5 Friday Favorites ~ National Smile Week Wonders

5 Friday Favorites ~ National Smile Week Wonders

Living, Writing
My eyelids fluttered open, and I paused to take stock of my upper body. Throat? All good, actually. Nose? Still a little stuffy, but I could breathe through it. A significant improvement. Head? Much less sinus pressure and fog. Final assessment? Feeling about 70%. I checked my phone for the time. 11:30 a.m. Time to climb out of bed. I stretched once more before sweeping the covers off, swinging my legs over the edge, and finally stepping into the day. Sleeping so late felt decadent, even if it was a healing sleep. I noted my gratitude for the significant improvement in my well-feeling, that it was only a case of severe allergies knocked out with medicine and sleep and not some lingering summer cold that would plague my last few…
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Summer Bucket List Check In

Summer Bucket List Check In

Living
It’s the second day of August, and the coming semester is fast approaching with one school starting August 29th and the other starting September 5th! With just a few weeks left of little obligation, and just under 8 weeks until the autumn equinox and the official end of summer, I thought it would be a great time to check in on how everyone is doing with their summer bucket lists. In case you missed it, I shared my list of 50 activities here. This is how the hubby and I are faring so far:     Done:   Spend a long weekend on the coast - We've enjoyed both Block Island and the Outer Banks Go canoeing Have a bonfire Watch some fireworks Check out a new brewery - New to…
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Celebrate Life ~ Our Favorite Weird, Wacky Holidays in August

Celebrate Life ~ Our Favorite Weird, Wacky Holidays in August

Living
I walk past the yellow picnic tables, across the enclosed, painted-gray concrete patio in my grandparents’ backyard, and release the latch on the screen door. I push the aluminum door open, hearing the light squeak as I step out into the yard. The sky is the usual vibrant blue of a San Diego summer, and the waterfall splashes into the small goldfish pond. I scan the perimeter and smile at the colorful orbs dotting the green leafy trees. Walking past the lemons and limes, I head straight for my favorite - the peaches. I reach up into the tree and start testing the fruit, searching for the one that will come off easily into my small palm. I’m finally rewarded as a soft, fuzzy peach separates from its branch. I…
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5 Friday Favorites ~ Videos that Give Me the Feels

5 Friday Favorites ~ Videos that Give Me the Feels

Living
Happy Friday, Friends! It’s been a bit of a rough week here. Not sure if it’s because it’s the first full week where we haven’t gotten out of town in a while or because I haven’t had a proper cup of coffee all week or because it’s been uncharacteristically cool and gloomy for summer, but I’ve been fighting the blues. Being a writer, a blogger, and an adjunct can be a lonely business, and I always start to feel it in the summer after being left to my own devices in an empty house for too long. In times like this, I have a terrible tendency to close myself off, which is incredibly counterproductive to how I’m feeling. But I also recognize the importance of feeling things. So this week,…
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Under the Boardwalk ~ Popular Boardwalks and Waterfronts in Every State

Under the Boardwalk ~ Popular Boardwalks and Waterfronts in Every State

Living
I hear the lyrics and melody running through my head as I write… “From the park you hear the happy sound of a carousel. Mm-mm, you can almost taste the hot dogs and French fries they sell. Under the boardwalk, down by the sea, On a blanket with my baby is where I'll be.” If there’s anything possibly more iconic and nostalgic in the summer than a drive-in, it might be the boardwalk. After all, while they both had songs written about them, The Drifters’ “Under the Boardwalk” is much more well known than the Beach Boys’ “Drive-In.” Just the word alone can conjure up a multitude of sensory memories, from the sounds of the games and rides, to the smell of the ocean air, the taste of popcorn, ice…
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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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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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