The way I see it, there are few advantages to being single at this point in life. However, to my loyal readers, last blog I promised I would write about the positive side of being single. So, I did some soul searching, asked some friends and came up with a few things that I would consider as being positive.

post it note3 Insecurity at work is a career killer.  That said, we all experience it at one time or another.  That moment when you start a new job…or have a big presentation to make…or realize you are in over your head with that high profile project…your self-esteem plummets and you start to question yourself…“Can I really pull this off?”

While driving my car the other day, it struck me how very frequently I am driving from one place to another.  You see, a very big role that I play in my life is that of  TAXI DRIVER.  I spend hours each day in my “mom taxi” shuttling my daughters to and from their respective activities and friend’s houses.

Let’s start the conversation …

 No one knows worry more than a mother who is concerned about her child’s development.  It’s even worse if you don’t know where to turn for guidance.  When it comes to concerns regarding our children's development, all too often we're placated with answers such as "all kids develop differently" or "it’s fine, just wait and see".  Moreover, well-intentioned advice from family members and friends, who tip-toe around the issue, can compound the worry or add to the feeling of being judged as a parent.


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).

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.

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.

Hosting a dinner party is supposed to be fun-not stressful, but more often than not we leave things to the eleventh hour. Often times, five minutes prior to our guest’s arrival, we find ourselves frantically running around, trying to apply our mascara and lipstick, while at the same time handling the last minute prep! Who wants to endure that stress if it can be avoided. Here are a few tips and tricks from the Ladies of L&L on how to properly organize and prepare for your hosting duties so you can keep calm, cool and collected come party time.