I don’t believe in New Year Resolutions…

by Ann
I just don’t! It’s probably due to the fact that I feel compelled to accomplish everything that I set in my mind. Over the years, I’ve learned the secret to achieving goalslower expectations and achieve more. Or really what I learned is to not set any… just live and set my goals everyday.. or almost everyday… One bite at a time is better, more manageable and it works!

BUT.. here are some ideas just in case that you do like to make resolutions… or want to make some definite changes in your life, or have some specific goals that you want to attain in the up and coming year.

Example, if you want to fit into your skinny jeans, you might come up with a new exercise and diet plan. Part of that plan might include a goal to exercise five times a week. But if you don’t achieve that ‘magic’ number, then you might feel that you have failed, regardless of how many times you did exercise. Instead, lower the goal from exercising five times a week to a more realistic goal, like say, twice a week. And expect to meet that simpler goal. Not only ‘expect’ to … DO IT! You’ll feel great when you do! If you exceed it, that’s great, too! If you don’t! So what! Try again the next day!

It feels wonderful to meet your goals, and that feeling of success will keep you motivated to continue to achieve your goals. So, set yourself up for success with some simple steps: Set a smaller goal. After you achieve that, set a more adventurous one.

What do you want?

Do you want to drop those pesky extra pounds? WHY? Is it to increase your self-confidence? Is it for health reasons? Identify the the positive gains of achieving your goal (i.e. increasing your chances of being noticed by some hot guy) Once that’s figured out, look at what you want  and need to do to achieve it. It might be a series of smaller goals to achieve the overarching goal. One bite at a time…

How will you achieve your goal?

Get specific, be realistic, and keep the plans simple.  Write the goals down and the steps to achieve them. This will help you to look at things logically. You can see where you’ve over-reached, or may be setting the bar too low.

Is your plan realistic?

Rome wasn’t built in a day, and you aren’t going to fit into those skinny jeans tomorrow, but then again you might. But, just in case you don’t, take some time, and look seriously at your plan. If it’s not realistic, adjust it. You have the right to be successful. So don’t create a goal where you’re setting yourself up to fail. Or just don’t write any resolutions and you won’t fail!

Define success

Many times we create a goal without defining what the outcome will look like. How will you know when you’ve achieved your goal? What will you look like? How will you feel? What will you be able to do? Write it down, and revisit it often. Overtime, your definition of success might change. That’s OK! Give yourself permission to do what you need to do.

Be flexible

You will face challenges that might hinder or distract you from your goals. That’s life! Plan on it happening on a regular basis. Have ideas and plans about what to do when you have setbacks or don’t…

Get Guidance

Talk to someone about your plans, friends, family, or ‘experts’ or how about me? Whatever goals you set, make sure you’ll enjoy the work involved to achieve them and always keep your end goal in mind. If you enjoy what you’re doing, chances are you’ll continue doing it. Or don’t do it at all!

We all know New Year’s resolutions are usually doomed. Holiday enthusiasm dissipates. Changing our behavior is a big mountain to climb. You’ll feel more harmony in your life if you show yourself some gentle love and acceptance. On New Year’s Eve, take an inventory of everything valuable about you. Enhance and treasure those fine qualities in the new year. You’re doing just fine!

Again I don’t believe in New Year resolutions. I live like I want to, in order, to achieve what I desire almost each and everyday. But if you do believe in them, and set some…how about refer to these guidelines.
This New Year’s Eve how about count your blessings and all the wonderful things about you and your life then create the future that you desire day by day in the new year.
Most of all HAVE FUN!!! And love yourself!

Actually! The only ‘really important resolution’ to make is to follow this blog and read it everyday and tell all your friends about it! Really! Truly! It is!!!

Drink champagne! Eat some good food! Have some chocolate!

And workout tomorrow!

HAPPY NEW YEAR!!!! Have a great 2011!!!!!!

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Champagne for the Chicken and also for the Cook…

by Ann
Easy, quick festive chicken dinner…
plus more…

Ingredients (for two – double or triple as needed)

One whole chicken breast – split in half and beaten. ( I have them do this at the butchers)
Can of small articoke hearts packed in water
Can of small pitted black olives
Cherry Tomatoes
Garlic salt
Brummel and Brown yogart butter
Champagne – any kind that you like ..( My fav is Veuve Clicquot – founded in 1772 by Philippe Clicquot-Muiron, Veuve Clicquot played an important role in establishing champagne as the beverage of choice of European nobility and the wealthy bourgeoisie Situated in Reims, Veuve Clicquot has been part of the Louis Vuitton Moet Hennessy group of luxury brands since 1987)

Pop the cork on the Champagne then pour in flutes and take sip.

Put garlic salt and parsley on Chicken breasts.

Spray with Pam

Put chicken in skillet… cook until browned on both sides.. add dollops of Brummel and Brown yogart butter as needed while cooking.

When chicken is done…add more butter, articoke hearts, black olives and cherry tomatoes and sprinkle with more garlic salt and parsley.
Splash with champagne…simmer…
Cover for a few.. then take off the lid and douse with more champagne. 

Serve with wild rice.

And for dessert!

Haagen-Daz Vanilla Bean Ice cream, topped with my ‘cranberry relish’ and a splash of Cognac along with a Pepperidge Farm Sugar cookie.  Enjoy while either sipping Cognac and, or Champagne.                                                                        


Now, you’re talking!
Then out to the patio for more Cognac while sitting around a fire…  Having fun yet? I sure did!

Many Christmases and New Year’s Eves…

by Ann
All are different…Some full of abundance others not so much. Some spent with friends or loved ones and others spent in solitude.

Some too busy, even hectic, and others quiet and peaceful. Some with too much to eat and others with little. 
Some full of happiness, joy and expectation. Some full of melancholia and sadness. Some spent helping others and some where I ‘could’ve’ used some help…
Some spent in love. Others spent in loss.
Christmas Eve of Irony after kicking my alcoholic husband, whom I loved dearly, out of the house months previously, to save myself, I spent Christmas Eve alone drinking almost a whole bottle of wine…when rarely I drank at all.
Christmases with a large tree that Santa surrounded with everything a little girl could ever want with family around and a large breakfast of sausage, bacon, eggs, biscuits and jam. Fireplace roars duplicating the soothing warmth in the home.
A huge tree filling the space where the Grande piano used to be… so glad ‘he’ was gone.. took two days to decorate it. Prettiest tree ever. It was my Christmas… no more yelling or sarcasm, it was gone with him. Peace was in my house. Lying under it looking up at the lights, I felt like a child full of joy and expectation again. 
Working out. A hot shower, my gift was washing everything on my bed to make it fresh for Christmas Eve. A small apartment, sliding into my clean sheets, warm and cozy, alone, but safe and warm, giving thanks to God for abundance and peace in my life.

Too much Christmas, his parents at noon, to eat and celebrate and mine that evening. Over stuffed, over everything. If only we could celebrate alone…

Many Christmases of beautiful church services…

The only celebration one year was a hot bath, some Christmas music and wine, munching cheese, crackers and fruit, watching Christmas movies on TV, ‘It’s a Wonderful Life’ and ‘Miracle on 34th Street.’

Playing Secret Santa with a group of friends. We had most everything, so were giving to others that had little to nothing.
A well-decorated tree, making Christmas cookies and playing Santa, Barbies, American Dolls, roller skates, bicycles, everything a little girl could want. Going to bed tired then getting up very early to the excitement of a child.

Serving meals to the homeless, while wondering could this happen to me?

Shaking a Christmas snow globe and winding it up repeatedly to play, ‘I wish you a Merry Christmas! I wish you a Merry Christmas’ as I sat in the dark crying.

New Year’s Eve wearing designer clothing at a Country Club, full of decorations,  an orchestra, champagne, friends and dancing.
Sitting on the sofa alone watching the ball drop in New York pondering my desire to cut some off…
In bed surrounded by candlelight, sipping champagne with my husband, New Year’s Eve shows on TV.
Sitting in bed alone, sipping champagne watching New Year’s Eve TV.
In front of a fireplace, eating a dinner prepared by him, so in love and so content. At mid-night, making love in front of the fireplace, who cares what time it is.

Black tie celebration, the best of everything tied up in love and romance.

Whooping it up, country and western, jeans, boots and a cowboy hat, line dancing, two stepping, swigging champagne right out of the bottle.

New Year’s Eve movie marathon
at a theatre with a neighbor and her young daughter. Eating popcorn, watching ‘The Chronicles of Narnia’, then ‘King Kong’ and laughing and laughing as the little girl jumped up and down the stairs like a monkey.

Dancing to music slow, dizzy with love and champagne, my head on his shoulder, feeling so loved, content and at peacekissing at midnight.

All different, but really all the same and, of course, there are many more, as they all swirl in my head in fond memory.. All ultimately good, even when seemingly bad and all make up the fabric of me and the experiences of my life.

Where ever you are in the timeframe of your life and most especially during the holidays when you most reflect and feel nostalgia, know that it’s only a reflection of a moment in your life. So be there fully in whatever the experience turns out to be. Enjoy and appreciate every ounce of it, no matter what it is, or seems to be.

Feel, experince it all, the happiness as well as the sadness, the love as well as the loss, the joy as well as the pain. Because what seems like the worst, might become the best and what seems like the best, may very well be the best of the best, or it may be topped by even better the very next year. Who knows!!?? 

In time, circumstances change, but is it all good because it’s all you… all that you are culminating in that moment in time. So, don’t wish it gone, or past, or wish it to be something else. Just feel it. Imprint it in your being…as it will too soon become a memory like all others…all woven together to become the wonder of your life. And if you are lucky and truly blessed, you will experience it all, the highs and the lows…the ups and the downs, the abundance and the loss…

Cheers to them all!
And God bless you. May your heart be filled with the joy of the real reason for the season and much peace and happiness in the New Year! 

Let’s drink! I mean bake! I mean drink!

by Ann

Okay! Let’s do both!  First! Pour yourself a glass of bubbly or whatever it is that you enjoy that will assist you in getting into the ‘baking’ mood.

Next! Get a bag of cranberries and grind them up. Put them in a bowl and cover them with sugar. Put in the frig, covered, and leave overnight or longer. This makes the most wonderful relish to be used on many things. And I put this delight in and on my ‘Cranberry Everything’ muffins and bread.  Umm…. so actually, do the cranberry thingy at least, the night before ‘bake day’.

Ready! Take a sip of your drink of choice and let’s get baking!


Oat Flour – 3 and a half cups
Baking Soda – 1 teaspoon
Baking Powder – 1 teaspoon
Oatmeal – about a cup 
A cup and a half of Brummel and Brown Yogart Butter
Honey – about a cup
Cranberry juice light – one small bottle
3 Eggs
Walnuts – lots of them
Raisins – about a cup 
Bananas – one, two or three
A couple of dashes of salt

Put all dry ingredients into a bowl then mix. Add the eggs (beaten) and other wet ingredients, including the cranberries. ( but do reserve a bit of the cranberries for later and for other uses.) Then mix thoroughly. Add more oatmeal or cranberry juice as desired for consistancy. Last of all add the bananas, the raisins, and walnuts and mix some more.

I use PAM SPRAY to make sure there’s no sticking. I Then put some in a muffin pan and some in a bread pan and I bake them together in a 325 degree oven.

The muffins will, of course, be ready first. They will cook approximately 20 minutes. I do the toothpick test to see if they are done.

The bread will bake for about an hour in total.

Wonderful enjoyed with a dollop of cranberry relish or served
warm with butter or cream cheese, or doused with Cognac and or Chambord Liqueur Royal…or ice cream. Great for breakfast, a snack, or for dessert…
and perfect to put in gift baskets. And these are healthy… full of nutrients….

Share Love, Gratitude and Compassion…

Ways to spread abundance that will brighten your day – and someone else’s!

Write a Thank You (for Being You) Note!

It may be old fashioned in these days of e-mails, texts and facebook wallposts, but sometimes the best things stem from tradition. Take this opportunity to let someone know that you appreciate them – not for something they’ve given you or done, but for who they are and what they bring to your life.

Shake Things Up 

Even if you hate it, and it doesn’t go with the rest of the meal at all, make your loved one’s favorite dish part of your Holiday celebrations. Barbecue? Chinese dumplings? Whatever? The fact that it’s not standard holiday fare makes it even more meaningful as an expression of love. The gesture won’t go unnoticed.

Donate Something

Whether it’s your time, a few bucks, or your favorite holiday snack, give something to your local homeless shelter. You’ll be surprised how good it feels.

Offer to Babysit

Have friends or family members who don’t get out much. Offer to babysit so that they can have a second to themselves. It’s a great big thank you for which they’ll be extremely grateful!

Mentor Someone

It doesn’t have to be more than a coffee, but if you’re in a position that someone else might like to learn about, give them a little insight into your experiences. This doesn’t have to be professional, it can be life based (like Big Brothers and Big Sisters). Offering guidance to someone who needs it, is a great way to pass on some positive energy.

Smile at Strangers

So what if a few people think you’re strange? Most people love being smiled at – it’s a reflection of happiness and who couldn’t use a little more of that?

Dedicate a Yoga or Meditation Session

Some people offer up prayers, and it’s great if you do that, too. But the next time you’re meditating or in a yoga class, focus on sending someone you care about (whether you know them or not) a little white light. Afterward, don’t be surprised if they get in touch because they’ve been thinking of you.

Release All Ill Will

There’s no point holding grudges, and what better holiday is there for releasing yours in celebration of all that is great in your life? Let go of any bad feelings you have toward anyone. Whether that means you forgive them and forget them or you forgive them and reach out is up to you.

Make Amends

Now is a great time to let bygones be just that. If you feel you owe someone an apology, give it now. Even if it’s just in e-mail, the signals it sends (to the person and to the forces at work) open you up for progress.

Set Aside Time For Yourself
It may sound crazy as a way to spread goodwill and gratitude, but above all other things, if you appreciate yourself and the importance of maintaining a sense of balance. Doing so, you’ll offer others inspiration and may even help them permit themselves to do the same. And what can be better for the world than that?

Diet and Healthy,Vanilla Hot Chocolate….

by Ann


Vanilla Soy Milk
Hersey Chocolate bars
Haagen-Dazs Vanilla Bean Ice Cream

In a sauce pan, heat Vanilla Soy milk. Break chocolate bars into pieces and put in pan and stir as they melt. Add Haagen-Dazs Vanilla Bean Ice Cream, stir to blend. (concerning quantity, depends on how many you are serving. I base it on one chocolate bar and one individual carton of vanilla soy milk per person, but then, of course, I’m ‘dieting’ this Christmas.. really! And how much Vanilla Bean Haagen-Dazs? It’s up to your taste and desires, my little elves.)

When all is melted and warm, pour into a mug or mugs, preferably ones with a depiction of Santa on it. Then add marshmallows.

Then enjoy your vanilla chocolate sugar buzz as you sit back, or perhaps, bounce around the house waiting for Santa…Perhaps,  munch on a chocolate covered cherry along with it…YUM!

Okay, perhaps, I ‘fibbed’  a bit concerning the ‘diet’ part and, perhaps, a little bit about the ‘healthy’ part, but Soy milk is good for ya, right? And everyone knows that ice cream is top of the list for healthy… right?! RIGHT!

BUT please don’t tell Santa that I ‘fibbed’! He loves my diet and healthy, vanilla hot chocolate…and he ‘thinks’ that it is diet and healthy… really! He sips it while munching on chocolate chip cookies, in order to get his energy up for his next stop… Really!!!                HO! HO! HO!

Goodwill to all! Have a blessed Christmas…

And I heard him exclaim as he disappeared out of sight, “Merry Christmas to all and to all a goodnight!”

Confidence or arrogance, virtue or vice…

Arrogance should never be confused with having an innate sense of self-respect and healthy confidence. Initially, these character traits may come across as similar, but if you look more closely, you will readily perceive how differently they manifest themselves in real life. With a little effort and insight, you can avoid the mistake of misidentifying a sense of self-importance and superiority with the real deal: a truly confident person with an inherent sense of peace, an openness to others’ thoughts and lifestyles, and with nothing to prove to anyone else. Let’s look at a few major differences between leading a self-assured life and a self-inflated existence.

Arrogance can often come from self-misconception and false perception, an inflated ego that tells the person they are better than all others around them. How a person views themselves is often contrary to how the rest of the world views them. Even if arrogant people truly have more talent than others in a given field, the idea that they are superior to others because of this talent still represents a skewed perception of themselves. After all, no one is perfect, everyone has faults, and there’s always someone out there better than you at your talent.

Arrogance is often an attempt by someone with low self-esteem to gain praise from others through false confidence. Through seeking praise from the outside world, they hope to gain a feeling of worth that they may not otherwise feel in themselves. Conversely, people with confidence are comfortable with their accomplishments remaining under wraps, and have no compelling need to consistently brag about their achievements.

Another aspect of arrogance is that it does not lead to loyal relationships, as arrogant individuals seem to only attract those who are looking to use them for the very things they brag about. Then, too, they might attract others with equally inflated egos, where their main connection is boasting of their accomplishments together and making others feel inferior to themselves. These types of negative relationships do not weather the harder times in your life, when things get difficult or problems arise. When the going gets tough, these fair-weather friends will be nowhere to be found.

Confident people, on the other hand, don’t need to belittle or put down others with less success in their lives, in order, to feel better about themselves or their accomplishments, as arrogant people often do.

Confidence has humility embodied within it, an inner strength that does not diminish others, but lifts them up with the unperceivable shining of their light – a sort of charisma resulting from a surety in who they are as human beings. Arrogance, on the other hand, has a person claiming, even demanding their proper respect and “adoration” from those beneath them, who they perceive to be cut from lesser cloth.

Confident people tend to be more aware and accepting of those times when they aren’t always in the right. They can live with the idea that no one is perfect and don’t feel unduly threatened when confronted with their mistakes or limitations. In contrast, arrogant people tend to think only their vision is correct, unlike confident people who are able to see other points of view, and if necessary, adjust accordingly.

People with confidence are not upset when challenged by others, whether the debate is regarding ideas, abilities, or opinions. Confident people are open and accepting of different viewpoints, while arrogant people often do not allow much room for debate, insisting instead that their thoughts and beliefs are the only ones that count.

Clearly, confidence and arrogance are on opposite ends of the character spectrum with one emerging as a virtue and the other, a most unpleasant vice.

Single, or in a relationship LIVE! Create new experiences!

If you find yourself constantly aware of wanting to be alone and hibernate, to play the hermit, to sit home alone and feel sorry for yourself, you are pushing yourself down into a depression, illness, or worse. Be proactive, and you can make it through the holidays without the darkness claiming your happiness! Choosing to dwell on the more depressing aspects of your life can be dangerous.

I won’t be a cheerleader here, because I’ve been there, and I know how the pep talks can irritate when you feel like “hiding.” If you’ll hear me out, think about making the following choices during the holidays. Everywhere you look, they’re “selling” family and relationships on TV, in movies, on the radio… how can you avoid feeling lonely?

Don’t automatically say no. When friends ask you out, or over, or to a party, don’t say no immediately, and do not melodramatically claim that they are “only” doing it because they feel “sorry” for you. No matter what, why, or how, this is an opportunity to enjoy the company of others, to find something funny and laugh, or to meet new people, or find new interests. If you stop that knee jerk reaction of “No, I just want to go home and be alone” and say, “Thank you, I’ll come for a while,” you may end up having fun.
Stay away from “downers” – sad movies, morose “he dun me wrong” music, people that are negative. If your family of origin is a downer… plan a trip to see friends or loved ones that you enjoy over the holidays instead! Or do something fun and invite a friend.
If it winds up that you happen to spend one of those “family days” when you are “feeling” alone, you can plan a special dinner and movie for yourself, dress up, make YOUR favorite food or just have dessert! To fill time, you can make calls to others that you haven’t talked to in a while just to wish them “happy holidays,” and if all else fails, you can volunteer somewhere. Helping others is an amazing way to get your mind off your woes!
In fact, that is one suggestion that I absolutely think is great. If you get to a place where you’re spending all your free time depressed, or feeling sad about your situation, you can use my trick. If I’m too much in my own head and life, too self centered, I go and volunteer. There are hundreds of groups, programs, homes and hospitals that can always use some help… and that, my friends, will bring you back to the world of living, and help you move your life forward again!

Okay Men! Questions! Dare you respond?

What do you have to offer a woman?

What do you have to give a woman?

What is it about you that would enhance a woman’s life?

What about you would make a woman desire you?

What do you want from a woman?

Why do you want a woman in your life?

Answer one! Answer them all! We, women, would like to know what you have for us….and what you want from us….

Stop! Difficult to believe, but…

Men if you are after, want to meet a quality woman,  want to get to know her, have a real interest in her and desire a relationship with quality, NOT just driven by your sexual neediness, or ego need to conquer and capture her, or to ‘show her off’…                                                                     

                                                                                              Don’t write or say things such as these:

After I told a man that I wasn’t interested in him, after he was rude and aggressive in an email and in one five minute phone conversation, this is how he continued to respond.

These are the actual email messages, (I copied and pasted, the name hidden to protect the ‘crazy’.)

“Would you meet me RIGHT NOW so I can hug your neck and whisper sweet nothings in your ear.  You really like me, you want to meet me and you want my arms around you.  And, that is what I want.  I want to squeeze you so tight that will will never want to tell me to let you go.  I am a true lover that has more to give than any man on earth.  And, you are the person I want to give it to.  You are beautiful!   You are hot!  And, I bet you are a real lover!  I want to find out what you have to offer a real man like me.  Are you ready??  The night is getting short!!”

I didn’t reply yet he continued:

“Ann (O gorgeous one) Why do you reject me when I am crazy about your pictures and you profile?  Can’t you forgive a person for making a simple mistake.  I think you want me as bad as I want you, but you are too arrogant to admit it.  You could be holding up the greatest love affair ever. Would you eat breakfast with me tomorrow morning?  I want to show you off to some friends.”

And continued:

“I went thru your website.  You are pretty impressive.  If you had me, you would be more impressive.”

And continued: 

“I do believe I could fall in love with a person like you.  I love fiesty woman.  I would love to have a ‘wildcat’ for a lover!”

I emailed him to stop contacting me.

Then the phone rang. I did not answer. He left a message, pretty much saying similar things as the above.

The emails continued: ( Yes! a grown man, who has a daughter, actually wrote these to a woman that he had never met in person.)


The next one:


And the next:


“How about a big box of candy??”


Now, he’s boasting, I  did edit this one to protect his identity:

“I am a highly intelligent, genuinely honest, and extremely caring person.  I am also a writer and I am known worldwide.   I am also deeply involved in politics and I communicate often with Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, future House Majority Leader John Boehner, as well as many othe politicians, Foxnews, MSNBC, Rush Limbaugh, Laura Ingraham, President Obama, ExxonMobil executives. and many other people.  But, I don’t think for a minute that I am better than the next person.  Some people let a little fame ruin there lives and real friendships.”


I want you!!

I miss you!! I lust for you!!

“You Are So Beautiful” Please call!!

All this from a man that I have never met and only spent five minutes on the phone. There were more emails, but I thought these enough to show clearly someone that either can’t deal with rejection, wants what he wants with no regard for what the woman wants, and writes outrageous and over the top comments to a woman that he has never met in person. Also, there was another phone call where he left the message. “Why are you being mean to me?”

Okay! men read and learn..  WHAT exactly did this man think that he would accomplish by his approach!? That he would overwhelm me!?  That he could force me to like him and want to meet him?! That by his aggressive and pushy approach that I would want to meet him and forget what I want and just fall in love with him in one night?


This is an example of exactly how NOT to approach a woman on any level.
Discussion, Please!

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