Thursday, February 25, 2016

5 Favorite TED Talks: February 2016 Edition

Listening/watching these TED Talks presentations have become a part of my every day.  Something new to learn, to think about, to put into action.  Here are my favorites for February:

1. Amy Tan: Where does creativity hide? By far, my favorite TED Talk to date.  Amy Tan is EXCELLENT, so much so, I had to watch/listen again and will so again.

2. Joe Smith: How to use a paper towel. Watched this twice. Funny, insightful, thoughtful.

3. Graham Hill: Less stuff, more happiness. Crazy good, I'm still cleaning out the crap.

4. Chip Kidd: The art of first impressions – in design and life. Focus on clarity and mystery.  He was funny and his message was clear.  This was GOOD.

5. Carmen Agra Deedy: Once upon a time, my mother … My Mom is so much more reserved than this, but I can still relate. Loved the message!


Wednesday, February 17, 2016

ON HIATUS... is hectic (but that's good, right?), continuing to take the minimalist approach at home, eating better, enjoying Elliot, hating the icy weather (fell - ugh!), just living the dream.

Wednesday, February 10, 2016


Today marks the first day of Lent, the time when we prepare for Easter.  A time of increased prayer and increased giving. A time of sacrifice.  I thought about what to give up for Lent.  Excess was the first word that came to mind.  Give up the excess.  I googled the word.


ik’ses, ‘ekses/

1.  an amount of something that is more than necessary, permitted, or desirable.

2.  lack of moderation in an activity, especially eating or drinking.

3.  exceeding a prescribed or desirable amount.

PERFECT!  Enough truly is enough. 

In addition to giving up the excess, DO MORE, GIVE MORE, LISTEN MORE.  That doesn't seem much of a sacrifice, more like something I SHOULD be doing. Give, donate, do more…for the Church, for the Community, for my family, friends, neighbors, co-workers, people I meet or pass by everyday. I know there is so much more I can do.  There is so much more I want to do.  What about you?

Tuesday, February 9, 2016

Celebrating Shrove Tuesday

Put on your party hat! It’s Shrove Tuesday a/k/a Pancake Day, Fat Tuesday and Mardi Gras (which is French for “Fat Tuesday”).  Today is the last day for feasting before tomorrow, the first day of Lent.  I’ve already picked up the chocolate chips and another gallon of milk.  Guess what’s for dinner? Chocolate chip pancakes and tall, cold glasses of milk. Yum.

Enjoy your day! (And your pancakes!)

With Affection,


Monday, February 8, 2016

Happy Chinese New Year/It's the Year of the Monkey!

Today marks the first day of the Chinese Lunar New Year.  This is China's biggest and most celebrated holiday.  This is the Year of the Monkey.  Every year I look to the Chinese Fortune Calendar  for an in-depth look at what my fortune for this year will hold.  (It's been very accurate in years past).  As I was born in 1958, my Zodiac Animal is the Dog.  Following is my fortune (and anyone else who was born in Dog years).

Year of Monkey - 2016 Chinese Horoscope for Chinese Zodiac Dog

For people born in Dog years: 1922, 1934, 1946, 1958, 1970, 1982, 1994, 2006

If your birthday is before February 4, then your astrological sign is Chicken, not Dog. (Verify Your Sign)
Dog has good sense of smell. It's a very alert and vigilant animal. It can make correct decisions based on the circumstances. Dog is straightforward, loyal and brave. Therefore, it has strong sense of responsibility. Monkey is a smart, wily, irritating and impatient animal. It likes new discovery, adventure, fashion and limelight. It's used to take impromptu and immature actions. Dog can become a good advisor to Monkey. 

Dog is connected to the mountain. Monkey is connected to the strong wind. Wind can travel swiftly to any location it wants. Mountain can block the wind's direction and slow down wind's speed. So the strong wind won't become a natural hazard.

According to Chinese horoscopes, Dog contains mainly the Earth; Monkey contains mainly Metal and some Water. Earth is the mother element of Metal. Dog can provide protection, education and training for Monkey. Water in the Monkey stands for money to Dog. Therefore, Monkey can help Dog bringing in the money making opportunity.

Chinese Zodiac Dog vs. 2016 Year of Monkey
 2016 is the Year of Red Monkey. You were born in the Year of Dog. The following is the Red Monkey year prediction for people born in year of Dog.

When Dog meets Monkey, Dog will be happy to become Monkey's mentor.
Career: Your career luck shows quite stable. You will find a good smart, creative partner to assist your career. If you have very tight project schedule, you should assign some tasks to the younger team members to share some workloads.
Job Change: If you receive a promotion or new job offer, then you should accept the challenge. Changing working environment to show people your talent is a good approach for current career development.
Wealth: The money luck is pretty good. Your professional skills can earn money easily. Your social networks will bring you the money opportunity. 

Water is money to Dog. Dog is connected to the mountain. When it rains, the mountain can absorb all the water. But it won't rain all the time. Don't lose the opportunity when water is there.

Love: Your personality is complementary to your lover. Both of you will become a good match. However, you need to give more romance moments for your lover. If you're looking for love, it's good time to attend more social activities. You will find and enjoy the easy and relaxing life style there.
Social Circle: It's good time to build people relationship. You should spend more time at social events. You will find people like your advice. You will feel the sense of achievement with them. You can build good friendships there.
Quarrel: If you have argument, dispute or lawsuit with someone, then both you and the opposite party will become the losers. You had better negotiate the truce.
Health: Bringing better fortune is required more social or outdoor activities. The dangerous sports should be avoided. The outdoor activities need to carry out with caution. Pay attention on not hurting arms, legs and bones.

General Fortune: Dog and Monkey can be energetic partners. They can generate promising fortune. Your efforts will return you the prosperity and happiness.

This Past Weekend

Although I was supposed to be in Florida this past weekend,...  this past weekend was actually one of the most fun-filled, family oriented weekends I've had in quite a while. My daughter Amanda and her two boys, Brendan and Jacob, along with Kayla and Elliot spent the whole weekend together.  I picked them up from their house Friday night and armed with p.j.'s and pillows, we began our weekend adventure,  Kayla had a scrumptious dinner ready.  Elliot was so happy to see the boys.  We ate, played games, watched t.v., read, did laundry and washed dishes (ALOT!).

The girls made Valentine wreaths.

They all contributed to making Applesauce Cinnamon Ornaments.  We used heart cookie cutters and valentine themed ribbons and McCormick's (think spice) recipe.  The house smelled so good.

While looking for a recipe for King Cake, I found an extremely easy version using crescent rolls form Relish, and while we did not have the required color sugars (yellow, green, purple), we did have pink.  Soooo, in honor of the upcoming Valentine's Day, ours was a "Valentine Cake."  There are so many versions of this recipe on the internet, some using raisins, some with colored frosting.  Choose one, try it.  It's an excellent dessert and one we will be making again soon.

How was YOUR weekend?



Friday, February 5, 2016


The month of LOVE and it's a leap year, too!

  • Host a Super Bowl.  The Super Bowl is Sunday, February 7.  I've always turned to Kraft's Football Party Center for tailgating and party recipes.  You can find excellent, easy and scrumptious recipes and party tips here.
  • Celebrate Valentines Day.  Again, I turn to Kraft for Valentine menu ideas.  Look here.
  • Make or purchase Valentines.  SEND them.
  • Bake heart shaped sugar cookies. Frost them.  
  • Write a love letter.
  • Curl up with a romance novel or maybe a book of poems.
  • Buy roses (or any bouquet) for your dining room table.
  • Buy a rose bomb from Lush and take a luxurious bath. 
  • Light a few candles. Yankee Candle's Fresh Cut Roses is lovely.
  • Watch a love story (or two).  Check out Delish's Romantic Movies and Menus for the perfect pairing. 
  • In honor of the president who could not tell a lie - bake a cherry pie.
  • It's Leap Year! Ask someone to marry you.

With Affection, Trish 

Thursday, February 4, 2016

Looking Forward To...

An early spring (thanks Phil!).
We have a simple weekend planned, Amanda and her boys, Brendan and Jacob will be sleeping over.  I anticipate Jayme and Tina stopping in for a visit.  We'll bake cookies, make popcorn, watch a few movies, play a few board games.  
What's on your agenda for this coming weekend?


Wednesday, February 3, 2016

Goals for February

My goals for this month are to:
1) scrap Kaileen’s book;
2) read more;
3) walk 4 miles a week;
4) create and finish 1 crochet project;
5) save $$; 
6) continue cleaning out the family room (converting to Elliot's bedroom), which leads to 
7) schedule VVA to pick up donations; and  
8) make reservations for Perry's Ocean Edge Resort (for our Florida vacation later this year).
Oh, and add to the list 9) take down ALL the Christmas decorations.  Aye Aye Aye.  Everytime I think I’ve got it all packed away, I find something else.

Also, enjoy this month of love.
What are you hoping to achieve this month?


Tuesday, February 2, 2016

It's Groundhog Day!

Groundhog Day 2016

Will Phil? or won't he?

Read more about "Experiencing the Legend" here.

Winter or Spring, enjoy your day!



Monday, February 1, 2016


February, the month of love, of comfort, of getting cozy. Unlike past Februaries, this one is coming in like its Spring. Unusual and a bit worrisome. Well, we shall enjoy it while it lasts. Here's what's happening on our homefront as we welcome February.

Watching: The Outsiders. 
Reading: A Woman's Place by Barbara Delinsky and Love Style Life by Garance Dore.
Drinking: Fruition Tropical Fruit.
Looking forward to: a fun month filled with Valentines, and frosted heart shaped sugar cookies.
I am so excited for this month. We are continuing to make progress on cleaning out the room that will be Elliot's. Kayla is making plans to paint her room. We are planning a Florida vacation later this year. I'm in a spring cleaning mood and going with it. Amanda and her boys are coming over for a weekend stay. So much good going on. And there's an extra day this month to help get it all done. 
What about you? What have you planned for this month of love?