playing favorites

I was having a late-shower day. Generally speaking, those are not pleasant. Let’s just say if I am cooking dinner and have not yet gotten my shower in, no one wants to be one of my children.

Fortunately for everyone, the clock said 4 and not 5:30 so we were still good. But after the hot water reset me, I seriously wanted to put my pajamas on and call it a day.

Even though the temptation was strong, I withstood. I had a girlie party to go to. Seeing as how I live with a lot of testosterone, I try not to miss ladies nights if I can at all help it.

This was a “favorite things” party. Curious. Bring five of your favorite things costing $5 or under and go home with five of other people’s favorite things. I love it.

Let’s just say it was worth every bit of the inertia required to get there.

I came home with:

  • pumpkin bread mix from Trader Joe’s (already one of my favs – score!)
  • soap from Anthropology (nothing bad comes from that store)
  • insta-dry nail polish that is help-your-4-year-old-put-his-shoes-on dry in like 30 seconds flat (found at Target the wonderstore)
  • thank you notes (always handy)
  • special spices promising the world’s best guacamole (yet to try – I will keep you posted)

So fantastic right? I am totally stealing this idea. Someday.

There was much chocolate given at this party (I mentioned it was a ladies night right?). And almost all of it was the new trend – chocolate covered caramel topped with sea salted.

Call me silly, but everyone has read my potato chips and chocolate post right? I have no need for caramel.

I shared. Lucky boys.

I shared. Lucky boys.

But my friend Katie (who is known by me as always finding the “best” things – ask me later about Philosophy lip gloss) brought Godiva dark chocolate with sea salt. I was not one of the lucky recipients of such perfect sounding bliss, so today I went out and bought some.

Really I was intending to purchase Christmas gifts. But of course I had to get one bar for myself to make sure it tastes as good as it sounds.

Ummmm, yes.

Tastes just like it sounds.

 This shall be added to the arsenal of tools in my box of coping skills. Along with this month’s other discovery: cocoa drizzled kettle corn from Trader Joe’s. A buck ninety-nine for a bag of addictive joy is a good deal in my book.

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P.S. Since I know you are dying to know, the favorite thing I brought to the party was a new décor item in my home. Refashioned jam jars filled with split peas (green for Christmas and $0.89/lb at our local whole foods market) topped with a tea light (cheapest best ones found at IKEA). I love refashioned items because they are creative AND good for the environment. And this season makes me want to see candles everywhere I turn. Fabulous.

So what’s your latest favorite thing?

help

I had no idea the help I was about to uncover. I sat down with my husband’s homemade curry (I know right? I am so lucky – thanks Babe!) and my son’s iPod was sitting right there on the couch.

So I turned it on in an attempt to turn myself off. At least a little. Maybe just set myself on autopilot to detox from the post Thanksgiving shopping I braved earlier in the day.

I checked email.

None of my children were bothering me. No one was asking me questions. Sometimes I love technology. I know it is not always the best thing for my boys’ brains. I may simultaneously feel like a bad mom. I may pay the price later with overly-squirrelly boy energy.

But in the moment I feel a profound amount of relief and gratitude.

And because my children were all plugged in for the moment leaving me alone, I had time to chase some rabbit holes on email that mostly I avoid in an effort not to have hours of my time slip away into nothingness in the blink of an eye.

I read an interview that one of my friends did with another friend on their blogs. Leeana (www.gypsyink.com) is a talented author and Tina (www.winsomewren.blogspot.com) is a lifelong artist.

What I found was inspiration. Just enough to help me actually upload my last post. And then sit down to write some more. Sometimes help comes at just the right time, in just the right way.

What I was reminded of is how contagious creativity is. And while part of the reason my posting here has slowed is that life sped up; there is another element at play.

With the speeding up of life, I have found it harder to read my favorite blogs. I feel like I am just barely making enough time to write on my own blog.

And that is no good. Because creativity breeds creativity. If I want to be creative, write creatively, I have to make space to enjoy the creativity of others.

I was so encouraged by Tina’s “about” side bar. She is an advocate for creativity, and I love it. I need reminders of the importance of taking care of myself. Of nurturing the artist within. Of making space in my schedule and my heart for being creative.

I need reminders that it’s okay. That I am better for who I love when I have time doing what I love. And then I need to remind myself not to beat myself up for not having it all figured out.

Because life is often a dance. And when things like this happen – so serendipitous and perfectly timed – I am reminded to trust the dance of life even if I need help remembering the steps.