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Hot Fun In The Summertime | Music Monday

27 Jun

It’s official – summer is here! I’m going back for this one – I remember listening to this all the time as a kid. And I always LOVED all the soulful voices with their unique characters. The easy breezy intro, gorgeous harmonies, and soulful shout outs all make Hot Fun in the Summertime a perfect mood booster tune!

My personal favorite line:

Boop-Boop-Ba-Boop-Boop when I want to….

What’s yours?

Hot Fun in the Summertime by Sly and the Family Stone Lyrics

Check out these other mood booster tunes.

Lovely Day | Music Monday

20 Jun

This song makes me smile. Every time. Period. Enjoy this 1977 classic from Bill Withers – Lovely Day.

Then one look at you, and the world’s alright with me.

Just one look at you, and I know it’s gonna be

A lovely day.

Lovely Day by Bill Withers

Wishing you a Lovely Day!

If you liked this, please check out some more of my music picks.

Too Darn Hot With Ella Fitzgerald | Music Monday

13 Jun

I have a confession. I’ve always wanted to sing with a big band. I’m no Ella [gross understatement], but how fun would that be? Strutting around in a fancy dress, dancing with a kick ass horn section, and singing with wild abandon.

“I’d like to coo with my baby tonight…”

“It’s tooooooooo, da-aaaaaaaarn, ho-ttttttttt”

Enjoy this tune – it ALWAYS makes me happy!

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Happy 18th Birthday Michael | Music Monday

6 Jun

Where were you in 1993? Well, I became a mother on June 6th, so today is Michael’s 18th birthday! It was a beautiful day – and everyone was in town because I was scheduled to be induced on June 7th. The contractions started, and being me, I ran several errands, returned a borrowed vacuum cleaner, returned my graded papers to Cal Poly, and scrubbed the baseboards. My dad got to my house early afternoon, and Pat (Michael’s dad), dad and I hung out on the patio. They contemplated ordering a pizza – I passed on that offer. Finally, the time came to go to the hospital, and it was just like that episode in “I Love Lucy” where Ethel, Fred, and Ricky ran around like crazy people and nearly forgot Lucy. After a somewhat eventful labor and delivery, Michael was born at 11:33 pm.

Michael and I share a love for music, so it only seems fitting to do a musical flash back to 1993.

We had this very sweet song from Janet Jackson. Her album was SUPER HOT in 1993.

The Bodyguard was huge and topped the charts most of the year.

Eric Clapton’s classic MTV Unplugged came out. This was the beginning of the Unplugged era – and we were all blown away by the acoustic versions of the old classics (Layla).

Finally, the Number 1 song on June 6, 1993 was “Can’t Help Falling In Love” by UB40.

So fitting for your welcome to the world! Happy Birthday Michael – I love you!

Buena Vista Social Club: Chan Chan | Music Monday

30 May

What can I say? I want to dance in Havana! Enjoy this beautiful, meditative piece from the Buena Vista Social Club as you ease into this Music Monday. And yes, this is just my pace for an exercise warm up 😀


Do you have favorite tunes that take you away?

If you enjoyed this, you might like:

Slow Down | Wise Words by India Arie

25 May

I shuffled across this tune while walking to work, and BAM! I used to dance to this song, so I certainly listened to it many times. But I’ve never HEARD it like I did yesterday morning. I’ve listened to it over and over and have made Slow Down by India Arie my theme song for the week (day? month? forever?).

“Slow down baby, you’re going too fast…”

“Take some time to clear your space, chaos isn’t good for your health….”

“Sometimes you gotta be still before you get ahead….”

Do yourself a favor – slow down long enough to soak up this amazing poem with her brilliant phrasing, rhythm, and melody.

<View Complete Lyrics for Slow Down by India Arie>

Does this resonate with you? Anyone want to join me in slowing down?

Health and Wellness in Vegas – Is it Possible?

14 May

We had a lovely time in Vegas, and yes, health and wellness is possible in Sin City! We stayed at the Bellagio and had a fountain view room (highly recommend) and could watch the fountain show from the comfort of the cushy chairs while listening to the music on the TV. (My favorite was ONE from Chorus Line – my goodness – 30 years later and I still know all the words!) We spent an afternoon at the spa and that was GLORIOUS! Seriously, this place was magazine-picture-perfect gorgeous, with floor to ceiling glass tile, hundreds of single flower arrangements, beautiful water features, cozy robes, and eucalyptus steam rooms. There was even a co-ed serenity room so the BF+ and I could do some stretching (quiet giggling allowed). Continue reading

Adjusting to My New Empty Nest

2 Apr

Yep. Most of you know that things around the home front with my almost-18 year old son have been tense at best. The recent conflict associated choices and consequences of HIS actions was apparently too much for him to deal with. I returned home from a business trip & VOILA – the kiddo’s bedroom was almost empty (although he did leave behind a bunch of trash).  He didn’t just pack a bag, he cleared out his closet, drawers, and shelves (and took a bunch of my stuff too).  I learned that he’s at his dad’s (15 minutes away), although I never got a return call from daddy-o (sigh – really? 15 years later and that’s what it still looks like?). There are more juicy details – post to come – but what I can say is that aside from a few waves of sadness (I’m almost feeling a bit guilty about not being an absolute wreck), I am VERY relaxed and accepting of the whole situation.

Decluttering the Home Sweet Home

It started with my son’s room – scrubbing, dumping trash, and painting. And did I mention scrubbing? It was sort of like a sickness actually – the declutter mania took over. When the boy was here, it was hard to keep things nice cuz he’s just so hard on stuff. But without the teen taz, the time was right to take care of deferred cleaning & organizing. Carloads to goodwill, weeks of full yard/recycle/trash bins – stuff be gone! Years of old paperwork burned, nooks & crannies free of clutter,  NOTHING under my bed, broken screens gone – you get the idea. And, uh, my microwave has remained clean for over 2 months!

Project Beautification

Again, the mania took over. It started with painting taz’s room. Then I noticed that the fascia’s needed a fresh coat. Then the front door was looking a bit ratty, so Rainstorm Blue it will be. And the yard? Fresh tulips (I highly recommend them to make your soul smile), space for the veggies and herbs, space for new roses, transplanted my lovely lilac to a new spot (that too makes me smile), and some love to my humble little lawn. This week my bedroom became Breezy and my container store goodies are expected soon (tidy undie drawer pic to come LOL).

Recovering from a Bum Low Back

See above. Given the lifting, sorting, moving, weeding, and dumping, I SERIOUSLY strained my low back. I consider myself relatively strong and functionally fit – but OH MY GOD – did I do a number on my back! It’s been over 2 months and here’s how the recovery looked: 2 weeks of ice and advil, 2 weeks of supported stretches & gentle yoga; 2 wks of walking/elliptical & 15 second planks & gentle core poses; 2 wks of body weight movement (static squats with stability ball, modified pushups & progressed to 30 second plank); 2 wks of folding in some dynamic bodyweight moves. You get the idea! My back is still tender, but it is definitely stronger. I will NEVER take for granted my low back again – geesh – I need it to unload the dishwasher, get out of bed, and shave my legs LOL.

Taking Care of Myself

Yes indeedy –  I’m all caught up with my pap, mammo, teeth cleaning and physicals. Sha-Bang! I’m giving myself a B+ on nutrition. It’s not an A because: I haven’t been cooking as much as I could, I’ve missed a few breakfasts,  ate out a bit more than I would have liked, and had a mad love affair with chocolate covered almonds. That said, it’s a solid B+ and I’m calling it a win! My exercise routine is definitely out of whack cuz of the back, but I’m ready to start easing back into full body, compound, low weight, medium rep kind of stuff.

Hanging Out with My BF+

Through all of this, I’ve been sooooo enjoying and appreciating my Boyfriend Plus (BF+). We’ve been together for about 14 years (I think), do not live together, and are not engaged. To call him my partner sounds goofy to me. And he’s so much more than a hunky guy that I bring to parties. So that makes him my BF+. He definitely deserves his own post on what exactly qualifies as a BF+, but don’t tell him because he’d be mortified. In short, he has been amazing through all of this. He’s been so supportive with how I’ve handled taz and this new chapter. He reminds me to handle the boy in a way that takes care of myself without any expectations, brings me ice for my back, humors me with patience and love while I try and decide on paint colors & wander through the bedding section at Target.

Of course, there is more that’s going on – simplifying and decluttering my work and digital life, enjoying zero email Fridays, and getting ready for the Earth Day Food and Wine Festival in two weeks, but for now, that’s my easing back into the blogosphere.

Hugs to all of you and thank you for your support and kindness!

Cookie Recipe Makeover Disaster aka New Camera Practice Session

2 Jan

I had high hopes for a cookie recipe makeover. In the end, I’m not doing the happy dance about the cookies, but I am happy to practice with my new camera (Canon EOS Rebel T1i). I had visions of my grandma’s tea balls but with healthy ingredients (whole grains, almond flour, applesauce, etc.). I divvied the recipe into quarters and tried different variations.  Granted, my math might have been wrong, but I’m guessing that going astray had to do with not using “regular” flour LOL. That said, some of them tasted very good – I think I might be on to something.

Try #1 totally flattened to mush and was NOT what I had in mind (but really had the best flavor). By try #4, they were certainly “balls”, but they were not tasting like I had in mind (uh – a bit TOOO grainy).  Not all was lost,  at least I could practice with my new camera with some light.

I’m pretty pleased about the pictures. I think once I learn how to focus, compose, light, and present, I’ll be golden. 😀

From left to right, Try #1, Try #4, & Try #4 with sugar 😉


Just a few cookies - holding very still for the camera....

Learning the zoom & knowing that I will need a tripod. Geesh - I'm very shaky!

Loving my new Hip Hostess apron - it is a lovely subject, eh? Very proud of the artistic touch on this one **winks**

What’s your best advice for trying to bake with healthy ingredients?

Real Bakers:

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10 Things You May Not Know About Me

15 Dec
Wordpress Freshly Pressed

My Unexpected Landing on the Freshly Pressed Page

It’s been a whorl wind day for this non-blogger for sure – I’m such a newbie, I didn’t even know what being Freshly Pressed meant! I want to express my sincere gratitude to the WordPress  folks for their kind and generous nod that significantly helped introduce me to many new friends.

Everyone’s comments were all so thoughtful; and I am reminded that I am not alone.  And knowing that we are not alone is really the most powerful part of community. (View Freshly Pressed Post – 5 Sneaky Productivity Lies)

I’m doing my best to reply to all the comments and visit your sites, and I hope you’ll be patient because it will probably take a little while 😉

Since many of us haven’t been formally introduced, I thought I would tell you 10 things about me that you probably don’t know. Continue reading

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