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Wednesday, April 16, 2014
F**k Wordless Wednesday -- I Want to Talk

F**k Wordless Wednesday -- I Want to Talk

As it turns out, I am a horrible blogger. Anything I have to do on a consistent basis is unlikely to get done. I suck at this.

It probably shouldn’t come as a surprise, though, that this isn’t working for me. I have lots of journals that are 90% empty. My first diary is 90% empty and I couldn’t wait to get one when I was little. I struggle with writing things down.

At heart, I’m a talker. If I lived in a Star Trek era where I could video diary, I imagine there wouldn’t be enough storage for what I could dump at the end of a day. I talk to myself ALL the time. I make lists, I offer encouragement, I solve world problems. But my brain moves too fast for my hands, whether writing OR typing, and invariably, any brilliance I might have to offer fades into the ether.

I envy my journaling friends. Those who have trunkfuls of their lives, who have self- analyzed and problem solved their experiences, who are wise beyond their years. I have taken workshops and webinars; I have felt the immense weightlessness of offering up your soul to the pages of a book. I have wanted to be a writer for my whole life – to offer my wit and wisdom, my snark and sarcasm, my heart and hope. But, it’s not sustainable for me. My life will always get in the way of my blog. And while that shouldn’t matter, I should write what I want, when I want, the person who invented search engine optimization would suggest otherwise. It’s quantity. It’s consistency. Quality? Meh.

I wish someone could just follow me around, recording and editing my thoughts. There are plenty that would be worthy of attention, and lots more that would end up on the cutting room floor. But it would be on the outside, and I wouldn’t be carrying it all around like a spare tire. 

Maybe my pants would fit better.

I know that journaling is not for anyone else. That it is for me, and me alone. But, it’s exhausting, both emotionally and physically. It’s tedious. I like to talk it out...maybe talk it to death. When I talk, I see words in my head. I am processing and talking all at the same time, editing on the fly and adapting without the need for ripped up pages, or white out. I am auto-correct. I can string the words together like I am choreographing a dance or composing a masterpiece. I feel magical.

But then, something happens when I put pen to page. I get lazy. I don’t want to rewrite anything. I am so opposed to editing that I skip parts that might make a narrative pop. I scrape the surface, never digging too deeply into things or describing things in great detail. Personally, I tend to love books that are fast paced and filled with action and dialogue. If you take more than three sentences to describe something, or no one speaks for two pages, I am not reading it. I don’t care if you won an award, or you are a classic. I can’t take it.

Maybe I am not a writer. Maybe I am supposed to find a way to talk to you. This may be why I so love social media. Facebook, Twitter, Instagram...make me happy. Short, quick bursts of words. Speaking little but saying volumes.

Life is a conversation. Who wants to talk? 

Monday, April 14, 2014
Let Me Introduce Myself

Let Me Introduce Myself

Every time I think about introducing myself, I get a song stuck in my head.  Which one? "Let Me Clear My Throat" by DJ Kool.  I can't explain why.  It could be the Jersey in me.  It just is.  So...

At the count of three
I want everybody in the place to be
To make some noise if ya down with me
One, two, three

Most of you already know me - you came here because you like me, or you don't, or because I guilted you into it, or you saw some funny thing I posted on FB and you got distracted by a shiny link and ended up here.

But some of you may have absolutely no idea who I am.  And you're too tired to poke around my site and figure it out.  You just want it to be simple.  I like simple.  I can do simple.  I think.

I mentioned the Jersey thing.  I'm a Jersey girl.  I'm loyal to Jersey, even though I live in Rhode Island.  I'm also loyal to RI, though nothing will ever beat the Jersey shore, Jersey tomatoes or Jersey corn.  Summers in Jersey = hands down, best ever.

By day, I'm a consultant, helping businesses expand their reach through social media.  I'm also a blogger and a brand advocate.  I have the very best jobs in the world.  I blog, I tweet, I Instagram, Pin and post.  

My whole life, I have had an opinion about one thing or another.  I like to use my powers for good, not evil so I write about the things that I am passionate about, the things that are important to me.  Sometimes I get mad.  Often I use foul language.  I know I don't have to do it, but it makes me happy.  

Last year, I stood on a stage and shared a story about motherhood.  It's been only 11 years so far, but one hell of a ride.

Occasionally I write reviews. I talk about brands, companies and products I use, support or endorse.  If I wouldn't eat there, shop there, wear it, ingest it, drive it or give it as a gift, I won't talk about it.  There's not going to be any earth shattering reviews here.  I'm always happy when I review stuff because it's always stuff I like.

Sometimes I get to tweet from the back of a theater in support of the arts.  Or dress up in a tutu and cape in support of education.  I do other stuff too, for hunger and animal organizations.  Everyone should have a cause.  I have many.

I'm married nearly 16 years to the former boy of my dreams.  We're much older and more tired than when we met 24 years ago, but I like to think we're in it for the long haul.  We're complete and polar opposites, so it's never boring.

I'm a lover of quotes and song lyrics.  I'm currently helping my son with a speech he's writing and I am thinking about this beauty from Lincoln, which works for everyone, everywhere:  "Whatever you are, be a good one."  Words to live by.

I've got a boy, a girl and a dog.   I believe in God and I'm terrified of dying.  There's too much here to do.  So, I'll write about some of it and you'll tell me what you think.  Deal?

If you want to know more incredibly interesting things about me, I throw it back to a old post I wrote called 25 Random Things About Me + 5 More.  Enjoy!

Saturday, January 18, 2014
Muggles Beware -- This One is for the Potterheads

Muggles Beware -- This One is for the Potterheads

Despite the fact that I just put the Christmas tree back in the box from whence it came, it is time for the next happy holiday!  That's right kids, it's time to start talking about the dreaded V-Day!

Valentine's Day used to really get under my skin.  A Hallmark holiday, where every guy followed some cheesy script that included chocolates, roses (I hate roses), teddy bears and noisy, overcrowded, overpriced restaurants.  You had to follow the road map, regardless of whether you liked any of those things.  It's time to take the road less traveled!

This year, it's my goal to help you discover new and different tokens to give the ladies in your lives.  (Or, let's be revolutionary and buy our own gifts!  Self-love in 2014!)  

My first favorite is actually a limited edition item, so if you like it, be sure to buy it while supplies last.  It also happens to be on sale right now, so if you like it, not only will you get something that won't be on every girl in the room, but you'll save a little cash to spend on something else new and different!  

I referenced the Potterheads in my title - this one is straight up Harry Potter.

     Harry Potter:    "What does a Patronus look like?"
     Remus Lupin:  "Each one is unique to the wizard who conjures it."
     Harry Potter:    "And how do you conjure it?"
     Remus Lupin:  "With an incantation, which will work only if you are concentrating, with all your might, on a single, very happy memory."

Well, this is what a Patronus looks like to Joseph Nogucci:

  The Joseph Nogucci Patronus Charmballa is truly one of a kind. (I know from the looks and questions I have received when I sport mine!)  Check out this description:
"Inspired by one of the most famous wizards in the magical world, we've collected recognizable pieces of his story to bring you this awesome Patronus Bracelet.  Adorned with the symbol of the three brothers to protect and bring strength, this fascinating wrist piece features the lightning bolt that started it all. Ruby red crystals complement the black nylon braiding and keep the Philosopher's Stone close at hand. And how could we forget about the Quaffle. Also represented are two green-eyed silver owl charms to characterize our wizard's loyal feathered companion, and little Pigwidgeon.
Black beads with silver stars bring invisibility a whole new meaning.
Last but not least, at the forefront of this magical piece of arm candy is a sparkly golden crystal shamballa with silver dangling wings representing the fast and elusive game-winning snitch."

My kids, ages 11 and 7 were thrilled to explain all of the different pieces to me, without me reading them the description.  It was so cute watching them turn it and uncover yet another part of the story.

Normally, this item retails for $49, but it is currently available for $29 with FREE shipping too. It comes with a Certificate of Authenticity in a little orange drawstring bag.  Get your hands on this baby while you can, by clicking here!  So whether you buy it for a loved one, or you buy it for yourself, pay homage to Harry.

And, until January 31, when you Like Joseph Nogucci on FB, you can enter to win a $100 gift card to spend on yourself or a loved one!  Go on: Live Life Charmed© 


I received a limited edition Patronus Charmballa - my opinions and recommendations are, as always, entirely my own.  You know me better than that.

Thursday, January 16, 2014
TBT LTYM Edition (aka Alphabet Soup)

TBT LTYM Edition (aka Alphabet Soup)

Did you get all that?  

TBT = Throwback Thursday

LTYM = Listen to Your Mother

This is the Throwback Thursday Listen to Your Mother Edition.

Submissions are now being accepted for the 2014 Listen to Your Mother Show.  This acclaimed series of live staged readings will be held in 32 cities nationwide this year.  You don't have to be a mother, or even a woman, to share your story.  

Boasting productions this year are (in alphabetical order) Atlanta, Austin, Baltimore, Boston, Boulder, Charleston, Chicago, DC, Denver, Indianapolis, Kansas City, Little Rock, Madison, Metro Detroit, Milwaukee, Nashville, North Jersey, Northern Utah, NW Indiana, NYC, Oklahoma City, Plumas County, Portland, Providence, Raleigh Durham, Sacramento, San Francisco, Southeast Texas, Spokane, St. Louis, The OC, and Twin Cities. Click a city on this map for show info from their local LTYM site.  If you're in Providence, you can just click here.

There are so many of you who have a story to share.  So many whom I know personally, who belong behind that microphone sharing your wit, your wisdom and all your wonderful words.  

Take the leap this year and fly.  It was the single scariest and best thing that I ever did.  (I only spoke about it eight separate times: here, here, here, here, here, here, here and here.)

My encore:

And when you're finished with my masterpiece, check out my sisters in crime, here.  

Tell your friends, tell your family, tell everyone you know within range of a participating city to get writing, get applying and get sharing the stories in your heart.  What are you waiting for?

Monday, January 13, 2014
It's Tea Time!

It's Tea Time!

I have a little problem with tea.  I like it, a lot.  And I have a cabinet filled with boxes to prove it.

All winter long, I have a mug of tea in the morning and at night.  And sometimes in the afternoon.  It keeps me warm on the inside when it's so cold on the outside.  In the summer, it's a pitcher of iced tea that graces my refrigerator shelf and accompanies me to the beach, errands, or even in cocktails.  Every now and then, I discover a new brand to add to my collection and to share with friends and family.

Last week, that tea was ZHENA'S Slim Me.  I am not a big fan of 'diet products' or dieting, for that matter, but, after a month of non-stop eating and drinking, anyone could argue that a little tea cleanse could go a long way.

I didn't actually 'discover' ZHENA'S Gypsy Tea.  I'm kind of behind on this one, as Dr. Oz, Oprah, Rachel Ray and GMA have all touted the wonders of Zhena and her teas.  The company creates small batch, artisan-crafted teas that are 100% organic and 100% Fair Trade Certified.

Back to the Extra Strength Slim Me Teas.  They're made with the top 10 most effective wellness and healthy living ingredients, including: Green Coffee Extract, Raspberry Ketones, African Mango Seed, and Garcinia Cambogia Fruit.  None of these things are in my regular diet, and when you read the benefits, all of them really should be.

Each of the teas contains a small amount of caffeine in them, but the amount that provides mental clarity, not soar and crash.  The teas promote appetite suppression, healthy digestion, liver support, increased energy and overall wellness.

Shape Magazine has partnered with ZHENA to offer three lucky ladies a one-month supply of tea, and a one-month gym membership to help you reach your weight loss goals!  Click here for more details and to enter to win.

Delicious either hot or cold, it's recommended to drink one cup before each meal.  Since I am not always eating regular meals, or even at regular times, my favorite thing was to pop a bag into my water bottle and drink it all day.  It was a no-brainer for me, given that I always have a water bottle in my hand, my purse, or my car....I always have water.

ZHENA'S Slim Me line comes in four yummy flavors:  Superfruit Mixed Berry, Raspberry Mint, Peach Vanilla and my personal favorite, Cranberry Ginger.  Each canister contains 30 bags and they retail for $9.99 each.  You can purchase them nationwide at Rite Aid Drugstores, or online at  

I tend to skip making New Year's resolutions because they're so likely to fail, but I do try to adopt a few realistic and sustainable habits that will work for me and my unpredictable, crazy-assed lifestyle.  ZHENA'S now has a place in my routine, and my tea cabinet!  Why don't you add it to yours - and let me know what you're doing to rock 2014.

Follow ZHENA'S Gypsy Tea on Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube.

I received ZHENA'S Extra Strength Slim Me Teas to review.  As always, my opinions are entirely my own.  

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