I’ll be starting off the New Year with a bang. Multiple bangs, actually.

…Bangs as in fringe across my forehead.

Carried away in the spirit of wanting to start off the New Year with a change, I told my hair stylist to give me bangs yesterday.

It doesn’t seem like a big deal, and it really isn’t. But I haven’t had bangs in at least 25 years. And that’s not exaggeration. I haven’t had bangs since elementary or junior high school!

I’m having trouble recognizing myself in the mirror. And the bangs seem HEAVY on my forehead. I feel as if I have a small furry animal draped across my forehead 24/7.

Anyway, resolutions.

‘Tis the season for resolutions. My friend Anya told me that she read that many resolutions fail because they are not specific enough. If you resolve to work out more, or be nicer to people, you really can’t measure your progress. You need to resolve to work out x times a week, or say something nice to someone every day. You should also focus on just a few resolutions vs. a long list.

I think I am going to resolve to go to the gym three times a week, as often as humanly possible. And I want to set aside two hours per week to work on crafts. I enjoy making jewelry, cards, and soap. But I never leave myself the time to “play.”

This will entail a big shift in my thinking, as I tend to book myself up with social events and volunteering. It’s about time that I schedule in some “me time.”

Are you making resolutions this year?


The List: 2014 Edition


Thanks to LivingSocial, I’ve started creating my next birthday list. For those new to the blog, every year between January and May, I complete a list of items that I’ve never done before my birthday rolls around. The number of items equals my age. The magic number this year is 39.


So, LivingSocial. Thanks to LivingSocial, I’ll be making a piece of mosaic art, taking a wire work technique class at a bead store, and making my own picture frame at a frame shop.

Other ideas have started percolating. I had a sudden urge to make my grandmother’s mint recipe. Alas, I don’t have the recipe. I’ve found recipes on the web for cream cheese mints that may or may not be similar to hers. When I was little, Grandma Peg would make hundreds of mints, and my family would give them out as gifts. They were soft and sugary, and came in different shapes and flavors. The green mint leaf tasted like spearmint and the pink rose tasted like peppermint…there were also white and yellow mints, but I can’t recall the shapes or colors.

I also want to make a Wilton cake! My mom made me and my brother Wilton cakes for years. They were beautiful. The woman probably spent a few entire days of her life making us those cakes. Thanks, Mom! Mom gave me all of her cake decorating tips years ago…so what am I waiting for?

If anyone has ideas for this year’s list, send them along! And I hope that everyone is about done with their holiday shopping, as I am. It’s a liberating feeling…

Unexpected Gifts


I’m feeling frazzled by the holidays. I feel as if I’ve been shopping and making cards and shopping and making lists and wrapping gifts for months. I’ve been at it for maybe two weeks. I experienced a bright spot amid the frazzle a few days ago, when a gift for my mom and brother presented itself to me—an unexpected gift.

I was on a mission to buy more holiday cards, as I had deemed the ones I already owned “too cheerful” for the prisoners of conscience on my card list. Does a prisoner being ill treated for merely exercising his or her right of free speech really want to receive a card that gushes about enjoying a season of joy and love or having the happiest and warmest of holidays? I didn’t think so.

So I stood in the card aisle and found a box of cards offering a simple message of peace. I triumphantly grabbed the box and turned around…and was assaulted by a big fake tree adorned with cute handmade ornaments. Like this one:















Just what I needed! A corkscrew ornament. It was the perfect gift for my mom and brother. Why? Because my brother has brought wine to my mom’s house for the past two holidays, forgetting that she doesn’t own a corkscrew.

We were apparently desperate to drink this wine, both times. The first time, we searched “open a bottle of wine without a corkscrew” on Google and watched a few YouTube videos about cobbling together a makeshift corkscrew out of a screw and…some other metal item. It took a lot of effort, but somehow we managed to dislodge the cork.

This most recent time, we chipped away at the cork with two paring knives. With persistence and strength, we fought that damn cork and won. We smiled as we drank our wine, trying to avoid swallowing the cork remnants bobbing around in our glasses. This holiday will be different, thanks to the unexpected gift I found. Or that found me.

Have you found any unexpected gifts this year?


J working away at the wine cork with a knife
Lil bro working away at the wine cork with a knife

A Shoutout to My Sistas and Brothas


Thank you to sistas Oprah and Octavia for being candid about their childfree status lately. In a recent interview in the Hollywood Reporter, Oprah talks about Gayle writing down future children’s names in 7th grade, while she was daydreaming about being Martin Luther King. When I read this, I thought “Yes!” Not that I too dreamed about being MLK, but I am a “big-picture” person like Oprah. I’d rather spend my energy volunteering and helping a lot of people in small ways than helping one or two people in a big way. Sure, if my hypothetical kid someday found a cure for a disease or became POTUS, he/she would be helping in a big way. And sure, I could volunteer with my hypothetical kids.

But it’s not the same to me. It’s difficult to try to explain why you feel a certain way when you feel differently from most people. No explanation seems sufficient. But then, why do I need to explain? Why can’t people respect other’s choices when they’re not harming anyone?

On to Octavia. She told the Hollywood Reporter she was fine with “her eggs dying on the shelf.” Right now I concur. I do wonder as my eggs inch closer to their expiration date if I’ll be weighed down with regret. I’ll just have to wait and see.

These admissions made me think about the childfree men out there. Do they get off easier because their sperm don’t have as short a shelf life? And because there are different expectations of men?

Naturally, I immediately thought of Jon Hamm and George Clooney. I found an article from a few years ago about Jon and his girlfriend Jen, in which he says he doesn’t have the “marriage chip.” He is also hesitant about having kids because it’s such a huge commitment. George’s reasons align with Oprah’s. George also isn’t interested in marrying again.

Are we all afraid of commitment? Of course not! All of us who are born without marriage and parent chips can be and are committed to other people and spend a lot of our time helping said other people and causes that we believe in. I appreciate these and other celebrities who speak this truth!

Warm Fuzzies


I’m feeling all warm and fuzzy about my town today. Why?


Exhibit A
Exhibit A











I shopped at TJ Maxx and my items were put into a paper bag. My town recently banned plastic bags (and styrofoam)! See which other towns and countries have banned the bags.

I have a Leaning Tower of Plastic Bags in my kitchen, waiting to be taken to the grocery store near me that recycles them. I need to work on my grocery delivery service…it is notorious for putting two items in a plastic bag. Hence my leaning tower:














I need to get in the habit of bringing reusable bags with me when shopping around town. That is going to be on my New Year’s resolution list. Hope you put it on your resolutions list too, if you don’t already use reusable bags!