Positively Friday

What a week it’s been. There have been wonderful things happening lately in my own small world, but it’s often hard to feel the full extent of joy with so many tragic and senseless events occurring all over our planet. I am speaking specifically of the Malaysian Airlines plane shot down yesterday over the Ukraine, the ongoing unrest in the Middle East, and a horrifying bank robbery in here Northern California earlier this week, just to name a few.

It’s easy to feel helpless and hopeless. And it may be Pollyanna of me – okay, it is Pollyanna of me – but I think the best way to cope with troubling situations you have no way of impacting or changing directly is to focus on the positives around you. I do that by being openly grateful for the little things as well as the big.

If you have been reading my blog for a few years, you may remember that I wrote Positively Friday posts weekly. These posts trained my mind to think more positively on an ongoing basis. This week found me focusing too much on the negative so I decided to write a new Positively Friday post.

Here’s my list of 10 positive things I am grateful for this week:

1. My father came up for a visit this week. He only stayed a couple of days, but I am grateful for the time we did spend together. Even though we both live in California – he lives in Southern California  – we still don’t see each other often. I always appreciate opportunities to see him.

2. I took the plunge and bought a ticket to BlogHer 2014 in San Jose. I have never been to a blog conference before and this one seems like the mother of them all! What I am more excited about than anything is seeing Kim, Tamera and Jennifer who will also be attending. And so will Malia of Style by Malia, who convinced me to go. Are you attending?

BlogHer14

3. I am proud to tell you that my article about Laurence Schlatter of Merrvale Vineyards was published on North Bay Woman Magazine’s blog earlier this week. I met Laurence back in April during the Bloggers in Napa Valley trip. She is a dynamic, beautiful, ambitious and kind woman and I am honored she agreed to an interview with me.

Laurence Schlatter

4.  Bill and I spent a magical evening at Castello di Amarosa Wednesday night, attending a musical event that was part of the Festival del Sole going on now in Napa Valley. I will be writing more about this amazing experience soon. I don’t mind saying that I think this is the best selfie Bill and I have ever taken.

Adrienne and Bill Shubin

5.  I met up with lots of girlfriends this week. I met two for coffee and had another over for dinner. And Malia invited me to spend part of the day with her and a friend relaxing poolside at Francis Ford Coppola’s fabulous winery. How could I say no to that? I sipped margaritas and enjoyed lunch in a lounge chair, all while chatting away with my companions.

Lately my inclination is to put work first but I knew I would regret not taking advantage of spending time with girlfriends this week. My friendships with women are crucial to my happiness.

Coppola

6. Shana Bull of Word + Mouth, one of the friends I met for coffee this week, brought up the subject of Padrón peppers. Right after our coffee date concluded, I headed to Glen Ellen Market and what did I find but local Padrón peppers. I took it as a sign and bought a whole bunch. I served them alongside some grilled chicken and sautéed zucchini. I simply blistered them in olive oil and sprinkled the peppers with sea salt. Delicious! I am going back today to buy more. Have you tried these tasty little things? They are also referred to as Roulette peppers because approximately one in ten are hot.

Padron Peppers

7. I have a weakness for cute shoes. I saw these the other day and didn’t think twice about ordering them. When they arrived, I took them out of the box and stood in front of my closet looking for something I could wear with them. I found exactly zero outfits to go with these shoes. I thought, “Well, I could just buy some new clothes to go with these shoes.” Wrong! That line of thinking has gotten me into trouble before and can either lead to more thoughtless purchases or another pair of shoes collecting dust in my closet. I am proud of myself for packing those suckers up and sending them back to Sole Society. But really, they are so cute!

ANNEKE Sole Society

Lesson learned: if you can’t find at least three ways to style something (shoes, a handbag, clothing), send it back.

8. We have lived in our house for over 14 years. We had the front yard redone about eight years ago and it looks beautiful. We are so pleased with the design our friend and landscape architect, Don MacNair created.

Our backyard, however, is another story.

Backyard

It’s spacious but it’s not much to look at. After all these years we decided this month to take action. We have no set idea what we want yet so we’re just removing what we don’t like. Over the course of the last two weeks, my husband has broken up and hauled away 12,650 pounds of concrete – all those slabs you see –  that bordered the kidney-shaped lawn since 1966. It’s still a mess but it’s a mess in progress and that in itself is exciting. At least we are doing something.

9. I am forever grateful to these two for their constant companionship, warm cuddles and non-stop cuteness. Daisy and Coco have no idea the important services they provide me in the way of loneliness prevention, free entertainment and comfort when I need it. Dogs are the best. They really are.

Daisy and Coco

10. I am thrilled to have had the chance to share my visit to Stella Carakasi with you earlier this week. I want every woman to know about this amazing line of clothing. I am grateful to people at Stella Carakasi for their generosity and kindness to not only me, but their customers. I work with some great companies but Stella Carakasi has taken friendly, giving and fun to work with to a new level!

Be sure to enter the giveaway of an item of your choosing up to $200 from their collection – there will be three winners!

SC15

While life is full and rich and exciting as I write this to you, I am fully aware that that can change in an instant. That’s why I am making an extra effort to appreciate and embrace the good right now and give thanks whether it’s for something as simple as a little green pepper or a momentous and life-changing event.

If you’re up for sharing, I would love for you to mention a few things – or even just one – that you’re feeling positive about this week.

Let’s spread it around!

XO,

Adrienne

Disclosure: My Stella Carakasi clothing was given to me, as were my and my husband’s passes to Festival del Sole. All opinions expressed here are my own, as always. 

10 Comments

  1. Debbie
    July 18, 2014 / 1:46 pm

    Our annual block party tomorrow where we spend time with neighbors and friends, play games, eat great food and listen to live music. One of the highlights of our summer!

  2. July 18, 2014 / 2:14 pm

    I am grateful for my husband, family, and that we will be sharing the weekend with them as we celebrate our 40th wedding anniversary.
    Like you, I cannot dwell on the horrific tragedies that occur in our world.
    If I did I would never sleep a wink at night.

    Have fun at the conference!

  3. Kathy
    July 18, 2014 / 2:41 pm

    Evidently I should have read your post before I emailed you! Very uplifting and you’re right about focusing on the positive, while still keeping in mind the tragic events that just seem to be multiplying at an amazing pace. The most positive thing about my week, is that after returning from an abstract painting using acrylic paints (both things I’ve not really done before) I’m very happy with the progress I’m making on three large abstract paintings, and I love using acrylics as the clean up is so easy, and not toxic. It’s really reinvigorated my art life. It sounds like you’ve had a really wonderful week, and I’ll be searching out that peppers!

  4. I have so many blogger friends attending…so wish I was there. Maybe some year it will be affordable…have a great time. I know with that group you will!

  5. July 18, 2014 / 5:13 pm

    What a great, uplifting post! World events are tragic, for sure. We can still celebrate our blessings. Thanks for spreading the joy.

  6. Linda Salazar
    July 18, 2014 / 9:29 pm

    Great post and reminder…yes there are a lot of horrible things happening in the world right now. I heard about the bank robbery on the news last night, just tragic. What is really on my mind these days is that my best friend is having to deal w/ the fact that her nephew is very ill with melanoma and it’s not looking good. I remember when he was born…I was 19 at the time. So very sad. We do need to be thankful for every day because life can change in an instant.

    Looks like you had a lot of positives this week…love Stella’s clothing line…they were quite generous!

    I have heard of the peppers but not tried them yet. I know my husband would love them.

    One positive is that my jury duty ended last Friday (yay!) so now I am fully available to Amanda for the next couple months until the wedding. Next week she and I are meeting up with Nick’s mom, aunt and grandmother to plan the shower since it is being held at his aunt’s home/cabin. (on my birthday!) 🙂

    Have a great weekend and looking forward to your post on Festival del Sole!

    Linda
    xo

  7. July 19, 2014 / 3:41 pm

    Adrienne, you most definitely have a ‘rich’ life in so many ways. Thank you for reminding us that positive thoughts and energy are always the best way to look at life. I enjoyed reading about all your positive thoughts but my favorite has got to be time spent with girlfriends, I have found the times I drop everything I have planned and join a friend or friends for lunch or shopping sprees or pedi, etc. are some of the best times in life. Have a wonderful time at Blogher

  8. July 19, 2014 / 5:43 pm

    Excellent and uplifting . . . so important to find some cheer, positive and smiles even in the face of tragedy and so much world strife . . . I am enjoying absolutely gorgeous, humidity free, blue sky, moderate temperature days along the western shoreline of Michigan. How fortunate I live in such beauty . . .

  9. July 19, 2014 / 9:52 pm

    Adrienne, Happy weekend! I love this post. That selfie of you and Bill is adorable, Love it too. You had such an exciting and fun week. I’m so excited for Blogher this week. It’s going to be a neat experience.
    I’m so with you about being positive and appreciating each day! Can’t wait to see you. xxoo

  10. TracyB
    July 23, 2014 / 5:42 pm

    Hi Adrienne!

    So wonderful to see that good things are happening for you! I also try to look on the bright side of things and this post is a great reminder of how to live richly. It would be difficult for me to send back those cute pink shoes though!!

    xo
    Tracy

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