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Inspiration

Be Open + Strategic + Resourceful

Posted in Inspiration
on January 30, 2017

January has been a long month for me and it’s still not over! Firstly, I decided to stop talking on the phone altogether unless it was business related. Drastic? Maybe so for some, but I’ve read in several books that truly successful people don’t talk on the phone much. Unless you’re negotiating business deals or working, I don’t see the reason to fill your time with empty conversations. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not against all conversations, only the unproductive ones.

When I do speak, I want it to mean something. Talking on the phone can also open the door to gossip and I simply don’t want to participate. I can honestly say that January has been a positive and productive month. Here are some of the things that helped me along the way.

Be Open, Be Strategic, Be Resourceful

Imagine someone taking you to a room filled with 100 people and telling you that you couldn’t leave without giving them $100 dollars. You were also advised that you couldn’t use any of your own money. What would you do?

Would you ask every person in the room for a dollar? Maybe you’d ask one person for the entire $100 dollars. Or maybe you’d ask two people for $50 dollars, or maybe four people for $25 dollars. The possibilities and combinations are endless!

In the same way, there are many ways to accomplish a goal. Don’t be so quick to give up after the 1st or even the 50th “no.” Fortune favors the bold and one “yes,” could change your life! Think critically and know there is always someone who needs your talent or product. You just have to find them. Be open, strategic and resourceful.

Inspirational Teaching

I listen to inspirational teaching every single day. When I don’t, I can feel myself becoming more pessimistic in my outlook and view. I know these are tough times but the only way to empower yourself is to keep your mind in a positive space.

Your energy should be used wisely and there are some issues that after you’re finished being mad and pulling out your hair, will still be waiting on you. Be smart about what you look at on television or what you listen to. Be careful where you invest your energy.

Say It Loud

I had my children to write out an “I Am,” list and put them up in their rooms. They recite this list before they go to school each day. These don’t have to be attributes that they currently possess, but traits they aspire to have or believe about themselves. You believe your voice more than anyone else’s, so why not tell yourself good things like:

  • I am Talented
  • I am Capable
  • I am Creative
  • I Am Beautiful
  • I Am Intelligent

Say this list out loud each day and I promise that you will feel your spirit lift. Although simple, if you’re consistent with it, you’ll start to believe what you say about yourself and who knows what wonderful things could occur as a result.

Get Active + Exercise

There’s no denying that exercise makes me feel more focused and clear minded. Exercise fights depression, anxiety and lethargy among other things. You don’t have to do anything too vigorous, start small and work your way up. The key is to develop good habits, so even when you feel like giving up, you decide to go for a walk any way. Taking care of yourself is one of the most important things you can do.

This month has been amazing and I’m  thankful for it.  But it didn’t happen by itself, I had to create an environment that was conducive to my growth and goals.

I’ve learned to stop doing what doesn’t work and try a new way. Taking on this attitude has allowed me to find new copywriting clients and just feel good about myself as a whole. I don’t want to disrespect the gift of time by squandering it on things that don’t matter. Take those things that matter most and make them a priority.

 

I wish you much joy, productivity and success in all your endeavors!

 

the best is yet to come + free planner printable

Posted in Inspiration
on January 9, 2017

As I look in the mirror at the creases under my eyes, I can tangibly see the effects of time. I see that those invisible hours are passing me by whether I decide to use them or not. Youth doesn’t have any respect for time, but the realization of wasted time is like being jolted awake from a peaceful slumber. You’re going through the motions of everyday life, but deep inside you know that you can do more, that you’re capable of much more. Mediocrity feels like an ill fitting garment on me, obtuse and completely awkward.

But there’s a silver lining. I have time to make some changes. I can become more productive and make steps towards the dreams I want to see in the sun. These are some of the questions I asked myself:

  • What shows am I watching on TV and Youtube?
  • Who am I talking to or getting advice from?
  • What’s my daily routine like?
  • What are those comfortable things that lulled me to my wakened “sleep,” state?
  • Are my inner thoughts towards myself compassionate?

I no longer desire to be loyal to dysfunction.


One sided relationships and interactions that leave me feeling depleted  have to go.


Negative and bitter people have to go.


I thought about what I could accomplish if I stopped listening or participating in any form of gossip. I thought about what I could do with my time if I was truly focused. An average life sparked by glimpses of brilliance is not enough for me. And it’s not enough for you either. I honestly believe that everyone is a genius, but everyone doesn’t take the time to discover what really makes them special. There’s a difference between having money and living in your purpose. I know people with 6 figure salaries who still feel lost.

I wanted to share a free daily planner printable with you to spark your creativity and awaken you to your possibilities. I honestly believe that it’s not about being successful, it’s whether you had the confidence to take a chance on yourself despite the possibility of failure. Here are few things I’ve done in the last few weeks from being more cognizant of my time.

  • I took two online photography classes on Brit + Co.
  • Read “Mama,” by Toni Morrison (Great read for pleasure)
  • Started reading Joel Osteen’s “Think Better, Live Better.”
  • Rereading “Unmerited Favor,” by Joseph Prince
  • Participating in more fun and educational activities with my children
  • Expanded my copywriting business with new clients
  • Designed my son Drew’s room and painted his dresser

These are the types of things that keep me inspired, especially taking the classes! Learning a new skill is so exciting! I think I’m hooked!

Grab Your Free Printable Here and start keeping track of your activities and goals.  You need to know that your best days are in front of you! Oh and please be gently with yourself. If you don’t get everything done, just carry it over to the next day. I also label some things with an asterisk (*)which means it’s important and others with “cw,” which means it can wait.

Cheers to healthy, peaceful and productive days!

“So teach us to number our days, that we may apply our hearts to wisdom.” Psalm 90:12

 

Get Into It: Pineapple Themed Accessories

Posted in Fashion, Inspiration
on July 15, 2016

 

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I know I’m not alone in my affinity for pineapples. Everywhere I look there’s pineapple shorts, shirts, bracelets and leggings. The list goes on and on. It’s not hard to understand why folks love pineapples so much, seeing as they have cool spiky green tops with bright yellow (and yummy) fruit inside. When it comes to cute fruits, pineapples are right there at the top of the list. There’s even a pineapple quote on Pinterest that I really love.” Be a Pineapple: Stand Tall Wear A Crown and Be Sweet On The Inside.” Those are great words to live by and without further ado, here are my top pineapple picks!

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This Tassel Pineapple Bracelet from Etsy Shop Hello Love Kalia features colorful pastel and tan beads accompanied by a mint green fluffy tassel and the cutest pineapple charm. You can customize it by adding your name. These bracelets are made for kids but I don’t see why I can’t wear one too! I think I’ll get one for Chloe and I! How adorable, right?!

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You need somewhere to put your lipgloss, phone and credit cards and this Pineapple Print Clutch answers the call.  A delightful pink pineapple graphic helps you channel your laid back beach style whether you’re near or far. Super cute!

This Geometric Pineapple Watercolor Painting would look amazing anywhere you want to inject a little bit of color and personality. Art prints are a cost effective way to bring your space together and show your artsy side!

Talbots scores big with this Pineapple Charm Belt that elevates a plain tee shirt and jeans to a chic ensemble. What’s not to love above that gold pineapple charm that adds effortless elegance?

J.Crew has always known how to strike the perfect balance between comfy and chic and this Ratti Pineapple Mini Skirt is no exception. Dark blue is the backdrop for these dainty pineapples to dance on. This skirt can be dressed up or down depending on how you’re feeling.

Pineapples.

Get into it.

But only if you’re not already into it.

In that case, carry on.

Do you already own pineapple themed clothing or jewelry? I’d love to hear about it. Drop your comments below!

dressing up to feel fabulous!

Posted in Home, Inspiration, Life
on May 10, 2016
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Everyday I walk my daughter to school and I also walk to get her in the evening. Well, I drive on rainy days or if I’m short on time because her school is very close. Whenever I walk, I see other parents, many around my same age or older, walking their children to school as well. Most people wear very relaxed clothes. It’s not uncommon to see mom’s in jeans and a loose tee shirt, jogging pants or even gym clothes and shades….can’t forget the shades. I’m the queen of comfortable, from clothing to shoes, opting for a nice wedge or flat vs. a stiletto heel. However, I didn’t want to fall into the deception that stylish equals uncomfortable. It’s simply not true. A long flowy dress is probably one of the most comfortable things to wear. You just slip it over your head and you’re good to go!
I work from home and I noticed that I was wearing jogging pants all the time or even jeans and a tee shirt. Don’t get me wrong, jeans and a tee shirt can be dressed up, but I’m not talking about when you add a statement necklace, bracelets and cute shoes. I’m talking about the jeans you always wear with one of your regular ole tee shirts. So I got to thinking about how I want to feel when I’m out and how much better my day goes when I put a little extra effort into the way I look. It’s almost like dressing well creates a confidence force field around you, making you walk taller and smile more! I decided to dress up a few more days in the week. Wouldn’t you know that people actually respond to you differently when you’re dressed nicer? Studies have shown that people view others who dress well as more successful.
Recently, I did a photoshoot and it was so fun to dress up and have my makeup done by a professional makeup artist. Years ago, I wouldn’t have even thought to hire anyone, I would have just did my own makeup and hoped it looked ok. I actually think it’s a great idea to do a photoshoot every once in a while. Sometimes we forget how special and beautiful we are and there’s nothing like tangible proof to give you a boost of confidence on your down days. Although you may get a few looks because you don’t have on the regular “mom uniform,” atlleast it’s something that you can feel good about. And you don’t need a reason to look nice.
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Loving and valuing yourself is something that you don’t want lose sight of. Yes, you are a mother and yes you are a wife…..but you’re also YOU! I’m not going to wait for a special occasion to look nice. Everyday we’re alive is a cause to celebrate and be thankful. Please don’t think I’m going to be walking around in ball gowns to Chloe’s school, but I am going to try a little harder and be more cognizant of how I’m presenting myself
What things have you found give you a boost of confidence?
Chat soon!
emeraldsig

Great Reasons To Visit Japan

Posted in Inspiration, Life
on May 4, 2016

If you’ve been following me for a while, you know that Chris and I lived in Japan for 3 years. It was almost immediately after I graduated from college and I went from being a college student, to being a graduate, a wife and living in another country — all in a matter of months. To say that I was caught off guard would be an understatement. I was literally terrified. I hadn’t ever even traveled away from the east coast and I really didn’t know what was going to happen on the other side of the world. In retrospect, I’m so glad that I went because it shifted my view of life and the world really. I started working at a Japanese school teaching English as a Second Language and this experience exposed me to even more Japanese culture! I even made a few Japanese friends, which was really cool. I wanted to share some reasons you should take that long (did I say long) plane ride over to the far east. I think that you’d be surprised at how much you’ll like it.

The 100 Yen Store

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Not to be confused with the dollar store here in the United States, the 100 Yen store has a massive mall of merchandise all for a dollar.(Give or take, depending on the exchange rate) The thing that makes this store amazing is that it is filled with quality merchandise. If you have an extra 1000 Yen ($10.00) to burn, this place is where you need to be! You can buy anything from mops, brooms, cleaning solutions, paper, pens, waste baskets and cute notebooks, all for a dollar. That list is in no way exhaustive, because this place had EVERYTHING!

Everything is Smaller

From the cars, to the restaurants, to the people — everything is smaller in Japan. If you visit a popular mom’s and pop’s restaurant, you most likely will have to wait in a line outside before you are seated. The restaurants are so small! One French inspired restaurant that Chris and I frequented called Marche’s was always packed and so was New Miyaki’s, Kurrumba’s….really everywhere! Also, the cars are super tiny. Seems like everyone had a smart car in Japan, but it was in proportion to the small roads and highways. Plus, things are cuter when they’re smaller.

The Food

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I didn’t know what I was missing until we were long gone. The food is nothing short of amazing! Chris and I went out to eat several times a week back then. Most places give you the beef or chicken and allow you to cook it yourself. I also tried Kobe beef while I was over there. This is the most tender beef you will ever taste and is exclusive to Japan! I really feel like I’ve been spoiled because now when I eat at the Japanese restaurants here, I’m disappointed most of the time. I have found a few Japanese restaurants that taste amazing stateside. There was Tokyo One in Lorton, Va and Fujiya House in Fredericksburg, Va. Also check out my delicious Sesame Chicken Recipe that will give you a taste of Japan!

Culture

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Japanese people have such a rich culture. They actually have traditions and customs — an authentic way of doing things. Everyone knows that no one wears their shoes in the house and that they usually have inside slippers for the house. Same thing with brooms, one for outside and one for inside. I was told by one of my Japanese friends that if your boss ask you out for drinks, you have no choice in the matter. It’s seen as disrespectful if you don’t have a beer with him/her. The architecture of the buildings is very distinctive, with layered levels, triangular roofs and striking colors. The geishas of Japan are another facet that I found to be fascinating. I fell in love with their gorgeous kimonos and jet black hair decorated with vibrant flowers. Living here also made Arthur Golden’s book “Memoirs of A Geisha,” come alive.

Soda Machines On Every Block!

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This may not seem like an amazing thing to you, but there are soda machines right on the sidewalk  every block or few blocks. I found it so comforting that I would never be thirsty for long on the streets of Japan! There was soda, juice, water, and tea!

One Country All Climates

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We lived in Northern Japan, almost at the tip, in a place called Misawa. It snowed three fourths of the year. Being from the East Coast, this definitely took some getting used to. However, I went snowboarding at Appi Ski Resort to see what all the fuss was about. I wish I could tell you I had a great time but I started crying about halfway down the mountain. I had never had lessons and Chris thought it was a good idea to go with his friends anyway. It’s really funny now, but it wasn’t at the time. We also traveled to Tokyo and visited the Roppongi district, which is filled with clubs and bars. Okinawa is another beautiful place in Japan. It’s like Hawaii, but in Japan. Chris and I vacationed there and literally did not want to leave!

You Get To Be Nude In Public

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One thing that was starkly different from our culture was the public onsens. These are indoor or outdoor hot springs that are said to have a healing effect when you soak in them. I loved going there because it made my skin and hair feel softer. There is one side for men and one for women. You go in with your basket that is filled with your soap, washcloth, toothpaste, shampoo and conditioner. You bathe at these small sinks before you get in the super hot water! There is a sign that says you are not allowed in the springs until you have washed up from head to toe  first. There was also a cooler bath that had a milky white color to it. It only cost 300 yen (3.00) to go. People would stare but I wasn’t really uncomfortable. There were people of all sizes there and they all seemed to be pretty comfortable in their birthday suits.

I hope you enjoyed hearing about my adventures across the world and I hope that you take a trip to Japan one day to see it for yourself!

Chat Soon!