the wellness of all

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the wellness of all

the wellness of all

and others alike

is to be well with each other

elder, teen, babe or tike.

but what about the tweeners,

or folks in between,

can we give up on our wellness

our hopes, or our dreams?

well of course not,

you silly, you ninny, you fool,

we must break through our paperwork,

our taxes, the drool.

we must march ahead onward,

and fully with vim –

we are the tweeners, the lot of us,

whole, 2% or skim.

follow your dreams friends, as silly and outrageously awesome as they are.

for they may come true!

♥ cuteness provided by my nephews ♥

♥ goods

valentime’s day. yes, i said valentime. sue me. (please don’t sue me though, i am scared of courts). it can be an awful time or a time of delicious smelling, overpriced roses. BUT! what if we just called it a love month, and perhaps gave gifts all month long to those we love? and if it happens to be the 14th or the 18th or 29th when you give that gift, then who cares? 🙂

so gifts ::  for anyone. old or young. hairy or otherwise.

for the lovelies in your life:

I have curated a few ideas that are handmade, and some even do good.  so, double win.  or win squared. either way, win. you get it.

the ladies 

need a gift for a fashionable lady? think scarf. always fun, super chic.

a bit audrey hepburn, yes? 🙂

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the company that provides these scarves is super cool.  i mean it.  they are helping women in africa who make these scarves, gain employment and change their lives. i happen to be able to listen to the genius of the ceo of this company, at the influence conference in 2012, bought my own scarf while i was there, and it is my FAVORITE.  i have really sensitive skin, and it does not make me even scratch. each scarf comes with its own handwritten note with the name of the woman who made it, and what you helped her be ABLE to do.  love this.

so, to learn more, you can find the fashionABLE scarves and other Mocha Club stuff here:  fashionABLE

the mens

for the dudes…hmmm, what to get them right? SO hard to choose between this belt sander, and that turkey call, or that football jersey, and this home brew kit. well? how about a handmade wooden wallet. the company is called Bound Tight Wallets, and I heard they are making rings too!  made of wood! HOW COOL!

BOUND TIGHT WITH LOGO

bound tight

great idea, amazing design. win/win.

these are made in the u.s. of a. by a family owned company. wins all around if you ask me.

the princesses

next up, your little girl. with hair like rapunzel or sometimes more like medusa? 🙂

trying to tame some crazy hair? look at these lovelies! they are handmade, and they give hope! this company gives back to a new cause each month. whoohoo for hair & hope!!!

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also, i don’t know if you can tell, but those are little kitty cats on the headbands. sweetness. ♥

find these mini fashion statements here:  she does justice

smaller dudes

for the spunky, rambunctious, awesome little tinkerer:

you want something that let’s them stay still, while letting them soar creatively.

i seem to have a woodsy theme going on for the masculine peeps on your list.

i will not apologize. i love nature!

enter a michigan based company that repurposes wood for kids toys:

Stackaroofind these beauties here: McGregor Custom Inlay and Crafts.

furry, fuzzy or otherwise

of course i don’t want to leave out any furry pals you may have:

these monkeez and friends squeaker toy (how cute is this octopus!) would make any wiggly pet super happy, and the best part?

they give back, and you get to choose which charity! yay for giving back! find this one and others here: monkeez and friends

Monkeez

so friends, neighbors, generous folk of everywhere, let’s spread some love, and make every day this month a kind of love extravaganza!

p.s. i was not paid anything to promote these companies, they did not know i was doing so. i just kinda LOVE handmade companies, and I LOVE giving. it’s my favorite.

happy love month to you all!

sigggggg22

i’d like to thank the academy…

liebsterblogaward

Right before the holidays, I was awarded by the sweet Allie from Counting Our Cupcakes the Liebster Award.  It’s an award that fellow bloggers give to boost confidence and give props,  of sorts.

In order to accept the award there are a few rules you must follow
The Rules:
1. You must thank the person who nominated you for the award.
2. You must write eleven facts/things/tidbits about yourself.
3. You must answer eleven questions that were given to you from your nominator.
4. You must nominate eleven other bloggers who have 200 or less followers and tag them in your acceptance post.
5. You must create eleven new questions for your nominees to answer in their acceptance post.
6. You must notify your eleven nominees on their blog, so they can accept their award and pay it forward.
7. You must not nominate the person who nominated you.
8. After all of this is complete, you may add the Liebster Award Button to your blog.
* Oh, I feel like I finally made it!  To where?  Blog-land sillies!  This is something that I’ve seen floating around for the last few years, and have always wondered if anyone other than my closest friends and family were reading.  It really is AWESOME, and I’d like to personally thank Allie!  Thank you kind chica!  You made my week!  Sorry it has taken me so long to post about it, but you know… life.  🙂
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11 Tidbits about myself…
1.  I did not know that I had fairly curly hair until I was entering into my Junior year of High School.  I just thought it was unreasonably frizzy.
2.  There are few things that make me happier than plants, at the grocery store, at the office, wherever!  I am a plant-aholic.
3.  I still don’t know what I will be when I grow up, but I know I LOVE to help people, and that down the line I will open a non-profit for kids.
4.  If it were not for the sad part of being a vet, I would have done it in a heartbeat.  I talk to animals.  A LOT.
5.  ^^ This does not mean that I am not skiddish around animals.  I am afraid of my breath sometimes.
6.  I keep almost every single present I’ve ever been given, I am VERY sentimental.  (others may call it hoarding) 😉
7.  I am quite varied in my interests:  college football, theater, trail riding in the woods, shopping and reading, all take up significant places in my heart of hobbies.  Oooh!  And thrifting!  I LOVE thrifting.  And camping.  See?
8.  Nothing makes me smile from the inside out more, then hearing my girl, or my nephews, or my countless friends’ kids giggle.  It just makes everything better.
9.  I can remember details like you would not believe, and could possibly creep you out.  But, my keys?  Lose them every.single.time.
10.  I miss playing soccer every day.  It was one of the only places that I felt truly free of worries and stress.
11.  I am so thankful for what the Influence Network/Conference has done for my blog and my confidence…blogging with a purpose!  🙂
And now, the questions from Allie :

11 questions for YOU!!!!
1. If you were on death row, what would you last meal be?  My last meal would be my Grandma Francek’s homemade bread, with butter slathered all over it.  (Mom, you are still in charge of teaching me how to make it)  And maybe some chocolate with peanut butter and a black bear latte from Biggby’s. 🙂
2. What is YOUR favorite make-up product? My favorite make up product is Aveda lipstick. It has a minty coolness about it, & smells great too!
3. What is your favorite hair care product?  My favorite hair care product is my Aveda Flax Seed Aloe Gel…delicious smelling! (Apparently I am really into great smelling products) 🙂
4. Where do you like to shop for clothes?  Um, the Gap? TJ Maxx? Marshall’s? Consignment shops? Anywhere there’s a deal, I’m there. Oh, and a fancy French store called Tarjay. You should check it out.
5. What is your favorite “unhealthy”, go to cheat meal?  We eat way more pizza than should be allowed.
6. What is your favorite thing about your significant other? Or what do you look for in a man?  My favorite thing about RL is his soft side. He rarely allows other people to witness it to the extent that he cares for Alex Reese and myself, but he is just such a teddy bear.
7. What is the best gift you ever recieved?  The best gift I ever received was RL’s love, because through that, I received Alex Reese’s love. Win, DOUBLE win.
8. Why did you go into your chosen profession?  See tidbits above for answer.
9. What is your favorite song right now (like currently being played)?  Home, by Phillip Phillips.
10. What is the best trip you’ve ever been on? Who was with you?  I mean, hopefully one day I will say honeymoon, but right now*? Acapulco, with my girls.
11. What is your favorite snack to eat?  My favorite snack is kettle chips. Just plain, salty, delicious kettle chips.  With extra kettle-nesssssss. CRUNCH!

 so, now is the time when i get to nominate!  yay!  SO FUN!  these lovely ladies have something special, and you should check them out!

*Nicole from Even Me    *Miranda from Keeping up with the Chaos    *Jenna from Twenty Something Granny    *Nicole from Adventures of a Semper Fi Family

*Laura from That Kind of Mom    *Jodi from Jod a la Mode    *Stephanie from Pretty and Delectable    *Faith from Sweetened Style  * Lyndsay from Lyndsay’s Last Bite

*Mary from The Sauers  *Kate from Good Times Taylor

Wow, okay, here are my eleven questions:

1.  Three items that you would be lost without on a deserted island.

2.  The color and make of your dream automobile.

3.  Your favorite random memory from growing up.

4.  Is your happy place on a beach, on a trail in the woods, or on a boat?  why?

5.  The reason that you started blogging.

6.  Your idea of a perfect morning.

7.  Ice cream…best invention, and favorite flavor?

8.  Do you have a favorite book?

9.  What color would you dye your hair if you were unafraid of any consequences (chatter, job, etc.)

10.  What is your favorite social media platform?

11.  Favorite number, and why.

Phew!  If you read all of that, you get an award!  Most patient blog reader!  🙂  Hope you had fun with the random facts, I sure did.  🙂

sigggggg22

please… enjoy it!

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the thing about life is, it can be stressful.  it can be downright unfair.  it can be sickish, and dirty, and grumpy, and disgusting, and mean.

BUT…sometimes it can be fun.  it can be light.  it can be hilarious, and lovely, and comforting, right down to the joy at getting some new awesome mittens.

take it from this viking with a HUGE heart … today, take a moment to find something small, something great, something lovely, and enjoy it!

leroy and his journey

some of the lovelies while we were waiting to start our trail ride!

fact:  rl is colorblind.

fact:  i believe in naming objects like cars, bikes, and machines.

fact:  i have bad luck with cameras.

in fact, these are all random facts.  but, my life is a series of random, hilarious facts that get jumbled together into my story.  here’s one of them:

i have LOVED horses for as long as i can remember.  i love their silky manes, their gorgeous eyes, their strong, beautiful muscles.  i often talk to them from my car when i pass them on my drive home, and especially try to converse as rl and i ride chili on the backroads.

rl wanted to surprise me with a horse back riding adventure for quite a while.  he knows how i would LOVE to one day own a horsie of my own.  (big dreams equal big dream clouds).

he decided in september to make that come true for me.  a day with horsies (or at least an hour).  he knew it would make my heart soar.

i was a little excited to say the least.

cameras.  i have dropped and broken at least two.  rl has been swimming with a non-water friendly camera. i lost one in chicago.  are you keeping count?  that’s four already, and i am only recalling the last five years.  i have pretty much convinced myself to never buy one that costs more than one week’s worth of pay, because frankly, there is not camera insurance for klutzes.  if there were, i’d be the first to sign up. we got leroy as a promotional gift.  he is tough.  he is red.  he is fierce.  i named him leroy, because i’ve never met a human or dog named leroy that wasn’t legit.

and he takes fabulous pictures.

so he stays safe, i only travel with him when i know i will have both hands available.  i will be safer with leroy than the cameras in the past.

he is my rock and roll camera.  my buddy.  y’all, meet leroy.

before i start getting congrats cards in the mail, for my beautiful baby boy, just know, i dropped my camera off a horse.  he was three days old.

the camera, not the horse.  the horse’s name is bella.  she is a beauty, and also a naughty girl, because she kept trying to eat the greenery while we were on the trail.  i was wearing a loose hoodie, with pliable pockets.  i was upon a horse, and not quite sure of how to “be tough with her” to get her to stop dipping her head, and getting snacks.  leroy was in my pocket.  guess where he ended up?

on the trail. in the brush.  three days old.  poor leroy.  sweet, tough, young blooded leroy didn’t know how awful a life on the trail could be.  neither did i.

we did not realize that i dropped leroy until the ride was over.  let’s just say, to be nice, that the staff was less than helpful in trying to locate said baby boy camera.

we returned a few hours later after the last ride, and were told that we could walk the trail if we wanted.  it was dusk, humid, and i was wearing a cute cowboy inspired outfit.  sure, let’s excercise!

such beauties.

so, it is dusk.  we are in normal, non woods walking clothes (i am wearing my cowboy boots y’all.  it was appropriate).  and rl is colorblind, and also, doesn’t have the best eyesight.  i am distraughtly searching.

but…the staff underestimated our determination.  it would have been lovely if they offered to help us look.  or, let us use a horse to spot leroy (as the height difference would have helped us notice his red shiny body).  this did not happen.

alas, it didn’t matter.  as a mama bird hears her baby’s cry, or a mama bear forages the river for salmon for her cubs, i was DETERMINED to find my leroy.  young, sweet, tough leroy.

beautiful bella girl.

so, as we neared the VERY end of the trail, i spotted him.  and i cried. (remember, i cry about everything good and bad, so this should be no surprise).  there was leroy.  he was alive!  he was not broken!  he was not covered in horse poop!

view of where i found leroy.

i hugged rl, i cradled leroy, and i couldn’t wait to tell the staff (who were so clearly concerned) that i had located leroy.  we walked the final 1/4 mile, and realized that the staff had locked us in.  with the horses.  bella recognized me from our ride.  she literally turned her head to me while i was talking to her and telling her i found leroy.

i laughed.  what an adventure.  besides, if your trail ride doesn’t end with having to swing your legs over the cattle fence while wearing your cowboy boots, cradling a red tough camera, and a new equine friend saying sayonara, you have not been living.

this has been one of thousands of similar “it happened to me, no really, it did!” stories.  hope you enjoyed.  and get out there!  there is adventure to be found!  🙂

have a sweet saturday my friends.

xo,

barbie

bike spokes, fins, & other such things

i asked rl what to do about my blog.  be funnier and lighter he said.  oh, okay.  no pressure.

let’s talk about how i name stuff that is not living, shall we?

so what about all of those pages up top that say “coming soon, and thanks for your support?” you ask?  well, it’s my attempt to connect us folk by our hobbies. enter:  bike spokes, fins, etc.

i love naming stuff. LOVE it.  objects, or especially things that have wheels are my favorite.  🙂  enter: stella.  who i now call veronica:

stella/veronica (she is a dual named lady)

i got the idea for my mailbox paint from a martha stewart magazine article.  and no, i don’t remember which one, and no, in fact i don’t like martha stewart.  i am more of a julia child fan myself. (have you seen julie & julia?  darling!)

the actual blue lady herself came from rl for my bday last year.  i was shocked, & stoked.  yeaaaahhhhhhh maaaaan.  so gnarly.  (btdubs, i LOVED in the ’80’s when people said gnarly, and rad, & let’s not forget RADICAL).  let’s totally catch the next 10 footer…. just joshin’.  but it seemed appropes. (short for appropriate, get with the program, yo).

i still want to get a bike basket, preferrably this one:

basket i love

and, what bike would truly be complete without a bell?

so, with a little coaxing of her paint colors too (if you know that yellow and blue do NOT go together, then we can still be friends) – GO GREEN, she will be ship shape for crusing.  but, i do ride her already.  she’s swell. (like that wave brah!)

and that is one of the bikes that i enjoy riding now & again.  i will show you a little post soon about Chili.  She is rl’s other girlfriend.  no seriously. 🙂

get out there and pedal people!  or should i say to myself…GO!

is this a random post?  yep.

is it thursday?  you betcha!  happy happy my friends!  tomorrow is friday & i’m WAY tubular about it.

bike bell found here    bike basket found here

true devotion, the five hour pie, & cold toes

this is a bit of a random post. but, since it is technically after midnight as i’m typing this, that’s okay – qualify it as a random thought thursday, wouldja?

it’s also okay that i am baking a pie right now, my very first strawberry rhubarb to be exact. my grandma Francek’s recipe. i try to remember my sweet, loving grandma in all the best ways possible. by always being stubborn when i know i’m right, and by trying to make her most delicious homemade foods. we have enjoyed spaghetti pie, i’ve yet to learn about how to really make her bread, and tonight i’m attempting her homemade strawberry rhubarb pie.
it has so far taken me five hours. because i made homemade crust too. and because i shopped twice for the rhubarb, and the checkout dude didn’t know what it was when i bought it. win win. let’s pump some knowledge up in heeeeere.
now, i’m not a baker. but i yearn to bake pies. all kinds of pies. i would love it to be a relaxing, mellowing type of baking.  the flour, the wistful thinking, the apron that is so dear.
ENTER::The Pioneer Woman
she, The Pioneer Woman, is a blogger. big time. has two cookbooks, and a TV show with the Food Network.
me, i am a blogger. little peanuts. have three cookbooks(that i didn’t author), and have a TV, and no cable currently.
we, TOGETHER, will teach me how to stop being such a klutz with dough, crust and meringue (whatever exactly that is).

i’ve already told you about how i cooked 4 lbs. of macaroni noodles while trying to make PW’s homemade mac and cheese. that folks, is CLASSIC babs (me).  right?

but, alas tonight, i was willing to forget said flub of recipe, because i forgot to buy the box of crust to make the pie. oy vey. another CLASSIC babs move.
and, since my toes are about 21 degrees below zero at the moment, when i realized this (it’s only because in Michigan, you can get sunburned one weekend, and worry about your plants dying due to frost TWO weekends later!), i decided that a trip to the store was out of the question. plus, sometimes after a long commute home, i’m lazy.
the true devotion part: i just finished listening to the book True Devotion by Dee Henderson on CD in my car(oh, i hope that’s her name, the CD book thing is in my car and i’m serious – it is LEGITIMATELY freezing outside), not only do i know i earned cool points telling you i am making my dad proud with B.O.CD’s , it made me think of rl.
because, the real reason that i’m up this late mom, is that i needed to use the rhubarb (it spoils kinda quickly), & i love pie, & i love rl.

now that, is true devotion – braving the elements, lack of sleep, and of course tasting it first to make sure i don’t poison him!  and his true devotion to me is cleaning the kitchen mess with no dishwasher.

the end.

random thought thursday:: why linner edition

Steak Sandwich picture courtesy of The Pioneer Woman

1.  we have brunch.  it’s great, and when my older sister worked at casa lupita (may it rest in delicious best-Mexican-food-ever peace), we rocked out a few family brunches.

2.  we have a “late” lunch.  huh?

3.  we have an “early” dinner.  wah?

4.  why do we not have a linner

PEOPLE, I AM STARTING A REVOLUTION :: & IT IS CALLED LINNER!

5.  why, you ask?  because we can’t just treat brunch like it’s the queen bee of meals, and treat linner like the leftover forgotten about the now cold appetizer from last night’s party that you were supposed to wrap up, or clean up (yuck).

6. i like to eat, and i’d like to invent a time-table meal.  as in, too late for lunch? just in time for linner.  no time for table settings and fancy desserts?  linner is your winner winner, chicken dinn-whoops!  see, already mistreating the poor old gal.

7.  because for the umpteenth recipe that you’ve printed/”pinned”/pined over on your sister-in-law’s neighbor’s blog, you just want something NOW.

8.  linner can solve the problem of what’s for this time that is slightly before dinner or a smidge after, or in my case, my-love-works-a-completely-different-time-than-i-and-i-don’t-wanna-eat-alone time?  in the case of linner, i can rock out a linner appropriate outfit, and invite some pals, ala Sex and the City with a simple “linner y’all?”  group text.

9.  btw, I am the Carrie (just cuz of the fabulous frizzy hair).  Smile  without all the HBO-rated stuff, and because occasionally i wear ridiculously colorful outfits.

10.  because right now, my stomach is grumbling, and linner is sounding faboosh!

11.  because it just sounds cool.  and at linner, you can drink a mojito or gingerbeam, and no one will judge you, since it’s after noon, and before dinner.  (in case you’re into that kinda thing).

linner for peace, linner with friends, linner forever!

ps.  when i asked rl what should i use as a photo for linner, he said without hesitation:  steak sandwich.  may it be noted that i’ve never made him a steak sandwich and now feel obligated to live up to Pioneer Woman’s unrealistic goals for my honey’s appetite.  oh  boy, here we go!

random thought thursday: celebrity dinner party

the guest list:
zooey deschanel  :  drew barrymore  :  jessica simpson  :  tori spelling  :  the pioneer woman  :  ellen page  :    wanda sykes  :  kate hudson  :  keri russell  :  liv tyler  :  whitney cummings  :  reese witherspoon  :  maya angelou  :  lauren graham  :  melissa mccarthy  :  jewel  :  sheryl crow  :  sherri shepherd  :  amy poehler  :  ellen degeneres  :

we’d talk about being famous, paparazzi, & how we hate when US Weekly compares us with Who Wore It Best.

i’d serve something scrumptious from pw’s cookbooks, simple. homemade. devine.

we’d retire to my moroccan themed patio, and sip on mojitos ( i mean diet mojitos), joking about how nice it is that our nannies could watch the kids/dogs/iguanas for the week, while we perused the sites of diane von furstenberg, anthropologie & nordstrom, buying up a storm, not a thought to the prices. & how karl lagerfield really needs to lay off on the tanning situation.

then, as we tweeted & clucked the night away, they would tell me how wonderful it is to have such a down-to-earth friend.  one who can shimmy with the best, & still loves a good campfire in the chimenea, and have i met their trainer yet?  he is the BEST.

we’d give hugs & promises to return to tori’s house for a reunion sooner-rather-than-later, & we’d discuss how to keep in touch better.

if only i were a celebrity, & these women could be my friends (*oh, and i may need to be famous, and live in nyc, la or another faboosh city).

sure, i might have a better wardrobe, a personal chef (heck, i’d settle for a dishwasher), a shoe collection worthy of a museum.

BUT:

i’d have to eat less carbs.  DEAL OVER RIGHT THERE–>NOBODY MAKES BABY EAT LESS CARBS BUT BABY.

i wouldn’t have stories about going to eat in our pj’s on a lady sunday afternoon, countless laughter fits about who-only-knows-what, & pics of us in dozens of bathrooms this side of the mississippi where we curiously covered our double chins (okay, that was just me).  i wouldn’t know their stories, inside & out, of first loves, of boys that should be banned from memories, cars that were dangerously cool, & late night study/snack-fests.  or their family histories, nephews’ names, stories that became my own story.

in other words, i couldn’t be friends with all of those celebs above, because my heart is so full with the wonderful ladies that i choose to call my friends, that i simply don’t have enough room.

so, instead of wanting a skinnier body to clothe, a fancier checking account total (although an all-healthy-full-fridge-all-the-time remains a dream), or an iguana, i’ll keep my hard earned, true blue girlfriends that i’ve collected, some i’ve known for a few years, some a decade.  (a few even longer).

because no matter what kind of envy i do suffer from on a daily, weekly, or yearly basis, it is never one of friends.

they’ve laughed with me, at me, & cried for me & in front of me.

they are beautiful, & they can’t be compared, because instead of a celebrity, i wannabe like them.  moral:  friends.  i got ’em.  i’m keeping ’em.  and no mega-watt  superstar person is ever going to compare to my girlfriends. (although let’s be serious, if drew barrymore ever asked to hang out, she’d be in the circle ASAP, but she’s the only one).  🙂

enjoy your friends today!  tell them that they make your world better!  to all my girlfriends:  you know who you are, let’s grab a mojito soon, & thanks for being you!

**  drew’s pic source