Quality conversation happens over cocktails - life, family, home, health, fitness, shopping, food and more.

My Two High School Girls and…All Sorts of Emotions

Look out North Andover High School. You now have both of my high school girls coming your way!
North Andover High School and two high school girls

I am now the mom of two high school girls. My youngest graduates 8th grade today and next year my oldest will drive the two of them to and from school with her newly acquired driver’s license.

I feel…

  • Old
  • Proud
  • Excited
  • Nervous
  • Happy
  • Sad
  • Relieved
  • Ready
  • Free
  • Apprehensive
  • Giddy
  • Thankful

The list goes on and as I enter this next fun phase of life, I’m sure many more emotions will pop up that I didn’t even realize I could feel. Two high school girls are sure to be a handful. One that I am ready for – no matter what drama comes our way. But if you have any words of wisdom, I welcome the advice.

Young Living Essential Oils – Information Events

Young Living Essential oils

I’ve always wondered about the benefits of essential oils and now I have the chance to learn more about them from my friends at Daring Spirits.

Elizabeth Guilbeault and Barbara Holbrook are hosting a few casual summer get-togethers featuring Young Living Essential Oils. Here are the dates and some details…

June 26th: Essential Oil Basics

Learn clever ways to use essential oils especially in summer…

  • Peppermint is an excellent oil to add to cooling spray/wipes and it’s a go-to for staying alert on long summer road trips.
  • Lavender is a favorite for post-sun skin care and creating a homey environment while on vacation.

July 24th: House and Home

Summer is a great time to streamline the house-cleaning routine with a single plant-based cleaner that works in almost any situation. Young Living’s Thieves line offers a variety of options including these favorites…

  • Thieves Waterless Hand Purifier – great for picnics and snacks on the go.
  • Thieves Fruit and Veggie Wash – takes farmer’s market goodness to a new level.

August 14th: Healthy and Fit/Personal Care

Young Living is about more than essential oils. Explore wellness solutions — while enjoying essential oil-infused water and sangria! Join Elizabeth and Barbara for an evening inspire you to make some simple changes with powerful effects.


To RSVP and get the address of the Get-Togethers, email info@daringspirits.com. Barbara or Elizabeth will get back to you ASAP. Also check out the Essential Oils Resource Page at www.daringspirits.com and the Amplified by Essential Oils page on Facebook.

Young Living Essential Oils decal


Golf Widow – A Throwback Thursday Re-Post

#TBT – Originally published on June 11, 2016

Almost a year after I first posted this, the obsession has only taken greater hold. Tony is back at it in full force, so I thought this might make a timely repost for those in the midst of their golf obsession (like him) or those sitting on the sidelines (like me). I just don’t get how anyone can want to golf that much!

Golfer at sunset


This past weekend, more than any other, I realized that my husband is obsessed with golf. His commitment had reached an all-time high, golfing every day from Thursday on, and some days he golfed multiple times. When Tony first started his tax business; I would call myself a tax widow from about January to April when he’d disappear into an abyss of tax returns. But now his business is well established and in turn he is obsessed with golf from about May to September.

Tony hasn’t always been a big golfer; only in recent years has the bug hit him hard. I don’t mind really. The truth is; summer is a slower time in the world of taxes which translates to him working more from home. This is okay, but after a while I start to feel – how can I say this nicely – irritated. Hmm, that wasn’t the nice word I was looking for, but regardless – I like to have the house to myself. Fortunately for me, golf has become Tony’s new “office” which gives us just the separation we need to keep a happy marriage going.

While Tony’s romance with golf suits me just fine, I can’t help but wonder what the attraction is. This pastime, beloved by so many, strikes me as frustrating and inconsistent at best. There are days Tony will be on cloud nine talking about the great game he had. The next day he’s glum and befuddled by his subpar performance. It seems no matter the time and dedication practicing form, swing and strategy; there is just no way to predict a good day from bad. This would drive me insane. In fact, it has driven me insane. Just last year, I wrote about my attempt to finally give golf a try. I did it and, not surprisingly, I didn’t like it.

I was doing what the instructor told me, but the ball wouldn’t go where I wanted it to. It was incredibly annoying and week after week, I saw no real progress. I thought; why in the world would I put so much time and energy into something I’m clearly not good at? I just didn’t get it and came to the conclusion that with golf; you either have it or you don’t. I most definitely don’t!

But as I continue to watch Tony and many friends enjoy this sport, sometimes in sweltering heat or pouring rain, I ask myself – what am I missing? How are they so obsessed with golf when I can’t even endure the agony of mini-golf?

As Tony prepares today for yet another busy day at “the office,” he tells me that it’s the challenge, both mental and physical, that keeps him going back round after round.

Ahhh yes –  the chase!

Are you a golfer? What do you love about the sport?

Tray Chic – Cute and Customizable Serving Trays for Any Occasion

Tray Chic Martini tray

A few weeks ago, at the Shop ’Til You Drop event, I took some time to shop around a bit and stumbled upon a booth that immediately caught my eye.

The table was full of fun and unique decorative trays displayed in a variety of styles, colors and customizable designs.

My gaze immediately fell upon the martini tray shown above. “I have to have that,” I declared to my sister, Karla, and friend, Amy, who were shopping with me. They too loved the collection of servers and made some smart selections of their own. The beauty of the trays is that there’s one for anyone…lake lovers, sports fans, shell collectors, nautical enthusiasts, etc. – you name it, there’s a tray for you. Oddly, Karla, Amy and I all ended up with cocktail themed trays…interesting, no?

Tray Chic Lake house trayTray Chic Boston Celtics tray

Tray Chic

Sally Finnimore started Tray Chic in November of 2015. She was inspired by a project she’d seen on Pinterest. Her own tray was such a success that friends began requesting trays for themselves. The more Sally accommodated, the more requests came in and Tray Chic was born. I love Sally’s clever business name almost as much as I love her trays.

The trays are perfect as hostess gifts or housewarming gifts. They would also make great client gifts for realtors. Of course, the best gifts are the ones we give ourselves (like I did) and these trays are a nice way to add a little whimsy and character to any room in your home.


The trays come in several sizes – 5 x 7 (nice for jewelry), 8 x 10 (dresser) and 11 x 14 (standard) or custom and the handles and frame color can be custom chosen too. The decorative top is a piece of fabric secured under glass that can be swapped out with other pattern inserts of your choice.  I purchased a festive holiday alternative for my martini tray.

alternate fabric insert for Tray Chic tray

Where to Buy

Sally’s trays are on display at the Eighteen Friend Street gift shop in Amesbury, MA and the Deux Amis Boutique in Georgetown, MA. Also, look for her at the North Andover Farmer’s Market on Sunday, June 25st.

If you’d like to reach her for a custom order, do so through her Facebook page.


Birkenstocks are back and I’m Glad

Ally’s Birks on the left and mine on the right – complete with splattered paint and the old toe ring that I reserved for wear with these sandals alone – I can’t believe I found the ring!

When my 14-year-old daughter walked downstairs one morning sporting a fancy new pair of Birkenstock sandals, I couldn’t help but raise an eyebrow. First of all, I had no idea she had purchased these and I certainly never pegged her as an earthy-crunchy type.

My apparent shock at her uncharacteristic footwear forced the question, “Mom, what are you looking at – do you hate them?”

My answer, “No! In fact, I love them!”

Birkenstocks, Baby!

At this point, I ran out to the garage where I was pretty sure I’d tossed my old Birks several summers ago after a random painting project. I was so excited to share in Ally’s new found love of Birkenstock footwear, I nearly tripped running out the door.

Upon my enthusiastic return, Julia took one horrified look at Ally’s and my feet and said, “What are you two doing? Those are awful.”

And so, the Birkenstock camp discussion ensued. I explained that you either love Birkenstocks or you hate them. Julia made it clear she was in the hate camp. I took a quick trip down memory lane recalling when I first slipped into my own hippie sandals. This was in the early nineties, fresh out of college, post-1980s neon and the grunge movement at it’s peak. Then, my sister’s reaction to my new, crunchy look was the same as Julia’s…not a fan.

Then, and even now, I liked the transformation I felt when in one moment I’d be happily dolled up in fancy heels and the next minute I was running around in my Birkenstocks and tattered cutoff shorts. It was like having a free-spirited alter-ego.

I, personally, am happy Birkenstocks are back. The other day I wore my 25 year-old pair out in public feeling on trend, nostalgic and comfortably undone.

What Camp Are You In?

Are you glad or mad that Birkenstocks are back? Before you scoff, take a look at all of the new styles, colors and patterns at Birkenstock.com. They have a shiny snake collection and I think the white ones are great.