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Perfection Robs You of Joy

26 Feb

Striving for perfection has always been seen as an admirable goal. Whether it’s getting into the right schools, cleaning your house just right or toning your body, perfection is what we want. Or is it?


Here are four reasons not to strive for perfection:

1. When we are hyper-focused on perfection, there is a chance we may miss the things that would give us joy.

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

2. Perfection is subjective and abstract.

There is nothing wrong with having personal goals and wanting to achieve them. I try to achieve my personal best every day. With my career, my personal life – everything. Having goals is what guides my day-to-day living. On Sunday, I write out goals for the week and if I achieve them- to me that is rewarding. But this is MY personal best with which I connect with perfection, not yours. It becomes judgement when we start projecting our “strive for perfection” on others.


Perfection is subjective because with social media and just media in general, everyone can photograph and video their best foot forward – always.

Some blogs that i follow, you’d think they only live a life of crisply curated + snapped recipes and coiffed living rooms. They can build the perfect career and host the perfect dinner party – not a boring dinner party but a bollywood-themed movie night complete with belly dancers. To me, the takeaway is that they are PERFECT. and that un-truth can bring someone down. Ok, sometimes i’ve been brought down by it. Ok, sometimes I may contribute to it. <sigh>

3. Perfection is Unattainable.

You’ll never get there – ever. As a Christian, we believe that only Christ is perfect. Why oh why can’t i remember that?

“I am careful not to confuse excellence with perfection. Excellence, I can reach for; perfection is God’s business.” Michael J. Fox

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

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


Amy’s Best Killer Lasagna

15 Jan

The hero of this lasagna recipe is the sausage and mushroom ragu -recipe is below.  It’s from Milk Street which is my #1 place to get outstanding recipes.

Use this with anything – regular pasta or I used it in lasagna. Make it first and don’t skip the cinnamon as it is what makes the whole damn dish!

You figure out how much you need.

In addition to the ingredients below, pick up:

  • No cook lasagna noodles
  • Ricotta cheese
  • Shredded mozzarella cheese
  • Parm cheese
  • Marinara sauce (Rao is best, I got the basil one)

Make the Ragu

One tip here is you are going to put this in a layer in lasagna so cut up the mushrooms real small and really break up the sausage. Ok?

Oh, one more tip, don’t add so much broth at the end.
Make this, then I’ll meet you at the bottom:

Ok.  Doesn’t that smell good! Aren’t you fancy, you made a ragu. That recipe is from Milk Street.

Now, assemble!

Now you have all the elements to build your masterpiece.

In a bowl, take the ricotta cheese (just figure out how much you’ll need for 2 layers.)  Probably a lot. Add a huge handful of mozzarella and then a bunch of parm and mix. Add a pinch of salt and pepper. In my next batch I think I will thin it out with an egg or some milk – easier to spread on the layers.

Spray whatever pan you are making this in with cooking spray and put a cup or so of marinara sauce in bottom.  Then add a layer of no cook noodles.  Just break them up to fit.  Don’t matter.  They can overlap.  Then spread a layer of ragu, then cheese, then noodles, then EITHER MORE RAGU, but if you feel it would be too much add a layer of marinara. Then cheese then noodles. You get the idea…

It’s your world, I’m just livin in it!

End with a layer of noodles, then sauce then cover with mozzarella. COVER IT UP!

Bake at 375 for 25 minutes, uncover and bake about 5 more then let rest on counter for 15.  

Pour yourself a glass of red, mix up a light salad and ENJOY!

Ps- freeze left over ragu to later put over toasted English muffins and top with cheese for lunch.  Or mix with some spaghetti.  

12 Quotes You May Need To Read Right Now

21 Dec

appreciating cheese danish, friends who dance + surviving COVID

20 Dec

Hi. It’s been a while since we spoke. I was going to say “hot minute” but I can’t tell you how much that phrase irks me. i’m glad to be back as I believe we all need to concentrate on what we appreciate, what we love and care about and what we’re grateful for nowadays.

I’m not going to lecture, shove my POV in your face, try to get you to buy a course, a craft or try to build an on-line following. I don’t aspire to be an influencer or show you how cool I am in everyday showing you what I wear, what I put in my hair, what kind of leggings I buy.

Well, I might do that last one. After all, I’m interested in what other people are doing in this year-of-the-weird.

Really, what I missed and loved so much about writing this blog for 7 years was when my friends that I don’t talk to every single day track with me. It’s kind of a one-side way to stay in touch where the other side eventually catches up.

So, I had Covid in September. It wasn’t fun and wouldn’t wish it on anyone. I survived. Robert has it now. It’s much better for him than it was for me. He is tired and run down but no fever or anything else. He is taking it easy and I’m spoiling him with some yummy food. Not that either one of us need to be piling food in our face but somehow it makes us feel better.

He loves cheese danish. We aren’t big “donut” sweet breakfast people – more lox and bagels types – but he has always loved cheese danish. So waking up at 5:30am on a Sunday morning, I whipped up a 1/2 batch. I’ve always wanted to be someone who just whips up a batch of homemade danish and – LOOK! – I am!

This is Ina Garten, the Barefoot Contessa’s recipe. And you can look it up, but I’ll give you my version to show you how easy it is. Also, note, these aren’t too sweet which I like.

What you’ll need to get from Instacart (don’t risk Covid for these. It’s not lobster for crying out loud!) MAKES 4

Puff Pastry – one sheet thawed out in fridge overnight

1/2 block (4 oz) cream cheese – room temp

1 egg yoke – room temp

1 tbsp ricotta cheese (make stuffed shells later with rest)


TBSP lemon juice (I forgot this and used lemon juice from bottle, big whip)

2 tbsp +2 tsp sugar

One egg beat with a dash of water in a little bowl


In your mixer or in a bowl, mix on low speed the sugar and cream cheese. When smooth, add in ricotta, vanilla, egg yoke and lemon juice. Don’t whip it! just get it together.

Now press out or roll the puff pastry to 10×10. I actually got out a tape measure (dork!) but not necessary. You know me, I’m super detail oriented. Just flatten it a bit. Cut with knife or pizza cutter into four squares.

Take a spoon and put the cream cheese mixture in a dollap in the middle of each square. Take the egg wash and wash outside of square. Then take two opposite corners and pull towards each other and press. Egg wash the outside.

Oh yeah, preheat your oven at 400 degrees. Should have told you that at the top. I’m not a professional.

Pop these on sheet pan with parchment paper into the oven and bake for 20 minutes turning the tray around 1/2 way through.

Let me know if you try them. They are so good!

Lastly, call out to my friend Yareli. We share fitbit stats with each other most evenings. Sometimes we are “on” and sometimes we’re “off” but she is getting additional steps in by dancing at night in her place. Cracks me up. I love it. I made a playlist for you, Y.

A Toasty Playlist indeed.

3 Oct

Fall has set in here in Wisconsin.

What a magical, wonderful place we live. The colors in the trees are changing daily – popping with vibrancy and vigor. Bright red, yellow and orange reminding us how brilliant and magnificent God is. How wondrous that man nor woman had absolutely nada, nothing, zip to do with this changing of the seasons. The temperature slides down to where there is just a whisper of summer left caught in the breeze (if you’re paying attention) and heated seats come on in the car.

This is when I start thinking of beef stroganoff (ROF has awesome recipe) and sipping Cabernet 🍷 by the fire. Or slow cooker wild rice soup 🍲 or make this, this or even ROF has a special martini recipe!

I want to be snuggled in a chunky, rolled neck sweater, black tights and kicky boots 👢. I’m so thankful for the hilly Wisconsin roads leading me past apple cider farms, corn mazes and Supper clubs with the waft of Friday Night fish fry in the crisp air.

So here is a wonderful, wonderful playlist. But this is what you must be doing whilst listening. You have to be in a toasty fall mood. You must be chill with yourself, loved one or friends. This is background music to listen to by the fire and maybe sipping a brandy old-fashioned. Go ahead, listen. It’s awesome for this season upon us 🍂!

Click here

3 Tips on How to Talk to People You Don’t Know

27 Sep

One thing I’ve been blessed with is an absolutely fantastic career.  

One big part of this career over the past 26 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. 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’s 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 a story – their story. How did they get to where they are today?  I’m usually 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.


2. ASK A TON OF QUESTIONS. This is the most important one 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.  


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’d 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.



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

Be Encouraged

15 Sep

My Favorite Things

12 Sep

It’s 3am and I can’t sleep. I was mistakenly awoken by ROF thinking Ruby was whining outside our bedroom door. She wasn’t. We left her snoring on the couch downstairs after we watched a Homeland episode and promptly fell asleep afterwards. She is still snoring away in a very unladylike fashion down there. She sounds like an 85 year old man.

I thought I’d give you a glimpse of what I’m loving right now. If I’m loving it, you might too. But I’m weird- so watch out!

Before we jump in, I have to say something. I’m absolutely loving my life right now. And not because I finally got the outer wrapper off my piece of sharp cheddar cheese in the dark. And certainly not in a Pollyanna-ish isn’t-life-grand type of way. And not even in a “ I’m grateful for everything” kind of way. But life is real good.

I think many times, if we don’t have control of our thoughts, they can run around unsupervised in our heads and play tricks on us. Make us focus on what we don’t have, how we don’t measure up, how behind we are in life. And it is all BS. We are where we are supposed to be – good or bad.

I’m also not ashamed or embarrassed about saying how much life is good for me right now. Because if there is one thing i know, it will change. It always does, right? And I know that so it’s ok. So I’ll proudly declare …life is real good.

Ok, let’s get to it. Enough talking. Here’s what I’m loving …

I can not get enough of these recipes! I’m full-on going to start making her fall dishes. She also has a cookbook with another coming out soon! Check it out on Amazon.

The only podcast I’m listening to in my car is this one. It is life-changing. If you are into Byron Katie and The Work or just want to learn how to think better thoughts to feel better feelings to do awesome things – start at episode #1. But #2, I actually printed out the transcript and took notes all over it. I CAN’T BELIEVE THIS IS FREE!!

My nephew’s fantastic wife introduced me to this group and I’m loving them! Can’t wait to tell her they’re actually playing in Madison soon. The song 6’s to 9’s is favorite and when I start to get drowsy driving -which happens quite a lot- I play it super loud and lip sync into my thumb. It wakes me up.

We’re doing some travel over the next few months that I’m excited about now. I just booked our anniversary dinner here. Let me know if you’ve been here and if you have any other recommendations. I’m super pumped to be headed to Atlanta for Thanksgiving to be with family. If I can, I’m going to sneak in a peak at the HQ of this store that I love love ❤️ love.

This year, we were able to cross something off my bucket list and it is thrilling to me. We bought a little red cabin in the middle of a national forest 🌳 on a lake in the Northwoods of Wisconsin. For those of you who know, then you know … why it was on my bucket list. I can’t even describe. ROF and I are having a ball and we’ve just started our first renovation project with it. You can follow along IG @littleredcabinupnorth. Feel free to watch us NOT knowing what we are doing. But I’ve reached out to some of these unbelievably creative “up north” IG accounts here, here and here.

Lastly, I just learned how to play this. Addictive!!


27 Aug


I read in a very good book once that the most important decision you make in a lifetime is who you choose to be your spouse. They don’t teach you that in school.

Think about it.

You could be very far away from that decision right now. It doesn’t make it less important. Your focus might now be on yourself, your kids or your career. But your kids know about love and how to treat a spouse from…you. It’s not like you sat them down and taught them like maybe you did with the birds + the bees but they notice just the same.

Couples activity

It was important for me to find the right spouse before I had kids. And I’m not telling you that because – la-dee-da I found a great spouse – (which I did) but because I sacrificed having kids for the great spouse. Which I am 110% ok with how that worked out. For me, finding the right person took a while.

I tell you all this because ROF and I have a blast together. We really do. What I want for you is to have some ideas to connect, re-connect or just keep being you – together. Please let me know if you guys try any of these. In fact, snap them and tag #joyseekerscollective


Each of you picks a different place for an appetizer, dinner, and dessert. It’s more fun if you can walk to these places. At the end do a “review” of best service, presentation, taste, etc…


Take turns picking a cooking, art, exercise, financial planning, mixologist, bird watching or anything type of class. This gives you something to talk about and creates memories.


ROF and I did this a while ago and didn’t finish. That’s a lot of movies. Quite honestly, I couldn’t get past the stupid Charlie Chaplin movies (!) But we worked our way up from the bottom of this list in order. It was fun watching some movies we would have never seen otherwise. Like Network or The Deer Hunter. Our nephew joined us for a summer and he loved joining in too. I even kept a book on what we thought of the movie.

watching a movie


Seriously, how do couples get along without playing a regular game of gin rummy with each other? I don’t even know. ROF and I call this (jokingly) our “couples activity.” We have played an annual game of gin for the past 8-9 years in a row. From July 23 – July 23rd every year. AND YES ROF HAS WON EVERY.SINGLE.YEAR. We keep a book of our on-going score and jot a couple of notes next to the date on what we’re doing. We have played cards all around the world! Paris, NYC, Napa, Dallas, Toronto, Hawaii (we were asked to stop playing in the Maui airport because it was considered gambling!) ROF and I have a certain way of lovingly talking smack to each other while we play and we have some good laughs. When we want to play a quick series of 3 hands, we call that a “Q3” and we’ll do a “Q3” anywhere – anytime!



We use PLATED to easily cook meals together. We have fun doing it too. ROF is in charge of chopping (he’s very good at it…especially onions) and the meat and I’m in charge of the sauces and toasting things. I’m very good at putting things in the oven…haha. We’ve cooked over 226 Plated meals! We have our favorites but we especially like learning new techniques.


Just get in the car and drive. And talk. Make a plan to visit an area or just throw caution to the wind.


I don’t recommend this if you don’t drink. And this for sure shouldn’t be an every-weekend-kind of activity. But we did this once and still laugh about it.

ROF has his list of errands that he does on Saturday mornings if he is home. You know, dry cleaning, post office, taxidermy pick-up – regular errands. Sometimes I join along for company and we might stop for lunch.

On this one particular day, we decided since it was a beautiful, crisp, fall afternoon and there was a Wisconsin football game on, we decided to have Mexican food and a margarita or two. Then finish our errands.




I actually don’t know anyone that would literally do this but I’ll add a twist. On our second date, ROF and I did a volunteer project with his office in Dallas at a camp. It was a drive out there so he asked me to bring three questions on notecards and he would do the same. I still remember 2/3 questions he asked. One that we talked about for a while was: “What is the biggest lie you’ve told”



Go to a garage sale, flea market or farmers market and choose an amount of money – like $5 and have a contest who can get the best value/deal/item for that amount. It’s obviously very subjective, which is what makes it so much fun.

Of course, I play this game with myself every day with more money and I always win and get in trouble for shopping too much.


Ina Garten, one of my faves, wrote in one of her cookbooks that even when she and Jeffery didn’t have any money and were both in school she still had dinner parties. No one cares as much as you do that the placemats and napkins don’t match and everyone has different drinking glasses – they are just happy to be there and be served.

So the two of you just decide to have a Sunday dinner, Saturday brunch, Friday happy hour or weekday leftover party and invite people over last minute. Those are mostly the most fun parties to have.


See shopping contest, but do it on-line. Send each other a secret gift for agreed upon price.


I am super grasping at ideas now. But it is very telling how many grapes your sig other can fit in their mouth. Here is the chart:

10-15 grapes: This person is very intelligent. Especially if they can figure out how to eat all those grapes without taking them out of their mouth.

5-9 grapes: This person likes the finer things in life. They are also most likely to burp after removing the grapes even if they didn’t drink or eat anything.

1-4 grapes: This person needs help. They are most likely lying that they can’t get just one more grape in. Don’t trust this person or let them order on their own in a restaurant.

The Basis for Joy

26 Aug

If you’ve ever worked for me, you know there is something I say all. the. time.


In a business situation, I think about this when I’m giving my boss or a client an update. You can’t assume their head is where your head is at the moment so don’t just jump right into a conversation. Pause and start from the beginning – or tell a story – one that has a start, middle and end. Or in business, a problem, a solution and a result.

On a personal level, I’m going to start from the beginning with you. Right now. This is how I grew up with a heart for joy.

When I was in junior high, we lived in a suburb of Flint, Michigan. My dad worked for Buick Motor Division, so it made sense for us to be there. It was a nice suburb where I was given many privileges. The ability to play outside for hours with friends, take dance and tennis lessons, roller skate to Diana Ross and swim in our neighbors pool.

During this time, we had a black lab named Maggie. We trained her to do her business down “at the dirt.” We had a huge backyard complete with a walking path through the trees and a little stream with a bridge. My parents didn’t want Maggie to ruin the yard so we used to walk with her off leash through the backyard to a wide open space with… dirt. That is where she did her biz.

Maggie, being a young lab, never did anything quickly so sometimes you were out there at night for quite a while. This time is what I remember being very pivotal for me and how I found true joy that would become a part of me forever.

At 12 or so years old, I would (very vocally begrudgingly) take Maggie out to the dirt at night before bed. I’d have much rather been watching MTV. But I would slip on some flip flops and whistle for Maggie who would run with me through the yard. We were careful to make sure the sprinklers weren’t on having learned that the hard way.

I’d stand out at the dirt and be overwhelmed by the star studded sky. I felt so small in comparison. I used to raise my 12 year old hands over my head, close my eyes and think to myself “I can go as high as that.”

How my young soul knew to think that and think it with conviction and with my whole body, I don’t know. Actually, I may have an idea but we’ll talk about that later.


This has been in my head and as part of me for as long as I can remember. It is a blessing and a curse. A blessing because it formed a GROWTH mindset in me. I can do what I put my mind to and I was meant for big things. A curse because I’m never satisfied that I’ve reached “high enough” yet.

I share this experience with you because there are lessons we can pull from if you didn’t have a similar belief or experience growing up. Here are 3 things to consider:

  • Confident hope stated as truth breeds true everlasting joy
  • Having a grandiose goal that you reinforce daily points your brain 🧠 in right direction
  • You have to believe this yourself – it can be reinforced by others (parents) but it has to come from you

So what do you do with this information and how could it help you now?

  1. Where do you want to go? Even if it is as vague as “up.” I told myself over and over that I was going somewhere.
  2. What do you know to be true about yourself? You work harder than everyone else, you’re driven by honesty and integrity, you are passionate and driven towards … what?
  3. Put together your own mantra of sorts that is short and focused on where you want to go. It can be grand and open or very focused. confident hope. Here are some examples:

I got this

I can finish with honors

I can go as far as I want

I’ll make x next year

I can go as high as the sky

Let’s go back to the beginning. This is where joy started for me. This confident goal to myself. And I’m doing it. One of the most special comments ever made to me was from a mentor and boss I had in the agency world. One of the most important people in my life as far as influencing me to be a good leader and manager. I had made some sugar scrub as a weekend project (hahaha) and brought some jars in for some of the guys wives. And he said to me: “Amy no matter what you do whether it is making sugar scrub or leading our social media department, I know you can do whatever you put your mind to extremely well.”

The last thing you can do is if you are reading this and you have kids- give them the tools they need to have this kind of set up in life. One that sets joy up as a base at an early age in their life.

Award-Winning Spaghetti (Non) Recipe

23 Aug

Happy Friday, y’all! First off, if you are used to following a recipe to a tee, you are going to have fun with this hearty pre-fall meal. There is no need for measurements here – make it your own!

Next, this is a great dish to throw in the freezer and the thaw and reheat. I have three huge jugs of it in my freezer right now.

I made this because I bought 7 tomatoes to make a recipe but didn’t end up making it. I didn’t want to waste them. This sauce kind of resembles chili and can probably be eaten as such but my mom prolly wouldn’t approve. This is her recipe and she makes it a lot. She informed me that spaghetti is her favorite meal and always has been. Trust me, she knows what she is doing.


  • Get all your ingredients together
  • Plug into this playlist
  • Split up responsibilities
  • Play cards
  • Kiss
  • Drink red wine while cooking


  • 2 parts 80/20 beef
  • 1 part mild or spicy sausage
  • Carrots (Chop up)
  • Celery (chop)
  • Onion (chop)
  • Sweet peppers (chop)
  • Bunch of red ripe tomatoes (or buy canned, whatever)
  • Ton of spices (more on that later)
  • 1 can tomato soup
  • 2 jars pasta sauce


  • The beef and sausage in some oil, breaking it up into small pieces until no longer pink
  • in separate pan, cook the onions, peppers, celery carrots and garlic in a little bit of oil- cook until soft. Throw in some salt and pepper
  • Combine the veggies and meats and let them get to know each other in the pot. Pour in the sauces and soup. My mom made me rinse out the jar with a little water and pour that into the mix
  • If you are going to use fresh tomatoes like us, it’s a pain. Just kidding! First score the bottom of the tomatoes in a cross cross fashion with a knife. Barely pierce the skin. Throw them in boiling water for a little while – until you see skin start to scrinch up. Then remove and dunk in ice water. Then the skin should peak right off. Don’t wear white pants like mom did. Ha.
  • Now toss in lots of spices. Sage advice: you can always add more but can’t add less. Spice examples: tarragon, cumin, red pepper flakes, oregano, parsley – just smell and if you like toss it in
  • You can also toss in some red wine. Here is one I like that you can get at grocery store.

Bring to a boil, then down to a simmer. Simmer for a while – however long it takes to beat your husband in a couple hands of gin.

Taste, taste, taste and add more seasoning.

Pour over any kind of noodles and you’ve got yourself lots of sauce for lots of future meals! If you make this – tag me in your IG.

Lil tomato juice on her leg…

Why I Seek Joy.

22 Aug

Recently, I transformed this blog from The Appreciator to Joy Seekers Collection. And to be completely honest, I’m not sure where I’m going with it. That’s not completely honest. I kind of have a plan but if you are going to be a champion of seeking joy – you better be good at it.


And I’m not sure I am. But we’ll get back to that.

As you may or may not know, Joy is not the same as happiness. Joy comes from somewhere within you. Something external makes you happy. So don’t strive only to be happy all the time. Because if you do – you’re dependant on factors in which you can’t control. You can’t control the diagnosis of cancer, or the death of a loved one or a freak disaster. So if you are riddled with one of these issues or a million more – you’re not happy. You can be happy waking up, then the day just beats down on you and draws that happiness out of you.

But joy.

finding joy

Oh but joy comes from within. If you have joy in your life, you have a different outlook. A different mindset.

I’ll give you a personal example. I have a lot of them. There was a time in my life about 19 years ago to be exact when everything I knew crumbled around me. A lot of you have heard the story of my dad’s death but this has to do with when my dad divorced my mom. That was harder. Hard times seem to come in triples or more. This is what was going on with me at 30 years old:

  • My dad announced to our close-knit family that he was leaving my mom for another woman after 30+ years of marriage. This completely shocked us. My dad wasn’t like that!
  • The first ad agency I went to work for after college and where I built my career – lost the core piece of business and I had to help let go almost 15 people several of them, close friends. I had a job but clearly needed to look elsewhere
  • I fell through a glass table early in the morning (long story) and had to get stitches in my knee (owww!)

My whole world had crashed in on me. My family which was my mom, sister and brother were blown away by my dad’s announcement. And so hurt. My dad and I were really close and I couldn’t wait to marry someone just like him. Charismatic, a leader, funny and someone people respected. As he led my family around to 9 different cities and houses all we ever had was each other. This was so uncharacteristic. You can read the whole story here.

But this is about JOY.

I had no happiness at this time. I was beyond sad, let down and deflated. And what I’m going to say next is really not revolutionary. And maybe a little nutty. But it’s an example. I used to look at the trees outside my mom’s house and my apartment in Chicago and think about them. How long had they been there? How rooted they were in the ground. How God cares for them as He cares for me. And I started to think that I could get through this time as the trees had gotten through storms and drought and even new construction. I stared at these trees. I became grounded like these trees and it gave me hope. That I could get through this and one day, I’d be looking back on this situation. It made me wonder what part I could play in this drama in my life that could be positive.

That hope turned into joy as I discovered parts of me I never knew I had. Like forgiveness. Forgiveness is a form of joy because you are letting go of really negative feelings. Some of which may have existed inside you for a long time – keeping true joy at bay. Like hatred, betrayal and plain stupidity. When you forgive you look at life and a situation differently. Your focus moves from the person you’ve been hurt by to trying to understand the entire situation in a less personal way. When I did this I understood that my dad’s ego was bruised by retiring early. He lost his sense of identity and when a person in a leadership role loses his followers he is left with nothing. This is no excuse but my ability to try and understand this about his decision made me stop just being hurt by his stupid actions and take control of my feelings. He had screwed up, big time but I didn’t.

Amy Fulford, joy

OK. So that was really deep. If you’ve read this far.

I seek for joy to be the cornerstone of who I am. I’m not there yet but I have a pretty good perspective. This can be a goal of yours too – no matter what issues you have now (newsflash – you’ll ALWAYS have issues!) whatever your upbringing was or troubles you face.

With this Joy Seekers Collective, we’re going to go on this journey together in the coming weeks and months. Sign up now to come on board!

3 Ways to Point your Brain in the Right Direction

4 Aug

Study up on MINDSETS. Read or listen to this book by Carol Dweck. It will call you out right away if you have a fixed or growth mindset.

In a fixed mindset, people believe their qualities cannot change. These people work to prove their intelligence and talents versus working to develop and improve them. They also believe that talent alone leads to success. It’s extremely limiting. You could also call this “this is just who I am” thinking. I personally can’t identify with this.

A growth mindset is when people have an underlying belief that their intelligence can grow with time and experience. When people believe they can get smarter (note: and not just from formal education), they realize that their effort has a profound effect on their success, so they put in extra time, leading to higher achievement.

I’m all about this. The book is captivating to me. It’s not so cut and dry. But I will tell you that my insane curiosity keeps me in the growth mindset and I’m so happy about it. I’ve surpassed all my career goals and guess what – I barely graduated high school. I squeaked by! I won’t bore you with the reasons why but “it was what it was.” If I had a fixed mindset, then that is the mentality that would have stayed with me for life. Barely getting by. But it wasn’t. I ended up working very hard, having goals to drive me, graduated college early with honors and getting hired by an ad agency in Chicago.

So… are you in a fixed mindset? You need to train your brain to think differently. Like right now. Time is a-wasting. How do you do this?

I don’t know. I haven’t read that far in the book yet. haha. So read it. But here are my thoughts…. take it or leave it.

1.USE YOUR MAGIC WAND. I can not take credit for this. I got this from Stephanie, my coach, who did this with us this week at our incredible Breakthrough Mastermind conference. I got a lot out of it. Answer this: You have a magic wand. It can change anything. What would you change/add to your life? Write it down, but write as if you already have it. This last part is what really did it for me. Seriously. Even just writing it and saying it out loud opens your brain to “wow, there are other options out there!” I’m going to make myself semi-vulnerable and read to you a bit of mine:

The way I handle stress is amazingly productive instead of harmful. I eat only one piece of chocolate a week and drink only one glass of wine.”

Thinking that and then writing it gave my brain the “whatsupwiththat” kind of vibes you’re looking for in this experiment. Do it every day. Train your brain to believe you already have what you want and you will naturally start to strive for it.

2. REMEMBER THAT YOU ARE FREE. For reals, remember, and this may be hard for the fixed mindset types, but you are free.

  • Free to leave your job and find a better one
  • Free to tell yourself YOU DON’T DESERVE THIS
  • Free to dream bigger than you ever have before
  • Free to understand that you are not the situation you are in. You are you. Move. Now.

In order to understand that you’re free, you need to do things that make you feel free. Here is what will get you in the mood to think this way:


3. IT’S NOT WHERE YOU START, IT’S WHERE YOU FINISH. One thing I’ve learned as I near the big 5-0 years old is the older I get, the less I care what people think. I believe a lot of anxiety is caused by the misperception that people are judging you all the time. I hate to break it to you but people only care about themselves for the most part and aren’t judging you. Knowing that it’s not where you are, but where you’re going. No one knows your situation. No one knows your potential like you. Make some big goals for yourself, work tirelessly for those goals and get your brain pointed in the right direction.


Follow Me – 9 people to watch, listen to or try to be

6 Mar

It’s no secret that I’m an insanely curious person. I don’t know how I got this way but one reason is that I refuse to be content. It’s a blessing and a curse.

As a marketer, it’s a blessing. I’m absolutely blown away at the pace marketing has evolved. It seemed the first 14 years of my career was spent just talking about what percentage of the tv budget would run what percentage rotation of a particular spot. I’m glad I started working with influencers about 12 years ago. Forget celebrities, now anyone with a POV can gain thousands of followers. Staying curious has helped me keep pace and relevant.

However, as a competitive person being curious can be a curse. It can stymie a girl’s creativeness if you try to keep pace with these crazy successful influencers!

Here are a few people I love to follow on IG or watch on YouTube:


Nocrumbsleft – Teri Turner

theDefineddish – Alex Snodgrass

Juliaandchild – Julia Flowers


Allana Davison

Wendy’s Lookbook

Sarah’s Day


Damsel in Dior

Atelier Dore

The Everygirl

Stay Curious!

Stuff I Grabbed

1 Mar

I didn’t even clean these up for you, but I don’t think you care. Right?

I grabbed this from my favorite blogger, Jo. We’re not really on a first name basis. She doesn’t know I exist but that’s ok. This is the Proust Questionnaire. I have a fill in the blanks book with this. Fun to gather your friends and family’s answers.

Have you written your note yet? Ruby and I did. I just got an idea from this. I’m going to tell you about them every time I get one. It’s called “Be an Angel.” Connecting lonely people with people who need love and support. Like perhaps the elderly with the sick. Just to be pen pals or email pals. Ok… moving on…

I grabbed this from another favorite blogger. I love this whole look. The simple print, the textures of the pillows, the plant. Want to remember for future decorating decisions.

Did you get into this Netflix documentary? ROF and I did for sure. The one thing about documentaries is that they are one sided. You think you are getting the facts, and you might be, but only ONE SIDE of them.

I learned this in college when we watched Roger & Me in a class and discussed it. It was hard for me because I had lived in Flint and my dad worked at GM. So my dad came in my class of 120 students to give the other side of the story because he knew all the players including Michael Moore. I was SO PROUD! My dad was such a charismatic speaker. He was such a neat, fun person. I miss him so much my heart physically hurts.

Anyway, I still think Avery is innocent.

This needs no explanation. This is my life. Frozen. Yesterday for fun I knocked icicles off my garage with a baseball bat.

I grabbed this because it’s the cutest damn thing ever! One of my most favorite peoples in the whole world – Jackie Grubb Marshall – is a great yogi and her little girl joined in!! Xxoo makes my heart happy.

Has to grab this craziness because I LOVE SERENA!!! I want a sweatshirt that says that. I wish I could be friends with her and just glean a teensy bit of her badassedness.

I got to spend last week at Maui Prep in Hawaii. I loved this nugget of wisdom.

This makes me sad. I’m not going to on and on about it. I grabbed this as an idea for a small cabin we almost bought up north. It’s been a goal of mine for years to have a place up north. We had an offer on a great place and lost it. I know, wasn’t meant to be. Still sucked.


I want this perfume. All the hype!!

So I made some AMAZING and easy salmon from Plated this week. The seasoning was outstanding so I chatted to get what was in it. I love that they throw in “spices” just to keep ya guessing. Lol.

That’s it! Stay Curious!

What I’m Reading Right Now

24 Feb

1. ATOMIC HABITS by James Clear

I believe that it’s important to be aware of your habits so that you can introduce new ones – ones that instill a healthy mindset.

I’m very aware of certain habits I have that I want to change. They are hedonistic habits that I’ve had a long time. I can see these some of these habits in my parents and even to some extent my grandparents. It’s that “If it feels good – do it” attitude. If one glass of wine tastes good- three would be better. Or I’ll stuff myself on 3/4 of a steak vs only be satisfied with 1/2.

Full confession. Geez. Don’t judge.

This book is a life changer. Especially if you want to be more aware of your habits;

I bought this book on tape and have listened to more than half of it. Then I bought it because I want to highlight and make notes.

I’m such a 🤓. Buy it here.

2. Ladders Article or on The Medium app is always good for a jolt of realistic advice. Read it here.

3. On the Blogs, I’m reading this:

Really want to make this.

Reading about her struggles with anxiety was very interesting because I would have never guessed she had any issues. I met this blogger a few years ago when I attended her photoshop class. I love this piece on her way to show self-love.

There is something about peeking in other women’s purses that is fascinating to me. Like I’m going to find something revolutionary or something. And I’m talking about articles like this – not me actually peeking in purses.

I’m so excited! I can’t believe this collaboration.

This is how I’m going to lose weight. Love this girl.

Anyone want to try this workout with me? Not in the same room, but you know, streaming online. I’m a bit obsessed with this woman on IG.

Make it a great week!

2 Things I Learned Yesterday from a Walk with my Boss

21 Feb

My boss would kill me if he knew I wrote this but I know he doesn’t read my blog and I won’t divulge who he is so it should be ok.

So, I’m in Hawaii working on a side project for my boss. Rough life, I know. I love it. Yesterday I told him I’d meet him at 5am to walk the pathway along the ocean. About 2.5 miles. Forget the fact that I haven’t exercised in over 4 months – this is because of 2 words: POLAR VORTEX.

Good excuse. Yes, I’m aware of my excuses thank you very much.

But I said yes to this because A) I never get to spend quality time with him and B) you say YES to most positive things because that is how you should live your life (says me.)

Waking up at 4:30am to walk at 5am is one thing but when it is raining – that is another. This is lesson #1.



When it’s raining, grab an umbrella and keep going. That also means when times are tough and you don’t know how you’re going to get through:

  1. This damn Wisconsin winter
  2. Your divorce
  3. Didn’t get the job
  4. Didn’t get the guy or girl
  5. Don’t want to work out

So we walked and I did fine. It did start to pour pretty good and we were dodging huge puddles but the water and air were warm so it really wasn’t that bad. Keep in mind it was pitch dark with the exception of the lights from the restaurants and resorts. So I kept repeating over and over in my head “Please don’t fall. Please don’t fall on your face.” Because that would completely be something I did. After all, I did greet him with HOLA instead of ALOHA.

Sometimes I want to kick myself.


NEVER GET TOO BIG FOR YOUR BRITCHES. And treat everyone as you would want to be treated. As we walked the grounds, he stopped and spoke to all the people that worked at the complex. He knew them all. He also told me that he meets with an older gentleman that works there most mornings real early to just chat up all things life. As we walked and he drove me places, he stopped and chatted up everyone. My boss is a very successful entrepreneur with over 55 businesses.

One of my favorite entrepreneurs is Sarah Blakely. Follow her right now on Instagram. She’s a hoot. She said once that money amplifies who you are. If you’re a jerk before you have money then you’re a bigger jerk with money. If you’re generous and caring before you have money, then you are more generous and caring with money.


Don’t burn bridges and pay attention to everyone around you. My boss and I met 22 years ago when we were both 27 years old. He worked for Ford and I worked for their ad agency, J. Walter Thompson. And here I am 22 years later, after a full and awesome career, working for him and having the time of my life.

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 🥜 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’m 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.


    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.


    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 “independent of the good opinion of others.” 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’ll 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, “Be what you are and say what you feel because those who will mind don’t matter and those who matter don’t mind.”

    So – do 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.


    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!


    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
    • IMPROV.
    • DANCING.

    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.   



    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

    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


    • 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!


    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:


    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…)


    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:


    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.



    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 – it 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 – 2000.  this is about as elite as you can get in chicago – in the gold coast – one 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!


    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





    14 Jul

    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.

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