Rock Your Style…Even if it’s Not Rock!

By | lifestyle

Do me a favor and think back to your teens. What kind of music did you listen to? Supposedly we’re most musically impressionable in our teens, and for me, that’s definitely true.  As I recently watched the 2018 Rock & Roll Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony, I was struck by how great some of my musical heroes looked and sounded.  Justin Hayward and John Lodge of The Moody Blues, Jon Bon Jovi and The Cars (minus my beloved Benjamin Orr who passed in 2000) looked their ages in the best way. They weren’t trying too hard, but they were still rockin’ and making my heart go pitter patter! That got me thinking about how the important music from my past, has influenced my style through today.  And beware, I have proof.

If you watch any videos from the early inception of MTV, onesies were it – think Aldo Nova, Styx, the list goes on and on.  So naturally I was excited to wear mine on New Wave/Punk Rock day at my high school in 1983. Then we moved on to the “bigger hair” days of the mid 1980’s to early 1990’s. The Wilson sisters nor Kip Winger had anything on my hair. And how about the time I took a Keith Urban pic to my hairstylist because I wanted the same cut? I would say that’s influence….and a little weird.

Like the bands and artists that have so influenced my life, my style will always reflect a bit of eclectic edginess. Maybe it’s my way of paying tribute to the lifetime of enjoyment their music has brought me, but it’s definitely where I feel most authentic.  Rock on.

How has your favorite music influenced your life and/or style? Would love to know. 

Here are some of the bands/artists who’ve had a huge influence on me, and with the exception of The Cars video from 1985, the others are fairly recent.  Now this is how to age!

For the Love of the Underdog

By | lifestyle

I’m a sucker for a good underdog story, especially when it comes to sports! And with the 2018 Winter Olympics upon us, cable has been airing tons of great sports movies.  From Seabiscuit, Miracle, Rocky, Rocky Balboa and Creed, to Hoosiers, Rudy and Invincible, I have a hard time looking away.  Why? Because who doesn’t love seeing the little guy/gal, or in Seabiscuit’s case, little horse, kick butt and take names?  But it’s never easy for them, as life in general is never easy, and who can’t relate to that? To this day, I still tear up at the original Rocky training scene, and don’t even get me started on the theme music. Win or lose, real or fictional, I find these stories extremely inspiring

Athletes (including horses) who play/perform for the sheer love of their sport will always be the most interesting and exciting to me. Let’s take my man, pro-golfer Phil Michelson.  I think he’s brilliant, while being very human.  Just yesterday he was playing great golf and in the mix at the Waste Management Phoenix Open.  Then he did a very “Phil-like” thing.  He hit a wayward shot and double bogeyed  the last hole.  I’m sure he was mad at himself, but that screw up is what I find so relatable! I know he’ll win again (fingers crossed for this year’s Masters), and when he does, it’ll be that much sweeter!

When I think about some of my own underdog moments, my high school tennis team and horse racing days come to mind.  Two memories stand out from the tennis team:  (1) when I hit my doubles partner in the head while serving, and (2) losing a quarterfinals match 0-6, 0-6. The former still makes me laugh and with the latter, I couldn’t wait to get off the court, but it was cool playing someone at a skill level miles beyond mine. No doubt I improved because of it…yeah….. let’s go with that.  Either way, I had fun and learned to not take myself too seriously. Anywho, I believe underdog stories are really about living life, not just playing a sport.

If you haven’t seen some of the movies I mentioned, check them out, especially Miracle since it’s about the 1980 USA Olympic Hockey Team and their true-life miracle on ice. Can’t wait to see the stories the Olympics bring this year.  Go TEAM USA!

I’ll leave you with one of my favorite sports movies scenes, Mr. Rocky Balboa dishing a bit of sage advice to his son.


What the Heck is Hygge?

By | lifestyle

(hint – you’re gonna like it)

“Riding in your car reminds me of being at a spa,” this is what a friend recently told me.  I was secretly flattered and thankful she didn’t notice (or mention) the layer of dust on the dashboard or that every compartment was stuffed with gum, mints, essential oil, lotions, change, healing crystals and tissues. What she did notice is that we were “jamming out” to “Sacajawea” by Tingstad & Rumbel on my Sirius Spa channel….yep, Tingstad & Rumbel.  She also noticed the lovely essence of Cinnamon Leaf essential oil I had sprinkled on the floor mats. This same friend then asked me if I had ever heard of the Danish term Hygge.  I said, “Ha-what?” Hygge – it’s a Danish concept pronounced “hoo-ga,” and  according to Country Living, it can be translated to mean a feeling of cozy contentment and well-being through enjoying the simple things in life.  What a perfect time of year to get a little Hygge going in your life.  I’ll share some of my hygge-ness with you now.

When I think about being cozy at home, flannel sheets immediately pop into my mind. I love them and they make getting out of bed most challenging.  I love our 3 non-real fireplaces, 2 are electric heaters and 1 burns cans of sterno.  As another friend often says, “Hey, throw some cans on the fire.”  He’s such a smarty pants (not sure if I can say smartass in a blog ).  Most often instead of throwing on a can, I light a bunch of candles and place them in the fireplace.  I love the soft glow they create.  When I’m working at my desk, my healing stone garden relaxes me. The gentle colors in the giant formations of Blue Calcite, Fluorite, Rose Quartz and Amethyst are soothing and comforting.  And what beats a wintry afternoon snuggled with a good read, hot tea and cookies? Not much, ok, maybe a Café Mocha and cookies.  Just sayin.’

When it comes to “going-out” cozy and comfy style, it’s hard not to love warm scarves, mittens, hats, low heeled boots, thick hiking socks and down jackets.  They scream hygge, but maybe they should just whisper, since this is all about being relaxed.

Sir Thomas loves to be surrounded by his tried and true buddies while he sits under the Christmas tree.  They sure seem to get this hygge thing.

So there you have it my friends. I hope you’re ready to nestle up with a warm blanket, a good book and a hot beverage for a cold-wintry day of hygge-ness.  Enjoy and I’ll be chatting with you next year!

Merry Christmas, Happy Holidays and may the Hygge be with you!



A Few of My Favorite Veterans

By | lifestyle

In honor of Veterans Day, this blog is dedicated to some very special men and women. I wanted to share these dynamic people with you, so I asked them to answer two questions:

1) How has being in the military benefited you and/or what may the general population not know about your service?

2) What are you most proud of in your military career

Here’s what they had to say-

1) The greatest benefit to serving in the military to me is meeting people from walks of life that you’d never encounter otherwise. The leaders, mentors and even amazing troops who serve under you help shape your character. And character lasts even when the day comes to hang the uniform up.

 2) One my proudest moments was getting to meet Chuck Yeager while I was deployed to Afghanistan. Shaking hands with living history was a memory I’ll get to share with my grandkids. I’ve even got a picture!

Seth R.


1) One of the many ways that the military has had a positive impact on my life it has made me self sufficient and gave me money for college #nostudentloans!!

2) The thing that I’m most proud of in my career is the time that I spent as a Recruiter. There is no greater feeling than knowing that you have shown someone a path to change their life for the better.

Jay W.


1) Joining the military was the best decision I’ve ever made in life. It has allowed me the pleasure of traveling to different countries all over the world that many dream of seeing. I’ve met people with multi-ethnic backgrounds & had a chance to experience their culture.

What the general population does not know about the military is that the multi-services where put into place to keep and maintain a strong presence for the United States and preserve the freedom of our country. No one wants war anywhere however; there are evil dictators that want to rule the world. You don’t have to look far to see the chaos; just look at the current turmoil occurring in Venezuela, Brazil, & the iron fist ruling in Cuba.

2) What are you most proud of military wise: I’m proud that I was given & still have the opportunity to serve and defend our great nation. I thank my Dad (who served in WWII) and my two older brothers who service in the U.S. Marines & Air Force, as I was able to follow in their footsteps.

Lenny M.


1) Without a doubt the military (USAF) made me a better man.  Over the last 32 years, I have had the privilege of working for and with true professionals who were dedicated to country and service.   I learned to never pass up the opportunity to lead when able, and follow when required.   Most importantly I learned that it is those young airman and NCOs working for you that make the mission happen. I would also like the public to know that the Air National Guard is just not an organization of “Weekend Warriors”.  There is a fulltime contingency that works every day training for the next mission.  Additionally, the Guard is no longer viewed as being in a supporting role.  The Air Guard is very much a force multiplying agency who meets the same demands as the active duty.  When the national calls, we answer.

2) I am most proud of the time I spent with exceptional Airman while deployed to Kuwait, Iraq and Afghanistan.  During these deployments, everyone came together to make the mission a success regardless of the situation or task.   We spend so much time training for the mission, that when the time arrived to execute, we did it without fail and never lost sight of the end goal.  Which simply was to win the fight.

Will W.


1) I love being a part of the Air Force/military. I come from quite a small family, so being in the Air National Guard has truly become much more than simply a career choice, it’s become family. It’s a place where I feel challenged mentally and physically and I thrive on seeking how I can impact the greater good.  Most importantly, I love serving the airmen on the ground in harms way.  I love my job, my mission, and those I’m surrounded by. Those who share these values and passion are more than my coworkers, they’re family. As an Air National Guard member, I am part of something bigger than I ever could be otherwise, helping in ways I never thought imaginable.

2) One of my biggest accomplishments just occurred recently. It was the perfect blend of mentorship, self-reflection and my personal drive to help next-generation Airmen aspire to succeed. I was asked to speak to OH ANG junior enlisted airmen about my experiences and lessons learned along the way. Fortunate to have an hour of their time, I spoke to ~20 airmen about the aspirations and expectations they had of their future careers, helped explain key pieces of the military like inclusive teamwork, and discussed roles in their respective workplaces. Ultimately, I tried to convey how important it is to find a great mentor and return the favor for airmen junior in rank.

Also, I was recently chosen to represent Airmen of the Air National Guard on different panels in the year 2016. It was an incredible experience where I got to work with military liaisons to state senators, enlisted field advisory

Councils and Air Force Association Guard Council. I was able to voice my thoughts/ideas on how to help policy makers better understand issues facing airmen, such as deployments or matters concerning orders, among others.  It was an incredible opportunity that is truly a once in a lifetime experience.

Jen M.


1) The military has given me the opportunity to meet individuals from all over the world. I would never have had the chance to see other cultures,  engage in in-depth conversations and live in a world so different than what I grew up in.  Given the chance, I would do it all over again!

2) I am most proud of 2 things…

* I am proud that I made my parents proud. There is no better feeling than to know my parents smile ear to ear when they see me in uniform. All the hard work my parents put into raising me has made me into a professional Airman. * I am also proud to be currently working at the ANG Readiness Center (ANG Headquarters). After 20 years, I am now in the position to directly help every ANG Airman. The decisions I make help shape an Airman’s career.  I couldn’t be more humbled and priveledged to be in this position.

Yvette P.


1) Travel with the military gave me the opportunity to see the world and how fortunate we are to live in the USA. The lasting friendships that I made.

2) Most proud of the years of service to my country.

Randy L.


My Father – Pete passed in 2008, so I’m going to try and channel him….

I think he would have been most proud of (a) the junior enlisted and NCO troops he had the privilege to work with and command. He knew it was because of their efforts that missions were truly accomplished (b) the work he did in the Army’s Chemical Corps to help protect our Service Members in the event of chemical warfare attacks (c) how my Mother, having come from a tiny Florida pan-handle town, quickly adjusted to the up-rooting military lifestyle. It was that or be miserable. Wherever we lived, she made it home.

To all Veterans – thank you for your service!

Find Your Authentic Magic Playdate

By | lifestyle, playdates

Recently Life Coach Stacey Andon and I joined forces for our Find Your Authentic Magic Playdate.  The goal of an Andon/Wright Playdate is to create an enlightening and bonding experience like no other. New friend Karen Kukurin attended the September playdate and was a tremendous addition. She brought warmth, strength, humor and smarts to a dynamic group of ladies. Karen was kind enough to write about her experience…. and this is what she had to say:

It was a cool autumn morning as I set off Saturday to attend what was called a play date for women. Life Coach Stacey Andon and Fashion Stylist Wendy Wright had teamed up to create a transformational workshop on finding one’s authentic self. Ten woman, some coming from as far away as Annapolis and having various backgrounds from working for an international non-profit, to an organic farmer, to a stay-at-home mom, gathered in Stacey’s comfortable home, which was delightfully decorated for fall. Sipping on pumpkin spice coffee and cinnamon tea, we set off to reconnect with our innate selves, which often get lost in the chaos of life and the influence of others.. Stacey, who is a certified Martha Beck life coach and who has extensive experience in learning and development programs, took us through several self awareness exercises to unearth clues to what really is our true identity. At first it wasn’t easy, but as we discussed various answers, layers of beliefs were peeled away and our internal compasses, which we are all born with, were revealed. Wright, whose before and after makeovers appear in Harford’s Heart Magazine and who studied with Carla Mathis, a pioneer in design as a therapeutic tool, explained how clothing can enhance and anchor our authenticity. “Often there is a disconnect when we dress or decorate for others or according to the latest fads, “ she said. Capping off the morning we took a walk in a nearby woods and were instructed to take photos of trees and plants that we were attracted to. Afterwards, as we shared photos many of us were surprised they represented our authentic style! It was a marvelous, informative time and wonderfully relaxing. It is also the first step to finding your passion. If you’d like to attend one of Stacey and Wendy’s events, I suggest you contact them to get on their mailing list. Definitely a self-care exercise. or
Karen Kukurin

Stay tuned for more info on January’s “Start 2018 Soul-Full” playdate!