September 27, 2011

Preppy Perfection

If I could go shopping right now, I would run out and buy these perfectly preppy additions to add to my wardrobe. Simple essentials that are timeless and classic.

Majesty Peacoat, Jcrew $228


Booker Boots in Masaia Chai $298


Images above via jcrew.com

To Sleep, Perchance, to Dream


I have to tell you about my new 'favorite thing'. Celestial Seasonings Sleepytime Extra Wellness Tea. Heavy Sigh. The thought of it steeping in a big white porcelain mug softly whispering my name...the tea kettle whistle is the start of my bedtime lullaby. It is the end of the day. This is slowly becoming a new addition to my nightly routine, a few times a week, especially when I need an added boost to wisk me off to dreamland soundly.

I boil the water...steep the teabag in my favorite mug...and drink it while watching a few moments on television, or while reading in bed. Chamomile, spearmint, and a touch of Valerian...and soon I am sweetly nuzzling in my down comforter in no time. Long gone are the restless thoughts of the days and all its stress weighing on my mind. In the morning, they will be there. For tonight, I will sleep.

image via tinywhitedaises (yum, though I never do eat it with a biscuit...)

September 18, 2011

Guest Post: Kai Momma Angela



Today's guest post is from my friend Angela. Angela is a true 'angel' and I am so lucky to have her as my friend. If you ever get the chance to meet her, she will probably hug you, but it won't be at all awkward. She is one of the warmest, most sincere, and loving people I have ever known. She is one of the smallest people I know, with the biggest hearts. I don't know how one person can have a heart so big and full of so much love.



If I had one do-over:
I’m not really big on the do-over’s. I’m a big believer that accepting your decisions and moving forward, rather than wishing them different is the way to go. I’ve made a lot of mistakes in my life, but I’m thankful that I’ve searched to find meaning in those choices. Each one has made me who I am today. No do-over for me.
When I need to unwind:
I’m notorious for watching the same movies over and over again. I guess for me, if I like something a lot – I REALLY LIKE IT – and it allows me to put my feet up and just enjoy.
Celebrity crush:
Riggs. Texas Forever : )
Words I live by: Spread love everywhere you go. Let no one ever come to you without leaving happier. – Mother Teresa
On Saturday mornings, you'll find me:
Trying trying trying to sleep in : )
Don't knock KLOVE until you try it:
Seriously…now I know, I’m the crazy YM, church girl., bible freak – but really. I’m not. But more and more lately, I’ve found myself listening to KLOVE. Some songs are just awful, laughably bad. But some are breathtakingly beautiful marriages of words and music and before I realize, I have a tear in my eye or I’m ready to raise my hands in prayer…then I realize I’m in the car and hands must be at 10 and 2…
Day I'd love to live again:
Any day when my dad was alive.
I could spend the whole day:
Nuggling with my Millie on the couch.
I feel my truest self when:
When I’m just hanging out with my family and allowed to be exactly me.
It's worth the splurge:
Bare Escentuals make-up. Gosh I miss it. Too broke to get it again right now. But it makes you skin just look great and every time you look in the mirror you like the way you look. Sigh…
Other than that? An awesome blanket. I have too many. But a nice, warm blanket makes just about anything better.
Brings out the best in me...
My kids. You never know how much you have to give, or how much you are capable of until you have someone you love standing in front of you or on the phone in despair. You do all you can to make them okay. My Kai kids make me a better person every day.

I’m sitting here in my office today and it’s the first real day where I’m feeling cold – the cold like fall is coming? It great, but I’m also struck by how moved I am by all that is changing. Sure seasons change, people change, friendships become different, responsibilities shift at work – there is always change; but sometimes it’s too much! Lately, I’ve been craving SAME. Foods and recipes from when I was younger, drinks that I used to enjoy, even that old bedspread that I LOATHED is now exactly what I want on my bed. I guess that’s the good thing about change. You can rediscover some of the things that you left behind. So I’m going to be doing a lot of focusing on the things that comfort me in this season of change: rain, nag champa incense, hot cocoa with whipped cream, chicken and dumpling soup, a hot cup of hazelnut coffee in the morning, a small crack in the window letting in just a sliver of cool air, the smell of wood burning, harry potter movies, and falling asleep on the couch and the gorgeous leaves as they pop into color and then crunch under my feet.

Wishing all of Lisa’s readers happiness, hugs, peace and comfort in this new season of fall : ) Angela

The Greatest Generation



I just got back from a work conference in Park City, Utah (will post on that later...). I had the pleasure of hearing former Congressman, J.C. Watts speak. During his speech, he spoke of a book by Tom Brokow - "The Greatest Generation" (Amazon, $2.25 used, hardcover). Those described in the book are those that lived during the Great Depression - and even then went off to fight in WWII. He described how if you grew up in a household with someone that grew up in this generation, you knew it. You didn't leave the lights on when you left the room. You didn't just throw away food and waste things. You certainly did not live in a mcmansion. Mr. Watts described how most people that were from this generation did not cry in front of others. He said, before Nike coined the phrase 'Just Do It' - they did. I found myself nodding the entire time he spoke - because even though I did not live during the depression - my great grandparents and grandparents did. And the lessons that they taught to their children have trickled down to me, and I am grateful for that. However, I could use a refresher.

I've ordered my copy from Amazon already, I can't wait to read it. I think I could learn a lot. I think we all could. Why do we waste so much? I could learn a lot from The Greatest Generation. If they got through the Great Depression, we can certainly get through these tough economic times right now. Might have to take some redistribution and rethinking...changing of ways - but I think they had some pretty good ideas about how to approach things. It's not always about bigger, better, faster, more. Maybe we really do need less.



Picture via here, and here.

September 7, 2011

WWMS


I work with a youth group that is very very close to my heart. These 'kids' touch my life in more ways than they know, and have impacted my life forever. My life is not the same because of the program, and because of each of them. We hold two retreats per school year, and each retreat there are two chosen Directors which are peers.

One of the Directors, Miss Meredith Shaw...just left for Dartmouth today to begin her college career. As we said goodbye in the office of the church, I remembered that I needed to snap this picture, above.

It is a bracelet to remember her mother. Her mother died of cancer when she was in junior high. Meredith's faith is one of the strongest I have ever known. And so was her mother's. WWMS stands for "What Would Mom Say". Each time she looks down at this bracelet and sees this code message, she may not have her mom physically, but she has her mother spiritually.

Sometimes in life we know what to do, and we don't always do it. Sometimes we read something, or look at a picture, and remember what it is we really wanted, as if we have our own little Jimminy Cricket on our shoulder reminding us of what to do. Or a guardian angel leading the way.

One day over this summer I almost lost my temper and said something I might not normally not have. What stopped me is that I thought of that bracelet, and I thought of 'WWMS'. I deleted the email and thought, it's just not worth it. It's amazing how one strength can strengthen others.

I wish Meredith and the rest of these College Freshman all the luck in the world at school. I will miss seeing them and their bright smiles every week at our meetings, and for a long time it's going to feel like something is missing. But they are going to experience something much greater, and life is happening for all of them.

First, Second, Fifth, Sous Sous



For years I have been talking about taking a ballet class again. Years. My last class was in highschool. So many 'tomorrows' have piled up and the time has slipped by. Not anymore. I have officially started at Ruth Page Center for the Arts. Located in Chicago's Goldcoast, it's housed in this old 1927 historic building with so many stories to tell. What I love most about Ruth Page is that it boasts that it "provides the highest level of training to young dancers, professionals, and those who study dance for personal enrichment. The School is considered to be one of the country's finest dance education centers." Quite a tall order! But from the moment I stepped foot in the lobby, and was greeted by the friendly staff, directed to where to change in the womens's changing area, and the entire time I was taught during my class - I never once felt out of place. I felt so at ease and welcomed.

Ballet is beautiful...artistic...but so difficult...yet so graceful. My legs were shaking and I was sweating, yet by the end of class by ballerina bun was still perfectly pinned.

Picture here