Another candle on the cake

20150317_084417Well, to be exact, there was only one candle in the cupcake, but another birthday has come and gone.  24 backwards is not a milestone birthday, but I do enjoy birthdays. After getting married, and having children, there is really no excuse for the world to celebrate YOU!  Birthdays are about it.  Of course, I create excuses to make each day special – see all my posts on the 100-day course I took, but there’s no better excuse to eating cake and ice cream than your birthday.

I generally start my birthday the minute the first free item coupon rolls in – $15 at Ann Taylor, or $10 at Kohl’s, and free dinner at Rubio’s, free burger (yes, this vegetarian loves her veggie burger) at Red Robin, free scoop at Baskin-Robbins, free Starbucks and Dunkin Donuts coffee, Lamar’s donut (yum!), and the list just goes on and on.  While I celebrate bit by bit all month-long, this year was just not the same without my best friend.  I miss her terribly.  When it’s a work day and you have to be at work on your birthday there’s just something to be said about having a best friend to do lunch with, or get pampered with on your special day.  But, sob story aside, it was so nice to celebrate this year with friends and neighbors.  Earlier in the week, I also got to do a painting and wine event and painted a beauty!  Also, I am so blessed to live near and around so many cool people who are not just great to have as neighbors, but whom I get to call friends.  A bottle of wine outside on the porch after an 82-degree day set the scene for a perfect birthday and flowers from a good friend ended the perfect day.

An entire weekend of perfect weather with family preceded this, mind you.  And I finally got to try a place I have wanted to try for sometime.  The meal was so great, I promptly passed out afterwards.  Another candle on the cake, another fun day, week and month celebrating.  We ended it with a family cruise.  Here’s to birthdays!


Life After YOU @ The Center Course and a $500 Giveaway

logo-drop-shadowMy earlier post on this amazing course with Rachel Davis was as it was ending and the things I was still learning.  So, here I am about 45 days post-course, with time to reflect and take inventory.  The key benefits of the course were (1) knowing I was not alone, and meeting so many people who were experiencing overload; (2) learning that it is okay to say NO and set boundaries and limits in my life – I cannot do it all; (3) it is okay to create time for myself and unplug; and (4) to create and have success in all I do, I must focus on one thing at a time.  The lessons learned and what I experienced really go to the core of why Rachel created the course:

What is most important is sustaining what I learned during the course, and I feel I have regressed on some days, but I am able to get on track easier.  If I feel overstretched, I am able to identify this immediately, and I can say no.  I feel more positive even when things are tough.  I am still practicing some of what I learned such as not letting others get toI encourage you me or make me feel guilty  I am able to identify when I feel overstretched or out of control. When I feel this way, I am able to put into practice what I learned and use the skills I learned in this course to get back on track. Ultimately, I am able to put ME at the Center.  The techniques have made me more productive at work, and able to balance more with work, life, home, and my second job.  And better yet, I am healthier, and able to practice a healthier lifestyle.


We have an exciting opportunity at Get Clued In! for you to take this 100-day life-changing course for free ($495 value).  The course starts May 12, and you can win it here for FREE!   Rachel created this course with YOU in mind:

For one entry: To enter to win, please do the following – Leave a comment below answering why this course is right for you.  NOTE: I will be able to see you name and email address – you do not need to leave it in the comment for privacy reasons.

For a second entry:  Please sign up for Rachel’s mailing list – here is the link if you need to cut and paste it into your browser:  In the comments below, add a 2nd comment that lets me know you subscribed.

For one more entry: Please tweet the following, and leave in the comment the link to your tweet(s).   “Life Changing Course, YOU@The Center course, enter to win priceless 100-day course here: @getcluedin”

Giveaway is open NOW until March 18, 2015 10 p.m. MDT (winner will be announced the next morning).  

WINNER IS:  Chrissy Morin – CONGRATS!  I will Email you with details!  Enjoy this life-changing course!

Disclaimer:  I was compensated with a free course with Rachel Davis in exchange for four sponsored posts and a giveaway (if I wished).  The opinions and life lessons expressed here in are my own.  

I gave up Facebook for Lent

It’s not a big deal at all, but it kinda was.  I left my personal Facebook for lent.  I had to keep up my Ratna GetCluedIn profile but only because I have an automatic post to Get Clued In! on Facebook.  It has been two weeks since I last posted and I have to go until at least April 5th.  The hardest day was a snow day we had here in Denver.  I so wanted to post all the snowy goodness that had covered our city, but could not.  But, so far it is so refreshing and nice to be off of Facebook.  At a minimum, I am glad the app is off my phone – deleted/uninstalled.  It is NOT coming back even if I come back to the desktop version in 35 days.  Here are some things I have learned through this experiment so far and I will do an after-action post when this is all said and done.

1.  First, it’s amazing how much people rely on Facebook for their social life.  It is a sort of alter-social life.  No need to meet in person or call, just check Facebook.  Done. It is nice to be in touch with good friends during this time, but they had to pick up the phone and call me, text me, or oh the horror, E-mail me.  It is nice to get E-mails from friends that I used to just direct message on Facebook.  Oh, the latest is that family members and friends are trying to friend me on my facebook account for my blog- Ratna Get Clued In.  I am not checking that site though either and apparently they are all messaging me there.  I have no idea why people can’t just email or call – oh the humanity!

2.  Other than grandparents, most everyone missed my daughter’s birthday.  I think because they are so used to relying on my posts sharing too much information all the time, they just expected to see it as a reminder.  Of course, the converse is true too.  I missed many of my friends’ birthdays too.  Hmmm… here is a thought in spite of Facebook, if we were real friends, why would I need a reminder.  Shouldn’t I remember such things? I really wanted to wish my dad a Happy 70th Birthday on Facebook because the phone calls, card and planned cruise in three weeks are simply not enough.  It didn’t happen if it isn’t on Facebook, right?  My birthday falls in the next 2 weeks too, and my page is deactivated, so it will be interesting to see who remembers.  My guess is just close family.  It’s okay.  It’s really no big deal.

3.   We have become so dependent on social media that we do not even want to see people in person anymore or call.  A friend of mine who never saw my post that I was leaving Facebook for lent texted me and asked why we are not friends, and why I cannot be found anymore.  It is distressing I suspect for all those who did not see my farewell post before deactivatng.  I mean no harm – I come in peace.  No, I did not “unfriend” you, I just need a break from all the stuff and information overload.  Frankly, I grow weary of over sharing my information too.  I am sure I am not even missed.

4.  But I do have friends who still call, E-mail, and text and we stay in touch. This is slowly but surely teaching me that IF I return to Facebook, I will be scaling back. It’s not that I do not like you, but I like myself more.  I respect myself enough that if I do not remember you, I will not let you into my every thought.  So, yes, it is okay to “unfriend.” When did that become a word anyway?  How can I “unfriend” you if I do not even remember you nor remember the last time you called me or spent time with me, or what you meant to me 25+ years ago, right?  A good friend has a rule for FB and I think I like it, “if I do not hear from you (phone/email/text) or see you in person at least once every few years, I am not going to allow you to see my life on Facebook.  I like it!  Why do we hold on to the past through social media if we do not do it in real life?

5.  Finally, what I have found so far is that I am not curious at all.  I really do not feel that I am missing out on Facebook, other than for my blog and my blogging mom friends who may post exciting local events.  Other than that, I really do not feel I am missing anything.  Maybe all the over sharing just did me in and I think as 2016 approaches, it may prove to be a good idea to be off of social media altogether anyway.  Politics – sheesh!

I am so glad I gave up Facebook for Lent.  Stay tuned…


Milestones and Memories- Princess Party Fun!

20150222_121255Look who turned 6?  It’s hard to believe our little one turned 6 last weekend, and we decided to pull out the stops and held the party at our home.  Sure, the Queen (mom) was nervous about a party at the house, and yes, we had some pretty crappy weather for it, but we pulled it off.  And the princess was very pleased and happy with her party.  Hailed as the “best party ever,” I can definitely say it went very well.




We called on Wands and Wishes in Denver, and were not disappointed with the lovely Princess Aurora as Sleeping Beauty.  She has an amazing voice, personality, and handled all the princesses we sent her way with grace and kindness.  She also led dances and read the girls a story.  The options are endless, but it was perfect for our little princess and her friends.  Milestones do not come around often, so it is nice to celebrate them with style and with all your friends and family.  Memories are cherished, and this event was no different.  Our little princesses had a grand time at our Palace.IMG_1071


Random Thoughts of a Frequent Travelin’ Mama

Before Flight

1.  Who are these people?  What is his/her story?  I wonder why they are going to Denver. Hey, Sir, can you please stop talking loudly on your cell phone? I really do not want to know about the property you sold and for how much.

2.  Okay, here we go and we are lining up for our flight now and people have no clue what the number system is and people are just wandering.  Now we are all on top of one another.

3.  I always sneak on an additional small item with my carry on suitcase and my giant overflowing backpack.  I hide it under my coat.  Will she see it?  I turn to the left a little with my shoulder bag on and make it through.  Whew!  I did it!

4.  I pick a seat and get settled in.  I hope no one sits next to me, but if it is a full flight, I am sure someone will.   If  I do not make eye contact, people generally do not sit next to me or near me.  It’s nice.

5.  Okay, here we go.  Whoops… forgot to put my phones in airplane mode.  I better do that.  Ah it doesn’t matter anyway.

30,000+ feet in the air or just on the plane:

1. Really? Do you need to recline all the way back into my lap only to bend over and work on your laptop? The plane is completely full.

2.  Why does this guy keep hitting my seat from the back?  What is in that damn seat pocket that keeps hitting the middle of my back?

3. Will these people ever need to get up and go to the restroom?  The passenger in the aisle drank two wines and a bottle of seltzer water.  She is never going to get up….ahhh! The guy next to me never got up the entire 3 hours and 46 minutes.  Is he a camel?  How do these people not need to pee for so long?  Note:  I love window seats.  Love looking out and leaning away from the middle seat occupiers.  Anyway, that means I have to make people get up everytime I need to use the restroom which is often on a 3 hour and 46 minute flight.  

4.  Seriously, dude, behind me.  Please stop hurting my back with whatever you have shoved into the seat pocket.

5.  God, this flight attendant is so disinterested in her job.  Why is she even here?  The other one is making up for her shortcomings though.  I have to say I love Southwest Airlines though – got some food, used my drink coupon, and I am all set for this long haul home.

6.  Woh!  We are going through a nasty weather patch – it will be fine.  Woh! Big bump.  It’s all good.  I think it’s called Winter Storm Pandora?  Why are they naming winter storms now?  What is that all about anyway?  Seriously, when will the turbulence stop?  My Fat Tire just splashed on me. Grrrrr…..

7.  Okay, I am going to close my eyes and try to sleep.  Yeah I can’t get comfortable.  5 minutes later: It’s not gonna happen.  How can only 5 minutes have gone by?  It felt like 35 at least.  Seriously.

8.  I watched an entire episode of MYTHBUSTERS.  The Star Wars episode was particularly cool.  I love Southwest and free Direct TV.  Wait, how can we still have 2 hours left on this flight.  I mean, seriously?  That episode was an hour long.  Why is America such a large land mass anyway?  Who decided to make it one big country?  At least if I was traveling 3 hours and 46 minutes to a different country, I’d probably feel better.  Like when I lived in Europe, it was so super cool to fly 2 hours and be in a different country and all.  Okay, I am going to try to sleep again.

9.  I really can’t sleep with that guy kicking my seat, and this lady has her light on to knit.  I will turn left to get out of the light.  Not working – how can only 2 minutes have gone by.  I mean the whining alone in my head has taken longer than that, right?  No.  Ugh!  Time moves so slow when one is flying.

10.  Oh thank God, final approach.  We are at 10,000 feet.  This is when I turn my airplane mode off and start checking my email again.  My $99 phone will not crash this million dollar plane.  Right?  Ah well.  Okay here goes.  Hope no one reports me to the flight attendants. They can’t get up anyway.  We are on our honor since we are landing into bumpy Denver. Final approach is my favorite part of flying.  I love it, bumps and all.

After landing/at airport:

1.  Will you please stand up and get into the aisle.  I really want to get off this plane- like now!  We are in row 3.  If you couldn’t get ready quickly, you should have not sat in the front of the plane.  Whew.!

2. Made it off the plane.  Since I have all my stuff with me, it is time to head to the terminal on the train.  Ah that damn train at DIA, Concourse C.

3.  I managed to get on the train and take a seat, but then people piled in, and now I am trapped.  This one girl keeps looking at her phone, even while getting on the escalator. Hey lady, look the F up – oh no, she just tripped and almost took out that kid.  What the heck?  Just look up while you are walking onto the escalator for God’s sake.

4.  Whew – got past the chaos and went straight to the shuttle that will take me to my car. Why is it not here yet? Ooh I see it.  I got lucky – it’s here and I can take it to my car.  The Parking Spot is so awesome.  I travel so much, I got some Premier status from them.  So frigging awesome.

5. I am home sweet home 1 hour and 5 minutes after I landed.  How cool!

All these thoughts, and no rest when I fly.  I am exhausted.  Time to sleep in my own bed… ahh, til I do this all over again.