Tuesday, February 25, 2014

I have gratitude today for...
* making plans to have a few friends over Sat. night to celebrate Andy's birthday. 
* Andy coming home for lunch- I made fresh guacamole to go along with chicken tacos. 
* getting the garage cleaned out and all of the packing materials broken down and put in recycling. 
* going to the library and getting a library card. I was able to find Michael Ruhlman's book Ruhlman's Twenty in their catalog so I decided to check it out of the library before I buy it. I also check out two of his other books and Happier at Home by Gretchen Rubin. I know I've said this before but libraries are really amazing to me. Not enough people take advantage of everything they have to offer!
* finally checking out The Spirit of Yoga in Downingtown. It felt great to go to a class. I was able to feel right away how tight and not flexible I've become since I haven't been practicing on a regular basis. A forward fold was no problem as usual, but overall I felt like I haven't stretched in a long time. I'm looking forward to going there at least 1-2 times/week!
* the awesome steak dinner I made for Andy & me after yoga. The steaks were excellent (from Wegman's). I made roasted potatoes and green bean almondine for sides. Andy made mixed greens salads as well. I really enjoyed dinner tonight, maybe because I hardly ate anything last week. 
* watching last night's episode of HIMYM and starting to read Ruhlman's Twenty. I've already learned a ton and only got to #3!

Monday, February 24, 2014

I have gratitude today for...
* meeting with Ed to discuss the possibility of me becoming the sales manager of the Suburban Life team. I think it would be a great challenge for me and would make things a little more exciting than just plain old selling. At the same time, the drive would be over an hour each way and I'd be required to spend most of my time in the office. The pressure would be crazy in the beginning because of the immense amount of improvement needed, and most of my compensation would be based on year over year sales. Deep down I think I already know it's not what I am looking for, but it did mean a lot to me that Ed even considered me for the job. 
* the lady helping me out at Philly Pretzel Factory with putting a tray together for my AmTrust drop off visit today. I didn't know you are supposed to call 24 hrs. in advance for trays. 
* a quick slice of pizza at Tony A's for lunch. We don't have Tony A's near us in Exton. 
* spending the afternoon at Princeton Market Fair after dropping off the pretzel tray to AmTrust. I spent time in Barnes & Noble and Starbucks doing work for ICORP. I treated myself to a skinny vanilla latte and browsed around the cookbooks too. I had to stop in Williams-Sonoma to look around and picked up herb containers for the freezer. Not sure if they'll work any better than freezing herbs in ice cube trays but I'll give it a shot. 
* Jenn B. sending me feedback on my resume and helping me with formatting, content, etc. 
* going to Nay's dad's viewing tonight. As soon as I found at about his passing I started thinking about when Andy's dad died. I was reminded of how much it meant to see friends' faces, even if it was just for a few minutes. I decided I wasn't going to stay the whole time because I did not know him and felt there would be a lot of people there trying to talk to her. It's overwhelming especially when people are introducing themselves to you and saying things like "I haven't seen you since you were a baby". I just wanted her to know I was thinking about her and shower her my love and friendship. It makes me so sad to think there will be many more of these as we get older. 
* stopping by Kerry's on my way home. We ended up just staying at her house talking, had a glass of wine, and she cooked up some brussels sprouts for me since I hadn't eaten dinner. I do wish she lived closer, I love how we can talk about anything and everything and it never feels like we have enough time together. She is going to help me find a piece of furniture for the foyer. She amazes me how she has such vision and knowledge about painting furniture!

Sunday, February 23, 2014

I have gratitude today for...
* spending the day with Andy shopping and looking at furniture. It was so beautiful out again today. We went to Bed, Bath and Beyond and bought a bunch of little things for the kitchen (dishtowels, pot holders) as well as place mats for the dining room table. Then we went hunting for a chest or table for the foyer area, as well as a coffee table and end tables for the living room. Even though we went to Raymour & Flanigan, Mealey's, American Signature Furniture, IKEA, Bob's Discount Furniture, Ashley Furniture and The Dump---we had no luck. It was still fun (kind of) to look around but I don't know how many more days of going all over the universe I want to spend not knowing if we'll find what we're looking for. We did find a cute lamp for one of the spare bedrooms at IKEA, so yay for that. 
* making an easy dinner- chicken sausage and pasta. I sauteed spinach, garlic and tomatoes too and it came out great. 
* starting the last season of Damages. I can't believe how great that show is! Sad we're on the last season already. 
* trying out my new Julep nail polish, I love it!

Saturday, February 22, 2014

I have gratitude today for...
* Mom cleaning up some of the dishes from last night when she got up. The kitchen was in pretty good shape considering what a mess I made making dinner. I love cooking but I hate how many pots/pans/dishes you need to make most meals. 
* a nice drive to the outlets. GPS took us on back roads---it was pretty to see the snow with the sun shining on open fields. 
* a fun day at the outlets with Mom & Kelly. Kelly was able to use a $50 gift card at the Coach store on a gorgeous bag on clearance. She ended up walking out with a $400+ bag for $33 out of pocket. That = outlet success! We went in and out of most of the stores and had the teriyaki place for lunch. I found I wasn't even really that interested in buying clothes. By the time Mom & Kelly left I had only bought a few camis from Forever 21. 
* deciding to stay at the outlets after they left. I went to Express and found an adorable sweater dress for $6 (originally $59.99). I also got a work tank top and another tank top all for $13, woo hoo. Then I decided to go to Steve Madden to look for boots. I had my heart set on a pair of Cole Haan boots that I saw before Christmas when I was there with Viki, but they no longer had them in my size. All boots at Steve Madden were 70% off already marked-down prices! I was lucky to find a whole bunch of styles in my size, and ended up with four new pairs for $63!!! When looking for the images on-line I noticed even on sites like Zappos or Hautelook.com they are anywhere from $59-79/pair! 
My pretty new Steve Madden collection!
* the Le Creuset outlet. Oh my God I am in love with this stuff and I wish I could buy every piece! When I was there last time the guy working there was French. He was telling Viki & me about the braiser and how amazing it is. The seed was planted and I've wanted to one ever since. I decided to go for it today and ended up getting a $250 piece for $145! It's gorgeous and I spent an hour tonight pinning braising recipes. I also bought the large utensil crock and a few silicone utensils. Next on my list are the teapot and butter dish!
Aren't they pretty?
* finding tons of recipes I'd like to try on Pinterest tonight that use the braising technique. I also came across Chef Michael Ruhlman's website, and now want his book! 
This needs to be on my bookshelf!

Thursday, February 20, 2014

My New Year

I think establishing goals in the beginning of the year, otherwise known as New Year's Resolutions, makes them very hard to stick with. I tend to still be in "holiday" mode on New Year's Day. We're still eating, drinking and being merry. We still have company lingering and a messy house. For me, it's not a time to commit to change. I need to ease into the New Year---think about new beginnings, goals and what I'd like to change moving forward. 

I tend to think of my birthday as my very own "New Year". My birthday is February 12th, so it's still pretty early in the year. By then, things have had a chance to settle down from the holidays and the social calendar tends to be on the lighter side. For me, it's a good time to focus on my goals for the next year. A lot of these goals carry over from year to year because I have trouble sticking with things like exercise and eating right. 

This year, my goal list is lengthy. I know they say pick a few things and focus on them and then find new ones to work towards. I decided to list them all out here, and will work on reaching a couple each month. Some are general, some are specific. I know if I work towards these goals throughout the year, I will be a better wife, friend, sister and daughter.  I will be a happier, healthier and more fit person. I will enjoy more success when it comes to work and business. Those are areas in which I think we can all improve, and I look forward to seeing how I grow over the next year. 

2014 Goals:

Nutrition/Eating Habits
Drink a minimum of 60oz of water every day
Start juicing 3-4 times/week
Plan weekly meals on Sundays
Keep a daily food journal
Try 3 new vegetarian recipes/month
Take vitamins/probiotics every day 
Use Vita-Mix at least 1x/week
Make one day/week meatless (Feb.)

Meditate/Quiet Time 10 minutes/day
Get up by 6:30am 5x a week
Be active everyday, even if it's only 10 min
Start wearing my Invisalign again

Read at least 1 book per month 
5-10 min on blog every day
Write one long post per week- (Feb.)
Spend 1 hour a week learning how to use the camera
Organize clothes- figure out what to get rid of 

Send 1 card each week
Spend more quality time with Andy, less computer/iPad time at night
Call one friend each week, stop relying on texting so much 


Wednesday, February 19, 2014

I have gratitude today for...
* going to my interview this morning even though I'm still not feeling 100%. I'm definitely feeling better than I was but I'm very congested and tired. 
* my interview going really well. I really liked everyone I met with and I'm more interested than I thought I would be going into it. I was told they will be making me an offer so we'll see what happens!
* takeout for lunch from Yangming. I got the beef with broccoli and veggie lomein. It was excellent as usual. 
* Andy DVR'ing the hockey game so I could watch when I got home. I avoided Facebook all morning so I could watch without knowing what happened. It was great to see the US won big! 
* watching a few more episodes of Scandal and continuing to rest so I can get rid of this damn cold/flu/whatever I have. 
* talking with Mom & Dad for a little bit tonight. 

Easy Slow-Cooker Garlic & Herb Chicken

Do you ever invite friends over for dinner without having a plan? Usually I have an idea of what I'm going to make well in advance of my dinner parties. I hosted an annual Christmas dinner (several weeks after Christmas) with four of my girlfriends. This was the third year in a row I've hosted and I've always had a pretty set menu in mind. 

Well...not this year. I've been working 10-12 hour days and had basically no plan. I got up the morning of the dinner party and had nothing prepared. I decided to take a chance and made up a slow-cooker meal. I prepared everything in the morning, prayed throughout the day that I wouldn't have to order take-out, and was relieved when I came home to find a decent looking meal waiting for me in my slow-cooker. 

Guess what? This meal was a hit! My friends couldn't believe I "just threw it together". Everyone asked me for the recipe so I shared it with them. I thought why not share it with all of you too?

So, here you go, an easy slow-cooker recipe you won't be disappointed in. I don't have any pictures, so you're gonna have to trust me---it's really good!

Easy Slow-Cooker Garlic & Herb Chicken
  1. Pour enough Lowry's Garlic & Herb marinade to cove bottom of Crock-Pot
    This is the one you want to buy.
  2. Add 3-4 boneless skinless chicken breasts (can be frozen).
  3. Add 1 large quartered onion and 2-3 cups of baby carrots
  4. Add 2 cups chicken broth and remaining marinade
  5. Cook on low for 6 (if chicken was thawed) or 8 (if chicken was frozen) hours. 
I served the chicken over quinoa with a side of roasted broccoli. The broccoli was a hit too, so I'll share that recipe with you as well, (also super easy!)

Roasted Broccoli
  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
  2. Mix 5-6 cups broccoli, 1/4 cup olive oil, 1/4 cup parmesan cheese & 1/4 cup seasoned bread crumbs in large mixing bowl.
  3. Spread out on greased cookie sheet- I use non-stick cooking spray.
  4. Bake at 400 degrees for about 20 minutes, or until broccoli is cooked and cheese/bread crumbs are starting to brown. 
If you decide to try these recipes out, please let me know what you think. Enjoy!

Saturday, February 15, 2014

My Favorite Hoagie! (Copy Cat Recipe)

If you don't live in PA, NJ, DE, MD or FL, you may not know what a Primo Hoagie is. You are missing out! We are so spoiled in this part of the country with good hoagies (heros, sandwiches, subs---whatever you want to call them) that Subway is a complete joke to us. Once you try a Primo hoagie, you will never want anything else!

Lately, I've been obsessed with their chicken cutlet on a seeded roll with broccoli rabe and roasted red peppers. It really might be the best sandwich I've ever had.

The other night for dinner I decided to try making my own version. Instead of using breaded chicken I used grilled chicken (healthier), and I replaced the broccoli rabe with kale (another healthy option) sauteed in garlic and a little olive oil. I bought an authentic Liscio's seeded roll from the grocery store. We are very lucky to be able to buy fresh, fantastic breads at our grocery stores around here. These rolls put Amoroso's to shame!

Here is what you need to do---you'll be enjoying this sandwich in no time!

  1. Grill a boneless skinless piece of chicken. I used my awesome Le Creuset grill pan.
    One of my new favorite kitchen staples!
  2. Saute the kale in some garlic and olive oil with a little bit of salt. I like to make sure my garlic is starting to turn brown before I add in the kale. I added the roasted red peppers in after the kale was finished cooking to warm them up.
    So good for you!
  3. Toast the roll and place the grilled chicken and kale/roasted red pepper mixture on top. 
    Looking good!
  4. Fold and cut in half and you are good to go. Enjoy!
    Bon App├ętit!

Thursday, February 13, 2014

I have gratitude today for...
* waking up to the beautiful snow falling. It was coming down really hard this morning! I liked not having to worry about driving in it. Andy made bacon and waffles for breakfast before we both started our work. 
* our neighbors snow blowing the entire driveway. 
* talking with Vanessa & Kieran for a little bit this afternoon. It was so good to talk to her and we're going to plan a visit for a weekend in May.
* Andy making fresh guacamole and shoveling the area around our garage and sidewalk. 
* watching American Idol tonight. I know I keep saying it but I really like this season---both the judges and contestants!
* joining Julep for some free beauty products. You can use my link to earn your first month free too! (code- eventful) Click here to take advantage of this awesome offer.

Reading Room

I love books! I love how you can get lost in a story, even feel like you are a part of the action. I love how books make you think about things in a new way---they bring things to light. I love the way they look on bookshelves!

I thought it would be fun to give you all a comprehensive list of books I've read over the years. I'm sure some are missing because I only started recording the books I've read a few years ago. I've tried to update the list as I recall books I've read. I will try to give a quick review of the books that had the largest impact on me. Most of the books listed are links so you can check out a synopsis on Google Books if you'd like. My favorites are listed in bold. So many of them are great, but I made those that I'd read again (if I didn't have a thing against reading the same book twice) bold.

I used to keep a spreadsheet of books I want to read...it became overwhelming. There was over 1,000 books listed. How does a person read that much in a lifetime? One of my 2014 goals is to read one book every couple months. We'll see how it goes!

"The more you read, the more things you will know. The more that you learn, the more places you'll go."  -Dr. Suess, "I Can Read With My Eyes Shut!" 
I am currently reading: Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn

Books I've Read:

The Language of Flowers                                                            Vanessa Diffenbaugh
A Million Little Pieces‎James Frey
America, You Sexy Bitch: A Love Letter to Freedom‎Meghan McCain, Michael Ian Black
At First Sight‎Nicholas Sparks
Bad Habits: Confessions of a Recovering Catholic‎Jenny McCarthy
Black like me‎John Howard Griffin
Burnt Toast: And Other Philosophies of Life‎Teri Hatcher
Couldn't Keep It to Myself: Testimonies from Our Imprisoned Sisters‎Wally Lamb
Diary of a Manhattan Call Girl: A Nancy Chan Novel‎Tracy Quan
Divine Secrets of the Ya-Ya Sisterhood: A Novel‎Rebecca Wells
Eat, Pray, Love: One Woman's Search for Everything Across Italy, India and ...‎Elizabeth Gilbert
Finders Keepers: The Story of a Man Who Found $1 Million‎Mark Bowden
Firefly Lane‎Kristin Hannah
From Here to Maternity: A Novel of Total Exhaustion‎Kris Webb, Kathy Wilson
Girls' Night In‎Lauren Henderson
Good in Bed‎Jennifer Weiner
Honeymoon with My Brother: A Memoir‎Franz Wisner
I Know This Much Is True‎Wally Lamb
In Her Shoes: A Novel‎Jennifer Weiner
Into the Wild‎Jon Krakauer
It's not about the bike: my journey back to life‎Lance Armstrong
Leadership‎Rudolph W. Giuliani
Little Earthquakes: A Novel‎Jennifer Weiner
Magical Thinking: True Stories‎Augusten Burroughs
Marley & Me: Life and Love with the World's Worst Dog‎John Grogan
Message in a bottle‎Nicholas Sparks
Next: The Future Just Happened‎Michael Lewis
Nickel and Dimed: On (Not) Getting By in America‎Barbara Ehrenreich
PS, I Love You‎Cecelia Ahern
Rachel's Tears: The Spiritual Journey of Columbine Martyr Rachel Scott‎Darrell Scott
She's come undone‎Wally Lamb
Skinny Bitch: A No-nonsense, Tough-love Guide for Savvy Girls Who Want to ...‎Rory Freedman, Kim Barnouin
Skipping Christmas‎John Grisham
Smashed: Story of a Drunken Girlhood‎Koren Zailckas
Snow Flower and the Secret Fan: A Novel‎Lisa See
sTORI Telling‎Tori Spelling
Stories from a Teacher‎J. Flores
Summer Sisters‎Judy Blume
Suzanne's Diary for Nicholas‎James Patterson
Ten Things I Wish I'd Known - Before I Went Out Into the Real World‎Maria Shriver
The Blind Side: Evolution of a Game‎Michael M. Lewis
The Bridges of Madison County‎Robert James Waller
The Five People You Meet in Heaven‎Mitch Albom
The Help‎Kathryn Stockett
The Hour I First Believed‎Wally Lamb
The innocent man: murder and injustice in a small town‎John Grisham
The Kind DietAlicia Silverstone
The Kite Runner‎Khaled Hosseini
The Memory Keeper's Daughter‎Kim Edwards
The Middle Place‎Kelly Corrigan
The Nanny Diaries: A Novel‎Emma Mclaughlin, Nicola Kraus
The Necklace: Thirteen Women and the Experiment That Transformed Their Lives‎Cheryl Jarvis
The Omnivore's Dilemma: A Natural History of Four Meals‎Michael Pollan
The Pilot's Wife: A Novel‎Anita Shreve
The Tipping Point: How Little Things Can Make a Big Difference‎Malcolm Gladwell
The Wonder Spot‎Melissa Bank
The Year She Fell‎Alicia Rasley
Tuesdays with Morrie: An Old Man, a Young Man, and Life's Greatest Lesson‎Mitch Albom
Water for Elephants: A Novel‎Sara Gruen
Wild: From Lost to Found on the Pacific Crest Trail‎Cheryl Strayed
Unbroken- Laura Hillenbrand
The Fault in Our Stars- John Green
The Giver- Lois Lowry
Sycamore Row- John Grisham
The Nazi Officer's Wife- Edith H. Beer
The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks- Rebecca Skloot
Defending Jacob- William Landay
Life As I Blow It- Sarah Colonna
Gone Girl- Gillian Flynn
Outliers- Malcolm Gladwell
The Associate- John Grisham
Medium Raw- Anthony Bourdain
The Book Thief- Markus Zusak
Dress Your Family in Corduroy and Denim- Dave Sedaris
Orphan Train
Yes, Please!
The Glass Castle
In Order To Live: A North Korean Girl's Journey to Freedom

Sunday, February 9, 2014

I have gratitude today for...
* spending a good part of the morning looking at websites like Glassdoor.com and LinkedIn researching companies and job opportunities. 
* going out to lunch to Weso's Grille down the street from our house. It had a "neighborhood" feel to it---your typical local family restaurant. Our server Brian was really nice and the food was good. I had to get out of the house before it started snowing again!
* finishing up stuff for Park Power that I promised I'd do over the weekend. I love doing work in the office with the double monitors. I also figured some new things out for my blog. 
* watching the new Louis CK special on HBO (from 2013). I fell asleep during the middle of it but I thought what I saw was good.
* buying a restaurant.com gift certificate for Twenty 9 Restaurant & Bar in Malvern. I think we're going to go there for my birthday on Wednesday. 
* talking with Mia for a little bit tonight---I called to let her know I told Gary on Friday that I'm not going to be staying. I didn't want her to go to work tomorrow and see that I wasn't in the office. 
* watching The Beatles tribute on CBS tonight. It's amazing, how many #1 hits they had! It was fun to see musicians of all generes and time periods perform their music.
* Andy making quesadillas with the leftovers from yesterday. They were really good with the peppers and onions. Was happy to have an easy dinner. 
* chatting with Kathy & Debbie for a little bit on Facebook tonight. 
* texting with Robin and learning that I shouldn't assume her company isn't interested just because I haven't heard back yet. We'll see...

Why not?

I don't usually enter contests because I never win. Really, I've never won anything from entering a contest. I figured I'd give it a shot tonight and enter a contest happening on another blog I read called "Vodkamom". She's awesome if you're looking for a great blog to read. 

I am receiving a sweepstakes entry in exchange for writing this blog post, - See more at: http://www.vodkamom.com/2014/02/he-wont-be-calling-me-crinkly.html#sthash.7fpkIOyp.dpuf

If today ends up being my lucky day because I decided to enter, I'll be sure to let you all know! I could win a $1,000 gift card---now that would be nice!

Have a great week everyone!

Saturday, February 8, 2014

I have gratitude today for...
* getting the rest of the Christmas stuff put away (in bins.) It's taken a while to put everything away, but at least it's organized for next year. 
* going to Cut Ups to get my hair cut. I've needed to do this for a while, my hair was so long and the ends really needed to be trimmed. Heather, my stylist, was awesome! She's a mom of two boys and she's really into fitness. We were talking about different gyms/fitness centers in the area. Her brother owns Dragon Gym so I'm going to check out their yoga and maybe even martial arts classes. I enjoyed talking with her and my hair looks much healthier now that a few inches were trimmed off. 
* finding a cute basket at TJ Maxx for magazines. 
Maybe I'll actually start reading some of the magazines that pile up around here
* making tomato basil soup in the Crock-Pot, and fresh salsa, guacamole & a chicken fajita dip for apps later.
* Jenn & Paul coming over for drinks and apps before going out to McKenzie's. We had a nice time talking and catching up. The chicken fajita dip (chicken, peppers, onions & cheese) came out really good!
* good times at McKenzie's to celebrate Beckman's birthday. We spent most of the time downstairs playing shuffleboard. I was horrible but still had fun! 
Fun times at McKenzie's in Malvern!
* trying to be as comfortable as possible with the way things are with Adrienne & me. I really hate that things have turned out like this but after a couple of years, I realize I have to let it go. I tried to make things better, I tried to make it so we could still be friends on some level, but it didn't work. When we are in each other's company because we have mutual friends, it always causes me some uneasiness. Tonight I was thankful Jenn & Paul were there, and I was able to have a really good time anyway. 
* hanging out for a while when we got home.  I showed Jenn around the house, finished making the soup, and for the most part cleaned up the kitchen while we talked and snacked on the leftover apps. 

Friday, February 7, 2014

I have gratitude today for... 
* Friday Family Lunch at work. We had Anthony's Coal-Fire Pizza and a cake to celebrate Gary's birthday. 
* having the courage to talk to Gary about how I am feeling about my position at Park Power. He was very understanding and I already feel like a weight has been lifted. 
* the voicemail I got from Mike P. We got to know each other from going to the Philly Loss Conference. It just so happens he works at ISG and he called me to discuss an opportunity there. 
* emailing back and forth with Sandy today. We hadn't talked in a while and it was great to hear back from her. 
* hearing back from Carol. She submitted my resume and told me someone would be calling.  
* having the most relaxing evening tonight. Andy went to a JP Morgan happy hour so I was able to come home, watch American Idol, make taco leftovers for dinner, and then watch Nashville. I fell asleep for a while after Nashville and woke up for a little bit when Andy got home. After the day and week(s) I've had, I really needed to just chill out!

Tuesday, February 4, 2014

I have gratitude today for...
* getting to work safely. The back roads still aren't 100% cleared. 
* Grandma giving me permission to submit her video to Ellen. I'm convinced she'd love it!
* talking with Ian and Megan on my ride home from work. It helped occupy me during my 55 minute drive home. I'm so tired of this horrendous drive!
* having to laugh at the work email Megan R. sent me. I can't say much more than that. The commentary from Lori, Jane & Ian made me laugh instead of cry. 
* picking up a roasted chicken from Sams for dinner. We made mashed potatoes, green beans and salad to go with it. Everything was very good!
* watching this week's episode of HIMYM. I thought it was one (if not, the) best episode so far this season. Most of them have been painful to watch. 
* preparing for my call with Marcine tomorrow, and getting things together for Robin as well. I was up until after midnight, and then it was nearly 2am by the time I could calm down and finally get to sleep. 

Monday, February 3, 2014

I have gratitude today for...
* Steve saying I could work from home. This winter has been crazy! It has snowed almost every weeks since Thanksgiving! I was thankful I didn't have to drive in the mess only to have to drive home in it several hours later. 
* spending some time on my blog this morning since I was up early enough that my work day hadn't started yet. I worked some more on the layout and read about a few more things I can do. 
* talking with Cat today. She had called a few times and I was unable to take her calls each time. It was great catching up and filling her in on what's been going on. She had lots of encouraging words for me. 
* having a beautiful view of the snow falling from my desk in the office. 
Loved watching the snow fall while I did my work today.
* finally ordering Jeffrey's birthday present from Amazon. I got him the game TROUBLE (one of my favorites as a kid) and a skateboarding "learn to read" book. 
* the letter Seane Corne shared written by a friend of hers who knew Phillip Seymour Hoffman. His death is so sad and such a wake up call to everyone about how destructive addiction can be. He was sober for over 20 years before falling apart about 2 years ago---such a heartbreaking story. I've shared it below...
It was 1992 and I was back in NY for Christmas to be with family and friends after recently moving to LA. Looking to maintain some level of sanity while hanging on to this relatively new thing called "sobriety," I had gotten my butt to an AA meeting in the village. It was nice to be home. NYC, but also NY's rooms of NA and AA. They had become a kind of "home" for me I had never really experienced before. Already 6 years clean and sober, every Holiday season still smacked me in the head like a 2 by 4. They kinda still do. 

Meetings let me know I wasn’t alone, and that I could help others to not feel alone. This teddy bear of guy with golden reddish blond hair and a slovenly Buddha belly shared he was moving to LA and a tad nervous about the whole thing. We spoke at the break. I told him I lived there and we swapped numbers. 

We had dinner that night with a bunch of other sober folks and for 22 years remained friends. I'd give anything right now to have another 22 with him, but last night he died of our disease.

Phil knew all my shit, and I knew his. The last 2 years he shared less and hid more, the way we can at times. I know that kind of shame all too well. It’s one fucking hard rock to get out from under. The thought of him leaving us that way brings it all back. 

Today I told my kids a little more about addiction and a little more of where I’ve come from. I told them I love them and they don’t need to worry. I’m their father first and their friend second. That I’m 28 years clean and sober and in a new place. I held them and they held me. It rips me to pieces that Phil won’t be able to do this with his. 

Yes, his creative genius was an inspiration to us all. But his struggle to be fiercely truthful in matters of the heart was what pulled me to him and still does. I guess they go hand in hand.

I love you brother… you’ll be missed by so many.
* sending Dad a message with links to some great articles I read today. I thanked him for having the strength to tackle each day and for keeping his sobriety his #1 priority. We wouldn't have the relationship we have today if he didn't. You can find those articles here and here.
* being able to get a refund for my ID Life membership. It may be a good opportunity but I just can't focus on it right now. 
* continuing to talk to people in my network who might be able to make connections for me. 
* hearing back from Robin M. She gave me lots of great info and I'm excited to see what happens. 
* chatting with Ed F. a little bit today on Facebook. We're going to get together sometime this week. 

Sunday, February 2, 2014

I have gratitude today for...
* waking up without a hangover. After drinking beers and sweet tea vodka drinks last night, that's a win in my book!
* lounging around this morning- I woke up early so then I fell back to sleep and watched TV for most of the morning. 
* making potato soup for later at Mom & Dad's. It came out a little sweeter than last time. I'm not sure if it was the potatoes or adding the carrots. I think I liked it better last time but it still tastes good this way!
* Andy picking up a pizza for lunch. I think we've had a Rocco's pizza 3 or 4 weekends in a row. 
* DMB confirmations being posted! I don't get as excited finding out if we were declined or not because it's so easy to get tickets, BUT, I do get excited thinking about warm weather, seeing all of our friends and of course seeing the band! 
* Ian helping me out by sending me some info about our position at Global. 
* going to Mom & Dad's to watch the Superbowl. We had the potato soup as an app and then Mom made chicken quesadillas and fresh guac & salsa. Everything was very good! Andy won some money on a block pool that he joined last minute so that was exciting! The Superbowl itself was not exciting at all, I felt bad for Peyton and his teammates. What a bummer to make it to the big game and then to come out so flat. Bruno Mars put on a great performance, I seem to be liking him more and more. We ended up leaving midway through the 3rd quarter since the game was a blowout. We were both tired from being up so late last night. It was hard staying awake driving home. 
* getting the rest of the customers moved for work. I was very frustrated because the system was being very slow. What should have taken me 10 minutes took me about 50 minutes, but I did it. Although I don't feel any of my extra work, time or effort is being appreciated, at least I know I'm doing the right thing. 

Saturday, February 1, 2014

I have gratitude today for...
* making fresh waffles for breakfast this morning. 
* thinking back to the day Jeffrey was born. It's so hard to believe he's 6 already. I miss them so much. 
* getting the house cleaned up---kitchen, floors, vacuuming, clothes put away. It felt good to get all of that done. 
* having a few orders come in for the TS Phi Sig fundraiser. 
* going to the mall this afternoon. I made a deal with myself that I'd only buy things with store credit or gift cards. I've been dying to go shopping but shouldn't be spending the money. I enjoyed getting out of the house and browsing all of the stores. I bought a cute sweater from Macy's, a tank top and work top from NY&Company, another work top from H&M and a beautiful dress from White House/Black Market. I wish I could afford/was willing to spend the money on clothes from there all the time. I absolutely love their clothing and it always fits perfectly!
* being able to return the two Yankee candles that had no wick with no problem. They have me a gift card for them so I wouldn't have to carry around two large candles while I shopped. 
* Kerry texting me and asking what we were doing tonight. We had made tentative plans to stop by their house tomorrow on our way to Mom & Dad's. She said they weren't doing anything and invited us over. I had already started making dinner so we wouldn't have gotten there until late---they ended up coming here. We had the best time!! Jim got to see the house, we had drinks and I made guac and salsa, and we played this really fun game called "Dicecapades". We were up playing until 3am! Oh my God anytime I'm with Kerry we stay up all night. So much fun but makes for a rough following day. We had many great laughs and good talks. Love them and hope we hang out with them more often!
Good times with great friends!