Tag Archives: friends

Dear Year Thirty-Three…


“All the world is birthday cake, so take a piece, but not too much.” – George Harrison

Dear Year Thirty-Three,

I have a few requests, thoughts and ideas for you based on the previous thirty-two years of my life.

Request #1: I like all the time we have spent together. I really do. However, I would prefer it if we could just slow down and relax together. Take a breather. Have a chat and some coffee. Be comfortable with silence. Breathe.

Request #2: Being on the “other” side of thirty, I would like it if the gray hair at my temples, the pre-wrinkles around my eyes and the increasing inability to stay up past midnight could be viewed as signs of growth and not aging. I think that’s more on my shoulders than yours, though.

Request #3: Thirty-three is considered a Master Number in Numerology. How about this year we focus on growing toward some of the aspects of the number (compassion, courage and healing) and begin to let go of some of the more banal aspects of life. Again…pretty sure this one is on me.

I know that we take a lot out of each other and it can be draining, so I wanted to give you a few kudos for what you have brought into my life.

Thank You #1: Thank you for simply allowing me to be. I realize that’s more of a thank you to my parents for conceiving me, but still…thanks. Even with the heartaches and headaches of life, I still believe that the world is a marvelous place full of beauty and love. I hope that I will always look at life that way.

Thank You #2: Thank you for bringing hundreds of wonderful people into my life. Some I knew only for a short time while others I have known literally since birth. Everyone has brought something to me, whether it was happiness, sorrow or a combination of the two. I have had conversations that have expanded my way of thinking. I have made memories that will never cease to make me laugh and smile. I have gained and I have lost a fair number of people but I wouldn’t consider my life to be authentic without having a little darkness to balance the light.

Thank You #3: Thank you for never letting me feel “settled”. Thank you for always keeping my mind moving onto something new and different. Thank you for introducing change into my life as a way to keep my roots from getting so deep that I am incapable of movement — even if for a short time some of that momentum seems to take me backward. Thank you for showing me how to let go of things that have served me well but are no longer necessary for the expansion of my consciousness and my potential.

I anticipate the following year and plan to do great and marvelous things on your behalf. I hope that you look at the time that you have given me and overlook my shortcomings, failures and missteps.  These are not setbacks. They are just fuel for the next 33 years.

Sincerely and Respectfully,


P.S. Herb Alpert’s “Rise” was the number one song on my birthday back in 1979. This must have been where I got my love of music because I have always thought this song was awesome (and not just because The Notorious B.I.G. sampled it).

DIY: Easy Easter Entertaining


It’s that time again!

If you’re a regular reader you know that I do twice-monthly blogging at Inspired Design Daily. One post is a full-on DIY project and the other is a collection of some fun DIY ideas that are generally seasonal. This week proves no different, as I re-post my blog entry, sharing ideas that are easy and fun for Spring.

Easter is upon us and whether or not you celebrate the holiday from a religious context, there’s no doubt that it always heralds a new season, bringing us out of the drudgery of winter with blue skies, warm weather and brand new life all around us.

Take a few minutes to browse the ideas below. You might find something to inspire you to turn this weekend into a DIY Eggstravaganza.

Get it?


I’m a lot funnier in my head.


Chocolate-Covered Peeps are easy and fun to make!

"Dining with one's friends and beloved family is certainly one of life's primal and most innocent delights, one that is both soul-satisfying and eternal." - Julia Child

I got a text message from my sister last week asking me about our plans for Easter. We don’t have children so the holidays usually sneak up on me. I decided to jump on the internet for a bit and try to find some easy and cute ideas that I could use at our celebration this year. Since the nieces and nephews are sure to get their fair share of sugary sweets from the Easter Bunny, I thought I could find a few  ideas that would be unique enough to stand alone.

My hands-down favorite idea are the Chocolate-Covered Peeps. They are colorful, fun and quite frankly, I’ve never seen anything like them. They are also a good idea for families who choose not to dye eggs or who just want an alternative to their kitchen smelling of vinegar or dealing with pesky dye stains.

The Easter Bunny Rolls are also something that I plan to make. I don’t bake too often, but the idea of not having these little guys at the table is almost more than I can stand! I will make them a day ahead of time so I will have the opportunity to make another batch should I have, shall we say, technical difficulties.

However you choose to celebrate Easter (or just spring in general) the idea is to bring the vibrancy and freshness of the season indoors.  More importantly, it is a time to gather with friends and family and share in the joys of love and true affection.

Happy Spring Crafting!


Chocolate-Covered Peeps

These cute little Peeps will add a punch to any Easter basket.

Easter and Peeps are almost synonymous. They were created by Russian immigrant Sam Born in 1953 and have been a staple in Easter baskets ever since. This easy DIY from Leigh Ann at Your Homebased Mom, gives instructions on how to create the cute little critters, as well as how to transform them into Chocolate-Covered Peep Pops and even (gasp!) Peep S’mores! These make a great special addition to the kids’ baskets and will be equally oogled and eaten at the office — just prepare your ego for the onslaught of Martha Stewart comparisons.

Spring Vegetable Centerpiece

Using baby vegetables adds a rustic touch to the traditional centerpiece.

I’ll admit it. When I first saw this centerpiece on the Swedish bloger Minna Mercke’s popular site, Blomstervekstad, I thought that it was a collection of foil-wrapped chocolate candies on a bed of moss. When I clicked on the image I soon discovered that they were baby onions, Brussels sprouts and cabbages. Brilliant! This is really a jumping-off-point kind of DIY. Simply find a cake stand, bowl or basket and fill it with moss, then top it with whatever spring-themed items you wish. You could use candy, vegetables or even eggs. Using candy in the centerpiece encourages interaction among the guests and kids will simply love it. I have also seen some plastic and paper-mache eggs this season that are totally display worthy. Go forth and be creative!

Colored String Egg Swag

This egg swag can be used year after year. Try adding glitter for a sparkling touch.

Cute Easter decorations can cost an arm and a leg these days. Why pay exorbitant prices for something that you can make for a few dollars and some time at the craft table? This adorable (and easy) egg swag from The Futon Store NYC can be made with three simple items: string, glue and balloons. Most if not all of these supplies are probably in your home right now! You can use one color of string or several colors depending on your budget. A variety of color gives a festive punch to your decor, while one overall color will make a bigger statement. For a simple, rustic look, use white or neutral-colored string.

Easter Bunny Rolls

Bread is a staple at any family meal. These bunny-shaped rolls offer a whimsical touch to the table.

Whether you are a seasoned baker or have no idea what a rolling pin looks like, you can serve these adorable bunny rolls at your gathering using your method of choice. Taste Of Home lays out detailed instructions and a tasty-sounding savory recipe that will compliment any Easter brunch or dinner. If your kitchen skills are more suited to the “pre-made” arena, you’re in luck. These will work just as well with a store-bought mix or canned dough (your only task is to keep them from burning).

Decorating With Branches

Using branches is an inexpensive way to make an elegant and simple arrangement.

Sometimes all you want is a simple, clean floral arrangement without all of the fuss, mess and expense that flowers bring. Kelly Bernier of Restyling Home is a big fan of using branches, and gives a great selection of ideas on her blog, as well as tips on how to force branches into bloom. Luckily for me, cherry, dogwood and Bradford pear trees are all blooming in my area of Alabama, as are forsythia and lilac bushes. All you need are a few empty vases and containers and you can create a stunning collection of nature’s beauty right in your living room.



So it’s not like I have any complaints. Considering the tornado-induced devastation across several southern states, me and mine fared pretty well. No power for six days is pretty light compared to losing friends, family, pets, jobs, homes and vehicles.

With the help of our friends and neighbors, we ended up creating a pretty fantastic setup, complete with two propane grills, yard games, a fire pit, cooler upon cooler of food, battery-driven music and even (gasp) glow sticks.

Cold showers were not preferred, but weren’t that bad, either. If you turn on your Jedi mind and tense all of your muscles, you can pretty much take a full shower (and shave) with no problem. After that, grab a chair and sit in the sun sipping a beer while watching a game of ladder ball.

After about two days, I had gotten used to it and actually preferred the slowed pace of life. With no A/C, we were forced to raise the windows. We woke with the birds and the sun and by 9 or 10 PM we were ready to hit the hay (except for the first couple of nights where we couldn’t tear ourselves away from a game of glow-in-the-dark bags (or corn hole, for us southerners). I was also introduced to spider hunting. Let me tell you, the old addage of never being 3 feet away from a spider is pretty spot-on. Our yard was covered…literally.

By day 5 I was considering succeeding from society altogether and forming my own little commune. I liked the way I had acclimated to nature. I enjoy the outdoors, but don’t generally spend 15+ hours a day sitting outside. Somehow, this power outage had reset my brain. I felt more creative and more alive.

I preferred sidewalk chalk drawing to staring a hole in the TV. I reacquainted myself with the art of clover flower jewelry making. I painted my nails…twice. I played board games and card games and silly “Would You Rather” games. There were always people around to talk with and our conversations were always funny and engaging. I learned more about my friends than I had known before and realized that my life is pretty darn good. Who needs expensive things, fancy cars and diamond rings? Isn’t that a song lyric?

When the power came back on, I was actually disappointed. My extended yard vacation was over…back to creature comforts and eventually being sucked back into the world.  Back to fighting traffic, back to dependence on my cell phone and my laptop, back to flip flip flipping through the channels, back to boring life that humans have created all around them by shielding themselves from the great outdoors.

Lucky for me, our little commune has decided to get together once a month and have a “Power-Out Party” (except this time, we won’t have to wonder what that rotting smell is coming from the fridge).

As for me, today I plan to go home (with my laptop and music) and sit in the back yard until the sun goes down. I’m excited already!

Arcade Fire – “Power Out”