Rumi: Wise Words of a 13th Century Poet

Rumi: Wise Words of a 13th Century Poet

Living, Writing
Let’s get a little bit personal on the blog today. Like most people, I’ve had my share of ups and downs. I’ve made hard choices and dealt with the fallout, whether positive or negative. I’ve searched for where I belong in the world, moving cross-country 5 times since I’ve been old enough to do so. As strange as it seems, there is one thing that often helps me through the hard times: words. Whether it’s advice from someone close, song lyrics, bible verses, or quotes, words become a type of mantra, something to either cling to with hope or to validate feelings. One poet who always seems to manifest for me in times of need is Rumi. It’s odd to me that someone who lived over 800 years ago could…
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5 Friday Favorites ~ Summer Date Night or Family Fun Activities

5 Friday Favorites ~ Summer Date Night or Family Fun Activities

Living
Happy Friday, Everyone! Another summer Friday is upon us, which means another opportunity to celebrate the sunshine and the end of the work week! Fridays have long been my favorite day of the week, and summer Fridays are extra special, especially up here in the Northeast where we don’t have nice weather year round. My motto is “A Friday night is a terrible thing to waste!” But if you don’t yet have plans for tonight, fret not because today I’m sharing my 5 Favorite Summer Friday Night activities. These suggestions can be adapted for a date night or family fun night with ease, and they can all be done without prior planning.     Go to the drive-in. Although drive-in movie theaters have been around much longer than I have,…
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Teaching ~ The Importance of Growth Mindset

Teaching ~ The Importance of Growth Mindset

Teaching
This morning, my sister sent me photos of my twin nephews on their first day of 5th grade. They just moved into a different school district with year-round school, and it's got me thinking. In the midst of all the summertime fun, we're now halfway through July and the coming semester is looming. Last summer, I took a professional development course that introduced the theory of “growth mindset,” and it blew me away. It was an idea that I always believed to be true, though I’d never spent the time to study or put it into words. Another way that it’s been expressed is “The Power of Yet,” as in a student or child hasn’t quite grasped it… YET. Inherently, we all know because we’ve been taught that “practice makes…
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Vacation and Rejuvenation

Vacation and Rejuvenation

Living, Traveling
Late this afternoon, my husband and I got back from 5 days of relaxing and rejuvenating with friends. It’s an annual trip up in the woods of Maine, and for many of us, it’s a tech-free trip, total unplugging because we don’t get cell service. It felt wonderful to camp, splash around or canoe in the water, play games, sit around the fire, enjoy meals together, and more. It also made me feel a little bit guilty. Since starting this blog in earnest, I’ve come to realize just how much goes into blogging, particularly the behind-the-scenes stuff, and I felt bad that I left Thursday morning with Friday’s post scheduled to publish, but nothing for today. I felt bad that I couldn’t promote it, or share tweets or photos on…
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5 Friday Favorites – Starbucks Hacks Edition

5 Friday Favorites – Starbucks Hacks Edition

Living
Happy Friday, Everyone! As I sit here and enjoy my morning cup of coffee, I feel inspired to share some things I’ve learned for my 5 Friday Favorites. Prior to getting remarried, I spent a fair amount of time working at Starbucks - over 7 years in 5 stores and across 3 states, with some gaps in between, to be exact. I wanted to let you in on a few secrets from an insider’s perspective, in case you hadn’t heard. So I present:   5 Friday Favorites - Starbucks Hacks Edition     Ask for light ice. Even with the pretty decent rewards system, fairly frequent Starbucks patronage can be expensive. You want to get the most for your money. As such, I generally recommend getting light ice in drinks.…
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The Ultimate Guide to 65 Ice Cube Tray Hacks

The Ultimate Guide to 65 Ice Cube Tray Hacks

Living
Ice cube trays are awesome! Although they fell out of favor by way of the automatic ice maker, they are making a comeback. Not only can you now find an endless number of different shaped molds to fit any occasion or predilection, but there are also an untold number of creative ways you can use them. I’ve compiled and organized these 65 by food or not-food related, and most are fairly self-explanatory, but all it takes is a quick search if you need further information. I present to you...   The Ultimate Guide to 65 Ice Cube Tray Hacks     Coffee - Freeze leftover coffee into trays for your next iced coffee or drench in a little Bailey’s Irish Cream. Wine - Save that leftover wine (a rare occasion,…
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Saco Shenanigans – How to Have the Best Time on a Float

Saco Shenanigans – How to Have the Best Time on a Float

Living, Traveling
It’s the Monday before our annual canoe trip, and I’ve got Saco on the brain. This morning, as I worked to finish the post for today, I found myself continuously drawn to photos of previous trips, my To Buy/To Pack/To Do list, and other Saco distractions. Finally, I decided to stop fighting it and save that other post for another day. Instead, I bring you the Saco Shenanigans Extravaganza post! Time spent floating down a river is one of the best ways to enjoy a summer day. Unlike the beach, rivers can be found just about anywhere in the country, and it can also be extremely affordable! This is my 5th year going on this trip, but some of my friends have been at it for decades. I asked them…
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5 Friday Favorites – Summer Songs for Shaking It Edition

5 Friday Favorites – Summer Songs for Shaking It Edition

Living
As I sat down to write this post, my skin pricked with excitement. In case it isn’t obvious from my earlier posts, I take my music (and my dance parties) pretty seriously, and I couldn’t wait to curate a list of prime Summer-worthy jams to share with you all. I gathered all my tools - Spotify, Shazam, pictures on my phone, and texts I had sent myself because I never know where or when a song is going to grab me. I created a short set of rules to narrow things down: Songs had to be released in 2017. They had to have an upbeat and/or summer-y vibe. I wanted a variety of genres, in addition to a mix of well-known and lesser-known artists. And let me tell you, it…
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Touted Travel – Encinitas, CA

Touted Travel – Encinitas, CA

Living, Traveling
Our last travel spotlight focused on a fun town in the upper Northeast part of the United States. This week, I’d like to bring you all to the opposite corner of the country to the town of Encinitas in the coastal Southwest, another place close to my heart. I used to be one of those rarities you hear about - a native San Diegan, born in Balboa Naval Hospital and raised (aside from a couple brief stints before I was 4) in Spring Valley. At nineteen, I decided to check out life on the East Coast and headed to Connecticut for college, but for grad school I moved back to my home county, this time living it up and sharing space with a band along the coast in Del Mar…
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Making Summer Memories Within Budget Means

Making Summer Memories Within Budget Means

Living
School is out, the kids are home, and summer is finally here! It’s the time to make memories and have some fun with the nicer weather, extra daylight, and time together. Unfortunately, summer fun and memory-making can get expensive! Fairs, amusement parks, mini-golfing, vacations, arcades and more can certainly add up! Thankfully, it doesn’t have to be! With a little planning and creativity, there are lots of ways to make the most of it without draining the piggy bank. Here are 10 activities to keep the young and old entertained for the day (or at least a good chunk of it!) on a budget:     Create a summer soundtrack. Have you ever heard a song that brought you back to a specific memory? Music has a funny way of…
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