Friday, February 26, 2010

Sunday, February 07, 2010

To All The Sweet Singles Out There

Happy Valentine's Day! 

Wednesday, January 06, 2010

Powerful goal-setting!

On the Sunday after Thanksgiving I get together every year with a few people, to begin planning the year ahead for shared adult playdates. During that process we each share what or how we would like to have fun while spending time together.  My favorite playdates are the ones that are about exploring parts of me, and or using my imagination and creativity.  My favorite outing last year was visitng the Sony Wonder Science & Technology Lab.  It was so much fun I've been back twice since then with my own son.

But before I work on my playdates, I begin planning All my personal, professional and family goals and planning by envisioning what kind of year I wish to have.  This year I stretch my vision beyond 2010.  Everything I plan, set up as a goal or do must support my overall vision or I don't do it or plan it because it's going to take me off course.  I have so little time that I have to make sure that all areas of my life are supported, which means that I have very little time for spontaneously or spur of the moment events or outings.

Anywho, back to my vision...
During the quiet late nights after thanksgiving, as I was trimming my holiday tree, I began thinking about what kind of woman I wanted to evolve into; what kind of experiences I wanted to have; what kind of things I wanted to do and the kinds of things I wanted to experience in my life!  The following is what evolved:

My Vision of myself is of a healthy, fit me that sees herself not only as well proportioned, but finds herself to be an incredibly beautiful woman with sexy curves, whose self-confidence is evident from the self-love that radiates brilliantly through her from her divine source within.

OUW! All the goals I contemplated thereafter, and that actually went into my goal list had to do with me becoming the best possible: woman, mother, friend, sister, mentor, employee, community person, supervisor, etc. that ever walked the planet.   Here's a few goals I set for myself, in the present/actualized voice. I put them on pretty paper on my fridge and on my computer screens at work, home and blackberry, so that I stay focused. Following each of my goal statements, I have written the powerful reasons why I wish to accomplish them.

Last year I accomplished 80% of my goals. Midway through the year I realized I had too many and that some had to be put off till this year. Still, not bad for a busy, single parent and community member that always has time for friends and loved ones.  Okay, so here's what I've written so far:

Main focus and over-arching theme: Experiencing A Year of Love & JOY!

Telling myself everyday "I LOVE YOU!" – everything begins and ends with me, and I love it when the Universe loves me!  & I love it back by loving me first.

Telling my beloved son ”I Love YOU!” everyday – so he can experience the love of the divine through me!  This may seem silly but when I really took inventory over a 2 week period I realized that even though I showed I loved him, I only told him that I loved him 70% of the time.  Not good enough in my book.  Children need to not only hear the sound of those words, they need to feel the emotion behind them so when they grow up, they instinctively know when someone is playing them and when someone truly loves them.

Ensuring I get 8 hours of restful beauty sleep - so I can smile and look fabulous even when I don't have clothes on!

Exercising 4x/week a minimum of 30 min each time doing all the exercises I love - so I can show my body how much its truly loved!!! & I can keep my body primed for all the adventures the Universe has for me – woohoo!

Giving my body nutritiously delicious foods that will energize, heal and make me feel vibrant! - because you are and definitely feel what you eat!

Engaging in spontaneous acts of love towards all my loved ones – so they can feel how greatly loved they are by me and the universe. Because an angel did this for me and it changed my life! & I am a radiating center of Divine love.

Finding the fun, sweet, kind, laughable and compassionate side of all situations - because that's a more joyful way to approach life!

Sharing my inner joy through kind acts and the sharing of fun and laughter – because when I make others smile or laugh it comes back to me exponentially, and I SO LOVE to laugh!

Sub-freezing Hibernation

Its been too cold to go out and take photos... so here's A funny and joyful celebration of love that's just heartwarming enough to make you smile!  Enjoy!

Monday, November 30, 2009

An Easy & Stress-free Holiday Planning Checklist




Keep stress at bay with this four-week plan which I have modified from Kimberly Fusaro's article posted on November 11, 2009 on WomansDay.com.

Your Holiday Planning Checklist

With all there is to do between now and New Year’s, the best way to avoid an end-of-year meltdown is to tackle your Christmas to-dos well in advance. For a head start—and a smooth holiday season — follow my step-by-step Christmas planner, which spreads tasks over four weeks, instead of two.

But first, you have to let go of the idea of a “perfect” holiday. Aby Garvey, the organizing and productivity expert at Simplify 101, suggests that we should strive not for a perfect holiday but one that that we enjoy and makes us happy. Ok, ready to kick off your happy holiday season? Then read on.

Week 1: Make Lists, Budgets, Organize and Schedule Time for the Tasks

1. Ask older, tech-savvy kids to set up online wish lists, which work like wedding registries. Amazon offers a universal wish list, meaning a person can “wish” for something from any website, and all of the wishes will appear in one place. [done]

2. Write your holiday card list, your email card list and update all your addresses. Divide it into three parts (those you will email, those you will hand-deliver and those you will mail) so you can spread out card-sending over a few weeks. Schedule to write those you need to mail so they will arrive in plenty of time. [done]

3. Buy holiday cards, stamps and gift-wrapping supplies. Have the kids stick the postage stamps on the cards for you. Make a contest, those that do all of them neatly gets a prize or more video gaming time! [done]

4. Carve out some non-negotiable “me” time on your calendar, for the remainder of the year, suggests Garvey, who signed up for a yoga class that runs through mid-January. “Yoga may not be your thing,” she says, “but stake a claim to a de-stressing chunk of time that’s just for you during the holidays.” [done]

5. Search your closet for extra items you bought but never gave as presents. Also seek any items you can re-gift to someone who could possibly use the item. For example, that lime green cashmere shawl you received from a co-worker gave would make a great gift for Aunt Tilly. [done]

6. Write your gift list and determine your budget. If you shop without either, you risk overbuying (say, getting way more for one child than another) and/or overspending. [done]

7. Carry with you a few blank holiday cards so you can write them out as you stand on line to pay at the supermarket, drugstore, etc. Set a date by which to mail all your holiday cards.

8. Sort through your holiday decorations. Replace burned-out light bulbs and save only the ornaments you cherish, suggests Krista Colvin, the owner of Organize in Style, a professional organizing company. The smaller your collection, the less you’ll have to pack and store at the end of the year. Donate extras to charity, and supplement what’s left with fresh greenery, which can be recycled. [I did this BEFORE I PACKED THEM LAST YEAR]

9. Shop for out-of-town friends and family members. “Not only are the stores less crowded earlier in the season,” says Garvey, “it’s nice to have this item checked off the to-do list before the season gets too crazy.” [done]

10. Hang your outside decorations. [done]


Week 2: Wrapping and Menu Planning

1. Set up a wrapping station, and wrap gifts as you buy them. [OR you can buy a whole bunch of gift bags and tissue paper which can be recycled year after year. One particular Christmas bag has been used and re-used for 10 years now.]

2. Try to tackle half of your gift list this week. Start off by doing some online shopping on Cyber-Monday. If you don't have any extra presents from last year and no re-gifting items, pick up a few just-in-case gifts when shopping. Make sure these are wrapped first and they are tagged with a post-it note indicating what they are, so they are ready to give. Items like luxurious scented candles, a beautiful picture frame or crystal vases are best purchased after Christmas. You should have extra bottles of wine you can give to a party hostess or a neighbor who drops by with an unexpected present.

3. Shop after work, when stores are less busy. While you’re out, pick up an unframed long mirrors and a series of pillar candles. Arrange the candles atop the mirror and adorn/fill in with greenery as a simple, elegant holiday table centerpiece or accent.

4. Write and mail a third of your holiday cards. Wrap a few presents and place them under the tree.

5. Plan your Christmas day and Christmas Eve menus. Avoid repeat trips to the supermarket by writing a master grocery list. Consolidate ingredients by using the leftover Chrismas eve ham for Christmas day brunch.

6. Take stock of your pantry and baking staples. Add flour, oil, spices and such to your grocery list as needed. Purchase all the non-perishables and store them separately (with a 2nd list) so you always have an idea of what still needs to get picked up before Christmas.

7. Order the ham or turkey from your supermarket’s meat counter or specialty shop.

8. Mail gifts to out-of-town friends and family members.

9. Buy and trim your tree this weekend.

10. Drop off party dresses or outfits at the cleaners.


Week 3: Finish Shopping and Decorating

1. Finish your gift shopping and packing those to be shipped. Schedule a post office or UPS run on your calendar.

2. Mail gifts to out-of-town friends and family members.

4. Write and send your remaining holiday cards.

5. Hang inside decorations.

6. Buy and trim your tree this weekend.

7. Clean the low-traffic areas in your home.

8. Schedule time or hire help or give kids extra allowance or video game time to help with straightening out and cleaning in high traffic or common areas. Things like using wipes to clean tv's, wipe windows and window sills, are easy enough for young children.

Week 4: Clean and Prepare

1. Finish wrapping all your remaining gifts.

2. Make sure your are well-stocked with a variety of beverages & snacks for impromptu guests of any age. Don’t forget mixers and garnishes. Keep these items in a safe area and out of hungry little hands instead of the pantry.

4. Clean your low-traffic areas.

5. Give gifts to babysitters (one night’s pay), newspaper carriers (up to $30) and other helpers in your life. Put the money in a personalized greeting card.

6. Take platters and serving dishes out of storage and clean them, as needed. Place a sticky note on each, to indicate which dish it will hold, so that any helpers will immediately know which platter you need.

7. Wash and iron table linens, then set the dining room table a few days in advance (with a plastic cover over it if you have children).

8. Make a list and shop for the perishables you'll need for holiday meals.

9. Finish cleaning your home, leaving heavily trafficked rooms for last.

10. Prepare all the make-ahead dishes as far in advance as possible.

11. Accept help! “Relinquish some control in the kitchen and you’ll have the time to enjoy your family and friends,” says Colvin, who keeps a “Why Yes, You Can Help Me” tin at the ready. On Christmas Eve and then Christmas, fill it with unfinished tasks written on strips of paper. When guests offer to lend a hand, point them in the direction of the tin.

Here's wishing you all a very Merry and Blessed Christmas!

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Been Missing You & Blogging


I used to sing this song whenever I was asked to sing at a party. I chose this song mostly because in singing accapella I could change up the tempo and then no one would be able to sing with me.

I heart U John Waite!

Sunday, November 15, 2009



Its been a couple of rainy days in NYC as Ida languishes on our coast.  I love this kind of weather and was happy to be able to go to the local Science Museum and put together some interesting molecular structures representing the following: animal urea, testosterone and trimethylene.  My son and his playmates found it both funny and interesting when I explained in laymen's terms what animal urea was. 

Afterwards we went for a snack and I had some Sprite to drink.  Unbeknowst to me, my son had swished the bottle a bit before I drank it.  He wanted to test a theory that a classmate had shared with him:  if you shake the soda slightly and you drink it afterwards you'll burp more.  Well, he's happy to report that his mother burped the longest and loudest she's ever burped in her life. 

The scene was so funny everyone at our table and the next laughed.  I of course was red-faced and embarrassed, and apologies only made everyone laugh harder so I just stopped.  All I keep thinking is wait till you're older and have your own children... I will help them pull up the best pranks without them getting caught like you!

Payback's a bitch!  I said inwardly, as I shook my head and narrowed my eyes to show my displeasure at being an unwilling experimental victim. Yep, payback's a bitch.

Monday, November 02, 2009

Two Big News Items

Two Big News Items to share w/you if you don't already know:

1) American Corporate Partners is a great organization/resource for military personnel who are ending their military tours and transitioning back into civilian workforce. I'm sharing this with you so you can share it with your battalion. I've just concluded a successful relationship with a woman who not only able to transition successfully back into the workforce, but she was able to leverage her military experience to get her dream job! For more info visit:  http://www.acp-usa.org/



2) After intense behind-the-scenes diplomatic activity, Karzai's opponent withdraws from run-off election and Karzai is declared winner for another 5 yr term. Those on the left are crying foul, those on the right see it as an oppty to try & bring economic/political stability to a war torn unstable country. Those stuck in the middle (the Afghan citizens) are simply trying to create a decent existence for their families, out of the challenging conditions they have to deal with.

Saturday, October 31, 2009

Fun, Crazy, Busy Weekend

Almost getting to the point of Total exhaustion. But I won't complain because as busy as I am, its nearly not as busy as this incredible guy.  It may seem to rival his schedule but not quite. The only difference between him and I, is that his children are older and THEY HAVE TO listen to him.  Try reasoning with over a hundred little kids that are super excited and hyped up on sugar on sugar and you get mission Impossible just have them sit down to eat dinner!

The party I helped organize at the Y last night was a huge success.  We fed over 100 kids (and their parents) a healthy early dinner consisting of Ghoul-ash, eyes of Newt (I have no idea what that was), green worms (spinach pasta), brains and baby bats salad (sea weed salad & carrots shaped as bats).  Afterwards the kids helped us decorate the incredibly delicious deserts, that were made by the parents.  There were some incredible pumpkin cupcakes and zucchini bread that the kids went crazy for and decorated with gummy worms, etc.  There was more fun & games after they decorated their chosen desserts and ate them.  we had a costume contest in 2 categories: one for the best solo child costume, and the best parent child combination costume.  Last year, when someone else hosted the party, my son and I won the parent/child costume category.  I was a very short Darth Vader and my son was one of my Imperial Guards.  Very cool!  We won a chess/checker set and a huge bag of candy that was the envy of all the kids.  The candy lasted till August of this year.  Between the 3 hr prep and the 3 hr. party I was exhausted, but my night was not done yet. 

I then had my first meeting with a group of member that we have formed at the Y,  The group's focus is to break through our current physical barriers that has kept at a certain plateau or threshold level and has not let us create the incredible hard bodies we want.  The meeting was to formalize the group, set goals, create a working format and set ground rules before our first official workout.  I've been needing this type of set up for almost 10 yrs now. For me, my set back has been the lack of support & accountability.  My entire life I've been involved in team sports and have worked out in a team atmosphere.  From volleyball, track & gymnastics in Jr. High & High School to skiing, softball & tennis in college. So when my circle of best friends, workout buddies & cheerleading squad died on 9/11 I was left with a world shattered and torn apart, and with no clue or ability of how to move forward. 

Well, this morning was our first workout.  It was over 2 hours long.  I did the first 75 min with one group had a 30 min break (standing and running around) and 75 min with the 2nd group.  We are talking, treadmill, elliptical, spinning, stairmaster, rowing, etc., etc. My knees are feeling it now!! But I FEEL GREAT!!!  One of the members of our group is a former Ranger and former personal trainer, whose a bit out of shape for the past few years while raising small kids.  He's made a committment to come back into the gym and get back in shape.  He had to stop 3 times for about a min each time and slow down 2 other times on the stairmaster because he couldn't keep up with me... wooohooo!  Same thing with the rowing.  I said nothing because I still have to get to know him to figure out when and how to coax him to finish the exercises as we had planned them. I am just excited that I did everything on our exercise plan and that we did them so well.  Woohoo!

Late this afternoon, after attending a noontime parade with some other parents,  my son and I went home to rest up for the next event on our schedule, another parade.  Parents and kids from our neighborhood participated in a small Halloween Parade sponsored by the Kiwanis Club. There was a nice group of between 80 & 90 kids and parents, all with very unique costumes.  My son, who by then was Halloweened out - just wanted to dress up comfortably in jeans and a Yankees tshirt and cap - to help me with car/crowd safety.  Unlike my son, I was in the mood to dress up, and I put together a  gypsy outfit, much like the one you see below. The only exception was the sleeves, which were just barely off the shoulders.  After all, I am a middle-aged mom. I carried a tambourine in my hand to get the kids,  parents and driver's attention, when they were inching too close to us (we had to share the road).  

We walked for 3 miles in the parade and then ended at the local community center (my feet were killing me by then).  There they had a free party for members of the Kiwanis Club, one of the sponsored the parade.  We got to go as guests of 2 members who are trying to recruit me as a member.  A live band played and there was some great snacks & appetizers donated by local restaurant merchants.  It was truly a really well organized and fun event. After the party we all retreated to the home of our party hosts to rest and relax before the next and last event of the day - trick o'  treating.  

We kept our trick o'treating simple and went only to homes and apartments where we knew the residents. Michael, who helped escort the kids up the steps was surprised to receive candy and money. On the way home he said he was happy with the unexpected loot he got and is looking forward to using the change to buy deeply discounted Halloween candy next weekend. 

We just got home, having barely beat the rain, and with our feet perched and resting, we're sitting in front of the tv (a rare thing) eagerly awaiting for the Game 3 between the Yankees/Phillies to start.   

I'm looking forward to reading your posts of your own Halloween events or adventures. Hope they were fun! .