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 d├ęcor, 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 Match.com.
“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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Monday, February 23, 2015

25 Signs That You Are Officially On The Right Track to Being “Old"....

I've always considered myself pretty level headed, fairly intelligent and having a pretty positive outlook on life, but things are changing.  Oh no…. I’m getting old and, oddly enough, I seem to like it! There are far fewer hangovers, considerably fewer terrible decisions being made and many more meaningful friendships.
Life is still fun, but it seems to be a different type of fun.

How do you know you are officially on track to being “old”?
Well your life may look a little something like this:

1.  A massage is literally what you need right now.
2.  What doesn't hurt is currently numb.
3.  That sparkle in your eye is from the sun hitting your bifocals.
4.  Your mind loves to make deadlines your body can't complete.
5.  You wake up early on days you can sleep in.
6.  You consider going to the Costco a “busy weekend.”
7.  People call at 9 p.m. and ask, "Did I wake you?"
8.  You had a brief moment when you literally forgot how old you are.
9.  Teenagers exasperate you.
10. You no longer know every song on the radio…
11. …but you can sing along with the elevator music.
12. You finally know all the answers, but the kids have stopped asking you the questions.
13. You have reached the top of the ladder and find that it is leaning against the wrong wall.
14. You no longer care what you look like when going to the Quickie Mart down the street.
15. A fine wine is your new beer.
16. You turn out the lights for economic rather than romantic reasons.
17. You have a party and the neighbors don't even realize it.
18. You know to avoid certain drinks/shots…
19.  …and you actually avoid them.
20. You know what the word "equity" means.
21. You have a “dream home” board on Pinterest.
22. A fire in the fireplace makes you happy…..
23.  … and so do new socks.
24. You firmly believe that the Dyson Ball vacuum is one of the greatest inventions of our time.
25. You’ve had to look up internet slang…. HAND, TTYL

Lori D.

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Saturday, January 24, 2015

The Art of Doing Nothing....

I hate to admit this in writing, but I am a procrastinator. For most people a small bit of this won’t hurt anything. For me, it can influence the difference between whether any work gets done in a day or not. Time management is fortunately a skill even an old dog can learn, but taking the initiative to do it, well that is another thing….
Time Flies Pendant Necklace
Today, I’m committing to better time management in my creative life and this is how I plan to do it… (There, I’ve said it; it’s on paper for the world to see)

1.) I plan to take care of the most urgent tasks of the day first. Example: mailing packages from my Etsy shop sales. This way, urgent tasks won’t be weighing on my mind for the rest of the day. Time management has a lot to do with setting priorities. Completing a task can be quite powerful if you take what is known about forward momentum and put it to use.

2.) I will break down large projects into smaller, more manageable ones. This will help me work on large projects a little bit at a time without feeling overwhelmed or stressed. If I work on different elements of the task on different days, I will stay more interested in it.

3.) I will overcome inertia that binds me. The longer I put off a project, the hard it is to get moving. Inactivity becomes the norm and nothing gets done. Even if I take baby steps it’s at least a start in the right direction.

4.) I will give myself rewards! Giving myself something to look forward to after I’ve completed the “to do” list will give me a good reason to finish the task.

Wish me luck and scold me if you see me wasting time!

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Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Wire Wrapped Triangle Bead Bail

Earrings Turquoise and Pearl

I have been asked what technique I used to wire wrap the triangle focal bead on my turquoise and pearl earrings.  I originally experimented with 24 gauge wire until I got the look I wanted.   Today I found a good tutorial for the process on the Fusion Beads website.  Below you will find (from their website) a step by step tutorial to help with this technique….

1.) Cut a 4" piece of wire (24 Gauge). Slide wire through the hole of the bead, leaving about 1 1/2 in. on the left side.

Wire Wrapped Triangle Bead Bail

2.) With your fingers, bring the wires up - crossing the wires. The short piece should be in front of the longer piece.

3.) Using your fingers, form the wire to the briolette.

Wire Wrapped Triangle Bead Bail

4.) Use the tips of your chain nose pliers to grasp the short piece of wire directly above where the wires cross.

5.) Bend the wire down to a 90° angle.

6.) Use the tips of your chain nose pliers to grasp the longer piece of wire directly above where the wires cross.

Wire Wrapped Triangle Bead Bail

7.) Bend the wire straight up, forming a 90° angle between the two pieces of wire.

8.) Grasp the triangle that was created with your chain nose pliers.

9.) Wrap the short piece of wire around the longer piece about 1 1/2 - 2 wraps.

10.) With your wire cutters, cut the short tail as close as possible.

11.) Using the tips of your chain nose pliers, grab the wire directly above the wrap.

12.) With your finger, push the wire to a 90° angle.

13.) Using your round nose pliers, grasp the wire right at the bend.

14.) Pull the wire around the round nose pliers until it is almost pointing directly down.

15.) Reposition your pliers by opening your round nose pliers (but do not pull the pliers out of the loop) and pivot your pliers so the bottom tip is on the top.

16.) Continue pulling the wire around the nose of the pliers until the loop is completely round.

17.) If you are attaching it to a chain or ring, this would be a good time. To then wrap the loop, grip the loop with the chain nose pliers and grip the wire with your fingers.

18.) Wrap the wire around the base wire. Continue wrapping the wire down to the first wrap.

19.) Using the wire cutters, cut off the extra wire as close as you can to the wrap.

Wire Wrapped Triangle Bead Bail

20.) Congratulations, you have now created a wire wrapped triangle bail!

Thanks for dropping by my blog!

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Thursday, January 15, 2015

8 Ways to Enjoy an Unpredicted Snow Day

8 Ways to Enjoy an Unpredicted Snow Day

It's snowing!  Eight ways to enjoy an unpredicted snow day...

1. Discover Your Inner Princess – What girl doesn't want to be a princess for a day; feel special, look special, be special? Step out of the shower and dry off with the “good” towels, you know, the soft fluffy ones that are reserved for company only. Slip on your prettiest pajamas, a silky robe, and a pair of fancy mule slippers. Put a chair in front of the bathroom mirror, sit down and practice pulling your hair up into a new style.  Shape and polish your nails. Pamper yourself!

2. Begin Trimming Your Wardrobe – I know that it’s hard to think of spring on a snow day, but spring fashions are available online already.  Thin out your wardrobe by keeping the things you love and wear on a regular basis; remove the “maybe I’ll wear this again” items.  Chances are if it’s a “maybe” you’re not going to wear it. Next, ‘window’ shop online at your favorite clothing store or browse through the stack of unread fashion magazines.

3. Do Your Recipe Research – Explore cookbooks or recipes online, then drag out that unused appliance from under the kitchen counter and create something new. A snow day is a great day to use the crockpot.

4. Plan a Night out– Valentine’s Day is just around the corner. Plan a fun single girl’s night out or a romantic Valentine’s Day with your true love. Make Valentine’s Day cards using materials you have around the house. Write short love notes on post-its and hide them around the house for your sweetie to discover (in the medicine cabinet, in the refrigerator, behind the bathroom door, etc.). 

5. Plan a Trip on Your Bucket List – Snow may keep you in, but travel Web sites, books, and magazines can take you all over the world in an instant. Why not plan a mini break or next year’s trip now? Chuck and I are planning a road trip to Florida this spring.  Now would be a good time to plan the route and reserve accommodations along the way. Key West is on the list!

6. Tea Time – If you’re going to be a princess afternoon tea is a must! Set your table with your best china, silver, and linen napkins. Brew some Earl Grey or Chamomile tea, nosh on savory or sweet treats from your pantry. Open that romantic novel you've had stashed away for a rainy day. What better way to use up time on a wet, cold snow day than a few hours lingering over tea and a good book?

7. Catch Up - Watch all the episodes of your favorite shows that you've recorded on the DVR.  Or start watching Downton Abbey on “Catch Up”; it’s perfect for a snow day.

8. Take a Steamy Bath – At the end of the day indulge in a scented bath. It’s a heavenly way to wind down your evening and relax.


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Tuesday, January 13, 2015

Throw your hands up and enjoy the ride...

"Life is like a roller coaster. You can either scream every time there is a bump, or you can throw your hands up and enjoy the ride." author unknown.

Well, it’s been awhile since I've posted to this blog…

Since my last post, my life has been a ROLLER COASTER ride with big drops, high speed upside down loops, and many sharp twists and turns.  Life got so hectic that I put my Etsy shop on vacation and I took a break from blogging….well, I’m back. 

Here are some of the roller coaster details:

1. Big Scary Drop - I left my career of thirty years due to stress and unhappiness; I was fed up but not ready to retire.
2. High Speed Upside Down Loops - For the first time in my career I had to develop a resume and interviewed for a new executive job; amazingly I got the first job I applied for.
3. Splash Down - I started my new job with Macy’s Systems and Technology as a Project Manager.
4. Sharp Turn - Due to the long commute we decided to move out of the city and into the burbs of Atlanta.  Yes, the devoted city dwellers moved OTP (outside the perimeter).
5. Fast Spiral - After a whirlwind search for a new home we chose John’s Creek, GA.
6. Burst of Acceleration - We packed and moved within 30 days of signing a contract. Miraculous!
7. Unexpected Twist - The moving company truck size was not estimated correctly so we ended up moving a lot of stuff ourselves in the June heat wave. YUK! 
8. Smelly Swamp Dive - Days after moving into the house the sewer backed up inside the house, the hardwood floors were ruined and the house was extremely stinky.
9. Unplanned Trajectory - The yard was torn up, a new sewer line went in, a beautiful birch tree was removed (sad), the first level floor was torn out, subfloor was dried out, everything was sanitized and the hardwoods were replaced.  This all took about 30 days to accomplish, and a hotel became our temporary new home.
10. Surprising Blind Curves – Trying out new businesses and restaurants has been a pleasant surprise. We’ve found many great places to enjoy food and drinks.
11. Screeching Brakes – We have settled in and look forward to our future living OTP.

Thanks for stopping by my blog today!
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When you hear the word “Bully” what comes to mind?

Most people typically think of the school bully, taunting younger kids and threatening to beat them up after school. But the reality is that bullying takes on many different forms and is common among adults too.

When you hear the word “Bully” what comes to mind?

I know a parent who is a bully.
It is hard to think of parents as bullies, but they can be. Parents, who are overbearing, constantly belittling their children or enforcing rules with a heavy hand, may actually be crossing the line into bullying behavior. I believe there is a difference between correcting a child's inappropriate behavior and constantly trying to control every moment of that child's life.

First let me say that I do not have any children of my own; I've only been a step-parent to adult daughters.  So, I had to do some detailed research on this topic before I felt that I could even talk about this publicly.  

When you hear the word “Bully” what comes to mind?

I've learned that bullies thrive on the weaknesses of others. They have a distorted idea that if others feel powerless, it will make them more powerful. Bullies crave mental and emotional control and use fear and other tactics to help them feel superior.

Here are the bullying tactics I've seen the parent using:
  • Having excessive and unrealistic expectations.
  • Undeserved criticism and verbal manipulation.
  • Disproportionate punishment.
  • Favoritism towards some of the children.
  • Cutting Sarcasm.
  • Repeated insults and threats.
  • Unnecessary Yelling.
  • Controlling the child's every movement.
  • Violation of the child's privacy.
  • Slavery - helping at home is reasonable, but having to labor before and after school until bedtime, to keep up with the parent’s unrealistic expectations, is not reasonable.
Here are the issues I see in the child that is bullied:
  • Constant anxiety that the parent will be “mad”
  • Loss of self-confidence and self-esteem
  • Fearfulness of new experiences
  • Digestive disturbances
HELP!  I need help carefully addressing this issue without putting the child in danger of retaliation.  I feel that the parent lacks the emotional intelligence to maintain a sense of control without bullying the child. Nothing the parent has done is illegal or physically abusive, but mentally the child is being broken.  I just don’t know what needs to be done.  Do you have any suggestions?  Thanks

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1000 Gifts - Part Eight

This is part eight of my own journey to list my 1000 gifts; blessings to be thankful for every day. 

It really does make a difference in my outlook when I realize how much splendor surrounds me on a daily basis.  There are so many things to be thankful for…all the little things that make me smile.

My mission is based on a book by Ann Voskamp titled One Thousand Gifts: A Dare to Live Fully Right Where You Are. I plan to complete this journey by December 3o, 2015. Should you also feel inspired to remind yourself of all the things you have been blessed with (things that make you smile every day), please join me.

And so my 1000 Gifts journey continues... 
One Thousand gifts I have been blessed with Part Eight:
201.   Having the courage to leave my job of 30 years (with God's help). 
202.   Getting the first job I applied for. 
203.   I night out supporting our friends event - Rick Alviti Elvis Tribute.
204.   Brunch with friends that we haven't spent time with recently.
205.   Realizing that I've had a big impact on people I've worked with over the years.
206.   Knowing that in some small way I will be missed
207.   Chicken Pot Pie on a cold stormy night.
208.   Having a new spot to relax with my sweetie that is not at opposite ends.
209.   A beautiful rug to keep the chill at bay on the hardwood floors.
210.   Escaping the giant size hail and wind storm with no damage. 
211.   Being able to make a difference in my sweeties commute by moving north.
212.   Knowing the move is not on a strict time schedule so we can find the right house.
213.   Going on a weekend adventure in Highlands, NC with Jade
214.   For the new member of our family: rescue kitty that we've named Loki
215.   The bird feeder in the backyard to keep our small friends fed this winter.

To be continued...

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Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Grown Up Spring Break…

Do you remember your college spring break?

Did it look Something like this...
Do you remember your college spring break?

I believe the wish to escape from frosty locales and cut loose for a week is one that never goes away, even for grown-ups. If there was any group that most needed a mid-season break from the daily grind, it would be those who have long since graduated.

Grown Up Spring Break…
Are you in this group; the individuals who have worked too hard to have their spring break ruined by a bunch of rowdy collegians who aren't your own? Like me, you've probably already been there, done that, and now you've earned the right to celebrate the rites of spring your way — a more tranquil way.

Is it possible to take the classic spring break experience and make it a bit more grown-up? The answer is…yes!  Turns out, there's more to spring break than just Girls Gone Wild— think luxury accommodations, soothing spa treatments, serene beaches, and handcrafted jewelry that you'll want to wear long after your tan has faded.

It can be a bit scary for grown-ups to imagine a vacation in a warm place during the peak drunken revelry times of March and April, but it’s by no means impossible—if you know where to go.

My picks for a “Grown Up” spring fling:

Grown Up Spring Break…

Savannah, Georgia
Historic Savannah is a beautiful and warm city to visit in the spring. Remarkable architecture from centuries ago mingles with trendy downtown boutiques, bistros and microbreweries. Visit the local art galleries and antique shops, stroll through the peaceful historic squares and parks, and sip sweet tea at a sidewalk cafe with your sweetheart. While not directly on the coast, the city does have a riverfront district that comes alive in the evening with street performers, many dining options, shops, and bars.

One hotel that I love is the Mansion on Forsyth Park, a grand 125-room restored Victorian Romanesque mansion. When you stay at the Mansion, you can stay busy or find a peaceful spot to relax. Instead of spending an afternoon tanning on the beach... you can be pampered at the Poseidon Spa, take a hands-on cooking class or simply lounge poolside. Throughout the Mansion there is an impressive art collection of more than 400 original pieces to be discovered.  Once you venture out, cross the street and explore the beautiful Forsyth Park and the surrounding Savannah Historic District.

The city is also filled with amazing bed and breakfasts which offer the best of her charm and Southern hospitality. Most of the inns are in the historic district and furnished with antiques and period pieces. Many offer romance and spring packages.

One word of warning – do not book your visit to Savannah on or near St Patrick’s Day; the city does have one of the largest green beer celebrations nationwide. 

Grown Up Spring Break…

Santa Rosa Beach, Florida
If you long for a week at the beach, Santa Rosa Beach may be your perfect spring break destination. Tucked away along Florida’s “Emerald” Gulf Coast, Santa Rosa has become a luxury escape for those looking for a vacation destination to unwind and indulge in a natural paradise without masses of spring breakers.

Known for its sugar white beach and beautiful turquoise water, Santa Rosa also has hiking trails, beautiful bays, and state parks to explore.  Or maybe a round of Golf at one of the many exquisite courses found in the area would fulfill your grown up spring break travel plan.   

With warm Southern hospitality, the intimacy of a bed and breakfast, and the fun of a classic beach house, the WaterColor Inn & Resort creates the ideal setting to relax and unwind. Freshly redecorated beachfront rooms bring the beach within footsteps of your door. From the soft linens to the spa-inspired toiletries, every well-appointed room has been furnished for the full comfort of its guests.

Offering everything from local produce and dairy to baked goods and other local specialty items like handcrafted soap, the Seaside Farmers Market on Saturdays is a fun way to get to know the locals. Instead of buying a “Spring Break 2014” souvenir T-Shirt or a Wet Willie’s Slushy Mug, you can pick up a locally handmade necklace, a fragrant exfoliating sugar scrub, or maybe some organic orange blossom honey to remind you of your grown up spring break in Santa Rosa Beach.

Grown Up Spring Break…

Ashville, North Carolina
Known as “The Paris of the South” Asheville is a good option if you are not looking for a warm waterfront vacation.  The weather in March is variable; you could be tubing downhill in the snow or relaxing in the same tube on a spring float trip down the French Broad River.  If you are weather flexible, Ashville has an eclectic downtown with 30-plus art galleries to explore. The town is framed by the majestic Blue Ridge Mountains which offer many opportunities for outdoor adventure.

If you enjoy touring castles, sampling local wines, or visiting spring gardens in bloom, a visit to the Biltmore Estate is a must.  The main house, built by George Vanderbilt, is America’s largest home. Designed to rival the castles of Europe, the 8,000 acre estate boasts an award winning winery, a working farm, amazing formal gardens and the Vanderbilt home. The estate is open daily for visitors.

Asheville restaurants run the gamut from Mediterranean to vegetarian, four-star cuisine to down-home cooking. The city's vibrant restaurant scene goes well beyond its Southern cooking and roots. You can expect the extraordinary in Asheville.  Instead of raucous upside-down tequila shots, order a tart Appletini or sparkling flute of champagne and be blissfully at one with your grown up spring break.

Notable accommodations in Ashville include the Historic Grove Park Inn Resort & Spa and The Inn on Biltmore Estate. The Lion and the Rose is a good choice if you are looking for elegant, B&B ambience; tell their friendly house pup Cedric hello for me.  

Grown Up Spring Break…

Tulum, Mexico
If you really want to get away from it all this spring, grab your passport and head to the sunny shores of Tulum, Mexico. It's quickly becoming the "it" beach destination for the stylish crowd, with its eco-chic hotels, fantastic dining, gorgeous beaches, and the only major Mayan ruins along the coast, but still remains less developed (less student appealing) than Mexico's other resort areas.

I can't imagine a more perfect beachfront hideaway than Encantada Beachfront Boutique Hotel. The small, intimate, family owned and operated hotel is situated on one of the most beautiful beaches in the Caribbean. It is an environmentally conscious hotel in a remote jungle location. The palapa style buildings were built by Mayan craftsmen incorporating the traditional high thatched roofs using hardwood from the jungle. The rooms do not have air conditioning but were designed to take maximum advantage of the natural ocean breezes through 3 walls of floor to ceiling, screened sliding glass doors. The friendly staff is dedicated to making you feel at home, schedule activities, provide bikes, offer advice on local restaurants, shopping, and yoga classes, or they can also help you schedule tours and activities to make your grown up spring break extraordinary.

If your perfect vacation includes cenote cave diving, sailing, off-shore snorkeling, fishing, golf, exploring a wildlife preserve or Mayan ruins, all are accessible during your stay in Tulum. If you enjoy listening to live music, check out the Luna Maya Hotel on Tulum Beach- Sit back and take in the sounds while enjoying tapas and a killer margarita.

No matter what your taste this season, there’s a stretch of sand, a tranquil mountain town or even a historic southern city that won’t be clogged with collegians. Yes, even during spring break.


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