making martinis

20 Aug

and you thought you knew how to make a martini…ūüćł

throw around words like “dirty”, and “up” with confidence.

by popular demand, here’s ROF’s martini making magic for your drinking pleasure!

make it happen today

10 Aug


MOST PEOPLE ARE STARTING TO DOWN SHIFT THEIR FOCUS AND DRIVE ON A WEDNESDAY – YOU BETTER HUSTLE.

GET AT IT

YOU ARENT EVEN CLOSE TO WHERE YOU WANT TO BE YET.  STRIVING AND DRIVING IS WHAT KEEPS US PRODUCING.


have a great day!


JUST WAIT. IT ALL GETS BETTER. I KNOW.

5 Aug

i grew up in the midwest.  in ohio, michigan, Illinois and wisconsin.  in fact, I went to three different high schools in three different states.  


and i’m not sure how to describe it, but it just feels like home in the air whenever I land up here. the smell in the air, the beautiful scenery and it seems like my body instantly recognizes the familiarity or connection.  last week we were in michigan and this weekend we are in upper wisconsin.  yep, it is 60 degrees right now – jealous my fellow dallasites?


i straddle living “in the south” and working “in the north” and have the unique perspective of getting the best of both worlds.

i love where i am in life. and if I had a child in their 20’s struggling with their career or situation i would have the unique ability to give sage advice. 

i guess that’s called getting old.  

the advice is this. just wait.  life changes.

15 years ago i worked at j walter thompson in chicago and was single.  i worked with clients in wisconsin and traveled the whole state.  i kept a journal and it was filled with pages of loving my life and job but, truthfully, being painfully lonely.  i never thought i would meet someone.

flash forward 15 years.  now, i am on the client side (same client!) and married to my very best friend.  had to go all the way to texas to get him but it was worth it. this weekend I get to show him this beautiful part of the country and smile, thinking about my 30 year old self.  oh what good comes to those who wait!

hustle and hit it in august

1 Aug Screen Shot 2016-08-01 at 8.43.17 AM

thanks gary vee for an inspiring message this morning Рthe 1st of august. 

Inspirational Gary Vaynerchuk Quotes

‚ÄúWake up before everybody else and work into the night. Hustle‚Ä̬†

‚ÄúSkills are cheap. Passion is priceless.‚Ä̬†

‚ÄúNo matter what you do, your job is to tell your story.‚Ä̬†

‚ÄúLook yourself in the mirror and ask yourself, what do I want to do everyday for the rest of my life‚Ķdo that.‚ÄĚ

‚ÄúThere‚Äôs no reason in 2016, to do shit you hate. NONE.‚Ä̬†

‚ÄúThe truth is that finding happiness in what you do every day is so imperative.‚Ä̬†

‚ÄúYou didn‚Äôt grow up driving‚Ķyou figured it out.‚Ä̬†

‚ÄúAll your ideas may be solid or even good .. But you have to Actually EXECUTE on them for them to matter.‚Ä̬†

‚ÄúLove your family, work super hard, live your passion.‚Ä̬†

‚ÄúI‚Äôm just always looking forwards. I spend very little time, looking backwards‚Ä̬†

‚ÄúEffort is grossly underrated.‚Ä̬†

‚ÄúLive your passion. What does that mean, anyway? It means that when you get up for work every morning, every single morning, you are pumped because you get to talk about or work with or do the thing that interests you the most in the world. You don‚Äôt live for vacations because you don‚Äôt need a break from what you‚Äôre doing‚ÄĒworking, playing, and relaxing are one and the same. You don‚Äôt even pay attention to how many hours you‚Äôre working because to you, it‚Äôs not really work. You‚Äôre making money, but you‚Äôd do whatever it is you‚Äôre doing for free.‚Ä̬†

‚ÄúI put zero weight into anyone‚Äôs opinion about me because I know exactly who I am. Can you say the same? When‚Ä̬†

‚ÄúI failed all my classes and that’s why I’m winning. In hindsight, the fact that I was considered a failure for the first 18 years of my life has become the foundation of my success.‚ÄĚ

‚ÄúStop focusing on dumb shit. Don‚Äôt be afraid to break things. Don‚Äôt be romantic. Don‚Äôt take the time to breathe. Don‚Äôt aim for perfect. And whatever you do, keep moving. Reread this a few times .¬†.¬†.‚ÄĚ

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Cook it: gazpacho 

27 Jul


get it:

4 vine ripe tomatoes, skin removed and chopped

1/2 cucumber, diced

1/2 green pepper, diced

1/4c red wine vinegar

1/4c olive oil

1 tbsp black pepper

1 tbsp garlic powder (we love bolners fiesta brand)

2 c zing zang bloody mary mix

6-46 dashes of tabasco

make it:

prep all your ingredients. Put them all in a bowl. ¬†add more of what you like and less of what you don’t. mix well.

cover and put in fridge for at least a couple hours – these folks need to spend time getting to know each other in the bowl.

when ready to serve, you can serve as-is or puree half of it in blender and pour it back in the bowl. Gives it a more soup-like texture but with some chunks.  serve in a bowl with dollop of sour cream, some croutons and chopped scallions.

75 things to do with peaches

25 Jul

i have written over 350 blog posts in the past 5 years and the blog post i did on 25 things to do with peaches is still my biggest hit. ¬†i think it comes up organically in searches. ¬†so of course, i’m no dummy, i’ve upped my game.

this is a post on 75 things you can do with peaches.  ha.  this is going to sky rocket.

it is summer after all, and really nothing beats a perfectly ripe, juicy peach. ¬†except maybe crisp michigan roadside corn. ¬†yes, that’s a type of corn.

 

peaches

i’ve curated 75 things you can drink, eat and make with peaches. ¬†you can grill them, mix them with savory items like pork chops or wrap bacon around them. you can make smoothies, salsa and jam. ¬†you can drink them up in lemonades, tea, slushes or make a peach collins. ¬†pair peaches with bourbon, bacon, vanilla, crab and ham. ¬†it’s really quite versatile. ¬†you can even make it into a sugar scrub and smear it on your face.

i’d rather each peaches though. ¬†remember this recipe?

you can write about peaches, like this:

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or change your name to “peaches”

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or you can learn about peaches. ¬†here are some cool facts you’ll feel smarter for knowing:

  • the top four peach-producing states are california, south carolina, georgia and new jersey
  • this fruit is a member of the Rosaceae family and is a close relative of almonds
  • a large peach has fewer than 70 calories and contains 3 grams of fiber. It‚Äôs also a good source of vitamins a and c
  • it is a good stress-reliever, helps to reduce anxiety ‚Äď it is often referred to as the ‚ÄėFruit of Calmness‚Äô in hungary
  • in the world, china is the biggest producer of peaches and italy is the second

who knew?  now you do.  so go make some of these delicious peach recipes right now Рbefore peach season runs out!

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XXOO

the 5 best reads in the morning

23 Jul

this sounds ridiculously optimistic, but i can’t wait to wake up in the morning. ¬†not because i can’t wait to run on the treadmill or make my first cup of coffee (nepresso, yum) but it’s because i can’t wait to dive into the 45 minutes i give myself to read in the morning. ¬†here are the 5 best things.

this¬†is my morning¬†routine for reading articles and news (books are for night time reading) and i can’t wait to share.

1

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TWITTER.
i’m a twitter lover. ¬†the best way to get a hold of someone – really anyone. ¬†i’ve given entire talks on the positive attributes of twitter. ¬†i skim it first thing in the morning and look at the trending hashtags to quickly see if i missed anything overnight. ¬†sometimes it’s scary because a hashtag takes you right to the people involved in whatever is going on and you get this much bigger sense of what is happening versus just watching a newscast. ¬†i’ve gotten to know some great thought leaders via twitter just by reading them and retweeting. ¬†they see that i forwarded their work on and then check me out.

twitter

i could go on but we have four more apps to read…

FLIPBOARD.

flipboard was designed to read holding your phone in your one hand. ¬†you use your thumb to flip through the stories and click to read more. ¬†you can follow thousands of topics and people – friends and writers. ¬†you can organize categories for yourself and it’s easy to share articles and quotes. ¬†i read a ton of stuff on productivity and leadership here. i find that INC has the best stuff to read .

flipbook

THIS IS HOW I HAVE IT ORGANIZED ON MY PHONE…ha ha

my mind

MEDIUM.

oh my goodness. ¬†my newest favorite obsession. ¬†i can’t wait to start writing here but reading is just too much fun. ¬†for example, just read this article here that i found – SO GOOD. ¬†people are so f*ing cool! ¬†i consume this content like peanut butter on the tip of my dogs tongue.

mediumHIGHBROW. 

this is a website that you can sign up to get little “bite sized” lessons every day from a short-lived subject of your choice. ¬†i just started a SEO “class”. ¬†you get this delivered into your in-box every day at a time you choose.

highbrow

FEEDLY.

some people watch tv shows, i read my feedly rss app religiously. ¬†this is all fun stuff – nothing too deep. ¬†i follow hundreds of my favorite bloggers for interior and graphic design, beauty and fashion (you don’t think i know how to dress this fashionably on my own, do you?) and recipes and food. ¬†it’s like a little present waiting for me every morning.

sometimes i get so excited to read it that i put it off – so i have something to look forward too… i’m so stupid. ¬†love it!

Texture feedly

TEXTURE.

you know how much i obsess over magazines, right? ¬†if not, read here.¬† oh, or here.¬† and i am blown away how awesome reading magazines is with this great ipad app. ¬†it not only gives you hundreds of magazines monthly at or before they are on the news stand but they summarize the top reads from most of them and puts them in a highlights section for you. ¬†AND (this is best) you can search across ALL MAGAZINES. ¬†yes, i get all in a wad over this. ¬†i can search CHICKEN and anything written about chicken across not only all the magazines but…wait for it…. all issues of magazines. ¬†like a GAZILLION recipes on chicken come up.

that’s it! ¬†gotta go read!

cook it: chicken florentine artichoke bake

21 Jul

cook it

thank god the weekend is almost here. ¬†i’m ready for it. ¬†while i haven’t been traveling too much this month, i find it hard to work from home. ¬†anyone else think that as well? ¬†i seems i need people, action and inspiration. ¬†that’s why it was so much fun to have my sister-in-law hang out for a while this summer. ¬†we had a lot of fun together. ¬†we cooked up a storm, both at home and while taking a cooking class at sur la table. ¬†

this week’s episode of COOK IT is a casserole and it’s perfect to make on sunday. ¬†just saying that word, casserole, ¬†is comforting. ¬†one dish of love wrapped up with all the¬†things i love. ¬†pasta, artichokes, spinach, sun-dried tomatoes, paprika.

just kidding, who loves paprika?

Cook

chicken florentine artichoke bake

6 servings

get it:

bow tie pasta – 8 ozs

onion – 1 small, chopped

eggs – 2

butter – 2t

milk – 1 1/4c

crushed red pepper – shake

dried italian seasonings – shake

chicken  -2 c cooked + chopped

monterey jack cheese – 2 c, shredded

artichoke hears – 14 oz can

spinach – 10 oz , fresh

oil packed sun dried tomatoes – 1/2 c drained and chopped

panko  bread crumbs Р1/2 c

paprika – 1/2 tsp

parm cheese – 1/4 c

do it:

preheat oven to 350.  cook pasta according to directions, drain.  in medium skillet cook onion in 1 t of butter over medium heat about 5 minutes, stir every so often.  remove from hear, set aside.

in a bowl, whisk together eggs, milk, seasoning, salt, pepper and crushed red pepper. ¬†stir in chicken, cheese, artichokes, spinach, tomatoes, half of the parm cheese, pasta and onion. ¬†get in there with your hands and stir it up – a spoon can’t do it justice! transfer to a 13 x 9 baking dish.

fix a glass of wine.

bake, covered for 20 minutes.  in a small bowl combine remaining parm cheese, bread crumbs, paprika and 1t butter melted.  sprinkle mixture over pasta.  bake that puppy for 10 minutes more until golden!

eat it!

here is susan showing how to make it!

adapted from better homes and garden

cook it: crab cakes w/lemon dill sauce

14 Jul

cook it welcome to the first installment of “COOK IT!”  i’m so thrilled to bring you this new blog post series that is designed to be for the person or couple who wants to cook but have a hard time deciding what to cook and frankly, how to cook.

sometimes you just gotta say “cook it!” and dive right in.

our first recipe is crab cakes with lemon dill sauce (are you excited?!?)

IMG_4127

this is a perfect recipe to do this saturday.  so read the recipe, buy the ingredients and then saturday mid-morning, after you’ve slept in a little bit and had your coffee:

grab all your ingredients

read the recipe again

put together your mise en place and

make your sauce and your cakes

then you just put them in the fridge.  when dinner time rolls around, well, aren’t you fancy?!  just pop those cakes in the oven, prepare a little baby spinach salad with a light vinaigrette and plop two cakes down on top, swirl your lemon dill sauce on the side and you’ve got one hell of a fancy dinner.  easy.

this recipe is from my wonderful sister-in-law susan who is an excellent cook.  she visited us last week and was nice enough to make these for ROF and me and …<wait for it>  filmed a video of her making these for us. check it out at the bottom.

****

yield: 4 reasonably sized people

prep time: 30 min

total: 2 hours and 30 min

lemon dill sauce

get:

mayo – 1 cup

buttermilk – 1/4 cup

dill – 2t chopped fresh

italian parsley – 1t chopped fresh

lemon zest – 1 t

lemon juice – 2 tsp

garlic – 1 clove minced

make: combine all the ingredients above in a bowl and stir well.  put in fridge and let it chill out.  sauce will thicken as it chills. 

crab cakes

get:

butter – 3t

scallions – 3 chopped

red bell pepper – 2t chopped

garlic – 1 clove minced

heavy cream – 3t

dijon mustard – 1t

egg – 1

italian parsley – 1.2 t chopped fresh

cayenne pepper – a dab’ll do ya

bread crumbs – 1 cup

parmesan cheese – 1/4 cup

crabmeat – 1 lb.

make: melt 1t of butter in a skillet over medium heat.  saute’ the scallions, pepper and garlic for about 3 minutes. in a bowl, mix together the cream, mustard, egg, parsley, cayenne pepper, 1/2 the bread crumbs and the vegetables you just sauted.  gently fold in the crabmeat.  form mixture into 8 patties.  in a mixing bowl, combine the remaining bread crumbs (1/2 c) and the parm cheese.  pat this topping onto both sides of the patties.  refrigerate until firm – at least 2 hours. 

you can cook these on the stove in a little bit of oil or bake them which is what we do. top each patty with a small pat of butter and bake at 400 degrees for 10 to 12 minutes.  serve on a bed of spinach with a dollop of lemon dill sauce on the side. 

are you ready to impress your loved one with this awesome dinner?  here is susan making both the lemon dill sauce and the crab cakes.  make them this weekend and post a pic to instagram and tag me.  i dare you…!

3 apps, 3 podcasts + 3 instagrams

10 Jul

IMG_4089

three apps

remember: ¬†this app automatically populates where you are via GPS. ¬†just enter the person or thing you want to remember and when you return to that place, the “remember” app sends you a notification with what you had entered.

use it:

  • when you want to remember a bartender or waitstaff person’s name at a new or favorite restaurant. ¬†the app will send a notification when you walk back into that bar.
  • when you meet someone new. ¬†while you may not be going back to that conference again, you might remember that you met the person there. ¬†so the app remembers that person’s name and information and stores it under the conference name so you can grab it. ¬†“who was that SVP we met at the IMG conference…”

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medium: ¬†thanks lori for introducing me to this one. ¬†it’s one i read every morning. ¬†the app describes itself better than i could:

At Medium, we are creating a network that enables people to make an impression on others. To make them think or change their minds. To teach them something or connect emotionally. Where the quality of the idea matters, not the author’s qualifications. A place where conversation pushes ideas forward and words still matter.

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li.st: i’m having fun discovering new content with this app. ¬†i especially like following mindy kaling and bj novak on this app. here is what it is in their own words:

With li.st, you can:
  • Get inspired by travel recommendations, reading lists, recipes, and life musings.
  • Share your experiences and opinions through richly formatted lists with text, photos, and locations.
  • Request lists from your friends and your favorite musicians, athletes, and public figures.
  • Find the most popular, exciting, and useful lists from around the globe.
  • Search the topics that matter most to you and save lists for quick access.
  • Stay informed and up-to-date with news summaries, film and music reviews, TV highlights and more from top publications.

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3 podcasts

podcasts have gotten so much better lately. ¬†maybe because serial was so successful. ¬†it sure makes doing anything – walking, driving, trying to fall asleep… more fun. ¬†here are some podcasts i like:

dear sugar:¬†plain and simple, it’s an advice program. ¬†people email real life and relatable situations and cheryl strayed and steve almond respond. ¬†it’s entertaining and i love the research they do to answer the question. they will bring someone else on the show that has been through that particular situation and give their 2 cents. ¬†pick any of these that strike your fancy.

embedded: another great offering from npr. ¬†this podcast takes a story from the news and digs much deeper. ¬†listen to it from the start, to “the house.” ¬†you can listen in here.

this is your life with michael hyatt: 10 million listeners can’t be wrong. ¬†michael hyatt is a best selling author and the founder of a leadership development company. he covers topics like how to be more productive, how to merchandise your blog and yourself and many other topics. ¬†the free content he puts out is amazing. ¬†he is your virtual mentor. ¬† i recently bought his latest book and loved it. ¬†it’s about coming up with a plan for your life. ¬†i’m all about planning and this was right up my alley. ¬†check it out.

3 instagrams

here are three outstanding instagram accounts to follow.  why?  because i like them.

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if you like sushi and new york, you’ll love following bond st. ¬†the best sushi restaurant i’ve ever had the pleasure of dining. ¬†check out this fish!

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so much fun.

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do not follow if you’re hungry. ¬†best snaps ever.

 

over and out!

early morning emoji banter

26 May


can’t blame him- my coffee is the best!  Yes this really happened this morning!

inspiration for today

15 Apr img_1733

today i’m in naples, florida with people I love. ROF arrives today and i can’t wait to see him!

i’m thinking about my wonderful aunt jeanie. ¬†she passed away on wednesday. i loved her. ¬†I used to stay at her house in columbus ohio when i handled the buick account at JTC Advertising. ¬†she was always so excited to see me and hear about what i was doing. ¬†she and I shared a love of books and movies. ¬†she had so much life and interest in people and places!

she also could play the piano so well.  i snuck a video of her playing the last time I saw her.



i’m thinking of her sisters- my mom and aunt sally- and her kids, my cousins and her many grandkids.

oh! here are some things i’ve been meaning to tell you. ¬†pass it on + be inspired!


  
  
  
  
  
  
  
  

favorite instagrammers

8 Apr

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for me, instagram started out to be just an app to run a filter through my photographs. ¬†i didn’t pay attention to the fact that other people could see them.

IMG_1578but that was 6 years ago and now instagram is a tremendous marketing tool.  like they say, a picture says 1000 words!  and people are sooooo creative.  here are just a handful of people i love to follow:

CHRYSTAL PEARL

her instagram is so inspiring. ¬†even though i plan to eat a cinnamon bun as big as my face that ROF got me from bucky’s, i love to stay connected to her.

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IMG_1569 IMG_1570 IMG_1571 IMG_1572 IMG_1574

PARIS IN FOUR MONTHS

carin olsson has the most beautiful photos of paris. ¬†my heart skips a beat looking at them. ¬†i’d love to go there again. ¬†live there? ¬†in a hot minute!

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OVERHEARDLA

ha.  they just post stuff they overhear at bars and cafes all over LA.  or they take submissions.  pretty funny stuff.

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BONDST

best sushi in the united states of america. ¬†hands down. ¬†if you are ever in NYC – eat here! ¬†but they also have a very creative instagram feed. ¬†i’m drooling.

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100LAYERCAKE

amanda dawson, co-founder and CD of 100 layer cake in los angeles has an awesome feed.  i want to jump right into any of her photos.

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what are your favorite instagram feeds?

listening to this…

7 Apr


hey! happy thursday. i’m jetsetting around wisconsin this week…it’s almost spring!

here is what I’m jamming out to in the rent car this week. ¬†don’t get all crazy and shuffle it. ¬†start at the top the ole fashioned way.

on the #road: 3/16/16

16 Mar

snapshot:
rockford, il

COURTYARD BY MARRIOTT

hotel restaurant

seriously – no one here…

except the waitress, who is from Mexico

we bonded because I knew the word

si.

red wine, first and only glass, listening to “baby it’s cold outside” on stereo

christmas in march.

awesome day today on the wide open road visiting kind, smart, cool 

  
clients, well, peers now – not in agencyland anymore.

reading a sassy book, sending friends goofy dubsmash videos and winding down from a day that started at 3am. get to see my husband AND niece + boy tomorrow! 

 #perfect

#grateful

moodboard

13 Mar

i found this awesome site to create moodboards (super) easily. ¬†it’s fun to do and bring your visions to life. ¬†check it out here and see my dream bedroom and office boards below.

dreamy bedroom (2)working from home (4)

3.inspiring things 4 thursday

3 Mar

it’s important to be inspired. being with someone, watching something or remembering kind words is like a glass of cold water on a hot, humid day. they comfort but can also lead the direction to a bigger vision for yourself or for the world.

here are three inspiring videos. watch when you can, you won’t regret it!

and the last one deserves a little dialogue from me. ¬†this video really spoke to me. ¬†i absolutely love how she dug into what she needed to feel complete and then turn it into something that benefits others. ¬†i think about this daily…constantly.

“my own definition of success has become more than anything about freedom to do different things…”

that sounds like such a luxury, doesn’t it? ¬†true freedom? ¬†but the new thinking for me is that i can have that luxury. ¬†i’m not putting kids through school, i’m not saving to pay for weddings. ¬†it doesn’t mean changing lifestyles, it’s about changing mindsets and taking your abilities to a whole new, exciting level.

 

heart attacks + fries

22 Feb

happy new year!

yes, i realize that it’s almost march but i haven’t posted since december. ¬†i got a new job and started it in january and have been running ever since. (new job is awesome, by the way)

right now, i’m on an early morning delta flight out of dfw headed first to minneapolis and then to duluth. the cabin in this small plane smells like freshly brewed coffee and morning breath from the several men around me sleeping with their mouth wide open and head back. ¬†from duluth i will rent a SUV and drive an hour and half to ashland, wisconsin. ¬†otherwise known as God’s country. ¬†look it up on a map. ¬†it may be only 6 degrees up there but i consider it to be a huge perk of my job to experience the beauty which is northern wisconsin. then i turn around and drive back, stay by the airport and am on an early morning flight out of duluth to minneapolis and land back at dfw tomorrow at noon.

living healthy.

so at my age (46) i just realized i could die someday. ¬†as a gen x’er (i’m stereotyping) the thought of dying or coming up on serious health issues could not have been further from my mind. ¬†i was invincible and could smoke as much as i wanted (after all, the kids from my favorite movies did like st. elmos fire and singles.)

rob-lowe-st-elmo-s-fire

drink wine as much as i wanted like carrie bradshaw in sex and the city and not care about how it affected me and my body.

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now i know. ¬†and it’s a sobering fact of life. ¬†you get old and your body and organs go along for the ride.

my brother who is four years younger than me had a couple massive heart attacks around thanksgiving. they had to shock him 19 times and his heart stopped beating for over 15 minutes. ¬†my brother and i have a very strained and challenging relationship but it has made me sad for him. ¬†it has made me think of me too. ¬†that maybe it isn’t enough for me to just drink my trader joe’s super green powder drink every morning and “try” to walk 30 minutes before slumping back in front of my computer for the rest of the day. ¬†maybe i have to do more and maybe it’s urgent. ¬†maybe i better stop thinking that all there is what makes me happy now and think about the fact that what i do now will make me very happy in the future.

so i’m not a complainer or a whiner, i’m a doer and so i got a physical. ¬†i’m on a plan to lose weight and eat right. ¬†it is not going to be easy. ¬†in fact, i forgot about eating right when i ordered a BLT sandwich and fries at st. pete’s dancing marlin this weekend. i only ate half.

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baby steps.

i also have a cardiologist who is going to run all the tests and wants to see me every 6 months. ¬†she’s awesome. ¬†my mom had her first heart attack at only 49. ¬†and i’m 46.

it’s a journey,right? ¬†that’s what they say. ¬†i hope that i can do this and have encouragement along the way.

happy new year!

wine to buy for casual get-togethers

28 Dec

ever want to grab some wine for a casual get-together, but aren’t sure what you should buy? ¬†do you grab a bottle of expensive wine thinking that the more you pay, it must be good? ¬†then you wonder if that will be enough and you grab another bottle and before you know it, you’re spending double what you planned?

don’t you hate that?

a colleague asked ROF for his recommendation on what wine he should buy over the holidays for some out-of-town guests.  i thought it was pretty solid advice, especially if you frequent costco as much as we do.

plus i thought it was kind of funny.

——————————————————————————————————————————————————–

Hey-

Sorry this has taken me several weeks. Just did a big shop at Costco on Saturday, so this is still top of mind.

White ‚Äď Huge fan of the Kim Crawford Sauvignon Blanc ‚Äď it‚Äôs over in the cheap section in the cardboard boxes ‚Äď not the wood crates. It‚Äôs $10.99 or $11.99 a bottle. Great wine ‚Äď we drink a lot of this @ mi casa.

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Other White ‚Äď Le Crema Chardonnay ‚Äď Good stuff at around $12 a bottle. This is the house white @ The Mansion on Turtle Creek (no joke).

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Red ‚Äď My favorite red that Costco sells is Coppola (Francis Ford Coppola ‚Äď how bad ass is that?) Cabernet Sauvignon or Merlot. It’s great wine and both are a great bargain at Costco for between $11-$15 a bottle. And anyone that bad mouths Merlot is a dumb-shit and doesn’t know wine, they only remember the movie Sideways which sent Merlot sales sliding for years.

Another red to try ‚Äď Dynamite – either the Cab or Merlot ‚Äď a little cheaper than Coppola but real good. It also has a cool label.

Dynamite Vineyards 2012 Merlot 750ml

Hope this helps.

Happy Holidays and bottoms up!

ROF

planning 101: getting ready for guests

17 Dec

we’re so excited to have some of our favorite people come visit for new years. ¬†and even though they’re very low maintenance, that never changes how special i want the time to be.

so i’m starting to plan and i thought i’d write out how i plan since i’ve had several friends ask me for advice.

first, start a pinterest board for your event. ¬†even if it is just a dinner. ¬†make it private if you don’t want people to see. ¬†or not. ¬†pinterest is hands down one of the best places to get recipes, decoration ideas and thoughts on entertaining – everything!

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second, having a game plan is key. ¬†it’s funny how this spilled into my work as well. ¬†i’ve seemed to become a stickler on timing and i’m like that at home too. ¬†it’s not enough to have a couple recipes printed out and the ingredients. ¬†ROF and i found that out the hard way when we made boeuf bourguignon¬†with my sister. ¬†we found out that the mushrooms had to marinate for like 8 hours and the beef had to cook for 4. ¬†we ate at 2am in the morning (and after 3+ bottles of wine) – so timing is everything.

be crazy about it.  i keep my game plan in an app called evernote.  that way i can replicate it.

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I have a notebook called visitors itineraries, then inside it is the event like “christmas 2015” and then inside that i have folders for grocery list, menu/recipes and game plan. ¬†the plan tells me exactly when to do something and that way i can plan ahead and make sure food gets hot to the table on time. ¬†i am very literal – kind of like an idiot talking to herself…-

“take meat out of fridge at 3pm”

“put meat in marinade at 3:30pm, preheat oven 400”

“meat in oven at 4pm”

“cook at …..” ¬†you get the picture.

third, do as much as humanly possible in advance. ¬†make the salad dressing, trim the veggies, bake the cake – anything at all that can be done in advance – do it. ¬†this is something¬†my mentor (from a distance), the barefoot contessa, has said many times. ¬†make it in advance. ¬†in fact, her new cookbook is all about doing just that. ¬†unless the cooking can be a fun group activity and you’ve got some casual, hang-around-the-house-time, limit what you’re doing while your guests are there. ¬†of course, this depends on the guests you’re having. ¬†if it’s family or close friends – have them join in and help – no biggie. ¬†if it’s more formal, don’t be chopping the veggies while your guests feel helpless staring at you!

51hcOrWFjQL._SX373_BO1,204,203,200_fourth, set up a bar away from the kitchen. ¬†it’s where everyone congregates and if you’re trying to get food prepared, it can be challenging to work around everyone. ¬†don’t feel as if you have to have a fancy bar. ¬†anything can become a bar. ¬†¬† the more quirky, the more fun it is.

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get a big basket and fill it with basic booze, couple bottles of wine, already open, glasses an ice bucket and some lemon/lime wedges – there you go!

then just work your plan. ¬†when i have guests for a couple of days, just extend the itinerary and the plan. ¬†i typically have a lot of fun with our guests…ha… and can forget that i’m supposed to make the breakfast casserole for tomorrow!

hope this helps!  please add any tips you have.

december playlist

4 Dec

i’m sorry, i don’t mean to brag, but this may simply be the best playlist to date. ¬†i’m just saying.

i don’t know why all my playlists are named with something having to do with wine. ¬†i think it’s because when you’re sipping wine with friends, you need to have just the right music. ¬†duh.

anyway, i followed some of my favorite djs on spotify and curated this list of eclectic songs that should make you happy. ¬†i’m happy!

i put a song on here that will make my sister think of me.  another one really reminds me of hanging with debbie and jeff cummings in chicago over 20 years ago (can they guess which one?) also, melissa glick will smile at a couple of flashbacks some songs will give her.

what are your plans for the weekend? ¬†we’re going to a fun wine tasting tonight, heading to a dallas best new restaurant saturday with friends we love and chilling, playing cards (i’ll be winning) on sunday.

spotify:user:amyfulford:playlist:5htGRcAohKjzmBUXTzaSXo

 

happy friday!

it’s great to be alive!

18 Nov

read this if you believe it’s great to be alive. ¬†or if you don’t.

my favorite radio station in the whole world is 93.1 or 93XRT in chicago, as everyone calls it. ¬†i’ve been listening since i was in high school living the burbs of chicago. ¬†i continued listening all the way through my 20s and 30s living the single life in downtown chicago to streaming it for the past twelve years (INTO MY FREAKING 40’s!) down here in dallas.

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i’m not going to go into how eclectic the music selections they play are – just trust that i have good taste. ¬†anyway, i grew up with lin brehmer. ¬†he’s on the morning show and ROF won’t be mad by me saying…. i love him. ¬†he’s genius, wonderful, funny and insightful. ¬†and i LOVE his signature “IT’S GREAT TO BE ALIVE” phrase he got from frank zappa. ¬†i wonder if lin knows someone in dallas thinks this about him. ¬†ha! ¬†hearing that reminds me to tell you that i truly – and maybe cheesily – think that IT’S GREAT TO BE ALIVE every single day. ¬†if you know me, you know that is true.

can you even comprehend for one single minute, sitting in a cafe enjoying a nice dinner – maybe it was impromptu – maybe it was planned for weeks – who cares. ¬†but you’re sitting there and a gunman enters and starts shooting off an automatic gun. ¬†like you, i’m sure, hearing about the events in paris rocked our world this weekend. ¬† you don’t have time to say goodbye. ¬†you don’t have time to “work on those things that you want to change.” ¬†that’s it. ¬†was it good? ¬† did you make every single day count?

sometimes i have to remind myself and my close friends that we have #firstworldproblems. ¬†that sometimes the things that SUCK really don’t SUCK at all. ¬†this is what having this mentality is all about. ¬†for example…. having a hard time at work? ¬†you’re not appreciated or maybe not being used to your capability? ¬†well, you’re getting a paycheck, you have a roof over your head and an opportunity to change your situation. ¬† so guess what – IT’S¬†GREAT TO BE ALIVE! ¬†you’re upset that you’ve gained weight and clothes don’t fit and you’re depressed? ¬†well, ¬†if your legs work and you can walk – then IT’S GREAT TO BE ALIVE. ¬†so change it, dear.

i spent a lot of time with my dad when he was dying. ¬†every single day as a matter of fact. ¬†so, yes, many times your situation really does SUCK. ¬†dying of cancer SUCKs. ¬†but my dad for the nine months he lived after finding out he had cancer in his esophagus, then brain, then finally his spine is that he truly had the attitude of how knowing¬†IT’S TO BE ALIVE. ¬†he used his last days on earth to hug life. ¬†to make wrongs right, to make us laugh, to squeeze my mom tight and tell her he loved her always, to encourage my sister, brother and i and to really embrace life.

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he had the opportunity to do this where so many do not.  he knew this.

if you ever need a reminder how great it is to be alive go here and do something about it. ¬†one of the best websites i’ve ever seen. ¬†ever. ¬†thanks JG for sending.

 

101 ways to get your house ready for guests – friends weigh in!

15 Nov

i love having house guests. ¬†because it is just ROF and me (and ruby!) having our house abuzz with family and friends really gives me the feeling of home. ¬†i love making our company comfortable whether it’s a home cooked meal, special conveniences or little surprises.

so i reached out to my friends to find out what they do to make the visit special.  i love these ideas!

have some of the guest’s favorite things on-hand; e.g., snack, coffee, liquor/beer.¬†Female: fresh flowers, magazines, candle, comfy bedding, beautiful glass for bottled water, something silver in room¬†Male: good breakfast food, James Patterson-type books, late night snacks, bottled water –¬†marinell roe

i had my sister and her boyfriends initials monogrammed on hand towels. – megen decker

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get a collapsible suitcase holder at bed bath and beyond to get their suitcase to a place they can easily use it. put a small surprise on the bed. if kids are visiting get a little something about the city or candy treat.  if they are coming to see your city print an agenda like u and britt did when we came to chicago.aunt sally nilsen

for me, the thing that makes having house guests easy is organization in advance.  whether it is room prep, meals or activities, if you plan ahead, make an itinerary, buy and prep in advance, you can enjoy your guests and feel less stressed.  Рsusan prendeville

i like to put a goodie bath basket on their bed or in the bathroom. something luxurious, soap/body wash, loofa, plush washcloth and candle maybe to help them feel at home and little gifts they can take home with them.- katie ballard

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since the guest room also doubles as storage when there are no guests, i typically organize the guest room closet and find extra non-wire hangers to put in there.  Рmeredith conte

i frame my wireless network and wifi password and put it on the bedside table.  Like what they would see in a boutique hotel.

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i always buy fruit, juice, banana bread or croissants and set up coffee and tea so they have a little continental breakfast waiting for them in the kitchen. people wake up at different times so even if I go back to bed, it’s there waiting for them and they don’t have to feel weird searching through the pantry.¬† I like doing this even if we have brunch plans because like I said…sometimes people wake up really early and i’m always hungry as soon as I wake up.

i¬†always buy chocolate and set it out in candy dishes.¬† People like to munch and snack and it’s nice being able to grab a few pretzel M&M’s on your way to bed!

i let them sleep with riley, if they are really good friends… he’s a snuggle bug. – jackie grubb

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i love to cook for guests and a few special items I will pull out like chicken enchiladas or a lasagna that’s made with pepperoni (yum!) we also love to make a brunch for the first morning complete with mimosas. my go-to brunch casserole is pioneer woman’s sleepin’ in breakfast casserole.

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when we go out, we try to look for unique spots that the guests might not have at home. i love to try new restaurants and want to share that experience with others. – jennifer anderson

i love to leave a small vase of fresh flowers, nothing fancy (I can usually run outside and find something pretty in bloom) by the bedside.  ordering out from a local pizza place that first night makes things casual and easy and gives people time to relax. Рlindy stagnaro

have a box of matches or a nice room spray in the bathroom and other accoutrements like nice simple soap in the shower and q-tips on the counter. set up a power outlet by the bed for phones and ipads to charge Рsarah beth prendeville

i also asked my friends what games they like to play with guests and i heard about these several times:

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dani crowder’s friends and guests have a blast playing this game and we have had great success learning from jamie hare’s family playing this game

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but the most creative, interesting and fun suggestion came from christine warren.  her husband likes to whip up molecular gastronomy creations (invitation, please!) and she suggested purchasing this fun thing to do with guests!

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i have also gone to the local unique chocolatier and bought a sample box of chocolate and had guests guess what is in the chocolate (whiskey, bacon etc…)

lastly, here are some of my tips:

  • give people “jobs” to do. ¬†everyone asks what they can do to help and typically they really do want to help – so delegate roles such as setting the table, writing out place cards, helping keep people’s drinks filled and clearing the table make people feel helpful and play a part
  • have the coffee pot ready to go – just press a button and hot coffee is on the way so your guests don’t have to wait if they wake up early
  • ¬†plan for some down time. ¬†time for people to do their own thing – take a walk (have an extra house key made), read or just hang out and not feel like they have to be “on” the whole time
  • plunger in the bathroom. ¬†no one wants to ask for one and if you have a finicky toilet like we do – just keep one under the sink
  • give guests permission to help themselves to snacks at any time. ¬†drinks in the garage fridge and chips and nuts in the pantry ¬†– help yourself! ¬†i love trader joes salt and pepper pistachios

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  • in the winter, keep comfy socks in guest room drawer and extra blankets by the bed. ¬†sleep in your guest room so you can experience what they will

thank you to all my fun friends who contributed to this! ¬†i can’t wait to have a house full of family this thanksgiving and they are sure to be the recipients of your great ideas.

november playlist – all you need

10 Nov

forget pandora, i hand-picked each song specifically for you.

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this is a november-only playlist.  it will go away dec 1, so play it now.  play it loud.

encouragement for today

30 Oct

my encouragement for today is for you, girl.

yes, you.

the woman who does it all.

chin up. ¬†don’t get discouraged. ¬†don’t get down.

if you don’t get encouraged by me, at least listen to one of my heros at the end.

have a great day!

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now, if you’ve made it this far, listen to maya. ¬†miss you.

 

project child save – please read!

6 Oct

i want to announce my friend kelly’s¬†non-profit organization: Quest 4 Recovery. ¬†Quest 4 Recovery supports the recovery of children that have been kidnapped for exploitation purposes. ¬†i’m so impressed with this organization and mission, i can’t even tell you.

wait, yes i can.

before i jump into my interview with kelly and talk about their next benefit, watch even a minute of the documentary that inspired them to start this nonprofit.  in fact, proceeds from their upcoming backyard benefit are going to project child save and ty ritter will be at this event in dallas!  warning:  this video is disturbing.

 

i caught up with kelly and gabby at their first fundraiser at kendra scott in preston center.

1. who is all involved in Quest 4 Recovery?

Gabriela Garcia, Tara Banda and you!

2. why is this a passion of yours?  

While pregnant with my second baby, I watched the A&E documentary on Project Child Save .  It affected me so much that approximately 18 months later, I was still thinking about their organization.  I wanted to help and felt it needed to be more than just me writing a check.  I mentioned it to Gabby and she was just as inspired as I was and we came up with the idea of starting a non-profit.  A charity for charities, if you will.  An organization that supports and champions for all non-profits trying to help kids escape exploitation.

3. what is the mission?

To raise funds and awareness for nonprofits that are helping children escape sexual slavery and exploitation  Whether it’s an organization that assists in physical recovery of a child or helps with emotional repercussions after the rescue.  We can be their advocate.  

4. where do donations go to and is there a goal that you’re aiming for?  

After our costs for a fundraising event are recouped  (I.e. venue rental, food, beverages, etc.) all funds will go back to the non-profit we were highlighting.  

For example, on October 24th, 2015 we are hosting a fundraiser for Ty Ritter’s Project Child Save.  They are a group of ex-military men/women that rescue children from foreign, hostile, and often corrupt territories.  Brazil, Mexico, Guatemala, you name it.  Child pornography and trafficking of children is so profitable that many countries will turn a blind eye if not fully support it, albeit covertly.  These children must be taken back by these brave men and women because they are never going to get out unless someone goes and gets them.  The local law enforcement won’t help and is often in on the operation.  Project Child Save fills in the gap.  If they could buy back a child, they would.  Unfortunately, with the internet you can sell a child a hundred times over with little to no risk and it’s only going to get worse unless there are more organizations like PCS willing to take the risk to save the kids.

5. what has been the most challenging thing so far in starting a charity?  

Just the trial by fire we’re going through now! ¬†We’re four women that are passionate about helping Ty‚Äôs group but we aren‚Äôt professional fundraisers. ¬†However, neither was Susan G. Komen when she started out. ¬†Passion and commitment is what we have and so far it‚Äôs working. Awareness is everything. ¬†It leads to all good things when trying to raise money for the true heroes taking real risks.

for those of you in dallas, please consider coming to an awesome event supporting project child save.  ty ritter is flying in from california, excited to have others supporting his cause of saving kids.  it would mean so much to me, kelly and the team to have you attend.  click here for tickets!

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WEEKEND IN: SANTA FE

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:

COYOTE CAFE

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!

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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  Рthings 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 Se√Īor 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

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

the appreciator

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

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 ‚Äúannie‚Äôs eats‚Ä̬† .¬† and you can get the recipes there too.¬† just look at these‚Ķ

link #3:  skinnygirl pumpkin pie dip

here is link to original post at skinnytaste

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

View original post 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

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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

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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.

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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.

stockbarrel

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:


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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 Рall 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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Saturday

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.

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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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Sunday

central park!

our last day Рmy 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 Рa 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.

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

7 Where can I go from your Spirit?
    Where can I flee from your presence?
8 If I go up to the heavens, you are there;
    if I make my bed in the depths, you are there.
9 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,‚ÄĚ
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‚ÄĒ
    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…

NOT ANY MORE!

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

GIRL TALK

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.

KIDS, NO MAN

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!”

MAN, NO KIDS

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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.

MAN, NO KIDS, WANT KIDS

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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 Рnot 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.

CHOICES

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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.

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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

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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

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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 Рwhich is Рone 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

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i was feeling very domestic this weekend.  there is something i love about making and building Рand just doing Рthings.  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.

shrimp-scampi

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

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.

1.  MONICA LEWINSKY KICKS ASS.

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, ‚ÄúI was Patient Zero of losing a personal reputation on a global scale almost instantaneously.‚ÄĚ Today, the kind of online public shaming she went through has become constant ‚ÄĒ 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.

2. LISTENING IS MORE IMPORTANT TO YOU THAN JUST BEING POLITE. 

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‚ÄĒoften 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‚ÄĒfirst, 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

anyone else need this reminder today?

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 ‚Äúwords‚ÄĚ board on pinterest here

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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 Рthe 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 Рall 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

9 May Screen Shot 2015-05-09 at 6.48.09 AM

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?

dimestoredetroit

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.

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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.

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check it out:

the dime store

719 griswold street

detroit

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:

secondcity

secondcity2

 

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.

#deepthoughts

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+

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la comida

5100 belt line road

addison, texas (north dallas)

next to kenny’s italian kitchen and neighborhood services

yelp review here

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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 mias, mi 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.

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here is our mini review:

pluses:

  • 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

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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!

egg

roasted asparagus with garlic-lemon sauce

SD6800

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

ingredients

  • 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

directions

  1. Preheat oven to 425¬įF.
  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

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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.

ingredients

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

directions

  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 ¬Ĺ teaspoon salt and ¬ľ teaspoon pepper. Dividing evenly, top each slice of bread with lettuce, then the egg salad. Serve with the chip

egg, nut + mushroom pate’

eggnutmushroompate_getty2400

from: food.com and patty trowbridge filippone

ingredients

  • 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

directions

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

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from: foodnetwork.com

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

ingredients

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

directions

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!

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