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Ingredients for Cranberry Chicken Balls   I’m coming up on a pretty big anniversary. It’ll be 14 years that we’ve been together. When I got engaged my future mother-in-law asked me what I wanted as a gift and I knew immediately: a food processor! Initially she hesitated – bless her, she was afraid I’d cut myself on the steel knife. No worries there, I assured her.

Okay, so you know that saying, "do as I say, not as I do?"  Well, I seem to be the queen of that!   As much as I love great design, and having a space look absolutely beautiful and put together, it is sometimes hard to actually get everything together in order to get it done in my own home (not to mention the time it takes to convince my husband that it is the right design choice for our place).

[caption id="attachment_1861" align="alignright" width="195"]via: http://www.lovethispic.com/ via: http://www.lovethispic.com/[/caption] I have been in the cosmetic industry for 32 years now.  As a makeup artist and a makeup designer with experience in just about every field where makeup is required such as film, theatre, and beauty pageants, I have never experienced a trend where the colours are so ridiculously UNFLATTERING! Blue, green and yellow are being promoted as the hot new colours in beauty for fall.

When you look into the mirror, what do you see and how do you feel?

For many, our human conditioning has automatically programmed us to see and feel the worst part of ourselves. Ultimately leading to a very critical and unhappy self-image.

  Things got a little heavy around these parts last week, so let's take things down a notch with another topic that's near and dear to my heart. Hangers. I grew up with a father who was a neat freak. His clothing was color-coded and each hanger hung exactly two fingers widths apart from its neighbor. That was a little crazy, and also a hard standard to replicate without a ruler and a compass.

While there is something about the atmosphere of a gym that I love, I haven’t trained in a gym in several years.  These days, I choose to work out at home. Amongst many other reasons, it just works best with my schedule.  I don’t need to get a babysitter, I don’t need to waste precious time driving to and from, and I don’t have to worry if I’m not wearing my best sports bra :).  But I am also disciplined enough to do my workouts at home.

I didn't start off my parenting experience as a single mother.  I started things off by following a common path.  I got married, had two baby girls, and played the role of wife and mother.  I was married for close to 12 years before my husband left.  All of a sudden  I found myself carrying the new title of SINGLE MOTHER.   Quite honestly  it was never a title that I imagined having.  But there I was, a single divorced mother  with two children under the age of ten.    

[caption id="attachment_2068" align="alignright" width="162"]Elaine dancing The weekend is so close it just makes me wanna DANCE![/caption] It’s Wednesday night - you’ve just gotten over Hump Day and the weekend feels so close you can almost taste it. But what are you going to do with those 2 days of “freedom”? Where are you going to eat? How will you find time for yourself? Who’s gonna take care of those crazy kids?! But most importantly, where are you going to eat?

The Peach KeeperI have to hand it to Sarah Addison Allen.  What a heartfelt and “feel good” book to read!  The Peach Keeper is uplifting, it made me laugh out loud, and cry like no tomorrow.  There is no stronger message in this book than the importance of true friendship.  Add to it some superstitions and a town ghost—and you have the makings for a wonderful story.

It's that time of year again! Time to take out our cozy fall sweaters, scarves and favorite booties. The best accessory to our fall fashions is the right shade of nail polish. Gone are the days of my mom who always matched her nails to her lipstick. Today, nail color is chosen because it's what's in style and trendy. The nail color you choose should always complement your skin tone, but there's no need to be matching it to your clothing or makeup. Have fun with your nails and be daring!

It’s that time of year again – what I consider to be the New Year of yoga. As the summer draws to a close, the majority of people return home from vacation, begin to spend more time indoors, and fall back into some sort of routine. With this annual immigration of yogis, most yoga studios experience a stark increase in attendance.

WILD RICE WITH WILD MUSHROOM: THE SIDE DISH GONE WILD [caption id="attachment_1559" align="aligncenter" width="300"]Ingredients Ingredients[/caption] I love Rice Krispies (keep reading this is about the rice side dish). Let me clarify: I love Rice Krispies-like recipes where you pop into the kitchen for 10 minutes and emerge with a dish that the people of your household and guests will ogle in amazement and drool with anticipation – and yet, you’ve done it all in 3 steps – Hazzah!

You’ve decided to sell your house.

You take your collection of business cards and flyers from real estate agents, fan them out in front of you, close your eyes and pick one.  Right?  Maybe you’ll get lucky, but this is really isn’t the best way to choose the person to handle what is likely to be your single largest financial investment.

Every evening around 5:30 pm, I get ready to enter into battle.  I arm myself with a smorgasbord of food:  Main meal…..check.  Back-up meal….check.  Last-resort-meal…..check.  My kitchen resembles a cross between a buffet restaurant and a war zone and I look like a frazzled waitress trying to unsuccessfully please her VERY demanding customer. I am stressed.  I am desperate.  I feel defeated.

[caption id="attachment_1722" align="alignleft" width="300"]Sisters Talking to your kids about drugs also means listening to what they have to say, whether at the dinner table, out for a walk or in the car.[/caption] If your house is anything like ours, all the members of the family blow in from their own hectic lives for a brief 30-45 minute daily window of togetherness. Between work, school, basketball, volleyball, debating, gymnastics and more, dinner is often the only time all five of us are sat down together during the workweek.

For years I've been trying to get my clients to use wallpaper, and every time I suggest it, I'm forced to have the same discussion with them.  They are always nervous about it being too busy, and they don't know if it would work in their space.  I don't know if it's the stigma from the wallpaper that was used in the 70's, or if they are nervous about having to take it down later on.  Either way, I'm going  to finally put an end to all of the wallpaper doubters out there!

By the end of the day, when I get into bed I am truly TIRED!!  My body is exhausted, my nerves are spent and emotionally I am pooped! I try to live each day to its fullest  and I definitely try to accomplish as must as I physically and emotionally can - but I am guilty, like many other busy women, of putting my needs at the bottom of the to-do-list.