Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Motivation via Pinterest

I've got a lot to do.  My motivation these days has been a little....subpar... and that ends now.  So, my plan for today is to cross all of those pesky things that seem to get put off indefinitely off my list.  Not only because they need to get done but I'm also tired of the nagging "guilt" that comes with procrastinating.  So today is going to be a good, productive day which will end with a clean desk and clear conscience. 


Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Thank you...

I am surrounded by some really awesome people.  Friends that really understand me --- quirks and all.  And so today, I just wanted to say a heartfelt, warm, sincere, thank you.  Thank you for caring, connecting, listening, and sharing.   Thank you for being with me on my journey and letting me be a part of yours.  Thank you for making my life better, simply by being you. 


Monday, February 27, 2012

Oprah & Tony Robbins!

You guys, it's time to talk.  You may or may not know that I am a huge, and I do mean huge, Oprah fan.  I will spare you the details but I just think she's the best and I cannot get enough of her shows and her new network. My friends who know me well hear my Oprah references all too often and if you were to look at my DVR you'd see more OWN shows than anything else.  

Flash forward to last week.  For my post on Friday, I wanted to talk about Vision Boards and Law of Attraction and creating the life that you have dreamed etc. etc.   I *really* do believe in the power of all of that.  However, I wanted to do a very well thought out post and on Friday I just didn't have that kind of time.  So, instead I thought to find a link to share and I would come back to the topic another day.   So, I went to the Oprah Website.  While I truly am a huge fan, I hardly ever go to her website....   But I did and on it I saw a posting about entering to win tickets to see Oprah's Lifeclass live in NYC.  This would be a dream come true, so I entered.   ....And I won!!!   

I will try to keep this from becoming a totally insane blog full of Oprah-hysteria, but I did have to say something about it here.  More than just me being selected to see Oprah (and Tony Robbins!!) live, it was a reminder of the magic we each hold within.  You guys, we can do things.  We can set our minds and reach goals we thought were merely pipe dreams.  We can manifest whatever life we desire.  It can be done.  It just requires a clarity of vision and a sincere desire.   We are sooo capable. 

I urge you, no, I beg you --- to create a focus for yourself.  Whatever that might be.  Make it true and authentic.  Ask yourself if someone, or something, is helping you towards that vision or standing in your way.  Be clear.  Have purpose.  It might not be today or tomorrow but you should be actively engaged in your life....moving it forward and towards your goals. 

Manifest your dreams.  Make them your reality.   Let go of blame, excuses, fear....anything that holds you back.  It's on you.  And if not you, than who....


Friday, February 24, 2012


By now we've all heard about the powerful effects of Law of Attraction, Vision Boards, "The Secret".   Whether you choose to believe the hype or are more skeptical is up to you but I choose to believe that Rumi's words, "what you seek is seeking you" are true. 

A few weeks ago I read that every day in your journal you should write down the following question and answer it accordingly...  "what do I really, really, really want."   Simple.  Write it down.  For your eyes only. Perhaps you don't know exactly but as you work on the exercise your goals will become more clear  and with that clarity of vision comes your reality.

Among so many other things I see for myself, I'd love to own a magical cottage on a New England lake.  It seems like a nice place to put my thoughts today...    Have a great weekend, friends. 

(image, image, image, image)

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Namesake II

In honor of this week being my 100th post week, I thought I would do a second thought inspired by the Blog's namesake - Ms. Lelaina Pierce.   Ever-wise and as relevent today as she was in 1994 :)

Lelaina Pierce: I was really going to be somebody by the time I was 23. Troy Dyer: Honey, all you have to be by the time you're 23 is yourself.
Lelaina Pierce: I don't know who that is anymore.
Troy Dyer: I do. And we all love her. I love her. She breaks my heart again and again, but I love her.

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Kitchen All-Star

Reading articles like this one from the NYTimes or this one from Huffington Post and the countless others discussing the dangers lurking in our kitchens, can leave anyone feeling slightly alarmed.  While the actual danger of the chemicals used in the cans and other processed foods we eat remains unknown, nobody will deny their presence.  

While eliminating everything processed is a commitment larger than I can reasonably undertake at this time, consistently cutting back on canned goods and preserved food has been a goal of mine for some time.  In order to do so, I think it's important to find recipes and tools that make cooking healthy recipes time efficient, tasty and easy. 

...enter, one of my kitchen all-stars. The Cuisinart mini chopper.  This pint sized tool takes up virtually no space, is incredibly sharp -- can dice carrots, onions, garlic, celery, peppers, in two seconds --- and the blade and the cup go right into the dishwasher for the easiest clean-up possible.   I use it all the time.  

And in an effort to continue to use more fresh ingredients...we tried this one from Martha the other day and really enjoyed it!  (I blended the cilantro, lime, garlic and olive oil in the Cuisinart in one quick pulse).

Lime Cilantro Rice
  • 1 cup long-grain white rice
  • Coarse salt
  • 1/2 cup fresh cilantro
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 garlic clove


  1. In a medium saucepan, bring 1 1/2 cups water to a boil. Add rice and 1/4 teaspoon salt; cover, and reduce to a simmer. Cook until water is absorbed and rice is just tender, 16 to 18 minutes.
  2. Meanwhile, in a blender, combine cilantro, lime juice, oil, garlic, and 2 tablespoons water; blend until smooth. Stir into cooked rice, and fluff with a fork.


Tuesday, February 21, 2012


This is my 100th post.  I guess a great reminder to just start.   Whatever your goal might be --- have a blog, write a novel, be a runner, a yogi, a baker, a reader...  Be consistent, create a sustainable pace, and most importantly, just do it.  One day, one post, one step at a time. 


Friday, February 17, 2012


Last night I said to my husband, "I feel like an adult".  That might sound like a weird thing to say coming from a 31 year old who has managed to stay married for 5 years, own a house, start a business, hold the same job...   But in many ways, I think what I was doing over the past decade was transitioning.  And there were growing pains (which I think is part of what makes the 20's so painful) but I hadn't really got there.  Now I feel like the train has pulled into the station.  I was on the Adult Express...and we just reached our final destination.

Why, you wonder?  Impermanence.  As a child, I was sheltered from some of the truths.  I wasn't overly naive, but I just believed that good would always prevail and that there was a universal fairness that governed the world around us.  I actually do still believe that, on a spiritual level, but speaking in terms of our physical lives here --- we are not "owed" anything.  We won't have happy marriages just because we wear wedding bands, we may never have the opportunity at our "dream career", the most wonderful people will get sick and the one who cheated through the entire game just might keep climbing to the top.   It happens.  It all happens. 

That said, my perception as an adult is not a negative one.  It is not a selfish one either.  It finally stopped being quite so confusing, too.  Impermanence is undeniable and unavoidable.  Things change.  We welcome with joy new life, new love, new marriages, new opportunities just as we mourn the loss of people and circumstances taken before we felt ready.   Life can be as beautiful as it is cruel.  While we wait for the next change --- I strive to be happy. I hold myself to my own standards and try to be a pillar that is less affected by the world around me. Will we make mistakes? Yes.  Will it always be fair or right or reasonable? No way.  Do we hold all of the answers? Absolutely not.  Will we be surprised? Shocked.   Does it go on? Every single day.   

Welcome, adulthood.
(Japanese tradition uses the Cherry Blossom as a symbol of the transience of life...)


Thursday, February 16, 2012

Kris Carr on Criticism...

To say I loved this article is an understatement.  It made me laugh, made me feel understood, made me think and made me pass it on to a few different friends.   I highly recommend you take a look....

A few of my favorite excerpts:
It’s simple: 99 percent of the time, the stabbing comment is not about you. It’s about them. The haters will hate because they are hurt and sad and mad. Your shine freaks the holy-hell fuck out of them. Capiche?

Take a breath and objectively examine the source before crawling into a hole of self-loathing. Plus, that person is already occupying the hole. Do you really want to hang with them?

Just a brilliant piece.   Her entire site is just full of awesome stuff to devour --- consider this your warning.  I got sucked in for a wee bit too long.   


Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Happiness is....

...a pleasant surprise
...being late yet in before your boss ;)
...a good parking space
...feeling proud
...laughing so hard it hurts while watching this youtube clip!
...effortless conversation
...harmony ~*

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Happy Valentine's Day, Loves!

Oh, Love.  Is there really any topic that could invite more things to say?   For today I wanted to say something on the spiritual side of love.  The idea that love is actually a connection between souls.  I think this far transcends a modern day quest to "find your soulmate", instead I think our lives, if lived with truth and intention, will intersect with other lives.  These, in my opinion, are not coincidences.  These intersections, however brief or long, are teachers and help each one of us continue a path towards.....something so much bigger than ourselves~*.   They come in all shapes and sizes.  If you're open, they will always come through your life.  I have been blessed by so many of these intersections.  Not only my husband, but friends, parents, mentors, ...strangers.   They have come into my life - for a moment or a lifetime - and *connected*.   And made my life something different and better than it could have otherwise ever been. 

I try to live my life with my heart open and ready for these moments of connection.  To me, they are The Point. 

"Remember that time you told me you said,
"Love is touching souls"
Surely you touched mine
'Cause part of you pours out of me
In these lines from time to time" - Joni Mitchell

Friday, February 10, 2012


If you've been following along, you might notice my aim towards living a more simple life.  Inspired by this great thought:

"Simple living is about living deliberately. Simple living is not about austerity, or frugality, or income level. It's about being fully aware of why you are living your particular life, and knowing that life is one you have chosen thoughtfully. Simple living is about designing our lives to coincide with our ideals." – Janet Luhrs, The Simple Living Guide

Mastering simplicity is an art.  It takes a great talent to edit away the unnecessary and prune the good into even better.  But it's a worthwhile challenge and I can genuinely say it feels great to be cutting back some of the stuff, feelings, thoughts, people, drama that no longer serve me, or maybe never did. 

Letting the spaces below remind me that more is not always better....  Have a wonderful weekend!



Thursday, February 9, 2012

Step 2: booking the tickets....

I was going to say, Step 1: book the tickets but that isn't exactly true for the way I like to vacation.  For me, Step 1 is determine the place.  I don't do a lot of research, per se, in this first step, I like to go with my instinct.  I always have a running list of places in my mind that interest me - whether I read an article about them, saw photos, or just have a sense of it being a place I'd like to see.   From that list, places tend to naturally rise to the top.  Maybe it's a good airfare, or the timing just seemed right...

In this case, New Orleans was becoming the front runner for a spring long weekend getaway.  Everything just seemed right.  A city with a thriving and rich culture, amazing food & drink, nice spring climate and close enough to make a long weekend out of it.  Yes, yes, yes and yes.   Once the idea really gets planted, everything else seems to fall into place.  Which brings us to today, Step 2: Book the Tickets.  And with that click of "confirm", my entire state of being seems to relax.  Yes!!!  We're on the move!

Now I get to enjoy Step 3: The planning and research Step 4: The exploring a brand new city with my love and Step 5: (quite possibly the best of all) the after-effect.  The feeling you get when you're back at home after an amazing trip and realize all is right with your world.

Here we come, N'awlins!

(image, image, image, image)

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

European Life Lust...

Have you guys ever perused Airbnb?  It's a pretty cool site which lists apartments and rooms available to rent.  I have never used the site to book accomodations but something tells me if I was 21 years old, making my way around Europe again, I'd be all over this.  A step up from some of the hostels we stayed in!

It's not only a place for cheap rooms though.  They have some really nice looking apartments available to rent and friends of mine have done this because they travel with small children and swear apartment vacationing is the way to go.  I will definitely keep it in mind and if I ever have an experience with it, I'll be sure to post about it here. 

In the meantime, it's a super fun site to flip around and day dream about living some fantastic Euro life, get a sense of some different cities, or even (and maybe most importantly!) get some incredible design inspiration.  I'm really drawn to the European aesthetic.  I am enamored by their ability to make small spaces seem comfortable, modern, inviting, clean, stylish....  

Let's go on a little tour of Europe, shall we: :)

Stockholm, Sweden:

Barcelona, Spain:

Cannes, France:

(all images via airbnb)

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

The Paris Wife

The Paris Wife written by Paula McClain is a best-seller written through the eyes of Hadley Hemingway, Ernest's first wife.  It was the first book I read this year and I thoroughly enjoyed it.   Set in Paris in the 1920's, the book takes you on a realistic rollercoaster through the life of a woman trying to love a difficult, yet brilliant man.  McClain does a commendable job highlighting the flaws not only in Ernest, as one might expect, but in Hadley too.  Her prose make for a quick and relatively easy read, yet she very carefully and delibrately is able capture the emotional highs and lows of their tumultuous relationship.  The backdrop of post-war Europe added a welcome touch.   Nicely done.

“He was such an enigma, really - fierce and strong and weak and cruel. An incomparable friend and a son of a bitch. In the end, there wasn't one thing about him that was truer than the rest. It was all true.” 

“To marry was to say you believed in the future and in the past, too- that history and tradition and hope could stay knit together to hold you up.” 


Monday, February 6, 2012

Baking for the non-baker....

I don't bake.  I love to cook and think I can hold my own in the kitchen, but baking is as different to me from cooking as say.... doing laundry!   To me, baking requires too much precision.  It is meticulous and gets a bit tedious.  I much prefer cooking - improvising, tweaking, swapping this for that, realizing that my dish isn't over if I forgot something...    Baking is too constricted.   Too many rules to follow....

Well, before I get into a full on psychoanalysis of what my resistance to baking means about who I am, I'll get back to the point.  I made something this weekend.  It was good, easy, and I followed the rules without breaking into hives.  So, for those of you reading who also steer clear from baking but find yourself wanting to add a few things to your repertoire, I suggest - Ina Garten's Coconut Macaroons.  They didn't require lots of obscure ingredients, they were virtually painless to make, and tasted fabulous! 

Coconut Macaroons:
1 14oz Sweetened Shredded Coconut
1 14oz Sweetened Condensed Milk
1 tsp pure vanilla extract (or pure almond extract)
2 egg whites
1/4 tsp kosher salt

Set the eggs aside and let them reach room temperature (this is important).  Preheat oven to 325.

Mix coconut, milk and extract.   Meanwhile beat the 2 egg whites and salt together until stiff (in non-baker terms, I just used a hand mixer on high and beated until the egg whites were no longer a liquid consistency.  about 3 minutes)   Fold in to coconut mixture.  Line baking sheets with parchment paper and using an ice cream scoop,  scoop mixture onto baking sheet.   Bake for 20-25 minutes, until golden brown.  Place on cooling rack and let cool.  Store in air-tight container and will stay fresh and soft for 5 days.  (perfect if you need to make in advance of a party).

*I drizzled a few with melted dark chocolate but we preferred them plain.


Friday, February 3, 2012

Friday Laugh...

"We have to laugh at ourselves, we'd cry our eyes out if we didn't...."  - Indigo Girls  

 Have a great weekend.

(image via Cup of Jo)

Thursday, February 2, 2012

Media Room

In general, extra large houses don't really appeal to me.  I tend to be drawn to classic and cozy cottage or farmhouse style homes.  When I envision my "dream home" it has gorgeous wood floors and an inspiring and open kitchen with a beautiful table.  I'd love a serene backyard space and lots of natural light.   Other than that, the rest are just details...

Except one thing has been growing on me.  And that is a finished basement.  I like the idea of a warm and casual space to have friends over for movies, cards or in this case...the Superbowl!  


Wednesday, February 1, 2012


A lot of people ask us about running a small business.  They wonder how my husband has managed to carve out a modest career doing what he loves...  There's so many things that I could say, which quite frankly is why I've never really touched on the subject here.   We are by no means experts and depending on your own definition, we may or may not be "successful".   Our intention has always been to run a profitable business in which he could pursue and spread his passion.  He would never compromise on integrity - of himself or his brand.

It's been a long road.  Longer and more difficult than we could have ever imagined.  Running a business is not for the faint of heart.  It's not for me!   It's not for many, many people.  But as he jumped out of bed this morning at 6am to teach a seminar to the Massachusetts State SWAT team, I thought of these words from Calvin Coolidge.  I don't think wiser words could be said to someone seeking advice on their own venture.

“Nothing in this world can take the place of persistence. Talent will not; nothing is more common than unsuccessful people with talent. Genius will not; unrewarded genius is almost a proverb. Education will not; the world is full of educated derelicts. Persistence and determination alone are omnipotent.” - Calvin Coolidge