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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Summer Birthdays: Remembering My Nanny

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My beautiful Nanny, 1999

I didn’t do a July 4th post… I tried, I couldn’t do it. I kept putting stuff together and bursting into tears, nothing felt right and I just couldn’t get into the spirit. July 4th we always celebrated my grandmothers birthday–her birthday was July 3rd. She started the tradition years ago with a lobster bake and my aunt has continued the tradition–a promise she made my grandmother before she passed away in 2008.

So this last Wednesday would have been my grandmothers birthday, and I can’t call her that… I never called her that. I called her Nanny. She was the best Nanny in the world. She was beautiful, she was effusive and she lived adventurously. She was proud of her family and she made you feel loved yet she also could give a kick in the ass when it was needed.

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Inexpensive Date Ideas

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Coffee, muffins and Scrabble for iPad in Marcus Garvey Park, Harlem, NYC

I’m a big believer in dating. The excitement, the energy, the getting dressed up and primping for the other person… And then of course the actual experience of having time together, knowing smiles and flirting across the table, brushing hands and fumbling fingers. In particular, I don’t think married people date enough.

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Fathers Day Gift Ideas: Celebrating Dad

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My man with our kids at 16 Handles on the UWS

Father’s Day is a tough one for me. I’m torn. I can’t help but think of my Dad who is no longer here, but I’m also so blessed with a man in my life who is a loving husband and father to me and our children. But it’s more than that. My husband met us when I was newly divorced and my two children were three and five years, respectively. We were adjusting to a new life together and, personally, I was trying to find my way as a single mom, convinced that was what I needed to do…for myself and for my kids not wanting to make another mistake or “fail” again.

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Giving Each Other A Break

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Copyright: Igor Zakowski / Shuttershock.com

I jinxed myself. Friday night we were entertaining another family at our house. My daughter and I were affectionately snuggling and hugging. One of our guests (the mom, also a mother to a daughter) made a comment about how she hopes to one day be as close as we are; and in response my daughter or I said that although we may fight, I make it a point not to yell or raise my voice at her. JINX!

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Non-Couple Engagement Gift Ideas (Let Me Explain)

20130421-171206.jpgI’m seeing a friend today, and since we last were face-to-face, she’s become engaged. Now, what you also need to know is that her engagement was no surprise. Every time she’s even spoken of this guy, she simply lights up and the few times I’ve seen them together, impulsively and without warning, the phrase “meant to be” invades my mind space–this coming from a slightly-jaded, often guarded, once divorced (albeit now remarried), New Yorker.

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Regrets: The Gift I Almost Didn’t Give

20130329-232057.jpgI’ve struggled with regret much of my adult life–my verdict: it’s a toughie. When my father passed away in 1997, I was very lucky because we had tremendous communication and as I had matured we were able to speak very frankly so there was a lot we were able to say to each other. All that aside, once he was gone I was reminded of one particular event that I never got to talk to him about…something I regretted terribly.

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Nostalgic for Passover

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I always get nostalgic this time of year. Seven years ago I was just dating my now-husband about six months and he invited me to come to Seder at his sister’s house. I was raised a Catholic girl–I’m not a practicing Christian today–and although I’m a far cry from Jewish, having been raised in New York City, I’ve been to a few Passover Seders before so I knew this was a big deal and not just any dinner.

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A Dance With My Father

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The sad news about Valerie Harper‘s diagnosis has me reflecting about my father. He also had a brain cancer, however the time between his diagnosis and his passing was approximately eleven weeks. I don’t know if we were profoundly lucky or if were really short-changed because of that compressed timeframe…probably a bit of both.

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