Friday, August 31, 2012

Swig O Pup Shine

There is no better way to learn about living in the moment than to spend a little time with a dog. Today's visual swig o sunshine is brought to you by my friend Will and his adorable dog Oakley. Look at that pup, if that is not enjoying the moment to it's fullest, I just don't know what is! 
Nice picture, Will!

It's Friday folks and for those in the US it's a holiday weekend! My challenge for you this weekend is to enjoy every moment the way a dog does. They love with every thing they have. They live each moment to its fullest. They stay in the moment and don't worry about work while playing with their family. They don't care about getting dirty if its for some good fun and they will eat whatever makes them happy. Enjoy this weekend. Spend some quality time with people you care about. Have some serious fun and eat some delicious food. Give yourself permission to leave stress behind so you can share your sunshine!

P.S. If you have any visual sunshine pictures you'd like to share, send them my way!

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Vacation Part 2

Wednesday seems like a good day for round 2 of vacation photos. Call it some visual sunshine!
Here is some sight seeing in Aruba!

This is the Natural Bridge. It's even more beautiful in person 
and incredible that it's totally made by mother nature!

This is me feeding an ostrich! and being slightly afraid of his crazy pecking!

Fantastically, there was a guy selling coconuts! He opened them with a machete so we could drink the juice and then chops it open for you so you can eat the meat too! So cool!

Hiking down to the Natural Pool, Being a tourist in an I love Aruba shirt!

One of the best parts of our sight seeing trip was the Natural Pool. To get there we did some serious off roading in a land rover. So. Much. Fun. See below pic for images of the great crew we were with. The picture above isn't the Natural Pool but its of the pretty sight next too it. It's tough to get a natural pool shot with out a camera that can get wet.

We met some great new friends from our neck of the woods too. We had some delicious Mexican food that night. Here is to the delicious drink called a "Pink Iguana"!

The very last night we were there we had a wonderful dinner on the beach. Beautiful sunset, good food, sand beneath our feet! Couldn't ask for a better way to end a vacation!

Monday, August 27, 2012

Monday Motivation : Be the Wind

 It has been quite a week since vacation, busy, crazy and full of things to do. I have been in need of some inspiration myself and came across this quote. I couldn't find who said it but it rang so true for me. I have felt like a leaf this week. Blown from one direction to another with what felt like no control.

Taking classes, working, blogging, wedding planning, and still trying to get exercise or "me time" in one day has been taking its tole. I had a great conversation with Tom about how I was feeling overwhelmed and he helped me figure out how to be the wind again. To do that, I'm going to adjust my schedule a bit and work on accepting that I can't always do everything in a day (which is OKAY). I can't control everything but I can control how I react to things. Instead of feeling frustrated that I'm not getting any down time, I'm actively rearranging my schedule to make time. Instead of letting the little things bother me that I can't get too or fix, I'm going to work on adjusting my reaction to them.

I'm going to work on being the wind no matter if it's reactions to people, circumstances, or myself. It's pro-active time folks. No more leaves! Let's all be the wind together!

P.S. is anyone as excited as I am that Fall is almost here? I bought pumpkin spice coffee at the grocery store last week and it has been glorious!

Friday, August 24, 2012


Have you ever driven home after a long day and realized when you got home that you didn’t remember the drive?  Scary right? 

I just started taking a class on mindfulness. It’s all about being present in the now. It’s about being aware of your surroundings, yourself, and your feelings as they happen. In this world where being a good multitasker is a must, mindfulness is about focus and being in the moment. Being on vacation last week gave me a chance to take a breather and be mindful. I mean, really, when you’re in a beautiful place it’s hard not to be mindful of the gorgeous surroundings! It also gave me the downtime to focus on how my body felt and gave me some time to let my creative juices flow. 

It’s amazing how much being mindful can make a difference. When you are mindful of how you react to things you can then get a better understanding of why you react that way. Say your in a stressful situation, try to be aware of what your feeling in that moment. Don’t judge it or deny it just notice it. Write it down if you have too. Then when you’ve calmed a bit take a moment to think about why you felt that way. Maybe its obvious but really delve in and see if there are any underlying issues you’re bringing to the table.

Be mindful in your relationships. Really notice how you feel around others. Are you happy, light, motivated, sad, full, excited, angry, stressed, put off? Maybe your intuition is telling you something. 

Being present in the moment, being mindful, also lets you open up the creative flood gates. Ever wonder why your best ideas come in the bathroom? or while your driving? When we switch from multitasking everything to focusing on one task our mind finally has a chance to focus. Then poof, break through! 

Try out being mindful today. Notice what’s happening around you, heck you might see something amazing on the way home from work today! Plus it’s Friday! 

Thursday, August 23, 2012

Vacation part 1

I promised vacation pics so here is part one! We stayed at the Westin Resort and Casino where everyone was super helpful and really nice!
 This was the sunset our first night there.
It rained just before we landed which provided the gorgeous clouds!
Every day after it was sunny and nice.

Seriously the water was so clear and so perfectly turquoise that Tom and I kept asking each other if it was real! That big blue thing in the middle was once a shore marker with a light on it. Now its a fun thing to jump off for swimmers!

This was the view from our palapa. The sun was hot but the constant breeze and the escape from the heat under the palapa made it perfect!

It is hard to beat a sunset with  beautiful water and palm trees!

In Aruba the word Dushi means sweetheart or "something good."
In the US its slang for something else... Here is Tom's take on that at Dushi Bagels.

We went on a few excursions and one of them was a catamaran ride to snorkel. We also got to Snuba. Which is like scuba but your tank is on a raft at the surface and you only go down 20 feet. Still so cool and we now have pics under water!

This is the bottle of champagne Frank the crazy bellman sent up to us as a surprise for getting engaged. So sweet!

Mr & Mrs Good :)

And we'll end the slide show with me feeling a bit bubbly myself!

Happy Thursday Folks! More images later! 

Monday, August 20, 2012

Monday Motivation
Great. Full.

What a vacation. Aruba was amazing! The clear turquoise waters, the sun, the friendly folks, the food, the sights, and the relaxing! Tom and I felt so welcome on the island the whole time and kept saying “I can’t believe this is real!”. Frank, our crazy bellman, even sent us a bottle of champaign to celebrate us being engaged! (Which the two of us polished off on our balcony before dinner one night, needless to say we were feeling a bit bubbly after that!)  

It was such an incredible trip and exactly what we both needed. Grateful doesn’t do what I feel justice. I feel Great and Full. Great because I can feel the tension in my shoulders has eased. The knot in my stomach is gone. The anxiety fog from daily work/life stress has dissipated. My body feels like itself again. My head is full of new creative ideas and fresh clarity on what is important. I feel Full because I was able to sit back and appreciate life. I’m blessed to have the means to take myself on a trip. I’m blessed to have a body that is healthy and able to enjoy having fun. I’m blessed to have a wonderful fiancĂ© to enjoy it with and such amazing people in my life to come home too. Heck, I’m blessed because we made some new friends on our trip!

Great. Full.

Being away makes you appreciate home again. Driving back from the airport both Tom and I said you know what, I missed home. I loved being away and how much fun we had but I love coming home too. That’s important, that’s something! I’ll be back at work as you are reading this and while I will be thinking of breezy palm trees and crystal blue water, I have a renewed energy that I’ll carry with me. I needed that and I’m so grateful for it!

Great. Full. 

The moral here is take a vacation or a stay-cation or just a weekend. Just don’t hoard your vacation days for “someday”. Life is what you make it, go get some clarity, some down time, some reconnecting with your family time, some “me again” time.  Go get some Great. Full. You deserve it. 

P.S. I’ll post more pics this week of some highlights. But here is a sunset to get your monday motivation going!

Friday, August 10, 2012

Confession: I Suck At Some Stuff...

...and I'm cool with it.

This week on Danielle Laporte's site, she asked The Burning Question "What do you suck at?" At first that seems like a question better left alone and hidden but I get her point. When you take note of your weaknesses not only do you become more accessible to others (hey you're not perfect either?) but you give your strengths room to grow!

So here we go...

I suck at grammar. Yep, that's right. I write a blog and I suck at grammar. I love reading and writing just not figuring out where the comma goes.  Don't even get me started on a semi colon! Thankfully I have a wonderful editor who I happen to live with who is excellent at it.

I suck at filling the Brita pitcher. This goes WAY back as my parents can attest. I just find it annoying and will use the half sip of water left at the bottom as a reason not to fill it! I think we need to invest in the sink Brita so it filters the water right out of the tap!

I admit I suck at cleaning up cups. See every night I bring a cup of water up to bed. The problem is I forget about them until probably 10 of them prevent me from adding anymore cups. Then I finally bring them all down.

I suck at hiding my emotions. I'm working on this especially in the work environment but when I'm upset or agitated, it shows in my face. However, on the flip side excitement and happiness show too!

I suck at letting things go. If I have a disagreement with someone, I will stew on it until I feel it's finally resolved. Even if I know there is nothing I can do to change it.

I suck at asking for help. It comes from a place of "I can do it all" and a place of "I don't want to burden anyone else". I end up getting myself in situations where I'm over my head and drowning before I finally ask for help and then I feel guilty for asking.

You can work on any of your weaknesses if you want too. I used to suck at taking care of myself and listening to my inner voice. I'm working on that and getting better at it! I will probably never be good at the Brita pitcher or putting cups away but thankfully Tom is here to help  (I have agreed to fold all the laundry if he does the Brita!). Knowing my weaknesses and becoming more aware of them really lets me figure out which ones I want to work on and which ones I want to ask for help on. (ooh who's working on her weaknesses already!)  What about you? What do you suck at? Own it!

Wednesday, August 8, 2012


"Get up in the morning and I can't keep it in, I'm falling all over myself and I could jump out of my skin. Wanna break the door down, just to greet the day. There is nothing that's more certain To keep my blues away, and I say... La la, hey hey-ey"

-Gotye "In your light"

It's Wednesday! Do you need a new song or two to get you moving today? I've talked a bit about my love of music. You can entirely blame my mom for this....She was singing in a band up until a few weeks before she had me. Much to her dismay, when I was born I had my days and nights flipped. Hey, I was up jammin' with the band! I just figured that was how it was out here too. Since then I have learned how to sleep at night (In case you were worried) but the love of a good tune has stayed with me ever since. 

For me music is a passage way to memories and feelings. Debbie Gibson, New Kids on the Block (the first time around), and Paula Abdul all take me back to being a kid. Seriously, I'm laughing so hard at these videos right now! It just instantly takes me back to my bedroom as a kid dancing around it the most ridiculous outfits! My little brother was the cutest thing and knew all the dance moves to the N.K.O.T.B songs.  I have college songs that still make me want to go hit the bars with my friends. I have songs that remind me of certain people and songs that remind me of specific events. I especially have mood songs. You know, songs that help you feel a certain way, happy, sad, dance-y, "gettin' things done", cleaning tunes. I will make a friend who is having a bad day a mixed tape in no time! I have a playlist that's just called inspiration songs and that's what I want to share with you today. It's one of my strategies for getting on a more positive frequency when I'm having a rough day. I just put on some good music and let the rhythm bring me back up!

The quote above is from Gotye's "In Your Light". I listen to this song almost every morning at work. That first line really describes how I want each morning to feel and how excited I am about things in my life right now.

This song by the lovely Amy Winehouse just gets me grooving and I really love singing along to it.

This one is thanks to Tom for introducing me to this band. Tell me you don't want to do spirit fingers to the first "I want it, I need it!"

and finally an oldie but a a one eyed cat peepin' in a seafood store.

 Have any other song suggestions for me? Throw them in the comments below!

Monday, August 6, 2012

Monday Motivation


What a whirlwind weekend! I officially got to take a break and then have some serious fun at a friends wedding and a family get together. It was so good to see everyone and make some new friends. Not to mention rocking the dance floor!

I've been really working on keeping up this blog and sharing my journey over the last 3 weeks. I can't ever be sure that its going to resonate with anyone or that I'll have a single person read it. This weekend multiple people who I don't see everyday told me they really enjoy reading my blog! I can't tell you how much that means and how grateful I am to all of you for stopping by and spending a little time with me each week! When you march to the beat of your own drummer you have to expect not everyone will get your rhythm...but when they do, its just the greatest feeling! When you start living for you, and start on your journey, not everyone will understand what your doing or why but stay true to you and believe you will find your marching band!  Just be you, the folks that feel your rhythm will find their way to you!

P.S. Here is a little Monday visual sunshine from the weekend!

Clearly marching to the same crazy drummer!

And a smile to start your week!

Friday, August 3, 2012

Take A Break

Thank goodness it is Friday! I don't know about you but I need a sleep in day STAT!

Life has been crazy lately. Its filled with so many exciting things, planning a wedding, looking at houses, coaching classes, blog post ideas, getting a cat to stay on his diet (he is not happy about it), family time, olympics, staying in touch with friends, doing Jillian Michaels body revolution (that is a whole other story), quality time with Tom, whew!

So much amazing-ness but once you add work on top of all of that it is easy to fall in bed at night completely exhausted! This week I found myself in a bad mood and I couldn't figure out why. As I was telling Tom this he said "well your not really taking any time for yourself" and he was right. I was running all day keeping up and I stopped taking anytime to just relax, to enjoy the journey.

I'm a go-er, a get things done kind of person. An "I'll relax in a minute after I do this one thing" kind of person. I love a clean kitchen (Thanks, mom!) and I confess I actually like vacuuming. Instant gratification people! You can see the lines in the carpet! All of this said though, the world will not fall apart if I don't empty the dish washer tonight, if that load of laundry doesn't get done, not even if I don't write this post today. Sometimes what you need most is a recharge. For me that's an hour with a good book, catching up on my favorite shows (True Blood, what what!!), catching up with family or a friend I haven't seen in a while, and especially relaxing with Tom and the cat's on the couch. You havn't seen cute til you've seen a fat cat curled up like a baby in your lap!

Tom and I are 11 days from taking a much needed vacation where I intend to recharge the heck out of myself! Watch out Aruba! I'm coming for your beach chairs and I'm gonna sit in that thing all day long reading! In the mean time though, I'm gonna take a minute to relax now and appreciate what's going on in my life. Not to mention, go get a snuggle with my boys!

Go get some relaxing and recharging for you this weekend too! I promise the dishes will still be there after you've had some fun.

P.S.- Here is some visual sunshine of the things I'm loving about life right now!

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

You Are Worth It

In the last few weeks, a few different people have chatted with me about some relationship issues they were having. While I will never claim to be an expert on relationships, I do know this, from experience...

1) Don’t accept less than your worth.
2) Ask for what you want.

I know I’m not the first person to say these things but I think we all need reminding sometimes. Don’t let someone reduce you to a lesser version of yourself because its convenient for them. And don’t expect them to “just know” what you want. You are the only one who can stand up for you and ask for what you want. Of course you have to know what that is first. *hint, hint*

I know that can be a scary thing, actually asking for what you want, for what your worth. Maybe they don’t want the same things or won’t accept  you for who you are. Maybe they can’t give you what you need and maybe they will walk away. BUT maybe they will hear you and accept you and love you even more for being true to yourself. And isn’t that what you deserve? Someone who loves you the way you want to be loved for exactly who you are! 

Now I'm not telling anyone to just jump ship when the first problem arises. There is work to keep a relationship fresh and going! There has to be compromise to make relationships work. Just not the kind that compromises who you are and what you want in life. See I know, for certain, that there is a person out there for everyone. Your ideal person, if they aren’t next to you right now, is out there. And if you accept less that what you want and deserve, you could be missing out on your chance to be really loved.

So get clear on what you want in a partner and if you have someone don’t be afraid to ask for what you need. You might be surprised at the conversation that follows! Maybe your partner needs something too and together you can work out how to make your relationship stronger.

The bottom line is you deserve happiness! We all do! So ask for it. Let the universe know what you want so it can send it back to you!

You want proof? I'm engaged to the perfect man for me. He is all the things I have ever wanted in another person and I didn’t meet him until I got clear on what I wanted. When I was single, I visualized my perfect guy. I thought about what we would do together and how we would act together. I thought about how I would feel being in a relationship with him. I didn’t know what he looked like or where he was but I just believed in my heart he was out there. We met a few weeks later and I am grateful every single day for him and that I knew what I wanted when he walked into my life!