“What I Know For Sure”

We all know the wonders of Oprah Winfrey. Her Super Soul Sundays are always intriguing and I thoroughly enjoy listening to her speak and reading her work. A friend recommended her book, “What I Know for Sure,” and I received it from husband for Christmas – I finished the book in 2 days. She is such a brilliant writer, thoughtful wordsmith, and inspiring woman (FYI: listening to the audiobook is also amazing).

Here are the top 5 things Mrs. Winfrey taught me:

1. Fear is bull shit.181H
We create our fears and sometimes we allow them to literally take over our lives. I understand that some fears are legitimate, depending on your positionality in the world, but I believe that they are designed to make us stand still. Oprah says it simply: “When we feel the ground beneath us shifting, we panic. We forget everything we know and allow fear to freeze us…What I know for sure is that the only way to endure the quake is to adjust your stance.” (35) Continue reading

Pops

My dad loves people and learning about them; he can talk to a millionaire, a drive-thru attendant, or someone on the street with the same authentic interest. My dad is freakin’ smart too; he knows something about almost everything, but he never makes you feel stupid if you have no idea what he’s talking about. My dad and I have had an interesting 30 years together and here are the things I’ve come to love about him: dad2

The way he mixes up words/sayings.
He was once referred to as a raconteur and was devastated. He told us he just couldn’t understand why someone would call him a racketeer! “Once a leopard, always a leopard” is another good one.
He does get one saying right though – “cream always rises to the top (so do good leaders).” He tells me this whenever I’m down on myself or having a tough time. He always thinks I’m the cream, even when I’m actually not.

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NOLA

New Orleans is unlike any place I’ve ever been. It isn’t Europe, it isn’t the Caribbean, it isn’t America – it is a perfect eclectic mix of all 3 with its’ own unique heartbeat. With the right food, atmosphere, architecture, and people,  NOLA makes you feel right at home and far, far away, all in the same moment. I predict that a visit to the Big Easy will make you want pack your bags and return time and time again, or perhaps move there all together.

Here are some NOLA things that I loved:

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Cafe Du Monde: the name makes so much sense, based on my “unlike anywhere else, eclectic mix” comment. The coffee is divine and the beignets are glorious – yes, it is a quasi-religious experience. Spend some time on Decatur too – it’s an endless show of people watching, horse-drawn carriages, and music.

Bourbon Street: it becomes a ridiculous kind of crazy on the weekend so I preferred to visit on a weekday night (fine, I’m old). The music and the dancing are a riot – walking from bar to bar with a drink in your hand doesn’t hurt either.

Riding a streetcar: they are nothing like Toronto streetcars. They make you feel like you’re in a time warp and you actually want to ride them.

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Streetcar on Canal

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Mum’s The Word

“Good morning, good morning! How are you this morning? How are you this morning, my baby girl?”
Without the hum of my Mother’s tune I’m sure that this is lost on you, but I promise you that when I sing this song I am transported back to my 10 year old self, being woken up by my sweet Mum.

I don’t even know the last time my Mother thought about herself first. It seems that she is forever focused on helping – shaping the world around her into something better than it was before. My Mum has seen things, lived through things, felt things, and done things that I’m sure she has never shared with anyone and I like that about her.

Here are some things my Mum has taught me:

  • Angels, and Mediums, are real
  • Write “Mum” in cards that are for your mother (who says “Mom,” anyway?)
  • I’m your Mum, not your best friend
  • Every now and then, it’s important to have a good cry
  • Know when to walk away from a situation
  • Quote Pride and Prejudice in regular conversation, whenever possible
  • Everything happens for a reason
  • Glowsticks take parties to the next level…
  • So does Pitbull
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all love for the woman who gave me life

She loves fiercely. She swears she’s had enough and always go back for more because she never wants anyone to be left behind, let down, or on their own.  To this day, she will bring me soup when I’m sick, encourage my tears when I’m having that good cry, tell me stories, make me laugh, drive me crazy, and on special occasions, express her love. She is powerfully strong and I want to be just like her when I grow up.

I know that there have been times that I’ve taken her for granted – today isn’t one of them. I will always be the luckiest baby girl in the world.

For your 30’s

I spent the last night of my 20’s lying on the couch in my robe, eating burnt almond and sea salt dark chocolate and drinking Veuve Clicquot, while watching Bloodline on Netflix with my husband. I told a friend the next morning “if this is 30, sign me up!”

I do realize that 30 can be anxiety provoking though – a more mature friend told me that she went to sleep on the eve of her 30th birthday feeling happy and at peace and awoke on her birthday, in tears, and cried the whole day. I was slightly terrified that this was going to happen to me and am eternally grateful that it didn’t. And so because I am a sentimental sap, this milestone birthday got me thinking about all things that will define this new decade of my life.

celebrate, indeed

celebrate, indeed

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7 things every Bride needs to know

Of all the wedding stories that I’ve shared, the most important lesson (that perhaps should have been shared first) has to do with real survival. Our wedding truly was the most fun we’ve ever had, and though everything wasn’t absolutely picture perfect, it really was for us.

During this magical, scary, wonderful time in your life, love and support are the most important things you’ll need. As you can sort of see in the video above (my apologies for the quality…and the singing), being surrounded by loving kindness, fun, and excitement was sheer bliss!

So, how can you also create this fabulous feeling and a magical “Drunk in Love” video with your bridal party, you ask? Here are 7 things you need to know:

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Here Comes The Anti-Bride

You’re supposed to wear white to your bachelorette party. Or maybe that should be: you’re supposed to wear white to your bachelorette party? This is a rule that I was not aware of and when I found out that it was common practice, I decided to ignore it. I wouldn’t wear white on my best day, never mind on a day that required drinking, dancing, and inappropriate references to male body parts – wedding day not included.

the unofficial anti-bride

the unofficial anti-bride

Instead, I wore a black peplum tube top that left little room for breathing, black cigarette style jeans, fancy black sandals, red lipstick (which I never do), a pink sash, and a male member whistle. This was more my speed.

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