Wednesday, February 2, 2011

I've Moved!

Thanks for stopping by!

You can now follow my new blog, Here's to Life, over at

Thank you for your continued readership!

Thursday, January 13, 2011

A Very Awesome Book

I found this today on one of my fave blogs (You Are My Fave). Reading through it instantly lifted my spirits. Instead of looking at my To Do list (which is shockingly long right now) and thinking, "Ugh," I looked at it and said, "Well, I'm thankful I have a job!"

So, that being said, I'm going to tackle that list (in efforts to keep the job I'm currently thankful for). I hope you take a few minutes to read An Awesome Book of Thanks (you can read the whole thing online) or even buy it and support this very fun, very creative author.

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

2011 Resolutions

Happy 2011!! I love the feeling of a brand new year!!! There is so much to look forward to in the months ahead, but I also love the feeling of a fresh start that only a new year can bring. Being a list person (and if you follow this blog at all, it should come as no surprise that I'm kind of into making lists), I ALWAYS create New Year's Resolutions.

Of course, it seemed natural to pick 11 things.....

1. Finish Outstanding 30 Before 30 Items - I did fall 5 items short but will not stop until they are all crossed off!

2. Read 2-3 Books per Month - I desperately want to be a better writer. I figure...learn by example (and practice, practice, practice)! I hope to take in as many books as possible in 2011, starting with this one:

3. Redesign my Blog - There are loads of tools and layouts that I am currently not taking advantage of to elevate my blog to the next level. I plan to get started right away!

4. Save Up Down Payment for New Car - Old Nancy (the Jetta) is still kickin' after 212,000 miles but it is probably time for me turn her in for a younger model. Not-so-funny side note.....a couple of buddies of the spouse recently suggested he do the same for his wife, now that the "old" version has hit 30. Puh.

5. Bake Frequently - Doesn't this Irish Soda Bread make your mouth water? I could make this...I could.

Delicious Recipe & Image from here.

6. Get Organized & Be Punctual! - For some unknown reason, everyone just accepts that I'll be late everywhere. My friends, family and bosses have always been gracious and understanding when I rush in, out of breath and frantic, at least 10-15 minutes late for everything. It makes me feel TERRIBLE! The culprit...a severe lack of organization and trying to squeeze in too many things into small time frames.

7. Paint My Fingernails Frequently - And other girly, relaxing things I don't take the time to do.

8. Run in ONE race per month - Having an ongoing reason to train really keeps me motivated and on track with my running and other exercise. One race a month (whatever distance...most will be 5k) will help me feel like this over and over:

9. Enter a Writing Contest - Once again...I want get better at writing!! I hope that getting professional critiques and being judged will help (your feedback is also greatly appreciated)!

10. Drink Less...of Everything but Water - From my side-gig as a wine consultant to my spouse's home-brew hobby, I imbibe a bit too often. Additionally, my daily of coffee is getting out of control. So, in 2011, I'll be knockin' back more of the H2O and less of the other fav. beverages.

11. Write a Hand Written Note to One Friend or Family Member each Week - I'm thankful for each and every one of why not tell 'em? I completely stole this idea from a friend on FB and HERE.

Thursday, December 30, 2010

Happy New Year!

Click to enlarge. (Source)

Here's an awesome toast for you and yours tomorrow night!
Have a very safe and very Happy New Year everyone!!!

Wednesday, December 29, 2010


I'm working on my 2011 Resolutions and while I'm thinking about what I need to improve, the goals I'd like to set and the tasks I'd like to accomplish, I've been visiting my favorite blogs for inspiration.

I thought you all might get a bit of inspiration out of these and it seems it is the time of year to make your Top 10 "Something" in 2010. So here, in no particular order, are my Top 10 Favorite Blogs from 2010:

Carrots 'N' Cake
LOVE this blog!! LOVE her pug!!! I visit her site several times a day for her healthy eating tips, fitness regime and advice on an overall balanced life.

Cupcakes and Cashmere
An awesome fashion blog with loads of delicious recipes.

Seth's Blog
An amazing marketing site.

Smart, Pretty and Awkward
The perfect blog...each day she gives a little note about how to be smarter, prettier and a little less awkward (which I need a LOT of help with).

The Oatmeal
Because on most days I'd prefer to laugh.

A new favorite...a daily reminder to be thankful for all the little things in life.

A Cup of Jo
A fashion, photography and design blog written by a very cool gal who caught my attention with her "No Complaining for a Week" Challenge. I think everyone should give that a try.

{frolic!}, {wit + delight}, and {this is glamorous}
All three of these amazing design and lifestyle blogs are filled with gorgeous photos, unique finds, fashion and dazzling decor for home, office and, well, anywhere. (I know, I'm so not cool enough to have any business looking at these, but they still inspire me!)

Monday, December 27, 2010

A a Tribute

WOW! Rain - A Tribute to the Beatles was one of the most amazing shows I've ever seen! I absolutely adored every second of it and recommend seeing it to every Beatles fan or music lover. IT WAS AWESOME!!!!

Super-Cool Poster my Brother bought Me :)

On December 8, 1980 at 11:07pm, John Lennon was pronounced dead in New York City after being shot in the back four times by Mark Chapman. About an hour and a half south, in Eddison, NJ, my dad was frantically making phone calls to family. With each call, a family member said, "John Lennon's been shot," and my dad returned with, "Elaine is in labor." Nine hours later, at around 8am on December 9, I was born.

I can't say for certain but I'm pretty sure I've been a Beatles fan since that moment. I can say for certain that I've been a fan as long as I can remember. Always believing I was the reincarnated spirit of John Lennon, I've naturally felt a kinship with him my whole life. Deep down though, I had a crush on Paul. Oh Paul, with his soft voice and sweet, sad eyes. Yesterday makes me weep......(and did at the show). As I got a little older, my heart thumped stronger for George because, well, I'm a sucker for guitar players. Play a guitar in front of me and I will love you for life. The only one I've never really felt anything about is Ringo.....but Octopus's Garden is pretty bad-ass.

Fast forward 30 years to 2010. After a lifetime of swooning over a band that I could never see, my mom called to tell me my 30th birthday present. On December 11 at 2pm, there I was (along with my mom, spouse and siblings), sitting in the Neil Simon theatre on Broadway in NYC, ready to see Rain - A Tribute to the Beatles.

And then it started......a video of Ed Sullivan played, "Ladies and Gentlemen....the Beatles!" The lights came up on the unmistakably famous set of the Beatles' first American appearance and there, right in front of me in black suits and mop tops, were the Fab Four. I heard, "Close your eyes and I'll kiss you..." and I cried. I'm not gonna try to hide it, I was so overwhelmed that just sat there, staring in disbelief, with tears sneaking out the corners of my eyes. A handful of songs later, my very, very, very favorite song, I Feel Fine, came on...and emotion pooled again between my eyelids. I'm such a weenie.

Thankfully the crying ceased for awhile as we jumped to our feet for Twist and Shout and watched Rain recreate the famous Shea Stadium concert. We laughed at the videos and images of young Beatlemaniacs screaming, passing out and clutching to fences - overtaken by Beatlemania.

The set quieted and switched to the oh-so-wacky, and yet oh-so-amazing, days of St. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band and Magical Mystery Tour. We sang along, cheered and danced! Each of the actors/singers not only sounded like the musical gods they were impersonating, but they looked like them too! It was unbelievable! They busted out Hello Goodbye, All You Need is Love and then Strawberry Fields...and I welled up once again.

They then gave us a couple of songs off the Rubber Soul album and changed into Abbey Road garb. They reminded us to Give Peace a Chance and told us all about A Day in the Life (serious chills.....but no tears). And while I can't remember every song (and might have gotten the order a little mixed up), there were two classics that stood out as missing when the show ended after 2 hours and 15 minutes. I patiently waited for the encore.....

Sure enough, they came back on stage and the entire theatre swayed back and forth in a sing-a-long of sheer happiness while Rain flawlesslly and beautifully crooned Let it Be. Minutes later, Hey Jude ended the show. I probably would have cried again but instead I was belting out every word in my own tone-deaf bliss, screaming, "Nah....Nah....Nah.... Na-Na-Na-Nah..... Na-Na-Na-Na.... Hey-y Jude!"

Wow. Wow. Wow. I absolutely recommend seeing Rain when they come to your town or to a town near you. Tour Dates Here. My amazing family met us later that day in the city and we spent the afternoon toasting each other before heading over to Rockefeller to stare at the most unbelievably striking Christmas tree. I could not have asked for a better 30th birthday and I owe it all to my wonderful Mom, super siblings, incredible family and Amazing Spouse. Thank you All!!

I also scored these awesome periodicals about John Lennon
Thans Mom & Aunt Edna :)

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Christmas Treats

Inspired by my budget (or lack there of), this year's gifts to my closest girlfriends were homemade. I found this blog post on my favorite vegan blog and was instantly excited to make something similar for my gals.

Since none of them are vegan, it didn't seem right to force flax-eggs on them, so I located this recipe for Sand Art Brownies, followed the very easy instructions and ended up with these lovely treats.

If you need a last-minute gift for friends, a holiday hostess or your favorite aunt, make these! It took maybe 15-20 minutes and I think they turned out pretty darn cute.

All you do is fill up a mason jar with the dry ingredients in the order that they are listed on the recipe.

Then decorate the jars and type up the directions on a recipe card!

Happy Holidays!

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Well....Now What!?

I am so shocked by the number of people who have asked me where I finished up on my 30 Before 30 List and what I'll be posting now that it's done. Additionally, I am AMAZED at how many of you have told me that I've inspired you in some way! I'm pretty sure that's the best compliment you can recieve. Thank you, thank you, thank you!

I started this
blog way back in August of 2009 and wasn't really sure what would happen with it or where it would go. With the creation of the LIST, things really picked up and I can't believe it turned into such a fun adventure!

I have big plans for the future of this blog and as it gets shaped into its new form I will continue to post various projects and happenings. The first thing I feel I must post is where I ended up on the list! I didn't write about all of my items because, honestly, I thought they'd be boring posts, but you can link back to MOST of them.

Unfortunately, I did not complete the list. :( There are five items that are not crossed off BUT I will NOT give up! I am still working on these five things and can't wait to cross them off......what I guess is now some kind of bucket list...

Seriously....I really need to get to a place with karaoke...can you believe in the last 7 months I wasn't around a karaoke bar once!?? I know...I'm super lame.

Anyway, thanks again for all the feedback, fun notes and compliments on the 30 Before 30 adventure! Here's where I finished up!

1. Run a marathon

2. Keep a Plant Alive for 6 months

3. Join Junior League of FC

4. Read 5 "Classic" Novels

5. Plant a Tree

6. Go Vegan for a week

7. Sing Karaoke Solo

8. Take Writing Class/Workshop

9. Try Pilates

10. Go Skydiving

11. Ride the Poudre in a Sea-bearing vessel

12. Learn to cook John's favorite Gourmet Meal

13. Write a Children's Book

14. Watch 5 "Classic" Movies

15. Volunteer at Church

16. Learn to Knit

17. Watch the Godfather Trilogy, Beginning to End

18. Take a Self Defense or Karate Class

19. Read the Entire Bible

20. Take a Cheesy, Kissing Photo on a beach with my Spouse

21. Write a Non-Profit Business Plan

22. Stop being a Procrastinator

23. Learn to Cook 5 Meals

24. Ask for and/or Receive a Raise

25. Give Blood

26. Invest More in Future/Retirement Plans

27. Achieve a "Flat" Stomach

28. Go Deep Sea Fishing

29. Relearn the Piano & Master One Song

30. Try Kickboxing

Thursday, December 9, 2010

30 Before 30: Items 18 & 21

I was inspired by one person to do both Item 18: Take a Self-Defense or Karate Class and Item 21: Write a Non-Profit Business Plan. That person is my cousin, Jonathan Edward Delorenzo, who passed away at a far too young age in 2007.

Jonathan was a martial arts instructor and at his funeral I was overwhelmed with emotion by the number of his students that attended his services and the outpour of support from where he taught. I was inspired then to do two items below in honor of him.

Item 18: Take a Self-Defense or Karate Class
To honor my cousin...and for safety (I travel quite a bit)...I signed up at Elite Martial Arts for a Self-Defense class in Krav Maga fighting.

Our Instructor

It was AWESOME! I learned how to get out of someone choking me (hopefully that will never present itself as a sistuation I need to get out of)! I also learned how to get out of someone holding me by the wrists in a number of scenarios, how to punch and how to effectively maneuver in an attack situation! It was educational and a blast! I recommend getting a basic course in self-defense to all the women out there...and you men too!


You can't get me!

Item 21: Write a Non-Profit Business Plan
I've been toying with the idea of starting a non-profit organization in Jonathan's name for quite awhile. He lived in New Jersey, where most of my family lives and where the non-profit would be based, so I imagine my involvement in the future of this organization would be quite small. But, with the volunteer experience I have, I thought I could at least help get one started by researching how to set up and organize a non-profit and suggest a plan for the mission.

To be honest, the plan is not completely done. I've drafted a pretty good outline including the instructions for how to start a non-profit in the state of New Jersey, a mission statement and an overview of how to host two events; a gala fundraiser and a martial arts tournament. Once I'm completely finished, I will provide the information to my aunt, Jonathan's mother, and allow her to decide if and how to proceed.

The organization will focus on the martial arts tournament, providing scholarship and awards to students in the program, while fundraising for Autism research and advocacy - a cause very important to my family.

Both of these activities allowed me remember and honor my cousin. A huge THANK YOU to him for the inspiration and for watching over all of us, we miss and love you tons!!!

Jonathan Edward Delorenzo

30 Before 30: Items 14 & 17

I am happy to report that I have completed the entire Godfather Trilogy! I've decided that Godfather I counts as my fifth movie for Item 14: Watch 5 "Classic" Movies and of course completing the trilogy allows me to cross Item 17: Watch the Entire Godfather Trilogy, Beginning to End off my list!

WOW! What amazing movies! As I've said so many times, I can't believe I didn't do this sooner! I can say pretty assuredly that the first one was my favorite (the spouse likes the second one the best).

Overall, I was very surprised at how dark they were....I know that sounds silly since they are mob movies...but hear me out. I watched the Sopranos religiously, Goodfellas is one of my favorite movies ever, and I'm super into Boardwalk right now (well, until the season just ended). So, I went in to watching these movies thinking I'm probably pretty desensitized to all the violence, crime and whatnot.

Was I wrong! All those other shows and movies did NOT prepare me for a horse head (and that's all I'll say about that so as not to ruin it for the rest of you). So as not to give away any details of the movies, I'll just let you know what I thought. The first one was really, really dark, the second one was painfully sad and in the third, I was so overtaken by emotion, I literally finished the movie with tears streaming down my face. So, so, so good.

This trilogy is truly an amazing group of films with outstanding actors in every one. I was moved by all three movies in a surprising way and absolutely enjoyed all three from beginning to end. I recommend them to all should see and know these classics!