Category Archives: whatnots

Write While the Heat is In You

“Write while the heat is in you. … The writer who postpones the recording of his thoughts uses an iron which has cooled to burn a hole with.”
~Henry David Thoreau

I’ve come to terms with the fact that I haven’t written anything of worth in months now.

I can’t say I’m proud of this. But I can admit that it’s the truth.

Which of course isn’t easy to admit. Even if we’ve be told for however long, that admitting there’s a problem is half the battle. Though I wouldn’t actually say that not having much of a desire to write is actually a “problem”.

But I digress…

You see,  for years, I blogged 3-7 times a week. I had my personal blog (here) and my business blog (there). I was constantly in creation mode. My mind was always spinning.

I was making lists of ideas to write about. Lists of ideas to shoot videos about. Lists of ideas to speak about, to train on. Et cetera. I was always creating in my mind.

And then one day, that stopped.

I felt overwhelmed.

I felt like I no longer had anything to say.

I felt like I didn’t have anything original or inspirational or even motivational to share.

And when you make a good part of your living helping others to identify and clarify their passion, to find their voices and to get out there and share that with the world…well, not having anything to say, that just becomes embarrassing.

So I went into hiding. I disappeared from so many places that I once felt so comfortable.

I dimmed my light so that only the nearest and dearest to me could see it. And even then, I think they’d be hard-pressed to tell you that they saw me at all.

You can shine even in the darknessBut now I’m feeling that desire again. Thoughts and ideas are starting to flow.

The curiosity is back.

The desire to work with women is back. Heck, the desire to network and expand…is back!!!

I can’t make any promises that I’ll be posting here, at this particular website all that much. But you’re more than welcome to join me over at my other site…where I have some big plans….that I still need to wrap my head around.

Are You Looking For a Little Help From SupperNanny?

Seems they’re in the process of relaunching the hit television show, SUPERNANNY.  This time they plan to go with a with a new American born & bred nanny.  And in the meantime, when they fly the finalists out to LA they’re looking for several local Los Angeles families who would be willing to put these potential nannies to the test.  You know, give them your toughest, brattiest, most challenging, problematic kids and problems.

Rest assured, all the women up for the role will first go through intensive interviews and then a select few will have to prove their skills by interacting with children and their parents at home.  These tests will be taped, but they will only be used for viewing by the network and will not be aired.

The ‘Test Family’ Basics:

  • The families will be on stand by and confirmed the day before the shoot.
  • The families will be compensated $300 for up to 3 hours of their time, but we don’t anticipate being there more than 2 hours.
  • Families are needed on 8/31, 9/1, 9/6 and 9/7, but they will only shoot on one of the dates.
  • Families should have at least 2 children in the home and would like the advice of a professional to address a few behavioral issues the parents are concerned about such as potty training, tantrums, pre-teen and teen attitude, etc.

If you are a parent who is frustrated with an issue – it’s an issue for this parenting expert.

Of course, they know that your response is, “What? Up to 3 hours is all I get?  I need a week!”  and they invite all parents to apply for the full help of Supernanny!!!!

If you’re interested in being considered as a SuperNanny Test Family, please call Courtney Marino at (323) 904-4680 and let her know you are interested in the possibility of being a test family.

Best of luck!!

I Hate Fleas!

They say that it only takes 10,000 hours before you are an “expert” at something…anything.  Well, I’m beginning to think that I may be well on the road to becoming a flea expert.  And not by choice!

For the past three months or so, we’ve been dealing with fleas.  We really didn’t think it was all that much of a “problem” since they weren’t bothering us or the cat.  Basically, it was just one or two on the dog.  For three months.

So first we decided to go natural and picked up some Vet’s Best Flea and Tick Spray.  This stuff basically uses clove and peppermint oils to kill the fleas.  And it works great.  At killing the fleas. Unfortunately, it doesn’t tackle the eggs or the rest of the n0t-quite-fleas-yet buggers.  And sadly for my little guy, it’s pretty potent stuff for his tender belly and it leaves him rashy (but their Hot Spot spray helps with that).  Really, I can’t recommend this stuff enough, but unfortunately in our house, it wasn’t enough.

From there we moved onto the Frontline Plus.  But for some odd reason, that didn’t seem to work as well as it had in the past.  We were actually starting to wonder if we maybe got a bad batch.

About this time, we were considering bombing the house.  But in order to do that, we all would have to leave…including the cat.  So we were calling around to see if anyone did daycare boarding.  We then called the vet to find out if his shots were updated so we could board.  It was at this time that they told us that because we didn’t treat the cat with Frontline at the same time as the dob, the fleas still had someone to feed off.  So off we go to the vet to get some Frontline for the fuzzy one.

So now we have both boys covered with Frontline, and we’re regularly spraying the dog and the room with the Vet’s Best spray.  Still, we’re not really seeing and end in sight.  Until a couple people start mentioning getting Diatomaceous Earth powder to sprinkle around the house.

We took the powder and sprinkled it behind the couch (in the dog’s favorite lounging place), in the dog bed, and on his pillow in the office.  We also sprinkled him directly a time or two.  We still want to sprinkle the couch, but we’re going for baby steps as this stuff isn’t safe to be inhaled directly (and wearing one of those mask thingies is kinda freaky in a claustrophobia sort of way).

I must say, we’re finally seeing an end in sight.  I know the vet said we’d still be dealing with fleas over the next three months as the fleas in their various lifespan become adults.  But it’s better than it was a few weeks ago.

And now, when we find a flea on us, or the dog, we pluck that sucker up and drop it in a cup of peppermint and clove oil water.  Instant death!

Oh Noz…It’s Shiny Object Syndrome

Did you know that there’s such a thing as Shiny Object Syndrome?

Have you ever had one of those days where you know you have work to do, you’re trying to get something done (oh, I don’t know, like a newsletter or a blog post…let’s just say), but you find your attention being pulled in 20 different directions?

Did you know there’s actually a name for that?  It’s called Shiny Object Syndrome.  And boy howdy do I seem to have it this week!

You see, it’s not quite ADD or ADHD where you can’t focus on anything longer than for a few moments.  It’s more like while you’re trying to focus on a particular task, your mind gets pulled into another direction and then another.  It becomes really frustrating when you have something that really needs to get done.

I’m set up for jury duty next week so I’m trying to get ahead on things like blog posts, newsletter articles and status updates and tweets for my business.  But somehow, instead of focusing on the tasks at hand, I’m out there thinking about a whole bunch of other, non-business, non-task oriented things…

  • How the dog needs to be groomed and will that help to finally get the fleas and his itching under control?
  • What are we going to do my husband’s upcoming birthday and when will I have time to buy his gift and should I wrap it and does that really matter?
  • What should I get the little nephews for their birthdays and is there an easy and inexpensive way to get them something?  What do little boys even want?
  • Where is that book I wanted to give to my friend for part of her baby gift?  If I can’t find it what do I get instead?
  • Why did I donate all those baby gifts last year thinking that all my friends were done having babies?
  • When will I have time to get all these gifts?  Is it possible to buy everything at one store?  Target maybe?
  • Can you believe it’s birthday season already?  From this week through the next 4 months I’ll have over 10 gifts to buy for family…yikes!
  • What can I do to do to get the garden in better shape and with all this rain, when will I have the time to do that?
  • Will the Square Foot Gardening class still be going on in the rain this weekend?
  • Will ordering some worms be enough to salvage the dirt, or will I need to do more?
  • What am I going to wear tonight to the Sassy City Fashion Bash and will it rain and how will that affect what I’m going to wear?
  • what’s for dinner and when am I going to get around to washing the sink full of dishes if I have work to do today and somewhere to go tonight?

Oh Lordy!

Hopefully now that I’ve gotten all these raging questions out of my head I’ll be able to get back to work on the 3 other articles I’d like to write today before heading out.

Feeling Kinda Zen and Groovy

Well, not exactly. Truth be told, I’m feeling a little pain for yesterday’s Zen yoga experience…but still good.

I’ve come to the realization that I’ve been so focused on work and reaching clients, that I’ve been spending far too much time slumped over my desk. Which means more and more creakiness when getting out of (and sadly, sometimes into) bed.

So I cashed in a Groupon-like coupon and headed to one of my local yoga joints.

This place touted itself as being a bit more “funky” than your traditional studio. Instead of the standard new agey blend of music and tones, they go for the straight out rock and pop mix. There was also a lot more cursing and loudly affirming just how “fucking beautiful” we all were than the soft, meditative, contemplative suggestions.

Overall though, I loved everything about the class. And I learned a bit about myself. Like…

  • don’t forget to breath – breathing in a pose helps you go deeper into the pose and holding your breath, well, that’s just no bueno (and sadly, a bit of a constricting habit of mine).
  • don’t be afraid to close your eyes – this is right up there with remembering to still the mind. Seems I had some challenges here. Don’t know if it was more mind-body related (as closing my eyes messed with my balance) or mental (as I found myself looking at the floor, the walls or the ceiling instead of closing my eyes).
  • don’t be afraid to stop thinking – I was able to leave my cares at the door (for the most part), but I did get busted for looking at my iPhone during class (just to check the time). In which case, I’m thinking if I’m wondering about the time, that I’m not quite stilling my mind.
  • know when it’s okay to adapt what you’re doing – sometimes you just can’t do 5 push-ups in a row (let alone three sets of them). And let’s be honest, the average yoga newbie is NOT going to be able to go from a plank to a table top…just not gonna happen! So just adapt…downward dog it is!

I will say though, when all was said and done, by the time I made the walk back to my car (and wiped off the dripping sweat – did I mention that they also like to keep the studio warmer than usual?) I was actually feel great.

I feel like I did finally reach that zen and calm moment.

And then the pain kicked in. Turns out all that downward dog and warrior posing means a LOT of stretching muscles that haven’t been stretched quite that much in a while.

I’m already looking forward to next Monday’s class. And I keep telling myself that the recovery from the pain shouldn’t last nearly as long each time I go back 😉  Please tell me I’m not making that up!!!

It’s Summertime And The Living is Easy!

Lifeguard Stand

After a month or so of some June Gloom, summer has hit LA hard!  We went from days in the mid-70’s to days in the 100’s.  This is something I was hoping to avoid as much as possible.

Luckily,  this year won’t be nearly as difficult as the last years.  While we are still in the same apartment (we didn’t feel comfortable moving since both of us are now working from home), we picked up a portable AC unit for the back office.  So now we have two rooms that are cool enough to spend some time in.  And since the new unit is portable and small enough to move about, we can move it into the bedroom if it gets too hot in there.

Finally, we can beat the crazy Valley heat!!

Of course, in full disclosure, the actually KEEP the cool in the living room, we had to go a little ghetto and use something to block the doorway into the hall o’hellish heat.  So we have a piece of white foamcore blocking it.  It stands about 3.5 feet high and it makes a HUGE difference in keeping that room cool.  At this point, I’ll take what I can get, and this sure as hell works.

It’s keeping things so much cooler that I actually had the brilliant idea to tackle the fridge…inside and out!  Of course, the sink is too small to fit the entire shelf and the drawers, so I’m dragging it all outside.  Shelf by shelf.  Piece by piece.  The half-shelves sure look good!

And I’m just telling myself, as I sweat through it all, that I’m just clearing the clutter and old energy to bring in something bigger and better!  I can’t exactly get a new place to love if I don’t love the place I’m in, right?  Or else it would just be more of the same.  And after nearly 10 years of bitching about this place, I figured it was time to learn to love it.

So a ‘cleaning we shall do!

Summer is Right for Cold-Brewed Iced Coffee

In the winter (or what passes for winter here in LA) I can’t get enough of tea.  Strangely enough though, once the warmer temperatures hit, I turn to iced coffee.  And while iced coffee may well be one of the least expensive things on your local coffee shop’s menu, it’s super easy to make at home. So easy, you’ll be rolling in the dough with all the money you’ll be saving this summer.

The key is to make sure you use good coffee (says the girl that’s just using whatever she has lying about).  I’ve noticed that when I don’t use good coffee, it can be a tad more bitter (think: Starbucks). The cool thing though, you can easily adjust the strength and the flavor – see my modifications below.

Cold-Brewed Iced Coffee

Swiped from Smitten Kitchen who adapted it from The New York Times

Yield: Two drinks

1/3 cup ground coffee (medium-coarse grind is best)
Milk (optional)

1. In a jar, stir together coffee and 1 1/2 cups water. Cover and let rest at room temperature overnight or 12 hours.

2. Strain twice through a coffee filter, a fine-mesh sieve or a sieve lined with cheesecloth. In a tall glass filled with ice, mix equal parts coffee concentrate and water, or to taste. If desired, add milk.

My Modifications:

  • I typically make double or triple batches so I have a jug ready to go whenever the mood strikes in the fridge.  Consider yourself warned, I think this results in a much stronger blend so either add more water or milk. But it’s already chilled and doesn’t require ice.
  • I don’t measure the water, I just eyeball it.  I like mine with lots of milk, so I probably add more milk than the average person – so I use less water.
  • I like to sweeten the entire jug (at least lightly), so it’s totally ready to go.
  • I strain my concentrate just using a coffee filter.  It takes a bit longer (it’s one of those single cup brew cones), but it works just fine.
  • I’ve found that using a wide mouth jar (right now, a recycled quart canning jar) makes cleaning up after the sludge of leftover grinds MUCH easier (especially compared to the glass juice carafe that I used last year).
  • Using either flavored syrups like Torani or flavored creamer makes for a lovely, decadent coffee.
  • I tend to let my sludge concentrate do it’s magic overnight – though to be honest, I’ve never timed it.


And if you want something yummy to eat along with your high octane iced coffee might I suggest Blueberry Boy Bait (again from the Smitten Kitchen site).

I Don’t Feel Like It and You Can’t Make Me!

I feel like Seth Godin wrote today’s post “I Don’t Feel Like It” just for me.  For a while now, I seem to have been either fighting myself or holding myself back.  And whenever I stop to question what the hell it is I’m doing (or in this case NOT doing) I find myself falling back on the “I don’t feel like it” whine.

All I can say is NO MORE!

We’re going to tell a new story now.

I don’t feel like it

What’s it?

Why do you need to feel like something in order to do the work? They call it work because it’s difficult, not because it’s something you need to feel like.

Very few people wake up in the morning and feel like taking big risks or feel like digging deep for something that has eluded them. People don’t usually feel like pushing themselves harder than they’ve pushed before or having conversations that might be uncomfortable.

Of course, your feelings are irrelevant to whether or not the market expects great work. Do the work. Ignore the feelings part and the work will follow.

That Was One Helluva Massage….Ouch!

I didn’t realize how busy my week was until I had to cancel my scheduled day today.  I’ve basically been booking my days solid with client phone calls and meetings.

Today I was scheduled to visit with one of our clients down San Diego way but had to reschedule.  Dork that I am, I booked a massage before my chiropractic adjustment and well, managed to mess up my back.

Yes, you read that correctly.  I got a massage (before my scheduled chiropractic adjustment).  And yes, that massage fucked up my back.  So much so that I could barely walk out the door.

So I rescheduled today’s drive down south and decided to stay close to home today.  And sit with some ice.

Little did I know that this being the first day in over a week that I had a “free” day, I would also lose any motivation to do much of anything.  Which I guess could be a good thing considering the hubby came home sick today.  If only I had a good, non-business book to sink into.

And then there’s Valentine’s Day coming up…I can’t decide if we should stay in and cook (as I’ve done in the past), just order in something like Chinese or Indian, or maybe, since it’s a weekend to just go ahead and head out somewhere.  I’m just typically not a fan of the prix fixe menus and massively increased prices solely because it’s Valentine’s Day.  Eh, then again, I’m one of those that really do see the Hallmark-ization of the day.  Who knows.

That said, it’s time to settle down with an ice pack yet again, so…what are your plans for Valentine’s Day?