i didn’t get any of those awful dry spots.  my skin is silky smooth and i can tell a noticeable difference.

my recipe now is plain white sugar (can’t eat it, might as well slather my skin with it!), a huge glug of vitamin e oil, lots of almond oil and any kind of essential oil you’d like to smell in the morning.

when in the shower, don’t take a little dab – no – this is the kind of stuff you want to grab a huge handful and scrub (thus the name) your arms, shoulders – everything!  but don’t shave before you do it.  that will hurt.  shave after.

obsession #6: being relevant 
this is bringing in my day job a little.  i work with car dealer groups around the country on social media.  the reason why i love my career is not because i believe engaging in social media is important.  i do.  it’s because consumers are communicating differently now and some advertisers don’t see the opportunity.  and usually it’s because they don’t use the medium of social media themselves.  and it’s changing so fast now!  by the time you get caught up, it changes again.  some things are relevant, some aren’t.  but if advertisers aren’t tracking with consumers, it is money well wasted.  i like taking my clients to a place that is uncomfortable for them at first but by educating and being willing to experiment, learn that it’s a place they should be.

obsession #7: marcona almonds with rosemary
at trader joes.  salty. crunchy.  obsessed.


obsession #8:  cardiac arrest by bad suns
playing it over and over.  especially effective at accelerating a good mood.  can’t help but to jump around like the silly 25 year old i think i still am.

obsession #9:  my mom
this is an on-going obsession.  i think about my mom all the time.  is that weird?  she has been my best friend for my whole life – since day one.  one thing she’s taught me is unconditional love.  she has told me that there is nothing i could do that would make her not love me.  think about how strong of a statement that is.  i will say that i tested it, for sure.


i really tried to get 10 obsessions, but they don’t come that organized.

i guess you could say i’m obsessed with beating ROF in our on-going annual gin game.  the year comes to an end on 7/23.  he has won the last two years and won’t shut the hell up about it.  please let me surge ahead!  it’s a great “couples activity” by the way.  i read about that a while ago – having a couples activity together.  what is yours?  



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