Tag: Living

Mother’s Day Gift Ideas

moms day

Another Mother’s Day is almost here! If your mother is still living, you are very fortunate (I know I am!). Many people who have lost their mothers always tell me “You’ll miss her when she’s gone, so show her now how much you love her.” Even if you had a dysfunctional relationship with your mother or if she wasn’t around at all, remember you wouldn’t be here without her. No matter how bad of a mother you may have had, your life was made possible because of her (and your father). And while most mother-daughter relationships can be rocky at times, all of us – son or daughter – should always choose to honor our mothers on Mother’s Day. Here are some gift ideas for this Mother’s Day:

Flowers – this is the #1 Mother’s Day gift (probably of all time). You can’t go wrong with a beautiful bouquet!

Jewelry – what woman doesn’t love jewelry?!

Fancy soaps & lotions – women always love to smell good!

Shoes – women collect shoes like men collect ties. We can never have too many shoes!

Cooking utensils / kitchenware – since most mothers spend more time in the kitchen than fathers do, cooking appliances are always needed.

Subscriptions – what does your mom like to do? Read magazines? Drink wine? Or is she a collector of sorts? Either way, getting a subscription will stretch out her Mother’s Day gifts for another 11 months.

A day off – instead of letting your mom cook, clean, drive or do anything else, give her the day off. Let her rest & you can pick up the slack.

A tablet – from the Nook to the iPad, new tablets are always coming out in the market. Now is the perfect time to upgrade your mom’s tablet.

Nice meal out – cooking for your mom is nice, but taking her out is even nicer. Take her to that special restaurant or high-end eatery so that she can enjoy an elegant dinner on your dime!

Quality time – as children get older, move out the house and start their own lives, moms tend to miss out on quality time. Take an hour or two (or the whole day if you can) to spend with mother doing whatever it is she wants.

Clothes – just like shoes, women can never have too many clothes! Shop till you drop for your mom!

Books – reading is never a bad thing. Whether it’s a self-help book, a romance novel or a great mystery, buying your mom a book would be a nice gift.

Something personalized – a personalized gift can be very meaningful. Whether it’s homemade, monogrammed or something sentimental, I’m sure your mom will love a personalized present from you!

Picture frame – what better to get than a picture of your mother’s children (that’s you!) in a beautiful picture frame?! Something that she can put on a mantle or in her office at work that she can show off will make your mom proud.

Makeup – Don’t you want your mom to look good?! I don’t know if men are fully aware, but makeup is NOT cheap! Whether your mom shops at her local department store, Sephora or orders from a specialty boutique online, buying making for your mom will save her a lot of dough.

Let me know in the comments section what you ended up getting for your mother this year –

April Is National Autism Awareness Month!

Join the Autism Society in getting involved with the autism community this April. April is National Autism Awareness Month (NAAM).

How is it celebrated?

What can I do?

Sample Materials

Put on the Puzzle! The Autism Awareness Puzzle Ribbon is the most recognized symbol of the autism community in the world. Autism prevalence is now one in every 68 children in America. Show your support for people with autism by wearing the Autism Awareness Puzzle Ribbon – as a pin on your shirt, a magnet on your car, a badge on your blog, or even your Facebook profile picture – and educate folks on the potential of people with autism! To learn more about the Autism Awareness Ribbon, click here. To purchase the Autism Awareness Puzzle Ribbon for your shirt, car, locker or refrigerator, click here.

Make a difference. Contact your representatives at the state and federal levels and ask them to “Vote 4 Autism.” For more information about this legislation and to take action to support it, visit http://www.autism-society.org/get-involved/vote-4-autism/.

Connect with your neighborhood. Many Autism Society local affiliates hold special events in their communities throughout the month of April. But if you can’t find an event that suits you just right, create your own!

Watch a movie. Did you know that something that seems as simple as going to the movies is not an option for many families affected by autism? The Autism Society is working with AMC Theatres to bring special-needs families Sensory Friendly Films every month.

For more information on resources available for individuals with autism and other developmental disabilities, their families, and caregivers, see:


2015 Was A Wash!


Last year is over & boy, am I glad! In my 30+ years of living, I must say that 2015 was not a banner year for me. While I have taken some very important strides in my life, it was definitely a forgettable year.

I haven’t been able to do some of the things that I originally planned to do this year – like start my podcast – but, I have grown my readership (thanks to you!) and have gotten more passionate about my writings. I haven’t blogged as much as I would’ve liked to because of the happenings in my personal life, but this year I will write as often as I can.

As for dating (because that’s what I love to write about), there hasn’t been too much going on. I have been on a few dates and have had lots of conversations about relationships with both men & women alike. I’ve met new men & reconnected with some ones from my past. While I didn’t meet my objective of getting married (or even engaged) last year, one thing is for sure – I continue to meet men! I think what makes my experience so unique is that I don’t like to waste anyone’s time dating nor do I chase any man. Believe me when I say that 2016 will be full of brand new dating experiences for me!

What about you? Is there anything you wish you had accomplished in 2015 that you didn’t? Or do you think that 2015 was one of your greatest years ever?! Sound off in the comments below –

10 Techniques To Help You Change Your Life


Making positive change is hard. Just how hard? So difficult that millions of Americans persist with terribly unhealthy behavior, facing ill health or serious financial difficulty as a result, rather than change their habits.

A challenge as difficult as changing your life for the better demands help and tools that are up to such a hard task–luckily, one Australian entrepreneur has a bumper crop of advice to offer. Nick Crocker is the founder of JoinSessions.com, a social fitness startup that helps people live healthier and more active lives that has been acquired by MyFitnessPal. In the process of starting this business, he’s had plenty of opportunities to learn what works when it comes to making positive change and what doesn’t.

At TEDx Darwin, he shared his personal struggles to improve his habits and his life, as well as the latest wisdom on how you can finally make those changes you’ve been promising yourself for years now. He boils it down to these 10 helpful techniques:

1. It’s easier to add a new behavior than stop an old one.

Cold turkey doesn’t work. Instead of trying to stop an old habit cold, if at all possible, try to arrange things to add a new, better behavior into the mix.

2. Make one change for a fixed time.

“Don’t overload your change muscle,” Crocker cautions those looking to make substantive changes. That means only making one adjustment at a time and shielding your brain from the terror of forever. Change for eternity is scary. Just tell yourself you’re aiming for six weeks instead. By that time, forever might sound more doable.

3. Take baby steps.

Stop setting yourself up to feel like a failure; swap out big goals for activities. So instead of saying, “I’m going to run a marathon,” go for, “I’m going to a run some distance–whatever I can manage–five times a week.” Phrase it the first way and you have months of not reaching your goal in front of you. Opt for the second and you’re gaining small victories from the start.

4. Create chains of success.

No. 4 follows directly on No. 3. Wins are self-reinforcing. The more you have, the less you’ll be inclined to mess up your streak. Crocker calls these “chains of success”–the longer they are, the harder they are to break.

5. Utilize triggers.

When you’re attempting to establish a behavior, your best bet is to link it to an already established habit. So if you want to get yourself to regularly floss your teeth, make brushing your teeth (which, it is hoped, you’ve already got down cold) the trigger–whenever you finish brushing, that’s the time to get out the floss.

6. Measure the change.

Sure, this can be a fancy app on your smartphone keeping track of your every step or calorie, but it can also be something as simple as an old-fashioned wall calendar with X’s through each day you’ve successfully made a change.

7. Never change alone.

“When you add someone else to the mix, you get encouragement, you get support, you get someone to pick you up when you’re down, and you get the added opportunity to pick someone else up when they’re down,” Crocker says. “Changing together makes it much easier.”

8. Don’t forget the sticks.

Science shows that we hate losing $100 about twice as much as we enjoy winning $100. Losing isn’t pleasant, but it is useful. Leverage this reality when you’re trying to make a tough change. Crocker used this wisdom on himself by giving a colleague five $50 bills. He told this colleague that if he ever noticed Crocker not tackling an unpleasant task that he had been avoiding between certain set hours, the colleague should burn one of the bills. Presto! Crocker never slacked off during those appointed times, despite his complete dislike of the job.

9. Change your environment.

You can do everything else on this list and you’ll still fail if you don’t take this bit of advice into account. Want to lose weight or make other positive changes in your life? Clear those cupboards of junk and spend less time with discouraging people.

10. Change takes patience.

Proper expectations are essential to making change. Don’t expect massive, instant improvement. It never works for anyone. All change is slow and incremental.

*Article originally published in Inc.

45 Life Lessons

1. Life isn’t fair, but it’s still good.

2. When in doubt, just take the next small step.

3. Life is too short – enjoy it.

4. Your job won’t take care of you when you are sick. Your friends and family will.

5. Pay off your credit cards every month.

6. You don’t have to win every argument. Stay true to yourself.

7. Cry with someone. It’s more healing than crying alone.

8. It’s OK to get angry with God. He can take it.

9. Save for retirement starting with your first pay check.

10. When it comes to chocolate, resistance is futile.

11. Make peace with your past so it won’t screw up the present.

12. It’s OK to let your children see you cry.

13. Don’t compare your life to others. You have no idea what their journey is all about.

14. If a relationship has to be a secret, you shouldn’t be in it.

15. Everything can change in the blink of an eye, but don’t worry, God never blinks.

16. Take a deep breath. It calms the mind.

17. Get rid of anything that isn’t useful. Clutter weighs you down in many ways.

18. Whatever doesn’t kill you really does make you stronger.

19. It’s never too late to be happy. But it’s all up to you and no one else.

20. When it comes to going after what you love in life, don’t take no for an answer.

21. Burn the candles, use the nice sheets, wear the fancy lingerie. Don’t save it for a special occasion. Today is special.

22. Over prepare, then go with the flow.

23. Be eccentric now. Don’t wait for old age to wear purple.

24. The most important sex organ is the brain.

25. No one is in charge of your happiness but you.

26. Frame every so-called disaster with these words ‘In five years, will this matter?’

27. Always choose life.

28. Forgive

29. What other people think of you is none of your business.

30. Time heals almost everything. Give time time.

31. However good or bad a situation is, it will change.

32. Don’t take yourself so seriously. No one else does.

33. Believe in miracles.

34. God loves you because of who God is, not because of anything you did or didn’t do.

35. Don’t audit life. Show up and make the most of it now.

36. Growing old beats the alternative of dying young.

37. Your children get only one childhood.

38. All that truly matters in the end is that you loved.

39. Get outside every day. Miracles are waiting everywhere.

40. If we all threw our problems in a pile and saw everyone else’s, we’d grab ours back.

41. Envy is a waste of time. Accept what you already have, not what you need

42. The best is yet to come…

43. No matter how you feel, get up, dress up and show up.

44. Yield.

45. Life isn’t tied with a bow, but it’s still a gift.

Life Lessons

*Composed by Regina Brett (Cleveland, OH)

Get The Hell Out Of Here!

June is National Outdoors Month (insert applause here)! It is a special time to celebrate America’s Great Outdoors. National leaders for years have issued proclamations recognizing this month as Great Outdoors Month, a time when America celebrates its natural treasures. This recognition highlights the benefits of active fun outdoors in our magnificent shared resources of forests, parks, refuges, and other public lands and waters. Proclamations generate widespread media attention, encouraging millions of American families to move outside, and prompting public discussion of important issues linked to outdoor recreation including volunteerism, health, and outdoor ethics.

A truly American idea, the State and National Parks of this country represent our natural heritage. North and south, east and west, they stretch from the edges of our maps to the hearts of our cities, covering nearly one-third of this nation. This June, celebrate the natural wonder and outdoor spirit of America by getting outside during Great Outdoors Month. Once you come outside, you’ll never want to go back inside. Click here to read more about Great Outdoors Month 2014.

‘National Get Outdoors Day’ prepares for its 7th exciting year!Participants from federal agencies, nonprofit organizations and the recreation industry are again teaming up to host the 7th annual National Get Outdoors Day (GO Day) to encourage healthy, active outdoor fun at sites across the nation. On Saturday, June 14, 2014, these diverse partners will offer opportunities for American families to experience traditional and non-traditional types of outdoor activities. Prime goals of the day are reaching currently underserved populations and first-time visitors to public lands, and reconnecting our youth to the great outdoors. Each GO Day event will offer a mix of information centers and “active fun” areas – places where guests, and especially kids, can use a fishing pole, go geocaching, help pitch a tent and more. The sites will provide photo opportunities with characters like Smokey Bear, Woodsy Owl and other interesting creatures. Many sites also feature areas that focus on other aspects of healthy living, including sustainability and good nutrition. In addition to the GO Day events, participants will be invited to nearby follow-up activities called EchO events occurring throughout the summer, which include introductions to mountain biking and fly-fishing, hikes with rangers to see wildlife, kayaking and rafting and much more. The pilot effort of National Get Outdoors Day was launched on June 14, 2008. Building on the success of More Kids in the Woods and other important efforts to connect Americans – and especially children – with nature and active lifestyles, the USDA Forest Service (FS) and the American Recreation Coalition (ARC) agreed to lead an inclusive, nationwide effort focusing on a single day when people would be inspired and motivated to get outdoors. GO Day partnered with federal, state and local agencies, key enthusiast organizations and recreation businesses to create a healthy, fun day of outdoor adventure aimed at reaching first-time visitors to public lands and reconnecting children to the outdoors. Last year, 138 official GO Day sites across the nation welcomed thousands of new faces to the joy and benefits of the great outdoors. GO Day is an outgrowth of the Get Outdoors USA! campaign, which encourages Americans, especially our youth, to seek out healthy, active outdoor lives and embrace our parks, forests, refuges and other public lands and waters. For more information go to National Get Outdoors Day.

So get up & get out this month!



To learn about National Outdoors Month visit:

American Trails
Fun Outdoors
Get Outdoors USA
American’s Great Outdoors

In Our Hearts Forever, Dr. Maya Angelou (1928-2014)

Still I Rise

You may write me down in history
With your bitter, twisted lies,
You may trod me in the very dirt
But still, like dust, I’ll rise.

Does my sassiness upset you?
Why are you beset with gloom?
‘Cause I walk like I’ve got oil wells
Pumping in my living room.

Just like moons and like suns,
With the certainty of tides,
Just like hopes springing high,
Still I’ll rise.

Did you want to see me broken?
Bowed head and lowered eyes?
Shoulders falling down like teardrops,
Weakened by my soulful cries?

Does my haughtiness offend you?
Don’t you take it awful hard
‘Cause I laugh like I’ve got gold mines
Diggin’ in my own backyard.

You may shoot me with your words,
You may cut me with your eyes,
You may kill me with your hatefulness,
But still, like air, I’ll rise.

Does my sexiness upset you?
Does it come as a surprise
That I dance like I’ve got diamonds
At the meeting of my thighs?

Out of the huts of history’s shame
I rise
Up from a past that’s rooted in pain
I rise
I’m a black ocean, leaping and wide,
Welling and swelling I bear in the tide.

Leaving behind nights of terror and fear
I rise
Into a daybreak that’s wondrously clear
I rise
Bringing the gifts that my ancestors gave,
I am the dream and the hope of the slave.
I rise
I rise
I rise.