• Motivation,  My Friends Have Mad Skillz,  Something That Could Change Your Life

    Go Out and Vote.

    You’d have to be living under a rock not to know that this Tuesday, November 6–just two short days from today–is Midterm Election Day, and a very important one at that. More effort has been made to get out the vote than I can remember in my lifetime, which is great…yet I know that large numbers of people STILL aren’t going to vote. From the indifferent ones to the folks who feel like their one vote doesn’t matter to the people who don’t want to put in the effort to do a little research so they can figure out who they might vote for, America is still full of excuses.…

  • My Friends Have Mad Skillz,  Writing

    New Blog Design, Who Dis?

    My blog is finally fixed: it’s been moved to a new host, cleaned up, and redesigned…and I’m thrilled. Many thanks to Lisa at Gizmo Creative Factory for saving my life–err, my blog’s life–more times than I can count this year. I am absolutely in love with the new look and she got it done just in time for two things: my birthday (which is next week) and NaBloPoMo (National Blog Posting Month), which begins today. I make a good effort at NaBloPoMo each year and it renews my writing energy. To be honest, I’m traveling for a bit this month so I wasn’t even going to attempt it for 2018,…

  • My Friends Have Mad Skillz

    Thank You Notes

    I adore being around fellow creatives. Whether I’m enjoying lunch with just one friend (bouncing ideas off of each other and sharing goals, dreams, and suggestions) or spending time in a huge group of people with varying creative skills and volume levels (as I did over the weekend in Texas) I almost always leave inspired and ready to tackle my own planned projects or create new ones with fresh ideas from friends who are always thinking. I went into last weekend only knowing about half of the women in the house and made fast friends with the rest. One of those was Nancy of Midlife Mixtape, who I feel like…

  • Amazing People,  Blessings,  Friends,  My Friends Have Mad Skillz,  Spreading the Bloggie Love

    Community Yesterday, Today, Always.

    I’ve been thinking about “community” a lot lately. Rather, I think about it all the time but lately I’ve thought about it more than usual, probably because it was conference season and my main job is to maintain and inform the BlogHer Conference attendee community on Facebook. I spent hours upon hours (as I have for the past four years since we started the group) reassuring “newbies”, what we affectionately call our first-time attendees, that they’re going to learn/make friends/have fun/come away inspired. In part due to my involvement and in part due to our conference veterans being the best, most helpful people ever and in part due to other…

  • Friends,  I've Got Mad Skillz,  My Friends Have Mad Skillz,  Too Funny To Ignore

    Karma’s a Beach.

    I’m just finishing another fantastic week hanging with my sistuh-from-anuthuh-muthuh and the rest of my New Jersey family and, as always, there were lots of shenanigans. Some of our adventures made it onto social media and some did not, but there was one particular laugh riot that needed its own blog post. Some things I have learned about Liz over the years: 1. She is not easily grossed out 2. She can be extremely impulsive 3. She is very curious When you know those three things about her, it shouldn’t surprise you that when she is walking on the beach and comes across some foreign object in the sand that…

  • Confessions,  My Friends Have Mad Skillz

    Hindsight is 20/20.

    Until nine or ten years ago–right around the time I started blogging, in fact–I had 20/20 vision. Right around the time I turned 40 I started noticing just the slightest change in my vision when I was reading. Jim and I made appointments to see the eye doctor–who is also an old family friend, which is why we always go together–and I was presented with the idea that the lowest level of readers would be prudent. “But make sure you stay with 1.00,” he said. “The longer we can keep you out of glasses, the better.” Each year after that, Jim and I would go in for our eye exams…

  • Friends,  Fun in Chicago,  My Friends Have Mad Skillz,  Pretty Pictures

    Cubs Day

    One more about the Cubs and then I’ll shut up about them…until next Spring. Let me tell you about Cubs Day. MY Cubs Day. After the Cubs won the World Series for the first time in 108 years, most of the city of Chicago was on a crazy baseball high. (Some of us still are.) The team even had a special day (Friday, November 4) designated as World Series Champions Chicago Cubs Day by Illinois Governor Bruce Rauner. That was the day of the parade and rally, the one whose estimated crowds of 5 million people made it the seventh largest gathering in human history. I had to work on…

  • My Friends Have Mad Skillz

    Gone Fishing.

    I’ve been having a conflict: I wasn’t feeling the energy for blogging this weekend but was also struggling with my commitment (to myself) to participate in NaBloPoMo. I was texting with my friend Vikki, who is an EXCELLENT accountability partner, and she was telling me that she really feels a need to step away as well. We decided to become non-accountability partners and release each other from our NaBloPoMo commitment for the weekend, so we’re both posting this “Gone Fishing” sign. This way we can both in good conscience do some self care and come back a little better on Monday. Have a great weekend!

  • Amazing People,  Friends,  My Friends Have Mad Skillz

    Personal Evolution: It’s a Thing.

    I enjoyed lunch with an old friend today, someone who I last saw only in passing when we were teaching spin classes at the same health club (years ago). Our lives have been intertwined in a bunch of different ways since we met in late 1995. I used to care for her school-aged kids in the health club nursery while she taught classes at night and on school holidays, and years later her daughter babysat for my boys in the summer when I worked full-time. She was a mentor to me when I was studying for my ACE Group Fitness certification and then when I became a spin instructor, and…

  • Food,  Friends,  My Friends Have Mad Skillz

    New Food Swap Book! (Get it.)

    Local food swaps have become a thing. What are they? Well, they’re all a little different but the basic idea is that a bunch of people from one community come together to trade homegrown or homemade items. After everyone arrives, time is spent walking around, checking out what everyone brought (and sometimes sampling), and then when it’s time to swap there’s a negotiating frenzy. Typically everyone goes home with a bag (or box) full of goodies, extremely happy about trying some new things. My friends Emily Paster and Vanessa Druckman created the Chicago Food Swap a few years ago; the first one was held in December 2011. I was able…