Thursday, September 30, 2010

Flaxseed & A Smoothie Recipe

Worried about your heart health or lowering your cholesterol? Flaxseed can help! What's found inside each flaxseed or flaxseed meal could be better health.

F is for Fiber. Just two tablespoons of flaxseed meal delivers 4 grams of fiber, as much fiber as 1-1/2 cups of cooked oatmeal! Studies suggest that when flaxseed meal is added to the diet, harmful LDL cholesterol drops, while good HDL cholesterol stays put.

L is for Lignans. Here's where the flaxseed story gets major points. Flaxseed contains high levels of nautral antioxidants called lignans. The lignans in flaxseed can bind with circulating substances that might promote unchecked cell growth. Many plant foods have some lingnans, but flaxseed has 75 times more than any other. To get the lignans that are in just two tablespoons of flaxseed meal, you'd need to eat about 30 cups of fresh broccoli. Lignan in flax seed shows a lot of promise in fighting disease--including a possible role in cancer prevention especially breast cancer.

A is for Alpha-linolenic Acid. Modern diets-even healthy ones- are routinely deficient in omega-3s. Flaxseed is a mega-source for the plant version of omega-3 called alpha-linolenic acid. The oil in flaxseed is about 50% alpha-linolenic acid. Canola and walnut oils, the next highest sources, have about 10%. But most foods have far less. One serving of flaxseed meal contains 2400 milligrams of omega-3.

X is for Excellent choice. Should you consider adding flaxseed meal to your diet? "Absolutely," say many doctors and nutritionists.

How to use flaxseed meal:
  • Sprinkle on hot or cold cereal.
  • Blend into juice or smoothies
  • Sprinkle on salads.
  • Add to meatballs or meatloaf.
  • Sprinkle on yogurt.
  • Mix into casseroles.

Flaxseed meal has a light nutty flavor.

Just recently I’ve started eating yogurt again, Greek yogurt to be exact and I thought what a better way to add protein to my diet then making incorporating it in to a smoothie some mornings for breakfast and it's also an easy way to add flaxseed in to my diet.

Smoothie Recipe


½ cup of Greek Yogurt (I used raspberry flavored yogurt)

1 banana

2 tablespoons flaxseed meal

Several ice cubes

Splash of Water or Milk


Cut banana in to multiple pieces and place in blender. Scoop yogurt and flaxseed and place in blender on top of banana.

Add several ice cubs and a splash of water or skim milk. Blend for 30 seconds.

If smoothie is too thick add more water or milk.


Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Dark Circles

Do you suffer from dark circles? I went to an all girl’s private high school where we wore uniforms and could have cared less about make up, except on the weekends of course. We had to worry more about wearing the right kind of white socks and making sure the writing on the t-shirts we wore under our uniform polo shirts didn’t show through to avoid getting demerits. There was neither time nor need for make up in an all girl’s school and I didn’t mind one bit.

What I did mind though was my Mom constantly asking me if I felt okay. Every time she would ask this question I would always ask her what makes her think I don’t feel well. And I got the same response every time, well you just don’t have good color in your face and your dark circles are really dark. THANKS, MOM! The dark circles under my eyes are more or less the color of a bruise, dark and somewhat purple. Not only do I suffer from dark circles, but my eye lids are also a little bit darker then the rest of my complexion.

Ever since College, I pretty much don’t leave the house without make up on. And by make up I don’t mean a full face of make up. What I mean is at least a little bit of cover up to take care of my dark circles and any blemishes. Of course, if I am going to the gym or outside to exercise I gladly leave the make up behind.

You might remember reading one of my very first posts on my New Year’s Resolution, which I happen to think, is a fabulous resolution—treating myself to a facial each month in my quest to put an end to my adult acne. It was during one of my monthly facials in February or March the esthetician gave me a sample of SkinCeuticals A.G.E Eye Complex.

She told me it was a great moisturizer for around my eyes and it would help with my dark circles. I hadn’t even mentioned anything to her about my dark circles, she obviously noticed herself, how couldn’t she?! I was beyond excited to give it a try, who doesn’t love trying trying something new. The product information says it can take anywhere from four to six weeks before you will notice an improvement. I kid you not, I noticed a difference in 3-5 days. My dark circles were fading!!!

This product is not cheap, but it is worth every single penny, not to mention I’ve had the same jar for a little over 6 months now and I still have some ways to go.

My Mom and two of my aunts and one of my cousins came to visit in March and everyone noticed how smooth my under eyes are, the fine lines that tend to grab your concealer had disappeared, and of course my dark circles were drastically minimized. Since I already purchased a jar of my own, I gave my Mom the rest of my sample to take home. She was hooked too after noticing such a significant improvement in her dark circles and fine lines!

Say Good Bye to Dark Circles!!!

Friday, September 24, 2010

Corn Dip

Even though the Gamecocks are away playing Auburn this weekend. I thought I would share one of my favorite tailgating recipes. I first had this dip at Thomas' parents house and I fell in love, it is so delicious! I like to make this recipe when we are watching the game at home or at a friend's house because I think this dip tastes best right out of the oven.

Corn Dip


1 block of cream cheese
1 stick of butter
1 can of corn (drained)
1 can of Rotel


Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Melt butter and cream cheese separately in microwave for 1 minute each.
Combine all ingredients together in mixing bowl and stir well.
Place in an oven safe baking dish.
Bake for 30 minutes.
Serve hot with Fredos my favorite or tortilla chips!


Have a great weekend and GO COCKS!!!

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Fettuccine Alfredo

I went to dinner last week at my one of my girlfriend's, Steph's house for dinner. Steph and I met during freshmen orientation at USC and have been friends ever since. Funny part is we met in South Carolina when we both are from the same area in Baltimore!

After graduation Steph moved to Charleston, but about a year and a half ago she moved back to Columbia and we have dinner together about once a month and alternate between each other's houses. Steph always makes the most fantastic dinners and I always admire her cooking skills because nine times out of ten she doesn't follow a recipe which I admire and consider pretty daring and is the complete opposite from me!

So last week she made the most delicious fettuccine alfredo I have ever had and I'm not lying! I like fettuccine alfredo but it is not something I order at a restaurant or make at home because I know how unhealthy it is and to be honest I think most of the time it doesn't have a whole lot of flavor. Well Steph's recipe proved me wrong! I enjoyed every last bite of this meal and absolutely loved the fact that she mixed spinach, one of my favorites, in the sauce.

I am so happy Steph shared her recipe with me! I can't wait to make this recipe for Thomas, he really likes alfredo sauce even the gross kind out of the jar, yuck! So I know he will fall in love with this recipe and I hope you will too.

Here's the recipe from the chef herself:

Fettuccine Alfredo


1 box fettuccine noodles
1 can chicken broth
1 block style package low fat cream cheese, softened
4 tablespoon of flour
Parmesan cheese
Small dash of nutmeg
Couple dashes of Italian seasoning
Garlic powder


1. Cook pasta as directed on package
2. Beat broth and flour together with a whisk on medium heat on the stove until blended.
3. Add cream cheese, one spoonful at a time, beating in between.
4. Add spices and cook 2 minutes or until mixture thickens, stirring constantly.
5. Drain pasta and toss with sauce. Sprinkle with Parmesan cheese and parsley.


Add chicken, broccoli, shrimp, spinach, mushrooms…anything you can think of!


Thanks Steph for sharing your delicious recipe!

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Game 2: USC v. UGA

As I am sure you are all aware football season is well under way now! Two weekends ago the USC Gamecocks played the Georgia Bulldogs in Columbia . This is always a huge game for both schools and unfortunately for the Gamecocks it doesn’t always turn out the way we’d like it, but this year we came away with a WIN!

It has been tradition since junior year of college for all of us girls to go in on two tailgating spots for the football season. As you can imagine each year since we graduated the number of girls has dwindled down since many have moved away, but somehow we have managed to keep a steady group of people guys are now included to continue to renew our two tailgating spots year after year. Many who have moved away seem to return for a couple of the games throughout the season and the Georgia game is always one of those games!

Last weekend was a blast. I miss having all my girlfriends in the same city, not to mention 8 of us living together in one house with 6 others living in the house right next door. Does any one else feel the same? I would do anything to go back to college. I had the time of my life with those girls and I am thankful each of every day for my college experience and to have truly met my best friends.

Lots of friends!

Weekends when there is a football game and everyone comes back in to town makes it feel like we are back in college. The days leading up to the game we spend hours e-mailing back and forth deciding on food to make, what time to meet, who’s driving, who’s bring this and who’s bringing that and the entire weekend is a fun time no matter the out of the game. This year it happened to be a WIN and we couldn’t be more excited, can you tell?

No football tailgate is any good without an abundance of food to last the entire day and of course a variety of drinks. This past weekend the game was at 12 noon which made for a very early morning and an early evening. Since we all planned on tailgating from breakfast time on we decided some of would make breakfast foods while others made lunch/snack foods for the afternoon.

I always like bringing something salty and something sweet. For this game I made 150 chicken nuggets, which I think are a tailgating staple and chocolate peanut butter brownies. I will tell you the brownies didn’t make it because someone left them in the truck of his car, I won’t mention any names but I am sure you can guess by the pronoun used in this sentence who’s to blame! I think he did it on purpose so he could take all of them home for himself. Oh well, its okay I cheated this time anyways and made brownies out of box, oh wait that’s what I always do, but I usually add a Symphony candy bars to mix. Follow this recipe for Symphony Brownies, it is my favorite and always seems to be a big hit with the entire crowd. Well I guess in all reality the group doesn’t have anything to compare the Symphony Brownies to since the brownies I made last weekend never made it, did I mention that?

Besides forgetting the brownies not like anyone noticed, the day was a total blast even though we thought we might all pass out from the heat!

Cooling off in the air conditioned truck!

I'll be missing the next few home Carolina football games, but just because I can't be there doesn't mean I won't be cheering them on! Let's go Gamecocks!!!

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Blog Award!

Kelley at The Eclectic Owl put a huge smile on my face when she gave me this blog award last week! I absolutely adore her blog. She is very creative, lots of fun, and a beautiful person inside and out! If you haven't checked out her blog, be sure to pay her a visit!

7 things about ME!

1.) I am an only child, though my Mom is one of 8 and my Dad is one of 5, which means I have a total of 28 first cousins!

2.) My Mom is my bestest girl friend in the whole world, we have so much fun together! And can literally shop til we drop!

3.) My dream job is to put my major, Retailing with an emphasis in Fashion Merchandising, to use one day working for a designer or magazine.

4.) I'm not a big TV watcher but when I do I love HGTV, the Food Network and I start my mornings watching the Today Show.

5.) I lived in a house with 7 of my best friends for my Junior & Senior year of college and miss those two years of living together every day.

6.) I could live off pretzels and Haribo gummy bears.

7.) I have a passion for traveling and am so thankful for my semester abroad in Florence, Italy and the opportunity to travel throughout Europe. Thomas and I traveled throughout Spain for 10 days this past May and had a blast, we can't wait to plan our next trip!

I'm passing this award on to:

Trish at Pink Preppy Lilly Lover

Erin at Erin & Wesley

A Note on the Screen Door

Monday, September 20, 2010


Goodness, can you believe it is almost the end of the September? I sure can't! Let me catch you up on what I've been up too...

I spent Labor Day weekend in Austin , TX visiting my good friend from college, Ellie!

Remember this post when I mentioned I was planning on visiting her sometime soon? Well, shortly after that visit, I booked my plane ticket! I thought what better weekend then a 3 day weekend which I turned in to a 4 day weekend by taking Friday off of work to go visit Ellie and see Austin . I was lucky enough to find a reasonably priced airline ticket to fly to Austin out of Columbia . For those of you who aren’t very familiar with Columbia , it is the Capital of SC however, we have struggled attracting airlines to Columbia . Which means it’s usually very costly and takes lots of stops to get to your final destination. Well thankfully that was not the case when flying to Austin because the drive to Charlotte is very boring.

Back to my wonderful trip! I arrived in Austin Friday afternoon, Ellie picked me up at the airport after work and we headed to meet some of her friends for happy hour at Dogwood. The bar had a great a great atmosphere and it was nice to meet her friends. We had dinner reservations down the street at a Mexican restaurant, Z'Tejas. We got to eat outside and enjoy the hustle and bustle of the restaurant while sipping on some strong margaritas and delicious corn bread and of course our main entrée. I was starving, what else is new, so I devoured my entire dinner and it was tasty! After dinner we enjoyed one more very strong cocktail before heading home. You can say it, we’re lame, but really Ellie had just started a new job earlier that week and we were exhausted. By midnight we were sound asleep!

Saturday morning we slept in just for a little bit and then woke up and headed right out to start our day. Our first stop was to an amazing coffee shop not far from Ellie’s house called Caffe Medici. I told Ellie to order me whatever she was having (as I did with many of the places she took me in Austin) and can I tell you this iced coffee was amazing. In all seriousness it was probably the best I’ve ever had.

We passed a farmer’s market on our way to brunch so of course we had to stop. Experiencing the farmer’s market made me miss living in Florence , Italy . Ellie and I studied abroad in Florence for a semester in college and loved every second of it. I would do anything to go back, I know Ellie would too! After touring the market, we were starving, so we headed right for Taverna for $1 Mimosas. Don’t judge, I’m on vacation. I ordered Belgium waffles with fresh fruit, they hit the spot and the raspberries, blueberries, were so fresh and sweet, they just melted in my mouth.

After brunch we went to Whole Foods, did you know that Whole Foods corporate office is in Austin, TX . Let me just tell you this is unlike any Whole Foods I’ve ever been to and of course made me wish even more then I already do that they would open one in Columbia. The whole purpose of stopping by Whole Foods was not to look around even though we did, but to pick up some stuff to take to a friends house who was having a get together to celebrate recently being single and to watch the UT football game of course. Although it was a little overwhelming being in a house full of people you don’t know, I had so much fun talking to friends of Ellie’s and experiencing life in Austin.

We left before the game was over and before the party really got started because we had plans with Ellie’s roommate, Meg to celebrate her birthday. Meg spent her birthday sky diving with her friend Holly; they both survived of course and had an incredible experience which they say they would do again! We went to Perla’s for dinner, absolutely delicious. Ellie and I shared the Ahi Tuna which was unbelievably good. The atmosphere at Perla’s was very distinguished. After dinner we went to a bar down the street and sat at a table outside. We all enjoyed one another’s company while celebrating the last hours of Meg’s birthday.

Sunday morning we woke up earlier and went for a walk around the lake. It was so neat to see everyone out exercising with their dogs. That is one thing I noticed about Austin , it seems to be a very dog friendly city, which I of course thought was neat! After our morning workout, Ellie took me to Torchy’s Tacos an eatery in a trailer park (not a real trailer park, a trailer park full of eateries). Torchy’s is known for their tacos and of course did not disappoint. As I was eating all this amazing Mexican food all I could think about was Thomas and how he would be in heaven. To say Thomas loves Mexican food is an understatement!

After lunch we went to went in and out of the shops along South Congress Street or SoCo as the locals call it. Darling shops with so many neat things, we found Ellie two purses and two pairs of shoes and I didn’t spend a dime!

How crazy are their street lights? I've never seen any thing like them before!

How cool is this cupcake shop?

On our way home I asked Ellie if we could go to Anthropologie, one of my favorite stores, but unfortunately they don’t have a store in Columbia , so whenever I go out of town I always try and find one. Our afternoon of shopping wore us out, so we headed home and relaxed for a little before we got ready for my last night in Austin, tear.

Ellie made reservations at Justine’s a fabulous restaurant on the East side of Austin . The restaurant was so quaint and charming; I fell in love the minute we pulled up. We shared a salad and an entrée of scallops for dinner, so we could order dessert. The chocolate pear tart, or whatever it was called because I just made that up, was absolutely divine. I still wanted more after the last bite, isn’t that always the case? It is for me at least. After dinner met up with some of Ellie’s tennis friends at a fairly new bar called Clive’s, yet again great atmosphere and we were able to enjoy sitting outside. I thought it was time to head home but Ellie had a different idea. She told me we had to stop at some wild and crazy bar (that’s my description) because it was packed in everyone in there seemed wasted, but we grabbed one drink each, made a couple rounds around the place and then left. That was an Austin experience in itself!

Before I left on Monday afternoon Ellie took me to Walton’s, Sandra Bullock’s lunch restaurant. Can we talk about how darling this place is? Inside was like a breath of fresh air. It was a completely different feel then the rest of Austin , so much so it reminded me a lot of fabulous lunch spots in Columbia or Charleston . Lunch was absolutely delicious and Ellie surprised us with two amazing desserts!

My long weekend in Austin was unbelievable, I had so much fun with Ellie as I always do! I hope to plan another trip to see her again soon, may be this time we will meet in Seattle, Idaho, San Fran? The possibilities are endless!

If you are reading this Ellie thanks for making my Austin experience so special! xoxo

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Home Sweet Home

In all honesty, there really is no place like home! Two weekends ago Miss T and I flew home for my cousin Kelly’s Bridal Shower and of course to spend time with family and friends.

Miss T gets so excited when we get off the plane in Baltimore, she starts frantically scratching the inside of her crate signaling she wants to be freed by my mom who is usually waiting for us at baggage claim. However, this time in order to try and save money, I didn’t check a bag. Not to mention it’s a huge time saver not having to wait for your luggage, at least at BWI.

Miss T and I met my parents outside and the lovely Molly, who we were meeting for the first time! Even though my mom and I talk daily and I ask about Molly all the time, she didn’t seem “real” until I finally got to meet her! She is one sweet girl!

Saturday morning was the Bridal Shower for Kelly; it was a brunch at my Aunt’s house! Everything was perfect and we all had a wonderful time celebrating with the bride-to-be!

Mother of the Bride & Bride to Be!

Friends, Me, & Mom

Just a few of the gifts!

The Bride

Mom & Linds

Aunts, Granny, & Me

After the shower it was off to take Miss T to get groomed. Up until 4 months ago she was just like her mom in the sense that we always got out hair cut at home. Well since I’ve found Shannon in Columbia , Miss T is the only one left getting her hair did at home…

Saturday evening we went to Mr. Bill’s, my favorite place to eat steam crabs. Honestly, this is the best place ever; no other place can even come close to Mr. Bills. Going to Mr. Bill’s is one of the things I look forward to most when coming home. I ate so many steam crabs; I thought I was going to pop!


Sunday morning we went to church as a family. Afterwards, we stopped by the mall so I could return two things and look for jewelry to match my dress for Kelly’s wedding in October and of course shop! I love me some JCrew, Anthropologie, Ann Taylor and of course Nordstrom (my old stomping ground). We ate lunch at the Nordy Cafe before we hit the ground running. Dad gave us an hour in the mall-so we focused and not about to waste time. We were able to fund a necklace for my dress, make my returns, and purchase this blazer from JCrew; I’m in love and can’t wait for Fall!

On our way home from the mall I asked my Dad if we could stop for a snowball. I don’t get you Southerners not having snowball stands. What is this all about? It is hotter for longer down South then it is in Baltimore ! During the summer back home everyone lives at the snowball stand. Since I obviously haven’t had any luck in finding a snowball stand in the South and no a snowball is not a snow cone, I was craving a raspberry snowball, so a stop at the stand was a must! It was a hot Sunday temperature in the mid 90’s so needless to say it was crowded. Dad ordered a Root Beer snowball and Mom passed, she’s no fun! Just kidding, Mom!

After our afternoon treat we went home to pick up Miss T and Molly to go spend some time visiting with my Mom’s parents. By the time we were finished visiting, it was time to pack for the airport and enjoy one last family dinner before it was time to leave.

Thomas was so sweet and came and picked me and Miss T up from the airport and drove us home safely. I am so lucky to have the most wonderful family and boyfriend, I love them so much!

What a great weekend it was!

Monday, September 13, 2010

I Promise

Sorry I haven't been blogging the past week or two, life has been crazy! That's not an excuse just an explanation. Between traveling on the weekends, friends in town, football on the weekends, and the normal day to day activities, I have been spinning in all different directions.

So here's my promise, starting tomorrow morning I am going to update you on life the past couple weeks. Bare with me as they will probably be long posts to get everything covered, but I want to share my adventures with you and I hope you enjoy reading. I also can't wait to catch up on all of your blogs!

So incase you were wondering if I was gone for good, now you know I am back for good! I hope everyone has a fantastic Monday!

P.S. I can't wait for....

Thursday, September 9, 2010

How To Write a Charming Thank You Note

I came across the tips below in the article titled "The Secret to Being Southern" in the September Issue of Southern Living and I just couldn't resist sharing it with you. I absolutely love taking the time to write a handwritten thank you note and hope you find the information below as helpful as I do!

The 5 Key Elements of Every Southern Thank You Note

1. Start with the date and salutation: Send your note, written in black ink, within a week of receiving a gift.

2. Say thanks right off the bat: Be specific about why you are writing the note. If you’re thanking someone for a monetary gift, refer to their “generosity” rather than mentioning the amount.

3. Compliment the kind gesture: Don’t be afraid to go over the top—everyone loves an effusive compliment, as long as it’s heartfelt.

4. Allude to the future: Anticipate another get-together, or if you’re writing about a gift, be sure to tell them how you plan to use it.

5. Finish with sincere regards: Reiterate your gratitude, then close the letter on an intimate note, signing your first and last name. Don’t forget to proofread before you postmark!

Monday, September 6, 2010

Happy Labor Day

And that's just what I am doing and I hope you are too!

Friday, September 3, 2010

Unique Gift Idea for Any Occasion!

I always set out with the best intentions of finding an original yet thoughtful gift for the recipient. Then time sneaks up on me and I never seem to leave myself enough time for ordering, customizing, processing, and receiving the order in time for the when I need the gift.

This is one of things I don't like most about myself. I procrastinate and procrastinate mostly because I keep thinking I am going to find something better or talk myself in to thinking the recipient won't like what I have given them or some other ridiculous reason. How crazy is that? . So, I as of recent I have been paying more attention and trying to overcome this internal process and plan ahead so I have plenty of time to order and receive the gift in time for the occasion.

Last month I wrote about our trip to Atlanta for Hudson's 1st Birthday Party. Whether or not he had a birthday party or not I knew his birthday was fast approaching so I decided I would start searching for the "perfect" gift. Well most kid's birthday gifts are toys and I certainly was not going to deprive Hudson of a toy, but that part was easy, it was going to have to be something Elmo because that's his favorite! However I didn't want to show up with just toys, I of course wanted to be different. I wanted the gift to include something special for the family to remember Hudson's first year. That's when I found Nella Designs Paper Studio.

Nella Designs is a fabulous paper studio of original illustrations, customizable prints, invitations, and stationary. I fell in love with Nella's ability to create a "customized silhouette print from a photo." What a neat idea! I just new this was the perfect family gift.

I purchased the customized silhouette online and once the purchase was complete I sent a follow up e-mail to Elizabeth (the designer behind Nella Designs) this picture of Ashley, Hudson, and Matt to transform in to the custom silhouette! Oh and I forgot to mention, part of the customization is the picking the background color of the print. I wasn't quite sure what color Ashley would say fit best in their house, so I sent her the block of all the colors and asked her to tell me what she would pick, without giving away the surprise!

The Photograph

Elizabeth is just as sweet and wonderful to work with you can't even begin to imagine. She is just as excited as you are about the finished product and makes your entire experience with Nella Designs perfect! Did I mention how quickly she responds to order acknowledgement and e-mails? Oh and not to forget how fast the proof arrived in my inbox and not long after the final product in my mailbox with plenty of time to spare before the birthday party!


How cool is that? And another plus, even though I purchased this online, I still ended up supporting a local business because Elizabeth also lives in SC! I forgot to take a picture of the print framed also framed the print for Matt, Ashley, and Hudson but in dealing with Miss T melt down in the hotel I forgot to take a picture. Everyone at the party gasped when Ashley opened the gift, doesn't that always make you feel good? Not only do you love the gift you gave, but so does everyone else!

I think this is the perfect engagement, wedding, anniversary, birthday or family gift. I can't imagine someone not enjoying this gift! To view the entire collection visit Nella Designs website.

Thursday, September 2, 2010

It's Finally Here!

I can't believe it's that time of year again, but I am so excited because the arrival of football season means Fall is not far behind! I love my Carolina Gamecocks and I have been looking forward to the start of the season for several weeks now. A group of us in Columbia renewed our two tailgating spots again this year, which makes tailgating before the games lots of fun! Although, Thomas and I won't be going to the game tonight, we will of course be watching it on TV--USC vs. Southern Miss at 7:30pm on ESPN!

Goooo Cocks!

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

45 Life Lessons

My Aunt sent me this e-mail yesterday and I enjoyed reading it so much that I thought I would share with you.

Written by Regina Brett, 90 years old, of the Plain Dealer, Cleveland , Ohio ."To celebrate growing older, I once wrote the 45 lessons life taught me. It is the most requested column I've ever written."

45 Life Lessons

1. Life isn't fair, but it's still good.
2. When in doubt, just take the next small step.
3. Life is too short to waste time hating anyone.
4. Your job won't take care of you when you are sick. Your friends and parents will. Stay in touch.
5. Pay off your credit cards every month.
6. You don't have to win every argument. Agree to disagree.
7. Cry with someone. It's more healing than crying alone.
8. It's OK to get angry with God. He can take it.
9. Save for retirement starting with your first paycheck.
10. When it comes to chocolate, resistance is futile.
11. Make peace with your past so it won't screw up the present.
12. It's OK to let your children see you cry.
13. Don't compare your life to others. You have no idea what their journey is all about.
14. If a relationship has to be a secret, you shouldn't be in it.
15. Everything can change in the blink of an eye. But don't worry; God never blinks.
16. Take a deep breath. It calms the mind.
17. Get rid of anything that isn't useful, beautiful or joyful.
18. Whatever doesn't kill you really does make you stronger.
19. It's never too late to have a happy childhood. But the second one is up to you and no one else.
20. When it comes to going after what you love in life, don't take no for an answer.
21. Burn the candles, use the nice sheets, wear the fancy lingerie. Don't save it for a special occasion. Today is special.
22. Over prepare, then go with the flow.
23. Be eccentric now. Don't wait for old age to wear purple.
24. The most important sex organ is the brain.
25. No one is in charge of your happiness but you.
26. Frame every so-called disaster with these words 'In five years, will this matter?'
27. Always choose life.
28. Forgive everyone everything.
29. What other people think of you is none of your business.
30. Time heals almost everything. Give time time.
31. However good or bad a situation is, it will change.
32. Don't take yourself so seriously. No one else does.
33. Believe in miracles.
34. God loves you because of who God is, not because of anything you did or didn't do.
35. Don't audit life. Show up and make the most of it now.
36. Growing old beats the alternative -- dying young.
37. Your children get only one childhood.
38. All that truly matters in the end is that you loved.
39. Get outside every day. Miracles are waiting everywhere.
40. If we all threw our problems in a pile and saw everyone else's, we'd grab ours back.
41. Envy is a waste of time. You already have all you need.
42. The best is yet to come...
43. No matter how you feel, get up, dress up and show up.
44. Yield.
45. Life isn't tied with a bow, but it's still a gift.

Happy Wednesday!