Sunday Night Blues

As far as I can remember, I have experienced the Sunday Night Blues. It all started when I was very young and I was terrified of going to school. Once Sundays came around, I would get very anxious and my stomach would start to rumble and I would ask my parents if I could sleep with them. Of course my mom would say yes, and once I was sound asleep my dad would carry me back to my own bed. This continued for a while. Eventually I got over the fear of school (heck, I even have a MBA), and I was always an excellent student, but my dislike and anxiousness for Sundays, sadly, still exists today. I can’t explain it, my favorite night of the week is actually Thursday, not Friday like most would think. This is because Fridays have always been fun days, whether at school (in college I would always try to take a very heavy load of courses Monday through Thursday just to have Fridays off), and even at work. People are always in such a great mood on Fridays, they go out to lunch, discuss weekend plans…

And of course I love Saturdays too, a fun day to spend with family and friends, doing just about anything you want. However, come Sunday morning, and it’s a completely different story. Something inside my brain starts to shift and the feelings of sadness and anxiousness begin. The pit in the stomach feeling. Dread. Even now, that I am a mom, and I am finished with school and I’m not currently working outside the house. So I ask myself “Why do I still feel this way?” And I just cannot come up with an answer.

Well, I guess I am not alone in this after all. I recently read somewhere that even if you’re lucky enough to not hate your job, Sunday nights are rough. In a 2015 poll from the career site Monster.com, 76% of American respondents said they get Sunday-night blues…and 59% said they experience them “really bad.”

To me, Sundays feel the same as when I return from a great vacation. I always say that some of the best moments of a trip for me are the planning and anticipation. I always get very sad after returning from great trips and also feel this way right after Christmas, or when summer ends and my daughter goes back to school.  And I think that’s how I feel every Sunday night. The weekend is over. Back to the same weekly routine. Fridays are like the planning phase of a vacation, while Sundays are the end of the vacation. And I don’t know about many of you, but in my family, we all experience the Sunday Blues, so Sunday nights are not much fun. Everyone is anticipating the horrible Monday that is creeping up, sooner rather than later.

I’ve read many articles on this topic, which suggest strategies such as, identifying your triggers, better organizing your week ahead, meditation, finding a new direction and/or a new job, scheduling fun things for Sunday instead of Saturdays, etc, etc, etc…

Unfortunately, I can tell you that none of these things work for me. This is not one of those posts that will enlighten you on how to rid yourself of this feeling.  I will simply always feel this way on Sunday nights. I wish I didn’t, but I do.

Do you experience the Sunday Night Blues? If you do, what do you do to alleviate your anxiety, depression or worries? I’d love to hear.

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Fun Facts…

Every once in a while I come across these fun and interesting blog questionnaires.  I am a sucker for those and I think it’s a fun way for bloggers to get to know each other better.  So, here it goes:

1. Something you will…
refuse to do for the rest of your life: Stop traveling. I know many folks feel that it’s not as necessary once you’re older, but I completely disagree. I love to travel, and some of my best memories are from my trips. God willing I will have the means and health to continue traveling into my golden years.
always do forever: Continue to work on my very elaborate scrapbooks! To me, they are the best reminders of family gatherings, fantastic vacations, and important moments in our lives. I not only enjoy working on them but also love to look at them often and reminisce.

2. Something you think is…
certifiably disgusting: Oh, wow, where to start? I find many things disgusting but I must admit I really hate it when people look like they have not showered in days (and no, I am not talking about the poor homeless). I mean seriously, how hard is it to brush your hair and brush your teeth everyday, and let’s not forget some deodorant too!
absolutely amazing: My faith. It has kept me going through some tough moments in life and I am so thankful for it.

3. A compliment you’ve been given that’s made you…
feel on top of the world: That I am very creative. I love to work on many projects and have been told many times that I should start my own party planning business. I love to hear that because I put a lot of effort and time into all of my projects, and I love to see people happy with my creations.
pretty upset: Not really sure about this one, if it makes me upset then it’s not a compliment, right?

4. A name you…
hate: Ofelia. My apologies in advance to any Ofelias out there who may be reading this, but it just sounds like an old granny name. Have never liked it 😦
love: Aside from Carolina and Isabel (my daughter’s names) I also love Olivia. I always said that if I had another daughter (which I did not 😦 ) I would name her Olivia Marie.

5. Something people say about you that you…
know is entirely false: That I am very tough. Definitely not true…if anything I am one of the most emotional and sensitive people I know, I mean, I cry watching TV commercials and listening to certain church songs…many things can actually set off my waterworks!
think is on point: That I am the most organized person they have ever met, and I probably am!

6. A taste you…
can’t stand: Not sure about this one either…hmmm
can’t get enough of: Condensed milk, really, I can have it every single day, right out of the can!

7. A movie you always…
turn off immediately: any westerns, sorry, just not into them at all!
watch a million times: ooh, so many movies I love, but what the heck, I am a die hard Sound of Music fan, and I also love The Devil Wears Prada, Pitch Perfect, The Object of My Affection and Love Actually (yeah, I love my movies)!

8. Animal you…
fear: Oh I think I would hate to come across a bit rat. Just thinking about it is making the hairs on my arms stand!
need in your life right this instant: truly, none. I am just not an animal person, although who can resist a cute tiny puppy?

9. Something you…
will never ever eat: There are many gross things I have seen people eat but I don’t think I could ever put a fried tarantula in my mouth…UGH!
would eat for every meal if you were given the chance: Pasta, any type really!

10. To enhance your looks you…
would love to, but would probably never resort to: getting laser surgery to correct my vision, but would absolutely never have the courage to have someone work on my eyes! I have a huge fear of being blind and heck, I have a hard time putting on my contacts everyday!
just stick to: My regular mani/pedis. I think it’s so important for people to have nice looking hands and feet. I have been getting manicures on a regular basis since I was 16!

So, how would you answer some of these questions?  I’d love to hear!

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Valentine’s Gifts for Him

Many of you are still in New Year’s mode, but January has come and gone (I think I missed the entire month this year) and in just less than a week, it’s Valentine’s Day!  While I myself do not make a huge deal on this holiday, I know many of my readers do.  So this year I decided to round up some pretty nifty gift ideas for that special man in your life. I hope you like the goodies I came across, take a look:

  1. Ray-Ban Folding Wayfarer Sunglasses, available at Bloomingdale’s, $155. Great gift for any guy on the go.
  2. Hugo Boss Polka Dot Dress Socks, available at Bloomingdale’s, $15. Very stylish and elegant socks.
  3. 50 Cars to Drive by Dennis Adler, available anywhere books are sold, hardcover $33. A perfect gift for the car lover.
  4. Fitbit Charge HR, http://www.fitbit.com, $150.  Available in various other colors too.  Perfect for the man who likes to stay fit.
  5. XO Boxers by J.Crew. http://www.jcrew.com, $18.50.  A fun pair of boxers for this day full of love.
  6. The Art of Shaving Pro-Glide Power Shave Set, available at Bloomingdale’s, $175. Another great gift any guy would enjoy.
  7. Men’s Long Sleeve I Whale You Pocket T-Shirt, http://www.vineyardvines.com, $48. This is a really cool t-shirt for the preppy guy in your life.
  8. Ralph Lauren Polo Red Gift Set, available at Macy’s, $89. Everyone loves the classic, clean scent of Polo.
  9. Ermenegildo Zegna Dot Silk Tie, available at Nordstrom, $205.  A bit of a splurge but Zegna ties are always beautiful, they’re my hubby’s favorites.
  10. Single Malt Scotch Cordials, available at http://www.sugarfina.com, $20. The gentleman’s cordial, imported from Germany. A rich dark chocolate shell holds a mini dram of Scotland’s finest.

Have you bought any Valentine’s Day gifts yet?  I hope you can get some ideas from my list. What would you like to receive?My Signature

Happy 2016!

As I am writing my 100th post on the last day of 2015, I thought it would be a good time to share some inspirational quotes for 2016, which I just know will be a refreshing and fantastic new year!  Here we go:

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And for all of us wanting to get healthy this year, here’s one to remember:

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What are some of your favorite quotes?  I’d love to hear…

Happy New Year!

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Back to School Ready…

Today I have a treat…my very first guest blog post and it’s from my 14-year-old daughter, who is starting high school today….enjoy!

Back to School season is my favorite time of the year. I am aware that for most people, going back to school isn’t something to look forward to. I have just always found something exciting about being in a new grade and meeting all my new teachers. My favorite thing of all though, is going to either Office Depot or Target and seeing all the same school supplies from the year before in the “Back to School” section. Because I love “Back to School” so much, I’ve made a list of essentials every girl needs to have:

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  1. Vera Bradley Backpack Set:
  • Campus Backpack- Katalina Pink Diamonds: $109.00, verabradley.com; this is personally my favorite backpack for school because it has a lot of space with thick straps and an opening for my earbuds so I can listen to music on my way to class.
  • Lighten Up Lunch Cooler- Katalina Pink: $34.00, verabradley.com; Vera Bradley lunch bags are awesome because if they get stained they are all washable.
  • Laptop Sleeve- Katalina Pink Diamonds: $38.00, verabradley.com; this laptop sleeve is perfect for backpacks without laptop protection.
  • On a Roll Pencil Case- Katalina Pink: $18.00, verabradley.com; small pencil cases are the perfect size to carry pens and pencils.
  1. Yellow Blue & White Heart Binder: $21.95, zazzle.com; this binder is the perfect place to carry loose-leaf paper for note-taking. It’s also a great place for storing graded assignments and handouts.
  2. Yoobi 8 Tab Dividers: $2.99, target.com; dividers always come in handy when sorting notes and handouts for each subject. I personally love Yoobi brand because when you buy one, another binder goes to a classroom in need.
  3. Paper Mate Mechanical Pencils: $3.89, amazon.com; I love these pencils so much, mainly because the lead size is 1.3, making them way less likely to break while you’re writing.
  4. Paper Mate Felt Tip Pen: $10.00, amazon.com; these colorful marker pens are perfect for color coding my study cards.
  5. Watermelon Sharpener: $2.99, amazon.com; it’s always a good idea to carry around a super fabulous sharpener in case the teacher’s happens to be broken one day.
  6. Lilly Pulitzer, Tusk in Sun Planner: $28.00, papersource.com; having a cute planner is one of the best ways to stay organized.
  7. Pony Party Sticky Tabs: £2.50, paperchase.co.uk; I love marking important pages in my textbooks with these tabs.
  8. Yoobi 10ct Mini Highlighters: $4.99, target.com; in my opinion, highlighting in more than one color is always helpful when studying from my textbooks. These highlighters specifically are also from Yoobi brand.
  9. Red Apple Eraser: $0.85, asianfoodgrocer.com; Japanese erasers are really cute and an apple is perfect for school.
  10. Sharpie, Neon Pink Fine Point Marker: $1.50, jetpens.com; I mainly like to keep sharpies in my pencil case to label my textbooks and required reading books.
  11. Unicorn Notebook: $6.99, cottonon.com; unicorns are adorable, so why not have one on your notebook?
  12. Mini Floral Notebook: $10.00, shopbando.com; this mini notebook is perfect for writing down things I need to get done later on in the day.

And a well organized locker is also a must…these items will help keep you in check:

Locker Essentials

  1. Teal Locker Shelf: $14.45, amazon.com; having a locker shelf will really help in creating space for not only your textbooks, but your other locker essentials.
  2. Green Locker Rug: $11.98, amazon.com; I think having a locker rug is not only adorable, but I’ve found it helps keep your books from slipping sideways.
  3. Black and White Dry Erase Board: $11.05, amazon.com; having either a dry erase board or a blackboard in your locker is the best thing to remind yourself of basically anything you need to do later on in the week; especially if you have to remember to bring money for a bake sale.
  4. Yes to Cucumbers Facial Wipes: $4.85, target.com; if you’re feeling sweaty or you just want to wipe your face to refresh yourself, having a small packet of facial wipes will always come in handy. I personally love the “Yes To” brand.
  5. Eos Blackberry Nectar Lip Balm: $4.00, kohls.com; if your lips are ever chapped or you just like the flavor of it, lip balm is great to have in your locker.
  6. Tide-to-Go Pen: $5.50, walmart.com; if you know me, you know I’m clumsy, so this is definitely something I need to have in my locker to remove all my lunch stains.
  7. Light BB Cream: $22.95, chichicosmetics.com; having some backup bb cream in your locker is great in case you were in a rush that morning and you need to cover up some of those blemishes.
  8. Leopard Tangle Teezer: £12.00, selfridges.com; some people have amazing hair that stays intact all day even if it’s 100 degrees outside; and some people, like me, need to brush their hair in the middle of the day to keep it from becoming a lion’s mane.
  9. GeoFabulous Design Sticky Notes: $15.00, urbangirl.com; I mainly use these adorable sticky notes to slip notes in my best friend’s locker which is right next to mine.
  10. Daisy Solar Calculator: £6.95, dotcomgiftshop.com; most math teachers suggest having your own calculator and I like to keep mine in my locker mainly because I almost never need it.
  11. Lil’ Cutie Pie Hand Sanitizer: $7.99, amazon.com; personally, I am a germaphobe and school is full of germs so this is a MUST! (I also have one on my backpack)
  12. Lil-Lets Teen Tampons: £1.59, boots.com; if you have a (female) emergency, these are great to have stored in your locker in case you have one of those days.
  13. Ice Breakers Cool Mints: $1.99, target.com; most schools nowadays don’t allow gum, so I love having these mints in my locker to either freshen my breath or even as a little snack.
  14. Pink Scissors: $2.40, morninggloryus.com; you never know when you might have a loose string or maybe even a tag you forgot to cut…
  15. Index Cards and Case: $28.45, amazon.com; the main thing I use to study is index cards. I love keeping them in my locker so whenever I pass by, I can just review a bit before the next class.

I want to wish everyone a wonderful school year, and I hope that my tips will help you.

 

 

My Creative Space

I often wonder where people get inspired and get their blog writing done? Sure, I see these gorgeous home office spaces all over design websites, but I can’t imagine everyone’s space looks this magnificent? Take a look at this beautiful desk area, I’m sure this would make us all very creative…

Photo courtesy of

Photo courtesy of simplyjessicamarie.com

Recently I came across a company called WeWork, a coworking company that offers members access to offices all over the world; and some of these offices are amazingly creative and beautiful. So I thought I would share my creative space with my readers and give you some insight as to how I get inspired.

I’ve always had somewhat of a “work” space, even before I started this blog, because I am a crafter, always have been.  I have been making very elaborate scrapbooks for many years, it started with my trips to Europe, and after our daughter was born, I started making them for her too (she’s now 14).  As my husband likes to say, our daughter has the most detailed documented life, through her scrapbooks. And in addition to my scrapbooks and blogging, I also still work on photo albums (yes, I’m old school and still print photos) and also dabble a bit in party planning making invitations and favors for my family’s events.  So…I definitely need a large workspace, as I sometimes have tons of items spread out.

That’s why I love my Pottery Barn desk.  It’s been almost 9 years that I’ve had it and while it’s definitely showing wear and tear, I still love it.  It gives me a ton of space to spread out my projects and store all of my craft and office supplies. I don’t really have a need for wall shelves as this room has a good-sized walk in closet in which I had an Elfa system installed, providing ample storage space with plenty of shelving and drawers. (Those Elfa systems are amazing!) I’ve been meaning to give my space a small makeover, but for now, here’s what I have to work with:

My home office...

My home office…

I love to have a lot of light, and this room definitely offers that.  As you can see, I have travel prints hanging on the walls of some of my favorite places, as I LOVE to travel.  The large frame is a Thomas McKnight print of Mykonos, and the smaller prints in the yellow frames are hand painted views of Amalfi, which I purchased on one of my visits to Positano. Also inspiring me are a small plaque that my daughter recently bought for me on a class trip…Home Is Where Your Mom Is…a phrase she knows I’ve always loved and a really cute trinket dish with an inspirational quote on it…Make Today Beautiful.  Last but not least, a small photo plaque which I customized on Shutterfly, reminding me every day how much I love my little family.

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Do you have a designated home office or creative space where you work from home?  I’d love to see your photos.My Signature

My 1 Year Blogiversary!

Today marks the one year anniversary of my first blog post, or my blogiversary, as it’s referred to in the blogging world.  Wow, I can’t believe I have been blogging for one entire year.  I wasn’t sure I would last this long, and as it turns out, I still have a lot to say!  To celebrate this occasion, I decided to give my blog a makeover with the help of two wonderful and very patient ladies…Erin at twothirdshazel and Lisette at highnotedesigns, I highly recommend you stop by both their blogs and say hello.  Thanks to them, my blog now has a fresh, new look which I love.

While this past year has been a ton of fun, it has also been a ton of work (much more than I had anticipated to be honest), and a learning experience for sure.  First and foremost, when I signed up with WordPress, I had no idea how to use the program, and I had to set this blog up myself, with no help…YIKES! Thankfully, WordPress actually has some pretty good customer service and they got back to me pretty quickly whenever I had questions (which was quite often). Having said that, it seemed like it took forever to learn. But eventually I got comfortable enough with it and felt brave enough to publish my first post.

So here are the top 5 things I’ve learned in my one year of blogging:

  1. You can find a blog on any topic at all (really, any topic). Before starting on this journey, I had read a few blogs on fashion and travel, but for the most part, I thought blogging was generally about people sharing their quirky life experiences and opinions. I was seriously misinformed. I have come across bloggers that blog about anything under the sun. What I found most surprising is how often people blog (many 5-7 times a week!) and also the topics that are being discussed.  Oh and there are about a zillion bloggers out there in the blogging world.  If you have a subject that you are curious about or just looking for research on ANYTHING…Google it and you will see that many of the results are links to blog posts.
  1. Bloggers are monetizing their blogs. I didn’t realize just how many bloggers are making a part-time or possibly full time living off blogging (kudos to them for figuring that out).  But as much as I enjoy reading about the latest brownie recipe, or the hottest new hotel in Fiji, do I really want to read about the newest light bulbs GE is coming out with?  Not really. However, I’ve also come across many blogs that are amazing and full of great content, which I now follow on a regular basis.  And the bloggers I have met through this process are wonderful. They are supportive and have great ideas, as well as answers to many questions I have had.
  1. Social media is key in increasing your blog’s traffic. This is crucial.  Most of my readers are being referred to my blog from my blog’s Facebook page, as well as posts on Instagram and Pinterest.  I can’t stress this enough, you have to advertise your blog everywhere.  Encourage your friends and followers to share your posts with their friends and on their social media outlets.
  1. Blogging is a lot of work and takes up a lot of time. I blog for fun (although I’m sure hubby would love for me to make some income on the side).  I truly enjoy sharing my thoughts on beautiful places I have traveled to, nice restaurants, good books, fun crafts, whatever tickles my fancy on a particular day. I don’t have or want a niche because I feel that would limit what I can write about.  Of course, I have read that it’s better to have a niche, such as, “beach” travel or “gluten free” recipes, etc.  But I prefer having flexibility, so I just call myself a lifestyle blogger, and it works…for now.  I usually blog only once a week, twice a week, on occasion, if I have a lot on my mind. But I couldn’t imagine blogging every day.  I like to take my time with my posts (I have a bit of OCD).  I wish I could blog more frequently, as I have seen many fellow bloggers do, but I just haven’t figured out how to accomplish that yet…life gets in the way.  And I guess for now, that’s OK.  Because you see, as a blogger, I realized that I am not just a writer, but also an editor, photographer, photo editor (oh boy, had to learn Photoshop too), marketer, planner (I’m good at that), publicist…the list goes on and on. It’s truly a lot of work and very time consuming.  I’ve always believed in quality over quantity.  I really enjoy blogging at my pace and I love that my readers are enjoying it as well.
  1. Blog about what’s important to YOU, not others. I come across so many bloggers that are obsessing over their Google Analytics, Klout scores, Alexa ranking, number of comments they’re getting, number of subscribers they have…etc. While all of these measurements may be significant, especially to those that make money from product reviews and endorsements, it’s not what’s most important. Remind yourself why you started blogging in the first place (I’m sure it wasn’t about the most efficient light bulbs on the market now). Most likely it’s because you love to write and share your thoughts and ideas with others.  Don’t lose sight of that.

So if you’re reading this…thank you, thank you, thank you! If you’ve left comments on my blog, shared my posts, or even just discussed them with others, I am sending you an e-hug. I’m really happy that you find my blog entertaining and I hope that you can relate to some of my ideas, as I have really enjoyed reading all of your comments this past year. I hope you have followed me on my adventure thus far and if you haven’t, please take a look around, and let me know your thoughts.  I’m just as excited to start my second year of blogging. Until next time…

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