2.18.2017

I miss cats, dogs, children, food, and travels on Facebook

I am in a funk.

And yes, I know there is an oil for that! Lots of them, and I inhale them daily, but even I know the essentials oils in my cabinet cannot change what I see on Facebook.

Will jokes, "Did it take Donald Trump to be President to get you to stop logging into Facebook?"

And I say, "I guess."  But, I still have the habit of logging in and when I do, I immediately regret my decision.

My son chimes in. "Facebook is for old people."

Apparently, it's the old people who cannot stop talking about politics then.

Every time I see my news feed, I get unmotivated.  I just want to hibernate in my home and watch the real news on TV or read the real news in the papers.

You know. Real news on TV where journalists report the facts and not give opinions.

No doubt.  The facts are pretty crazy lately.

To me, social media was supposed to be my Fru-Fru place.  It's where we told our friends where we were having dinner. What movie we saw.  What purse we bought or where we want to go on vacation.

I adore the steak tacos at an immigration founded restaurant here in Raleigh that is near my home. The entire menu is in  Spanish and the food is amazing.  I am so glad I found this restaurant called Don Beto's Tacos. 

 It was an escape from the daily news grind.  It was like the "Downton Abbey" of the dinner conversations where talking politics was frowned upon.

It's so important that people are activists and work to change things for the better good. It's critical that we have these strong people in our country. We need these people. People need to go and do. I respect them. But, why do people feel the need to share news reports all the time on social media?  I would rather see this statement in my feed, "I volunteered at the local homeless shelter for five hours today." That statement I would like. But, instead of seeing those facts, I see news article after news article.

Are they afraid that if they don't shout the news from the rooftops that people will think they support crazy things?  If they don't share political conversations, are they afraid that people will feel that they don't care about other people or immigrants?  Are they just afraid that people won't read or watch the news on their own and they are taking the time to educate others? If they share their cat's photo are they afraid that people will think they don't care about what is going on in the world?

We cannot get enough of our neighbor's dogs these days. The nice thing about logging off of  Facebook is that I now go for walks with our neighbors, too. 

I'm a former journalist, but I migrated to crime, features, and health because I liked that over politics. I used to groan when my assignment editor made me cover a city council meeting. But, I covered it very neutrally and that is what the real press is doing today. They are reporting the facts. I also know how to find the news when I want to read it.

Unfortunately, we live in a world now where we are saturated with news 24 hours a day.  We cannot escape it.

Facebook was once social, frivolous fun where we could log in and escape the constant news cycles for a little while.

Now, we have to turn to crazy filters on Snapchat to do that.

Look, I'm a cat with mutated hands, but man, my husband has good taste.



So, I promise you,  if you follow me on Facebook you're going to see a lot of fluff. But, that does not mean I do not care about this world and the state of craziness it is in.










2.01.2017

Hotel Travel: Hyatt Regency London- The Churchill In London Looks Historically Dreamy

It's no secret that I have a love affair with hotels then mix it up with my passion for London then you've got my attention when it comes to the many press releases I receive daily. Will and I have been watching Netflix's The Crown. Honestly, I'm not sure if this drama depicts more fiction than history, but regardless, I'm interested in learning more about Winston Churchill.

The Hyatt  Regency London-The Churchill near West End would be the perfect spot in London to learn more. The luxury hotel recently completed a multi-million dollar renovation and Sir Winston Churchill is at the center of it all.

Winston Churchill statue at Hyatt Regency London-The Churchill


Sir Winston Churchill’s family worked closely with the hotel in the design process, sharing original artworks, photographs and love letters between Churchill’s wife, Clementine, and himself.

The Churchill Bar & Terrace was designed by internationally acclaimed design firm Spinocchia Freund and features elegant bookshelves curated by Daunt Books that contain literature reflecting the interests of young Churchill and Clementine

common areas of Hyatt Regency-The Churchill


 Lawrence Holofcener’s sculpture of Young Winston sits on the bar’s alfresco terrace, with staff placing a fresh rose in the sculpture’s lapel every morning, just as Clementine did.

Fine fabrics and iconic designs – namely bespoke herringbone, button detailing and signature furniture pieces – reflect the iconic leader’s love of quality. 

New Renovation at Hyatt Regency London...featuring elements of Winston Churchill


“We are thrilled to have completed the hotel’s multi-million pound refurbishment, and we are looking forward to welcoming new and returning guests. It was an honor to work so closely with Churchill’s family to bring to life the character and history of the hotel’s namesake and we are delighted with the results,” said Arnaud de Saint-Exupery, area vice president for Hyatt in the United Kingdom and Ireland and hotel general manager. “At Hyatt Regency London – The Churchill, we are proud to offer business and leisure travelers alike the perfect place in which to work or relax in one of the world's most iconic cities.”

Hyatt Regency London Goodies


The renovation now includes a new luxury suite package in collaboration with world-renowned department store Selfridges. The stylish Life is Suite Package with Selfridges offers guests a VIP welcome, luxurious suite accommodation, five-star service, and a behind-the-scenes experience at London's legendary Selfridges on Oxford Street.

Hyatt Regency London – The Churchill boasts a great location tucked away in the heart of London’s West End – just steps away from Hyde Park and London's most famous shopping districts of Oxford Street and Bond Street. The hotel benefits from superb transportation links to Kings Cross St. Pancras and Heathrow Airport, making it the ideal hotel for both business and leisure travelers.

At a quick check on my affiliate Hotels.com link, I found rates for under $400 and if cheaper if paid in advance.  Hyatt is also offering many discounts, too. 

1.27.2017

Southern Parenting Tale: The Day We Delivered Girl Scout Cookies and How it Went so Wrong

It's that time of year again.  If you are on a diet, you hate it. If you count the days until you can get your hands on a Samoas Cookie, you love it.  In the South, we call that Girl Scout coconut cookie a Caramel de Lite because there are two bakers for the cookies. If you ask me, there must have been a spat on Girl Scout cookie names and ABC Bakers who supplies NC cookies, did not win the fight.

The popular Girl Scout cookie
Order Here: 


The original naming rights apparently went to Little Brownie Bakers. I spend half my time during Girl Scout cookie season trying to decipher a person's request for a Do-Si-Dos cookie followed by a Tag-a-Long.  Damn it, we are raising funds for the same Girl Scout organization. Can't people make the cookie names consistent?  Do we really need two cookie names for the same cookie and two different types of s'mores cookies, depending on the baker? Geesh!! But, at least we all know that a thin mint means a thin mint cookie no matter the baker.



As a mom to a seven-year-old Daisy, I have a love-hate relationship with the Girl Scout Cookies. I love eating them. That's where the love stops. As for my Daisy, she is more excited about eating the twenty boxes of cookie that her Dad bought from her than selling and delivering cookies.

We've sold a few cookies to our neighbors. Selling is fun. Delivering the goods is not so fun, especially when you get out of school late and it gets dark early.

I always text before delivering to a customer because I'm certainly not going to waste time going if no one is home. Half the time, Liza doesn't even want to go and deliver to the people who bought cookies from her. I have to tell her that the neighbors may have a cat or dog. That gets her motivated for at least one trip or two.

For one nice neighbor, it took us several days of texting to coordinate a delivery. I would text. He wouldn't be home. He would text and it was too late to go over. At one point, he was in his car getting ready to leave when I texted so I ran outside and he did a "drive-by" on his way out of town. He was a big spender at 5 boxes.

On Thursday, we finally had a free block in our schedule to try to tackle some more deliveries. She wanted to ride her bike. We weren't going far, but a bike trip turned what would have been a five-minute walk into a 20-minute bike ride one way. She is slow. Biking is not faster.  Math was never my strong point, but that is almost an hour to deliver just four boxes of cookies when we have a whole stack to deliver in the garage, but it is what is is.  At least one Girl Scout cookie customer would be eating well in the neighborhood tonight.

Since my son was in the house, I closed the garage door and went out the side garage door. I checked the handle and off we went.

We returned almost 40 minutes later, in the dark.  I told you it would take us a long time with her on that bike. I told her to stay in the driveway and I would let her in through the garage. Or so I thought. It turns out that when I checked the handle of the side entry garage door before we left, it really was not unlocked.

We were locked out of the house. Luckily, I had my phone so I didn't feel totally helpless, but the two of us went to the front door to try to get Jack's attention.

I imagined at this point that he's celebrating that he is alone in the house. I envision him with his headphones on and deep into whatever computer game he's playing.  He was not answering the door.

We kept ringing the doorbell like maniacs.  And we didn't just ring and stop. We did a continuous ring that would signal panic to most ears.

Honestly, we were in panic mode by this point.  Once we realized we could be stuck outside then the little one had to pee, and pee badly.

I did what anyone would do in an emergency. I called my husband.  This just happened to be the one night he had plans getting the Cub Scout Pinewood Derby race set up.  He didn't answer.

I was on my own.

We rung the bell again. And again.  And again. Finally, I saw a figure. He opened the door looking at us as if we were wild, crazy people.

He said, "Why didn't you ring the doorbell like a normal person? I thought it was Liza playing."

We were not playing, but I was so happy to be rescued. I then walked out the patio door to get her bike, and bam...somehow my finger got smashed into the door.

In less than a minute, I went from panic to misery.  All because of Girl Scout cookies.

That my friends is my tale about the day that we delivered just four boxes of cookies to a customer. Just forty more to cookie deliveries to go and two cookie booths to work.

But, at least she's cute. I do all of it for her. but I draw the line at camping. Not going to happen. What's your favorite Girl Scout cookie?

Shop Liza's online cookie site for those out-of-towners.


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