When Commencement Commences: Celebrating the Graduate

This month both of my children will be graduating–one from elementary school and one from middle school–and entering a new phase. It’s an exciting time that comes with anticipation, reflection and even a bit of sadness.
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Black, White and Shades of Gray

I always thought…used to think?…was conditioned to think?… (I’ll get back to that). At some point, and for a very long time, I was a black and white kind of person and had a fear of confusion that came with areas of gray so I made every effort to avoid it. Personally, professionally, emotionally, cognitively…

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Flipping The Switch

Once again this month has been very busy, leaving me little time to myself, making it hard to find a moment to write. That is until this past holiday weekend when I was sans husband or children in our house—a house, I might add, I had NEVER once spent a night alone in six years we lived there. Check the box on that bucket list now…
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Vacation Victory and Remembrance

A little over a week ago my family and I returned from a family trip to the Caribbean. These kinds of trips are always incredibly special to me. I have memories of spring vacations from when I was growing up so nostalgia is part of it, but it’s also been a while since the four of us have been able to go away together. So this trip felt special in a few ways–almost like a victory for our family.

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Spring Cleaning and Shopping From My Closet

The changing of the seasons is always fun for me. After a few months of the same wardrobe I am pretty tired of the same-old-same-old and a closet refresh–even if it’s simply pulling out items from another time–is a nice change of pace. My favorite style-switch-over is winter to spring/summer so this time of year gives me fashion-joy like none other.

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April Roller Coaster Recap – 6 A-Ha Moments

It’s hard to believe it’s practically May and I haven’t written a post in almost a month. April was a bit of a roller coaster for me–emotions and decisions, new opportunities and (my personal favorite) change. Any and all of this could reasonably account for my loss of time and lack of word count–but if I’m being totally honest, there was also some recreational time packed in there for relaxing and enjoying a week off with my family (more on that later).

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When You Can’t Give Stuff: Perspective On Giving

It’s been a while since I’ve written anything here. I have two or three posts almost complete but for one reason or another I just have not felt ready to publish. I’d like to go into the details of my absence, but I can’t say too-too much except that I’ve had some personal / family-related things come up that needed to be addressed and so pretty much everything in my life went on hold except this situation and the bare essentials: work, kids, some sleep and if I do feed myself it’s erratic at best (I’m still noshing at midnight). I will say it’s not my husband or kids–they are all fine, knock wood–but it did give me time to think and reflect on what is truly important, especially in the spirit of “giving,” which is the context of this blog.

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If Only: The Life Lessons I Wish My Kids Didn’t Have To Learn

I ran into an old friend on the subway the other day. He and his partner have a two-year-old little girl, and we started talking about the different types of parenting challenges we face at different stages. As we continued to chat from 96th Street to Times Square, we both agreed how much easier life would have been if only someone had clued us in to a few things before high school.
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Holiday Hangover and 2014’s Grateful Resolve

I was torn about writing this post. As this blog would suggest, I love shopping and gift-giving but I need to elaborate about what that actually means. I see shopping as an activity, a spectator sport of sorts.  I can spend a day “shopping” and not buy a single thing. I am passionate about gift-giving because of how great it feels when you show a recipient that you know who they are and what is important to them, but I also believe you can give things like your time and attention or your talents and skills. Generosity, creativity and thought when put altogether can be incredibly powerful.

I started this Black Friday doing what I normally do, tweeting Black Friday sales from my @Gift_Whisperer account and checking out what other bloggers and retailers were doing.  Then I saw something horribly disturbing.  But I’ll get to that…

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Getting Thankful Again For Thanksgiving

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The three people I am most thankful for

Thanksgiving was one of my favorite holidays.  As a pre-teenager through my early twenties, I remember my mother and father hosting a couple dozen people in our formal dining room on the upper west side. It’s funny how specific memories may fade but flavors remain–ricotta and sausage stuffing (we’re Italian), antipasto salad, my mother’s apple pie and my aunt’s pumpkin chiffon pie.