Get Your Gratitude On With Four Ways to Spread Some Sunshine


Wow! Can you believe that Thanksgiving is already upon us??? I know! I don’t know where the year went, either.

It’s been a tough year for many, but we’ve survived and need to focus on the positives, not all the negatives. It can be difficult, but seeing the bright side goes a long way in creating a good life and there’s ALWAYS a little good in the bad.

As someone that has survived cancer, it takes a bit more to shake me and I realize that every day is a gift that we need to be grateful for… No matter the circumstances.

So… This week, put on your gratitude and get happy dancin’ because there are lives that we need to brighten. Remember those that will be spending this holiday alone and consider inviting or visiting them, so they aren’t lonely.

There are so many ideas out there for touching lives, but I’ll share a few that I love:

  • Bake and share some of your favorite yummies. Whether it’s cookies, candies, or even homemade jellies; all are wonderful gifts. Dress them up and they make beautiful gift ideas.
  • Spend some time with an older friend that would otherwise be alone… This one is especially important to me because the elderly are often forgotten this time of year and likely the ones that would appreciate a visit the most.
  • Remember those that are sick… Cancer strikes too many and it makes this time of year very difficult for those going through treatment. Cancer is a lonely place and I can tell you, a visit is gold because many avoid visiting because they don’t know what to say or do. Just visit, you don’t have to say or do anything special… Just be there.
  • And finally… Adopt a needy family or individual. This can be done easily and doesn’t have to cost a fortune. Just secretly surprise with little gifts through the holidays. I guarantee that you will brighten a life.

These are just a few ways you can brighten lives and get that gratitude on during this holiday season. It doesn’t have to cost anything to create a smile and goodness knows we need to get out there and spread some serious sunshine of late. It will warm your heart and make you appreciate the blessings you’ve been given.

Thank you for being a part of my life and I look forward to spending more time with you in the future.

Have a blessed Thanksgiving.

If the only prayer you said in your whole life was, “thank you,” that would suffice. ~Meister Eckhart

Getting Back to Simple

100_2014When did life get so complicated??? I don’t remember when my life wasn’t so cluttered or even how it all happened, but without a doubt I WILL remember when this craziness ends and it will be soon! It has become the elephant in the room that I’m none too fond of and seriously looking for a way to send him packing. It’s just a matter of finding a plan of attack to this project… BUT like the old saying asks, “How do you eat an elephant? One bite at a time.” For me, one bite at a time is the only way I won’t end up hiding in the fetal position, somewhere in the house.

Over the years, I’ve bought countless organization books, magazines, and supplies, but have never implemented the ideas within. Now, I’m too tired of moving things around and making no noticeable progress.

Have you ever been or are you at the same point? I can tell you, without a doubt that I’m beyond sick of it. There’s a peace that comes from living a simple life; I want this and can bet that others of you feel the same way.

So, how do we get from point A to point B? For me, it began with several visits from the Vietnam Veterans of America, as you can schedule pickups at your convenience. I adore our veterans, so this seemed like a good place to start with a “win/win” solution. I’m still a long way from my desired goal, but this has helped weed out a lot and knowing that I’m helping others feels good (which helps the process).

The next phase is eliminating, while gaining some much needed cash. I’ve started listing purses, totes, and clothes among other things on eBay, to additionally clear the clutter. This is a solid idea, especially when you are a clothes horse, much like I am. I have to ask… Why do we save so many articles of clothing that we will never wear again??? Is it sentimentality or something else? For me, I think that a big part of it is the sentimentality aspect. I’m absurdly sentimental! I still have my 24 year old’s stuffed Barney the Dinosaur and the sleeper his first photos were taken in… Why? Because I get all squishy when I touch and look at them. Therein lies the challenge, deciding and actually letting go.

We need to make a plan and FOLLOW THROUGH! I’ve made it my goal to eliminate three bags (large garbage sized bags) per week. Whether it’s donated, sold, or tossed, it MUST go. This is a doable challenge, but even with that; don’t expect this to be an overnight fix. It takes time. We didn’t accumulate all this nonsense and baggage overnight; don’t expect to eliminate it overnight, without a dumpster.

So this week join me in starting this challenge and eliminate three bags from your life… Please feel free to share what you did to simplify your life… Each week, I hope to share more downsizing tips and how I’m doing with the process and once I reach my goal, I hope to share some photos that will blow you away.

Have a wonderful week and work to simplify your lives…

Another Mother’s Day… And Some Sage Advice.

Happy Mother’s Day to all the moms out there… Some may be doing the breakfast in bed thing and getting taken out to lunch, but most of us, its business as usual. We’ll still be fixing the meals, doing the dishes, and transporting kids “somewhere.”

If you haven’t been at this that long, you could be feeling a little resentful, but for those of us that have been at this for 25+ years… Well, we know how it works and have learned that it’s best to not have expectations, lest you be disappointed. Go get yourself what you want (I bought myself a jelly maker) and enjoy it. If I waited for someone in this household to EVER “get” the hints or even demands, I’d be ticked off most of the time.

I’m one hell of a gift giver and frankly no one here, comes close, so it’s best for me to just do it myself. Besides, we are likely the best shoppers among our crews, anyhow.

Don’t worry, they love you… And one day it will be them feeling unappreciated. That’s when your gifts will get better and you’ll get the real “Thank You, Mom” from them. You’ll also likely get asked how you allowed them to even survive, but one day they WILL understand.

Remember that all those moms that are posting these wonderful gifts on Facebook, making you feel even more unappreciated, have their days, as well. We only post the good stuff on Facebook and by the end of the day; they will likely want to “string” their kids up somewhere for arguing about cleaning their rooms, doing their chores, or any of the millions of other areas kids argue about.

Have a wonderful Mother’s Day and keep smiling… Our kid’s kids will one day think that their parents “don’t get it” and that they’re the most uncool people on earth, so life is good.

In the mean time, go shopping, buy yourself a nice gift, and remember that karma will eventually take care of it. 😉

Have a great day!


How to Keep the Christmas Spirit When Surrounded By Humbugs!

10830194_10205365862971082_7081847154313349889_oAnyone that knows me well knows that I’ve adored Christmas my entire life, even when it’s been difficult. I’ve had a Christmas tree in my bedroom since I was ten or younger and decorated multiple trees, any given year. When I was a teenager, I was often called “The Christmas Kid” and I prided myself on such things. If I couldn’t afford gifts, I’d make something or even just send a card… Just so my friends knew that I cared. That’s what matters, anyhow.

It’s always been that way, so I struggle when people say they don’t want to celebrate due to financial or other difficulties. I made it happen, even while going through cancer treatment and being pretty broke, so I don’t particularly buy into the excuses… It’s NOT about money or gifts and if you are thinking that way, you’ve missed the boat.

This year has been an unusually difficult one, but I haven’t allowed it to damper my mood… Even with people making it challenging, I’m still not losing my spirit! I refuse to allow it to happen and neither should you.

I think part of what makes this all possible is that I believe in Santa. How can I STILL believe in Santa, you ask? Well, it’s really quite simple… Believing in Santa is a state of mind and feeling sort of thing. Santa lives within us, as we share love and joy during the season (or the whole year). There’s magic in that and all that comes along for the ride.

I believe most of the problems with the world would be solved, if more people felt this way. At the very least, there’d be A LOT more kindness in the world, if more took this stance (and likely a great deal less road rage).

My challenge to you is to stop telling yourself that Christmas is for the kids because that’s simply not true. Christmas is for everyone. It’s not about gifts. It’s not about what you give, not receive and I’m once again, not talking about gifts, but the time and kindness you share. Get out there and start sharing kindness.

Also, just because you might be in treatment or having challenges, understand that if you allow yourself… You CAN feel the magic. I promise.

Be safe, be blessed and know that I appreciate all of you.

Fashion Magazines: Who are they kidding?

As I sit here killing time, I’m looking through the latest issue of Lucky magazine and am blown away by just how out of touch they are. I love fashion, especially purses, but as I went through the pages, all I saw was overpriced and not totally functional. Now don’t get me wrong, I’ll pay a good price for a well made bag or clothes, but even with a business and a day job, I don’t have or should I say, I don’t want to spend what it takes to purchase these looks.
100_1761Once upon a time, looks and brands were attainable, but I’m thinking that most fashion magazines have lost touch with reality. Think about it, $300 for a sweatshirt??? I don’t care what the cute little design you put on it, it’s still a sweatshirt! Not to mention, if one is seriously into fashion, you KNOW that you can recreate a look for much less than what’s being shown. For me, it’s a game, but for the average, impressionable young woman, she thinks she HAS to have these brands and that is often what creates huge debt for the modern gal. Believe me, when I was in my twenties I racked up a monumental debt, believing that I had to have a certain brand to have the look, but now I know that there is another way and that being an original counts for something, in and of itself.

The adorable little summer set in the magazine photo, I’m sharing is beyond cute, but it’s also beyond attainable! The cost is just under $1000… I kid you not! For a top, skirt, and sneakers! For the same money, I likely have a year or more worth of clothes (very likely for me and my daughter). Attaining style, without going bankrupt is not just financially responsible, but when done well, environmentally responsible.

Through consignment and thrift stores, as well as eBay fashion can easily be attained on a dime… And if you have a little
skill with a sewing machine, the sky is the limit! For me, this has become a hobby that I adore! Creating my own style and look is what brings me joy. In the coming months, I’ll be sharing some of my quirky looks and ideas. Feel free to share your “on a dime” looks with me, as well.100_1795

These are some of the patterns, I’m planning on making. Simple, yes, but a bit of the Bohemian look I adore. It’s all about the color!

Well, my mornings start early and need to finish this post…

Have a wonderful week and spread some sunshine!

Getting My Groove Back!

100_1750Hello there! It’s been a long time…

To say that this year has had a rough start is a bit of an understatement… Some circumstances don’t have to happen to you directly to thrash your world or at least your perception of your world. My year started with an explosion of sorts and the ripple effect has knocked the wind out of me. Without going into it, my well planned year was flushed, but you know this girl… NOTHING KEEPS ME DOWN!! I just needed to step back and regroup.

That’s why I haven’t written since January… Needed to wrap my head around things and basically get a direction. To be honest, I’m not sure what will happen next, but have decided to move forward regardless.

Do you ever allow others to control your moods? I think we all do, sometimes, though we shouldn’t. I see it all the time on Facebook and I’m too “sunny” to allow that into my world. I was placed here to pull all of those of you that read my craziness, up and dare you to live the fullest life possible and I can’t do that when I’m wallowing in someone else’s stupidity.

So, I apologize for hiding and I’m going to make it up to you… I’m going to rock your world with all new levels of insane perkiness, reckless bliss, and all out quirkiness! Me and my minions are going to get out there and tear the world up!

This insanity will begin immediately… I have a 5k at a local vineyard this weekend and with this, will get a bottle of wine. If iStock_000009824885_ExtraSmallyou know me, you’d know that I’ve been trying so hard to develop a taste for wine, but haven’t had a lot of luck. So far I’ve come to the conclusion that I DON’T like red wine (ack, ack, gag!), so if you have any suggestions, it would be greatly appreciated. Based on your suggestions, I’ll be trying it this weekend and will get back with you on the subject. You’ll likely have me occasionally writing about this because getting to know wine is on my bucket list in life and considering, I’m not a drinker, this could be quite amusing.

In the mean time… Have a great week and once again, I’m sorry for not keeping up with posts.

Quote to remember:

Don’t put the key to happiness in some else’s pocket. – Author Unknown

And my feel good tune for the week is from Parachute, called Can’t Help Myself… Enjoy!

Where Has the Time Gone???

iStock_000015318996_ExtraSmallJanuary has already blown on in and it’s nearly gone! The holidays were a flash, but I see that more and more each year. I love Christmas, but New Year’s is where I get energized and feel like launching! I don’t know if it’s because of the fresh start or all the endless possibilities that each New Year holds, but there’s more excitement than one person should have… Even thinking about it now, excites me and makes it nearly impossible to sit still! Then again, I’m listening to Fall Out Boy and that alone can make me a little “bouncy.”

This is my busy time of year with my business and this year has me hopping with new resume clients. For many the New Year means that it’s time for a job change and who can blame them??? Everyone deserves career satisfaction and I love that I can help people reach their full potential.

That alone is enough to get me pumped up, but this year there’s more to be charging toward… I’m looking at no less than five running events and likely many more, as the training for next year’s first half marathon has begun.

I’m back at ground zero with training, as I haven’t been seriously running in a couple years and have paid the price for it, butrunning this time I’m training for the right reasons and taking my health MUCH more seriously.

Looking down the barrel of 50 makes you look at things a little differently. I’m blessed in the sense that I have good genes and look “damn good” for as old as my kids tend to think I am. I need to lose some weight, but that’s already happening with the current training and will continue. I just want to this body to stay as mobile as I currently am and am reminded daily how taking your body for granted will come back to bite you on the butt, the “use it or lose it” factor.

For me, 50 is going to be my midlife without any sort of crisis, just a hell of a lot of fun and a determination to see and do more than many of my younger contemporaries are doing, while they are whining how “OLD” they are getting. When did 37 become OLD??? Good Grief!!!

So welcome to my ride…

You’re boarding a life of adventure, determination, and hopefully a little inspiration. Each month I’ll be attempting something new, sharing it with you and inviting you to share your latest adventures, as well. Life it about living and experiencing… Not sitting around wasting away!

Get up off that sofa, turn off the television and get moving! Let’s show this world that we are a force not to be reckoned with!

For me this week will consist of jogging no less than three nights and with my schedule that is a challenge. If I can do this, you can make a little time for either a walk, a little yoga or whatever will get your blood flowing. I’m keeping it simple in the beginning, as the weather sucks, but just wait and see what spring and summer will bring!

See you next week with a new experience…

See what happens… The “Boys” got me all pumped up, it’s nearly nine at night and I need to go for a jog or dancing or something! 😉

Bring on the Kindness!

Here we are sitting down for Thanksgiving with our family and friends… Can you believe another year is wrapping up and the holidays are upon us? The year has flown by and so much good has come of it! From job changes to reopening my résumé business, it’s been exciting and I’ve been blessed. The year has offered so many wonderful opportunities and I’m looking forward to the surprises of 2015!

I hope this year has been good to you and you’ve opened your eyes to all that the world has to offer, if you simply choose to see it. My greatest hope is for this site to give hope and a reason to smile with every visit.

Now, as we decorate our homes for the month ahead, let’s try to remember those that don’t have as much as we do. Open our hearts and homes to others to make lives better (both ours and theirs). Share kindness and spread joy.

There’s no better time to get out there with random acts of kindness and helping the elderly. The opportunities are limitless… I’m always looking for stories of kindness to share. Just send me a message and your story could be shared, as in the coming year, I’ll be sharing special people that get out there and make a difference. I want to see 2015 being a year of kindness… No act is too small.

Happy Thanksgiving and Bring on the Kindness!

Be an angel this season…

If you haven’t any charity in your heart, you have the worst kind of heart trouble. ~Bob Hope

Feeling the Phoenix

phoenix_by_sandara-d4o2ewxThe beauty of the phoenix is nothing without the pain of the flame and through that pain she launches herself into the night…

Over the last year my life has taken some drastic turns, all creating good in my life, but difficult, none-the-less. From a new job, school, a few goodbyes, and eventually going back to old job with much wisdom… All needed done, but change is always difficult (some changes hurt more than others, but all necessary). There is power in the freedom some sacrifices make and the ability to rise above and soar; right now I’m soaring high. Wings outstretched, feeling the wind in my face. Free for the first time in a VERY long time and seeing potential that hasn’t existed until the phoenix exploded into flames and took flight.

Everyone has far more potential than they realize, often caged and feeling without hope. It takes exploding out of that cage to see all that they can achieve. Why is it that we think that being happy is something for children and not adults? That somehow as an adult we have to stay in that cage, that we are too mature to be “happy” and fulfilled. We can’t achieve all that we are meant to in a cage. Life is far larger than that and happiness is found in the expanse of it all.

Those that become the phoenix and take flight are those that find happiness, fulfillment, and make a difference in the world. We don’t need to be martyrs to brighten the world and make it a better place… We need to be like the phoenix and exploding into beautiful change, feeling the heat and climbing high in the joy of our potential.

This week, think of the beautiful potential you could launch yourself into… What good could you do if you were like the phoenix and were reborn from the flames???

Have a wonderful week and don’t fear the change…

The air up there in the clouds is very pure and fine, bracing and delicious.  And why shouldn’t it be? – it is the same the angels breathe.  ~Mark Twain, “Roughing It”

Okay, I know that this video isn’t necessarily about what I’m talking about, but it’s one that I work out to and allows me to feel my phoenix to come alive and thrive. This girl has changed drastically in the last few years and loves the phoenix she’s become… Colorful and alive. 🙂

Time for a Little Downsizing

41181_1590768054141_4501674_nChoosing to write late at night, while loaded on cold meds isn’t likely one of my better idea, but hey, I love to live on the edge. In the last six months, I’ve left a miserable job, restarted a business I had given up on, and continued to downsize and simplify my life. All of which have had their challenges, but I’m much happier.

One of the lessons I’ve learned over the last year is that happiness doesn’t come from cool job titles. I’d somehow forgot that not everyone needs a title to be content and being happy is FAR more important than having a title and feeling miserable on a daily basis. Somewhere over the past few years, I’ve forgotten that fact and needed a reminder.

In restarting my career business, I’ve got back to helping people, which is a very big deal in my life. Although it can be frustrating working with people that sometimes don’t want what’s best for themselves or don’t understand what it truly costs to achieve what they want… Let’s face it, working with people can be difficult as a whole, but the wins are far more frequent and FAR more rewarding than those difficult and impossible people. Giving back and making a difference in people’s lives is what moves me forward.

Downsizing and simplifying is a daily challenge for me, but in it, I’m making money on eBay and making Goodwill very desk goalhappy. Another win,win. It’s never easy for someone that has some big time “hoarding” issues, but it’s gradually happening. I’m looking forward to the added time this will also be adding to my life. One of my greatest hurdles was to decide on just one craft to enjoy and ditch the others… Okay people, you know how hard THAT can be! For the artsy types, this can be pure hell, but I did it and am now clearing this area out, as well.

I’m looking forward to a life less cluttered and stressful and highly recommend it to everyone. None of us need the added stress that cluttered and unappreciated lives create. We’re all more than this and can be more, if we just learn to let go of those things that are weighing us down. By the way, this picture of my desk is the goal, as it was this way for all of a day about a year and a half ago. 🙂

Let’s take this week to look at our lives and see if there are areas that would improve, if we just did a little housecleaning (metaphorically and otherwise)… Then moving forward to making changes that will make us, each a happier and less stressed person.

Feel free to let me know what changes you made and how they helped you take better care of YOU.

Have a great week and keep smiling!

While you’re at it, enjoy the flowers and sunshine.