encouragement for today

15 Apr

there’s something i want to remember every single morning.  

but i don’t.  i wake up and go through my programmed routine and i forget.  in the beginning i didn’t forget. and i made myself promise that i wouldn’t.

i don’t want to forget to remember to live this day as if i had 4 months left to live.  

like so many people out there, i learned this lesson the hard way.  it happened to someone close to me.  in fact, now that i think about it, it has been a similar situation for several people close to me.   why should you listen?  because i promise that if this news hasn’t crossed your path yet, it will someday.  

do you know what my dad did when he found out he had 4 months to live?  he moved, within weeks, two doors down from me in an OK apartment complex in dallas, texas.  do you know where he was living?  in a million dollar or so house on a golf course on hilton head island – away from his children – away from his family.

when he got the word that he was dying, his very first thought was me, my sister and my brother.   and my mom.  he didn’t give a shit that he was going to a rented one bedroom apartment – all that mattered was he was close to his family.  he didn’t care about feeling uncomfortable about asking our forgiveness, he did it.  and quick.

i could go on more about this but this encouragement for today isn’t about my dad.  it’s about you + me.  how can we live each day with this mindset?  here is what i thought about:

1. close your eyes.  you just got this horrible news.  what is very most important to you?  make it that important every single day and act as such.  pick up and move to dallas, so to speak.

2.  make it right.  if there is anything off kilter, make it right, now.  don’t wait for this day to come.  make it right RIGHT NOW.

3. make other people important.  taking a lesson from dad, i absolutely became the center of his life.  and i wasn’t before.  he was genuinely interested in what i was doing, saying, learning.  my favorite memories ever were in the morning before work, i would see his bald head bouncing down the outside walk to my house for coffee.  i loved it.  he couldn’t wait to wake up and talk to me about my day and what i was going to do.  i need to be like that every day with everyone i encounter.

4. get over yourself.  and your fears, insecurities and inhibitions.  it’s not about you.  it’s about your time with people important to you.  big difference.  so say i’m sorry, say i’m scared, say let’s pray, say i love you – stop with the inside voice telling you stupid things.  you only have a limited time.

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awesome t-shirts

9 Apr

i’m into t-shirts with sayings on them.  i don’t know why.  i just like them.

like these:

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what to eat for breakfast

6 Apr

what to make for breakfast?

there ain’t nothing like a good egg.  my family loves eggs and we make them many different ways.  katie makes a mean fried egg.  she can even flip the egg in the pan without a spatula.   she’s cool.  ROF scrambles those eggs like no other.  it’s so simple yet so good.  he sautes peppers until they are just the right consistency before adding the eggs and cheese.  my specialty?  poachies.  yum-o.

breakfast

 

breakfast

 

but sometimes i like to venture past eggs and here are some great recipes!

first is oh joy’s rainbow pancakes. aren’t these the best idea ever?  especially if you have kids.  pop over there to get the recipe that is in video format.

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next is something that just made my mouth water a little bit.  baked baguette french toast by dash and bella blog.  i haven’t made this yet but think i will when i have my next overnight guests.

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ok, i’m back to eggs.  check out these awesome egg cupcakes.  another great company breakfast.  thanks dine & dish for this recipe!

0b8a1e2d9145dfb6299e5879530fcb85lastly, how bout these amaretto french toast bites by the awesome sweet paul?  delish!

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3 ways to become instantly confident

3 Apr

ever need a shot of confidence?

maybe you’re getting ready for a big presentation, interviewing for a new job or just down and out and need a little boost?  here are 3 ways to be instantly confident:

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1. fake it until you make it

the first thing is to stand tall.  straighten out your back, extend your neck + round out your shoulders.  do it now.  don’t you feel more confident?  take up more room in the room – it’s what animals do when they want to show who is in control.  doing this also refocuses your brain and says “i’m ready, let’s go”.

it is not a surprise that when i was looking for supporting articles like this one, that it is from a website called “ask men”.  with no scientific evidence supporting this next statement, i’ll say that men display this more than women.  watch them walk into a room full of people.  eyes focused, shoulders back – it’s someone that gives off the impression they know what they are talking about.  so it’s a good first step – good first impression.

increase-confidence

2. prayer

if you’re a Christian, then pray.  i’ve been in a corporate environment for 22 years and have given hundreds and hundreds of presentations.  before every single one (haven’t missed ONE) i’ve prayed.  my dad used to do this too.  he wasn’t a particularly religious man growing up but he knew something that i know too.  it’s not all about us.  <sigh>  i’m given everything i have from God.  so it only makes sense for me to ask Him for the words, the clarity, the passion to come out when i give presentations, have to have a hard talk or do something that i don’t want to do.  it’s not like it is a secret weapon…wait…maybe it is!  all i know is that when i pray for confidence, it is given to me and i trust that i can handle whatever is about to come my way.  here is a good prayer to read.

3. remember who you are.

this is a favorite one of mine.  my mom used to tell me this all the time growing up and i used to think it was stupid <sorry mom.>  i guess my grandpa used to say it to her too.  i never knew what it meant when i was in high school because NEWSFLASH i didn’t know who i was.  but just by her saying this to me, it was top of mind.

when i got into college and into my 20′s – i started to know who i was a little better.  i am passionate about certain things, genuinely love people,  want to make a difference, have a point of view on things and want to be heard.  this is who i am.  now, that i’m 44 years old, when i want instant confidence – i remember who i am.  and i’m glad for who i am thanks to my mom, dad, husband, sister, friends and God.  and that gives me instant confidence.

why don’t you remember who you are?  who are you?  write those things down and i’m sure they will give you a boost too.

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4 perfect cocktails: the gin + tonic

27 Mar

from the desk of ROF:

straight gin “smells like pine needles and tastes like hair spray”.

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that being said, i think i was hooked after my first one.  when i fix a gin + tonic in a heavy, cut glass, i feel as if i’m transported to a swank party in london.  it’s just such an english drink.

<side note: while dictating this blog to me, we just got in a riff about gin brands.  ROF said that hendricks was not a proper gin brand but if i wanted to listen to miley cyrus or katy perry and drink it, that was my prerogative.”  just thought i’d note that>

when i think of gin, i think of my grandfather, HB,  telling stories of buying good bathtub gin from chicago to take to the indy 500 during prohibition.  he said the last two years of prohibition – 1931 and 1932 were wilder than any of the 98 indy races in history.  i would have liked to have seen that.  i have continued to attend the indy 500 – this year will be my 30th.

i’m a fan of the original, old-school gin brands like tanqueray or bombay.  when it comes to making gin + tonics, you may wonder why a recipe is even needed.  the ingredients are pretty easy.  but it’s all about the perfect g+t.  the right amount of gin, the right tonic and cutting the limes just the way you like it.  my dear friend emma, bar manager at the original bob’s chophouse in dallas, showed me a technique 10+ years ago that i still use today.

get:

premium gin/bombay sapphire

fresh, unopened canada dry tonic

plenty of ice

fresh cut lime wedges

short, heavy cocktail glass

martini shaker

do:

fill your glass to the top with ice.  add 4-6 cubes in the bottom of the martini shaker. pour 2 oz of gin into the martini base.  add 3 splashes of tonic.  with the lid off, take a bartender spoon/stirrer and briskly stir the drink in the martini shaker base.

do not put top on martini shaker and shake it.  you will have a disaster on your hands!

squeeze a wedge of lime over the glass filled with ice.  place wedge on rim of glass.  pour contents in martini shaker into glass.

this, like the margarita we talked about here and the martini we talked about here is also a sipping drink.  enjoy!

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dreamy coffee table books

24 Mar

too busy or broke to travel?

no matter…get a drink and open up one of the stacks of books you have on exotic places on your  coffee table.   here are some fun aspirational books i found on one kings lane.  they aren’t there any more, but you can find these via google. or check out this list of best coffee books of 2013.  as you can see, my favorite are assouline books. 

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what younger women need to know – part three

23 Mar

continuing the blog post series on me talking with some older women, i introduce kay johnson!

kay was gracious to answer all my questions and i’m all the more enriched by getting to know her a little more!

kay

Kay Johnson, age 70
I stayed home with my kids until they were old enough to be involved in activities that kept them for after- school practice.  When I did return to the workforce I was an administrative assistant and human resources person.

The best thing about growing older is you finally realize you can be your own person and not be concerned with being who your friends want you to be or saying what you think they want to hear.  You finally realize you are fine just the way you are.  We all have different childhood experiences and different personalities but now we embrace those differences.  (A far different attitude from my 20 year old self.)  <amen, kay!>

The decade I like most was the 50s. I loved the music and the innocence of the times.  My grandchildren will never be able to attend a Halloween carnival at their elementary school and trick-or-treat all the way home after dark with just the other neighborhood kids.

One of the best decisions I ever made was never to act shocked at anything my teen-aged daughters ever told me.  I figured they would feel free to talk to me about anything and never be afraid to come to me with whatever might be bothering them.  It worked just as I had hoped but with one little glitch.  I heard way more than I wanted to hear.

One of the worst decisions I ever made….  oh, how could I forget!  Once I let a door-to-door salesman into my house when my husband was gone.  Just two little girls, a dumb Cocker Spaniel, and me huddled together listening to his spiel about a water softener.  It was fine but believe me I knew it could have worked out differently.  (Looking back I think it was his first call and he was more terrified than I was.)  It taught me a lesson though.  I don’t have any problem turning people away or hanging up on the solicitors.

Advice to a younger woman would be don’t fail to recognize your worth.  Wake up every morning and look in the mirror and tell yourself one thing you like about yourself.  Educate yourself so you will never HAVE to depend on a husband or significant other to support you.  Position yourself so that you have choices.

The person I admire most has to be my mother.  She was always so wise.  She is 92 now and still has her moments.  She has very high morals and a strong work ethic that she passed on to my sister and me not by preaching but by the way she lived her life.  I love some of her sayings . . . She was widowed at age 58 and never remarried.  She always said, “I’d rather be single than wish I was.” You gotta love that!

The most famous person I ever met was Fats Domino.  We were on the same flight to Oklahoma City in 1965 and was I ever impressed!  Seriously, Blueberry Hill, I’m Walkin’, Blue Monday, Walking To New Orleans!!!  I loved rock and roll and Fats Domino was one of the best.

thanks kay!  that was wonderful!

to read others click here or here!

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