Friday, July 10, 2015

You find the most interesting things when you are moving


I am cleaning and packing this month in preparation to move apartments. When moving my philosophy is always "Why move it if you don't need it." I'm not a pack rat by any stretch of the imagination but I am always fascinated by the things I discover I have held onto. In the pile of notes and letters I was going thru earlier this week I found the list of things. . 

If I remember correctly I wrote this particular list after a therapy session where I was trying to articulate what I felt was missing in my house growing up and what I was hoping for when I had my own family.

  • Daily activities together - outdoor and indoor
  • Dinner together all week nights
  • Atmosphere of openness - free to say what you are thinking and feeling
  • Feelings of security, stability and safety
  • Unconditional love - no need for perfection or fear of not being love. Kids are encouraged to be themselves and are not reflections of us. They are people in their own right. 
  • Displays of affection are commonplace- hugs, kisses, pats, cuddles happen every day
  • Kinds words are heard often
  • Encouragement and praise is given openly
  • We are all encouraged to find things we enjoy and supported in those pursuits
  • Organized and clean but not OCD and rigid
  • Lots of laughter and smiles
  • Family traditions developed
  • The kids always come first and are the single most important thing
  • Truly enjoy spending time together - each other's favorite person
  • Financial security!!! - College funds, Savings accounts, back up plans
  • Introduce kids to many cultures, foods and ways of thinking
  • Avoid voicing negatives about each other but own our faults and mistakes
I want to feel special and be embraced for who I am and the unique things only I can bring into a relationship. I want to be valued for my heart and humor more than my abilities. I want to matter. 



Friday, June 5, 2015

Perfection really is subjective



One of the biggest pitfalls of being a perfectionist is that you are constantly searching for the perfect “everything”, from the perfect pair of shoes to the perfect relationship. This is a never ending and exhausting quest mostly because “perfect” is a subjective term. What is perfect for one person is the worst thing possible for someone else. What is that saying, “One man’s trash is another man’s treasure.” While this is the mantra of every garage sale groupie I know, it also speaks to the fact that for each person there is a different idea/checklist of what makes up perfection. 

So here is MY checklist for the big ones:


The perfect date – Does anyone remember that scene in Miss Congeniality where Miss Rhode Island responds that question with “That’s a tough one. I‘d have to say April 25th. Because it’s not too hot, not too cold, all you need is a light jacket.”  After filling out countless dating profiles I started using this as my response just to see if somebody would get the reference. A couple did. But my honest answer would be a date where we are having so much fun we forget the time. I have had a couple of these in my dating lifetime and it truly wasn’t about what we were doing as the fact that we were so enjoying the moment that we lost track of the world. The perfect date is losing touch with everything but the person you are with



The perfect job – The one I have right now. When people ask me what I do for a living I reply one of two ways, “I get paid to boss a grown man around” or, “I heard cats.” Both are accurate descriptions. The funny thing is I love doing it. My boss is a great human being; funny, kind, considerate, and just technically challenged enough that he will always need me. Our marketing team is a group of smart, hardworking people who really work to make each other’s lives easier. Our office and campus is beautiful and there are some great perks. Best of all, no two days are the same. Today I finished up a film synopsis, put together my boss’ travel packet for China, surfed the internet for interesting marketing ideas and set up the office space for my intern. The day before that I killed myself working on a powerpoint presentation and next week I have budgeting documents to work on. Variety is what makes it my perfect job. 


The perfect relationship – If I had written this piece a few years ago I would have described weekends spent cuddling, date nights at great restaurants and lots of common interests. Today the answer is a bit different. Being with JB has taught me that it is all about quality of time spent, not quantity and that my favorite love note is the “Good morning” text he sends me every day. It’s about knowing what the other person is thinking and that they always want what is best for you. Ultimately, the perfect relationship is finding in another person a place you are safe and can completely be yourself



Really perfection is the moment you understand that you wouldn’t change a thing because if you do you lose what makes that moment special.



What is your perfection checklist? Share it with me. I would love to hear what your
“treasure” is.  

And if you missed my post on the perfect moment, read it here

Friday, May 29, 2015

Happy Memorial Day! Just a few days late…




 I love Memorial Day. Growing up it signaled the beginning of summer, the final countdown to summer break and my birthday. As a kid there was nothing better than my birthday. My mom always made it special. Our birthday was the one day of the year that was all about us. No chores, no sharing,  we had our favorite dinner, got to sit up front in the car and some years I even got breakfast in bed.  The day was all about me, once year, just me.  Being the second of five children this truly was a treat. Any other day there was negotiating for first place, arguing over whether or not I should let me sister borrow my sweater, dishes to be done. Every other day of the year there was the lingering feeling that I faded into the hodge podge of my loud and slightly crazy family. Only on my birthday did I really feel special. It was AMAZING! For my 18th birthday my family even attempted to throw me a surprise party.  Too bad I was over an hour late getting home and everyone was tired of waiting for me. Shrug.

Once I hit adulthood my birthdays became more and more disappointing. It’s hard to get excited about when you are so busy adulting.  Apparently when you are an adult you still have to go to work and you still have to do your chores and share your toys, no matter what day it is. BLAH! Every year I would hit this depression of sorts when I start to think about my birthday. I could pretty much count on having a breakdown around April/May every year, questioning where I was at in life and if I was anywhere near accomplishing my goals.  By the time my birthday came around I would decide to cancel it.  In fact one year, I told my friends that if I saw a candle or heard the words Happy Birthday they would be escorted from my home (actually, I said I would kick their ass).


Heading into my 40th birthday I decided that I was going to plan my dream party, a John Hughes themed bash where everyone was required to come dressed as their favorite character from one of his many many films. My wonderful friend Steph hosted it in her backyard. The decorations were wonderful. The music was perfect. My brother, sisters, oldest niece and best friend flew in for 4 days of fun. We spent hours picking music, planning our costumes and all kinds of hilarity. We took the theme VERY seriously (see pics).  I will never forget the look on my neighbors faces when we all piled into an Uber SUV in our costumes. But I think the best part of the night was going thru the In N Out drive thru at 1:00am with our Uber driver placing 7 different orders. It was a night I will never forget and I’m thinking that is the year I turned this whole birthday blues thing around.  

Starting from the left is Caroline and Samantha from SIXTEEN CANDLES, 
Iona from PRETTY IN PINK and Jack from MR. MOM.

 I was dressed as Watts from SOME KIND OF WONDERFUL (in case you can't tell).

I’m turning 42 this year and am pretty excited about where I am at this point in my life. I have great friends, an AMAZING job, my family is all healthy and happy and best of all I have JB. Who knows, this could be the best birthday yet.

PS… this was not in any way a reminder to my peeps that my birthday is coming up. Seriously, just what I was thinking about this week.

Friday, March 27, 2015

Baking Is My Way of Saying I LOVE YOU but it can be VERY frustrating!



I love to cook! It is my favorite form of creative expression. I’ll spend hours pouring over recipes and assembling menus the same way most girls obsess over fashion magazines. Cookie molds and piping bags, bundt pans and silicon spatulas; these are a few of my favorite things. The feeling I get from feeding the people I love is the same as the one I get when I eat chocolate – warm, happy and kind of mushy inside. So when I get the chance to cater for someone I care about I go a little (okay a lot) insane. Hours and hours and hours are spent assembling food options with pictures courtesy of Pinterest. There are multiple appetizer choices, salad choices, main course choices and of course many, many dessert ideas. So when my boss/friend asked me cater a party for her last weekend I was over the moon. OH THE FUN! THE RAPTURE! Feed people I love and show off my greatest talent. CAN’T. WAIT.


Now admittedly, I bit off ALMOST more than I could handle. The menu I put together included not one, but two desserts I have never attempted before as well as items that had to be made day of and assembled on site. Even worse, a couple of the desserts were precision items – TARTLETS and CANNOLI BITES. Tarts/tartlets are HARD. Cannoli bites are even harder. They both require the exactly measured ingredients, mixed in a precise way and then patiently fostered into the correct shapes. Any deviation will result in catastrophe. A change in humidity can be the difference between sublime and shit. There is no winging it when baking either of these mouthfuls. 


This is a problem for me. I am a bit more creative/fluid with measuring and mixing and tend to stick to desserts and foods that allow for this. So why I thought these tartlets were a good idea is a bit baffling. Maybe it’s because the pictures were so darn cute. Or because on the surface they didn’t look all that hard.  MAN was I WRONG. The tarts almost broke me. There was a moment in my kitchen where I was on the verge of tears talking to my dough, begging it to behave. “Please don’t crack. Please, please, please stick together.”


You know it’s bad when your dog is giving you looks of compassion mixed with concern. I swear to God if Snoopy knew how to dial a phone he would have called in reinforcements. Instead he just sat right at the edge of the kitchen silently lending moral support... and waiting for me to drop more butter on the floor.  Thankfully, everything ended up turning out wonderfully but honestly it was touch and go there a few times.  


Here are some pictures to make you hungry and the menu with links to the recipes. Happy Friday my friends!








Menu and links

Caprese skewers


Mojito fruit salad in waffle cones


Tea Sandwiches








PS. Some of my favorite food blogs which are in the recipe links above are sallysbakingaddiction.com,bakingamoment.com, cookingclassy.com, iowagirleats.com and foodnetwork.com

Friday, March 13, 2015

Females Are Strong As Hell!



I binged watched the new Netflix comedy Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt this past weekend and the theme song is stuck in my head…. “Unbreakable, they’re alive dammit. Females are Strong as Hell!” Best TV Show theme song EVER. Leave it to Tina Fey to finally put in words what we all know. Females are STRONG AS HELL! Weaker sex, my ass. It takes an unlimited amount of strength to do the things women do.  I’m not even talking about giving birth cause we win hands down with that one. I’m talking about the core of steel that enables a woman to be a woman. There are a million things we do on any given day that should earn us more than one day of recognition. I mean just being able to wear a pair of six inch heels for more than 5 minutes is a test of endurance and courage.  

By the way, don’t ever try to run in six inch heels. I did it once, yep, just once cause I fell out of one shoe and almost broke my ankle in the other shoe. My boss who witnessed this stupidity shook his head and said, “You know you take your life into your hands every time you put those shoes on.”

Back to my point, Woman are strong as hell.  On any given day we are called upon to accomplish tasks that require the strength of ten men… not physical strength but a bone deep emotional strength.  



Here are a few instances that come to mind:

1.       Being supportive instead of trying to fix it.
You know what I’m talking about. You are sitting with a friend who is pouring their heart out to you. Their boyfriend is being a jerk, doesn’t value them, isn’t paying enough attention to them. As a woman you know your job in that moment is not to fix even though you know EXACTLY what they should do. Your job is to be supportive and attentive and comforting. It takes an enormous amount of strength to NOT give advice. Giving advice is easy. We all have opinions and most of us like sharing them. I know I do. But to keep your opinion to yourself in that moment and instead be the person your friend needs you to, that takes strength. 

2.       Being there even when you would rather be… anywhere else.
Your son is singing in the school choir. They are AWFUL but he is so very proud to be standing on that stage belting out ROAR by Katy Perry with 20 other tone deaf 8 year olds. Do you run from the auditorium? No! You clap and cheer and are genuinely excited to be able to experience this assault on your hearing because you love him. And we all know that the strength of a Mother’s love is the single strongest force on earth. 

3.       Being kind and patient when you just want to scream.  
Have you ever tried to dress a 2 year old? It’s torture, like Guatanamo Bay level torture. They should employ this tactic to elicit confessions from criminals. Give them a couple toddlers and tell them to get them dressed, pants, shirt, sweater, socks, shoes, jacket. I guarantee that within 5 minutes they will be crying and begging to confess.  The toddler will only be mildly distressed.  It requires a Herculean amount of strength to maintain a calm and patient fa├žade when what you really want to do is scream and run from the room. Why do you think we see so many pictures of kids in nothing but diapers captioned, “Daddy was in charge today.”  Because men will give up, throw in the towel and let them run around sans clothes. 


4.       Being loving and gentle when you feel anything but.
This to me is the truest expression of strength. When you are so angry you can see red, when your heart is torn to shreds by the person you love the most in the world and you still manage to take a deep breath and respond with love and compassion. And not that fake, put upon “understanding” but genuine love. The kind that says, I don’t understand where you are coming from or even why you are behaving in this way but I love you and in this moment choose to act from that place. This is nearly impossible on the best of days but I have seen women do it over and over again, with their children, their mates, their friends. It is something purely female, the ability to empathize and act in love even when we are bleeding internally.

You see strength isn’t power, might, or exerting of pressure. Strength is most often the absence of those things, the ability to step outside of ourselves and our circumstances and choose to be kind, patient, loving, gentle and compassionate.

Yep, WOMEN ARE STRONG AS HELL!