What holiday traditions do you remember? What are the traditions you’ll pass down from generation to generation….
We have a tradition of purchasing ornaments everywhere we go. We have also made some by hand in our early marriage years when we couldn’t afford to go anywhere or do anything.
Ornaments celebrate our memories, memories of moments in time where we were on family trips or celebrated family accomplishments or hobbies.
We have ornaments that represent dance, soccer, tennis, golf and we have beach vacation ornaments or amazing ornaments from trips abroad. We also have ornaments that we made because we had no money to purchase them., they are meaningful and special in their own way and we remember making them with family members.
They don’ take up a lot of room and they are cheaper and easier than buying art or vases or (insert large souvenir) and they are so easy to pack and they provide that same joy of remembrance when you unpack it each year and hang it on your tree. You remember the moment, the experience that you had in that moment or on that trip.
They are not expensive and yet, they represent the journey of your life experiences…. VALUE that! YOU are you… and you have your own traditions, trips, experiences and more that can be expressed through ornaments….
I realize that not everyone celebrates Christmas with a traditional Christmas Tree but this tradition means a lot to me…. what means a lot to you?
So here’s the deal…. Covid screwed up everything…. I know you know….. but it’s different for everyone! In my case, the company I was representing closed in April and I had to figure out what to do with the rest of my life! It’s time to embrace change!
I’m 53.. so it was just time to re-invent myself….. I’ve done it many times…. FromBroadwayactress to Interior Designer to Direct Sales leader…. I’m not afraid of change and I’m happy to embrace it. I admit, however, that I was feeling a little lost not having a purpose but I was embracing the freedom of summer.
Actually…. let’s go there, CHANGE is something we can all count on… Why are people so opposed to change? The more we embrace change the more adaptable we are. Isn’t that what we want ultimately? Adaptability to different situations should be a positive trait, right?
Anyway, I was minding my own business.. enjoying summer and the freedom of NOT doing anything for a few months and a girlfriend I worked with 20 years ago messaged me….A new start up?
Okay, okay… I wasn’t going to sell ANYTHING EVER again…. Sales is hard. You can’t take NO personally. Some people want to tear you down because they don’t want to be “sold” on anything… they want to find it themselves or they are jealous because you are taking a risk that they aren’t willing to take and they low-key want you to fail simply because they are not willing to take the risk themselves. Mind you, this is not everyone. People who are confident in their own skin will be happy for you or are just happy being a consumer and that’s okay. At this age and stage, I am very aware of who those people are.
I’m not afraid to tell you I am a product junkie… I love trying things and I love figuring out what I love and don’t love about stuff….. If I love it I can sell it….it’s not about anything other than that. I have to believe in it… and I have to believe to the bottom of my gut that what I am selling is good and benefits others..
Fast forward… Covid taught me that what I am selling needs to be consumable, responsible, needs to solve a problem and needs to be something that can ship to your door. Am I right?
So I stumbled upon a start up…. RISKY, I get it.. but truly, a phenomenal product at a reasonable price and it works! Sign me up!
So here I am finding myself promoting another brand that I feel is GREAT!!! I believe in it… it’s good! Actually it’s GREAT!
Can it help solve the worlds problems… no… but it can help us with hair issues? We may not be dressing up, we may not be doing much socially, but we do have pride in our hair… our confidence may even depend on it.. we wan’t to be a healthy version of ourselves when we do actually get out of this crazy Covid nightmare.
I’m excited for my next chapter. I’m excited that I’m taking a risk on myself because I truly believe that what I am doing now is helping others… and that, my friend, is what it’s all about! If I can help someone feel happier or more confident with their hair or if I can help someone start a business from home and make additional income that can truly help them with their finances or if I can help someone feel connected to a community in this Covid isolation then I am EXCITED!!! Thanks for listening!
A realization of the new normal- a transition to a work at home family
My husband and I take daily walks, our only time to just chat about life and planning for our future. It hit me that this living and working from home is our “new normal”. I’m not sure why I hadn’t given much time to REALLY think about it but it’s sinking in!
At the beginning of the pandemic it felt like a snow storm. You know, the kind where you are stuck in the house for a while and you cook, eat and watch movies. The shelves of the grocery store were always bare but this time, the snow storm lasted 3-4 months. Stores ran out of toilet paper, cleaning supplies, flour, sugar and yeast.
Fast forward to summer, we have been enjoying being outside and since we live in NJ we know we will be inside living and working from home soon enough. It is hitting me, we need a plan! We went to the gazebo by our pool, which we now lovingly have deemed our “restaurant” when we want a change of scenery and we discussed our plan!
The house has traditionally been my domain. I’ve worked at home for 20 years and it’s been great! I’m disciplined, organized and I’m used to having my space and time to do what I need and want to do all day. I stay busy all day long toggling between work and home duties and I like it.
We are empty nesters but we currently have 4 adults living and working from home. Quarantine was a slight adjustment to those plans. I’m not complaining at all! I love having family with me and I love having built-in social! Especially during the height of the pandemic it was great to have family in the house for company and conversation!
I can’t imagine being alone or even being alone with your spouse for that long without social interaction with friends. I’m a social person and I get my energy from others. This isolation stuff stinks! I don’t like it.
So, back to the house being “my office”. I love my family and we all get along super well but sometimes I need my space! Everyone is in “my office”, which has typically been the whole house, all day long. My sweet husband is now asking me about dinner every day and none of us have privacy.
Dinner is almost the only thing that varies every day so I guess it’s fun to talk about, but Cooking has always been my thing, I’m efficient at it. I know what ingredients we have and many times I make a decision at 5pm as to what I feel like making. Now I have to think about it all day long and discuss it. My husband is just trying to be helpful and I am so very appreciative but I don’t like to discuss it all day long. I’ve talked with him and coached him to ask “How can I help you with dinner?” as opposed to “What should we do for dinner?”
It’s a slight word change that helps me feel like I’m being supported on the plans I have made for dinner.
Work Space Allocation
Since everyone is working from home, I’ve decided that we need to set some ground rules for Fall. I believe we will all be more productive and focused if we do.
Everyone needs an office/ work space. My husband and I have separate offices in the house but many days he would “work” in the family room off my office so we could be close by. Oddly, I felt stifled like I just needed my space like I had for the past 20 years. It may sound strange but I would rather have him in his office and call or text me if he needs something than to randomly chat all day.
I’ve decided that the kitchen needs to be the “break room” and no one should work in it. It needs to be social just like a break room should be. Meals and conversations shared. NO actual work!
The dining room should be either the “board room”, “cubicle space” even “school” if needed. Many people collaborating or working side by side on productive work that doesn’t involve meetings or zooms.
If you have the space, add a small desk or workspace to bedrooms so that people can work independently and privately. Conference calls, classes or networking zooms shouldn’t disturb others.
Communication is key
The bottom line isto communicate. Gather the family and discuss what is working and not working so we can come out of this quarantine on the better end of this! We need to communicate so that living and working from home will be seamless.
Plan out shopping, cooking and cleaning so that everyone has a role. I expect once the weather gets cold, we won’t be inside restaurants so there’s going to be a lot of home cooking again!
Time management, organization and setting some ground rules for space and chores in the house will allow us all to cope with this new-normal a little better! I hope this gives you some ideas on how to deal with this work from home family life that we are all getting used to. I’m not an expert but I’m good at communicating what I need and I hope you do the same!
I know we are basically home all summer and we have time to water the plants every single day, but it gets tiresome sometimes. Every day you have to pull out the hose or a pitcher and water, water, water….
My mom used to say, necessity is the mother of invention, so when we went out of town to a friends shore house for the weekend, I didn’t feel like asking someone to water the plants, so I got to Googling… is that a word?
Here’s where I got creative…
Remember those little watering globes for houseplants? I wondered if a wine bottle would work the same way.
I summoned empty wine bottles from my neighbors and I stuck a bottle, filled with water, in heavily watered soil upside down and let it go! Luckily for me, I had a friend come by and check on them. Some plants needed a extra drink or two but generally, the method worked. The bottles drained too fast for the hot weather, so I went to Amazon. I found terra-cotta watering spikes and I quickly ordered them. Here’s the link! https://www.amazon.com/s?k=watering+spikes+for+outdoor+plants&ref=nb_sb_noss_2
The Amazon reviews said they were fragile but they arrived in tact! Whew!
I watered all my plants super thoroughly to soften the soil, I then soaked the spikes in water to get them ready to insert and I carefully inserted them into the soil so that they were right above or at soil level.
So here’s the bottom line! IT WORKS! The plants definitely drink at their own pace, some faster and some slower due to sun, heat etc. On super hot days your thirstiest plants, which for me is a potted tomato plant and basil plant, will require additional watering because they get so hot they can’t get the water fast enough… but it truly works at keeping your plants hydrated and allows me to not have to monitor them so closely! I’m a fan of my new watering system… even if it looks like my plants have a drinking problem!
I hope this helps you as well! Share this tip with all your plant loving friends! Stay hydrated!
With all the uncertainty in the world, we are not going on any vacations this summer. We love to travel but it’s just not possible this year. No one wants to get on a plane this summer for good reason.
New Jersey is blessed and cursed at the moment….. one of the most locked down states in the country but also one of the most delightful places in the summer. Did you know there are lovely mountains in NJ? I didn’t either…. before I moved here…. and it’s delightful out here in the Garden State!
Growing up in the South, I never knew how fabulous Jersey Corn and Tomatoes were…. or how delightful the Jersey Shore could be so at least we have a gorgeous summer to look forward to!
We have decided to make lemonade out of lemons and are doing things to make our outdoor living space even more enjoyable like many others around the country.
Now is a perfect time to refresh the pillows, umbrellas and flower pots or whatever you can to enjoy your outdoor space even more. Let’s face it, you’re going to see it a lot this summer. We took on a low voltage lighting project this past week that really added value to our deck! I say “we” lightly because I had input but my husband did all the work. Thank goodness he is handy because he just knows how to do things like this and is willing!
We added lighting to our deck steps so that we can confidently walk out from the house and see the step down. All of a sudden, we find ourselves in our 50’s and it’s not bright enough to see the step down. LOL…. we are indeed turning into our parents.
I’ve also pulled out an old decorative piece I hadn’t used in a while… this gorgeous planter that goes around my umbrella to create a 360 degree centerpiece! ! It really makes me happy to see it and makes my outdoor living space more inviting! Even if you don’t have this pretty planter, you can easily just put a few small flower pots out with some annuals to spruce it up! I am going to be home more than not this summer so I certainly have time to water it. That’s always been the challenge when we travel.
I wasn’t up to planting a full on garden this summer but I do love to plant a few herbs and tomatoes for a quick Capresse salad (tomatoes, buffalo mozzerella and some basil) or a nice little refreshing Mojito with some fresh mint and lime! This simple pleasure adds to our outdoor dining experience and gives me a little something to tend to! We simply potted these in pots on the deck so I can water everything easily! SO much joy out of these simple things!
Finally… since we want to entertain but we have to do it carefully and responsibly, we moved an outdoor table into our gazebo for covered outdoor dining! Honestly, it felt like a special event or a vacation… sitting outside and being protected from the drizzle that sometimes comes with summer storms. We enjoyed a poolside dining experience and once the rain stopped, we enjoyed the beautiful sunset!
Joy and happiness doesn’t have to come from traveling the world, or having things… sometimes just cherishing your home, and your friends and family and all the blessings that we have right at our fingertips, is all you need. The pandemic has unveiled a lot of emotions in people ranging from fear to annoyance, panic, anxiety, care, love and gratefulness…. and sometimes we can succumb to all of these emotions even in one day.
I want to choose to be happy and hopeful rather than being fearful and desperate. Don’t get me wrong, I’m being careful and am taking this pandemic seriously. I’m following guidelines and not being around a lot of people because I do want to protect the people I love… but I am choosing to be grateful everyday for what I have. People I love, friendships and health… I do feel blessed! I pray that everyone reading this can focus on the good in this situation… I know it’s not possible for all but I hope that focusing on the good brings you more good in your life! Remember… your thoughts, become your words, become your actions, become your habits which become your destiny…. so choose happy!! God bless!
For the past 2 years, I’ve had to modify my diet. I’m almost 51 and it’s harder to keep weight at bay… so I’ve cut out gluten, sugar and most dairy… and eat Low fat now. I think I’ve finally weaned myself off sugar because my sweet tooth seems less demanding! I never thought I would see that day coming!
I love how the grocery stores today are helping with the prep work! Already cut up veggies makes this a super simple supper!
Just throw all of these ingredients into a skillet with a little broth, add lid to “steam” and then add some low sugar full of flavor Fra Diavlo sauce and some crushed red pepper and you have yourself a meal! I’m a huge fan of spices to really kick up simple dishes a notch! Add some protein… some sautéed shrimp, chicken or chicken meatballs 🙂 and you have a super healthy meal in less than 20 minutes!
So next time you’re at the store, avoid the pre-packaged foods with lots of preservatives…. go with fresh ingredients…. cut up if necessary to save time and you’ll be on your way to healthy in no time!
What are your go-to healthy meals? I’d love to hear!
Cooking skinny so you can get in that bathing suit this summer? Here’s a no fat, no carb, no sugar and no dairy, PACKED with flavor Mexican chicken recipe with Spanish Riced Cauliflower that is YUMMY!!
You’ll need: Chicken, Chipotle Seasoning, Cilantro, Rotel Tomatoes, Jalepeno slices, and Juice of 1 lime to make the chicken! It takes about 5 min of prep and 20-30 min of bake time depending on the thickness of your chicken.
Just shake chipotle seasoning on both sides of your chicken in a large baking dish. Sprinkle chicken with chopped cilantro and then dump on can of Rotel Tomatoes on top, sprinkle some jalapeño slices on top of that and then squeeze lime juice over entire dish of chicken. BAKE!
As a perfect SIDE dish with no carbs… .Try Spanish Riced Cauliflower instead of Spanish Rice
Here’s what you’ll need in addition to your riced cauliflower you can find in your local grocery store!
Just saute your riced cauliflower in chicken broth… Just enough to cover the bottom of the pan. Add and mix in a can of Rotel Tomatoes, cumin, chili powder, Garlic salt and Oregano to taste…. cook until cauliflower is tender and most of the liquid has evaporated.
All you’ll need is a side salad to compliment this meal!
No pun intended… but Maybe Tomorrow I’ll get something done! Today I’m reflecting on my past….. Enjoying the nostalgia and thinking about touring the country with the National Broadway Tour of Annie when I was 13 and 14!
At the time, I didn’t really realize the magnitude… the iconic show that truly was a phenomenon. I was simply doing something fun! I begged my mom to let me try out and because I was an only child, she helped me fulfill my dream! I was truly blessed!
Today, at the age of 50, I look back to what seems like a lifetime ago. I feel blessed to have been a part of this musical! We recently had a 40th Anniversary reunion of all the Annie’s thanks to Inside Edition and we all had a special bond whether we worked on stage together or not! For me, it was a family of sorts. I never had sisters or brothers so touring with 6-7 girls gave me that sisterhood…. some of the adults in the show were like aunts or uncles to us! It was magical! We marvel at the thought that this was “back in the day” when there were no child labor laws and we performed 8 shows a week… we didn’t have child wranglers to keep us contained back stage and we didn’t have body microphones so we had to sing LOUD! :). It was a different time. We marveled at how this show became so iconic… possibly because it was one of the first Broadway Musicals that was family friendly…. and it had a positive message with kids and a dog! Who knows why it became such a success and will continue to be performed for years and years.
I’m just thrilled to have been a part of it and I will look forward to our 50th reunion and all the little ones in between!
I am a trained Interior Designer but have not practiced in a while! Recently…. My daughter told me she never liked the lime green that I had painted her walls when she was 5! LOL! I tried so hard not to decorate a room in traditional pinks and purple “girl” colors when she was little…. I chose a great palate with lime green and raspberry that was fun and youthful, not too little girly that would transition into teens and I do feel like I did that effectively.
Now she’s 17 and about to go off to college and we are re-doing her room for Christmas into a more “mature” palate. Why, you ask, would I re-decorate her room before she leaves us in 6 months? Well, first of all, I’m ready for a change but secondly, I want her to enjoy it for a while and own it …. I want it to feel like “hers” before she leaves so she can enjoy it as “hers” when she comes back!
I’ll post some before and after shots but the “before” will depend on when she doesn’t have clothes strewn all over the room and on the floor (remember, she is still a teenager)
The “green/blue” lattice and solid will be in the adjacent bath and her room will be a soft gray paint from Benjamin Moore #harbourgray with a geometric print on the window and different scale prints for pillows and accent trim.
With today’s more gray palates being more “in style” it’s hard to transition the “golds” into the gray palates but with some fabrics, I think we can effectively do just that!
Stay tuned for some before and after shots! It may take a month but I’ll get there!
What room in your house do you want to re-do? Some people don’t place a lot of emphasis on this sort of thing but I think our interior has so much to do with our mood and our energy! We need to get energy out of a space… whether we want calm or energizing, bright and bold or muted and serene. What’s your ideal space look like? Clean and simple, colorful, neutral, or do you have a favorite color that really makes you feel good?
Admittedly, I’m almost 50 years old….. (How did that happen?) But I love where I am in life because I have figured out a lot! Of course, my elders would say, “You don’t know what you don’t know.”, and that is true. I say that about my kids. They are very responsible and make good decisions so far in life but they don’t know what they don’t know… and that can ONLY be learned through experience. Life is a series of experiences…… and experience is what you get when you don’t get what you want most of the time!
I’ve learned a lot in my short life so far…. even had to deal with the death of two parents and that, my friends, will give you experience. I have thought a lot about my blog and where I want it to go…. My passions are family, faith, food and entertaining, creative ideas like decorating and fashion/accessorizing along with my passion for gadgets and products I love…. I also LOVE organization and love to travel. I love to cook healthy food and FINALLY figured out how to keep my “mid-life weight” under control by choosing healthy food….. REAL food and not products I have to purchase. THAT makes me excited!
It gets me excited to share this wisdom with people who have not figured it out yet….. Being a woman today is an interesting journey…. Many of us work, either part time or full time and want to maintain a balance of work/life and family…. while trying to be organized enough to cook healthy meals, take care of ourselves and do all the things that make us happy while not losing our sanity as we try to take care of the ones around us that we love.
I really feel like I have some great tips and great ideas to help women keep that balance, feel productive and feel sane doing it because of “experience”. We won’t all be perfect… but we will find some peace and sanity doing it.
Follow me on this journey of blog posts….. if nothing else, my daughter can read this one day and get advice from her mother 🙂