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

UpdateUpdateWunderlist app



Wunderlist is no longer available.

I have switched to Microsoft ToDo. Here is a link to some List App alternatives. Enjoy!

Live, Love, List 😀 !


I’m a list person. Tony is too. 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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Going Through The Motions – Is It Just Me?

the precious present book

I don’t know what it is about this holiday season, but I’m just not into it. I’m not unhappy necessarily, just not particularly over-joyed. I feel like everything I’ve been doing since Thanksgiving is just another box checked off my list.

This week, especially, feels off. I don’t know if it’s the super moon, media fatigue from the onslaught of idiotic behavior from the celebrity and political set or maybe it’s just the typical overwhelming feeling that comes with the holiday rush.

Whatever it is, I desperately want to have more festive focus throughout this wonderful time of year. I mean, what’s the point of decking the halls, dressing festively and attending fun holidays events if I’m not going to revel in it. Everything I’m doing, I want to be doing – I just need to check back in to the joy of it.

The Precious Present

Thankfully, as I dug through my Christmas decorations, I pulled out my holiday book collection. The first one I grabbed was The Precious Present by Spencer Johnson – one of my favorites.

My sister, Karla, included The Precious Present in her guest blog, Holiday Books – Good For the Soul, posted last year.

It is just the perfect short read (less than ten minutes) to help reengage in what’s important during the holiday season and life in general for that matter. Spoiler Alert! The precious present is not a physical present.

Having re-read The Precious Present I am reminded that merely going through the motions of life is as good as sitting on my couch and watching it through a television screen. Boring!

Hopefully this little kick in the pants will be just what I need to keep my holiday season feeling merry and bright.

How have you been feeling this holiday season? What helps you get in the spirit when something seems to be missing?


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Paint Your Pet at Painting with a Twist

Paint Your Pet Oscar

I’m a pretty artsy type – my favorite subject in school was art. My creative side exists just under the surface and most recently manifests itself through my writing. But I’ve always loved drawing, painting, pottery and crafts too.

So, it’s strange to me that I had never attended a painting party where inactive creatives, like me, can get a dose of artistic expression in a fun, unintimidating setting.

This was the case until November 8th when I gathered a group of fellow pet lovers and took over North Andover’s premier painting studio, Painting with a Twist. I first discovered Painting with a Twist at an art event held in their fabulous studio space at 10 High Street. I love their location tucked into the growing High Street Mill area. The rustic brick and exposed venting along with the colorful studio décor create such a cool vibe.

At the art event I had the pleasure of meeting studio owner, Dee Dellovo. Dee is a sweetheart and in no time we agreed that a collaboration was in order. Paint Your Paint was a no-brainer. I was so thrilled with my first experience, I can’t wait to go back for one of their regularly scheduled events. There are a variety of scenes to paint – a family night would be great. I’d love to see the varied interpretations we’d each come up with from our blank canvases.

Paint Your Pet

As for our pets, as artsy as I think I am, I could never produce a version of Oscar to do him justice. So, for Paint Your Pet, you submit a photo of your furry friend and the team of artists at Painting with a Twist sketch your pet in advance.


Paint Your Pet Sketches


This head start does not, in any way, take away from the hard work required to successfully paint your pet. As we novice painters put brush to canvas we quickly realized the effort and attention to detail required. Thankfully, we had the help of Dee, DJ and Sam who guided us in transforming our portraits into passion projects to be proud of.


Thanks for joining me gals!


To add to the enjoyment, we brought in beverages and munchies to nosh on while breaking to admire each other’s masterpieces. Good Day Café’s Sweet Bite tray and Roasted Veggie Tuscan bread (so good) were perfect.


The Roasted Veggies Tuscan Bread and Sweet Bite Tray from Good Day Cafe

appetizers and desserts

Oscar on Canvas

My portrait of Oscar is hanging in my home office and I can honestly say that I’m thrilled with it. I look at my creation and smile every time. Not just because of the handsome subject, but because I feel pretty darn good about how it turned out.


The holidays are a great time to gather friends and family for something different and fun.

Check out Painting with A Twist’s upcoming themes (December has some great Christmas ideas). Or call or email to coordinate your own birthday or paint and sip party!




Paint Your Pet Painters


Thank you to Painting with a Twist for a great night and my fellow pet painters who joined me!


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