How to Wrap a Gift in the Car

My husband cranes his neck around the huge box balanced in my lap.
“Babe, I can’t see my mirror.”

“Hang on.” I’m intent on unrolling the gift wrap around the box without creasing it, slightly car sick from concentrating so hard.

The GPS lady reminds me that our destination is coming up in 700 feetĀ as I cut a jagged edge on the gift wrap. I cringe, but there’s no time to fix it.

“Urgh- Why’d you have to get the Diaper Genie?”

He glances over at me.
“There’s no way you’ll make it. You want me to park in the back?”

I ignore him and pull out these sticky dots I’d bought on impulse.

I dab a few in a line and before you know it I had a wrapped gift!

“Hey, it’s not bad!” He says as he tucks the gift and its lopsided bow under one arm. I catch his free hand as we walk towards the door.

“Yeah, not bad, those little sticky dots were a life saver. AndĀ there’s no damage to the box in case she needs to return it.”

“Why would she return my gift?”

“I’m just saying. Sometimes people get two of the same gift.”

But, of course, nobody else got the Genie (which he smugly pointed out on the way back to the car).

Here are my tips for wrapping a gift in the car.

  1. Start as soon as possible.
  2. Consider parking in the back and wrapping the gift on the seat like you would change a baby’s diaper in a pinch.
  3. Buy the sticky dots!
  4. Spend extra on the gift wrap with the grid pattern on the back.
  5. Buy a gift that actually fits in a gift bag and totally save yourself the trouble.
  6. Strategically place the bow over the spot you missed when you cut the paper too short.
  7. And place your gift at the back/ bottom of the gift pile for good measure.

Happy Wrapping!

In which I sample my way out of a funk aka A trip to a farmer’s market

Today I was feeling some kinda way. Like I was just one dark day away from depressed. So instead of sitting inside my dark cave of a duplex (the surest way to a downward spiral), I bundled up and headed out.

We drove to a local farmer’s market, taking the scenic route (which is a nice way of saying I was deep in my thoughts and totally missed a turn). Despite that, the little one and I had a great time checking out the local vendors and sampling all the things.

Garlic knot? Sure. Honeybell orange? Absolutely. Gluten and nut free granola? Why not. Chicken and stuffing casserole? Mhmm.

We came away with the cutest little honey bears, the most beautiful “ugly” tomatoes, a chunk of the creamiest havarti cheese ever, and of course, half a dozen cookies the size of my face.

I promptly came home to make a simple tomato salad for lunch.


Later the girls came home and had havarti and honey sandwiches followed by half a cookie each (did I mention they are the size of my face?).

And even later I’m sure my husband will come home and eat all the rest of the cookies.

A that’s how today turned around for the better.

List Love


Like everyone else, I’ve always made the usual lame commitments to lose weight, write a book, hell, shoot down the moon and keep it in my pocket, all before December’s end. And, like everyone else, it all fell out of my head like litter from a car window before January’s end. So this year, I’m doing something different.

Instead of a list of unachievable goals at the start of the year, I’m keeping a Growth Zone List.

My Growth Zone List tracks anything I do that is out of my comfort zone, and therefore in my “growth zone.”

It is exciting and motivating in a way that typical resolutions never are and I am excited to keep adding to it.

Even more exciting? Looking back on it at the end of the year to reflect on how much I’ve accomplished, instead of downing myself for all the unchecked boxes.

Check it out here.

What about you? Have you ever tried something like this?

In which I initiate a conversation with a stranger.

So I’m trying to do more things that land in what is called “the growth zone”. The growth zone is the area just outside your comfort zone that will cause personal growth.

We went on a cruise this month (!) and I thought it was the perfect opportunity to stretch into my growth zone. I did quite a few things that I don’t normally do during this trip, and one of those was talking to strangers and people I don’t know very well.

My husband is really good at striking up conversations with new people, but for me this is a skill that is often negated by my shyness. My tendency to be ultra private compounds things even further. Often when we meet people he gets the conversation going then I chime in with a punchline or a story and pretty soon all of us are laughing.

But on my own it is an awkwardly different story. Like awkward as an artform.

So back to the cruise ship. I was determined to practice talking to people on my own. Everyone in our party was clustered around the three-hand poker table and through my boredom of watching chips and cards shufflle across a felt-top table, I noticed an opportunity.

I ambled over to the bar by myself and slid into an empty seat. I turned to the lady next to me and struck up a coversation- yes, totally borrowing my husband’s lines- by asking her who she was cruising with and if she’d ever cruised before.

Yes, she had cruised before and this time she was here with her husband. I mentioned coming with my family then listened politely while she hashed on about husbands and kids.

Sensing drunk beligerence approaching, I steered the conversation back towards the trip. What excursions was she doing at port?

I was both really excited yet on the fence about checking out the Mayan temples of Tulum. It could be the experience of a lifetime or I could condem my family to excruciating boredom while everyone else in our group lived it up at the beach. Maybe she knew something about them.

Instead she’s like,
“The Mayan temples, huh? When my husband and I get off in Mexico, we’re gonna find us some prescription pills. That’s our excursion.”

I’m not sure how my husband would’ve handled that, but I just nodded politely and asked her what she was drinking. Then I ordered one from the bartender and soon excused myself back to the safety of three-hand poker.

Everyone asked me where I’d been and I told them. They all laughed at the absurdity of my conversation at the bar.

But later, at the Mexican port, there was totally a place called Deli and Drugs. As we passed it on our way to the t-shirt shop, I wondered if my barmate was holed up in there with her hubby, filling up on Reubens while they filled her bottles with pills.

Does the idea of talking to strangers terrify you or enthrall you? If it is your thing, what kind of tips and suggestions do you have for an introvert like me? Although it made me feel awkward, unsure and uncomfortable, I will say one thing: it made a hell of a good story.

A Poem A Day

Write a poem a day
To light up my mind
With puns and wordplay
With the pleasure of rhyme
Put a smile on my face
With each new line

Like a puzzle of logic
See how pieces fit
Move them around
Til I like the sound of it

Til it ebbs and flows
Off the tongue
it rolls

Til it touches my soul
Hits a chord
Takes its toll

Til it improves my mood
And brings a new attitude

One Year Blogiversary! The Poem


Blow out the candles
Make a wish
Cheer and smile
At what’s been accomplished!

It’s been a year
Since my first post
I’ve learned so much
Let’s give a toast!

From funny stories
To heartfelt poems
From frustrated writer
To working from home

So much I’ve learned
So much I’ve grown
The new friends I’ve made
Help me not feel alone

Thanks for sharing
This journey with me
Thanks for caring
And coming to see

You’ve made this awesome
You’ve made this great
Now let’s turn one year
Into eight!

Happy Blogiversary, everyone!

Unexpected Curveballs

Unexpected curveballs
That life throws
What’s up always falls
Thats just how it goes

Sad so sad
When things go so badly
Turmoil, turmoil
Twists up inside me

Saddened, sickened
Embittered and stricken

Crawl into bed
Hide from the world
Or get it out of my head
With the rhyme of a word

Think fast
Think past
The pain of the moment
Come up with a plan
Then follow through, own it

Fall Like Leaves

The days steadily progress
career wise for the best
but not so much for the rest

Feeling a weight on my chest
Feeling a pull towards a quest
Beginning to realize
To see with open eyes
That this is still a mess

I did what I had to
To get us all through

But now summer is over
Fall is setting on this life

Built up my walls
But now like leaves they all fall
Pushing me towards the call
Dont feel exposed at all

Instead Im free
And now I see
Its not regret
Its opportunity
To finally be me

Mom’s Top 5 Wist List

As much as we love our kids and want them to stay little forever, there are certain things I miss in this phase of my life. Every parent has their list of things that they wist for. Here is mine.

This Mom’s Wist List

1.Wine instead of whine with my dinner.
2. Dinner that is spicy, herby or flavored with something more sophisticated than cheese.
3. Pants without a stretchy waistline.
4. A body without a stretchy waistline.
5. Staying out and sleeping in.

What’s on your wist list?

Nightstanders #2

Hey! I’m back with more books from my nightstand. Here’s a bit of what I’ve been reading lately.


I just finished reading The Great Zoo of China, an action-packed best- seller whose title caught my eye at the store. It’s been a long time since a book hooks me just with a title, I usually have to dig around and read all kinds of blurbs before I make my decision, so I knew I’d enjoy it.
I thought the prologue was fantastic and really sucked you in with a story question and a bit about the main character. That was a smooth move because the set up ran a little long, and if I hadn’t been so intrigued by the first chapter it might have been challenging to get through it.
Then the action started and it was like a female Bruce Willis kicking Jurassic Park ass. I loved the main character’s name (CJ ;)) but I did find myself wishing to know a little more about her so I could care more. I still finished it and it was a good, solid action book.

The other book on my nightstand, Inkdeath, is the last book in the Inkheart series. You may remember how I found the first two at a used book store back in February, but hadn’t had a chance to grab ahold of the last one. Well, the other day I was at Books A Million trying to talk myself into buying a $45 cookbook when I spied Inkdeath while browsing through the Bargain Books section. I was so excited both for me and my wallet. I haven’t started it yet, but I’m looking forward to it.

The other book I have on my night stand is one of those new adult coloring books that is all the rage right now.


It is a bit of a pricey hobby compared to my kids’ $2 coloring books, but the art is interesting and very relaxing. Here are a couple of the pages I’ve been working on.



What is on your nightstand lately? Have you tried this new art therapy trend that I like to call complicated coloring?