Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Brene Brown on Katie Couric {Thursday}


Brene Brown will be on the new Katie Couric show tomorrow talking about her new book Daring Greatly!  I’ve already started it and it’s so good.  The book trailer gives you a glimpse of Brene and all the good stuff you’ll find in Daring Greatly.  Click on this link to see the Daring Greatly Book Trailer from BrenĂ© Brown on Vimeo.

I can’t wait to see the show again.  Yes, again! I was in the audience with my sister, Emily and my new blogging friend, Mara. I posted about our experience here. I’ve got my DVR set and wonder if I’ll be able to see us. If you plan to watch, we sat right in the middle about four rows up.


Check out Brene’s Blog to see how she is celebrating launch week. You can download all the Daring Greatly manifesto posters here for free! I’ve printed some of them to hang in my office. Aren’t they great?  Although I’m not a parent, I love the parenting manifesto!  As an Aunt and former educator,  I feel like this manifesto speaks to me too. I’ve linked all the posters so just click on each one to download your own.

DaringGreatly-ParentingManifesto2-16x20 DaringGreatly-ParentingManifesto2-16x20

Monday, August 27, 2012

Final NYC Trip Recap

Mara gave us some great recommendations for restaurants and things to do while we were in NYC.  Our last night there we went to the famous Carnegie Deli where we shared the “Woody Allen”. Best pastrami and corned beef sandwich ever! There is a reason they are famous for it.  It is so huge that there is really no way to eat it like a sandwich, but we hadn’t eaten all day and managed to nearly demolish the whole thing.  We washed it down with a piece of Strawberry Cheesecake. I don’t typically order dessert, but we ate it because our mom loves cheesecake and would have been very disappointed if we passed up the best cheesecake in NYC.  At least that’s how we justified paying ten dollars for one piece of cheesecake.  It was totally worth it.
After dinner, it had started to sprinkle on and off so we decided we would try to get last minute tickets to a Broadway show.  The only tickets left for Wicked were 159.00.  While we were both under budget for our trip, we weren’t quite that much under budget! Luckily there were more affordable tickets left for Mama Mia and we got really great seats just 15 minutes before the show started.  It was the perfect end to our first trip to NYC.
Friday morning we planned to fly out of NYC to Columbus to meet up with our whole family for Pelotonia 2012, but unfortunately there were storms in the NYC area. After 7 hours of multiple delays, cancellations, rebookings and more cancellations the only option offered was a flight out on Sunday morning.  We were not about to miss the first weekend this year that our whole family would be together.
After a comedy of errors involving Emily and I both booking rental cars from different companies and a “who’s on first” conversation about which car we were taking, we found ourselves in a Camry headed out of the Hertz parking on a road trip to Columbus.  It was a long 12 hour trip, but we made it to Columbus safely at 2:12AM.  We missed the Pelotonia opening ceremony and our niece Zoe’s birthday party, but we were so happy to be in Columbus for the rest of the weekend. More to come on Pelotonia. It gets better and better every year.

Friday, August 17, 2012

Two too Many Cab Rides in NYC

My trip to NYC with Emily was fast but packed full. You can read about why we made the trip here.  We stayed at The Paramount Hotel and much to our surprise our room was the size of a postage stamp. One of us basically had to get on the bed while the other walked around the bed to get to the other side of the room.  It was really kind of funny and we couldn’t believe it when we opened the door. The picture below is of our room that was even upgraded from a full to a queen.  Mara told us later that small rooms are typical for NYC hotels. IMG_6746
Wednesday we walked all over just taking it all in and then decided to go to Soho to visit the shop Purl Soho. We went to Grand Central Station at about 5:45PM. It was super busy and we were beyond confused by the map and ticket machine. We called our cousin Kate for some advice. She lives in the West Village, but was actually back home in Ohio for a visit while we were in NYC. She recommended we just take a cab.

Ok, we can do this. It’s got to be easier than trying to use the subway…right? We stood on the sidewalk and within seconds a black cab drove right up. It had numbers on it and tags on the outside and looked legit; similar to the one we took from the airport, so we got in.  I gave him the Purl Soho address. Ok, so far so good, but then our driver promptly rolled up the windows and locked the doors. Huh? We were immediately uncomfortable.  Emily then pointed to a sign on the back of the passenger seat that indicated this particular cab could not be hailed from the side of the road, but rather only made scheduled pick ups.  Hmmm...we just hailed it from the side of the road.  Then Emily pointed to the back of the driver’s seat to bring my attention to the driver’s license which expired in May of 2012.  Hmmm, that’s odd. We looked nervously at each other. She rolled down her window because it was really hot and her window was promptly rolled back up.  She looked at me and said, “I didn’t do that!” 

Ok, now we are getting super scared.  I texted our cousin Kate the scenario and she responded, “Put your seat belts on. That is weird.”  Haha. I laughed and showed Emily the text.  Emily promptly made up a story about how our friend texted us and we didn’t need to go to Soho anymore and we’d just get out right there.  The driver pulled over and said, “Eight dollars.” Emily replied, “Eight dollars for two blocks?! How about five?” She throws down a five and motions me to get out. LOL! It made me laugh that we think we could be getting kidnapped and she’s negotiating the cab fare.
                                                                                                                 *photo from

We were in a bit of a time crunch because Purl Soho closed at 7:00, so after some serious deliberation we rolled the dice and got another cab…big mistake. I held my breath for what I think was about 12 minutes. The whole ride I was bracing myself and alternating between closing my eyes and nervously looking at Emily with a “help, we are going to die, get me out of this cab” look. During the ride to Soho, I actually thought to myself, “Is my new health insurance card in my wallet or at the hotel?” Our driver weaved in and out of traffic coming within millimeters of sideswiping other cars. For a few blocks he was racing an escalade taxi beside us. The race ended at a red light with our driver rolling down his window and throwing fbombs out while yelling and screaming about how the escalade taxi driver was not using signals.  On the upside, because of his crazy driving we managed to make it to Purl Soho ten minutes before they closed. 
The store was gorgeous, but my heart was racing and I was so overwhelmed by the ride that it was hard to focus. I did buy a couple different fabrics and I will definitely have to be sure and make something with them after all that we went through to get there.
We saw a ton of New York that night because we were too scared to get in another taxi so walked about three and a half miles back to our hotel.  I think bikes might be the way to travel the next time I’m in NYC.

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Daring Greatly Back to Blogging

Hi, I’m back! It’s been awhile and there is so much to catch up on.  Before I rewind to the beginning of 2012 and recap the good, the bad, the megasimple and the not so megasimple, I’m going to start with a recap of the last week. It was the best week of 2012 so far so it’s a nice happy place to start!ticketThe week started with a very quick, but amazing trip to NYC to see a taping of new Katie Couric ShowBrene Brown was Katie’s guest on the second taping of the show and I’m a big Brene Brown fan so I wrote in and got 2 tickets! I was so nervous to submit my essay, but I finally hit send after thinking about it for a couple hours. The next thing you know my twin sister Emily and I are in NYC for the first time ever! 

I had recently read Brene’s book, The Gifts of Imperfection, so I couldn’t wait to hear her speak in person.  Brene researches vulnerability, shame (things we all experience) and wholehearted living.  It’s a book for everyone that I highly recommend! I can’t wait to read her new book, Daring Greatly, which will be released in September.  Here is an excerpt from the book that will give you a sneak peak into things discussed on the show.


“Daring greatly is not about winning or losing. It’s about courage, in a world where “never enough” dominates and feeling afraid has become second nature, vulnerability is subversive. Uncomfortable. It’s even a little dangerous at times. And, without question, putting ourselves out there means there’s a far greater risk of getting criticized or feeling hurt.  But when we step back and examine our lives, we will find that nothing is as uncomfortable, dangerous and hurtful as believing that we’re standing on the outside of our lives looking in and wondering what it would be like if we had the courage to show up and let ourselves be seen.”

Interestingly, the show about vulnerability and daring greatly was in fact a real exercise of these things for both Katie and Brene.  While they are true experts in their respective fields this was a brand new experience for both of them. I think most brand new experiences automatically come with some degree of vulnerability for all of us.  It was only Katie’s second taping and she wasn’t quite used to having a live audience yet and wasn’t sure how to fill the time between segments. Brene was a little nervous too before the show started.  Can you blame her? She was on THE KATIE COURIC SHOW! I can’t imagine being on stage because I was nervous enough just being in the audience. After a couple deep breaths and the cue for cameras to roll, they both were so confident, smart and really funny! I can’t wait to see the show on TV.

It will air September 13th!  You will have to watch because there is more to the show that I don’t want to “give away” here. The experience gets even better. I know…how could it right?bae5fb66e63311e1b4ee22000a1e8aed_7 
So, just about a week before we left I got an email that there were extra tickets and they would be offered on a first come first serve basis. I went out on a limb, worked through my fears, exercised vulnerability and contacted a blogger from Brooklyn named Mara. Again, so nervous, but the next thing you know we were all at the Katie Couric Show! It can be crazy what happens when you don’t let your fears control your actions. 
Together, Mara and her husband Danny write A Blog About Love. It’s genuine, honest, uplifting and all about love which is exactly what Mara is like in person.  She is so kind and genuine and truly wants the best for everyone. She talked with us for an hour after the show all about life, love, vulnerability and knowing your own worth. It was a conversation I won’t ever forget. Be sure to read Mara’s recap of her experience at the show and The Fruits of Vulnerability.

I’m officially back to blogging so there will be more to come on our NYC trip and our weekend in Columbus, Ohio at Pelotonia 2012.  This week brought me back to blogging and eventually I’ll post a little about what took me away from blogging which will include stories of life, death and resigning from my job.  

Monday, January 2, 2012


The new year has me thinking a lot about productivity. I recently watched this Ted Talk that takes productivity to a genius level. I find this level of thinking and development really amazing. Do you watch Ted Talks? They are riveting talks by remarkable people.  Brene Brown’s talk is one of my faves. 

Friday, December 30, 2011

Glitter and Gold Confetti DIY

It doesn’t get easier than this and I’m not even sure this counts as DIY, but you can’t argue that it’s not megasimple. Take some glittery scrapbook paper (1.99/piece) and some circle punches. Punch away to make your holiday table sparkle.

Thursday, December 29, 2011

Pintersting Gifts

My brothers’ girlfriends gifted us with some creative gifts inspired by Pinterest.  Haley made us each a set of coasters and Tracy made us tangerine sugar hand scrub.  Did you give or receive any pinteresting gifts this year?

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

That’s a Wrap

The holiday festivities are wrapping up and I’m taking some time to blog a little since I have the week off. I wrapped these presents on Christmas Eve. Pretty megasimple, but the bows took me a little time. I spotted the top middle bow on pinterest which inspired me to try out some others too.  Pinterest and I have a love/hate relationship right now. It is a true source of inspiration, but completely exploits the procrastinator in me.  I’m contemplating a 2012 Pinterest Rule: No Pinterest until I complete something pinteresting. I received some pinteresting gifts this year from my brothers’ girlfriends. To be posted…

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Happy Thanksgiving


This morning as I procrastinated my shower after a basement flood has left us hot waterless, I reopened the book, One Thousand Gifts, by Ann Voskamp to figure out where I left off weeks ago.  Starting a book is hard, finishing it is even harder. Guessing where to begin again, I opened to Chapter 5. Could I really have made it to page 79? Oh the defeat of hopeless reader; I’ll start over again. Before I restart, this quote by St. John of Avila catches my attention.  It is  appropriate for this day of thanks and inspires me to blog again. Amongst many things that are agreeable to my inclinations, I am thankful we are hot waterless which lead me back to my book and blogging.  

Thursday, August 4, 2011

Pelotonia 2011 Update

Kent called our summer, Camp Archbold. We didn’t venture far from home, but still managed to have a really relaxing, yet equally productive summer. Our main focus has been training for Pelotonia. We have been riding 6 days a week for the last 5 weeks. Those of you that know me are likely shocked by this. Trust me, no one is more shocked than me.

It hasn’t been easy. In fact, it’s been mentally and physically challenging for me. I could go on and on about my challenges, aches and pains. Kent can attest to these of mine, I’m sure. I could go on, but I won’t because I have perspective that continually reminds me that riding in Pelotonia isn’t about me. It’s a perspective,for me, gained through the real life experience of watching my Pop fight his three month battle with cancer.DSCN0072-bw
My mental and physical challenges while training pale in comparison to those he faced while fighting cancer.  Actually, there is no real comparison.

No matter how hard I think a ride is, there is always quick relief and healing at the end; a huge glass of water, food, a shower, a nap and I’m basically like new again. For my Pop, these simple things offered no relief from his constant pain and suffering. I would be remiss if I didn’t acknowledge that I do think he had moments of relief. Relief found only by resting in his faith. And as faithful as he was I think these moments of relief took all the energy he had. That’s how hard cancer is.

So when I feel like I want to quit or even skip a training ride, I quickly cling to this perspective. A perspective that reminds me cancer isn’t a choice that can be skipped when it’s too hard. A perspective that won’t allow me to give up.

Pelotonia is just three short weeks away. To read my profile you can click on the green bar above or visit my rider profile here. I’ve raised almost $1130.00 of my $1800.00 goal. I am so thankful for the support of my family, friends and coworkers!

Sunday, July 10, 2011

Angola Balloons Aloft

My reverse summer list is filling up and the latest adventure added was the Angola Balloons Aloft event.  The balloons are really pretty and when it got dark they all lit up at the same time. I’d love to visit the international Balloon Fiesta held in Albuquerque in October. Check out the photo galleries from the Balloon Fiesta here

Thursday, June 30, 2011

Spring Rolls

Ok, you know I only do easy so go ahead and give these a try. I procrastinated attempting this because I thought the rice paper would be difficult to work with, but I was wrong. It’s delicate, but really megasimple to work with. 

You will need rice paper and any veggies you like. We used green onions, avocado, yellow and green pepper, carrots, mini cucumbers, romaine lettuce and cilantro. At the last minute I decide to throw in some shrimp which worked out well.
Slice all veggies up as thinly as you can. This makes eating the rolls easier.  I used a vegetable peeler to shave the carrot.  I also only used the green parts of the green onion.
After your shrimp and veggies are ready it’s time to prepare the rice paper.  All you do is put it in some warm water for maybe 20-30 seconds.  It tends to curl up right away, but I just pushed the edges down in the water with my fingers and they flattened out and softened up nicely.  Lift the rice paper out carefully and let the excess water drip off. 

Lay it on a plate and you are ready to fill it up.
Fold the bottom half up over the veggies.
Fold one side in.
Fold the other side in…
and roll up.
We ate this with a Pad Thai sweet and spicy sauce and some sweet and sour sauce. 

I also threw together some quick salads with romaine hearts, avocado, cilantro, green onion, mandarin oranges, rice noodles and a sesame ginger dressing.

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Dining Etiquette 101

Here is the poster I mentioned yesterday. My research revealed that it originated from The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Etiquette by Mary Mitchell. Who knew asparagus was a finger food? Who has that much silverware? I did find it useful in the respect that I can never remember which side of the plate the fork and knife belong. That’s about as sophisticated as our dining etiquette gets around here.


Tuesday, June 28, 2011

The Fresh Market Salmon Dinner

We are back in the cooking mode again. Sometimes we get in an eating out rut, but summer brings with it more time for us to grocery shop and cook more.  A visit to The Fresh Market helps facilitate the transition back to cooking, especially healthy cooking. 
Last night we had Bourbon Glazed Salmon, roasted baby white potatoes with fresh herbs and broccoli. It was so easy, fast and healthy.  Kent cooked the salmon to perfection (only 4-5 minutes per side) on our mini charcoal grill.  I quarter the potatoes and added some olive oil, garlic, salt and pepper and roasted them for 25-30 minutes at 425 degrees. I picked some fresh rosemary, dill, parsley and chives from our herb garden and added those just prior to serving.  The broccoli boiled for 3-4 minutes and it was finished. 
The table setting is megasimple and doesn’t come close to proper table setting etiquette.  Coincidentally, I came across a  very useful table setting poster on Pinterest yesterday, but clearly didn’t reference it. We’re about simplicity here, not perfection, but you never know when the poster and real etiquette rules might come in handy so I pinned it. I’ll see if I can find the original source and post it for you tomorrow.

Monday, June 27, 2011

Crosby Arts Festival

I blogged about the Crosby Arts Festival and The Fresh Market last year (here) and we visited both again on Saturday.  The weather was perfect and the gardens were gorgeous. I’d love to go back and visit the gardens again. They are really large and I think we missed several parts.  You can find more information about the Toledo Botanical Gardens here.

Friday, June 24, 2011


Do you pin? I’ve wanted to try this for a long time, but I knew it would be in my best interest to wait until summer. Here is my fair warning to you…You will love pinterest and it will love your time. With that being said, I think it is genius.

Pinterest is a visual display of all things beautiful and of interest to the person pinning.  I would describe it as an easy to view, visual display, of the best of every blog. It’s a real inspiration source. I’ve just started pinning and already have some new DIY projects and recipes to try. The picture above is a screen shot of my boards that include my first 18 pins! 

It’s very easy to get started. First, just click on the screenshot above.  Then, at the top left of the page click on “request and invite”. Enter your email and click on “request invitation”.

Hope you have a wonderful weekend and happy pinning!