• Raspberry Macarons
    Food,  Something That Could Change Your Life

    Rome Wasn’t Built in a Day and Neither Were Good Macarons.

    I’ve been slacking on my journey towards mastering the art of making French macarons, but I finally made my latest attempt. Raspberry seemed like the perfect flavor for summer and the color is so pretty, so I made plans to give it a go…a month ago. I’d throw my hands in the air and say that “It’s just the stress of everything having to do with the pandemic!” that caused me to put off what is supposed to be an enjoyable activity, but if I’m being completely honest with myself (and you), I felt like my last attempt, lemon, was such a failure (not really that bad though, shrug) that…

  • How To,  Something That Could Change Your Life

    11 Best Practices for the 2020 Election Season

    Hey. Let’s have a chat. The upcoming election in November is the most important one of our lifetime, and I want to put some information and reminders out there in hopes that we stay focused and don’t allow everything to go off the rails. This combination of the internet, the 24-hour news cycle, our current president, the deep, multi-category divisions running through the country, and the pandemic (just to name a few) is a huge dumpster fire that we need to PUT OUT rather than douse with more lighter fluid. Here are some thoughts to get us all through this without causing more damage: 1) Use extreme caution AND educate…

  • Something That Could Change Your Life

    What Will We Carry Away From Spring 2020? (Strength, For One Thing.)

    Believe it or not, summer begins this weekend. It’s a welcome change after a spring that seemed about a decade long, am I right? We’re still dealing with a lot, unfortunately, but I like to think that with a new season comes new hope. There has been so much learning going on, on so many levels. While I haven’t enjoyed Spring 2020, I’m certainly better off for it and I hope that better days are ahead (eventually, I know I know!) for all of us. Have you taken some time to think about lessons you’ve learned in the first part of 2020, what you’ll carry with you forever? Here’s my…

  • Travels,  UGH.

    Almost Like Flying to Paris and Back, Just For Dinner.

    Unless you’re new here, you know very well that I’m a traveler. I travel so much that I receive comments on social media along the lines of “Aren’t you ever home??” Road trips are second nature for me, and I love going so far away that a plane is necessary. I traveled to Columbus for work and to Nashville, Tybee Island, and lots of other places for long weekends. Chicago? At least twice a year. New Jersey? Twice a year. When Jim and I used to buy concert tickets, they didn’t even have to be local. P!nk in Charlotte, North Carolina? No problem! The B52s in Atlanta? Yes, please! Foo…

  • How To,  Something That Could Change Your Life

    A (Partial) List of Anti-Racism Resources

    Before I begin, I need to mention that the mural pictured above is in Minneapolis, Minnesota and it was painted by Xena Goldman, Cadex Herrera, and Greta McLain, along with help from Niko Alexander and Pablo Hernandez. Our country is figuratively and literally on fire this week, following the killing of George Floyd, a Black man in Minneapolis, by four police officers—one directly, by keeping his knee on George’s neck (impairing his ability to breathe), and three indirectly: by their lack of action. The events over the last six days are altogether horrible, tragic, unjust, and not surprising; nothing has changed for Black Americans as we’ve seen time and time…

  • Blessings,  Writing

    It Just Seems Write.

    Let me take a second to congratulate myself on a clever title for a post about writing notes to friends. See what I did there? Go, Melisa! When all of the self-isolating (or social distancing, physical distancing, quarantining, or whatever we’re calling it these days) started a couple of months ago, the vast majority of us resorted to doing whatever made us feel better. That is to say, in a time when we’ve had (and continue to have) to do something that is for the most part extremely uncomfortable—staying home most or all of the time—it seems only natural that we would choose to spend our time doing the things…

  • Confessions,  Motivation

    I’m Like a Bird

    I have three hand-blown glass birds that I purchased on three different trips to one of my favorite places on earth, Cape May, New Jersey. These birds hang in the windows of three rooms in my house and they make me incredibly happy whenever I look at them. Usually. Although it always sways a little bit because we keep the ceiling fan on, the green and yellow bird that hangs in our living room window normally looks to the left as its default position. This was double-checked about six weeks ago after Jim put a longer string on it: before he climbed back down the ladder he waited for the…

  • Amazing People,  Blessings

    Creative Ways To Connect and Learn While Social Distancing: A Guide to the Silver Linings

    Updated June 4, 9:40 am: Well, it’s time. After eleven weeks of updating my list of things to do, watch, and learn from home while everyone was self-isolating, I just updated it one last time and now I’m going to let it go. Or rather, I’m going to let it STAY. While I won’t be updating it any further, it’ll be pinned to the top of this site until the end of June. After that, you can easily find it anytime for eternity if you need something to do, by coming here and searching “Coronavirus list.” My final additions include more anti-racism resources, plus the fun videos and things I’ve…

  • How To,  Motivation

    25 Things to Do While Social Distancing During a Global Pandemic

    What with COVID-19 (coronavirus) having just been declared a global pandemic by the World Health Organization, it has become more important than ever for us to work together to “flatten the curve” (slow down the spread of the virus) so as not to completely overwhelm the capacity of health care systems. And by “work together,” of course I mean “get it done but only while placing ourselves at least six feet away from other humans.” COVID-19 is spread by respiratory secretions and possibly from touching contaminated surfaces, so lots of hand washing with soap and water for 20 seconds while not touching our faces is our best bet when it…

  • I've Got Mad Skillz,  Jim Has Mad Skillz,  Something That Could Change Your Life,  We Are An Awesome Couple

    Middle-Aged Dogs, New Tricks

    One of the trade-offs of having grown kids who live elsewhere (Wah! I miss them!!) is that we have a lot of spare time to do…well, whatever we want. A few months ago Jim made a couple of comments about possibly wanting to learn how to play guitar, something he did as a child but only short term. I thought about buying him a guitar for his birthday and, after debating with myself about whether he was really serious about wanting to take it on, I headed to Guitar Center. I bought him a basic acoustic guitar, figuring that if he didn’t really care to learn we could just return…