Tuesday, November 17, 2015

Presentation and Awards Dinner

Presentation and Awards Dinner
Top Row, left to right: Lane Bryant sand jacket, J. Jill elbow sleeve V-neck tee, Woman Within gathered V-neck tee, Lane Bryant knit jacket, Woman Within parka (worn without lining). Middle Row, left to right: Coach hobo bag, black belt, J. Jill slim ankle jeans, amber bead necklace. Bottom Row, left to right: Black Wigwam ankle socks, Aersoles loafers, Dr. Martens Chelsea boots, black Wigwam crew socks.

The presentation was November 11th, and the NAMI Awards Dinner was on November 12th, 2015, but I haven't gotten around to completing this post because I've been doing NaNoWriMo, which is National Novel Writing Month. Every year in November people all over the world participate, and I decided to join them this year. I've attempted to do it twice before, but didn't get very far. I've gotten further this time than ever before, but I don't think I'm going to meet the 50,000 word count required to win. The goal is to write a 50,000 word novel by November 30th. I'm pretty behind at this point, but like I said, I've gotten further this time than any other time I've participated. It's been a learning process, but a worthwhile one.  

On to the events: Wednesday, November 11th, we had the author Felicia Johnson speak at one of our information meetings. She gave an excellent presentation on her book, "Her," which is about a young woman with borderline personality disorder. She also showed clips from the upcoming film based on the book. She discussed child abuse and trauma, and how they can impact people for the rest of their lives. Her presentation was moving and emotional, and I'm sure everyone in the audience could relate to the things she was discussing. I know I learned a great deal that night, and I'm sure many others in the audience did, as well.  I received positive feedback from many of the audience members, so I know her presentation not only struck a chord of recognition with people, but they derived some benefit from it, too.  

Everyone I worked with did their best to make the evening a success, so I'm glad it went well.  During the time I've been Program Coordinator for NAMI NYC Staten Island, I've never had an absolute disaster occur during one of the presentations or information meetings, but I always worry! Fortunately, everyone always works very hard at making sure things go right, so my worries are unfounded.  Our speakers are always seasoned, professional people, and they handle themselves well when there are glitches either before or during their presentations. From the audience, you never know there's been an issue.

The next night, Thursday, November 12th, was the NAMI NYC Staten Island Awards Dinner. There were three honorees: Digna Quinones, who is the Recipient Advocacy Specialist for the New York State Office of Mental Health, NYC Regional Office; Mary Ann Sisto-Clark, who is the Director of Customer Service for South Beach Psychiatric Center; and Larry Hochwald, who is the Chair of the Staten Island Mental Health Council. Congratulations to all the honorees!  They all gave excellent acceptance speeches.

On to the fashion:  I wore the tan jacket, black J. Jill tee and jeans with the Aerosoles loafers Wednesday night. 

I wore the black Lane Bryant knit jacket, black Woman Within tee and jeans with the Doc Martens Chelsea boots and amber beaded necklace on Thursday night.  Thursday night was cold and threatened rain, so I wore the outer layer of my parka. My friend David, who drove me to the event and back home again, wore only a short sleeved polo shirt and chinos, and he was cold.

I carried my black pebbled leather turn-lock Coach hobo bag both nights. It's not the bag pictured. My hobo bag is from 2007. It still looks good! Every season I clean it and condition the leather. 

I wore the same style of jeans to both events, but different pairs each night. The dinner is an evening event, and most people wear some form of business casual or dressy attire. It's a long evening, so I think most people want to be comfortable. No one wears formal evening attire, because it's not that kind of event. Everyone looks nice, though, and the atmosphere is friendly and congenial. The food is always delicious at The Staaten, where the event takes place, and the surroundings are lovely. A good time was had by all!

Monday, October 26, 2015

NAMI Awards Dinner & Information Meeting

NAMI Awards Dinner & Information Meeting
Top, left to right: Lane Bryant jacket, J. Jill V-neck elbow sleeve t-shirt, silver bead necklace, rose quartz pendant, J. Jill dark rinse ankle jeans, J. Jill V-neck elbow-sleeve t-shirt, Lane Bryant jacket.  Bottom, left to right: Black satchel handbag, Aerosoles black croco loafers, Coach signature medium tote in pink.  Right column, from top: L'Occitane Jasmine & Bergamote Eau de Parfum, Shower Gel and Body Milk. 


 It's that time of year again, time for the NAMI Awards Dinner.  This will be the 25th Annual Awards Dinner.  We have three honorees who have worked hard during their careers for the mental health community on Staten Island.  The Awards Dinner is Thursday, November 12th, 2015.  

The night before, our guest speaker for the information meeting will be Ms. Felicia Johnson, author of the novel, "Her," which is about a young woman with Borderline Personality Disorder.  I've been reading the book and it's good!  

That weekend will be the NAMI New York State Educational Convention, which I won't be attending this year.  They have a lot of good speakers this year doing the presentations and workshops.  

I haven't decided which outfits to wear to the two events.   Jeans might be appropriate for the information meeting, but may be too casual for the dinner, so I think I might wear dress pants.  As usual, I will probably be in a state of confusion up until the minute I get dressed for each event, and then I'll spend the evening second-guessing myself.  Ah well, such is my fate!  I never feel comfortable when I'm dressed up.  I've never learned the art of being comfortable in anything remotely formal.  

I bet there are a lot more of you out there that are like me.  Nevertheless, we have to get dressed every day.  Might as well look good!

Saturday, October 3, 2015

Closet Storage Solutions

Closet Storage Solutions
Drop-Front Shoe Boxes, Clear Watertight Totes, Command Adhesive Brushed Nickel Hook.  All from The Container Store. 

Last week, I finished the Apartment Therapy 10-Step Closet Cure.  My closet still needs some work, as I need to get out my fall/winter clothes and get them laundered.  It was still too warm when I was finished with the Closet Cure to wear fall clothes.  Now, however, NYC is getting cooler weather.  It's 57* outside today.  Last week, the night-time temps dipped down into the low 40's.  I had to turn on the heat.  

I still need to clean the walls, floors and storage bins in my closet.  Not looking forward to that!

I didn't take pictures of the big bag of donations I had for the Department of Sanitation's pilot curbside donation pickup program.  I was just so happy to get that bag out of the house!  My roommate took our donations out to the recycling/trash area.  She didn't see anyone else had donation bags, so it's possible we were the only people to get them.   

The tenth, and final step of the Closet Cure was to figure out what kind of storage solutions your closet needs.  I determined that I need shoe and boot storage, and a few heavy-duty hooks so I can hang my totes, backpack and everyday handbag on the inside of my closet door.  When I'm not using my tote bags, I store them in the backpack, so I just need two heavy-duty Command hooks.  I thought the containers and hook above from The Container Store would be the best solutions.  However, I don't think these purchases are going to be happening anytime soon.  It will take me a minute to save up the funds.  Especially since The Container Store has ridiculous shipping charges, last I checked.  

One thing I was able to do was to purchase black velvet flocked hangers for my closet.  I don't buy into the "all your hangers have to be the same to achieve a uniform look" business.  I have a mix of wooden hangers and flocked hangers.  The flocked hangers work better for light-weight garments like fleece sweaters, sports jackets, and shirts.  The wooden hangers are better for heavier garments, like jeans, pants, skirts and suit jackets.  I bought the wooden hangers a long time ago from The Container Store.  I recently bought some cedar skirt hangers from Bed Bath & Beyond, and the black velvet flocked suit hangers from Staples.com.  I don't mix the wooden hangers with the flocked hangers, so it looks pretty uniform.  

Sunday, September 27, 2015

Treat Yourself!

Treat Yourself!
Left to right: Woman Within V-Neck Tee; J. Jill Slim Pants; Blue Goo Cracked Heel; L'Occitane Jasmine et Bergamote Body Milk; Flexitol Heel Balm. 

That's not me stepping out of the shower, by the way.  Please, I wish my shower looked like that!  We have a little fiberglass tub with a tension rod in place of an actual shower curtain rod.  

I did some pampering yesterday, in that I took a shower, washed my hair, and moisturized tip to toe!  Then I changed into some comfy clothes and my roommate and I ordered dinner from the local diner.  

I have diabetes, and skincare is very important.  Skin provides a barrier to infections getting in the body, and infections, if you have diabetes, can be fatal.  So it's important to treat any cuts, wounds, or irritations of the skin as soon as possible.  I neglected my skin all summer long, mostly because I didn't go out, so I thought it wasn't necessary, but!  I was wrong.  My skin was getting really itchy and had some irritation.  My feet have callouses.  This is not a good situation.  So I've started taking care of my skin again, moisturizing my feet and my body after showering.  Yesterday I decided to make it a little special, by using the "good" moisturizer from L'Occitane.  I moisturized my feet with the Flexitol Heel Balm (stuff works wonders!) and my elbows with the Blue Goo.  I need to do this more often, because my skin really needs the help. 

After applying the moisturizers, I lay down on my bed and let them soak into my skin.  It's a nice way to relax, especially if you're in a hurry to get ready for an event.  It helps to just take 15 minutes to regroup and recharge.  

Afterwards, I felt like a new person!  So relaxed and mellow ... hmm, nice! 

Monday, September 14, 2015

Review of Peter Walsh's "Enough Already! Clearing the Mental Clutter to Become the Best You"

I read a few reviews, and some people complained that this book didn't go into as much detail as they would have liked, but to be fair, Walsh mentions in this book that he wrote about organization and decluttering and body issues in his previous books, It's All Too Much!, The It's All Too Much Workbook and Does This Clutter Make My Butt Look Fat?  I haven't read the last one, but after reading this book, I might add it to the TBR pile.  You might want to read those three books first, if you aren't familiar with Walsh's work. 

The book follows a basic format, focusing on six aspects of life, covered in six chapters of the book: relationships, work, family, money, health and well-being.  Walsh talks about how all six aspects of life are impacted by clutter: environmental clutter, mental clutter, financial clutter, relationship clutter, physical clutter in the form of obesity and poor health, and spiritual cluttter.  Then he goes on to address the issues posed by these different aspects of life and the clutter associated with them.  After that, he breaks down each segment or chapter into "Imagine the (aspect of life) you want," "clear the clutter of unreal expectations," "watch out for obstacles," and "declutter your (fill in aspect of life here), ending with "And then there's the stuff."  There were some chapters that were hard for me to relate to, including the "Family" chapter, because it focused mostly on the nuclear family, with parents and children.  I'm in my 50's, single and my parents are no longer living and I don't have that much physical interaction with my siblings, since we don't live near each other.  I have a roommate, but we get along very well and communicate well with each other, so thankfully, no problems there.  Also I couldn't relate to work, because it focused mostly on people with careers.  I'm retired on disability, and while I do volunteer work, my life is relatively low-stress.  I couldn't relate to the relationship segment at all, since it seemed to focus mostly on couples living together, which I've never done.  So, as you can see, the book mostly addresses the needs of couples with children or parents, neither of which I have.  That said, I found the chapters on money, health and well-being to be very helpful.  On the other hand, now I'm worried about what's going to happen when I turn 65.  The chapter on health gave me a lot to think about, because I have some health problems.  The chapter on well-being was inspiring for me, because as it turns out, that's one aspect of my life where I'm generally content and satisfied.

In summary, if you're looking to take a deeper look into Peter Walsh's methods, I would suggest reading the first three books mentioned above before reading this one.  Also, be prepared to do the exercises included to get the full impact of the Peter Walsh decluttering experience.