“Go confidently in the direction of your dreams…” -David Thoreau, and I bet he had haters too!

So there’s this thing that happens to me when I decide to go after something. I do it, I go after it, and then I think, what if this person sees and thinks (insert negative thought). It’s this little voice in my head that says, these people know you are a faker, but ultimately it’s self doubt.

It’s sad but it’s true. I hope I’m not the only one who feels this way…but if I am here’s the long and short of it.

I’ve decided to face my fears. So far the progress is slow. I’m still moving forward in the direction of my dreams because lord knows you can’t please them all, but life is too short to worry about it!

So what if people see? Good! I hope they take it to mean that yes, I can! Some people are so quick to say “wow look at (person) doing that thing, can you believe that!?” Um, yes they are, and good for them, don’t be a hater! Honestly it’s easy to say we are avoiding the negativity, until it shows up uninvited and forces us to react!

So here’s how I came to this conclusion, over the last year I’ve been actively trying to find my “path”, and by actively I mean really, getting myself out there! I’m proud of everything I’ve done over the last 12 months and if it leads right to where I am now, I know that’s where I am supposed to be.

So many of my coworkers, relatives and friends are just unsettled in their lives. I have to admit, I am as well, in certain areas, but very fulfilled in others. This years experiences have been some purposeful and some as a result of other experiences. Overall I’ve grown. I am not the same as I was when I started my journey to my fullfillment. It might just be that I’m looking at things wrong…

What I have learned over the last 5ish years is that love is the most important part of life. No matter what is happening as long as you have love in your heart, you are doing pretty good. If you have a few good friends, or you have found the love of your life, or have kids, or loving parents, or your pet, love conquers all. Sounds like a croc but no one lays on their death bed thinking of all the money, acquisitions or stuff they could have had…

The universe works in mysterious ways, no matter your views on the world, spirituality or anything else you have to admit that experiences lend themselves to learning. The people who support us, the people we bring and keep in our lives and the people we remove are part of the journey. I’m looking forward to the remaining few weeks of 2017. It sure has been interesting.

What is so important as we move into the new year is to focus on what we want out of this life. Each choice we make and each goal we set, should help us to get closer to the legacy we want to leave. Maybe it’s not a legacy, maybe it’s just the satisfaction of knowing we made a difference in the world, or maybe it’s raising our kids to be better people than their predecessors. Whatever it means to you, make the decision to go forward in whatever direction is important to you.

Everyone has to overcome negativity. I say, you can do anything you put your mind to, and I hope for those of you reading, that you will find some reassurance in knowing that you aren’t the only one, who feels held back by imaginary boundaries.

Go forward into the new year, with confidence, or finish out this year strong.


Why You Need More Inspiration.

Day to day gets realllllly boring, and it moves quick. Suddenly you are in November when the last time you checked it was definetly April!

The good news is.. Thanksgiving… the bad news is, you moved too fast!

Stop now, and take a moment to appreciate the situation you are in, now, make a plan to get some inspiration in whatever form that is to you.

For me, I need a project. I constantly test myself to see how far I can take it, what else I can do, how many ideas I can bring to life! It’s hard when you have a running list going all the time. It bogs down your creative “flow” which HuffPost does a nice job of explaining. The point is, when you are in flow, your mind is at ease. I’d argue it’s a form of meditation and a requirement for creatives, so you don’t burn out.

The latest project I did was a dresser. It was an old project that I was sick of, and I needed a new look. So I busted out the decoupage and jazzed it up.

I’m not sure exactly how I came to decide this was my project but it bothered me, so I fixed it. Most things in our homes are “stuff” or “necessity” but as a kid I would get this nagging need to rearrange my space, like once or twice a year. It was like it got cold. So I would notice something, I would store that in the back of my mind and then I’d wake up one day and do something about it. Yes it’s random, but I guess it’s similar to having a meltdown, one day you just have enough… but this is a positive meltdown. The meltdown creates a feeling of ease as a storm is followed by a period of restoration. Anyway let me move on with a non-philosophic point that I was making…

The good thing about creative outlets is that when you finish, you bask in your own glory. As you should! You nailed it!

It’s so important to feel like you have control in a world where we often don’t. You create an idea and you take it from the drawing board to the finished product and that, is what goals are for.

So many times we set goals and forget about them, but inspiration is a goal, and one that you can bring to life. I don’t know if I’m the only one that gets excited about an idea, but I tend to think its contagious.

Here’s some inspirations for you…

Do you have a drawer that needs to be organized. Do it.

Do you have art you must create?

Do you really want to get out in nature and smell the fresh air?

Do you have an old item that you love but needs some vamping up?

Do you like baking and you really want to make something just for fun?

All these things are simple pleasures that are so important to keep you feeling refreshed and you owe yourself that! More ideas on the 10 Simple Pleasures blog so try something that gives you energy, and makes you happy!

When you get inspired, you make the life you want for yourself!

…On how to make sense of your destiny…

As many millenials alike, I too was told I could be anything when I grew up. So broad right? I natrally believed that whatever I was destined to do would be waiting for me when I got there. WRONG!

So here in the middle of making a change and staying in my comfort zone I figured I’d share some healthy ideas about how to do this before you reach the ripe age of 28. Meaning, I should have been planning in my high school/ college years for what my path would be, but then the passion for the party was too great.

First, decide what you like to do, outside of the obvious vacations and other frivolous activities. If you haven’t spent enough time getting to know the things you love or even like doing. Stop and start  learning yourself. PSA: ladies don’t depend on your man, and gentlemen don’t expect your boys (or your girl) to be there when you’re 30 and living at home. Start learning what you are natrally inclined to, and what you are horrible at doing. Do it now! Go out into the World Wide Web and browse Myer Briggs personality test. That’s science. It will tell you 4 traits that will help you to define the basics. Once you know (from science) that you are more introverted than extroverted, then you know you probably don’t want to be a news anchor.

Rule out the obvious. You hate math, so don’t go into statistics. You hate animals, don’t volunteer at a vet.

Now for the hard part…what are you great at? If you are like me, you probably have a number of “talents” but nothing “outstanding”. I am great at doing a lot of different things. Being great at doing something doesn’t mean you are the best of anyone else. It means you have a passion for it. When you have a passion you can be great but you have to work hard. Decide if you are willing to put in the work.

So if you don’t know where you want to be in 5 years that’s okay, but you know you want to make a change. Start now. Learn yourself, and start working on it. Maybe it takes you a while or maybe you quit your job and open a yoga studio. Whatever you decide, If you are passionate and you work hard, it will work out. Hey worst case scenario, you fail, and go back to the drawing board, at least you know you tried. You can’t live life in a plastic bubble. It might be safe, but it will never be satisfying.

So take a risk, and grow, it hurts but in the end you will be more satisfied by planting the seed than by picking the flower.

When you lose a shoe you find your way…

I tend to think that things happen in life with some sort of cause and effect… at least it helps to put things in order. It was May, and 91 degrees, in CT which isn’t completely unheard of but it was hotter than usual. I had left work to go to the dentist when the AC in my car broke. The good news is I had no cavities, the bad news was it was 91 degrees and the AC in my car died.


I had planned to go to the lake after the appointment, mainly to cool off, but also because I’d been reading a great book and I had some soul searching to do.

The scene was literally me, the lake, and the cars going by. No one was there. It was perfect! Hot, but perfect!

I set up my chair, took off my flip flops and read for a while. I felt like my body was tense and so I got up and moved around a bit. I stretched, and lengthened thinking I needed a bit of yoga to get my body to feel like I was relaxing. It’s funny when you sit quietly, the things that pop up. I’d always felt a weird sensation of big brother watching after my dad died. It wasn’t all the time, but I definetly had moments when I just knew he was present. It’s a hard concept for some to understand. I believe in my gut. It usually keeps me out of trouble and I’d like to think it’s where my conscious lives.

So anyway, I am pondering life. Great thoughts, great people. How did the world get so complex? Did we really need to have so many restrictions? Alternatively how did people know when we needed to set the rules? The real question I was trying to figure out is, what do I want. How easy a question to ask… but so difficult to answer.

I decided it was time to ask specific questions. Do I start my own business, dive into a life of pure happy-stressed-chaos? Or- go back to school and become something responsible and ordinary. It’s hard to accept that I might just be normal. I don’t find myself to be that normal, but I’m no Galileo either… so I sit and thought and looked around. I noticed the water. I noticed the clouds. I saw a little girl and her mom come down to go swimming, which didn’t last long. I noticed myself, my feelings, and all the things they tell you to notice when you are in yoga or in a guided meditation. I felt hot. That’s all. Just hot.

So maybe I had a bit of heat exhaustion. Maybe the days had finally caught up to me, I was about to be done with a 3 year project and so obviously the closure was great! However maybe the closure was sad, maybe the end of the process meant I’d need to face the reality of what life was now. Or maybe it was the fact that the obligations poured in with no true satisfaction of a job well done….

Either way, I was finally relaxing. I was thinking how lucky I am to have health, to be young… and yet where should I go…
It was 2 hours of sitting on a beach next to the lake when I decided it was time to go back. So I packed up.

I didn’t bring much with me, a book, a towel, my phone, keys, water, and a chair. So it was then, I realized, one of my flip flops had gone missing.

I didn’t leave?

No one was there?

Did I need to learn something?

Was it just a coincidence?

Well… it was gone. I took this to mean, If I went into business, I’d be giving up a valuable peice of the puzzle. Also I had to walk back on the black top with one flip flop…. no I was in no way intoxicated…

I searched the lake shore, looked around the corner out into the distance and nothing. To be extremely clear it was a plastic / rubber / cheap but floatable material. I also wasn’t convinced that it floated away… it wasn’t in the water! So I realized it was gone. I left, defeated, thinking the leprechaun of the lake or my dad had pulled a fast one on me…

I told the story to several people, and no one knew what to make of it but said they would keep an eye out for it….

June 11th, one month from the 3 year anniversary from my dad’s death, after finishing the probate documents 100%, we went to the lake. Myself, my aunt, uncle and Joe, and there it was. Someone found it, and put it atop the wooden barrier. Either way,  I knew, I found the answer I was looking for…

Moral of the story, pay attention and keep your shit together!

The Fresh Summer 17′ -860 Scene. 

So for this summer here in the 860, I decided to come up with a list of places and things I wanted to do. With so much going on in the summer in a state that has 80 degree April days followed by 35 degree May days, you have to be prepared for anything. A nice day is an opportunity for an adventure!

Where to get fresh local foods and goodies?

So for starters there are some amazing farmers markets in my area, and a great one just a short drive from here in Coventry. Sundays! I’ll be there. If you don’t know, now you know!

Even closer to home, in East Hampton,Old Bank Flowers in the historic village, hosts a farmers market on Main st every Saturday. Their information for farmers market hours is on Facebook. I have not been yet but I’m sure it will be a nice little market! Lori (the owner) does a phenomenal job and is well connected with local craftmen and vendors.

If these destinations are too far, find your local farmers market, I promise you won’t be disappointed in how much better the ingredients taste!

Farmers Markets in CT

Farms are the new “thing”.

Amazing chefs are getting excited about the return to the fields. Max group and Billy Grant’s restaraunt have both been involved for a couple years with this program. They go to local farms, and serve up amazing creations right at the farm for people to enjoy Al fresco ! The addition I’m excited about, is a chef for the restaraunt chain in We-ha Treva/ Avert and their newest Mediterranean restaurant. It’s clear this restaurant group knows their food, in different genres, not that Max and Grant don’t, it’s just a new player on the chef scene! There are so many options, and so little time!

Speaking of farms, there’s a super cool versitile farm that keeps upping the ante! Carter Hill Farm has a little bit of everything for everyone, and it’s super cute because it was created by a couple, who initially wanted to restore the mobile-gas station on the historic Route 66 to its former glory!

The couple bought the property, created this beautiful New England landscape, then they started adding awesomeness! The Spicy Green Bean a restaraunt out of Glastonbury teamed up and opened an open air dining cafe called Goats and Roses  at the farm, and have opened for nice weather days only, so far! They have vintage car shows, drive in movie nights and so much more! I’m stoked about how versatile and community driven this place is! It’s on the list!

Every year we pack a picnic and head to either the CT wine trail and have a little picnic with a bottle of local wine. We have been really excited lately about the beer scene though and all the ct breweries popping up. The Fat Orange Cat is among our favorite in East Hampton,CT. They are definetly getting noticed by the beer advocate and they have a really cute cat on the label!  Check them out The Fat Orange Cat Brew co! Or any of the tastes brews on the  CT beer trail!

If you want to eat out, why not be on an amazing rooftop!?

Cava in Southington,CT. Why do I love this place so much? First of all, I worked for them for 10 years, and I still love them. Second, my best friend designed and created this amazing space. There is no other like it in the state. I will be there many, many times. From the crawford underlit “ceiling”, with the stars twinkling in between, to the fountain with flames, this place is/ has everything. The Greco-Miami vibe is like being in another country or on vacation. You will not be disappointed!

See for yourself Cava’s rooftop is a show stopper!

Downtown East Haddam and the Good Speed Opera House

On my way to dinner for my birthday, we drove through this historic, charming, downtown center. We will be back! They have amazing antique stores, a super cute ice cream shop and the Goodspeed Opera House!

Fun fact: The Goodspeed Opera house was the birth place of the famous musical Annie, among a few other greats! It overlooks the Connecticut River and it seems like the perfect place for a date night!

This is a little vintage charm, and that is what New England is the best at! History and charm make for one fun afternoon.

Have a cultural experience! 

Every year since I was born I’ve attended the annual St. George Greek Orthodox Festival. When I got old enough to drive, all my friends would pile in the car. Soon it became a regular summer occasion! The Greek fest marks the beginning of summer for me…. and hopefully for others too!

It happens to be this weekend June 1st, 2nd, 3rd and 4th. Check out details!

The Hispanic festival in Hartford sounds like a real party in late June! Great food, great music, dancing, and right in Hartford, Vamos!!!

There’s a ton of other really fun events on CTnow for other ideas for cultural immersion!

Let the fun begin!

There are a bunch of really fun hiking trails, beaches, and outdoor activities, but that’s for another time! Stay tuned for the great outdoor adventure plans on the horizon. I hope some of you have found this helpful and enjoy the fruits of the great state of Connecticut!

Let the summer food, drinks and local fun begin!

This is pene(lope)$

Every major player must have a sidekick… so I decided (with joe of course) it was time for a sidekick.

Meet Penelope aka Lopes:

…From her kitten like fur to her double paws… She’s a feline like no other.

She’s always ready for adventure, even when she isn’t invited…

She actually likes road trips.

It’s not just her adventure-like tendencies that make her a great side-kick (cat). It’s her way of just being there when you need her to calm you down…

She’s always ready for a photo op

She makes holidays more childlike and nostalgic…

But with every cat step she takes with her double paws… she’s an all American gal!

She’s always been a big fan of sports..

And even when she’s being squished she’s still a good sport herself.

After all… is said and done usually after a long week, we can always count on lopes to kick back and relax.

Lopes, is the best sidekick anyone could have! There’s always a new story to tell her or a new game to play!

Happy Monday! Find yourself a cat like lopes at The cat hole in CT the breeders are awesome and you’re sure to find the best sidekick ever!

How to stay positive in a toxic place.

I’ve had a lot of experience in life dealing with situations that weren’t ideal, but working to make the best of it. In hind sight most people tolerate a lot for their own reasons. Whether it be a bad boss, a bully or just a family filled with nonsense, you have to stay positive.

Here’s a few methods I’ve personally employed to get through a bad day, a bad year or a bad hour.

Yes it’s a list. You’re welcome.

1. Make a goal list. 

So you have to sit through another meeting, and you have no interest in what is going on in the room. You’ve probably heard the same pep talk over and over, that by now you could run the meeting… ask yourself is this getting you where you want to be? Take a moment to reflect on the reasons why you are in this meeting, because where ever you are (work/ school) there is a goal to be met.

Lists are the best motivation I’ve found in doing anything from housework to a major project. Compartmentalizing time and efforts for a goal is a great way to stay motivated and check in with yourself. So what’s your goal? Maybe it’s short term, maybe you just want to buy a new bag or a loftier goal, a new car. How are you going to get there? A goal is not just achieved it’s meticulous, which makes it a challenge, but always rewarding. None of us like to wait, but some of life’s greatest achievements come from small steps. Make your list of short term and long term goals, and make a plan to get there. Compete with yourself, you’ll be glad you did, because comparing yourself to others is defeating and ultimately pointless.

So when you are finding yourself in a situation you aren’t really enthralled with, think of how YOU are going forward.

2. Do not be a sponge!

If it’s one thing I’ve learned, it’s do not soak up the negativity of others. It’s so easy to do, especially if you are like me, and you just want to fix everyone’s life and make it perfect! Do not soak up negative energy, and if you find yourself going down this path, stop and reflect. You have to observe how you feel about situations, you have to figure out why you feel that way and then you need to change.

Once you start to find yourself surrounding yourself with negative people, with negative feelings, who have bad luck or have been through a lot of bad experiences, get away. Run. Run fast. Those same people will bring you into their web of drama, exhaustion, depression and suddenly you’ll find yourself having similar bad experiences. I’m not saying you should disregard a friend going through a hard time. I’m saying, don’t move into the hole they’ve dug for themselves and think that you’re helping, you are just making your life harder.

Being a sponge means you are suffering the feelings and experiences of those around you. You must be aware of how people around you effect you. Stay focused on having good feelings, and good thoughts and with that you will start to see things differently. If you are focused on the dark cloud, how can you appreciate the flowers that follow the rain?

Along these same lines …brings me to my next point.

3. Don’t take responsibility for the actions of other people. 

Despite your best efforts people have faults, all their own. Don’t make their attitude your fault, it’s not. You don’t have control over the responses of those around you. Ironically you do have the power to create the mood, if you are positive it’s easy for people to follow suite. If you are negative and you blame yourself for everything from disgruntled customer, to a kids tantrum, you will surely be filled with remorse.

4. Take a deep breath. 

How did that go? Did you feel worse… no. You should remind yourself regularly to breath deeply and focus your attention to your breath, especially in escalating situations. It gives you perspective and it allows you to take just a moment to regroup. You deserve a break. You have to give yourself room to breath and let go of that negativity as you exhale. Maybe you need to take a walk, but whatever you need to relax for a minute, do it. I don’t endorse smoking but I do endorse a 5 minute break away from whatever you are doing. Essential oils are great tools because when you smell the sweet scent of a spa or a lilac or lemon, whateverales you happy, your mood can change.

5. Don’t give in, and don’t say yes. 

Nice people take on extra work, both at work and at home, to make others happy. Ask for help, don’t be lazy but don’t do it all yourself, you can’t. It’s not possible. So when someone gives you one more thing to do and you’ve reached your limit, stop. Think about it like building your personal boundaries so that people don’t take advantage of you. You have to build boundaries, it takes time to learn this, but you will one day find that you feel so much better doing more of what you want. Don’t sacrifice your well being for someone else, because you can’t help them, they can only help themselves. You should never be rude or condescending but be honest with yourself about what you can handle.

6. Do something for you, that doesn’t cost anything. 

Simple things really refresh us. You’d be shocked by how much happier you find yourself when you give yourself a chance to do something you want to do. Go for a walk. Put on perfume/ cologne. Write. Sing. Play. Dance. Daydream. Draw. Color. Just be alone with your mind. You will find your outlet. It shouldn’t cost you a lot of money to do something that makes you happy.

7. Slow down and be grateful. 

It’s easy to go at light speed trying to get all the daily-life things done. It’s easy to put yourself last. It’s even easy to forget to take a moment to enjoy the things in life we really take for granted. Next time you wash your hands, think about how amazing indoor plumbing is. Some places in the world still do not have this luxury. Take a minute to appreciate the water you drink, the phone you have, those little moments of gratitude make a big difference.

It’s easy to forget how lucky we are for such simple reasons. Make a gratitude list, it makes whatever you are facing a little less taxing. You might find this idea a little rediculous, but you probably realize also that you have a lot of blessings. The ability to be in a “bad mood” is a luxury, maybe someone hit your car, maybe you broke a nail, maybe you got stuck in traffic… is it really that serious? Calm down. You have enough to be happy, you must slow down and decide to be.

That’s the end. Be happier, don’t let the situation you are in define who you are, because you decide who you are, and your actions. Be grateful for whatever you can think of. Life will never be perfect, but it’s how we choose to live and what we want out of life that is so important.

…And here are some pretty flowers to remind you that life is beautiful!

10 Simple Pleasures that also Happen to be Free! 

In life we try to fill our hearts and our homes with things, people, experiences all in search for meaning and happiness. For the majority of us we focus on life’s milestones and forget that it’s comprised of those tiny moments we often overlook. Here are a few things to consider…. that are remarkably simple.

1. Knowing you were right. 

This doesn’t hold true in every situation but for the most part getting the pleasure of knowing you were right is simply satisfying. There’s nothing cute about a know-it-all or a stubborn fool.  However, if you have an argument worthy of a google search and it’s a a matter of facts and not opinions, then knowing you were right on point is the best feeling. No ones feelings get hurt. No one really cares, but deep down you get the satisfaction of knowing.

2. A pat on the back.

When someone tells you how good you’re doing. It’s nice you feel a sense of accomplishment and pride. When you do something for another person and they reinforce your efforts it pushes you to continue.

3. Getting exactly what you want, when you want it. 

Example: I have a hankering for some ice cream but not just any ice cream, cake batter froyo. I get in my car, go to froyo and get it.

I have just given you an example of getting exactly what you crave when you crave it. This can be true for other mediums such as going to a place you really want to go or seeing someone you really want to see. The goal is you get what you want when you want it and it’s awesome!

4. Finding something you lost or forgot about!

When you clean out your closet and locate $5 in your old jeans. It’s like the money gods came down and handed you a gift for  getting rid of stuff you don’t like anymore. The bonus is you get to experience the “brand new feeling” for that shirt in the back of your closet first when you buy it then again when you locate it while cleaning out the closet! So it’s the bonus of a new shirt without the cost! Brilliant!

5. When you get more than 8 hours of sleep and leisurely wake up. 

I don’t know if I’m the only  one who really enjoys sleep but it’s the greatest form of relaxation. If you work a 9-5, chances are at some point during the work week you are cutting your sleep short because of obligations. When the weekend rolls around you may or may not have a chance to sleep in… but when you do… it’s pure joy.  Sure when you sleep “too much” you feel worse… but, frankly if you get restful sleep it’s sure to set you up for success.

Sleep is the greatest form of meditation. There are few feelings better than waking up cozy on a rainy Saturday, and if you don’t think so, we can’t agree on anything.

6. Completing a list, finishing a project or simply getting some daughting task over with. 

Some people live by lists, I am one of them, and honestly when I can say I’ve checked everything off my list, the feeling is euphoric. Others have tasks they know they need to get done, procrastinate until the very end, but even those people can agree when it’s done it’s DONE! Booyah! Shablam! No more stuff to do! Nailed it!

As a former college student I know each college attendee can attest to this feeling of finishing another semester, or getting through finals week without dying.  It’s just the same as cleaning your house and making yourself a cup of tea, you success you! So hey, maybe we should bare those obstacles, if not for anything else but the sheer feeling of accomplishment!

7. Being on time. 

Say what you want about being late but it’s stressful. If you show up late to work, you run the risk of being fired. If you are late to meet a client, it makes an impression. If you are late meetings with friends you are showing them no respect. In most ways being late is rude. However, outside of the rudensss,  there’s the excessive speeding that comes along with it. When you don’t manage your time you can’t be at peace. It’s simple. When you know you have time to spare you inevidibly feel more at ease. Whether you are a morning person or not, when you give yourself time, you ultimately save yourself the anxiety and stress of making excuses for your recklessness.

When you are on time, even early, you feel good. It may be a simple pleasure, but that’s the point of this list. Also be on time, because you should be, it’s the right thing to do.

8. Free time. Nothing but whatever you want to do. 

It’s part of the adult struggle, time =money. Every thing is worth time. If you have time to spare on something you truly love to do, that’s spectacular. When you steal a moment to read a book, or a magazine, or browse Pinterest. It’s freedom. When you have time or make time to do something you are passionate about, you feel recharged. If you don’t know what it’s like to have spare time or to separate time for yourself, we need to have an intervention. No matter how crazy life gets, you need to be selfish at least 3 hours a week, for your sanity.

9. Being given a “no-reason- gift”!

Who doesn’t like presents!?  Better yet, who doesn’t like surprises (really). So what is better than getting a present on your birthday or Christmas, I’ll tell you, a present for NO REASON. It’s like the universe just said here ya go you little prince(ss) you earned it! The opposite is true for “sorry about that” gifts, no one wants these, ever. No, gifts for no reason are the epitome of sweet and satisfying!

10. Making a connection.

You know that moment you are talking to a stranger and all of a sudden it turns into “me too”, the common ground has been broken. It’s an interesting feeling when you meet a new person and you hit it off, not romantically just personally. I’m talking about those people who you see in passing at your yoga class and chit chat with, those people in the grocery store you see but never talk to. It’s the moment when you decide that today’s the day you’re going to ask what their name is that your brain has a tiny eruption of excitement. It’s weird how humans make these connections but some say it’s because we all have vibes and some of our vibes match others vibes. I tend to think that you feel comfortable and then you find out that those people you have seen and not spoken to are actually just like you. It’s satisfying to know we aren’t all alone in this world and others share our views.
So there you have it, these simple pleasures in life are not only free but super satisfying. Focusing on the details tends to make you value to big picture. Life isn’t always beautiful, but finding moments that reinforce our happiness is.

Are you on the local scene?

In the last 10 years we’ve seen a shift, maybe a sutble movement but nevertheless a change. We want local! Why? Well because It’s better that’s why! When you shop locally you feel a sense of community, you support a family not a stock holder and you get an arguably better product. Depending on where you live, you probably have more opportunities to shop locally than you think. Walmart is not the only option.

Connecticut is a hybrid of big names and small business. For the most part you can find anything you want simply by going on Amazon but if you take the time you can probably do better at a local store.

The craft beer movement is here, and sorry Budweiser but we really like the flavor.

When you buy locally crafted beer you are supporting a community, a mission, and you know that those guys gave it their best shot.  Hanging Hills Brewing company is a locally made beer located on  the same street in hartford my grandmother lived on when I was a child. Well so what? The reason I point this out is the cities in Connecticut have been over run with poverty, violence and for the majority of folks the only reason to go to Hartford’s outskirts is if you have a restaraunt or bar in mind. There is typically no reason to go outside the downtown area unless you live there, because it’s seen as a dangerous place.

The reality is, this beer garden set right off the highway was packed with like minded middle class people who just wanted to take a break from the day to day and have a beer. We even saw the weather man and his crew hanging out!

Farm to table or as I like to call it, the only way to eat!

When you walk into a Whole Foods, it’s arguably better than stop and shop, but when you walk into a farm stand, it’s the top of the tier. There is no delivery, there are no additives, the product was plucked from the dirt and placed in its respective bin with like-items. In other words if you have an opportunity to go to a farm stand, farmers market or grow your own produce, then you should. That is all.

Fresh food is the ultimate luxury. If you are willing to spend $80 on moisturizer or make up and you stuff yourself with blue dye #5, then you will need to invest a lot more money in healthcare later…  What you eat is so important for your present and future! It’s also 10x tastier than a mass produced vegetable that didn’t have adequate time to ripen and was pumped full of fake ness.

The other thing about fresh food is that the farmers who produce these products work hard, and we should collaboratively support our farmers here in the US but specifically in our communities. No farms, no food! I promise if you buy a tomato from a supermarket, and one grown from a local grower, you will never want to buy another supermarket tomato again. The flavor speaks for itself.

 When we build together we grow together!

Do something local, it will always be more rewarding.
I’m not a socialist, I am however a big fan of empowering our fellow man. If everyone supported each other’s great gifts to society then our communities would be common again. Here in Connecticut the majority of towns have some “center of town” local stops, but for the mom and pop shops it’s a dying market.

Communities are based on kids,and schools, where they used to be built for the needs of families as a whole. Technology has brought availability but as for the center of town, there is no incentive to buy local, because it’s easier to get free shipping.

If parents of children are the only ones getting involved with community projects which are propogated by their kids PTA meetings what about the other percentage of the population? What inspires people to get involved or support their local craftsmen/ business owners etc?

Certainly it’s not cheaper to buy local verses going to Walmart. I will say this about that, if you don’t support your towns businesses your community will suffer. The economy will suffer. And ultimately the future will be big conglomerates with no voice.

I grew up in Marlborough CT from childhood to adulthood. I watched places that were staples of the town go out of business because of lack of support from the town. The Tavern in town was a bar that George Washington went to and was an icon of the town. It was a sad day when they closed their doors. A super market, a pharmacy and a number of other businesses have been lost to the big brands in the center of Marlborough and businesses don’t want to come in because of the hostile environment of the town, and of the state. It’s those businesses that keep the town funding and those businesses that bring hope for the future of the town. It’s these small towns that make up the state and ultimately the country. If we let the small businesses fall prey to big businesses what hope do kids have for entrepreneurial futures?

If we don’t support eachother in a local community then Rome as we know it will fall victim to corporations who don’t care, who don’t give back, and who have their own agenda. If we had more small town support for small business, the future would be made of people who want to build things, not grow up and work in a city.

Moral of the story, try something local, get out and meet the owner of your local coffee shop, go into the store you’ve been driving past for the last 2 years, you’ll be glad you did.

Because… winter is coming…

When I feel overwhelmed and I do often, I turn my anxiety into beauty. I think I’ve always used this as a defense mechanism, but as it turns out it’s a great way to avoid burnout!

I usually have a mental checklist of ideas I want to put together but every so often I find something and I think hmmm…that would make a nice accent for my (insert  random room in a home).

So after having a combo work, thanksgiving host, friendsgiving host and cleaning my house 4 times in 5 days… I let my creative freak flag fly!

Here was the result….

This literally cost me nothing. I used chalk to design the lettering which came out different than I expected but I’m pleased.

I found this peice of wood in my “I’ll do something with this someday” pile, sanded it, distressed the edges and added hooks.

After it was finished I was planning to attach a bell that I had laying around in my Christmas stuff, but it needed more…

So I gave it a flower and some glitter and boom, Winter will be welcomed on my front door.

How are you guys making life more sparkly? Leave me some feedback!