Reblog: I’m Old Fashioned

Reprinting this from June of 2013…because you can never talk too much about the art of the woo! ;)


I’m old-fashioned. That’s a mighty strange statement for someone like me to make – but it is so true. Even though I’m a girl who lives and breathes by technology, feels like I’m coming down with hives if I don’t keep up-to-date on the latest pop culture news from my Twitter feed, and can’t fathom going a whole day without the Internet/my Kindle/Instagram/Jezebel and XO Jane, I am still, at heart, a very old-fashioned, traditional girl. Let my tattooed, multiply pierced self explain. ;)


I believe in manners. I am always polite – even when I’m cross with someone and I’m snippy, I’m still polite. I abhor rudeness in others, and I find the lack of manners frequently on display in the world these days to be deplorable. I don’t understand people who clearly know better  behaving badly – there’s simply no excuse. People need to be kind to everyone they encounter in their day, whether they know them or not, it’s as simple as that. I find it embarrassing when others behave badly, and I have to admit that it completely and utterly turns me off those people…which probably makes me shallow, but…c’est la vie. Life is too short to spend with people who believe that treating others poorly is a viable option in life. It’s just vile.

I believe that men should always open the door for women, and that if you are the first at the door, regardless of whether you pee standing up or sitting down, you hold the door open for everyone coming and going. I believe that men should open car doors for ladies, whether they are someone they are shagging or not. I believe that looking people in the eyes is critical when you speak to them – people who don’t make me mighty nervous indeed.

I think that inviting someone to spend time with you at the last minute is kind of rude – I know that sometimes last minute things pop up, and that’s cool…but generally, if you want the pleasure of someone’s company, PICK UP THE PHONE AND CALL AND ASK THEM. Don’t just text – call. If you know that you have a weekend evening free and you want to have dinner with Bobby and Sue, call them as early as possible and invite them to join you for dinner – expecting someone to be free at the last minute is bloody tacky and just plain rude, if you ask me.

How it ought to be...LOVE this! :)

How it ought to be…LOVE this! :)

“The vampire could woo any woman with his charisma and his charm, but he only wishes to romance her.. for eternity.” 

- Mr. Depravity

I was talking with someone the other day about the art of ‘woo’ing – something which I think is sorely (and sadly) missing from society today. People today don’t woo each other nearly enough – and yes, while wooing is traditionally something that men are meant to do for the women they are sweet on (see what I mean? even the expressions that I use are old-fashioned), ladies can do some wooing, too. A lot of people think that wooing means showering a lady with expensive gifts and trips and dinners at the finest restaurants in town – and, while all of those things sound ever-so-lovely, they absolutely aren’t necessary parts of the woo. The woo can be made up of simple things like writing your Sweet a wee poem and sending it to them to brighten their day – your words cost you nothing, and if you aren’t much of a poet, Google rhyming words and you’ll get through it just fine. How about calling them up early in the week and asking them on a proper date? Fun, right?? Even if it’s a generally assumed thing that you two will be spending time together over the weekend, still pick up that phone and call and ask – that feeling is just plain awesome. :) Give your girl a flower sometime – notice that I didn’t say flowers, because I know that the cost of those things can add up! Give her one beautiful stem of something that you know that she loves – it will win you a ton of wooing points! :) A final word on wooing, and this is directed at ladies and gentlemen alike: don’t ever ever stop wooing your love, whether you’ve been together for three months, three years, or three decades. Don’t ever let the woo stop – keep that shit going FOREVER! It will absolutely do wonders for your relationship, and it feels good – for both of you. I promise. :)

Hahaha :)

Hahaha :)

I read an article online entitled “How to Make a Woman Fall in Love With You” – here are the easy steps to follow! (and ladies, I imagine they can be adapted to fit a man as well) Try not to laugh….
ATTENTION ALL ROMEOS: For the following article to be of any use to you whatsoever, it is mandatory that you and your love interest meet at least once in person (and NOT in your dreams). This article is based on actual love, and not virtual love. Upon meeting her, it is vital that you know the right questions to ask the girl, in order to get to know her, only after which can you entertain any possible hopes of her falling in love with you.

Those of you who have skipped reading the above disclaimer and have directly landed on this line of text, stop right here. The future of your love life has been decided right here, right now. You will remain SINGLE all your life. Stop wasting time thinking about how to make her fall in love with you. No amount of dating tips will ever be of any help to you whatsoever. You, my friend, will forever remain an Adam sans a madam. You wanna know why? Because you weren’t attentive enough, you missed reading the first paragraph, and in doing so, you violated rule number one!

The Ultimate Guide to Make a Woman Fall for You

Rule #1: You CANNOT win the heart of any woman on this planet unless you remain alert and pay attention to detail. You HAVE to be on full systems alert when with a woman – watch every movement of hers and listen to each and every word she says (And I do sympathize with you because I am yet to meet a woman who is not a chatterbox!). No matter where or at what time of the day (or night) the two of you meet; no matter how tired, sleepy or hungry you may be, you instantly need to power on your love battery and be on full alert. Look at her, listen to her and show an interest in what she is saying. Women do not like men who talk, talk, talk and never listen. Chances of love and romance are directly proportional to your ethical listening abilities. (Ethical listening is nothing but focusing your ears on her vocals and your eyes above her neck). If and when you get a chance to say a few words, choose those which will showcase your intelligence, rather than those which will expose the lack of it.

Rule #2: Please be yourself. This is the universal dating tip for men all over the world. You don’t have to be a Brad Pitt in order to woo your woman. If you’re not exactly tall, dark and handsome, that’s fine. Win her over with your heart, not with your looks. Remember, beauty is in the eyes of the beholder. Don’t try to be someone that you’re not. You’ll fall flat on your face and your love story will instantly become history.

Rule #3: Become indispensable to her. PLEASE NOTE: Follow Rule #1 and read the rest of this rule, or else you may end up becoming her best friend to whom she comes crying after fighting with her boyfriend or fiance. By becoming indispensable, I mean becoming her friend and much more. That ‘much more’ is the difference between being relegated to just a friend and becoming the special one that she loves. There is no universal definition for that ‘much more’, it is something that you need to figure out for yourself. If you can’t, fine. All the best in being her best brotherly friend for life!

Rule #4: Be romantic in an innovative way. There are plenty of ways (both successful and otherwise) of wooing a woman. Many of them involve doing the same age-old things such as gifting mixed tapes, presenting heart-shaped pendants, writing cheesy poems, etc. Some of them do work, whereas most are perceived to be extremely stereotyped and clichéd by women of the 21st century. So if your girl happens to be a rebel or a fiercely independent woman who is in tune with modern times and thoughts, then writing a silly sonnet on a pink paper sprayed with some run-of-the-mill chloroform-type cologne will only guarantee you a few more months of bachelorhood. Find out what your woman’s interests are, what are her likes, her dislikes and act accordingly. Don’t take a lady who loves opera to an Avril Lavigne concert! If your Juliet happens to be a typical girl-next-door who has a fancy for all that is pink and mushy, then be a Romeo of the highest order! Gift your princess a couple of Mills & Boon’s and be her knight in shining armor. Shower her with a few lovey-dovey romantic gifts. Make Shakespeare look down from the heavens and weep a tear or two. Show your romantic side in a way that is both creative and equally appealing to your lady love.

Rule #5: Last but definitely not the least, show that you care for her. This is a very important piece of relationship advice. Show her that you are a genuine fellow who is here to stay and that you are not a fair weather friend. Be there for her when she needs help. Support your woman through thick and thin. Once again, do NOT go overboard with this. Calling her every ten minutes to check on her will only ensure that you end up spending New Year’s Eve with Steve, instead of Eve.

These five rules are the fundamentals of sowing the seed of love in the heart of your darling dove. Following them religiously (and sensibly!) may make your woman see you in a different light… the light of love, adoration and romantic companionship. That is the secret to make a girl fall in love with you. It may take some time. But you shouldn’t lose hope. After all, if Rome wasn’t built in a day, how can it be any different for romance?

While I think this author did make a few good points, there is some straight-up lunacy in here. Let’s break it down, shall we? Rule #1 is correct – listen to us, dammit! There are few things as irritating as sitting across the table from a person who doesn’t so much talk as they do lecture, thinking that they are all-knowing and wise about every topic under the sun, and trying not to fall asleep as they pontificate yet again on every subject that gets brought up. I find it particularly delightful when I hear people who have never worked in the Education industry attempt to lecture ME on the problems with teachers and education today. Squeeze me??! Baking powder??! WTF, people??! It’s plain obnoxious and rude – and is certainly not a way to endear yourself, friends. I don’t agree with the writer that men should never talk – that would get mighty boring mighty quickly, but…shouldn’t it be a 50-50 kind of thing? :)


Rule #2 is accurate – be yourself. This goes for men and women equally – the pressure and effort of pretending to be someone else is freaking exhausting, so…why bother? Rule #3 is also good – it is always nice to have someone around that you know that you can rely on. Personally, I find it hard to get that way with people (probably stems from a lifetime of folks letting me down, and a lifetime of me allowing them to let me down) – but, when it happens that I feel that I can count on someone, rely on them for anything and everything, and really feel that they’ve got my back, well…that’s just about the best thing EVER. :)

I love Rule #4 – be romantic in an innovative way! This is the woo, folks! :) I love this!! :) I may not agree with everything that is written up there about this, but oh lordy am I a fan of innovative romance. I think things like fun, unconventional dates are terrific, as are silly little happies designed solely to bring a smile to your face – those can’t be beat! For example, let’s say your Sweet rolls up one day with a Coconut Water for you while loudly declaring that they are NUTS about you (get it? Nuts – coconut??! :) ), simply because they know that you LOOOOOOVE that stuff and that hydration is important – it’s not a big deal, but it lets you know that they thought about you and they care. Awesome, right?! :) I know!! :) I personally love mix tapes (or playlists, whatever the kids are calling them these days), Chocolate-Covered Cherry Jelly Bellys, assorted other sweet treats, movie recommendations, poems, pretty much anything that lets me know that someone is thinking of me. :) I LOVE that! :) Every girl on this earth will, too – come to think of it, so will most every man! :)

Rule #5 is a no-brainer – we should always always show those around us that we care, every single day. You never know when your number will be up and wouldn’t it be awful to shuffle off this mortal coil without letting those that around you know how precious they are to you? Exactly. Be supportive, be respectful, and be there. Pretty simple advice, oui? :)



Now, go on….get out there and woo. :) Let me know how it goes. :)



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In her lovely and brilliant book Bossypants , the magnificent Tina Fey pens this prayer for her daughter – let’s read it together, shall we? :-)



The Mother’s Prayer for Its Daughter

First, Lord: No tattoos. May neither the Chinese symbol for truth nor Winnie- the- Pooh holding the FSU logo stain her tender haunches.

May she be Beautiful but not Damaged, for it’s the Damage that draws the creepy soccer coach’s eye, not the Beauty.

When the Crystal Meth is offered, May she remember the parents who cut her grapes in half And stick with Beer.

Guide her, protect her When crossing the street, stepping onto boats, swimming in the ocean, swimming in pools, walking near pools, standing on the subway platform, crossing 86th Street, stepping off of boats, using mall restrooms, getting on and off escalators, driving on country roads while arguing, leaning on large windows, walking in parking lots, riding Ferris wheels, roller- coasters, log flumes, or anything called “Hell Drop,” “Tower of Torture,” or “The Death Spiral Rock ‘N Zero G Roll featuring Aerosmith,” and standing on any kind of balcony ever, anywhere, at any age.

Lead her away from Acting but not all the way to Finance. Something where she can make her own hours but still feel intellectually fulfilled and get outside sometimes And not have to wear high heels. What would that be, Lord? Architecture? Midwifery? Golf course design? I’m asking You, because if I knew, I’d be doing it, Youdammit.

May she play the Drums to the fiery rhythm of her Own Heart with the sinewy strength of her Own Arms, so she need Not Lie With Drummers.

Grant her a Rough Patch from twelve to seventeen. Let her draw horses and be interested in Barbies for much too long, For Childhood is short— a Tiger Flower blooming Magenta for one day— And Adulthood is long and Dry- Humping in Cars will wait.

O Lord, break the Internet forever, That she may be spared the misspelled invective of her peers And the online marketing campaign for Rape Hostel V: Girls Just Wanna Get Stabbed.

And when she one day turns on me and calls me a Bitch in front of Hollister, Give me the strength, Lord, to yank her directly into a cab in front of her friends, For I will not have that Shit. I will not have it.

And should she choose to be a Mother one day, be my eyes, Lord, That I may see her, lying on a blanket on the floor at 4:50 A.M ., all- at- once exhausted, bored, and in love with the little creature whose poop is leaking up its back. “My mother did this for me once,” she will realize as she cleans feces off her baby’s neck. “My mother did this for me.”

And the delayed gratitude will wash over her as it does each generation and she will make a Mental Note to call me. And she will forget. But I’ll know, because I peeped it with Your God eyes.



Isn’t that just the very best? I know. I love it, too. :-) My Wee One has been going through a few growing pains lately and giving me (her old, beloved mother) some major heartburn….so thinking of wisdom like this does much to make me feel better.

Parenting. NOT for the weak of heart. ;-)



PS: My Wee One is only allowed to have tattoos when she’s an adult, if she chooses what she wants carefully and thinks it over for a full year prior to getting it (my Dad’s rule, and it’s a good one), if the pictures are small enough so as not to hinder her career choices – and if she lets me go with her. :-)

PS: I am so in love with this line – May she play the Drums to the fiery rhythm of her Own Heart with the sinewy strength of her Own Arms, so she need Not Lie With Drummers. Heehee!!!! :-)






In the millions of people that exist in this world, it is so hard to stand out, to be yourself, to forge your own path…to truly be unique. There is so much pressure on us to conform and to look and be just like everyone else, which is bloody tragic. We should celebrate the unicorns among us, applauding their independent, pioneering spirit instead of making fun of them for being special butterflies, don’t you think? :-)


Poindexter – My Spirit Animal



I work in a high school, so I spend my days around teenagers, and I see their angst up close and personal. I thought that being a teen girl was rough on me in the late ’80s, but every day I say a silent prayer that I’m not coming of age these days….I don’t know how I’d survive. Seriously. There were no cell phones to take video of me wearing gross outfits from Au Coton Canada (see Exhibit A), no footage of me drinking entirely too much at a fancy wedding/flirting with bartenders twice my age/dancing and barfing into a potted plant (I was 15, and driving the hot mess express that night) and no Internet coverage of a botched haircut that had me bear more than a passing resemblance to Poindexter from ‘Revenge of the Nerds’. I’m so grateful that I came into myself without having to fret about cyber bullying and other assorted stupidity shown by young people today. Kids can be so cruel…and holy hell are girls MEAN. Times back then were rough enough, especially for an odd bird like me who NEVER fit in.

Exhibit A. I wish I was still this thin, and I'm happy to report that I still have these friggin awesome pink sunglasses at my house...but that outfit. Those paper bag shorts. Thanks, Au Coton.

Exhibit A. I wish I was still this thin, and I’m happy to report that I still have these friggin awesome pink sunglasses at my house…but that outfit. Those paper bag shorts. Thanks, Au Coton.


When I was young, I alternated between wanting desperately to be like everybody else, but still wanting/needing to jig to the tune of my own fiddler.  I would try to do things like everyone else (apart from wearing those classic 1980s Asics Tigers volleyball shoes -everyone wore those except for me…they made my feet look like skis, for real), but most of my attempts were failures because the stuff others did just didn’t work on me.  I always dressed differently (one girl from my class wore sweats to school ALL THE TIME like it was her bloody job – and she was popular. How? She was also the biggest bitch in the known universe as well, but….that’s another story for another day) – I didn’t wear most of the things that the popular peeps wore (still don’t). I didn’t listen to the same music as most others (as evidenced by the fact that I wore out not one but two copies of my Crash Vegas cassette tape that I’m pretty sure nobody owned but the band, their family, and me – I still listen to their song “Smoke” and cry. Every time.) I am very much my own person, and I’m not easily influenced by others (if you’d like to confirm this, let me know…I can give you a list of names of people who’ve tried to change me and failed miserably). A very sweet person recently said about me “How the hell are you so entertaining?” and followed that with “there is something indefinable about you'”. Isn’t that bloody awesome? I’ve never wanted anything more than to be entertaining and different from everyone else. WOOHOO!!! I love it when people get me. :-)


While researching the idea of embracing your uniqueness (AKA trying to find research that justifies my inclination towards unusual behavior), I came across this little gem – ‘Being Unique Matters’. Give it a read:

Why do you care? Really take a moment to reflect on this: why do you concern yourself with what others think about you? You are a unique, gifted, and special individual. That is a fact. Now let that be your starting point and your living point. Here are a few thoughts on why you should dare to be different, celebrate the special uniqueness that is you, and not worry about what others think.

Your Uniqueness and Life Have Taken You Places

Every human being that has ever lived, or ever will live, is unique. You are truly one of a kind. We all know that we, as humans, share the usual bits and pieces that most of us have in common, such as certain essential body parts — a head, a heart, a brain, and so on. But the similarity ends there.

Your life experiences thus far have made you the person you are today. The way you were brought up by your parents and the things that you learned in your childhood have come together to make you different from everyone else. You may have learned some things in a similar way to other children, such as having respect for your fellow man, the need to “clean up your room!”, or to brush your teeth twice a day, and so on. Yet you will have also learned many things that other children did not, such as how to care for a rabbit, or play a musical instrument, or build a fort in the woods, or solve complicated math equations.

It is the combination of everything that you have learned and the various things that you have done that make you truly different from everyone else on this planet. Others may share some of your talents and abilities, but there is no one who is identical to you. It is rather like an artist painting a picture; even if another artist were to copy the picture as closely as possible it would never be identical. Different brush strokes or combinations of paint would have been used, and each masterpiece is its own.

So since you are unique, why not celebrate that fact? Dare to be your own person and disregard what others may think.

Be daring, be different, be impractical, be anything that will assert integrity of purpose and imaginative vision against the play-it-safers, the creatures of the commonplace, the slaves of the ordinary.
~ Cecil Beaton

Don’t Conform to the Norm

We are brought up in our schools to conform; to be the same as everyone else. It has gotten to the point now where some of our teachers are not allowing children to win prizes for coming in first place on school sports day, because those who lagged behind would feel different and “left out”. Some schools have discontinued having a sports day altogether, so that little Corey won’t get upset that little Johnny won a prize.

This is insane. The fact is that little Johnny is a faster runner than Corey. However, it is also the case that Corey is far better at math than Johnny. We need to celebrate and accentuate these uniquenesses. It is because of the very fact that we are different that makes all of us so wonderful and special.

Being Different Leads to Innovation and Critical Thinking

This attitude that everyone should be the same is stifling inventiveness and individual thinking. How far would we have gotten if Albert Einstein had been obliged to conform to the same mores as his peers? He dared to think differently. One might even say that he dared to think. The contribution of just this one man has made the world a far better place than it was. There are and have been, of course, many others, but if some of the teachers of today have their way these individuals will become a rarity.

So celebrate the fact that you are unique and that you have a contribution to make to this world. When you pass on you will have inevitably made an impact on it. Others will have been affected by your life and your presence here, whether you realize it or not. Those that you loved and who loved you will have been changed in a way that could not have happened had you never lived.

What Follows? What’s Next?

It follows from all this that you should feel free to live your life in the best manner as you can. But in that pursuit, be a true, authentic, and real individual. Don’t hide behind the shadows of fakery and deception. If you wish to dress differently from others, then do so. If you want to climb a mountain, or explore a desert, do it! Don’t worry what others think.

You only have one life. Provided that the way you live it doesn’t harm anyone, you have the opportunity – one might even say the duty – to live it the way you see fit.


Good, eh? I love the concept of being daring…for so much of what we do and who we are depends upon how bold and brave we can be.  Have you heard Brené Brown’s TedTalk on The Power of Vulnerability? If not, then you really need to…life-changing. So awesome. :-) She shares this Teddy Roosevelt quote from 1910:

“It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs, who comes short again and again, because there is no effort without error and shortcoming; but who does actually strive to do the deeds; who knows great enthusiasms, the great devotions; who spends himself in a worthy cause; who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement, and who at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly.”


So, go forth and conquer, my sweet friends…be who you are, don’t mind anyone else’s opinion. Be a unicorn, dare greatly – I know you are destined for amazing things! :-)





Big Time

How do you define success? Is it the amount of moolah in your savings account? How about the value of your stock portfolio? The German car that’s parked in your garage? How about the casa to which that garage is attached? All of those things are nice (some of them are REALLY nice), but does having them equal success? What does success mean to you?


There’s a lot of work to be done when it comes to feeling personally successful. Since the very definition of success is different for each of us, this battle is so intensely personal. For example, the family structure that the Wee One and I have is by no means conventional, but it works for us. Some people may look at the fact that she moves between our home, her father’s house, and my parents on a regular basis as problematic, however it has provided her with a really good foundation. She is a lovely, well-mannered, sweet little thing…and she seems to be very happy. Her smiles and kindness towards those around her are great indications of my success to me – she’s turning out pretty well so far. Let’s cross the fingers that we emerge from the teenaged years relatively unscathed!! ;-)


Other folks define their success solely by their careers…which I think is narrow, but to each their own. I get asked from time to time what my ambitions are. Generally, I think people are trying to ascertain my desired career trajectory (which is cool that they care)….although I don’t really have a good answer for them. I have all sorts of ideas of jobs that I think would be groovy, but I love my current school so much that I never want to leave. Instead, I tell them that I want to spend my life being the kind of person that people will have good things to say about. Being kind and treating people well matters more to me than just about anything. The thought of me being an asshole is just not something that I can accept. Now, don’t think that I’m some sweet Pollyanna who is a doormat and a wallflower rolled into one ball of insipid fun. I can – and do! – definitely stand up for myself, but I try to do it as politely as possible. I believe that regardless of what I achieve in this lifetime, the most important things are being a good person, and raising an even better one. Everything else is just gravy. :-)

Some people care a whole whole lot about owning stuff….it’s kind of that old strange mentality of he with the most toys wins. Do you agree? While I think it would be super- nice to own all the finest things that I could ever possibly want, I know that thinking is highly impractical. Nice things are nice to have, don’t get me wrong….but they don’t matter nearly as much as people. I think that remembering the things that are important in life –  your family, your friends, your Boo, your spirituality, your home life – are the things that make you successful. :-)



I don’t define success by having a busy and productive life, either…if I did, then I would be San Antonio’s version of Bill Gates or some other Titan of industry. I’m aware that I’m a bit more of a go getter than the average bear…but I don’t think I’m too terribly unusual. Are you a super-busy person? Do you like being that way? Or, do you prefer having very little going on in your life?  I am a super-busy bee, which is pretty much how I roll, but locating like-minded people can be TOUGH, friends! Do you know how bloody many people are kinda lazy? Content to just sit there, see how it goes, let life happen to them? Way too many, friends….trust me, I seem to find all of them. What ever happened to ambition? Motivation? Getting shit done so that you can make your dreams come true? I just don’t get it. Life will go on, friends, whether you want it to or not. Rather than being a passive passenger, wouldn’t you prefer instead to be an active actinger? ( so not a word, but it bloody well should be) I find this to be such a huge issue, and I’m not sure why. I am not in charge of somebody else’s destiny, any more than they are responsible for mine. I need to do me – and let them do them. It just bugs me. Apparently I need a hobby. Perhaps I should take up knitting? ;-)

I think that when it comes to contemplating success, it may be time to reshape our thinking. There’s been articles recently on the optimum salary for happiness…have you heard about this? It’s not $500,000 or even $250,000 (nice though that would be!)- it’s $75,000. A nice chunk of change, yes? But not as high as I’d have thought. You? Researchers have found that anything above that amount provides negligible happiness, and often more headaches. You can read that study here…I’m fascinated by it. :-). 

All of these things can lead to success, depending on how you look at it. I think they real key is determining what matters to you, figuring out the things that you need to feel happy and successful, and then planning and working like a mo’fo to make sure you achieve them. Good luck – I know you can do it! :-)


Working Man’s Cafe

I saw the movie “The Hundred-Foot Journey” recently, and pretty much loved it to pieces. Have you seen it? It’s probably not for everybody, but if you, like me, love France, French culture, food,  Bollywood, and korma sauce – then you’re going to totally dig this movie! :-)



The reviews for this one have been largely mixed, with most everyone criticizing the simplistic nature of the story, and hammering the director for taking the easy route with the tale. While I agree that it wasn’t the most thought-provoking movie I’ve ever seen, it was visually stunning and completely sweet and pleasant….and, considering the amount of things that I have going on these days, sometimes sweet and pleasant is precisely what the doctor ordered. The movie is about an Indian family that moves to Europe for a fresh start following a fire that destroys their beloved family restaurant, and kills the family’s matriarch. They end up in a beautiful French village, and decide to open an Indian restaurant across the street from a Michelin star, Classic French restaurant run by Helen Mirren. Much hilarity ensues as Mirren tries her hand at sabotaging the competition, the father of the Indian family fires back with his own bag of tricks…plus, there’s lots of really yummy looking food. I found the movie to be visually stunning, and thought that the performances were all solid as well.  Helen Mirren is always wonderful, and the rest of the cast rose to the occasion as well. The village they shot in reminds me so much of some of my favorite places in France, and I was left feeling wistful for the dog days of summers past spent sitting in a cafe on the town square, drinking wine and coffee, watching the world pass me by. Did I mention the food? ;-)


I fancy the hell out of a chicken korma, naan bread, and mango chutney right now!! :-)


On An Island

I bought this dress in April:



Pretty, eh? It’s from Peter Som’s DesigNation collaboration with Kohl’s – I actually bought a few frocks when that collection was released, but this was by far my favorite. Sadly, I don’t look like the beautiful model in that picture up there, but….there’s something kind of magical about that dress. Whenever I put it on (I wear mine with a belt cinching the waist), I seem to somehow feel better about myself – which, in turn, leads to an absolute ton of compliments. I don’t know that the dress is particularly flattering on me (I have eyes, I know what I’m working with), but apparently I feel like a sexed-up glamour puss when I put this on, because I work it like nobody’s business and I hear so much positive feedback on how great I look. I’m not talking just catcalls from horn dogs, but real compliments from people…it’s interesting. I guess it just goes to show that when you feel good, you look good. When I put this dress on, it’s insanely comfortable (like jammies comfortable), yet it does a fab job of showcasing my boobs, emphasizes the waist, and flows nicely due to the super-high slit in the front. I find that when I wear it, I imagine that I’m back on a Greek island, making my way through the winding streets of Crete or Mykonos again, smelling the salty air and taking in the blazing sun. When I’m wearing this dress, the slightest breeze will pick up the edges and blow it around delicately, yet somehow I don’t seem to suffer as many wind-dress-ass situations as I usually do. It’s magic, I’m telling you!! :-)

The really important takeaway from my strange little story about my dress is the importance of doing what makes you feel good…and how that feeling good will transfer  into other areas of your life. When I feel good about myself, I think I look better, and I approach the world with an open heart and mind. I’m kinder, more patient, and more accepting of those around me. I feel like I’m more fun to be around when I’m feeling good about myself, and I feel decidedly more confident and capable in my job. There’s really no limit to what we can accomplish when we are feeling good about ourselves, so….why is it so bloody hard to sustain? Why do I (and a zillion other people) spend so damn much time beating ourselves up and being such haters about ourselves when we should be our own biggest cheerleaders? It’s baffling to me, yet I’m one of the biggest offenders of this particular sin around. The other day, I was speaking with someone and in typical me fashion, I was insulting myself. I’ve done this my whole life, thinking it makes me cute and quirky and in possession of the most charming self-deprecating sense of humor. It does not. What it does is make me sound like a real arsehole who is fishing for compliments like it was my bloody job!! Pathetic!! Grr!! I must have been in rare form that day because as I was pulling in the driveway at home, I received this text message: You know what? You need to stop having your opinion of yourself and start using mine: awesome.  Nice, eh? I know…I am really lucky to know so many good people. :-) But it’s true…I do need to learn to change my attitude, to be more positive about me and the space I take up in this world. I need to be my own biggest fan.


And I need to wear that dress more often. :-)



Shiny Happy People


I’m all about happiness – I’ve generally been described as being a very happy person, and I value optimism, positivity, and happy in people so much. I have a hard time with people with a raging case of grumpass for no reason whatsoever…I just don’t get the point. Isn’t it so much easier, more fun, and just so much more AMAZING to greet the world with a smile on your face and in your heart? I think so. :-)


I read the coolest thing online the other day – the Pope released a list of 10 tips for becoming a happier person…how friggin AWESOME is that? So. Great. Here’s the list:
1. Live and let live
2. Be giving of yourself to others
3. Proceed calmly in life
4. A healthy sense of leisure
5. Sundays should be holidays
6. Find innovative ways to create dignified jobs for young people
7. Respect and take care of nature
8. Stop being negative
9. Don’t proselytize; respect others’ beliefs.
10. Work for peace

Great stuff, eh? I am so on board with this list it’s not even funny. Wouldn’t the whole world be better if we just lived and let live? If we kept our big noses out of each other’s business and really adopted the philosophy of ‘you do you, I’ll do me’? I think so. I don’t particularly enjoy when people try to get into my goings on, and I frankly lack the time or interest to interfere in the dealings of other people so…we all just need to mind ourselves, and we will be so much better off. As well, it does the soul a lot of good to remember the adage ‘what other people think of me is none of my business’. Wise words, those.

Another one that speaks (hollers) to me is #8 – stop being negative. I love this, and you should, too. There is entirely too much negativity in this world, and way too many bad attitudes. Turn on the news these days and you will be inundated with negativity, people doing crappy things to each other, and just general depression. There is far too little optimism around us, and I truly pity the children of our world today…what kind of bleak future is waiting for them? It makes me sad. My little peanut at home is such a sweet pea, and it hurts my bloody heart to think of how the world will try to kick her around. Hate that. :-( If only we could find a way to somehow flip a switch and make the world more optimistic….it’d be great, yes?


To me, being happy doesn’t seem to be rocket science, and ought to be something that most of us can achieve with relative ease. However, I came across a great article entitled “10 Scientifically Proven Ways to Be Incredibly Happy”….perhaps it kind of is rocket science??? ;-) Here’s an excerpt from the article:

Here are 10 science-based ways to be happier from Belle Beth Cooper, Content Crafter at Buffer, the social media management tool that lets you schedule, automate, and analyze social media updates.

1. Exercise: 7 Minutes Could Be Enough

2. Sleep More: You’ll Be Less Sensitive to Negative Emotions

3. Spend More Time With Friends/Family: Money Can’t Buy You Happiness

4. Get Outside More: Happiness is Maximized at 57°

5. Help Others: 100 Hours a Year is the Magic Number

6. Practice Smiling: Reduce Pain, Improve Mood, Think Better

Smiling can make us feel better, but it’s more effective when we back it up with positive thoughts, according to this study:

7. Plan a Trip: It Helps Even if You Don’t Actually Take One

8. Meditate: Rewire Your Brain for Happiness

9. Move Closer to Work: A Short Commute is Worth More Than a Big House

10. Practice Gratitude: Increase Happiness and Satisfaction

Quick Final Fact: Getting Older Will Actually Make You Happier

Don’t you just loooove this? Me too!!! I am particularly loving #2, 3, 5, 6, 7, and 10. I’ve had major insomnia issues for years, and I know that not sleeping makes me feel tired, grumpy, and mildly homicidal. Sleep = Awesome. :-) #3 is my favorite, because nothing compares to time with my Muppet. Nothing. I value every moment we have together, and there just aren’t anywhere near enough of them. Being with her centers me, and reminds me of what really matters in my life – her and our life together. I got in to Education because of #5…helping others makes me happy. I think that part of this comes from my small town upbringing where things didn’t happen without volunteers – I wish I had more time to help others. If I could, I’d go to hospitals and hug and cuddle new babies every day. Wouldn’t that be just the very best? :-)

I smile a lot – last year, a member of my staff referred to me as creepily cheerful. I only smile when I mean it, and I’ve never been fake – but smiling does indeed make me happier. :-) I do a lot of #7 – I plan pretend trips all the time (I could find out that I was leaving for Bali this evening and be totes ready to go as I’ve planned that trip so many, many times. Hopefully one of these days! ) I feel so happy when I do this…it’s fun to dream and imagine, yes? :-)

Finally, practicing gratitude….I have always believed in the importance of embracing an attitude of gratitude. Think of how lucky we are to be alive today, with all of the conveniences and amazing opportunities around us. Yes, we have challenges now that previous generations have never had to go through…but we also have so many more opportunities than any other time in history. It’s a bloody great time to be alive, don’t you think? We need to act like it. I know that there are at least a million things that go on every day that we could complain about, but….what’s the point? Isn’t it easier to focus on the positives, accentuate all that goes well around us…and let go of the crap. It’s as simple as that – Just. Let. Go. Of. The. Crap.


Soooo… happy do you generally feel? What makes you happy? I can’t wait to hear from you!! :-)




Thinking Out Loud

This is how people should feel about each other when they are in love:

Click video to hear this song performed live

When your legs don’t work like they used to before
And I can’t sweep you off of your feet
Will your mouth still remember the taste of my love?
Will your eyes still smile from your cheeks?

And, darling, I will be loving you ’til we’re 70
And, baby, my heart could still fall as hard at 23
And I’m thinking ’bout how people fall in love in mysterious ways
Maybe just the touch of a hand
Well, me—I fall in love with you every single day
And I just wanna tell you I am

So honey now
Take me into your loving arms
Kiss me under the light of a thousand stars
Place your head on my beating heart
I’m thinking out loud
That maybe we found love right where we are

When my hair’s all but gone and my memory fades
And the crowds don’t remember my name
When my hands don’t play the strings the same way
I know you will still love me the same

‘Cause honey your soul could never grow old, it’s evergreen
And, baby, your smile’s forever in my mind and memory
I’m thinking ’bout how people fall in love in mysterious ways
Maybe it’s all part of a plan
Well, I’ll just keep on making the same mistakes
Hoping that you’ll understand

But, baby, now
Take me into your loving arms
Kiss me under the light of a thousand stars
Place your head on my beating heart
Thinking out loud
That maybe we found love right where we are

So, baby, now
Take me into your loving arms
Kiss me under the light of a thousand stars
Oh, darling, place your head on my beating heart
I’m thinking out loud
That maybe we found love right where we are
Oh, baby, we found love right where we are
And we found love right where we are 



Don’t you just love this song? Me, too…”kiss me under the light of a thousand stars / place your head on my beating heart”? Come on…that’s magic, that is. Love. :-)

I hope you’re finding love right where you are. :-)



How Sweet It Is


My Mom challenged me to one of those Gratitude Challenge things that’s been all over Facebook…and, while I really don’t like Facebook and rarely go on it, I can’t let a challenge pass me by, so….I did it. I was charged with the task of posting three things I was grateful for every day for three days. This turned out to be surprisingly easy, as I have so many wonderful things and people in my life that it really wasn’t too hard to find stuff to acknowledge. So, without any further ado, here’s my Gratitude Challenge:

Day One:

1) My Wee Muppet – she completes me, and life began when she arrived on the scene. I LOVE my girl to bits – she’s awesome! :-)

2) The rest of my loved ones near and far, family and friends flung all over the globe. They know the real me, yet somehow love me anyway. :-)

3) My job – most days I love it a whole lot…and even on the crap days, there’s still nowhere I’d rather be. Thank goodness for my parents for all they do to help with the Wee One, allowing me to work. :-)


Day Two:

1) I am grateful that I’ve inherited my father’s sense of humor – if you knew my Dad, you’d know he loved a good laugh, and his humor was definitely unique!! If I couldn’t laugh at some of the stupid things that happen in my life, I’d cry, so….thanks Daddy. :-)

2) I’m very grateful for all of the traveling that I’ve done. The best way to learn about the world is to get out and see it, and I think my experiences have made me a more tolerant, enlightened person. Every one you meet has their own story…and how beautiful it is to have the chance to hear those tales.

3) I’m grateful for the home that the Wee One and I live in, be it ever-so-humble. At the moment, it looks like a disaster zone as I’ve been painting and prepping for new flooring, but it’s ours, and it’s going to be great! The Wee One picked the wall color for the kitchen, and the accent stuff for the living room – so it’s a team effort. Yaa!! (I will post pictures when we’re done)


Day Three:

1) I’m grateful that I grew up in a small town, and I’m massively grateful that the small town was Lundar. I was truly raised by a village, from the lovely and patient Lil Johnson serving me gummi candies at the bakery, to Lloyd McLeod lovingly tying my skates for me at the rink. The entire town kept an eye on me, and helped form who I am today. Yes, it was sometimes annoying when the gossip about the stuff I did made it home from the bar to my mom before I did, but there’s nothing better than the AMAZING people of the community of Lundar. I’ve never seen community spirit and volunteerism like I did growing up, and there is so much of that town within me and the way I see the world…thank goodness for that! :-)

2) I’m grateful for my Grandpa, and his passionate belief in the value of an education. He told me when I was small that I needed to learn French, because it would ensure that I always had a job. He was right, as pretty much every job I’ve had since has been related in one way or another to French. He taught me to respect and value teachers – he and I used to visit his childhood teacher in the Care Home…and education has been my passion ever since. He made me believe that I could be whoever and whatever I wanted – what more beautiful gift to give a child? :-)

3) Finally, I’m grateful to every student I’ve ever had…and there are a bloody ton of you! Some of you had to suffer through me early in my career, when I didn’t have a hot clue what I was doing, and I was barely older than you. Others got me later, when I’d found my groove and figured out my way around the job. I can tell you with 100% certainty that I learned far more from each and every one of you than you ever learned from me. You inspired me to try harder, to be a better person, and to truly learn the meaning of patience and compassion. I have never forgotten a single one of you, and I never will. I love seeing you, hearing from you, and sharing in the joys and successes of your lives. I’m so very proud of all that you’ve become. :-) Very few things have been as rewarding in life as teaching you has been – you’ve made me feel like a superhero. All I need now is a damn cool cape! :-)


So…that’s it! Three things I’m grateful for for three days!! This was super-fun (thanks Mom)…I don’t want to challenge anyone in particular; instead, how about you all do me a favor and look around yourself, take stock of the great things you’ve got going on in your life, and count your blessings? I hope you’ll need a calculator. :-)



Back to School Again

Our students return to school tomorrow, and I am SO excited! Back to school time is overflowing with energy, with excitement, with possibility…opportunities are lurking behind every door, and how fantastic that we get to take them!  For our teachers, it’s a time to embrace the idea that you really are the superheroes of the world….all that’s missing is your cape. Not many people get to go to work every day and change lives – how very lucky you are. :-) For. Real.


Last week, our superintendent shared the following with us, and I couldn’t wait to pass it on to you – it’s beautiful. :-) It’s a letter from a teacher to their students – courtesy of C. Mielke – here goes:


First, you need to know right now that I care about you. In fact, I care about you more than you may care about yourself. And I care not just about your grades or your test scores, but about you as a person. And, because I care, I need to be honest with you. Do I have permission to be honest with you — both in what I say and how I say it?

Here’s the thing: I lose sleep because of you. Every week.

Before I tell you why, you should understand the truth about school. You see, the main event of school is not academic learning. It never has been. It never will be. And, if you find someone who is passionate in claiming that it is about academics, that person is lying to himself or herself and may genuinely believe that lie. Yes, algebra, essay writing, Spanish, the judicial process — all are important and worth knowing. But they are not the MAIN event.

The main event is learning how to deal with the harshness of life when it gets difficult — how to overcome problems as simple as a forgotten locker combination, to obnoxious peers, to gossip, to people doubting you, to asking for help in the face of self-doubt, to pushing yourself to concentrate when a million other thoughts and temptations are fingertips away.

It is your resilience in conquering the main event — adversity — that truly prepares you for life after school. Because, mark my words, school is not the most challenging time you will have in life. You will face far greater challenges than these. Sure, you will have times more amazing than you can imagine, but you will also confront incomparable tragedy, frustration, and fear in the years to come.

But, you shouldn’t be worried about the fact that you will face great adversities. You should be worried because you’re setting yourself up to fail at overcoming them. Here’s the real reason I lose hours of sleep worrying about you: You are failing the main event of school. You are quitting. You may not think you are quitting, but you are because quitting wears many masks.

For some, you quit by throwing the day away and not even trying to write a sentence or a fraction because you think it doesn’t matter or you can’t or there’s no point. But it does. What you write is not the main event. The fact that you do take charge of your own fear and doubt in order to write when you are challenged — THAT is the main event.

Some of you quit by skipping class on your free education. Being punctual to fit the mold of the classroom is not the main event of showing up. The main event is delaying your temptation and investing in your own intelligence — understanding that sometimes short-term pain creates long-term gain and that great people make sacrifices for a greater good.

For others, you quit by being rude and disrespectful to adults in the hallway who ask you to come to class. Bowing to authority is not the main event. The main event is learning how to problem solve maturely, not letting your judgement be tainted by the stains of emotion.

I see some of you quit by choosing not to take opportunities to work harder and pass a class, no matter how far down you are. The main event is not getting a number to tell you you are worthy. The main event is pulling your crap together and making hard choices and sacrifices when things seem impossible. It is finding hope in the hopeless, courage in the chasm, guts in the grave.

What you need to see is that every time you take the easy way out, you are building a habit of quitting. And it will destroy your future and it will annihilate your happiness if you let it. Our society cares nothing for quitters. Life will let you die alone, depressed, and poor if you can’t man or woman up enough to deal with hardship. You are either the muscle or the dirt. You either take resistance and grow stronger or blow in the wind and erode.

As long as you are in my life, I am not going to let quitting be easy for you. I am going to challenge you, confront you, push you, and coach you. You can whine. You can throw a tantrum. You can shout and swear and stomp and cry. And the next day, guess what? I will be here waiting — smiling and patient — to give you a fresh start. Because you are worth it.

So, do yourself a favor: Step up. No more excuses. No more justifications. No blaming. No quitting. Just pick your head up. Rip the cords out of your ears. Grab the frickin’ pencil and let’s do this.


Bloody brilliant, yes? I know. :-) It’s the perfect thing to think about on the eve of a new school year, but it’s also a pretty good philosophy about life in general – when you’re feeling overwhelmed and incapable and small….just grab the frickin’ pencil and let’s do this. Love. :-)

Now let’s have a great year! :-)