Saturday, December 31, 2016


As women, we are often required to work for less pay than men, and to still come home to prepare meals and help with homework.  When we're sick, lying in bed to get well is a luxury that's usually not an option, particularly for a single parent. We want to get out of the rat race and do the things we love, like reading a favorite author, watching a funny movie, or cooking a gourmet meal "just because".  We think about turning one of our passions into a business that we love, that may also help us to be successful and pay bills without worry.  We're tired of hearing others tear down our dreams. When we say we are in danger of becoming homeless, we need someone to pay attention and help us find a place to live.  If we tell you we are being physically, emotionally or financially abused, we need you to listen and offer solutions without judgement.  We want to be noticed and loved not because of what you see on the outside, but for who we represent from the inside. We want and need the bond and friendship of other women without all that crazy backstabbing, table throwing  and fighting.  No one wins when that happens.

We'd like to do some things for ourselves, but we're just too dang busy doing what's expected of us by others.

I have traveled all over the world and met tons of people, yet never in a million years would I have expected to meet fantastic friends via a Social Media Platform.  In fact, I'm the one who kept telling everyone that i would never get on Twitter or Facebook! As I sit here typing, I'm still amazed, and frankly in awe.

Despite having close to 4,000 friends and followers on Facebook and a successful Blog, Anna Cade from friended me on Facebook. With that kind of following, I have no earthly clue how she even noticed me.  Kelly McCullough was one of her friends who often shared these really funny and sarcastic posts.  The rest is history, because the three of us have connected over our love of reading.  We don't care about each other's race, sexual orientation or political affiliation.  None of that has ever mattered.

Without going into detail, 2016 has been a rough year, not only for me, but for them, as well.  Yet somehow, Kelly and Anna managed to provide me with Christmas gifts that had me crying nonstop with books, bookmarks, homemade chocolate cookies, cards, a pen and lots more. Anna helped me complete my Catherine Coulter book collection because I was two books shy. Yay! And she deserves a Philanthropy Award! Even more surprising, and I hope I don't embarrass them, they unselfishly provided cash.  Say what???
I'm still shocked! Kelly needs to be on the Rachael Ray Show because she sure knows how to do the elegant wrapping thing, AND can this girl bake some cookies!  They know about my dream to provide luxury shelters for Homeless Female Veterans and victims of Domestic Violence and don't tell me it can't be done. Even better, they know just what to say at just the right time to bring smiles and laughter.

In addition, I also appreciate the support of Tawanna Jackson.  She may not be the most sensitive person in the world, and sometimes we barely agree on anything,lol) but she has supported and encouraged me for many years.  She also raised some phenomenal kids.

Let's push some boundaries in 2017 and do the unexpected to achieve our varied goals. Sometimes, reaching out to strangers with our stories, hopes and dreams is what's needed to get us to that next level.  Remaining silent achieves little, and only frustrates us. We're taking a chance and leaving the nightmare of all that verbal or physical abuse in 2017. We're done with all the cheating and disrespect.  Let's get out of our comfort zones and elevate our dreams, always remembering to be thankful and kind to those we meet along the way.  We should continue to learn from each other and offer support via blogging, office work, exercising in the gym, or talking at the mall. Everyone has something to contribute, if we only take just a moment to engage.  

To my buddies Bill Daughtry and Raymond Barton - we literally have been friends for over 30 years and I love you.  We've seen each other evolve over the years which is pretty fascinating.
You guys are the best! 

To my son, who turns 33 this year, and NEVER wants me to mention his name on this Blog (lol), I couldn't have predicted  he would turn out so well despite having me as his mom.  I'm proud of the man he's become, and yes, I still get on his nerves. *heh*

Stefanie Faris is this really cool published children's author, but many people don't know that her name has been in print in well known magazines too.  She's on many Social Media Platforms AND she maintains her own super fun blog.  Oh, did I forget to mention that she's very happily married to a guy who 'gets' her? All I want to know is where does she find the time, and has she cloned herself and we don't know it?(lol) In addition to all this, she connects with other writers and fans.  Despite this, she has reached out to support me personally in many instances, taking time out of her super busy day as I focus on growing a business that's still topsy turvy and loosey goosey. She ALWAYS responds to my emails with guidance, tips, and words of wisdom.  Thanks Steph!

It's always wonderful to see someone treated to a Random Act of Kindness, and on this past Christmas Eve at a Golden Corral in Kentucky, Rachel V. received the tip of a lifetime. While cleaning up her table, she found  $1000 in cash wrapped up inside a $1.00 bill.  They also left an unexpected note asking her to read her Bible and that they hoped she could use the money which would eventually run out,  unlike the life of Jesus, which is Forever.  What did she do with the money?  Purchased gifts for her 3 year old son, and paid some bills.  She has no idea who her angels were, but  wants to thank them for their kindness. Isn't that pretty amazing?!

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What will I be doing tonight?  Well, this is the 10th year that my boyfriend Anderson Cooper, and his very funny sidekick, Kathy Griffin will be on CNN to bring in the New Year.  The frivolity starts at 8pm, and I can't wait.  But just in case I fall asleep, the show is already scheduled to be taped.  If I'm still awake after all that laughter, I'll check out some reruns of Leverage.  I'm still salty that this show ended on Christmas Day in 2012!


Thursday, December 29, 2016


This is a fun topic that I think deserves a revisit, along with a few changes. The first libraries were created in the late 17th century, but Benjamin Franklin actually created the first library that required membership in 1731.  

Do you remember having to do reports in school  by choosing books from the library and NOT the Internet? Sometimes you were actually told what books you had to use to complete the task for your grade.  If you used the school library, you were pretty much out of luck, so even if you didn't feel like it, heading to the neighborhood library was the place to go.  
However, I must say that visiting the library is really different these days because no one is really quiet in there anymore. When I was a kid, we were tapped on the shoulder to remind us of the "don't talk" rules.
Music is downloaded, games are being played and it's not uncommon to see young people piled around one computer looking at pics of boys and girls on Facebook or Twitter. (lol) In addition to that, they're speaking on their cell phones - loudly.

Those days are long gone, and I don't even know if kids are required to write book reports anymore. I have noticed that while a few children are doing research, more than ever, the computer is the go to for just about anything.

Despite more people using technology, there are still close to 120,000 libraries in the US, with the Library of Congress being the largest in the United States.  Did you know that according to the American Library Association,  the largest library in the world is actually in London, England?  Not only can you borrow books, but you can read E-books, sign out movies, participate in story time with the kids, meet new pets, or learn how to cook.


A while ago, I went on a trip to New York, and the first place I had to see was the New York Library, and it was truly

fabulous!  I could have stayed there all day enjoying the sights.  So my perfect vacation has to include at least one visit to the local library. Also, whenever I move to a new state, the library is the first place I go to get my brand new library card.

Some say that the library is a thing of the past, but I'm not so sure about that.  Still, many people prefer to not deal with the hassle of returning books, or paying those dreaded late fees because those 30 books weren't finished on time. It's easier to order them online and admire them at home forever.

I enjoy saving novels on bookcases too, but something about the library is still magical.

But what about you?  Are you still visiting the library to find your favorite book, or are you headed to Barnes & Noble or Amazon?  Which do you prefer?

Tuesday, December 27, 2016


We're sure you've dreamed about it all year long, so the world has joined in by celebrating National Fruitcake Day.  YAY!

By November, we already know the holidays have arrived when we see these cakes filled with dried or candied fruit at the checkout register.  Have you ever re-gifted one of these for Christmas? Just curious.

I love a good bargain, and try to save money whenever possible. After a holiday is one of the best times to grab some of the best deals.  But going the next day may not offer the lowest price.  Even better, all those coupons you were waiting to use definitely come in handy.  Walmart had Halloween Softsoap on sale for $.19 a bottle on November 18, 2016.  So what if the bottle had a witch or pumpkin on it, right? Those are just fun decorations to me.  Then I had 3-$1.00 coupons.  I managed to snag 20 bottles for a whopping $.86 cents. Be vigilant, because sometimes marked down items show up in weird places around the store. I got too lazy to take pics of all those bottles. YIKES!

Did you know Walmart also has a Clearance Aisle in the grocery department?  I managed to snag marked down coffee with a $2.00 off coupon for just $2! Purex - was only $1.00 because the bottle was on clearance in Carlie Cee's, and I had a coupon.  A High Value coupon for Poise made it just $1.  Cargo Eye Shadow from Kohl's was FREE because I received a FREE promo in the mail. It was marked down in the cosmetics section in a tiny clear tray, despite the cashier telling me they had nothing on sale!  

Then I'm blessed with Freebies in the mail like teabags, dish cloths, raw sugar, coconut oil, magazine subscriptions, tea and more.
If you're on a tight budget, these are some great places to visit.
FREEBIE Shark                       

Sunday, December 25, 2016


Merry Christmas to you and your family from all of us!  We hope you experienced all the desires of your heart and that someone took the time to offer you a HUGE Hug when you needed it and a random act of kindness.

If you've already been thinking about sneaking away for a Spa Getaway,  Girlfriends Getaway,  Fitness Getaway, a Crafting Getaway, Romantic Getaway or a Foodie Getaway for 2017, here's a few places you may want to try.

WIZARD WORLD COMIC CON -New Orleans:  January 6 - 8, 2017
MARDI GRAS FESTIVAL New Orleans:  January 6 - February 28

KEY LIME PIE FESTIVAL - Cocoa Beach, FL:  January 14
WINTER WINE FESTIVAL - New Castle NH:  January 20 - February 26
SOUTHERN FARM FESTIVAL - Raleigh, NC:  February 1 - 3

BIG CHEESE FESTIVAL - Fairfield OH:  February 11 - 12
BROOKLYN FOOD & WINE - Brooklyn, NY:   February 17-18
FESTIVAL OF HOUSE & GARDENS - Charleston, SC March 16 - April 22
CHARLESTON ANTIQUE SHOW -Charleston, SC March 17 - 19  
QUILT WEEK - Paducah Ky: April 26 - 29

Friday, December 23, 2016


Here are a few great  recipes to use with family and friends this weekend, and are simple to prepare.

Slice 1 Lime thinly into quarters to make wedges, then divide them along with 1/2 cup frozen or fresh cranberries among 16 molds of an ice cube tray, filling with water to freeze.  
Combine 1 cup Cranberry Juice, 1/2 cup Limeade,(Simply LimeAde is great) 1/2 cup Gold Tequila and 1/2 cup Triple Sec. Place your cranberry ice cubes in the glass, then pour in the drink mixture.  Rim your glass with sugar or salt if you prefer, and place a lime on the glass for decoration. Serves 2

Mix 1 1/2 oz. Bourbon, 1 Tsp Maple Syrup and 1 dash Vanilla extract in a shaker with cracked ice. Strain into a tumbler filled midway with the cracked ice.  Top with 3 oz. Soda Water, and you're ready to serve.

 Rim your glass with cookie crumbs or gingerbread for something different.

Cut 1 Pear and 1 Apple into chunks.  In a pitcher combine 1 bottle White wine, 3 cups Sparkling Apple Cider, 1 cup Citrus Vodka, and 1 cup frozen or fresh Cranberries. Add the apples and pears, then cover and refrigerate for 2 hours.
 When ready to serve, decorate with a Cinnamon Stick or Candy Cane   (Optional:  add strawberries and oranges)

These are some great flavors to spread on crackers or bagels and are delicious.  Sure, you can just go out and buy cream cheese that's ready made, but would it really be as good as yours? (lol) You and the kids can create different combinations to try too.

Stir 2 slices (or more if you like) cooked and crumbled Bacon of your choice (beef/pork/veggie/turkey) & 1 Tbsp Pickled Jalapeno that has been drained and chopped into 1 package of softened Cream Cheese.  You're all set!

Stir 1/3 cup Chopped Walnuts, 2 Tbsp Maple Syrup and 1/2 Tsp Ground Cinnamon into 1 package softened cream cheese.