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Life is Complicated

HAVEUHEARD
Life Is Complicated
Ways to find simplicity in
a complicated world.

From empty nester to re-nester, I get it. I have two grown kids of my own who are now back home. Weird flex, but let’s adapt to this new world, virtually chatting. If you followed HaveUHeard, you know we strived to get you on the dot info for your kids’ college. Now I’m re-focusing and sharing my experiences with parenting, fashion, food, health, and travel tips. I also include links to save you on the fun stuff. Hope to see you here! Sign up for the monthly news and views. 

Spread Light This Holiday Season

With Love & Joy This is my favorite time of year… Thanksgiving and Hanukkah. My birthday also falls a few days before Christmas. Between the holidays and my birthday, it genuinely is a season of joy. As we get near, my intention this holiday season is to spread light, love, and joy. Light a Candle I follow blogger Rebekah Lowin. One of the quotes she shares is from Rabbi Dr. Irving Greenbert: “The proper response, as Hanukkah teaches, is not to curse the darkness but to light a candle.” —Rabbi Dr. Irving Greenberg Blocking Out The Darkness It is so easy to find oneself in a dark place. If you suffer from anxiety, PTSD, or just are having an off day, which is perfectly normal and natural, 2020 and 2021 certainly tested our resilience. For me personally, it would have been easy to succumb to the negativity. The only path forward I envisioned […]

To Wish Was To Hope

… And To Hope Was To Expect” – Jane Austen, Sense and Sensibility Do you make wishes? I’ve definitely made my fair share.  Jane Austen said, to wish was to hope, and to hope was to expect. Like Austen,  I believe without wishes, we forget to have hope.  It’s why I make wishes whenever the opportunity presents itself.  Birthday wishes,  New Year’s wishes under the auspices of resolutions, wishing on stars… even making a wish on a wishbone. And, of course, who has not made a wish after finding a dandelion? I have fond memories of pulling dandelions out of the ground, making a wish, and blowing the seeds into the air. Do You Believe Wishes Come True? Today, I think very deliberately about my wish. But the thing about wishes and putting that thought out there is sometimes your wish comes true but not in the way you expected. To me, […]

Hanukkah Recipes Everyone Will Love

Latkes, Vodka & More I’ve been testing out various Hanukkah recipes for this year’s holiday. Do I stick with tradition? Do I try some modern takes on recipes? After a week in the kitchen, I came up with a balance. Main dish Although I am a pescatarian, my kids are not. Plus I have a few extra guests that are not Jewish. For that reason, I really want to give them the full traditional Hanukkah food experience combined with some non-traditional options. I prepare my brisket in advance and then freeze it until the day before. My recipe is a traditional Brisket With Caramelized Onions. Latke Charcuterie Board This year, if you’ve read my other Hanukkah blogs, I am going all out. My inspiration for a latke charcuterie board came from the blog Ain’t Too Proud To Meg. It would be perfect for displaying the various latkes I made. Of course, there would […]

2021 Hanukkah Table Decor

What Inspired My Table Decor? My intention for the holidays this year is to make it warm & inviting and joyful. To be honest, after a toned-down Hanukkah last year, I think it is only fair to be a little extra with my celebrations. I wanted to make this year’s holiday a celebration… a celebration of life, good health, family & friends. Of course, I will be serving some of the traditional foods like latkes but I may put a twist on that. Stay tuned. That’s why I am so excited to share my Hanukkah table decor. With Hanukkah starting early this year, (Sunday, November 28th), I got a headstart on planning out my vision. To say I cannot wait to share the holidays with my family and closest friends is an understatement. Some Call It A Tablescape I had not heard of this term prior to last year. In fact, my […]

Gift-Cards for the Hard-To-Gift In Your Life

Why Gift Cards Make Great Gifts While there is still time to find gifts for those on your holiday list, between low inventory, and shipping delays, it makes shopping a little complicated. And, I don’t know about you, but not only are the wishlists filled with more elaborate requests, but I find it very difficult to pick out the exact item they want. There are many great reasons to buy gift cards. You can shop from home. They may appreciate it more because they can choose exactly what they want to get It’s the gift that keeps on giving because they can spread out their purchases. If it is a business that is financially solvent, the gift card does not typically expire. Check the fine print Less stress trying to find the right gift They can be used for gifts they feel guilty splurging on. Whether you pick out a gift card […]

2021 Holiday Stocking Stuffers & Gift Suggestions

I cannot believe that the holidays are approaching. For those that celebrate Hannukah, the first night is November 29th with Christmas less than a month later. I don’t know about you, but my mailbox, both email and actual mailbox, is filled with catalogs and discount coupons. Black Friday deals are out earlier than they have ever been and the shopping season has begun.

Lend A Helping Hand

Give Joy 🎄 As someone who is Jewish, I understand the concept of Tzedakah or charitable giving.  In these difficult times, it is more important than ever to lend a helping hand. Teach Your Children Well One of my all-time favorite songs is CSN&Y’s Teach Your Children. We raised our daughters to always try to help others. When they were young, as a family, we participated in the Angel Tree Program.  They would always pick out a child/’angel” who requested a bicycle. They would buy the bicycle, using the money they earned for chores, and we’d wheel it back to the mall. To this day, it makes my heart so happy when they lend a helping hand. In college, they both participated in Dance Marathon to raise money #ftk (for the kids) at Shand’s Hospital in Gainesville, Fl. The Benefits of Giving There are many verses in both the Bible and the Siddur […]

Our Holiday Hanukkah Tree

Light, laughter, and lots of latkes Last year was the first year we added a holiday Hanukkah tree. For me, their request was a little complicated. I raised them in a conservative Jewish home where our sole decor for Hanukkah consisted of menorahs, dreidels, and chocolate gelt. With Hanukkah falling early this year, I for one, am excited to recreate the tree. The tree surprised even me. We had tried what we termed a Hanukkah bush a long time ago. But it made me uncomfortable because it seemed like a poor attempt of mimicking a Christmas tree. However,  I’ve changed a lot due to my personal journey. And, adding to that, was the fact that my adult daughters were living with me during the pandemic.  I was ready for a holiday re-do because we needed to find some light and laughter. How It Went Personally, I think I caught them off guard […]

Why I Watch Hallmark Movies

This was my first Hallmark experience so I had no idea they had a whole arsenal of movies. There were winter-themed movies, Valentine’s Day, of course, Spring, Summer, Wedding, Fall Harvest, and then the anticipated 7 night Thanksgiving event leading up to Christmas. I could now spend the entire year sucked into the Vortex of Hallmark.

Asheville: Five Day Winter Getaway

Our family usually takes a winter holiday to see snow and mountains (something we don’t get in South Florida). Previously, we would head to either Park City or Colorado for our winter ski trip, typically with my sister and her kids. But with a pandemic happening, we did not want to fly so we decided to drive to Asheville for our winter getaway.

There’s Snow Reason to Not Go to Park City

The Greatest Snow on Earth Park City has a very special place in our hearts. For those of you who live in South Florida, you understand when people say the largest mountain in the area is garbage hill. Needless to say, Floridians don’t have access to ski resorts. Even living in New York for a decade, I never had the chance to try it. When I was 28, my husband (who was my boyfriend at the time), took me on a trip to the mountains. He spent his entire life on a pair of skis, and as a very competitive person, I somehow thought I would be able to match up to him. That was not the case.  I was a hot mess on the slopes the whole time because apparently, I had a small fear of heights. After a few days out there, I started to gain momentum, and I was […]

My Word For 2022

Oh, My Word! Yes, we all know that words are powerful. We’ve all been subjected to so many words that proved to be powerful and, quite honestly, a little stressful to listen to over the past few years. But, this is about our own words and how powerful they can be. What if instead of making a New Year’s resolution, you picked an inspirational word? That’s exactly what my friends and I did after seeing a segment in 2013 on The Today Show. In the past, I found picking a resolution complicated. We vacillate around quitting a bad habit, adding good habits like losing weight or eating less sugar, finding more time for family, working harder, working less, spending less, saving money, and so on.  That’s not to mention the pressure of sticking to a resolution. HaveUHeard more than 50% of people make New Year’s resolutions and almost every study shows that […]

The Act of Forgiveness

Early Stages of Learning Forgiveness As children, we often learn that if we apologize for something we did wrong, all will be forgiven. I have many memories of asking for forgiveness whether it was to my parents, sisters, and friends. As an adult, I learned that forgiveness can have a positive impact on your health and wellbeing. Religious Forgiveness Although I was raised in a Jewish home, we did not attend synagogue regularly. We mainly went during the High Holidays. I learned the meaning of Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur from going to services. It meant apologizing to God for wrongs committed and asking for forgiveness. Traditionally on Yom Kippur, also known as the Day of Atonement, we also ask for forgiveness from others. Part of this involves stating “To those, I may have wronged, I ask forgiveness.” I recall explaining the holiday to my non-Jewish friends. I probably oversimplified it but would […]

Storyworth: A Literary Memoir

The Gift That Keeps on Giving Last year, my sisters and I gave our mom the gift of Storyworth. She was 88 at the time. The pandemic was in its ninth month and, like many, confined at home. Our thought process was it would be a way for her to share her life and preserve her memories. We also were at a loss as to what to give to her as a holiday present. Spending the time with her, documenting her life, seemed like a great idea. Storyworth is a gift that keeps on giving because the stories and accompanying photos are bound into a book and shared with family. The Gift Ended Up Being For Me Storyworth emails questions every week. While the entire process is done digitally, I documented everything with her when I would visit. The best part of this besides going over that week’s question was pulling out photos […]

Homemade Natural Remedies

A Prescription For Feeling Better My prescription for staying healthy, besides environmental exposure,  is a direct correlation between my physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual well-being. Now when I am getting sick, I take homemade natural remedies that are definitely palatable but better yet, work. My Achilles Heel My Achilles heel is respiratory infections. Trust me when I say I try to do everything and anything within my power to not get sick. Even pre-Covid, I was disciplined about keeping my hands away from my face. I owe thanks to a great friend who is an infectious disease nurse. During one bad bout of a lingering cough, she explained to me why most of us get sick.  It’s all about touching your hands to your eyes, mouth, nose. You get it. Consequently, I learned to cough into the crease of my elbow. I tried really hard to be cognizant of not touching my face. […]

My Favorite Fall Recipes

You Will Fall in Love With These Flavors Ahh, it’s fall. Fall is my second favorite F-word. Food is my first. But, don’t fret. I’m sharing my favorite fall recipes that you can enjoy even when there is no Autumn chill. It’s All About The Season There’s a change in temperature. Leaves are starting to change colors. Pumpkins are ready to be harvested. Wait! Who am I kidding? I live in Florida, where the fall season is something we’re lucky if we remember from childhood. That’s if you were raised in another state. No matter where you live, it’s time to switch up your ingredients to those most popular this time of year. They include many of the root vegetables (carrots, parsnips, beets, turnips, sweet potatoes). The fruits that are in season are apples, blackberries, cranberries, grapes, oranges, dates, and figs. The vegetables we think of for fall are broccoli, Brussel sprouts, cabbage, […]

Must- Have Creative Tools

These Are Gamechangers When HaveUHeard launched in 2017. I had no experience working with many online creative tools. Wanting to have consistent branding, there were specific creative tools I was told we needed to have. These are my must-have creative tools for moms, dads, students… and yes, graphic designers. Three years in and I cannot imagine working on my blog without them. Who Needs These Platforms From my experience, there are many of us that would benefit from these creative tools. Even if you go with a free version, you still have access to some of the templates. Personally,  I’d recommend the pro versions for many of these platforms. If you are a small business owner, a solopreneur, blogger, social media designer, a startup, or literally anyone wanting to up their design skills, many of these creative tools will be akin to having your own graphic designer, editor, and proofreader. Btw, that […]

Pescatarian & Proud

Only From the Sea. If it Lives on Land Not For Me In 2013, I became a pescatarian. Basically, this means I get most of my protein from eating seafood, nuts, legumes ( beans and lentils). Salmon, cod, mahi-mahi, snapper, cod, tuna, shrimp… there are plenty of options, especially living in Florida. My decision to become a pescatarian and forgo meat and poultry is not influenced by the environmental aspect, although that is a plus. It also has little to do with animal welfare practices. It is more influenced by my desire to make healthier choices when it came to what I eat. The journey to being a pescatarian came in stages starting in 2004. Stage 1 There are several influential factors in why I became a pescatarian. Before that, I first embraced a clean eating diet. That occurred after  I joined The Sister Study in 2004 when my sister was diagnosed […]

Why I Am A Health Research Study Volunteer

What’s It About? Before vaccines become available to the general population over the age of 12, they need to be tested. Worldwide pharmaceutical companies and health organizations rely on volunteers for clinical trials. The data from those study volunteers may result in vaccines with high efficacy rates. And, whether you believe in vaccines or not, that is not my purpose. In full disclosure, I am not a health research study volunteer for COVID-19 Vaccines. But I am a health research study volunteer for several health organizations. In 2004, I signed up for my first study,  The Sister Study, after my sister was diagnosed with breast cancer at the age of 45. Why Did I Volunteer? I have three sisters, one of which is my identical twin sister. Between my sisters and me, we have five daughters. Our mother was one of five sisters. And, I have 13 maternal female first cousins. That’s […]

It’s Game Day

Are You Ready for Some Football? Football has started and can I just say, F-I-N-A-L-L-Y. It is one of those sports that attract hundreds of thousands of spectators from all walks of life, to cheer on their team. Gameday is one of my favorite fall days. Personally, I am a huge Florida Gator fan and a Giants fan. Whether your preference is professional football or college, or a combination, make sure you’re ready. There is so much preparation that goes into game days: where to tailgate, who to squad up with, and what to wear. Showing up to tailgates and games is more than just rocking your team colors. It’s showing your spirit and how much you love your team. Tailgating No matter when game time is, tailgating, or pregaming, as my daughters call it, is part of game day. From barbecues to beer, from cornhole to ring toss, nothing gets you […]

Bathroom Makeover: Wash Your Troubles Away

Creating A Tranquil Space When you purchase a home, as I did, hopefully, you’ve built in any renovations that need to be done. I bought my house knowing that it needed a makeover. A bathroom makeover is costly. But I was determined to update both bathrooms. My kitchen remodel was challenging enough to coordinate on my own. Having one person to oversee this project and the subcontractors were based on the cost. Because it would be my most expensive makeover, I viewed it as a one-and-done project. It is why I spent about six months looking at the trends and combing through Instagram and home remodeling websites for inspiration. Before Both bathrooms were very outdated. Because I know absolutely nothing about permitting, plumbing, tiling, and architectural reviews when it comes to a bathroom makeover, I decided to wash away my troubles by hiring a general contractor. Both bathrooms were complete tear-outs. Being […]

Kitchen Must-Haves

Tips to Keep It To A  Minimum? When I downsized, I had to really give thought to what kitchen must-haves I would take with me. It was challenging. After the first year, I realized that all of the newest, latest kitchen gadgets that were supposed to simplify our lives, only made it more complicated. My Decor Style Funny story. I recently was talking with a friend who was using an indoor grill that is quite popular. I, of course, asked her about her countertops now that she’s added this to her air fryer, instant pot, and food processor. She said “What countertop?” And that’s where stocking a kitchen gets complicated. My decor preference is more minimalist with open space and clean countertops. The last thing I want is to clutter my cooking area. But, it is very easy to collect more and more every day until all of a sudden, your kitchen […]

Kitchen Remodel: Seasoned With Love

“Kitchens Should Be Designed Around What’s Truly Important” – Chef Daniel Boulud My kitchen is my happy place. So when it came time to design exactly what I wanted,  I went looking for kitchen inspo. One of the first remodeling projects I took on myself was the kitchen remodel. I wanted this kitchen remodel to be seasoned with love. I rented my current condo for two years before buying. My decision to stay was predicated on the selling price as the condo desperately needed updating. It had not been updated since 2004, almost 15 years prior. Before As someone who loves to cook, the lack of kitchen space prep areas was challenging. But, when you live in a condo, there are not a lot of structural changes you can make. I managed to remodel my kitchen and stay on budget. My Vision My initial vision for my kitchen remodel was to get […]

Chickpea Recipes You Have to Try

All We are Saying Is Give Peas A Chance Chickpeas, or you may know them as garbanzo beans, are a type of legume. As a pescatarian, I try to keep my fish consumption to about three-four times a week. To fill the gap, I make recipes using various beans. One of my favorites is chickpeas. They are an extremely healthy and affordable choice offering many benefits.  There are some amazing chickpea recipes that I highly recommend. Benefits Protein – crucial for bone, muscle, and skin health. One cup of chickpeas provides almost a third of our daily protein needs. Fiber – Fiber keeps the digestive tract healthy. Bone Health – Having bone strength is important especially for women as they age who want to prevent osteoporosis. I much prefer to eat foods rich in iron, calcium, and other nutrients as a preventative measure than have to go on a prescription medicine as […]

Spice Girl: Essential Spices You Should Have

These Are Essential Spices You Should Have For home chefs, there are many new spices and spice collections that will truly spice up your meals. I use a considerable amount of spices. Some might even call me a spice girl. My collection is so large that I filled up my new spice draw. As a result, it meant creating a spice display on my counter for the extras. Why So Many Spices? If you are a spice girl like me, you understand that spices add an enormous amount of flavor to your meals. IMO, space permitting, having a vast supply means having alternatives should you not have fresh herbs. A wide variety also means making your own blends. And, should you not want to buy a spice like gochugaru. Having an array of spices is a decent investment. You can store them in a cool dark space so they will last longer. […]

Ready to Remodel Your Home?

Tips to Save Money and Time The current real estate surge favors sellers with demand exceeding supply. We’ve all heard stories of multiple offers made for an above listing price. As a result, homes that are in desperate need of a facelift are getting snatched up. At the same time, supplies to remodel are in short supply and at escalated prices. Whether your current home or a new home, if you are ready to remodel your home, I am here to share my tips on remodeling a home, including mistakes made and lessons learned. Renovation Plans My home required an update. When I purchased my home, it was outdated, having had no updates since 2004. So I knew I wanted to replace the floors, paint the entire unit, remodel the kitchen and bathrooms. Before remodel After remodel My Two Cents Word of Advice Put Together a Realistic Budget – My budget was […]

Signs from Heaven

Messages Received By now, if you have read my blogs, you know I am a very spiritual person. Reincarnation, regression, metaphysics, karma, and mediums… I genuinely believe that if our minds and heart are open, we can receive signs from heaven. There was a period of time where I was unwilling to share my belief that we can receive signs from heaven. I think I felt uncomfortable being that vulnerable. But having been asked if I experienced any signs from my deceased husband, I felt ready to share my accounts. Fast forward to my husband passing away. Several events reaffirmed my belief that we do receive signs. The First Sign A few nights after he died, my older sister stayed with me. Every morning for three consecutive days, as she came out of my room, the smoke alarm would beep and the lights in the hallway would flicker. We checked and replaced the […]

A Thread of Blue

My Faith Gave Me Strength The Siddur, the term for a Jewish prayer book, contains a set order of daily prayers. My familiarity comes from spending years attending morning services in memory of both my husband and father. One passage references the tzitzit, specially knotted ritual fringes, or tassels, attached to the four corners of the tallit, prayer shawl worn by religious Jews. And one fringe contains a thread of blue. The Symbolism Behind the Color Blue There are differing interpretations as to its symbolism. Some say the color resembles the sea and the sea resembles the sky and the sky resembles God’s holy throne thus the thread of blue is a way of gaining the highest levels of spirituality. The fringes, or tzitzit, in its simplest definition, are supposed to remind us of God’s commandments and not be tempted or seduced by your heart nor led astray by your eyes. My […]

Wait Until You Sea These Scallop Recipes

Ofishally My Favorite Preparation As a pescatarian, I am always looking for new ways to prepare fish. Sea scallops are one of my favorite crustaceans, although I do lean toward bay scallops if I am making ceviche. If you can get quality scallops, you are going to want to try these scallop recipes. Important to know, the main difference between the two is the size.  Sea scallops can be up to three times the size of bay scallops. Bay scallops are found on the east coast in bays and harbors. Sea scallops tend to be farm-raised. Pre-Preparation Steps No matter which type you are using, it is super important to make certain that they are dry. For sea scallops, you also need to take off the side muscle if it is attached. I rinse mine under cold water and then wrap them in a paper towel to make sure they are completely […]

Getting My Balance Back

My Path To Spirituality There have been several times in my life that I have lost my spiritual balance. It has taken hard work to get my balance back. Being spiritually balanced is crucial to my mental and physical well-being. Long before I even understood what it meant to be spiritually balanced, unbeknownst to me,  I used tools to maintain this overall life balance. From the time I was around ten, I kept a diary where I would write my thoughts and feelings. Did I know it was essentially journaling? Not at all. In hindsight, I now understand it was a way to release any negative feelings. Because I used this tool, I would highly recommend it as a constructive approach for expressing one’s innermost thoughts. The Early Years As a tomboy growing up, I certainly was feeding my physical body. Mindfulness and visualizing were another story. Whenever I found myself in […]

Dealing With Grief

The Beginning of Widowhood It has been seven years since I became a widow yet strangely it feels like yesterday. Vivid are the details of that day, forever etched in my mind. The first hour, the first day, the first week all memories that just don’t disappear, won’t disappear. Here is how I dealt with my grief. The First Few Days I awoke the next day in a fog from a lack of sleep that night. My sister stayed overnight and another sister was on her way down. My mind was cluttered and all I could think at the time was “is this a dream?”  But it wasn’t a dream and some steps had to be taken. I had already received a call from the organ procurement department the night before. Now we needed to address a funeral and notify friends. My sister took care of this which to this day I […]

Breaking from Jewish Tradition

A Celebration of Life In the Jewish religion, there is a Jewish tradition when a person passes. For my daughters and I, we needed to decide whether to break from Jewish tradition by planning a celebration of life rather than a Jewish burial. What follows is how we came to our decision. Breaking from Jewish Tradition Traditionally, Jewish burials take place two days after a person has passed. They are buried in a simple all-wood casket. The family will sit shiva, a week-long mourning period. Shiva is the Hebrew word for seven. Friends and non-immediate family visit the mourners and provide food for them. Prayer services are conducted at sunset with the recitation of the mourner’s Kaddish, a memorial prayer. This is where our decision got complicated. In a strange twist of fate, my husband had outlined his advance directives during a dinner conversation one night. It was not done in a […]

Aye Aye, Captain

Life Interrupted The last three words I said to my husband were Aye Aye Captain. Of course, I had no way of knowing that those words would be the last words I would ever say to him. And truth be told, I was being snarky when I said it too. On that day, our lives were complicated by a decision that changed us all. Back story, my husband loved to boat. So much so that I’d often joke to my friends that I was now a boat widow. He spent every moment he could taking the boat out. And our friends loved to go out boating.  So did our daughters so in as much as it was not my favorite thing to do, I went along. That Fateful Day It was a beautiful day in August when we planned to go out. Our daughters invited friends to join. We dropped anchor about […]

A Taste of Summer

Cool Down This Summer With These Recipes Living in Florida, we are used to warmer temperatures. Generally speaking, eating light is imperative with summer temps in the mid to upper 90’s. Another key point is the abundance of fresh fruits and vegetables.  In other words, this is the perfect time to get your daily intake of fresh produce.  Another key point is they are wonderful ingredients in food or drinks. With that in mind, here are my favorite taste of summer recipes. Lighter Fare To point out, slaving over a stove on a hot, humid day holds no appeal. Additionally, eating heartier meals is more of a cooler weather thing. My preference for refreshing summer meals includes salads, salsas, carpaccio, and ceviches. Salads To explain, I’m a huge lover of salads. As a matter of fact, each meal I prepare is accompanied by a side salad. That is unless it is my […]

I Am An Empty Nester… Again

After The Pandemic March 12, 2020. This is the day I became a re-nester after the global pandemic. Fifteen months later, they have moved out. I am an empty nester again. Over 50% of adult kids headed back home to live with their parents as colleges shut down, were furloughed or let go from their job. I’ve lived on my own several times and each time one of my daughters leaves the nest, a piece of my heart leaves with them. It’s weird to feel this way. I’ve always prided myself on being one of those moms who are proud to watch their adult kids out on their own. To me, it signifies that I have done my job. That I have raised them to be independent, both financially and emotionally. That is the exact advice my mom gave me when they were born. She told me “children are lend-lease and you […]

Should Your Daughter Join A Sorority?

Rushing In Is your daughter considering joining a sorority?  Both of my daughters did. They had different recruitment experiences but joined the same sorority. Speak with almost any parent at any school, and most do not love the process.  But like the process or not, sororities have their advantages, especially at a large college. At this point, you may be thinking why would I want my daughter to subject herself to going through this process? Personally speaking, sorority life may not be for your daughter. There are many benefits to joining: Sororities are extremely visible and active on campus even though as a percentage of the total student population, their numbers are small. Every sorority has a philanthropy that members help fundraise for and more importantly, learn about. Many sororities stress high academics They can make the massive size of UF, or any large college, seem smaller. It is so easy to […]

Sorority Recruitment: What to Wear

Four Rounds and You’re In a Sorority!! I remember my daughters going through sorority recruitment. I don’t think they knew what to expect or what to wear for sorority recruitment. Many of us raise our daughters to accept that beauty comes from within. But we are in a battle with social media when it comes to body image and fashion. Unfortunately, recruitment is one of those times when you are judged on appearances. I am not suggesting that those going through sorority recruitment should dress in a way that does not make them feel comfortable. They can show their personality through their outfit choices and accessories. And I don’t think you have to spend more than you are budgeted for. We have found that there are many places to shop, including online, where your daughter will be able to find great outfits for Sorority Recruitment. We turned to our interns, most of […]

Update Your Legal Docs

For Yourself and Your Kids If 2020 taught us anything, it is the importance of having ALL of your legal forms. It is prudent to update your legal docs every three to five years or if you experience a life-changing event. My friend is a mobile notary and has been very busy notarizing docs throughout the pandemic. I updated my docs after my husband passed away. My daughters were 17 and 23 at the time. Now that life is getting back to normal and my daughters are 24 and 28 respectively, it was time to update our legal docs. Why Should You Update Your Legal Docs There are many reasons why you should update your legal docs. Reasons include:  Death of the person in your will as a guardian or you are widowed Divorce or marriage A child reaching the age of eighteen Change in guardians, personal representatives, or trustees An increase […]

Have a Child Going to College?

Get These 3 Legal Documents Ready HaveUHeard that once your child reaches the age of 18, they are considered a legal adult. Without the proper legal forms, you do not have access to their financial, educational, and medical information. Hopefully, you will never need access but you should have a plan in place just in case. Every adult 18 years or older should have these legal forms. It was not until my daughters were in college that I learned how crucial it is to have access. Health Power of Attorney Documents Finance Power of Attorney Documents HIPAA Release Form Learning the Hard Way It was close to 10 p.m. when I received the call from my daughter, then a junior in college. She had fallen during an intramural soccer game and was pretty sure she broke her elbow. Her friend was driving her to the emergency room. Here I was, over 350 […]

Advice For Parents of New College Students

The Time Will Fly By Here we are 2021 and colleges are sending out acceptances.  Reading the Facebook posts and seeing the questions from overwhelmed parents brings back so many memories. It is only two years ago my youngest graduated from UF and joined her sister in adulting. For parents starting this journey, I have four words for you… the time will fly by. And, of course, I have advice for parents. By the time your kids graduate, most of them will be independent and ready to take on the world. I certainly believe my daughters were ready when they graduated. And, they should be proud of themselves for what they have accomplished since graduating. Truth be told, before college, their life existed in a small bubble in a small suburb. Advice for Parents I remember dropping both off at UF. Tears were shed both times. Trust me when I say you […]

New York City Take 2

Moving My Daughter Back to NYC In September 2019, I moved my youngest daughter to NYC. Her sister moved up three weeks later. When they came home in March 2020, none of us would know that they would give up their apartment and put everything in storage 7 months later. Fourteen months later, I just returned from helping my younger daughter move to New York City Take 2. She lived in Gramercy the first time around, which is a great area. When her sister and she came home in March 2020, none of us would know that they would give up their apartment and put everything in storage 7 months later. Their dream of living in the city came to a crashing halt. Moving In for the Second Time I will say that this move was way easier than the first time. The first time was stressful trying to figure our way […]

My Daughter’s Study Abroad Experience

Not All Classrooms Have Four Walls Study Abroad programs are quite popular.  Most programs were paused for 2020, but they are reopening up again. My daughter studied abroad and had an amazing experience. Trust me when I say your student will come to you when they learn about their university’s programs. And, after a year plus of lockdowns, your decision may be complicated. I look back and am so grateful she had the opportunity to travel. Would I come to the same decision now? Absolutely! Why I Said Yes I never studied abroad but had friends that did, or who did a semester at sea program.  Their stories and pictures always fascinated me. But, it is daunting to think your child is halfway across the world. Most universities have their own sponsored programs. Students can also choose from other studies abroad programs. Traveling to Europe and other international countries has been my […]

SOBEWFF 2021 Recap

Fan Girling at the Wine & Food Festival SOBEWFF 2021 just wrapped up. This is one of my favorite food events.  Although COVID changed the event, it was still great. Any time the situation presents itself, I will go to a food event with chefs from Food Network as well as well-known chefs. You won’t find me fangirling over athletes, actors, musicians but when it comes to chefs, I am a total fangirl. That’s probably because I would have been a contender for America’s Worst Cooks when I was in my twenties. I attribute my ability to cook to watching cooking shows on The Food Network. I was fortunate to get tickets this year for three different events and I’m sharing my SOBEWFF 2021 recap. SOBEWFF 2021 Recap Previously, I have only been able to attend the Grand Tasting as the event is the same weekend as my mom’s birthday. With it […]

Tips to Ensure You Get Your Security Deposit Back

My Daughters Move A Lot If you have kids that rent, you have probably put down a security deposit. My two daughters have moved in and out of a dozen places. Each time, they were zinged for repairs that came out of the security deposit. Some they could have easily fixed on their own; some, well they deserved to be charged. Apartment managers are notorious for finding many little forgotten items to charge exorbitant fees. When they moved into an apartment in NYC in 2019, they knew to photograph and time stamp EVERYTHING from mismatched paint on the walls to stains. I was the personal guarantor of their apartment. HaveUHeard that the rent to income ratio in NYC is approximately 40 times the monthly rent? That means for an apartment that costs $3,000 per month, the renters’ gross income should be $120K per year. A guarantor typically has to make between 80 […]

My Top 10 Trader Joe’s Items

Our Favorite Products Just the mere mention of Trader Joe’s brings up countless favorites from bloggers to aficionados and everyday people like my daughters and me.  My daughters turned me into a much bigger Trader Joe’s fan. I have my top 10 Trader Joe’s items that I purchase on every trip to their store. We so love going that my daughter would walk to Trader Joe’s almost daily to pick up lunch before heading back to her office. When she first moved to the city, her first big food shopping was at Trader Joe’s. Trust me, I helped her lug all of the groceries a good 20-minute walk back to her apartment. Bring Trader Joe’s to … Up until recently, it was about a 30-minute drive so going was a planned event. But then a Bring Trader Joe’s to Coral Springs Florida Facebook Group popped up. With over a thousand followers, I […]

From Empty Nesting to Re-Nesting

What It Was Like Living With My Adult Daughters Empty-nesting to re-nesting to empty nesting again and back to re-nesting. The amount of times my living situation changes is dizzying. With each shift back to empty nesting, there is that tug on my heartstrings as they leave again. I recognize that grown children are supposed to move out and move on. In fact, I am grateful that my daughters are comfortable with adulting. But, I never would have scripted a world where life would come to a complete standstill and young adult children would move back in with their parents. And, almost 15 months later, there is that all too familiar tug.  In a few weeks, I am closer to empty nesting. A Weekend Visit Extended As each month rolled into the next, with no end in sight, we had to accept that we’d be living together for a prolonged period of […]

NY Times Cooking

A Collection of Chef’s Recipes If you are a foodie like me and love cooking, get yourself a subscription to NY Times Cooking.  It has become is one of my go-to’s when searching for new recipes. First, I receive an email with suggestions of what to cook that week.  Second, there are literally thousands of recipes. Third, no matter your skill level, you will find plenty of recipes. Oftentimes, the food recommendations may be seasonal or a suggestion from a specific cultural holiday. The subscription includes tips and recipes as well as videos covering the basics to more advanced food preparation. Specifically, I have saved 176 recipes to my recipe box.  Sooner or later, I intend to get to all of them but I do have my favorites. Suggestions for New Subscribers For new subscribers, I do have a few suggestions. The first thing to remember is to read through the recipe […]

10 food bloggers to follow

Up Your Meal Game It has been over a year since I became a re-nester and my daughters moved home due to the pandemic. We share recipes all the time and try a lot of new ways of cooking the type of foods we like to eat. A great resource for recipes is food bloggers. I am sharing my top 10 food bloggers to follow on IG. Balancing our diet, which is not all the same, can be challenging but we make it work. And, when you are cooking a minimum of five dinners a week, it is nice to mix it up. I follow a Pescatarian, Meditteranean diet with vegetarian and plant-based influences. My daughters eat almost any protein except for dairy. But they usually will eat my style of food and save chicken or other meat-based protein for either lunch or when they eat out. We all adhere to a […]

Why I’m A Huge Gator Fan

I Bleed Orange & Blue Okay, I readily admit, my blood is not really orange and blue. In fact,  I would not wear orange and blue together if I was not a huge Gator fan.  If you look in my closet, there is a small-ish section filled with Florida Gator tops, dresses, and sweatshirts.  It’s in my blood. Even my Gator chomp is on point. Whenever I see another Gator fan, clearly identifiable by some Gator apparel, I can’t help but say “Go Gators.” My favorite Gator ad campaign was Go Gators… Gator Nation is Everywhere. We Are a Gator Family Our family has 13 Gator grads representing three generations.  My uncle was the first to attend UF back in the 40s when it was an all-boys school. He was a first generational college student and worked his way through, graduating with a degree in Design & Architecture. To this day, there […]

Vancouver

A Juxtaposition between Beautiful Scenery and Skyscrapers Vancouver was the final stop of our trip out west. It is surprising to see a city of skyscrapers set against a city surrounded by beauty… water, mountains, cobblestone streets. We flew West Jet from Victoria to Vancouver as the ferry would have taken too long and stayed at the Fairmont Pacific Rim hotel. It is a beautiful hotel in the downtown area and a block away from the harbor where many of the cruise ships come in. We stayed for two nights and three days in Vancouver. Our stay included daily breakfast, evening canapés, and a private terrace with panoramic views. I did book well in advance so I don’t think I recalled upgrading our stay but it was a very welcome end to our vacation. Attractions Capilano Suspension Bridge – A visit to Capilano Suspension Bridge Park was definitely on our radar. We took […]

Victoria

The Garden City Seeing as we were already out west, we decided to continue on and take in some Canadian cities. Victoria is easy to get to by ferry which I booked through Clipper Vacations. The view when coming into the ferry loading dock and seeing the Fairmont Express and the flowers are spectacular. As for our accommodations, the more popular destination in Victoria is The Hotel Fairmont Empress.  They do offer a High Tea. Since we have already had that experience elsewhere, we did not book a reservation. If you have learned anything about me is that my preference is to stay in smaller boutique hotels. Abigail’s, a bed-and-breakfast, adults-only boutique hotel housed in a 1930’s Tudor mansion, did not disappoint. Our stay included a delicious breakfast and they had complimentary appetizers each night.  It was very close to the downtown area. They have no elevators so if you have mobility […]

Sleepless in Seattle

A Quick Three Day Excursion Seattle was one of the destinations on our Mother-Daughter trip to the West Coast. Personally, we had never been but had heard so many wonderful things about Seattle so we added it to our pick cities out west. Accommodations We picked the Inn at the Market hotel as my parents had stayed there a long time ago. My mom insisted that we stay there as well. It is literally a block from Pike Place Market. We completely got drawn in by the mongers tossing fish (video) and ended up shipping home 10 lbs of salmon. I will say it was an extremely convenient location. We love walking around all day so finding a hotel near a lot of the places we plan on visiting is important. Other attractions include The Space Needle and the Aquarium. Of course, no visit to the west coast is complete without a visit […]

San Francisco: You Won’t Haight It

Open Your Golden Gate San Francisco is one of my favorite cities. In my twenties, I worked for a company that had a restaurant on Fisherman’s Wharf.  Because I oversaw all marketing and advertising, I was fortunate to be able to go to San Francisco about four times per year. And yes, while it was a business trip, I ate at amazing restaurants and got to see most of the iconic places. I had not been back in decades when we decided our Mother-Daughter trip that year would be traveling to the West Coast of the U.S. Our first stop was in San Francisco for three nights. Because I love boutique hotels and I am not a huge fan of staying in touristy areas (aka Fisherman’s Wharf), we chose Hotel Drisco in the Pacific Heights section. It is atop a hill so when we ventured out to walk, it was a huge change from […]

New York for First-Timers

The Iconic to The Off Beat Like any large city, New York can seem overwhelming for first-timers. Certainly, you will want to see the iconic sites. But if you have the time, there are off-beat places to visit away from the selfie-sticks and crowds. I know, it is hard to resist seeing the places you’ve seen in movies and on television. I am not suggesting that you should not. But New York for first-timers can also include these other sites. My husband and I brought our daughters to New York when they were 12 and 8 years old.  Although we had been there, they had not. We decided our trip was visiting New York for first-timers. We went to Ellis Island, the Statue of Liberty, Times Square, Rockefeller Center, Central Park, Empire State Building, MOMA (Museum of Modern Art), Little Italy, and Yankee Stadium (the original stadium). Tbh, I enjoyed going as […]

New York for Sports Fans

So Many Teams, So Little Time My family has been to New York many, many times. We always try to schedule at least one trip around baseball season so we can catch a game. But if you’re into sports, New York is most definitely a great city for Sports Fans. I was born in New York but raised in South Florida. So how did I become such a huge NY Yankees and Giants fan? I can easily explain the whole Yankee fan girl thing. South Florida did not have a professional baseball team when I was growing up. The closest we got to professional baseball was Spring Training. My Love of the Yankees Began in 85 The NY Yankees played at Fort Lauderdale stadium starting in ‘62 through 1992. They had a captive audience with so many New Yorkers down here. Many of the Yankee greats would eat at Bobby Rubino’s Place […]

Mother’s Day Gifts

You want to do something nice, try these gifts! Mother’s Day 2021. I know my daughters will want to get me something even though I tell them they do not need to buy me anything. That evokes a laugh so I  try to pick items that fall within a reasonable budget. I am sharing my list of suggested Mother’s Day gifts to get your mom this year. Take a peek at the list below. It’s the Smaller Things: Unique Greetings From cards you can design on your own to 3D cards to Mother’s Day cards, don’t forget that sometimes a card goes a longer way than a gift. Hallmark This past year, I signed up for Hallmark Crown Rewards. It is free to join (and you get a $5 coupon just for joining). They’ve got great Mother’s Day cards! Canva You can create your own Mother’s Day gift or greeting card with […]

New York For Foodies

Sharing Our Favorite Places to Eat As a self-proclaimed foodie, New York is one place where there is a restaurant for everyone, regardless of your taste. In fact, many well-known chefs have restaurants in New York. If you’re ever planning on visiting, and are looking for the best restaurants to visit, this is for you. After all, New York is for foodies. Though New York has more restaurants than one can try in their entire life, I do recommend making reservations. I’m breaking down my favorite places to eat at and which New York neighborhood they reside in. Brooklyn Smorgasburg: A must-visit from April through October if you’re headed to Brooklyn. Smorgasburg is an outdoor, huge food market on Saturdays along the water in Williamsburg. Here you’ll find some of the most talked-about foods, including the ramen burger. There’s food for everyone as it showcases the best of Brooklyn’s artisanal food scene, […]

I ❤️ New York

And I’m Spreading the News I was raised in South Florida but born in New York. There is something about New York that is a huge draw to me. From the shopping to the unique neighborhoods, I ❤️ New York and visit every chance I can. My husband and I brought our daughters to New York were when they were 12 and 8 years old. We wanted to show them more of the iconic landmarks. So we saw New York as first-time tourists going to Ellis Island, the Statue of Liberty, Times Square, Rockefeller Center, Central Park, Empire State Building, MOMA (Museum of Modern Art), Little Italy, and Yankee Stadium (the original stadium). I have been back for a sister’s weekend, a mother-daughter weekend, and even to Times Square on New Year’s Eve. Both daughters had summer internships in the city so there were two more trips to New York. Being in […]

That’sa Vegan Meatball

Italian deliciousness When you need your fix of spaghetti and meatballs, there are some great recipes for vegan meatballs and vegan tomato sauce. I have made them with eggplant, quinoa, and black beans. Search online and you will also find some plant-based recipes that use cauliflower, brown rice, oats, mushrooms or walnuts. For those who need their Italian fix, these different adaptations will have you saying that’sa vegan meatball. Eggplant meatballs I’ve made eggplant meatballs following two different recipes. The first one is from a restaurant that has since closed. Carline Jean/Sun Sentinel 3/4 cup blended oil 90/10 – this usually combines extra virgin olive oil and either canola or vegetable oil. It allows for a higher smoke point. I often will just use cooking olive oil 3 pounds Sicilian eggplant, about 4 eggplants, peeled and diced ½-inch 2 tablespoons minced garlic 1 tablespoon black pepper 1 tablespoon salt ½ cup grated […]

Ahi Tuna Poke Wontons

Nacho Ordinary Tuna Poke I stumbled across this recipe on Nosh City in early 2021. As a pescatarian, I still try to limit my seafood intake to no more than four times per week, substituting in meat-free meals using beans or eggplant. If you have access to fresh ahi tuna, you will love these ahi tuna poke wontons. I did make a few substitutions and changes in the cooking method based on my dietary restrictions (I am dairy-free) and also to save some time. It is an easy recipe to prep ahead too so you can chop all of your cold ingredients in advance and then make the eel sauce when you are putting together the recipe. Where to Buy Quality Tuna Sashimi I have a fish guy so I buy my ahi from him but The Fresh Market has great quality wild sashimi tuna steaks. They do occasionally put their approximately […]

Creating A Tranquil Patio Space

My Relaxing Retreat Living in South Florida has its benefits. It means you can enjoy patio weather nearly every day. My patio is a second-floor, small screened-in space. I love being outside. Coming from a house with a huge backyard, it was quite different. I was determined to create a tranquil patio space.  My goal was to create a space that I can use for destressing, at-home workouts, meditations, reading, hanging with friends, and enjoying a meal. Fast forward a year, and it’s almost complete. How to start Looking to create your own outdoor patio space? It is a very simple task once you have a vision in place. My idea in particular was somewhat of a boho and laid-back theme. The patio is about 240 square feet. Since I need a multi-use space, I divided it into three separate areas… a sitting area, a dining area, and a workout area. I […]

Cooking & Watching Celebrity Chefs

Food Glorious Food From virtual cooking classes to food shows to food & wine festivals, if you are new to cooking or a huge foodie like me, I recommend cooking and watching celebrity chefs. Admittedly, I’m a total fangirl when it comes to chefs so given the opportunity, I will sign up to cook virtually with celebrity chefs, go to food festivals and sign up for food tours. Recently, a charity I am involved with hosted a virtual event titled “Cooking for a Cause.” The charity paired up with a chef from a local restaurant and he guided us through a delicious meal. This was the first virtual cooking class I have taken. Because I enjoyed the event, I signed up for a virtual cooking class through Sur La Table. A Virtual Class with Marcus Samuelsson Titled the Online Rise of Black Food in America With Marcus Samuelsson, the menu included a […]

Creating Sustainable Neighborhoods

From One of Fort Lauderdale’s First to Know My Uncle Lou could be considered a real estate mogul in Fort Lauderdale. Born and raised in Miami, he moved to Fort Lauderdale way before it was what it is now. Over the years, he witnessed the exponential growth the city saw and was keen on having sustainable neighborhoods.  My uncle envisioned building the city with more accessible and sustainable ways to get to your destination. His idea was to increase the number of people biking and walking to work, to the store, to restaurants, etc. Where to Start There are clearly barriers to being able to walk or bike to work given Florida’s weather. He always recommended to his employers dressing for the warmth and humidity. This would also bring down office costs as buildings would not need to run their air conditioning at ultra-low temperatures. Though he was met with some opposition, […]

A Piece of the Past

Preserving Memories For the past year-plus of the pandemic, my sister and I have assisted in the care of my 89-year-old mom and her sister, my 92-year-old aunt. The pandemic has made life complicated for these two sisters. Certainly, they have each handled it differently even though they are missing out on seeing all of their children, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren. They’ve learned how to Facetime or Zoom with family members spread throughout the world. And, there have been many memorable moments in which they shared a piece of the past with us, recalling childhood moments. Consider this. They were born in 1928 and 1925 respectively and have witnessed so much history. From the Great Depression to many wars, from the first American satellite launch to Rev Martin Luther King, Jr.’s speech “I Have A Dream,” from President Kennedy’s assassination to the first humans on the moon. They have lived through 17 different […]

About Me

Some Fun Facts If you’ve been reading HaveUHeard for years, or you’re a newcomer, I want to start off by saying thank you for your support! I write about many different subjects, but I thought it would be a good time to tell you some info about me. Who is the woman behind the words (and the giant computer monitors)? I am going to keep it short and sweet because it’s so odd to write about yourself. The last time I did that (just like many of you) is when I needed a cover letter for a new job. Anyway – first off, my name is Janice Weinsoff, and I am one of the founders of HaveUHeard. I was an empty-nester but due to Covid and a crazy 2020, I am now a re-nester. I have two young adult daughters who I am very close. We may be at that point where […]

The Ultimate Graduation Gift Guide for Graduates

Finally, Graduation! It seemed that this day was always way off in the future, but it’s true; graduation is almost here. Many people will be asking what are good gifts for college graduates these days so HaveUHeard pulled together the ultimate graduation gift guide according to our very unscientific college student survey. And having had two college graduates, both of whom moved into apartments after leaving college, I can tell you there are a lot of items they need to furnish their new place. Choosing the right gift for graduation can be tricky so, with the help of our interns and mom bloggers, we’ve put together the ultimate graduation gift guide. Gift Cards It has been great seeing in-person, albeit, socially distanced graduation ceremonies. My own niece graduated from law school. Her cousins and I were not able to make it in person but we watched it on the live stream feed […]

Our Kind of March Madness

Sports – 2021 Version I can’t believe it’s been a year since the NCAA March Madness 2020 was canceled, with professional sports following behind.  Thankfully, this year March Madness is back, MLB Spring Training has kicked off and word is college football will welcome full attendance.  I’m sure I speak for many others when I say I’m thrilled! It’s almost as if we are getting back to our new “normal.” For those that follow me, I’m sure you know this detail, but for those new to the blog, HaveUHeard that I’m a HUGE Florida Gator fan? My family consists of 13 Gator grads representing three generations. We have seen the orange and blue gameday gear trends change over the years, but when you put the colors together, you instantly feel transported to the Swamp. Provided the Gators make it to the tournament this year, I am ready with my Gator gear. Spring […]

A Thread of Blue: Leaning on My Faith

How Faith Got Me Through Difficult Days The Siddur, the term for a Jewish prayer book, contains a set order of daily prayers. My familiarity comes from spending years attending morning services in memory of both my husband and father. One passage references the tzitzit, specially knotted ritual fringes, or tassels, attached to the four corners of the tallit, prayer shawl worn by religious Jews. And one fringe contains a thread of blue. There are differing interpretations as to its symbolism. Some say the color resembles the sea and the sea resembles the sky and the sky resembles God’s holy throne thus the thread is a way of gaining the highest levels of spirituality. The fringes, or tzitzit, in its simplest definition, remind us of God’s commandments and not to be tempted or seduced by your heart or led astray by your eyes. My Jewish Background Up until my husband passed away, […]

Claim A Home Office Deduction

What If You WFH During The Pandemic? Many people are working from home during the COVID-19 pandemic. If you’re one of them, you might wonder, “Can I claim a home office deduction on my 2020 tax return?” The answer is complicated. By and large, the short answer is only if you’re self-employed. Employees can no longer claim home office expenses. Even self-employed taxpayers must follow strict rules to claim a deduction. Copious write-offs Second, if you qualify, you can deduct the “direct expenses” of the home office. Specifically, this includes the costs of painting or repairing the home office and depreciation deductions for furniture and fixtures used there. Additionally, you can also deduct the “indirect” expenses of maintaining the office. For example, you can include the allocable share of utility costs, depreciation, and insurance for your home. Other deductions you can consider are the allocable share of mortgage interest, real estate taxes, and […]

The Sandwich Generation

What Does This Mean? The term Sandwich Generation describes many of us even if you have not heard the term before. We are finding ourselves stretched thinly trying to care for our own children and our aging parents. The first time I heard the term Sandwich Generation was almost a decade ago. A group of my friends and I had kids in their teens and our parents were in their 70’s.  Some of our parents were already facing neurological illnesses, physical illnesses, and mental illnesses. At the same time, we were all leading hectic lives ourselves. Most of us were finding ourselves stretched thinly trying to care for our own children and our aging parents.   The term “sandwich generation” was coined by social worker Dorothy A. Miller in 1981 to describe adult children of the elderly who are “sandwiched” between caring for their own children and their aging parents. This group […]

I’m Stoked About Mad Hippie Skincare

Here’s the Skinny Living with my grown daughters during the pandemic has many positives. One is their knowledge about skincare products that are clean and natural. They are also extremely aware of brands that Do Good. They recommended Mad Hippie Skincare products for me. Here’s the skinny. Growing up in Fort Lauderdale, I spend a lot of time at the beach. It is where my friends and I head to every chance we got. In my early teen years, we’d lather on baby oil and become human sundials. Inasmuch as my mom would warn us about our continuous sunburns, as a teenager and well into my 30’s, I still worshipped the sun.  I just love how I feel after a day in the sun. And yes, I know Florida sun, being closer to the equator, can cause a lot of skin damage. Photo with permission from Mad Hippie.com Sun Damage But here’s […]

An Amazing Thai Inspired Dish

Honey Garlic Butter Shrimp in Coconut Milk My daughters love to introduce me to food bloggers. The most recent introduction is the website Half-Baked Harvest. The blog is written by Tieghan Gerard who is featured on The Cooking Channel, Food Network, HGTV, Crate & Barrel, Shape Magazine, Self Magazine, the Huffington Post, and PopSugar, among others.  I did make her 20 Minute Thai-Inspired dish, Honey Garlic Butter Shrimp in Coconut Milk and it is absolutely delicious. If you read my other blogs, you may see that I did try her take on Homemade Vegan Twix Bars.  Because I WFH while helping to care for my elderly mom, I do not always have time to spend in the kitchen. I love to cook so that can often be disappointing. So, I do love it when I stumble upon a recipe with a total time of 20 minutes. TBH, it did take me a […]

Are You The Victim of Identity Theft Or Fraud

A Warning To Follow Theft.  Hopefully, you have not been a victim. What about Identity Theft? While not a break-in, it sure feels that way. For my first identity theft experience, I will rewind ten years. Ironically, my job then was with a marketing and technology company.  As a result, I do and did, think myself savvy when it comes to hackers. But on that day, when I went to log on to my online banking account, the website did ask for a lot of personal information. I did find that odd so I closed the browser and opened up a window on my cell phone. Same request for information. Next, I opened a window in Firefox instead of IE and again, the same request. To me, with three different browsers asking for identical information, I did think the request real. FYI: A bank will NEVER ask for personal information. Immediately, I […]

How to Create A Vision Board

Set Your Intentions What is a Vision Board? It is a physical reminder of what you may be searching for in your life. I am a huge believer in manifesting what I want to bring into my life. Oftentimes, your vision may change throughout the year.  I bet many of you already know how to create a vision board. You just may not have realized that you made them when you were younger. We did not call them Vision Boards; we were calling them collages or dream boards. Think Jenna Rink’s Poise magazine board in the movie 13 Going On 30. At the risk of aging myself, I remember making shellacked lunchboxes. My mom would give us magazines, scissors, and a metal lunchbox (now referred to as retro or vintage lunchboxes).  First, we cut out pictures and words. Next, we would glue them on the metal box. Last, we applied rubber cement […]

Do You Have Foot Pain?

It May Be Plantar Fasciitis Many of us are going outdoors during the pandemic to safely exercise. I am fortunate to live in South Florida. My community has a wonderful walking/running system.  About one month into my daily 3 mile walks, I had foot pain in the heals of both feet. I have had plantar fasciitis in the past and suspected that was what it was. But, the mistake I made was continuing to walk on the pavement every day trying to power through the pain. What Does Plantar Fasciitis Feel Like The type and location of the foot pain vary for everyone. Mine was in my heels and the side of my foot.  I could barely put pressure on my foot so severe was the pain. It feels like sharp, stabbing pain near the heel. Because my feet were not stretched during the evening, the mornings were the worse. I did […]

A Guide to the Top Meal Kits

When You Just Can’t Cook Anymore Most of us have probably cooked more this year than any year before. It is one of many reasons why the meal kit industry has been exploding. Are you a new cook or working from home? Perhaps you unable to cook for yourself. Do you have limited pantry space? Or maybe you just hate to cook. We are here to help you decipher between the various meal kits. Personally, I love to cook so I have a full pantry consisting of almost every condiment, spice, a variety of cooking vinegar, at least five different types of flour, bread crumbs, olive oil (three different types), canola oil, coconut oil, grapeseed oil, avocado oil, and every other imaginable pantry. My daughters’ apartment in NYC did not even have the space for anything but the necessities. And, even though I love to cook, it is nice to work from […]

What Are Your Legal Rights With Your 18 Year Old?

HaveUHeard that once your child is 18, they are considered a legal adult? It was close to 10 p.m. when I received the call from my daughter, then a junior in college, that she had fallen during an intramural soccer game and was pretty sure she broke her elbow. Her friend was driving her to the emergency room. Here I was, over 350 miles away, it was late at night and I would not be able to do much of anything but worry. I told her to put me on speakerphone when she saw a doctor so I could hear what was going on. I had not given any thought to the fact that my daughter was over 18 years of age, so legally, I was not entitled to the same level of information, or access, that I had been for her first 18 years. Click here for access to the legal […]

Life is Complicated

For the past four years, my business partner and I have run the blog HaveUHeard. Its premise is that College Is Complicated. We set out to provide insider information from current students and parents; a been there, done that approach from trusted sources so that other parents would have this virtual village all in one location. If I learned one thing over the past four years (trust me, I learned a lot more than one thing) is that it truly does take a village.

Do-Good Brands to Do Good By

My first awareness of a do-good brand supporting a social issue was Ben & Jerry’s Ice Cream. I was too young to be impressed with anything other than their amazing ice cream but since their onset, they have adhered to their mission while still making amazing ice cream. Today, I am keenly aware of the social issues that brands get behind.

My Mom’s Amazing Chicken Soup

Jewish Penicillin My mom makes the most amazing chicken soup! There is nothing like a bowl of hot steaming chicken soup when you are under the weather or when it’s cold out. I am blessed that I grew up on her chicken soup. It is a family recipe that has been passed down. I learned to make her family chicken soup recipe shortly after I got married. It took me years and years until I felt I got it right. It is not complicated to make the soup. My 89-year-old mom recently taught her two youngest grandchildren to make her chicken soup recipe (they are 24 years old). She even bought them their own Le CreusetⓇ Stock Pot. Not only was the day special for all of them, but it also allowed a family recipe and tradition to be passed down to younger generations. That alone is priceless. Plan on designating approximately 3 […]

Inked by Dani Temporary Tattoo

Step up Your Tattoo Style When I was growing up, a tattoo seemed taboo. In fact, HaveUHeard that some religions, my own included, it is considered taboo?  Personally, while not something I would do permanently, I have no objection to body ink. My own daughters each have a tattoo (or two). But, what if you want a tattoo but don’t want to commit to a design? Many years ago, I had seen the tattoo kits from Inked By Dani. I love the idea of temporary ink tattoos. Hand-drawn in NYC by artist and founder Dani Egna, INKED by Dani is an elevated, sophisticated take on the temporary tattoo craze. With our signature, on-trend style, and worldwide fan base, INKED by Dani is redefining temporary tattoos into a whole new world of fashion-forward, wearable art. Their designs are unique, fashion-forward, and the perfect way to express yourself – without the commitment! They’re more than just […]

Quinoa Goat Cheese and Parmesan Cakes

Quinoa Makes A Great Side or Main Dish I first made these almost eight years ago after changing my eating habits. For one thing, I knew quinoa was a great source of protein. However, like tofu, it lacked flavor. Make the quinoa ahead of time to save time. I would also recommend making extra quinoa. There are so many great recipes that use quinoa. Just make enough for a week because it is not something that will last much longer. Personally speaking, I like to assemble the patties early in the day so all I have to do is cook. I also like to have a chutney such as mango chutney. The original recipe I am sharing is by Lisa Turner. It was published on June 23, 2013. I’ve seen similar recipes on Food52 and Epicurious. Their recipes use bread crumbs in place of flour and recommend using Gruyère cheese if you prefer […]

Yoga: Namaste in Good Health

Get Your Ommmm On! I started doing yoga several years ago after being invited by friends. I had been recently widowed and downsized our home. Naturally, I was feeling a lot of anxiety and stress. I never thought of myself as much of a yoga person. I’m really more of a gym and outdoor sports person, but I thought I would give it a try.  They offer yoga classes at my development so I signed up and started taking classes once a week. In the beginning, I was very intimidated as I did not know downward dog from cat-cow from pigeon pose (and why are there so many yoga poses named after animals)? HaveUHeard that most theories revolve around the idea that ancient yogis mimicked what they saw around them. It appears that the ancient yogis found imitating animals and nature to be an enlightening experience for both the body and mind […]

Being Thrifty is Great for Your Budget

Are you thrifty? I have many childhood memories of my uncle going to garage sales and coming home with a bunch of stuff that did not seem useful at all. But he was extremely talented and could take almost any item and upcycle it to use as something else. Up until last year, I had not heard of the term upcycling.

Vegan Grilled Cheese & Tomato Soup

I love soup… from my mother’s chicken soup to soups that use fresh vegetables (and the stock from my mother’s chicken soup), there is nothing more comforting than a bowl of soup paired with a salad or a sandwich.

Why Do We Shame

If you use any of the social media platforms, you have probably seen a monumental increase in shaming, criticizing, and judging which, IMO, is a shame. During these past fourteen years, I have used Facebook to share family photos, market a charity’s fundraisers, sell in the marketplace, and reconnect with old friends and acquaintances. I think it is a great platform for small businesses, such as HaveUHeard but during the past two-plus years, I have noticed an increased amount of parent shaming.

Creating Work and Study Home Space from Etsy

Great Finds From Etsy Both of my adult kids are home temporarily living with me. They have bedrooms but we needed a work from home space. Suddenly the house seems more crowded. Everyone is having zoom calls and meetings on speakerphones. We’re here to help make this a comfortable transition for you and your family by setting up a home or study office. Of course, if your kids are like mine, they have a very specific idea of their workspace decor.  With that in mind, they make it easy to create a peaceful setting with the help of Etsy. How can you turn your personal space into a workspace to increase productivity while also ensuring you can separate work from your downtime? It’s a question that many people are currently asking. We’ve mapped out an easy and cost-efficient way to do so by bringing you our suggestions from Etsy. What we love about […]

How I Came to Love Cooking

Up until 10 years ago, I had very little interest in cooking. With a little help, I went from being a fiasco in the kitchen to a bona fide foodie. I grew up with a mom that loved to cook, something she learned from her mother. But, TBH, up until 10 years ago, I had very little interest in cooking. For me, my life was complicated enough trying to balance work and family. Cooking was more about feeding my family and less about the actual food itself. 

Charcuterie Boards Are All The Rage

Just in Queso You Didn’t Know When my daughters mentioned making a charcuterie board for Thanksgiving a few years ago, I admit I was rather surprised. Back in my twenties never heard of a charcuterie board but apparently, charcuterie boards are “a thing” amongst the Millenium and Gen-X sect. They can be put together on a moderate budget or you can go all out. In fact, my nephew makes charcuterie boards on the weekly and posts them on his IG stories. And, charcuterie boards for Thanksgiving are now a part of our family tradition. HaveUHeard where charcuterie boards originated? I am sure my daughter hadn’t either, but it is rather interesting. A typical charcuterie, the word derived from the French words that mean flesh and cooked, consists of mainly meats and cheeses. These boards have progressed to commonly include bread, fruits, nuts, condiments such as honey or mustard, pickles, and olives, or, […]

Impactful Books for Young Adults

HaveUHeard of Any of These Books? Not only will young adults like these books, but also moms and dads too! I am that mother, that aunt; that friend, that sister, that always sends books as gifts. First, books don’t go out of style. Second, they can be read and reread. Third, they may very well be filled with anything from adventure, philosophy, emotion, and imagination. What other gifts can you give that may have all that and more?  Giving books to recent graduates is one of my favorite gifts to give. Today, books may impact their lives as they begin their new journey. By the same token, choosing just the right book might also long-lasting enjoyment. HaveUHeard of any of these? We think these are pretty impactful: How to Skimm Your Life by The Skimm, Elise Randall The Daily Stoic by Ryan Holiday Atomic Habits by James Clear Untamed by Glennon Doyle […]

Travel is My Therapy

I came across a quote recently that encapsulates my life’s goals; “I’d rather have a passport full of stamps, than a house full of stuff.” Tbh, I did not even own a passport until six years ago having only traveled domestically. Truthfully, I was fortunate enough to be raised by parents who loaded all four of us girls in the car every summer and we went on driving trips in the U.S. Of course, and I do believe this was to keep us quiet and occupied, we were each assigned a state and decided what places we would visit in that state.

Israel: To the Homeland We Go

A little over one year ago, life was good; my dream of going to Israel would finally be happening. I have not always wanted to visit Israel, even after both of my daughters did birthright. That changed over the past six years as I became more connected to my faith and spirituality which were both instrumental in moving me forward after unexpectedly becoming a widow.

Visiting Italy With My Daughters

After our first trip to London, I was definitely bitten by the travel bug. I decided that if we could coordinate, I would want to start a tradition of a girl’s trip once a year with my daughters. One of my all-time favorite books and movies is Eat, Pray, Love. (If you enjoy Audiobooks, you can get it for free with an Audible trial). I decided after watching the movie that Italy, India, and Indonesia would be on my travel bucket list). That is how we decided on Italy, a country where we would Eat, Pray and Love.

Greece: European Relaxation

Greece has been on my bucket list since 2005 when I saw the movie The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants. My desire to go there also was based on the fact that in 2010, I became a pescatarian and mainly followed a Meditteranean eating regimen. 

Wandering the West Coast

Looking for a vacation, but have minimal time to travel? We wandered west to California, Washington, and Canada as you don’t lose any days due to time changes. Thought we would try out the West Coast, Best Coast saying for ourselves.

Hallo, London, Calling

My first trip to Europe was in London. We chose this destination for several reasons including the fact that we would not have a language barrier. My younger daughter and I planned out most of the trip including must-see visits to London’s iconic sites. I ran it by a friend who is from London to see if we were trying to pack in too much in five short days. Just last year, on a trip with my sister to Israel, we had a layover in London. We decided to spend two days in London and then travel on and had the most amazing time so I have included some spots we went to on this trip as well.

How to Travel to Spain in 10 Days

In 2016, when my daughter decided to study abroad in Madrid for the summer through her college, I decided to personally escort her (and of course her sister came along). We left a few weeks prior to when she needed to be in Madrid. We traveled to Spain in 10 days which is very doable and share How to Travel to Spain in 10 days. 

Really, It’s a Twin Thing

“What’s it like being a twin?” I always find this to be such an odd question because I don’t know what it’s like not being a twin. Oftentimes, I want to ask, “what’s it like being a solo child.” But, because multiples seem to be so interesting to people, I try to put my sassiness aside. If I were to think about the best part of being a twin is that you never feel alone. You always have someone that has your back.

Are Your Family Dynamics Changing?

When we dropped our daughter off at college, her dad and I and her younger sister drove away, tears streaming down our faces (well not her sister’s face). We’d return home as a family of three which took on a whole new personality. This was the first of many life shifts I came to understand. It took some time for us to adjust to the empty chair at the dinner table and to cooking for three and only having to chauffeur one child around. It was different. Not good different, not bad different … just different.

Home Workouts with My Daughters

Great Gear for Home Workouts Are you doing any home workouts during this at-home time? I’ve been living with my young adult daughters since March 2020 after having been an empty nester for the past few years. They’re really into working out but without their gym, we’ve learned to make the best at home. Between them training me on workouts and following some workouts on Instagram, I’ve been able to lose some of the unwanted weight that crept up. If it’s one thing we’ve seen an overabundance of during quarantine (besides banana bread), it’s home workout videos. I know we’re all trying to avoid the Quarantine-15 by working out inside, but how do you get the motivation to get the body moving? New workout weights, resistance bands, yoga mats, and clothes, that’s how! With all the current sales, we have your best options for upgrading your workout wardrobe! My friends that have purchased the […]

Charcuterie Boards That Are Works of Art

I am not sure if you noticed, but charcuterie boards are all the rage. My young adult daughters have been making charcuterie boards for years. My nephew has one almost every Friday with wine (according to his IG stories); he loves them so much, I recently bought him a large bamboo cheese board with serving tools. Head to Instagram and search under #charcuterieboard and you are bound to see some works of art. A typical charcuterie, the word derived from the French words that mean flesh and cooked, consists of mainly meats and cheeses. These boards have progressed to some of the most decadent and sweet hot cocoa holiday charcuterie boards.

Why I Celebrate Valentine’s Day

Valentine’s Day.  A day to let others know you love them whether a spouse, children, parents, grandparents, siblings, friends – whomever you want to send a little love. As far back as I can remember, I always celebrated Valentines’ Day; it was a tradition I grew up with and continued when I became a mom.

Valentines Day Gift Guide

Best Valentines Day Gifts to Send With Love As far back as I can remember, I always celebrated Valentines’ Day; it was a tradition I grew up with and continued when I became a mom. My daughters have not been home for Valentine’s Day for years so I use the holiday as an opportunity to send them a little love from home. There are so many gift ideas for Valentine’s Day. Just sharing the love from HaveUHeard. Just make sure you start planning in advance as some items take a little longer to get in and some places, especially the small mom and pops, have so many requests, they stop taking orders. Whether you choose to make your own care package or have someone do it for you, a small token item does go a long way to let your son or daughter know you love them! Sweets for the Sweet! Who […]

Magic Number Eight for Thanksgiving 2020

In case you did not already know, Thanksgiving is my favorite holiday of the year even in Florida. Sure there is no fall foliage minus the brown palm fronds that seem to drop this time of year and, in my 48 years of living down here, the weather typically is in the high 70’s or low 80’s. Even with the lack of fall colors everywhere, the holiday still holds a special place in my heart. Throughout my entire life, my mom has always hosted Thanksgiving dinner. We were welcome to include friends that did not have a place to celebrate. My mom would find a way to make tables fit even if it meant moving furniture out of the way (that’s a whole other story).

Perfect Super Bowl Recipes for Picky Palates

Your Friends Need These From Super Bowl recipes to the decorations, it’s all about the big game. But, like everything else this past year, expect some changes. With only six of us, I will still serve game-winning food. It has been a while since I hosted, my friends may be in for a little surprise. That’s because I follow a fairly strict Mediterranean-style diet. And I am also a pescatarian which means I will look to make party foods that are mostly healthy. Some will be plant-based, some vegan but there will be few processed foods. I’m fairly strict about my diet but I do not force my choices on anyone else. I’d prefer to view it as expanding their palates. Super Bowl Recipes I have experimented with a lot of different recipes, making changes to ones that I feel will taste just as good. In a non-pandemic world, I would prepare […]

Dad’s Day 2021

What to Get All The Dad’s It’s dad’s turn to take the spotlight. On June 20th, it’s time to grab the craft beer, cigars, and golf clubs to celebrate the special dad’s in our lives. Sports Fan Is your dad a sports fan? Has he been flipping the TV to ESPN weekly to see what new sports are being aired? If you answered yes, we have some fan gear gift ideas for you! Is he Team USA and counting down the days until the Olympics? Grab some cool Fanatics merch from polos to baseball caps. Actually, if Dad has a favorite sports team, Fanatics has some great items, including these reduced-priced gift boxes. While you’re shopping with them, make sure you check out any additional items you can add to the cart that will only lead to more excitement on Father’s Day. We personally love the themed cornhole games, hook and ring, and electric football […]

Grill, Chill & Thrill this July 4th!

What are your plans? Expect most to celebrate July 4th by heading to beaches, parks, and enjoying fireworks after a year of lockdowns. Parks are open and you can enjoy grill, chill, or thrill time with your family and friends. Across America, almost every major city is planning fireworks celebrations this year. If you are staying home, check your local city events calendar.  Thinking of hitting the road? Here are some of the best 4th of July fireworks in the U.S. Barring anything unusual, most of us are so ready to celebrate with friends and family this July 4th. Past Traditions July 4th was my husband’s favorite holiday. So much so that one year we spent the 4th in Washington, D.C. I highly recommend adding this to your bucket list. His favorite part of the day was hearing the Declaration of Independence. The girls were young so I think their favorite was […]

July 4th Food

Food for the Fourth When you think of July 4th food, what comes to mind? Traditionally, it’s all about the dogs, burgers, chicken & ribs, baked beans, corn on the cob, beer, apple pie, and red, white & blue desserts. And that is what I will normally make for my friends who have celebrated with us in the past. But, I am a pescatarian and I have vegetarian friends which means coming up with mains that we can enjoy. Mains There are plenty of ways to enjoy the 4th with your carnivore friends. In addition to traditional July 4th food, for myself and my vegan friends, I will include: Burgers – I like a lot of plant-based burgers including Impossible Burger and Beyond Burger. Just prep it like you would the meat burgers you are making and I will top it with vegan cheese and all the condiments. My go-to vegan cheese […]

Christmas In July

A Midsummer Celebration Up until the last few years, I genuinely believed that my uncle came up with the idea of Christmas in July. I distinctly remember my uncle throwing his holiday parties in December, long before we moved to Florida. Because we would visit every December, we were allowed to go for a little while before it turned into an “adults-only” party. He felt that everyone’s calendars were overfilled with invitations so he moved his party to July in the mid-’70s. He would still dress up as Santa and decorate his office with a Christmas tree and lights. Of course, he also included a charitable component and had his guests bring non-perishables to donate to a local food bank. The History of Christmas in July Apparently, I was misguided in my belief that my uncle came up with Christmas in July. The first Christmas in July dates back 84 years according […]

Happiest Time of the Year

We are approaching what is considered to be the happiest time of the year…Thanksgiving, Christmas, Hanukkah, Kwanzaa, other holidays, New Year’s… for many of us, it is a time of joy, reflection, and family. Holidays can also be a very difficult time for those who are alone and those who have lost someone. I was raised in a family that always welcomed friends to share in our family holiday time so now to be facing the holidays while trying to balance protecting our matriarchs in the family, is forcing us to redefine how we celebrate. 

This Halloween I’m Creepin’ It Real

Basic Witch Full disclosure… Halloween is my least favorite holiday. But, I do get my daughters a little something. It’s typically some candy and a small gift because this Halloween I’m creepin’ it real. When my daughter was old enough to understand Halloween, I went out trick or treating with her because I didn’t want to negatively influence her. I dressed up as a basic witch. (Although if you read my t-shirt, my opinion comes through loud and clear). Ghouls Just Wanna Have Fun My girls love Halloween so I feel good that I didn’t take that away from them. Love the candy. Love dressing up. And, even though they are in their 20’s, they still dress up. In fact, in 2019, they impressed me with their Schitt’s Creek and Harry Potter costumes. Let’s Give ’em Pumpkin To Talk About I never need an excuse to send a care package to my […]

2021-11-14T12:12:15-05:00Comments Off on Life is Complicated

Life is complicated sometimes...

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