• How To,  Random Thoughts

    Actively Remembering on the National Day of Remembrance

    In 2012, I started a new personal tradition for the National Day of Remembrance. I had visited the National September 11 Memorial when I was in Manhattan for BlogHer ’12, and was extremely moved by the experience (massive understatement). It occurred to me that, rather than passively watch the televised tributes and read what the rest of the internet had to say about 9/11, each year I would involve myself by actively remembering and learning about a couple of the victims of that terrible day. First Responder Officer Paul Talty had been a member of the New York City Police Department for nine years. He had worked as an electrician…

  • How To,  I've Got Mad Skillz,  My Friends Have Mad Skillz

    An Amateur’s Guide to Arranging Flowers

    Here’s something you don’t know about me, after two billion years of blogging (I know; I can’t believe I left a stone unturned either): I adore arranging flowers into vases or other containers. ADORE. As in LOVE. It dates back to the late 1980’s when I was an eighteen-year-old newlywed, working at LeeWards Craft Store. I worked in the custom frame shop, which was located adjacent to the floral department. Two women who worked in Floral, Judy and Cherry, were much older than me–probably my age NOW–and very maternal towards me. I loved hanging out with them and was fascinated by what they did. They stood at the counter day…

  • How To,  Something That Could Change Your Life

    10 Tips To Make Holiday Shopping More Enjoyable For Everyone

    We’re deep into the Silly Season. Or the Holidaze. You might call it by another name. Whatever you call it, it’s crazy out there. Over the weekend I was at the mall (and at Target and at the grocery store and and and…) taking care of my holiday errands along with two hundred bajillion other people and I had the revelation that dealing with crowds at this time of year could be made easier and more enjoyable by being more mindful of our own actions, since that’s what we can control. Here are a few things we can all do to improve our shopping experience (and likely the experience of…

  • Childhood Memories,  Food,  How To

    Easy Dinner Idea: Petros! (You’re Welcome.)

    When I was a teenager, I lived in Knoxville, Tennessee for a few years. The reason we moved there was so my dad could manage a Holiday Inn just up the hill (literally) from the University of Tennessee campus and a nice walk from the 1982 World’s Fair site. This was the same hotel where my sister and I were friendly enough with the guy who came in weekly to collect the quarters from the video games in the arcade that he would set up the machines with hours worth of free play for us. We got season’s passes to the World’s Fair that summer and often rode in to…

  • How To,  Something That Could Change Your Life

    Here’s Something You Can Do On The National Day of Remembrance.

    In 2012, I started a new personal tradition for the National Day of Remembrance. I had visited the National September 11 Memorial when I was in Manhattan for BlogHer ’12, and was extremely moved by the experience (massive understatement). It occurred to me that, rather than passively watch the televised tributes and read what the rest of the internet had to say about 9/11, each year I would involve myself by actively remembering and learning about a couple of the victims of that terrible day. Patrick Currivan, 52, was a passenger on Flight 11. He was a Vice President at Atos-Euronext and an avid traveler who also loved opera and…

  • Confessions,  How To,  Something That Could Change Your Life

    Three Bags Full

    I used to have a really hard time getting rid of stuff. I remember spending weekends in the first couple of years we were married, crying about things Jim thought we should drop off at Goodwill. The reasons behind that could fill a whole other blog post so I won’t go into detail, but suffice it to say that over the years I have become much better at letting go of extra stuff and now I enjoy being surrounded mainly by the things I love. Still, I look around my house and know that I could get rid of more. Clutter is the enemy of my mind, and affects how…

  • Blessings,  How To

    Invest In Yourself Because Life Is Too Short.

    I ran into an old friend at the store a couple of weeks ago. We used to see each other all the time: her older daughter went to school—kindergarten through grade twelve!—with my older son. These days, though we still live in the same neighborhood, we don’t have that common bond anymore and at most, one of us waves at the other while walking the dog. On the rare occasion when we see each other out in town, it’s fun to catch up. This time, she asked me what I was up to and I gave her just enough information about my activities to satisfy her curiosity without making her…

  • Childhood Memories,  Confessions,  How To,  Something That Could Change Your Life

    Netflix #StreamTeam: Reinvent Yourself!

    I am a member of the Netflix Stream Team and will be happily sharing monthly tips and stories about how my family uses Netflix on a regular basis. (Okay, that’s an understatement. I should say CONSTANTLY. We use Netflix CONSTANTLY.) This post is sponsored by Netflix, of course! The Netflix Stream Team Theme (ha! Stream Team Theme! So rhyme-y!) for March is “Reinvent Yourself”. I know a little bit about this, both as an adult and as a kid. Since you’re already fairly familiar with me as an adult, I’m going back further. My name, as you may have noticed, only has one “s” in it. I always laugh when…

  • How To

    How To Survive (And Thrive!) During NaBloPoMo

    Once again, National Blog Posting Month (also known as NaBloPoMo or, in my brain, NaBloPoMoFo) is upon us. Although you can technically participate in NaBloPoMo in any given month, November is traditionally the month during which “everybody does it”. (You can sign up on the BlogHer website and possibly win something, plus you’ll find lots of like-minded individuals and maybe some new bloggy buddies!) How does one participate in NaBloPoMo? One blogs every single day. For thirty days in November. That’s it. Sounds easy, right? Yes and no, depending on what else one has going on in one’s life and how badly one might be suffering from writer’s block at…

  • Food,  How To,  I've Got Mad Skillz,  Uncategorized

    A Crisis Of Epic Proportions

    I had a crisis of epic proportions the other day. My stomach dropped, my breathing intensified, and I started having heart palpitations. An anxiety attack was on the horizon. You see, I ran out of chocolate chips. I know; I couldn’t believe it either. I have posted on Facebook several times about how I “get nervous” when I run out of chocolate chips, but most people think I’m just trying to be funny. Sadly, I’m not. I truly have a physical reaction to the news that I have zero bags of those little semi-sweet teardrops in my freezer*. Granted, I hardly use them anymore: I don’t make chocolate chip banana…