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!

The Law of Attractive

By | lifestyle
I can’t help myself, when I see a woman with a beautiful peaches-n-cream complexion, but wearing zero makeup, I instinctively envision her wearing a warm-pink lip-gloss that would make her complexion pop.  If I see a man in a dress shirt that’s way too baggy, I want to show him how a more tailored shirt could make him look 20 lbs. trimmer.  I imagine how attractive they could look, but more importantly, how fabulous they could feel, with a simple tweak. I want them to experience Image Consultant Cheryl Obermiller’s The Law of Attractive, as explained in the book Inspired Style. To quote Cheryl, “there is a powerful connection between your body, your mind, your spirit and the way you look and feel.  The image you project to the world and the way others see you all have to do with the way you perceive yourself and the body image you hold.”

Speaking of simple tweaks, take a look at the pictures. Is your eye drawn to the regular cup of coffee or the beautiful latte? Notice how a simple application of eye-liner makes my left eye pop, while my right eye fades into oblivion. And how about the bird feeder? Aren’t you automatically drawn to the 2 tiered version (birdies are attracted to attractive things too)? These are all examples of simple tweaks that can make a huge difference. It circles back to Cheryl’s: “the image you project to the world and the way others see you all have to do with the way you perceive yourself and the body image you hold.”

If you’ve never given yourself permission to feel attractive, why not? You’ll still be you. And there’s a good chance it could make a positive difference in every aspect of your life, even when things aren’t going your way. For example: a couple of months ago, I had a bad day with lots of crying. I looked and felt like total doggie doodoo. I decided to put on a little makeup before Will got home and I immediately felt better.  And how about those times when you run out of the house feeling totally disheveled, praying you won’t run into anyone you know (but of course you do)? What tweak could you make in 2 minutes that would make a world of difference in how you feel about yourself? Maybe it’s wrapping a beautiful scarf around your neck or maybe it’s wearing that warm-pink lipstick. Whatever it is, feel attractive for no-one but you, though others will take notice!

Standing Room Only?

By | lifestyle, style

A couple of weeks ago while scanning my closet for things to purge, I pulled out “Ole Yeller.”  I had only worn her once this summer, so I decided to do a day-test, that is, wear her for the day to see if I still liked her enough to keep her.

Later that morning I met a few friends for coffee.  As soon as I walked into the café, they complimented me on Yeller, and even suggested I wear her  for a style video I was shooting later that day.  Flattered by the compliments and not listening to my gut, I wore her.

Here’s what I learned: Listen to your gut, especially when you don’t want to bring attention to it. HAA! I liked the top whilst standing, but when it came to sitting, all bets were off.  You see, in the seated position, Yeller became clingy, making me feel quite self-conscious of my torso area.  I became a mini-diva, as I couldn’t find what I thought to be a flattering position to sit in.  I had to change into pants from a skort, thinking that would camouflage my tummy more.  It didn’t help. And as Richard Wilmore of The Richard Wilmore Show filmed a conversation between Kathy Wise of Streetwise and myself, I was sweating buckets, not only because it was a 1000 degrees outside, but because I was uncomfortable/self conscious  in Yeller.  I don’t even know what the hell I said in our conversation.  I hope it made some sense because Kathy and I talked about 2 great topics: 1) what to wear when you’ve lost a lot of weight and 2) the importance of situational awareness if exercising outside alone (please see the attached videos).

Standing room only? I think not.  Life’s too damn short to waste time feeling that self conscious.  Therefore, Ole Yeller is in the “donate” pile, but in her honor, I’m going to find another lemon-yellow top or dress that I feel terrific wearing.