No Hooligans at Houlihan’s!

So at around 8 p.m. last night, I decided that I was hungry (the dinner I made my family didn’t really intrigue me) and wanted to get out of the house…alone. My husband didn’t mind, and the kids were asleep, so I was FREE. Yippee! I texted my friend Christina, a friend I’ve had for over 20 years and the mother of 3 young boys (a 4-year-old and 1-year-old twins!), thinking that she’d probably like to get out for a bit too.

We only live about 15 minutes apart, so we spontaneously met up at Houlihan’s. By this time I was STARVING, so I sighed when I saw the looooong line of people waiting to be seated. I didn’t want to go into a low-blood sugar cranky attack on my poor friend, and this scenario wasn’t looking promising. A take-charge sort of gal (in a good way), Christina resourcefully checked the bar area for open chairs–and almost like magic, two men politely got up and each offered to scoot down one seat so we could sit down. I feel like that never happens these days. People are so wrapped up in who they’re conversing with, or what they’re going to eat, or simply not giving a crap about anyone else but themselves, that they rarely pay attention to what’s happening around them. But sometimes people do…and that can make your evening. And it did!

It was nice to change-up our routine and catch up without any time limitations. We ended up chatting with a few super-friendly and fun people over some apps and a drink. It was refreshing to interact with some new faces –almost as refreshing as the lemonade/vodkas we drank!–and it encouraged us to pep up, enjoy the moment, and crush out any crankiness we had.

It was a great way to kick off the weekend. Hope you have a good one too! On Monday, I’ll announce the winner of The Regal Name Game contest. I bet you’re waiting with bated breath! 😉



The Regal Name Game.

Congrats Prince William and the Future Princess Catherine!

I’ve been trying to avoid jumping on the royal wedding bandwagon, but I just can’t help myself.  I’m convinced that I was a princess in a former life–and today’s crankiness crusher relates to it.

I’ve been getting a kick out of seeing people’s royal wedding guest names on Facebook, so I thought that we could do it here on my blog. You game? If so, please post your royal wedding guest name in the “Comments” section. Start with either “Lord” or “Lady.” Your first name is one of your grandparents’ names. Your surname is the name of your first pet, double-barreled with the name of the street you grew up on.

To entice you to participate,  I, along with my friend and Anglophile Extraordinaire, Barb Alexander (author of the informative and cheeky, Tudor Tutor blog) will pick the most regal-sounding name. If you’re the chosen one, I’ll send you an English tea gift basket in the mail. Lavish, I know….

Please submit your name by 5 p.m. (EST) tomorrow. I’ll announce the winner on Monday!

Sound fun? Let’s do this!


Lady Mary Mandy-Morningside

Mo’ Drama.

Pink eye? Check.

Broken AC on a hot day? Check.

That time of the month? Yup.

3 hours of sleep. You betcha!

To put it bluntly, it was kind of a crappy day. But that’s okay, because even on the “Wah, wah! Poor me!” days, there still has to be SOMETHING that makes you happy…or in my case breathe a sigh of relief.

Let me explain. I live on a suburban street where the lawns are perfectly manicured and white butterflies practically land on your shoulder. It’s a pretty street, and the people are nice–until your yard looks overgrown apparently! I swear that I’ve been getting the evil eye from a few neighbors who have race-walked or biked past our house over the last few days. I KNOW that they were getting progressively more annoyed that our grass height was reaching epic proportions–or maybe I’m just completely paranoid. Okay, I know that I’m kind of paranoid, but it still felt like they were breathing down my neck to make our yard look as clean and perfect as theirs (not to sound all “Keeping up with Joneses-ish”, but that’s how I really feel!). Needless to say, I am once again a respectable neighbor. No more bolting into the car while trying to avoid their stares. My trim lawn is today’s crankiness crusher. Lame, but true! I think it made my dog happier too. He can now take a leak without lifting his leg so high that he practically falls over.  Heh, heh.

Feeling less cranky? Check.

Hope you are too!


Professional Passion

Follow your dreams.

Now that Mercury is out of retrograde (yes, I believe in that stuff!), it’s time for me to put my professional plans into action! And that’s what I’ve been doing all day–and it feels great.

While my kids were at preschool, I spent the morning researching story ideas that I’ll be pitching to some of my favorite women’s magazines, and I was setting some other exciting career-related plans into motion. I’ve got BIG dreams, people. And I’m hoping that my drive + optimism + a little bit of luck will help make things happen. Stay tuned. 🙂

I also had a wonderful catch up chat/brainstorming sesh with a former PR colleague of mine. A big shout-out to Michael Duffield! When you’ve been out of the workforce for a while (meaning you haven’t worked for a specific company in an office-type setting), it’s nice to know that your advice, opinions, and creativity are still sought after. Thank you for thinking of me.

Taking the time to focus on my professional goals was today’s crankiness crusher.  I love being able to stay-at-home with my kids, but I also love that I’ve carved out some time to satisfy the part of me that needs to work! We all have many facets of our personality that need to be nurtured. Try to hone in on what it is that makes you happy–and what you want out of life–and GO FOR IT!


When in doubt, dance it out!

Today’s crankiness crusher didn’t happen until around 5:30 (hence the late post). I’d been on auto-pilot all day because I was tired from a busy, fun-filled holiday weekend–and my 21-month-old decided that it was time to “pway” from midnight-2 a.m. Ugh.

Most of the day was spent in my PJs watching my son put together train tracks, puzzles, and his marble castle while my daughter took a 4 1/2 hour nap. Lucky her!

Raise the roof!

Finally, around 5:30, I decided to turn on the “Party Favorites” music channel and got up and started shaking my booty and clapping. My parents had stopped by so they were just laughing at me, but the kids jumped right in and got jiggy with it. When my husband walked in, we were all dancing to “Mony Mony” by Billy Idol and cracking ourselves up. It was great to let loose and goof off. There’s something about dancing that frees your mind of worries–even if it’s only for a few minutes.

As I type this, I just polished off a few handfuls of jelly beans and washed them down with a refreshing glass of white wine. I know this isn’t healthy behavior, but it’s putting me in a good mood! It also helps that we dusted off the kids for the eve–and I’m finally going to watch “The Social Network”.

I hope that you did something today that got you moving in the right direction. But if you’re feeling kind of blah, I suggest pumping up some good tunes and dancing it out!

Until tomorrow!


Hair therapy.

Does anyone else spill their guts to their hair stylist/colorist? I swear, every time I see Lola (the one who beautifies me), she should charge extra for all the advice she gives me! One time she mentioned that her clients often reveal secrets or info they’d normally like to keep on the DL when she’s washing their hair. There’s gotta be some sort of study that proves that people let down their guard when someone is rubbing their head…

Anyhow, when Lola and I are done with our sesh, I not only feel lighter after having my mane layered, de-thickened and highlighted, but I also feel lighter in spirit. Airing stuff out with her takes a load off. It helps that she’s an amazingly non-judgmental person, and since she’s a little older than me, she offers pearls of wisdom based on her life’s trials and errors. I’ve always acted as a pseudo-therapist for a lot of my friends, so I’m glad that I could also offer her a listening ear and guidance.

My connection with Lola is today’s crankiness crusher. That, and the chocolate peanut butter egg I ate shortly after my appointment. 🙂

Here’s a not-so flattering-pic of me with my coiffed hair getting a chocolate fix.

For those of my friends who celebrate Easter, have a wonderful time with your family!


Make your own happiness (’cause it ain’t always there)!

It was a rocky start to the morning. I woke up to a messy house because I passed out last night before straightening up (which throws me off because I’m pretty anal), the kids were super whiny, the dog was hyper, and I’ve got contractors using a jack hammer on my bathroom floor. Not a good combo when you already have a splitting headache. But since I’m trying to say goodbye to my so-called Dr. Crankenstein, I came up with a plan that would keep me happy and sane: Flee the scene!

I packed up the kids and headed straight to Dunkin’ Donuts. While their coffee isn’t quite as satisfying as my Caramel Machiatto, they do have munchkins. The mere mention of the word gets my kids out the door and into their car seats in record time! After our DD run, we went to the park, and I bumped into someone I haven’t seen in about 15 years. It was great to see her–and even nicer to hear that I haven’t aged (especially after what my son said last week)!

And I’ve got exciting plans for the afternoon (read this with a sarcastic intonation). We’re going to Michael’s craft store to buy some multi-colored chocolate wafers and molds to make our own Easter candy. Hopefully it’ll be a fun project. I know eating it will be! And since chocolate is known to be a natural mood-booster, I’m expecting that it will crush out any crankiness that remains. We’ll see!

What are you doing to make yourself happier today? Please share!


HD Meditation

My little girl is running a slight fever today (poor little lamb!) so she wants to snuggle on the couch and watch the “bishees”–which happens to be today’s crankiness crusher.

If you have an HD television, you’ve got to check out the awesome Aquarium On Demand feature. It’s like a virtual fish tank filled with colorful fish that swim among the corals. There’s also really mellow music playing in the background, so it encourages instant relaxation. Below is a pic from my TV, but it totally doesn’t do it justice. But I aim to please folks, so here’s something I found online that’s kind of similar for your enjoyment. 🙂

Great zoning-out material!

If you have On Demand this is how you access it: Browse All~High Definition~HD Free~Ambient HD~High Definition, and then enjoy 55 minutes of aquatic peacefulness. Ahhhh…

If you know of anything on YouTube or anywhere else that offers similarly  meditative stuff, please feel free to share the link in the “Comments” section. I’m sure we could all use it!


Triple play happiness.

I had a triple crankiness crusher happen today!

Look at that face!

While holding mood-booster #1, my Starbucks Caramel Macchiato, I spotted an adorable mini beagle puppy in the car next to me. I was so taken by her floppy ears and innocent little expression that I just had to meet her! Fortunately, her owner didn’t think I was a freak, and immediately rolled down the window so I could pet her pup. I found out that her name is Connie (how sweet is that?) and that she just gotten her spay stitches out. Bless!

After fawning over Connie, I hopped back in my car, turned on Q104.3 and was totally psyched to hear “Born to Run” by my favorite storytelling artist, Bruce Springsteen. Even better, it turned out to be a Springsteen music block, so I got to listen to another one of his classics “Rosalita” while driving home (which made hitting every single traffic light far less annoying).

I hope you’ve had at least one crankiness crusher today. If not, I’m sure there’s some goodness coming your way!



P.S. Thanks to all of you who have subscribed to my blog. You rock!

Egg-stra special.

Yesterday my husband pointed out a new feature on our house: a robin’s nest! They usually build one at the top of our gazebo in the backyard, so I wasn’t expecting to see a nest in our front porch light?! I know robins are small, but I have no idea how they keep slipping in and out of that tiny opening! Impressive. And it gives me hope that the chicks will be able to flee after they hatch.

I’m going to keep a close eye on the eggs and make sure everything works out for them. So far I can only see one egg (it’s hard to tell since it’s so high up!), but apparently the mama robin can only lay one egg per day so there may be more soon. I’ll try to take a picture later in the day if I can. Fingers crossed, the expectant parents won’t try to attack me when I get too close to their nest!

The li’l incubating eggs are today’s crankiness crusher. I’m really looking forward to meeting my robinettes! And according to my friend and lifestyle guru, Ellen Whitehurst, a family of birds in your porch light could signify a new addition to the family or a family reunion. I can hardly manage the two kids I have, so I’m counting on the latter!

What’s making you smile today? I hope that all of the positive feelings you have from a fun/restful weekend are carrying into the start of your week!


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