Saturday, July 31, 2010

Feeling The Love....and Paying it Forward!

"Versatile" sounds so much nicer than "Random & Unpredictable!"

Wow, I have to say that as much slacking as I have been doing this month, I was shocked to discover that I was awarded "The Versatile Blogger Award" not once, but twice this week!!  Now, that either means that people prefer when I write nothing (haha) or that you all appreciate my random ramblings about whatever is running through my mind....I prefer to believe it's the latter!

The first to honor me with this award were Carol and Stacy from Intentional Conscious Parenting, where two friends have come together to produce an incredible blog about parenting...providing insight and thoughtful ideas on connecting with our kids, and other fantastic stuff!  Thank you Carol and Stacy!!!

The second to pass this fantastic award to me was Jinnia from The Thankfulness Continues.  Jinnia's blog, like my own, has a little of "something for everyone!"  Whether talking about family, business, blogging, etc....she really does provide real-life support and information on a variety of subjects!!  Thank you, Jinnia, for the award!!

I hope to be able to continue writing about subjects that you will find interesting, intriguing, funny, and/or useful and entertaining!  

Now on to the "requirements" of receiving this award:  

In order to receive the award fully, I must
1) Thank the person who gave me the award. Thanks again to Carol, Stacy, and Jinnia!!
2) Share seven things about myself.
3) Nominate 15 newly discovered blogs, and let the nominees know about the award.
Seven things you may not know about me:
1.  I cannot draw a stick figure, but I absolutely love painting the rooms in my house, especially using various faux-painting techniques.  I am working my way through my house one room at a time, and when I'm done, I'll probably start over.
2.  I am scared of heights
3.  I didn't know how to swim (more than to save my life) until I was 27 and moved to Southern Cal and started surfing. Even more surprising, I actually became quite a decent surfer!
4.  Although I consider myself to be fairly conservative, I have 7 tattoos....and I love them all!
5.  I moved in with my husband after only 5 months --Thank God it worked because to do that, the kids and I had to move to Arizona.
6.  My idea of "window shopping" is a trip to Home Depot!
7.  I am a recovered alcoholic and have been sober almost 4 years.

Wow...that was hard!  Because I write such a versatile blog (haha) I don't have a lot of "personal" things that I wouldn't normally write about.  But there ya go!
Now, on to the 15 blogs that I am nominating the Versatile Blogger Award to:

WOW!!  That was far harder than I thought it would be!!!  There are so many fantastic blogs that I frequent, as well as thousands of others that I should!!  Narrowing it down to 15 was no easy feat!
Again, I would like to thank the people who gave me the award, and to all of you who read my blog and especially those of you who comment and provide feedback!  It really helps to know what is working and what is not.  Thank you also to the authors of the blogs I haunt.  I am always entertained, enlightened, educated, and touched by your stories, pictures, experiences, and ideas.
Until Next Time....Dream Large!

Thursday, July 22, 2010

The Importance of Gratitude

We all have those days when nothing seems to be going right, the bills seem larger than the income, energy is low, and we find ourselves caught in a funk that we cannot shake.  Face it, life can be trying at times, even for the happiest and most positive people out there.  The question is, "What do we do to pull ourselves out of our slump and find our footing?"

I find that writing a list of all the things in my life I am grateful for really turns my attitude around.  Sure, it won't fix the "problem" at hand, but it helps me to remember how truly lucky and blessed I am.  This doesn't need to be, and probably should not be, a complicated process.  Just grab a notebook, or the back of an envelope if that is all that you have handy, and write down the things in your life that you are grateful for.  Don't even think about it.  Just write it down. 

For fun, I will do my quick list right now....

My puppies
My flowers in the back yard
My friends
My husband
The dishes are done
I know what I am making for dinner, and I don't have to go to the store to get anything
We are out of our excessive heat warning for a day
The great book I am reading
I don't have any commitments today
I don't have to get up and go to work because I work from home
Taking today off will give me the energy to be fired up tomorrow

So, while some of these things may seem was quick, simple, and painless.  Of course, I could continue on and on and on...but you get the point.  Sometimes all it takes is writing down 5 or 10 or even 15 things you are truly grateful for, even just in this moment, to make a difference in your outlook.

Next time you are feeling a little more like Eyeore than Tigger, put the bounce back in your step with a quick Gratitude List and watch that negative attitude fade away!

Until Next Time, Live in Gratitude....

Monday, July 19, 2010

A Day in Jerome, AZ

Hello All & Happy Monday!  I hope everyone had a fantastic weekend!!  Russell and I decided to go to Jerome, AZ Saturday to get out of the heat and do some shopping.  If you are ever in Arizona, Jerome is a must-see destination!!  Many say it is haunted and that is a huge draw for a lot of people.  Russell and I, however, absolutely love walking the town, visiting the shops, and having a nice lunch.  

Jerome is home to many artists, and if you are ever looking for an original piece of artwork or one-of-a-kind jewelry, clothing, etc., and love meeting the artist, this is the place to go! 

We also made reservations to stay at The Surgeon's House the first Saturday of October for Art Walk.  It's an amazing event that occurs the first Saturday of every month, and is incredible!!  We have to wait until October because Andrea, the owner of The Surgeon's House was booked until then.  And we insist on staying with her when we are there because her home and her property are only outdone by Andrea herself. 

Here are some pics from our day in Jerome.  Trust me when I say they do not do the town justice, but it's what I've got....Enjoy!!!

That's it for now!  In October, I will add some more pics, and perhaps better descriptions....but hope you enjoyed what I had!  

What's your "little-known" hot-spot??  

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Crazy Crazy Life & Other Musings from my week

Happy Thursday Everyone!

First, I would like to apologize for being non-existent this week.  I would love to have a really great reason for not posting anything new since the 4th of July, but the truth is that I had one of those weeks where life just got away from me. 

My kids went to Oregon to see their grandparents, but for some reason, their teenage drama seemed to not only follow them there, but somehow managed to elevate and affect me here as well.  So much for my Independence Day, but that's the life of a parent. 

In addition to the kids, I also had an emergency medical issue with Peaches, my awesome orange cat.  He was acting strange on Thursday, and when he was still not "right" on Friday, I took him to the vet.  He had developed crystals in his bladder and could not pee.  Simple enough, right??  NOT!  He has been in the hospital for 6 days now, and we are keeping our fingers crossed and praying that he will pull through.  We had to make a painful decision to give him through tomorrow to recover....In my mind, I know that he is a cat; in my heart, he is so much more.  We have been spending as much time with him as we can, but it is so hard because outside of this issue, and the catheters and fluid lines, he is still his sweet and funny self.  From his attitude, you wouldn't even know he was sick. 

Here he is before they had to add the gigantic cone on his head because he kept pulling out his catheter, and he'd chewed through his fluid line in his leg....but he let me take his picture.  He looks thrilled huh?

So, this is my "excuse" for not posting this week.  Hopefully, I'll get back on board and back to my schedule!
I have lots of stuff to write about in the next week--from Networking events to Biz Tips to a photographic journey through Jerome, Arizona!


Sunday, July 4, 2010

Independence Day--Remember what it stands for!!!

My family got up at 4:00 am to take the kids to the airport.  They are visiting my parents in Oregon for a couple of weeks, and, would you call me a terrible mother if I said I barely kicked them to the curb before my husband and I hustled back home?!  If so, that's cool.....I only get away from my kids one time a year, and the older they get, the more of a break it becomes!  

I've said it before, and I'll say it again:  "Give me diapers anyday--Teenagers are far more work than potty training!!"

The fact that they left on the 4th of July gives a whole new meaning to Independence Day for me this year!!  Now, you might think we'd be out doing something exciting with our free time, but we have actually chosen to spend a quiet day at home, doing absolutely nothing! 

We will climb up on the roof later on to watch the firework display that is put on by Luke Air Force Base, which is right across the street.  How appropriate to be celebrating Independence Day watching the show put on by the men and women in this country who protect our freedoms?!

I am honored to be able to watch these fighter jets every day from my home.

I decided to post a few notable quotes and poems about Independence Day that I appreciate.  I hope you like them too.  As you are out watching the fireworks and BBQ'ing with family and friends, please take a moment to remember the meaning of this day!

"There are those, I know, who will say that the liberation of humanity, the freedom of man and mind, is nothing but a dream. They are right. It is the American dream." ~~ Archibald MacLeish

"My God! How little do my countrymen know what precious blessings they are in possession of, and which no other people on earth enjoy!" ~~ Thomas Jefferson

"Loyalty to the country always. Loyalty to the government when it deserves it." ~~ Mark Twain

"In the truest sense, freedom cannot be bestowed; it must be achieved." ~~ Franklin D. Roosevelt

 "They that can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety." ~~ Benjamin Franklin

and my personal favorite:

"Loyalty to the country always. Loyalty to the government when it deserves it." 
~~ Mark Twain

I'll end this post with a poem I found that I think is poignant and beautiful, yet simple:

The American Boy

By Author Unknown

Father, look up, and see that flag!
How gracefully it flies!
Those pretty stripes, they seem to be
A rainbow in the skies.
It is your country's flag, my boy,
And proudly drinks the light,
O'er ocean's wave, in foreign climes,
A symbol of our might.
Father, what fearful noise is that,
Now thundering in the clouds?
Why do they, cheering, wave their hat,
And rush along in crowds?
It is the voice of cannonry,
The glad shouts of the free;
This is a day of memory,
I wish that I was now a man,
I'd free my country too,
And cheer as loudly as the rest;
But, father, why don't you?
I'm getting old and weak; but still
My heart is big with joy;
I've witnessed many a day like this,
Shout you aloud, my boy!
God bless our native land!
And may I live to hold the boon
Of freedom in my hand.
Well done, my boy, grow up, and love
The land that gave you birth,—
A land where Freedom loves to dwell,—
A paradise on earth.

Friday, July 2, 2010

Friday Featured Biz presents "Savings Corner"

Friday Featured Biz

This week completely got away from me and I found myself scrambling last night to get my featured biz lined up for today.  Thankfully, Tina from Savings Corner, came through for me.  So Thank You Tina!! 

Tina is one of those women I admire...she really knows how to save money using coupons, discount codes and sales.  While I LOVE a good sale, I am really pretty lazy with coupons.  However, Savings Corner really gives me no excuse not to make a better effort.  Everything is laid out so you can easily find what you are looking for--from coupons to contests to rebates and every category imaginable!  How simple to pop by her site, check for a discount code or coupon, and be informed before you shop!!!

Here is what Tina has to say about her business:

Savings Corner

"My name is Tina, aka "The Coupon Lady" and I am  the Owner/Author of Savings Corner (, a website designed to share with families the power of coupons.  In today's economy, coupons matched up with sales from major retail stores can make a strong impact on your budget and overall quality of life.  How?  Obviously, coupons save you money (and I mean TONS of money ... not just face value!) and that affects your budget.  And in turn, the savings can aid in the quality of your life ... having more money to purchase the necessities in life (and the "wants"!) and being able to save gives your family a sense of financial security.  Now that is power!
Savings Corner will provide you with the tools to "arm yourself" for shopping success by providing you with coupon and sales match ups for major retail stores every week, links to printable coupons, links to e-coupons, freebies and samples.  But most of all, I equip families with the knowledge and information needed to shop with confidence!
Savings Corner and other small businesses (whether on-line or your mom and pops local grocery store down the road) depend on the encouragment and faithful support of others.  For me, I show support for other coupon savings websites by sharing deals and linking back to their website, encouraging the author of other websites by leaving uplifting and encouraging comments and by offering my help and support whenever I can.  Also, getting to know your local owners of small businesses and developing that "personal" relationship is very important for maintaining a sense of loyalty.  I believe the way to a successful business is to treat others the way you want them to treat you; respecting them as a person and as a small business owner with honesty and integrity.
I would love for you to visit my website, take a look around and become a follower.  With Savings Corner, you will learn how to "Buy more. Save more. Spend Less!"
Stop by and show your support for Tina!  She is providing a truly incredible and time-saving service that even people like me can use!!  Don't go shopping before you check with Tina to see if she has a discount you can use!!
You can connect with her on Twitter and Facebook as well!!