Monday, February 28, 2011

Change The World

With all that's going on in the world these days (see Egypt, Libya, Wisconsin, et al), "Change the World" by Eric Clapton seems the best way to bring in March and the meteorological beginning of Spring.

My friend Cindee posted the video below on Facebook tonight (yes, I know I'm letting my friends do all the heavy lifting for LMS content right now, but I promise LMS will be completely original on Thursday morning) and it so inspired me that I had to share it with you. Take the time to not only listen to the music, but to watch the video and read the lyrics that go along with it. I'm pretty certain you'll feel inspired too.

And if Eric Clapton doesn't inspire you, take the words of Margaret Mead to heart. "Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has."

Sunday, February 27, 2011

If Only Ray Charles Could Sing Me to Sleep at Night

The other day on Facebook, my friend Koko posted the video below along with a comment about how she now wants Ray Charles to come and croon her to sleep nightly. I replied that when he's done at her house, he ought to just pop over to mine. She then kindly sent me the link to the second video. Just listen to his sultry voice. I'd surely have peaceful wonderful dreams nightly if I drifted off to sleep listening to him. If only he could...

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Can You Do Nothing For 2 Minutes?

When was the last time you simply did nothing for two minutes except breathe? Unless you regularly do yoga or meditate, it may have been awhile.

I found this cool site a couple of weeks ago on Huffington Post and I love it. I know a few of you will think there's a catch to this website, but I haven't found it yet. The entire purpose of the site is to encourage relaxation. I make myself go there a couple of times a day and just listen to the sounds of the ocean. Sometimes I almost get convinced that I'm sitting on the beach at Watervale.

Try it. You'll love it. If you can make it through two minutes of doing nothing.

Click on the picture and you'll be taken to the website.

Sunday, February 13, 2011

A Kiss is Just a Kiss? No Way.

In honor of Valentine's Day, let's talk about kissing.

I don't care what anyone says, a kiss is never just a kiss. A kiss speaks where words fail. Sometimes a kiss says "I love you" and sometimes a kiss says goodbye. Of course, kisses also mean everything in between.

Whatever the specific meaning, I truly believe that kissing is one of the most extraordinary experiences in life and what makes a mind-blowing, stop-me-in-my-tracks, chills-up-my-spine, knees-buckling kiss to me is honesty and trust, not lust. Even as I write this, I can still remember the most significant kisses in my life. I remember how they made me feel and who they were with.

Is there anything better than the perfect kiss? The best part of them is their spontaneity. You can't make the perfect kiss happen. It just does. And you can't usually recreate it because the stars have to align just right and that's impossible to force.

I could tell you about the kisses in my life that rocked me to my core, but that would be tacky, and I'm not a girl who kisses and tells. Instead, let's take a look at my favorite on-screen kisses.

Casablanca - Ilsa tells Rick she still loves him and they kiss. Classic.

Serendipity - Jon and Sara have spent the entire movie finding their way to each other after spending just one afternoon together 5 years earlier.

The West Wing - We waited seven years for this kiss between Josh and Donna. And it was worth the wait.

When Harry Met Sally - My all time favorite movie kiss.

I think Prince sums it all up nicely.

Prince - Kiss

On orders from The Little Mermaid, you gotta just Kiss The Girl.

Saturday, February 12, 2011

A New Twist on "Make Love Not War"

Do you have some spare guns laying around and no idea what to get your sweetie for Valentine's Day?

Little Merry Sunshine has your back. And more precisely, Pleasures in Huntsville, Alabama has your back. That's right, America's first drive-thru erotica shop (for those who just can't be bothered to get out of their car to get their porn) has now brought you a gun-for-sex toy swap just in time for Valentine's Day!

Trade in your guns and receive a gift card to the store where you can find everything from toys to stimulants to lingerie to videos. Guns will then be inspected by the owner's husband, a licensed gun dealer, and any found to have been used in a crime will be turned over to authorities. All the rest will be auctioned off with proceeds going to victims of gun violence. The store won't profit off the guns.

"You never know, maybe there will be someone who says, 'I've got this gun that I could go rob a liquor store with, or maybe I can get me a blowup doll for Valentine's Day, instead," owner Sherri Williams told Agence France-Presse, according to the New York Daily News. Seriously, that's my favorite line of the whole article.

You may want to hurry though. This guns-for-sex toy swap ends on February 15th. And to make sure you'll get a chance to use your new toys with your sweetie, I wouldn't wait until the day after Valentine's Day to do your shopping.

Friday, February 11, 2011

Jessica: The Movie

Now, I fully realize that the title of this blog post scares the living daylights out of a few of you, but it's true. I have a movie!

Truthfully, I didn't know anything about it until my blog buddy and Facebook friend, Dr. Monkey von Monkerstein (seriously, go read this man's brilliant blog) sent me an email yesterday with a picture of the movie poster.

Jessica (1962)
starred Angie Dickinson. Here's the Netflix summary:
When the men of a Sicilian village start obsessing over ravishing blonde midwife Jessica (Angie Dickinson), angry females revolt by refusing to have sex with their husbands. As the local priest (Maurice Chevalier) tries to encourage procreation, Jessica falls for a tricky recluse (Gabriele Ferzetti). An adaptation of a Flora Sandstrom novel, this charming comedy also features Noel-Noel as a matchmaking old-timer.
Almost surprisingly, it doesn't appear to have won any awards.

But check out the poster. I'd say it sums me up nicely...

Sometimes Adults Say The Darndest Things

Do you remember Art Linkletter's Kids Say The Darndest Things? If you're over a certain age, I'm sure you do.

Well, it seems that sometimes adults say the darndest things as well. Take this clip from a recent episode of Family Feud.

Try to be a grown up and not let your morning coffee come flying out of your nose. As always, if you read LMS via email, visit the website and watch the video.

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Questions! I Got Questions!

Thank you so much to everyone for the incredible outpouring of support you gave me in response to my post last night about my new job as the Alumni Relations & Events Manager at Lake Forest Graduate School of Management. Your good wishes and encouragement really mean a lot to me.

Along with all the wonderful support, I also received some very good questions and I thought I would just hold a "press conference" on LMS to answer them.

Now that you've got this new job, will you continue to do Mary Kay?

Great question! Thank you for asking. Yes, I will continue my Mary Kay business, much the way I do now. I will continue to offer Wacky Wednesday specials for my clients via email and deliver their products in a timely manner. Unfortunately, I will no longer be able to offer daytime appointments, but I will still be able to see my wonderful clients on evenings and weekends. I love my Mary Kay business and my clients and cannot imagine giving it up.

What about your involvement with the Chamber? Will you still be active on the Board and in the Professional Women's Council?

I will continue to be a member of the Arlington Heights Chamber of Commerce because I believe wholeheartedly in their mission of supporting local businesses and because as an entrepreneur, there is simply no better organization of which to be a member. Unfortunately, I did have to step down from the Board of Directors yesterday and, more than likely, I won't be able to attend PWC. Stepping down from the Board was a difficult decision, as I've thoroughly enjoyed being part of all that's been accomplished over the past two years, but stepping down was the only way I could pursue this opportunity. PWC is also a great group and I give lots of credit to for making my Mary Kay business so successful. The event planning experience I gained by chairing PWC was invaluable in helping me secure my new job.

What about Little Merry Sunshine? Will you continue to write Little Merry Sunshine and will you start posting more often?

Little Merry Sunshine isn't going anywhere. I love writing my blog and have missed writing it. I've been lazy about it the past few months for a number of reasons that are unimportant now. Truthfully, I have a number of posts that are about half finished. It's my hope that I'll feel more inspired to write.

How do Betsey & Ross feel about your new job?

Well, that's a good question. Frankly, I hadn't even considered it, but because you asked, I asked them and here's the transcript of their response:

"Betsey and Ross wish to express their sincere congratulations to their mom on her new job at Lake Forest Graduate School of Management. We will remain happy for her as long as this job has no negative impact on our lives. As long as we still have constantly full food bowls and clean litter boxes, we'll be fine. Our only other concern is that her new early rising time will disrupt our beauty sleep, but we'll fix that by scratching her eyes out in her sleep. Ha! Ha! We jest!"

Well, that's not exactly the ringing selfless endorsement I suppose I was hoping for, but they are cats and it did mention me, so that's positive.

I know that Lake Forest Graduate School of Management isn't part of Lake Forest College, but aren't they located on the LFC campus? How will it feel to work on the campus of your alma mater?

It is true that LFGSM used to be located in what is now known as Buchanan Hall on the South Campus of Lake Forest College, but they moved to their "new" headquarters in West Lake Forest (off of Rte. 60, just east of I-94) some time in the last decade (I don't remember exactly when).

How much are you getting paid?

I'm sorry, but that's a very personal question and one I will not answer. Next question, please.

Will you continue to volunteer on the Alumni Board at Lake Forest College?

Yes. I will definitely remain on the Alumni Board at LFC. In fact, I'm participating in Speed Networking at the end of the month. By the way, you're a LFC alum...have you donated to the Annual Fund yet this year? Click here to donate (even if you're not an alum you can donate).

Is it true that you have officially declared that "Winter is dead to me"?

Yes, that's true. If you live anywhere near Chicago, you know that on top of the blizzard last week and more snow this winter than we typically have, we are now experiencing the coldest weather in years. It's something like -15 tonight. Seriously. That's cold. I'm done with Winter. It is dead to me. Spring can't arrive fast enough. Thank God that pitchers and catchers report to Spring Training in 5 days and Cubs Opening Day is a mere 50 days away.

Okay folks, that's all the questions for today. We'll hold another press conference soon.

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

LMS Announcement: A New Chapter Begins

A little over three years ago I set out on a journey as a reunion volunteer for my alma mater, Lake Forest College. Because of my leadership and success in that capacity, I was quickly invited to join the Alumni Board, where I immediately proved my stripes as not only a reliable and talented volunteer, but as a leader on the Board and became the co-chair of the Alumni Relations Committee.

At about the same time, I got more involved in the Arlington Heights Chamber of Commerce when I joined the Board of Directors and became the chairperson of the Professional Women's Council. My active involvement in the Board and leadership in the PWC, led to a nomination for the 2010 Business Leader of the Year. (I didn't win, but it was a huge honor to be nominated. Honestly.)

Somewhere along the way, I fell in love with alumni relations and discovered I had a talent for it too. That's not to say I haven't continued to love my Mary Kay business, but the volunteer work I was doing allowed me to stretch my muscles in a different way. In fact, one of the things I have most enjoyed about my Mary Kay business is also what I most enjoy about volunteering in alumni relations: building relationships. In my opinion, alumni relations comes down to relationships. Alumni who have positive and satisfying relationships with faculty, staff, and other alumni, are more likely to be more involved in their alma mater by attending events, volunteering their time, and donating their money. Building the relationships is key too all success.

As I've continued to evolve as a volunteer, I began taking classes in non-profit and volunteer management. I even seriously considered getting a master's degree in it. Who knows, I might yet do it. In the fall, LFC offered members of the Alumni Board the opportunity to attend the alumni relations industry conference in Chicago, on their dime. Knowing a great opportunity when I see it, I jumped immediately.

The conference was an incredible experience. I picked up many tools and ideas that I would love to implement with volunteer programs at LFC, but the biggest thing I learned was that there is no "one way" of doing things. Yes, there are best practices, but many ideas, implemented well, can succeed.

Late in the afternoon of the second day, I was standing at the hospitality desk speaking with my friend Tim (the Associate Vice President for Alumni Relations at LFC) about alumni relations employment opportunities when a man I didn't know walked by and said "Hey Tim! I see LFC is hiring!" as he pointed to the message board about 10 feet away. Tim assured him and me that wasn't true, but I was already pulling the lone job description off the board and discovering a job called Alumni Relations & Events Manager at Lake Forest Graduate School of Management (not affiliated with Lake Forest College, although many people believe them to be one-in-the-same).

And that was the moment my world changed. Reading over the job description, I just kept thinking "These are the things I do now as a volunteer! This job was custom made for me!" I put my desire for a position in alumni relations out to the Universe and the Universe answered in record time, just as had happened many times before in my life.

I applied for the job (with the help of the incredible Lake Forest College Career Services Center because I'm embarrassed to tell you how long it had been since I looked at my resume), had a total of 10 interviews with 8 different people, and tonight, I am thrilled to announce that starting Monday, February 14th, I will be the new Alumni Relations and Events Manager at Lake Forest Graduate School of Management!

Once again, when I put something out to the Universe, the Universe answers with amazing speed. I hope the Universe is ready for what I'm about to ask for next.

Sunday, February 6, 2011

Saturday Night Live Returns to Greatness

Last night, Dana Carvey hosted Saturday Night Live. For my readers who aren't old enough to remember Dana Carvey during his Saturday Night Live heyday, he was part of the greatest SNL cast to ever grace the stage from 1986-1993. He created such characters as Hanz & Franz (with Kevin Nealon), the Church Lady, Wayne & Garth (with Mike Meyer), and did the best George H.W. Bush impression I've ever seen.

Fortunately, SNL got it right last night when they let Dana Carvey do what he does best.

Miss it? Not to worry, I've got your back. Here's the best of last night's show.

Wayne's World
Wayne and Garth reunite to predict the Oscars and (not surprisingly) have great affection for Winter's Bone.

Opening Monologue
It's okay if you didn't believe me about the 1986-1993 cast being the greatest ever because Dana Carvey will tell you himself, along with his cast member Jon Lovitz.

Church Chat
Seriously, nothing is better than watching Dana Carvey do some improv as he becomes the self-righteous Church Lady interviewing the Kardashian sisters, Snooki, and Justin Bieber. Props to Justin Bieber for making a cameo.

As always, if you read LMS via email, click here to visit the blog itself and watch the videos.

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Do You Know How to Remove Snow From Your Car?

I know that seems like a dumb question, but nothing frustrates me more after a snowfall than driving around seeing people who've barely made an attempt to get the snow off their cars. And for some reason, SUV drivers seem to be the worst.

I'm not sure why, but it seems that removing snow from windshields, windows, mirrors, the roof, hood & trunk, and all lights seems to be more than some drivers can do. Sure it takes an extra 5-10 minutes, but isn't possibly saving a life (maybe your own) worth that?

Fortunately, AAA has created a very helpful video to remind everyone how to properly remove snow for their vehicles.

To help with keeping her front and back windshield clean, Little Merry Sunshine highly recommends getting windshield covers. You can get super cheap ones ($5 or so) or spend some additional money. LMS probably spent $5 each and wouldn't say they're a perfect solution, but they do keep the windshield about 90% clean while the car is parked. Of course, snow still builds up on the cover, but LMS would rather shake off a cover than have ice on her windshield. Just tuck the sides into your doors and you're good to go. Little Merry Sunshine highly recommends them if you park outside.

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Little Merry Sunshine's Blizzard Driving Tips

You may have heard that we're supposed to get a little snow in Chicago today/tonight/tomorrow. To help you survive Snowmageddon 2011, Little Merry Sunshine offers the following driving tips:


That's right. Don't drive. Stay inside and keep warm.

Oh, and if you're coupled up inside, you may want to schedule an appointment with your OB-GYN for about 9 months from now and also reserve a room in your favorite maternity ward. Your doctor is likely to have a backlog of appointments with no rooms available in the inn (or hospital).

On a serious note, if you must leave the house to drive anywhere, keep these tips in mind:

1. It's illegal to drive with your wipers on and your headlights off. Even if you can see, your headlights make it easier for others to see you.

2. Have a full tank of gas and plenty of wiper fluid.

3. Drive slower and leave extra space between you and other cars. Better to arrive late than not at all.

4. Stay off your cell phone., but carry it with you and make sure it's fully charged. Actually, this is a good idea even in good weather.

5. Have an emergency kit in your car: cat litter or salt, a shovel, snow scraper, a warm blanket or two, extra gloves, hat and socks, jumper cables, snacks, bottled water and activities for the kids. My emergency kit is in my backseat.

The bottom line for blizzard driving is to drive defensively, have patience, and don't be a jerk.