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Things I Absolutely Love Right Now.

First off, I have to just brag for a little minute. My last post clearly struck a tone with people and was shared and commented on and read by....wait for it....5,400+ People so far! It hit on the right website, one about the impossibilities of attempting to co-parent with a narcissistic ex, and it TOOK. OFF. So thanks to all who sent comments! So many people said "thank you" or "I'm crying" because it resonated. Super cool.

Anyway, with loads of cremation talk and memorial planning and ghost interactions (YES IT'S TRUE) I've had of late, I decided to lighten things up and talk about the things I Just Love Right Now. Strolling through shitstorms can require some redirection of your mind and appreciation for the beautiful, yummy and/or fun things around you. 

1. The Roasted Vegetable Salad with some Riesling at Sauce. We love Sauce and frequent it on our solo weekends when we want something fresh and light. It's DELISH.

2. Being a PACU nurse. I made the transition from more than a decade as a kick-ass, seen-it-all lifesaver in the Emegency Room and Intensive Care Units to the Post Anesthesia Care Unit (Recovery Room for y'all who don't speak medical terminology. Like my husband). Still get to call in critical care nursing skills from the ER and ICU, but with about 1/8 of the stress and patient load and with enough adrenaline rushes to subdue a desire to ever go back to the trenches. Bonus: PACU coworkers have "THE" ER/ICU personalities because we've all done it, so our little recovery community is nothing short of FUN.

3. Megan Miranda novels. I devoured her first one, All The Missing Girls, and snatched up The Perfect Stranger when it came out. And then I met her. And she's divine AND one hell of a suspense novelist. Check it out for summer if you like things a little dark. Like I used to like my men until I got White Boy Wasted. I'm not actually sure what that means. I guess that I got drunk on the love of my cute Irish husband and never looked back.

4. IT Cosmetics. Is it pricey? YEP. But when you're over 40, if you're NOT choosing good makeup, then it's your fault you look like a troll. The foundation is a powder that does NOT settle into the lines, AS LONG AS YOU FIRE UP THE PRIMER FIRST. You need primer. And this $50 brush. Ok, it's hellaexpensive at Ulta but gotta save the moneymaker, yo.

5. HOT LIPS. Now, my husband ends up ruining my lipstick the minute I get home or he gets home or we're going somewhere, so if you see him out and about with streaks of Lime Crime or Urban Decay on his face or neck, IT'S BECAUSE I THINK HE'S HOT. And he kisses me a lot.
ANYWAY. I LOVE the color Bittersweet from Urban Decay. It's a bright purplish-pink, bold and amazing paired with a more neutral (yet sparkly) eye. Also Cashmere by Lime Crime (found it on Amazon) is a GREAT matte look. It goes on liquid but quickly dries to a perfect matte that stays for hours unless your husband ruins it like mine.

6. Jewelry that means something. I am not big on flashy jewelry and honestly prefer travel and books over diamonds. BUT I'm all about jewelry that MEANS something, because it came from someone else, or was designed by someone you love. In this little dish are the things that I wear that mean so much! The blue topaz/diamond necklace belonged to my husband's grandmother. I didn't get to meet her, but I'm told she would have LOVED me. Duh. My angel pin belonged to my grandmother who died last June, she collected angels of every kind. The Pandora bracelet from my Mom, with my kids' initials on it, a book charm and a Mickey/Minnie charm from my husband. My wedding set. My husband designed it himself, and incorporated a few of his grandmother's diamonds, which my mother-in-love saved just for me. Sigh. My aunt's pearl ring that was a gift to her when she graduated from high school in 1963. She wore it everyday. Now I do too. My grandmother's original wedding band, engraved with "From GW to MZ 7-9-39". It's already 78 years old. My silhouette bracelet; originally my maternal grandmothers, it had silhouette charms on it of my Mom, my aunt, myself and my brother-- her only two children and grandchildren. My Mom then bought a sturdier bracelet, had it woven with my grandmothers, and added the silhouettes of my children. I cried for hours over that one. I love these things as much as you can a material possession, and in these weeks where I'm still in grieving mode (doing well, but there are significant moments of heartbreak and disbelief) I can look down and feel connected to the ones who mean everything.

7. Bloodline. We LOVE this show. The final season drops on Friday, and we can't wait. When I say we can't wait it means we can't wait until the kids are in bed so we can commence the binge. It's a punch-in-the-gut show about a family who owns an inn in Key West, and harbors some BIG secrets. It's their unraveling that is so addicting to behold. If you haven't seen it yet, start at season one, give it a few episodes to get REALLY intense, and then thank me.

8. Fry's Clicklist. This invention makes me so happy I could cry. I have a family of seven (at least every other weekend) and a family of four the rest of the time (including a teenage son). That means grocery shopping is VERY time consuming, tedious and, if I'm being honest, exhausting. That's a lot of people to consider. BUT NOW.....I go to Clicklist HERE, sign up, pick a time, and start shopping. It is EFFORTLESS. Now, the key is to do your shopping on a weekday, because the weekends are pretty booked out. However, I search my recipes and jot my list on Monday usually, fire up the Clicklist, and pick everything up that afternoon, or on Tuesday. You just add everything to your cart, they send you a confirmation email, then a reminder email about an hour before. Then you cruise on up to Fry's to the Clicklist section of the parking lot, call the number on the sign, and within five minutes your groceries are loaded and and you're on the way home. It has saved SO MUCH time, I'm talking two hours, that I have time to run to my boxing class, get other things done and THEN go get the groceries. The first three orders are free, after that it's $4.95. But for the time it saves, THAT'S FINE WITH ME!

9. Mon Paris, Yves Saint Laurent. I followed my coworker around for days wanting to know what this scent was. Hopefully not in a creeptastic way. But possibly. It's both floral and spicy and it makes my husband mess up my pretty lipstick that I mentioned above. About $75 for the teeny weeny bottle because it's YUMMY.

10. Quiet Days Off Surrounded By Simple Things. I LOVE having a weekday off where the my kids are in school and the steps are somewhere else and I have time to putter; enjoy the flowers my husband buys almost weekly, my B&BW candles (a home staple for me--this one--Mahogany Coconut is WONDERFUL), movies, mani-pedi, boxing, and some undoing of the kid mess, making the house cozy, clean and inviting again. I appreciate my schedule so much because these days are a good reset.

11. Kicking Ass At Stepmom-ing. It is the number one, no doubt most difficult job on the planet. Don't be fooled by people who say being a Mom is. I've done both, twice, and being a Mom is a cakewalk in comparison. It is probably easier when you deal with exes who are, if not semi-normal humans, at least civil for the kids' sake, but like my last article, that's NOT always the case. I've tried to make the job easy on my kids' stepmom; we exchange kind texts and congratulations and occasional jokes--no doubt that's made it easier on her. Plus my kids are awesome because I'm their Mom but whatever. Stepmoms are often overlooked on Mother's Day, even when they spend equal time and do the work of a mother in the house. This is NOT okay. Thankfully my husband and my in-laws have told me repeatedly that they're grateful for my mother influence in the lives of my stepkids; and I'm glad for the opportunity. It's rough, but then there are moments like this, when your heart is full because you love children that aren't even yours. Except they are, when you are one with their bioparent. Biology, honestly, can be the least of what makes someone a parent.

12.  Jabz Boxing. I love this place. It resets my mind, confirms my badassery, and pumps up the endorphins to last all day. It also means epsom salt baths, sore thighs and necessary butt rubs from the husband. It is a ROUGH workout, but is diverse, always new, incorporates cardio, strength, plyo, technique. It makes you actually enjoy getting your ass kicked, I SWEAR. And it MAKES YOU want to step into a ring. You can become kick-ass too HERE. Photo credit to Jabz Happy Valley.

13. Swish Swish, by Katy Perry. Oh, YES, girl. I LOVE this new song of Katy's. If there's a female you detest out there (and face it ladies, we all have at least ONE), this jam's for YOU. With these catty lyrics, how could you NOT love it?!
A tiger
Don't lose no sleep
Don't need opinions

From a shellfish or a sheep
Don't you come for me

You're calculated
I got your number

'Cause you're a joker
And I'm a courtside killer queen
And you will kiss the ring
You best believe

So keep calm, honey, I'ma stick around
For more than a minute, get used to it

14. Grace and Frankie. Just go watch it. You can't go wrong with these two.
 I mean, the Frankie quotes alone should do it:

Frankie: Excuse me. 
[Holding up a container of Ben & Jerry's ice cream
Frankie: Have you ever wondered if Ben and Jerry make more than ice cream together? 
Woman: What? 
Frankie: Ben and Jerry. Are they more than ice cream buddies? 
Woman: How the hell would I know? 
Frankie: Bitch. 
Frankie Bergstein: I must have half the beach in my vagina!
Frankie Bergstein: [folding a fitted sheet] This is harder than you said it would be. 
Grace Hanson: Fold the corners. No, fold. Fold the corners. 
Frankie Bergstein: They're round. They do not fold. Anyone who can do this is a powerful witch. 
Grace Hanson: Well, I can do it. 
Frankie Bergstein: I rest my case. 

And with that, I rest mine.

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