24 Hours: A lesson in thankfulness and a giveaway by Liz

Life is busy.  So busy, in fact, that I often find my self rushing from task to task, never stopping to stop and smell those freakin' roses everyone is always talking about, never stopping to even BREATHE.  I often worry, am I racing through life so fast that I'm not enjoying any of the things in it? Do I work my ass off to achieve things,  not taking a hot minute to bask in the satisfaction?  Do I ever take a minute to be THANKFUL? This past Saturday, I had to work. (Remember, when I told you about my day job?) The forecast predicted 80 degrees and my close-to-mid-life crisis convertible purchase was going to sit in the garage, unused, as I sped off at 5:30am to work a booth at a conference in downtown San Diego, missing my son's first baseball game.  I was NOT feeling thankful.  But as sped down the freeway, I had a thought.  What if I WAS?  What if I found something to be thankful for in every situation for 24 hours?  And not just the obvious stuff, like losing two pounds for no reason or when someone tells me my shoes are cute.  What if I spent the day turning every negative into a positive?

So, that's what I did, yo!

Waking up at 4:45 on a Saturday?  Finally!  No line in the Starbucks drive thru!  And were you aware that calories consumed before 6am don't count? #hellocrumbcake

Thankful for Channing Tatum's hotness

No one is stopping by the booth that I'm giving up my Saturday for?  That's okay--I'm thankful they have free wi-fi.  I now know more about Channing Tatum than I ever thought possible. (Don't judge! #buddingcougar)

My suit feeling snug from those extra 8 pounds that just won't come off? I'm thankful most of the fat seems to have gone to my boobs. #majorcleavage

Missing the kid's softball and baseball games? I'm thankful the hubs is blowing up my phone with a play by play of the action, even detailing their snack bar purchases. #snackbarTMI

Not outside soaking up the rays on the warmest day in months? I'm thankful that I won't get hat hair from shielding my face from all that gorgeous sunlight. Plus, isn't ghost white skin the new tan? #letsstartatrend

Stressed about all the writing I need to get done? But, I get to write!  And I get to do it with my best friend. These are problems to have! So STFU and be thankful.

You see? It's not that hard if you put your mind to it. They say being thankful brings positive energy your way--and who couldn't use a dose of that?  Even if you are having what you think is the worst day EVEH, try not to wallow in the negativity--find little ways to find happiness. Like maybe you're having a horrendously shitty day at work, but hey, you're thankful that job pays your bills.  Or if all the crazy political people on Facebook are driving you crazy with their tirades, try to be thankful that we live in a country where everyone gets an opinion without getting thrown in jail.

Sometimes, I have so many balls in the air that I forget how hard I worked to get all the balls up there in the first place.  And I never want to look back at my life and realize that I never took the time to be thankful for the things in it.  As I get older, I'm finally understanding that things don't have to be perfect--that it's in those moments where it's most important to find the good.  To put down our phones, log off our computers and take a deep breath.  Ahhhhh.  Now, didn't that feel good?

And you know what? My 24 hours of thankfulness turned out pretty good-the conference got out earlier than expected and I was able to race home and enjoy a slice of the sunlight-I even had time to test out my mom's new chi machine(long story!) and watch a movie with my husband that didn't star an animated character or a animal or Selena Gomez.  That was easy to be thankful for.

Tell me one thing you are thankful for and I'll enter you to win a MYSTERY stack of  15 books!  (And you don't end up liking all of them, you'll just have to be thankful you won, okay? lol)  Leave a comment here and you'll be entered to win.  I'll choose the winners on Monday, March 11th after 8am.









24 Hours: DIY or bust!

IMG_3307 24 HOURS is our newest feature! We'll be stepping outside of our comfort zones for a full day & hopefully live to write about it! Here's the story of my first foray into the world of the crafties...(PS: I survived!)

Something came over me as I began to plan my daughter's 2nd Sesame Street-themed birthday party. I wasn't going to call that bakery from last year. Forget shopping at my go-tos (Party City or Target) to get all of the fixins.

I was overcome with the idea that I was going to bake and decorate the cupcakes myself. I planned to hand craft all of the decorations. I was on a mission to not only make all of the appetizers but to design them. (Think: Elmo inspired cruditee.)

*Cue record scratch* And make sure the sound is really, really loud.

I'm not a DIY'er.

I'm the girl who relies on fabulous, dream-like wonderlands such as The Container Store to tell me what to do. I buy things with no assembly required. I conceptualize ideas and ask others far more talented to execute.

So WTF was going on here?

A couple of things. A) I wanted to do it for this new 24 HOURS feature! 2) I had to make up for my PARTY FOUL(s) at my daughter's 1st birthday party. (She burned her finger on a lit candle and refused to eat or smash her expensive designer smash cake.)

So there I was, hour one of 24, on Pinterest researching how to make Big Bird out of pineapple and I started to get excited. I can do this, I thought. I think I can, I think I can. And the funniest thing happened, I did. But not without trial and error of course. I did a dry run of the cupcake prep which wasn't without complications. I needed to make sure that they not only tasted good (and that there were no choking hazards for the littles--ended up swapping peanut M&Ms for plain for Elmo's nose! Ha!) but I also wanted to coax  my non-sugar-eating daughter into trying a plain cupcake, thinking by party time when it was decorated to look like Elmo, she'd eat it and make me look like a rockstar in front of our guests. (No such luck.  Goldfish won out #momfailyetagain.)

But the party was still a major success (if I do say so me-self). Here are the pictures to prove that even the most non-DIY girl has a little (or a lot) of DIY in her. And for those of you who don't think you have an inner-Do-it-yourself-er in there, you should give it a try. Tap into it. You might be surprised what you discover about yourself and your (not so) secret helper (details on that below)! (Click on each photo to get a close-up.)

The presentation! My daughter rejected the cupcakes and went straight for veggies. #notbakingnextyear

Eyes: Marshmellows cut in half with dots of black frosting. Mouth: Oreo cookie split in half. Nose: Orange M&Ms. Cupcakes: From a box #Imnotthatgood










Cookie was carefully crafted with blueberries and blackberries with mini yogurts for eyes. Elmo was made with cherry tomatoes and olives and mini ranch dressing for eyes.


Big Bird was made from pineapple with yogurts for eyes. Oscar is made from broccoli flourettes & his eyebrows are mini carrots. #cantbelieveijustwrotethat









Elmo belonged to us. Sign took 5 minutes to make. Verbage stole from Pinterest.

This has nothing to do with anything other than I could have never known when I met Oscar at the Emmy's 6 years ago, how much of a rockstar it would make me in my future daughter's eyes.

Confession: This DIY'er called in reinforcements. #besthubbyever