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Stuff I Know… 10 Tips for Living Your Best Life!

Adventures With Attitude!, Every Day is an Adventure, Everyday Magic!, Fabulous After 50, Living a Royal Life, My Humble Opinion, Royal Ramblings!, Serious Shit, Sexy After 60!

Stuff I Know………..

I’m the Queen of Damn Near Everything, and that means I MUST know some stuff.  I have some things I’m pretty damned good at, some things I’m not so good at, and some things I frankly suck at.  (Singing would be one of the things I suck at, and that REALLY makes me mad. If I could only carry a tune, I’d be an AMAZING singer.  I have no doubt about it! I’m frankly amazed that I wasn’t given a fabulous singing voice!  You all would be able to enjoy listening to me any time you wanted! I wouldn’t be one of those assholes who have a great voice, who don’t want to sing in front of others!  Hell NO!  I’d share anywhere, and everywhere, so help me God!)

That being said, I decided I’d make a little list of stuff that I know- just 10 of them for now. If  you don’t yet know these things- you should.  Trust me. This is shit to live your life by!  You do it, and who knows, you might just end of the Queen of Kinda-Sorta Damn Near Everything!

So here goes:

  1. Dress in what makes you comfortable.  I seldom wear pants or slacks.  I’m just more comfortable in a dress, and that’s what I choose to wear.  People often say, “You are overdressed.”  “What are you so dressed up for?” Do I give a shit if that’s what they think? (I’m often thinking, “Geez, could you put a little effort in to your outfit?”—- But do I say that?  No.  I’m comfortable in my choice. I have to assume they are comfortable in theirs. When I’m having a party and people ask,”What should we wear?, I tell them, “Look, I won’t tell you what to wear, and you don’t tell me what to wear.”  I don’t really care what they wear.  If they want to wear shorts, wear shorts. If they want to wear an evening gown, a cape and a tiara…….. great…… just don’t compete with mine!  Again……. Dress in what makes you comfortable, and don’t let anyone make you feel like it’s not right.  You are a grown ass adult.  You can wear what you want. Screw ’em if they don’t like it!

    In Tuscon a few weeks ago we stopped for lunch at a place called HiFalutin- because where else would the Queen of Damn Near Everything eat lunch? (Too bad my necklace was flipped over! It’s got my Queen of Damn Near Everything saying on it! It was made for me by a lady in England.  You’d love it if you could just see it!) BTW- Speaking of not caring what people think…….. I keep my tiara close at hand for photos. Do I give a shit what people think when I am sporting it for a picture? HELL NO!

2. Do more of what makes you happy.  When I was going through my last divorce…… (don’t ask what number it is,   because  when you find out it’s #3 you will judge me) I decided that I was going to improve my life DRAMATICALLY.  I had been working too hard, having too little fun and had WAY too little money. So, I made a list of what I wanted in my life, and what I didn’t want.  That was the beginning of me “Living a Royal Life.”  It didn’t happen overnight, but bit by bit, day by day my life changed. It changed because I focused on Doing more of what makes me happy!  And, I’m about as happy as a person can fucking be! It works! Trust me, if you make the decision to do it, you can make it happen.  No one else can do it for you! (Travel. I believe there is no better money spent than in traveling. Traveling and exploring are right at the tip-top of my “happiness list.” There is no added charge for this bonus tip………)

Abuquerque Hot Air Balloon Fiesta

Don & I at the Hot Air Balloon Fiesta in Albuquerque a few weeks ago. It was a bit brisk, and I had every layer I had brought with me on……..AND, we had to get up at 3:30 AM to get there in time,  but it was WELL worth it!  What a sight to see all of the balloons there! One more item checked off the “bucket list!” One more GREAT adventure under our belts!

3.  In everything, moderation.  Anything, to excess is not healthy.  I’ve seen people who won’t eat anything processed, any sugar, any this, any that.  And they look like they just got out of a prison war camp and they are ready to die any moment. They don’t look healthy, they don’t act happy, they don’t look quite right.  They have “gone healthy” to excess and it doesn’t look good on them.  MODERATION PEOPLE!  With anything in life, don’t go too extreme one way or the other.  Religion, politics, booze, drugs, parenting…….. You’ve got to relax a bit and not let things go too extreme, no matter what you are dealing with.  Moderation.

The best example of this I know is my friend Stella. Stella is the most beautiful 73 year old you will ever know.  She’s got a great, slim figure. (For God’s sake, for our 70’s party last summer she wore a bright orange, green and yellow plaid suit she MADE in the 70’s and it fit her like she bought it yesterday! Who the hell can do that?)  Stella is a vegetarian and eats very healthy. Yet, she is NEVER that person who expects something special to be made or served for her.  You would probably never even KNOW she’s a vegetarian, because she doesn’t go spewing it to everyone, every minute.  AND, when she’s been at my dinner parties, she will try one of the ribs, or a bit of the meat lasagna.  Stella’s theory is that she eats the right way about 85% of the time, and when she’s out or at a party she splurges a bit.  This is a great example of “in everything, moderation.”  She looks great. She feels great. And she has the ability to have fun and enjoy life, without making herself, or anyone around her miserable!

This is Stella and me at my blog launch ust over a year ago. She is such a beauty!

4. Find a Tribe.  What do we mean by a “tribe?”  Your tribe is a group of people you consider your friends, and who have your back.  As women, especially, you need a group of people you can count on.  Women get so wrapped up in taking care of their family, home, business, etc. that many forget to take care of themselves.  It is SO important to get out, have some fun, act silly and laugh.  You also need to know that there are people who are there to see you through life’s challenges.  If you don’t have a “tribe” you need to grow one and propagate one.  They will make your life EVER so much better!

5. Find time to play.  Don’t let yourself fall into the trap of being so busy with life, so busy with making a living, so busy raising your family, so busy taking care of your house and so busy taking care of others that you don’t have fun.  Without fun in your life you can’t do all the previously mentioned “jobs” nearly as well. Remember the old saying, “If momma ain’t happy, ain’t nobody happy?”  There is more truth to that than not.  Don’t know where to begin?  Figure out a movie you’d like to see, decide a time you are going to see it, and if you can rally someone to go with, take them along.  If not…. go alone and sit for 2 hours doing something for you……….. Then build on it from there.  (Hint:  Not sure who to get to go along with you?  If you are on Facebook, try a post- “I’m going on Monday at 7 to see  Blah, blah, blah movie.  Anyone else want to go?”  You’ll probably be amazed how many other people would love to jump in and make it a party! AND be SO happy you thought of it!)

Bisbee Arizona

On our recent Southwestern Adventure we stopped in Bisbee Arizona for a night. This was on one of their buildings. We love to take time to play!

6. Realize that 90% of what you worry about never happens.   Stop laying in bed worrying and playing the “what if” game.  What if…. I lose my job…. What if my husband leaves me…….. What if we can’t pay the mortgage……. What if my kids don’t turn out right…. What if, what if, what if, what if.  Well, I’ve been there when there has been no money.  I’ve been there when “the worst” has happened. I’ve been there when someone I love died. I’ve been there when I had to get a divorce, didn’t have a cent to my name, had terrible credit, had to figure out how to move out, had to worry about if I’d have the next month’s rent, had to worry about how to pay the next car payment.  But guess what? Worrying about it didn’t help. And a LOT of the things I used to worry about never came to pass. As soon as I decided to stop worrying about them, and living my life in a positive way, things turned around.  How did I stop laying awake worrying?  I decided to create positive plans, which fill my mind and give me something to be excited about. An example, when I had finally just moved out from my ex,  had a place and still wasn’t sure what to do for money, I started planning fun things with girlfriends.  I couldn’t buy new clothing, so I started having “clothing swaps” where girlfriends brought all their unworn clothes, shoes and accessories.  They also brought their own booze and some food to share.  A free party to put on. I ended up with new clothes, which made me feel better immediately and everyone had fun.  My mind would then fill with the details of who was coming, how I was going to lay it out, etc. and no time for me to lay awake worrying…………When you fill your mind with fun details about things that excite you in life, there is no time for the worries to creep in!

Day of the Dead display

Since Halloween is just days away….. we saw a great “Day of the Dead” display when we were out in Old Town, SD last night. It’s a good reminder to us that TOMORROW IS NOT PROMISED my friends!

7. Live in gratitude.   Realize that no matter WHERE you are in this life journey, you have SO much to be grateful for.  In the United States, even the worst of us live better than many around the world.  When we went to West Africa a few months back, we saw village, after village, after village of people who existed in 10 x 12 shacks, with no bathrooms, no showers, no furniture.  Yet they were smiling and happy.  I don’t know of anyone living in situations any worse than I saw there. While your life may not be perfect right now, think about what you DO have. When you focus on the positive, you will attract more positive into your life.  When I complain, I try to stop and remind myself, “These are champagne problems.”  Many of our problems are just that.  Be thankful for a roof over your head, clothes on your back, and sunshine you can enjoy!  The roof doesn’t need to be a mansion, the clothes don’t have to be Gucci and the sunshine doesn’t need to be on a beach in Tahiti! You still can be in gratitude for what you have!

 

8. Don’t save things “for a special occasion.”  We’ve all seen those people. The ones that die and the pretty candles have gone unburned. The “special” china was never used. The prettiest dress in their closet, unworn. The silver carefully polished, but not ever used.  WHY? What are they waiting for?  “A special occasion.” WHAT special occasion? Tomorrow is not promised my friends.  EVERY day is special. EVERY day can be a party.  I have a sweet friend who asked me if I might want to have her mom’s “special china.”  It is the white china with a gold rim.  I have, somehow, with 3 marriages and about 1,000 parties under my belt, never gotten around to buying “good china.” I jumped at the chance.  She brought it to me and showed me that the box had been sent over from Japan when her mother, Japanese, married her father in the war. THE BOXES HAD NEVER BEEN OPENED since then! Don’t you wonder what occasion mom was waiting for to use the china?  Why did she want to give it to me? Because she knows, I USE the “special stuff” all the time!  A few years back, I was putting my silver flatware away after a party, and suddenly thought, “why am I only using this for parties?  What am I saving it for?” I had 4 sets of beautiful silver flatware.  My kids are never going to want it!  If I wear out one set, I can start to use the others! So I took my stainless flatware out of the drawer, and put in the silver.  Friends are constantly amazed when they see me load it in the dishwasher.  “You can’t do that! Silver can’t be put in the dishwasher!”  REALLY?  I’ve been putting mine in daily for about 5 years and I don’t see any problem. AND, I’ve never had to polish it since I use it daily. (I”m willing to bet that my silver flatware is happier than YOUR silver flatware, because it gets to be used EVERY DAY!) I just picked up a St. John knit that still had the new tags on it at a resale shop. I can’t help but wonder……. who the hell pays over $2,000 for an outfit, then never wears it?  Were they waiting for “the right occasion”- then died before that occasion happened?  Hell, I scooped it up, and wore it to volunteer usher! Going to see a play FREE is a special occasion in my book!  People, tomorrow may not happen.  Unpack that china.  Fucking USE it for every day! (Except if it has the metallic rim, you can’t microwave on that stuff!) Get out that beautiful dress and wear it to the next party you are invited to. Don’t have a party to go to? Throw one then!  Don’t have money to throw a party?  Make it a potluck.  (And use the damned china for the potluck!) Don’t you deserve a “special occasion” every day? I know I do!

Check out this great video!

 

9.  People are going to talk about you.  Yep, some are! That’s just the way it works.  Who gives a flying fuck? They may say you are stuck up, or fat, or this, or that.  WHO CARES?  If you are too perfect,they will talk.  If you make too much money, they will talk.  If you are in perfect shape, they will talk. If you put on a pound, they will talk.  If you find the perfect man, they will talk.  If your business fails, they will talk. On and on and on. The haters are gonna’ hate. BECAUSE THAT’S WHO THEY ARE! I find that in many cases, the reason they are talking is because their life is NOTHING to crow about!  If they don’t feel good about themselves, they sure as hell aren’t going to feel good about you.  This bullshit has nothing to do with you girlfriend!  Even IF they dig up some dirt about you, and spread it around, so what? So what? Hold your head up, go about your business, and LIVE A ROYAL LIFE!  You are the only one responsible for your life.  Just live it and forget the haters.  Let them wallow in the mud of their ugly little lives.  Keep calm and wear your tiara!

10. When someone compliments you, accept the compliment. For the love of Jesus, when somebody gives you a compliment, can you PLEASE just say thank you?  Please don’t tell them how old the garment is, or how awful you really look, or how fat you are.  Just say, “Thank you!”  If you want, add, “Aren’t you kind?” or “Aren’t you sweet!”  But STOP refusing the compliment!  Oh my goodness! Daily I compliment people, and the reactions I get from them amaze me.  You get these skeptical frowns, as if saying, “Why did she REALLY say that?”  Women go on and on about how old the garment is, how they really don’t look good, blah, blah, blah……… SHUT UP ALREADY!  Take the compliment, soak it in, realize it was meant to be nice, and move on. And by the way…. stop being a bitch and when you see another woman who looks great, or has well mannered children, or has achieved something in business, or her hair looks great, or  did a great job serving you, or has a beautiful smile or complexion…..take a minute and give her a genuine compliment. You just may make her day or week!  You never know how far that compliment may go to help another sister’s self confidence! And you might be amazed how it actually boost YOU too!

There are so many simple things you can do to “Live a Royal Life.” This is not even the tip of the iceberg!

Remember, Stay Calm and Wear Your Tiara!

 

 

What the Heck is a Date-Daytion?

Adventures With Attitude!, Day-Dation Ideas!, Every Day is an Adventure, Everyday Magic!, Fabulous After 50, Family Time, Living a Royal Life, My Humble Opinion, Out and About, Sexy After 60!, Travel and Adventure

Day-Dations.  What are they?

You’ve heard of “stay-cations” right?  Of course you have.  It’s a vacation where you stay home, or at least stay near home for a little “relaxation.” Therefore – it becomes a stay-cation.  My man and I not only take as many darned VACATIONS as possible, and we also take an occasional stay-cation.  One of our fun little relationship secrets, however, are our “date-daytions.” (I’m thinking of copywriting this word, cause it’s a good one!) -day long dates where we explore, reconnect and have a fabulous adventure. (Check out a suggested list of Day-daytion ideas below!) By taking the time to connect I feel like not only are we doing fun things together but also growing our relationship. I am truly “Living a Royal Life.”  The kind of rich life I wish for all my friends.

If you are in a relationship, I highly recommend making sure to take the time to do these little “getaways.”  I know with the busy schedules we all have it can be hard to do, and  finances can be tight.  But in our area of Southern California there are SO many things you can do for FREE!  Be innovative, be creative!  (If you live somewhere other than Southern California I’m sure that your area has a lot of freebies there too, if you just take time to check them out!)

If you aren’t in a relationship———- don’t use that as an excuse to stop reading!  You are going to find some great ideas you can do with a friend, your family members, your kids……… WHATEVER!  I am full of it……. I mean them. Good ideas!  Keep reading.  You’ll see!

Staying Connected…

Carving out the time is UBER important if you want to stay connected. That’s just my humble opinion.  Not that I’m a relationship expert. My marriage track-record might prove that….  On the other hand, Barbara DeAngelis, who is supposed to be a “relationship expert”  and has written 15 books on relationships, has been married at least 4 times! She’s got me beat!  (Maybe I AM a realtionship expert, who knows?)  Take my advice for what you will.  What I will say is that my man and I have an amazing time together! we love to explore and we look forward to every adventure we have!

Back to date-daytions…….We try to do one almost weekly.  We had a FABULOUS one recently! (But then, they are all fabulous, because we love our little adventures!)  My daughter and her love were going out of town and had to fly out of LAX. We got up WAY before the crack of dawn, because if you’ve driven from North San Diego County to Los Angeles, you know you have NO IDEA how long the drive could take. Especially when you need to be at the airport at 9:30 in the morning. Better early than a missed flight, so we were on the road at 5:45 AM.  Lucky for us, we got up to the vicinity of the airport with more than enough time to spare, and had time to have breakfast together before they departed. Kind of a bit of “bonus” family time!

We had already decided we would go to the Getty Villa and explore while we were up there, but as we got near it, we realized we were both EXHAUSTED, and it was only mid-morning……. so we made the decision to get massages before we hit the museum.  I checked Yelp. found a few places nearby, and we were lucky enough that one about 10 minutes away- with great 4 star ratings had openings for both of us for 90 minute massages, and off we went.  Did we ever LUCK OUT!  We weren’t disappointed either! The place was clean and attractive and my massage was absolutely WONDERFUL! My masseuse was Dina- and she was fabulous!  (Don wasn’t quite as thrilled with his masseuse.) Just in case you are in Santa Monica and want to check it out- It is The Massage Place at 625 Montana Ave.

Taste Lived Up to Its Name!

After the massages we walked around the area for a bit then, this time, Don checked Open Table for a restaurant in the area. We found one called Taste in Pacific Palisades. At first, when we pulled in, I was momentarily disappointed.  It is located in a sort of a strip mall— which wasn’t what I had expected.   We parked, and went into the restaurant, which is actually very trendy and fun inside, but we chose to eat on their outside patio.  We shared a Chopped Sabrosa salad, and it was absolutely SCRUMPTIOUS! (I have to admit- I tried to recreate it at home, but couldn’t begin to match its DELICIOUSNESS!)

A few stores over from Taste was a dress shop with the cutest dress in the window….. so what’s a girl to do but go in and give it a try? The owner of the shop was charming and helpful, and a few minutes later I walked out with a new white summer frock.

“Getty-Up” to the Getty!

That about says it all. Look how beautiful even the entrance to this museum is!

That about says it all. Look how beautiful even the entrance to this museum is!

Then on to the Getty Villa.  Neither of us had ever been to either of the Getty Museums, so this was fun. And- BTW- the Villa is ABSOLUTELY FREE to get in to. They do ask that you go on line to get a reservation, because they limit the number of people who are there at one time. Luckily for us, as we didn’t know this little detail and since it was a slow day and they let us in.

I'm at it again, mimicking one of the sculptures. Some people's kids.......

I’m at it again, mimicking one of the sculptures. Some people’s kids……. Are we the only whack-jobs who mimic the sculptures?

For those who don’t know the difference, J. Paul Getty built the Villa before his death to house his personal collections.  It is designed after an ancient Roman country house called The Villa Dei Papiri.  It was opened in 1974, a few years before his death, but he never actually visited the Villa once it was completed. There are beautiful fountains and pools, mosaic floors, and amazing architecture.  Just the building alone would make a worthwhile visit.

The fountains and ponds throughout the grounds are absolutely beautiful at The Getty Villa. No expense was spared when designing the whole campus.

The fountains and ponds throughout the grounds are absolutely beautiful at The Getty Villa. No expense was spared when designing the whole campus.

Easy to see who they sculpted this piece after......... :)

Easy to see who they sculpted this piece after……… 🙂

One of the items in the collection was a real surprise to me.  If you remember the book and subsequent movie “The Girl With The Pearl Earring,” the sculpture you see on the cover of the book is at the Getty Villa.  Not only did I not expect to see it there, but I was astonished at its size.  The whole sculpture is only about an inch or inch and a half tall! I assumed it would be the size of an average head.  Not something you could put in Malibu Barbie’s house!

(Side note: We since have also gone to the Getty Museum, and enjoyed it just as much. However, you would need a number of days to do it justice.  Plus, they have constantly changing “temporary” exhibits, so you will never be finished!)

 

Small sculpture of The Girl With the Pearl Earring

You probably recognize this sculpture from the book, and subsequent movie, The Girl with the Perl Earring. What you might not realize is that this sculpture is only about 1 inch tall!

After spending a few hours at the Villa, we spoke to the guards as we were pulling out and asked what we should see nearby.  One suggested we go just a bit North and stop at Moon Shadows for a drink.  If you haven’t heard of Moon Shadows, you have certainly heard ABOUT it.  It’s the bar that Mel Gibson was in when he imbibed a bit too much, got pulled over and received his DUI. Then he unwisely decided to call the officer a number of anti-semitic names…….. and the rest is history.  Moon Shadows is one of those places that probably has been living on its infamy for a bit too long.  The inside of it is pretty tired.  But the view is one no one could tire of! They have a narrow porch that literally hangs over the water, and we had a drink and appetizer, and enjoyed the water view and a funny sea-gull who was looking to find a snack left by a careless tourist.

Sitting over the water at MoonShadows enjoying a martini.

Sitting over the water at MoonShadows enjoying a martini.

From Malibu we drove south along the coast, enjoying the scenery, the people, and the buildings.  We ended up in Redondo Beach at The Chart House in time for the sunset.  As is typical in California, the sunset was beautiful, although we didn’t get to experience a “green flash!”

Then reality set in and we had to run a few errands on our way home. I was having an event at our house the next day and I didn’t want to have to fit in running out again, so Home Depot and Trader Joe’s wrapped up our Day-dation! We even have fun doing the mundane together.

Finally, after leaving the house before the sun completely rose, we pulled into the driveway at just about the stroke of midnight…. with a fabulous Day-dation under our belts!

This is a pretty view of some of the gardens at the Getty Villa. Whats strange is that the whole floor is beautiful mosaic, but the only part that shows in this photo is in the shadow of the pillar, like Im on a little "magic carpet!"

This is a pretty view of some of the gardens at the Getty Villa. Whats strange is that the whole floor is beautiful mosaic, but the only part that shows in this photo is in the shadow of the pillar, like Im on a little “magic carpet!”

Day-Dation Ideas:

Trying to think up a few fun little dates but not feeling particularly creative?  Here is a list of fun things we have done on some of our Day-dations which could spark your creativity.  Look for words that are dark blue  and underlined below. They are live links for you to find out info about my getaway ideas.  (I can’t do much more for you than this people, other than take your sweetie on a date myself, and/or pay for your date.  Neither of which are going to happen, BTW!)

Just to let you know, the places I recommend are TOTALLY and completely only because I have gone there, done that, and enjoyed it!  No one has paid for me to go (well, other than my man), or to review them.

Newport Beach Getaway: We drove up to Newport Beach, explored a bit, took the ferry to Balboa Island. On Balboa Island we had lunch, walked around, and found an old arcade with the fortune telling machine which, of course, we had to do! You can kill a whole day just riding around, looking at the scenery, walking through Balboa, and more. Sherman Gardens is a fabulous little garden that is tucked away right off of Pacific Coast Highway.  We went there and had a fabulous time enjoying the gardens! There are also whale watching tours, gondola rides, amazing restaurants, beautiful beaches and more!

Segway Tours: This was a surprise Don did for me- he got Segway Tour tickets off of Groupon or Living Social. We then did a tour of LaJolla on the Segways.  No one else showed up that day, so it was just Don, me and the tour guide! The Segways are really easy to navigate, and SO much fun!  We had an awesome time zipping about, then we finished with dinner in La Jolla! A romantic mid-priced date. Could be done less expensively by bringing a picnic dinner and sitting at the cove enjoying the sunset. The surprise made it even more fun for me! Segway tours are also offered in downtown San Diego, Coronado, Mission Bay, Gaslamp, Newport Beach, Huntington Beach and more. What makes them even more fun is that the guides show you little alleyways and paths you would never even know existed if they hadn’t taken you through them!   (Be sure to check out one of the discount sites and you can save up to 50%!)

Boating:  In San Diego alone you can go down to the harbor and enjoy a 1 or 2 hour “bay excursion” which gives you a fabulous and relaxing tour of San Diego Harbor. The 1-hour tour runs about $25.00; two hours is just $30.00. What a great afternoon!  Looking for something a bit more WILD? Check out The Patriot- which is a high speed boat ride that lasts about 1/2 hour. They take you around San Diego Harbor at what seem like death defying speeds, and rockets you in circles!  We went on it just last week, and it was a riot!  $25.00! Come on!  Not only that, but you might just find discounts on either Groupon or Living Social if you try! That’s AMAZING! There are similar things available throughout Southern California.

From a different area?  In the mid-west there are lakes that offer boat rides. Chicago has architectural cruises and sightseeing boats…….. nearly anywhere near water has a multitude of fun, and fairly inexpensive boating options!

Electric Scooters: The new thing around the “tourist areas” in Southern California are the electric scooters. The app’s are free, then the scooters cost $1.00 to start and about 15 cents per minute. They are an absolute BLAST and a great way to get around the city quickly from place to place without having to “re-park” your car! I think there are currently 3 different companies with the scooters in San Diego.We have also seen them in Santa Monica recently. A few weekends ago we scooted from the harbor area of San Diego, through the Gaslamp, up to Little Italy and back in a really short time!  And there are so many available everywhere you go, that when you want to jump off and get a bite to eat, or explore, you can do it and just find another to pop back on when you need it!

The electric scooters are SO much fun to bomb around on!

The electric scooters are SO much fun to bomb around on!

Foot Massages: Another surprise from Don- when we were first dating he asked when I could block 2 hours out of my day, and he surprised me by taking me to a one hour foot massage at a spa near us. They are surprisingly inexpensive and they put you side-by-side in a huge and cozy lounge chair where you get to hold hands with your sweetie and be pampered with your feet, shoulders, arms and necks being massaged! Most of the foot massage places are run by Asians, and they are very reasonably priced. Give it a try!

Play and a picnic.  About 30 minutes from us is an outdoor theater, The Moonlight Theater, where they put on great productions.  Tickets for this theater are surprisingly inexpensive. They have an unusual seating arrangement.  You can either choose a regular seat, or, in between the rows of seats, are a grassy area (no artificial grass) which is about 6 feet wide.  You can reserve a place on the grass, and have a picnic dinner before the play! They provide the low chairs, you just bring your picnic basket and enjoy a romantic time together.  It is less expensive than dinner at a nice restaurant! We have enjoyed it so much that this year we got 4 season tickets, and we try and invite a new couple along each play. Usually  people we don’t know well and would like to know better.  It’s a great way to build some “couple” friendships!

Hearst Castle:  OK, this is more than just a day-dation from where we live, however, I’m throwing this out there.  A few months ago, Don purchased a new car, and the one he wanted happened to be located up in Fremont.  Rather than pay $700. to have it transported down here, we flew up, and spent a few days driving it back home.  We stopped and toured Hearst Castle for 2 days, and had an AMAZING time. We also wrapped a night in Carmel-by-the-Sea into the trip. We stayed at a really darling little place called The Carriage House Inn, and had a darling and romantic room with a fireplace. Three days away felt like a REAL vacation! So, in actuality, this was more like a 3-day-dation…….. which probably falls between a Day-dation and a Vacation……..

Don and Me at Hearst Castle. We ended up touring it for over 2 days, we enjoyed it so much!

Don and Me at Hearst Castle. We ended up touring it for over 2 days, we enjoyed it so much!

Tourist in Your Town:  You know all the things the tourist do when they come to your city?  Chances are, you live RIGHT THERE and have never done them!  We have done “tourist days” more than once right here in San Diego.  One day we  drove to  downtown San Diego, went on the “Seal Tour” — you know them, the boats that go both on land and in the water, (and made unfortunate news recently when one capsized, killing some passengers.)  The tour was fun (and no, we didn’t capsize).  BTW- If you tell them at the Seal Tour desk (which is located at Seaport Village) you are a local, AND show your ID, you will get a BOGO!  (With the money you save on THAT little tip, feel free to take me to lunch!) We walked around Seaport Village, visited some galleries and had a great dinner downtown.  I’ll admit, I think we may have based the whole day around a massage deal I got off of Living Social….. It turned into a fabulous “day-dation” early in the day through the whole evening.

If you are from a different city, say the Chicago area…. what about one of the Architectural Cruises on the river (they are FABULOUS), or time in one of the fabulous museums such as the Art Institute, Field Museum or Museum of Science and Industry? Walking tours are offered and there is a display at the Watertower. There are always dozens of plays you could go to, or listen to music at Kingston Mines.  A stroll down Michigan Avenue can take all day between the flowerbeds, store fronts, and more!

Every city has a lot to explore. Most cities have “city tours” where you might learn about things you didn’t know existed, right up the street! Go to the places you send the tourists when they come to visit. You might be glad you did!

Ride Bikes around Mission Bay:  Take your own bike, or rent one— and ride about Mission Bay.  It is so much fun, and you’d be hard pressed to cover the distance in just one day!  There is so much to see, and so many places you can stop for a bite to eat, or a drink!  The people watching is fun too!  If riding a bike a distance is too much for you, I suggest trying one of the electric bikes. They can do some, or ALL of the work for you!  Check out Surf Monkey Bikes at 853 Grand Ave. SD- and Kalin will hook you up with a beach cruiser, a mountain bike, a tandem bike or an electric bike.  We recently took 14 family members who were in town for my grand-nephew’s graduation from Marine Boot Camp, and Kalin hooked us up with a sweet military discount!

Julian: For those of you from the San Diego area, Julian is just a short, and beautiful car ride away.  And the GREAT thing about Julian?  It has true SEASONS!  Go in the fall to see the change of leaves.  In the fall there are typically great craft fairs at their little community center, with fun, seasonally inspired decor. During the winter you can go to Julian to see and play in the snow, find more great holiday crafts, and find Christmas gifts.  Spring……… MY FAVORITE!  I try to go to Julian in the spring and see the LILACS in bloom!  Lilacs are one of the things I miss the most from living in the Midwest, and I love to see the plants, smell the blossoms and bring a few home!  Summer is lovely in Julian.  Strolling the old fashioned streets is always great fun. The many gift stores are fun to peruse.  One thing I have wanted to do in Julian, but haven’t yet gotten around to, is a tour of the old Gold Mine.  Doesn’t that sound fun?  If you want to make it more than just a day-dation, Julian has a number of fabulous B&B’s where you can stay and enjoy all the little former mining town has to offer!

Laguna Beach:  Laguna is where I first lived when I moved to Southern California almost 40 years ago, so it has a special place in my heart. There is enough to keep you busy any time of the year, between the beautiful beaches, dozens of varied art galleries and restaurants.  If you enjoy tide pools, Laguna Beach has my favorite tide pools to explore.  One of the things that Laguna is well known for is The Pageant of the Masters.  It is WELL worth going for. We visit it almost every year.  Explaining the Pageant of the Masters is difficult, and when you try, it sounds about as exciting as watching paint dry! But believe me, it hasn’t been going for 85 years because it is boring!  When you go up to see the Pageant, make sure to go up early enough to take in either the Art-A-Fair or the Sawdust Festival while you are there.  And a hint from one who knows- make sure when you are purchasing your tickets for the Pageant that you go DIRECTLY to their website.  There are some tricky websites that try to redirect you, and you will pay 4 or 5 times what you can get the tickets for directly through the Pageant!  I put it in my calendar, and go on right after the holidays to purchase my tickets for the next year.  This year we had 4th row seats! WELL worth planning for!

Up-the-Road-A-Piece:  I love to go an hour or two away and stay the night.  For us, that’s up to Orange County or LA area. There are SO many fabulous areas that you can get away to, explore, and feel like you’ve gone on a mini-vacay.  Think about it for those of you who are in Southern California.  A short jaunt takes you to Laguna Beach, Dana Point, San Juan Capistrano, Santa Monica, Redondo Beach, LA, Venice Beach……… it goes on and on and on. And each one of those areas have SO many fun activities you can do, so much to explore!  Museums, art galleries, beaches, craft fairs, street fairs, food truck nights………….

Subscribe to San Diego Magazine:  You will find more fabulous things to do, more date ideas, more restaurant ideas and nearby getaway ideas than you could EVER implement!  I keep files for future day-dation ideas…….. just in case we ever run out of our own ideas! They actually just implemented an “insider’s club” which will give you a lot of perks, discounts and fun events!  You may want to check it out!

This list doesn’t even begin to cover the many amazing dates you can dream up with your sweetie, or fun ideas you can do with friends!  If you have something you have found that is fun- let me know and I’ll add it to a future blog!

 

 

Can You Say “Oh Wow” to Death?

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I saw this down at Liberty Station in San Diego. Love the saying, and feel that it is so true!

I saw this down at Liberty Station in San Diego. Love the saying, and feel that it is so true!

A Wise Quote

I was out for dinner with my good friend Stella a while back, and saw a quote (in a bathroom of all places) which was attributed to being Steve Jobs “last words” before he died.  It was a very poignant quote, and I thought it would make a good discussion for a blog post……

But, alas, just like the internet, not everything you read on the bathroom wall is true.  GO FIGURE!  When I searched for said quote, Steve Jobs last words were not this great quote I thought I’d comment on……

“I reached the pinnacle of success in the business world. In others’ eyes, my life is an epitome of success. However, aside from work, I have little joy. In the end, wealth is only a fact of life that I am accustomed to. At this moment, lying on the sick bed and recalling my whole life, I realize that all the recognition and wealth that I took so much pride in, have paled and become meaningless in the face of impending death. In the darkness, I look at the green lights from the life supporting machines and hear the humming mechanical sounds, I can feel the breath of the god of death drawing closer.

…Now I know, when we have accumulated sufficient wealth to last our lifetime, we should pursue other matters that are unrelated to wealth. It should be something that is more important: Perhaps relationships, perhaps art, perhaps a dream from younger days. Non-stop pursuing of wealth will only turn a person into a twisted being, just like me. God gave us the senses to let us feel the love in everyone’s heart, not the illusions brought about by wealth. The wealth I have won in my life I cannot bring with me. What I can bring is only the memories precipitated by love. That’s the true riches which will follow you, accompany you, giving you strength and light to go on. Love can travel a thousand miles. Life has no limit. Go where you want to go. Reach the height you want to reach. It is all in your heart and in your hands.

What is the most expensive bed in the world? The Sick bed … You can employ someone to drive the car for you, make money for you but you cannot have someone to bear the sickness for you. Material things lost can be found. But there is one thing that can never be found when it is lost — Life. When a person goes into the operating room, he will realize that there is one book that he has yet to finish reading — Book of Healthy Life.

Whichever stage in life we are at right now, with time, we will face the day when the curtain comes down. Treasure Love for your family, love for your spouse, love for your friends. Treat yourself well. Cherish others.”

There was a lot in that quote that makes you stop and think. Think about the importance of your life, and how you are living it. The quote I read (in the bathroom) was shorter, and a bit differently worded.  However, many of the thoughts were similar.

Steve Jobs had an interesting perspective on death after it knocked on his door the first time around.

Steve Jobs had an interesting perspective on death after it knocked on his door the first time around.

Oh Wow, Oh Wow, Oh Wow!

As previously mentioned though…… This is NOT what Steve Jobs said on his deathbed at all. What was actually said, and confirmed by those present was, Oh Wow, Oh Wow, Oh Wow! I guess that those words could be interpreted a number of different ways, depending on your beliefs.  But needless to say, they are not as deeply profound as the quote I read, or the one above.

Who said those things?  We don’t know. They came out a few years after Mr. Jobs died.

In trying to find the quote I had seen which impressed me, I came across a fantastic talk that Mr. Jobs gave at the commencement ceremony for Stanford in 2005, just 6 years before he died. Entitled “How to Live Before You Die”  , it’s worth the 15 minutes it takes to watch it. Jobs tells 3 small stories about his life, but the last is about living YOUR best life.  He tells about facing pancreatic cancer, thinking he only had a few months to live, and then finding out it was operable.  He shares how your life changes — immediately and profoundly, when you think it is about to be over.  I love SO many of his thoughts he shared during his talk.  Many of his words exemplify what I am trying to share with so many on this blog and in my talks. He doesn’t use the title “Living a Royal Life” as I do, but what he says is similar to what I say, feel and try to share. He says he asked himself every day, “If today were the last day of my life, would I want to do what I am about to do today?”………. and that if the answer was “NO” too many days in a row, he knew he needed to change something.

Are you doing today what you would want to be doing if it were the last day of your life?  If not, how do you get to the place where you can say a resounding YES?

Well said, and so true! Life is a one time offer, use it well!

Well said, and so true! Life is a one time offer, use it well!

“Your time is limited, so don’t waste it living someone else’s life.”

Another quote of his I love in this video is this- “Your time is limited, so don’t waste it living someone else’s life.”  YES, YES, YES, YES!  So many of us are trying to please others, do what others think we should do. We copy what someone else’s idea of “success” is.  Many live their lives trying to please their family- only to find out they could never please their family no matter WHAT they do.  Be you. Do YOU.  No one else will do you as well as you.  You won’t do anyone else as well as they do either……..

If I could have one wish for those I know, love and cherish, it would be that they find the passion in their lives to live the life that pleases them. That they could have a “royal life.” That they could stop doing what they think they “should” and live THEIR best life.  Not my best life.  Not someone else’s best life- but the life that is THEIR best life.

Then…. upon our deathbeds, whatever age that might be, we would all go out with few regrets, and be able to say exactly what Steve Jobs said to his loved ones. “Oh wow, oh wow, oh WOW!

Feeling Blue……. Tiffany Blue!

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Is there any woman who doesnt love the look of the Tiffanys bag and gift box?

Is there any woman who doesnt love the look of the Tiffany’s bag and gift box?

Breakfast at Tiffany’s…….

Those of you who know me know I’m ALL about putting on a party. And theme parties are even BETTER! So many people tell me they don’t begin to know how to entertain, and can’t imagine where I come up with the ideas that I do.  I absolutely LOVE using my creativity – and theme parties are just the ticket to going “hog wild.”  In many cases, it doesn’t cost very much — in time or effort— to put on an event.  I hope that this article will prove to you just how easy it is!

I had wanted to do a “Breakfast at Tiffany’s” party for a while.  About 6 months ago, when ordering tablecloths for my new dining room table, I saw one that was Tiffany blue, and decided to go ahead and order it while I was getting another for an event. (You know the drill….. spend  $X amount and shipping is free. Always a GREAT reason to spend more money!)

Most of the lovely ladies who came out to enjoy the "Breakfast at Tiffany's" party!

Most of the lovely ladies who came out to enjoy the “Breakfast at Tiffany’s” party! (Just our photographer, Lauri was missing from this picture!

THEN- I saw a picture pop up on Facebook with a Tiffany Blue Mimosa, and WHAM……. I had to do it. It was the clincher for a fabulous “theme” brunch!

Patti - channeling her best "Holly Golightly" and holding one of the "Tiffany Blue Mimosas!

Patti – channeling her best “Holly Golightly” and holding one of the “Tiffany Blue Mimosas!

This party was going to be a bit different than some of my parties. I wanted this to be a small and intimate brunch. The hardest part of THAT is deciding how to only invite 8 friends. Where do you start? No matter who you invite, you wish you could invite 6 others too!  So, I decided to do a mix of 2 of my dance friends, 2 of my networking friends, etc….. and I literally did some point and pick….. very scientific… and away we went.

Back in the day I used to put a lot of time and effort into creating invitations, but now I just use Evite. The invitations are created and sent in about 5 minutes total, so it’s easy as pie!

Channeling Our “Inner Audrey Hepburn!”

On the Evite, I instructed the women to all “channel their inner Audrey Hepburn.” What is nice about this theme is that almost every woman has a black dress, and Audrey wore a number of them in the movie!  A black dress, an updo, and a cigarette holder, and you are pretty much decked out as “Holly Golightly!” We had to laugh, because my friend Karen went to pick up a cigarette holder the day before the party, and the lady at Party City said they had had a “run” on cigarette holders the past few days!  Sure enough, 4 of the girls had picked theirs up within a day of each other!

 

Olha channeled a perfect Holly Golightly! She may have given Audrey a run for her money!

Olha was a perfect Holly Golightly! She may have given Audrey a run for her money if she had been around when  Truman Capote was choosing his starlet!

A Rebel in Our Midst!

We had one rebel though!  My friend Stella copied the pink number that Audrey wore in the movie with a fabulous pink tiara to mimic the scene where Holly Golightly has her meltdown over losing her brother. We all think about the black dresses, but there are a few scenes where Holly is shown in pink!

Miss Stella with her creative pink hand crafted tiara! Who could beat that smile?

Miss Stella— the rebel— with her creative pink “hand crafted” tiara! Who could beat that smile? I love how someone’s cigarette holder is “photo bombing” the background, and looks SO real!

 

The menu was easy, as I have a few “go to” recipes for brunch.  We started with 2 different homemade scones with jams and cream, then a tasty fruit salad I recently got the recipe for, vegetarian quiche and a baked cinnamon apple French toast. Brunch is simple, you don’t need to go overboard.  Both main dishes, and the scones are something I can make ahead and freeze if I choose, then just bake the day of the event.  (I made the main dishes a day ahead, and put extras of both in the freezer for a Girl’s Getaway I’m doing in a few weeks! Do the work for 2 or 3 events at once ladies!  It makes entertaining SO much easier!)

The whole gang toasting to Holly Golightly and Breakfast at Tiffanys!

The whole gang toasting to Holly Golightly and Breakfast at Tiffany’s!

If you wanted to make this simple party even LESS work, ask 2 or 3 of the guests to bring  a dish. Others could bring a bottle of sparkling wine, and your work as a hostess is almost as easy as setting the table! Personally, part of the fun for me is the cooking, so I almost always turn down offers for someone else to bring a dish.

Laurie.. channeling her best Audrey Hepburn, as I suggested in the invitation!

Lauri.. channeling her best Audrey Hepburn, as I suggested in the invitation!

When I started thinking about what to do for the centerpiece I thought that somehow incorporating some of Don’s grandmothers vintage stemmed glasses and pearls would be fun. So I started putting it together.  Remarkably, other than buying 2 “Tiffany blue” bowls I stumbled upon at Home Goods, and one container of pearls and “diamond” shaped jewels I saw at Michaels’, every thing else was just stuff I had around the house.

A close up of the table centerpiece just before the party. I just put together some vintage glasses, blue glass, an orchid and pearls I had around the house. In the background on the table you can see the little Tiffany bag that Don snuck in- with a surprise gift for me!

A close up of the table centerpiece just before the party. I just put together some vintage glasses, blue glass jewels,  an orchid and pearls I had around the house. In the background on the table you can see the little Tiffany bag that Don snuck in- with a surprise gift for me!

Since the time setting for Breakfast at Tiffany’s was from “back in the day” I even used Don’s grandmother’s vintage champagne glasses, made some blue sugar for the rim, tied a blue ribbon on the stem- and viola- the perfect way to serve the Tiffany Blue Mimosas! FABULOUS if I do say so myself.  I scoured my house for other “Tiffany” colored items, rearranged a few of my knick-knacks in the dining room, and added them to pull the theme together.

Make it “Instagramable!”

Everyone LOVES photos nowadays, and the “photo booth” seems to be prevalent at most parties, so I made some signs to hold up for photo ops!  It is the little details like that, which add so much to an event! Lucky for me, I had some blue card stock paper- since I didn’t get this brainstorm until about 10 PM the night before the party! I printed out the sayings I wanted on the card stock, cut into a “bubble”, and glued some bamboo skewers I had in the kitchen drawer on the back as “handles.” Then in the morning, I added a bit of glitter embellishment on some of the signs. Quick and easy!

Another last minute idea was a game of answering questions about Breakfast at Tiffany’s. This is one movie that has had a lot written about it, so coming up with 15 questions just took a few minutes.  Did you know that Truman Capote (the writer of Breakfast at Tiffany’s) wanted to cast Marilyn Monroe in the part of Holly Golightly?  Her agent didn’t want her to be associated with being a “call girl”- which is what most people assumed was how Holly paid the bills! Audrey Hepburn wasn’t first choice for the part! Imagine that!

Most of the ladies hadn’t seen the movie in years, so they didn’t know many of the answers, but it was a fun little game to play.  Miss Stella had just watched the movie again a few days before the event, so she was the grand prize winner!

Stella & Patti hamming it up with props!

Getting silly is part of the fun when you gt together with the girls, right? Miss Stella and I had to do a goofy picture!

Right before the party started, I had an unexpected last minute surprise! My amazing man, Don had gone out to an appointment and  I went in the dining room to take a picture of the table. On the table, at my place was a Tiffany’s bag!  I had scoured my house the night before, certain I had a Tiffany bag I could use for decor…… but couldn’t figure out WHERE this one had come from!  Don had taken it upon himself to go to Tiffany’s a few days before, and surprise me with a gift from there! THAT is the kind of stuff I need to put up with, with this man! Can you believe it? (If you remember the movie, Holly and Paul go in to Tiffany’s , and he gets her a gift.  Funny thing was, he only had $10.00 to spend on her!)

This is where the sneaky little devil snuck in a REAL Tiffanys bag for me to be surprised with!

This is where the sneaky little devil snuck in a REAL Tiffany’s bag for me to be surprised with!

All in all, the Breakfast at Tiffany’s was an easy and fun theme, it was an inexpensive party to put on, and we all had a FABULOUS time.  I must say, every one of the ladies looked amazing! After the first photo was posted on Facebook by one of the attendees, immediately the responses were, “I wish I was there.” “Why wasn’t I invited?”  “Pout, pout!”  So, invites have already been sent out for “Breakfast at Tiffany’s 2.0” with a whole new cast of friends!  Recreating this little event will be a snap!

And if you weren’t invited, it’s not because you aren’t “good enough” –or that I don’t love you to pieces– or that you aren’t as fabulous as Audrey Hepburn……. please refer back to the previous blog article I did, entitled  Emily Post is Dead.  It will help you understand why there is NO WHINING ALLOWED! No hostess can invite ALL the people she knows to EVERY event!

Think about doing an event yourself, and invite that hostess who has entertained you so many times!  She might enjoy the chance to just be the GUEST for a change! Entertaining is easier than you might think!

Tiffany Blue Mimosas

The Tiffany Blue Mimosa that was the final "inspiration" for the whole Breakfast at Tiffanys event!

The Tiffany Blue Mimosa that was the final “inspiration” for the whole Breakfast at Tiffany’s event!

I thought I’d share the Tiffany Blue Mimosa’s with you. Because of the time period of Breakfast at Tiffany’s, and because I happened to have some,  I used the old fashioned type of champagne glasses that were popular in the 50’s and 60’s. Champagne flutes would also be nice for this drink.

Make “Tiffany Blue” sugar for the rim by taking a plastic bag, put enough sugar in it to cover the rims on the amount of glasses you have for your event.  Take blue food coloring, and put just a few drops right into the sugar.  Work it through until it is a beautiful “Tiffany Blue” color.  If it’s too dark, add more sugar.  If it’s too light, add more blue. Pour the sugar into a medium size plate (one that will accommodate the width of your  glass rim easily.

Take a slice of orange, lemon, lime- whatever fruit you have, run it around the rim of the glass, turn the glass over and dip it into the blue sugar.  (I often do the step the day before the event, so it’s one less “last minute” item I need to do.)

The drink itself couldn’t be easier.  Just put a bit of Blue Curacao in the bottom of your champagne glass or flute, and pour sparkling wine, Prosecco or Champagne  on top!  Viola’, you’ve got a beautiful Tiffany Blue Mimosa!

Here are the champagne glasses, with the rims "pre-sugared." This is another thing you can do ahead of time, so you don't have so much "last minute" flurry! I'm all about making the day of the party easy and fun! Nobody wants a stressed out hostess!

Here are the champagne glasses, with the rims “pre-sugared.” This is another thing you can do ahead of time, so you don’t have so much “last minute” flurry! I’m all about making the day of the party easy and fun! Nobody wants a stressed out hostess!

I have 2 "alcoves" in my dining room, so I just put whatever items around my house had a bit of a "Tiffany or Hepburn" feel to them......

I have 2 “alcoves” in my dining room, so I just put whatever items around my house had a bit of a “Tiffany or Hepburn” feel to them…...

FREE EVENT TICKET CONTEST!

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Who Wants a Fun Night Out On Me?

If you read my blog, you know that I am ALL ABOUT women having more fun! I believe that to “Live a Royal Life” you have to schedule fin into your life.  “Girl’s Night Out” is an UBER important part of the “having fun” concept.  Sometimes, I hear the lament, “I just can’t afford it”…….. OK girlies, I’m taking away ALL of the excuses now!

I am giving away a FREE TICKET valued at $35.00 for an event a friend of mine puts on every year! My friend, Mandy Rodriguez puts on a dance party that a fabulous group of women attend each year. The event happens this Saturday, August 25th, from 5-10 PM at Springhill Suites in Oceanside.

I love to reward my subscribers with occasional contests and “freebies” and this is just another bit of fun I want to bless someone with.

Mandy is one of the most fun DJ's around, and the ladies that attend are some of the dearest to my heart!

Mandy (of Mandy Mixes)  is one of the most fun DJ’s around, and the ladies that attend are some of the dearest to my heart!

Girls Just Wanna Have Fun!

Now, God knows, Mandy can’t ADVERTISE this as a “girls’ dance party”, because sure as shootin’ some jackass would spring forth and claim discrimination……. but, we are just a bunch of women who love each other’s company and have a great night out without the guys!

Remember the fun you had dancing with your girlfriends in grade school?  Middle school? High School?  Well, it’s not to late to STILL enjoy dancing with the girls!

Not only am I going to give away a FREE TICKET to the event, I’ll also buy your first drink!

So, here is how it works.  I am giving the ticket to someone who has never gone to Mandy’s dance party, and is one of my subscribers.  You can text or email me, tell me you’d like the free ticket, and MAYBE you want to give me a reason why I should choose YOU to go! Or, get really clever, and tag me on your facebook with why YOU should be going to the Dance Party next Saturday…….. I’ll announce the winner on Wednesday.

You can text me at 800-680-9133 or email me at Patti@TheQueenofDamnNearEverything.com

If you are the lucky winner, you will get a free swag bag from me, the ticket to the event, the EVENT swag bag, a drink and the opportunity for you and I to get to know each other better AND a chance to meet a group of fantastic women……. AND dance your butt off all night! That’s like a win-win-win-win-WIN!

What are you waiting for?  Isn’t it time to get going on winning this contest?

 

A Small Sacrifice for Our American Heroes

Events, Every Day is an Adventure, Giving Back, Helping Our Heros, Living a Royal Life, Out and About, Serious Shit, Uncategorized
One of the units which received boxes from Operation America Cares

One of the units which received some of the boxes from Operation America Cares

Operation America Cares

I had known about the monthly packing events for a few years.  I meant to get around to it, time after time, but never had.  Then my great-nephew joined the marines in late June, and suddenly what they were doing jumped further to the top of my list.  I put it on my calendar, made a few phone calls, and showed up.

When I spoke to Linda Milimaki she told me to come about 8:45.  I pulled up at 8:50, because, once again, I had pulled away from my house without my cell phone, and needed to go back for it.  When I pulled up to the beautiful Escondido neighborhood that Linda lives in, I saw a flurry of activity.  Cars were lined up and down the street, the driveway was filled with tables, and her  3 car garage  was wall to wall tables and people in an “assembly line” filling up boxes.

This simple little hand lettered sign greeted me as I walked up the driveway, already bustling with volunteers diligently at work!

This simple little hand lettered sign greeted me as I walked up the driveway, already bustling with volunteers diligently at work!

The organization I had come to help on that Saturday morning is Operation America Cares. The organization was the brain-child of two sisters who found out that many of our troops never receive a care package or mail from home. They wanted to change that by providing a little ray of sunshine into the lives of some of those troops.

The Start of Something Great

They packed their first 35 boxes for Christmas in 2008. Since then there have been over 24,000 boxes send out of Linda’s home, with the help of donations and monthly packing “parties.”

I was first introduced to this endeavor through my local Realtor Caravan meetings a few years ago.  Every quarter we choose a local charity, and collect weekly donations. At the end of the quarter a check is presented to the chosen charity.  After hearing about Operation America Cares, I invited one of their volunteers, Cheryl Sutcliff, a local lender I know and trust in our community to come and speak to my Kiwanis club.  I was president of the club, and wanted my members to know about the need.

When Cheryl stood in front of our group with one of the boxes filled with the items sent off monthly, I felt like I was watching Mary Poppins pull things out of her magical carpetbag! I couldn’t believe how many goodies were stuffed into that small “Priority Mail” cardboard box!  Each and every item had been well thought out for the wants and needs of a young military hero.  There wasn’t one inch of wasted space, and nothing that wouldn’t be appreciated and enjoyed, by at least one young man, and most likely shared among a number of them!

This is just a small portion of the items organized to go into boxes each month. I was impressed with the efficiency of the whole process!

This is just a small portion of the items organized to go into boxes each month. I was impressed with the efficiency of the whole process!

One of the things I found most fascinating about the boxes was the fact that they send a little zip-lock sandwich bag filled with some spices.  One of them is taco seasoning from Del Taco.  It turns out, as I was told that the MRE meals lack flavor, so the taco-seasoning is a HUGE hit with the young men!  When told that their hot sauce was the one the young men preferred the most, the Del Taco at 9822 Magnolia Avenue in Santee, CA volunteered to donate enough to be sent off every month! Kudos to them for repeatedly stepping up to the plate for our military!

When I pulled up to Linda’s Escondido home that Saturday, it was a bee-hive of activity! I couldn’t believe how much was already happening by the time I arrived. One of the first things Linda did was to pray for the people working and for the military who would be receiving the boxes. She then read a few letters that had been received from some of the recipients of the boxes.  You would have thought that the boxes held the greatest treasures in the universe when you heard the heartfelt thanks for them!  It brought tears to my eyes to think that the simple little “shoebox” size boxes would bring such joy!

This letter and a handwritten note went into each box that we packed for our servicemen.

This letter and a handwritten note on a greeting card went into each box that we packed for our servicemen. Often, pictures drawn by schoolchildren in the area also go into the boxes. Because school was out of session, we didn’t have any of the children’s drawings to put into the boxes this particular month.

I approached one of the women working, who seemed to be knowledgeable about the procedures,  and she gave me a brief  “assembly line” walk through, and  set me to filling up boxes.  I went through the assembly line process and filled a few of the boxes.  It was then time to “repack” the boxes, and I was instructed in that.  Because there are toiletry items, and food items, they are separated into 2 different zip lock bags, so that if something should leak, everything isn’t ruined. There is a real science to packing the boxes so everything gets there safely, usable and fitting in the box. Everything is boxed in a Priority Mail box, which is $16.75 for all you can fit in the box, no matter what the weight.  And fit it in, they do!  Toilet paper, socks, a book, a magazine, numerous snacks, both salty and sweet, talcum powder, eye drops, toothpaste and toothbrush, lip balm, crossword puzzles and other assorted items fill the boxes to the brim! Every box also gets a hand written note, and often pictures drawn by children.

A few of the volunteers of Operation America Cares, preparing the monthly boxes to be sent to our Military Heros who don't get recognized personally by family or friends.

A few of the volunteers of Operation America Cares, preparing the monthly boxes to be sent to our Military Heros who don’t get recognized personally by family or friends.

After I had helped fill a number of boxes it was mentioned that they were very short with hand written notes this month, so I went into the house to sit down and write out some cards to our Heroes!  This was right up my alley!  I LOVE writing letters, notes and cards! When I was younger and moved away from home, I used to hand-write up to 60 letters a week to friends and family!  (Obviously, that was Pre-email and Facebook days! I still miss handwritten letters updating us on what our loved ones are doing!)

We were writing notes to go into the boxes for our service men. Every box gets a handwritten card in it.We were writing notes to go into the boxes for our service men. Every box gets a handwritten card in it.

We were writing notes to go into the boxes for our service men. Every box gets a handwritten card in it.

I had the pleasure of sitting at the kitchen table in Linda’s house and write out notes with a few other volunteers.  The time flew by, and before I knew it, packing was done, and it was time for a photo with all of the packaged boxes and the volunteers from the day.

The boxes go to Military in all four branches who typically don’t ever get any care packages from home. Linda works closely with the Family Readiness officer at Camp Pendleton, and he gives her names and addresses of chaplains and commanding officers who have requested boxes for their men in the field.

I was happily surprised to see Liz Beach Hallin, who I've known since she was a small kid. Although Liz is fighting her own battle with MS, she was there to do her part to help our military. Liz was there with her husband Micah, and her mom Sarah Beach. Liz has a brother, Kenneth, who is in the Army. My son and Kenneth were friends as small boys, and Kenneth always said he was going to go into the military!

I was happily surprised to see Liz Beach Hallin, who I’ve known since she was a small kid. Although Liz is fighting her own battle with MS, she was there to do her part to help our military. Liz was there with her husband Micah, and her mom Sarah Beach. Liz has a brother, Kenneth, who is in the Army. My son and Kenneth were friends as small boys, and Kenneth always said he was going to go into the military!

The Starfish Story

 

What two sisters put in motion 10 years ago is awe inspiring!  I’m so glad to have been a part of it! What I can’t help but think though is HOW MANY MORE young marines could use one of these packages each month!  Probably, literally THOUSANDS!  Please don’t misunderstand and think that I am in ANY way putting down Operation America Cares.  Heavens NO!  What I’m saying though is that we could use 50, 100, 500 more “chapters” of this charity across the country, doing what is being done here for our young military heroes!

It makes me think of the Starfish story.  There are a few versions of it, but the gist of them are all the same.  The story goes something like this……..A little boy is walking along the beach, and thousands of starfish are washed up on the shore, going to die.  He leans over as he walks along, and continues to throw in one starfish after another.  He is walking with his grandpa who says to him, “Why bother? You can’t make a difference, with all of these starfish dying on the beach.” The little boy’s response is “It makes a difference to this one.”

That’s what Operation America Cares is all about.  It’s making a difference to that marine who receives a package.  Hopefully, that package puts a smile on his or her face, knowing that someone they don’t even know has thought about them, and making their day better as they serve our country. It is a very small drop in the bucket, but it is a drop that wouldn’t be there if it wasn’t for this amazing organization!

A picture of some of our young military Heros receiving one of the packages. Look at the delight on their faces, over something so simple!

A picture of some of our young military Heros receiving one of the packages. Look at the delight on their faces, over something so simple!

A Job Well Done!

The packing is down to such an efficient routine that it was over quickly! When we were finished, Linda took a photo of that months’ volunteers behind the 150 boxes we had prepared to be shipped off.  It takes a number of vehicles to get the boxes to the post office, so I volunteered to fill my car up.  I wanted to see the process “start to finish” so to speak.  One van and two cars filled to the brim, and off we went to get the boxes on their way to our well deserving military in the field.

The volunteers who worked at the July packing day, with the completed boxes ready to go off to the post office!

Some of the  volunteers who worked at the July packing day, with the completed boxes ready to go off to the post office! What a great group of people, doing their part to say “Thank You” to our heroes out in the field!

You Can Help Too!

You may wonder how you could help this worthwhile cause.  Go to their website. Make a donation, if you can to c,over postage, or to purchase items they may be short of one month. Perhaps, think of starting a similar organization in your area.  I don’t think we could possibly over saturate the “market” of needy Marines! If you are in the local area, purchase some of the supplies listed below,and get them to Linda for future packing dates.  Write some notes to marines to be included in future boxes. Arrange to come and help pack boxes one day.  Whatever you do to be a part of the this endeavor, you’ll be blessed by being a part of it, I’m sure!

Please, go and check out the website, and do what you can to help!  http://OperationAmericaCares.org

The back of one of the volunteer's shirts. She is a proud marine mom!

The back of one of the volunteer’s shirts. She is a proud marine mom!

 

Are you local to Operation America Cares, and wondering what you might purchase to help the cause out? Some of the goodies that go into the well planned out boxes are listed below:

What’s In a Box?

ITEMS INCLUDED IN THE CARE PACKAGES
(MOST OF THESE CAN BE PURCHASED AT A DOLLAR STORE!!)
  • $$ for postage (currently $16.75 per care package)
  • Socks crew or athletic (no shorties please)
  • Eye drops (any brand) The wind, sun and desert sand hurt their eyes!
  • Triple anti-biotic ointment/Neosporin or other anti-biotic cream w/pain reliever
  • Advil/ibuprofen/generic pain relievers
  • Insect repellent – no aerosol spray cans
  • Sun screen – no aerosol spray cans
  • Full sized baby wipes/body wipes (80 count or larger)
  • Hand santizer – individual size
  • Chap sticks
  • Kleenex – travel size
  • Gold Body Powder (available at the Dollar Tree for $1.00 each)
  • Disposable razors
  • Shaving gel – no aerosol cans
  • Deodorant
  • Toothbrushes/dental floss
  • Toothpaste – regular size tubes
  • Toiletries from your hotel stays
  • Soap – any size
  • Gum – individual packs
  • Mints – individual packs
  • Single serve drink sleeves – for adding to bottles of water
  • Single serve coffee sleeves – such as Starbucks VIA
  • Top Ramen – no cup of soup (to big for care packages)
  • Canned soups, stews, fruit
  • Jerky – all flavors
  • Energy bars and snack bars
  • Nuts – individual bags or small cans
  • Sunflower seeds – individual packs
  • Dum dums, tootsie roll pops and hard candy.  Must be individually wrapped
  • M&M – individual bags ( they melt in your mouth, not in Afghanistan)
  • Cookies  – individual packs
  • Condiments – small giveaways from fast food restaurants and such – any kind!!!
  • Peanut butter/jam – individual servings
  • Crossword books/word game books/travel games
  • Magazines – no older than 3 months – please focus on men or social mags such as People
  • Paperback books – no romance novels please
  • DVDs – can be recycled
  • Blank paper, envelopes/pens – for them to write home
  • Thank you notes – written from us to them!  If you include your name and address, you may get a letter!
  • Pictures and notes from kids
  • Zip lock bags – gallon, quart or snack size
  • One more picture of a happy recipient of one of the boxes. You can see that by the time they receive them, the boxes look like they have been through the ringer!

    One more picture of a happy recipient of one of the boxes. You can see by the time they receive them, the boxes look like they have been through the ringer!

    Feel free to contact Operation America Cares directly, or get your donations to me and I will be happy to put them in Linda’s hands when I go over to volunteer for the next “packing party!”

Do You See What I See?

Adventures With Attitude!, Every Day is an Adventure, Everyday Magic!, Living a Royal Life, My Humble Opinion, Out and About, Royal Ramblings!, Travel and Adventure, You Can't Make This Shit Up!
Am I the only person who sees not only a well defined crotch, but a waistline at the bottom of this tree?

Am I the only person who sees not only a well defined crotch, but a waistline at the bottom of this tree?

A Cabo Getaway

A few months ago, Don and I went down to Cabo for a little getaway.  We had really scored on an amazing condo through a fundraiser auction.  The place we were staying was part of the Pueblo Bonita Sunset Beach Resort, which includes three hotels, some private homes,  time shares and condos.  It’s a great place, because you can sign to your room or condo no matter what amenities or restaurants you are visiting.  It makes it so convenient! And between all the restaurants, pools, food court, shops and lounges, you won’t get bored!

Again, I see the sensual pose of a womans bent legs.

This tree had “2 sets” of people.  On the bottom portion I see the sensual pose of a womans bent legs. Then at the top left it also made me think of a torso with legs.  This is a “two-fer” tree!

Tree People

Funny thing is, as we were driving from our condo to the hotel, I noticed the trees that lined a lot of the streets.  All I could see when I looked at the trees, for some reason was what looked like people, turned upside down!  I know, I’m a strange and sick individual.  I will be the first to admit it.  But once I pointed it out, Don could see it too.  Some of our “vision” didn’t translate well in photos, but I think we got enough of them for you to get the gist of what we saw.

This tree looked to me like a set of legs on the left, facing one way, then the waist, crotch and legs of another person facing the other way.....

The “Menage-a-trois Tree” This tree looked to me like a set of legs on the left, facing one way, then the waist, crotch and legs of another person facing the other way and the spread legs of a third person on the right.  What can I say?  Kinky mind I guess!

 

This one looked to me like a torso, with the stomach, then butt, then bend of the knees......

This one looked to me like a torso, with the stomach, then butt, then bend of the knees……Like a woman in a long straight skirt.

Sad thing is, just like the “small world” song that sticks in your head for the next week after you hear it, now when you go down to Cabo and see these trees, YOU TOO will be picturing people standing on their heads, when you see these trees…… Honestly, I guarantee you will!

 

This tree makes me think of a basketball player from the back... you can see the shape of the back of the knees, the butt and the waistline...

This tree makes me think of a basketball player from the back… you can see the shape of the back of the knees, the butt and the waistline…and LONG, LONG legs!

Can you see this soccer player, leg up in the air after his kick- with the arm straight out?

Can you see this soccer player, leg up in the air after his kick- with the arm straight out?

 

This tree, once again reminded me of a womans torso, with her hands upstretched, her breast- with even the nipple showing, waist butt and legs.....

This tree, once again reminded me of a womans torso, with her hands upstretched, her breast- with even the nipple showing, waist butt and legs…..

 

 

Doesnt this one look like someone carved a stomach and belly button into this tree?

Doesn’t this one look like someone carved a stomach and belly button into this tree?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

This made me think of uplifted arms holding torches....

This made me think of uplifted arms holding torches…. or laser sabers!

 

 

 

Finding interesting things in the everyday is kind of fun!  Take a look around, and you might be surprised at what you find! If you get down to Cabo and find some of these trees, let me know what interesting shapes you find!

 

 

 

 

Living a Royal Life, Part 3 of 3

Every Day is an Adventure, Living a Royal Life, My Humble Opinion, Royal Ramblings!, Travel and Adventure, Uncategorized
Living a Royal Life. What does that mean to you? for me it includes travel, lots of fun, delicious food and time with my man! My Royal Life may not be YOUR Royal Life! That's OK!

Living a Royal Life. What does that mean to you? for me it includes travel, lots of fun, delicious food and time with my man! My Royal Life may not be YOUR Royal Life! That’s OK!

Living a Royal Life

I have previously released 2 videos in this series. This is part 3 of 3.

Are you living you best life? If your life isn’t all that you want, and you feel like you are leading a mediocre life — what do you need to do to improve it?

This video gives you some moresteps to help you lead your best life.  You must first decide that you DESERVE to lead a “Royal Life.” No one else is going to give you the perfect life.  No one else can decide what your perfect life even IS!

If you want to improve your life, expand your tribe, add to your bucket list and make each day better than the last!

Here are your steps to you holding your head up high, wearing your tiara and learning that it doesn’t matter what other people think about you. Once you learn to “do you” and are comfortable in your skin, other people’s opinions don’t matter.

I hope you enjoy this video, and if you do —- share it with a friend who might also like to Live a Royal Life!

Don’t forget to SUBSCRIBE to both my blog and my Youtube channel, so that you don’t miss any of the upcoming series and other fun and fabulous articles, events and adventures!

 

Not Just Another “Pretty Face”

Adventures With Attitude!, Every Day is an Adventure, Fabulous After 50, Living a Royal Life, My Humble Opinion, Out and About, Productions & Concerts, Royal Ramblings!, Sexy After 60!
Mary Jane Wilkerson as Ms. Senior California 2017

Mary Jane Wilkerson as Ms. Senior California 2017

Age Has Nothing To Do With Beauty!

Why does our society push the theory that when women age they aren’t beautiful any longer? There are a group of amazing women who are proving that theory to be completely wrong! Mary Jane Wilkerson is one of those women.

When you first meet Mary Jane Wilkerson you will be greeted by a slender, attractive and poised 63 year old blonde, with a genuine smile that lights up a room. If you were told that  MJ has held the title of “beauty queen” more than once, you probably wouldn’t be too terribly surprised.

The part of the story that might surprise you a bit, is that her titles in the pageants  came in 2016 and 2017!  MJ was Ms. Senior San Diego 2016, Ms. Senior Palm Springs 2017, and Ms. Senior California of America 2017. As the title holder for Ms. Senior California, Mary Jane also competed in the National Ms. Senior America competition held in New Jersey, October 2017.

Meeting Another “Queen”

Our paths first crossed when we somehow connected through facebook a few short months ago. One of those “friend” connections that sometimes happen, because you have mutual friends, and a particular post catches your eye.  The one that caught my eye was MJ holding a coffee cup, which said “It’s Good to be Queen.” Well, needless to say, as The Queen of Damn Near Everything I NOTICE when there is other “royalty” present!

MJ definitely falls into the category of “royalty.”

This is the picture I saw on Facebook that drew my attention to MJ! I have the same cup in pink! I had to see what this "Queen" was all about!

This is the picture I saw on Facebook that drew my attention to MJ! I have the same cup in pink! I had to see what this “Queen” was all about! ( A girl has to know who else is rockin’ a tiara like MJ does!)

I wasn’t really very aware that “Ms. Senior” competitions existed until a few years ago. When I did hear about them, I told my cohort in crime……. Stella that she should compete! I’m of the personal opinion that there are few- if any- other 73 year olds who could begin to hold a candle to Stella.  That was about as far as my knowledge of the competitions went!

Then MJ crossed my path, and I wanted to know more.  I noticed on Mary Jane’s page that there was going to be the pageant for Ms. Senior California 2018. That would be MJ’s last event a reigning “queen,” so I asked when and where it was being held, and off I went.

All “Beauty Queens” Are Not Barbie Dolls!

Contestants in the “Ms. Senior” competitions must be 60 years or older.. The competition is FAR more than a “beauty contest”- as the contestants are judged on talent, an intensive interview with the judges and their poise on the stage. I was pleasantly surprised when we arrived at the competition to see that the 2018 contestants weren’t all skinny-minny, perfect Barbie Doll types who had had numerous plastic surgery and botox procedures to form them into the perfect woman.  In fact, I was pleasantly surprised to see women of different sizes, shapes, ethnic groups and styles! Gray hair wasn’t forbidden, nor were a few well earned laugh lines and “wisdom wrinkles!”

I was very impressed with the level of talent the women showed, although not really surprised.  When I arrived, I noticed a number of familiar faces, both on stage and in the crowd.  I had seen many of them perform over the past few years in CCT (Christian Community Theater) at the San Diego Senior Follies. Singing, dancing, performing and being on stage isn’t new to any of those women!

I must say, I am envious of their talents, because I can’t carry a tune if I had 6 buckets lined up to do so!

Those of you who know me, know I absolutely LOVE long gowns, sparkle and bling! There was no shortage of any of that at the Ms. Senior California pageant in San Diego!

Finding the venue was quite a challenge, let me tell you.  It was at The University of San Diego in one of the theaters, but finding that, once you were on campus just about took a group of Eagle Scouts or world explorers! There were no signs or anything to direct you to the right building.  Lucky for us, we had left plenty of time to figure out the details, so we were in our seats long before the event kicked off!

After the festivities of the pageant, I asked Mary Jane if we could meet one day soon for lunch, and if she would share some of her experiences with being a senior beauty pageant winner.  She was more than willing, so we decided to meet for a delicious lunch at Red O in the UTC area.

This is the day I met MJ. Unfortunately, it wasn't the best photo. MJ was back in the shadows and it looks like I"m with a cardboard cutout!

This is the day I met MJ. Unfortunately, it wasn’t the best photo. MJ was back in the shadows and it looks like I”m with a cardboard cutout!

MJ Took Charge of Her Life & Health

Mary Jane, who is a health and wellness coach with OPTAVIA, shared with me her story of having lost almost 60 pounds a few years ago. Her husband, Allen, lost 40 at the same time.  MJ’s story wasn’t that different from many of ours.  After being very physically active for most of her life, MJ took a job in the mortgage industry.  Long work days sitting in front of a computer, along with the “grab and eat” lifestyle that goes along with those long work days resulted in a few pounds here, a few pounds there, until WHAM, suddenly that body doesn’t quite look like you want it too.  When MJ’s daughter was going to get married, she wanted to lose weight in the 6 months she had, but she didn’t seem able to trim down. So, she attended her daughter’s wedding an unhappy size 16.  MJ’s stepdaughter had suggested (many times) she get on the “Take Shape for Life” program (OPTAVIA’s  former name), but it was a while before she jumped on board, and found it to be the perfect solution to not only lose weight, but to get in the best shape she’d been in in years.  That is how Mary Jane became a Health and Wellness coach, wanting to share with others the success she had found in her journey.

So, now slim, trim and in fighting shape, MJ was one of the talented women in Christian Community Theater, entertaining audiences every year at the SD Senior follies.  Many of the women involved in CCT had also been contestants (and winners) of previous Ms. Senior competitions, and encouraged Mary Jane to compete, so finally she decided to give it a try. After all, as she said to me “If your dreams don’t scare you, they aren’t big enough.”

MJ at one of the pageants. (I'm so jealous of all the sparkley gowns!)

MJ at one of the pageants. (I’m so jealous of all the gorgeous gowns!)

Her first competition was Ms. Senior San Diego 2016. She competed in the State pageant that year and took First Runner-up. Then she competed again, this time in  in Ms. Senior Palm Springs 2017, where she won. And once more competed in the State pageant, where she was crowned, Ms. Senior California of America 2017.

When I asked MJ if there was any of the horrible cattiness and back-biting that you hear about in beauty pageants, she said no.  In fact, she described the all the pageant ladies as “Lovely”, especially at the National Senior America pageant as one of her favorite experiences ever.  She said that the women she met on the national level are what she would consider, “friends for life.”  Accomplished, friendly, beautiful and amazingly talented women. True “Women of Elegance” in her words.

This is a picture that was taken at the National Competition, where MJ met so many wonderful and amazing women!

This is a picture that was taken at the National Competition, where MJ met so many wonderful and amazing women!

MJ did say there was more work to all of it than you might imagine.  Needing to come up with new ideas for the opportunities to perform, and the pageant activities take time. When you win the pageants, there are appearances which have to be made at area events, TV interviews and travel. There is also a performing group the pageant contestants in California  become a part of called the Classic Divas, and they put on performances throughout the year.

Of course for me, the BIG attraction to becoming “Ms. Senior Anything”  would be the wearing of tiaras. I am all about wearing a nice tiara!  I truly believe that “every woman deserves a tiara” and I happen to be the proud owner of a number of them! And then there is yet another excuse for wearing a long gown.  Hell, I’d wear a tiara and evening gown to the grocery store and car wash if they wouldn’t bring the guys in funny white jackets to take me away! (The voluntary wearing of Tee-shirts and jeans by any woman is beyond my comprehension! Give me heels, dresses, bling and I’m happy!)

Mary Jane did share with me that her business suffered due to her time away during 2016 and 2017, so she is now rebuilding it back up to “pre-pageant” numbers she previously had. You can’t take on coaching clients if you aren’t around to do the coaching! I have no doubt that MJ will be right back up to speed in no time. I love one of her quotes, “The Power to Choose is the Power to CHANGE, so Choose to be Extraordinary!”

I truly believe that we can choose to change our lives for the better, one step at a time, until we are leading what I call “a royal life.”  I was pleased to find that Mary Jane and I held the same views on what women can accomplish.

Family Values Are Top Priority

Mary Jane and her handsome husband of 15 years! Don't they make a handsome couple?

Mary Jane and her handsome husband Allen. Married 15 years! Don’t they make a handsome couple?    ( I’m loving the sequin dress!)

Often, people look at a woman who have held a position like those MJ just had, and think they are shallow, conceited or unapproachable.  Mary Jane is just the opposite of all those things.  Besides her warmth and compassion, which is obvious from the moment you meet her, MJ is a person of strong Christian beliefs and values.  Her husband, her family and her friends are her top priorities, followed by her strong ties to the community. MJ is one of the people who makes San Diego a better place by her presence here. Who would make a better “face of San Diego” than a woman like Mary Jane?

Besides building her business back up, and speaking at numerous events in the area,  Mary Jane has recently started a new endeavor, along with two other former Ms. Senior California winners. They have a group called the “California Girls” and are performing throughout San Diego county at events. They love going into senior retirement communities, women’s functions and anywhere their talents might be needed.

The California Girls at one of their recent performances.

The California Girls at one of their recent performances.

You can find more information about the California Girls at www.BollesArtsInternational.com or call 619-807-3280. Find MJ and the “California Girls- Singing and Dancing on Facebook and “Like” their page! (https://www.facebook.com/California-Girls-Singing-Dancing-Entertainment-311668412734634/)

Living A Royal Life, Part 2 of 3

Adventures With Attitude!, Every Day is an Adventure, Fabulous After 50, My Humble Opinion, Royal Ramblings!

Living a Royal Life

A few weeks ago I published the first video in a series of 3 videos on how to Live a Royal Life.

This is part 2 of 3.

If your life isn’t all that you want, and you feel like you are leading a mediocre life — what do you need to do to improve it?

This video gives you some steps to help you lead your best life.  No one else is going to give you the perfect life.  You need to do what it takes to make the happiness in your life happen.

Here are your steps to you holding your head up high, wearing your tiara and learning that it doesn’t matter what other people think about you. Once you learn to “do you” and are comfortable in your skin, other people’s opinions don’t matter.

I hope you enjoy this video, and if you do —- share it with a friend who might also like to Live a Royal Life!

Don’t forget to SUBSCRIBE to both my blog and my Youtube channel, so that you don’t miss any of the upcoming series and other fun and fabulous articles, events and adventures!