Beyond Words

Words, Wit and Wisdom for Today's Style and Decision Makers

Friday Funny January 16, 2015

Filed under: Uncategorized — carlawordsmithblog @ 10:59 pm


Happy Friday!


It’s All About That Smell January 15, 2015

Filed under: Uncategorized — carlawordsmithblog @ 3:04 am



Have you seen those television commercials that say something along the lines of “you may think you’re masking your cat’s odor but when guests come over they smell this” and then the small cat on a sofa becomes a giant cat-shaped couch?    Eeewww!   Pee-you!


It’s all about that smell.  That powerful function of our nose is one of five ways we connect with the world around us and it influences our lives in ways we may not even be aware of.


Thankfully I don’t have any friends whose houses smell like giant cats, but if blindfolded and taken to several of their homes and asked where I was, I could probably figure out whose just by the unique smells their homes have.   Don’t get me wrong.  I don’t mean this in a bad way.  In fact, I often wonder if my house has “a smell,” and if so, I hope it’s a good one!


I love candles, (particularly lemon-verbena, vanilla, or red currant) and I almost always have one burning in my house.  You may also love candles but unless I know what scents you like, I really shouldn’t buy one for you, even as a gift.  Why?  It’s all about that smell.  Like perfume, scented candles are very personal.  Buy a scent that someone doesn’t like and you might as well buy them a trip to the dentist.  They won’t like it.  Buy them a scent they do like however, and you will come out smelling like one rose of a gift giver.


Just this week I was visiting with a co-worker and she mentioned that when she sprayed her perfume on that morning she thought of me because I always compliment her on how she smells.  I could probably smell that cologne 10 years from now in a far-away place and I will think of her.  I also have a friend of nearly 20 years who has used the same fragrance for the two decades we have called each other friend.  In my mind, and my daughter’s for that matter, her perfume is hers alone regardless of its global marketing reach.  That’s how smell works and it’s amazing.


Stop and smell the roses


Still not convinced?  Okay, Exhibit B:  recently I placed a small tube of lotion next to my bed to use at night because my hands have been so wintery dry.  The first night I used it, the smell reminded me of something so vivid it made me crazy trying to figure out who or what.  Then, it hit me.  The small tube was the “travel lotion” I took to Rome last summer.  To this day I can close my eyes, smell that smell, and literally visualize me and Kristen in our little hotel room near the Vatican.  Such enormously happy memories coming from a small drug- store bought tube of hand cream, albeit a tube I will probably never throw away now!


I am not alone.  The smell of something brings back memories for nearly all of us and can even influence our moods, work place productivity, and personal lives.  It is all about that smell, but it’s also all about how intricately our noses and brains are intertwined.   Quick anatomy lesson:  the brain’s olfactory bulb transmits smell information from the nose to the brain.  The olfactory bulb is part of the brain’s limbic system, which is closely associated with memory, and it has direct access to the amygdala, which processes emotion.  It’s also closely related to the hippocampus, which is responsible for associative learning.  End of lesson.  Crib notes would state that your nose smells something, the brain tells you that smell reminds you of something, and you go “uh-huh!”  It’s not brain surgery.  It’s all about that smell.


Mind blown.  Literally bind blown.



Not everyone likes or dislikes the same smells and some don’t like scented things at all.  A very good friend of mine detests it when someone wears perfume.  Me being the lover of perfume that I am, I always need to keep this in mind when getting together with her.


Perfume is something that, even if I’m dirt poor, I would hope to be able to afford.  And for good reason.  Growing up my mom always had lovely bottles of perfume perched like little trophies on a bathroom counter mirror and would wear some when she and my dad went out.  Childhood visions of her all dressed up and looking glam rubbed off on me in that I relate perfume to happiness and joy.  Ironically, Jean Patou’s “Joy” was always her favorite perfume.


I Smell a Rat

It’s a two-sided atomizer though, and we’ve all been there and hated that.  The plane ride next to a fellow passenger drenched in a scent that nauseates you.  The whisper or hug from someone with bad breath.  The packed movie theatre and sitting adjacent to someone with the dreaded B.O.  That, however, is pretty much disliked by all, as is smoke, sour milk, and Limburger cheese.


Still, researchers have found that perception plays almost as big a role in smell as reality.  Say what?  Well, apparently an English psychologist labeled a Brie-like scent as both “cheddar cheese” and “body odor.”   He had participants smell the scent and then say if they liked it or not.  Test subjects rated the odor higher and more pleasant when it was identified as cheese.  Shocker!


The sense of smell is probably more closely linked to memory than any of our other senses and because we encounter most new scents when we’re young, smells often conjure up childhood memories.  That explains it!


Chlorine from a swimming pool?  I immediately think of the Municipal Swimming Pool in my hometown of Santa Fe, NM.


A new can of tennis balls?  I’m right back where I learned to play tennis as a child:  the black-top courts near downtown in Santa Fe.


Ralph Lauren’s original red-bottled cologne?  College.


Smell is highly emotive and extremely important when it comes to the attraction of two people and the hiring of employees.  Come reeking of body odor and you probably won’t get the date or the job, but enter free of offensive smells and your odds of getting a call back and the girl increase maybe not sharply but perhaps slightly.  You could say “by a nose.”


“I love the smell of napalm in the morning” is one of film’s most famous quotes.   I certainly don’t agree with the “Apocalypse Now” line, but I do love the smell of rain and freshly mowed grass, rubbing alcohol and gasoline, Play-Do and Easter lilies.  I’m not a big fan of anything lavender scented and I can’t stand the smell (or taste) of cilantro.  I enjoy “new car smell” as much as the next guy but I don’t really fancy car air fresheners.


What about you?  What smells do you love?  Which ones do you abhor?



Golden Globes Fashion: The Best and The Worst January 12, 2015

Filed under: Uncategorized — carlawordsmithblog @ 10:38 pm

So last night I watched as much of the Golden Globes as my stomach could take before settling said stomach with the night’s dose of “Downton Abby.”  (Can I just quickly say I was thrilled to see Joanne Froggatt win a Globe for her brilliant portrayal of Anna Bates?)


I’m not even going to get into who won what or who said what.  Nope, I’m heading straight to what everyone really cares about:  the evening’s fashion highs and lows!


I thought both Reese Witherspoon’s and Jennifer Aniston’s choices were pretty yet somewhat boring but how good does Jane Fonda look?  I didn’t love her dress but the woman killed it and doesn’t look overly nipped and tucked.  And, I loved her glitter sparkle pumps!  One last random thought:  will somebody please give Giuliana Rancic a hamburger?  Talented and funny, Rancic is scary skinny and no amount of designer dresses can hide it…especially when she chooses strapless gowns.


Here then, are my picks for best dressed and best had maybe stayed home.


George and Amal

I’m obsessed with Amal Clooney’s elegant Dior Haute Couture dramatic black gown with opera gloves.  I also loved how she seemed slightly bored sitting through a Hollywood “high school reunion.”  This girl just knows how to do fashion and Hollywood should take note.  Not only did she steal away their most eligible bachelor, she’s also teaching them a thing or two about class and style.  Does anyone look better than Amal and George?  Really?




Okay, maybe Channing Tatum and Jenna Dewan who looked insanely beautiful in her pale yellow Carolina Herrera masterpiece.  I’m not surprised as Carolina is my favorite designer.  Everything she does is simple yet stunning.  It doesn’t hurt to have Channing on your arm either!


Okay, and now for the rest of the bunch in no particular order:


“Best Dressed”


Julia Louis Dreyfus in Narciso Rodriquez.  Elaine is definitely all growed up and this sexy little Narciso Rodriquez white magic was indeed sexy yet still classy.




Emily Blunt in Michael Kors.  Call me crazy but I like this icey white “cross-cross” Michael Kors dress.




Camila Alves in Monique Lhuillier.  In a word:  stunning.  Austin’s own Mrs. McConaughey was breathtaking in a simple blush column gown with black piping.  Normally I would include the couple up top with the Clooneys and the Tatums, but I didn’t much care for the scruffy look and “interesting” tux Camila’s hubby wore.  This time, it was her turn and she more than showed up.



Naomi Watts in Gucci.  A little ray of sunshine in her bright yellow, the Aussie stunner added her trademark edge with a blinding Bulgari serpenti necklace.  I also liked the touch of a belt.  Nice.



Emma Stone in Lanvin.  Many have given Stone’s “pant suit with bling and a train” choice a thumbs down, but I’m crazy about it.   It reminded me of another Emma’s pant choice at last year’s Golden Globes:  Emma Watson’s stunning red and black Dior Couture look.  I loved them both.



Christine Baranski in Zac Posen.  Not your normal “top of mind” fashion plate, but I think Baranski rocked it in this Zac Posen fitted gown.  Plus, is that color Marsala?!



Diana Kruger in Emilia Wickstead.  Hello silver!  Hello shimmery!  Hello perfection!  A constant “best dressed” list member, Kruger is sure to stay on those lists thanks to this little number.



Kate Beckinsale in Elie Saab Couture.  Another “best dressed” list favorite, Beckinsale’s choices often bore me, but this Elie Saab Couture draped delight stole my heart.  Maybe it’s the glitter.  Maybe it’s the softness combined with the glitter.  Maybe it’s both.



Catherine Zeta Jones in Angel Sanchez.  Okay, don’t laugh but everything I’ve read is comparing this strapless red stunner with the similarly dressed dancing Emoji.  Funny yes, but I still love it.  I’m always a sucker for red and I just think Jones looked fabulous.


“Worst Dressed”



Tina Fey in Antonio Berardi.  Our favorite funny lady, but jokes on her in this mess of a dress.  I don’t get it.  It’s not flattering AT ALL at the waistline (and who would ever want that?!), it’s awkwardly poofy, and the length is all wrong.  Still, the George and Amal joke was hilarious.



Jessica Chastain in Versace.  The ’80s called and they want their bronze lame dress back.  What?  So disappointed in Jessica who is normally spot on.  I do kinda like the hair though.  Kinda.


Claire Danes

Claire Danes in Valentino.  This happened to Claire Danes last night and I don’t even know where to begin.  An ill-fitting choice is all I will say.



Jennifer Lopez in Zuhair Murad.  We get it JLo; you’re beautiful and your body rocks.  Enough already.  That Tracy Anderson-toned bod is uh-mazing but I’ve seen enough of it.  I’m the first person to admit that as Jennifer Lopez has aged, she has actually gotten prettier but she’s beginning to prove you can take the girl out of the Bronx but you can’t take the Bronx out of the girl.  I did like her hair and make-up but did anyone else notice a weird underwire jobby poking out?


Kate Hudson

Kate Hudson in Versace.  See above regarding Jennifer Lopez.  Again, yes we know you’re gorgeous Kate but maybe you should spend a little more time upping the class factor and a little less time sleeping with half of Hollywood.  Just saying.



Keira Knightly in Chanel.  I love me some Chanel but Coco must be rolling in her tweed and pearl encrusted grave.   Okay, Knightly is pregnant, but did she not take note of Olivia Wilde’s or Blake Lively’s recent red carpet “bump” looks?


Kerry Washington

Kerry Washington in Mary Katrantzou.  Oh dear.  Olivia Pope should investigate hiring a new stylist after sporting this couture crime.  A regular head turner, this one just made us want to turn away.  What a scandal.


Lupito Nyongo

Lupito Nyongo in Giambattista Valli.  Last year’s red carpet darling, Nyongo missed the mark in this overpowering and aging gown.  We want the old Lupito back.  Please!


That’s a fashion wrap!  It’s time now for my other favorite “f” word:  football!  National Championship tonight.  Go Ducks?  Go Bucks?  Go shopping!





A Football Party to Cheer About January 11, 2015

Filed under: Uncategorized — carlawordsmithblog @ 10:08 pm



Today I’m taking a break from my normal “Sunday Scripture” to talk about that other religion I follow:  football!  I’ve prayed many, many times for my teams to win but as I’ve come to discover, God doesn’t really care who wins the annual Red River Rivalry or AFC East!  And yes, my Catholic guilt is killing me but THE NATIONAL CHAMPIONSHIP IS TOMORROW!!!


Sadly my Oklahoma Sooners aren’t playing in college football’s title game in Dallas tomorrow evening but I’m excited nonetheless.   And even though Smitty’s Buffalo Bills didn’t make the NFL play-offs, let’s not forget pro football’s Super Bowl on February 1.  So today I’m focusing on how to celebrate the best in football in the best way.


If one of your teams is playing, choose a color scheme based on the team’s official colors.  If your team isn’t playing, go with a green and brown football field scheme, black and white referee style, or really anything you want.


super bowl


I loved the above idea I saw in “Better Homes & Gardens” magazine that features a trophy-like vase for buffet or tabletop flowers along with a chalkboard.  How ‘bout including pom-poms in with the flowers and adding some football-themed snacks to go with them?  There are so many recipes that are simple and yet sure to be crowd favorites, including:


TOMBSTONE_Kickoff_Pizza football-bites21  dip football2    cupcakes cookies Cheesy-Football-559US burgers berries  FOTAIL03  dip field


I’m a tried and true team player but I’m also the hostess who likes to sit down and actually watch the game and I don’t like to have to worry about refilling bowls or restocking plates, so in addition to those adorable novelty edibles, I like the idea of providing items that guests can easily eat.  No running back and forth to the kitchen or balancing a big plate with these single-serve temptations, including desserts:  (I’m obsessed with the ravioli and marinara sauce served in the appetizer spoons and the “caramel apples” are to die for!)


dip  shrimp1

ravioli  veggies3

dessert caramel apple dippers


To help matters even more, set up your drink station as a “serve yourself” spot and place snacks throughout the house.


No football party is complete without traditional Buffalo chicken wings, complete with the requisite celery, carrots and blue cheese dressing, and eating them with football-themed manicures are oh so spicy!


wings nails



If you’re like me, you’re always wondering how much food to buy or make for your gathering.  When in doubt, always overestimate and go by these tried-and-true guides:


Cakes              cheese plate


As for cakes, a baker I am not but I have used this stadium-shaped cake pan my mom gave me years ago.  The finished product was nothing like a custom one you can purchase (like this one) but it works!

cakepan cake


Finally, add some festivity to your party with football-themed serving pieces.  How fun are the turf-topped coasters I bought earlier this fall?  And the “penalty flag” yellow napkins and goodie bags?  Insanely adorable!


coasters napkins popcorn bags cutting board dishes


Other fun ideas include having a signature cocktail as part of the menu (“Packer Punch?”  “Buckeye  Beer?”), keep the vibe casual (it is football after all), and provide nametags if the group will be large.  On them write how each guest knows you, which will serve as great conversation starters and ice-breakers.


Yes, many of these ideas are silly and corny but they are also fun and festive!  The crowd will be cheering as they toast the winning team and you will walk away a true winner!


The Color Marsala January 10, 2015

Filed under: Uncategorized — carlawordsmithblog @ 7:53 pm

I’m hunkered down indoors today due to freezing temperatures and drizzle, but that can’t keep me from thinking about fashion.  I’ve recently written about New Year’s resolutions and 2015 weight loss tips and now it’s time to write about the “official” color of 2015…drum roll please…MARSALA!  Huh?  What’s that you say?  Marsala?   Yep, according to Pantone, the global color authority, 2015’s color is Marsala.


“It’s a deliciously warm shade you can almost taste just by looking at it.”

Pantone Color Institute’s Leatrice Eisman


That’s what she says, but you’re probably thinking, “I’ve heard about the Italian wine called Marsala and I’ve heard it used in chicken and veal dishes, but fashion and décor?  Not so much.”  Hold on though, it’s actually do-able!


Marsala KMy daughter Kristen recently purchased (okay, I purchased!) this simple yet stunning leather sheath at Hemline in Austin.  She chose it because of its style and fit, but it’s actually the color Marsala!  It’s also kind of amazing.  Who knew?!


This is the 15th year Pantone has chosen a color of the year.  Its annual announcement influences product development and buying in a variety of industries, including fashion, home décor, beauty and cosmetics, and graphic design.




Despite grumblings heard upon the proclamation of its “now moment,” Marsala is actually a very versatile color.  Just like the wine that shares its name, the tasteful hue embodies richness and earthiness all at once.  It is a long, cool drink of sophistication.


The shade is also appealing to both men and women, unlike Pantone’s 2015 color of the year, Radiant Orchid, and its red-brown roots make the flavorful shade the perfect pick for apparel, accessories, beauty products, and home décor.


“Marsala enriches our mind, body, and soul, exuding confidence and stability,” Eiseman adds.  “It is a subtly seductive shade and one that draws us in to its embracing warmth.”


Okay, maybe a bit dramatic being that we’re talking about a COLOR, but we’ll go with it anyway.



TSWift Naomi_Watts_BWBA BLively

A hit on red carpets and runways, Marsala is an elegant statement color that works on everything from clothing to jewelry, handbags to shoes.




I recently saw these two cuties at way affordable H&M:

Marsala H&M1 Marsala H&M



This “bandage” dress by Herve Leger may not be for everyone, but these Gap jeans and low-top Cons are!

Herve Leger Gap jeans Cons




And since I’m never one to walk away from a good plaid, let’s not forget our men friends!



The color compliments all skin tones and is best paired with neutrals such as navy or black or complimentary hues like mustard and metallics.





pantone_2015_color_marsala_DUGP_jpg Nails

Sultry and subtle, Marsala is a great “go-to” color for highlighting cheeks or adding a pop of color to eyes, nails, and lips.  It pairs beautifully with gold metallics and bronzes.  I recommend using it in one area on the face only, adding punch to either your eyes, lips, or cheeks but not all three.





When it comes to home décor, you could say hints of Marsala have been around for years.  Remember the popular green and burgundy trend?  What about painting those dining room walls red?  Maybe Marsala has been lurking at home all along!


Today’s tone, however, is complex and full-bodied without being too dominant or overpowering.  Marsala is bold yet understated.  It’s not an Asian red on the walls and it’s not green’s best friend anymore.  It adds elegance to a room and is best reserved for accent pieces, accessories, and paint.  Again, think subtle.  Think throws and pillows, bedding and rugs.


lampRug  coffee


Not surprising, Marsala is perfect for kitchens and dining areas.  The color is great in a stripe pattern, making it terrific for tabletops, dinnerware, and window treatments.


Two things to also consider when choosing Marsala products are matte and sheen.  A matte finish will enrich Marsala’s organic nature while adding sheen with convey glamour and luxury.  In short, 2015’s Marsala is both dramatic and grounding.  It is a full-bodied and earthy tone that brings warmth to any home or office.


Marsala is definitely a statement-making color and one that is both tasty and trendy right now.  As with any “it” thing however, I don’t recommend going crazy with it but I do recommend having fun with it.  Maybe even enjoy a glass of Marsala while doing it!


Friday Funny January 9, 2015

Filed under: Uncategorized — carlawordsmithblog @ 10:18 pm



Tuesday Tip January 6, 2015

Filed under: Uncategorized — carlawordsmithblog @ 10:00 am

Although I have no intention of being in a bikini any time soon or even at all…ever…I saw this and thought it was interesting.  Substitute your own cravings or weaknesses as you like.  Be happy and be healthy!

Bikini ready body


Life Changing Blogs January 5, 2015

Filed under: Uncategorized — carlawordsmithblog @ 10:00 am



As a writer, blogger and lover of all things current events, I follow several blogs and am an incessant reader.  As a human, I often find myself between a rock and a hard space.  I share a lot with you and I recently posted blogs sharing some of my New Year’s Resolutions and goals.  Today I’m taking a break from my writing and am instead sharing with you two recent posts from fellow bloggers that really resonated with me.


Expecting to win without preparation and hard work is arrogance. Expecting to win because you’ve prepared and worked hard is confidence.


I am a huge fan of “Marc and Angel Hack Life” ( and loved their recent blog entitled “15 Ways to Live a Year with No Regrets.”  In it, they instructed readers to “forget the past year” and suggested instead to adhere to the following ideas “with a smile on your face and a sense of accomplishment in your heart.”  (I’m including a concise edited version of their original post and have added a few pull-quotes and photos of my choosing.)


15 Ways to Live a Year with No Regrets

  • Be the leader of your own journey. Too many capable people don’t pursue their dreams and goals because they let their fears or others talk them out of them. Choose to be stronger than that. Choose to do the things in life that move YOU. Let others leave their future in someone else’s hands, but not YOU.
  • Embrace uncertainty. Sometimes what you don’t want is exactly what you need. Sometimes what you’re most afraid of doing is the very thing that will set you free.
  • Take calculated risks. Life is short. The risk to remain perched in your nest is far more detrimental than the risk it takes to fly. Spread your wings. Fly! What a disgrace it would be for you to grow old without ever seeing the beauty and strength of your full potential.




  • Don’t just study it, do it! Combine your knowledge with intention and action. Life is all about learning AND doing!
  • Put diligent effort into your biggest goals. If you want the benefits of something in life, you have to also want the costs. Expecting to win without preparation and hard work is arrogance. Expecting to win because you’ve prepared and worked hard is confidence. Laziness does not pay. Effort pays.
  • Think you CAN. If it doesn’t challenge you, it won’t change you. Change breeds growth. Step by step you can get though anything.
  • Respond with the power of your positivity. Talking about our problems can be an unhealthy addiction. Break that habit and talk about your joys, victories, and blessings instead. Envision problems no longer being a problem to you. Envision the frustrations around you no longer frustrating you.
  • Flow with life rather than against it. Transform the energy of resentment into the satisfaction of achievement. When you choose to love what you’re doing, you’ll be able to do more of what you love. Allow your actions to add positive value to the moment. Make the choice to simply enjoy what is.
  • Be extra kind to people. All people, but especially those closest to you.



  • Value what money can’t buy. People who spend all their time trying to make money spend all their money trying to make time. This year, be wealthy in healthy relationships too.
  • Share your love openly and honestly with those you love. Express your love. Tell people what you need to tell them. You never know when you might lose your opportunity to do so.
  • Be wise enough to walk away from needless negativity. When other people treat you poorly, keep being you. Don’t ever let someone else’s bitterness and bad behavior change the person you are.
  • Forget trying to please everyone. Some people are not going to agree with you or like you no matter what you do or what you say. Get over it and get on with your life. Focus on how you feel about yourself.
  • Let your presence overpower your fear of judgment. Train yourself to be present without regretting how others once made you feel. Change the way you think.


Let go and walk away


  • Say “goodbye” so you can say “hello.” In life, goodbyes can be gifts. If certain people or certain opportunities close you out, take it as a direct indication that they are not part of the plan for the next step of your life. Life is simply making room for other things.


I have other blogs of Marc and Angel’s that I will be sharing in the coming days, but in the meantime…


Another blog I enjoy is “The Classy Woman:  The Modern Guide to Becoming a More Classy Woman,”and I loved the author’s recent post stating these 2015 goals she has set for herself:  (Again, I’m including a concise edited version of the original post.)

  • Complain less. Complaining isn’t classy. In the words of Maya Angelou, “If you don’t like something, change it. If you can’t change it, change your attitude. Don’t complain.”
  • Spend more time doing what make me most happy. Karla M. Davis, the blog’s author, wrote that she’s happiest “when I’m creating, whether I’m writing, decorating, designing, trying out a new recipe or taking photos.” I agree and I also agree with her as she wrote, “I realized a big part of why 2014 was not my favorite year was that I have forgotten to make time for myself.   I lost sight of what truly mattered and was fulfilling to me and I’m ready to get that back.” Bingo!
  • Stop procrastinating. Yep, I’m on it too.  Tomorrow?  Nope, today!


“Ninety-nine percent of all failures come from people who have the habit of making excuses.”

George Washington Carver


So there you have it, two portions of two powerful blogs that I hope to live by this year.  No worries.  No excuses.


Do you have any favorite blogs you follow that you’d like to share?  I’d love to know!


Sunday Scripture January 4, 2015

Filed under: Uncategorized — carlawordsmithblog @ 5:12 pm

2015 prayer

“The will of God will never take you where the

grace of God will not protect you.”


Hello 2015 and to a Year of New Resolutions January 1, 2015

Filed under: Uncategorized — carlawordsmithblog @ 6:15 pm



Where do I even begin?  Well, maybe with today, January 1, 2015!  A new year, a new start.  Yeah, yeah right.  Resolutions?  Uh-huh.   I resolve to wonder what my resolutions are going to be!


Perhaps Jane Francisco, Editor in Chief of “Good Housekeeping” magazine, put it best when it comes to picking a personal mantra for this new year when she wrote, “Taking care of ourselves is a privilege.”  Yes it is Jane, and I’m going to do a whole lot more of that starting TODAY!


“We all have to start with ourselves.  It’s time to walk the walk.  Take the journey of making very difficult decisions.  Start removing things from your life that are not filling your cup and adding things that bring joy to your life. “

Lisa Hammond


Well, said Lisa and words I desperately need to take to heart, but I’ve never been one to put myself first.  Maybe it’s time I do.  It’s time to think, feel and believe that this year is going to be different.




Nearly half of all Americans will make a New Year’s resolution, but according to “The Happiness Project” author Gretchen Rubin (whose writings and wisdom I’m obsessed with) that’s all well and good but we often make the wrong resolutions.  We are waaaay too ambitious when it comes to naming those resolutions, resulting in utter defeat by month’s end.  Rubin suggests to start by asking yourself “what would make me happier?” and go from there.  She also suggests making small, manageable resolutions rather than abstract, ginormous ones and to avoid over-estimating what you can do over a short amount of time as well as not under-estimating what you can do over a long period of time if you take consistent, small steps.  “Be happier” is much harder to obtain and measure than “do one thing every month that makes me happy.”  We all seem to want to lose weight every January, but maybe we should resolve to “lose 5 pounds by Valentine’s Day” rather than “lose 30 pounds.”   Rubin says to be specific when it comes to making your New Year’s resolutions and she also highly recommends making positive ones.  Instead of focusing on what not to do, concentrate on things you like to do.


Do them


Although I wouldn’t put myself right in the “perpetual optimist” group (I always say I’m more a realist,) I do make a New Year’s resolution every year that is positive and enhances my life.  Every January first I vow to learn something new within the upcoming 12 months.  I’ve taking Italian lessons, ice skating lessons, learned to cross-stitch, learned to shoot a gun at a shooting range, and got a personal trainer to name just a few.  This year I’m leaning toward guitar lessons.  Yes, I of course want to eat healthier and continue working out, but I also want to do fun things that make me happy!   There is no time like the present , right?


Give to yourself


I’m not a risk taker but I’ve learned that to find joy you often have to leave behind what you know or what you fear and take some risks.  Joy is a decision and I’m resolving to find it this year.  I’m going to be Phoebe on “Friends” and run like a child and not care who’s watching or what they say.  I’m going to stop doing things I really don’t like to do and eliminate whatever and whoever is bringing me down.  I will constantly ask myself, “what will you to today that will make you proud in a year?”  Whatever it takes.   I’m in.




What I’m not going to do is continue trying to achieve or hope for what just ain’t going to happen.  Again, I’m not a pessimist, I’m a realist.  I will accept what I can’t change and I will move on.


Let go


I’m going to be happy with a calm life and I’m going to wake up and think one happy thought each morning.  One small positive thought in the morning can change your whole day, and I want more good days and less bad days.


I want less stress and less worry.


I want normalcy and honesty.


I want to feel needed and loved.


I want to eat healthier and volunteer once a month.


I want to expect less and at the same time expect the most.


I want my mind to stop racing and I really, really want to stop wondering and questioning.


I need to stop doubting and start doing.


Sometimes you have to choose between a preference and a priority and I’m going to do some hard thinking about what’s really important to me and make that my priority.  No more “give it more time.”  No more waiting.


XToo late



My key word this year:  detach.   Detach from what stresses me and what hurts me.  Detach from what scares me and from what holds me back.




I also want to stop living with regret and get out there and just live.  I’m young, healthy, and like to have fun and it’s time to have more of it.  I resolve to live my life, not a life someone or something else dictates for me.


“I can’t stand to think my life is going by so fast and I’m not really living it.”

Ernest Hemingway


All of this will mean letting go of who or what I can’t change.  Not an easy task for someone who likes to help others and control situations, but it’s time.  It’s time to live a life full of “oh wells” rather than “what ifs.”    A young gun I’m not, but I’m young enough to know what I want and I’m healthy enough to take the required steps to achieve it.   I’ve given and given, waited and waited.  Now I can’t wait to give to me!


Not too late  CS Lewis


Who am I kidding though?  I’m a Nervous Nelly who hates change.  But, I also hate futility and its resulting regret and despair.




Today starts a new chapter in the book of Carla.  I hope to fill its pages with all things good and have fun doing it.  As Ernest Hemingway also once said, “When you stop doing things for fun, you might as well be dead.”


I’m not dead yet and I officially resolve to live in 2015.  Really and truly live.



XXXGood advice