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Sisters

14 Feb

There are big times I miss my sister, who lives in Huntington Beach now, and small times. The big times are like when she gets engaged and I can’t give her a big squeeze. Or when I’m driving for a few hours in my car and think back to some of our epic memories we’ve had together.

One of those memories is when my dad died, she and I stayed at the famous Broadmore Hotel and Spa in Colorado (she paid!) together and just laughed and cried and breathed in God’s peace in those beautiful mountains.

Mostly when I think of Katie, I think about how hard she makes me laugh. In typical younger sister fashion, she liked to embarrass me – intentionally or unintentionally- and sometimes it just made me laugh so damn hard.

My sister is one of the most caring and passionate people I know and I wasn’t very nice to her growing up. As the oldest, I guess you could say I was into… myself. <shocker> Do you like how I blame that on being the oldest? And I hate thinking about that because she truly is one of the most very very important people in my life.

So this very morning, a small thing happened that made me think of Kate. This:

Ain’t no one who can get shit like this done like my sister. Probably the only girl out there that has a green electric screwdriver that she named “Lucy.” Lol. And she could untangle this mess of necklaces in a hot minute.

Here’s to an epic sisters weekend SOON! It’s been a year since I’ve seen my sister and I’ve cried through writing this whole damn thing. Happy Valentine’s Day, sissy. Xxoo

Awesome Birthday Traditions

7 Feb

I love this tradition (plus I love steak see here and here!) After hearing about this a couple of times, I decided all of you needed to know about it too.  Make this tradition your own!  There are so many ideas.  I share some of mine after the interview. 

I interviewed my friend, Sean Sivore and his son Aidan on their favorite thing to do on their birthdays:

Tell me a little bit about why you go to so many Steakhouses(how many?) – what is your tradition and how did it start?  I’ve always loved the experience at steakhouses.  The service and atmosphere are a big part of what makes a great steakhouse great.  My Dad loved great restaurants and since Aidan and I have birthdays one day apart, I thought it would be a fun “father/son” tradition to research the hottest steakhouses around and the two of us go to one for our birthday each year.  We’ve been doing this since Aidan’s 7th Birthday.

Musso and Frank Grill, Hollywood, CA – August, 2016

Now, let’s talk to Aidan.

Is steak your favorite thing to eat? Yes!

What are your top 5 steakhouses and why did you like them so much?

  1.  Bavette’s – Chicago, ILAtmosphere was a little like a bar (dark/quiet),  But the steak was so good, it didn’t matter.
  2.  Prime and Provisions – Chicago, ILSteak was perfect.  The atmosphere was awesome.  The bacon appetizer is off the chain! The service was the best of any steakhouse.
  3. Gibson’s – Chicago, ILFirst steakhouse I went to and finished an 18oz Rib-eye at age 8.
  4. Benjamin’s Steakhouse – New York, NYOld School looking steakhouse, but not that old.  Steaks were awesome.
  5. Chicago Cut – Chicago, ILCool steak place, atmosphere, and great food.

Do you order the same thing at all the steakhouses?   No, I usually order whatever the house specialty is.  When in doubt though I order a Rib-eye.

What is your favorite thing to eat? Steak by far 

Sean: This is a picture of our first annual “Guy’s Steak Night Out.”  This was before the ladies of the family started muscling their way into our tradition.  He finished the whole steak!

December 2012, Gibson’s Chicago

Prime and Provisions – Chicago, 2017 
Thanks, Sean and Aidan!  This is so much fun – what a great idea!  Here are some of my thoughts on how to make this your own.
  1. If steak is not your thing, make it sushi, Italian or even pizza!  Hit up your own city or travel.
  2. If food is not your bag, what about a class?  Take a class with friends or your S.O. on your birthday.  Learn something new every year on your birthday and keep track with a photo.
  3. Do something crazy out-of-the-ordinary every year on your birthday.  Research it.  Swim with dolphins, skydive, bungee jump, swim to Alcatraz * – mark the years you get older by something cool.  *scroll down to read about my mom’s close friend Nancy Moore and what a bad ass she is!
  4. Make it a point to travel to a new place on your birthday.  One year it may be a new town driving distance from you and another might be Europe!  Document it, write it down, snap it up.

Let me know what your traditions are for your birthdays!

Check this out…

6 Feb

Some people say that I’m curious about everything and they would be right. I’m always striving to know new things. And trying to avoid monotonous daily activity. Which can be one part comforting and one part boring. I believe that to be alive you have to jolt your body and mind alive every day. That could mean going for a brisk walk or just reading something that takes your mind to new places.

One of my easiest “hacks” if-you-will is having curated blogs I like on Feedly. This is for those that think they could never have the time to be curious and explore new things- Feedly makes it easy. Puts everything in one place for you. For me, opening this app each day brings to me a gazillion ideas and things to explore.

If you like what I like or at least think you do- then I have screengrabbed my blog list below and you can copy it. Just look up each blog in the search tool and add.

Here is some of my found nuggets this week:

  • SAY WHAT? This is my new favorite comedian that will make you run down a million rabbit holes with the fun stuff she mentions
  • Thanks, but I’m staying with my good ole face wash! This might be too much for me
  • I’m gonna make this next week. I love the crispy edges
  • Digging these jams. As a sidenote, I’ve dug up some cool NYC restaurant playlists on my Spotify- follow me!
  • Simply awesome! Her mom looks just a few years older than her! She is stunning!
  • Will you accept this rose?

Here are the blogs I follow via my Feedly app. I know it’s obnoxious.

how to fly like a boss

5 Feb
  1. KNOW SECURITY

if you want to fly like a boss you can’t be one of those people holding up the security lines, loading up bin after bin after bin at the bottom of the table.  this is how you do this like a pro:

  • grab three bins if you have a laptop or other electronic item
  • walk to the very front – where you put your stuff in the chute – or walk as far forward as possible.  do not stop and take off your shoes or your belt too soon.  this holds everyone up
  • Note: unseasoned travelers get so excited for security that they start undressing while still in line.
  • when you are very close to the top, now undo the three bins and put your laptop alone in one, your carryon in another and plop your shoes and coat in the last
  • DO NOT WEAR JEANS WITH METAL ON THEM – oh lordy do they light up the machines.  i do know this because i learned the hard way

2. PLANE PREP

  • get your favorite water and snacks
  • this is a good time to give electronics a break.  get some good mags to flip through!
  • or download your favorite show- I loved Portandia and the Mrs Maisel show while traveling this past holiday
  • other good things to bring to airport === ear plugs, portable charger, don’t forget your ear phones!

3.  LOVE FLYING

this is for nervous flyers.  i used to be one too – a long time ago.  i came close to telling my boss that i couldn’t fly any more.  i felt so out of control.  but here’s the deal:

  • you are always out of control.  you’re not in control driving your car.  not in control of other drivers or weather or road hazards
  • flying, is a gift from God.  it really is.  appreciate every single moment of it.  you are flying around in a capsule above the clouds.  it’s amazing and awe-inspiring.  it doesn’t matter that i’ve been on hundreds of flights, i get very excited every time. my favorite part is when the plane breaks through the clouds and the weather below to blue skies.

sometimes you gotta just float!

29 Jan

Just some musings on Tuesday evening.  I am obsessed with my morning routine.  It looks like this:

  • Wake up before or at 5 am
  • Rinse face and go downstairs to office
  • Do bible study (via bible app on phone)
  • Read devotional: my utmost for His highest (been reading every year for 15 years and counting)
  • Write in my new productivity journal  – see what I have here
  • Write out my daily work and personal to-do
  • Read Brendon Buchard’s High-Performance Habits bookSidenote: I also have the audiobook so I can finish listening to it in the car!
  • Meditate using app on my phone – 5 min top focused on mindfulness
  • Pray – 5 minutes top
  • Skim about 100 blogs in my full FEEDLY app (this is my “tv”)
  • Catch up on news by reading the annoying “THE SKIMM” email blurb or flipping through Flipboard app
  • If I’m being honest, and I am, I spend a good 15 minutes flipping through Instagram at the end

Then I get ready and start my day!

However, admittedly, at the end of the day, I get simply exhausted with how creative, cute and clever everyone is on social media.  I’m overwhelmed with the number of “good advice” business books I read and how much I have to remember in order to perform at the highest of levels.  Instead of feeling inspired or motivated, I’m just damn tired.  Even though all of it is something I want to do.

At night, I have to give myself a break and just mentally float.  Have you done that?  I close my eyes and think about nothing at all except floating atop the warm water. I know that sounds stupid but it is a great way to disconnect from distraction.  I visualize my hands dropping under the water and then resurfacing.  I feel the sun hitting my face and top of my knees.  I clear my head.

Then I get up at 5 am and do it all over again.   

I’m Coming Back!

25 Jan

encouragement for today

17 Dec

and we’ll call it encouragement for the season!

pumpkin pie martini recipe – for thanksgiving!

16 Nov

one week until thanksgiving.  are you ready?  ROF and i are staying in angelic madison and spending the holiday with good friends.  this week’s “cocktails with ROF” is given to you early so you can properly prep and serve this at your thanksgiving weekend activities and BE THE HIT OF THE PARTY!

we first had this drink in NYC here.  one of the very best places to have a cocktail in the city.  we had started dating in april of 2009 and by thanksgiving i was already headed out to meet his family outside of NYC.  he took me here and we ordered two pumpkin pie martinis and i think they cost $18 each.  i kid you not. luckily for us, the recipe is on their website which you can see here or i pasted it below.

here is ROF:

more Jim car stories, tomorrow it’s all just a memory

3 Oct

judging by over 1200 people reading my blog post yesterday, you liked my dad’s stories too.  i imagine most of you coming by way of facebook and linked in, so you’re in the business and understand or knew my dad.

i found some more of his stories written down.  i don’t think that these were published, they were in the bottom of a moving box under random bits of ticket stubs and paper clips.  excuse the spelling errors but i have no way of fixing.   also, weird ending which is what makes me believe these were just drafts.

once again, i sat down and read these with a huge grin on my face.  know why?  because he (my dad) is remembering his first job that he had and his memories after 37 years of working for General Motors.  just like you and me, he was in the grind, probably not realizing that some day he’d be writing about his experiences and then another day  – some 50 years later – his daughter blogging about them.

this reminds me to live for today.  gosh, you hear that a lot.  but reading this drives the point home.

because in the tomorrows, you’ll be talking about today.

what did you do that made a difference (either to you or to someone else?) what did you experience? what did you see?

when you are in your rocking chair on the front porch, or like my dad, getting chemo in a stinky hospital room – you’ll smile and think to yourself “NOW THOSE WERE THE DAYS!”

Here…. read on… straight from my dad:

making inspiration real.

19 Sep

sometimes i’m overwhelmed by inspiration.  ha.  what a problem to have.

i mean it.  of course, i seek it out.  my rss feed, podcasts, flipboard all stream inspiration constantly.  i love it. even the music i listen to during the day is what i call “epic inspiring” – check it out here.  helps keep me in the zone as does the geranium essential oil i infuse my air while working.

it is a basic need that i have to be inspired. to remember the dreams i have for myself.  to hold on to them so no one takes them away.  to fine-tune them and evolve them and push myself to limits i didn’t know existed.

here are 3 other (somewhat surprising) things that can be inspiring:

DISAPPOINTING NEWS

i don’t always follow this, mind you,  but it’s important to note.  how can you be inspired by the disappointing news?  if the news relates to you like:

  • lose your job
  • didn’t get that house you wanted
  • test results weren’t expected
  • trip was canceled

then allow yourself to feel the news.  kick, scream and know that “it sucks.”  then be inspired by the fact that this is what is called a CLOSED DOOR.  and a closed door, to me, is an opportunity to find your real calling, a better house or even avoid unseen disaster down the road.

i’ve seen this played out many times in my life and in others.  about 20 years ago, our ad agency lost all the

about 20 years ago, our ad agency lost all the buick business.  i was 3 of about 15 people left and had to let go many of my colleagues and friends.  it’s easy for me now to paint you a picture of what happened with one of those people:

LET GO:  someone who reported to me, who took the job to learn from me and who had taken a step backward in her career to do so. THIS STUNK.  for both of us!

NEXT STEP: she considered this an opportunity to follow one of her favorite bands to NYC and at over 35 years old, up and moved herself to NYC.

WHAT HAPPENED:  became a VP at the world’s largest ad agency working on a global account.  Way surpassing me and the agency that let her go.  whoop!  whoop!

true story.  you know who you are.  

(then there was the guy we let go where we found a pot “bowl” in his desk drawer after we cleaned it out.  probably different story for him…)

THE ORDINARY AND MUNDANE

when things are ordinary and mundane – it means you are not present in your own life.  it means you are on auto-pilot or simply don’t think big enough for yourself.  maybe things happen to you versus making things happen.  just saying.  maybe?

when things are this way, it is an opportunity to be inspired by this:

someday, you will wish for the ordinary and mundane things in your life!

wait, did that depress you more?  sorry.

i meant.  WAKE UP!  here are two ways to drive to work:

  • get in car, buckle up, listen to news, yawn, drink coffee, get to work or –
  • get in car, buckle up, listen to inspiring talk or music, be interested in what is going on around you on your drive.  appreciating the crisp fall weather, the smell of pumpkin syrup in your coffee, smiling at the driver next to you.  noticing the older woman waiting for the bus hunched over made you sit taller.  saying a prayer and thanking God for the car you are driving, the family that loves you and the full day you have ahead of you.  calling an old friend just to say hi before work with a quick ‘HEY THINKING BOUT YOU message, get to work

and lastly, get inspired from:

PEOPLE WHO DO NOT HAVE YOUR BEST INTERESTS AT HEART

how is this inspiring?

be inspired that you recognized this fact about them and be inspired to move on and not care.  put on your blinders. be inspired to get focused, get energized – this can be one of the best motivators.  the day you finally realize that what other people think about you matters very little.

 

 

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