Archive | April, 2011

Day 120: never been worn

30 Apr

Today I had lunch with Rob Berkley and Debbie Phillips at The Waterside Shops.

Oh, la, la!
The stores at the mall may be drool worthy, the brands may be totally upscale and over the top, but the classic LITTLE BLACK DRESS stole my heart.

That window at Max Mara keeps calling my name.
There’s nothing like a dress to makes me drool!

I luvs me a great dress.
And a little black one is my absolute favorite!

One can never have too many little, big, medium, long, short, frilly, plain, classic or haute couture black dresses.

So, after seeing these lovely numbers in the window, I thought I should count the ones in my own closet.

Turns out, I have three in just my “summer” stash here in Naples.
(Who knows how many are back in Massachusetts in my winter stash…)

They may be black.
But they are all different.

One is fun and casual.
The other is festive and chic.
The third is somewhere in between and goes great with a suit jacket.

Here’s the sad part.
One of these has never been worn. Egad!

Makes me wonder:
If I have something in my closet that I love, I need to find a reason to wear it.
Or invent a reason to at least put it on. Or, figure out why I bought it in the first place and just what was I thinking?!

When 2012 arrives and I go back to buying, I must figure out a way to stop this phenomenon from repeating itself.

Maybe I’ll throw a party called “Never Been Worn” where everyone is required to wear something in their closet that has yet to see the light of day.

Or maybe I’ll just take a photo of all the clothes I own that have never been worn and post it in a Facebook album called:

“Have outfit. Need occasion.”

Or, maybe I’ll call it:

“Dear Jamie, what were you thinking?”

Or, quite possibly:

“Promise me this: Never again.”

I wonder how many items in my closet would actually qualify?
How many would in yours?

Day 119: f*ing friday :: fairytale

29 Apr

TGIF.
Today continues the weekly series, F*ing Fridays, which will coincidentally occur on Friday. I mentioned some of my favorite F words back on Day 5, including: Fearless, Fabulous, Fine, Fun, Faith, Freedom, Forgiveness, to name a Few.

Last week I dove into the word Forward.

Today’s F*ing Friday is dedicated to the word:
Fairytale.

As in, storybook moments.

On this day, the world celebrated the marriage of Will and Kate, forevermore the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge.

I did too.
Alarm set off and festivities promptly kicked off at 4 AM. So British of me to be on time!

Of course, all I had to do was roll out of bed and plop myself on the couch. The hardest part was finding the right buttons on the remote to turn on the TV in the dark.

It was totally worth it.
How often do we get to see a girl (who isn’t a cartoon image) become a princess?

I remember watching the wedding of Princess Diana, almost thirty years ago. The excitement! The fascination! That beautiful princess walking down the aisle with her very long train. I was only seven, but it has stayed with me ever since.

These moments become blazoned upon hearts and minds for a lifetime, like folklore and fairytales.

Because who doesn’t love a fairytale?

But, I also believe it doesn’t take a wedding to create storybook moments.

To be the writer, illustrator and producer of our very own fairytale. That is the stuff dreams are made of.

As in, don’t wait to kiss a frog,  find a charmer to locate missing slippers, let alone kick off the day that begins the rest of your life.

Begin now.

I say, be the queen or king of your own destiny and dreams.

Believe me, I love a good wedding!  I adored the play-by-play nuptials of  Prince William and the celebration of the Royal Family’s newest princess. The dress! The lace! The Queen in yellow! The kiss! The second kiss!

It’s a great story.

But, let’s face it. Even the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge will eventually have to check email, find something for dinner, and attend to the realities of their version of real life. And, that’s where the fairytale really begins.

So, here’s to your very own fairytale, whatever it may be.
May you have the storybook moments you dream of, and more!


Day 118: a royal treat you can make at home

28 Apr

In honor of Kate & William, on the night before the wedding phenomenon, I share this:

A Royal Recipe in three easy steps:

1) Make your favorite salad, pile on all the yummy goodness you crave, tuna on spinach is my top choice.

2) Make sure you are starving. Like really starving, stomach growling with hunger pains echoing off the walls.

3) Twist off pepper top. Forget pepper top is really a “pop top” and not a “twist top”. Watch a whole bottle of pepper flakes fall onto your beautiful salad creation.

It’s what I had for dinner.
Okay, so the only royal part about this recipe was the royal pain in the you-know-what to remove all the clumps of pepper from all the pieces of buried spinach.

Warning: do not attempt at home.
The pepper treatment turned my tuna salad into blackened tuna. “Pop”arazzi surprise!

I think champagne and crumpets may be more appropriate for tomorrow morning’s global soiree.

Hitting the sack early tonight to make the 4am wake up call.

It will be a Party Of Two over here.
Pup and me, designated wedding crashers.

I don’t think it animal cruelty forcing Pup to watch the royal wedding. In fact, I think he appreciates the gravity of this occasion.

It’s hard to remember the last time it felt like the whole world was rooting for the same team, and speculating about the uniforms they will wear to the big event.

Yeah, I know there are naysayers and party-poopers out there bringing on the buzz kill around this spectacular event.

But, I think a world-wide wedding is just what we need right now. More love story.
Less loss.
More celebration.
Less competition.

It’s a new beginning, a new era, a new milestone in our life and times.
It’s more than a good party. It’s good for the heart.

I think a little pomp and circumstance can go a long way.
After all, aren’t these moments the spice of life?

So dear Kate and William, I say pepper it on!
(just watch out for the “pop”arazzi!)

Day 117: a mother of a day

27 Apr

I wear one piece of jewelry every day.

Some days I add a silver necklace and earrings, but most days I go without any bling.

The one piece I do wear all the time is the ring on my right hand.
It was my mother’s ring, Mama Sling’s one piece of jewelry I still have in my possession.

All the other pieces were stolen when my Boston apartment was broken into years ago. The thieves ransacked the place and took all of my worldly possessions out in my very own pillowcases!

I didn’t even realize what they took at the time. Each day that passed I found something else missing.

My father put it best.
“It’s just stuff Jamie.”

But, not Mama Sling’s ring.
I wore it everyday, so it was with me when the perpetrators were breaking down the apartment door.

I have worn this ring on my finger since my mother’s funeral.

For almost twelve years, it has rested on my finger, a constant reminder of Mama Sling’s strength and her love.

Until today.
In the middle of the afternoon, I looked down at my hand and noticed my ring was missing a gemstone.  No!

I starred at the ring confused.
Just where and when did the garnet fall out?

I sat at my desk, starring out the window and then back to my hand. Where could it be?  I retraced all my paths of the day, walking Pup, errands to Staples, and back again. There was just too much ground covered to narrow it down.

The garnet is gone.
As the gravity of it sunk in, I sighed. My dad was right, “it’s just stuff” but it’s the stuff that shines of my mother’s love.

I don’t need a ring or any possession to carry Mama Sling’s spirit with me. But, the timing is just too ironic,  Mother’s Day being this Sunday.

As I sat at my desk, I consoled my inner child and surprisingly felt okay. I kept asking myself, “are you going to cry?”

The answer was a calm and steady, “no”.
I was overcome with gratitude for all the strength my mother’s ring has given me over the years. It’s seen me through the tumultuous twenties and the twists and turns of my thirties.

I felt very much at peace.
That is, until, I heard these words come out of my computer.

Be brave my love,
The time has come

It stung.
Right through my heart.

Close your eyes,
Don’t look back,
There’s nothing left to see

I had never heard this song before, but there it appeared with impeccable timing.

Like an angel you appeared,
And we climbed the endless sky,
And held each other near,
And there we’ll stand,
Looking out upon the world that we’ve known
All fear will be gone,
When we reach the shores of Avalon

The song is Shores of Avalon by Tina Malia.
I have never heard of either.

As the last lyric piped through my computer speakers, these final words echoed: Be brave my love.

That’s when I put my head down.
I cried. I sobbed.

I won’t buy a new ring to replace this one, or even to fix it.
Not until The Promise 365 is complete.

And, that is okay, I can wait.
Some things are worth it.
Even though my finger feels naked, my heart is full.

Day 116: what would you do?

26 Apr

Pop Quiz!
Let’s say you make a promise to yourself… for, like, a whole year.
You decide to give up something. And, you tell everyone you know about it.

What will you give up?
Quick!  Think of something.

Now for the fun part…
You get to replace that “something” with something new, a new routine, a new activity, a new discovery for yourself, your call. (But, it has to be a stretch, and positive!)

What would you do?
Before you decide… check this out:

Today, this ran in Little Pink Book:

“When a recent Citi survey asked Americans what bad financial habit they’d like to break in 2011, 25 percent said they wanted to stop spending on things they don’t need. Now that the economy is in “recovery mode,” how can we loosen the grip on our wallets but still spend wisely?”

It’s a great question.
One I am not in any place to answer since I am not shopping this year.

I can share this:
The joy and amazement, as well as a little pain (yes Brazilian Bikini Wax I am talking to you!) I have found in trying new things for the past 115 days.

Sure, it’s been difficult at times not to shop (online and retail) or search out fun new finds.  So far the adventure factor far outweighs the bummer factor.

In fact, this Friday I am trying a new spa treatment that I have never, ever, done before!  I can’t wait to tell you all about it on Friday.

Until then, ponder this:
If you were to give up something ~ what would it be?
Even better …what would you add?

xo-Jamie



Day 115: are you bored?

25 Apr

As a child, if I complained of being bored, my mother would always turn it around on me.

“You know what that means, don’t you?”
She would say with a smile and a hint at a laugh.

“If you’re bored, you’re boooooring!”

And who wants to be boring?
So, at a ripe old age of around ten I vowed never to be bored. I didn’t want to face the consequences.

I learned to invent distractions.
To busy myself with project after project after project. I made sure I always had something to do.

Still, at this age, I always have something to do.

If I don’t work, I play.
If I don’t play, I create, or write or draw, or call my friends, or invent errands. I make lists. I dream. I listen to music. I follow trends. I throw a tennis ball and Pup brings it back.

I used to shop, and search for great finds, but we know how that story ends.

I know how to busy myself.

So, imagine my surprise when an aha moment hit me in the head like a ton of bricks, or rather, a bar of chocolate.

This week I realized:
I eat.
Not to be bored.

I snack, to invent an event.

The post-cleanse month has us on a three meal a day plan, with no snacking in between. We get to eat whatever we want (except sugar or gluten, but otherwise it’s fair game) ~ but only 3 times a day.

This is a problem.
Not because I’m starving.
Not because I’m famished, shaking or withering away.
Because I have trained my body to eat every 2 hours.

I work for two hours and my body immediately thinks it’s snack time.
It’s like an internal clock, a true north sort of compass that goes off every 120 mintues, ringing the chow bell.

Break time!
Where’s my snack??

I would almost venture to say life without snacks is boring.
But, then,I would be labled a you-know-who. So, I won’t say that.

Instead, I will invent new breaks to take.

Here’s what I’ve come up with so far:
There’s the yoga break.
The sit on the porch break.
The take my hair out of a pony tail break.
The put my hair back in a pony tail break.
The meditation break.
The search for laundry to wash break.
The check Facebook break.

And, my favorite:
Throw Pup a tennis ball and watch him run away with it break.

If you’ve got good ones to add to this list, please share.
Oh! That just made me think of another one:
The making lists break.

Whew! I’m exhausted from all this list making.
I think I’ll take a break.

The question is …which one?

Day 114: quick like a bunny

24 Apr

Here comes Peter Cotton Tail.
If there is one thing about the Easter Bunny to respect, it’s his stick-to-it-ness. Showing up year after year, basket in hand, at the mall, at the car dealership, the grocery store, you name it!

Even yesterday, we spotted this bunny at the Farmer’s Market:

I remember an Easter from my past, where one of my uncles dressed up in an Easter Bunny costume. He was the biggest Easter Bunny I had ever seen!

One by one, THE GREAT BIG BUNNY in my Aunt’s living room handed out basket bonanzas to each one of my cousins and to me.

All that loot promptly turned into a glorious sugar rush.

No surprise who was bouncing down the bunny trail after chomping off chocolate bunny ears and blue candy eyes.  (Still, I was always disappointed to find out those chocolate bunnies were hollow inside.)

This morning, instead of wading through a basket full of plastic pink grass I perused through the pages of a book.

It was almost as good as candy!

The book is a short read (I finished it before lunch).

Do The Work by Steven Pressfield
This new book from the author of The War of Art and the Domino Project (Seth Godin’s brainchild) is full of ideas about YOUR ideas.

If you have a creative spark in your heart or mind (is there a business, restaurant, book, store or program brewing inside of you?) and you want to bring that inkling of an idea into this world, well, this is a great book to get you going.

Here’s what I loved about the book:
it addresses what holds all of us back from accomplishing our great ideas: RESISTANCE.

As an Idea-Girl I can attest to this:  for every 1 great thing I’ve ever finished, completed or seen through to the end, I probably have 150 other ideas that never made their way off the drawing board.

That’s what makes The Promise 365 so personally powerful. I love that it forces me to take one small step forward to my goal every single day.

And, I love Do The Work because it helped get some sticky stuff unstuck in my own head.

Like the fact that “resistance” will rear its ugly head, we can count on it to show up in any project.

It’s not all in my head.
And, as small as that seems, it brought me some relief.
Here’s hoping it might just bring you some too.

And, the icing on the cake?
Since it is sponsored by GE it’s free to all of us. That’s right, it’s a “sponsored book” which means you can download it for FREE on your Kindle.  No kidding.

I truly believe we can do anything our heart desires.
Sometimes we just need a little nudge to get started.

Here’s one if you need it:
Quick, like a bunny!  Get your FREE copy of Do The Work.

Day 113: lizards, turtles and alligators, oh my!

23 Apr


Today, we ventured down the boardwalk.
Not the beach. The swamp!

Let me preface this with a disclaimer:

I am deathly afraid of spiders.
ANY kind of spider.
I can spot them out of the corner of my eye, on a ballroom ceiling, from 40 feet away, blindfolded.

It is one of my very real fears.
I completely own it and truly understand the level of ridiculousness this registers on the phobia scale. But, it is wholly, unabashedly, super-ridiculously mine.

Thus, today I ventured into something called a “SWAMP” with great delicacy.
I stick to the boardwalk, read all the signs, follow the paths.

I mean, there are alligators in that water (they say).
We have actually been to Corkscrew Swamp Sanctuary a handful of times and never spotted the most prehistoric of crawling creatures.

Until, today.
Not only did we see the GATOR of alligators, rumored to be 40 years old by the volunteer staff, we also spotted a mama alligator sleeping with her eyes shut while tons of little ones crawled all around her in the swampy water.

Ironically, I was completely at peace walking down the boardwalk while snakes and lizards and alligators swerved below.

Now, if there had been a 6-foot long spider down on the swamp floor, I would have sped out of swampland faster than you could say, “Get Me Off This Ride!”

I’m not sure if I chose my fear, or if it chose me.
My mother swore the first time I ran screaming bloody-murder to save my life from the throws of a teeny-weeny bug was in response to a dead fly.

A dead fly upside down.
In my bathwater.
When I was three.

Apparently, I tore out of the bathroom, wet, naked, crying, and yelling: “Bug!”
It was the first of many de-bugging runs to come in my lifetime.

So, today, I was quite proud of myself when I held the camera still enough to get this shot:

Sure, the photos of alligators, snakes, lizards and other killer animals are more impressive.

But this photo, of a little web, well, it took more courage, more resolve, more commitment on my part.

And, I didn’t even turn and run screaming down the boardwalk looking for the first exit. I stood my ground.

Right there, something slightly shifted inside me.
Instead of seeing my life flash before more eyes, I saw a beautiful web, the amazing work of this little spider glistening right before me.

Thanks Corkscrew.
Not even Charlotte’s Web was able to do that.

Now, I’m not saying I want to start a spider adoption agency.

I’m just saying that I can almost see another side of this equation.
And, maybe that’s what those spindly little spiders have wanted me to see all along.

Score one for my head.

Day 112: f*ing friday :: forward

22 Apr

TGIF.
Today continues the weekly series, F*ing Fridays, which will coincidentally occur on Friday. I mentioned some of my favorite F words back on Day 5, including: Fearless, Fabulous, Fine, Fun, Faith, Freedom, Forgiveness, to name a Few.

Last week I dove into the word Fête.

Today’s F*ing Friday is dedicated to the word:
Forward.

As in, looking forward. 

Tonight, while taking my bath I made a mental list of all the things I have to look forward to over the next year.

Like:
Shopping in January 2012 with Holly Getty!

Going to Paris next April with Women on Fire!
Moving back to Martha’s Vineyard in May!

Soon after, plans for this weekend crept into my cranium:

I look forward to visiting Corkscrew Wildlife Sanctuary to hopefully spot an alligator, live, in person (from a very safe boardwalk).  I have to see one before we leave Florida!

Also on the looking forward list is North Naples Green Market for tomorrow morning. We have yet to check out this local farmer’s market which closes on April 30th.

And, my tummy is definitely looking forward to a breakfast of strawberries, blueberries and granola (even though it’s been a mere two hours since I had dinner!).

I must be a looking-forward kind of gal.

I can easily wonder off to dreamland, looking forward to special life moments, crazy adventures, super celebrations and measly milestones.

I look forward to having Christmas with family, holiday food, new puppies, old friends, good wine, dark chocolate and sunsets on the beach.

Let’s face it, I even look forward to my toe nail polish rubbing off so I can get a new color!

It’s beats the alternative, looking backward.

But, right in the middle of my looking forward frivolity I missed something.

My bath water.
I spent all day looking forward to my evening bath, and then spent the entire bath looking forward to something else.

Snuggled in between the backwards and forwards of it all is something worth not missing:

The here and now.
The present.
This moment.

I look forward to trying again tomorrow.

Day 111: where did the easter bunny go?

21 Apr

I read something, somewhere today.
The article proclaimed shipments of Easter Bunnies are on the decline.

Hum…
Not sure what that’s all about.
I’m surprised the media hasn’t turned it into an all out Easter Bunny Crisis.

I actually forgot Easter was this Sunday until Justin’s mom reminded me (thank you!).

After Easter there are only a handful of major holidays to buy for, dress for, and celebrate. Which means I am one step closer to getting through this year without purchases and avoiding all the temptations that may arise.

Where has the time gone?
It’s already Day 111.

Taking care of my head, heart, body & soul has sent into some fun and new adventures. With each one I realize there are more I want to try.

So, I signed up for the 21-Day Meditation Challenge.
It’s free, and hails from the Chopra Center, a.k.a. “the sweet spot of the universe” (that’s kind of a bold statement if you ask me).

The program promises:
“Daily support and guidance that will enable you to move beyond any past obstacles and experience the many gifts and benefits of meditation.”

Today Marks Day 8.
I have meditated right along, through the wonders of my computer and internet connection, with something like 100,000 other people for the past eight days.

I have yet to experience the many gifts and wonders it promises, but honestly, it is growing on me.

Today’s meditation used the “age old” neutral words SO and HUM, with the intent that you don’t associate either word with any meaning, therefore you are free to veg out and meditate fully.

Me, being a newbie, and clearly a mind racer, had a hard time not assigning meaning to each word.

With every breathe I had another thought:

SO …Doe, A Deer, A Female Deer
HUM …I wonder what Justin will make for dinner tonight?
SO …did I remember to turn the stove off?
HUM … I have to remember to take the sheets out of the washer!
SO … is this what it feels like to meditate?
HUM … I’m not sure this is working.

And SO on…

Hum …All I know is, it may not be fully working on me …yet.
So, I suppose I have 13 more days to refine my technique. 

HUM …that’s more time than the Easter Bunny has!
SO …Happy Easter Weekend.

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