Money Monday – Snow! Or Snow?

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With the east coast about to suffer through our first major storm of the current winter season, I wanted to say I hope you are staying safe with loved ones.  Do what you need to do to stock up for a few days.  It always feels like you never know what to get excess of but whatever you consider to be the basics, stock up on that.  My good rule of thumb is gas for the car, paper goods, canned goods, frozen meat, dried pasta, and veggies.  That type of food can go a long way in various mixtures to create yummy cost effective meals that will last for a few days.  Of course, movies, or these days start adding quite a few things to your Netflix queue.  And for some of you, definitely alcohol.

Remember to stay warm, and check on elderly neighbors if you have any.  If you have neighbors close by, you can always do a potluck dinner.  That’s always a fun way to socialize and save on expenses when it comes to making a hearty meal.

Stay safe out there!

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Fabulous Friday – A Cold Cool

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I’m sure you have heard it a million times so far this week – it’s bitterly cold almost everywhere in the US!  I think I have packed on a million layers of clothing just to stay warm.  It’s times like this that I miss summer, and the smell of sunblock for a moment.  Ah, the memory of ice cold drinks on warm nights with friends laughing as the sun finally set close to 10pm (minus the humidity).  I know it can be hard to find something stylish to put on because being warm is more important.  The best way is to dress up in layers.

Continue reading “Fabulous Friday – A Cold Cool”

Those Two Magic Corners

With Winter finally coming to a dramatic close this past week, we are left with the memory of bitter temperatures, snow days, and potholes.  It can be a very frustrating season for some people for various reasons.  Not much sunlight, shorter days, very cold days, getting snowed in, running out of bread, milk, and eggs can contribute to forms of depression.  What about those who find this season emotionally draining?  For some, it’s hard to find happiness getting through the holidays, even with an army of family around.  Are you making time to exercise those important muscles?  I’m not talking about your quads or some latest fitness fad.  I’m talking about your smile.

How often are we shuffling around too busy with life’s demands and forget to smile?  There are times where it can make a strangers day, week, or even their year just to experience a warm, friendly smile.  It makes them feel welcomed, appreciated, and a part of society.  It can be more powerful than anything else.  This transaction can happen anywhere too.  Whether you are buying a cup of coffee or casually walking through a park – let friendliness win.  These small steps can impact not just your life, but those around you.

With a new season in bloom, Spring brings wonderful opportunity with its longer, warmer days,  and Italian Ice.  Are we doing more than just the usual Spring Cleaning?  How about we challenge ourselves to Spring Clean our attitudes.  Leave the doldrums with Old Man Winter and put a smile between you and that attractive stranger.  You never know who that other person could be in your life, so take a chance.  It will start a chain reaction to others that is free with no requirements.

If you have a friend or acquaintance you haven’t heard from in a while, why not make contact?  See that stressed out Mom in aisle 6?  Offer her a friendly grin with empathy.  That may be something she desperately needed all week.  Do you know someone who needs this reminder?  Definitely pass it along to them.  That small phrase, “I was thinking about you” can mean a lot to someone and put a much needed smile on their face.

In our modern time, it is so easy to get lost in the functions of your smart phones or tablets.  It is very easy to avoid making eye-contact anymore because we are adapting the ability to walk, talk, chew gum, and text on our devices.  Social contact is being smothered by technology, and it is evident in the way most people treat each other in every day situations.  I have seen people so hardened by being bothered because they had to look away from their hand held device for a mere 10-15 seconds.  Let’s make a conscience effort to reconnect, reflect, and encourage a smile.  Happiness is not that hard to find if we are willing to look for it.  Make a strangers day and yours will be made as well.

 

IMG_4518Early morning baby deer friend.  I said, “Hey,” we made eye contact and then he or she went back to eating.

 

Lent Your Way?

This year is really flying by!  I can’t believe we are already in March and it’s time for Lent.  I am not Catholic in any way but I have always been fascinated by how Catholics and the, “I’m only Catholic on holidays” Catholics celebrate this religious process.  The basic concept is denying yourself something for 40 days in an effort to draw you closer to God.  It’s not Biblical but it is what they believe.  I have yet to meet someone who hasn’t broken Lent within a week or actually avoided eating meat on Friday.  I wanted to take this a step further to see if people can go without something important to them for any time period all in an effort to draw themselves closer to God?  There are so many things we do on a daily basis that are such a habit that we don’t even realize we are doing them.  Humans are ritualistic and forget to function on thought sometimes because it takes too long to break cycles.

What if we challenged ourselves to spend a few days trying something else?  Doing something new or letting go of a vice that may be killing us in an effort to pull closer to God?  And for those who don’t or refuse to believe in God, doing all the same just to find some peace of mind or clarity?  I am not saying to do this for 40 days at a time but start small.  If you smoke, go a full day without cigarettes.  If you are a heavy drinker, cut back to once a week.  If you have a gym membership that you barely use, make an effort to start going once a week.  There are very big and small ways in our lives that we can make changes to find balance.  It all comes down to if we are willing or not.  I have challenged myself to get a lot of the stuff done around the house that needs it before it gets too warm outside.  I like to do yard work in late Winter/early Spring versus trying to hump around all summer in the heat.  I want to fully enjoy Summer this year.  My smaller more personal goal, not just for 40 days, is to spend more time each day with God.  I have found myself doing too much other stuff and then realized it’s just stuff.  I felt empty.

What will you be inspired to do?  Maybe it is time to let go of those old pains, get that big final cry out?  Maybe it is time to try something new – almost anything new!  Cliff diving in Mexico might not be your thing but wearing a dress for the first time in years might be your start.  Going on that first date, deciding to take things to the next level, planning to get married or working toward making your relationship or marriage stronger versus throwing in the towel, or remembering why you have always loved that person no matter what and finally making your lives become one.  It is never too late for any of this.  You are the starting point.

Whether it is for Lent, one week or one day, you should strive to cut away the old bad habits.  That is the only way new and positive habits  will enter your life and stick around.  What will you try today?

 

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Winter Cute?

The hardest part about winter is looking cute.  The only benefit is the low humidity and cold air, so your hair style will last longer.  After that?  It’s not so grand.  We are constantly wrapped up in layers, gross snow boots, and hats.  I have found that when it comes to sweaters, whether it is a turtleneck or other various sweater styles, the best way to dress up the outfit is big, bold statement jewelry – especially bold necklaces!

My favorite place to buy jewelry is Burlington Coat Factory.  They have a very wide selection and low prices so you won’t feel guilty splurging.  If something breaks, gets lost or stolen it’s no big deal.  I have found some cute stuff at other stores but it’s so hit or miss that they aren’t worth mentioning.  I usually try to avoid those house party companies.  You know exactly what I’m talking about.  The items that cost an arm and a leg when the quality is no where to be found.  If you are going to spend a lot of money for jewelry, be sure that the price is on par with the quality, clarity and design.  I see a lot of women who claim their stuff is top notch but I can tell it’s just expensive costume jewelry.

These are some of the items I own that I break out from time to time.  They are big, bold and always start a conversation.

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Great pearl necklace for all seasons.  Found at Burlington Coat Factory.

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Turquoise necklace that can either be casual or dressy.  I love wearing it more in the Spring and Summer than other times in the year.  Also found at Burlington Coat Factory.

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It’s not always you can find green jewelry.  It’s original and can work for a  dressy outfit or something more casual.   Another BCF find.

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I love the tiger faces! I found this at Ashley Stewart but I don’t recommend their jewelry at all.  It breaks easily and is incredibly cheap.  I only bought this because I used it in part of a Halloween costume I created.  I know if I wore it all the time it would have fallen apart by now.

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This necklace can be twisted and knotted in different ways to create something unique each time.  I got this from Torrid.  I don’t usually buy their stuff but this caught my eye.

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I always suggest getting a long strand of pearls.  They can be worn a variety of ways, and it is such a classic piece. This was another BCF find.

How are you staying cute this winter?  What are you rocking this winter?

Transition Pieces

The weather is finally cooling down and the days will start getting shorter.  This cuts down on a lot of activities that can be done outside but how do you inject fun in your routine through the cooler months?

This Fall and upcoming holiday season I have challenged myself to tackle a new kind of craft.  I usually lose my shit for the Christmas holiday because I’m that person.  I am a few years away from the ugly sweater that has dough and icing stains on it while I force my family to take awkward pictures to capture the moment(s).  As a child, I would dedicate hours to Martha Stewart’s shows learning new tips and tricks (back when her show was better and it was just her for the hour and her crafts).  I intend on making wreaths.  One day I will showcase how I decorated my son’s nursery.  I made flowers and vines for the jungle theme I choose.  It looked awesome but the amount of insects that I attracted, I will never do something like that again for a kid’s room.  I didn’t realize they would want to invade a room with fake flowers but I lived and learned.

The  few wreaths I’ve come across on Pinterest look awesome but they’re so overpriced.  Stay tuned for my adventures in crafting!  I plan on making something for Fall, Halloween, Thanksgiving, and Christmas.  What are you getting into?  Taking any risks? Learning anything new?  Let me know!

 

 

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