As the end of the year nears I like to take stock and express my gratitude for all the gifts I am so blessed to enjoy. I have two healthy kids who constantly amaze me with their wit and humor, a resilient and devoted husband who loves me–flaws and all–a career I am passionate about, an extended family who are kind and endearing, friends who are more like family and a year that has uncovered a treasure trove of new experiences, personalities and adventures…some that have only just begun. My cup truly does run over.
When I was a teenager and got “pouty,” my Dad would have me say out-loud a gratitude list starting with the letter A going all the way through to the letter Z. I’ve been thinking of him quite a bit these last few weeks, so instead of my usual gift guide or list, I thought I would honor him and this tradition by putting together an A-Z list, and perhaps put some of my own unrest to bed for the New Year.
Happy New Year to you and yours…and Happy New Year, Dad xxoo.
Image courtesy of Stuart Miles / FreeDigitalPhotos.net
December 26th I walked into my local CVS and what did I see on the shelves replacing candy-canes and holiday cards–Valentines sweets and greetings up and down the aisles. The cynic in me was shocked and appalled at this hyper display of consumerism. The Christmas pots still soaking in my sink, New Years plans still up-in-the-air, and now I have to look at conversation hearts? Really, Hallmark… REALLY?
Ah, the promise of a New Year… Opportunities abound, a clean slate, a blank page, a chance to start anew. I used to despise the idea of making resolutions. They usually lead to disappointment and can set us up for failure…but that was until last year. Last year, I made a little list on my tumblr that included a line about starting my personal blog, which low and behold became what you are reading right now — so much for resolution failure (just ignore the other items would you please?)!
Not all resolutions have to end in disappointment and some can support your recipient in a new venture or a new beginning. Here are some ideas for consideration. (more…)
Yesterday was a landmark day, I did two things:
1. I finished my getting all my holiday decorations up when I purchased an extension cord, this allowing us to turn on the lights (see lead image) and yes, we did correct the slanted star (see second image below)
2. I finished my gift shopping
Even the best laid plans can fall flat. My holiday shopping hit a major snafu this year and I had to recalibrate a bit. This lead to my not starting until last week so I’m scrambling now. Luckily my kids are into a few big gifts as opposed to lots of little things…but I digress (gee, I say that an awful lot).
Anyway… planning and writing task lists then scheduling and organizing those tasks can sometimes lead to one, ok maybe five dropped balls. So when that happens here are some ideas to add to your gifting arsenal that don’t lack for style, substance, thoughtfulness or originality. Enjoy!
I’ve been feeling very festive, so I thought I would round up a few of my favorite party looks. These are ones I’ve definitely rocked this season and my New Year’s Eve look is even included below (dress, shoes and beauty stuff included)…I like to make the most of my formal wear–feel free to guess.
Sequins just scream “celebrate” to me—and if I’m being 100% honest I sometimes even sneak them into my everyday work wardrobe so I’m definitely biased, (oh and if you’re looking to try that out I love the way French Connection and JCrew add evening embellishments to everyday pieces). These dresses show off shine in a variety of colors, cuts and styles and you can layer them with a blazer, wrap, moto-style jacket, or cardi.
Becoming a parent made me appreciate two distinct contributors to a child’s life like never before: the mother and the teacher. As a younger-self, I had teachers who made me look at life differently and encouraged me to pursue passions–I also had ones who taught me how to overcome criticism, but that’s another post. When you’re a parent though and your child has a teacher who has directly impacted how they related to the world in a positive way you want to dedicate a shrine to them and have a parade in their honor.
I’ve been abundantly blessed in that department. My children have the incredible fortune of having had unbelievable educators who loved and supported them, and some of them are still in their lives today. Additionally, because my brother-in-law (also my daughters’ godfather) is a teacher, these heroes are near and dear to our family.
Last week my kids wrote their Gift Lists (it’s the first year we don’t have at least one Santa List, but that’s another post so I won’t get all weepy here about that). When they were done, I graciously took the folded lists smiled and took them upstairs to unfurl and consume them and to my horror saw the dreaded three letters written in CAPS on both: P-E-T. And to put the crown on this proverbial animal kingdom, of course, they both wanted different species.
If you dig this post or it gives you some good advice, you have my daughter to thank. After a rough day yesterday I looked to her youth and cheery outlook to inspire a post. Her advice: she told me how Justin Bieber always makes her feel better…I thought I’d give it a whirl. I’m sure it didn’t have the exact same euphoric effect that it has on her, but it certainly didn’t hurt: I got to search for items and ideate with my best girlie and that totally got me in better spirits until — whaddaya know — I was having fun. My son and husband on the other hand were probably very happy to go to baseball clinic this morning and get away from all the “Baby, baby, baby, ohhhh…”