I could make a loooonnnnng list of resolutions because I certainly have lots of room for improvement.
But this year, I am only making ONE resolution that I know I can keep!
So, here it goes!
So, here it goes!
Recently, an accumulation of events found me running on empty.I was getting tired, cranky, and Friday, I was even called out for not smiling. Apparently I normally smile a lot and people have become accustomed to it. 🙂
And so this weekend I devoted my time to self-care. If we are expected to run at full-throttle, we must keep fuel in our tank. If we let our tank get too low, we find ourselves running on (emotional) fumes. And so I applied my 4-F formula to help me get back on track.
Family: Saturday morning my oldest son, Craig, wanted to hang out and go furniture shopping. We didn’t end up buying any furniture but we talked about just about everything. What an amazing young man we raised. I felt proud and renewed of spirit.
Friends: Saturday evening was the 5th Annual Clutch the Future Purse Auction to benefit the Woman to Woman Mentoring Program in Frederick. Objective: Fill a gymnasium full of sassy, super-fun women and let them bid on purse packages and hang out with their friends. Done! A night with my gal pals is always the best medicine!
Faith: I went to church! I’ve been AWOL from my church family this winter. Today, it felt like coming home. Our pastor’s sermon felt like it was created just for me. (Doesn’t everyone feel that way?) I could feel my tank filling with every word of encouragement and every song played.
Fresh Air: Today was the official first day of yard work. While that might not be considered putting fuel in the tank for some, for me, it was heaven! There is something about the fresh air, the sun on my face, the dirt on my hands, and the physicality of just walking my property, dreaming of new ideas for my gardens that left my tank overflowing.
I’m re-fueled! Re-fired! I’m ready to face another busy week!
“The morning after” is always filled with remorse for me. On some level I must have known I was going to be a food floozy so last week I scheduled a workout today with Trainer Rick of Achieve Fitness to work off the sins of the celebration.
None of the usual suspects showed up for our typical 9:00 hour but I was joined by three new friends, Linda, Troy, and Lucia (who brought along her adorable daughter Sophia).
Today was Minute Day! Between you and me, it’s my favorite of all Rick’s sadistic workout routines. Minute Day is basically a series of circuit training exercises that you perform for (you guessed it) only one minute. The way I look at it, I can survive ANYTHING for a minute, a philosophy which served me well during two labor and deliveries. Each of us performed a different exercise until we heard the timer go off and then switched so that eventually we each performed every maneuver in the series.
The other reason I love Minute Day is because it levels the playing field. You could work out with A-Rod (with or without magic juice) and STILL feel mighty because he can’t finish hours before you and make you feel like a total loser because he’s only allowed a minute per exercise… just like you.
My new workout buddies were either totally clueless or they know something about Rick that I hadn’t quite figured out in the two years I’ve been with him. But when I heard his reaction, I realized it was the latter. Like a bunch of guilty Catholics, one by one they confessed yesterday’s eating sins….. out LOUD! To RICK! Keeping in mind that I’ve never worked out the day after Thanksgiving, I immediately assumed that they were obviously STILL hungover on tryptophan! I mean who in their right MIND would ADMIT that kind of thing? Well…. I used to in the early stages of our fitness relationship. In fact, I was even MORE naive because I used to post it on FACEBOOK! Now my eating habits are on a need-to-know basis, thank you very much!
As the confessions rolled in I exercised silently feeling somewhat smug in the knowledge that I knew better than to admit to these temptations out loud. “What did YOU have?” he finally asked.
“Lettuce!!!!” I replied without hesitation. I learned from thirty years of raising children that when a child responds with “what?????” to your direct question it usually means the response that follows will be cause for grounding. Even saying the word “lettuce” sounded insincere so I quickly admitted to the Mashed Potatoes. OK.. I didn’t say how many ‘taters, but how sinful can a starch really be when it has both a song AND a dance named after it? Don’t believe me? Check out youtube. I know my Mashed Potatoes!
Here’s what I learned about working out the day after a major holiday.
Even the Trainer cheats once in a while.
And for that piece of humble pie, I’m thankful.
Could I have it with whipped cream?
I never went to summer camp as a child. At least, not that I can remember. I DID go to Camp Greentop as a fifth grader as part of the FCPS curriculum back in the late ’60s. That is where I unfortunately learned that I was highly allergic to bee stings and had to spend the night in the nurse’s cabin. I’ve successfully blocked most of the scary details from my memory but I DO remember my cabin-mates dropped off a change of clothes for me and smuggled the sweetest get well note in my underwear, an occurrence that has never happened since!
I sent my sons to many overnight summer camps during their childhood: chuch camp at Manidoken, numerous boy scout camps, and career camps at FCC. One year we registered so late for career camp that Craig couldn’t get any of his top choices in “careers.” The only thing still available was Automobile Repair. When I asked him what he learned that first day, he replied “how to hot-wire a car.” I was so proud.
In her soulful collection of writings “Simple Abundance: A Daybook of Comfort and Joy,” Sarah Ban Breathnach writes about the importance of play if we adults are expected to continually function at full throttle. As a busy solopreneur, my life is definitely lived at full throttle. Luckily the month of July is slower since most of my clients are vacationing and resume training in early fall. So this July, I’ve created my OWN summer camp,big girl style!
In case you might be interested in attending, MY summer camp does NOT include:
— Rising before the 6 am hour or the use of irritating musical reverie to coerce your exile from bed;
— NO communal showers which will in ANY way perpetuate life-long insecurities about perceived physical inadequacies;
— No sharing bunks with snoring cabin-mates who sound like a Nor’easter is passing through, unless (of course) you want to; 🙂
— No holding hands & singing kum-ba-ya (which is what some teambuilding retreat participants use as smart ass comments when they hear their boss has hired me to help them improve their communication!)
MY summer camp DOES incorporate:
— Naps, and lots of them!
— Hammock sleeping merit badges
— Snacking after lights-out!
You MAY substitute:
— Martinis for milk;
— Day-long hikes with poison ivy and snakes for lunch with friends, meandering through garden centers, antique shops, and book stores;
— Lounging by the pool instead of jumping in fully clothed and disrobing underwater in the highly unlikely event you will be on a cruise ship that sinks and you will need to rescue others and swim to shore.
If any of this sounds appealing to you, let me know. My summer camp is already in session and I’d love for you to join me.
I may even slip a note in your underwear! “Get well soon!”
I first felt love in the kitchen. My family had a large vegetable garden and every summer we spent countless hours preserving summer’s bounty for the upcoming winter months. Canning peaches was perhaps the most impressive production and display of our family’s unity. Dad sat at the kitchen counter with a big bowl in his lap and deftly sliced the fruit in half, removed the seed, then swiftly, expertly removed the fuzzy skin from its juicy body before dropping it into a separate bowl.
Mom’s station was by the stove as she heated a concoction of water and sugar which would ultimately be poured over the peaches once they were placed inside the canning jars. That’s where I came in! My role in the kitchen was to wash the canning jars in preparation for assembly. Immersed in the warm, soapy water, my tiny wrists slid easily into the jars, and with a simple swish swish of the rag, I completed my task with a sense of importance knowing that I was a valued and necessary part of my family.
When people gather in a kitchen, whether as family or friends, there is a spirit of community that is like none other. The laughter is always deeper; the stories more vivid; the conversation never fades. Hidden among the warmth and arresting aromas waffling through the air, we feel safe to be our most authentic selves. And love grows.
Over the past several years the Must Love Shoes family has grown enormously. Often a featured pick for book clubs, we’ve gathered to connect, laugh, and share our respective stories. During conferences, retreats and other special events, we remind ourselves that it’s not really about the shoes but about the life and love we experience when we wear them.
I’ve been blessed to benefit from the event planning savvy of Kelly Beach of Vicarious Travel as we continue planning more exciting events in the coming months. Recently we strapped on our sassiest shoes and played pretty at Smooch Studios in Frederick. What fun it was to watch women make new friends as they primped, dabbed, and puckered up for each other!
On Thursday evening, June 27th from 6:30 pm – 8:30 pm, “Must Love Shoes” will be donning aprons as we learn how we busy women can eat light, right, and stay looking our sassy sight with another signature boutique event called “If you can’t stand the heat, get out of the kitchen.” Christine Van Bloem of The Kitchen Studio in Frederick will be our “top chef” as she guides us through some creative ideas for cooking light this summer.
There will be interesting women, wine, arresting aromas waffing through the air as we cook…. and laugh…. tell stories….and connect.
And there will be love.
Because love ALWAYS grows in the kitchen.
Come be part of the excitedment. To register, click on: Must Love Shoes Cooking Event
I received a thank you gift today from a woman I really don’t know very well. I know she had no idea how significant her gift was or why I seemed so touched when I pulled it out of the gift bag. It was a book written by Carol Burnett called “This Time Together: Laughter and Reflection.”
As I’ve shared before, I hated my red hair growing up because I was so different from everyone else. But I also happened to be a HUGE fan of both Carol Burnett and Lucille Ball. I loved their energy, their dramatic expressions, their comedic and very physical form of comedy. I loved the way they used such dramatic facial expressions and body language to make a story or skit come alive with such wild hilarity. And yet, they both seemed to be full of beauty, grace and humility whenever I would see them being interviewed when they were not “in character.”
On some level, I can honestly say my speaking style was subconsciously influenced by these two redheaded funny ladies. How could it not be when I watched sooooo many of their shows over and over again?
I can’t wait to start the book. As “thank you’s go, this ranks up there as one I will always remember.”
From one “Julie” to another, thank you from the bottom of my heart.
On Saturday night, May 4th, “Must Love Shoes” will be hosting a fun, boutique event at Smooch Studios in Frederick. From 3-6 pm, you will have an opportunity to enjoy music, drinks & appetizers, network & mingle with some fun, fabulous ladies while playing with make-up at Smooch!
Space is limited – we are taking the first 12 ladies to register so pucker up and go to the Events page to register NOW!
The cost is $12 for the event. Any purchases are at your expense and if you are interested in having one of the sassy make-up stylists at Smooch give you a custom make-up makeover, your only cost will be the product you purchase. (They require a minimum of 3 product purchases if you get a full-fledged makeover!) You’ll definitely want one of their custom lipsticks created just for you.
May 4th also happens to be First Saturday in Downtown Frederick so after our event, you may want to head downtown for dinner & drinks….because, let’s face it… you don’t want to be all smooched up with no place to go!
Sign up today! And wear your sassy shoes!
Nothing makes my day more than receiving a handwritten note in the mail. The fact that it came from an 8 year old not only touched me but makes me hopeful that our future is most definitely in good hands.
Julia Schillaci is the young founder of Soap Prizes and the daughter of my friend, Beth. While browsing through my favorite antique & vintage barn, Chartreuse & Co. one day, I spied a towel that had the words “What would Julia do?” embroidered on it. I thought of my sweet friend Julia immediately and knew she had to have it.
In a world where manners seem to become increasingly rare, how refreshing it is to see that some parents still instill them in their children.
Thank YOU, Julia. And thank your mom and dad for raising you right!
To say it’s been an unusual winter is certainly an understatement. Sixty degree days followed by plummeting temps and high winds. Back to fifty degrees the following week. No snow to speak of. Punxsutawney Phil predicted an early Spring and….well… the critter should be shot… that’s all I’m sayin’.
The forecast this week calls for my area of the state to receive what could be significant snowfall.
I’m a firm believer that for everything, there is a season…and the time for snow was a month ago.
I don’t care if Spring is officially several weeks away, it MUST NOT snow on Wednesday. My mother and I are supposed to be going to the Philadelphia Flower Show Wednesday. We’ve been looking forward to it since Christmas.
According to Myersville folklore, Winter will end only when some brave member of the community sacrifices her dignity by biting off the head of a chick(en) in exchange for fair weather, a warm Easter and the impending planting season.
You. Saw. Nothing.
But you can thank me Wednesday.
Dear Mr. Phil:
Your Supervisor has advised us that a Performance Improvement Plan is being drafted due to your lack of effectiveness on the job.
According to our notes:
a) Your absenteeism for the past several years is abominable. Showing up for work only one day a year is not accepted practice in our workplace, nor will it be tolerated.
b) Your forecasting skills have shown numerous errors and continually impact morale in a negative way.
c) You base decisions solely on inaccurate and unscientific data and yet show no accountability for your mistakes.
d) Most recently (today), you predicted an early spring and within hours, snow began to fall. You respond by leaving work early to go home.
e) Your hygiene has been the source of many co-worker complaints and your inadherence to the company dress code concerning facial hair is not acceptable.
Please be advised that you will be expected to meet with your Supervisor and a representative from Human Resources on a quarterly basis until improvement has been noted, or you will be terminated.
Wonderful! Now there is one more thing for me to obsess about when I fly the not-so-friendly skies.
According to NBC News, it seems that authorities at Chicago O’Hare International Airport (which is scary enough to navigate through) is holding a shipment containing 18 human heads intended for anatomical research at a local facility.
The shipment, which departed Rome before the holidays, was being held at the US airport because the intended recipient was “under investigation.”
I have survived the drama of the pat down and full body scan. I’ve just gotten to the point where I no longer stop breathing if I spot an individual standing in the plane aisle for what I perceive to be too long. And I don’t even mind that my luggage goes through intense scrutiny because I know they are not going to find anything weird or suspicious in MY luggage.
But now I’m surely going to be shutting my eyes the next time some poor unsuspecting soul in front of me is told to lighten their luggage for exceeding the 50 pound limit.
“I’m sorry….. I should have only packed fifteen heads in my American Tourister. I had no idea heads weighed that much! Hey buddy, can you hold this one for me while I rearrange?”
“Please fasten your seat belts and secure all carry on items and shipments of body parts completely under the seat ahead of you. Should we lose cabin pressure or require an emergency landing, please use the spare heads as a floatation device.”
The train has never looked so good.
Searching for an engaging, entertaining storyteller for your next function? Need a humorous motivational speaker for an upcoming ladies retreat? Contact Julie and experience what Real Life Social Media is all about!