Tuesday, May 5, 2020

“It’s not how much we give, but how much love we put into giving.”


Look For the Good Week. There are some fun activities and families will be prompted to share letters of thanks to friends and family, teachers, grocery clerks, service professionals, and neighbors to uplift their entire community.


Local nonprofits. Today is #GivingTuesdayNOW. Let’s come together to create a wave of generosity, citizen engagement, action from business and philanthropy, and support for communities and nonprofits around the world.


Astronauts read children stories from the International Space Station.

• BUY •

These adorable yard signs with the most uplifting messages during this crazy times.

Friday, April 24, 2020

“Nobody can bring you peace but yourself.”


Independent film: Women's Adventure Film Tour. 6 short films celebrating the inspiring women around us who are doing extraordinary things in the name of adventure. It is available from April 24-26 for $12.95. Renting with the code RedRiver will help support our local theater, Red River Theaters.

• PLAY •

Cards Against Humanity released a family version that you can print for free. Our family has played multiple times and have really enjoyed it.


Or, rather, have your 14-18 year old apply for, the Ving Project. They can nominate someone in their life (not immediate family) to receive $1000. You should also follow the project on social media because the nominations are heart warming.

Now let's enjoy this weekend!

Monday, April 20, 2020

"Joy does not simply happen to us. We have to choose joy and keep choosing it every day."


Adobe has released some great adult coloring pages. This weeks release was "Gratitude". 

• READ •

Are you like the Sun on leaves of the plant, providing nourishment, encouraging growth and drawing people toward you? Or are you like salt on the plant's roots, causing others to wither, becoming less than they could be?

Right now we need more sun in this world and this book will help you identify that behavior. The author also has a great Tedx Talk on the benefits of compassion and gratitude.


The amazing artist, Michael Franti, created an endearing movie called Stay Human. While you can rent it on Amazon Prime or iTunes, he has been generous enough to release it on YouTube free for one day only: Earth Day. April 22, 2020. In this movie, Michael takes us on a journey where he meets extraordinary humans who inspire him to overcome cynicism with optimism in todays challenging times. Although it was released last year, it is perfect today.


Earth Day
April 22, 2020
Even in quarantine, there are still lots of ways to celebrate the 50th anniversary of Earth Day.

• GROW •

There is nothing quite like plants to make your home come alive. Since you are stuck in the same 4 walls every day, I highly suggest adding some pretty new plants to dress it up. We have a local shop, Penumbra, that has a fantastic selection of house plants to order and pick up curbside. I am sure most towns also have a great local shop that would love your business right now.

Saturday, April 18, 2020

“Happiness is a direction, not a place.”


Jason Mraz has released the perfect new song for these crazy days.


Some Good News on Instagram. John Krasinski is everything right now when it comes to bringing smiles. Last night, he hosted a virtual prom on YouTube. Watching him and the entertainers was fantastic, but posts on social media after showcasing the fun people around the world were having was absolutely heart warming.


25 Feel Good Movies. What better time to grab some popcorn and spend two hours in a happy place. Hey, make it a marathon. Lord knows we have the time.

• READ •

11 Feel-Good Novels to Add Some Extra Sunshine to Your Days. Sit in a sunny spot, breath in some fresh air and get lost in a book.

• MAIL •

A letter. A card. A handmade piece of artwork. Everyone loves to receive personal snail mail and now is the time to bring smiles. While you are at it, order some stamps online and help save the US Postal Service.


Wednesday, September 19, 2018

No Means No

I had an awful experience weeks ago that I have not been able to get out of my mind. It is an occurrence that is, sadly, fairly common to me, but something I rarely talk about.

I went to a Chris Stapleton concert with 3 of my amazing girlfriends. We had great seats right up front. As soon as we got to our seats, the man directly in front of me turned and apologized for being so tall and obstructing my view.

"Eh, no biggie."

And it was all downhill from there.

He turned back around, "I like your shirt, what does it say?"

"I really like your braids... very cute."

"I love your glasses. You look great in those. Where did you get them."

Each compliment I smiled dutifully and then turned back to conversation with my friends. I thought it was the good universal hint of physically turning away from someone to let them know you are shutting down the conversation.

It didn't work.

He persisted.

And, if he was not directly trying to speak to me, he was simply turned with his back to the performer, staring at me. Mind you, he is two feet or less from me. As you can imagine, this makes a person very uncomfortable.

"You should really go out with me sometime. I am a fun guy. I live in Boston, its a fun city."

"No thank you."

"You don't like the city? It's not that scary. I will take care of you. You know I have been watching you since before you even came in here?"

At one point my friend kindly interjects, "She is not interested. She said no."

He persists.

I think I spent an hour of politely declining. Some might say, "Why not tell him to go to hell?"

If you ask that question you are most likely a man and most likely not a sexual predator. When I was younger and had a much less acute sense of self preservation, I would have said that. And did. Many times.

That's a big mistake.

"OK, you stuck-up bitch. You think you are better than me?" This is where the uncomfortable situation turns from bad to worse: when you attack a predators ego and his power. Most woman know that switch. You see it first in their eyes. You see that fire is lit after you defy them. It will make your heart stop and your stomach leap.

So I took another route which I find so deflating, "I have a boyfriend." I hate trying to use this as my "no". I hate that I am now asking this man to respect my boyfriend and the fact that he has laid claim to me. I want this man to respect my no.

No matter, that doesn't work either. It usually doesn't when you are engaging with a predator.

"So? I don't care."

He persisted.

Finally, as the encore was beginning and we had spent two hours at this, I clasped my hands together in a sort of prayer and said, "Pleasssse. I really like Chris Stapleton and I really want to enjoy this. I came here to hang with my friends and enjoy his show and their company."

He smiled at me, he leaned into my ear so I could feel his hot breath, "Ok. For now. But I am VERY persistent and I ALWAYS get my way." He turned away.

The goosebumps came. My throat started to close. I stop watching the show and started looking around to plan my escape from the venue. In leaving, you have to walk through wooded areas to your car. I could not have him follow me. I planned my route. I would dart out, take a left into the bathrooms where I know there is an attendant and I know she has a radio if he happened to follow me. I would wait and text my friends and tell them where to meet me after I felt the coast was clear. We would walk the route I knew back to the car the passed through the least amount of wooded areas.

How does my thought process take me so immediately to such an intricate escape plan? Because this is not new to me. This is not new to any woman. This is how we live our lives. This happens to me at my place of employment, in a bar, in a park playing with my kids.

The next day I could not get this incident out of my head. I kept replaying it and practicing different things I might have said. I wondered why this night in particular was bothering me so intensely.

And it hit me... I had dropped my 18-year-old daughter off at college for her first day that very morning. The anxiety was creeping in as I knew this could be her. This will be her. I can't even stop this from happening to me as a shrewd 42-year old woman, and now my child has been left to the wolves. I have three daughters who will face these circumstances over and over again and will be made to endure the same anxiety I do as I walk down a quiet street or sit on a park bench or attend a concert at my favorite venue.

1 in 4 women WILL be sexually assaulted in college.

So to the people who wonder why we make such a big deal of one quick drunken incident of a Supreme Court nominee from 30 years ago: it's a culmination of all the instances together of all the men in all the towns over all the years that means my daughters are not safe to exist. They can not freely walk down a dimly lit street. They can not walk to their car after work. They can not go for a quiet hike in the woods. They can not attend a concert in a crowded auditorium. The can not sit alone in a secluded office in their workplace. They can not do these things without the anxiety that accompanies a woman who has spent the entirety of her life in fear of the physical and psychological power men have been allowed to exercise over them.

He persists.

Monday, October 2, 2017

5 Things: My Mind is on Food

After watching What the Health, my girls decided to go vegetarian. Of course, I had to follow suit as not to be tasked with making two meals per day.
 I have been experimenting with new vegetarian recipes, especially the recipes that can be frozen as I love to be able to make food ahead and save myself time and energy on week days.

Two recipes are absolutely fantastic:

1. White Bean Buffalo Soup. This soup has such a great flavor and froze/reheated very well. It was a hot with the man and I could not get enough of it in my lunches at work. Two thumbs up!

2. Cheesy Broccoli Soup. When replacing the chicken stock with vegetable stock, this is a great vegetarian soup. The smoked gouda added such a great flavor, I could not recommend this any more. This also froze and reheated well.

3. Since it is time to switch my closet to my fall wardrobe, I am started the Project 333 challenge this weekend. I am reducing my wardrobe to 33 items and outing the rest away for 3 months. I am excited to have less in my closet and to see how I do with less options. I do believe my mornings will be much more simple.

4. I am somehow now obsessed with desserts in a jar... although I have never made one. But I will be trying to make some this week!

5. Time to start planning our annual pumpkin carving party!

Let the weekend begin!