Tips To Beat The Holiday Blues

20131201-234455.jpgIts always fun to write about the parties and joy that come with the holidays, but all those festivities come with a fair amount of pressure. While it’s easy to discount those stresses as “luxury problems” they are real and can be triggered unexpectedly. Here are a few thoughts on combating/coping with the holiday blues–perhaps before it even strikes.

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Cyber Romance: Gift Ideas For A Virtual Boyfriend or Girlfriend

20131026-100713.jpgI don’t quite get the idea of having a cyber-boyfriend or girlfriend. How do you “date” or have a romantic relationship with someone who you don’t physically see in person? Full disclosure, I also don’t fully trust the process of online dating for myself, but I never had to either… filtering and select a potential partner or love interest from a thumbnail and bio–especially considering the looming prospect that they could be totally scamming you (hello… ever watch Catfish?).

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Smart and Meaningful Reads

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Lead image courtesy of Anusorn P nachol / FreeDigitalPhotos.net.

I’ve been preparing for a work offsite event that is taking place this week. If you’ve ever been to one, you know these things tend to happen away from the regular office environment and can sometimes involve one or more overnights.

If you’ve ever planned one of these events, you’d also know that the organizing end can feel like simultaneously having a party and a performance review: it’s exciting, you want everyone to have a good time and you personally want to have chance to enjoy and get the most out of it.

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We All Need Comfort: Unicorn Gift Ideas

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my delightful and precious unicorn in her sweet pajamas

Growing up is tough business. You couldn’t pay me to go back to my middle or high school years. Navigating the social circles, fighting for my freedom, starting to find my voice, trying to shape who I am and where I fit in the world, meeting and losing friends, experiencing first love…and that’s before I’ve even started to tackle the accelerating homework and school pressure because college is just a few years away. Nope, I’m very happy to have survived that… The only thing that makes it worse is when there are bullies, “mean girls,” and tormentors amplifying the noise that already exists in an adolescents’ head. I had my fair share of experiences as a kid with these types of people–and it was agony–and I know from FB that most people have experienced it too.

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Summer 2013: Highlights, Gifts and Surprises

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The kids in the ocean at Coney Island: Summer 2013

The summer is almost over. It’s hard to believe Labor Day weekend is just two days off in the distance and all I my blog has to show for it is a handful of posts. I had grand plans…

The summer is a meaningful time for me: family birthdays and annual celebrations, my anniversary and, of course, excursions and getaways. Yet every time I meant to sit down and capture it for my blog, I was distracted or something else came up and it no longer seemed timely. But now, dear reader, as summer’s precious moments are coming to a close, it seems all the more necessary to remember the highlights, gifts and surprises of Summer 2013.

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How To Get Away Without Going Away: Aka My 6th Anniversary

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Some highlights from this weekend: read on for the details

My wedding anniversary was coming up and I wanted to surprise my darling husband… Now, let me just say it’s impossible to surprise my husband. Ok, not impossible. I did it once. For his 39th birthday because I knew his 40th would be too obvious. I had a surprise dinner for him with a bunch of friends. But that was a few years ago. Never before or since.

Because its so hard to surprise him, trying to plan a gift involving travel is doubly challenging. So I hatched a plan…

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Advice and Inspirational Quotes: Gifts That Keep Giving

20130806-125912.jpgRecently I was given amazing advice from someone I respect and trust that was succinct, honest, informed and personal. Sage advice is a priceless gift that just keeps on giving. Getting some words at the right time can aid in powering through a rough patch and can even sub-consciously linger; ready and able to re-emerge when triggered by doubt, despair or detractors. The good news, advice is free… the bad news, my Dad used to say, the only advice you pay for is the advice you don’t take.

That said, I’ve found it’s important to be discerning in who I trust and who I get (and give, for that matter) advice from, and every now and then I need some inspiration but am not in close proximity to my network. In those moments, I keep these inspirational quotes handy, offering sound guidance that’s also when quick uplift is necessary. Like them? I often Instagram stuff like this, so come check me out there too…

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Rainbow Inspired Gifts For Pride

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Yesterday was Pride and it was in no way ordinary. Just days ago on June 26, 2013, The Supreme Court found DOMA (the Defense of Marriage Act) unconstitutional; and as we say in our house, love is love. My family and I have been privileged to witness many loving relationships of all types and make-ups–cultures, genders, nationalities–all of them perfect in their imperfections, beautiful in their real-ness as they perform an everyday ballet…

How strange it is that I never felt grandiose enough to make a judgement as to whether those couples had the human right to be together or not. Doesn’t that just sound absurd?

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Summer Thank You Gifts: Perfect Pairs

20130620-233054.jpgI’m going to a few summer parties and I can’t wait. It’s alway such a blast to party in the warm weather and enjoy some fun in the sun, especially since now my kids don’t need constant supervision. I always like to bring something for my hosts that contribute to the meal, but what about hosts that tell you: “just bring yourselves.” That never seems right, right? Right.

IMHO it’s always important to express thanks with gratitude for an invitation with a gesture. I also want to make sure that what I share with my recipients aren’t run-of-the-mill. These ideas are gift pairings that are fine alone, but are truly better together

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Chic Summer Style: Delicate Jewelry

20130618-202603.jpgTo me, summer style is all about breezy-chic and no-fuss cool (I don’t mean “funky-fresh” cool, I mean temperature cool). What says that better than delicate jewelry that doesn’t weigh a ton, but looks sweet and maybe even sparkles. I’ve been keeping a list of items I want to snatch-up–either for me or for the summer birthdays I have to buy for, and truth be told those might be a “one for you, one for me” situation.

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