I talk about food a lot. And other stuff.

But mostly food.

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Giving it away.

I've been thinking a lot about giving things away this week.  All kinds of things in all kinds of ways.  Let me start with this one:
I'm doing a $40 CSN shops gift card giveaway. To you.  Right here on the blog.  As you know, I just moved.  I'm having a wonderful time filling up our new house with our belongings, but there are still a few holes to fill.  Some bigger than others, and I discovered a great place to help me fill them.  CSN stores has over 200 sites from which to shop.  I love looking through the sites and visualizing how I will fill the holes in my new house that has a kitchen eating area AND a formal dining room - check out the dining room sets!  I've also looked at bedroom sets for my son who's just about ready to get out of his crib, bean bag chairs for the playroom, and have of course spent a lot of time looking over the kitchen items and cookware they have.  Who wouldn't want a free $40 to spend at one of these stores?  Details of the giveaway after these few thoughts.

I've been reading The Happiness Project by Gretchen Rubin and re-re-reading A Mother's Guide To Self Renewal by Renee Trudeau as well as signing up for my third round of a Personal Renewal Group lead by the amazing Sarina LaMarche.  I joined my Community Center, and the kids are super excited to go to playcare while I take classes.  I've been thinking a lot about happiness and self-fulfillment and love.  One thing I've noticed in these books and in my own life as a mother, wife, friend, daughter, artist and yogi, is that a lot of times if you're unhappy, the best thing to do is LET GO.  Give it away.  Give away the resentment, give away the expectation, give away the guilt.  These acts open us up to receive great benefits - relief, kindness, love, forgiveness, happiness, contentment, peace, wonder, opportunity.  I want more of those things.  So I'm practicing letting go.

I'm giving away the fear I feel when I want to write about something but am not sure if everyone who reads my blog will like it, or that it "won't fit in".  I'm giving away the guilt I feel when I don't reach my highest expectation of myself on the first try.  I'm giving away the restricted feeling I have in my chest when I think of things I'd like to do - that I'd really enjoy doing - and think there's not enough time/money/energy to do it.  I'm giving away the short-sightedness I have when I'm in the middle of paying bills or figuring out some other adult problem and it seems like I don't have time to play with my kids for 10 minutes.  I'm giving away the need to eat my way out of feelings I don't like, and face them - even when they're scary.  I'm giving away the feeling of disappointment I have when I look at myself in the mirror and see the 27 pounds I put back on after losing them last year.  I'm giving away the fear of asking for what I want.

SO - Join me, won't you?


Here's how you enter:

Subscribe to/Follow my blog.

Follow me on Twitter or my page on Facebook

MOST IMPORTANTLY:  In the comments of this blog post, Give Away a song that makes you happy.  Give a song that makes you dance or smile or sing along.  I will use your suggestions to add to my iPod and play it when I need some help letting go.  I will also use it at the gym I just joined, because I'm working on giving away this extra weight.  You may enter more than one song, but only one song in a post.

From the comments I will randomly pick a comment (with a nifty and fair random number generator) and the winner will announced on Friday.  You have until Thursday at midnight to enter.  Good luck.  We're all counting on you.

EDIT:  ACK!! I forgot - winner must live in the US or Canada.  Sorry, International Readers!!

Photo here 


  1. Two Princes by the Spin Doctors.

    Sure, it applies to every cliché romance, but it applies extra well to my fiancé and I. And it's so blasted catchy.

  2. That is a truly nifty idea. Here's a happy song for your list. :-)

    "Concrete Animals" by Shonen Knife (actually, most of their stuff is good happy-time music)

    I'll check back later and maybe drop another song or two in.

  3. I can only pick one song?!?! AHHH!

    If I had to pick one song that made me happy it would be Eye On You by Rocket From The Crypt. Catchy, fun, and sweet.

  4. My choice is Human Race by Red Rider, which is odd in that it's not a particularly cheery song but I think you'll find it fits your theme, albeit in a slightly defiant way:


  5. 59th Street Bridge Song!

    This is @beautifulmind1 btw. Great post!

  6. Very cool topic/giveaway thingie!

    I am pleased to offer you "Proof" by Paul Simon from his Rhythm of the Saints album. The album version is great and the Concert in Central Park version is even better. It always makes me want to hop around; maybe it'll do the same for you!

  7. Itzhak Perlman's Souvenir d'Amerique. I haven't danced to it but it sure makes me smile.

  8. Rilo Kiley's "With Arms Outstretched" is my nomination for your lovely contest.

    It can make me smile like the sun or spill tears down my cheeks, but it always helps me let go.

  9. OK. Don't laugh. "Walking on Sunshine" by Katrina and the Waves. :)

    Well laugh if you want to, either way you'll be happy!

    V - I loved your post/love your blog. Would also like to add that when we release fear, we can also add in gratitude for what we do have so that we're more likely to receive what it is we want :)

    Hokiness over,
    E :)

  10. I am not entering your contest, although it is lovely of you to sponsor it. I just wanted to pat you on the back and clink glasses (or bottles lol) with you and THANK YOU for this post, one of so many goodies in your delightful blog.

    I will mention the song Searchin' My Soul by Vonda Shepard. I heard it today for the first time in a long time, and it had me smilin' AND singin'. It's the old Ally McBeal theme song, but we won't hold that against it. ;)

    I am now 11 days cold-turkey from two antidepressants, and I can feel the veil lifting at last. Life is once again crooking its beckoning finger in my direction, which is awesome. That's one reason I love your blog and hope you will keep writing it and NOT worry about how people receive it. You do more good than you may ever know. :)

  11. I really needed to read that - thank you.

    I love Hang on Little Tomato by Pink Martini. It was the first dance at my wedding and holds a special place in my heart

  12. I've always admired you Virginia! Well, since I met you in high school at least. And I love the blog! I'm giving away my fear of conformity and offering you 4 songs:

    Hey there Delilah by the Plain White T's. It is so full of naive optimism and hope and for some reason I am therefore filled with those feelings, even though I should know better by now. And I like feeling that way!

    Come Away With Me by Norah Jones. It makes me thankful for my wonderful husband and is like a little mini vacation with him if we play it after the kids are in bed. Otherwise they want to slow dance too and that ruins the mood!

    Girls Just Wanna Have Fun by Cyndi Lauper. Could any song be more fun? Plus the video is totally safe for young kids. I think my kids ask me to put this on daily!

    I Love My Life by Jim Post. Reminds me how lucky we are every day just to be alive.

    Good luck with everything and keep blogging -- I'll keep reading!

  13. I follow your blog and the song that makes me feel good is Good Morning sunshine!!!!!

  14. I follow on gfc. A song that makes me smile? How about Somewhere Over the Rainbow (israel kamakawiwo'ole's version)

  15. Hi Virginia!
    I just found this blog today when I saw your tweet. I'm having fun reading back through it, although I've discovered that, much like shopping, it's a dangerous thing to when hungry! :)

    OK, I'm eliminating any JoCo or Paul & Storm songs from my choices because I suspect that you may already have those. It's hard to pick just one song!

    I really recommend everything by this band. This is their most positive song. Everything they have is fast & peppy & rocking. Most of their lyrics though are about things like breakups or how tough life is. I know, that doesn't make them sound fun, but they are.

    Sunspot is from Madison & they've got 5 albums now. The song I'm giving you isn't from any of their albums. It's a single they wrote to benefit the Radiate Hope charity.

    "Sally Forth" by Sunspot

    "The road ahead feels like an uphill climb,
    So sally forth, one step at a time.
    Don't give up the fight, don't underestimate,
    the inspiration that you radiate. "


  16. OK, I can't stick to just one.
    This one is just fun and always makes me smile.

    "Knickers" by The Young Dubliners


  17. I follow your blog, and on Twitter as duckybunny.

    A song that makes me happy...hmmm
    Goldfinger's version of 99 Red Balloons. Great beat for working out too!

  18. Oh, I've been reading The Happiness Project too. I don't like most of her examples since I'm not her, but the bullet points of advice and research are great! As is her website, which I sometimes use to organize thoughts. Like, some people scrapbook. I clip quotes on the web and make bullet lists.

    Song suggestion: "Things Are What You Make of Them" by Bishop Allen. Very catchy and upbeat with affirming mantra lyrics.

    -- @euphoriafish

  19. And... another song in a separate post?

    "I Think I Can" by The Pillows seems like a good one for working out.

    It's in Japanese except for the English title phrase, and that's what will stick in your mind. I like listening to music in a foreign language when I'm trying to focus-- since I only understand half the Japanese, I can trance out or focus as need be.

  20. One more and I'll stop I swear.

    "Philosophy" by Ben Folds. His most upbeat song and one of my favorites. Reminds me to let go of my foolish pride, which I have waay too much of, and to stop letting other people rent space in my head.

  21. Right this second I've got Billy Squier's "Everybody Wants You" running through my head and it's making me laugh. You can't help but do your best middle school fast dancing to that one.

    You make me laugh, Virginia. And I'm always so glad to read your blog, no matter what the subject, but this one was particularly welcome.

  22. Darling, you are beautiful. Do not think of "losing weight", think of feeling amazing and healthy and strong.

    "La Vie en Rose" by Louis Armstrong - my favorite song altogether. A bit slow for a workout, perhaps, but if you ever need to feel warm, safe and loved, it's there for you. I hope it makes you smile like it does me.

    Take care!

  23. The song that always brings a smile to my face, and always makes me crank up the volume is The Spencer Davis Group's 'Gimme Some Lovin.'

    It's catchy as hell right from the beginning. The opening bass line gets your foot tapping and as soon as the keyboards kick in your adrenaline begins to rush and your mood lifts. And Steve Winwood's voice is simply incredible.

    Sure it's been covered dozens of times, but this is the definitive version in my book. As soon as it begins you want to run and jump and dance like a fool all at the same time. It's just a beautiful piece of 60s blue-eyed soul and it never fails to lift my spirits.

  24. It may be cheesy 80's-style R&B, but I still get happy every time I hear Calloway's "I Wanna Be Rich."