Daily Inspirations and Adventures

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Flowers on Friday: This Years Brooklyn Garden

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My garden is in pretty good shape, despite not having your green thumb to help plant this year ( :( ).

I’m not sure what these flowers are but they LOVE our deck!

IMG_9332 IMG_9333

My elephant ears (via Amazon) are cute but not big yet.  Any advice?


And the sweet potato vines are doing well, as usual.  Wish they could look like this all year round.


P.S.  My baby is turning into a little boy.



Written by bevanddara

June 12, 2015 at 3:02 pm

My Dream Kitchen

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Have you seen this ad?  Their kitchen is MY DREAM KITCHEN (the white, openness and the cute little window seat/dining table . . . even a sink at the window and in the island!!) . . . DYING!

Then I found out that this kitchen belongs to Jennifer (my old boss from SunTrust) and Michael down in Atlanta.  How crazy is that!?!?!  Maybe I should move to Atlanta so I can get a kitchen like this.

Written by bevanddara

June 2, 2015 at 11:00 am

Life is Like a Garden . . .

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Did you see that Leonard Nimoy’s last tweet before he passed was, “Life is like a garden. Perfect moments can be had, but not preserved, except in memory.”?  That’s a good one, isn’t it?

I’ve been wanting to do a little 2014 recap . . . just to list all of the things that I accomplished during the year – as I do every year – but I just haven’t found the time.  Now I think I know why (other than, simply not having the time).  I can list all of the things I did (went back to the office after having Julian, ran a half marathon, talked Mike into buying 7th row Jay Z and Beyoncé tickets, bought a second apartment, had the best year at work I’ve ever had, got my butt back to Soul Cycle and to yoga) or places I got to go (San Francisco, Los Angeles Vail, Texas, Amsterdam, Mexico) or things I was able to experience (my little boy crawling, walking and saying “mama” for the first time, seeing my best friend get married to her soul mate, celebrate 5 years of marriage with my soul mate) . . . but jotting all of those down doesn’t bring back the feeling of those moments.  Its lost, forever, which is depressing . . . but it also inspires you to keep going . . . keep wanting more great moments.

I can’t wait until I hear Julian say, “Mommy, I love you” . . . or can’t wait to take the first step into our newly renovated dream “home” . . . or get the promotion at work that I’ve been promised . . . or see another country for the first time . . . or cross the finish line of my next half marathon . . . or celebrate my 10th anniversary with Mike.  So many great moments still left to live.

Every year is a gift . . . every day is a gift . . . every moment is a gift.  How lucky are we?!


Written by bevanddara

February 27, 2015 at 3:01 pm

Love This Story

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Written by bevanddara

February 4, 2015 at 3:09 pm

Some Inspiration For Your Friday . . .

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Do you know Carlos Slim?  I was reminded of him today and two quotes of his that I love popped into my head that I wanted to share.

Live in the present intensely and fully, do not let the past be a burden and let the future be an incentive.  Each person forges his or her own destiny.

It’s important to give a better country to your children, but it is more important to give better children to your country.

Speaking of trying to give better children for your country . . . I have high hopes for this little one . . . he has already made my life better . . . can’t wait to see what he does for others.


Have a great weekend!  xo

Written by bevanddara

December 12, 2014 at 4:33 pm

Deciding To Make It Work

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Love this article.  Happy Friday!

Why the YouTube CEO always tries to eat dinner with her kids, and 6 more things to know

When Google got its start in a garage, it was Susan Wojcicki's garage. She was Google's 16th employee, and the first to get pregnant. Now YouTube CEO and pregnant with her fifth child, Wojcicki is a role model for many women.

Susan Wojcicki is a YouTube star without ever appearing in any crazy, viral online clips. She’s the CEO of the popular video-sharing site and she’s also an expectant mom, preparing to give birth to her fifth child while running the multi-billion dollar tech company.

When Google got its start in a garage, it was Susan Wojcicki’s garage. She was Google’s 16th employee, and the first to get pregnant. Now YouTube CEO and pregnant with her fifth child, Wojcicki talks to Maria Shriver on TODAY.

Wojcicki, 46, who is eight months pregnant, believes being a working mom benefits both her and her family.

“Your kids get something from your career and your career will get something from your kids,” she said in an exclusive interview with NBC’s Maria Shriver at YouTube’s headquarters outside San Francisco.

It’s been quite a journey to the top that began 16 years ago when Wojcicki and her husband rented their garage to two young computer scientists: Sergey Brin and Larry Page, who went on to found Google. Wojcicki became their 16th employee and the first one to get pregnant. She became the CEO of YouTube in February.

Here are seven things to know about this pioneering woman in tech:

  1.  She’s home every night for dinner. Crazy hours are the norm for many CEOs, especially in Silicon Valley, but Wojcicki tries to go home at 6 p.m. every night to be a part of the family meal. “I try, because I found that if I’m home for dinner, I can get the scoop from my kids on the day. After my kids go to bed, I check email. It’s about having that balance,” she told Shriver on TODAY.
  2. She believes being a mom makes her better at her job. Needing to be home actually helps Wojcicki to be a more effective CEO because it forces her to prioritize and focus on things that have the biggest impact on her company, she noted. “I want people to realize that it really is OK, that you can have a family. I don’t feel like I’m a perfect mom, and then there are times at work where I feel like maybe I wasn’t perfect here because of constraints on my time,” she said. “But having the sum of both of those things going on in my life makes me a better mom at the end of the day, and I think gives me really important perspectives in the workplace as well.” When you’ve got four — soon to be five — children, you know how to multitask and prioritize. Wojcicki says being a mom has helped her succeed at work, even though some people at times expected her to quit.
  3. Her company offers 18 weeks paid maternity leave, but she’s not sure how long she will take with baby No. 5. “Lots of people are asking me how long I’m going take off, and I don’t want to give a specific date because I think well, what happens if I get to that date and then I feel like I need an extra week or I need an extra two weeks?” Wojcicki said.
  4. Her advice to young women: Don’t overplan your life. Not every life move, like a great job opportunity, will happen exactly when you want it to, Wojcicki noted. “Joining Google when I was four months pregnant was a bit of a leap, but sometimes you have to do the right thing for you right now,” she told Glamour magazine. “After my kids go to bed, I check email. It’s about having that balance,” Wojcicki tells Shriver.
  5. Her advice to working moms: It gets easier. Women who worry about balancing family and career should remember that “the really hectic period” of having a child is fairly brief, she advised. “Having a child is a big life change but… you can get through it,” Wojcicki told Glamour.
  6. Her mom supports her work, so do her kids. “My mom is a high school teacher, so she would tell me, ‘Oh, the students liked the video you posted today. Oh, the students didn’t like the video that you posted today.’ As though I, personally, posted a video!” she told Fast Company. Her children also alert her to fun clips. “My kids will say, ‘Oh mom there’s this video I saw, I really think you should know about it,'” Wojcicki told TODAY. Wojcicki says she’s glad she stuck it out as a tech executive and says that as time goes on it does get easier.
  7. People asked if she would quit when she got pregnant at first.  Wojcicki is glad she didn’t give up her very successful and demanding career when she had her second child – though many colleagues around her assumed she would. “I won’t say it was easy, but I decided I’d make it work because I really believed in Google’s potential. When you’re a junior-level woman and get pregnant, people always ask if you’ll quit. But no one asks me that now,” she told USA Today.

Written by bevanddara

December 5, 2014 at 9:57 am

Some Days I Have It All Together . . . Some Days

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Hi.  I’m still alive.  I’ve thought of so many blog posts over the past few weeks but life has been getting in the way.  Thank goodness you (mom) are there to continue the posting.  (She has another quilt that she made for a friend that hopefully she’ll show soon!  Amazing.)

Now . . . on to today’s post . . .


Mike is away this week . . . London.  I was lucky enough to have you (mom) come up to help me take care of my boys while I was also traveling and working long hours.  (THANK YOU!).  But you leave and I almost fall apart.  Not because I need help . . . I do love having a second set of hands . . . but my mind is distracted by too many things (stuff I need to get done before our trip, the mile-long list of things I need to do at work today, guilt of not making it through an entire T25 cycle before I put myself in a bathing suit next week, etc.) that I forget about the most important thing . . . Julian.  This morning I was in the bathroom (for 30 seconds) . . . and during that time Julian managed to pick up Chet’s (ceramic) water dish (which I ALWAYS pick up when Julian’s around but forgot), dump the water out, slip due to the water being on the ground, fall and bring the bowl down with him, break the bowl and . . . by the time I rushed back . . . he had a piece of broken bowl in his hand and blood was dripping on the floor.  My perfect little boy was broken and it was my fault.  Ugh.  I wanted to throw up and cry at the same time . . . meanwhile he was “finger painting” his blood all over the walls and floor.  He could care less.

Have you ever tried to put a band-aid on a 13 month old’s finger?  Its impossible.  Putting on two (to keep his finger straight so the blood stops pouring out) . . . double impossible task.  But you know what?  I did it (after putting hydrogen peroxide on it, mom!).  I also made him breakfast, played for a while, had him help me pick out an outfit (that boy has great taste!), had snuggle time, put him down for a nap, got a shower, sent a few work emails, washed the bathroom rug that was spattered with Julian’s blood, washed the dishes, made Julian lunch . . . and then ran into Diana’s arms when she arrived because I was so relieved she was there and she could tell me that he was going to be okay.  Now I’m here, at my desk, trying not to think about his little finger but its hard.

On the way to the office this morning I saw this article and it could not be more timely.  Its part of a recap put together by Glamour’s Editor-in-Chief Cindi Leive following Glamour’s 2014 Women of the Year Awards.
  1. Don’t let fear be an excuse for inaction. “At one point, we were all fearful,” said GMA anchor Robin Roberts. “But as you get older, it’s the things you don’t do that you regret, more so than the things you do. When fear knocks, answer.”
  2. If the rights of any woman are threatened, the rights of all women are threatened. “It is my hope that this moment will inspire people to understand that the issues of transgender women are women’s issues,” said Laverne Cox. Preach. We live in a world where trans people still experience high levels of verbal harassment, physical assault, poverty and suicide. Feminism includes fighting for the right of any individual to express their gender identity authentically without having to worry about violence or social stigma.
  3. Your story is powerful. So tell it authentically. “The best stories are often true,” said Shonda Rhimes as she introduced Robin Roberts — a woman who has an amazing story. “The narrative of human life is most beautiful when told truthfully and without boundaries.”
  4.  You don’t need balls to be courageous. During Amy Schumer’s touching — and hilarious — tribute to the late Joan Rivers, she explained one thing that Rivers taught us all: “Having balls has nothing to do with it.” Damn straight.
  5. Women’s equality isn’t just an idea. It has real consequence for all of us — and for our children. “We need to close the imagination gap for women,” said Chelsea Clinton, touching on how the current climate of gender inequality impacts the girls who will grow up to be the women of tomorrow, including her newborn daughter Charlotte. “I want Charlotte to grow up whatever she dreams to be, wherever she dreams to do it, however she chooses to become it.”
  6. Ignorance isn’t bliss. It’s damage. “The biggest problem is ignorance,” said Sylvia Earle. “If you do not know, you can’t care.”
  7. Being the first is great, but being one of many is better. “I live for the day it’s not groundbreaking to have an Indian woman with her own TV show,” said Mindy Kaling, who is often singled out simply for existing as a successful woman of color in the entertainment industry. “I long for the time when there are so many women who look like me that I am no longer a model minority.”
  8. “To be a woman is to be human.” And as Lupita Nyong’o explained, our humanity is the most beautiful part about us. “To be human is to seek perfection and find joy in never attaining it,” she said.
  9. Do what you can, because every bit of change matters. As U.S. ambassador to the U.N. Samantha Power so eloquently stated: “Just try to change your slice of the world and the rest will follow.”
Ahhhh . . . I feel so lucky to be a woman sometimes and have amazing other women to look up to. We’re so freaking strong and awesome (well, most of us), aren’t we?
Some days I’m an excellent Mom, some days I’m an excellent employee . . . there are hardly any days when I’m excellent at both. That’s life as a working mom. But, when it matters most – whether it be putting a band-aid on my son or throwing together a last-minute crisis plan for a client – I’m freaking AWESOME. That’s good enough for me.
P.S. Thank you to our sweet 4-year-old neighbor, Ford, who drew that amazing get-better-soon card for Julian this morning. I had to run up to Ami and Jay’s apartment this morning because I needed better band aids. I will now be stock piling for next time (knowing my son . . . there will be a next time)

Written by bevanddara

November 13, 2014 at 11:16 am


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