Be My Eyes….

Okay…there’s been so much sadness and tragedy the past couple of weeks and I could go off on a rant about gun control (that is necessary by the way!!)…but I decided to share something that is good and where you can help.

There is an app called Be My Eyes that is such a simple concept, but so incredible!  From their website…”Be My Eyes is a FREE mobile app designed to bring sight to the blind and visually impaired. With the press of a button, the app establishes a live video connection between blind and visually impaired users and sighted volunteers. Every day, volunteers are lending their eyes to solve challenges both big and small in the lives of the blind and visually impaired.”

So, for instance, if you are a visually impaired or blind person you can summon the app on your phone and a sighted volunteer, who also has the app, can help you with tasks (through a live feed) that we might think are easy, but to a visually impaired person it is not. For example (from their website)…the blind person goes in their fridge and isn’t sure if their milk is still safe to drink (obviously it’s not sour enough yet to smell that it might be bad). They summon the app on their phone, connect with a sighted volunteer and can point the camera on their phone towards the tiny expiration date. The sighted person says, “It’s fine” or “throw it out!” It’s that easy! …or you might have to help someone with directions somewhere.

It’s been available on the i-phone for a while, but will just became available on Android today! By the time you read this I will already have it downloaded and ready to help someone! You could do the same?! You download the app and you can decide when you want to “go live” when you have a little bit of time to help someone else in need. No contracts or time constraints…just people helping people.

Come on…how easy is that!? Not much commitment on your part to help someone who really needs and appreciates it. If you want more information, watch the developer’s Ted Talk here.

Have a FABULOUS Thursday…and a great upcoming weekend!

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

Motivational Monday….Commit!

Commitment means staying loyal to what you said you were going to do long after the mood you said it in has left you.

Invest in people who invest in you!

…and a little “mood booster” for the week…this little girl likes what she sees

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

Friday Fun…theme parties…and entertaining!

It’s always so much fun to throw a party or event with a theme. Over the years I’ve thrown numerous themed birthday parties for the kids/the was-band, retirement (which also was a surprise party for me…that’s a whole different post), traveling, Paris, NY and many other themed parties.

It was announced this past January that Will and Grace was coming back for a 10-episode reunion…after 10 years away…and I was so excited! Last night was the first episode and it didn’t disappoint!

My sister, Mariellen, and I decided last week that we should watch it together, and of course we’d run with a theme….NYC inspired with gay undertones! Here’s the evening in pictures….

….we collaborated on the menu and I did the cooking (Taylor & Dan made some fabulous NY Pumpernickel bread that I forgot to include on the menu board)….

…but Mariellen came through with the following clever signs & treats….

…and then it was time for dessert….and showtime!

The consensus was that they still had it and their comedic timing was still spot on!….but there were a couple of scenes where they tried a bit too hard (the oval office pillow fight???) I’m excited that Will and Grace is back, that it’s already been picked up for a second season, looking forward to next week and happy to have had the excuse to throw a themed dinner party!!

I know there are many people that say it’s just stressful and hard to throw a dinner party or invite people over. One of my favorite “entertaining” cook books is from Colin Cowie and he basically says that entertaining is about enjoying time with friends and/or family. “You don’t have to prepare everything you serve. You get no medals. Besides, if the baker down the road bakes a better lemon tart than you, you should buy his.” I don’t really like baking, so I usually ask others who love it and are much better at it to take on that part of the meal. Continuing, he says “One thing that has not changed is the reason we entertain. It’s to bring people together and create an opportunity to treat every person around you like royalty…” It’s really just a nice excuse to get together and socialize.

Whether you have a theme or not, invite people over…you’ll be richer for the experience!

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

It’s Wednesday…make plans for the weekend!

I haven’t been good about timely blog posts of late. I’ve been a bit distracted by the new love in my life, grandbaby Rowan; her parents, Taylor & Dan; as well as a fun visit from parents-to-be Austin (the birthday boy) & Kate. I never miss a MOTIVATIONAL MONDAY though, cause I have so many daily affirmations to share and hope they inspire everyone at the start of the week!

I did have a chance to do a couple of fun things in the past few weeks that I thought I’d share, in hopes it will motivate you to get out there and do something new on this last weekend in September. It’s supposed to be gorgeous here in SoCal, although a bit warmer than the crispy Fall weather we had this past weekend!

I’ve told you of my love of lighthouses…and I’ve had it on my list for a few years to check out the cool stone lighthouse on the beach in Laguna. Laguna is only about 25-30 minutes from my home and a gorgeous, quaint place to spend a day, but I rarely get down there. Not to self….GO TO LAGUNA MORE! Anyway, getting to the lighthouse is no quick feat. It is located on tiny Victoria Beach…a little gem of sand within a community of tightly packed homes. First you have to find parking in a very limited area…PCH is probably best.

If you do park on PCH make the trek through the neighborhood to a narrow (unmarked) set of stairs down to the beach. It wasn’t crowded ’cause, again, it’s not easy to get to, but it was worth the hike….and the stairs.

I found a spot on the sand, set up my chair and umbrella and set off to find the lighthouse. It’s not visible from where I was sitting, but it was right around a cliff, where there are some tide pools and crashing waves….and there it was!

You’re not supposed to go inside, but the heavy padlock on the door wasn’t latched, so people were up in the turret. I didn’t venture up there, but here’s a view of the winding staircase…so cool….

I sat down, relaxing with some magazines and the gorgeous view and then it was time to go.

OMG…those stairs!! This the first of a few flights, that seem to go on forever and by the time I got to the top I was gasping for air! …and I still had to make the trek uphill back to PCH. It didn’t look that challenging when I went down to the beach! If you feel like an adventure, go to Victoria Beach and bring your parking karma with you.

I’d seen, and loved, the musical Once on Broadway and at the movies, so when I heard it was coming to our local theatre, South Coast Rep, I really wanted to go again. My friends (& neighbors) Jan, Maggie and I bought tickets and decided to go to dinner beforehand. Scott’s Seafood in the Costa Mesa theatre district used to be a neighborhood favorite, but it closed in January 2016. The space was remodeled and reopened about a year ago as The Water Grill. Perfect opportunity to try the new place. First off, let me just say that the remodel is beautiful and the different bars and dining spaces are really cool. The menu leans heavily towards seafood…obviously…but there are steak, salad and other options available. It’s pretty expensive, but we opted for appetizers and a shared bottle of wine to keep our costs down a bit (although it was still $48/per person). I thought it was worth it.

that “chandelier” above the oyster bar is made up of oyster shells strung together…so cool!

We shared the fish tacos, tuna poke, and the goat cheese ravioli with water chestnuts and almonds….and a bottle of pinot.

All were yummy, the service was very good and the complimentary bread was pretty tasty too! I’d go again…even just for the ambience and a glass of wine. It was a happening place!

The musical, Once, is set in Ireland, so you gotta love that….and you can have drinks on stage before the show at the bar, which is part of the set.

It’s not a big musical like Wicked, or Dear Evan Hansen, but it’s a lovely story, with lovely Irish music and it’s a great way to spend an evening. It closes this Saturday, so you’ll have to jump on it, if there are any tickets left, but the theater is small, so all the seats are good, and the tickets are cheaper than anything in NYC.

…..and if you can’t get to Laguna, or tickets to Once….try one of my favorites, a duffy ride in Newport Harbor….always a good idea! Thanks to Mariellen & Peter I get to go much more often than I used to and I never tire of it!

…made better when you celebrate a birthday (this is my brother-in-law’s)

….or cuddle with a new family member (do you like my artsy filters?!)

…..and relish in the warmth of having friends and family to share time with…

Such a fun “Bun in the “pizza” oven, 30th birthday bash” with A&K (I’m too young to have a 30 yr old son!)
loved having the old gang over for Pizza Monday
matching Pizza Monday outfits

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

Motivational Monday….Fall

Love this quote my sister, Mariellen, sent me….

on my friend, Dennie’s, gorgeous farm in Sonoma

Anyone who thinks Autumn leaves are dead has never watched them dancing on a windy day…Shira Tamir

vineyards on the way to Mendocino

I’ve said it before….Fall is my favorite time of year….spectacular color show from the Fall leaves, pumpkins, football, scarves, boots, a little more crisp weather (hopefully!), curling up with a good book by the fireplace…it’s all good…it’s all HYGGE! I can’t wait to head back east in a couple of weeks to visit with A&K and bask in the Fall weather (sorry, it’s just not the same here in SoCal)

Enjoy the first week of Fall

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

Motivational Monday….DO IT!

Apply for that job. Date that person. Buy that plane ticket. Move to that city. Do all the things that scare you, because they’re worth it….and so are you!! (Nice tag-line Nike!)

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

Motivational Monday…Stupid stuff

Life is too short to worry about stupid stuff. Have fun. Fall in love. Regret nothing, and don’t let people bring you down.

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

Motivational Monday

Every time you get upset at something, ask yourself if you were to die tomorrow, was it worth wasting your time to be angry? …. Robert Tew

Happy Labor Day!

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