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the community tree of remembrance

30 Nov

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i’m on the board of an organization called Faith & Grief Ministries, Inc.   it’s a ministry of compassion and connection.  it is non-denominational because grief knows no denomination. it just hurts.

during the holidays, it is especially harder than usual to work through the loss of a child, a husband, a wife, a mom, a friend – any loved one.  it’s a season of contradictory sensory feelings.  your eyes see a beautiful lit tree but your heart hurts.  your nose smells cinnamon and sugar breakfast smells and your body feels the welcome chill in the air but your mind remembers being with your loved one during this time.

Faith & Grief Ministries, Inc. was launched in 2008 and it’s near to my heart for two reasons: first, i grieve my dad’s death in 2005 and one of the wonderful women that started the organization married ROF and me: fran shelton.  it started by hosting luncheons for those hurting over the loss of a loved one to share and heal together.  to date, there are more than 700 individuals have benefited from these events.

this year, the organization wanted to help those in dallas that are grieving.  they are placing a tree of remembrance in thanksgiving square in downtown dallas and from december 1st – december 21st you can sign a ribbon with the name of your departed loved one or one in honor of first responders on july 7th and other events close to you.

on december 1st, a multi-faith service of remembrance will be held at thanksgiving square and the Community Tree of Remembrance will be lit.  on december 21st, the longest day of the year, another service will be held at 6pm.  get more information here.

here is a news story that was recently on FOX NEWS:

if you have lost a loved one, you could benefit from this organization.  i spoke at one of their luncheons a long time ago and while it’s a room full of extremely sad and hurting people there was a feeling i couldn’t put my finger on.  i felt shared compassion, hope and relief. for all of us to be strangers but share this common journey that many of our other friends don’t understand is oddly comforting.  i urge you to check out the resources here.

i can speak with certainty that God is working through my dear friend fran as i’ve never met someone with so much passion to help others grieving.  if you’re in dallas, i hope you take advantage of these services and the ribbons honoring your loved one.  if you’re not in dallas, i hope you find some comfort in your community during this holiday season or use this non-profit’s resources.

hustle and hit it in august

1 Aug

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

Inspirational Gary Vaynerchuk Quotes

Wake up before everybody else and work into the night. Hustle” 

“Skills are cheap. Passion is priceless.” 

“No matter what you do, your job is to tell your story.” 

“Look yourself in the mirror and ask yourself, what do I want to do everyday for the rest of my life…do that.”

“There’s no reason in 2016, to do shit you hate. NONE.” 

“The truth is that finding happiness in what you do every day is so imperative.” 

“You didn’t grow up driving…you figured it out.” 

“All your ideas may be solid or even good .. But you have to Actually EXECUTE on them for them to matter.” 

“Love your family, work super hard, live your passion.” 

“I’m just always looking forwards. I spend very little time, looking backwards” 

“Effort is grossly underrated.” 

“Live 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’t live for vacations because you don’t need a break from what you’re doing—working, playing, and relaxing are one and the same. You don’t even pay attention to how many hours you’re working because to you, it’s not really work. You’re making money, but you’d do whatever it is you’re doing for free.” 

“I put zero weight into anyone’s opinion about me because I know exactly who I am. Can you say the same? When” 

“I 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.”

“Stop focusing on dumb shit. Don’t be afraid to break things. Don’t be romantic. Don’t take the time to breathe. Don’t aim for perfect. And whatever you do, keep moving. Reread this a few times . . .”

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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!

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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!

3 apps, 3 podcasts + 3 instagrams

10 Jul

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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!

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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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?

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.

routines, escalators and long goodbyes

22 May

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

you’ve seen it too, haven’t you?

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

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

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

no, i take that back. 

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

oh, i could go on.

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

this dog is going to learn new tricks.

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

 

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i’m digging this!

17 Apr

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here are some things i’m currently digging:

happy friday y’all!

pajamas please

6 Apr

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

loving dallas + our home!

3 Apr

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

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

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hope i get around to this…

4 Mar

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

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

just wanted to paint that pretty picture for you.

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

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

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

product review: Nerium AD

25 Feb

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

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

heather

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

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

heather did her own before and after shot:

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

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

happy new year!

1 Jan

i love new starts.  

2014 was a long but good year.

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

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

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

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

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

back to new starts.

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

i need coffee.

in my feedly

6 Aug

i’m slightly obsessed.

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

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

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

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

here’s what i have in my feedly:

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pretty obsessed

24 Jun

welcome to the stuff i’m obsessing over now…

touchbase:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

anthropologie or target?

19 Feb

have you noticed that there are some items at target that could pass for being sold at anthropologie?

yep, there are!

i’m ashamed to admit that i’m not a saavy coupon shopper.  never have been.  maybe if i had 3 little cherubs to dress and feed i would be.  but i don’t.  so i shop.  however, my mom did say to me once – who cares where you got it?  once it’s in your house – who cares?  and i am a believer in that.  in fact, the odder the place, the better.

one time, i brought home an old-fashioned file rack from a discount office supply store.  ROF thought i was completely nuts for getting this but LOOK HOW AWESOME IT IS! it’s in our guest room and filled with magazines!  IMG_4409

so that leads me to today’s post.  i’m super impressed with target, most of the time.  while shopping there this weekend, i thought i’d snap a few pics of items i believe could be sold/bought for triple the price at anthropologie.

by the way, i shop at anthro + i love it.  so i’m not dissing them.  i go there monthly for these and i keep my eye out for stuff like this.

owl-cookie-jari’m a sucker for owls.  they are so much not like me – quiet + calculating.   that’s another blog post.  this ceramic, adorable owl cookie jar (or dog treats, odds/ends, pasta jar) can be found at target.

target-towels

i have these because they’re a beautiful pattern. i love the bit of depth in the knit that is hard to see here. get the towels and the rug.  you need some color in your bathroom, right?

target’s selection of lamps and funky lampshades are not only more reasonable than anthropologie, but they have a much better selection!

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you can find jewelry at target that rivals anthropologie.  it’s not always on-trend, as they say – but who is –  for crying out loud.  that’s silly + unoriginal!

jewelryso run, don’t walk to target.  please send me any other finds you’ve discovered!  happy shopping!

 

plaid + flannel

17 Nov

when i think of flannel, i typically think of plaid.  and i think of…

Eddie vedderdon’t you?

ah, eddie vedder.  hand’s down, my generation has the best music ever.  but that is not what this post is about.  it’s all about flannel + plaid.  two things that have fall written all over them.  tell me you don’t have a big ole flannel shirt with the arms rolled up that captures all the outdoorsy smells of bonfires, grilling, wet leaves and still holds out the chill in the air perfectly?

here are some items that are also trying to get into the plaid and/or flannel state of mind:

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like this fantastic iphone cover by jake spade, a smashing bowtie by the kozie canine, a vintage poncho from freepeople that is no longer available but they have loads of hippie fantastic clothes, these flannel scrunchy boots i’m coveting and a plaid flannel infinity scarf that is sure to brighten up any old black winter coat.

oh, but that’s not it, my friend!

how about some more?  you can’t talk flannel without talking plaid and vice versa.  quite honestly, i’m even thinking they are one in the same which they most certainly are not.  something can be plaid or it can be flannel but most flannels are plaid.  sigh.  this sure beats thinking about all the work i have to do.

here is a website, you’re sure to dig.  i love the name of it.  toast.  already without looking, you are going to be able to tell that it is crunchy, warm, buttery and scrumptious.  go ahead and peek.  i’ll give you a glimpse.

toast

 

lastly, did you know…

that duluth trading company rated cities as to how “flannel” they were?  check it out here.

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women rock.

22 Sep

hands down.  this is coming from someone who works primarily with men – being in the car business.  nothing against boys.  they rock too.  but there is something special about the breadth of responsibility and the depth of compassion that makes me in awe of my gender.

meet ramona and dr. ami doshi.  

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i had to get my old silver fillings replaced saturday morning at 9am.  who the hell picks saturday morning at 9am to get drilled on?  i guess i do.  i was dreading it.  i had only met ramona, the dental assistant and dr. doshi the dentist the week prior.   this was dr. doshi’s office and instantly, you can tell it was going to be a different experience.

first of all, they take appointments 2 saturdays a month for those of us (all of us?) that work during the week.  next, when you check in on facebook to her practice, you get a full size tube of extra whitening toothpaste (value $6!).  next, you sit down on a gentle massaging chair and just about the time you notice that the chair is moving, you hear the sounds of lindsey stirling coming from the computer in the office playing pandora.  unlike other experiences i’ve had, this isn’t one of those dentist offices that is run by hygienists and the dentist just makes an appearance, more like vice versa.  ramona, a young, vibrant, full of life hygienist, born in romania and lived there until she was 15 now is married with 2 small boys.  she makes sure you’re extra comfortable .  dr. doshi is young as well and also has 2 small boys.  she is originally from india. she takes digital pictures of your entire mouth and then shows you on a hd tv what your mouth looks like and what she is observing.  you don’t have to just believe her like in the old days of dentistry.

now that you have the layout, here’s my point:

while i’m getting massaged in the chair, head back, pandora playing, laughing gas on high (morning!) dr. doshi and ramona go to work as a team on my teeth.  everything’s normal at this point.

but then they start talking about their kids, recipes and questions ramona has for dr. doshi on her son playing football because her boys are just a couple years older.  ramona respects the dr and is attentive to her needs as she drills endlessly and  a steady stream of mist is spurting  from my mouth.  but you can tell that they are friends.  ramona tells me that dr. doshi brings in the best samosas she’s ever had and then we launch into a full conversation about india.  ramona wheels her chair around and punches some bollywood music.  dr. doshi talks about the rich culture and many types of music of india.  i’m smiling behind my glasses and pink pig snout laughing gas mask at the fun repertoire

this is when it hit me i wanted to write about these two.  because this is business run and managed by a woman.  attention to detail, attention to care and confident enough to bring her whole self into the office.  you don’t have to be a woman to appreciate it either.

as i leave and ROF comes in, wondering what is going on because we’re all giggling.  as she checks me out, ramona gives me a free whitening pen for referring ROF.  she also gives me a piece of paper where she wrote down all the music i was asking about.  nice difference.  and nice pen considering on my end it wasn’t so much as a referral but killing 2 birds with 1 stone by making his appointment along with mine.   sigh.  i love it.

feeling appreciative

28 Jun

if you read my “bio” or whatever you call it in the upper right hand corner, you will see that i’m the appreciator because i wasn’t sure what to focus my blog on.  i started writing this for background info as part of my job – so that i would actually know how to do it.

how i came up with that idea of “the appreciator” is:

ROF and i were taking a walk through our neighborhood.  it was about a year ago now.  and as we’re walking i’m asking him what could my focus could be…because you know, you have to have a focus.  the conversation went a little bit like this:

“so i’m thinking of writing a blog” (me)

“really?  that’s cool.  about what?” (him)

“that’s the thing, i don’t know” (me)

“why do you want to do it?” (him)

“well, my CEO wants some information on writing a blog and i want to be able to say i know how…from my perspective” (me)

“ok.  well you are a good at a lot of things” (him)

“awe.  that’s sweet.  go on.  like what”  (digging for more…me)

“well, social media for one.  you love it, believe in it and know it.  (him)

“yeah.  but that’s work.  there’s more to me.  here’s the deal.  i appreciate nice music but i don’t write it.  i appreciate great design but i’m not a designer” (me)

“go on” (him)

“and i love DIY stuff but i don’t actually DIY” (me)

“and….” (him)

“and… i love photography but i don’t do it professionally.  love good food but don’t cook professionally – but i appreciate it all!” (me)

“i know” (me)

“i’m the appreciator” (me)

“there you have it” (him)

and there i had it.  so going back to the basics, here is the short list of things i appreciate.  

my relationship with God.  my Father and hard core foundation.  thank Him that i don’t struggle with “the meaning of life”.  i have it.

husband, ROF.  Sappy and all – he is whom i appreciate the most

mom & sister.  not a “given” they are built-in friends for life and beyond. soul-mates

awesome extended family.  susan, mike, mike, bill & sarah.  wonderful people whom i love being connected to (6 more days, susan!)

wonderful aunts & uncles & cousins – seriously fun people i wish we were all a lot closer

career and all the people who have supported me and taught me and pushed me to the limits (you know who you are)

career and all the people who believe in what we do and work hard to support “the cause”! (you know who you are A & S)

friends – you know who you are too

house, i never stop appreciating you

max and wrigley.  my babies.  i love you to death

flying all over the country

flying in first class

flying in first class on vacation with a bottle of red wine

playing gin with #1

cooking dinner with #1

clean cut grass

white sheets 

being organized

our new MAC computer suite (kiss kiss kiss)

massive storms when i’m with people i love or like a lot

massive storms when there is red wine involved to calm me down

colorado – feeling little teeny tiny in a land of big mountains and low valleys and knowing that man had nothing to do with the beauty

turbulence

poached eggs

the food network

mad men, damages, restaurant impossible, anthony bourdain

chevy dealers all over the country

the geigers in madison wisconsin

the dallas cowboys (ROF, stop laughing, i mean it)

the night before you go on vacation

the night before holidays

friends who surprise you on your anniversary by toilet papering your house at midnight and then ringing your doorbell while you’re watching ghost adventurers (EEKK!) and showing up with a bottle of good, no great, champagne.

knowing that your prayers are answered

central market and whole foods when no one else is in the store

church when you sing that hymn and it hits you in a way that you have to cry but no one knows your crying

remembering the feel of your dad’s hands and smiling at the thought of his “funny tooth”

a big Christmas dinner over at a big families’s house with lots of food, drinks, a bonfire and love

the east coast -hills and chills and history

woody allen

the movies: network, manhattan, annie hall, guess who came to dinner, manchurian candidate and more

good wine

bad wine

great music – house, electronic, rock, mix tapes, playlists, hip and cool

going out to eat

louie and louie’s

chicago

costa rica

the joule

making ROF coffee in the morning

are you still reading?

magazines and all the nuggets of information they contain

ideas and the execution of ideas

smart clients

smart people

passionate thinkers

forgiveness

ok, i’m tired now and i’m going to go.  this was not an exhaustive list by any means.

it felt good to capture some of this.  wish you would share with me some of the things you appreciate so i can too!

xxoo 

five fab faves

1 May

happy tuesday to you!

here are a few of my favorite things that i’m appreciating right now:
1. music//feist:  especially the songs:
i feel it now & how come you never go there.
this morning was a little rough and popping these in my headphones on the plane cheered me a little bit
check them out on spotify, iTunes or punch it in pandora. or just go here for her cool website.  i also heard i feel it now in the elevator at the cosmopolitan hotel in las vegas.  it was perfect!
2. read//may issue of INC. magazine: things i can’t live without
there is something about peering into other people’s lives that is irresistible.  i’m not wrong in thinking that – look at the success of reality tv.  for me, i like to learn how other people get by traveling, organizing, cooking.  it’s interesting to me.  i like to pick up tips and learn new habits.  this article showcased design maven eric villency of villency design group.  he has this hard graft heritage collection 2unfold laptop bag.  super cool (and expensive!)
3. blog//home & roam
am lucky enough to actually know one half of this amazing duo.  karen was my aussie neighbor across the hall from us at chestnut & lasalle in chicago.  we were together a short time but experienced september 11th together and a memorable thanksgiving feast where i believe it was she who first introduced me to “2 truths and a lie” game (was it you?) i’ve been loving following her & her wonderful photographer husband, bob’s travels and eats and fabulous dinner parties.  go ahead and subscribe.  she won’t bite.
4. eat//ellie krieger: shrimp & feta dish
i may have already talked about this in previous posts, but who gives a hoot – it’s my blog.  honey badger don’t care.  i may talk about it again in a month.  can’t wait to cook this for susan & mike when they come to visit.  i think i may have a specialty!  ROF requests it a lot and it is now even better that i can use my own fresh cilantro & basil from my little herb garden.  get the recipe here.  it is like no calories and very flavorful.
5. think//ted video: sherry turkle connected but alone
what a powerful talk this week.  remember that goal i had to watch one ted video a week?  i’ve been doing it.  this makes you scratch your head and go hum.  it’s a thinker and as a girl making her living from the advances in technology it rubs me a little in the “that might be true” way.  she talks, as the psychiatrist she is, about technology is changing us and not really for the better.  how we’re doing things thought unthinkable just 5 years ago.  like congress texting, face booking and the such on their mobiles during a hearing.  or a meeting.  or a presentation.  but she digs even deeper to say that it’s a world of people who are alone but together.  that we’re subsituting tweets and texts and LOL’s for love and affection but it’s not.  i can’t do it justice, but if i peaked your interest, take a watch.  would love to know what you think.
talk to you on wednesday!

appreciating: on-line magazines

6 Feb

as we all know by now

i’m a fan of magazines. to me, there is nothing like snuggling down with a good mag. but now, all the good ones – most of them – are on-line. here is my link list of some of the ones i like. click on any name to link to the mag direct. i’ll let them describe themselves…

est magazine is all about inspiration, giving readers a contemporary interactive resource and providing a platform to showcase the very best in the world of design. est is relaxed and stylish, is not self conscious and does not take itself too seriously. est loves the sun but appreciates the seasons. est loves looking to the past but also likes shiny and new – this is what gives est an Australian twist.

rue magazine just had a new issue released. this is their “about me”

WE BELIEVE

  • That every color can be your favorite color.
  • That great taste comes in many forms: the fringe of a carpet, the pull of a drawer, the lines of a sofa, the curve of a smile.
  • That a good can of paint atones for a multitude of sins.
  • That friendship can be forged across continents by only a kind word and a shared lust for leopard print pillows.
  • That a glass of pink champagne really does a party make.
  • That everyone has the talent and drive to design their most beautiful life–we all just need a little nudge in the right direction.
  • That inspiration is everywhere.

llama valley magazine from lithuania says they are:

chatelaine magazine women’s magazine that builds communities while providing leading-edge insights into the concerns of women in the areas of health, food, social issues, decor, fashion, money and beauty.

adore home magazine is this:

Australia’s first online only home and lifestyle magazine available exclusively online. Founded and created by designer Loni Parker, Adore Home invites you into inspirational homes, looks at the latest products on the market and whisks you away to gorgeous holiday destinations. Adore Home’s mission is to bring you beautiful homes from across the globe, tips and design advice from interior experts, as well as easy online access to the latest home treasures. Our magazine makes design resources and products just a click away.

covet garden:

Covet Garden is for folks who are curious about real spaces. We take a peek into the homes and lives of some of the city’s most interesting people—spaces that have not been styled by interior decorators. Covet Garden is inspirational, not aspirational
frankie magazine: is a national bi-monthly based in Australia, aimed at women (and men) looking for a magazine that’s as smart, funny, sarcastic, friendly, cute, rude, arty, curious and caring as they are. We cover design, art, photography, fashion, travel, music, craft, interiors and real-life stories – we aim to surprise and delight readers with every turn of our beautifully matte pages, and have a good old laugh while doing so.
modern ink: just a cool mag!
check out N.E.E.T. magazine. this is what the folks in the UK say about this awesome mag:
A box of tasty visual bonbons and a brilliant take on the magalog genre” BUST Magazine
N.E.E.T. is highly addictive.. you’ll think you’ve stumbled upon NYLON’s funkier, thrift-store chic little sister.” Venus Zine
Neetmagazine.com features all the best vintage clothes on the internet and makes them look special.” Katie White, The Ting Tings (in Elle UK)
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