Wednesday, June 29, 2011

I'm Going to be Forty!?!?

"Birthdays are good for you. Statistics show that the people
who have the most live the longest."
 - Unknown

I'm only 38 years old.

Me on a camping trip when I was a little
younger than I am now.

Because my 39th birthday is in September...just after the summer...and individual days don't make me any closer to 39. I have decided that I will be 38 until my birthday. I'm still young. The "mid-30s" go until 38, right? Well, that's what I say. I'm not 39....which comes right before 40. Forty.


I'm not sitting here pulling my hair out in fear of turning the big 4-0. I mean, I am not excited to be getting closer to that day, but I don't sit and dwell on it. Well...just a little bit, but that's normal. Right?

I live in Mississauga, Ontario, Canada but grew up in the Beach area of Toronto. Yup, the big city. The nice neighbourhood. Not the suburbs like now. I grew up taking subways.

I am married to a guy named Rob. He is 39 already which makes me his younger woman.  And no, I don't take you for stupid...I know you could have figured out the math. anywho...

Rob and I, circa 1996. I was young and thin.
He looked like a Backstreet Boy. 

We got hitched on April 8, 2000. What a lovely day of snow and sleet and cold and wind. But it was fun.Even though they spelled my name wrong on the sign entering the wedding hall. Even though I didn't even get to have my wedding cake and eat it too. Even though my husband doesn't really like to dance but did it anyways cause you have to dance with your new wife at your own wedding.

Even though.

A new Millennium.
Our new life begins as a married couple.

We lived together in sin for about 6 months before the wedding because our new home had already been built and it closed. He's Italian and lived at home until then. I had been back and forth...too and from home and residence at the University of Guelph, the apartments I shared with fellow students, the place I got in Toronto the year I graduated and started by first "real job" as a personal lines insurance Underwriter. I had the business card, the fake leather briefcase, the pink business suit, the nylons and the kitten heels from Bata. I had hit the big time. $28,000 per year and benefits baby! And a bar in the same office building. Awesome.

By January 2001, I was pregnant with our first son, Julian. Yes we were trying. Yes it happened pretty quickly. And we were over the moon excited. I read all the books and visited all the websites and decorated the nursery with my mom with perfect shades of soft blue, hushed green and whispering yellow. Everything had to match. I made pictures for the walls using images from Martha Stewart Magazine and some cute wrapping paper from one of my baby showers. I took old, garage sale frames and mirrors and painted them all white. So fresh and new. So creative. So fun.

Baby Julian.
How frickin' cute was he?

So young and blissfully naive.

By September we were parents (I know, you're not stupid, sorry), and by the time we had moved from our starter home in Mississauga to our upgraded home in the Beaches of Toronto we were expecting our next son Noah who arrived in March of 2004. Those we busy years. Loud years. Babies and toddlers crying, Mommy and Daddy tired, stressed, depressed, blessed...because we had our lovely boys. So lucky.

Baby Noah.
How frickin' cute was he?

So after much deliberation and having gone back to work after Julian was born, I decided to quit my job and stay home full time for a few years.

Noah and Julian.
How frickin' cute are they together?

And I did. And it was difficult and wonderful, tiring and uplifting, crazy and calm. But expensive. So after a few years we packed up and moved to...well...back to Mississauga. Smaller house, smaller mortgage, much bigger property for little boys to run and play. Cute home, pretty neighbourhood, old, European neighbours everywhere lurking wanting to know your business, lovely as can be, offering up organic wares from their beautifully kept gardens. So nice. So "soccer mom."

Please note that I still don't have a mini-van. We have a black pick-up truck. We are frickin' cool.

Rob taking a stroll at the cottage on Thanksgiving a few years back.
I know. Frickin' cute.

I had made some local friends pretty easily in Toronto because I was from there and knew some already and also our homes were so close together that they felt like row houses. I was basically sitting with my neighbours when I was relaxing on my porch which was sometimes annoying and sometimes really nice. Nice to meet you. Oh you're a stay-at-home-but-used-to-have-a-career-mom-too? Super! Wanna come over and try to talk while our kids make each other scream and make us more tired and harried than we were sitting on our porches?

Wait...I don't even remember relaxing on my porch much now that I think about it.

Now back in the burbs I have to drive almost everywhere and people drop their kids of at the kiss and ride not at the school yard and all our neighbours are over 75 years old and some don't speak English and some hardly leave their homes except to garden. Lovely gardens. I think I mentioned that. I need to get into gardening.  So nice to have neighbours who take such pride in their outdoor spaces. But why do I feel like sleeping a lot and watching too much bad reality TV...that is, when I'm not taking care of the kids and home? Ya know, when I am at home a lot, it needs to feel like one. Otherwise I'll fly over the cuckoo's nest.

My Living Room - The Fall / Winter look

My Living Room - the Spring / Summer look

When Noah was about 3 I decided I could not stay at home anymore. I needed to go back to work. Rob was willing to stay home during the day and work on Saturdays to keep his seniority. You see, he's a Teamster. That's how they roll.

So that was great and kinda stressful, especially on Saturdays when Rob was working and Julian started hockey on the weekends. Hockey mom more than soccer mom. There I was. But I loved to watch him play. He was pretty good for his first year!

And that was how it went until I was stunned when I was laid off. No reason really. "Restructuring." I got a wonderful reference and a cheesy severance and frankly by the next day I was having a celebratory breakfast with my husband. Screw that job. Better things are in store!  Rob can go back full time. And he did. Until I got another job less than a year later. We could swing it. We could both work full time. And raise two boys. And be happy. And have a nice, organized home. And we worked really hard. And there were ups and there were downs. But we've made it so far.

And then it was 2010.

The kids were getting older and we didn't have to hover as much, worry about them eating strange things or running out into the street or banging their heads. Whew. So I wanted to celebrate our 10 year anniversary with something monumental...something to mark the occasion as I think we worked hard to get there. But Rob was not too comfortable leaving the kids for any length of time that a trip down south would take. Understandable...but I needed a break. I needed one whether he was going or not. Luckily my parents were going away and I joined them in the Dominican Republic. No kids. No husband. For a week. I had fun even though by Wednesday I had not spoken to the kids yet and my phone battery was almost dead and I didn't have that thing that you need to plug into the wall because we ain't in Kansas anymore. But I bought one and spoke to them and felt good. Maybe a little guilty...OK a lot guilty...but the palm trees and the mojitos made me feel better.

Within two weeks of getting home from that trip I found out I was pregnant. Noah was 6 and Julian was 8...almost 9. I was too old. I was also excited. Another baby? Maybe a girl this time! Maybe another beautiful boy? Maybe I am out of my mind!

Maybe. You just never know.

Out of my mind I was, especially when I was bedridden for most of my third trimester because I tripped and broke one foot in three places and sprained the other ankle really bad. They take longer to heal. Great. Especially when you just had another c-section, spent 10 days in the NICU with a 3-weeks early, third baby boy and  have gained over 70 lbs since the bathing suit in Puerto Plata. So lucky to have little baby Drew.

So much for my ass.

Baby Drew.
I don't even have to say it.

And I am home again now. My maternity leave ends in October. Frick times three. Three boys aged 9, 7 and 8 months. The lights of my life. And things with Rob are good. And we are slowly trying to get the house organized and feel more settled. More at home. More like a hug. Cozy.

More fulfilling.

After all...I'm almost 39.
And after 39 comes....


Doesn't it?



PS: Hey, try this book!

Suggested Reading

Monday, June 27, 2011


"Play gives children a chance to practice what they are learning....They have to play with
what they know to be true in order to find out more, and then they can use what they
learn in new forms of play."
-Fred Rogers (Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood)

Last week I spent a few lovely days at a farmhouse with my friend Christine, her little girl Elizabeth and my baby boy Drew. I had not been away for a while and the stretch of fresh air and lack of media was very refreshing for the soul.

Drew smiling at the farm.

We were quite secluded and it was so peaceful. We played good music, ate homemade lasagna and chili and drank a little red wine. Old wooden Muskoka chairs and decorating magazines mixed with the smell of suntan lotion and the campfire was wonderful and reminded me of spending time at different cottages up north a child. It also reminded me how important it is to get reconnected with nature on a regular basis...not just for me but for my children. To play in the grass. To walk in the sand in the summer and build things with snow in the winter. To run and play and laugh and not worry about what time it is.

"Look what we built mom!!"

Kids are so heavily scheduled these days with competitive sports, mounds of homework, fancy birthday parties full of laser this and bowling that. Music lessons, swimming classes, you name it, our kids do it and they don't do it alone. Gone are the days where kids run off to the park to play until dinner.

Keeping up with the Jones' is a common pursuit. But who are these Jones' anyway?

The summer is a perfect time to let kids be kids. Let them play. Let them explore. Let's them do what we did as kids. Imagine. Create. Pretend. Build forts. Mess in the dirt. Splash in the puddles. Have picnics in the backyard.

Noah having a quiet, solitary moment playing by the water.

Not rush, rush, RUSH!!!

The best things in life are free. Keep singing! Dance! Play soccer on your lawn, at the park, in your basement. Make your own smoothies. Savour ice cream. Plant a garden. Watch a snail slither along the pavement and teach your children to learn through experiencing life.

"I scream, you scream, we all scream for ice cream!"

And pay attention to what you learn in the process.

Children do need some structure. But they also need flexibility. The "leash" needs to be lengthened. The fear mongering of today's society is being fed on a daily basis to the next generation by our "Hover! Hover! Take cover! Cover!" mentality. Yes, we must be careful. Things are different than they were once upon a time. But let's not go too far.

The bottom line is kids are kids. Get them involved in organized activities, but leave them room to discover who they are for themselves. To experiment. To be.

"Wear your shorts on your head" day!

And while you are at the same for yourself.

Happy Summer!



Suggested Reading

Have You Noticed?

Saturday, June 25, 2011

Have You Noticed?

"The secret to health for both mind and body is not to mourn for the past, worry about the future, or anticipate troubles, but to live in the present moment wisely and earnestly"
 - Hindu Price Gautama Siddharta (founder of Buddhism)

Really...what are you waiting for?

What am I waiting for?

I go through each day. I wake up, have a quick shower not feeling the warm water falling down my face, my torso, my soothing, so refreshing. I put on that new summer dress I bought last week, the one I finally fit into, the zipper is stuck and I try harder as I utter a few four letter words. It seems to work 'cause I finally get it. It's on. But I don't notice.

I get the kids up, I kiss them, I smile, I get them dressed, I get them fed, at least after they complain about not getting chocolate chip pancakes like they had on the weekend. I rush them out them out the door, two to one place, one to another, goodbyes, I love yous, I'll see you laters. But I don't really listen. I don't really see.

I don't notice.

Take a cue from kids.
They can find joy in any moment.

I drive to the office, favourite music playing on the stereo I think, my to do list playing in my head. I rush through the grocery store, I go through the motions at the gym, I smile to the man who delivers our mail. That's what I always do when I see him.

Now what was his name again?

He told me once when I suddenly realized it was really hot. Was he thirsty? We chatted that day, under the tree, having a cold glass of lemonade. His name was Charlie. He was a grandfather and thinks I have a lovely family. He hands me my mail, bills on the bottom, favourite magazine on the top. I smile and sit and read for a few minutes as my children laugh and play in front of me. I feel the sun on my face and the tart lemony taste of my drink.

I notice.

Have you  ever realized that you are so busy going from second to second, minute to minute, hour to hour, day to day, without really noticing the life that you are living? Have you stopped to be present enough in any moment to look into your child's eyes when you kiss them good morning, their hearts reflecting, their hands reaching towards you?

Look how my boys are totally capturing the present.

Sealed with a kiss!

What are you waiting for? year? When you have time? When things slow down at work? When you have more money? When you feel better? When you lose the weight? When the kids are a bit older? When you are older...older...older...?

Then what?

Frankly my dear...then you'll be dead.

I'm sorry to be so blunt but you could be gone year. You'll be out of time. Things will really slow down at work. Money won't mean a thing. You won't feel at all. You won't care about your weight because you won't get to see your kids grow up.

All you have is right here....right now.

Slow down. Take a look. Notice your senses. Feel your surroundings, the beauty, the laughter, the joy...and the simple things in life will become elevated to the sublime.

I stopped and smelled the roses in my garden.
I noticed the sheer beauty of this flower
and captured it.

Consider this your notice.



Suggested Reading

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

My Big, Fat, Mother-of-a-Bag

"Cause any woman with a purse that big is bound ta have somethin' I don't want to know about."
 - Jason to Amy (True Blood)

I am not a small purse person. I have tried and tried. I have way too much to worry about and a small purse with a long strap that crosses across the front and hangs at the side of my hip would be so...well...hip. And light. But then I look in my purse and realize that it will probably always be a short-lived dream to have this small purse (unless I carried a second one...which would really be a third one if you count the diaper bag).

Some people look at me and think I am super organized. And I really like to be. And I have all the tools to be super-organized. I have the knowledge. I love labels and matching boxes and canisters and files and all that good stuff. But I admit it. I am a bit of a pack rat. And is the pack rat that needs all the organizational stuff, really. I mean, if you don;t have a bunch of stuff to organize, you don't have an issue, do you?

What does this have to do with my big, fat mother-of-a-purse? Well...the fact that I am a pack rat really does not help my cause. If I can't find a garbage, it goes in the purse. If I think I might need it, it goes in the purse. If my kids want me to hold it, it goes in the purse. If I don't have time to put it back where it really belongs, it goes in the purse.

A small purse just does not cut it people.

A reasonable facsimile
 of my bag

Let's take a little look-see in my purse shall we? I currently have: 2 wallets, 1 change purse, 7 napkins from 2 different coffee places, 4 tissues in different states of use, 2 packs of gum, 2 pacifiers, 3 dinky cars, a plastic spoon, 37 (yes, thirty-seven!) different business cards, 7 different scraps of paper with shopping lists on them (organized so nicely by store and section (i.e.: Grocery store: Produce, Meat, Dairy, Frozen, Canned, etc), an inhaler, a large bottle of extra strength Advil, 2 juice boxes, 1 squished granola bar, a pair of gloves (let me remind you it is almost July!), a single sock, my iPhone earphones, 2 magazines, 2 books, so many receipts I can't count them all, and not counting the change in m my several money receptacles, $4.36 in coins. Also, a cheque from the government for $100. From 2 months ago. I also have baby toys, school forms, hand lotion, makeup, tweezers, a nail file, a diaper that is now too small for my baby, a few combs, a few pieces of cheap jewellery...oh man I could go on and on.

Why I need my bag.
Pretty good reason I would say.

So I may not be organized...but I am frickin prepared! I mean if I ever happen to be on the new Let's Make a Deal and they offer me $100 for a hard boiled egg, I just may have one! I usually have something to wipe a nose, buy a much needed Tim Horton's coffee, stick in a crying baby's mouth or read.

I love those little mini Coach bags I see everywhere. I really do. But really, what's the point? All it really says to me is "I just spent $200 on a bag that holds nothing." Yay you.

A cute Coach bag.

So my neck and back may be sore from lugging this thing around. But of course...I have my Advil. And juice to wash it down. And a book or magazine to read while I do that.

Yay me.



Suggested Reading

For Crying Out Loud!
Mother Guilt: I Have it and I Feel Guilty About That
The Mommy Wars
My To Do List
Oh Boy!

Sunday, June 19, 2011

I Love My Dad

"Any man can be a father. 
It takes someone special to be a dad." 
- Author Unknown

Hi everyone. Busy day today spending time with my husband and boys for Father's Day. We will be celebrating with my Dad next weekend and today, I share with you all a poem I wrote for him back when I was in high school. I wrote it out for him and framed it and he kept it in his office at work for many years.

A bit of background on my Dad: His name is Robert (Bob) Breakey. He is the best Dad in the world and I love him very, very, very much. That about says it!

My Dad giving me a kiss on my wedding day.

Love you Dad! xoxoxo


Four-Leaf Clover
(for Dad)

    In a vast sea of green
          toy soldiers march
to the beat of drums that
            Flat harmonies
      mismatched melodies
   carry them through blades
as they search for
           the rarest of treasure.
    They sing not in unison -
but count separately between the lines
     of their unfinished drafts:
     I hear their scrambled song
as I look behind at the
            field of wanderers
      and I can feel the
         invisible smile.

    I am the lucky one.
I know what they are searching for.

    I hold in my hand
   the four-leaf clover.

           By: Lora (Breakey) Rossi


Happy Father's Day!!!



Suggested Reading

Poetry Corner

Sunday, June 12, 2011

Fare for Friends: Why We Need Our Gals

"Friendship isn't a big thing - it's a million little things." 
-Author Unknown


I have really been thinking a lot lately about the importance of friends in one's life. I mean, I have always known that they were important but I guess with a little age, children, jobs, etc, etc, friends often end up taking a backseat...or maybe even the the business that is your mutually busy lives.

Last night I had a fun, rare night out with a few friends. It was a really great time. Coincidentally (or as fate would have it I think maybe) we bumped into some other friends from high school who were out celebrating the birthday of a girl we all knew but was also part of this extremely tight-knit group of girlfriends. She was an amazing woman, wife and mother who lost her life to cancer in her late thirties. Some came to Toronto from out of town, like we're talkin Ottawa - to honer their friend. And I think that is awesome. You can't buy friendship like that. These are "no matter what" friends. It was beautiful to see and reminded me just how much we need our girlfriends in our lives. How much that special companionship and love is a very special thing indeed.

We are complex beings, us gals, and we need to connect (not just hang out, drink beer, watch sporting events and fart - although that can be a perfectly fun evening at times). We need to spill our guts out and laugh till it hurts and cry till we're dry and be all neurotic and analytical and goofy and emotional. We need our girls. Guys are good for many things, but a guy will never be your girlfriend (OK, there are a few exceptions to that rule perhaps but that is a whole different post!)

I had the words to this all wrong my entire life!

I have a number of friends who I have known most of my life and who I consider my closest. I am also the type of person who really enjoys meeting new people and developing new that is good, but these close friends have young children, some have jobs outside the home, some live quite far and the running around that comes with all of that is always the excuse for not seeing each other. Or even talking to each other in some cases. And not that we don't want to talk. And not that we don't have the time to talk.

We just don't make that time a priority.

We say "we should get together in the summer", but the snow starts falling and you still haven't connected.

And people do change. But those certain friends...those "lifers"...they are there and they are probably feeling the same way you are. They same way I feel. Guilty. And yes, I feel guilty about that.


I am very grateful for the new and very special friendships I am currently building in my life, but I do miss my core gals. I have been working on a lot of things in my home to make having them over easier like getting eating and sitting areas set up outside along with a gazebo, getting my dining room to function better both for my family and for larger gatherings, etc. I hope this will help. I hope that BBQ I want to have with a big bunch of friends happens. I hope my to do list won't take me over as it usually does.

"Cheers" to girlfriends. (And to wine with girlfriends!)

Because my girlfriends need to be on that list. They need to get a little higher on that list.

They need not be pushed aside by guilt and excuses. They need to be there.

I need to be there.



Suggested Reading

Saturday, June 11, 2011

The Simple Soup Solution

"Anyone who tells a lie has not a pure heart, and cannot make a good soup."
 - Ludwig van Beethoven


I am a busy mom and although I enjoy cooking, sometimes if I have a rare few moments of free time I prefer to take a shower. But, with three hungrey boys, including a baby and a hungry husband, dinner is a requirement.

To say I don't feed my family fast food from time to time would be a lie, but in general, I try to keep things healthy and simple. So here is what I do in a pinch.

I make soup. No, I don't mean a can of Campbell's (not that there's anything wrong with that...except way too much salt). Soup is a simple, healthy, no fuss, no muss meal in a pot. Here's how she rolls:

The Simple Soup Solution

Fill a large pot with water. Add a carrot, celery stalk, a peeled onion, a tomato, a few peeled potatos, a few garlic cloves, a few bay leaves and a few peppercorns. Then add some bone-in chicken pieces. I use chicken boobs because they are healthier and we like them better, but whatever works for you.

Bring to a boil.

Cover and turn down to a medium-low heat.

Let simmer for a couple of hours. (Check the potato on occasion...or add them part-way through the simmering. Remove once fully cooked to avoid mushiness)

Then strain out all the veggies and chicken. Add some thin egg noddles (or whatever pasta you want...but the thin, tiny ones can cook right in the broth) and boil for a few minutes. When in doubt, add less noodles than you think you need, otherwise you will get mushy noodles instead of chicken noddle soup. And then you know what you'll have to say to your hungry family?

Wait for it now....

You know it's coming...

How could I write a post about soup and not include The Soup Nazi?

Then you can cut up the chicken and veggies and add back to the soup for a hearty soup-meal. can leave them out and have some nicely flavoured, poached chicken, and some nicely flavoured cooked veggies. You can even mash or puree with a little bit of the broth for baby.

So this may seem simple and obvious. But how many of you make your own soup? I never used to. But being married to someone of full Italian heritage means I also have a very Italian mother-in-law. She drives me nuts and helps me so much the words "thank you" do not even begin to say how much she helps me. I love her. And she always makes this soup. And then my husband started. And then I did.

So on those rainy and/or busy days, put it all in a pot. Let is simmer and do what you gotta do. Your home will smell yummy and everyone will have a healthy meal at the end of the day.

Any hey...if you get one of those massive stock pots, you can make tons and stick a load in your freezer.

I have one. Me likey.

Then you won't have to cook at all. And you can have your shower.

I am now pondering whether this image is from a porno.
In any case, this chick is not worrying about making dinner!



Suggested Reading

Thursday, June 09, 2011

Poetry Corner

"Poetry is just the evidence of life.  If your life is burning well,
poetry is just the ash."
  - Leonard Cohen

Time for another poem folks. This is one I wrote a long time ago.


The Jungle

         Abandoned street
                                      leads to
sharp corner.
         Wondrous jungles lurk beyond.

          The first soul arrives on time
          and slowly peeks around.

          Mr. Tiger had a hearty breakfast.

          The second soul comes before dawn
          running swiftly, softly.

          And as Mr. Tiger gently awakens...
          she tames him.

               By: Lora (Breakey) Rossi



Suggested Reading

Don't Be Gay

"Hope will never be silent."
 - Harvey Milk

Do you remember saying that as a kid? "Don't be gay!!"? It's interesting, thinking about the different meanings of the word "gay" and how those meanings speak to our society today.

Webster's dictionary defines "gay" as the following:

1. (a) Happily excited: MERRY <in a gay mood;
    (b) Keenly alive and exuberant: having or inducing high spirits <a bird's gay song>

2. (a) BRIGHT, LIVELY <gay sunny meadows>
    (b) brilliant in colour

3. given to social pleasures: also LICENTIOUS

4. (a) HOMOSEXUAL <gay men>
    (b) of, relating to, or used by homosexuals <the gay rights movement> <a gay bar>

OK. So let's start out by clarifying that I am not gay. I would define myself as "straight but not narrow". But I am continuously mystified and baffled by how much energy is spent by some people on trying to keep us in the dark ages. Not the "bright and lively" age that should be the present. All human beings are "brilliant in colour', be them straight, gay, bisexual, transgendered, black, white or purple. But not everyone sees this.

Is it not fair to say that all human beings should have the right to be happy, and dare I say, merry? And does it not make sense that in order for all human beings to be given a fair opportunity to be keenly alive and live exuberant lives, that they should all be treated equally and with acceptance and respect?

Some people do bad things. Homosexuals do bad things. Heterosexuals do bad things. Purple people do bad things. But that does not give one-eyed, one-horned, flying purple people eaters the right to make lunch out of them. To trap them. To make them feel any less than anyone else.

OK, so HE was purple...not the people.
But you get my point.

Really...I am not here to preach. I'm a lover not a fighter. But I ask you to really think about this. I ask you to take a look at your deepest feelings on issues such as gay marriage. Maybe you feel as I do - that we have much more important things to worry and focus on than trying to hinder anyone from getting married, adopting children, living the lives they want to live - no matter what their sexual orientation- provided they meet the requirements of any heterosexual person.

People are starving. Children are being raped and sold. They are also being brutally bullied because they are different than some of their peers. Because they are different. "Don't be gay!" And so some of them say "OK, I won't be gay. I won't be me. In fact, I just won't be at all." And then they are gone.

And yet gay rights still is - because it must be - a huge movement. Because there are enough people who don't see that letting people be happy, be merry, be authentic, be who they important.

Why do I write this today? Because is makes me mad. And sad. And because I have wonderful gay friends. And because I am a parent. I want to raise loving, kind and accepting boys and I feel it is our generation's responsibility to to do this for all of our or straight or whatever they happen to best as we possibly can.

Talk to your kids. Let your voice be heard. Because one day soon they will be doing the talking. They will have the voices. And may those voices sing. Sing the beautiful, exuberant songs...just like the birds.

And may those songs be music to everyone's ears.



Suggested Reading

Say a Prayer
An Attitude of Gratitude - How Bad Experiences Bring Your Life Perspective

Wednesday, June 08, 2011

Goodwill Hunting: The Thrill of the Find!

"Life can be beautiful.
It doesn't have to be expensive."
- Christine Louise Hohlbaum

I admit it people. I like to go to nice, fancy stores and look at nice, fancy handbags and nice, fancy jewellery and nice, fancy decorating items for my home. But what really turns my crank? What gets my blood flowing and my heart racing?

Nice, fancy....James Franco.

Maybe James bought his shirt at Goodwill.
I have a thriftier idea. Lose it.

Yes...even though he sucked as an Oscars host. Anyhoo, besides him, I dig thrift stores. Goodwill, Value Village (or "VV Boutique as some like to call it), The Salvation Army...oh I could go on. I remember my mom taking me on occasion to Goodwill just to see what treasures she could find. I used to think only poor people shopped at these places.

But guess what? Poor people shop at those fancy places on credit and are drowning in debt because they want the bottoms of their shoes to be the tell-tale Christian Louboutin bright red. Not that there is anything wrong with that, but it's not my thing.  And I have a fake Louis Vuitton bag. OK, I have two. And if I carry it - which is rare lately - all I think now is, "everyone is looking at me thinking, "Nice fake designer bag honey. They go real nice with your fake Crocs from Walmart."

So let's be clear. I am not poor. Nowhere close. Nor am I rich. Nowhere close. I like to thrift shop because it is a rockin' good time! It is fun! I get jollies from seeing all the stuff piled all over the place with little hidden treasures waiting to be found by my keen eye. Some days are jackpots. Some are frustratingly crappy. But ya gotta keep going back. The thrill of not knowing which way it's gonna go is all part of the fun.

Don't like thrift stores? Need something a little less organized?

Try garage sales. I find it very difficult to pass a decent looking garage sale without stopping to take at least a quick gander. I am not one of those people that reads the paper and plans out a garage sale route, but maybe one day when I have the luxury of time. Of course when that happens I will be retired and living in Tampa.

I will be doing some posts in the future about decorating with my finds from thrift stores and garage sales. But lest we not forget another fun past time.

Dumpster diving!

I mean, one has to work out, and why not do so while scoring free stuff from the garbage. Ya know what they say about one person's trash being another's treasure? is true. I even found a barely used pair of Jimmy Choos. OK, I lie, but ya never know. It could happen.

I will also be blogging about found objects from nature and how I naturally (get it?) gravitate towards all things organic in form and heritage. Shells, sticks, stones, wood, texture...well, you get the picture. What's that? You need a picture? OK. You ask, I provide.

Found on the beaches in the Dominican Republic

Branches from my front lawn.
White pieces both from a thrift store.
I have several things I am passionate about and home decor is one of them. You will see that lighter side of me as we move forward here at The Hugging Home. You will also see that I like nice things. But I also like a good deal. I quote Martha, "It's a good thing."

And so, I leave you here because I have to go put on those Walmart "Crocs" and go to my son's soccer game. Maybe I will find some pretty branches. Or a nice stone. Or maybe I'll hit that jackpot.


Maybe...just maybe...I'll find a four-leaf clover. :)



Suggested Reading

The Domino Decorating Effect - How Accessorizing Can Bring You Joy
Paint a Painting to get your Creative Juices Flowing
Poetry: Another Creative Outlet

Tuesday, June 07, 2011

For Crying Out Loud!

“People who say they sleep like a baby usually don’t have one.”
 - Unknown

I am linking you up today to another article I wrote for What's Up Magazine on the topic of colic. I experienced this on a minor level, but some parents go through a really difficult time. Thanks to Erin, Vicky, Julie and Sonya for their help and support both for this piece and personally! What goes around, come around! Love you gals!

One thing I want to add to the content of this article is that sometimes the crying does not stop at baby. Postpartum depression is a very real, very difficult condition. It, like colic, is also quite common. If you or someone you love is suffering, please see your doctor and tell someone - anyone.

Don't suffer alone. Please seek help.

If your spouse, mother, friend, whoever does not listen or tells you to "just snap out of it", tell someone else until they listen. There is light at the end of the tunnel. There is help. I have been there and will surely post about my experiences in the near future. Feel fee to share yours here.

Thanks for reading and have a great day!

Me and my firstborn Julian



Suggested Reading