The Life You Live

I spent the morning, curled up in my chair, hot coffee in hand, glasses perched on my nose and the NYTimes Magazine section. It is one of my favorites: The Lives They Lived. As it says, it’s not so much an obituary of those that passed away this year, as it is a “collection of narratives that celebrates lives”.

It seems only fitting that I should reflect on the issue today, as this week is customary to reflect on the year past and our longings for the year to come. As such, I have taken to gifting myself over the next few days with a new way to resolve my intentions for the coming year; pondering what one might write about me should the need arise — G-d Forbid, POO POO POO (Yiddish for G-d Forbid).

What would I want them to say? What would make me smile and what would make cringe? How will I have left my mark? Or will I even be missed?

Rarely is it the Holiday season that I don’t take stock in some way. Its not an easy time of year for me. It is a time of year that requires me to be extroverted and connective and yet it is the natural time for introversion and hibernation. I am prone to wanting to be home at this time of year and that doesn’t always sit well with those who’d rather I be out. Mixed in is a part that also craves lightness and a good laugh, cocktail in hand.  Such opposing needs causes me to think about how that’s working (or not working ) for me,  what can be released and what I really want for myself and relationships I hold dear. A messy journal entry, always.

All in all, am I the person who I’d feel the better having read about?

Who are you? And what will we read? Do you like the story so far? Yay for you, if you do. And if there is a sentence or two you’d like to see changed, well, yay for you again! There is still time. Who knows how much? Don’t wait to find out. Next year’s issue is probably laid out and the story holes are waiting to be filled. I pray that ours is not amongst them – but let’s MindFULLY live our stories this year, anyway.

What would you like to have MindFULLY written about you? Let us know!

MindFULL Game Night

My husband and daughter are great at playing games together. Many an evening finds them hovering behind a deck of cards or hanging over a game board. Last week, as I was pondering gifts, I came across an email from a creative and intellectually challenging teacher at my daughter’s school.

Below is part of Meg’s note and some of her recs. If you are looking for a last minute gift, future birthday presents or housewarming gifts when visiting friends over the holidays, I hope you find something that delights and inspires. Happy Holidays!

“(Meg)…played with various levels of analysis so that it grows with the child and helps the child to think at increasingly higher levels.  Here are some that have worked for our family…and think everyone should own”

Mastermind:   A classic strategy game.

Racko:   Sequencing numbers with strategy

Make 7:  Dropping tiles into slots to make rows (vertically/

horizontally/diagonally add up to 7.    Logical thinking needed to

keep opponent from making 7 before you. (only 2 players)

Stack:  This dice game is one of our family favorites.  It involves strategy and luck – a good combination when playing with younger kids.

Duo:   Great card game for visual perception and categorization

skills.  Good one to have in your purse while you’re waiting for the doctor’s appointment.  (We’ve changed the rules a bit to fit our family)

Lucky 13:   Good for practicing addition skills.

Flip 4:  Good for math and strategy skills.  Addition, subtraction and multiplication skills are used.

Sequence:  Our family has never seemed to “take to” this one, but I know lots of families who love it.  It’s one of my sister’s family’s favorites.


Other Good Ones

Quoridor:  A maze game where players try to get their man to the other side of the board while trying to block their opponents.

Quarto:  Players try to be the first to line up four of their pieces that share at least one common characteristic. (only 2 players)

Gobblet:  A game of strategy where players “eat” each other’s pieces while trying to align four of their pieces in a row.  (only 2


Cube Checkers:  A new twist on checkers played with dice. (2


Tic Tac Check:  Chess at a faster pace.  Played with only the bishop, knight, rook and pawn.

Players try to be the first to get their pieces in a row.  (2 players)



What games does your family MindFULLY play? Let us know!

BBBBenny and The Jets

Do you ever get a song stuck in your head and after 27 times of singing the same verse over and over you  realize your  lyrics are so far off? My 12 year old  and I have been laughing all week over our rendition of Benny and The Jets.

Who knows the real words? “She’s got electric boobs, a mohair suit, I know I read it in a magazine,,,oh boy…”  We’re thinking these cant be right. Then we start making up our own.

Music can be funny that way. You love it. You sing it. And then you hear someone else singing it and you wonder, “what??”.

This post is short, cause we want to hear what song you love and yet, don’t really know the words to. Don’t be shy. I still think the Wham Hit from the ‘80s is “guilty feet have got no feelings”. I’m sure you know the words…

What songs are MindFULLY stuck in your head with the wrong lyrics? Let us know!

MindFULL Holiday Gifts

It is the middle of Chanukah and Christmas will be here before you know it. If you’re like me, you still have plenty of shopping left to do. The fun part is finding just the right present and lucky for us, our friend Tracey Pliskin makes it really easy to do!

If you live here in Denver, stop by her  Unique Boutique Holiday Open House #2 (12 local artists/vendors) located at  2801 east 4th avenue (4th and Detroit) on December 11th from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.

If you don’t live here, never fear. I have tried to list some of the vendor websites for you to visit. If you have any questions, you can email Tracey. She is the most resourceful and MindFULLY creative mom – she is a master photographer (keep her in mind if you need family photos –, sells darling jewelry, and is a non profit fundraising superstar. And, oh ya, and she is the mother of three boys…

As an added benefit, if you are feeling like you don’t know what you want to do in your life, or need a little inspiration, then simply check out the women behind the stories below! Maybe the greatest gift you will give this season will be to yourself – the gift of inspiration and “can do”.

Unique Boutique Vendors

Sydney Andrews and Tracey Pliskin — Regardless of the event, Tracey can be spotted across the room wearing a colorful Sydney Andrews necklace. Sydney Andrews is a jewelry line that started with a friendship bracelet and grew into a successful business designing and selling creations to boutiques nationwide. One can become a Sydney Andrews jewelry consultant and sell to their friends directly.  Check out both the jewelry and opportunity via Tracey’s website:

Denver artist, Karrie McBryde and GAIA glass — Karrie makes beautiful glass objects. Why the name GAIA GLASS someone asked Karrie ~ according to Wikipedia, Gaia (pronounced “guy a”) is the primal Greek Goddess of the Earth.  This is a tribute to our mother Earth and reflects Karrie’s belief that we are all interconnected in ways we cannot imagine.

The Elegant Bead — The Elegant Bead Custom Made Jewelry and Gift Collection is a unique collection of bracelets, necklaces, and home decor. Cathy created The Elegant Bead in 1995. Her jewelry design business evolved from a hobby that she started by making bracelets and earrings for herself. In 2001 Cathy was named the 2001 Entrepreneurial Mother of the Year.

So Good Caramels — The whole thing started because Stefanie Jacobs loves caramels and her husband Garth has awesome talent in the kitchen. Together they made chewy delights and when we they shared them with friends, family and colleagues, they always  got the same response from just about everyone who tasted them: “these are so good, you should sell them.” So now, they do!

Trading 4 Treasures- Connie Stevenson — After the genocide in Rwanda in 1991, women made up 70% of the population. Forced from the kitchen into the workforce, they sought ways to generate income. Trading 4 Treasures is dedicated to helping the poorest of the poor achieve sustainable income and to work their way out of poverty. By offering hand-crafted products created by Rwandan women, dignity, pride, and resources become available for a better life.

Other cool women who will be selling their wares at The Unique Boutique will be Carol Schmidt- The Rwanda Project Greeting Cards; Pampered chef -Mandy Hailpern; Take The Day T-shirts (for kids and adults) – Melissa Barnes.

Stop by. Find a unique gift. Get inspired. What better way to spend a Saturday afternoon? You never know what you’ll find…

What MindFULL gifts have you found this season? Share the sites with us!