Must have apps that manage life and make it sweeter

 

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Do you still keep a day planner and paper journal? I do…I love to use my pen but I’m also a techie girl and there are several apps that make life sweeter. When there’s a piece of technology that can put a zip in my step, I’m always up for it. Here are some tech apps that help manage life and make it more joyful. It’s easy to get hooked on a few apps that it seems impossible to imagine living without. These are my must-haves…

Texture
Seventeen, Sassy and YM were the beginning to my love affair with magazines when I was a young girl. One of my greatest pleasures is reading magazines, so I instantly fell in love with Texture. Big publishers like Conde Nast, Hearst Magazines, Time Inc. got together to make this fabulous app that gives you unlimited access to more than 160 different magazines…Vogue, The New Yorker, Bon Appétit, Vanity Fair, Elle Decor, Real Simple…all on your ipad or phone. I like to binge-read them like I watch Netflix and get that same giddy feeling that I had finding Sassy in my mailbox.

Riffsy
This app is perfect for upping your text game and cracking up your mom and sister! I like to text happy puppies, babies falling asleep and friends laughing…
Price: free

Dark Sky
This is the holy grail of weather apps. Teachers can check Dark Sky down to the minute to see if we need to have inside recess. The app is able to predict weather for your exact location, not just your city, down to the minute. This is one of those apps that you will check everyday to bring out your inner meteorologist!
Price: $3.99

Cozi
I started using Cozi when I was a new mom…almost ten years ago! It’s perfect for busy families and moms who organize on the go. The nicest feature is being able to share with the whole family so everyone knows when and where the basketball game/school program/dance performance will be right from their phone. It helps manage my shopping list, appointments and even has a family journal.
Price: free

Square Cash: There used to be a lot of back and forth when splitting the bill with friends. This is great for your work friends when someone buys a baby gift or pays for the bill because it’s easy to pay someone back in seconds…just enter the amount and press send.
Splitting a bar tab with friends will never be a pain again, especially when no one thought to bring cash with them. Cash is an app by Square that instantly transfers money between friends, for free, even between different banks. I imagine Don Draper would have appreciated this app in the 60’s.
Price: free

Sky Guide
This is stargazing fun for all ages. I use this app to teach first graders about the stars. My family loves using it when we roast s’mores and stargaze together.
Price: $2.99

Waze
Whether you’re a big driver or just going on a long road trip, you should check out Waze. The app knows how fast users are traveling on the road and redirects you around traffic mid-trip, ultimately shortening your commute. Waze tracks more than just traffic; it also alerts you to construction, accidents, red-light cameras, and even police ahead on your route.
Price: free

Day One
Your old paper journal might feel great with your favorite pen, but it can’t compare to Day One. The beautifully designed app makes chronicling your life as easy to do as writing a tweet or Facebook post, and can even provide you writing prompts and reminders to keep your writing flowing. It syncs your private journal across the web via Dropbox or iCloud, and you can annotate each entry with tags, weather, location information, and even the music you’re listening to.
Price: $4.99

MindBody
This app is perfect for someone who likes to hop around from working out in a Pilates or yoga studio or finding a time that works for a massage/facial/manicure…I store all my favorite studios and salons so I can easily find a window of time that works for me to fit in some zen!
Price: free

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Modern Salt Caves for the whole family

 

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My friend and favorite yoga teacher, Sloane, introduced me to the Salt Cave of Southlake. Every time I’ve visited the salt cave, I leave feeling like I’ve been on vacation…totally relaxed. On Saturday, the yoga cave wasn’t ready yet (a couples massage was running a little over) and I was offered a mimosa before class…they really want you to relax! Since I’ve been going, I’ve noticed that I’m sleeping, breathing and feeling better than usual during these cold dry winter days. If you have the winter blues, a little salt cave time will make you feel happy and healthy.

Breathing in salt vapor during yoga class helps to breathe deeper…purifying the lungs and clearing sinuses. The combination of yoga and salt therapy naturally relaxes the body and opens airways increasing oxygen intake.

Salt therapy is an all-natural, holistic treatment recently made modern…inspired by Eastern European countries.  Natural underground salt caves in Eastern Europe have been used to heal skin conditions, allergies, asthma and more. Salt has been used for its medicinal properties as far back as the Egyptians. Modern salt caves can be found today above ground…made to feel like a natural underground European salt cave.

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The air is enriched with salt dust by reducing pure Himalayan salt crystals that are ground into miniscule micro-crystals and blown into a relaxing spa environment.

The benefits of salt therapy give a sense of well-being, reducing allergy issues, insomnia, boosting energy and alleviating depression and stress. It’s the same relaxing feeling after spending the day in the natural settings of mountains, waterfalls, or beaches…the negative ions emitted increase oxygen flow to the brain.

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The Salt Cave of Southlake also has a “Kids Cave.” My kids encourage me to go take a yoga class there so that they can come and play in the salt…it’s magical to them! Children can play, read, draw while Mom and Dad take a yoga class. It’s healthy for the whole family.

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We couldn’t survive without salt…it does the body good!

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Gustave Caillebotte…with children

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It’s a guarantee that when we are on a holiday, we will visit the museum. There are always a few paintings that make you want to step into the picture. When you go to the museum with children, it’s nice for them to be the leaders and see what paintings they would like to step inside of.

We seemed to agree that The Floor Scrapers, Traffic Island, Boulevard Haussmann and Paris Street: Rainy Day were three that pulled us in…making us wonder and feel like our holiday was in Paris (if only for the afternoon). Gustave Caillebotte: The Painter’s Eye at the Kimbell Art Museum in Fort Worth was a treat to see. Caillebotte’s paintings make the viewer wonder what it is we’re looking at, what we’ve decided we see, and why…

Do you know how to say Caillebotte? The Kimbell created this fun video…see if you’re right!

Here are three Gustave Caillebotte paintings that will make you wonder…

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The Floor-Scrapers
1875

The Floor Scrapers demand the viewer’s attention…showing a dramatic perspective. Look at the splayed stripes of the wooden floor being so laboriously scraped. Caillebotte visually drops the bare-chested workers right in the viewer’s lap. It’s a painting of three laborers at work preparing his first studio. It was in what was then the relatively new neighborhood of the 8th arrondissement, where Caillebotte’s father had bought. It’s an odd subject matter…very different from his Impressionist friends, Monet and Renoir. His colleagues invited him to participate in their 1876 exhibition. He chose to submit The Floor Scrapers, and it was very popular…viewers either adored it or hated it, but everyone was talking about it!

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A Traffic Island, Boulevard Haussmann
1880

Caillebotte’s Traffic Island is an aerial painting that captures a sensible and controlled environment. This is a true impression of a Paris street with people in isolation going about their everyday routines and repetitions. It might remind the viewer of Degas’s Place de la Concorde (1875) the way that you see these people going about their day as if the viewer were “people watching”…they both have a serene quality. Views like this one could only be afforded by buildings that were ten stories or higher…Caillebotte was one of few painters who could afford the view.

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Paris Street; Rainy Day
1877

This is a painting about intersections…working class and upper class mixing together in modern Paris. The Parisian bourgeoisie cross in and out of the picture on this Right Bank drizzle-slicked street. Caillebotte steals the limelight from Claude Monet and Auguste Renoir during this time because he created this glowing light that the great Impressionists were trying to capture. Sadly, Caillebotte was never considered a true member of the inner circle of the Impressionists…lacking the easy brushstrokes and sunshine scenes with people interacting. Instead, Caillebotte tells us two things we know about Paris (then and now)…the sky is usually grey and fashion is black.

Gustave Caillebotte had a short career: born in 1848, he didn’t start painting until his late twenties, and he was dead from a stroke by the age of forty-five. Upon the death of his father (who had much success on the Paris real estate market) Gustave inherited a hearty fortune. The cash meant that Caillebotte could work at his own pace, selling almost nothing; the large majority of his art still belongs to his successors. He never needed to work for a living, and never married or had a family. He painted current, in the moment surroundings…gardens, river boating, and his father’s country house. This is why he is one of the most modern of the Impressionists.

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All three paintings are remarkable for plunging perspectives for children and a sense of contiguity. Step inside Gustave Caillebotte: The Painter’s Eye…it’s an air of modernité.

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Many happy returns Pebbles!

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My sister, Paige, and I used to play this game when we were kids…we’d jump off the dock at the lake and see who can swim to the next dock without freaking out about the algae touching our bellies, the possible snakes lurking beneath our toes, or that water was freezing cold (we played this game in the fall too). It was so silly but it gave us so much pleasure and we just kept on jumping off that dock!

My sister has many gifts…the gift of gab, the promise of uncontrollable laughter and the ability to recite movie quotes from great eighties movies like High Spirits, Beatlejuice and The Goonies.

Growing up, Paige had many nicknames…Goldilocks, Pebbles and Peaches to name a few. This picture of Paige in her Pebbles costume with a Rapunzel wig is one of my favorites.

There were once two sisters
who were not afraid of the dark
because the dark was full of the other’s voice
across the room,
because even when the night was thick
and starless
they walked home together from the river
seeing who could last the longest
without turning on her flashlight,
not afraid
because sometimes in the pitch of night
they’d lie on their backs
in the middle of the path
and look up until the stars came back
and when they did,
they’d reach their arms up to touch them
and did.
― Jandy Nelson, The Sky is Everywhere

Many happy returns Pebbles! I’m not afraid of the dark or jumping off the dock as long as we’re together. I love you! xx

Read more about my beautiful little sister here.

Nutella Sunday Breakfast…with my little Heidi!

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Cozy fall weekends are for hibernating in your pajamas and watching old movies. This weekend, my daughter and I finished reading the book Heidi together. To celebrate, we made a chocolaty breakfast in bed and watched the movie Heidi (the one with Shirley Temple).

The windows were open and we imagined that we could smell the wild flowers high in mountain meadow where Heidi’s grandfather lived.  Aww, fresh fall air…you can almost smell the Swiss Alps! Weekends are made for hitting the reset button, snuggling with your little reading buddy while watching an old movie and indulging in something chocolatey.

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My daughter let me know that she loves me more than Nutella!  I imagine Nutella is not far behind. Bananas and Nutella go together like Heidi and her grandfather…they compliment each other beautifully! This is one of the most perfect coffee cakes ever. It’s moist and chocolaty sweet…perfect for a Sunday morning.

Nutella Banana Coffee Cake

  • Cake:
  • 1 C of unsalted butter
  • 3 1/2 C flour
  • 2 C sugar
  • 1 Tbsp baking powder
  • 1 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1 C whole milk
  • 4 eggs at room temp
  • 3/4 C sour cream
  • 1 Tbsp vanilla
  • Filling:
  • 2 ripe bananas, smashed
  • 1 C Nutella spread
  • 1/4 C brown sugar
  • Topping:
  • 4 Tbsp unsalted butter
  • 1 C all purpose flour
  • 3 Tbsp sugar
  • 2 Tbsp brown sugar
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 tsp nutmeg
  • 1/2 C hazelnuts
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees and grease a 13×9 inch pan.
  2. Melt the 1 C of butter and set aside to cool.
  3. In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, sugar, baking powder, salt and baking soda.
  4. In a separate bowl, whisk together the milk, eggs, sour cream, vanilla, and add the melted butter.
  5. Using a spatula, mix the dry into the wet until combined.
  6. Layer half the batter into the pan, lay the smashed bananas on top and drizzle the Nutella spread…I microwave my Nutella for 30 seconds to make it pourable.
  7. Layer the remaining batter over the Nutella and banana filling using a spatula, smooth out the top of the batter making sure it’s even and reaches the edges of the pan.
  8. Sprinkle the top with the streusel…smash 4 softened butter, flour, sugar, brown sugar, cinnamon and nutmeg with a fork.
  9. Bake for 50-55 minutes until set when a toothpick inserted comes out clean.

Your Nutella weekend won’t be complete without Nutella hot chocolate. You HAVE to make this! My daughter said, “Mom, you are the BEST mom in the world” when I served the Nutella banana coffee cake with Nutella hot chocolate. She also asked, “Do you think Heidi had chocolate breakfasts too?” Hmm…with all the goats milk, I’m sure she probably whisked a little Swiss chocolate in there.

Fall Sunday mornings are made for Nutella and Heidi! Wishing you many more fall weekends…may they be full of Nutella, your favorite pajamas and snuggle buddy to enjoy a frothy, creamy, chocolaty Nutella breakfast!

Nutella Hot Chocolate
  • 4 cups whole milk
  • 2 tablespoons Nutella
  • 2 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • Optional Toppings:
  • Marshmallows
  • Crushed hazelnuts
  • Chocolate chips
  • Extra Nutella
  1. Heat milk in a medium sized saucepan on medium – high heat until beginning to warm and steam. Add the spread, cocoa powder and sugar, and whisk until dissolved and combined. Bring to a gentle simmer while stirring, and take off heat.
  2. Serve with your desired toppings.

Guten Appetit from my little Heidi!

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Stand Up Paddleboard Yoga with my girl

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Last year, I tried stand up paddleboard with my friend Pamela and loved it. This year when my favorite yoga teacher suggested that I bring my daughter, I couldn’t wait to share SUP yoga with her too!

Stand up paddleboarding is such a relaxing and fun way to play on the water. Imagine taking your stationary yoga mat into the water and feeling that buoyancy when you balance…it’s hard but in a totally fun way!

My daughter and I share a love for dance (we recently performed on stage together) and now we share a love for SUP yoga! Sharing something with someone you love so much and doing what you love to do together is such an amazing feeling!

She LOVED to SUP! The class was very challenging (imagine crow pose, three leg down dog and even head stand on a paddleboard) but all performed with a smile! I would catch my daughter in three-legged downward dog feeling proud and she’d look at me from under her arm to see if I was watching her…as soon as she lost her focus to say, “Look Mom,” she’d fall in the water and laugh like crazy! I could see my little girl jumping at the chance to do SUP yoga again. I would imagine that kids who are SUPers can gain confidence, balance and strength early on…all with a smile and lots of laughter!

Kids are not afraid of falling…they love to fall! The paddleboard becomes their playground and they are the bravest in the class because in every pose, they go for it!

When I saw my yoga teacher a day after class, she asked, “How did you sleep after class? Are you still relaxed?” I honestly was…like I could still feel the water underneath my feet.

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My favorite part of this class was when our boards found each other and we held hands during savasana…it was the ultimate happy feeling.

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Rosemary Beach Celebrates Twenty Years!!

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Rosemary Beach is twenty-years-old this year. It’s easy to see why it’s the best family beach community in the United States.

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Time spent at Rosemary Beach is all about sunshine days full of love, laughter and leisure. Cool coastal colors can’t help but put vacationers in a laid-back frame of mind…the whole reason (no matter the season) for coming to the beach. It’s impossible to resist the pull of the timeless architecture and the easy-going attitude of the stretch of the Florida Panhandle known fondly as Scenic 30A. The colorful emerald coast offers the perfect backdrop for unforgettable days along the Gulf of Mexico.

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This was the year of the pretzel float and sand mermaids. My sister and I couldn’t stop laughing when we pretended that we were mermaids with my daughter.

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It’s exciting to take in the sights and smells of Rosemary Beach just as the sun rises and everyone begins to wake up to a brilliant blue sky, soft clouds and an endless emerald coast shimmering before you…the day is filled with an endless possibility of fun! What should you do? Maybe rent a catamaran, take a family bike ride, look for dolphins, take tennis lessons, stroll through a gallery, yoga class, sandcastle lessons, enjoy a delicious ice cream cone from the Sugar Shak or a refreshing cocktail from the Havana Beach Bar…you can’t go wrong. It has the perfect balance of the serene residential area and a lively Town Center.

One of my best memories of this trip was standing in front one of my favorite Chagall paintings in a bikini and flip flops…only at Rosemary Beach! New River Fine Art and Tommy Crow Studios hosted a very special exhibition: MASTERS Modern to Contemporary featuring original works by Picasso, Miro, Dali, Chagall, Warhol, Stella and more. I visited the gallery every day…it was impossible to pass by so many of my favorite artists and not say hello.

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Rosemary Beach is a tennis lovers paradise. The staff is knowledgeable and ready to help you and your children with great instruction.

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This special community is organized around keeping people happy and it’s easy to do with the places and events that thrill you around every corner. It’s how I imagine the 1950’s were…picture the kind of vacations your grandparent’s may have taken when they were children. Rosemary has a West Indies feel but also a mix of Charleston and Europe (think Italy and Austria) to make the perfect relaxing atmosphere.

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Rosemary Beach has a low-key sophistication and charm that blends well with it’s high-style coastal living. The houses are bright, airy and cheerful for big family get-togethers like ours. This was the second year our whole family met at Rosemary for our summer vacation…coming from California, North Carolina and Texas, Rosemary felt like home.

Rosemary has selected the concept of New Urbanism…the sense of community that encourages friendliness. The special residential structures of the courtyards, Town Hall, carriage houses and pools all contribute to a harmonious experience.

My children always look forward to movie night under the stars (face painting and popcorn included). This year we watched The Muppets. Adults could also enjoy cocktails at “Dive in classic cinema” at The Pearl with movies like Sabrina and Rebel without a Cause.

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This sense of community is especially strong celebrating Independence Day. It’s a dream for a family with young children. The fun begins in the morning and last until it’s firework time! Imagine bike decorating contests, parades, family field day, NOLA-style jazz band and a star spangled fireworks display on the beach..the best on 30A.

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The 30A Farmers Market features locally-grown vegetables, fruits, eggs, honey, cheese, preserves, sauces and much more. The Florida tomatoes at the 30A farmer’s market were bursting with juicy flavor…freshly harvested in the sunshine state to brighten your day.

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This year, my daughter was thrilled to celebrate her birthday at Rosemary Beach. Family birthday celebrations are the best celebrations.

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For our summer family vacation, Rosemary Beach is as good as it gets.

Related posts:

Love goes where my Rosemary goes

Mermaids live at Rosemary Beach

Return to Rosemary

A watercolor of a vacation

 

 

 

 

Marguerite, the Sun-Maid Raisin Girl

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Around the time I was really pregnant, all I craved was raisin bran cereal. It was comforting to me and made my growing belly happy. It’s suiting that both my children love raisin bran today!

Raisins also remind me of my grandmother. That red box was always there…used in oatmeal, granola, cookies, cakes, bread, and salads. Fresh, chewy and plump raisins are perfect on there own too…enjoying raisins in any way can truly give you a nostalgic feeling and a reason to smile.

My children have an even better relationship with the little red box than I do. They will happily skip down the snack aisle at the grocery store to say hello to their distant cousin, Marguerite, the Sun-Maid raisin girl. “Can we go see our cousin and put her in our basket?” It’s makes everyone smile when they open up the pantry and see her kind face.

My husband’s parents have roots in California that run deep. The very first Sun-Maid raisin girl was a great, great, great cousin on my husband’s Mom’s side.

The Sun-Maid raisin girl came about when Marguerite’s Dad (William Banks) invented a new process for drying raisins and began to deal with the Sun-Maid raisin company. William Banks had a picture of his daughter, Marguerite, holding a basket of raisins…Sun-Maid liked it and decided to use the idea of having Marguerite as the spokes person for raisins! The company bought his photo and she became the very first Sun-Maid raisin girl.

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Marguerite Evelyn Cecilia Banks was born in 1888. She would later change her name to Namara, after her Irish mother’s maiden name, McNamara.

Marguerite Namara was a real renaissance women! Her success as the Sun-Maid raisin girl was only the beginning! She was also a famous opera singer, an accomplished pianist, an artist who studied under Claude Monet and a silent screen movie star. Marguerite’s fast-paced life included running with an eclectic group…she was friends with Isadora Duncan, Rudolph Valentino and Charlie Chaplin.

We know her best as the raisin girl. This is a picture of my daughter dressed as Marguerite for culture day.

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Our favorite raisin recipe to make is oatmeal cookies. Raisin cookies are so comforting with there soft and chewy texture and buttery sweet flavor…it’s a bonus that raisins are a great source of vitamins and iron. These old fashioned raisin cookies are easy and quick to make.  Bake them until the centers are still soft and just beginning to turn brown yet their edges are a lovely golden brown color. Think of Marguerite when you enjoy them.

Oatmeal Raisin Cookies

2 sticks of unsalted butter
1/2 cup sugar
1 cup packed light brown sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 eggs
1 1/2 cup flour
1 teaspoon backing soda
1 teaspoon salt
2 cups rolled oats
2 cups of raisins
1/2 cup pecans

  • preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
  • cream the butter, sugars, and vanilla in a mixing bowl until light and fluffy.
  • Add the eggs one at a time and beat until smooth.
  • Mix the flour, baking soada and salt together. Add to the creamed mixture gradually and mix well.
  • Stir in the oats, raisins and nuts.
  • Drop by rouonded teaspoonfuls onto greased cookie sheets.
  • Bake for 10 minutes or until golden brown.
  • Cool on the cookie sheets a few minutes before moving them to a wire rack to cool completely.

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Marguerite Namara said in an interview in 1954 that her dream would be “...to live on a farm, preferably somewhere near Monterey. I’ve never before given myself a real vacation, and it would do me a world of good. No telephones ringing, nobody to powder the old nose for, or rouge the lips. Just to go about as is, in old loose clothing, would be close to being in paradise.” 

I imagine that her red bonnet suited her very well.

 

Get Ready for Rush

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It’s that time of year when incoming college freshmen girls are getting ready to go through rush…what a fun time it is. Going through rush is an exciting and memorable time that you will never forget. This is an experience of a lifetime that will shape your college career in the very best way. Get ready to go with the flow, be yourself and know that you will find your place.

The University of Alabama (my alma mater) has the largest sorority recruitment process…there are over 2,000 students participating in rush. Participates are encouraged to read Greek Chic (a recruitment manual).

These girls need recommendations from alumnae who are in good standing with their sorority. Only a sorority alumna can write a recommendation to her sorority. One or two recommendations for each chapter are helpful for the PMN (potential new member)…recs are like extra credit!

It is customary that the PMN provide the alumna who is writing the recommendation with a photograph, a copy of their academic transcript, a social resume, and a self-addressed stamped envelope. Recommendations are written and sent in by alumnae…most sororities are moving to filing recommendations electronically. These forms help members to get to know you in advance of the formal recruitment.

Good impressions start with a recommendation. This year, I did both…an electronic rec and one that I mailed in. I think it’s nice for the girls getting ready for rush to have something in their hands…pictures, RIF’s (recruitment information forms) and a personal letter of recommendation too. Sorority girls today have twitter and Facebook to look at…it’s important for the PMN to look like a lady on their social media accounts so they’re invited back.

Here are some tips for potential new members. Make sure you take it all in and really appreciate the process, your fellow rushees, and the entire Greek life culture. Best wishes for a successful rush week.

  • DO say something positive and memorable about yourself.
  • DON’T talk about drinking, sex, politics or religion.
  • DO dress like a lady…reveal the very best image of yourself.
  • DON’T gossip about other rushees or sororities.
  • DO act like you care and are happy to be there.
  • DON’T rely on stereotypes. Use your own judgment and go through rush with an open mind.
  • DO be genuine. Be yourself and you will truly end up where you’re meant to be.
  • DON’T have any photos, posts or comments in your social media that wouldn’t put you in a flattering light.
  • DO be kind, polite, respectful, and most of all…be gracious.

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These are pictures of me and my roommate on Preference Night. You can tell we look so happy…I think it’s because we know the next day is Bid Day.

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I fondly remember practicing the beautiful Alpha Chi Omega songs at the University of Alabama before rush began. The last day of rush is the most special because that is when we serenade our hopeful new pledges. This is a picture of some of my sorority sisters during rush week…such happy memories!

Enjoy every moment! Recruitment is a whirlwind of a week but it is filled with so much fun…meeting new people, listening to lots of songs, and at the end you find sisters to call your own. It’s a really exciting process. Take it day by day and just enjoy! Remember that you’re looking for a house where you can be yourself and feel at home.

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The soul selects her society

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A few days ago we watched our wedding video… it’s been fifteen years! For several years we celebrated without even thinking to watch it but in the last three years it has become a tradition to enjoy it on our anniversary with our children. Our two kids always have so many questions and comments…”Why is Grandpa’s hair brown on this DVD?” “Why does Aunt Paige have short hair?” “Who are those flower girls?” “I wish I could go to this party!

Derek and I were married in July of 2000. When we were watching the video, it really doesn’t feel like it’s been fifteen WHOLE years. Didn’t I just put the ring on Derek’s wrong hand just a little while ago?

There were so many beautiful toasts and poems recited for our engagement party, rehearsal dinner and our wedding night. It makes the heart happy to hear and read poetry at celebratory events of our lives…weddings and anniversaries are perfect for love poems.  Everyone should have a few poems memorized. Poetry is a good investment…it’s like buying a beautiful piece of jewelry to wear inside your heart forever and ever. Here are a few of my favorite love poems and one that I wrote for my love…

And you’ll always love me won’t you?
Yes
And the rain won’t make any difference?
No

~Ernest Hemingway, A Farewell to Arms

The soul selects her own society,
Then shuts the door;
On her divine majority
Obtrude no more.

Unmoved, she notes the chariot’s pausing
At her low gate;
Unmoved, an emperor is kneeling
Upon her mat.

I’ve known her from an ample nation
Choose one;
Then close the valves of her attention
Like stone.

~Emily Dickinson, 1862

Believe me, if all those endearing young charms,
Which I gaze on so fondly today,
Were to change by tomorrow and fleet in my arms,
Like fairy wings fading away.
Thou wouldst still be adored, as this moment thou art,
Let thy loveliness fade as it will;
And around the dear ruin each wish of my heart
Would entwine itself verdantly still.
It is not while beauty and youth are thine own,
And thy cheeks unprofaned by a tear,
That the fervor and faith of a soul can be known,
To which time will but make thee more dear.
No, the heart that has truly loved never forgets,
But as truly loves on to the close:
As the sunflower turns on her god when he sets
The same look which she turned when he rose.

~Thomas Moore, Believe Me, if all those Endearing Young Charms

When I first met my husband, I told him that he was my missing Pac Man piece. I’ve been an elementary teacher now for seventeen years. Every year that I read Shel Silverstein’s “The Missing Piece Meets the Big O” I think of my husband…he’s my missing piece.

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For Derek

We float together in the sea
Our heads to the clouds as the storms swiftly pass
Mermaids gently protect us
Sway with us

Bathed by the current that cannot break us
Our love for the sea together beautifully binds us
The waves carry our souls
Sway with us

Sanddollars anchor us dreamily
While schools of silver fish kiss our toes
We drift for so long that the fish seem to grow.
Sway with us

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I love you Derek, my missing piece! xx

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