Sunday, April 10, 2016

New Design Space...

Now that I'm no longer working in the corporate world, I'm dedicated to reinventing myself and pursuing my creative side... 

I ordered this corner desk unit to use as my creative workstation at the new house. I will have a dedicated room for my studio. 

I plan to revamp and expand my current Etsy jewelry shop and develop a new shop dedicated to wedding decor.

I'm so excited to begin this new chapter in my life!

This piece will be used as my printer stand and file cabinet for my Etsy orders paperwork.  I like the wood grain finish and the industrial look framework.  

I will have two of these matching tall shelf units flanking the corner desk. One will be used for bead container storage and the other for wedding decor storage.  I will have easy access to both units for supply selection when I'm working on a project. I won't need to jump up and down to reach supplies like I do now in my current space.

We move to the new house in about three weeks.  I can't wait to get started on my new life!

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Saturday, April 9, 2016

Dear Kelly...

Put your family first.

You can live your bohemian lifestyle later on; you can’t get your kids, spouse or family back from a neglected relationship. You tend to underestimate the influence that you have on your children.  Kids who are exposed to bad parenting are two times more likely to misbehave, lie, and become aggressive. Your inconsistent disciplinary approaches, poor supervision and promises broken are poor parenting attributes that have negatively affected your children, regardless of what you think.

You can be the hero of this story; it’s not too late to put your family first…

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Tuesday, April 5, 2016



What Money Can’t Buy…
·         Reminiscing About Old Times with Your Best Friend – Those amazing life experiences only the two of you lived through together.  Like that wild weekend trip to Sarasota, or following ‘that guy’ for miles to see where he lived, or floating down Rock Springs in an inner tube on a lazy Sunday afternoon. Priceless!

·         Unexpectedly Hearing Your Favorite Song – You’re stuck on I-285 in rush hour traffic, you change the radio station for a little diversion.  The opening notes to your favorite song (September by WW&F) instantly chime in. Priceless!

·         The Sound of a Rock Filled Rushing Creek– It’s the music of Mother Nature surrounding you. Priceless!

·         The Warm Touch of Your Sweetie – It’s the touch no one else shares.

·         The Feeling of Acceptance – You’re a part of something greater… and it feels good. Priceless!


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Sunday, April 3, 2016

Relaxing on a Sunday Afternoon....

I want this! Relaxing on a Sunday Afternoon....

I really enjoy spending Sunday afternoon at home just relaxing. I know this sounds crazy, but for me relaxing is all about organizing, shopping, and reading. Here are 5 things to do to make the most of your peaceful Sunday....
1. Organize your pantry: Dive into your pantry or kitchen cabinet and organize it. Get rid of the items that have expired or you haven’t used in years, and arrange the ones you have left. You'll feel pleased with yourself and ready for cooking next week.

2. Go online shopping: I’ve recently cleaned out my closet; I need to fill the newly cleaned space with a few new outfits (I’ve lost some weight recently). Sundays are the best day to online shop from the comfort of my favorite cozy chair.

3. Catch up on your favorite blogs: Check out all the blogs you didn't have time to during the week. You might even get an extra dose of inspiration for the new week ahead.

Happy Sunday!
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Saturday, April 2, 2016

Reinventing Myself...

Choose your Path Wisely

Growing up, I always assumed that I'd move to a cool loft apartment in a city with a lot of creative energy and pursue a career as a graphic artist. I was a fine art major in college, but I never accomplished my dream of becoming an “artist”.  The reality of supporting myself as a struggling artist forced me down another path and I entered the corporate world.  As a 22-year-old retail ‘professional’ and aspiring Project Manager with boundless energy, it was the right fit, and I couldn't have been happier.  But flash forward thirty three years and many, many, IT projects later; I realized I was in a rut. I felt uninspired at my job, fed up with corporate life, and I craved a change of scenery. 
Still, the idea of leaving my job was terrifying.  As stressful as corporate life can be, it was also my comfort zone. While leaving my job was certainly a risk, I realized it was a bigger liability to stay put for another year; my health was suffering from stress and unhappiness. 
After putting in plenty of thought and research, I chose to take a leap of faith and quit my corporate job and once again return to my creative roots.  
Here are some things you should know if you are also thinking about taking this leap of faith:

Take a Risk

1.  Give the Decision Plenty of Thought — Then Fully Embrace Your Choice
Taking any risk is like jumping from a plane with a parachute on your back: if you think about it too much, you'll probably end up saying "nah, not today". I'm not saying the decision to make a huge move should be taken lightly or done impulsively. But once you've done your research and weighed all the pros and cons, go with your gut instinct and commit yourself to making the change happen.
There's never a guarantee that something is going to be as wonderful as you'd hoped, but follow your instincts and remember that everything is reversible.

Ladies Night

2. Network, Network, Network
To begin my creative career, I needed to move to a place that inspires me artistically —we are in the process of relocating to the North Georgia Mountains. This admittedly makes me a little nervous because, as much as I value my alone time, I've always had a close circle of friends in the same city as me.
Being an introvert, it’s never easy for me to engage people and make new friends.  So to combat my fears I’m working on several ways to network in our new town.  Read my five ways to meet new people in a strange town here.  

Me Time

3. Embrace Your Newfound “Me” Time
A creative and social network isn't going to fall into place immediately.   One of the best parts of moving to a brand new town is that you get to play tourist, and there are plenty of fun activities to do by yourself. Dining, shopping, scenic parks, and site seeing are all activities that can be enjoyed solo.  Without the rigid work schedule I’ll be free to explore the new surroundings.
New Routine
4. Get Yourself into a Routine
It's natural to feel a little off-kilter when you first leave the daily grind of the corporate world. You're in an unfamiliar place and are still dealing with a lot of unknowns. As exciting as it is, it's also going to be stressful at times.
For many people, there's comfort in building a new routine. Try to establish healthy sleeping and eating patterns immediately, because feeling physically healthy and energetic will make a huge difference. Have a regimen, but don't force yourself to structure every minute of every day. Allow yourself free time to catch your breath, watch a guilty pleasure TV show, or simply wander your new neighborhood.

5. Accept That There Are Some Things You'll Miss
According to unofficial data (aka my feelings), Don't be surprised if you feel pangs of sadness when you see Instagram posts of your friends and colleagues hanging out at a café together or at one of your favorite happy hour spots in your former city after work. It doesn't mean you made the wrong decision by moving; it just means that you made some strong relationships and memories in your former life, and that's something to be grateful for.

Reinventing Yourself
6. Try Not To Have Regrets
If you have put in all the effort and planning to make a huge life change, it's because something wasn't working in your life. Once you've arrived in your new home and begin reinventing yourself, embrace every opportunity and stay positive when things get uncomfortable.   Take comfort in the knowledge that you took the initiative to give yourself a clean slate and you are creating new opportunities for yourself. That's something to be proud of!

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Friday, April 1, 2016

Making Friends as an Introvert...

Making Friends

Those who know me well know that I’m an Introvert and totally shy around new people. Making “friends” as an introvert is always a difficult task for me.  Soon my husband and I will be moving to a new town; the idea of making friends again is daunting.  To combat my fear, I’m doing a little research on the new town and planning some ways to make this “challenge” interesting and more adventurous. Below are some possible ways to make friends as an introvert in our new town.

Main Street
1. Find a cafe, bar, park, or bench that is “mine”.
The new town has a main street filled with interesting shops and restaurants. It is close to home, and will take minimal effort to get there. I plan to visit it often, same time, and same place. After several visits I will emerge as a regular to the staff and other regulars. This won’t take too long to accomplish.

2. Take a jewelry making class.
The new town has a little independent bead shop that offers classes. I’ve found that classes are a good place to connect and relax. Letting go of control is challenging as an introvert. However, that is the point. After 2 hours of watching others working on the same project, conversation is easier, fun, and just flows.
3. Go to upcoming creative lectures.
Lectures are a major draw for introverts. Several artists are scheduled to lecture at one of the galleries on Main Street.  I can sit and listen to big ideas and new concepts. I can look around the room, observe the curiosity of others, and simply enjoy a close-ended experience. There’s plenty of time to ask questions in an orderly fashion, and pinpoint others I’d like to get to know. Afterwards, there should be an opportunity to strike up a conversation or engage with a group of people.

Walking in Blue Ridge, GA
4. Go walking at the same time every day.
There’s something about taking a walk on a quiet morning and seeing other members of the community in their daily routines. You see familiar faces by following the same route. This provides me a sense of security, comfort, and community. It’s great practice for talking to strangers, and maybe making a new friend.

Dining Meetup
5. Start a meetup group
Starting my own community gives me the chance to “hand-pick” the people I want in my new circle of friends. Maybe a dining group or artists who want to start a co-op. I can create events, and cap it at 10 or even 20 members. As the group leader, I’ll be in charge of picking events and communicating with people.  This will push me to get out and socialize.
Hopefully these efforts will give me a sense of empowerment as I try to make new friends as an introvert. I want to create new social connections that will enhance my life.  Wish me luck on this new adventure!


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Thursday, March 24, 2016

10 Ways to Welcome Spring Early…

I’m ready for spring!

This year the winter here in the Deep South has been daunting, bitterly cold lows and record breaking highs. In just one week we had temperatures below 10 degrees, snow, an ice storm, and a balmy 69 degree day. I keep thinking spring is on the way, but as soon as it starts warming up, another cold front passes through. The weather has been teasing me.

I have spring and all the things that it brings on my mind today. So, this weekend I am going to push spring’s arrival in my neck of the woods. 

Here are 10 ways to welcome spring early:

10 ways to welcome spring early

1.) Visit the Farmers Market for fresh strawberries – Do you have any smell memories? One of my strongest spring smell memory is fresh strawberries. Florida is at the peak of their season right now. Yummy! 

Birkenstocks with socks

2.) Wear Birkenstocks without socks – Since there is no better shoe for shopping, visiting an outdoor festival, or trekking down to the campsite; I wear my Birks all year. It’s time to take the socks off and let my toes breath.

10 ways to welcome spring early

3.) Plan a “Spring Break” vacation – It’s been a long time since I piled into a car filled with friends and headed to the beach for a week. I’m going to do some research and plan a Florida road trip. Florida was my home for many years; it’s time to share that chapter of my life with my husband. There are so many memories and sites to see!

SUV Packed for Glamping or Camping

4.) Organize the camping gear – We love camping in the spring when nature is waking up from its cold winter sleep. The landscape is new and bright, the air is clean and crisp and new life is emerging. By sorting, cleaning, and organizing the camping gear now, we’ll be ready to hop in the car and head for the mountains on the first nice weekend.

10 ways to welcome spring early

5.) Put up a hammock in the back yard – Have you ever spent an afternoon with a good book relaxing in a hammock? It’s a wonderful way to relax and escape for a few hours in spring. Naps are optional, but highly recommended.

10 ways to welcome spring early

6.) Sit outside at a café – I love the atmosphere of a sidewalk café, a relaxed casual approach to dining. We seem to linger longer over the meal and people watch as the surrounding tables fill with interesting people. And why does a burger taste so much better when served at an outside café? It’s a mystery…..

10 ways to welcome spring early

7.) Visit the Flower Market for tulips and daffodils – The bulb flowers are just beginning to pop out of the ground. I think tulips and daffodils will brighten the house with the colors of spring.

10 ways to welcome spring early

8.) Take a hike and notice the trees budding – New life is emerging all around; a hike in the woods will bring me a little closer to the birth of spring.

10 ways to welcome spring early

9.) Plant Something Green – Last but not least, my favorite way to quicken spring’s arrival…dig in the dirt! It’s one of my favorite ways to relax and the results make me smile for many months and sometimes years if they are perennials.

Linen Closet

10.) Store the winter bed linens - Remove the down comforter and flannel sheets. They may have been perfect for the winter season, but during spring it's more comfortable to opt for lightweight covering, such as a duvet or a quilt.

Lori in Atlanta

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Thursday, December 3, 2015

Oh No...I’m losing it…

“You know… the thing that holds hot chocolate, above the dish cleaning machine.” 
Translation: I need a mug from the cabinet above the dishwasher….

Forgetting things and words happens with increased frequency, and I hate it.
In the past year, I have left or forgotten the following items during my adventures out in the world:
  • Two umbrellas
  • One necklace, handmade with a large turquoise pendant
  • Five doggie bags
  • My favorite fuzzy socks
  • Six Pilot purple gel pens
  • Countless words (mug, dishwasher, sprinkler, buffet, etc…)
  • At least twenty names (sorry friends)
  • Copies of Southern Living, O!, and a trashy romance novel
  • My tenacity
I have become ‘that’ person… the person who leaves the water running and can never find her car. That person who goes into a panic when she can't find her reading glasses balanced on top of her head. That person who leaves sentences dangling as she madly scrambles for the right word to pick it back up. That person who recognizes a face she's seen 50 times, but can't remember the name of it's owner. That person who forgets the name of the band that plays the song in that movie with so and so who also stared in the movie she can't remember the title of either.

I'm fond of saying, "my hard drive is full" because it's true. My brain is so packed with a half-century's worth of information that there's just no more space to shove anything else in there. And good luck pulling anything back out. My mind's a mess, and I really need a new memory stick.  I rely more and more on spastic arm movements and hand gestures to help convey what I'm trying to say but can't remember how to. It's like being in a never-ending game of Charades.
When one becomes that person, it pays to have a sense of humor, or you will never want to leave the house. So, I look on the bright side of turning so dim: For one, during those times when I can't find the word I'm looking for, I'm forced to come up with some pretty creative alternatives, like "that container where you put dirty laundry" for "hamper," or even, "striped four-legged meow machine" for our cat Buddy.
I’m off to visit what’s her face, on that road by the big orange box store; we're having brunch or lunch or something!?!
Based on a post by:  Blank Stare, Blink.
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Wednesday, December 2, 2015

“High School Reunion"

My High School Senior Picture

“High School Reunion”

When those three words pop up in conversation or in a Facebook post, your reaction will be one of two things:  Sign me up!  or  No way!

Having attended two of the three reunions for our class (we celebrate once-every-ten-years), I want to encourage you to make the trip back home to Merrillville next summer. I admit that I initially thought No Way!  But on second thought, I remembered having a fabulous time at past reunions and would probably regret not attending the upcoming event when I see pictures posted after the event.  

Here are 10 Reasons to Attend Our High School Reunion:

1. People do change
A big reason why people don’t return for their reunions is that they hated being in high school and why return to the scene of four years of misery? Consider this, by now you and everyone else (well almost everyone else) have long since shed your teenage self-doubt, painful shyness, and clique noteworthy behaviors.  It’s no longer about whom you were then, it’s about who you are today.  Trust me; people will be interested in your journey and the changes that have taken place over the years.

2. No strangers
Over the past decade, adults have flocked to Facebook. You can walk into a room of people you have not seen in person since you walked across the stage with your diploma and immediately jump into a conversation about their golf game, their trip to Florida or their grandchildren. Conversation with someone you hardly knew in high school will suddenly be stress-free.

3. Release your inner 18-year-old
We are now required to behave like responsible adults every single day. At work, as parents/grandparents, and as leaders we suck it up and play the role of a responsible adult. But, for one night, when neither boss nor kids will be there to judge your behavior, channel your young at heart feelings and throw caution to the wind.  Stay out late!

 4. Mysteries revealed
We may have sat through classes together, but how we lived our teenage years were infinitely diverse. At the 20 year reunion I loved hearing stories from my classmates. They filled in some gaps and solved a few long-forgotten mysteries. Now I know who swam naked in the pool, who had a major crush on me, and why our bus driver was fired to name a few.  Also, many interesting conversations started with “Whatever happened to __  __” …mystery solved!

 5. Expressions don’t change
Not to worry, yearbook photos will most likely be on the name tags. Sure, reading glasses now sit on noses, hair has turned grey (mainly the guys J), we have picked up a few pounds — but the smiles endure.  The eyes are the same. The sense of humor of that guy, who drove our Chemistry teacher crazy, is still there, too.

6. Music and dance
While fashion and make-up from the 70’s look dated, the music we loved in high school is locked in our brains as the best party tunes, ever.  You’ll grab your girlfriends and abandon self-consciousness. So what if your kids say your dancing is like the Charlie Brown Christmas characters? You can throw your hands in the air like you just don’t care.

7. The one who broke your heart
Was there one person, who dumped you, or in my case didn’t even know I was alive despite the huge crush I had on him all sophomore year? Maybe he or she will show up, too. Go ahead and seek them out, you might be happy you didn’t make that connection after all (wink).

8. Prom redux
Perhaps you remember our prom as a night of Cinderella-like splendor. No? Me neither. Looking back at yellowed photos, mine seemed more about blue eye shadow and a matching powder blue tuxedo. A reunion is a perfect time for a do-over. Splurge on an outfit you feel great in. Ladies, schedule a hair appointment and drop by the makeup bar. We’ve paid for our daughters and sons to go all out for their proms and weddings, why not indulge ourselves for one night?

9. See how the story played out
When we graduated from Merrillville high school, some of us had definite career goals, others were madly in love, and some went to work in the mill as their fathers and grandfathers had before them. The reunion is a chance to see if those high school romances blossomed into marriage (some did and, remarkably, the couples are still married). Did the kids who already knew they wanted to be a doctor or a lawyer stick with it?  Where did everyone land geographically and what prompted them to move away?  What plans for retirement are in the works? One story I heard at the 20 year reunion was fascinating to me; I would have never predicted he would live where he does and create the business he has.

10. Friends
This is, of course, the real reason you NEED to attend our reunion. If you are in touch with high school buddies, great, this will be a fun night with them. But friendships were more than your best friends. They were the kids you were on yearbook staff with, ones you were in elementary school with but drifted away from in middle school. Maybe you have no connection whatsoever with your high school and you have moved far away. There may be no better way to rediscover a friendship than at a high school reunion. Please consider joining the fun, I want to catch-up!

Please reply “YES” in the comments below if you are interested in attending a reunion next summer.

Lori (Patton) Dorrington
Johns Creek, Georgia

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Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Waiting for the "Right One".....

Brenda and Mario - 03/07/15

Spring wedding season is beginning in Georgia.  I just attended the wedding of one of my best friends in Charleston SC.  It was a lovely wedding with all the trimmings…beautiful wedding dress, fabulous tabletop décor, and a stunning location overlooking the beach and Atlantic Ocean.
During her father’s toast to the happy couple, he mentioned that he had asked Brenda to take her time and wait for the “right one”.  Dad also mentioned that he never imagined that would mean walking his 55 year old daughter down the aisle when he was 82 years old… 
Brenda did wait for the “right one”; she did not settled for less than the absolute best match. Single friends may be wondering, “Will it ever be my turn?” “Will I ever meet the One?”  I’ve been in your shoes and I can say without a doubt, yes you will!
 When you stop chasing the wrong things you give the right things a chance to catch you.” ~ Lolly Daskal

It may feel like torture to attend one more wedding, buy one more bridesmaid dress, or spend one more year alone–but your time will come. Until then? Meet as many new people as you can. Make that your goal this spring. Try out a new meetup group–give online dating a try–attend more parties–whatever ways you can find to meet more people. Most couples I know met their “right one” through a mutual friend (don’t be opposed to blind dates); or they met through a website like Christian Singles or
“Only I can change my life. No one else can do it for me.” - Carol Burnett
Being single can feel never-ending, but it doesn’t have to last forever. Use this time to examine areas of your life that need a change, get out of your comfort zone; start now preparing yourself for marriage.  If you want to make a change in your life, you have to be the one that provides the energy, takes the steps, and draws a line in the sand that says you’re not going back to your old comfort zone again.
My advice for girls who are waiting for their Prince Charming is to be open for anything. Be open to new experiences, be open to the idea that it may take longer than you planned, but if you're open to meeting new people and new adventures, then the right love will come along. - Lily Collins
You are worth it: Don’t settle for less than the absolute best!

Lori in Atlanta

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