Wednesday, August 24, 2016


i did not mean for there to be a theme for this week's posts, however, it's looking like working and jobs must be on my brain!

i have jumped full force, {both feet in the water} in to a few things. and. i'm super excited!

first, my little preschool spanish class is too cute. i forgot how little three year olds are. although it took them a while to get "hola" and "adios", they were all smiles and happy to be there!

i have several baking things in the works and am excited to grow that little business.

and...i'm loving stella and dot. my launch is friday and i can't wait! i have a great group of girlfriends coming over to drink champagne, chat, and shop.

i love the company and the product. the ceo is a inspiring. it is such a positive, feel good environment {the online environment}. every time i watch a video or chat with another stylist - i'm happy and motivated!

here is a little glimpse of some pieces {worn by me}:

click the "shop" link at the top of my page for more info on all the above beauties!

and, just because...a glimpse of my bakery...
brown butter churro donuts.

Monday, August 22, 2016

The Gainfully Employed

{image from tumblr}

my sweet, sixteen year old got a job! 
she has known it would be asked of her upon turning 16 and, although a bit hesitant, she did it.
finding a job {that she liked} was more challenging than both of us thought. 
majority of the businesses she was interested in {mainly retail}, did not hire under 18. 
she began her search over the summer, when most places had already filled their positions and would not be hiring again until the fall. and...everything is online now. {which was not a big deal to her but, i don't like it all}. i mean, how can you give a first impression with an online application? with that being said, i MADE my daughter go in and introduce herself to the managers she had submitted online applications to. {she did not like this. at all. but. she had to}.  it all paid off in the end and she was ecstatic when she received the call saying, "we want you on our team".

not everyone agrees with teens having jobs outside of school. i have dear friends who believe school is their job. but, to me, having a job as a teen is huge. it's a must. it teaches so much. the paycheck is just a bonus to everything else they gain...time management, working with others, people skills, multi tasking, human relations, real life problem solving, not to's fun.

i have had more than my share of jobs and gained something from all of them.  while talking to my kids about my job experiences {convincing them that i know what i'm talking about}, i started thinking of ALL the jobs i've had. while most people go through life having a couple of jobs...i've had dozens. i have wanted to make a list for a while now so, after digging in the deep recesses of my brain, here is a chronological list of my work experiences:

cafe de france - watiress. first job. {shared this experience with my girlfriends}. 

stonebridge country club - clerk in the pro shop. {summer job. took the job to meet cute boys}.

agaci - sales clerk {second semester of my senior year in high school, i was promoted to manager. i only had to attend half days at school that semester...worked and played more}.

red robin - hostess. {first job in az}.

naturally women - trainer. {worked as a trainer in an all women gym}.

ymca - lifeguard/swim instructor. {this was the beginning of a long relationship. i left and returned several times over the years and completed my senior internship with them}.

az rattlers - cheerleader. {yes, this was a job and i did receive a check. this lasted for 5 years}.

solo buceo - sales. {this was a short lived job i had while living in cancun, mexcio. i quit and stuck around to dive everyday. wonderful people there}.

charlotte russe - sales clerk. {first commission job}.

jumbo chinese - waitress. {very short lived. lasted a week}.

title company - secretary. {it was a paycheck}.

phoenix suns - stat runner. {super cool. ran stats to all the media during games. hobnobbed with media personnel and players}.

arizona lottery - ticket sales. {sold tickets during suns home games. interesting}.

marcello's - waitress. {opened this restaurant. remained friends with the owners}.

fred's flowers - clerk. {LOVED this job. how could i not be happy working with flowers and fun people? they did all the flowers for my wedding. both of them}!

physical therapy office - fitness trainer. {i had the grunt work. opened the facility at 5AM...stayed for a couple of hours, went home and returned for the evening shift}.

state of az/local hospital - anti tobacco educator. {great job! educated kids in local schools on the danger of tobacco use, ran sting operations to bust merchants who sold to minors, ran cessation classes}.

boys and girls club - program director / executive director. {i opened a local chapter under the direction of a horrible, HORRIBLE man. he finally left and i became director. i loved the kids and the idea behind it...lots of politics}.

city of "small town az" - recreation coordinator/community relations. {with a degree in recreation management - i moved to the only city in the state without a recreation department. i worked for three years to get one implemented and finally was offered the job. lots of good and bad memories with this one...too much to share now}.

town of "small town in a big metro valley" - recreation coordinator. {after a nation wide search, it came down to me and a woman i had worked with ten years earlier!! however, i was offered the position and lasted for about 9 months. lots of politics and the director and i did not see eye to eye. actually, i thought he was an a**hole}.

la fitness - group fitness instructor. {i absolutely love teaching and have held this job longer than any others}.

local charter school - substitute teacher. {never again. i have enormous respect for teachers}.

crafter/baker {this self-employed, fun job has taken me to various boutiques and businesses}.

local preschool - spanish teacher. {yes. that's right. i am currently teaching spanish to itty, bitty munchkins. they are darling and i know just the right amount of spanish for them}!

stella & dot - stylist. {never thought i would do anything like this...but, i love it}!

whew! that's 25 jobs. and, honestly, i'm probably forgetting some. {i'm already remembering a short stint at a preschool and freelance jobs}. but, they all have taught me something...good and bad. and, i'm proud to say...i have never been fired. for the most part, i left on good terms. there are a few that i left {for one reason or the other} and was welcomed back when i wanted to return.

so, i didn't mean to make this about me. i'm very excited for randi to have all the experiences that come with a job...the good and the bad. she probably won't go through as many as me. {she is a bit more grounded than i was at 16}.

exciting times for the gainfully employed!

Friday, August 19, 2016

weekend wishes

{père lachaise cemetery. paris}

happy friday. 
happy thoughts. happy wishes. happy souls.

yesterday, my mom and i attended the funeral of a family friend. a mother taken from her family too early. i grew up with the kids and have lovely memories of their mom. 
it was a sad affair. 
it wasn't a sad affair.
it was sad because, i found myself crying for those she left behind. however, those she left behind wanted the day to be a celebration of her life. the first thing her husband said to me when i said i was sorry was, "thank you but, don't be. this is a glorious day and we are celebrating her".  
her two youngest kids {out of four} gave her life to speak. it wasn't so much a prepared talk on her life story as it was two kids laughing, reminiscing, and telling stories of their mom. love poured over their words. we would all be extremely lucky people if similar, heart felt words flowed out of the mouths of our loved ones at our times of deaths.

i'm grateful to have known this woman and her family and i am so happy to have shared the day with my we celebrated a great person.

so, on to the weekend!  with all my new business ventures, i will be busy working. learning more about stella and dot, sewing, shopping at goodwill {to get supplies for up cycled gems}, and baking.
i will be making churro donuts to surprise a friend on her birthday and chocolate chip cookies for my sweet neighbor girl {who just made the middle school volleyball team}.

as a family, we hope to see pete's dragon.

maybe mr. c and i will have a date???

and, with the whole family...we will celebrate cade's bday at mimi and papa's. {birthday celebrations last for at least a week around here}.

have i ever mentioned that i studied ballet for years and thought i would be a professional dancer? well, i'm not a prima ballerina with the new york city ballet but, i can enjoy and appreciate the beauty of their art. here is one of my favorite videos.

about the picture above...
i have been lucky enough to visit the pere lachaise cemetery in paris twice. it is one of the most peaceful, beautiful, and, ironically, happiest places. i think i find it happy because, it is so peaceful. calming. happy. and today, is all about happy.

and finally, here's to doing what makes us happy. check out this cute video.
{made you smile, didn't it}?

happy weekend! may it be filled with the happiest of wishes.


Wednesday, August 17, 2016

Good Eats

dinner time. 
i love this time of day.
cooking is a happy place for me and cooking for my family is the happiest place.
usually, both kids are sitting at a the counter while i cook and, mr. c is sitting in his chair right behind them. i get to hear about everyone's day and what's going on in their worlds.
those conversations continue around the dinner table. and. i love it.

healthy meals and good food are important to me.  happy dances happen in my head every time i see my family eating good food.  typically, i prepare meatless meals throughout the week. {although, sometimes i prepare chicken and fish for the boys}. i love reading cookbooks and perusing pinterest for fabulous recipes.

here are a few of my favorites {and the family liked, as well}:

 gimme some oven

views from the ville

domestic super hero

two peas and their pod

le creme de la crumb


Monday, August 15, 2016

the stay home mom

i'm not sure when i knew i wanted to be a stay home. not when i was a teen. not when i was a college student. and, definitely not when i was working, degree in hand, ready to conquer the world.  but, then i had these sweet babies and married an amazing man who supported the stay home mom or the working girl...whatever i wanted to do. so, i {nervously} jumped ship and haven't looked back.


well, maybe i've looked back a few times. you know, the inevitable "what ifs" that pop in to your head.

when i was a young{er} mom, it seemed practical. i was home so they did not have to go to daycare. we had play dates, visits to the library, trips to the zoo and made homemade play dough.

but, things change. they get older. one is in school full time then, both are in school full time. before you know it, they are driving themselves to school.

now, what do i do?!

i have to admit. i don't like being asked what i do {for a living}. when i was carrying a baby or had a toddler at my leg, there was a little more sense of pride saying i stay home. {hidden message: i have made this great sacrifice to put my life on hold so, i can be with my babies all day}.


when someone asks me what i do and i reply that i'm a stay home mom, the next question is always, "oh! good for you! how old are you kids?"
uummmm... "12 and 16".
i immediately feel judged. the question they really want to ask is, "so, what do you do all day?"

well...i work out. i volunteer at their schools {although, even that is waning as they get older}. i do laundry. i make sure the house is clean. i plan menus. and, i am here...which means, i'm there for them at a moment's notice.

with the start of this school year, i have felt a bit lost. i need and want an outlet but, i really do not want a big commitment. i don't want to punch a clock {so to speak}. i thought about going back to teaching {as a fitness instructor}. with over 20 years of experience, i have held that job and credentials longer than any other. {and, i have had A LOT of jobs}. but, again, i'm not sure i want that commitment.

recently, i was talking to a friend about possibly returning to the teaching world but, my hesitation was my family. i sarcastically said that they are spoiled and always want me available.
and, he said to me: "is that such a bad thing? it could be the other way around and it won't be that way forever."

ok. way to put things in perspective for me.

i finally came clean with mr. c about my feelings of "lostness".
he calmly said, as he has told me before, that he supports whatever i want to do but, make sure it is what i really want to do AND, once i make a decision...attack it.

i have decided to test my entrepreneurial skills.
i recently became a stella & dot stylist. you can shop with me here. {lovemindy styles}
i have secured some weekly baking jobs. {lovemindy bakes}.
and, i will be opening an etsy shop in the fall with upcycled creations. {lovemindy sews}.

changes will be made with the blog...but, be patient. these are skills i'm learning and i'm trying to break the saying, "you can't teach an old dog new tricks"!!!

i'm very excited about this chapter of life and look forward to the rest of the book!!

*note: after writing this, i was talking with a friend who is a mom and works outside of the home. in no way is this post about working moms vs. stay at home moms. it is nothing more than my confused thoughts on being a stay home mom of kids who are not at home. 
we are equals. we are in this together. we are all women trying to be our best selves...whether we are single or married; have eight kids or none; stay home, rock the corporate world, or wait tables...we are one. we will break the barriers and ceilings together. and. figure out what the hell we are supposed to be doing. be happy.

Friday, August 12, 2016

weekend {birthday} wishes

this boy is 12 this weekend.

earlier in the week, i had asked him if he wanted to take donut holes or something on friday morning. i said i would email his homeroom teacher and ask. he immediately shot me down.

"they don't do that in middle school. they don't celebrate birthdays. do not email my teacher!"

ummm...what? no cookies or cupcakes or donut holes?! no singing and celebrating? what is wrong with these people?! my baby is turning 12!!

i didn't email the teacher asking if i could bring treats. but, i may have sent a little "'s my kid's birthday today".

and, i did get him balloons and make him a chocolate cake {per his request}.
i did send him a text at exactly the time he was born. telling him i loved him and he was officially 12. he texted me back. sweet words. and. i cried.
i was in the middle of a 75 minute spin class and i cried.

i don't know what is wrong with me. aging hormones? i adore my kids and they are so fun to be with and i'm excited about their futures...but, them getting older is killing me!!!

regardless how many tears fall, he is still turning 12 and we are celebrating the great boy he is.

so, most of my weekend is about him.
i am also looking forward to a fun happy hour with two great women {woo-hoo!} and, i should get some work done {sewing, creating, and working on a new business...more on that later}!

happy weekend to you!
may it be filled with chocolate cake and playful wishes!

Monday, August 8, 2016

road trip

this cute girl and i hopped in the car sunday ready for an adventure!
the boys didn't want to go but, it was too hot for us to hang around.
so, we headed to flagstaff {one of our favs}. and, to make it a complete "girls trip", we brought my little, furry girl too. {as you can see, she prefers i hold the leash. she did not like me walking behind}! 

this girl {who, normally does not like hiking} didn't even hesitate when i suggested a hike. not only did she not complain but, she said she "actually enjoyed it". {that is when i did a little happy dance in my head}! it was probably a good 25-30 degrees cooler than tempe and it was beautiful. {mia liked it too}! we hiked for little over an hour then headed downtown to macy's. we LOVE macy's.
it is a cute cafe that specializes in vegetarian cuisine and offers a large array of coffee drinks. we enjoyed a nice lunch outside and headed back home.

it was such a lovely day. randi is a great traveler. as long as she is going somewhere - you will hear no complaints. plus, she will be off to college before i know was nice having one on one time with her.
although, randi thinks i had other, maybe, making her like flagstaff even maybe, she will choose to go to NAU instead of NYU!!

i think, quite possibly, she is right.