A MindFULL Fit

Many years ago when we lived in Boston, I had a fabulous pair of  black snakeskin Kenneth Cole sandals. I loved them. I bought them for a great price and wore them everywhere. However, after several wearings, I was dismayed to notice how they started to hurt my feet. I ignored the rubbing along the outside of my pinkie toe, until one day I couldn’t take them off and look away from the puffy blister that had formed.

Bummed, I knew it was time to let them go. So I walked to the Boston Common and set them next to the garbage can with a note that said, “Enjoy Me!”, hoping they would fit someone else and they too would love wearing such beautiful sandals.

I was reminded of this easy reframe today, when telling my mother of how frustrated I was with my Doctor’s bedside manner. She simply said, “Perhaps it’s time for a new Dr. After all, our needs and preferences change. It’s totally fine to move on and often, that’s how life goes.”

She was right. My Dr. didn’t do anything wrong. She just didn’t fit for me any longer. It was time to release her and to allow her to make time for another patient. It was time for me to find a new Dr who fit the stage of life I’m in.

What an easier and kinder way to see our relationships. Like a favorite pair of shoes, sometimes we simply outgrow them and need to pass them on with love and gratitude for the time well worn.

With a lighter heart, I put my new favorite shoes on this afternoon and headed to a new Dr’s office. Thanks, Mom. If anyone knows anything about good fitting shoes and life, it’s you.


What is your MindFULL Metaphor for life’s changing situations? Let us know!

Thinking Inside The Box

Ya know the old adage, “Hear it three times, pay attention?” Well, last week, three different encounters reminded me of an old ritual I learned years ago: If you have a worry to let go of, dream to manifest or intention to hold, simply write it on a piece of paper and place it in a container of your choosing.

My ritual was born one summer on Cape Cod, when I bought a bowl and took to using it to place all the little sheets of paper that held my worries, dreams and intentions.

prayer bowl

Then last week, I told my friend, Judith, about something that happened to my daughter. She suggested writing it down and keeping a “Mom Box” for all the little hurts I feel leveled at my child, as a way of acknowledging them, but letting them go. Great idea and reminder! Why not choose another box, I thought. So, I chose to use this box as my “Mom Box”,  given to me by my friend Susan, who happens to see the blessing in almost everything. (She also says that wearing a scarf every day pulls your outfit and spirit together – but I digress).


Then on Facebook or Pinterest (I apologize but I can’t remember who to credit), I saw another container idea. This one said, ” This January, why not start the year with an empty jar and fill it with notes about good things that happen. Then, on next New Years Eve, empty it and see what awesome stuff happened that year!”

Thankful Jar 1[5]

I love all of these ideas, for it takes what’s on your mind or in your heart and puts it out there. That’ s how we “Let Go and Let G-d” as Ellen likes to say.

So this season, no matter the container or theme you choose, may all your scraps of paper find their way to a MindFULL place.

What kind of MindFULL containers can you suggest? Let us know!

MindFULL Fashionistas

I know I have been writing a lot about clothes lately. I don’t normally pay this much Mind to them, but as I clean out my closet and switch seasons, I am becoming more MindFULL of what I buy and how it fits. The bummer is that I am not a great shopper.

Luckily, two of my friends are terrific at it. Both have great taste and carry women’s clothing lines that can be seen, tried on and purchased without ever stepping foot inside the Mall.

My friend Rebecca carries the line ETC.

Etcetera is a New York designed clothing line that is not retailed through store locations, but through consultants.  Unique to Etcetera is the reuse of their color palettes so that customers can refresh their wardrobes by adding additional pieces to the ones that they already own.  Most of the fabrics are from Europe and they are known for extraordinary detailing.

Etcetera is for the person that loves high quality, fashion forward clothing. There are four seasonal collections per year.  Each show has around 300-350 different pieces which range from shorts and blue jeans to professional and cocktail.   Clothes are displayed in a “boutique” fashion in her home, complete with dressing rooms.

Rebecca started representing Etcetera about 5 years ago at the suggestion of an Etcetera customer who knew that she was interested in bringing home some additional income to her family.  Today she has a loyal customer base that rarely misses a collection.

The 2012 combined Fall and Winter/Holiday Show will be in her home from Friday, November 2 to the end of the day on Wednesday, November 7.  Please call or email for an appointment.  Nights and weekend appointments available, too.  Rebecca Howard at 303-718-1015.  rahventures@yahoo.com.  1945 E Chenango Ct., Cherry Hills Village, CO 80113.

You can view all of the clothes on line at www.etcetera.com.

My other friend, Eilin, also has an in-home line. Carlisle.

There are two lines under the concept Carlisle. One is Carlisle and the other is Per Se, which is the edgier line with a bit more pizzazz to it. She shows the line 6 times a year in her showroom in Cherry Creek and books by appointment only.

Elin has been showing this line since 1996.  She mainly got into because she used to buy the clothes. When the women from whom she was buying decided to move, Elin inherited the position for fear of having no where to shop.

Elin’s client base is every type of woman. The collection runs from traditional to very contemporary. The clothes are casual, for the work place, and dressy as well. She sells “to many professional women and many women who have a passion for fashion!”  Elin loves to add a twist to the outfits by mixing textures and fabrics up a bit, which makes the clothes all the more interesting. She loves working with people one on one and getting to know what they like so that she can keep an eye out for what looks good on them, becoming more like their personal shopper.

You can view the Carlisle Collection at www.carlisleclothing.com. For more information you can also call Elin about shopping with her at 303-440-1950.

For those of you here in Denver, you can call Rebecca and Elin directly and see these fabulous lines in person. For my readers in other cities, check out the websites and then let Rebecca or Elin know what you would like. You will be amazed at the Customer Service and quality these ladies bring to a daunting task. You may never look at yourself in the blue glare of dressing room lighting ever again.

How have you MindFULLY found new styles in new ways? Let us know!

MindFULL Attitude

This year of heading toward 50 has many of my friends chatting about growing old with style and grace. I’m definitely struggling. Too old to wear my Bean loafers anymore, I wistfully admire those of my friends who make it look effortless.

Last week, in the parking lot of Target, I saw the most stylish and beautiful older woman (I’ll bet she was 75). Silver Salon hair, big Dionne Von Furstenberg glasses, a short black and white hounds tooth skirt, black tights, small heeled loafers and a red wool swing coat.

I wanna look like THATwhen I grow up.

And if she wasn’t a sign enough, I came home to the link below from my friend, Colette. It’s a long trailer for an upcoming documentary about stylish New York older ladies.


All this talk about growing old with style and grace has made me think about my Bobie (Yiddish for grandmother). Til her very end, at 96, she always “got dressed” and added her pearls and red lipstick. She was a real fashion plate. I think of her often and laugh out loud with the ladies in the film. I love them! Their attitudes and color delight my senses.

Maybe it’s really not about what you wear, but how you put it together and carry yourself. Perhaps if I had a pair of those fabulous Diane VF glasses, then the real, underlying concern of my eye bags, wouldn’t matter and I could focus on what was really important.

Afterall, didn’t Coco say it’s all in the accessories, any way?

How do you go about developing a MindFULL style? Let us know?  

Where There’s A Will, There’s A Way

Last week, I sat in the parking lot of the grocery store wondering, “Am I missing something?”

I had just gotten an alert from my bank that a check I had written from a money market fund to my checking account had been returned. “That’s weird,” I thought. I knew there were sufficient funds because they are on the sacred  “Spreadsheet”. I called my husband and couldn’t get hold of him. He was away on business – hmmm, in Vegas – hmmm, for the 2nd week in a row… and then, as I started to think of all the reasons this could be happening, I started MSUing (making stories up).

The characters in my story now included a pole dancer and an empty bank account.

That story ended when my husband called back and brought me back to reality. The money was safe, but in a different account based on some changes we are making. He’s usually really good at letting me know about these things, but it has been a busy few weeks, and he really was in meetings from morning to night over the last few days. He simply figured we’d catch up on everything over the weekend.

Hey, stories happen.  In her book, Money A Memoir, Liz tells the story of how she went from being the dependent wife of an investment banker to learning the hard way how to mange her own financial life. I won’t tell you the details. I’ll leave it up to your imagination. Suffice to say, her story is painful and inspiring.

Begs the question: do YOU know what’s in your bank account?

Staying on top of financial details, whether in a committed relationship or living on ones’ own, is a large task. Do you have a list of where everything is? Does someone besides you have a copy? Do your friends know who to call if there is an emergency? Does someone else know where you have hidden the key to the safety deposit box?

The other night, I was with some ladies and somehow the conversation came around to who takes care of “the details.” One of them said her family doesn’t have a Will because she and her husband can’t agree on who should take the kids. I almost spit my wine through my nose. I was once told that if you don’t have a Will and something happens to you and your spouse, then the State takes your kids and your family has to fight the State for custody. If that isn’t enough to make you decide, put it in writing and tell someone how to find it, well, I don’t know what is.

The bottom line: stories happen. You don’t always get to make them up. But you can make sure that all the characters are on the same page. After all, cleaning up a financial mess is a nightmare. Better to write the story you want to tell and leave those you love with a happy ending.

How do you MindFULLY keep track of what is where in your life? Let us know!

Clean as the Newly Fallen Snow

A new conversation has crept up this holiday season. It’s not about the hottest gift, nor the easiest appetizer recipe. It’s the chat about getting ready for guests and then cleaning up when they leave.

With so much to do and so little time, it is easy to cut corners and hope no one notices the dust balls blowing by the heater vent. But with more and more concern about the toxins in our environments, it’s one more thing to think about when you call on Mr. Clean to quickly wipe away any residual of everyday life.

OK, I can hear my husband chortling. It’s not like I even clean my house in between Katerina. But, let’s say I did. What would I use?

Well, instead of giving gifts that adds to the clutter, my friend Kris invited us over to make healthy, homemade cleaning products. It took no time at all and had us shaking our heads wondering what we were paying for in all the products collecting under our sinks. The ingredients were easy: Water, Borax and Vinegar. Add a little essential oil (lavender, tea tree, eucalyptus) and we could basically clean our house and wipe away nasty chemical cleaning staples we have come to rely on.

Kris also had a tip list for us from www.eartheasy.com

  1. Vinegar and lemon juice in small bowls throughout the house absorbs odors!
  2. Get Rid of Bathroom Mold – One part hydrogen peroxide, w/2 parts water. Spray on mold, leave for at least an hour, rinse off.
  3. Good-Bye Carpet Stains – Mix equal parts of white vinegar and water in a spray bottle (by ‘em at Target). Spray on stain, let sit for several minutes, clean with sponge and warm water. For heavier cleaner = ¼ cup salt, Borax and vinegar. Rub paste into carpet, let sit for a few hours, vacuum.
  4. Toilet Bowl Cleaner  – ¼ cup baking soda and 1 cup vinegar or 2 parts Borax and one part lemon juice.
  5. Water Rings on Wood – try applying toothpaste or mayonnaise and rubbing ring out with a damp cloth.

So, as you host your guests and notice the spills that could stain your carpet, the odor of onions from the easy to make appetizer or the water ring on your Great Aunt Sally’s sideboard, never fear. Just enjoy the moments and know you have all the ingredients on hand for a happy AND healthy holiday season.


How do you MindFULLY stay healthy? Let us know!


The Cut of Courage

When I was a tween, I would save my paper route/babysitting money and ride my bike to the Village Salon, where all the fancy ladies got their hair cut. Then, I’d treat myself to a slice of pizza. I am, afterall, a (double) Leo. It’s all about the mane.

I still have the same routine. Best salon. Slice of Pizza.

The importance of my hair and the longevity of this routine sat with me this week, as I sat with my friend while she, too, had her hair cut. Only she wasn’t savoring the moment. She was getting hers cut, so that when she started chemotherapy at the end of week, her shorter locks would lead her through the loss of hair she was warned would begin soon thereafter.

What courage she has.

Instead of the usual slice of greasy NY pizza, we had a comfort lunch at one of our favorite restaurants. Then, we headed over to the salon. Not knowing what to expect, I braced my self for unknown emotions. The burger rolled around my stomach. However, I have to say, that it was not as scary as I was expecting. Her strength and courage gave me permission to laugh and grimace with her. Sitting in her lap was a wig she had made to look like her hair, and when she put it on to have it trimmed, surprisingly, you really couldn’t tell. When the hair dresser actually began cutting, the end result was quite elegant. We agreed that when it really started to fall out, I’d help her shave it.

Dear Lord, please steady my hands.

As we sat in the chairs amongst the prettiest people and hairdressers you can imagine, I thought of how much I take for granted having hair, what it looks like and the role it has played throughout my life.

How would I feel without my hair? Not so good. Clearly, I have a pretty shallow side. How would I like to feel? Like the story below. I posted it last year and am reposting it in an effort to keep our attitudes positive. I dedicate it to my friend. May she see that she is not her hair. May she be healthy. May we laugh about this day next year and until then, exclaim, “YEAH! Today is wash and wear!”

There once was a woman who woke up one morning, looked in the mirror,
and noticed she had only three hairs on her head.

“Well,” she said, “I think I’ll braid my hair today.” So she did and she had a wonderful day.

The next day she woke up, looked in the mirror and saw that she had only
two hairs on her head. “H-M-M, ” she said, “I think I’ll part my hair down the middle today.” So she did and she had a grand day.

The next day she woke up, looked in the mirror and noticed that she had
only one hair on her head. “Well,” she said, “Today I’m going to wear my hair in a pony tail.” So she did and she had a fun, fun day.

The next day she woke up, looked in the mirror and noticed that there wasn’t a single hair on her head. “YEAH!” she exclaimed, “I don’t have to fix my hair today!”


What story do you MindFULLY use when you need a more positive attitude? Let us know!

MindFULLY Reading

It’s Labor Day. A funny name, for I think few labor on this day. Nonetheless, it marks the end of summer and beginning of Fall. And the beginning of Fall marks a soon to be Winter.

Having spent the last year in the pursuit of all things outside of myself, I am ready to turn my attention back to my mind. Some days I feel like I am losing it. I think one of the best ways to keep it sharp  is to pick up a good book. Colette would say it is by playing Words With Friends and learning all the two letter words she claims are real, but that is a post for other time. This Fall and Winter, I have committed to reading one Classic per season. However, there are so many. Where to begin? Pondering this notion over our usual glass of wine one evening, Erica shared a Classic Reading List from a friend of hers. I am sure there are many “must-read Classic Reading Lists” out there. But, in the spirit of “pick one and get reading”, I am using this one. I am starting with #26. It has always been on my list.

Maybe something on this list will strike your fancy. On this day of supposed ease, maybe there is an hour embedded for you to put your feet and get started. No matter your choice, may you find inspiration, stimulation and satisfaction. And may the Winter months pass easily with each page turned.

  1. Crime and Punishment – Dostoyevksy
  2. Brother’s Karamazov – Dostoyevsky
  3. Ulysses – Joyce
  4. Native Son – Richard Wright
  5. Passage to India  – E.M. Forester
  6. Of Human Bondage – Maugham
  7. Henderson the Rain God – Bellow
  8. 1984 – Orwell
  9. Animal Farm – George Orwell
  10. The Great Gatsby – Fitzgerald
  11.  Lord of the Flies – Golding
  12.  Lolita – Nabakov
  13.  The Sound and the Fury – Faulkner
  14.  Light in August – Faulkner
  15.  To the Lighthouse – Virginia Wolf
  16.  Portrait of an Artist as a Young Man – James Joyce
  17.  Invisible Man  – Ralph Ellison
  18.  Pride and Prejudice – Austen
  19.  The Catcher in the Rye – Salinger
  20.  To Kill a Mockingbird –  Harper Lee
  21.  One Hundred Years of Solitude – Marquez
  22.   The Grapes of Wrath – Steinbeck
  23.   East of Eden – Steinbeck
  24.  Brave New World – Huxley
  25.  Madame Bovary -Flaubert
  26.  Anna Karenina – Tolstoy
  27.  Slaughterhouse Five – Vonnegut
  28.  In Cold Blood – Capote
  29. The Sun Also Rises – Hemingway
  30.  Sons and Lovers – Lawrence
  31.  The Heart is a Lonely Hunter – McCullers
  32.  Heart of Darkness – Joseph Conrad
  33.  An American Tragedy – Dreiser
  34.  Remembrance of Things Past – Proust
  35.  All the Pretty Horses – McCarthy
  36.   Dune – Herbert
  37.   Stranger in a Strange Land – Heinlein
  38.  Death Comes for the Archbishop – Cather
  39.  My Antonia – Cather
  40.  The Moviegoer – Percy
  41.  Ender’s Game – Card
  42.  The Alexandria Quartet – Durrell
  43.  Angle of Repose – Stegner
  44.  A Room with a View – Forster
  45.  Sun Also Rises  – Hemingway
  46.  The French Lieutenant’s Woman – Fowles
  47.  Native Son – Wright
  48.  Brideshead Revisted – Waugh
  49.  I, Claudius – Graves
  50.  White Noise – Delillo
  51.  Beloved – Morrison
  52.  The Remains of the Day – Ishiguro
  53.  So Long, See You Tomorrow – Maxwell
  54.  The Day of the Locust – West
  55. The Bell Jar – Plath
  56.  Babbitt – Lewis
  57.  Howard’s End – Forster
  58.   One Flew over the Cuckoo’s Nest – Kesey
  59.   The Color Purple – Walker
  60.  Of Mice and Men – Steinbeck
  61.   A Farewell to Arms – Hemingway
  62.   On the Road – Kerouac
  63.   The Call of the Wild – London
  64.   All the King’s Men – Warren
  65.   The Jungle – Sinclair
  66.   The Age of Innocence – Wharton
  67.   A Clockwork Orange – Burgess
  68.   A Good Man is hard to Find – O’Connor
  69.   Cat’s Cradle – Vonnegut
  70.   Look Homeward Angel – Wolfe
  71.  This Side of Paradise – Fitzgerald
  72.   Middlemarch – Eliot
  73.   Gone with the Wind
  74.  Catch 22 – Heller
  75.  The Lord of the Rings – Tolkien
  76.  A Clockwork Orange – Burgess
  77.   For Whom the Bell Tolls – Hemingway
  78.   Frankenstein – Shelley
  79.  The Big Sleep – Chandler
  80.  Go Tell it on the Mountain – Baldwin
  81.  Heart of Darkness – Conrad
  82.   Night – Wiesel
  83.   Rabbit Run – Updike
  84.   The Day of the Locust – West
  85.   Goodbye to all that – Graves
  86.   Pride and Prejudice – Austen
  87.  Jane Eyre – Bronte
  88. Wuthering Heights – Bronte
  89. The Stranger – Camus
  90. A Tale of Two Cities – Dickens
  91. A Mill on the Floss – Elliott
  92. The Good Soldier – Ford
  93. Tess of the d’Urbervilles – Hardy
  94. The Scarlett Letter – Hawthorne
  95. The Iliad  – Homer
  96. The Odyssey – Homer
  97. Their Eyes were Watching God – Hurston
  98. Brave New World – Huxley
  99. The Metamorphosis – Kafka
  100. The Woman Warrior – Kingston
  101. Magic Mountain – Mann
  102. Moby Dick – Melville
  103. All Quiet on the Western Front – Remarque
  104. The Crying of Lot 49 – Pynchon
  105. One Day in the Life of Ivan Denisovich – Solzhenitsyn
  106. War and Peace – Tolstoy
  107. The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn – Twain
  108. Candide – Voltaire
  109. The Picture of Dorian Gray – Wilde
  110. Charlotte’s Web – White
  111. The Old Man and the Sea – Hemingway
  112. Schindler’s List – Kenealy
  113. Mrs. Dalloway – Woolf
  114. Jazz – Morrison
  115. Cat’s Cradle – Vonnegut
  116. The Wings of the Dove – James
  117. A Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy – Adam
  118. Naked Lunch – Burroughs
  119. The War of the Words – Wells
  120. The Naked and the Dead – Mailer
  121. The Autobiography of Alice B. Toklas – Stein
  122. The Wind in the Willows – Grahame
  123. Dead Souls – Gogol
  124. Great Expectations – Dickens
  125. Cry the Beloved Country – Paton
  126. The Man and His Servant – Tolstoy
  127. The Lover – Duras
  128. Ethan Frome – Wharton


 What will you MindFULLY choose to read this season? Let us know!


A while ago, my dear friend Erica, shared a website with me – greatwomenseries.com.  The site, created by someone she knows, is billed as  “Uncommon words of wisdom from bestselling authors, artists, athletes, scientists, survivors, healers, and shining spirits.” Heck, who couldn’t use a little wisdom now and then?

The first interview I read was with Beth Hoffman. Not only did I enjoy the interview, but absolutely loved reading the comments other women posted in response. I resonated with much of what they wrote and found the promised wisdom.

For me, the wisdom came from one woman who compared herself to a character in Beth’s book, Saving CeeCee Honeycutt. She talked about being a “Loner” vs an “Aloner”. An “Aloner” is a person who gives so deeply that requires much time to regroup and recharge. Finally, a way to understand my own need to spend time by myself without feeling like something is wrong with me! It was like seeing a part of myself that had been out of focus.

I love to be in the world, but over the last 6 months I have had alot of world and not alot of down time. And that is not a good combo for my Spirit. So,  last week, when I put my daughter on the plane for a long weekend in Florida, I headed straight for the 2pm matinee. One of my favorite “down times” is taking myself  to an afternoon movie.  I saw Larry Crown. I didn’t like it and found it an indulgent vehicle for Tom Hanks to set himself up to make out with Julia Roberts. But, I loved sitting in the dark for 2 hours, transported from a world of “must-do”, to a world of “can-do when I want.”

I share the site with you in the hopes that you, too, will find a little wisdom for the day. Maybe there is an interview or a book or a comment that will help you find a piece of yourself. Maybe a piece of  someone you love. Either way, may you simply find a piece of peace. Afterall, isn’t that worth re-charging for?

How do you MindFULLY recharge? Let us know!  

Game On

While I usually post on Mondays (check in tomorrow for how you can make a difference this week), I had to pop this off to you today. Last week, I wrote about re-purposing clothes (and life). I figured with all  the football games on today, some of you may be looking for something to do with your hands while you watch.

One of my favorite creative musends (a friend who is also a muse), Colette, sent this picture to share with you on the sweater she made for herself (she is the friend who helped me make my sweater and skirt that I showed you last week.) Check out what she did for herself. This was a turtle neck cut “A Symetrical” with a button added. How cute is that!

So, today make it a game to look around and see if anything in your closet could become a new favorite by cutting it up , sewing it differently and adding a little something extra (buttons, felt, ribbons). Not only will you be watching to see who wins a spot at the SuperBowl, you’ll be a winner, too!

What did you find to MindFULLY re-purpose today? Let us know!