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40 Items. 40 Days.

1 Mar


Love, love, love this list.  Not just “stuff” but look at numbers 28-40.  Of course numbers 1-27 deserve some attention, especially from me in my 40 bags for 40 days quest…but it’s time to Declutter more than just “things”.

Your paperwork – Totally clogs up your life

Your email – I admire the people who only check their email a few times a day.  I am always extremely responsive.  I’ve always worn it as a badge of honor.  If I respond to an email within minutes, or perhaps 3 hours, it most likely will not change any outcomes.  Be forewarned…especially you hotels. 😉  Kidding, I will probably be as responsive as I’m able.

Your To Do List – I have one every day and it keeps me on track, otherwise I’d be on Pinterest all day or sneaking in extra episodes of Gilmore Girls.

Anything in your diary you don’t have to do – Cut out the extras.  Learn to say no.  I’m fairly clear at this point in my life whereas I choose not to do things I don’t want to do.  Call it maturity.  Call it being an adult.  Call it clarity.

Anything you can’t fit in your current schedule –  Being overly busy and overly committed does not make for a happy life.  There’s always tomorrow.  Or the next day.

Social events that don’t make you happy – You don’t have to go to every party.  You don’t have to meet a former friend or acquaintance for coffee.  You don’t have to catch up with people you don’t have genuine interest in.  You don’t have to go to every party you are invited to.  FOMO has no place in my life…and I’m truly much happier for it.

Excess travel to places – I love to travel especially with those I love or to see those I love.  That being said, I am extremely selective in regards to leaving my family.

Things that take up too much of your valuable time – Some say Social Media can do this.  Or popping on Pinterest and all of a sudden it’s 4 hours later.  Love that btw. 🙂  Find the time-suckers in your life and get rid of them!

Anything you are worrying about – Easier said than done, but gives you something to strive for.  I will never stop worrying about my children.

Any person who makes you feel low – I have said this often and for many, many years…Life is too short to spend time with people who suck the life out of you.

Negativity – Or negative people.  People have poked fun at me and my “Pollyanna” outlook on life.  Always rainbows and ribbons.  People I worked with would said I was like a ray of sunshine and happiness coming into a room.  You know what?  There are worse things people could say about me… and trust me, there have been. 🙂

Any I should be doing, thoughts – Live in the moment… I am desperately trying to work on this.

Regrets – Woulda, Coulda, Shoulda…Or perhaps just think, I did the best I could with what God has given me.  Works for me.







52 Changes to Make for a Healthier Lifestyle

13 Jan




Perhaps because I started the year with a true Ferris Bueller’s Day off.


It’s unfortunate that Mer and Paddy don’t look excited. The driver looks concerned. Yet another reminder to always remove your sunglasses when taking pictures!

Styling and Swagging…and the day had just begun!  Then off to enjoy some Make Your Own Bloody Mary’s from a 30-foot bar, that included crab legs!


Then went on to enjoy some adult libations at the Bears/Vikings game…and Yes, I’m wearing a Vikings sweater.  When in Rome.  Or Minneapolis.



Then traveled for 4 days to Austin, TX for a work conference, where I enjoyed more adult libations, BBQ, fried chicken and did I mention, adult libations, while hobnobbing with more of my favorite peeps?

Alright, Alright, Alright

Alright, Alright, Alright

Terry, Lora and Not Willy Nelson

Terry, Lora and Not Willy Nelson

To round off the middle of the month, a last-minute trip to an all-inclusive resort, aka all you can eat and drink .  Oh no, more adult libations?  Then laying on the beach?



And we are only halfway through January.



I believe it’s time to make some changes!  Or 52 changes!

Song of the Day: My Own Worst Enemy, by Lit

Please tell me why
The car is in the front yard and I’m
Sleeping with my clothes on
Came in through the window last night
And you’re gone gone
It’s no surprise to me I am my own worst enemy
Cause every now and then I kick the living shit out of me
A smoke alarm is going off and there’s a cigarette
Still burning

(you’re welcome)


Ok…2017, Bring it on!  It’s going to be the Best. Year. Ever…




Style and Swag.




Eating Healthy in 24 Diagrams…and a Super Cute Promposal

24 Apr



I saw this several months ago and thought, I need to make a blog out of that, so I always know where to locate it. #Favorites.  I specifically was interested in the different Smoothies, but truly, this is Chock-Full of fabulous information.  I mean, bathing suit season is right around the corner.  #ShootMeNow


24 Must-See Diagrams That Will Make Eating Healthy Super Easy


1. For fruit-ophiles.

Photos by Grace Hitchcock for PopSugar / Via popsugar.comSome diets require precision. Yes, even fruit portions.

2. For 5-minute dinners that are sure to be healthy.


3. For when you’re doing the caveman diet.

Jenny Chang / BuzzFeed / Via buzzfeed.comThis food guide will help you maneuver the Paleo way of life.

4. For picking the perfect avocado.

Northwest Edible Life / Via nwedible.comLook, ma! A life hack! More on this here.

5. For smoothies fit for royalty.

Lexi / Lexi’s Clean Kitchen / Via lexiscleankitchen.comSmoothies should be considered cheat food: they’re so easy to make, super healthy, and also taste amazing! Visit Lexi’s Clean Kitchen to read more about them.

6. For smoothies that you have no excuse not to make.

Daily Burn / Via dailyburn.comIt will almost be like you’re not even trying. And oh, did we tell you that there are 8 MORE healthy smoothie recipes that only use three ingredients? YOU’RE WELCOME.

7. For the new “It” food, the Mason jar salad!

Beth / Eat Within Your Means / Via eatwithinyourmeans.comYou can check out the recipe here. And because we love you, here’s more: 18 Mason Jar Salads That Make Perfect Healthy Lunches.

8. For tea so excellent you’ll forget other liquids exist.

utilityjournal.comWhat’s a coffee? You can read about the various kinds of teas here.

9. For soup that’s healthy and oh so delicious.

Shape / Via shape.comImpress your mom without batting an eyelash: these soups are all just different twists to the same basic recipe. Read more at All Souped Up, via Shape.

10. For making the salad dressing of gods.

Kath Eats Real Food / Via katheats.comYour friends will constantly hound you for the recipes. Check out DIY Salad Dressing for more information plus a bit extra…yummy salads!

11. For when you’re treating your lovely self to a night in.

Greatist / Via greatist.comWho says cooking for one can’t be fun? Throw away those frozen dinners, stat! You can find the recipes at The Ultimate Healthy Grocery List When You’re Cooking for One, via Greatist.

12. For yummy-fying grains.

PopSugar / Via popsugar.comThere are other grains aside from rice and quinoa, people! Push the envelope and make it your resolution to try more of them this year. How to Cook Grains atPopSugar will teach you more.

13. For making “guesstimation” of portion sizes a thing of the past.

Guard Your Health Campaign / Via guardyourhealth.comDid you know that your hand is the easiest way to measure a half-cup or three ounces of your food? Yaaaaaaas.

14. For vegetarians looking for other sources of protein.

greatist.comThat means all vegetarians. Info, recipes, and more recipes at at 12 Complete Proteins Vegetarians Need to Know About, via Greatist.

15. For spotting the hidden sugars in your food.

Women’s Health / Via womenshealthmag.comSugar is a clever little thing, and most Americans get way too much of it (between two and three times the recommended amount!). So get informed, read through the ingredients to make sure you’re not getting any more than you should. Check out 56 Different Names for Sugar, viaWomen’s Health for more.

16. For knowing your nuts.

For getting your nuts straight.

Life by Daily Burn / Via dailyburn.comThese make really healthy snacks! You can put them in little Zip-lock bags to munch on throughout the day.

17. For the definitive ranking of all the veggies.

pinterest.comTreat yo’ self! To only the healthiest vegetables, that is.

18. For DIY hummus that’s as awesome as your Lebanese college roommate’s grandmother’s.

Shape / Via shape.comOkay so maybe her recipe is still waaaay better, but at the very least it’ll make you feel more Bohemian. And give you lots of hipster cred, too. Pop over to 13 Different Ways to Make Hummus for more.

19. For marinating your meat to utter perfection.

BuzzFeed / Via buzzfeed.comCome on, we all know marinating can make or break a meat recipe. Get your meals closer to restaurant level by reading How to Marinate and Make Better Food.

20. For substituting bad ingredients with the good.

For healthy recipe substitutions.

Greatist / Via greatist.comGood news for all sweets lovers: You can still make and eat the fluffiest, yummiest baked desserts without the self-loathing that comes afterwards. Congratulations! More about these here: 83 Healthy Recipe Substitutions, via Greatist.

21. For fans of salad in search of more adventure.

Prevention / Via prevention.comIf you’re the type who lives, breathes, and eats salads, but are tired of having the same thing errrday, then this is for you: Salads That’ll Make You Love Lunch Again, via Prevention.

22. For when you want to be up close and personal with your vitamins.

hellawella.comGet intimate with your letters.

23. For remembering the superfoods alphabet.

For remembering all your superfoods.

Greatist / Via greatist.comToo, too easy. You can do this in your sleep. Find out more in detail at The Healthiest Superfoods, A – Z, via Greatist.

24. For proper superfood storage.

For how to store all your healthy foods.

Jenny Chang for BuzzFeed / Via


So yes, long blog, but it’s all great info.  Best not print this out, as it could be reams and reams of paper!

Song of the Day:  Beer in Mexico by Kenny Chesney…Throwing it back to my Puerto Vallarta trip.  I was first introduced to this song by Kim, yoga instructor-extraordinaire and my birthday twin, in one of her fabulous playlists that she’d make for me monthly.  Truly, Kim and Steph have helped keep me current with music, otherwise I’d just be featuring ELO, Earth Wind and Fire, and Build me up Buttercup.  Speaking of Beer in Mexico, I’m stunned it doesn’t have more than 1M views on YouTube.  #Crazy

Too old to be wild and free still
Too young to be over the hill
Should I try to grow up
But who knows where to start

So I just …
Sit right here and have another beer in Mexico
Do my best to waste another day
Sit right here and have another beer in Mexico
Let the warm air melt these blues away



What a great way to jump start the weekend, last Saturday. Mer and I participated in the first leg of a 6-leg journey taking sweet Maia, a giant schnauzer who was rescued through HT-Z Giant Schnauzer Rescue, from Chicago to Rockford to Dubuque to Des Moines and onto her forever home in Colorado.  #PayItForward Happy to report Maia is happily at home with her brother, Royal, in Colorado.  And Loving life. ❤



We are still loving our sweet Maxie and have no plans to expand our dog family.  She begins 2 weeks of dog training next week.  Should be interesting…Then she is going to become a service dog.  Our service dog. 🙂  Maxie is below with her favorite pig…whom she tore apart and the sweet pig is no longer.


maxie and her pig


Speaking of Promposals, since they seem to be all over the news and you may check out last year’s blog for my take on those,, Patrick hit it out of the ballpark (if I may say so myself) asking Mary to Prom…Whale you go with me to Prom?… when presenting her with a Vineyard Vines bracelet and flowers.


She said yes. 🙂

Upcoming blogs:  6th Edition of My Favorite Things; Entertaining Terry; Things that irritate me; Spring Fashions and more Snark and Sass. 😉

Peace out,










Beating the Winter Blahs

27 Feb



It feels like winter has been here forever and a day.  I am Not exaggerating either.  In Chicago (best city ever) we haven’t had nearly the amount of snow we had last year (or poor Boston that has had at over 100 inches…I almost wrote 100-ft, but glad I googled that #AmateurMistake), but the frigid cold temperatures and gloomy, dark days can get the best of any of us.  Even those of us who are “irritatingly happy”.

Winter blues, winter blahs, Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD)…it has many names.  The “winter blues” as I shall refer to it,  are characterized by sadness, a lack of motivation and low energy that many people experience during this cold season. It’s more than How to be Charming or finding out How to have a Lovely Day…though both were Sensational blogs.  Chapped lips, dry skin, and bruises from falling on ice, coupled with a feeling of sadness from not seeing the sun for what feels like months…Not Fun.  So while not all of us can get a new car, adopt a new dog and have spring break just weeks away, to cheer us up, I thought I’d share some tips to get that hitch back in your giddyup!  Even those of us with all of the above can use more snap back into our step!  Plus, spring is but 3 short weeks away!  Thank goodness!!

First and foremost…let’s address dry skin, of which I desperately suffer from in the winter months.


60 Ideas to Beat the Winter Blahs…or SAD



I love, love, love “Giving out High-Fives”… Why don’t we make the 5th of every month High Five day?…and not in a drug-induced way…but an honest to goodness “Give me a High Five”!  I’m going to start that.  I have started some things that have gone viral, so why not this?



More ways to Beat the Blues



Some of my favorite things from the above list:

* Sing Karaoke…Summer Lovin’ from Grease, my “go-to” Karaoke song!

* watch cute animal videos or my personal favorite Solidier reunions…Seriously, they could have a 24-hour a day channel featuring soldier reunions and I’d be Glued to the TV!!

* Fresh flowers…and as strange as this sounds, I prefer when I buy them myself.

* Visit a place connected with fond memories…or reliving memories.  I do this often.

* Write a letter to a friend who has been weighing on your mind… Will do so this week.

* Go out of your way to be nice to everyone you encounter… Think of it as a game!  #Winning


Beat the Blues…from our friends at Huffington Post

1. Soak up morning sunshine.
According to Kalayjian, winter blues will be worst in the mornings when you’re rousing yourself from bed. She tells clients to open curtains as much as possible to get exposure to natural light right when the body is waking up.

2. Maintain your routine.
“The most helpful thing is to try to keep up everyday activities,” says Rohan. Once daylight savings time occurs, don’t neglect your favorite hobbies just because winter spurs an impulse to hibernate. You’ll feel better knowing you’re still making it to your weekly book club, basketball game or brunch with friends.

3. Work it out.
During a killer gym session, the brain works hard to override the temporary feelings of discomfort by telling the body to keep pushing. You’ll naturally release endorphins, which will make you feel happier and even euphoric. A meta-review published in the American College of Sports Medicine Journal in 2013 suggested that, for some individuals, exercise might be comparable to therapy or anti-depressants as an effective treatment for depression.

4. Flip a switch.
Research suggests that light boxes can help up to 50 percent of people who suffer from SAD. The bright light emitted from these devices helps the body awaken in the morning and decreases the hormone melatonin that keeps us asleep at night. And for those seeking a quick fix: Studies show that light therapy can spur a mood lift in just several days. “Based on the literature, [light therapy] is a very effective treatment,” says Rohan. However, since the FDA does not regulate light boxes, she recommends consumers pursue light therapy under the supervision of a professional. “It takes some trial and error to get it just right,” she says, emphasizing that timing, positioning and potential side effects should all be discussed with an expert before you begin treatment.

5. Ditch the sugar.
It’s common knowledge that too much of the sugary stuff will make us gain weight and puts us at risk for developing diabetes and certain cancers. And research shows that sugar has a sour effect on mental health, too. Countries that consume the most sugar have higher rates of depression, and scientists hypothesize that it hinders the body’s ability to cope with stress and can worsen anxiety. Many people crave sweet and starchy foods in the wintertime because they provide a temporary energy boost, but these treats will ultimately leave you just as sluggish as before. Instead, opt for eating complete meals with good sources of protein and fiber.

6. Get outside.
Both Rohan and Kalayjian recommend breathing in some fresh air each day. Studies confirm that spending time outside can relieve stress, so bundle up and brave the cold for at least five minutes to lift your spirits. “It turns out that going for a walk in the morning after sunrise can be especially effective,” says Rohan. “It gets light to the retina, but it’s also physical activity.” Two birds, one stone!

7. Develop wintertime interests.
Bummed that you can’t play beach volleyball every weekend? Rohan recommends finding substitutes for the mood-enhancing activities you enjoy in the summer. “Having fun is central to having a good mood,” she says. “What are things to do in winter that are fun to do?” Strap on some snowshoes, check out a new fitness class, take a spin on an ice rink or step up your game in the kitchen — you just might find a new passion.


8. Practice relaxation.
Some down dog could help you get out of the dumps. Practicing yoga, studies show, can alleviate symptoms of depression and anxiety. Plus, preliminary research on meditation reveals that breathing exercises and mindfulness exercises can actually change neural networks and decrease stress. Kalayjian also recommends progressive relaxation, a technique that promotes body awareness by tensing and relaxing muscle groups throughout the body.

9. Book a trip.
Prepare for takeoff, because quality vacation time will certainly boost your mood. Those that suffer from seasonal depression will benefit from additional sunshine if they head south, but taking a break from work is important for anyone’s mental health. Studies show that people even experience pleasure from anticipating trips. “Across the board, SAD patients will tell you they feel better [after vacation],” says Rohan. But she cautions against depending on getaways for happiness. “I think it’s important to learn to tolerate the place where you live instead of jumping on a plane.” While you count down the days ’til your beach holiday, find ways to get joyous about the winter wonderland in your own backyard.


I received this from a very dear friend and it made me so happy…so I pass this on to all of you.

For the Love of the World…

by, Charlotte Tall Mountain

For the love of a tree, she went out on a limb.

For the love of the sea, she rocked the boat.

For the love of the earth, she dug deeper.

For the love of community, she mended fences.

For the love of the stars, she let her light shine.

For the love of spirit, she nurtured her soul.

For the love of a good time, she sowed seeds of happiness.

For the love of the Goddess, she drew down the moon.

For the love of a good meal, she gave thanks.

For the love of family, she reconciled differences.

For the love of creativity, she entertained new possibilities.

For the love of her enemies, she suspended judgment.

For the love of herself, she acknowledged her worth.

And the world was richer for her…..



How to Increase Serotonin…the Happiness Hormone

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I do believe a massage will be in order this weekend…just after I pick up my new car!


Or maybe just I will get a new car. 🙂



Les Artistes.  Fun night being Monets and drinking wine with Meredith and Tracy.  Crazy talent.  #LostO’Brien.



What’s that saying, Life is too short to count your years or glasses of wine? Well, I shall do neither!  But what I will count is my blessings.


While out with friends for dinner a friend said to me, “You really do seem to have people going out of their way and tripping over each other to help you and do nice things for you and your family”.  It’s true and while I don’t like to ask for help and feel uncomfortable receiving it (have I mentioned how much I despise Raccoons?!), sometimes it cannot be avoided.  We are so lucky and thankful for some very special friends who rallied around our family and our “little water pipe” problem.  😉 John, Cindy and Ron…truly don’t know what we would do without you! ❤ ❤ <3. And many thanks and love to Dave and Connie for offering to  shine a little light in our lives.  I just remembered another thing that won’t be counted.  Number of bathrooms.  🙂



Song of the Day: Thinking out Loud by Ed Sheeran

When my hair’s all but gone and my memory fades
And the crowds don’t remember my name
When my hands don’t play the strings the same way
I know you will still love me the same


House of Cards on Netflix.  This weekend.  #BingeWatching.  Couple that with possibly hanging with LSULeslie and I am truly giddy with excitement!  Oh yeah…and my new car!  #Yippee

Count your blessings.  Not your woes.

Peace out,










7 Things Healthy People Do Every Day

28 Oct


7 Things Healthy People Do Every Day.  Mer sent me this article last week, and I thought, “Now That’s a Blog”.  Of course, instead, I blogged about Dressing Your Bar Cart.  Not sure that is/was helping the “Path to a Healthy Lifestyle”, but if you knew my life, you’d say, yeah, go ahead and style that bar cart! 😉

So, this is going to be today’s blog!  And for some reason, those who subscribe to my blog, got a sneak peek this AM at my blog notes, as the new format for blogging, erroneously posted that.  Oh happy day! #StupidWordPress  #StupidBlogger

7 Things Healthy People Do Every Day

My alarm is set to the song “Happy” by Pharrell Williams. It’s impossible to not smile when this song plays. This, combined with the other habits below, set the tone for a productive, happy and healthy day.

1. Drink A Glass Of Water As Soon As You Wake Up

This rehydrates your body, revs up your digestive system, and gets things flowing. You may notice positive changes like clearer skin and better digestion. Bonus points if you add a squeeze of fresh lemon juice or a teaspoon of apple cider vinegar.


2. Do Not Check Your Email Or Phone For At Least An Hour

Do you sleep with your cell phone next to you and grab for it first thing when you wake? This is not a good habit. If you choose to resist the temptation to check your email and Facebook feed until at least an hour after waking up, you’ll find that your mind is more clear, focused and happy.


3. Think Of One Thing For Which You Have Gratitude

This sets the stage for positivity throughout the day. If you come up with three or five things, even better.


4. Step Outside And Take A Deep Breath

Fill your lungs with fresh air. Even if it’s cold outside. This only takes 10 seconds! It reminds you that you are alive and breathing.


5. Move Your Body

You don’t necessarily have to do an intense workout before breakfast, but moving your body even a little is a great way to get the blood flowing and shake the body into wake-up mode. Simply doing a few stretches is a great option. Or turn on your favorite song and dance like no one is watching.


6. Take Time To Eat A Healthy Breakfast

Rather than reaching for a box of cereal, focus on getting real foods in your body. Eggs, soaked oats, and smoothies are all great options. (And they really don’t take that much time to prepare.) Try it out.


7. Say Your Affirmations

Look into the mirror and say something positive to yourself. Some ideas:

  • I radiate beauty, confidence and grace.
  • Every cell in my body is healthy and vibrant.
  • I feel great when I take care of myself.


Song of the Day:  Dance with Life, by Bryan Ferry.

I need to dance with life
Sweep you away into the night
When there is no one else around
I will make every day count

I’ve decided that some nights (Saturday) are/were too Epic, to share pics and stories and it’s best to keep those to myself/ourselves.  However, I will throw this little nugget out there, because it was “super cray cray”.  That time when you and your daughter were enjoying some wine and appetizers at a restaurant and the gentleman next to you was complimenting you and your daughter, “You’re very pretty.  Actually you are beautiful.  But your daughter, well she’s somethin’ else”.  Stay with me here…Oh yeah, and he invited us Both back to “his place”. Seriously.  I mean, For the Love of God!  I believe he used to be a professional athlete, and thought he could get away with this crass behavior.  The restaurant was so appalled, (clearly as were we) they sent us several desserts. 🙂  Not sure this is helping this Healthy Lifestyle, either…and I do not like sweets, but that pudding-type dessert, was Un-Believable…in a good way! 😉


And there you go, a simple little Tuesday blog! ❤



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October is All About PINK!

1 Oct




Reminder to schedule your annual Mammogram.

HCA-YearlyMammogram (1)


All things PINK


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Song of the Day:  Raise your glass, by Pink

Don’t be fancy, just get dancy
Why so serious?



Best time ever sharing the best wine ever with the best friend ever.  The birthday celebrations continue! 🙂



Homecoming!  Second picture with me, Patrick, Mary and Mary’s mom, Deb.


Make today so awesome, yesterday gets jealous… Love that.  Live that!





Tracy…this one’s for you! 🙂


Mer Mer! 🙂


30-Day Abs Challenge

27 May

went for a run today




Ok, I’m in…Starts June 1, 2014.  Who’s with me?  Here’s what has been going “viral” on Facebook, and I have joined this gal’s group, and hoping more will join with me.  She also has included the YouTube video links of these exercises.  This is what she has posted on Facebook:

I wanted to create an event that will begin June 1st, 2014 which will be the first of 30 days to the abs we all dream of. I need motivation to do this myself which is why I thought maybe if I created an event we can all do this together and motivate each other.

I’ll post the calendar thanks to Jodi Higgs, and what I’d like to happen (and what will happen will probably be very different) would be for everyone to post their comments of completion, or post pics or a video of parts of their workout or the whole workout, to the wall to help keep everyone motivated and to also try to hold everyone accountable.

I can’t come to everyone’s home or place of work and make you do these so we all are going to have to work together to try to complete this entire challenge.

There are rest days programmed and everything is lined out on the calendar but if you have any questions about form or how the workouts are to be done, please do not hesitate to message me and ask.

Good luck and here’s to everyone killing this month-long challenge!!! No negativity!

You can do this from home or your office at your own convenience. You can do this each days challenge once a day or if you really want to get max results you can do it twice a day! Believe in yourself, you can do this! If I can do it, YOU CAN DO IT! Always drink lots of water to stay hydrated!


Song of the Day…we need a great, motivating song, which you can do these exercises to…Perfect beat in which to do your/our crunches and leg lifts! For planks, well, be like me and just pray. 🙂

Ok, I am in.  I am committed…and I am getting ready for a coastal summer, so Bring. It. On!



Follow me on Twitter @terryobrien



when I am older

none of my yoga pants