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Be Encouraged

20 Dec

to be creative.

Maybe you need these too?

Stuff I Grabbed…

13 Dec

Sharing my latest messy, screen grabs of things that caught my eye. I love the word Accoutrement so I Grabbed that. Check out the SUPER CLEVER egg campaign-!! Look at that fireplace design below-wow. Have fun + always be curious…

Do it all with love.

5 Dec

This is a great quote. Don’t know who said it but it inspires me in so many ways.

1. When I dread something

How I want to do everything and anything is with truth, love and thoughtfulness. That is what I strive for but don’t always reach. Whether it’s a menial task I feel is beneath me, or an overwhelming one where there is no end in site I try to handle it all the same way – period. Because how you handle one situation is truly reflective of how you handle them all.

And be careful… people are watching and more importantly- learning from you.

When I dread doing something I rush in and tackle it. Sometimes. Sometimes I procrastinate. When I choose to put it off, that is when this quote inspires. Procrastination is not reflective of everything I do so I move and tackle it head on.

2. Helps me think versus react

I want you to think about something.

What percentage of your day is reacting and what is thinking?

Think about it. Do you open your email each morning with the intention of plowing through and emptying it out? And then you are stuck just reacting to what people want from you. Before you know it, you look up and the day is half over. Sound familiar?

Don’t be a reactor. It doesn’t take a lot of brain-power to be a reactor. Now, the Wayne Dwyer in me is going to come out – but when you react to other people’s moods and issues you are giving them undeserving power in your life. They are a jerk and they ruin your day? YOU control who takes up valuable space in your head. THINK about that.

How you think about one thing is how you think about everything…

Be a thinker, not a reactor.

3. Start from the beginning

Now this is one example of how I handle one thing. Which turns into each and everything. If you are reading this and have worked for me at one point, you’re for sure rolling your eyes. With every single situation you encounter- start from the beginning. When talking to your boss, your employee, your kids, your clients – tell the whole story and start from the beginning.

Everybody loves a story!

Reactors tend to get worked up and jump into the middle of the muck and try to get out. Stop. Deep breath. Set it up, tell a story, give the background and start from the top. I handle everything this way.

4. Don’t let one thing define your everything

It’s why as a leader and manager for the past 25 years and having reviewed millions of resumes and hired a lot of people – if your resume has typos, it’s thrown out. If you don’t check your own work, how will you check mine?

Wow – a missing comma just defined your everything. You’re lazy. Yikes.

Where else does that hold true?

What can you tell about people who:

  • Don’t return the shopping cart in the proper place so it can roll into another car
  • Volunteer
  • Are rude to waiters and waitresses
  • Run tri-athalons
  • Speed and weave in and out in traffic
  • Plan a full week of food in advance
  • Belittle other people
  • Give compliments

How you do one thing is how you do everything. I’m just sayin…

Spiced Pecan Recipe

25 Nov

I kind of feel stupid for posting a post on nuts when there are so many other things to talk about right now. I have several friends and family members going through some shit and nuts doesn’t make the list of important topics.

However, I just made this and it was kind of therapeutic. The whole stirring, melting and mixing kind of occupies your mind and is a nice distraction. And it smells scrumptious! If you don’t like spice, just omit the pepper.

This is my friend Ginny’s recipe. I hope my nuts come out as good as hers.

1 tsp kosher salt

1/2 tsp each of:

  • Ground cumin
  • Cayenne pepper
  • Ground cinnamon
  • Dried ground orange peel (you can buy this at spice store or just grate some orange and nuke in microwave)
  • 1 pound (16 oz) pecan halves
  • 4 tbsp unsalted butter
  • 1/4 cup packed light brown sugar
  • 2 tbsp dark brown sugar (or just use light)
  • 2 tbsp water
  • Directions:
  • Line a half sheet pan with parchment paper and set aside.
  • Mix the salt, cumin, cayenne, cinnamon and orange peel together in small bowl and set aside.
  • Place nuts ūü•ú in a cast iron skillet and set over medium heat. Cook, stirring frequently for 4 to 5 minutes until they just start to brown and smell toasted. Add the butter and stir until it melts. Add the spice mixture and stir to combine. Once combined, add both sugars and water, stirring until mixture thickens and coats the nuts, approximately 2-3 minutes.
  • Transfer the nuts to the prepared sheet pan and separate them. Allow nuts to cool completely before transferring to airtight container for storage. Can be stored up to 3 weeks.
  • Stuff I‚Äôm watching

    17 Nov

    If you are getting older…ha ha … that would be all of you – you HAVE TO WATCH this Netflix short movie on Elaine Stritch.

    If you don’t think this is damn awesome you probably think Bradley Cooper in A Star Is Born is ugly.

    I was filled with so much passion for life after watching this. So raw and real and lovely.

    Ok. Next is a series on Tru called I’m sorry. You can watch this too on Netflix. Season Two is coming out soon. Andrea Savage is a flipping hoot. And it’s produced by Andy Sandburg.

    Do you want to take a peek at what kind of content the “kids” are watching nowadays. Subscribe to some of the channels I do on the Tube. This chickee has OVER SIX MILLION FOLLOWERS. Hello! More than most tv channels! You will watch and go …”huh??” I watch so I know what the hell is going on as I grow ancient.

    Then if you want to smile watch any of these!

    Happy Saturday!

    Can’t Sleep

    15 Nov

    This is what I think about from 12:34am-4am:

    1. Maybe I should just get up.
    2. Why can’t I hear dog snoring, is she breathing?
    3. That Caesar salad was amazing. Get it again.
    4. What should we have for breakfast when mom comes this weekend?
    5. I’ll just get on phone for minute.
    6. Shopping on Amazon is too easy.
    7. Nordstrom…sale….
    8. Am I traveling on the busiest travel day of year?
    9. Why can’t I hear ROF breathing, is he ok?
    10. I’m not going to remember to turn the alarm off in morning
    11. Martha Stewart rocks. Am I too old to reinvent myself?
    12. What are my interests- list them.
    13. Teaching, professional women growing in career…
    14. What’s my niece up to – call her tomorrow. Hate to bug her knowing how busy she is
    15. What was that noise?
    16. I’m hungry.
    17. Why aren’t my notifications on LinkedIn?
    18. What’s my day like tomorrow.
    19. You better get up and walk in morning.
    20. It is morning.
    21. How do you know you’re dehydrated?
    22. I’m hungry.
    23. Tasty video made me drool
    24. Tomorrow I’m going to accomplish one of my personal goals before I start working.
    25. I’ll just clear out my inbox then I’ll sleep.
    26. What is this tapping thing? Stupid.
    27. Does GP have sleeping issues? Perfect-
    28. I should write a blog dedicated to the style of Leanne Ford.
    29. I wonder how old she is.
    30. What should I get ROF for Christmas?
    31. I miss my sis.
    32. Moms coming!
    33. I hope Mike makes taylor ham & eggs. Mom will love that.
    34. I’m going to listen to my Glenn Harold recording then I’ll go right out.

    Stuff I Grabbed…

    13 Nov

    I’m going to be messy here. Not going to clean these up for you. Here are some things I screenshot because I:

    • Wanted
    • Liked/Loved
    • Thought was cool
    • Want to make

    Enjoy your Tuesday!

    Be Good to Yourself

    17 Oct

    I’ve decided to write about something I don’t know much about nor do I adhere to whatsoever.

    For example, it is 2am and I’m writing this. I should be getting my beauty sleep but in spite of my (very comfy) new flannel sheets, earplugs, lavender oil diffuser and going to bed at 9pm…I’m up.

    You know what I’m into? Changing your thinking. And what I want to do is change my thinking about being good to myself.

    It’s about to get real, folks. Yep, I’m getting vulnerable. Don’t judge.

    I’ve gone through life with the goal of feeling good as a priority. And not the kind of feeling good you may be thinking. More like if it feels good, do it. And I justified this with “I deserve it.” Now, this isn’t necessarily bad or wrong unless taken to excess.

    I might take it to excess.

    There is a big difference between being good to yourself and doing things that feel good.

    For example, being good to yourself means having self-discipline and saying no to things that may feel good.

    Feeling good is temporary. It’s drinks at a bar, it’s saying yes to dessert or buying that sweater. None of which are bad things if you are living with the goal of being good to yourself.

    However, it isn’t good if you are living with the goal of just feeling good. Then it can easily shift into over-indulgence with too many drinks or over-eating or over-spending. It’s thinking if it feels good, then I’ll do it all the time. Without built-in stops in place- either from how you were raised or how disciplined you are, it can go bad.

    Following?

    The best part of my journey is realizing this. I’m aware. And that’s the first step to a more fulfilled life. So now what?

    For me, it goes back to changing thinking. Not easy because, well, <sigh>, I’m old! That’s not so easy. But here’s the game plan.

    1. Feeling good needs to be about being good to myself. That is going for health and longevity. I’m going to walk every day. Follow my mug on Instagram (@afulford) as I will provide proof. All encouragements welcome. #appreciatorgood

    Ok. I’m stopping there. Little steps done daily make big results. This is a TO BE CONTINUED post that I will add to as I go.

    Stuff I Grabbed

    9 Oct

    Damnit. Been up since 2am and could fall back asleep. Are you sleeping well?

    Anyway, do you have any idea how awesome the photos app is on the iPhone? Well, let me tell you. There is an album called screenshots and (wait for it) it saves all your screenshots!

    I liken this to the day WAY BACK THEN when I would rip shit out of magazines and save them in a file. Like recipes, sweaters I liked, hairstyles, home decorating ideas, hot places to eat – you get the idea. Same thing. This little album is filled with marvelous eye candy of just stuff I think is cool or want.

    Now, I’m not going to pretty this up for you at all. I’m just going to give you a peek into what I’ve grabbed and you can figure out why.

    Excellent Podcasts on Modern Marketing

    6 Oct

    Yesterday morning I got to spend some quality time with a good friend visiting from Dallas. We grabbed a chai latte and I ate most of the pumpkin scone drizzled with warm honey we split.

    And we had only the kind of great marketing discussion great marketers like us can have. It mostly revolved around how freaking fast our industry has evolved.

    We knew it would.

    We were talking about the IoT ten years ago. Long before the word “influencer” was whispered, I pioneered a multi-channel blogger program with Facebook and Twitter 8 years ago. Jackie developed the Chevy Music Showcase years ago for a bunch of car dealers and one of the artist showcased was … Leon Bridges. Both of us are driven by relevant marketing IRL.

    But the way the industry has flip flopped the rules is amazing. You don’t need a fancy agency (that quite honestly might move a little slow) to do your marketing. There are a ton of excellent marketers giving away the goods for free!

    Now anyone (good) with a microphone on their phone can create a podcast chalk filled with great content and get millions of listeners. You don’t have to only go to college to unlock secrets to success at your potential career. Just take online classes, listen straight from the horses mouth the rules for winning at whatever you want to win at.

    Here are a couple podcasts to check out if you touch marketing at all. You could be a real estate realtor wanting to grow your business. Or a radio or direct mail rep not even knowing where to start learning about this stuff. Heck, you could be a CEO that just realized that you too could stand to learn a trick or two about communicating with potential customers in this day and age.

    If you think you know marketing, pop into any of these podcasts for a quick listen.

    Please don’t embarrass yourself by saying the overused “I don’t have time for that” phrase. First, that is so 2011. Second, here are 11 ways you can listen to a podcast:

    1. Taking a morning walk
    2. Running on treadmill
    3. Driving anywhere
    4. While getting nails done
    5. Making breakfast (or lunch or dinner)
    6. In the shower
    7. As a couples activity
    8. Required listening for team discussion

    Click on the picture to take you to a specific episode I picked out for you. Just pop in and check it out.

    If you have any additional resources to share, please share! Let me know what you think below!

    Monday Bliss Playlist

    1 Oct

    Monday’s aren’t to be dreaded. Not if you’re doing what you love. Pop this in on your morning or evening commute and as background music all day. It will get and keep your toes tapping.

    Be Encouraged

    18 Sep

    I’ve picked these for you.

    Stopping the Drive to Betterment

    12 Sep

    There is something I’ve been thinking a lot about lately.¬† My drive for constant¬†betterment has got me down.¬† I don’t know if I’ll ever achieve my “peak state.”

    Is it depressing to say that?¬† Am I giving up?¬† No.¬† But I’m going to press pause for a season.

    Why, you ask?

    I think it is encroaching on my ability to appreciate things the way they are right now.¬† Today.¬† After all,¬†I am The Appreciator.¬† And because my focus is on achieving big, big goals, it’s become so all-encompassing, it’s frustrating that I’m not reaching them.¬† And then I let myself down.

    Am I the only one who thinks this way?  <sigh>

    I certainly appreciate my drive.¬† My drive to be the best I can possibly be.¬† I can’t imagine life being content.¬† To be being content, to me, is the same as being apathetic.**

    Maybe I should give you a better idea of what I’m talking about.¬† If you’ve made it this far reading this, you might be scratching your head and wondering what the hell-o¬†I’m even talking about.¬† And then there will be those that I grabbed at my headline who know exactly what i’m talking about.¬† Here we go…

    It is engrained in me to strive to be the best I can be.¬† In case you were wondering, I’m not even close.¬† I’m obsessed with reading about how others achieve their peak performance and how I could do the same.¬† On one hand, this is healthy.¬† I plowed through my career like a racehorse – always wanting to learn more, to be first, to grow, teach, mentor and lead.¬† This trait is what gets me up at 4:40am every day and follow a routine that includes scouring thousands of blogs, reading my devotional and reading this book, this book and sometimes this one.¬† It is what makes me listen to this in the car and this and especially this.¬† I don’t like to watch television or go to many movies because it would take up too much space in my head where this other stuff lives.¬† That’s the truth.

    On the other hand, being a deep thinker and striving for betterment¬†constantly, I’ve decided, sometimes is depressing.¬† Instead of focusing on what I have and being in the moment, I’m just focused on what I’m not achieving.¬† And I know that is not the purpose of attaining your peak state.¬† I get that.¬† But that’s where I am.

    I’ve kind of worked through my problem. There are 3 things I’m going to do to be encouraged to be my best vs frustrated and drained by defeat.

    1. Define What Success Looks Like To Me. I read somewhere that the pursuit of excellence is gratifying and healthy. The pursuit of perfection is frustrating, neurotic, and a terrible waste of time. Maybe that is what I’m doing … reading about others success without defining what success looks like to me.

    2. Action vs Thoughts. Come up with a daily action plan that becomes my new routine. In my frustration I’ve resorted to a bit of mind-numbing activities like flipping through IG too much or throwing back a few sav blancs on the weekend or fixing grilled cheese at 1am (doing that now!)

    3. Get Inspired. I need to be inspired. I’ve spent my career encouraging and motivating others but have reached a point where I need to be lifted up. I’m inspired by big ideas, big solutions, innovative marketing, and making a difference. This is where my focus needs to be. Going to seek out those people who are doing this. I want to be surrounded by those people.

    Wish me luck!

    Positively Positive Playlist

    2 Sep

    Happy long weekend to you.¬† I hope it’s been a good one.¬† ROF and I are UP NORTH again but this time way up in Presque Isle, Wisconsin.¬† Yesterday we were so north we were in Michigan!¬† We’re at a friends house on a private lake with only 14 other houses.¬† It’s truly one of the most beautiful places on earth (along with all my favorite places up north.)

    I keep my eyes peeled hoping to catch a glimpse of an albino deer.¬† Yesterday there was a bear and even talk of a sighting of moose.¬† Ann and I went out on the pontoon, dropped in a line (no bites) and floated in the middle of the lake.¬† LAKE HAIR, DON’T CARE.

    A while ago I ran into an old friend who told me that my Instagram and blog posts were inspiring.¬† I loved hearing that.¬† The older you get, the harder life is.¬† And you know what, it’s not always so easy to deal with.¬† With IG and Facebook and other tools, you can glimpse into other people’s lives easier.

    And I see you. 

    I see you going through chemo and dying your hair “mermaid blue” as a celebration before it all falls out.¬† I see you kissing your son goodbye at college.¬† I see the pictures of moms or dads who have passed away and you’re honoring them.¬† But with all that I see, I know there is a lot I don’t.¬† It’s not easy to post an image of how lonely you are.¬† Or how you want to be ok with where you are in life but just aren’t.¬† There aren’t a lot of quotes out there to happily express your need for a job, or a husband or just money to make the bills.

    So – here is a playlist for you.¬† I love these songs.¬† They are not “cheer you up” songs, but more “lift you up” songs.

    12 Quotes to Point You in Right Direction

    7 Jul

    DEEP THOUGHTS

    21 Jun

    Just Do it

    21 Apr

    My first official Pilates class in new city. Scared!

    Do you care what people think of you?

    15 Apr

    I’m on a girls trip in Florida this weekend and we’ve had some fun nights of “deep” questions to each other.¬†One of the questions asked was “Do you care about what other people think of you?”¬†I thought this was such a good question.¬† My first inclination was to shout “NO WAY!” but that would be a bold face lie.¬† How you answer this will most likely reflect your age. I believe the older you get, the less you care about what people think of you.

    To me, it’s one of the biggest lessons we can learn from those more experienced than us.¬† Everyone wants to have friends and be liked¬†but there is a difference between¬†seeking those friends out by trying to please them and drawing people towards you because you are authentic and yourself.

    I think sometimes people mistake caring about what people think about you for caring about yourself.¬† There’s a big difference.¬† One interesting thing I’ve read recently said that caring what people think about you actually shows a lack of self-love.¬† ¬†You get your¬†approbation from other people.¬† And what’s wrong with that is that other people see life and things through their own filter and that may not be right.¬† Let’s just be so bold as to say, it won’t be right.¬†¬†Instead of caring what others think,¬†think more about yourself.

    I’m no expert on the subject but I have been a perpetual people pleaser in the past. So in that regard, I can speak with authority on how completely imprisoning it can be to care about what people think about you. Thankfully, with age (and wisdom) I’m shifting my thinking.

    And I don’t care what you think about that – ha!

    Wayne Dyer said this on the subject:¬†An important teacher of mine, Abraham Maslow, always counseled that it was necessary for the self-actualized individual to be ‚Äúindependent of the good opinion of others.‚Ä̬†Listen to the voice you hear, and the drumbeat only you can feel, and honor it, while honoring it in those you love as well. It is the ultimate act of unconditional love. In being true to your inner calling, you may ruffle some feathers but you‚Äôll have the peace and satisfaction of knowing that you fulfilled your divine purpose and encouraged others to do the same. Another brilliant nonconformist, Dr. Seuss, is credited with saying, ‚ÄúBe what you are and say what you feel because those who will mind don‚Äôt matter and those who matter don‚Äôt mind.‚ÄĚ

    So Рdo you care what others think of you?  Do you let it run your choices or do you make choices FOR YOUR BENEFIT?

    Be Passionate to Have Focus

    13 Mar

    I had an entirely different post scheduled for today.¬† It was a post of all the fun things I’ve found and screen grabbed over the past few months.¬† However, there is something bigger weighing on my mind.

    woman-2696408_640

    It’s kinda deep so feel free to wait for the fun post tomorrow.¬†¬†

    These thoughts come in the wake of the #metoo movement.  Also:

    • after I heard a disturbing question on a podcast, I heard today and
    • being overwhelmed by social media and all the available CONTENT that is out there waiting for me to consume it

    the comment on the podcast was depressing.¬† I’ve thought about it all day today on my drive up north.¬† A 19-year-old girl left a message to the “Forever 35” hosts wondering if the “urge to crawl out of your own skin goes away as you get older.”¬†

    First of all, this is a podcast on face serums for women who want to be “Forever 35.”¬† The misplaced question from the girl came out of left field but was honest and in search of an honest¬†answer.¬† ¬†It made me think about how different kids have it now compared to when I was 19 years old.¬† The same pressures exist – school, boyfriends, parents, what-are-you-going-to-do-with-the-rest-of-your-life, drinking, boyfriends.¬† Did I already say that one?¬† However, now on top of that, you just have MORE crap shoved in your head from Snapchat, Facebook, Instagram and more.¬† ¬†All from people you know and don’t know.¬† It’s now not celebrities that have it all anymore.¬† According to social media, EVERYONE has it all!

    abstract-1233873_640.jpg

    Someone as old and mature as me can (sometimes) keep it in its place.¬† But, it can make anyone want to crawl out of their own skin.¬† No matter what your age is.¬† Nowadays, bullies don’t just exist on playgrounds shoving their face into yours, they lie in snarky comments on newsfeeds.

    We don’t really know exactly what she meant by that comment. But my answer to her would have been this:

    Yes.¬† Hopefully.¬† You recognize that you want to crawl out of your skin, so here is where you don’t want to be.¬† Where do you want to be? This is important to figure out because¬†there is one thing that can shift your focus from wanting to crawl out of your skin¬†to loving the skin you’re in.¬†¬†

    And that is passion. Passion gives you focus beyond yourself.  At <cough cough> years old, here are some real-life passions of my friends and family:

    • YOGA.¬† Either going to yoga regularly or becoming a teacher, an expert
    • MARKETING.¬† Selling consumers in a relevant way
    • CARDS.¬† Yep, playing cards, socializing and laughing is a great passion to have.
    • SAVING KIDS.¬† Fundraising to stop the sex trafficking of children in the US
    • CAREER.¬† Passionate about learning and climbing up the ranks at work
    • FAMILY. Building one starting with the love of their life and then kids
    • BEING HEALTHY.¬† Snubbing the nose at chocolate chip cookies and loving feeling good
    • FAMILY BUSINESS. Growing the family business.¬† Contributing!
    • ENTREPRENEUR.¬† Doing it for yourself!¬† See how far you can go.
    • BIKES.¬† Building them, selling them, showing them
    • DOGS.¬† Loving them, saving them, volunteering to help them
    • ADOPTION.¬† Passionate about bringing children into their family as their own
    • BLOGGING.¬† Writing and sharing about life and whatnot
    • MUSIC.¬† Creating a feeling, a show
    • COOKING.¬† Mixing, making and sharing
    • ENTERTAINING.
    • IMPROV.
    • DANCING.
    • VOLUNTEERING.
    • CREATING.

    SHALL I GO ON?  I can give you one or more person I know with these passions. 

    It’s ok to feel like you want to crawl out of your skin.¬† For now.¬† But don’t stay there.¬† Grab a passion and blow it out.¬† Let it become bigger and bigger.¬† Hopefully, before long, your focus will not be on getting outside of yourself but loving the fact that you’re exploring things that you’re passionate about.¬† ¬†

     

    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

    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 Рthis can be one of the best motivators.  the day you finally realize that what other people think about you matters very little.

     

     

    3 quick tips on how to talk to people

    30 Aug

    one thing i’ve been blessed with is an absolutely fantastic career. ¬†

    one big part of this career over the past 24 years has been having meaningful conversations with clients, potential clients and other people i don’t know very well. ¬†i’m sure there are a lot of people who can say the same thing.

    i thought that it might be helpful to jot down some observations + tips for those people who maybe don’t have the opportunity to do this as often as i do. ¬†if there is one thing i hate more than people who walk too close behind me it’s small talk. ¬†otherwise known as chit-chat. ¬†BORING! ¬†life is just too damn short for it.

    1. be genuinely interested.¬† this sounds like a no-brainer, but for me it takes work. ¬†seriously. ¬†i have the attention span of a gnat – just like my dad did. ¬†so it is a conscious effort for me to pay attention let alone be genuinely interested.¬†what kind of work does it take to be genuinely interested? ¬†for me, i always want to know the background. ¬†so when i’m meeting a car dealer for the first time (my clients) ¬†i really want to hear their story. ¬†how did they get to where they are today? ¬†i’m hooked right there. ¬†so whether you’re at a casual party talking to the stranger next to you or at a baby shower, wedding, new job – dig deeper.

    interested

    2. ask a TON of questions.¬† ¬†this is the most important right here. ¬†when talking to people you don’t know, never make it about you.¬†get other people talking. ¬†i ask so many questions that it is downright crazy. ¬†but turning the focus off you and on to them is what can make you enchanting + memorable! ¬†i’ve wondered before if this just makes me controlling – because i tend to avoid uncomfortable silences and want to jump right in with the questions. ¬†who cares is my conclusion on that. ¬†plus, if you think you’re uncomfortable talking to people – i bet they are too. ¬†so take the pressure off for both of you. ¬†my mom is super good at both #1 and #2. ¬†she genuinely cares and she DOESN’T TALK ABOUT HERSELF – she wants to hear from you.

    when you are conscious of this, you really pay attention when having a casual conversation of who is doing the majority of the talking. ¬†i fill you in, you fill me in… blah blah blah. ¬†but when you don’t know someone, it is a lot less intimidating to get them talking. ¬†with luck, you’ll meet someone who reciprocates and starts asking you questions back. ¬†who knows? ¬†it may be the start of a great friendship.

    have some¬†questions at the ready -in your hip pocket – to whip out at any time. ¬†i actually have a “go to” question¬†that i’m not going to share. ¬†it’s one i ask just about anyone. ROF knows what it is. ¬†it’s something i genuinely want to know and it gets them talking. ¬†

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    3. be real. ¬†be vulnerable.¬† just relax. ¬†people are all people. ¬†if you’re feeling nervous, then chances are – they are too. ¬†unless you’re claire underwood. ¬†but, people really like it when you’re yourself. ¬†isn’t it a relief when the person next to you at the baby shower, helps themselves to some tasty shrimp cocktail and a big fat glob of sauce hits their white shirt or worse? ¬†if that happens to me, i laugh it off and make some crack about splattering some on the rest of the shirt, to even it out. ¬†i’ve just given other people permission to be themselves.

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    i hope this helps even just a little bit.  would love to hear any other advice you might have.

    over + out.

    grill your pizza, yo!

    29 Aug

     ROF was not happy about the idea of grilling pizza.

    we were doing our pre-dinner ritual of playing cards when he kept saying things like:

    “so i don’t get it. ¬†how does it work? ¬†i mean, do you roll the dough out?”

    trust me, love.  look at all these recipe books that have done it Рit can be done!

    i have to say – on behalf of both of us – it was not good – the pizza was AWESOME. ¬†y’all do this – this weekend! ¬†this is what you do (not a recipe, just directions)

    go to whole foods or trader joes and buy pizza dough in the freezer section. ¬†you can buy dough anywhere but i can’t then vouch for how good it is. ¬†thaw it out in the fridge.¬†ours was in there for a few days – no biggie. ¬†get your toppings together. ¬†we fried up some onions and mushrooms from the farmers market on the stove. ¬†might have thrown in some garlic too. ¬†take the dough and just stretch it out with your fingers.

    now, get your toppings together. ¬†we fried up some onions and mushrooms from the farmers market on the stove. ¬†might have thrown in some garlic too. ¬†take the dough and just stretch it out with your fingers. ¬†ROF and i did this together and (he won’t admit this) i think he may have had some fun. ¬†his dough turned out much better than mine.

    get the grill nice and hot and oil up the grates, oil up the pizza dough on both sides and throw those puppies on!  Cook for about 2 minutes on each side.  bring all your toppings including sauce and cheese down to the grill, open the lid and after the dough has been flipped twice, go to work.  we both decorated our pizza the way we wanted it.  one way is to put the cheese on the bottom, no sauce and then throw the veggies on top.  but we used sauce.

    Cook for about 2 minutes on each side. ¬†bring all your toppings including sauce and cheese down to the grill, open the lid and after the dough has been flipped twice, go to work. ¬†we both decorated our pizza the way we wanted it. ¬†one way is to put the cheese on the bottom, no sauce and then throw the veggies on top. ¬†but we used sauce. ¬†i dropped some ricotta cheese on mine because that’s how i roll. ¬† then eat!

    oh my chicago. how i loved you

    13 Aug

    RETRO POST! this was one of my first posts back in 2011. ¬†Oldie but a goodie…

    **************

    so i can’t sleep or i guess i should say i woke up too early – like 4am too early.¬† is this what happens when you get on the wrong side of 40?¬† oh well, my¬† mind is going like crazy with the scent of possibility for the day.¬† so i’m cruisin the world wide information superhighway and i find this great article over at apartment therapy.¬† i realize that THIS IS MY OLD BUILDING ON ASTOR TOWER IN CHICAGO!¬† those of you who knew me then will see it too!

    from apartment therapy: Teresa Goldberg’s apt

    this is a bertrand goldberg designed building and i loved staying here for 6 years to death.  the first place i had was on the 7th floor.  look at this place!!  i lived here from about (fuzzy on dates) 1994 Р2000.  this is about as elite as you can get in chicago Рin the gold coast Рone block off lake shore drive right by all the action on rush and division streets, around the corner from oak street beach and i could walk to my job at j walter thompson on michigan avenue.  i absolutely loved living here.  the second place i had in this building was on the 5th floor.  it faced astor street, one of the finest streets in chicago and i could see lincoln park.  here quickly (have to start my saturday!) are some experiences i had in this phenom building:

    Continue reading

    spicy pickle gin martini recipe

    21 Jul

    you know you’re already thinking about happy hour. ¬†whether it’s you and your sig other or maybe you’re looking for something swank to kick off a dinner party this weekend – this is your drink!

    recipe:

    1-2 oz dry gin

    splash of dry vermouth

    splash of juice from jar of  spicy pickles

    get a martini glass and fill it with glass and ice, set aside.  in a martini shaker, pour in gin, then dry vermouth, then spicy pickle juice.  give it a good shake.  empty glass of ice and water and pour your drink.  garnish with spicy pickle.   enjoy!  for more ROF cocktail videos, click here

     

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    RUM AND PUNCH

    14 Jul

    https://youtu.be/C9aFIERW6kg

    sunday chilled

    2 Jul


    1. i can’t stop listening to this guy.  amazing for background music while you work.  helps me focus.  the song “primavera” rocks my world.

    2. no business is safe. mark my words… this is only the beginning.  imagine what will happen in retailing when Amazon’s competitiong starts playing ball more in the US.  note that the competition is not current American businesses that just may move too slow, be too cumbersome or just plain too comfortable and blind to see the future.

    3. just bought these. now i can’t wait to sleep.

    4.  watch this to see how to pull together a make shift counter bar for a dinner party. 

    5. my sister-in-law (and bestest of friends) used this cookbook to whip together many of the recipes she served at her dinner party friday night. don’t be scared that it’s vegetarian because the recipes are on fleek!


    6. i have never heard someone say this about friday and i completely agree!  
    happy 4th!

    party of one

    27 Jun

    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:

    Screen Shot 2015-08-14 at 1.03.14 PM

     

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

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

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

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

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

    the grass is greenest where you are now.

    25 Jun

    IMG_9305

    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!

    25 things to do with blueberries

    24 Jun

    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.

    Screen Shot 2015-07-13 at 12.17.01 PM

     

    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.

    love you woody allen. yes, i mean it.

    14 Jun

    listening to harry janes & his orchestra – the i’ve heard that song before” – takes me right back to age 22 when i first realized that woody allen’s movies were the slice of life movies i loved.  especially this song in hannah & her sisters.    i know. i know.  lots of controversy on WA.   i don’t care.  you know why?

    oh these movies are so good.  but let me explain why.  these aren’t cliff-hanger, sensational movies.  no.  these are really deep “love ’em or hate ’em” character movies.  it’s honest.  they are hard to watch sometimes.  once again, they are a bit slow but it’s meant to be watched like you are just an observer – a fly on the wall.

    i probably have written this before but i got into woody movies from an awesome class i took at columbia – urban life in media & film. thought it would be a blow-off class.  not so much.  but when we watched the movie MANHATTAN in that class -that was it for me.  done.  sold from the opening scene:

    at 24 years old, i can’t even believe how much i watched his movies.  to the point that my clients gave me as a going away gift, a CD collection of all his movies (love.) 

    take this scene my chicago roommate and i watched over and over again in his movie HUSBANDS AND WIVES.  i think judy davis won an award for this role.  this scene comes from her first date after she separated from her husband who was cheating on her.  her acting is brilliant, funny and sad all at the same time.

    but my favorite movie of all time is annie hall.

    la dee da.  the greatest part is that annie was from… wisconsin. chippewa falls.  i love it.

    well, i just heard that song.  and this is what i thought about it.

    happy wednesday.

    hello in the hotel

    27 May
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    checking out of our hotel this morning, i was running behind as usual.  had to fill my coffee up some more for the hour trip to INDY.
    a woman about my age was filling up too.  she asked how i was doing this morning.  i said so far so good.  how about her?  well, it’s early but (little laugh) going well so far.  i put a pump of hazelnut sugary badness in my coffee, threw a lid on and wished her a good rest of the day and left.
    small interactions happen like that all the time, right?  stupid for me to write about. WRONG.  they don’t happen that much anymore.  are you a talker to strangers?  or can you go through your entire day without interacting with anyone?  why did this small nicety chit chat at the hampton inn coffee counter capture my attention?
    because we don’t do it.  ok.  i don’t know about you.  but i don’t.  i’m going to pay more attention to talking to strangers Рmore specifically, being nice to strangers.  why not?
    last night when we were checking in to the hotel there was this HUGE storm. ¬†it had tornados and it was real dark. ¬†i was scared to death because i have always been terrified of storms since i was little. ¬†grow up. ¬†anyway, we couldn‚Äôt check in because there was a woman trying hard to get a hotel room for her family. ¬†she was all in black, in tight shorts and a tank top with a chain securing her wallet to her belt. ¬†Her husband was wearing all black too, heavily pierced and spikes and was playing with their kids. ¬†she was holding up the line. the storm was coming. ¬†i needed a sip of wine to keep my nerves in balance. ¬†ROF and i¬†were making comments about the family to each other once in our room but it made me think. ¬†i said ‚Äúwhat if they couldn‚Äôt get a room this late on a holiday weekend because someone in their family died and they were in town dealing with that?‚ÄĚ ROF agreed and our comments ceased.
    you never know when you can be an angel to someone just by saying some kind words. ¬†i’m¬†going to try!

    MOVING + CHANGE

    30 Apr

    “For what it‚Äôs worth: it‚Äôs never too late or, in my case, too early to be whoever you want to be. There‚Äôs no time limit, stop whenever you want. You can change or stay the same, there are no rules to this thing. We can make the best or the worst of it. I hope you make the best of it. And I hope you see things that startle you. I hope you feel things you never felt before. I hope you meet people with a different point of view. I hope you live a life you‚Äôre proud of. If you find that you‚Äôre not, I hope you have the courage to start all over again.”– Eric Roth, The Curious Case of Benjamin Button Screenplay


    today’s SUNDAYCHILL read is about change.

    tomorrow movers come and we’re moving to wisconsin. this isn’t a surprise to many of you, my friends, because for the last year i’ve spent 80% of my time commuting from texas to wisconsin.  thats a lot of time on a plane. in january, i was home for 4 days total.  

    bottomline, we wanted to see if the job i took (which catapulted me in a new direction) would be one that would be a good fit for both ROF and me.

    it was.

    ive moved my entire life.  here are the places I’ve lived (that I remember): cleveland, boston, grand blanc mi, brookfield wi, naperville, il, cincinnati,oh, chicago (3 different places over 11 years, dallas (7 different places over 14 years), birmingham mi, now madison. 

    3 things i love about moving and change:

    • KEEPS YOUR EYES AND MIND FRESH AND AWAKE everything is new.  like everything.  i’m talking about – going to your fridge and pouring a little OJ in the morning – that’s a new experience.  it cleans out your brain from daily habits and gives you an opportunity to build new ones.
    • MASSIVE EXPLORATION TRIPS ROF and i have a blast hitting the road and checking out the sites.  we love finding hidden gems, talkative bartenders and doing new things. 
    • EXPANDING YOUR CIRCLE OF GREATNESS i have some pretty unbelievable friends. i was able to connect with many of them over the past few weeks.  and together ROF and i know some really cool people that we love very much.  that group is going to grow with this move.  hands down, our favorite part about moving to michigan was getting to know my cousin and his family real well.  also getting to know ROFs college friends the holbrooks and my boss ron and kathy better.  when you are on your deathbed it is these friendships you remember, not the power point presentations you put together – right?

    so tuesday morning think of us making the commute one last time via two day car trip with pup in tow.  we will miss being close to my mom and our friends but we’ll be a short 2 hour direct flight away.  

    Xxoo

    BE YOUR UNAPOLOGETICALLY WEIRD SELF

    18 Apr

    i think you could safely say that i’m¬†obsessed with this book:

    hands down, most actionable book i’ve¬†ever read.

    i’ll¬†get back to that.

    when i was a kid, my brother and sister and i used to have to walk our lab, maggie, out “to the dirt” to do her business. ¬†it involved hooking her leash up and walking through our large backyard to a big empty space with just…dirt. ¬†doing this at night before bed was never fun and we used to argue about who had to do it. ¬†plus, it was a little bit scary. ¬†strange noises and it was dusk or dark out. ¬†i’d throw my ski coat on over my long minny mouse nightgown with the ruffles around the bottom and begrudgingly take my turn.

    when maggie and i got to the dirt and she was sniffing around, i would stare up at the sky. ¬†and as a young 8 or 9 year old i would look at the stars and think to myself ¬†i can go as far as you are high in the sky.” ¬†i had this in me that life isn’t something that just happens to me but something i make happen.

    i still believe that.  forty-some years later.  there is something that drives me forward.

    in reading this book, i discovered that (i think) what i might have in me is two-fold:

    a) a God-given ability or drive to serve but not sure what that is yet (itch that hasn’t been scratched)

    b) driven to discover what my PEAK PERFORMANCE level is. 

    more on that later.  the sub-head to the book is:

    the tactics, routines, and habits of billionaires, icons, and world-class performers.

    like, why wouldn’t you want to study this? ¬†my favorite part of the book is that it is written simply (even though it is HUGE) by highlighting these habits from tim¬†ferriss’ podcast notes. ¬†which is how i take notes. ¬†so it is easy to quickly glean these tactics.

    so in re-reading the section on chris sacca (for the 10th time), i love what he told a graduating class in a commencement speech.  he told them:

    “Weirdness is why we adore our friends…gets us hired. ¬†Be your unapologetically weird self. ¬†In fact, being weird may even find you the ultimate happiness.”

    damn, that is the truth. ¬†and no one tells you that until you’re older. ¬†you’re in grade school and high school and peer pressure is so huge. ¬†you want the same brand shoes, the fancy purse or the house in the hills. because that is what everyone else has. ¬†i remember those days of fitting in being the most important thing ever.

    flash forward to now. ¬†i don’t like my closest friends because of that stuff. ¬†i like them because they¬†ADD something to my life or teach me something or¬†they show me how to think differently. ¬† maybe they have experiences that are different from me. ¬†weirdness.

    i was super inspired by reading this.  chris sacca is an early stage investor in dozens of companies including twitter, uber, instagram, kickstarter and more.  he is a recurring guest shark on shark tank.

    weird is what makes you…well…you. ¬†and while i’ll be honest, fitting in was always very important to me (validation?) but that little girl in her micky mouse nightgown with her ski coat wrapped around her shivering out at “the dirt” looking at the stars knew something too.

    weird, isn’t it?

     

    what’s up wit me?

    5 Nov

    img_6625

    hi.

    it’s been so long since i’ve posted anything of true substance i bet you’ve gone away. ¬†come back, cuz i’m back! ¬†i started a new position on january 1st this year and have been heavily consumed with it. ¬†i’ve decided to re-energize and focus this personal blog because it’s so much fun to write.

    my life has changed a great deal over the past 10 months and i’m thankful to say for the better. ¬†actually, better isn’t the right word. ¬†i’ve always liked where i was but i guess the direction i’ve been going has just been right and built on top of what i’ve had before.

    does that make sense? ¬†saying “better” implies before wasn’t great. ¬†which isn’t the case.

    moving on… (geez)

    in any case i’m happy. ¬†real happy. ¬†happy doesn’t mean everything is perfect. ¬†i hate the word perfect because perfect = ¬†boring. ¬†it means you’re done – poof- it’s perfect. ¬†perfect can be a napkin that you fold into a duck for a dinner party like – now that’s a perfect duck – but not applicable to your life.

    being happy means that i’m recognizing and basking in the fact¬†that i’m:

    • surrounded by great people. people that make me laugh, challenge me to be better, love me and want to call me early on a saturday morning to talk. ¬†people that are thoughtful towards me by doing things like filling my car with gas or dropping a postcard from their travels in the mail to me. ¬†people that appreciate the ideas and thoughts i bring and the work i do. ¬†people that inspire me ¬†– to practice yoga, to write and create. ¬†people that are just damn cool – they get promoted, start a business, entertain effortlessly and are great at what they do. ¬†these people do things with their¬†lives that egg me on – run marathons, throw a charity event, throw a martini party, buy a new house and are just plain inspirational.
    • loved deeply and love wholeheartedly. i’m so glad i waited 39 years to get married. ¬†my dad told me since i was way young to never settle. ¬†he was talking about getting married – because he knew several men through work and the years that got divorced and the woman didn’t know what to do. he swore he would tell me “how men really were” ¬†which he didn’t (what does that mean anyhow) but nonetheless i waited until i knew i wasn’t settling. ¬†and i got a winner!¬†
    • loving my career and the direction it’s taken. ¬†i did the same thing for 24 years. ¬†worked my way from an intern at JTC Advertising on wells street in chicago to soon-to-be partner in a marketing venture that starts january 1 complete with 24 clients ready to go. ¬†this shit is real! ¬†what has driven me throughout my career is my love of marketing, being relevant to consumers and working with excellent clients that aren’t afraid to pave new roads with me. ¬†i’m so passionate and driven about what i do that it makes every day fun to be alive. ¬†i know. ¬†i’m super cheesy. ¬†shut up.
    • having fucking fun! ¬†yep, just dropped the f bomb because it’s my damn blog. ¬†i travel in one of the most beautiful places on earth, meet up with ROF in detroit to visit great friends, madison to visit great friends, chicago to visit great friends, florida to visit great family, atlanta to see great family. ¬† as most of you know, we don’t have kids and guess what? ¬†at 40 something years old – ROF and i are having the time of our lives. ¬†we play cards (i’m winning…), get room service at fancy hotels, enjoy each other’s company without watching TV (unless we’re binge watching breaking bad), go to football games and cabins up north and the hill country down south. ¬†we made salsa in santa fe and learned about wine in paris. ¬†we laughed at a cramped comedy club in new york and played gin in toronto.

    i felt like writing all this down because i know that happy will change as we get older. ¬†i know that unhappy times are near. ¬†and hopefully i am equipped to handle those times. ¬†i can think this way for many reasons – first off – i always have. ¬† second off – i had the experience of watching someone i loved die. ¬†not a lot of people can say that. ¬†make shit happen… today! ¬†it’s getting your head around the fact that every second of every day you have a choice.

    and people close to me know that i say this all. the. time. 

    you have a choice to:

    love where you are RIGHT NOW, not where you want to be

    leave your shitty job

    do something fun

    kick needy people out of your life

    decide you need boundaries that protect you

    go on a dating site

    say – THIS IS NOT GOOD FOR ME. ¬†I’M OUTA HERE

    wake up and be productive

    wow. this is really a lot for a saturday morning.  (sigh)  look forward

     

    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

    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

    Screen Shot 2016-08-01 at 8.43.17 AM

     

    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.

    early morning emoji banter

    26 May


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

    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!

    IMG_1553IMG_1554IMG_1555IMG_1556

    OVERHEARDLA

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

    IMG_1561IMG_1566IMG_1565IMG_1564IMG_1563IMG_1562

    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?

    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)

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