{me time} sparkle earrings!

A few months after Piper was born, Hubs and I took all 3 girls over to Fashion Island (a local outdoor mall for those not in OC).  I remember it was a Friday, and I just wanted out.of.the.house. The easiest place to go let the girls run around was the Koi fish pound and we could inhale dinner from the food court.  It doesn’t sound glamorous, but when you’ve changed a million diapers in a week, have not showered that day and just want a change of scenery, it sounds perfect.

I threw my hair back in a bun, grabbed a puffer vest, touched on a little lipgloss, and for some reason, grabbed a pair of sparkly fun earrings.  While the kids played around the fish pond, and I stood nearby feeding Piper a bottle, I noticed a few ladies glancing our way.  Finally, 2 of them walked over and asked how old all our girls were….and as most do, dropped their jaws and asked how we had it all together (which we of course laughed at!).

But the clincher was this, one of the ladies said, “And you even have cute earrings on! How do you do it all?!”

I will never forget that moment!  I FAR from had my act together that night, but to this day, when I wear the earrings I had on that night, I have a new found confidence in what I can do.

A silly little story I know, but I had to share in case there were any other moms out there needing a little pick me up. A new pair of sparkly earrings can sometimes do just the trick!  I think these Stella & Dot Soiree Earrings might just be my next pair! Go with everything, little bit of sparkle, not to low for the kids to grab…

Of course while I was searching Stella & Dot, I saw these cute girl pieces that I’m pretty sure little Hay might fall in love with in her current Pinkalicious love affair! The Allie Pearl & Ribbon Necklace and the Kristin Pearl Bracelet. We don’t own, but we just may soon….

Have a great day everyone, and grab yourself a little sparkle!  All moms deserve to feel pretty!

{Nothing to disclose. Just me out shopping. All images  from the Stella & Dot website.}

{me time} stolen minutes with house beautiful

Have any of you been having one of those months….you know the ones that still feel like you are at the first day of the next month, when in fact your a WHOLE WEEK IN? And to top it off you feel like you’re feet are walking through mud and getting heavier every time you try to take a new step?

Yeah, I don’t know what I’m talking about either. Never happens to me……I look at the 10 things on my To Do list and sometimes wonder how it will all happen…

**sigh**

Well, I did manage to throw my arms in the air yesterday as ALL OF MY CHILDREN took their naps TOGETHER. (And considering we’ve had way too many nights of interrupted sleep it was a welcome blessing!) So no, I did not wake my children up when they started to sleep past their regular time. I let em sleep. Chalked it up to a time change jet-lag, and convinced myself they all needed it.

And then I made a nice hot cup of coffee and opened my House Beautiful (that may have arrived weeks ago and I was just now sitting down to it…).

I had seen a hint of the cover on Habitually Chic. Do you all follow that blog? My Latte Fairy friend told me about it, and once again, how right she was! Seriously, Heather Lawson (the blog’s writer) is Chic beyond words. I’m loving this “Timeless” post on Paul Newman.

Even though it’s an ad, it still inspires me. While I do not love the Restoration Hardware current furniture lead times and overall in store customer service right now, I do love what their selling, and their customer service on a piece you’ve purchased? AMAZING! Would love a line up of bar stools just like this. Industrial, but functional.

Nothing over the top about this photo, except it looks like a welcoming front door. Love the black with the white painted brick. I picture a nice family living behind it.

Great mix of pieces in this room. From modern to traditional, to down right feels like a comfortable room.

Love the collection of different things that all unify in a welcoming way. Very warm, yet open and inviting.

Now see?? There’s that industrial bar stool look again, and this time in my current favorite color (gray) kitchen! Although I still like the bar stools with the backs from RH. My mommy back would kill me on these sadly.

I WISH my messy office would look this cute messy! Mine instead just looks…well…messy.

Love the single monogram for each person. The trouble with me and Hubs is the sides of the beds we sleep on + our initials, we would have an “S” and an “M”….don’t think so. I might be better off doing a 2 or 3 letter monogram.  But I like the idea!

How about you? What favorite magazines have you stolen a few moments with lately?  Even though it takes me days or weeks to get to it, I truly love my subscription to House Beautiful! It’s a welcome friend each time I see a new one in our mailbox :-)

{me time} favorite planner 50% off, yippee!

Ohhhhhh, now isn’t this fun!! I just received this little update that there is a 50% OFF Flash Sale at momAgenda.com until 10/16 ONLY!


Remember when I talked about momAgenda Here? Well what’s better than getting a few dollars off while Mom gets herself organized?  Ummm, NOTHING! (OK, maybe a few things, but it’s STILL a great perk!!) And it looks like they have the Mini Planner on the Sale for  $20.40 (from $41!!!).

Happy Weekend Everyone!

{me time} love me some bling {& giveaway!}

So where have I been the past couple of weeks??!!?  Um walking around on my head (no seriously I have, MY HEAD. This silly broken toe has been the last straw on the camels back….and every time one of my Little Punks steps on it again….ugh).

But bygones, because as we all know, Life goes one and the sun keeps rising and setting. However, it’s times like these when I feel buried and getting no where, that I am in awe of other moms…

There are SERIOUSLY some TALENTED and AMAZING moms out there…yes amazing PEOPLE too…but now that I’m in this mom world (WAAAAAY in it, like deep, deep in it), when I read about other moms, their juggling acts, creative businesses, families….I just want to give them I call and thank them for being the incredible, and inspiring people they are.

Take for example this little company, Towne & Reese which was started a year ago by two friends, moms, and former advertising executives, Christi Pack & Jessica Stanfield. (These ladies are the definition of creative and awe inspiring in Websters, seriously, look em up).

(Photo Credit: Young House Love)

First off, fabulous company name.  (Check out their office crash HERE). Being that Christi and Jessica are each 50% partners, makes sense that their kids names would be 50% of the name.  (And BTW, you know these gals have to be from Charlotte because every child’s name I have EVER heard from there is ADORABLE!). They also name each piece of jewelry after a friends’ daughter.  And to make these moms hit the top of my favorite list, they have completely incorporated their kids into their office space.

(Photo Credit: Young House Love)

Can you see the cutie pie kids at the conference table??? Keep looking…

(Photo Credit: Young House Love)

Look at all those super cute smiles and jewels and cheeks and jewels and happiness!

(Photo Credit: Young House Love)

Back to my story, so about a year ago these 2 uber cool mamas set off to develop a line of affordable jewelry that was super stylish, to rival the Neimans shopping trip dreams.  And you know what they came up with??

A FABULOUS line with EVERY PIECE priced under $50! That definitely works in my post-corporate-life-still-want-to-look-cute-budget!

(I currently wear these earrings almost daily. Shocked even that Piper has never tried to grab them…I can’t tell you how many compliments I receive!)

Every piece is gold or silver plated, hypoallergenic, nickel and lead free. (to some that wont mean anything, but coming from a jewelers daughter ~ me ~ with a sister who is allergic to most metals….this is BIG!  This means you don’t need to spend a billion dollars to have a fantastic accessory piece!)

(New most favorite necklace. I can loop it around to be shorter 3x, or go longer at 2x…I may need to buy another in silver. Great accessory piece to dress up the jeans and tshirt!)

Here’s the part I’m absolutely dying about….these pieces are so cute that they’ve even gained their own fans in Reese Witherspoon, Taylor Swift, Carrie Underwood, Reba McEntire, Nancy O’dell…..I think my little country heart just did a little proud swoon for Christi and Jessica! You go girls!

(Photo Credit: Young House Love)

So what does this all mean for you? It means someone gets to win a piece of their choice!! Necklace, Bracelet, Earring, Ring…you name it! And what about everyone else? Well the generous ladies at Towne & Reese are offering our readers 15% off until the end of this month. I’m honestly going back for a few more things, I have just loved it! And what a great way to get a head start on Holiday shopping….

Here’s the rules, one comment/entry for each:

  1. Visit Towne & Reese and leave a comment below naming your new favorite piece. You can view everything on their site, but to shop, go HERE.
  2. OPTIONAL ~ “Like” Towne & Reese on Facebook and let them know you saw them on My Favorite Everything.
  3. OPTIONAL ~ “Like” My Favorite Everything on Facebook or tell me that you already do.

Giveaway closes at 9:00pm PST Wednesday, September 21. Winner will be notified by email on Thursday.  Be sure to leave your email, it’s not published.

The 15% code is active NOW! Feel free to use it HERE until Friday September 30th MYFAVE15

Best of luck and HAPPY WEEKEND!

{Disclosure: I was allowed to choose a piece myself to facilitate a review, however, I loved it so much I bought quite a few more…not telling how many since Hubs may read this….DEFINITELY a favorite!}

{Me Time} Time to de-stress

Ohhhhhh Lord Bee…it was a little nutty those final weeks of July.

Hmmm, I think I’ve started saying that at the beginning of every post! But it has, it really, really, really, really has been nutty. And it never ceases to amaze me that not matter how well you plan or try to organize things, there STILL is never enough time to get it all done.

Right now in particular I’ve felt like I’ve had loads on my shoulders. Whether actual work to do, the pressure of completing a project, life, or just stress in general.

Lately, it’s felt like a lot.

So I’m trying to teach myself to think about the things that are good and the little things  that make me happy.  It’s a whole lot easier to tackle the mountain in front of you when you have a little pep in your step.

This week when the kids were out, I took 15 minutes to walk around our house and remind myself of favorite things that make me happy…

These jars sit on the counter where the kids eat breakfast.  The large Target glass jar holds the brushes & ribbons. The canning jar holds all the clips. And the Juliska ramekin holds the hairbands.  I love this.  I’m not really a girlie girl.  But somehow seeing these jars each morning makes me feel so lucky to have 3 darling little baby girls who for some reason, in their own little way, ARE girlie girls!

I loved sitting at the kitchen table when I was little when my mom was doing my hair.  “Doing” the Little Punks’ hair now is like working on bowling balls….but one day I hope it will be a special time for them too.  For now they LOVE picking out what clips to wear. As in LOVE.TO.PICK.THEM.OUT.

This IKEA fake plant is awesome! I never thought I would be a fake plant kinda girl, but when I saw these little boxwoods for about $2, I died. I have them all over our house. Easy to group in a line, no fear the kids will dump dirt anywhere, move em when you need em, and they look suprisingly real!

This is the side of our Master Bedroom. Three of the photos are from our wedding. One of the photos is my Hubs on the balcony of our hotel room on our Honeymoon. And the fifth frame is the card he wrote me the night he proposed.  The opposite end sits my jewlery box from my sister-in-law. It holds my jewelry, along with special keepsakes….like the girls hospital baby bracelets & our place cards from our wedding.  I smile each time I look in  this direction.

I also smile when I see this photo. This is Piper at 2 weeks, with me. I may be a little magnified in the photo, but I love how that also shows how teeny-tiny sweet Pipes is. I love that our noses are touching. I really love this photo. And I also love that I got it from Canvas on Demand with a Groupon for 1/2 price!  That certainly puts my in a better mood.

Ohhhhhh matching hangers, how I love you!!  This is Piper’s closet and yes she has a few clothes. She is after all the 3rd daughter in a family of very close in age girls. This girl has got her some hand me downs!!  My closet does not have matching hangers…kids always come first don’t they? But these tiny white hangers, all in a line, with all those colorful dresses…..*sigh* they always put my in a better mood.

See? I’m feeling better already!  Wonder if it has anything to do with the glass of wine that was walking along with me?? (I kid, I kid!)

So that’s my tip for you today.  When you’re feeling stressed with loads on your plate. Take a walk around your house and remind yourself of all the little things that make you happy. It will surprise you how something so little can make such a big difference in your day!

{Me Time} My Favorite Daily Planner

I’m going to go out on a limb here, but I’m guessing many of you have a slight organization habit or tendency. I’m a little addicted myself, though I definitely find that I can’t be the same Type A person that I was pre-kids. I definitely want to be at time as I never minded that person (though I’m sure my Hubs is happy she’s not fully here anymore), but my brain is so far in the OTHER direction of forgetfulness and disorganization now that I’m a train wreck most of the time.

I have never found a calendar that is 100% perfect. There is always an issue or shortfall somewhere. Not that the calendar is lacking, but that my life is ever changing now with the kids so I find I need to track and calendar things differently almost monthly or yearly depending on our current stage.

BUT there is hope.

Have you ever heard of momAgenda?  I LOVE these planners.  I’m a simple person. I just like being able to see a full month on a page, or a week at a time so I can block out windows of time for events.  And this lets me do it.

Check out a page, they show you what each section of the book looks like.

I was even more excited when I read an email that said this:

NEW 2011/2012 Planners at momAgenda.com!

Being the lover of online shopping that I am, I immediately went to the site and came up with 2 that I love and need to decide between…

The regular momAgenda planner with fabulous little animal print.

Or the Home Office addition with a very helpful spiral binding. Not sure if I would do the neutral gray, or the very fun zebra print.

And here’s the next best thing about momAgenda, they have a momAgenda iPad App!  I have no idea how it all works, but it sounds awesome. And since I love to create more work for myself, but in a streamlined way (yes I’m crazy like that) the thought of being able to keep a written planner that looks the same as my iPad planner is Heaven on Earth!

All this to say, as the Summer is sadly more than half way over and it’s time to get our school year brains in place…it’s nice to know there is a stylish, easy mom planner for us. And I for one LOVE getting a calendar or planner. Kinda makes you feel like your starting fresh with a new lease on life, in a weird backwards way.

Can’t wait for my new planner to arrive….now which one to order??? Decisions, decisions….

Photo Credit: All images from momAgenda

{Me Time} A match made in Heaven!

I’m currently feeling hopelessly and completely behind the times today! A dear and amazing friend (she may have a little something to do with THIS) shared a link with me  for Matchbook ~ Field Guide to a Charmed Life….and I cannot believe I’m just now finding out about this!?!?

How many of you knew and didn’t share this????  I’m not sure we are really BFFs if you didn’t feel totally compelled to shoot me an email strait away {CG ~ this is how I really know we are BFFs! Thank you a million times over for sending!}

I strongly urge you to hustle your kiddos out the door to school, a play date, surf camp, whatever…then grab a cup of coffee in your favorite mug and devour this darling, amazing & ever so chic magazine!

I want to just high dive into Matchbook and live vicarioulsy on every page. Inspiring and oh so interesting articles, wonderful  little illustrations, thoughtful design, very well rounded. A page turner from every direction. I’m sharing a sampling of pages I quickly grabbed to share…..but truly, I’m headed out the door to pick up kiddos….the beauty in this magazine comes in seeing the WHOLE thing, and reading page after amazing page together.

Seriously, talk about CUTE and CHIC prego style!?!?!

Go now and check out Matchbook.  They don’t know me in the slightest, I just wanted to pass along a new favorite.  The only thing that would make it better than being able to read online, AND on my iPad (which you can do), would be to also have a copy in print. Sometimes things this good just need a print copy too….I may need to start a petition!

Happy reading and enjoy your weekend!

{Me Time} House Beautiful ~ A Favorite For Sure!

I love House Beautiful. (and I love that you can also look at it online)

I do a little happy jig when I see it in my mailbox.

Being that I don’t really have tons of time for magazines these days (months? years?) I really only get a couple, and I LOVE the mini vaca when I read them over a cup of coffee (while also checking emails, locked in my bathroom ~ the only free 5 minutes in a day…) Ok, maybe not exactly like that, but you get my drift.

So when the June House Beautiful issue arrived last week, it made my day. I thought I would share a few favorite finds I saw….

Great find at West Elm.  It’s tough to find cute drink containers. We have a stainless steel one I found at Costco years ago that doesn’t “sweat”, which is the only thing I wish the West Elm option had. But as far as looks, I’m sold!

{And unfortunately, it looks sold out…oh well, it sure is cute though!}

And of course you know I have a not so secret love affair with Juliska.  Have you seen their new flatware??  So fun!

This looked interesting. iPhone Apps that let you control things in your home…such as A/C, and alarm systems…I have friends that control their TVs and stereos too.  We have not tried any yet. But when I showed to Hubs he said he was already checking into it. Guess we need to stay tuned…

Do you use any home Apps? Would love to know what works and doesn’t for you!

Great little spot in the House Beautiful reader photos.

The reader “took a set of sepai Grand Tour postcards from 1896, framed them in a modern way with wide white mats and skinny white frames…” This is TOTALLY doable!  Pottery Barn sells great modern wood gallery frames that you can often catch on sale.

And how easy is using a postcard set??!? (Or you could use your kids artwork cut to a postcard size…ORRR what about all of your children’s hand prints, one in each frame??  I might need to work on that little project!)

Fabulous idea that gives the kitchen nook SO MUCH character and really defines that space! A great weekend project.

Fun party idea. I love the use of paper lanterns since they add such an easy punch of color to a party…how fun to see them on the end of bamboo stick!

And what about Tyler Florence’s salad below??  It looks so interesting.  I’m not sure how my kids would do with the calamari, but they might just think it was a mini onion ring and go for it!  It’s worth a shot I think…and if not, well then I think onion rings would work perfectly.

Not gonna lie ~ I’m kinda in love with his kitchen too

The article on decorating with color just sucked me in, thank goodness it’s online too. I’m a very visual person and am drawn mostly to using “lights and darks”. Our house is basically all white with dark ebony hardwood flooring. So pops of color really take center stage and define a room. I loved this  home!

Wonderful mix of colors.

Each room really stood out with it’s own personality. Very warm, friendly and inviting.

You can easily see a family living here.

So inspired by the blue painted ceiling! Though I think painted ceilings look best when there is a texture of some form, like the tongue & groove wood pattern (or wainscoting) in the photo. But that’s just personal preference.

And this reading nook is awesome!  It doubles as a sleeping space for guests, but can’t you just imagine curling up in their with your kids??  I would be just as happy to take my mini-vaca here too!  The article says it’s a space in a hallway that they carved out to be a special reading spot. Love it!

I also really like when people use their everyday life in unique ways to decorate their homes. In this case, the books on the wall. No need for a major bookshelf, a ledge will do just fine for displaying (and storing) favorite books. Ikea often has simple book ledges.

(Image: Source)

I forgot to add this when I was reading the article, but I REALLY loved the wallpaper in the office shelves. GREAT way to add more personality to your office space!  And not that tough to change out. You could do these as cork board to.  Definitely read the article and look through the rest of the house images. I’d move in tomorrow (or today if they would take me ~ and my small circus!)

Then this little idea about chicken wire in the cabinets looks cool too.

Love open cabinets since they really seem to “open up” a kitchen visually. I know that all sounded redundant, but you know what I mean, right? It makes the space FEEL bigger.

I’m really into character in spaces, so I think the chicken wire is a fun idea. It wont help with keeping the dust build up inside the cabinets to a minimum, but your cabinets will look cute and your kitchen will look bigger! Sacrifices in the name of design, right!?

OK, so this next space is where my heart has been leading me lately.  We have an all white kitchen, somewhat similar to the photo above, but for some reason I’m leaning towards gray these days.

This is the second kitchen I’ve seen recently with a lighter wood floor and wonderful gray cabinets. It may be our next kitchen.  Now I just need another house to put it in….

What do you think of color in the kitchen?  I’m of the opinion that if it looks classic and is well done in neutral colors, that almost anything works.

Doesn’t it look inviting??  It just makes me want to cook in it all day.

The hallway below?? I always love this look!  It is similar to what our hallway looks like ~ sans light wood floor, sans light fixtures, sans one side of the hall.

OK, so this is SORTA what my hallway looks like. We have wainscoting on the bottom half, but the top half is filled with frames in the same kind of random pattern. I love it, I love how it makes the hall feel, and I love that our kids constantly name the people in the photos. Catch the Arron Brothers 1 cent sale and you’re in business.

The last photo looked so fun to me.  While a green bathroom would not be my first pick, I love the pattern they created from the tiles.  Really, basic & simple tiles are just a giant puzzle. Don’t be afraid to mix it up and create something fun from them!

If you’ve never checked out House Beautiful online, you definitely should. I love “walking” through their site and getting inspired to try new things!

What are your favorite design inspiring magazines??

{Disclosure: Nothing to disclose. HB doesn’t know me, I just love their magazine}

Happy Second Birthday Giggle Monster!

I’m completely delayed in posting about the girls’ birthdays. Their Circus Party felt like we had a wedding at our house (not in being elaborate, but more in the man hours it took everyone to put it all together!) I’m hoping to get the party posted soon. Just waiting on a few more photos and I promise to share!!

So yes, the girls all shared the big party, and it will be our last for a little while (meaning, not another one until a milestone birthday, NOT that we are pregnant or have ANY plans to be…just to be clear…). We wanted to be sure each Little had their 1st Birthday Party (which the other siblings by default were able to join as well), but now the 1st Birthday parties are complete.

However, even though they all shared a party, we like to celebrate each Little on their actual birthday…you know, show them some extra special attention on their birthday day.

Having said that, because Addie’s birthday fell 2 days after the party and we had JUST celebrated what felt like a million birthdays, we did not do anything extra for her this year. In her mind, the circus party WAS her special day…and there will still plenty of balloons left in the house…so we went with that.

For Piper, we did have balloons over her crib to wake her up along with a special breakfast with Grandpa.  I have a few photos, but OF COURSE my big camera battery was dead that morning!

So Hayden is really the only one that I can share…what I REALLY LOVE about these photos and about her birthday, is how truly HAPPY she was. Her smile was so sweet all day!!  Melt my heart!

As is tradition, she woke up to a rainbow of balloons over her crib.

And sweet kisses from Daddy

Can you see the smile in her eyes! She KNOWS its HER day!

Loads of sister love!

And dancing with balloons

Then we had all the grandparents come over for lunch. Very simple…I ordered Chik-fil-A since the kids love their nuggets, made a big fruit salad, some lemonade and the kids and I drew all over plastic cups to make “party cups”. I even went so far as to be lazy enough to ask Hubs to pick up a pound cake when he got the balloons in the morning. Sliced that cake up, poured some caramel sauce and M&Ms on top and served it up with ice cream. I think Hay was OK with it all…

Yep! She pretty much loved it.

Cake & Balloons, I think it’s all she needed!

Our best attempt at a family shot! Ha! (Note Addie was still in the “I must wear every clip that is the same color” phase when we took this photo…)

Yummmmm…

Ohhhh Mommy! M&Ms!

I LIKE M&Ms!!

I love these shots! After she opened her gifts, we all clapped and said Happy Birthday to her, she stood up started clapping back at all of us, it was too darn cute!

Annnnnd it was time to play…wonder how long the sharing will last???

Happy Birthday Baby Girl!

one life stand

I posted this last November ’09.  And this morning, September ’10 is the first time this has happened again.  It’s 4:45am.  Everyone is still sleeping (but there are 3 babies instead of 2). It’s a cool morning and my office window was left open. I’m enjoying a warm cup of coffee.  It’s peaceful and Heavenly, and I still love this song so, very, very much.  I truly love my One Life Stand.  Life may get challenging. The kids may throw me for a loop on any given day.  There are loads of times I think “Wow, will it ever get easier?”.  But in the end, I’m married to an amazing person.  One who stands by me, supports me, and loves me and our children.  He is truly my One Life Stand.

Enjoy.

Here is the original post.

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How fabulous is that title, “One Life Stand”. I’ve never been known as the music guru, but I know when I really like a song or when music really hits me…

Picture this moment with me.  When I was in the midst of VERY early mornings working on this blog, I had one morning in particular that I just couldn’t sleep.  So at 2:30 I left my husband sleeping contently and headed off to my computer.  It was the first cool fall morning and I had left the office window open, so the room was particularly cold.

Petes Coffee

I made a warm cup of coffee  (Peet’s Major Dickason’s – is there any other kind???).

[singlepic id=21 w=320 h=240 float=center]

Poured it in my favorite Juliska coffee mug, (mug of the CENTURY see more info in the Favorite’s Gallery), wrapped up in a cozy blanket and sat down to work.

About an hour later my east coast emails started arriving and I clicked on a link in a good friends email to see a video that had just been released.

llcover-full

I kid you not, it was one of those moments that grabbed at my heart strings.  Although my husband and I did not start out as a one night stand (both of our parents just stopped breathing for a solid 60 seconds reading that line…) listening to Damon Castillo’s, “One Life Stand”, on that cold morning, holding that warm cup of coffee in my hand… with the whole house so peaceful and quiet, it just gave me that sweet, sweet ride down memory lane.  The early start of my husband’s and my relationship, how much fun it was getting to know each other, all those moments that bring you so quickly to the present.  We have been together 6 1/2 years, and married 3 years this Wednesday.  I am married to an amazing person and we have 2 of of the most darling baby girls.  I feel so fortunate to be sharing in this One Life Stand.

Take a minute to enjoy, grab a cup of coffee, a glass of wine, or get in your car and open your sun roof ALL THE WAY… listen to “One Life Stand”, download it from Damon Castillo Band - Laurel Lane - One Life Stand, share it with your friends, and appreciate your One Life Stand.  I promise, the song will become a new favorite!