Door to Door Solicitation – How is this still a thing?

Knock, knock. Who’s there?

It’s some random person trying to sell you something you don’t want.

This really bugs me. Recently my doorbell rang at dusk and I was faced with yet another door to door solicitation. I thought, how in this crazy world is this still a thing?

For all the horror stories we hear on the news, why would anyone be expected to open their door to a stranger to listen to some spiel about whatever product, religion or political platform this person is supporting? It befuddles me that this practice is still permitted. Yet, the constitution says it can be so, so apparently it’s so.

I find this ridiculous. If I want to know anything about anything I will happily Google it in the safety of my home behind locked doors.

What’s more frustrating about these folks, who present as the friendly faces of door to door solicitation, is that unless you address them they seem not to want to go away. I’ve had my doorbell ring up to five times before these relentless peddlers give up. It’s bad enough that I have to listen to it, but I know it’s unsettling for poor Oscar and I certainly don’t want my girls to ever reach a point of frustration where they would consider opening the door.

What to Do

I firmly believe that any and all door to door solicitation should be a thing of the past. That said, in order to move these folks along as quickly as possible, I’ve adopted the following technique to kindly get them off my doorstep. A no soliciting sign at my door is also a possibility, but I’m not quite there yet.

  1. I never open the door to an unfamiliar face I am not expecting.
  2. I speak through the window of my front door to send the message that I’m not open to a conversation. If they can’t hear me, too bad.
  3. As soon as I’m 100% sure they are door to door solicitors, I put my hand up and firmly state, “I’m sorry, I do not entertain any kind of door to door solicitation.” If I have to talk over them, I do.
  4. I close with a big, loud thank you and wait until they leave.

That’s it. Every time I’ve done this, they stop their sales pitch, say OK and walk away. Truthfully, I hate to be rude, but I imagine they must understand how, in today’s day and age, what they are doing just doesn’t make sense.

How do you handle unwelcome sales calls?


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Living With Intention – Maureen Magauran, M.D.

Living With intention promotional materials

I’ve had the pleasure of knowing Maureen Magauran, M.D. for several years. I first featured her home in an article I wrote on Feng Shui. Later, I called on Maureen for an article I wrote on alternative medicine. Her unique approach to treating anxiety and depression with meditation and non-medicinal therapies was compelling.

Although a board-certified physician, with the ability to prescribe medication, Maureen reserves that option for only those cases that truly require it.  Otherwise, Maureen fully supports a holistic approach. I love this and admire her integrity.

Living With Intention

Recently Maureen invited me to her free talk about Living With Intention and I was thrilled to be able to make it. I brought along a friend and together we enjoyed Maureen’s insights on how to live life fully and with purpose.

Anyone who knows me knows I love stuff like this. Just the reminder to tune into what I’m doing in life is enough to help me reset my routine in a thoughtful way. So often we are caught up in the mad rush and we lose sight of what’s important. Maureen’s talk gave me pause and got me thinking about where I’m going and what I want to do in life.

Maureen shared how the sudden loss of her youngest sister personally set her on this path to answer the question, “What am I doing here?”

My favorite exercise in the talk was when Maureen challenged each of us to write down our response to the question, “If you had two weeks to live, what would you do?” Wow, that really hit me. I’d never thought about my own mortality in such a specific, make a list, kind of way. Getting started was a little uncomfortable at first, but once I wrote one thing down, the answers kept flowing.

I’m glad to have attended Maureen’s talk. Living With Intention is something I’m excited to pay closer attention to.

To read more about the talk I attended, and other great posts, check out Maureen’s Blog Page here. And, enjoy Maureen’s FREE Stress-Less 7 Day Challenge here.

Who couldn’t benefit from a little less stress in their life?

Maureen Magauran, M.D.


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Elin Hilderbrand Winter Series – Book Club

Elin Hilderbrand Winter Series


What better time to read the Elin Hilderbrand Winter series of books than winter. In what was supposed to be a trilogy including Winter Street, Winter Stroll and Winter Storms, book club committed to read any one of the three for our last meeting. As it turned out, there was a fourth book, Winter Solstice. At least two of us in the club read all four. Unlike our last pick, The Boys in the Boat, the Elin Hilderbrand Winter series were super easy reads. Perfect distractions during the hustle and bustle of the holiday season.

Elin Hilderbrand Winter Series

Known as the “Queen of Summer,” author Elin Hilderbrand tackled this winter set of stories like a pro. The beauty of Hilderbrand’s books is that they are quick and lightweight. How else could I have gotten through four novels since book club’s last gathering?

Like all of Hilderbrand’s books, the entire Winter series is set on Nantucket where Hilderbrand and her family reside. It follows the Quinn family through a litany of family drama, romance, joy and sorrow.  I likened each book in the series to a soap opera. I found myself sucked into the storylines despite their hokey nature. Wisely, Hilderbrand ended each of the first three books with a cliff hanger that left me wanting answers and so onto the next book I would go.

Part of what I enjoyed about these books was Hilderbrand’s reference to actual places on Nantucket as well as Boston. It lent a certain authenticity to the novels, but I must admit there were times the mentions seemed like product placements. I wondered if the businesses named were sponsoring their spot on her pages. It was curious to me, but not off-putting.

Interested in a Synopsis?

Check out each book in the Elin Hilderband Winter Series at Goodreads.

The Fourth Book

At the close of the third book, Winter Storms, Hilderbrand had pretty much wrapped up all of the Quinn family drama and dysfunction with a neat little bow, so I was surprised that a fourth book followed. Interestingly, in the book jacket, Hilderbrand explained that her publisher had requested the fourth book when another book in their anticipated list had fallen through. She managed to squeak out Winter Solstice in four weeks. Wow! It’s no wonder she’s such a prolific author…#lifegoals!

But let me be clear, if you are a reader who enjoys some heft in your prose, Elin Hilderbrand may not be your kind of author. For me, however, her casual kind of storytelling and her Winter series were easy and enjoyable.

Next Up

Goodnight Nobody by Jennifer Weiner. Looking forward to that one!

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Are You a List Person? If Yes, You’ll Love This.

Wunderlist app

I’m a list person. Tony’s a list person. Up until now, we’ve maintained countless independent lists off of which we happily cross many an item.

Recently, I began regular classes at my latest fitness obsession – reformer Pilates (keep an eye out in the new year for a post on my new studio, Oxygen Mind and Body, love, love, love!) In one class a fellow student sang the praises of Wunderlist. I was intrigued and quickly hooked when she mentioned that you can link your family members to any of your lists.

By the time I made it to my car, I had downloaded Wunderlist and began creating all sorts of to-do and to-buy lists.


Wunderlist at App Store


First and foremost, I shared my grocery list with everyone in my family. Now that they have accepted my invitation and downloaded the app for themselves, they can see what I’ve added to our list and they can add whatever they’d like as well. It is such an easy way for everyone to contribute to and maintain household lists. I now have up to date requests from my family right down to the minute of checkout.

No more complaints like I wish you got this or I wish you got that. Now I just say, you should’ve added it to the list! And, I cannot tell you the sense of satisfaction I get when I check off an item from a list and I hear the little ding of accomplishment.

If you’re list person like me or considering becoming one, ditch the post-it notes and check out this app.

Happy Holidays everyone.

See you back here after the first of the year.




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Fun Holiday Games Get The Party Started…

Christmas cookie puzzle and Shut The Box


…And keep it going. As the kids have grown, holiday gatherings have naturally evolved. Conversation centers more on college, social lives and, in some (many) cases, the latest aches and pains suffered by the adults.

There are times, of course, when conversation wanes and either the holiday wraps up early with little fanfare or, as we’ve more recently enjoyed, fun holiday games are introduced and everyone from my 15-year old to my 80-year old dad finds themselves immersed in the activity.

To be fair, all of these holiday games are not holiday specific at all, but it just so happened my family managed to celebrate three Thanksgivings together this year, so the games really helped to breathe a little life into each of our parties.


Courtesy of Karla Kittler

It’s so simple, yet it was so much fun. My sister had a holiday puzzle set up on her kitchen island over Thanksgiving and before we knew it everyone was taking turns trying to get the darn thing framed. At one point, I was so into it, I set my drink smack dab in the middle of the puzzle while I furiously attempted to fit pieces together.


My sister’s Facebook post about my ill placed cocktail.


I confidently declared at least 12 times that pieces were missing and my sister had set us up for failure. The pieces always turned up.

Tony loved the idea so much, Karla mailed him the Christmas cookie puzzle in the main photo for Christmas day. We can’t wait! Thanks Kiki.

Shut The Box

Courtesy of Tony Daigle

Another big hit over Thanksgiving was Tony’s latest sensation, Shut The Box. This super simple game of dice and basic addition is hysterical. Adding under pressure and strategic game play are definitely not everyone’s strong suit.

The beauty of these holiday games is that everyone at the party can participate. It brings the kids and adults together in a fun, competitive and entertaining way. We have also played LCR (Left, Right, Center) with scratch tickets, again courtesy of Karla, and a simple Italian card game we call Petrangula (sp?), but have no idea of the proper spelling or if that’s a name our family made up. This game of “slow death” as my Nono used to call it was brought to us courtesy of my mother! Thanks Mom!

What fun holiday games do you play to keep festivities lively?

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