Beatrice Legrand, professional photo manager

Organizing My Photos: Help Wanted — Beatrice Legrand

By Cheryl Ryan

I’ve let my photos become an unwieldy mess of beautiful memories stashed in a closet. Years and years of photos and videos are hidden there. So when I was introduced to Beatrice Legrand, I was very intrigued by what she does as a  professional photo manager. I wanted to understand what it would take to overcome my lack of photo organization once and for all and I thought you might want to meet her too.  

What is your background?

Before moving here from France, 15 years ago, I was a scientist. I was a research physicist and consultant. When we moved here with our two children it was hard to work while taking care of the kids without any family support. And finding work while living in a new country presented its own challenges. So I didn’t go back to work and made being a Mom my priority. I’ve enjoyed my time as Mom but now that they are getting older I want a professional life again.

How do you describe your business? 

I help my clients manage their personal picture and video collections. It started as a hobby of taking pictures of friends and family and creating photo story movies of our time together. My friends loved the final product and encouraged me to do it professionally. 

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Shana Moore, Life Coach

Tips for Re-Entry into Your Life’s Social Orbit

By Shana Moore

A few words of wisdom from life coach, Shana Moore, on taking stock of this past year before jumping into your old social life with both feet.

Whether you’re more excited than daunted to resume your life’s pre-pandemic pace… or the ratio tilts the other way, it’s helpful to take stock of what was, what is, and what might be before you blast (or tiptoe) out the door as your fully vaccinated self.

Your People

There’s nothing like hard times to bring clarity as to who matters most to you. I can’t be the only one who noticed who reached out and who didn’t during this year of physical isolation. In fairness, of course, I must also take inventory of the people I chose to check in on as the days of the pandemic dragged on.

As you venture back out, be purposeful about who gets your time and energy. The company we keep matters to our overall wellness. Who makes you smile? Think? Feel vibrant and alive? Who inspires you to take care of yourself? Learn new things?

It’s an ideal time to take stock and edit with intention.

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Cinco de Mayo food

It’s a Cinco De Mayo and Mom’s Kind Of Week

By Cheryl Ryan

I’m so excited about Cinco de Mayo this year, or the Battle of Puebla as it’s called in Mexico.  In Mexico, this holiday is no a big deal but in the U.S., we’re all about it.

I love Mexican food and there is no shortage of great recipes.

I made this vegetarian Mexican casserole recently and it’s so yummy and easy. I always use these spicy beans from Whole Foods and they make any Mexican dish so much better.

For full-on carnivores, this one looks really good.

My hiking group celebrates Cinco de Mayo by packing a frozen margarita bag and taking it with us.  Once at the top, we pour out our perfectly thawed cocktails along with some apps and then gingerly make our way back down. After my first Cinco de Mayo hike with them, I knew it was the group for me.  I’d like to make these avocado fries for my appetizer contribution but these homemade churros might be easier to carry in.

Looking for some cool party ideas?  Here you go.

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Susan Olesek and Sue Lambert

What’s Your Type? Learning About Enneagram Types

By Gwen Dawkins

Learning About Enneagram Types

A few weeks ago, we featured Susan Olesek and her Enneagram Prison Project (EPP). Today, EPP Ambassador, Enneagram teacher and certified life coach Sue Lambert gives us an overview of the Enneagram Types. As EPP’s mission is to teach people ‘what’s right about you,’ Sue offers a glimpse at some of the best qualities for each of the nine types. 

What is the Enneagram?

The Enneagram is a well-established psychological tool that diagrams the chief virtues that form each individual’s essence and the typical ways our egos tend to act, cope, defend and relate to others. There are three centers of intelligence within us: body, heart and head. Each of these centers contains three subtypes. We all have a little of all nine Enneagram Types, but one of those areas acts as our “home base.” We won’t go in-depth today, but we teach the Enneagram triads in our EPP courses, which dig deeper into each Type’s predictable patterns. Once you know your Type, you’ll be amazed to know masses of other people go through life in ways strikingly similar to you.

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Alcoholic beverages

Alcohol — Don’t Mind If I Do

By Cheryl Ryan

I like drinking alcohol. It feels like a ritual at the end of my day. Whether it’s a warm summer evening or cold winter night, it feels satisfying. Hopefully, it’s a celebration of a productive day but even if it’s been a terrible, miserable, awful day, it feels like I’m leaving it behind and looking towards the next.

Like many, our household contributed handsomely to skyrocketing alcohol sales in 2020. Even when we couldn’t find toilet paper, Clorox wipes or flour we could always find our wine and whiskey. 

COVID aside, my husband and I have a pattern.  He quits drinking, for the past 20 years, on December 26th for up to 3 months.  Don’t ask me why he chose that date, all I know is that I have a driver for New Years’. Then we both start back up with light drinking, gaining speed during the long summer evenings and ending with a riotous crescendo each holiday season.  Honestly, we’re both so ready to slow down by the end of every year. 

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Using edible flowers if food presentation.

When Life Gives You Lemons — Make Lemon Cake

By Cheryl Ryan

Weekly Roundup

Seriously, make this lemon cake with the last of the fresh lemons from your local farmer’s market or the few still hanging on your tree. It’s really good.

If you’ve been wondering what to plant this spring you may want to consider a few edible flowers. It’s amazing how using a couple of flowers in your food presentation can go a long way. I’m kind of partial to lavender, pansies or nasturtium.

The Academy Awards are on April 25th this year and here is the list of nominees in case you want to watch them all before placing your bets this weekend.

Earth Day is April 22nd and here are a few green home tips and NASA is hosting a series of Earth events that day. 

Just Mercy by Bryan Stevenson

Just Mercy — A Book

By Cheryl Ryan

Mercy is defined as ‘1. compassion or forgiveness shown toward someone whom it is within one’s power to punish or harm, 2. used in expressions of surprise or fear’.

I had to look this up during a difficult night of reading.  It was 3 a.m. and I couldn’t sleep. Sometimes when I can’t sleep I read whichever book is on my Kindle in hopes of shaking my own thoughts.  It happened to be Just Mercy by Bryan Stevenson.  It’s a tough read about the profound injustice in our penal code and the legal system towards people of color, disabled and poor U.S. citizens.

When I picked up where I’d left off I found Bryan Stevenson, in his autobiographical story, broken by his inability to get a prisoner off of death row. Hours before his execution, the prisoner asked the guards if he could call Bryan and thank him for all of his efforts in trying to save him.  After receiving the call, Bryan, who’d committed to being at the execution, sat through the execution with tears streaming down his face questioning his life’s work.

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Baby chickens and heat lamp.

Welcome to The Hen House — My Chicken Coop & Run

By Gwen Dawkins

A few weeks ago, I told you about my new baby chicks. Well, guess what? At four weeks old, they’ve grown so fast, I just moved them into the coop with their heat lamp. If you’ve decided to get chicks, it’s time to think about your coop if you don’t already have one. Depending on your local weather, chicks can move into the coop at three to seven weeks.

There are tons of ready-made coops and kits. They are easy to find at feed and hardware stores. You can also find them on Amazon and on Craigslist. Another blog, The Spruce, shared this nice roundup of  The 8 Best Chicken Coops of 2021

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