Subway Riding: Gratitude and Joy

Only two days into 2014, and I was already feeling anxious.
For the last five years, January always starts with a business trip: CES in Las Vegas.
The new variable: this is the first year that I am playing a pretty serious chess match with a virus of some sort. This freaks me out to no end because one of my major travel anxieties is being feverish and shivering on check-out morning with an impending flight to catch–this anxiety increases exponentially when we’re talking business travel.

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Forget Resolutions, I’m Setting 2014 New Years Goals

Resolutions are so overrated. They are fraught with emotional booby-traps begging to be broken. If I’m being fair and totally honest, some have worked out well for me–this blog was part of a resolution a couple years ago…well, actually it was the sibling of this blog, but that’s a whole other story–but most resolutions don’t end as well intentioned as they began, which defeats the whole point of a resolution.

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Looks to Rock This New Years Eve

Screen Shot 2013-11-21 at 1.24.16 PMI’m a creature of habit, I find something I love and I stick with it. That said, certain occasions scream (measured) experimentation and for me, New Years Eve is one of them. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not conservative with my look (at least I don’t think I am), but I’m a look-loyalist–I think I just made that up. Here are some of the things I’m thinking about trying this New Years Eve that are either new or a different flavor of something that is already tried-and-true.

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Celebrating the Holidays at Work

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Female Santa Claus Presenting In Business Meeting
courtesy of franky242 / FreeDigitalPhotos.net.

Celebrating the holiday season in a professional environment can get complicated. Not everyone does it the same way and nor do they all have the same financial circumstances. Sometimes in these situations the natural instinct is to procrastinate, further limiting the options, so what is ultimately available is either unappealing or cost prohibitive. Here’s some good news–with a bit of creativity, it’s still possible to get your festive hat on with colleagues in the spirit of inclusiveness. Also, the term “Holiday” can be interchangeable with “Winter” or “New Year” if you’d like to make it a bit more generic.
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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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Tech Gift Ideas Found At CES

20130115-225402.jpgI began this post en route back from the International CES in Las Vegas where I walked the floors of the North, South and Central Halls of the Las Vegas Convention Center. Every January, spectators from every continent come to demonstrate and spectate…and, hey it’s Vegas, so they also celebrate. I was pretty surprised this year, in addition to cool TVs, camera and appliances I also found a bunch of interesting electronic gifts to look forward to in the upcoming months… Some are even available now, and totally worth the possibility of an early adopter mark-up, if you ask me. Here are my top picks for the tech lover in your life.

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Gratitude Gift List A-Z

Gratitude Rock

Image Courtesy of Empowernetwork.com

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.

I am grateful for…

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Gifts That Celebrate Resolutions

Image courtesy of marekuliasz

Image courtesy of marekuliasz

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.
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Gift Ideas: Holiday Beauty

Guerlain powder I got for Christmas when I was 11 or 12. Isn’t it so pretty?

One of the my most memorable childhood Christmases was when I unwrapped cosmetics. I got a Guerlain Meteorites powder and a Georgette Klinger eye shadow chest with dozens of colors. Both were so spectacular, I took very good care of them and had them for a very long time. I learned a very important lesson that holiday: beauty gifts are special. For me at the time–I think I was 11 or 12–it marked embarking into young womanhood and also it was the first time I had the same items as my mom which was very special.

Beauty products embody the festive nature of the holidays and the spirit of the New Year–you can glam it up for a one-off party or totally reinvent yourself by trying a new look. And if you hate it, no worries, just as quickly as you’ve changed your look you can go back to your familiar self. Here are some of my favorite beauty gift ideas for the holidays, New Year and beyond.

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Holiday Hostess Gifts

Image courtesy of Ron Bird / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Despite my passion for gift-giving and shopping (it’s kind of the whole premise for this blog) when it comes to the holidays, hosting and feeding my family and friends takes the cake–literally and figuatively. I love preparing the menu, decorating our house with my husband and kids–well, he watches and directs while we decorate but it’s still really fun–finding a fun activity for guests to break the ice and then pulling it all together. That said, I also visiting family and friends: our annual tradition of going to my aunt’s for Christmas Day, celebrating New Years Eve with my husband at “our” restaurant where we had our wedding reception, watching all the kids and grown-up men get sweaty and hungry playing soccer (or maybe it’s football) on Thanksgiving at my in-law’s.

Whether it’s an established tradition or a new invitation that finds you celebrating in someone else’s home, it’s customary to bring a token of thanks. I’ve written about hostess gifts before, and my “rules of the road” (a bunch of them will work for the holidays too so feel free to check them out again, particularly this one and this one) but these gift ideas focus on unexpected and holiday specific ideas to warm the hearts and homes of your hosts.

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