November 24, 2014


As Thanksgiving draws near, I am reminded of the many things I am grateful for. I have been reading the daily tidbits of thanks this month on the Facebook pages of my friends. Some funny, some heartfelt, and some just right on the dot.

The following is my own collection on this 2014 Thanksgiving ...

~Thank you to my parents, who both modeled a good work ethic. Even if the job was icky and not fun. A quote from my mother, "If work was always fun, they would call it going to fun~not going to work."

~Thank you to my husband, who has put up with my very strong (yet lovable) personality for two decades. He continues to be a guiding force with his strength of character and drive. But also a person, who is a shining example of integrity and kindness.

~Thank you to my teenage daughter. There are indeed days that you challenge me.  Overall, you continue to be a tower of strength. Enduring the physical challenges of a weak spine coupled with our family's vagabond lifestyle of moving you all over the country, you are always a source of inspiration.  A ray of sunlight on a cloudy day.

~Thank you to my adorable nieces and nephew. Three kiddos, who have lovingly been sibling equivalents for Kate.

~Thank you to my sister, who gave me a well~needed nudge earlier this year.

~Thank you to my mother-in-law for her counsel during one of the toughest choices I have ever had to make.

~Thank you to my brother-in-law, who always amuses me with is pithy humor, as well as his ability to compose the written word with perfection.

~Thank you for my two sisters-in-law. One, who persists each day through life's continued challenges. And the other, who balances the demands of a working single mother with tireless patience and grace.

~Thank you to my friends (some old, some really old, and some new).  A network of great friendships and confidants is a lovely gift.

~Thank you to my daughter's pediatrician, who called me "grandma" simply because I made the choice to rock silver locks.  A dark day, for sure.  But it later inspired an article, a blog, and hopefully the conclusion of two books in 2015.

~Thank you for the smell and sound of the ocean.

~Thank you to my dog, Vivian. A loyal and hilarious companion. Next year, my hope is to be thankful that Vivian no longer surfs the counter while I am cooking. (#notlikely)

~Thank you for websites like Vitacost and Middle America doesn't always have the stuff that I have grown dependent on, and free shipping with purchases over $49.00 makes me especially thankful.

~Thank you for the adorable children, who make my day when I volunteer at their school. They have no idea how full my heart is when I leave.

~Thank you to those who continue to be leaders in our communities and govern our country. Not the self serving ones, but the ones who still value the privilege of representing their constituents and fighting for those without a voice (or health care).

~Thank you to companies like Starbucks, TOMS, and Project 7. My hope is that others will take notice and emulate your philanthropy.

~Thank you to Eckhart Tolle. One book that changed my way of thinking forever.

~Thank you to those at Epiphany Farms for taking a risk on me.

~Thank you to Robin Sharma, who always has an inspirational thought to share.

~Thank you for the continued addition of spandex in clothing.

~Thank you for the small bits of wisdom that come with age.

~Thank you for the smile lines on my face that have emerged after years and years or laughter and happiness.

~Thank you for waking up each morning with the opportunity to do the right thing.


November 10, 2014

Take A Moment. Then Get Back To Work...

Last week I announced a very exciting event. Well, I am proud and incredibly humbled to report that my art exhibit was a success! Truly a magical evening full of old friends, new friends, fantastic food, and equally spectacular cocktails. The art was the catalyst, but the energy of the evening came from the overwhelming support and generosity of the community.

In order to put the end goal in place in less than a week, many people came together to create a vision. When a plan falls seamlessly into place, there is nothing more gratifying.

In a time when we are all programmed to work 80 hour weeks while juggling family and community obligations, I would encourage everyone to give yourself a gift. The gift of taking a moment to stand back, reflect, and celebrate every success. Then put your head back down, and get back to work!

If you want to see photos from Friday's event, check out my website at

November 3, 2014

Be Careful What You Wish For...

For as long as I can remember I have written, painted, cooked, and dabbled in fashion and design. Basically all of my passions allow me to create something out of nothing. While they are all different, they have one common element. Layering! Layering color, layering flavor, layering thoughts, not to mention the energy that elicits emotion and happiness. 

Am I a trained chef? Nope. An artist with a fancy art degree? Oh no! Did I attend Parsons and glean my technical skills from fashion icon Tim Gunn? I wish! Basically, I sat up, paid attention, and worked really hard to become proficient at the things that I love to do.

As our kiddos navigate their way through life trying to figure out what they are going to do, I still continue to ask,"What do you love?" Because if you follow your passion and allow yourself to dream the dream, you might just be surprised.

With that said, I am thrilled that the extraordinary Epiphany Farms and Anju above will be featuring a gallery of my paintings this Friday as part of the Bloomington Art Walk. So if you find yourself in Central Illinois, please come by and enjoy a lovely evening.