Archives for December 2010

Oprah and Me….

I have so much to write about my trip to Australia with Oprah…but I also have to get ready for New Year’s…so here’s a photo to hold your interest until I can fully expound on my amazing experience.


Wishing you all a HAPPY NEW YEAR! I can’t wait to see what 2011 is going to bring….


Today started off beautifully. I woke up to a winter wonderland. We got approximately 16 inches of snow…a few days late, would have preferred this on Christmas morning. Is there anything better than a White Christmas? But the storm was sandwiched nicely between Christmas and New Year’s, so it counts as festive and inspiring.

I have been on a running kick lately. I ran 3.5 miles on Christmas Eve, 3.5 miles the day after Christmas and 3.5 miles today. It has actually made the holidays that much more enjoyable because I can eat ALL the goodies I want without feeling any of the guilt. I have been in PJ’s since Saturday morning, only changing into running clothes, then showering and slipping right back into my pajamas. I don’t know about you, but this has been the absolute perfect way to spend the holidays.

I was just reading the January issue of SELF with Jillian Michaels on the cover. There was one particular paragraph that really jumped out at me and I just HAD to share it.

Be fearless. If you make only one resolution this year, let it be to live boldly. You control this moment: Rather than cautiously test the water, dive straight into life with freeing abandon. Imagine the person you want to be and the life you want to live, then simply commit to them. Believe in yourself. Embrace your beauty. Discover a new passion. And whatever you do, wherever you go, don’t be afraid to make a splash. (p. 24)

Also, I spent today’s treadmill session watching an episode of The Biggest Loser. Am I the only one who cries when the contestants get to see their family after they have lost significant amounts of weight? I was crying on the treadmill! Luckily I was at home instead of at the gym. I have been known to laugh out loud while watching something humorous at the gym, but crying?! I need to maintain some semblance of cool at the local Y.

So here is my advice to you: Be healthy, be fearless and be who you’ve always wanted to be (even if it means crying on the treadmill).

And I know the holidays have passed but there are still opportunities to give gifts (housewarming parties, holiday parties, family visits) so here is a little suggestion that has a beautiful cause behind it. Tea Forte is my all-time favorite tea and there is honestly nothing better than having a cup of tea at the end (or the beginning) of the day! The proceeds from these Tea Forte Gift Sets go to St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital. Because the true meaning of the holidays is sharing love and helping others. Happy Holidays!


Slow and Study


No, that is not a typo in the subject line. Yes, the line is traditionally “slow and steady” and is usually followed by “wins the race” but this post is not about being slow and steady. It is not about winning (or losing for that matter). It is actually taken from a comment in author Aidan Donnelley Rowley’s blog, Ivy League Insecurities. She writes that she started her blog because she needed something that would force her to slow and study the moments of her life – the good, the bad, the middle.

How perfectly Aidan’s simple comment captures the sentiment behind most of our blogging endeavors. I have kept a diary throughout my entire life, a private one. The style I have adopted has varied, sometimes my entries look like a grocery list of key moments; the grades, the jobs, the fights with my sister. Other times it has been a long and detailed essay about the way I was feeling at the time. I’m still not sure which method or approach I like better. Sometimes I want to look back into a diary and know exactly who I spent Thanksgiving with, who was missing, who was fighting, who forgot the pumpkin pie. Other times I want to know how I felt. Either way, I love having a record. So why take something as personal as a diary into a public forum? Why expose ourselves? I have certainly had this debate with myself over the years and here is the conclusion I have come to. First of all, it is wonderful to be able to open up your thoughts and questions to a public audience, to create a dialogue with people you would have never met or connected with otherwise. It is also a great writing exercise to put yourself to the task of writing a coherent, concise piece that is ready for public consumption. My diary entries look nothing like the posts I write for my blog. I am not as exposed in a blog post as I am in a diary entry. I am not as vulnerable and my emotions are not as raw. I try to organize my thoughts in a more professional way. I try to see all sides of a situation, I try to be logical and fair. In a diary entry I am on one side only, my side. Usually I am ranting about something that has bothered me or rubbed me the wrong way. It is very specific with little room for interpretation. However, with the blog, I can explore the bigger issue, the more universal problem, whether it be difficult relationships or facing responsibilities, it is approached with a clearer head and a more even keeled tone. My diary is a rant, my blog is an exploration, a course in the intricacies in life, the nuances that so often get overlooked or ignored. My blog is a way to slow down and study the life I am living. It is a way to be more appreciative and grateful for the blessings, the tiny details that make an ordinary day a great day. Because when you are writing an essay for public consumption, exploring the meaning of life, you need to have a reason for writing. This forces the writer to stretch their mind, to see beyond the annoyances and search for the hidden gems of meaning and happiness. Blogging (and writing, in general) is a blessing because it forces you to rise above the mundane details of life and find the beauty in the ordinary. My goal for 2011 (because what is a New Year without a resolution) is to follow in the steps of Rowley and blog every single day. I am not doing this for a larger audience, good publicity, a book deal, I am doing this for my own personal story, to give myself the blessing of clarity, to slow down and study life.

Christmas Shopping


I continually find myself caught off guard by the collision of my expectations and the reality of what I end up experiencing. After bracing myself for a treacherous trip to the mall to finish up my last minute Christmas shopping, I was pleasantly surprised by how much I enjoyed my trip! To think that three days before Christmas I was able to leave the mall smiling…and I actually accomplished the shopping that I needed to finish! I think it had something to do with the significant sales that greeted me in every store. It made shopping for my loved ones that much more enjoyable (I mean, come on, who doesn’t like a good discount?!). My favorite moment was when I took a break to have a hot pretzel and a diet coke and was able to watch all of the children lining up for Santa Claus. There was an even split between those who were really excited and couldn’t wait to tell Santa what they wanted and those who were absolutely terrified. The best was when I was able to spot the children whose parents had made the trip specifically to visit Santa, their children dressed in matching outfits with bows in their hair and shiny, patent-leather shoes on their tiny feet. How excited they all must be for Friday night, when Santa and his reindeer will pay them a visit. These same children who cried at Santa’s feet will be waiting in anxious anticipation for his visit because honestly, it’s much easier when you don’t have to actually come face-to-face with the legend himself but can still enjoy the treats he leaves behind.

The Land Down Under


I am in the center of the most beautiful city in the world. A world I never thought in my wildest imagination that I would be visiting with Oprah Winfrey. As part of this amazing “Ultimate Australian Adventure” the details I can give at this stage in the game are few and far between but what I will say is that I am officially in love with Australia, Australians and everything in between. The sun is brighter here (they say it is because there is no ozone layer, but that’s a detail I tend not to think about as I stare at their golden, sun-kissed, flawless skin), the sky is bluer and everything is larger than life, especially the personalities. One thing about Australians is that they love to party and they come ready! You can’t walk down the street without encountering a group of ten to twenty friends bustling by, laughing boisterously and slapping each other on the back. They will throw a party for any reason and jump in with both feet. A night has not gone by that a group of revelers hasn’t passed me in the street dressed up in costume. Costumes! In December! From what I’ve heard, and seen, they really enjoy dressing up. They are also the nicest, most congenial people I have ever met. They are genuinely interested in talking to strangers. They are vibrant and enthusiastic and full of life. Their smiles take up their entire face and they have a squeaky clean, fresh scrubbed look at all times. These people just ooze youth and vitality. Maybe it’s all that sunshine? Maybe it’s the missing ozone layer? Whatever it is, it’s working.

I also met some great people while traveling in the land down under…


Way Too Girlie!

pink body splashSometimes I do things that really emphasize how girlie and silly I can be. Today was one of those days. I bought a body spray at PINK because I liked the look of the bottle! Yes. I really did this. Did I smell it first? Nope. But do I love the way it looks on my bureau? Yes! I love the color combination of pink and turquoise and I love the clean square shape of the bottle.

And guess what? I ended up really liking the smell! So it was a win-win situation!  PINK is having some great sales for the holidays so you should definitely check it out for the girlie-girls in your life.



I am packing for a very big trip next week and am trying desperately to figure out what the essentials are that I need to bring. I’m heading to Australia with The Oprah Winfrey Show and I am hoping to blog while I am there…so stay tuned. They have kept everything very hush hush so I don’t know where I am staying, what I am doing or what to expect. It is quite possibly the biggest leap I have ever taken in my life. I am a planner. I like to make to do lists and follow them religiously. This trip is the exact opposite of my comfort zone. I trust that I am in good hands (hello! Oprah!) but I am still a ball of frenzied emotions and nerves.

I can’t wait to see what Australia has to offer! I am hoping to get some good shopping time in (just in time for Christmas). Now I just have to figure out what to pack?????

{photo credit: Yvette Inufio}

My New Obsession


THE DOUBLE WALLED TUMBLER! I was searching for a cup earlier today to put ice water in and I stumbled across my brother’s Starbucks tumbler.  Do you want to know why it’s AWESOME?? Because it doesn’t “sweat”. Do you know what I mean? When a cup of ice water gets all beaded up with water along the outside and then gets everything around it wet? Well guess what???? This doesn’t do that! And I’m kind of in love with it. I tried to order one from Glitzy Glam but it seems that they are out of stock. But you can bet the minute they come back I will be stocking up on these little gems! Here are some other links for the double walled tumblers.


I keep hearing great things about MAC and I can’t believe I don’t own a stitch of MAC makeup?! It is probably the number one makeup product talked about and blogged about and I think it’s time that I jump on the MAC bandwagon!

Here are the products that may be coming home with me in the very, very near future.


MAC Studio Sculpt Concealer


MAC lipstick in Angel


MAC Technakohl eyeliner

MACwipesMAC makeup remover wipes