February 28, 2015


I interrupt binge watching House of Cards season 3 to share with you something very important. I have found the best foundation EVER! On a whim and a recommendation from Kate at The Small Things Blog, I purchased this set and OMG the 'foundcealer' is the most amazing thing on the planet EVER! I have shared here my disdain for foundations that are cake-y and don't match my arctic skin tone, but this does! I don't even match their lightest shade, rather I am Light which makes me feel more normal rather than a freak of nature with odd skin coloring wearing a mask of foundation. It goes on like a dream with great coverage (veins and random tiny red splotches are nowhere to be found) and my skin feels like skin with nothing on it. It even wears well through my 21 Day Fix workout. All the other items in the set are nice too, but the foundcealer is a game changer for me.

This has been a very important public service announcement. You're welcome. Carry on.

February 17, 2015

Today's Sermon

I'm going deep today so if that's not your thing, stop now.

I am troubled by current world events and when I feel powerless to control what's going on I know it's time to get better informed. I recently came across this WSJ article and found it very compelling so thought I'd share. My grad school ethics professor says it's important to live in the questions in order to live in the answers. DEEP. I'm letting the following statements from the article marinate slowly and deeply -

"To understand hate, it is crucial to examine the hater, not the hated."

"To be free, you have to let go of hate. You have to stop seeing yourself as a victim—or else you will succeed only in making more victims."


February 13, 2015

Inquiring Minds

The most common job in every state ... this blew my socks off.

And yes, the 90's were pretty awesome, but the 80's rule my friends!

February 10, 2015

Fit Club

Because this is the year of my 30th high school reunion, I'm only two years from turning 50, I hope to complete grad school in December and it finally dawned on me that I'm not getting any younger, I decided this was the year for some changes. And being ready to change is half the battle. So when a coworker shared that she was starting a Fit Club at work I said "sign me up". She hosts a 30 minute workout two to three times a week in a large conference room. The program is 21 Day Fix and it kicks my booty. We're only three weeks in (I'm missing today due to snow day so working from home), but I definitely feel a difference. I love to hate Autumn Calabrese ... she is impossibly gorgeous/fit, says annoying things like "you can do anything for 60 seconds" and sometimes it's like she's in my head when I want to quit which is uber annoying. I've also been taking the stairs more - my new office is on the third floor so I figure I can easily walk up/down two flights of stairs twice a day. I was so grateful for yoga last Friday after two sessions of squats that I almost cried. And now the thing is I don't want to ruin my hard work with poor food choices. I haven't completely given up snacking or my ultimate vice, chocolate, but I find myself making deals with myself to only eat two or half of something, or drink a glass of water (flavored of course because plain water is so ew) and if I still want it in an hour then I can have it ... sometimes I forget because hello I'm old. I'm hoping to add a few treadmill sessions per week, but I'm back in grad school so lots of reading/writing at the moment. AND Lord willing I'll start walking the dog when the weather warms up (I had to type that very softly lest Abbie start flipping out and expect a you-know-what NOW).

January 28, 2015

Sharing is Caring

Soups tend to be my go-to supper to ward off the arctic chill. My family raves about my Taco Soup (adapted from Penzeys) so here you are:

Brown 1 lb ground beef or turkey then sprinkle in 1-3 tsp taco seasoning to taste (I use half packet and save the other half for next time). Add 1 can black beans, 1 can corn kernels, 1 can diced tomatoes and 1 jar salsa with desired heat level (mild for my peoples' wimpy palettes). I add water and beef bouillon, or prepared beef stock if on hand, to give desired soup consistency. Simmer for 20 minutes. Serve with cheese, sour cream and chips. Delicious and "soup"er easy! You could add chiles or other veggies too. This van also be made vegetarian without meat, double or triple the beans and vegetable stock.

If you're not watching House of Cards, drop everything NOW and watch it! Season 3 starts in less than a month.

I recently returned from a trip to San Diego / Coronado, California and loved every second of the beach, sun, history, beach, fresh seafood, beautiful sunsets and the beach.

Day 1 - arrival, lunch, sunset at The Del and the best shrimp cocktail I've ever had at Miguel's outdoor dining patio
Day 2 - whale / dolphin watching (I saw both!), exciting history lessons (second largest Navy base in U.S.) from former CIA operative (a spy!), saw the USS Midway (retired), the USS Ronald Reagan (active and docked while undergoing refurbish) and Navy Seals going out for sea exercises, chased the sunset down "The Strand" and dinner at Imperial Beach
Day 3 - Historic Balboa Park (I climbed the California Tower which was only open due to 100 year anniversary of Panama Canal opening), a massage and steak dinner
Day 4 - Enlightening presentation by THE Richard Dreyfuss on the importance of American Civics in elementary education (he has an official initiative), lunch in La Jolla, quality beach time, and dinner at the oldest restaurant in Old Town
Day 5 - 2 hour beach walk, tour of Point Loma, fish tacos at the pier and departure

You should totally go!

December 31, 2014

The Best Is Yet To Come

My last post of 2014. To be honest I'm not sad to see 2014 go ... it was a challenging year but not the worst on record. I guess I'm just ready to look ahead.

January brings a new twist on my job (all good) and a mini vacation may be in the cards. I start my second to last grad school course in February and Sassy turns 21. In March I'll celebrate my 28th wedding anniversary and April brings the promise of Spring as well as my birthday. Not much planned after that except finishing school and hopefully graduating in December, as well as Chunky turning 16 and driving (yikes). Looking forward to seeing where life leads.

My three resolutions are: practice more gratitude & compassion for growth, intentionally exercise for health, and see my BFF more frequently for my soul (road trips!).

Did you know Marsala is THE color for 2015? It's a reddish-brown, some call oxblood, and much more sophisticated than last year's Radiant Orchid. This is a good color for my skin tone and my favorite color is red ... looking forward to seeing more goodies available in this trendy yet timeless hue.

Here are a couple of my favorite things as we head into 2015 -

I bit the bullet and bought an Erin Condren life planner. Sort of wondering if I should have gotten a notebook instead but I'm committed now. There's a cult following for EC with hundreds of YouTube videos and blog references. I'm a planner by nature so this is right up my alley and I like the flexibility/customization - intending to use it as a planner/food diary/exercise log. We'll see where I end up. The inspirational quotes throughout are motivating and offer perspective on challenging days.

If you go to Outback restaurant you must order the Huckleberry Hooch. AMAZING! I was able to find the blackberry moonshine at my local liquor store and am drinking it at this very moment ... HAPPY new year to me!!! The recipe is equal parts moonshine, orange juice, cranberry juice and pineapple juice (or skip if two stores you sent kid to are out), plus muddled fruit (or frozen strawberries if that's all you have on hand). It's sweet, delicious and you won't know you're three sheets to the wind until you're too happy to care :) which I may or may not be right now

My new favorite pedi polish is OPI Bastille My Heart, a cranberry red (not quite Marsala). It's almost the same color as Bogota Blackberry which was my very first OPI polish ... I'm really good at branching out. NOT. I'm sure this is lovely on fingers as well.

A happy, healthy, successful and inspiring new year to all!!!

December 16, 2014

Merry Music

I believe I've mentioned my love of Christmas music here, here and here. I am a traditionalist for the most part and so the oldies by original artists tend to be my favorites. Here they all are for posterity:

White Christmas - Bing Crosby
No one does it better than Bing and according to Wikipedia/Guinness it's the best selling single of all time

It's The Most Wonderful Time of the Year - Andy Williams
Top 3 fave ... Andy's the original, but I will also accept Johnny Mathis or Amy Grant

Have a Holly Jolly Christmas - Burl Ives
From the 1964 Christmas special, Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer, enough said

Rockin Around the Christmas Tree - Brenda Lee
This is a much covered holiday ditty, but Brenda is the orginal and there is no substitute in my humble opinion

The Christmas Song - Nat King Cole
Nat first recorded in 1946, but it is the 1961 version with the iconic string entrance that has my heart

Santa Baby - Eartha Kitt
Another much covered song where the original recording artist has the definitive though LeeAnn Rimes' version is a distant seccond

Christmas Time Is Here - Vince Guaraldi Trio
I love Jazz so this is in my top 5 for sure ... originally from the 1965 TV special A Charlie Brown Christmas, the choir version is my personal favorite

Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas - Judy Garland
From the movie "Meet Me In St. Louis"

It's Beginning to Look A Lot Like Christmas - Perry Como or Johnny Mathis
This song always puts me in the holiday mood

Silver Bells - Anne Murray
I'm not sure why I like it ... I think my mom sung it when I was little, or was that "Till There Was You"? Either way 'bells' are involved.

Home for the Holidays - The Carpenters
No Christmas song playlist would be complete without The Carpenters

Winter Wonderland - Dean Martin or Amy Grant
Happy, cheerful and sweet

Sleigh Ride - Johnny Mathis or Amy Grant
Johnny and Amy give it the perfect light, not too kitschy vibe

Silent Night - Martina McBride or Celine Dion
As traditional as it gets and the more powerful the voice the better

All I Want for Christmas Is You - Mariah Carey
A modern classic ... I have the CD along with most of the free world. Did you know Mariah cowrote the song?!

Wintersong - Sarah McLachlan
I have the CD by the same name and it's awesome

Do You Hear What I Hear - Carrie Underwood
Did you know this was written during the Cuban Missile Crisis?!

God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen - Barenaked Ladies with Sarah McLachlan
This is the only Christmas song permanently on my iPod ... one of my dearest friends LOVES it when I sing the round part aloud in the car during our carpools

Baby It's Cold Outside - Idina Menzel & Michael Buble or Dean Martin & Martina McBride
A new old favorite thanks to current version by Idina & Michael