The Demons Inside Us

I don’t really know how to start this blog. But, I am compelled to write after reading the news about Anthony Bourdain’s suicide, just a few minutes ago. Kate Spade gone to young a few days ago, and now Anthony this morning?! It is time we start to talk about the demons inside us. Now, where to begin?

My first ‘big girl’ purse, that I bought for myself, was a Kate Spade. It was white with huge black polka dots and I LOVED it. I remember how FUN & fabulous I felt carrying that bag. “Start Every Day Like It’s Your Birthday!”….was one of her quotes and I felt like it WAS my birthday when I used that bag! I stopped by a friend’s house once and I left it on the front seat of my car. I was away for 15 minutes and I came out to a brick through my driver side glass and my purse stolen! My heart was as shattered as the glass. My polka dot LOVE was GONE! I looked around and didn’t see it anywhere. I was heartbroken.  The police were called and they came and took a report, of course. One of the officers did a ‘sweep’ of nearby dumpsters and alleyways….and low and behold–THEY FOUND IT! My polka dot LOVE had been dumped in an ally, like yesterdays trash. The contents rifled through, money and cards taken…. poor Kate was just thrown to the wayside. The ‘perp’ didn’t know that Kate Spade itself had value. Thank goodness! They didnt know that ‘Kate’ was THE true valued item.

The recent suicide of Kate Spade, and Anthony this morning, got me really thinking. How many times have we overlooked a ‘Kate’ in our lives? How many times has a ‘Kate’ felt undervalued/alone? How many times has a ‘Kate’ felt thrown away in an ally? Or felt like yesterdays trash? It is FAR past time that we STOP with the stigma about mental health, depression, anxiety, etc….becasue it is literally killing us.

CNN wrote this about Anthony; “Through his TV shows and books, he explored the human condition and helped audiences think differently about food, travel and themselves.”.   I know nothing of his personal life, but I know that when I watched his shows, he had the story telling ability to transport you, INTO the TV. The ability to make you feel like you were right there next to him, experiencing what he was, tasting what he was, smelling the food, seeing the sights. It really was like you were on a dinner date with the man. He would ask simple questions to the people he interviewed…”What makes you happy?”  In hindsight, this question saddens me. All the while he was battling his own demons. Why could he not ask himself that question? Why could Kate Spade not ask herself? SO MANY QUESTIONS! What is the answer?

There is no right answer and I am NOT a therapist or an expert. But what I do know, is here is a growing epidemic of 1-mental health issues, 2-opioid addition 3-chronic homelessness. And the three are intertwined more than we care to admit. If we, as a society, don’t take of our rose-colored glasses and start taking a hard look at it; these will just get worse. And by ‘society’, I mean, you-the reader, elected officials, non-profits…it takes a village. #truth #dontJustTrustmeGoogleIt #Facts

It should be noted that some people who die by suicide do not show any suicide warning signs. But about 75 percent of those who die by suicide do exhibit some suicide warning signs, so we all need to be aware of what the suicide warning signs are and try to spot them in people. If we do see someone exhibiting suicide warning signs, we need to do everything that we can to help them. Here are some signs;

  • Depression
  • Talking or writing about death or suicide
  • Withdrawing from family and friends
  • Feeling hopeless or helpless
  • Feeling strong anger or rage
  • Feeling trapped — like there is no way out of a situation
  • Dramatic mood changes or acting impulsively
  • Abusing drugs or alcohol
  • Losing interest in most activities
  • Change in sleeping habits
  • Performing poorly at work or in school
  • Giving away prized possessions
  •  Feeling excessive guilt or shame
  • Writing a will

The families and friends left behind have to ask themselves questions every day. What could I have done? What ‘sign’ did I miss? You might replay “what if” and “if only” scenarios in your mind, blaming yourself for your loved one’s death. Grieve in your own way. Do what’s right for you, not necessarily someone else. There is no single “right” way to grieve. If you find it too painful to visit your loved one’s gravesite or share the details of your loved one’s death, wait until you’re ready. Don’t rush yourself. Losing someone to suicide is a tremendous blow, and healing must occur at its own pace. Don’t be hurried by anyone else’s expectations that it’s been “long enough.” #YouDoYou #LoveYouChels

Suicide is a growing problem in the United States. The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention published a survey Thursday showing suicide rates increased by 25% across the United States over nearly two decades ending in 2016. Twenty-five states experienced a rise in suicides by more than 30%, the government report finds. If you of someone you know needs help, please call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255.

I usually have a witty closing, but not this time. From the posts on social media, I think we can all agree that we have all been touched by suicide, in one way or the other.

Let’s listen more to Plato…”Be Kind; For Everyone You Meet is Fighing a Hard Battle”.

xoxo

KP

 

 

Water your OWN Grass

Life. It’s hectic. We all have a million things going on. Work, home, pets, friends, family, volunteer, keeping the tiny humans alive. And the relationship that usually suffers the most, the one that we take for granted more than others is our mate. Why? probably because we are the most ‘comfortable’ with them. The most comfotable with our life status quo. But our mates should be nurtered, watered like plants, like the lawn. If not, they will wither up and get all dry and crunchy. There are plenty of sayings about the grass. Some say “the grass isn’t always greener on the other side of the fence.” I say ‘the grass is greener where you water it.’  Doesn’t everyone want a nice, green, plush lawn? One that you can take your shoes off and walk on with your bare feet? I sure do!

Now, don’t get it twisted, I am NOT a step ford wife. I am far from Martha Stewart at cleaning, cooking and I can be quite the lazy a$$ on the weekends. And I need to do better at showing (not just telling) my hubby that he is numero uno. I am watering the grass, but I need to turn up the water pressure a little.  Sometimes I look around and see/hear the trials of this person and that person and think “hey, we are doing just fine”. I mean, at least we don’t have separate houses, live in seperate states, we aren’t screaming at each other, he’s not sleeping with my assistant and we sleep in the same bed (for the most part, unless I fall asleep watching trash TV).

So, how? How can you jumpstart, bring a little bit of a spark back, make it better? Because the SECOND anyone says my life/my marriage/my relationship is PERFECT….First, you are lying & probably hiding something. I’m not saying put your business on the street. But, just be real with yourself, boo.  Second, good for you liar. You can stop reading here and go back to your lie of a life because no one is perfect. 😉  Third, for those of us that live in reality, here are some tips from people WAY more qualified than I am.

Oh, and before I hear any… “OMG, I am SO sick of being the one ALWAYS making the effort. Why can’t HE be the one to make plans and take me out? Why can’t HE be the one to see I need more ‘water on my lawn’? Why can’t HE just let me take a dang bath for 15 minutes without all the kids watching???” Well, ladies, because sometimes men just don’t think. There ya have it. You want things to change? Change them. #BeTheChangeYouWantInYourHouse

Now, back to tips to get that grass GREEN-er. You can learn a lot about a person, in as little as an hour of conversation. Take some of these 36 Questions to Bring you Closer together and write them down on slips of paper. Ask them to each other during happy hour, or during the hour before ‘sleep’ time, or during date night. You never know what you can learn about your mate…even after years of being with them.

Talk about the good ‘ole days. Nothing gets those butterflies fluttering like thinking back to what brought you both together! Say something like “I loved that trip we took to ____” or “that dinner you cooked me on our second date, it was amazing”. Don’t go in for a dig like “Why don’t we EVER go on trips any more like we used to?” or “Why don’t you cook like that any more?” That is a SURE way to dry up that grass….

Speak well of each other! There is nothing more of a TURN ON, than when you hear through the grape vine of how nice your spouse/mate was talking about you. Of course, we all have our close friends that we vent too…your deep personal issues need to stay just that–personal. #talknice

Drop your old issues. We all have scars and damage from our dating days, but don’t use an old fight as a weapon in a new one. It’s unfair to throw unresolved issues at one another — drop those sensitivities by avoiding hot button issues that you’ve already discussed (and hopefully resolved). If you’re still having trouble letting it go, consider journaling or talking to a counselor to prevent these bygones from weakening your marriage.

Fight fairly. This one is hard, especially for the ones of us that have Irish/Cajun tempers, LOL. Avoid using absolutes like “always” or “never” to accuse your spouse when you’re revved up and kind of irrational during a particularly bad argument. Within the argument, establish a “take it back” code whenever either of you says something you don’t truly mean. You both need to know when to apologize; love does mean saying “I’m sorry” sometimes.

Be financially responsible. Money is one of the top marriage stressors, especially in challenging financial times. You both need the security of knowing that you’re each paying bills on time, and not making unnecessary purchases. Be honest with one another, no matter what. Don’t show up with a new car…that would be put in the ‘not good’ column.

Don’t stall on each other’s requests. Life is hectic, but if your partner asks you to look up something online or find a piece of paperwork for him, make it a high priority to do so as soon as humanly possible. When you show your spouse that his requests are important to you and you value his needs, that makes your partnership even stronger. Example: I drink my coffee while I check my emails in the mornings, in bed. My husband HATES when I leave my coffee mugs & water cup on the nightstand.  It does not bother me, but really, really, really bothers him….and has for 9 years. Finally, after me realizing that is REALLY does bother him; and after several requests (a final plea rather), I have an alarm set in my phone, every day, reminding me to remove them from my night stand. The alarm is named “CUP”. And if that little thing helps his sanity and helps me to remember, then “cup” alarm it will be.

Accept that you’ll both have bratty moments. Sometimes when we’re stressed, we get snippy. It happens to everyone, and that ultra-bratty response may even be a surprise to you. So if your spouse replies with a crappy comment, don’t come back hot! Just accept it as a sign that maybe he’s stressed and not able to respond more maturely at the moment. Maybe his baby momma just came at him with something? Maybe the boss just gave him an earful, maybe he just had to deal with an unpleasant patient/customer, maybe the kiddo just had a little ‘a-hole moment’….you never know. Try not come back the same way. Yes, that is HARD. #TrustAndBelieveIKnow
And if he blames your bratty remark on PMS, it’s better to walk away than get into a fight over something silly. Apologies can come a little bit later. #DontBiteHisHeadOff #MenCanBeStupidBecauseTheyAREFromMars #WeArentPerfectEither

You get more fly’s with sugar. My grandmother told me this over & over and it is VERY true. IF you want something done, don’t come in hot…(or just do it yourself! ha). There is something to be said about using manners and sweetness to get things done in life. It’s the same things with your mate. But, we take our mates for granted and just ‘expect’ things to just happen…but we shouldn’t. Get out that sugar! Give more sugar and get more sugar! #SugarSugar

What is your love language? There are 5.

  • Gifts
  • Quality Time
  • Words of Affirmation
  • Acts of Service
  • Physical Touch

If you don’t know yours or your mates…then you really are on Mars & Venus. These are outlined by Gary Chapman in a 1995 book, “The Five Love Languages: How to Express Heartfelt Commitment to Your Mate.” Its like $12 on amazon…get it, read it….it will BLOW your mind. My husbands love language is ‘acts of service’. Now what the hell does that mean?? It means he shows LOVE and receives love through acts of service. Doing chores, helping people with handy man stuff, he is a hard worker. This is also how he perceives and receives incoming love. (remember the damn cups on the nightstand? Removing them daily makes him SO happy) Some people have more than one language. I love quality time and physical touch, with some gifts thrown in! (Poor hubby #poorJP) My hubby isn’t my first hubby, got the mistakes out of the way and then found a good one! We are going on 9 years. Are things always lollypops and daisy’s? Hell no. Anyone that says their marriage is perfect…#WhatTheWhat? But, I wouldn’t trade him for anything! (Well, maybe Channing Tatum, he’s single now)

Your L.L. is usually different from your mates; and once you learn what theirs is; your can start communicating to them and giving them what they need.  Example: If your L.L. is quality time and all you are getting is gifts, and NEVER getting quality time with your mate…then you are probably feeling pretty empty. Maybe because your mates L.L. is gifts, and they think that fills you, because that is what fills them. (MIND BLOWN RIGHT!? LOL)  I have read the book and I bought the book for my hubby to read about a month ago…it is still in the plastic wrapper. #HintHintJP

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There is a myth that marriage will just sustain itself…that is more than a myth, it’s a total lie. Marriage is work. Hard work. And like any other work, it takes two people willing to work AT it. Marriage is also an evolution. Two people willing to evolve through the years together.  It’s learning yourself, learning your partner. What you are at 24 is not what you are at 34 and not what you are at 44.  DON’T sweat the small stuff. JP’s says “I never did mind the little things.” He usually says it when there is something that is/was bothering him. LOL. There is nothing more beautiful knowing, that at the end of the day, you have someone that has your back 110%. #YouBetterWork #WaterThatGrass #StayInYourYard 😉

Cheers to Green Grass!

XOXO

KP

 

Why We ALL Need a Girls Trip

Your tribe, your girls, your posse’, your squad. Whatever you call them, there is nothing better than girl time! Don’t get me wrong, we love our family, husband, kids, etc., etc., etc. But, girl time is food for the soul. An absolute necessity for our sanity. It is scientifically proven that a crucial re-boot process happens when we are allowed to let our hair down and be silly around our girlfriends. Internal Windows updates happen when we hear that cork open! Throw in a little sun & sand…and boom! It’s like you are an entire new person!

So, why exactly are Girl Trips the best? Wait…back it up. For those that are reading this…going on a Girls Trip does NOT make you a bad wife/mom/girlfriend. Okay? Okay. You can NOT take care of anyone else if you aren’t taking care of yourself. So, take care of you, boo. Take time to recharge. And please, no emails about “I don’t go anywhere unless it’s with my entire family because I love them so much and can’t stand being away from them for one single second. We are an organic, bonded unit.’ (insert eye roll) Ok, good for you. Sometimes mine makes me crazy and they drive me to drink. But, we are an organic too, and I like organic things, like grapes…the fermented kind. #PassTheChampagne #ChampagnePorFavor #FindYourZen
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Back to why Girls Trips are the best! There is NO pressure. When you go away with the entire family, you are STILL WORKING! You are cleaning up after kids, chasing them on the beach, laundry, etc. (I thought this was a vacation?) When you go away with your closest friends, they are in tune with you and how you work, allowing you the most stress free get away. You can go without make-up, bum around, no cares if you have brushed your hair, no one is asking you to wipe them after going to the potty. If someone is asking for help in the potty on a girls trip…that means its been a FUN night! LOL #thankgoodnessforUber #holdmyhair #TMI

Another reason Girls Trips are the best, and we ALL do it;  It doesn’t matter what age you are, if you’re single or taken, married or not, girls talk to girls about boys. Could be the Ex that screwed them over, could be about the guy at three o’clock, or it could actually be something nice that happened to her. But regardless, girls talk about boys. To vent or gripe, to ask for advice, to get comforted…you and your girls have the best and most candid ‘talks’ about boys. #youknowyoudoit #IfYouPutA’BlessHisHeart’AtTheEndItsOk #guysDoItAllTheTime

Another reason to Girl Trip is to reconnect. A lot of the time if you are in a relationship, friendships can suffer. We don’t always intend for that to happen but when you live a busy life and try to balance a lot of items, work, kids, relationships, etc.,…things can get complicated. Leaving all the boys & busy stuff at home will allow you to reconnect and remember what the friendship was like before life got crazy.

Freedom Ladies, Freedom! This is a big one. Friends are understanding. They just get it. And on top of that there are never going to hold you back. There is a certain sense of freedom that comes with girl trips that make them that much better. If you need to sleep for 18 hours because your kids wake you up at 5am every day, then do it! Walk around the condo in just your shoes. Do it. Be free. Mimosas & pizza for breakfast, do it. Brunch 3 times a day, do it! Do what you want. Your girlfriends won’t hold you back, but they will HAVE your back. Another great thing about getting away with friends is that there is a sense of comfort and honesty. Be yourself, others will too. Be free and ENJOY! #mimosasAt6am-heckyeah #befree #VacationPorFavor
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Girl talk! Girl talks are the best. And much cheaper than therapy. Hate your job because your boss is an awful little prick? Decided to get Botox? Haven’t had sex in a month with your boyfriend? Still having issues with that mean girl at 37 yrs old? Your 12 yr old acting like a little sh&t? We got you, boo. Talk it out. Chances are, one of your girlfriends is or has gone through the same thing. #WhineTime

Now, Some people say, ‘married couples should ONLY vacation together’ In some instances, I totally agree. There are some (mostly men) that can’t keep their stuff in their pants. We all know that type and probably know a few in real life. #soClassy! Other than those with the wandering pee pee, there is really no other reason why they should always vaca together. No reason why they shouldn’t, either. If we didn’t do this now and then, each of us would miss out on some things only one of us wants to do. Also it can be good for your perspective on your relationship. But if you don’t want to spend some time together, why are you married? I think it’s great to do both. #absenceMakesTheHeartGrowFonder #KeepYourPantsUp

It can be a week, a weekend or even a night with just the girlfriends; girl time is essential! Man can not live by bread alone and women can not live without her girl time! Make it a road trip. Pack a bag and a case of wine. Need some suggestions? Here are the 20 Best Girlfriend Friendly Getaways you can take…and you don’t even need a Passport.

Once you find your tribe, have fun with them! Embrace your Girl/woman power, take a Girls Trip, leave the drama behind and make some new memories. It doesn’t have to be 2 weeks, first class in Paris…but, take some time and bond with your girls! It’s always a good idea. #ToesInTheSand #OrBootsInTheSnow

Cheers,

KP

Take Time for You & Be a Better You

We all have it. Guilt. Guilt that if we take time, or too much time for our selves, that we aren’t being a good mom, or a good wife, or good ‘whatever’. It is quite the contrary. We can’t be a good anything if we aren’t taking time to re-charge. These days, we are pulled in 1,000 different directions and at the speed of light. Or at the speed of our cell phones. They are attached to us 24/7. I remember the days of waiting until you got home to check the answering machine. And guess what? We all survived! If we were going on a trip, we read maps, actual road maps. PAPER ones. We didn’t have cell phone to map our routes…we had a highlighter. Kids didn’t have to be constantly entertained, they rode bikes and made mud pies. It is a different time now. Everything is instant, in your face…news, people, noise. The time to relax is few and far between.

Some days, it’s nice to just have a day or a few hours to yourself. Take a walk, binge watch your favorite series on Netflix, read a book, exercise, go get yourself ice cream or maybe just spend a day organizing and cleaning. Wait, who are we kidding, how about day drinking with your BFF?! (if you don’t have to drive of course) Sometimes it’s nice just to treat yourself and take a break from the real world and people for a little bit.

Here are some quick tips. Because you are probably trying to reach this fast, or may have a child trying to get your attention:

  • Make Yourself a Priority. First, realize how important it is. YOU have take care of anyone else if you aren’t at 100%.
  • Schedule Your ‘Me’ Time. Make your free time as important as the pediatrician’s.
  • If You Have 5-10 Minutes. Sit on the porch with a cup of coffee and the newspaper. 
  • If You Have 15-30 Minutes. Read one chapter of a book you’ve wanted to make time for.

Make time where you can. It can seem like everything is important, especially when it comes to work and tasks around the house. Delegate some of your responsibility, or cut out what isn’t absolutely necessary to your day to clear your schedule.

  • Ask for help from your family. This can be asking a child to do chores or your spouse to run to the grocery store. Delegating tasks like this can free up twenty minutes to spend on yourself.
  • Find jobs to outsource. This may hurt your budget a little, but find a service to mow your lawn or a cleaning service to help around the house. TRUST ME ON THIS ONE! It will save SO much time and stress.
  • Learn to say no. Don’t keep taking on endless tasks. Understand that you have a limit and learn to say no to things without feeling guilty.

Accept not doing things perfectly. Often people are bogged down the need to get every task just right. This can mean you stay after work, answer work e-mails on the weekend, or simply can’t go to sleep until all of the dishes are done. Accept that you can’t get everything done. At a certain point every night, put everything down and focus on doing something you want. Realize that most things can wait and you’ll have another opportunity to do tasks. Also, taking time away from important tasks can actually improve your performance. I really struggle with this, because I am a little OCD and A-type. #thestruggleisREAL

Put down the electronics. It’s easy to be sucked into a social media app or television show for hours. You may enjoy these activities but they can also consume all of your free time, many times without even seeming like it. For an hour each day, put down your phone, computer, and even your T.V. Get the most of your time by experiencing it radically present, not mindlessly wrapped up in an app.
Spend some time being alone. Get your spouse to go out with their friends. You could also tell them to stay home with you, since there are no kids running around. If you’re a teen, just shut your door or go to the bathroom. It is OK to just be alone. Teens especially are addicted to social media. It won’t kill them to read a book for 20 minutes a day.

Find time to be alone. Take a long, hot bath or sit in a room and think. Sort things out. A time like this can really help you notice somethings and it’s good for you to address your problems or go back to the good times.

  • Cook or order one of your favorite meals. Eat what you like and be yourself. Sometimes during the rush of a work day we might find ourselves grabbing food on the go and eating it in a rush. Make time for yourself to cook something you enjoy and a slow sit-down mean to savor it.

Remember, If everyone else around you is worthy of care and attention, then so are you. You not only deserve this time, but you need it for your own well-being. Lack of time for ourselves often leads to feeling frustrated, tired, overwhelmed and out of balance…then we get a little coo-coo. Without this time for ourselves, we lose sight of what’s important to us. #FindYourZen 

Do not EVER feel guilty for taking time for yourself. EVER. All batteries need to re-charge, if not they lose their power. Find your charging station and get to charging!

XOXO

KP

Limoncello…by Popular Demand.

Let me first start with a STERN warning.  This WILL put hair on your chest.  Sip, do not shoot. Savor, do not chug-a-lug. Or you may wake up having passed out on your rug. Heed these warnings. Yes, do fear. For this limoncello, as smooth as it tastes, contains Everclear. 

Now, since the disclaimer is out of the way….let’s get to it!!! If you have never had, or prepared, Limoncello; you are in for a treat. It is a long process, but if you start now, it will be ready to sip on just in time for when those precious rugrats get out of school for summer break. And Lord knows, we will need all the help we can get to survive summer break.

First, you will need these ingredients.

Ingredients:
Phase 1- One Bottle (750 ml) Everclear
One Bottle (750 ml) Vodka
20 large lemons
Phase 2 (Finishing)- Four cups sugar
Four cups water

1. Wash the lemons in hot water and clean. Rinse.
2. Peel the lemons making sure not to peel any of the white part under the peel (the pith). Use a super-sharp vegetable peeler. Try to keep the peel in long strips.

peeling
3. Place the lemon peels in a large glass container (a container with lid) with the vodka and Everclear.
4. Place jar in a cool place where it can be undisturbed. Swirl the lemon peel and alcohol mixture daily in the jar. Just a few swirls to mix up the Lemons, will do. This step can last as little as two weeks or up to four months. (sign so that no one in the house touched it)

We started off with a hearty plastic container….but after two weeks, moved it to a glass pitcher and covered with Tin Foil. We also let it ferment/sit for 5 weeks. IMG_1335

Phase 2-Finishing 

1. Remove the bigger peels with a slotted spoon. I keep the peels to the side and bagged them in small pint size freezer bags. They make EXCELLENT garnish to all types of cocktails.
2. Strain the entire mixture through coffee filters or cheesecloth to remove impurities. If you don’t have a cheese cloth, just be careful to pour out ONLY the liquid.
3. Make a syrup by combining the sugar and water in a heavy saucepan. Bring to a boil, stirring occasionally. Let it boil for at least seven minutes. (Day Drinking Tee…thought it was necessary to wear)


4. Let syrup cool to room temperature. VERY important step.
5. Combine cooled syrup with strained lemon/alcohol mixture. The combined mixture will be creamy looking, light yellow in color—this is how it is supposed to look. IMG_1320
6. Bottle, using a funnel. We ordered one dozen 8 oz swing top glass bottles, and it was good.


7. Deliver bottle to me via FedEx… 😉

Bottled mixture should be allowed to rest at room temp for at least one week, allowing the syrup and the alcohol to “marry”.

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After one week, store bottle(s) in the freezer. Keep in the freezer at all times, treat it like gold…trust me on this one. It will not freeze.

HINT: The longer you allow it to ferment/sit with the lemons, the better the lemon taste and less of a bite. It makes a GREAT mixer in a glass of Champagne (just a tablespoon will do) sugar the rim of the glass and use the lemon slice/peel as a garnish.

Remember, this is to SIP….for the love of all things holy, do not pour yourself or your guests full shot glasses of this without proper market research (take it slow)…..and not on a school night. 🙂 You have been warned. Special shout out to Amy W. and Paul M. for keeping the recipe going strong in Louisiana.

Cheers and Enjoy!

KP

 

Curve Ball

So, I had my blog all ready to go for Monday. I really do have them planned out weeks & weeks in advance #OCD. And then my Dad shows up with a book from my Mom. I’m really not a big reader, more of a Podcast while I drive kind of person, multi-tasker!  But as I sat down for my final proof on the previous blog, I looked over and picked up the book my Dad dropped off….. “Perfectly YourselfDiscovering Gods Dream For You” by Matthew Kelly. Really? My son’s name and my name? Ok…I’ll play. So, I cracked the book and WOW. img_4119.jpgLet’s just say this was a CURVE BALL I was not expecting! And for those of you that think I just whip out an entire blog in an hour or so…not the case. But, I was ON a MISSION! ….Mission. Mission. What is your mission? As I was scanning the chapters, Finding a Mission. WHAT IS YOUR MISSION? Good Question.

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People run at full speed; chasing after dreams of money and ‘success’. And forget or loose themselves while they are running.  Or end up being unhappy or faking it in the process.  Having too many responsibilities, too much to lose, and too many things to protect. What are we chasing after? Why are we chasing it? What is my purpose? Why was I put here? What do YOU want your eulogy to consist of? Titles, letters at the end of your name? Or people who you have helped…lives that you have touched. What would your lifetime achievements be? What would matter the most at the end of your life? Is it what you are doing right NOW? What is your MISSION?   #deepthoughts #AreYouHereForYouOrForOthers

The very first thing we ALL need to realize in life is to just be ourselves. Be the very best version that we can be…but some days that is in our PJ’s, with no make-up or having a melt down, and that is OK.

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We don’t wake up one day and say “The JOB is DONE, I am the BEST version of myself!” Really? No, boo. And I want some of whatever you are drinking.  And practice does not make perfect. Practice makes progress! In everything. Life, piano lessons, friendship, work, in being a person, in EVERYTHING. #KeepMakingProgress #BeABetterVersionOfYourYesterdaySelf #BeYourself #EvenIfYouAreAHotMess #ThatIsOkToo

Does your desire to serve and please others make you happy? Serving the needs of others is one way to find ourselves but we can also lose ourselves. Matthew Kelly writes, “It should be driven by the needs of others, not by our own motives.”

IMG_4118 He asks the question ARE YOU HAPPY at seminars and also writes, “for most people the answer is Yes and No or Yes, but I could be happier.”…”Happiness is not achieved by the pursuit of happiness but rather by living right. Just do the next thing right. In every situation, at every juncture, at all crossroads, simply do the next right thing.” Will we make wrong decisions? Of course! We are mortals!  But, if we would all just live like our grandma is watching us, the world would be a little better.

I can not wait to sit down this evening and dig into this book!

I can worry myself into a sick stomach!

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And it does NO good to worry. I know this, but it doesn’t change the fact that I still worry. There are going to be problems in everyone’s life. Some large, some small. Fact. Several years ago, someone shared an analogy with me about dealing with stress/issues. Everyone has a proverbial ‘tea cup’ that they are able to put their stress/issues/worries/daily tasks into. Some people have an espresso sized cup…some people have a 5 gallon sized bucket tea-cup. Either way, when that ‘cup’ gets full, it’s full. They have reached their limit! Some people just have the ability to handle more. My cup area for worrying about my kiddos is very small…that part fills up quick. My area for dealing with work, volunteer tasks is about 3 gallons.  The area when I have a brother that is deployed, about 2 teaspoons.

I love what Matthew Kelly mentions about ‘managing the present & creating the future” and can’t wait to dig in more. Our lives are moving at such a fast pace these days that we make decisions so quick, we don’t take time to stop, reflect, smell the roses…or rose’ (that part was me!).  We, as a society are more likely to react than to reflect. We think “what should I do?” …but we should be thinking more “should I do anything?” Sometimes the best thing to do is nothing. No drama on fb, you don’t have to respond to everything, you don’t have to text or share every bit of gossip you think you may know…sometimes it is better to leave a situation alone. Balance. Allowing action and inaction to coexist.

“It is this calmness and clarity that will allow us to realize what we are called to and what matters most”- Matthew Kelly

Ohhhhh, I can not WAIT to read this entire book! Like I said, I am NOT a big reader, but this is going to be great!

Have a wonderful week and enjoy the kiddos being back in school!

Cheers!

KP

All Rosé is NOT Created Equal…

Spring has sprung and what better way to kick off warmer temps than with a great glass of rosé! This past weekend was not only Easter, but my birthday weekend…so what better time to test out several different rosés and share the findings with you! Don’t get me wrong, the bubbly is my first love…but a good rosé is so nice in the spring and summer. I have slaved all weekend, over several bottles, to bring you my reviews.  It’s a tough job, but someone has to do it.

What exactly is rosé? Some people just think it’s a Zinfandel ( gross. no) Or a single type of grape. Some think it’s also the same as ‘Pink Champagne’–wrong again. (will get into that more later) Before we begin with the reviews, let’s have Rosé 101. 

First, mixing red and white wine together is not how you make true rosé. Although, we did try that in college–do not recommend.  To make most rosé wines, red grapes are lightly crushed and left to macerate with their red skins for less time than a RED wine (anywhere from a few hours to a few days). After which the juice is strained out from the solid stuff (called “must”) and fermented. The longer the grapes’ skins are left sitting in the wine, the darker the color of the finished rosé.

Rosé isn’t made from a specific grape or region; it’s just a genre of wine, like red or white. The biggest producers by volume are France, Spain (where it’s “rosado”), Italy (“rosato”), and the United States. But there’s also excellent stuff coming from South America (Chile, Uruguay), Germany, and Australia, and more corners of the world.

Most rosé wines are blends of multiple grapes. Some of the most common grape varieties used in dry/European-style rosé are Grenache, Sangiovese, Syrah, Mourvèdre, Carignan, Cinsault, and Pinot Noir. The 4 most popular varieties are below. The flavor notes can be REALLLLLY yummy. When you find a good rosé, that isn’t to sweet (or you may like that), try it with the food paring suggested below. It can be totally amazing when you hit the right note on a wine/food pairing.  #DaBombIMG_3853

Quick PINK Champagne sidebar. How exactly does rosé Champagne come to be? By mixing red and white, of course. In fact, the Champagne Region in France is the only region in the world where you can legally blend red wine and white wine to create a rosé. Crazy! (Time for a field trip!) To make pink/rosé Champagne, wine makers are allowed to use the following three grapes: Chardonnay, Pinot Noir, and Pinot Meunier, the last two of which are red grapes. Champagne is usually white because the flesh and juice inside red grapes are free of pigment, so once the grapes are pressed and removed from the skins, the final product is white. In the Champagne region, many of these red wine grapes are harvested to produce still red wines, which are then added to the sparkling wine to create a lightly pigmented sparkling rosé. Though light in color, these wines are often more powerful in flavor than your regular Champagne, thanks to the punch packed by the still red wine. winemaker generally blend 15 percent of still red wine into the final sparkling rosé wine production.

Another way that rosé Champagne is produced is via the saignée method, a winemaking process commonly used around the world to create still rosés. I do NOT understand much about this, other than they ‘mix it’… and it’s considered NOT a true method for ‘still’ rosés….so that is all we will talk about that. LOL #movingon

Rosé, unlike red wine & Christie Brinkley, does not improve over the years — so don’t hoard it in your cellar for half a century. There’s no shame in drinking something with last year printed on the label. You shouldn’t drink anything that’s dated more than two or three years back. And if you find something dated over several years back…it will probably taste like rubber bands and/or vinegar. #drinkItNow

You can totally use Rosé to make cocktails & spritzers….1/2 & 1/2 Rosé & club soda, a squeeze of lemon juice and crushed fresh strawberries. OMG…so good.  Want Rosé lemonade with a kick? 5 parts Rosé, one part vodka, top off with 1/2 fresh squeezed lemon (or 3 tbsp lemon juice, stir and garnish with a lemon slice). Serve both over ice.

Now let’s get into the reviews of my weekend of Rosé

First, let me start by saying that NONE of the Rosé on this BLOG is more than $27.00 a bottle. Click on the photo or the name of the Rosé, and it will take you to the product page of each.   #GoodDoesNOThaveToBeExpensive #IAmNOTGettingPaidToReviewANY #IJustLOVERosé #TipsForMyReaders #YouAreWelcome 🙂

Friday was my 39th birthday…again. The BFF and I enjoyed Whispering Angel on the patio at one of our local favorite spots, Spirits. This Rosé is from estate Chateau d’Esclans in the region of Provence, France, close to the Mediterranean coast. She & I REALLY both liked this one. The main grape is Grenache and it has Syrah as well. Not tart and not to sweet either. VERY light hints of mango, honey, strawberry…even lighter notes of pink grapefruit & cherry. I’m not a fan of cherry or honey and I LOVED this. The French know their grapes y’all. #WhisperToMeOneMoreTime #corkedTop

NOTORIOUS PINK Rosé

Well, well, well. Not only was this NOTORIOUS PINK Rosé SUPER yummy, but it has the COOLEST bottle and a GLASS cork! FANCY! I got watermelon, strawberry, peach & pear. This is a 100% Grenache grape Rosé from the south of France. The hubby and I enjoyed this and we will be getting this one again & again. It had a crisp, fresh this is probably the most versatile of the ones I’ve tried this weekend. REALLY ENJOYED! #GlassCork

Yes, for you…I even tried Rosé …..In a Can. JillHammer

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Oh my. Where to begin? There is a reason that Champagne and Rosé come in a bottle and not a can. I will have to try this one in the bottle form so that I can give a review of the taste of the Rosé. My grandmother always said if you don’t have anything nice to say, keep your mouth shut. #MovingOn

IMG_3809 And Why am I MR. PINK. I could not find this anywhere on-line to direct you their web site…maybe my stalking skills are lacking. (doubtful, LOL) This Rosé is about $11-$15 a bottle, one of the less expensive ones. It is from Washington State and from the Sangiovese grape- a dark-berried vine, is the most widely planted grape variety in Italy.  It was ‘ok’. Would I drink it again? Yes, in a pinch. Would be good for large parties, if you had to buy a lot of bottles. It is pretty dry…AKA tart af. If you like sweet…this is your Rosé! 

 

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Don’t cry for me Argentina and there is no crying for this one either, I mean in a good way, it’s pretty good. El Libre Rosé is from the Mendoza region. It’s by far the largest wine region in Argentina. Located on a high-altitude plateau at the edge of the Andes Mountains and considered a “rare blend” is a term Wine-Searcher uses to identify rosé wines made from unusual or rarely seen combinations of grape varieties. Indicative Blend: Torrontes, Chardonnay & Malbec. Vanilla, berry and a little spice with this one. Rich and fruity. Not my top pick of the weekend….but not bad. I would drink it again.

Meiomi Rosé This is from pinot noir grapes from California. My favorite red EVER is from Cali, so I had very high hopes for this Rosé. It opens with flavors of watermelon and orange. It was nice.  I didn’t get any rose or strawberry (as the wine maker boasts). Maybe my palate isn’t as heightened as it should be. I know I like it and that is all that matters.

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Vie Vite’ Rosé 

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Vie Vite’ is 30% each Sinsault, Grenache, Syrah, and 10% Carignan grapes from the Provence region in France, 21 km from Saint Tropez.  I tell ya….the French;  they know how to relax AND how to make wine. Which came first, the relaxing or the wine? This Rosé was one of my favorites. And it just wasn’t because of the view on the balcony with my cute hubby. It was VERY nice, crisp, soft & fruity (mostly berries) but was not tart or overly sweet. #AlreadyBoughtBottleNumber2

Well, I hope this list of my Rosé picks and reviews…including a few that were ‘so so’, helps you navigate the spring selection stress! Picking out new wines can be intimating at times. At the least, this can help you get through spring break.

While most wine makers and wine regions treat Rosé as icing on the cake, the Provence region, in the south of France, treats it like the MAIN DEAL….it’s NOT second fiddle to Red or White, Rosé is big business. If you are ever in the French Rivera…check out the top 12 Rosé to Drink in the Rivera.  …..And take me with you, lol

Cheers!

KP

I Do NOT Plan On Aging Gracefully…

So, today kicks off my BIRTHDAY WEEK! Another year, another birthday. Turning 39, again. Some days I feel my age. Most days I don’t look my age…and thanks to modern science and Botox, I will fight looking my age every step of the way. When men get older, they become more distinguished looking. Salt and pepper hair, rugged. Very James Bond-ish. But, when women get older; they just get older. NO THANK YOU.

I follow a lot of these tips, not all. I am only human, and not going to lie. I love me some junk food every now and then. When my husband reads this blog he is going to ROLL his eyes to a few of the tips. #onlyhuman

My grandmother, who’s skin never looked her age, used Oil of Olay for ever! I use it, (it has 50 spf in it now), every morning before I put on my foundation. #NotPaidToSayThat There are a lot of things we, as women can do. There are a lot of things we do because our moms, grandmothers did. But somethings we can do new, or do better. Because who doesn’t want to feel better or look better?

First, tip. Homage to my Grandmother “GaGa”….Always use sunscreen. UV rays cause an extremely big percentage of wrinkles and other signs of ageing. Use it daily on face, neck, even your ears if you have short hair.  Pay special attention to protect your skin from sun damage when you go on holidays & if you are playing sports…and PUT sunscreen on those KIDDOS! It pains me to see all those summer pool and ball field photos with beat red faces and shoulders. Remember my “Take care of Yo Self” BLOG a few months ago? The Dermatologist told me that some people are just genetically predisposed and it’s NOT just people over 30. The youngest melanoma she has treated was a 17-year-old male. 17 years old!!! It can come from years of sun exposure.

Second, Keep the same weight all the time. One of my favorite actresses Christie Brinkley is the great example of woman who looks absolutely stunning and gorgeous, even though she is like 60 now.

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How does she do it? :-/

It’s unbelievable! She shared one of the secrets of her beauty – maintain the same weight all the time. Often people have a habit of eating 3 big meals a day, but when you desire to maintain, it’s better to appropriate right habits of eating – try to eat smaller portions, but more often than only 3 times a day, (eat 5-6 smaller meals) this way you will boost your metabolism and it will be a lot easier to maintain great figure. And I’m not saying ‘skinny’…ALL shapes are beautiful! Just try to maintain the same weight, whatever it is, too much change does a number of your skin, muscles, etc. Another easy trick is to drink one glass of water before or after you eat, depending on your preference. Water will make you feel satisfied, and your body will stay very hydrated!  Maintaining the same weight is harder the older we get…..trust me. #birthdayweek ;-/

 

3-Exfoliate your skin regularly. Exfoliation is one of the most important secrets of youthful appearance! I do this EVERY day. It has many benefits: it’s the best way to keep your skin soft and glowing, it helps to keep your pores from clogging (keeps acne under control), helps with uneven skin tone, keeps lines and wrinkles in check. It does not have to be expensive, just find what works for you. I use St. Ives Apricot scrub and it works like a charm and doesn’t make me break out.

4-Focus on Positive Things. Being happy really does have an impact on how you look! Have you noticed, maybe walking around in a store, that some people just look miserable? Well, being happy does make you look and feel younger and puts you in a good positive mood. This is why it’s so important to cultivate positive mental attitude, laugh a lot and chose to be happy. thBE1P0XA0

Look at the glass half full instead of half empty, notice all the great and positive things that happen to you and be thankful for them and remember to smile often. Be a Do-er, a problem solver, someone who figures things out…not just fussed about them. This will help you stay younger looking and feeling for longer. Plus, people want to be around fun, positive people! #PurgeTheNegative

5- Eat Healthy. Stay away from processed foods. I admit, I LOVE me some drive thru every once in a while…I can’t help it! (Ok, more often than every once in a while) But, this is one of the crucial habits we have to work on in order to stay youthful for a long time. I suffer from some pretty bad ‘gastro issues’ (I know, TMI). So, we really do try to eat healthy home cooked dinners. Researches suggest that healthy diet can fend off your skin’s top enemies. So, include fruits, vegetables and fish into your diet! Eating healthy also makes you feel better. Good gas in the tank makes the car run well! (at the end of this blog, there are some food tips)

6- Beauty Sleep. Getting enough sleep regularly can help you to boost your energy levels, relief stress and keep your weight down/maintained. You have to recharge. Your body needs it. Getting at least 6-7 hours of sleep every night can help you to feel and look a lot younger than your real age. This would be great for me if I didn’t suffer from Insomnia…I think I may have found a recent solution to it. (more on that in an upcoming BLOG). If you are able to sleep…I am JEALOUS. People that can lay their heads down and be to sleep in 5, 10 minutes…..I wish, wish, wish that was me. I need a night cream that hides the fact that I haven’t had a good nights sleep since 1996. Any suggestions?

7- Get into the gym. Exercising is proved to be a great mood booster, it can help you to reduce stress and to keep your skin looking healthy. So, don’t neglect this “friend of your beauty” – sport. Now, I hate, yes hate, the gym and working out. I have tried running, yoga, walking, spin, group classes, with a trainer, without a trainer, working out with a friend, solo, weights, cardio….I just don’t like it. The last “round” of me attempting to get fit…after a few months; I threw out my back, couldn’t move for 5 days, ended up with shots in my back and an MRI. Omg, SO MUCH FUN! But, for everyone else, I think it’s a great idea. LOL  (and when I finish this blog, I will, for real, get my iPad out and do a slow flow, stretching yoga session, with my dog)

8- You time. Meditate, soak in the tub, pamper, TV time, go for a walk, read a book. Whatever you need to do to decompress…do it. It is NOT selfish, you have to take care of yourself before you can help anyone else. It will relax and make you feel better.

9-The last thing ,Physical intimacy is good! Great and healthy love life can also help you to stay younger looking and younger for a long time. While doing “it” – your body cultivates the “hormone of happiness” which not only strengthens your immune system and boosts your happiness, but also helps you stay younger for longer. Some researches show that people who have happy relationship and regular satisfying intimacy look about 10 years younger than their physical age. Yes, Jonathan…I know you are laughing you butt off reading this part too! It’s my birthday week, not yours, LOL!!!!

A few heart and age helping foods...because I am ALL about two birds, one stone. The oil found in avocados works to toughen your skin while also hydrating it. Another perk? Avocados are full of monounsaturated fatty acids. This is the healthiest type of fat for the cardiovascular system because it doesn’t promote inflammation.

Foods high in water content, such as cucumbers, watermelon, apples, peaches, melons, and celery, are some of the best hydration solutions for your skin. They keep away wrinkles and therefore keep you looking fresh-faced. #SugarTownMellons #IcanEatMyWeight 53af242d95f37_-_rby-33-foods-stay-young-watermelon-de

Stock up, choose foods like chicken, lean beef, walnuts, chickpeas, and dried fruits. Zinc is essential for a healthy immune system, and selenium helps your skin retain its natural elasticity.

53af242a0fdf0_-_rby-33-foods-stay-young-broccoli-red-cabbage-deCabbage, broccoli; are natural detoxifiers that minimize toxicities that build up in out blood stream and dull out complexion.

Eating kiwi will not only help maintain clear skin, it will also promote healthy bones. One cup peeled kiwifruit contains more vitamin C than the equivalent amount of oranges.

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Rosemary is rich in phytochemical, this increased levels of ceramide in the skin which helps to retain moisture and elasticity. #GoodForCooking #GoodasADrinkGarnish

Resveratorol and flavanols. These two compounds are the good stuff in dark chocolate that promote circulation and can even protect against moderate sun damage. Just make sure to choose dark chocolate over milk, as the dark chocolate is more beneficial to your health. #IKnewIt! 53af242a5a656_-_rby-33-foods-stay-young-dark-chocolate-de

Spinach has an exceptional lutein content which helps keep our eyes healthy and bright. Spinach also has tons of vitamins, including folate (vitamin B9), which aids in the production and maintenance, of new cells, including red blood cells.

Pink Grapefruit Juice for Smoother Skin Pink grapefruit gets its pink-red hue from lycopene, a carotenoid that’ll keep your skin smooth according to a study published in the European Journal of Pharmaceuticals and Biopharmaceutics. Make a mojito out of it…Pink-Grapefruit-Mojito-yes

Alcohol to Ward Off Alzheimer’s Disease
Drinking alcohol—moderately, which is one glass a day for women and two daily for men—may ward off dementia and Alzheimer’s disease. As we age, brain cells die, leading to gaps that slow nerve transmission within the brain and between the brain and the rest of the body. Moderate drinking appears to somehow prevent these “potholes.”  (Scientists aren’t sure why.)    I would like to shake those scientists hands and say “thank you!” I will pour a glass, or three, of Champagne and stay healthy! #WhatIsModeration?

I hope everyone has a wonderful Easter and drink some birthday champs for me on Good Friday!

Cheers!
KP

Sticks & Stones

We have all been there. Being called 4-eyes, fat, ugly, told….”you don’t belong here”, ” you sound funny”, “you are stupid”…and worse. Thinking back, we were each one of three kids on the playground. The bully, the one getting bullied or the one on the sidelines. Each a different dynamic. Each stirring up a different image, a different memory in your mind. Maybe you were the bully and won’t (or can’t) bring yourself to admit it. Maybe you were the one that stood on the sidelines and watched someone get bullied. You may have wanted to intervene, but couldn’t. And then there was the one that was being bullied.  The feeling is probably still raw, even after 10 or 30 years.  Moving schools and getting new friends may have put a Band-Aid on it…but you swore to never inflict that kind of pain on another person. Hopefully you, like myself, promised to be an advocate, and never to be a ‘hurter’ or one that stood on the sidelines and allowed another person to be treated poorly.

So, fast forward 30+ years and you are an adult. High school and college complete and so is the drama. You are probably married, with kids. Adulting! Yeah! Something that we should NOT be dealing with is bullying! But alas, we are. I am and you may have too! But it’s not the playground kind 4-eyes kind. Oh, this, my friends is serious passive-aggressive, covert bullying. Top notch shit. Things that make you go “did that just really happen?” Yeah, holy balls, that just really happened. Are we in junior high again?

This covert form is the most insidious. With many bullies, you can see them coming from a mile away because they are quick to make their intimidating presence known. A covert bully, however, behaves appropriately on the surface, is bubbly, fun, things are always GREAT….“I’m great, things are great, how are you? hey girlfriend, Love those shoes!”…and they take you down behind your back. Examples of passive-aggressive, covert bullying include gossip, negative joking at someone’s expense, sarcasm, condescending eye contact, mimicking, deliberately causing embarrassment, ignoring, social exclusion, professional isolation, and deliberately sabotaging someone’s well-being, happiness, and success, overlooking for promotions on purpose, “black balling”.

About 37% of adults get bullied at work (or in a professional setting i.e. ) and 40% of adults have been cyber bullied. The statistics for kids upset me…but as adults, we should know better and DO BETTER!  When I started to do research for this blog several weeks ago,  I had almost forgotten about a trip to Mississippi for a special occasion; the 95th birthday party of my Aunt Ella Mae!  If you looked up “strong, loving, classy, southern belle” in Webster’s, her photo would be there. (yes, I went old school with an actual dictionary reference) . I spent Saturday evening surrounded with family and I was yet again reminded that there is NOTHING more important than family and God. Cousins that I hadn’t seen since they were in diapers, from all over the south, came in to celebrate! New babies, old cousins, it was a great evening.  It hurt me to think, of the sweet teens & baby cousins and the current statistics. 4 out of 10 children will drop out of high school this year because they are being bullied at school.

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Aunt Ella Mae with her GREAT-grand babies

Now let me be clear. Having a bad experience, or a disagreement with someone or a heated discussion with a group or people is NOT bullying. That is called LIFE. It’s not all lollipops and daisies 100% of the time. This term “bullying” is thrown out WAY too much these days, I think. The American Psychological Association defines bullying as “a form of aggressive behavior in which someone intentionally and repeatedly causes another person injury or discomfort. If the SAME person or group of people are targeting you over and over….and over, that my friend, is bullying. Bullying can take the form of physical contact, words, or more subtle actions.” A bully can be an aggressive juvenile, an intimidating boss or colleague, a controlling partner, an unruly neighbor, a family member, a shaming social acquaintance, or those in a variety of other types of abusive relationships. Either way it is NOT cool. As adults and as a WOMEN, we should not tolerate any type of bullying. Also, as women, we also should not be DOING any of the bullying, but that is a far cry of hope. Let’s face it…some people are just plain mean. For some reason or the other, someone just may not like you. No matter what you do, how much you kiss their a$$. You could be mother Teresa…they just may have it out for you. That is when their true colors of passive-aggressive, Cruella Deville-ish, covert bullying will show true. Not everyone will see it…but sooner or later it still stick out like a sore thumb and will eventually shine like Kim Kardashians diamond ring. (and that is big). #LeopardsSpotsWillShow

After the 95th birthday celebration, my mom and I headed down to New Orleans for a catholic conference.  (and no, the building didn’t bust into flames when I walked in) And wait, let me be more specific…not New Orleans…Metairie, so I did NOT get my Nola ‘fix’ and the bar across from the hotel…I think I heard gunshots, just saying. (thanks mom! LOL)

The conference, which had speakers with the gift of a healing ministry, was what I was HOPING for grace from. Some of you may think it is far-fetched, but not having slept in-Rx-aided in 20 years and having it affect so many other health issues…well, I was willing to go to a conference with my mom, in Metairie, and hope that someone would lay hands on me. And it was a pretty awesome conference, if I do say so.

 To be real, I have suffered from migraines and insomnia for decades. Someone told me once “you always look so cute”. My response; “thank you, but honey, I’m kind of a hot mess on the inside.”  IBS, migraines, insomnia….I can keep going and we all have issues and mine are NOT a big deal compared to what some other face. But, it would be SO nice to get to sleep before 1, 2, 3am. #CountingSheepEVERYDangNight

Father Mark Goring gave the sermon and y’all he was a trip! Serious northern accent… but I liked to think of it as more Irish, LOL (he’s Canadian).  He spoke about God’s ‘selective memory’. How he/God let’s go of the past and would NEVER throw the past in our face.  (So, why do we throw the past in the face of our partners, friends, kids? In the faces of those we are trying to belittle? Those we are trying to control? Those that are being bullied?) Father Mark went on to mention judging…’at the gates, you will be judged as you have judged.’ This was heavy… I was like DUDE, you been hacking into my BLOG page?

Matthew 7:1-5  .…Do not judge, or you too will be judged. 2 For in the same way you judge others, you will be judged, and with the measure you use, it will be measured to you.

Romans 14:1-13….You, then, why do you judge your brother or sister ? Or why do you treat them with contempt? For we will all stand before God’s judgment seat….Therefore let us stop passing judgment on one another. Instead, make up your mind not to put any stumbling block or obstacle in the way of a brother or sister.

I mean WOW, if it was ONLY that easy, for us to follow what the Lord says about gossiping …and heck, I think the Lord was kind of even talking about bullying too! If only overnight, we could change the world…stop the ugliness and grow in grace. But, the truth is, once you are hurt, it is hard to forget. God has ‘selective memory’…maybe we should all work on that.  Letting go of the bad and keeping the good. I know SOOOOO many “good Christians” that would fall short in the ‘throw the first stone’ department. Myself included at times. The difference is, I am not afraid to say INCLUDE myself in the ‘falling short department.’ Heck, I run that department! I restock that department on the daily. It is the ones that can’t admit that…well, I guess we just have to pray for. #RestockOnIsle4

Another little nugget he mentioned…How do you weed a garden? You pull one weed at a time and change comes one step at a time. I feel that Much time and effort have been spent trying to discover what motivates a person to bully others, especially in childhood, where this type of behavior usually begins. On-the-spot amateur psychology, however, probably won’t spare you any hurt when a bully comes-a-knocking. Remember, if you find yourself the victim of bullying, a bully’s bad behavior is entirely his or her responsibility, not yours, no matter what the bully may tell you. Also remember that change can happen in small steps. If you are an adult, and find yourself accepting the fact, that you were or still are a bully…it is not to late to stop the cycle. Just take one step at a time.

Proverbs 21 The tongue has the power of life and death, and those who love it will eat its fruit.

I know I got a little #holy in this Blog. But, sometimes, you just have to go there.

Peace, Love & Cheers

KP

 

 

Find Your Tribe

Your tribe. Your support system. The ones you vent to, laugh with, cry to, drink with. If you have found these ladies (or guys) count your blessings. Your tribe may be large or small. But either way, once you’ve got them…hold them tight and cherish them.

Years ago, I had a ‘tribe member’ that I tried desperately to be a good friend to. However, in the end, she was not a good friend to me…and I had to cut ties. Friendship should never make you feel bad, or hurt, be a one way street, or leave you feeling unfulfilled. I had school friends that took dark paths in life…and those friends…well, I had to let them go. It is never easy. You miss the good times, but the bad times remind you that you did the right thing. I’m sure we can each think back to a time where we had to break up with a friend. We had to part ways. It may have been easy because maybe they were holding a HUGE “I AM CRAZY” sign. Maybe the two of you were on totally different paths in life…and you could not go down their path.  Maybe lifestyle, relocation or marriage happened and y’all just grew apart. Either way, they were not meant to be in your tribe.

The past few weeks I have realized that my ‘tribe’ and extended tribe is amazing and I am truly blessed and very lucky. I apologize for being a little MIA, but life gets in the way…real life.

I have said before, I am a sucker for my family, friends….and 4 legged fur babies. One of my besties, Kristie is a huge dog lover too. She rescues (I am new to the rescue thing, only have rescued cats, but have helped coordinated lost dogs in my neighborhood, but this adventure was new).  I saw a post on a FB group about lost pets in the area and this young family posted about this dog that kept showing up at their house, skinny, sweet, loves on them, good with their other dogs & kids, hungry, etc. A guy posted on her post that he wanted him. SOOOO, I facebook stalked the guy. HECK NO….that guy runs his dogs for hunting wild boars. I have seen what a wild boar can do to a dog. NO SIR. My momma bear kicked in and ‘operation rescue’ was in effect. One problem. This dog was a large dog. And it was a breed I had zero experience with. Pit bull. (I must be freaking crazy) I started messaging all of my rescue friends that re-home, help at shelters, foster dogs. Not many people want to foster a pit. #badrep   After a lot of hard work and determination, I had a re-home rescue set up and a sponsor (my bestie) for the pup! Now all we have to do is go get him…right?! Thank goodness my husband is out of town for all of this insanity.  Kristie comes to the house bright & early, we load up and head to Satan’s playground (AKA Wal-mart) to get dog food, leash, collar, treats, bones, water & food dish…we drive 20 min and park to wait for the little family to call that he is at their door for his morning meal. After waiting for 45 min…I start to get restless and we drive the next few minutes and see if we can spot him around where the family lives. I don’t think the other neighbors around the dirt roads liked us driving slow and looking around. I think one may have called the cops on us, as a parish cop showed up and parked shortly after. (I promise we aren’t trying to buy meth!)

So, back home we go to wait for the call. AND IT HAPPENS! We get the call! As we are running out of the door I also get a FaceTime from my son…I answer it to him holding up a bloody hand…”Mom I need to Urgent Care, can you pay for my visit, I cut my Finger”. Sure. Not..”hey mom, the bone is showing…HELP me”. So, I stop by urgent care and give them my card, tell them I will be back..on the way to rescue a dog. Then we head to rescue this Pit Bull. (Please sweet baby Jesus, don’t let this dog be triggered by car rides).

Thelma and Louise…another adventure. On our way to pick up Brad. Brad Pit. We named him on our way to get him. We pull up and out strolled the prettiest brown dog with green eyes. Tail wagging like he won the lotto. The little family is so happy that he was going to be helped, my heart is pounding; not just for Brad but for my son who is at Urgent care! (perfect timing) We open the back door of Kristie’s SUV, and in jumps Brad like he owns the place. I give he a McDonald’s biscuit…yes, I know not good for dogs, but It was the first meeting and I didn’t know how he would be acting. So, chill. It’s not the end of the world. Biscuit ate…he lays down and falls asleep like a baby. THANK YOU BABY JESUS. We get to the Vet, drop off Brad for his shots. I head to Urgent Care…and guess what. My son needs surgery. So off to the ER we go for pre-Op…yes, like FULL go under surgery to clean and reconstruct his finger. As we are in the ER, I am getting texts from my Tribe checking in on us.

Out of surgery (all went well) , pick up dog from Vet….and the fun continues. Brad does not like it outside by himself and I find out he knows how open to latch handle doors. (my small dog does not like Brad) But Brad does like car rides and walks. Long story short. After a few days, I found him a FOREVER home! He has a new family that spoils him rotten, he has a sister his same age and loves snuggles….and is a toy and pillow hog.

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Yes, That is Brad laying ON a pillow in bed. #spoiled

He is a big baby. To think someone could have had this sweet boy running wild boar. How would not have survived one hunt. My heart is so happy and I could NOT have done this without help from my TRIBE.

Fast forward to Moe Champs photoshoot….talk about some good looking Tribe members! I am so thankful for these ladies. Each of them have hearts of gold! They are as amazing on the inside as they are on the outside. Tiff and Chelsea are a younger, MUCH taller version of Kristie and I. It’s funny to see and watch their dynamic. Tiff is the bossy/OCD one (that’s me) and Chels is the more laid back one (that’s Kristie). Ying and Yang. I think this photo was when Chels & Kristie were discussing just that!

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This day reminded me that sometimes your tribe may roll their eyes at you…but at the end of the day, your tribe has your back. #RealHousewivesOfRose’Mar08MoeChamps-0049.jpg

mar08moechamps-0373.jpgFind your tribe. Hold them tight. There will be ups and downs and times when you will roll your eyes at them. That is OK. That is REAL… but real queens share crowns and fix each other’s crowns. #ThatIsAFact

I hope your past few days/week has been less of a hot mess express/ER visit/surgery/dog rescue than mine has. If it has been crazy too…well, bless your heart and pour yourself a glass of champs! You deserve it. #timeChangeIsntHelping

May your week be calm and full of Champagne,

KP