Category Archives: Great Ideas

I Hope You Feel Uncomfortable 

My best friends (chosen family) do something very interesting each new year. They sit down together, take stock in their lives, and work to create good habits for that year. One of their habits (I really hate the word resolution) is to make a point to do something outside their comfort zone. Their thought pattern has rattled around my head since early January.

Just the other day I announced to my friend that I am boring. Of course her response was “you are anything but boring.” Ok so I may not be boring to the people closest to me, but I feel  boring. Not the I’m going to run out and get a sports car boring, or I’m going to climb Kili boring. It’s not about shock factor or the you-did-what factor at all. It’s about challenging myself and making myself feel a bit uncomfortable.

Recently my family traveled to Washington, DC. We were having dinner in a great little spot that had a piano bar upstairs. While we ate we were serenaded by people singing karaoke in the piano bar. There were some incrediby talented people singing who must sing all the time, as well as a few who obviously do not need to quit their day jobs. I sat there joking throughout our dinner that I was going to try my voice at karaoke. My 12 year old and I began to mull over choices for my debut. Should I attempt Beyoncé, or stay with something less booty shaking? Perhaps Elton John would be more my speed, or something classic like Gladys Knight. Knowing full-well that it was just a hypothetical scenario we began to narrow down my choices. Tiny Dancer it was – seeing as how I frequently belt it out in the car! We both had a great laugh at the mere thought of me singing our beloved Sir Elton John! 

“Next up, Sally!” I looked around very amused for the other person named Sally when my husband said, “You have been talking about stepping outside of your comfort zone and I thought you needed a little push.” Yeah, off a cliff!!! I was paralyzed. My daughter’s jaw was hanging wide open as I made my way to the microphone. What did I have to lose? Maybe a little dignity. I would never see another soul in this place again! 

Note the guy in the back snickering! That’s his she’s-going-home-with-YOU grin.

I’d like to say it was a drop the mic moment. It was awful. I did it though! I sang every lyric proudly. There were some claps and cheers, and NOT from my family.  I. Did. It. Thanks to my husband I was exhilarated, and I showed my daughter (and myself) that it is absolutely OK to do something completely out of your comfort zone despite how embarrassing it might be. I did not feel at all boring that night.

Recently I stumbled onto the blog of a former co-worker and discovered that she and her husband had given up the comforts of “home” and purchased an RV. A couple of years ago they took it all over the United States and experienced some amazing things. Of course it wasn’t all glamorous and it was daily life…in an RV…with pets. The key here is that even though it is daily life there is some level of uncertainty. Low and behold they are heading back out for a new journey in 2016. I will be keeping up with their adventures and daily living. 

Some message is being sent to me – I’m convinced of it. I happen upon the blog of someone I haven’t even thought about in years, and then I’m hit with the movie trailer for  Whiskey Tango Foxtrot over and over again. The BFF and I had added that to our list of movies to see even before I began feeling this tug. I’m not talking about running off to  Kabul like Tina Fey’s character, but I feel like I need to be experiencing something more. My personality is one where I need to have security, and know where I am going to lay my head at night. I am a planner, but I should be a little uncomfortable – Tiny Dancer uncomfortable. 

I read an interesting article on Cosmopolitan about Shonda Rhimes. If you’ve been living under a rock – Shonda Rhimes is the amazingly talented creator behind Grey’s Anatomy, Private Practice, Scandal, and How to Get Away With Murder. In this article she suggests doing what scares you and celebrating daily. All of this is part of her new book, Year of Yes. Her words in this article are exactly what I am talking about, and what my friends set out to accomplish at the beginning of 2016! 

I’m going to try. I can’t promise I’m going to succeed, but I am going to look for opportunities to step out of my comfort zone, do what scares me, and celebrate. My attempts may not equal setting off on the great American RV adventure, or traveling to war-torn countries. Singing my favorite songs in front of complete strangers may be more my type of uncomfortable. Whatever your speed, or your type – I hope YOU feel uncomfortable too. 

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Filed under Fun, Great Ideas, Inspirations, Life, Sally

Put a Cork in It! 

Ok! I have a new favorite thing. I’m not one to pimp out products, but I also share something I love with all my friends. Having been in the marketing world for years, I know just how important word of mouth is for a company.
Corksicle. This thing is AWESOME. If my tumbler is as great as this you can pretty much bank on the fact the other products are too. 

24oz tumbler in gloss turquoise


It is simply the coolest cup ever – and by cool I mean this thing keeps a drink ice cold for 9 hours. Well, that’s the claim! However, I have experienced longer amounts of time. It also keeps hot drinks piping hot for 3 hours! I am one of those picky people who cannot stand room temp water, or lukewarm coffee. 

Corksicle tumblers are triple insulated stainless steel, and they do NOT sweat in the least! It also comes with a shatterproof plastic lid – totally important to klutzy me!

My youngest asked me if they have water bottles for her. She’s exactly like me (imagine that) and likes ice cold water. Of course I looked and there is a fabulous canteen! That sucker keeps a beverage cold for 25 hours. She can go from school to swim practice easily.  

16oz canteen in gloss pink


I could go on and on! Check out Corksicle for yourself.  You’ll notice that the product line first started with adult beverages. You might find some pretty neat items there as well (wink wink).

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Filed under Favorite Products, Great Ideas

College Dorm Prep – The Best Advice From True Pros

I was in frantic mode exactly two years ago – I was preparing to send my oldest child off to college. I will admit, getting prepared was a lot of fun and it was also a challenge.

Everywhere I turned there were checklists for college dorms. We also added a few of our own items to those existing lists, and struck a few as well. I chatted with friends who had walked this path before, and consulted the Internet of course. So many emotions were rushing through me and I often wondered if I was making mistakes with college preparations.

Recently my friends over at Grown and Flown put together an awesome post Top 12 Dorm Shopping Mistakes. It is a MUST read if you are preparing for your first college launch from the home nest. I only wish I had this lovely bit of information two years ago. The 12 Mistakes post is pure common sense advice from pros who have been through the college send off numerous times. In addition, I love how they solicited other ideas from readers and included those suggestions as well.

I have fallen in love with this blog and all the awesome things they share. These two women are noteworthy and I love their approach. When you are reading it feels as if you are hearing from a dear, wise friend. I have many friends and followers who are mothers to younger children. Seriously – follow Grown and Flown to make your life EASIER!!!! They are like a parenting GPS.

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Filed under College, Great Ideas, Organization, Uncategorized

Everyone Needs A Little Help & Some Awesome Food

We have all known people who need a little extra help at some point in their lives. Be it a friend who has recently had a baby, or one that has faced a tough illness, we often find ourselves wanting to lend a hand. One thing that has been instilled in me as a good southern woman – you feed a person’s body, spirit, and soul. Food is healing!

Recently I found myself in a position where the last thing I could do was feed my own family. We received many phone calls from people who wanted to help feed us while I was ill. I have to admit there was nothing more comforting than a home cooked meal from a dear friend. If my culinary challenged wonderful  husband was in charge of feeding himself, two kids, and a sick wife we would be eating tater tots, frozen burritos, and boxed mac & cheese. A wonderful group of people knew I needed nourishment to help recover from my illness and set up a meal circle.

If you are like me and enjoy helping someone by feeding them good home-cooked food, you must check out Take Them A Meal. I’ve personally used the site to help coordinate a meal delivery system, but I have never been on the receiving end of the website until recently. What a wonderful, convenient way to get the job done! The coordintor’s job is easy, and the recipient is well-informed about what is happening. Take Them A Meal is simple and organized!

I am grateful for dear people who knew we were struggling and kept my family fed with some awesome food. When I am 100% you’d better believe I will be cooking for and nourishing the next person who needs something besides frozen meals and takeout.

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Filed under Cooking, Favorite Products, Great Ideas

Childhood Art Memories

Face it – we’ve all done it – thrown away little Picasso’s scribbled masterpiece. Gasp! Don’t judge. I have grabbed a piece of child art, moved like a ninja to the garbage can only to be caught red-handed. There have been many times when I had to explain that “Mama is just moving it to a better place.”

Kaye Winiecki has rescued me and millions of other parents with this amazing idea. I believe I am going to steal borrow her idea for Sarah. Having a child who adores art,and is constantly creating something new, causes space issues in my house. Now I can catalog all of the wonderful pictures and save them forever.

 Thanks Kaye – now I don’t have to look into those big blue eyes and know that I am crushing dreams of being the next Picasso.

 

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Filed under Favorite Things, Great Ideas, Organization, Sally

Four-Legged Family Members

The three gals love their pets! Our dog (Sophie) and two cats (Lucy & Maggie) are essentially four-legged, furry people. We stumbled across one of the absolute best ideas for indoor pets. Our friends at Attic Mag have some ideas to help make four-legged family members feel at home. Everyone loves a special place of their own – even pets!

Perhaps if we had a great built in for Sophie we would not find her invading our beds!

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Filed under Favorite Spaces, Great Ideas

Small Space Overhaul

The second child is one that often gets the raw end of the deal…fewer baby pictures, hand-me-downs, and smaller spaces to call their own. There is a ten year difference in age between the girls, and it is only natural the youngest got the smallest bedroom. After all, she was an infant when we moved into our home.

We made a plan to overhaul Sarah’s small room before the school year began. Our main objective was to make Sarah’s room more functional for a second grader, while meeting her request to get rid of the little girl aspects of her bedroom. She wanted something “cool” and conducive to playing – we wanted a study space for schoolwork and a place for all her numerous art projects.

We realized from the beginning there was no way a traditional desk was going to fit into that tight space.Ikea is one of the BEST places to shop for furniture made specifically for a small space. We were not in our local store for more than 15 minutes before we found the ideal situation – a wall mount drop leaf desk! Combined with a series of shelves to save floor space, we had the perfect solution.

Sarah’s bed is a Pottery Barn bed with a trundle (filled with toys while the mattress is being stored elsewhere!) and works great for her little room. She is set for the next while! All is happy in the life of the youngest gal.

 

 

 

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Filed under Great Ideas, Sarah