Serendipitous Saturday

Breakfast and drawing with the boy…crafting with the girl…walking with the hubby…and it’s not even dinner time yet.  Recharging the creative juices for the week ahead.  Now that’s what the weekend is all about!  Stop.Look.Listen.Enjoy

Peace.Love.Tie Dye #pinterestwin

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AM Family Jam Sesh #makingmusic #SoundtrackToMyLife

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She nervously opened the card…and…

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…how is this inappropriate? #HallmarkFail

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Spring Limbo

I double checked the time this morning, as it seemed too bright, brilliantly light out, in fact. “Am I late for work?  How could it be this sunny out, when it’s usually so pitch black dark, at this inhumanly hour?” I questioned myself and then sucked in my relief that the time was correct, and the sun was justified in being up and out so early. This simple realization hit me and I smiled at this signal, that the days of Spring Limbo were here, once again.  Rather than drone on about the cold, or the never-ending Winter, or the danger of more snow, I was armed with a renewed sense of hope and purpose.  Only 23 days until the official start of Spring (free Rita’s Water Ice for all!) and with any luck some warm days will play leapfrog with the chill.

This year, as Mother Nature throws back her blankets of snow, and comes out of a long slumber, I vow to exercise patience.  Instead of lamenting the fact that Spring isn’t here fast enough, I will uncover the hidden joys of Spring Limbo.  I can easily while away the hours, savoring garden planning and seed starting, without having to worry about the weeds just yet.  Maybe I will even finish reading a novel or two on a lazy, chilly day, most likely with a warming mug of coffee in my hand.  Perhaps some house refreshing is in order, but can be done presently at the slow pace of Winter’s end, rather than the frenetic motion of rigorous, whole-house Spring cleaning. I do still need a jacket in the morning, and the dark will return when the clocks change, but for now, I can relish in the promise that the Vernal Equinox is primping for her stroll down the runway, during Mother Nature’s Annual Fashion Week.

Waterhouse,_John_William_-_Flora_and_the_Zephyrs_-_1898

Flora and the Zephyrs – 1898 – John William Waterhouse

Source: http://www.johnwilliamwaterhouse.com/assets/images/content/waterhouse/hi/waterhouse178.jpg
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The Art of Authenticity: A Conversation with PostSecret’s Frank Warren

The Art of Authenticity: A Conversation with PostSecret’s Frank Warren.

Part writing and cultural, social experiment, and equal parts art.  An unusual project gains extraordinary results.  Has me thinking up projects of my own to explore…

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Saying Goodbye to Parks and Rec

It’s no secret that I love to read.  When I’m in the middle of a book, I fall into that world, inhabiting it for the hours (or months) it takes me to finish the story. Sometimes I even slow my reading down, just so I can spend a few more treasured moments with these people, before they disappear at the novel’s conclusion.  A well written TV show, or one that fills a particular need of mine — to laugh, to cry, to be caught off guard — is often just as satisfying a companion, as some of my favorite books.  Parks and Rec sucks me into the ridiculousness of fictional Pawnee, and its townspeople, each and every time.  Who wouldn’t want to be invited to chow down on waffles with Leslie Knope, at her annual Galentine’s Day celebration?  Who hasn’t experienced nerdy fits of laughter over Chris Traeger’s misuse of the word literally?  And who among us can honestly say, that we haven’t wanted to utter one of April Ludgate’s signature darkly sarcastic near-truths?  I know that I will be spending my upcoming Tuesdays (its finale season) with this cast of quirky, lovable folks.  I might even be guilty of waiting to watch the last episodes of the season, just to hold onto them a bit longer.

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Favorite Books of 2014!

I’ve always been a sucker for the Year-In-Review style countdowns and lists, so in that spirit, here are my most loved reads (in no special order) from 2014.  Some have been around for awhile, and snuck by me when they were published.  But it must be some sort of reading kharma because they made their happy home on my bookshelf this year.  What were those tomes you just couldn’t do without this year?  Drop me a line; I’d love to hear from ya!

May your 2015 Reading Year be a stellar one!

giver arcadia lost lake stargirl the historian liars peregrine island paris flowers everyday

*All images courtesy of http://www.indiebound.org. Shop your local indie bookstore today!

1.  The Giver – Lois Lowery

2.  Stargirl – Jerry Spinelli

3.  The Historian – Elizabeth Kostova

4.  Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children – Ransom Riggs

5.  Arcadia – Lauren Groff

6. Lost Lake – Sarah Addison Allen

7. The Language of Flowers – Vanessa Diffenbaugh

8. Summer Island – Kristin Hannah

9. The Paris Wife – Paula McLain

10. Everyday  – David Levithan

11. We Were Liars – E. Lockhart

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Yoga with a Twist, Anyone?

Ever dream of  a no-stress, joy-filled Christmas?  Think it doesn’t exist?  Well this holiday season, commit to believing again.  And this time I’m not talking Santa.  Keep a zen state of mind and give yourself the ultimate gift: me-time.  What better way to practice, but with a quirky, fun yoga instructor, Adriene from Yoga With Adriene?  Check her out and treat yourself, before the rush.  Best part of all it’s free and truly is the gift that keeps on giving.

What’s your favorite secret stress buster?  Share with us in the comments!

Video:

Yoga With Adriene

Stop.Notice.Laugh.Enjoy

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Top Five – High Five, from Me to You, and Back Again

In no particular order, here are five things that have my heart pitter-pattering, and a rat-tat-tatting.  Yay to Fall, in all its festive glory.  What’s on your top five these days?  Share your list in the comments.

1.  Crisp, blustery Fall breezes.  Hello, sweater.  I sure missed you, and I’m glad you survived the hot closet this Summer.

2. Burnt orange, golden yellow and flaming red leaves on the trees.  Ok, trees, now why don’t you hold onto those pretty little leaves of yours?  Alright.

3.  Gingerbread lattes are back.  Move over Pumpkin Spice, there’s a new, cooler kid in town, and let’s face it, his red cup is an exciting sight every year.

4.  This sweet spot of Autumn, when the new holiday displays are charming and inspiring, rather than stress inducing.

5.   Curling up with my current read, on the couch, piled high with blankets.  Alright, lattes, you have a lot of work to do, now that we’re in the dark month.

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The Rule of Five

How many times during a day, have you wished that you were:

a.  more productive.

b.  more organized.

c.  more physically fit.

d.  all of the above!

If you’re anything like me, the answer is usually answer choice d.  Ok, it’s always answer choice d.  Are you happy now that you dragged that out of me?  Geez.  We’re in this together, you know!  Well, today happens to be your lucky day, because there is a simple, free, no strings attached way to attain all of this and much, much more!  Did I mention it was simple?  Did I mention it was free?  Just checking, and even though you may have been taught that nothing in life is free, I can assure you that this one little tip is absolutely no cost.  Zip, zilch, zero dollars, coin or quid.  You’re right.  I took that one too far with my excitement here.  Are you ready?  Alrighty then.  Here we go…*drumroll*… The Rule of Five.

Just imagine the thrilling power of adding a measly five items (crunches, graded papers, bills paid, drawers emptied, weeds pulled…imagine the infinite possibilities, people) to be completed, to any task, and voila!  No magic wand needed*.  The number five is much less daunting, and is a perfectly reasonable amount of added items.  Think about adding ten, and I can assure you of one thing: you will be completely stressed out with the swamping idea of it.  But five, well that’s a friendly number; a number that is easily accomplished.

By simply making The Rule of Five a consistent part of your day, before you know it, you will be the envy of all, strolling around with your new lease on life.  “How does she do it?  “She’s so on top of her game; I don’t know how she fits all that into her schedule,” they will remark and mutter, as you swish your hair over your shoulder, and glance effortlessly back at them.  Don’t you dare tell them your secret, no matter how much you want to shout it from the mountaintops.  Resist spilling it.  It’s all yours.  Relish in the delight of knowing that in five more minutes, you will be headed to your fifth appointment of the day.

Stop.Notice.Laugh.Enjoy

*While wands are not needed for this trick, sparkles are completely optional, as are fairy dust, and other magical elements.  In fact, they should be used liberally, whenever possible.5  

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How to Order Off-the-Menu

Can’t get enough of secret menu hacks, and all things foodie? Head on over to Table Scraps to check out some unique food and beverage finds.

Burritodilla Image Courtesy of #HacktheMenu

While it’s not officially on the menu, everybody knows about In-N-Out Burger’s Animal-Style burger. The secret’s out on that, to the point that the California burger chain is using the menu as a marketing tool to responsive service. But what about Liquid Cocaine at Starbucks? Or the Burritodilla at Chipotle, the turducken of the taco world? The amazing people at #HacktheMenu have created a resource for every major fast food chain’s closely guarded menu secrets, with recipes included for decoding the nicknames. Here’s their comprehensive guide to fast food secret menus.

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#Hackthemenu? What the What?

So what?  Maybe I am the last person in the universe to hear about secret menus, but I’m going to share it with you anyway.  I’m comfortable enough with myself to admit that I’m not a trendsetter.  But still, I do have to jump on-trend for just a moment because these secret meals are too delish (or devilish) not to share.  But there has to be another lost soul out there, who like me, is not yet privy to the delights of the Twix Frap at Starbucks, or the Chipotle Burritodilla.  You’re out there somewhere in the world, right?  Right? Bueller.  Bueller.  I guess there are worse things than being the last one in the know, but I am proud to say that my waistline is safe…well until I can get my hands on some of these stealthy sweet treats.

Until next time…

Stop.Notice.Laugh.Enjoy…and be sure to get that totally craveable Zebra Iced Mocha.  You know you want one!

starbucks-21

Sources (and Expert Menu Hackers):

http://hackthemenu.com/

http://tomstablescraps.wordpress.com/

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