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?
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.
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.
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.
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.
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!
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.
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.
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!
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!
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.