Motivational Mondays….Hugs!


One of the best feelings in the world is when you hug someone you love and they hug you back even tighter.

Happy MLK Jr Day!….I hope our country can get back to his ideals and end the craziness that our current President has brought to our lives.

You cannot direct the wind, but you can adjust the sails!

Foodie Friday…Carnitas Tacos

full disclosure…photo cred Food Network…I ate mine before I took a pic, but they looked pretty much like this!

My son likes to cook…lucky Kate!…and when I was in NY last week for the birth of baby Jude he had already thawed a pork butt when labor started (TMI??)

Anyway, the third morning, before Austin and I headed to the hospital, he shared this recipe for Carnitas with me that is AMAZING! We literally seasoned it and threw it in the slow cooker and off we went…coming home to an incredible smell and Carnitas Tacos homecoming dinner for Kate and baby Jude.

I got home last Saturday (snow delay!!) and made it again this past Tuesday in my tiny crock pot. I had the butcher cut the regular sized piece of meat into 4 pieces so it would fit in my little pot. It was so easy, very inexpensive and I got three meals from this little piece. One I made tacos, but the other two I just brought it to work for lunch with a little cheese on top and some sliced avo….delish!! Since I needed a much smaller portion I halved the following recipe….this is for a normal size pork butt for normal sized crockpot. Perfection!!

Here you go…courtesy of Chef Austin…. (yes, there are quite a few ingredients, but you just have to rub them on, throw it in and go)

Carnitas Tacos

pork butt (I just bought one and had it cut into 4 pieces)

Rub the pork butt, generously, with all of the above ingredients.

4-5 jalapenos…diced and seeded
1 onion diced
4 bay leaves
lots of minced garlic ….I use the cubes from TJ’s, he uses the minced jar
juice of 4 limes
juice of 2-3 oranges
little can of chili adobo

I diced the onion and placed it on the bottom of the crockpot, added the pork butt and then added all the remaining ingredients. Put it on low for 8 hours.

Take it out and shred it and return to the crock pot.

Let it go another hour with all those yummy juices. You can make sandwiches, tacos…myriad of options…or just eat it with a little cheese on top, as I did. Thanks Austin….Amazing!

You cannot direct the wind, but you can adjust the sails!

Motivational Monday…No Regrets

When our actions are based on good intentions
our soul has no regrets…Anthony Douglas Williams

Time is non-refundable…use it with intention!

(I will NEVER regret my crazy spontaneity of getting on a plane to be there when baby Jude was born. I think I would have regretted it if I didn’t.)

You cannot direct the wind, but you can adjust the sails!

New Year, New You, New Laws….

Here’s a quick rundown of some laws that are taking effect for those of us who live in California… (here’s a link to the website where I got all this info)

More Time Off For New Parents…..If your employer has more than 20 employees, it will be required to give you up to 12 weeks of unpaid parental leave to bond with your new child. Employees can use any accrued vacation time, sick time or any other paid-time off to spend time with their new child. It also protects new parents from losing their job and health care benefits during time off. You had to have worked at the company for more than 12 months.

No Questions On Prior Salary…Beginning Jan 1st, you don’t have to tell a potential employer about your past salaries. This bill prohibits employers from asking a job applicant about his or her past salary, which also means employers cannot use one’s salary history to determine the salary it will offer to a potential employee.

Buying Ammo…All ammunition bought in California must be made in person through a vendor licensed by the Department of Justice. The law also applies to any transfers of ammunition. Gun owners will also be prohibited from importing ammunition from outside the state without it going through a licensed vendor in California first. It won’t solve the gun problem, but it’s a start!

Marijuana in Cars…Okay, we all know that marijuana will be legal in California starting Jan 1st, but they’ve also passed some “marijuana in cars” laws too. This separate law makes it illegal to smoke or ingest marijuana while driving or even while riding as a passenger in a vehicle.

Community Colleges…This one waives tuition fees for one academic year to first-time students who are enrolled in 12 or more semester units and qualify for aid under a FAFSA or California Dream Act application. I love this one!

High School Exit Exam…This permanently eliminates this requirement for graduation from high school….so, just pass those classes, okay!

New ID and Travel...Jan 22 is the deadline for states to be compliant or have an extension meaning if you happen to be traveling to a state that is non-compliant you will need a passport or global entry card with you. California has an extension, but New York is still under review, so I brought my global entry card and will continue to do so, just to be on the safe side. Click here for FAQ and to see if the state you live in, or are traveling to, will require additional ID. Better safe than stuck at the airport. Starting October 1, 2020, every air traveler will need a REAL ID-compliant license, or another acceptable form of identification, for domestic air travel.

New YOU…and for those of you who are looking for a new workout routine this New Year I’d just like to do a plug for my new workout place, F45, that’s so much fun and totally kicks my ass! I literally leave my house at 5:54 for the 6:05 class and I’m home by 7am. The link is for the Tustin location, but they have them in numerous cities. See if there’s one near you and sign up for a two week free pass and check it out!

I was going to try to decipher what the newly passed tax bill means for you, but there are so many variables that you’ll have to rely on your accountant and the state you live in to figure that out….good luck!

…Here’s a couple more pics of baby Jude….Thank you Austin and Kate for the new addition and the best birthday gift ever!

You cannot direct the wind, but you can adjust the sails!

Motivational Monday…Happy New Year!

Today is the first blank page of your 365 page book
….make it a good one!!

I get to start the year with this little girl! Welcome baby Jude…and thanks Austin & Kate for the ultimate birthday gift!

You cannot direct the wind, but you can adjust the sails!

The next stage of life….

I, honestly, don’t know where I stumbled upon this information, but I frequently read articles and make “drafts” or just a title for a post and then go back later to actually write & post it. I’m sure I thought the subject matter was interesting as I was becoming a “jammie” earlier this year and posting it now…as I’ll become a “jammie” again in the coming weeks…. just seemed like a good time to reflect….and it’s the end of the year, so why not. I’m honestly just really interested in psychology and what makes people act or live their lives a certain way. If I liked school I’d go back and get a degree in psychology, but I don’t and I won’t…so I’ll just read articles, summarize what I’ve learned and post the info here! So, here you go…

The psychologist Erik Erikson, (who, by the way, didn’t have a bachelor’s degree but a diploma from the Vienna Psychoanalytic Institute…maybe I could do that??) like Freud, observed that our lives progress in eight predetermined stages, and that each stage has challenges and tasks that are built upon for the following stages. Successful completion of each stage forms a person’s personality and virtues. I find this fascinating! He was especially interested in how children socialize and how it affects their sense of self.

The first five stages take place before age 18. Failure to complete each stage makes it harder to move through subsequent stages and therefore results in a lower self esteem and sense of self (AKA arrested development??…I think so) It is possible, however, to go back and resolve some issues in order to move successfully through to the subsequent stages (hello…good therapy!)

I’m not going to go through all the stages, but thought I’d look at the last two, since that’s where so many of my friends/family have recently been and/or are headed. Sorry kids, you’ll have to look up the earlier stages for yourselves if you’re interested. The last two stages are 1. Generativity vs. Stagnation and 2. Ego integrity vs. Despair

Generativity occurs in middle adulthood, between age 40 and 65. This is a time to generate, to give back to the world through work and raising children who are contributing members of society. We are fulfilled by caring for the younger generation and giving back to our communities. Makes sense! Success in this stage leads to the virtue of caring….and making the world a better place.

In the last stage of life….the one many of us are moving quickly towards….our challenge is to “let go of ego and to find fulfillment and wisdom in our connection with the greater world.” (sorry, not sure where I got that quote…I apologize to the website I poached it from months ago??) In other words, we look back at our lives, sum up our accomplishments and, hopefully, are proud of the life we’ve led, the accomplishments we’ve had & the contributions we’ve made for the greater good of society and the world. We let go of things and focus on the memories and good things we’ve accomplished, knowing we’ve left the world a better place.

Conversely, if we are not proud, see our lives as unproductive, have guilt and the feeling of not accomplishing all that we wanted, then this stage can lead to despair. Being dissatisfied with our lives up to this point can lead to depression and hopelessness.

That’s just a bummer….but that doesn’t mean you can’t change! It reminds me of my tag-line You cannot direct the wind, but you can adjust the sails!  At this point in your life, if you can’t look back and be proud of the life you’ve led, than the only thing you can do is change it from here on out. It’s pretty much that simple. You don’t get back yesterday, but you hopefully have a thousand tomorrows to, in the end, be proud of your life.

You cannot direct the wind, but you can adjust the sails!

Merry Christmas Monday!

The ornament of a house is the people who frequent it….Ralph Waldo Emerson

May your home be filled with many “ornaments”
of friends and family this Christmas Day!

You cannot direct the wind, but you can adjust the sails!

Rowing, Rum, Raviolis and Revelry

Yup…that  pretty much sums up last weekend! Started out early Saturday morning with my team and other rowers for our annual “rum” row out towards the Newport Beach jetty. There are over 10 boats dressed in our holiday finest. We stop out near the jetty for our picture and rum toast to the holidays. The party continues at the local bar, The Shamrock, but I couldn’t make it this year. Always a fun time!

coxswain in charge of pouring the rum shots

I couldn’t make to The Shamrock because I was spending the day up in LA with my friends from grammar school…and one from high school. The five of us get together once, sometimes twice a year…Nicky flies in from Chicago, Mary Kay from SF, with the remaining three, Linda, Dana & myself all from the local area. Nicky was flying in to see her mom and contacted us a month or so ago to see if we were available on Dec. 16th. Bummer, Dana was celebrating her annual ravioli making with her family on that day. Solution??? Invite ourselves, thanks to Nicky for asking (we are not a shy bunch!)

Dana & Suzanne making the ravioli dough…perfecto!
the gang of 5
this is how to make perfect circles…
some serious ravioli making
I think we made 12 of these trays of the finished product….the taste testing was yummy!
Thanks Dana and family!

So, I swung by Bob Hope Airport, aka Burbank, and picked up Mary Kay and we headed to Dana’s cousin’s home. What a fun day learning how to make raviolis while catching up on each other’s lives and families.

We continued on to Linda’s home and chatted a bit more, then MK and I went to Larchmont Village for dinner and the evening relaxing and enjoying my sister’s fabulous apartment in Hancock Park.

Sunday morning I dropped MK at the airport for her mid-morning flight and made the trek back down to Orange County. The day was not over!

The Newport Beach Boat Parade is a fun event and a good excuse for my family to get together…and it usually coincides with Taylor’s birthday too. My sister and brother-in-law graciously host whomever can make it in the family. Mariellen is a great cook and always outdoes herself in the decorating department. Their home is festive and really gets you in the holiday spirit. Last year was the announcement that T&D were expecting a baby. This year baby Rowan was here joining in the celebration.


An amazing weekend of fun, family and friends that I look forward to every year! (hint, hint…hoping we get invited to make raviolis next year!)
Have a great weekend!

You cannot direct the wind, but you can adjust the sails!

Weekend Staycation in Malibu

So, I was talking to my sister a few months back and mentioned that I’d love to do a quick weekend somewhere close, like Malibu…where we used to vacation when I was a kid.

She said, “my friend has a place that she lists on Airbnb that’s adorable!” She called her, hooked me up, I asked a couple of friends to join me and we rented this perfect A-frame in Malibu!

I love that it was only an hour and some change by car, but it felt like a world away! The surf comes right under the house and the sound and smell of the waves crashing was intoxicating!

Our first stop was Malibu Pier and lunch at the Malibu Farm Cafe at the end of the pier. The weather was gorgeous, so we sat on the rooftop and enjoyed the ocean view, dining alfresco.




…next stop, our digs for the weekend. This cool A-frame with a view of the ocean and continuous sound of crashing waves.

we were in the A-frame behind this one….

plenty of room for the four of us

We brought plenty of food with us, so decided to stay in the first night for dinner, walk along the beach, enjoy the sunset and play some mahjongg.

mahjong and macaroons…what a colorful display!

Day two was a leisurely morning, followed by a walk on the beach & cliffs watching all the surfers….

…and a drive to check out the Malibu Country Mart (that I swore used to be a little market years ago that we frequented, but could find no sign of my nostalgic memory at all….I think I made it up in my mind?!)

We walked around and enjoyed a little gelato at Grom (…this is a really popular place in Florence, Italy & around the globe, but my daughter preferred Gelateria Santa Trinita…if you’re ever in Florence)

….stopped on the way back to our place to have a cocktail at The Sunset beachside restaurant/bar.

….and our last stop of the day was Neptune’s Net for some lobster, clam chowder and clams for dinner. It’s been here for over 50 years and a must go place when you’re in Northern Malibu. We went to the seafood side, to go, and took it back to our place to enjoy another sunset!

Yeah…still working on the selfie skills…not making much progress!

We finished the evening relaxing and watching a movie…with those same crashing waves in the background. It was a quick weekend getaway, with lots of laughs (learning about trigger farts?? was a highlight!) but seemed so much longer…the perfect pause to inhale the sea air and get lost in the beauty of the ocean with friends.

You cannot direct the wind, but you can adjust the sails!

Motivational Monday…Never too late!

“For what it’s worth… it’s never too late, or in my case too early, to be whoever you want to be. There’s no time limit. Start whenever you want. You can change or stay the same. There are no rules to this thing. We can make the best or the worst of it. I hope you make the best of it. I hope you see things that startle you. I hope you feel things you’ve never felt before. I hope you meet people who have a different point of view. I hope you live a life you’re proud of, and if you’re not, I hope you have the courage to start over again.”   ….F. Scott Fitzgerald

If you want some great motivational quotes on a more regular basis, I encourage you to follow Hoda Kotb on Instagram. She posts some great ones daily!

You cannot direct the wind, but you can adjust the sails!