Tuesday, December 08, 2009

Building a Bathroom

This blog is about my life, so I will be including all aspects of my life. At the moment, I am currently remodeling a bathroom in my house. I am planning on updating this site with our work-in-progress. I really like the marble counter top and matching marble floor that I found through Katy Elliot's site.

On Women and Working

Wall Street Journal reviews books on women in business.

Tina Brown on the Future of Journalism

Watch CBS News Videos Online

Friday, December 04, 2009

A Day In The Car

Yes, this is the face of someone who battled traffic all day!

Better to Give

We always hear that it is better to give than to receive. This article from the New York Times (along with the studies included) shows that this may in fact be the truth. It is a wonderful story for this time of year.


I wrote an entire post while waiting in line at the Coach store in Wrentham Village Outlets and the moment I finished and was about to post a woman bumped into me (quite aggressively) and I accidentally pressed the back arrow button, thereby erasing my entire post and the last bit of patience I had so determinedly held onto.

Basically, my deleted post stands as a symbol of the craziness I encountered. I do, however, highly recommend looking for discounts this holiday season. It will allow you to make smart financial decisions, keep your wallet full and give you the opportunity to buy more *stuff* for those you love. And seriously, isn't the fun of the holidays opening a whole bunch of surprises?! Wouldn't you rather have a lot of really nice presents to open than one overpriced item?

Monday, November 30, 2009

My Novel

Well, it is official and by putting it on this blog, I will be held accountable. I am finally putting pen to paper (actually fingers to keyboard) and writing a novel! It is a brand new story and I think I am in love with it! I have been working on one story off and on for about five years and I think my constant revisiting was thwarting any forward momentum.

I know that I am late on the National Novel Writing Month (November) but I think that the purpose of that month is that it shows us all that it doesn't take years to get something significant completed. You can start anywhere, anytime.

Sunday, November 29, 2009

Beautiful Envelopes

One of my favorite sites is Creature Comforts and they brought these fantastic envelopes to my attention.

Holiday Postcards

I am always drawn to the personal, handwritten note, even more so when it comes time for the holidays. We are becoming more and more impersonal as we become more technologically advanced. I am still a sucker for the photo Christmas/Holiday cards, but I also like the handwritten note inside the card. Some people just sign their names, like they are signing a check. Or worse, they have their names printed on the cards. Some people even send a list to the printers, who print the cards, seal them, and apply postage. I want something more meaningful. Give me a quick update, a note to say "hi" and spread some holiday cheer. Maybe if we all slowed down a little and took the time to personalize our holiday cards, it would benefit our hearts and souls and bring joy to others, as well.

I am really loving the Holiday Postcard idea!
{photo courtesy of Rifle Paper Co.}


Anyone else ever dream of being a ballerina? I am thirty-years-old and still find myself hit by a tinge of sadness when I realize that I will never be a ballerina. The grace and elegance is inspiring. I think this is why women try to emulate a "ballerina look" on their wedding day.

{photo by anna wolf}

Book A Week

With the new year right around the corner and my reentry into the blogging world, I wanted to add a specific dimension to my site. I want to read a Book-A-Week and report back on it here. I am a book publicist, so reading is my job and I tend to get lost in my client's books and stop reading for my own enjoyment. I want to incorporate this Book-A-Week challenge into my site because I think it will not only be a great way to bring titles to readers' attention but it will also be a great place for me to record my own travels through the literary world and will hold me accountable to update the site with my particular books of choice.

Reading is a great escape and there isn't a person alive who doesn't need an escape from the trials and obstacles that life presents on a daily basis. I also like the exercise of writing about reading. I have an affinity for book clubs and reading is not only my escape but my passion. I have appeared on Oprah five times to talk about her book club. Now, with her show ending, and with it the Oprah Book Club, I need a new outlet to infuse my obsession with reading.

Not every book I pick will be deep and meaningful, some may be light, fluffy and, dare I say, "Chick Lit!" This is for pure enjoyment, which is what reading is meant to be and I do believe that no matter how trivial a book may seem, you always learn something. So every week at least one post will be part of the Book-A-Week project. I am already half way through this week's book...which I started this morning...and will let you know my thoughts later on in the week.

What I love most about this project is that it is really for no one else but me. But hopefully, along the way, it will inspire others to pick up a book and READ!

Saturday, November 28, 2009

Urban Beautification

Look what a splash of color and polka dots can do for the city streets. This was installed by "anycoloryoulike" in 2008 on the streets of New York as a vivid art intervention for urban beautification and environmental awareness.

Literature Love

If you are looking for a gift for a book lover who already has every book she could ever want, you could always consider going an alternative route. Literature Jewelry! Apparently these books are actually usable and wearable!

Here is the description from the creator's Etsy shop:
My books are made using archival insides and antique outsides. Inside you'll find lineless strathmore drawing paper - thick, hand-torn, acid-free pages that work perfectly with ink, pens both thick and superfine, pencil, charcoal, and myriad other mediums. the pages are each hand sewn with archival linen binder's thread. The books' covers are made using hand-picked scraps and worn leather from wherever I can find them, cut to fit the appropriate size. The books can be carried daily and beat up. They are quite strong creatures.

Friday, November 27, 2009

Index Cards

I am always amazed and impressed by the talent I stumble upon on the internet. This site, Record the Day, shows us a new and inspiring way to use index cards to gather the daily bits of beauty we find during our journey. I just love this creative way to express yourself!

The New York Times Best Books of 2009

The New York Times has released it's list of the best books of 2009. Because no two reviewers are assigned the same books to review, they are all selecting from their own separate set of titles, which just means more suggestions to add to your Holiday Wish List!

{photo courtesy of Tony Cenicola/New York Times}

The History of Love

Even now, all possible feelings do not yet exist, there are still those that lie beyond our capacity and our imagination. From time to time, when a piece of music no one has ever written or a painting no one has ever painted, or something else impossible to predict, fathom or yet describe takes place, a new feeling enters the world. And then, for the millionth time in the history of feeling, the heart surges and absorbs the impact.
-Nicole Kraus

Realistic Fiction

"Good realistic fiction offers truth through imagination."-Nina Sankovitch

Nina Sankovitch, creator of the fascinating (and inspiring) website has written an interesting essay over on The Huffington Post about the power of fiction to inspire, educate and illuminate life.

The best books are the ones that do not follow a formula or try too hard to be a certain genre. When I read a book I know when I am being manipulated (messed with) and when I am being told a truth. The best stories present a truth about life in any way that the author finds best, even if it is in lies. An author has to be fearless in just not worrying about the verisimilitude of the story, or is it too romantic, too gross, too quiet or too loud. If the author feels the scene is a genuine, guts-out presentation of the ideas she wants to get across, she has to go with it, go for it, and give it to us. She cannot worry if her story will sell or tank completely (that's the agent's job). She has to write without fear of refusal.

Wednesday, June 03, 2009

New York City

I am delighted to report that these beautiful tubes of color are M&M's. Yes. Over six feet tall, filled to the brim with delicious, candy-coated chocolate of the M&M variety. This was the highlight (for my six-year old niece) of our trip to New York City. What was not the highlight was when I took her into a restaurant bathroom only to be greeted by a cockroach.

My niece has a paralyzing fear of bugs. Ants, teeny, tiny ants, make her scream bloody murder. So you can only imagine how she reacted to this GIANT bug scurrying up the wall of a well-lit, crowded bathroom. As she ran from the stall trembling in shock, a woman who was washing her hands looked at me through the reflection of the mirror and said, "That's New York for you."

We left that restaurant immediately, luckily we had yet to order, and landed in Tony's, a fantastic Italian restaurant a block from Times Square. How can you go wrong with family-style dining and larger-than-life menus posted on the wall? We filled our bellies with homemade fettucine alfredo, baked ziti and chicken marsala. The unmentionable from the previous restaurant was nothing but a bad dream.

We ended the night with a trip to the M&M store in Times Square. Piper found out that if she were an M&M she would be a "Mixed Bag." And what is better than finding out you have the rainbow inside of you? She was thrilled and the cockroach was officially forgotten...hopefully.

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Memorial Day

My aunt Fran passed away last Saturday. It was one of the most horrific days of my entire life. She had been battling Soft Tissue Sarcoma for two years and even though we were aware that it was incurable, we had hope. Because what else is there in life if you don't have hope? My aunt Fran was braver than any human being I have ever known, but I only really saw her bravery when this disease came into our lives. She battled sarcoma with everything she had and she did not lose faith for one minute. She stayed positive and upbeat and didn't let the disease take over.

The hardest part about her battle was what it did to her physically. She lost her hair, her ability to walk and her independence. But she continued living on the sunny side of life. She refused to dwell in the darkness of "Why Me?" She wasn't a victim. Fran remained excited about the little things and allowed them to bring her happiness; a nice dinner, visits with family and friends, a good TV show. That's how she lived her life before the illness and that's how she was determined to live her life after the diagnosis.

I read an article in today's Boston Globe about terminal patients refusal to understand the reality of their own mortality. The article clearly explains that this is something that needs to be addressed by health care professionals. I completely understand the direction of this article, but having seen it from the other side, I think my aunt's determination to not accept her negative prognosis is what allowed her to live, truly live, those last months and days of her life.

Now I'm not saying that we don't need a stronger, more emotionally balanced approach to helping people deal with end-of-life plans. Death is an uncomfortable discussion that people need to have. We need to know the wishes of our loved ones. But we also need to have professionals who can help them deal with the emotional impact their disease is having on their life.

We created a memorial site in her name to record any memories that friends or family wanted to express. Here is what I posted:

My aunt Fran is so much more than the few words I can use to fill up this simple square of a guest book. She was silly and caring and fun. She loved the little things and her enthusiasm was infectious. She was fearless and brave and bossy. She loved her friends and her family and made everyone feel special. She was happy and curious and real. She was so much to so many people. She was my aunt and my friend and my life will never ever be the same without her. I miss her so much that even typing these words makes my heart ache. I can't imagine life without her, but I am thankful for the time we had together. I love you Fran!

Love Jocelyn

As the week following Fran's death passed by in a blur of tears and phone calls from worried friends and family, I found myself constantly looking back, remembering happy times when everyone I loved was healthy and together. I found it completely appropriate that Memorial Day arrived just as I was coming out of my haze of mourning. I spent this Memorial Day weekend packing up my aunt's belongings, flipping through old pictures and trying to grasp the finality of death. I don't understand it. I never will. But I know I will grow stronger every day because that is what we do, as human beings. We break and we get stronger in the broken parts. I will never be the same girl that I saw in those innocent pictures from the past. But I am so much more now. I have experienced tremendous sorrow and I have survived. I am brave and I am strong. Because of Fran I will live in the sunny side of life, as she taught me to do, during the darkest hours of her own short life.

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Moments of Clarity

What is it about those moments of clarity? Those moments that come along like tiny bursts of lightning, when, for an instant, you truly believe that everything is alright with the world. Inevitably, this impression of hope and peace will be broken by a sharp edge of reality. You will be thrust back into the ebb and flow of your life. The gritty pieces will be back and in full focus. You will miss your train, lose your job or fight with your mother. Out of nowhere that peaceful moment, like a blast of warm air on a spring day, will be pushed along by a wind you didn't see coming.

But the fleeting beauty of these moments should not diminish the spectacular feeling of contentedness. Consider them gifts from life, rewards for your struggles, glimpses of a perfect world that is within your grasp. They are tiny presents to let you know you have already succeeded.

The more you allow yourself to recognize these moments, the more frequently you will experience them. Open your heart and let the magic of hope, happiness and beauty enter your soul and you will be forever changed, in a moment.

{photo credit: Abby Leigh}

Tuesday, May 12, 2009


Like millions of Americans, I was glued to my television during the Oprah interview with Elizabeth Edwards. How did she feel when she found out he had destroyed their family? Did she stay with him? What did she tell her children? Has he been begging for forgiveness since that bleak day in 2006 when he admitted to being unfaithful?

I held my breath as Oprah slipped out of her car in front of the Edwards' beautiful home in North Carolina. The family lined up outside their front door to greet her, the picture of perfection. Oprah warmly greeted John, Elizabeth and their two younger children. I found myself wanting Oprah to refuse John's handshake, to not smile so openly at his welcoming. I'm sure many people were sharing the same thoughts. How could this man cheat on his cancer stricken wife? How could he destroy his family and his career, a career that is built on public perception and honesty.

The mistress in question was wild enough to provide enough material for a character in a Jay McInerney novel, a woman with loose morals and a sexually boisterous life. A woman who saw waiting for the results of an STD test as a good time to take a "short" break from her sexual conquests. A woman who waited outside of a hotel for a married man.

We can all assume he was seduced. But are we to forgive him and excuse his behavior because he was overwhelmed by a woman who felt it appropriate to hit on a married man? Are we to forgive John Edwards because up until then he had been a good father and husband with a good job and shiny hair? Upon meeting him, Oprah asked if she could speak with him later. "We'll see," he replied with a smug smile as he took a step backward. I wanted him to wipe the slimy smile off his face and be accountable. Later on, Oprah asked him if he feared losing Elizabeth when he admitted his infidelity. He paused, and in that moment, I lost any remaining respect I may have had for him. There should have been no pause, no thinking, no subtle gestures to depict a thoughtful answer. He should have answered immediately, without the slightest hesitation, "YES! I was terrified I would lose her!" It should have spilled from his mouth in one fluid breath as though it sits on the tip of his tongue at all times. In that simple, momentary pause, I saw a man who did not regret his indiscretion. I saw a man who regretted getting caught.

We naturally defend and support Elizabeth's decision to stay with her husband. Her battle is already arduous and long. It is a battle against an invisible enemy, a cancer in her bones. She is sick. She is dying. She doesn't want to break apart her family and bring that unhappiness into her life. But John already brought that unhappiness in. He opened the door for it and stood their smiling.

What about Elizabeth? What about her legacy? The memories she will leave her children. Doesn't she want to teach her daughters that staying with a man who cheats is forgiving the unforgivable? Doesn't she want to teach her son that if he betrays the woman he loves he will lose her forever?

There is no question that Elizabeth Edwards is a woman to admire. She is well-educated and strong, conscientious and graceful. She has poise, confidence and a strength of spirit that shines in her eyes. She is also real and therefore vulnerable. She will make mistakes, she will fail, she will suffer and she will triumph over obstacles. She is the definition of resilience. I can't deny that I wished she had "kicked John to the curb," but I can't fault her for making tough decisions in a difficult time.

Tuesday, May 05, 2009

The Weight of Your Heart

I am starting to feel the weight of all that is going on in my life with regards to my aunt's illness. I feel that my emotions are unpredictable and my heart is heavy. I want to buy her presents or bring her ice cream and candy to make the pain go away, but I know that nothing has that kind of power, there isn't a present big enough. Her body is betraying her and yet she has been bravely and stoically fighting a disease that came out of nowhere.

The frustrating thing about worries and fears is that they are pervasive. They seep into your thoughts at unpredictable times and render you useless. They are literally earth-shattering. I keep reading these "self help" books, hoping to gain insight on matters I have no physical control over. They tout having a positive attitude to overcome all hardships, and while I agree with this theory in every day life, it is difficult to possess when facing serious battles. How do you stay positive in the face of sickness and disease? When the lives of those you love are being tested on a constant and daily basis it is hard to stay positive without feeling an overwhelming sense of naivete. It is hard not to have anger residing in your heart.

I am also finding it difficult to do anything but focus on the present; the past held too much hope and the future is far to uncertain. These feeling of sadness, stress, fear and worry hold me hostage, but at this stage it is all I can do. I have to hold on tight to the ones I love because this ride is unpredictable, goes far too fast and often throws me in directions I had never expected.

Wednesday, April 29, 2009


The YMCA that I belong to is set up in a really interesting way. The bank of treadmills is positioned so that they face floor to ceiling windows that overlook the pool. Ah, the pool. When I’m not actually in the pool, I find this to be the next best place to be. I enjoy the distraction. I love watching the old women with their short, white hair, parade confidently down the length of the pool, looking for open lanes, space to spread out. They slide their strong bodies into the comforting and healing waters. There is nothing to slow them down in the pool, no arthritis, no joint pains, no swollen hips, the pool is their fountain of youth.

Today I watched a young mother enter the pool area with her two young children in tow. She was in her late 30’s and looked like the kind of mom who actually played with her kids. She looked like a get-your-hands-dirty, roll-on-the-front-lawn kind of mom. She was not a size 2 in a string bikini, but that’s what’s wonderful about a YMCA swimming pool, you never see bikinis because the women using it are there for themselves, not to impress anyone else.

So there she was, leaning down into the pool. Her legs were strong and fit but her stomach wasn’t flat, she had lumps and imperfections like everyone but she didn’t seem to even notice. She was the picture of health and happiness. She was wearing a bright red Speedo, the kind you wear for a purpose, to actually swim, to jump and dive and splash in. You wear these bathing suits for comfort and functionality, the kind of bathing suits you wore before you were even aware of your own body. Her whole body was solid, the kind of woman who would run a mile for fun, jump in a pool at a pool party because it was hot, wear her hair lose and messy because it saved time. She can keep up with the boys and be proud of the things she can accomplish with her strength and endurance.

These are the kind of women we want young girls looking up to and aspiring to be like. The kind of women who exercise because of the way it makes them feel, healthy and strong, not because it helps them fit into size 6 jeans. It is refreshing to see strong, active women and it inspires me to continue living my life in accordance with these core values. I want to be that young mother, and someday, those older women. I want to put all my energy into every day and sleep peacefully at night, exhausted from the pursuits of my day and the force I breathe into my life.

A Pregnant Pause

I find myself marveling at all the pregnant bellies I have seen lately. I feel like a baby who has just discovered her hands. It is just amazing that we, as women, carry around a human life inside our bodies! It just completely astounds me. And yet, I am not pregnant, have never been pregnant and the only close experience I had with pregnancy was my sisters and she delivered three and half months prematurely and was on bed rest (god bless her) for most of the time. So I didn’t get to experience, vicariously through her, of course, the constant kicks, the ever-expanding belly and the tiny feet finding themselves stuck under ribs (yes! This happens!...or so I’ve been told).

No, I don’t have baby fever (well, maybe a little), but I am in no way ready to be a mom. I am merely finding myself in a state of wonder about the whole pregnancy process. I look at my mom and can’t help thinking, “She carried me, in her stomach, for nine months!”

I’m sure this wonder and amazement will pass. It is but a fleeting thought. I am at that stage in life (30…gasp!) where many, many girls I grew up with are having children. Facebook seems to be a constant notification device of the babies that are being born left and right. Okay, maybe I do have a bit of baby fever. And while I love the thought of having a cuddly, squishy, soft, sweet baby of my own, I’m not ready for being up all night with a sleepless tot or changing diapers more frequently than blinking. For now I am going to enjoy my sleep, my flat stomach and the freedom to go for a run at a moment’s notice. But when that day comes, you can bet I am going to be spending hours staring at my own expanding belly and wondering, “How in the world…”


We are haunted by our fears every day. They come climbing into the inner recesses of our mind when we least expect it. What are our fears except extensions of our selves? For as long as I can remember, I have feared making the wrong decision, the wrong move, the wrong choice. To calm my worries, people would often say, "There is no right or wrong." But this did not soothe my nerves. I want to believe in fate and everything happening for a reason, with a universal plan in motion, but I can't stop weighing one road against another. Would I have been happier if...Should I have stayed with...Should I have left? Do I have too much doubt and not enough trust? Is my inner voice being overshadowed by outside noises? Am I spending too much time worrying and not enough time living? Yes, we will all make mistakes, bad choices, questionable decisions but on the upside, we will never be bored and we'll have enough stories to fill hundreds of pages of our riveting memoirs. I guess the lesson is, live life to the fullest, get messy, make mistakes, laugh, scream, cry and smile because we only get one chance, but if we take risks one is all we'll need...and we'll be too busy to notice any mistakes.

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

I'm back...

I have been away from this blog for so long because I have been working on other endeavors...in other words, life, family, friends and paying the bills kind of got in the way. But what I'm realizing as I explore other blogs out there, is that those "other endeavors" are what make for great blog posts and personal exploration. Those daily tasks and the thoughts and feelings that go into each and every one of them is what connects us all. Fear, love, anger, happiness and every other emotion under the sun is what binds us together and what keeps us from falling apart. And isn't that the point of all writing, to discover pieces of yourself and thoughts and ideas that you would have never found otherwise?

This blog is my written epiphany. I hope it inspires you to find your own, as well.