The Power of Pen to Paper

I am a big believer in greeting cards. The real ones made out of card stock with pretty fonts and colors. The ones that you buy at a store, not via a website to send electronically. Don’t get me wrong, that method works well for a lot of people but for me personally, nothing beats a real, hold it in your hands, greeting card. Some people think that they are a waste of money but personally, I am a big fan. There is something about finding the perfect card for that special someone. Maybe it’s for a birthday, maybe it’s a get well wish for a sick friend, congrats on your wedding or new baby. Sometimes I send cards just to let people know that I love them. Cards come in all kinds of styles. The funny. The sentimental. The short but sweet.

A few of my favorite resources for cards:

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  • World Market – they have a really nice stationary section. I really like these assorted boxed cards

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  • Marshalls – I find great cards here at a $1.99 price point
  • Home Goods – same as Marshalls, pretty cards at a great price
  • Target – especially great for seasonal and thank you cards. I am especially loving these pretty floral ones.

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Do you still send cards? Put pen to paper and add a stamp. Just do it, you’ll make someone’s day. I promise.

Ramblings

Turning 40 was kinda big for me. Now I am 42 but seriously – 40 was pivotal. In a weird kinda way. I’ve always joked that if I live till I’m 80 and die in my sleep, then I have lived a good life. BUT then 40 became that 1/2 to 80 mark and it felt like I didn’t have enough time. Silly right? Because there are no guarantees and anything could happen to any of us at anytime and we really don’t get the final say so in when, where and how we leave this world. Still. It kinda felt like this change took over me. All of a sudden, life became more fragile. I have always been a bit of an old soul and felt that I could relate to people of all ages. I had this realization that no matter our age, we are still who we are.

Losing friends around my age to sudden heart attacks and seeing my dad pass away – these things changed me. Losing a parent is a deep, deep loss. All morning I have had a song in my head that my dad loved. It’s kinda strange. I heard it last week on the radio but I woke up with it on repeat in my head. What does that mean? Does it mean anything? I am not a religious girl but I’d like to believe that my dad is somewhere good surrounded by his loved ones. I’d like to think that he shows up in my life in silly ways such as music or the random squirrel appearances {my dad had a thing about feeding squirrels so now when I see them, I think of him}.

Sometimes life just feels heavy. The world feels heavy. Human kindness is sometimes lacking. But sometimes, it’s beautiful. Sometimes the news shares stories that literally crush me. Awful, violent stories of people hurting people. The stories of children being harmed completely crush my soul. Some of these things are just beyond comprehension. Why? How can people be so hateful and mean? It’s a tough pill to swallow. It’s so easy to feel consumed by these stories and find fear in them happening to those you love the most. Having conversations with my kids about kidnappers and what to do should someone ever try and grab them. These are the conversations that break my heart. But it’s a part of our big scary world.

And the hate – don’t even get me started on that one. We are in an election year and boy are the haters out there. I have a rule, I don’t talk politics or religion with people Those conversations often get heated and ugly. I am not gonna change your mind and you aren’t gonna change mine. It’s a scary time though. I do feel that we need someone with kindness and compassion to rule this country – and maybe some humor. I think I’ll vote for Jimmy Fallon. Isn’t that an option? 😉 Kidding {sorta}.

As my grandpa would say, “Always keep your guard up”. He always said it as he waved both his arms in the air, I can still visualize it. I miss that man. See? Loss. It’s a tough one. Here come those tears that show up almost daily. The “I miss you” tears. They come and go at the most random times. They might show up for a second when I hear a certain song and then they are gone. I have pretty much resigned myself to wearing waterproof mascara. I have always been a crier. I wear my emotions – good, bad and ugly. So with that being said, I am not an Eeyore. I laugh. A lot. Life is full of good. It really is. I just feel every.single.emotion very deeply. If you know me then you are very aware of this. I cry, I laugh, I use sarcasm and cuss words to express myself. Sometimes I just have to have an emotional outburst {not in public – usually on the phone with a friend – thank you Stacie and Lisa}, to clear my mental space of whatever is consuming it. It’s like an emotional purge.

So my brain is often on emotional overload and I am always talking myself off the ledge. What I mean by this is that I am always trying to push away the worrying of the ‘what if’s’ in life. I am really an optimistic, glass half full kind of girl but people – there are clowns terrorizing our world! They are threatening schools and making children afraid. These are the issues that we could use a lot less of. Seriously, clowns. This has been a big topic with schools even sending home emails to parents about it. Sigh. Can’t we all just be nice and get along and not scare the crap out of people? I guess diversity is what makes the world go round but at this moment, I am burned out on the negative diversity. How about you?

I know that I haven’t been here in awhile and I always vow to write more. This post is obviously a bit raw and real but I just kinda needed to put it out there. Don’t worry, I will be back to decor and recipes soon enough! Thanks for listening.

Happy New Year

Hi friends,

Once again I have gone rogue. I miss writing. So often I find myself journaling in my head about the things I’d like to write about here on the blog. Then time gets away from me — again.

I hope you all had a great holiday season and are kicking off the new year in whatever way makes you happy {resolutions, clean slate, fresh start or just treating it as another month, another day, another year}. This was the first year in I don’t know how long that I was in bed well before midnight. I am night owl almost always {and a ‘sleep in’ kinda girl when I can to make up for it}. The night before New Years Eve was a late one for us due to my husband’s work Christmas party. I couldn’t hang for two nights in a row. Yawn. We did manage to have a nice dinner with friends. It was some much needed catch up time with some of my favorite people. It was really a perfect way to end 2014.

I kicked off 2015 with a Starbucks and an almost 5 mile walk with a friend. Perfect. We finished it with a little dinner at B.J.’s {Pizookie anyone?}.

So I don’t really like to make resolutions but I  do like to set some goals – in hopes of achieving them – for the New Year. I really use the new year as my start because October – December are pretty busy months around here. I host several things including a Favorite Things Party, an annual craft event and our annual adults only Christmas Party. That with house guests sprinkled in through-out and we are busy. A good busy. A busy that I really enjoy and I am always sad to see it end.

That being said, I am also looking forward to making more memories in 2015. One of which is becoming an auntie again in just a little over a month. I can hardly wait to meet my new little nephew. My sister in law is one of my favorite people and I loved having her here over the holidays. Her, my brother and my cute – almost 3 year old nephew – stayed with me so our nights were spent on the couch  with me feeling her baby belly movements. One of my favorite things. I am pretty sure this kids gonna be a boxer.

Some of my goals for the New Year ….

eat better — I am not a diet kind of girl. I end up more hungry and less happy. Plus life is for living. So that being said, I’d like to do little tweaks and less calories but still allow myself some of my favorite things like my Starbucks iced coffee with whole milk. It’s my ‘thing’. I also don’t want to have what I eat become my main topic in life. I have so many other things I’d rather talk about.

exercise more — my two favorite things are walking and yoga. I am so out of shape. It’s up to me to take care of myself. So the plan is to walk and do more yoga. Ideally I’d like to do yoga 2-3 times a week and walk 3-4. I am trying to be practical about what I will actually do. If I do more then I get a sticker or a high five. Just saying.

be more productive — this is basically my way of saying that I need to stop wasting time on mindless things. I waste too much time on Pinterest. It’s not something I will quit but I think I need to set computer limits. It’s easy to waste away hours when I really could be doing something that is good for me, like going on a walk or taking a yoga class. Or blogging. The whole point of this blog was to make a job of it. I.HAVE.FAILED. So far.

blog more — I have so many things to share and say. This blog is my voice. And I like to talk. A lot.

see more — I love seeing new places. We have a lot of cool places within hours of where we live. Plus I just finished reading Wild so I am feeling like I should do more 🙂 Although hiking the Pacific Coast Trail is not on my list of 2015 goals. I’d love to hike more and seriously, we are smack dab in the middle of San Francisco and Lake Tahoe. The options are endless.

be present — need I say more? Whatever I am doing, I need to be fully committed to that moment.

play more games — we tend to do this during the holidays but we should be taking the time more often then that. We have a blast. Even if my husband it highly competitive and loud and we all have to ask him to take it down a notch. Ha ha.

garden better — we have a great spot for a garden. We tend to plant things only in the summer but I am not great at tending to it. Summer gets busy but really, this shouldn’t take a lot of time once it’s planted for us to harvest the goodness. Right?

budget better — we are wrapping up some debt in 2015 so 2016 will really be a fresh start for us. I’d like to save more and spend less. With that comes better planning for things like groceries, etc. Those last minute trips to the store add up at the end of a month.

delegate — I think in general my kids could do more. Sometimes it’s easier to just do it myself but they are capable of stepping it up. Same for the hubs. He is a rockstar but there are a few things that he could take on that would help me out.

As always I hope to do everything with kindness and gratitude. In a crazy world {that seems to be getting crazier} it is so important to treat others well. I also feel grateful daily for all the things I have been blessed with. So take a moment to smile at a stranger, to say thank you, to count your blessings.

Also, I wanted to share this list I found on Pinterest. I just love it.

 

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Happy New Year friends. I look forward to seeing more of you in 2015.

Kindness Matters

Yes, once again it’s been awhile. I’ve given up on being consistent and will post as I find little windows of time. I’m working full time for the next 6 weeks so that means I won’t be on the old blog much but I had some stuff that was on my mind as of late and thought I’d throw it out there. I truly love writing and finding fabulous things to share with my readers but time really does get away from me.

This is a little hodge podge but all really comes back to one thing, how we treat one another. Today I heard a morning radio show promoting an anti bullying campaign. I was in my car, on my way to work and I was completely sucked in. The conversations between the DJ’s and listeners calling in were eye opening. There are various opinions about who teaches children about being kind. It ultimately starts at home but one of the opinions is that schools should be more accountable and on top of students that bully. OK, so this is a tough one and it actually was a conversation that I had both on Facebook and also with the principal at my kids school a couple of weeks back after a few kids called my son ‘gay’. I expressed my irritation at this name on Facebook. Of course it sparked a huge conversation both on and off of Facebook (why I love Facebook, it can be a great place to ‘put it out there’). Several people suggested that I discuss it with the principal to which she (being my Facebook friend) spoke up and said that she makes it a point to discuss at monthly assemblies that bullying is not OK and will not be tolerated. I was able to catch up with her at school a couple of weeks later and we had a deeper discussion about it. In her eyes (and mine as well), being kind is not hard and something as simple as a compliment could make a persons day.

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Here is my take, it starts at home. Unfortunately some children are not taught the basics of  kindness and compassion. In which case the place where they spend most of their time could step it up a little. One suggestion was classes on anti bullying. We spend so much time teaching our kids science, math and history but so much of what they learn are lost along the way. I for one don’t recall the answers to many of the things that are on my kids tests and homework but do I know how to treat people? Yes. If I could send my children into the world with any skill what would it be? Not the ability to master chemistry but the ability to be kind and compassionate. The ability to connect with others. To be a friend. To make others feel special. To make others feel loved. To build relationships.

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So many thought provoking quotes come to mind,

“Kind words can be short and easy to speak but there echoes are truly endless” – Mother Teresa
“Your wealth or status doesn’t make you. Your kindness and character do” – Venkat Desireddy
“My religion is very simple. Kindness is my religion” – Dalai Lama
“Compassion is a verb” – Thich Nhat Hanh
“You is kind. You is smart. You is important.” – The Help
” If you can’t be kind, be quiet” – Unknown

On last nights Academy Awards, Frozen won for Best Original Song. Cause yeah, “Let it Go” has become the anthem for people everywhere, mostly woman it seems! In case you live in a  bubble (in my house it’s sung loudly over and over and over by my boys and myself), here is the official video for Let it Go. The writers, Robert Lopez and Kristen Anderson-Lopez, gave a great acceptance speech but my favorite was the part dedicated to their daughters, “Never let fear or shame keep you from celebrating the unique people that you are.” What a powerful thing to say to your children. Let them be who they are. Let them own their uniqueness. So much of our society is busy keeping of with the Joneses (not the Kardashians). Trying to fit molds. Competing with one another. For what? Be you. Own who you are. All of you. The good, the bad and the ugly. Don’t try and be someone else.

We live in a day and age (I sound so old — I’m pushing 40 you know!) but seriously. Things have changed in a major way. Our kids don’t just use names to hurt one another but they also have other tools at our disposable. Things like technology and social media. So that means we have a bigger audience. Which is terrifying. My child was called gay and let it roll right off of him. Thankfully he has a strong sense of who he is and knows that so many people say things just to get under each others skin. THANK GOODNESS my child deals with things like he does. I hope he always does. So many kids don’t. They take it to heart, they hurt, they don’t know how  to cope. Sadly you hear of kids changing schools because of bullying, teenagers committing suicide. All for what? A lack of kindness and empathy? Something has to change.

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Spread kindness and love. It is contagious. I promise. Oh, and have a lovely day!

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