Thank You for Giving

This time of the year gets really crazy. I work long hours, go crazy trying to clean up every corner of my house, decorate everything in sight, shop for the perfect everything…

Until I reach a point of exhaustion and the holiday season becomes a blur.

Actually, it started the beginning of October when I decided to do the Last 90 Day Challenge. Instead of starting the first of the year, I’m ending my year more organized…or at least I’m trying.

For Thanksgiving, I shopped last weekend, cleaned during the week, (a few leftover dust bunnies are welcome to join the party.) I prepped what I could last night and then curled up with a book.

The only reason I’m up this early now is because two puppies love to go outside by 5am and chase the wind.

But I digress, Thanksgiving is a time of reflection for me. A time to look all around me and recognize that my life is very blessed. I am surrounded by love, I love my work at the salon, helping people look and feel beautiful. I’m one of those lucky ones who looks forward to going to work every day. And I’m following my dreams…

This year for the holidays, I not buying…I’m giving. I wanted a chance to make a difference somehow, somewhere.

I’m spoiling a ten year old girly girl who loves make-up and unicorns. Just imagine what I can do with that!!! I’ve never met her but in my heart, I know I will make her Christmas a little better.

Or the toddlers in Texas that I’m knitting soft-squishy teddy bears for. I wish I could hear their giggles when they discover those bears under their tree on Christmas morning.

A single mom out east, struggling to save enough to give her kids a dinner, a family out west who just bought their first house and unexpectedly, both parents were laid off a few weeks ago. I can help make a difference.

I am so blessed in every possible way. I need to share that. Opportunities to give are everywhere.

It isn’t about what we have…things are just things. It’s about what we can give.

Imagine a world where each of us takes the time to make a difference.

Thank You for Giving

XOXOXOXo

Dear Younger Me

There are some things I wish I would have been told when I was young, things that could have made such a difference in life.

Don’t grow up yet… I was always asked what do I want to do when I grow up? What’s your plan? What college? Everything seemed to be about the future, everything. I didn’t even know what I want to do the next day. I just wanted to be a kid and have fun. I changed my mind a hundred times as to what I wanted to do as a grown up. So enjoy being a kid, it’s honestly going to be the best part of your life… and the easiest.

Be your beautiful self…Don’t let anyone put you in a box and label it. You don’t have to be like everyone else. Your dreams don’t need to be organized by someone who knows better. They are yours! No one gets to tell you what to dream, not your parents, your friends, your boyfriend, no one. I heard way too many times, my dreams were dumb, unattainable, crazy… For a long time I listened and I wish I hadn’t. Look in the mirror…YOU ARE BEAUTIFUL and YOU CAN DO ANYTHING YOU SET YOUR MIND ON!!!! It takes time and it takes work. But never let someone tell you it’s impossible.

It’s Okay to start over…Your mistakes do not define you. Mistakes are roadmaps, stepping stones. We all make them. It’s how we grow. Starting over is saying we are strong enough to change direction, open to a new challenge and that we love ourselves enough to give ourselves this gift.

You have to love yourself first and foremost…That is not being selfish! Being guilted by someone in our life is not love. Guilt is destructive and the beginning of the end in a relationship. Listen to your inner self. If something doesn’t feel right? Don’t do it. Believe me, you’ll be thankful later.

You won’t die if someone breaks up with you…You may feel like it for a few days. It’s hard and it’s emotional but it won’t kill you. Healing takes time and believe me, in time, and in every single case, I was grateful later on. Remember the song.’Thank God for Unanswered Prayers’? Ah huh!!!!!!!

AND THE MOST IMPORTANT OF ALL?

YOU ARE BEAUTIFUL, YOU ARE SMART, YOU ARE KIND, YOU ARE ORIGIONAL AND YOU CAN DO IT ALL IF YOU REALLY WANT TOO.

XOXO

It’s a Miracle

Today is a miracle.

Today is a celebration.

Today…Jesus rose again.

We were given a miracle, the gift of forgiveness. Everything in the past has been wiped clean and we are new.

So what are you going to do with your gift?

The world is kind of messed up these days and it’s up to all of us to make a difference.

I think it’s time to spread that forgiveness Because the very best kind of a gift… is a gift that can be shared.

Imagine a world where differences are embraced, where the sick are cared for, the depressed are hugged, the lonely are told they are loved.

Imagine a world in which the children can play outside without fear.

Imagine a world filled with peace.

Everyone Has a Dream

We all have dreams. Sometimes a dream can be as simple as a day in the sun or walking on a beach somewhere peaceful. Other times, a dream could be of a house or a new car, a dream job, an awesome partner to share your life with. Big or small, we all have them and they are important to us. What’s even more important is what we do about them.

It takes time, perseverance and a lot of work to make some of our dreams become reality.    We save, we work overtime, we learn new skills…When a dream is really important, we find a way to make it happen.

The thing about a dreams? They belong to us. They’re our dreams, no one can take them away.

Dreams can change over time too. My dreams as a child and as a young adult are far different from the dreams I have now. As a little girl, I dreamed of a yellow bike with a basket in the front and of writing fairy tales about far away places, and of a little white puppy to call my own.

As a young adult, I dreamed of becoming a stylist and owning my own salon, of having a family and a house with a swing-set in the back yard, among other things.

Now, I dream of long walks on the beach, spending the cold winter months someplace warm, watching my grandchildren grow and enjoying everything around me, a more simple life.

I was thinking about my dreams the other day. It’s been a lot of work and a lot of sacrifice at times but… I still have that yellow bike hanging in my garage, (the basket fell apart years ago.), I am the proud owner of two little white rescue puppies who love to cuddle every day. I have the most amazing daughter, along with two beautiful grandkids and a son-in-law who I wouldn’t trade for the world. I have my house and my gardens, I had the business which I sold because it was time for a new dream. I’ve traveled, I’ve loved, and I’ve written it all down. It feels wonderful.

Dreams are stepping stones in life. Each one you accomplish brings a new one into your heart. It’s how we grow. Dreams keep us moving forward, they keep us alive, and they give us hope.

Oh, and that fairy tale I wanted to write as a child? It’s called Shattered Pearls and it will be available April 3.

Dreams really do come true

Shattered Pearls BN

 

 

Be Safe, Be Kind..Be Amazing

Today is a year since the tragic death of a beautiful young woman I knew and loved.

She was a mom, a wife, a daughter, a friend…

Her life ended on a busy country road up north because of a man who made a really bad decision, to drive a car under the influence.

His choice.

By the grace of God, her three children, who were buckled in the back seat, survived the accident. But their mother did not.

She left an amazing legacy behind…her family…Those beautiful children, her husband, her sisters and parents and so many friends who loved her and miss her everyday.

So here is what I want to say… Live each day. Live it, Love it, Make a difference.

Each day we have is a gift. Life can be cut short in an instant so don’t waste it. Don’t throw away this precious gift by saying tomorrow or someday.

Find a balance in your life. Find what it is you love and do it.

I read a paragraph in a book years ago by James Patterson. Suzanne’s Diary for Nicholas. The words have stayed with me. If you’ve never read the book, I highly recommend it.

Imagine life is a game in which you are juggling five balls. The balls are called work, family, health, friends, and integrity. And you are keeping all of them in the air. One day you finally come to understand that work is a rubber ball. If you drop it, it will bounce back. The other four balls are made of glass. Drop one of those and you may irrevocably shatter it.’

Your job does not define you. Who you are …what you feel…how you act… What you do…defines you

Be safe…everything you do is your choice, no excuses

Be kind…make a difference

Be amazing…life is meant to be lived, not just worked…be amazing because you are!!!!

Starting Over…Hell Yes

It hit me at around 4:30 am this morning that it’s New Years Eve. I have been so darn busy that I kind of forgot. Then I remembered… I wasn’t going to do that anymore…Be that busy. Be so busy I would forget the important things. My excuse?… I got busy.

Out comes the white boards and my journal. It’s time to make a plan, set some goals, decide what I really want in life, What is and is not important. I think that’s the big one right there… What is important.

For me it’s family, those I love. It’s peace of mind, it’s knowing no matter what I’m trying to do, I give it my all and I believe in what I’m doing. It’s making a difference.

What isn’t important is wasting time. Wasting time on worrying about what should have been or what hasn’t even happened yet. It’s wasting time on people who try to trip you up, put you down, create drama and just plain make you feel bad. It’s saying tomorrow… someday… if only… I can’t…

The two greater words in any language are Yes and No

Yes… Yes I can do it, I can accomplish anything I set out to do

And

No…No I’m not going to take it any more.

You can start over any day or any minute you choose. It’s up to you.

For myself, it was at 4:30 this morning. I made a plan.

So goodbye to wasted time and the people who say I CAN’T

Good morning to a beautiful new life.

I got this!!!!!

Happy 2018

So this is Christmas…

I love the words to John Lennon’s song, And So Happy Christmas…..So this is Christmas…And what have you done…Another year over…And a new one just begun

As I watched my family eating dinner, laughing together, opening gifts and simply enjoying the evening with one another, it makes me reflect back.

I thought of all the Christmas’s past and the people that were a part of them. The loved ones who have died and friends who have come and gone, leaving imprints upon our hearts. I think of the struggles they’ve been through, the pain, the depression. I think of the joy and the love they’ve experienced, the way they have all grown into who they are now .

Christmas is a beautiful time of year for most of us. But for some it’s a lonely time.

I think of how I’ve been able to help those around me and how I can do more, how I can make a bigger difference in the days ahead. I want the holidays to be a wonderful time for everyone. That may be an impossibility but it’s my dream.

So this is Christmas…And what have you done…

I’m reaching out for change, starting with me. I’m doing what I can to make difference for those around me. I’m believing good shall prevail over the evil and I believe there are enough of us out there feeling the same way.

And together, we can make a difference.

Another Year over…And a new one just begun…

I’m letting go of that which does not work and those who are not meant to be in my life. I’m letting go of hurt and anger and pain. I’m remembering the yesterdays with love and acceptance. I’m walking forward, one step at a time. Tomorrow is a gift, it’s a promise of a new day. Imagine all that it can be.

So….HAPPY CHRISTMAS

Its the time of year

It’s that time of year again….I love the holidays. Getting together with family and friends, Dinners, parties, finding the perfect gift for everyone I love. And lets not forget the Christmas carols and all the Christmas movies. Hallmark channel has become my favorite lately.

But…It’s also the time of year that my day job becomes two jobs. I work myself beyond exhaustion because I don’t want to let anyone down. I’m also in the process of remodeling the lower level of my house, finishing my book, learning to navigate multi media, trying to spend every possible hour with my friend Peter, and stay healthy.

I’m out of breath thinking about it.

So… I’m learning to say no. I’m saying no to that which doesn’t make me smile and feel good. I’m saying no to the stuff which really doesn’t matter. I’m sticking with a sane work schedule (Sorry), not caring if the house isn’t white glove clean. I’m not baking cookies that I shouldn’t be eating and I’m not scrimping on getting enough sleep. I’m diligent about attending my yoga classes, eating clean and healthy and enjoying that glass of red wine. Instead of staying late every night, I’m gathering with good friends, laughing and reading with Peter, loving my grandkids and my crazy puppies and getting up at 5am everyday to write. I’m doing what matters to me and those I love.

 

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I’m starting every day with a smile and I’m going after what I want because life is supposed to be beautiful. It’s up to us to make it that way

When is it enough?

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I have been following Rachel Hollis and her amazing motivation video’s lately. If you have never heard of her, check it out on her website The Chic Site. She is so inspiring.

Last week, Rachel talked about the word enough. As in WE are enough– good enough, skinny enough, smart enough.  The meaning of ‘enough’ has been on my mind all week as a result, but in a little different way.

When is it that we have enough? What is enough? The biggest house on the block? the fastest, most expensive new car? Ten million in the bank? A condo in the Bahama’s (That was before the hurricane)? And when have we had enough?

The big question for me is when is it too much and what price do I have to pay for it? Don’t get me wrong, I dream of owning an Audi A5 convertible and the thought of wintering on a warm beach somewhere is, honestly, a slice of heaven, but when is the price I need to pay too much?

I find my self working until I’m completely exhausted week in and week out. I don’t have time to grocery shop, go to my beloved yoga classes, watch my grandchildren play or take my puppies for a long walk because there is no time. Family time? A social life? Going for a drive to check out the fall colors? Curl up and read a book? I tell myself  tomorrow, next week, next year. Then I work a little later at night, come in a few hours early in the morning, add an extra day to my week.

Bottom line? ‘Tomorrow’ is never going to come if I keep this up. The things I dream of doing will become ‘should have’s’ when it’s the end. It needs to stop…NOW.

I’m making a plan, a plan to get off the Hamster wheel.

I’m making a list.

What truly makes me happy? What brings me joy? When am I the most calm? When am I confident? What makes me laugh with abandon? What fills me with passion and determination?

What makes me cry? What will devastate me? What makes me rage?

Who am I? What are the 5 most important things in life to me?

Then I will look around me and clean house. Clear out the clutter

Not just in possessions but mentally as well. If it serves no purpose in my dreams, why hang on to it? I don’t need that funky sweater that has been hanging in my closet for years because I just might wear it some day. Nor do I need the third set of dishes to be used one day of the year. Likewise, the friends I only hear from when they need a favor. The rest of the time, they can’t be bothered to turn a message or call me just to say hi. Or how about the memories of rejection, ridicule and hurt. They really don’t have any value any more other than to cause pain. It’s time to let go of the excess.

Letting go…physically, mentally, emotionally…It will free up so much room for what you really want in your life.

I am enough and I have enough… more than enough. Cleaning house opens up room for the dreams I have been hiding behind all the junk.

 

Independence Day

Today is the day we celebrate our freedom.

Are you? Really free I mean?

We gained our freedom from another country but how about the freedom to choose what is right for ourselves? From expectations and persecution because we believe in God. 

‘One Nation Under God’ That is what our leaders wrote when we declared our independence. So why had God been removed from our schools and our government? 

I listen to the news at night.. the hate, the crime, the corruption in our government. It’s crazy and dangerous out there and this is in our own backyards. What kind of a country are we creating for our children?

I think we need God more than ever.

It doesn’t matter who is in office.. God is stronger and more powerful than any man.

We need God.

I’m not talking about what many call toxic Christianity here. The kind where the so called christians tell us HOW to do everything and pass down judgement in which they have have no right to judge.

I’m speaking of faith. 

Faith everything is going to be OK. 

Faith God has a plan in everything .

We just need to love one another, reach out and help one another, work together to make out country great again.

And have faith.

Think of how beautiful it would be if instead of looking the other way, we reached out our hand and helped pick someone back onto their feet after they have fallen, if we took the timeout of our busy lives to visit a sick friend or checked on an elderly neighbor, or offered to take a child fishing for an afternoon. It’s the simple things that make us free and all those little things add up to something wonderful.

After the fireworks tonight in celebration of July 4th, take a look in the mirror. Are you living in freedom or are you living in fear?

Then praise our God that you have a choice. Have faith in his power. Work to make a difference, then watch the miracles start to happen.