What to do when you have a kid-free night?!

Blogger: Michael Strange – “The No Filter Father”

So, we just got past Valentine’s Day. Another corporate holiday where we exchange $8 cards that our loved ones spent 6.8 seconds reading, because they we’re pissed that no money (or the lazy man’s thoughtless gift…the gift card) fell out when they opened the card.  Seriously that’s almost like saying to the person, “well I did spend five fucking minutes at CVS staring at all the gift card options. so I really do care”.   A gift card also says, “I don’t know what the fuck you like, so here’s a gift card so you can go buy it yourself”. The gift card is equivalent to when you bought your loved one a shitty romcom dvd in the 90’s that you pulled out of the $5.99 or less box, at Blockbuster.  But you quickly realized that it was a bad idea, because she made you sit through 90-minutes of Jennifer Lopez or Meg Ryan’s horrible acting.

And why is there “special” candy/chocolate for every fucking holiday? Think about this, in a span of a little more than 100 days you have Halloween, Thanksgiving, Christmas, New Years and Valentine’s Day. No wonder we all move around like emperor penguins in March. We ate so much garbage for three months that our waistline increased two inches and we have to waddle around. I’m waiting for the chocolate companies to come out with Lincoln and Washington chocolate faces for Presidents’ Day. Enough already. But at least for St. Patrick’s Day, I get to have beer.

My wife was on a one-day business trip for Valentine’s Day. I think she planned this on purpose, and I don’t blame her.  I spent the day with my son Cameron, debating which Kardashian I should cheat on her with, and which one would make the best stepmother (Cameron said Kim because we would have access to all Yeezy clothes, but I went with Kourtney, she seems like a better mom, and she doesn’t have any sex tapes out yet, so I won’t be embarrassed by her).

In most relationships, when you have children, you start to have less and less alone time or date nights. You can’t get a sitter, grandparents live too far away, or they are sick of the kids by now. But when you do have that night or time, what do you do? How do you bring spark back into a relationship? It doesn’t always have to be a weekend getaway, or champagne and chocolate covered strawberries. A fancy dinner, a new car, golf clubs… these things are all great, and most wives or partners should be getting their husbands or loved ones them on a yearly basis.

I recently had a simple night out that my wife and I enjoyed every second of.  My wife gets mad at me all the time when we are out in public. She says I’m always looking at my phone, scratching several body parts at the same time, or I have my hands moving around in my pants pockets for an extended period. But like most well trained dogs, I know when to behave. A few months ago my in-laws were in town (they live on the left coast), they were kind enough to watch the kids for a few nights and that allowed us to spend some quality time together. One evening we went for Korean BBQ in Stamford, I highly recommend it. It was my choice. Another one of those amazing evenings, my wife wanted to do something more romantic, she wanted to go to Home Goods.

julI agreed to go, and  I immediately washed my hands and trimmed my nails. But I realized that this was our night out so I left my phone behind. I knew my wife wanted to get some decor for the house, plus I figured that if we got it all done tonight I wouldn’t have to go again for awhile. So I helped pick things out, I even let her hold hands with me in the store.  I gave my three cents on things she wanted to buy (the extra cent is for extra sarcasm).  We had a great time (she won’t admit it but she always has a great time).  Sometimes when you least expect it and do the simplest thing in a relationship, it can bring you so much closer.  So the next time you have a free day/night, think about something so simple that you can do together: take a drive together, look up an obscure place on The Food Network’s “Diner, Dives and Drive Ins”, and go there. It’ll be a day to remember.

Alright. That’s enough of the sappy bullshit. Here are some notes:

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1. Whenever I go to a store, and someone working there has a name tag on, I always call them by their name and thank them by their name. I think it is polite. I usually say their name several times during the transaction. But these days it can be tough, because these millennials have weird names and I can’t pronounce them. And a few times I have been harshly corrected by them.  One said to me: “Velutina…it’s a type of butterfly from South America, how do you not know this?!?!”.  But the other day the gentleman that was helping me was named Dick. He was big and could kick my ass. What do you do? I’m not going to be like “Hey DicK…”How are you dick?”…”Wanna double bag that one, Dick?”.  Needless to say, I just called him Sir.

2. I applied to be on the TV show match game. I love the show, always have. How the fuck could you not like a show with Charles Nelson Reilly on it? They liked my application and called to interview me.  Being that I was not in the greater Los Angeles area, they said “no thank you”. Apparently they didn’t pay for travel. I feel so violated. Damn you, Alec Baldwin #metoo.

3. The Oscars are this week. I love Hollywood, and how they help with social issues for the common person. Last year was the big post Harvey Weinstein movement, and they decided to give an Oscar to Kobe Bryant!! Seriously??? What’s next, a posthumous humanitarian award to Pol Pot? Hollywood wants to tell us about gun control, meanwhile, almost every movie there is violence. Or gender pay equality, when Gwyneth Paltrow makes 10m for a eight-week movie shoot and says it’s harder to be a working mom, than it is to be a 9-5 mom. In short, it is sad that athletes and entertainers have an influence on how we think as a society.

4. Little history fact: when Harry Truman was preparing for his State of The Union Address in 1947, the biggest concerns he had was addressing health care, and how to take care of the growing number of elderly people in the country. Seventy plus years later, these are still two hot topics in this country, and sadly they look to be a bigger problem going forward.

5. My birthday is in March. I look forward to my birthday, always have. But now that my kids are older, I get to spend the day with them, covered in hugs.  They love helping me blow out the candles on the cake. It really is special. And I hope one day, when they are older, and have money of their own, I hope they actually buy me something that I WANT!!!!!!!

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micwithtag
Native New Yorker, now living in Connecticut. Husband, and father of two amazing boys. Kidney transplant recipient, and a big supporter of organ donation #donatelife. Mortgage banker, but not by choice. In my free time, I enjoy golf, reading (especially presidential biographies), and finding that hole in the wall restaurant that has great food.

You’re Not Stuck, You’re Just…Stuck

Blogger: Julie Slater – “The Lotus Flower”

Be careful out there, guys. There seems to be a virus going around. I’ve been talking with friends and family, and I’m guessing it’s contagious cuz it’s widespread. From what I hear, it’s plagued people here on the West Coast, East Coast, down South, and even as far away as the Congo. It can cause anxiety, sweating, insomnia, depression, binge eating, irritability, and sometimes a rash. It’s called:

Acute Stuckametriosis (ə-ˈkyüt ˈstək-ah-mē-trē-ˈō-səs)

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It’s defined as: “a constant sensation of feeling STUCK in a particular place in life without any sign of getting out.” I did some WebMD-ing at 4am last night (ALWAYS a great idea), and it’s worse than I thought. If left untreated, acute stuckametriosis can last weeks, months, years, or even decades! It can travel deep inside your brain, too – leading you to believe that whatever is happening to you, right now, will never change and you will be left to deal with this whatever for the rest of your life. They call this thinking: “Delusional Stuckamediocrity” (di-​ˈlüzh-​nəl ˈstək-ah-mē-dē-ˈä-krə-tē).  And no part of your life is safe. It can strike your career, love life, finances, family, creative endeavors, or (gasp!) all of these things.  It can be debilitating.

But there’s hope. Doctors have been working on a cure and they’ve seen some amazing progress with this simple prescription:

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Some preliminary studies have shown, patients who “Keep Moving” every day, not only can get out of being stuck, they can possibly avoid the virus and its complications in the future.  😉

You’re asking yourself, “Is it really that easy? Just ‘Keep Moving?’ Come on!” Well, my Feelers, it is that easy. But you must believe it. You have to tell yourself that you CAN get your feet out of that hardened cement. Or out of bed, for that matter. Even if it’s the tiniest movement each day.

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In marathon training, they don’t tell you to focus on 26.2 miles. They simply say, “Put one foot in front of the other.” And in each moment of that race, it is literally about that next step. Nothing else. You just need to make it to the next step. And then repeat. And repeat. Because focusing on the big picture can overwhelm you and bring on the big freeze – or a real heavy muscle spasm.

Trust me, I’ve been hit with acute stuckametriosis time and time again. I’m sitting here right now feeling a little itch with my career. I’ve been a radio DJ my entire life and I’ve been pursuing a career outside of that immediate realm and it hasn’t been easy. It’s been really, really hard. Some interesting things have developed (which I’m grateful for) and some other things have fallen flat on their face (splat!). But I do know that every single day – I’m moving. Some days I get two steps ahead. Some days – it’s a half step back. But I’m moving. And with constant movement comes impermanence (things can no longer stay stuck).  I definitely get a sense that I’m getting closer to what I want. Each opportunity I’m coming across is better than the last. And when I do hit that beautiful YES I’m looking for, it’s going to make all of these ugly NOs worth it.

It takes courage and stamina to keep moving. But it’s also the only way to grow. When a tornado comes, you CAN sit in it for a minute – that’s actually encouraged. But then you have to get up and move with it. Be the river, not the rock. The only way out is through.

I’ve also found wine helps.

Namaste.


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Julie Slater, aka THE LOTUS FLOWER, looooves music. Besides being a rabid fan and musician, you may recognize her voice. She’s a voiceover artist and audiobook narrator (www.julieslater.com). She’s DJ’d on top stations: 88.5 FM and 100.3 the Sound in LA and 92.3 K-Rock in NYC following Howard Stern.

When she’s not at concerts, you can usually find her meditating or in the kitchen. She has a slight obsession with deep, dark cabernets & small batch whiskey. Namaste!

Finding Humor In Embarrassing Moments

Blogger: Debbie Arace – “Ray of Sunshine, Hope & Laughter”

I thought I’d switch it up a bit in this month’s blog by using my humorous approach to the situations I find myself in.  There are two keys that are essential on my key ring for life.  They are labeled: faith and humor.  Faith gives me comfort in life, and humor lessens the blows of life.  I never know where or when I may need them, so I carry them with me wherever I go.  They are like my American Express Card.  I never leave home without them.

One thing I’ve learned is that laughter has an incredible healing component.  Something takes place within that allows us to switch gears and soothe ourselves through the gift of laughter.  This is extremely helpful when you find yourself in potentially mortifying scenarios.

Warning: The content below is for entertainment purposes only.  The writer is not responsible for any mental images reader may have conjured up through their own vivid imaginations.  Anyone who thinks it’s TMI clearly has never read 50 Shades of Grey.

I think I’ll call this 50 Shades of Red (for embarrassment).

We’ve all had embarrassing moments in life when we just wanted to crawl under a rock and die.  Here are some of mine.  Believe it or not, most of them have to do with panties or lack thereof.  Enjoy and have a hearty laugh on me.

My first major embarrassing moment literally took me down.  I was around 21 at the time.  I had been in the shower when I heard the sound of the UPS truck.  Back then you had to sign for your packages or wait until another delivery attempt was made.  I was not waiting.  I rushed out of the shower, grabbed my silk floor length robe, zipped it up and ran for the door.  I lived on the second floor so I had a full flight of stairs to go down.  I could see the UPS guy standing behind the locked glass door smiling up at me.  As I started down the steps my foot got stuck in my robe. My eyes immediately locked with my UPS man’s eyes. I could see the concern on his face as he helplessly watched through the locked glass door my less than graceful decent.  Because my robe was silk and my body was wet I slid most of the way.  One by one, I went down on my butt and inch by inch, my robe made its way up my leg.  Never losing eye contact with this guy, I watched as his concern turned to horror, to shock, to holy crap, to I want to crack up but I can’t. Finally, my descent was complete and there I was robe up to my waist, legs wide open as though I were about to give birth.  Full commando.  Not knowing how to handle this intimate moment, I unlocked the door and found myself saying “special delivery”.  I’ll never forget the look on his face, as he handed me the package and bolted out of there.  I’m sure I was the topic of conversation around the UPS staff for a long time.  I only hope that he’s since recovered from any PTSD (post-traumatic stress disorder) that may have occurred.

My next three embarrassing moments have to do with elastic.   I have a very ugly streak that is predominantly reserved for my hubby.  If things don’t go according to my plan, I go into ugly-mode where I rant, rave and use my truck driver’s mouth.  I don’t remember what caused me to unleash the beast but I did.  I now lived on the third floor of a house so I began my ranting in my apartment, continued down the two flights of stairs and out onto the streets.  I was stomping my way to the car, holding each of my kids by the hand, cursing up a storm.  Suddenly I felt something falling under my skirt.  The elastic had broken on my undies.  Not able to pull them up quick enough, and not wanting to lose my anger momentum, I decided to act fast.  I bent over, stepped out of them and swooped those suckers up without missing a beat of my rant.  Little did I know that I had an audience.   A few of the neighborhood “guys” were hanging out in front of the local Italian Club.  They were watching, and laughing at my whole tirade and it’s aftermath.  I’m not sure what amused them more my ranting, my bending over in a short skirt (once again unintentionally commando) or my capability to drop my draws, step out of them and proceed to yell, as though this embarrassing moment never phased me.  I think I heard one of them say:  “Don’t mess with her”.   If I were a male I think it’s safe to say that I would have earned my way to being a “made man”.

After that, I took all the necessary precautions to never drop my draws in public again.  I made sure elastic was intact.  In addition, I put pantyhose over panties topped by another pair of panties just in case the hose decided to ride down.  (I know, dumb idea, what about the top pair.  I wasn’t thinking top pair.  I was thinking no more winding up commando).   As far as I was concerned, I was well protected.  That is until I lost my g-string in church.

As I was getting secured for church, I noticed I was out of undies except for a Kelly green g-string that was part of a negligee set that my mother gave me as a gift.  I decided to put those on top of my pantyhose.  Little did I know that satin on top of nylon was not a good idea.  Being in church, there was a lot of up and down movement.  Each time I stood up I could feel something slipping down under my dress. As I stood moments before Communion, I felt the g-string at my knees.  Dear God, please, not here, not now,  what am I gonna do?  I decided to forego Communion and sit down.  I knew inquisitive eyes might wonder what I had done that made me refrain from Communion but at that point, I’d rather be judged than mortified.  Even my husband gave me a puzzled look.  I sat for the rest of the Mass and waited for it to clear out so I could remove my panties from around my knees.  Talk about baring yourself before God.  I was about to bare more than my soul.  lol. I turned around to see if the coast was clear and as luck would have it some people decided to stay and pray a while longer.  What was wrong with them?  I had a situation here that needed to be addressed.  How dare they pray when I had a g-string to remove.  My husband wanted to leave because he had to go to work.  If I stood up the people behind me would see my panties fall.  If I knelt down they might see under the pews what I was doing.  I opted to kneel and remove them.  I reached down and swooped them up in the palm of my hand.  A church friend of mine had been sitting behind me watching, wondering what was happening.  She came up to me and jokingly asked what mortal sin I committed that prevented me from receiving communion.   I slowly opened my hand to expose what I had inside.  “Is that a g -string”, she asked.  “Why yes, yes it is”, I replied.  I’m not quite sure what shocked her more the fact that I had been wearing a g-string or that I was able to gracefully accept this humiliating scenario.

My final embarrassing undie story has to do with being commando again.  I was alone at home, fresh out of the shower when I remembered I had forgotten to do something downstairs.  I grabbed my robe and made my way down the steps.  I had left a magazine on the second to last step and slid on it.  Down I went.  My right leg was stuck under my butt.  I carefully pulled it out from under and noticed that my foot was hanging off to the right.  I immediately went into humor mode by quoting a tv commercial that was popular at the time.  I started to laugh and say:  “I’ve fallen and I can’t get up”.   My only solution was to crawl into the other room on my butt without doing any more damage to my ankle, and reach up the wall for the phone.   Back then we had wall phones.  Lucky for me mine had a long cord so I was able to yank it off the wall.  Also lucky for me, the buttons were on the handset.  I called my husband to come home.  He was concerned that I needed immediate attention so he told me to call an ambulance.  I said I’d wait for him to come.  He called his parents and they rushed right over.  I had to now crawl from one end of the house to the other, with my foot hanging off.  I reached for the deadbolt and unlocked the door.  In walked Caterina and Veeduche, The Italian version of Archie and Edith Bunker.  Veeduche, being a butcher, took one look at my ankle and said:  “The situation itsa critical,  you breaka da bones”.  Caterina looked at me and said:  “Whya me, Kay cotts, whata you do, praya Jesus”.    My father-in-law said: “we gotta calla da ambulenca”.  I told my mother-in-law I needed to put on a pair of panties.  “Eh, why you no weara da panties when’s you fella yourself down”.  (I no weara da panties because I no no Ima gonna fella myself and have to explain to anyone why I no haves dem on.  that’s why). I asked Caterina to go upstairs and get them.  Big mistake.  Huge.  In more ways than one.  She goes up and all of a sudden I hear her say:  “Whya me, my poor son”.  I crawled back over to the steps, (I was good at it by now) looked up and saw her little Italian-self holding a pair of stretched out, worn out bloomers that she had found in the back of the drawer.  She was holding them out from one wall to the other (about a 3 1/2 feet wide.radius).  Of all the sexy panties I had, she decided to pick the bloomers that I use to stuff in tight shoes.  Here I am with a dangling foot and she’s concerned about my undies affect on her son.  What the…   I sent her back for the other ones and she said: “Thatsa better for my son”.  Good, I’ll make sure he wears them next week.  lol

My mile wide undies were only the beginning of my mortifying broken ankle experience.  I had torn and shredded all the ligaments in my right ankle on one side and broken the bone on the other side in two.  The doctors had to put Humpty Dumpty back together again with nuts, bolts, plates, and stitches.  I was not allowed to put pressure of any kind on my ankle what so ever.  I’d be in a hard cast that extended a little past my knee for a minimum of six weeks.  Great.  I now lived in a two-floor duplex.  I couldn’t go back there in my condition, so I decided to stay at my mother’s apartment because it was all one floor.  I had forgotten that there were two sets of steps I’d have to get up to get into her apartment.  How the heck was I gonna get into the building?  My mother and my husband couldn’t carry me up, and I didn’t know how to maneuver around.  My mother decides to go get her dining room chair and wait for passerby’s to help carry me up the stairs.  There I am, sitting on a dining room chair, right leg extended out, on the sidewalk of the Main Street in town.  Two strong men who took pity on me volunteered their services.  As if being carried up the steps on a dining room chair by total strangers wasn’t enough, it was being done on the Main Street of a small town where I could be recognized.  Recognized I was.  Horns began to honk, people were waving and calling out my name.  Me being mortified is an understatement.  I had to think fast.  When in Rome, do as the Romans do.  I went into queen-mode. I held my head high, raised my hand and gave anyone watching the royal queens wave.  (Not the finger, the actual slow wave). If I was gonna be humiliated I was doing it with class.

I survived getting into the apartment, but a couple of weeks later I had to leave to go get my ankle checked.  I didn’t know how I was gonna get to the doctors, so I decided to call an ambulette service.  I forgot to mention that I am a full figured woman.  At that point in time, this figure was at its fullest.  The reason I mention this is because when the ambulette arrived my mother came into her living room shaking her head from side to side.  She was followed by a tiny Asian man and his even smaller teenage son.  My right leg weighed more than the two of them put together.  They took one look at me and said uh, uh.  Then the father said it’s okay, I call for help.  He assures me help is on the way.  I figure he’s got some strong men on the way.  I figure wrong.  Help was his 4ft nothing petite little wife and his 80-year-old father who looked as though he was about to keel over.  They begin chatting in their native language and proceed to carry me down the steps in a wheelchair backwoods head first.  All I can see is the ceiling and all I can feel besides mortified is the back of my head hitting the steps one by one.  I pray to God that they don’t lose their grip.  I also pray that I don’t slip out of a chair that I’m not harnessed in. We all make it down the steps and out the door.  I am now sitting in the courtyard looking at the next flight of steps that lead to the main Street.  I am envisioning how I’m going to get through this one.  I can’t give the queens wave while I’m hanging head first in a wheelchair.  Not to worry.  They weren’t taking me down that way.  In fact, they weren’t taking me down at all.  They got in their van and sped away. At first, I thought they left to go get a stretcher to lay me on. Nope.  They dumped me.  There I sat, stranded in the courtyard.  Traumatized possibly for life.

With no way up and no way to the doctor, my mother decides to call 911.  The police arrive and they’re trying not to laugh at the predicament I’m in.  They call the fire department, the fire department calls EMS, EMS calls enforcement.  Two large strong, African American gentlemen arrive in one truck, and a slight gentlemen arrives in another.  The two strong guys let the slight guy know that they got this. They carried me to the ambulance as though I were as light as a feather.  Off I went to the doctor.  Now I have to get back to the apartment but at least I have the two Hercules guys.  No worries.  No more humiliation.  Right?  Wrong!  Outside, waiting for me stood the lone, slight man.  I asked where the two Hercules were and he informed me they were on another call.  Trying not to offend him I mentioned that I didn’t think he could man this task on his own.  I asked how he was planning to get up into the van.  He said he had an electric lift.  Wonderful.  How’s that lift getting me back into the apartment?  He lets me know he has back up waiting for my arrival outside the building.  Back up indeed.  There were ambulances, police cars, I think a crane and maybe even a helicopter.  The only thing missing was The Eyewitness News Van. As we pulled in front of the building an entourage of men surrounded me and proceeded to hoist me up like a baby grand piano and carry me up the two sets of steps were I was gingerly placed.  It was a most memorable day in the life of me.

If it wasn’t for my great sense of humor and my ability to laugh at myself, I think I would have died.  Being able to laugh at yourself softens the blow, and turns the most embarrassing moments into some of the best laugh out loud stories.  It allows you to have control over situations that are out of your control.

Hopefully, I have just made you laugh a little.  Maybe even taken the edge off of your own embarrassing moments.  Feel free to think of me next time you find yourself in an awkward situation.  Humor really is a magical thing.❤😉


bippic2019

Married 44 years to my hubby whose purpose in life is to prevent me from getting through the “Pearly Gates”.  Mother of two, Nanna of four loving granddaughters and retired secretary aka administrative assistant.  I went to the University of Hard Knocks where I received my Doctorate.  My thesis is titled:  How To Survive Life’s Trials Without Killing Yourself or Someone Else.  I live by the belief that when life throws you a curve, learn from it rather than use it against yourself.  Faith and humor are my survival kit.  Appreciate the simple things for they are the true treasures of life.

Stop and Smell The Singleness

 

Guest Blogger: Jacinta Chloe – Self Love Expert

Love is in the air people! Romantic Flowers, chocolate covered strawberries, sexy lingerie and heart-shaped everything (literally EVERYTHING)!   

And then there’s YOU…

With Valentine’s day approaching you are probably becoming more and more aware of the teeny tiny little fact that you are SINGLE.

And now you are probably becoming more and more aware of that empty gnawing feeling called loneliness. Ahh, loneliness. I used to know you too well! OR that it’s been months since someone has touched you in an intimate way. UNLESS you are counting that steamy handshake you had last week in Sprouts. Wait… Nope, that doesn’t count!

Just for a moment, I want you to forget all of that! Forget that you are single. Forget that you feel lonely! Forget about that sexy hand touching in the produce section… Or don’t ;).

My hope is that by the end of reading this you have a completely new view of Valentine’s day and being single. A Life shattering different point of view. The sun is out, frolicking in a meadow, rainbows in the sky kind of feeling if you will.

What comes to your mind when you think about love?

Maybe something along the lines of cuddling, romantic kisses, long conversations, hand holding, Saturday night dates, someone to wake up next to, someone to make love with, someone to laugh with, someone you have a deep connection with, someone you plan your life with and someone you dream with.

Sounds lovely, right?

Let’s take a deeper look into the inner workings of human emotion and intimate relationships.

How do you FEEL when you are with someone you love? If you’ve never been in love, how do you think you would feel or want to feel?

What’s the draw of even being in a relationship anyway?

I don’t know about you but I know how I desire to feel in a healthy relationship.

Connected, safe, needed, a priority, wanted, secure, beautiful, sexy, admired, respected, desired, looked up to, trusted and loved.

Those are some pretty fucking great feelings, right?

The issue here is that most people go searching for relationships when they themselves are currently lacking these feelings internally.

They don’t feel connected. They don’t make themselves a priority. They don’t respect themselves. They don’t trust themselves. They don’t feel secure. They don’t feel safe. They don’t look up to themselves. They don’t feel attractive.

And the biggest one, they don’t love themselves.

So what happens if this said person lacking all of these things gets into a relationship?

Well, let’s just say… It could be a Jerry Springer episode in the making. Haha well, that’s a bit of an extreme BUT what will happen is a lot of stress, unhappiness, emotional hurt, and likely abuse.

When we go into a relationship without first giving ourselves respect, trust, connection, security, love etc. then we are going into a relationship basically starving.

Here’s a little visual example for you:  

Let’s say you were my Cat Mr. Storm (Yes that was his name =]). He had a slight food addiction problem due to only having food as company when he was a kitten, so he too was emotionally empty and lacking self-love. So anyway, he seemed to think that he was always starving. He was greedy with the food, and the other cats were pushed to the side so he could have more food.  But the other cats needed food too because well… they need food to survive! That’s how the body works.

So because Mr. Storm was “starving”, the other cats’ needs were pushed to the side and they “suffered”. (Not literally. Of course, we fed all of our cats).

And before you start thinking “wow she’s a crazy cat lady” (I’m not by the way), I’m actually allergic to cats and they were my mom’s. So now that we are clear on THAT.

If you are lacking any of those things that you NEED for human survival and the potential to thrive in life (respect, connection, love etc.) then you will ALWAYS try to find ways to get them in other places. Such as in a relationship. You will ALWAYS try to get them from the other person if you aren’t giving them to yourself.

But I want you to understand this. It is NOT another person’s job to give you the love that you should be giving yourself.

You are going into a relationship with an empty cup that you desperately want to be full. So you take… take…take from your partner so you can feel whole.

But your partner is human too and they have needs. They don’t have the time (or the responsibility) to fill up your completely empty cup. That would be like a very horrible, draining fulltime job. And relationships are supposed to be pleasurable not draining.

Just for fun lets add in another component. You attract what you put out energetically into the world. It’s science people, not something woo woo. Not too woo woo at least.

So, if you feel unworthy, unattractive, unhappy, unloved, lonely, or insecure then you are emitting negative energy that will draw similar energy to you.  Meaning that your emotional unhealth will draw other unhealthy people into your life. So you have two very unhealthy people with empty cups who are desperately trying to fill their cups from each other’s empty cups.

Wow, that was confusing! The end result? Two very empty cups and a shit storm of misery.

Listen, if you want to be in an amazing, healthy relationship with a high-quality person then YOU first have to be that person.

Do the work on yourself. Process through all that shit from your childhood that you’ve been avoiding. Put yourself first. Love every inch and every ounce of who you are!

Love yourself by setting boundaries, knowing what you want and deserve, not allowing shitty relationships into your life, taking care of your body, pursuing your dreams, and never settling.

Be joyful! Start living rather than just existing and start NOW.

Take yourself out on dates. Start treating yourself the way you want a partner to treat you. Start giving yourself EVERYTHING you are hoping to get from a relationship!

Today is a lovely day to be single!

And you know what? When you fully and completely love who you are, when you are sexy and know it, when you are truly fulfilled, when you are the best version of yourself, when you’ve done the hard work on yourself, when you are actually living…something amazing happens.

You start ATTRACTING incredible, mind-blowing relationships into your life. That soulmate that you’ve been walking upstream trying to find is suddenly standing there right in front of you. But it’s not just ONE. There are thousands of other sexy soulmates right in front of you because that’s how fucking amazing, and powerful your positive energy is.

So this Valentine’s day don’t pay any attention to the flowers, chocolate, lingerie, or the lack of a partner.  Pay attention to YOU. Bask in the marvelous feeling that you are single because you are CHOOSING to be single.

Stay single so you can love yourself enough to not settle for anything less than what you deserve.  Take this time to truly get to know yourself. Learn what you like and don’t like. Figure out your dreams and goals. Dream big and plan big. Know EXACTLY what you want in every area of your life including a partner.

If you are looking for a sign then this is it.

It is time to fucking love YOU! Right NOW. Get to it.


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Jacinta Chole is a Self-Love Coach for women and the founder of the 8-week transformational program Free To First Love Yourself.

Growing up being sexually abused by multiple men, and being raised in a spiritually abusive environment, really caused her to feel like an empty shell of herself. She struggled with severe depression, social anxiety, insecurities, a lack of confidence, and debilitating PTSD. After decades of counseling with little relief, she took her emotional healing and life into her own hands! What she discovered was that when she dealt with her past trauma and lack of self-love, reprogrammed her subconscious self-limiting beliefs, and reconnected to her inner-being, that something amazing happened. She actually started living, rather than just existing. Her insecurities were replaced with confidence. Her depression was replaced with joy and fulfillment. Her entrapment was replaced with freedom. Her social anxiety was replaced with healthy relationships. And most importantly, her self-hatred was replaced with an unconditional love on the deepest spiritual level.

Now, she is extremely passionate about empowering women to go through this same life-changing transition that she did. The journey to self-love and reconnecting to the mind, body, and spirit.

To follow Jacinta, check out the links below:

Instagram: JacintaCholeCoaching

Facebook: Jacinta Chole – Self Love Expert & Coach

Jacinta’s 8-week Self Love Course: Free to First Love Yourself Course

Dysfunctionally Functional

Blogger: Anastasia Meininger, “Offbeat Rhythms”

You know what’s funny? I always seem to get writer’s block, maybe it is because I always tell myself I don’t have a “story,” or that my life isn’t this fascinating journey that people want to read about. However, I realized that my life, and yours too, is made up of other people’s stories. Your family, your friends, and even those people you don’t necessarily find too appealing are all compiled into your story.
I did not fully realize this until this year when I finally found a group of people I really feel a part of. Don’t get me wrong, I have always had lots of friends.  I have my best friend who lives in Connecticut, my overprotective guy best friends, dance friends, friends who I have known and loved my whole life who are now seniors in high school, my musically talented Friday-shabbat-dinner-friend, my best friend who happens to be a twin, one friend who always likes to “spill the tea” with me, friends from this group and that group, plus more. No, I am not trying to have an “everyone loves me” fest, but I truly have always been friends with everyone. Despite this, I never felt like I fit in with a specific group, I always had separate groups, and me being the person I am, always tried to include everyone, but being the bridge between groups never seemed to fully work.
This year, however, things have changed. It’s my junior year of high school, and I take physics this year. Naturally, as most 21st century students do, a group chat was made for students who have our physics teacher 1st or 3rd period. This group of people is not one you would think could mix, most of us were not friends, and had never even really thought of befriending each other.  However, something about this chat made us all click. As I like to think, we are dysfunctionally functional. I know what you are thinking, “a group chat really has this much significance?” Yes, actually, it does. It’s more like a place, a realm, and almost like a black hole in that you can never leave, but in the best way possible. We even had “beef” with another class group chat because as someone once texted, “They are just jealous of our bonds and friendships as a class of ppl who you would never think would hang out together.”  But we do, we had a Friendsgiving, a Friendsmas, went to the movies, ice skating, play various sports together on the weekends, watched the Super Bowl together and more.
There has never been a day that we have not texted in this chat.  Every day it’s filled with memes and videos, anecdotes of our lives, random emojis, and weird new sayings, but rarely any physics. It is a slew of emphasizing, loving, and even disliking each others messages. We text in the morning, at night, and all throughout the day, and if you do not look at your phone for an hour you sometimes come back to 700 messages. No, I am not kidding.  Others may find our conversations ridiculous, random, or odd, but it is our normal, and for those of you who haven’t grown up in the age of technology, I am sure this all seems foreign, but this chat is more than just an excuse to look at our phones. It is what binds all of our stories, and lives together.
If I explain too much or give away more of the “secret happenings”, our precious little sector of the world will lose its magic, but before I move on, they all wanted to be mentioned. There is a lot of them, so bear with me.
Our corner of the world is compiled of a hilarious young rapper who creatively tells the story of his life, and one of his best friends, a gentle giant who somehow comes up with funny things to say daily. It is made of a pair of twins, one is the most down to earth, selfless, and humble person I know, and the other perfectly mixes with her determination and care for others. Our chat is composed of an iconically monotoned, yet lovable boy who drives a 2018 Jaguar – and the best friend he drives around who’s very similar (and who’s jawline could cut someone). It even has a football player turned lead in the school musical, and a vocally talented girl who rarely speaks in the chat but reacts to us in “real life”, otherwise known as class. It has a boy who is one of the smartest people I know (yet is also kind of dumb sometimes), another who speaks in words people often don’t understand and comments on the world as he sees it through his eyes. A hockey player (yes he has the hair) who likes hearing all the gossip. Our world also has two inseparable best friends, a vacation-loving girl who is always on a cruise, and a girl who truly sticks to who she is no matter what. There is also a sweet boy who provides a constant flow of memes and is unorthodoxly funny – and two very smart guys who usually come into the chat just to lightheartedly make fun of people (AKA me, but it is all in good fun). There is a kid who used to be small but had a growth spurt, and who sometimes likes to pretend he’s meaner than he actually is – and another who likes to give big hugs and is always there when you need him. Another member of our group is one of the nicest people I know, who is California dreamin’, and lives his life looking out for the people he loves. There is a gymnast who’s intelligence and feisty attitude mix with her kind heart – a friendly, free-spirited girl who couldn’t care less about what people think of her – a funny girl who’s constant motivation shines through and who’s dog is hilariously aggressive – a super cool, athletic girl who happens to be quite the mathematician. Finally, there are three people who don’t speak as much in the chat- but are just as much a part of it- a humorous girl who’s intelligence prompts her questioning, a dainty and poised girl who loves to dance and sing, and a tennis player who sits in class and laughs at the crazy ongoings around her.
Each and every single person I described has a unique personality, a different look, different ethnicities and most importantly an individualized story. There is a beauty in diversity, and even when people seem like pieces from different puzzles, there is a way to make them fit. These people will forever be a part of my story and who knows how long the plots of our lives will intertwine, maybe it is only a page, or a chapter, or even the end of a section called “Junior Year”, but for us, right now, the rest is still unwritten. All we can do is continue to connect our stories and fill them up with excerpts from each other’s lives.
I think there is something truly beautiful about how our lives are made of other people’s lives and their little anecdotes. Isn’t it interesting that although you are the main character of your story, you are just another character in someone else’s? You could be the jokester, or the best friend, or even the villain, but somehow we all have a role in someone’s narrative, even if it’s just a small paragraph. So, if you are like me, just remember that even if you think you have “no story”, you sure have a lot of characters and you are most definitely part of someone’s narrative.
—————————————————————————————————————————————–
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Anastasia Meininger, aka “Offbeat Rhythms”, is a high school student in Westchester County, a suburb of New York City. She lives with her parents and older brother, and her life is filled with her hilarious and loving Italian, Irish, Greek, and German family, as well as her wonderfully crazy, and diverse group of friends.

Anastasia is a normal, yet distinctly unique teenager who loves performing, making people laugh, and even going to school! Her favorite subject is Science, especially Chemistry, and when she’s not studying, you can find her at her dance studio, where she rehearses for her dance competitions, and vocal showcases.

To Paraphrase Justin Timberlake, I’m Taking My Birthday Back

Blogger: Jessica Reed – “The Westchesbian”

If you follow the Daily Feels on the Facebook, you may know it was my birthday at the end of January. Let me stop you right there. I know it’s not “the Facebook,” but that’s what I call it because it’s hilarious so you’re just gonna have to let this go, the same way I’m letting go of this run-on sentence. Anyway, back to me and my birthday. We have a complicated relationship.

 First, the circumstances of my birth. My mother and father had been together for a few years and were living in Denver, Colorado. They had met at a party in NYC—where they’re both from—while my mother was still married to her first husband, and my father went home with them. Yes, you read that right: it was the early 1970s, and my father went home with my mother and her husband, one of the many things I wish I didn’t know about my parents. After my mother left her first husband—a breakup that involved said husband pulling a knife on my father in an elevator and my uncle Ira intervening—she and my father moved around a few times, to Boston, to Sarasota, and eventually to Colorado. In Denver, they decided they wanted a baby. Yes, you read that right too: in spite of their drug-fueled, previous-marriage-ending courtship, I was a planned pregnancy. My mother and father really, really wanted a child, and my mother in particular dreamed of having a daughter. When they knew they were pregnant, they got married in their backyard with two of their best friends as witnesses. And some seven months plus 19 hours of labor later, I was unleashed upon the world via emergency C-section.

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My parents separated when I was five—it was either just before my fifth birthday or very soon after, I can never remember; either way, in my head, it’s gotten tangled up with my birthday. My mother moved out of our house and into a house shared among people I didn’t know and only semi-remember aside from a woman on the first floor—I think her name was Dawn—she was a puppeteer or anyway she had a collection of the most elaborate marionettes, which I both admired and feared. She very quickly had a new boyfriend—my mother, not Dawn the maybe-puppeteer—who at the time was just a shadow in the hallway but who ended up living with us until I was 10. Five years of Lonnie, and here’s what I remember about him: he was a second shift worker, he loved peanut M&Ms, he and my mom fucked a lot when he got off shift, loudly, sometimes in the living room.

 We were left in what I guess people who have normal families would call “the family home.” Let me stop you again. I know there’s supposedly no such thing as “normal.” But trust me when I tell you that my normal was so far from normal that at 42 I’m still learning just how not normal it was. I can’t tell you how many times my therapist or my wife or my friends have said, “Jessica, you know that’s not normal,” and I’m taken aback—literally, as in I go back and back and back and realize I have no fucking clue what normal is. Point being, “the family home” implies a family, which is not what we were. We were two young children—5-year-old me and my unplanned 2-year-old brother—left behind with our father, a long-haul truck driver with a tornado-like temper and a proclivity for putting his hands and other parts of his body where they don’t belong on and around his children (more on that later, I don’t want to get into it now), while our mother played with puppets or Lonnie or whatever the fuck.

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My mother and father actually ended up having a fairly civil divorce, and we all continued to spend holidays and celebrate my and my brother’s birthdays together. My mother was all about our birthdays. I’m not sure what her routine was with my brother, but with me, she would retell the story of how much they wanted a baby and how happy they were when they got pregnant and how she kept re-waking from the anesthesia to count my fingers and toes, and then she’d sing Roberta Flack’s, “The first time ever I saw your face…” It’s actually kind of beautiful when I think about it, and it’s a routine that continued into my adulthood.

The main thing I associate with my father’s reaction to our birthdays is resentment. He’d bitch and moan about buying presents. He’d find something to shout at me or someone else about, something small, something meaningless, some landmine that existed only when he touched upon it. And if it was his and my stepmother’s turn to host, he’d make his “famous stir fry” that I hated, and my mom would then make what I really wanted and bring it over for me. This meant every other year, I’d sit at my own birthday dinner eating a completely different meal from everyone else, with my father furiously stewing because I wasn’t eating the very special meal he’d worked so hard to make for me, further evidence of what a selfish, spoiled little brat I was.

Of course, there were exceptions. There was my birthday when my father took me to get my ears pierced; I think it was my seventh. And my middle school birthday when he let me host a slumber party; I think it was my 12th or maybe my 13th. And my 15th birthday when he paid for me and my friends to have pizza and go to the movies, like something right out of a sitcom. And my 16th when he took me to the DMV to acquire the sweet, sweet liberation of my driver’s license. But these exceptions were marred by fear and the excessive gratefulness I had to show for what should have been—here’s that word again—normal. And in the end, the calm was scarier than the anger. If you’ve known someone with a temper like my father’s, the kind that even though you’re always expecting it still shocks you but shocks you even more when you expect it and it doesn’t come, then you know, unlike the anger, the calm is an unknown. You don’t trust it. You can’t trust it.

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And that 12th/13th birthday slumber party I mentioned? My father ended up losing it. I don’t remember why—the whys were only ever memorable for their absurd mundanity, like when he asks for a knife and you bring a butter knife when he wanted but didn’t say he wanted a steak knife or when he asks if there’s anything missing from the grocery list and you don’t think to mention you and your brother ate most of the Fritos and he comes home from the store to discover the Fritos are mostly gone and he informs you that you are selfish little bastards who will be buying your own snacks for a month even though you’re not even 15 yet and you’re brother’s not yet 12. Probably I or one of my friends spilled something. The last time he yelled at me like that I was 19, home from college for the summer for the first and last time, and I spilled water on the couch. Fucking water. Red-faced with rage, he flew off the couch like it was on fire, loomed over me with his hands in fists, and spewed out, “Goddamnit, Jessica! What the hell’s the matter with you? Don’t you know how to hold a fucking glass?!” (That was one of his favorite lines: “What the hell’s the matter with you?” At one point when we were still both under the age of 10, my father sat me and my brother down and said that when he said that to us, we should say back, “Nothing, Dad. What’s the matter with you?” It probably goes without saying that you only try that once.) I looked him in the eye and yelled back, something like, “Oh my god, it’s the fucking end of the world. How will we ever recover from a glass of water on the couch?” He held my stare and started laughing, and I laughed too. And I carried the couch cushion out to the porch to dry.

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There’s a picture of me somewhere from that slumber party. I’m wearing the blue bathrobe that had been my special birthday gift that year and a bow from a present on my head and my hideous blue and pink plastic glasses that today would be chic but back then screamed selected from the free frames section. I look happy. I look normal. It’s from before. I think about that picture and wonder why I ever thought I wanted a party. 

I’ve stopped spending my birthday with people who don’t make me happy, as much as it’s within my control anyway. The aftermath of Donald Trump’s inauguration got ahold of my 40th, although lots of great friends gathered around me in Dobbs Ferry for a bourbon-fueled night of love and tears (I hear this is how your 40th is supposed to be). My 38th is the last I spent with my mom and stepdad, who took me and my wife, Kim, out to dinner for what unbeknownst to us was a foreshadowing of our wedding later that year: my stepfather, to whom I was still very close at the time, was warm and present, and my mom was so fucked up on Dilaudid that she kept slurring her words and nodding off at the table.

 Kim of course makes my birthday special. If I want to go out, she’ll arrange it. If I want to stay in, she’ll arrange it. This year, we’d planned to go out for Chinese food at a terrific local spot here in Westchesbian country, but it was cold as fuck and all I wanted to do was curl up at home. So Kim picked up the Chinese food, and we cuddled on the couch and watched Netflix and toasted with an old fashioned. For the first time in my life, I didn’t hear from my mom (we’re estranged, but we typically at least acknowledge each other’s birthdays). And you know what? I missed it; I truly did. But you know what else? I’m ok. Now that I’m grown and have seen some normal, I know that my birthday is the one day a year that I get to make about me. So fuck complicated, I’m taking my birthday back. It’s no one else’s day but mine, and I can continue to grieve for what I didn’t have as a child and what I did have that I shouldn’t have had, but I can also say, fuck y’all. January 30 is my day; you can’t have it.

Yours in Fortitude,

Jessica the Westchesbian


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Jessica lives with her shiksa wife and geriatric cat in picturesque Tarrytown on the Hudson. Although a proud Westchesbian these days, Jessica grew up in Asheville, North Carolina, back when the opening of the Olive Garden and the 24-hour Walmart were big news. During business hours, Jessica’s a communications professional who translates highly technical concepts into clear, concise, colloquial language that media buyers and sellers can understand. Outside of business hours, she’s a poet, cat mom, wife, avid reader, and lover of questionable crime, sci-fi, and supernatural TV shows (preferably all in one), not necessarily in that order. Her poetry has appeared in Tin HouseThe Paris ReviewLIT, and The Huffington Post, among others.

February Faves

Blogger: Dee-Dee Kanhai – “The Spice of Suburbia”

Here are some things that have me EXCITED. There are a variety of categories, so feel free to skip ahead if “makeup” or “music” doesn’t speak to you! I included some links as well, so enjoy!

The Empties

First off, I am starting with a list of beauty & health items I love SO MUCH I used them until they were EMPTY!

1.    Laura Gellar “Quench + Tint” Moisturizing Foundation

Purchased: Light Medium

This stuff was recommended by a friend who always looks flawless, so I decided WHY NOT. I am a big fan of foundation and have been using Makeup Forever, literally forever! But, that is heavy coverage and this was so much lighter on my skin. Especially on hot days! I love that it gives me a dewier look, but not an “oily” look. It is buildable if you want full coverage, but I wear one light coat to even things out on a daily basis. It does the job without looking OVER-DONE. It is so light that you can even see my freckles through it! I got it from ULTA for $35 but a little bit goes a VERY long way!

2.    NYC Lip Butter Gloss 

Color: Madeleine

I found this specific color when looking for a NUDE that wasn’t PINK, I am not a fan of PINK LIP GLOSS. This right here is with me 24/7. This is my GO TO for any occasion. I wear it alone without any liner. It is a ONE STOP SHOP when it comes to gloss. Keeps my lips moisturized and I am thrilled that you can buy this anywhere. I get it at Target, CVS and of course NYX stores! They are less than $5 a tube. My favorite part, it goes on smooth – not sticky icky.

3.    CVS Pharmacy Moisturizing Creme DRY SKIN THERAPY  

16 oz Tub

Sometime last year I realized that I had these dry patches of skin on my face in a very specific area. I went to my doctor for something totally unrelated and mentioned this. She took a look and knew right away, she asked if I was using toothpaste with “baking soda” or some “whitening” formula, which I was! So, what was happening was, when I brushed my teeth the bubbly suds that escape the corners of your mouth (or mine at least) were running down my face. The dry patches were in these EXACT areas. Multiply that action, three times a day, and there you have it! I was creating this mess! She sent me to the drugstore and told me to pick up a “SENSITIVE SKIN FACE LOTION” and I was outraged by the prices, so I trusted my penny-pinching gut and went with the generic and I am on my 3rd TUB of this STUFF. Within a week, the dry patches were GONE. I also put it on my heels all winter and my elbows. So, bottom line, this is 100% a FAVORITE FIND from 2018. What are you waiting for GO NOW, it’s less than $10, but check for coupons. (lol)

 

And then she became a DOMESTICATED Goddess!

I will be the first to admit that housekeeping isn’t my thing…

But a few things came along to help me become the domesticated goddess I am today!

1.    Shark Hard Floor Cleaning System 0.09 Gallon Steam Mop S6002

Lowes Home Improvement for $ 129.00

It was a match made in heaven. I live in a “green” home. I have low-flow water everywhere there is water in my house, energy saver appliances, and HVAC system, I believe recycling is not optional. I also believe heat is, but that is a story better told by those who come by my home during the winter months. So when we moved into this house, the cleaning products I grew up on, Ajax, Windex, and Clorox were replaced by homemade concoctions of lemon and water. Vinegar and eucalyptus oil. I wanted earth safe and animal-friendly. Sadly, I got mediocre results on my GRASS FLOORS (they’re Bamboo, I just like saying GRASS FLOORS…) My floors were never shiny and fresh feeling. I tried using “water only” and for the first year it was ok, but eventually I resorted to a capful of BLEACH and hot water. I know, shame on me. Once I got my pup, I knew I needed something a lot safer for his paws which put me on this mission!

I discovered the STEAM MOP! I watched countless YouTube Videos on cleaning BAMBOO floors and this came up! With chronic arthritis, I needed the most “lightweight” yet HIGHLY RATED mop on the market. This handy little device blew my mind. It is literally a mop that comes with 3 mop pads that are machine washable. You use a measuring cup (included as well) and water from the tap, pour it in, hit a button and BAM! You have STEAM. This uses NO chemicals, so it is safe (especially for my little one’s paws!) and if I am capable of toting it around, it is definitely light as a feather! I use it at least once a week, the floors look amazing all the time. They are STERILE which makes me HAPPY! If you have something really tough, you flip the mop with one swift motion and you get a direct blast of hot steam on the area. Easily flip the mop back over and it is gone. It comes with TWO different “heads” a bigger rectangular one, for the general floor area and then a triangular one for corners, edges and “hard to reach” areas. Game changer. Since this became a regular part of my life, I only call the housekeepers when I have BIG jobs! This has made my life a whole lot easier.

 

2.    JBL Clip3 Bluetooth Speaker

Kohl’s $ 59.99 (got it with a 20% off coupon!)

This is a great story. BUCKLE UP!

Over the course of FIVE years we have gone through SEVEN, no I am not exaggerating, S-E-V-E-N Bluetooth Speakers. Our first “investment” was the Brookstone, BIG BLUE PARTY. This speaker was purchased by my darling husband from SkyMall. Yes, you read that right – SKY MALL!

This is a story of how “in-flight entertainment” can so go horribly wrong.

This big heavy box arrived on our doorstep a week after seeing the $250+ debit from our bank account. I was already annoyed at the speaker before it arrived because A. he ordered it on our way HOME from a very expensive vacation and B. it was quite EXPENSIVE for a stupid speaker and C. HE ORDERED IT WHILE WE WERE MID-FLIGHT as if to test me!

He justified this purchase by talking about the amazing “sound quality” and boasted it being “40% LOUDER than ANY OTHER speaker on the market” at the time as if that is the stuff that turns women on! Although he would entice me with his sweet nothings he whispered of “chilly fall nights, cuddling by the fire pit, listening to 90’s hip hop”… So, maybe I was looking forward to THOSE moments.

Well, this speaker soon came to be HIS most prized possession. Not a day went by that my head wasn’t throbbing from the obnoxious sound of De Barge playing on FULL VOLUME while he showered and sang along. (Those high notes…) If Chloe used the speaker outside it needed to be “out of direct sunlight” and never when it was cloudy because “what if it drizzles?”

“BIG BLUE”, as he called her, needed to be fully charged 100% of the time – or else, heads would ROLL. And… remember those romantic nights by the fire pit we were going to have? Well, they happened, but they consisted of me YELLING at the TOP OF MY LUNGS and repeating everything because the MUSIC was SO LOUD! That speaker was the bain of my existence.

So, leave it to me.

One hot summer day, after cleaning the house, I say “I am going to enjoy my hammock with a little light music”. I slip into something comfortable, apply thirteen layers of SPF 70, and pour a glass of unsweetened tea over ice. I head for the door and think, you know what… Today I am going to enjoy this damn speaker. I go back in, and with my one free hand I reach for “BIG BLUE”.

BiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiizzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzZZZZZZZZZzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzapppppppp echoed, as I am thrown across the room.

EVERY-SINGLE-HAIR, EVERY HAIR, on my body is standing in FULL attention.

I am seeing the entire solar system, not just stars.

I am so confused.

My EARS are watering! (that’s NOT a TYPO!)

As I stand there blinking, I think “am I alive?” ALL the power is out in the house and the very detectable scent of melted electric surrounds me. My body is buzzing.

I realize, BIG BLUE electrocuted the FUCK out of me.

I am contemplating calling 911, but AM I EVEN ALIVE? And… the dog? the glass? My “ghost me” makes an executive decision, my dog is still in danger and I need to save him! So, I reach for my rubber dish gloves, because I am sure that I saw that somewhere, it would protect me from double electrocution.

I know the power is out but I am still frightened, I get up the courage to unplug that WHORE of a SPEAKER! I grab her and TOSS her into the trash without a second thought. She has won many battles but I WON THE WAR!

I go, turn the power back on. Clean the glass up. Googled “HOW TO KNOW IF YOU SHOULD CALL 911 AFTER ELECTROCUTION” and pour a new glass of tea. The vibrations in my body subside. FINALLY, I can relax. I lay in my hammock when what to my wandering eyes should appear?

Mr. SKY MALL yelling “WHY IS BIG BLUE IN THE GARBAGE?”

I am now, screaming, like a psycho “SO HELP ME GOD, IF YOU BRING THAT INTO MY HOUSE I WILL LEAVE, I WILL LEAVE – I MEAN IT!”

I see him grab it and bring it into the PORCH as if that is a “speaker safe space”, where it resides to this day. Dusty and unusable. WHY?

https://www.consumerreports.org/recalls/brookstone-recalls-big-blue-party-wireless-speakers-for-fire-risk/

Brookstone announced the recall of 164,000 wireless speakers because of the risk of fire associated with their lithium-ion batteries.

The affected model is the Big Blue Party, a large indoor-outdoor speaker that was sold by major U.S. retailers and websites from December 2013 through August 2018 for about $200. Consumers should stop using the devices immediately.

Since then, he has purchased FIVE, I’ll say it again for the people in the back “FIVE” Bluetooth Speakers by “ALTEC LANSING” and they all die after a few weeks. (In my opinion, they are the speaker versions of Dollar Store iPhone chargers!)

I say all of that to tell you that my JBL Clip, is amazing. I can hook onto my Hammock, Dog Stroller, Purse, etc… it has been going strong for a good 6 months and the battery lasts forever! I am also not causing POWER GRIDS to go out when I charge it either.

 

3.    Pure Enrichment PureSpa Deluxe Ultrasonic Aroma Diffuser with Oil

HSN.com $ 52.00

So, I was very reluctant to use one of these Oil Diffusers because of the mixed research about it being harmful to pets, etc… Some oils I avoid, but others I love! I am happy to report that this has been a gem! First, I don’t run it all day. I use the oil very conservatively, a drop or two here and there – haven’t been any issues with my pup and I think this is a great home gadget that adds a little ZEN! This specific diffuser puts on a nice light show too! (Option without illumination is just a button if you’re no fun) It is an essential part of my “Goddess Bath” at night. This was a GIFT and I LOVE it!

 

Vegetarian est. 2016

Vegan-Cusp Vegetarian est. 2018

*** Listen, I am not trying to persuade anyone to change their lifestyle, just sharing my story… ***

So, I wasn’t eating anything with eyeballs anymore.

Honestly, when I look at my dog, I wonder how I could ever. I am a tree hugger, literally – I hug trees. I walk barefoot in the woods, love animals. I was meant to be meat-free. In the last year, I had my biggest revelation about my meatless lifestyle…

1.    My Aunt who is now also a Vegan-Cusp Vegetarian for about 5 months, posted something on her Facebook page about it and within minutes her page was flooded with comments from friends that THEY no longer eat meat either! It was fascinating to me. I can honestly say, I don’t know many people who eat meat “regularly”. I know quite a few Pescatarians (Fish Meat Only), Vegans (No animal or animal by-products) and then the Poultry only eaters, not sure what they’re called.

2.    Why VEGAN CUSP?  FIRST! “Vegan-Cusp Vegetarian” is a term I coined myself and I am trying to make it a “thing”, do you think it’ll stick? Honestly, I am not ready or able to do away with certain items that were invested in over the span of my life. For instance, my handbags, luggage, accessories, and shoes. So, in order to be honest with myself and others, I tell the truth – I am not a VEGAN. I am still figuring things out.

I will share that I invested in my VERY FIRST VEGAN designer handbag as a gift to myself for my 40th Birthday! The Stella McCartney Falabella Shaggy Deer Fold Over Vegan Tote.

https://www.stellamccartney.com/us/stella-mccartney/tote_cod45208193nl.html

And WHY STELLA? https://www.stellamccartney.com/experience/en/sustainability/policies/

3.    And… My weight. When I stopped eating meat, I gained weight. Why? I was substituting meat with carbs. I have learned this is the #1 reason why any VEGETARIAN gains weight. In the summer of 2018, I needed a necessary medical procedure for a flare-up of my Rheumatoid Arthritis. In order to get my inflammation under control, I needed to get steroid injections. My blood pressure was so high they couldn’t give me the injections I needed safely. The treatment I needed causes a spike in Blood Pressure, since mine was already in dangerous territory, I was left without options. This made me confront my weight gain head-on. I am predisposed to hypertension and have been medicated for it since adolescence. In my case, “losing weight” doesn’t change my blood pressure, medication does. HOWEVER, having extra weight on SURE DOESN’T HELP THE HEART! What started as an extra 10 pounds here, another 20 pounds there, eventually I went from healthy to overweight to “obese” (again).

You won’t catch me “bragging” about numbers today, I don’t know what I weigh. I don’t even own a scale. The truth is, losing weight isn’t the hardest part! I have done that before. The one thing I haven’t done is keep off the weight for more than a few years. I do not want to, nor can I afford to, play games with my health! I am 40 and I have a chronic illness. At any moment, I could need medical intervention and I need to be healthy so I never run into a situation like I did this past summer. So, yes, I have lost weight and it was entirely lifestyle changes.

I haven’t “dieted” in decades.

Well, You’re In a GREAT MOOD Today

What have I got to be HAPPY ABOUT? A-LOT!

1.    I start EACH and every single day off with SiriusXMChannel 100 & 101. If you have a satellite radio, TRY IT. I guarantee you will not regret it. I grew up on Howard Stern and never stopped listening. It was below zero and I couldn’t wait to run outside and get into my car to listen to my “Sweet Loves” Howard and Robin. On the days the show is LIVE, I just listen to the replays or Sternthology (old shows) and it always boosts my mood. If you are concerned that you may have “aged out” of the Howard Stern “Fartman” humor, check out some of his recent videos on YouTube. He’s older, more mature and the show evolved as well. You can still get your fix of tasteless humor but hands-down, he has the best interviews and live performances. I can honestly say THIS is a show for everyone now.

2.    I drink Kombucha. A lot of KOMBUCHA! As someone who doesn’t drink alcohol (see above auto-immune disease) or smoke (again, for medical reasons I cannot, but I am 100% pro-legalization!) I am a pretty sure that KOMBUCHA in all its fermented probiotic enzyme glory – gets me buzzed. I drink that shit like it is water. I love, love, LOVE it. I get it on TAP at the local Green Life Market, so I can use my recyclable bottle and straw on the daily and I buy several brands depending on SALES!

3.    YOUTUBE!!!

I have found a few families I LOVE to watch on YouTube, aside from my own of course! Didn’t know I had a family FULL of entertainers? Check them out!!!

My niece Latoya keeps me laughing with videos about her hectic life as a YouTuber, Mom, and Wife. SHE JUST ANNOUNCED SHE IS PREGNANT AGAIN! Baby #3! There is always some kind of excitement with her around! The Ali Family travels and they invite you into their life, check them out!

https://www.youtube.com/user/latoyaforeverTV

https://www.youtube.com/user/latoyaforever

Also… My cousin Jillian takes you into her life…. An entertainer and family woman. Lives home renovations. Check it out!

https://www.youtube.com/user/AskAuntieJillian

 

Taina Licciardo-Toivola is a Minimalist Vegan Mom of 10 who has homeschooled all of her kids for 17 years, they each play multiple instruments, are intelligent and helpful. They live in an amazing house! I find it FASCINATING to see how a family that size works and plays together!

https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC-PepfX4nM19zhdgEn3o5kg

 

Emma Ellingsen is a GORGEOUS young lady from Norway who talks about her life as a trans-teen, answers questions, has great fashion sense and does amazing makeup! She speaks English (perfectly), so it is a great watch for anyone who loves fashion and makeup!

https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCpdmlPZMeDCqhGqzM4Zd1ww

 

Weed ‘Em and Reap is a couple who quit the 9-5 life and bought some land in Phoenix, AZ to raise their children, some animals and attempt to grow food, plants, and trees in the HEAT of Arizona! I enjoy watching this couple manage their life and kids – while keeping their farm up and running! Great lessons in following your heart!

https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCf4zEY4qO8OSK5P3sP9MMEQ

 

The Skin Deep is one of the YouTube Channels that I contribute to through Patreon. I know. (lol) I really believe in what they do! No frills. Just chills. This is a channel that you can literally click on ANY thumbnail see HUMANITY. The best of it, the worst of it. It brings people together to have unique, sometimes awkward and usually challenging conversations about life and relationships. The first video I watched on this channel is below, and you can go from there…

https://youtu.be/i1fwLN8EoT0

 

This is what I watch when I am trying to ZONE OUT and relax. I could watch this channel for hours. It is a cooking channel, but not ANY ordinary cooking show. You will witness a woman in India, cooking over an open fire in her village. She is said to be 106 years old. There isn’t much commentary, which I love. Just the sounds of her food cooking. I am so amazed at the way she cooks, the techniques and “tools”. She doesn’t sit much but crouches over the flame with smoke billowing in her face. She serves the food on giant banana leaves and everyone comes and eats Family Style, with their hands. Indian people believe you should use ALL of your senses when you eat, enjoy all of the textures, aroma, sight, sound, and taste. It is so fascinating to me. I hope you take a look!

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZtS7ZrJ_rtk

 

Music… I love LIVE music… but I’m socially awkward and never leave home! So, once again, YouTube!

 

Here are the three live performances by singers that were introduced to me last year. I know, I am late on these ladies! If you haven’t heard these LIVE, you NEED TO! ENJOY!

1.    Brandi Carlile, I found from a list Obama had of his favorite songs and then, of course, I heard her on Howard Stern and was BLOWN away! A voice, OMG!

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EJux02lrMeI

2.    This kid has it all, she is a Canadian (Toronto) girl, with a great unique voice. She is performing at GovBall and my 40-year-old ass is going to Randall’s Island to see her! Lol

https://youtu.be/IPKBEzajGX0

3.    Alice Phoebe Lou is just stunning. I heard a song by her in a yoga class and then I was hooked!

https://youtu.be/d7Pt9ul_E_I

 

Finally… A peek into my spending! Here are the last three things I purchased:

1.    Doggie Pajamas that say Namasté in Bed: Petco $ 14.99

2.    Crystals from an Etsy shop named: I Love Lotus $ 32.25

3.    Tee Shirts, Pins and Stickers that say #CORY2020 $ 157.00

With that said… that is everything that is fit for print! I hope you enjoy, try out something or give them a look or listen… Let me know what you think in the comments!


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Dee-Dee Kanhai, aka “The Spice of Suburbia”, was a big city girl for 25 years who was transplanted to the Suburbs of Northern New Jersey. This relocation led to her “undoing” and with that, the discovery of her true self. Besides being a wife and mother to a teenage daughter and toy Chihuahua, Dee-Dee works in finance and owns a small Etsy Shop @LoveTheUndoing, where she sells heart-made jewelry, crystals, and other whimsical crafts. Dee-Dee is a student of life, teacher of meditation, practicing yogi and a mystical moon child.

Dee-Dee’s Etsy Shop

Love The Undoing Website

HIGH-FIVES @ THE FEELS!

HIGH-FIVES @ THE FEELS

Each blogger has a unique positioning here at The Daily Feels. We’re all about learning lessons and sharing our blessings, so we created an uplifting, fun, encouraging piece of content that allows us to do that in the form of a high-five. Introducing, “HIGH FIVES @ THE FEELS”.

Cherry Maggiore, “The Freak of Nurture” is planting her high-five on all of us this month.  She shares 5 tips on how to spend Valentine’s Day solo & satisfied!  Check it out below and tell us what you think!

*major high-five goes to JB McCann for her amazing editing skills 🖐

Single AF & Lovin’ Valentine’s Day!

Blogger: Janis Gaudelli – “Champion of Truths, Unicorns & AWE-tism”

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I am one of a good 124 million single people in America.  I know I’m supposed to hate Valentine’s Day, because of that “status”, but I don’t. In fact, I actually love it — cheesiness and all.  In my opinion, any day where we can shine the spotlight on love is a day worth celebrating.

I believe my love for Valentine’s day stems from how it was presented to me as a little girl.  My mom and dad made the day really special.  They celebrated love as a verb – spreading, showing, receiving and providing it, to my siblings and I.  I remember years of waking up the morning of and walking into a kitchen that overflowed with heart decorations, fun presents sitting on the table and a festive breakfast just waiting to be devoured. Reflecting on those memories sparks so much joy for me.

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I believe that is why, as a single woman, I don’t hate/avoid or consider Valentine’s Day the devil’s holiday.  To me, it’s not about stereotypical depictions of love, because love looks different for everyone.  I believe Valentine’s Day is undergoing something of a transformation, from a strictly romantic holiday to a celebration of all kinds of love–platonic, romantic, self-love, or otherwise.  I, personally choose to celebrate Valentine’s day in all its commercial cheesiness because I place great value on LOVE, both giving and receiving.  I trust love, and I am grateful for all that I have of it in my life.  I don’t wait for Valentine’s day to feel and share the love, it’s just a bit more amplified because love is the honoree in this day-long celebration.

I would like to call on all my singletons for a moment: it’s 2019, it’s time to stop feeling sorry for ourselves and hating this day.  We know by now, that healthy, fulfilling love isn’t an exclusive club for those in monogamous, committed, typical relationships.  We should celebrate and vocalize to those we love on the daily.  But to have one day where we have the opportunity to paint it red and hand-deliver some sugary adoration – let’s take full advantage of that.

Here’s to reshaping the meaning of this day and broadening our lens on love.

Happy Valentine’s Day!

JGsignature

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Janis Gaudelli is The Founder of The Daily Feels.  She started this passion project to reveal the magic behind storytelling, and how truth-based narratives bring people together in the most heart-warming of ways.  Fascinated by soul, depth, intellect, raw truths and rebellion with a cause. Often captivated by the awe of nature: star gazing, moon manifesting, sunset chasing, waves crashing, crickets singing. Fiercely curious about the inner-workings of the human psyche… she professionally studies human behavior for a living.  Forever proud and grateful for being a mom to the force that fuels her life: her 7-year-old son, and greatest professor, Kellan.

FOLLOW JANIS AND THE DAILY FEELS TRIBE @:  FACEBOOK & INSTAGRAM

A Valentine’s Love Letter

Blogger: Jennifer Angarano-Ricci – “Ms. Happy, Alive & Built to Survive”

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Dear (Insert YOUR name here),

I know that you and I may not know each other very well, but I wanted to take this opportunity to let you know just how much you mean.

Maybe you’re living your dreams, but maybe you’re not- and that’s okay.  In my own life, I’ve been a student, a singer, a baker, a nun-in-progress (that’s for another post), a wife, and a mother.  I have a loving family, a great husband, and a beautiful daughter who’s about to go to college in the Fall.  I’ve also gone through a pregnancy that left me hospitalized for six weeks, only to deliver my son and have him die six hours later, and recently I dealt with breast cancer- and now it’s after effects.  So, I’ve lived some moments of my “dream” life, and some moments of some pretty sucky shit- but that’s what makes me who I am today.

Maybe you’re going through something sucky right now, but don’t worry- you WILL get through it.  What I’m getting at is, that life has it’s beautiful and horrible moments- but that does NOT mean that the horrible moments will last for your entire life- so don’t give up!  Each time we deal with something big in our lives- good or bad-it shifts what we thought our “normal” was- and that’s a good thing because we grow and become so much more than we were beforehand.  To go back to our former state of “normal” would be meaningless- it would mean that we hadn’t grown and evolved through our experiences.  Don’t be afraid of change.  Face your fears head-on and kick some ass!

Perhaps you’ve been through a lot, and I know how hard it is to keep going when you feel like the world has let you down, and you’re fearful of the unknowns ahead of you, but please- keep going, because you are worth so much, and there will always be at least one person cheering you on- even if sometimes it’s yourself.

You are amazing- always remember that.  You are worthy, you are loved, and you are meant for great things.

As Maya Angelou said: “We may encounter many defeats, but we must not be defeated.”

 

Your Valentine (at least for this letter),

Jen

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Jennifer Angarano Ricci is a wife, mother & creative soul-searcher.  She is a musician, artist, and baker, and runs her home business Baked By Jen, in addition to running her local community theater group.  She loves to sing, create and help others and tries to connect all three passions whenever possible.