Monday, August 26, 2013

Monday Smiles Volume 10

This weekend as my niece cried over the latest tragedy to befall on her young life, I was reminded of a picture from a favorite childhood series.
 

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Little Critter

 
The cover tells the story of the book. Little Critter's little sister just wants to be with him. She wants to do all that he does, see all that he sees, and be all that he is, because she loves and looks up to him.
 
The other books in the series are just as charming in their simple depiction of the facets of childhood. Me Too! will always be my favorite.  I was the little sister hanging onto every word or thing my older sister said or did or literally hanging on to her.
She was everything I wanted to be. She was (and is) the greatest big sister.
 
Being able to return to these books with my sister's children is such fun. And now my own experience combined with my little niece crying, "Me too!" makes this favorite book even more dear.
 
Because the ultimate cure for the Monday blues is 
something that will make you smile and grateful for what you have.  
These things make me smile and hopefully they will make you smile too.
What makes you smile today?
 

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Five Favorites Volume 11

Here's a hodge-podge of things I am loving this week.
 
---1---
 
Does my favoriting this product imply what kind of week I am having?  I have tried a couple other brands of dry shampoo and they did the job, but the overpowering fragrances left me with itchy eyes and headaches. I was first introduced to this brand by a ballroom dance friend that swore by their hairspray (it really does hold your hair perfectly when out on the dance floor). When I saw they had a dry shampoo I decided to give it a shot and have been impressed. It absorbs the oil and adds volume so your hair doesn't go limp and looks like you just styled it. I have even used it as a texturizer when I'm teasing my hair to make it last longer.
 
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---2---
 
On my sister's recommendation I purchased this wristlet. I love it! During the week I use it mostly as a wallet. With plenty of room to hold my car keys and phone, I often grab it and leave my larger purse in the car when running a quick errand. On the weekend it often becomes my clutch purse for events that do not demand my planner, work badges, and other information be with me at all times.
I bought it in Provencal and loved it so much that I already added a second pattern to my collection.
 
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---3---
 
Les Miserables has been on my reading list for ages. When a franchise bookstore went out of business here, I snagged a book on tape version. Over a year later I finally popped the first cd into my player. My commute to work has drastically improved and my business trips are no longer dreaded.
 
---4---
 
This quote really struck me this week. It is so simple and yet strikes up a good deal of thought.
 
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---5---
 
Combined with a couple comments from some special people and Anna's Corilynn giveaway last week, I have been inspired and doing some re-thinking about what I wear. I own a lot of dresses and skirts and used to dress up more often. I felt better about myself, pretty and confident, so I am returning to that. This photo is my style inspiration.
 

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Now hop on over to visit lovely Hallie for more Five Favorites this week!
Have a great rest of the week!
 

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Monday Smiles (on a Tuesday) Volume 9

The day I knew would inevitably come has arrived a bit sooner than expected. The day to which I am referring is the Tuesday upon which I realize that the day prior was a Monday and I missed posting Monday Smiles.
 
 
Today has been more like a Monday than a Tuesday in many ways, so it seems appropriate that I post something geared specifically for making me smile. So let's pretend it is Monday and be happily surprised tomorrow when we are greeted by the week's midway point, shall we?
 
 
I was out of town this weekend. While I was away my family's fridge and freezer died and mine became home to everything that could be salvaged. During their trip to deposit the goods in my fridge, my lovely little siblings had some innocent fun.
 
And I came home to this:
 

Sadly, I missed it completely until last night.


A re-enactment from one of my favorite children stories.
Although in this Hippo must go "Quick, quick," down the stairs to take a bath instead of up.


Sadly, I noticed this first.


Siblings are such fun. I would not know what to do without them. They always know exactly what to do to make you smile.
 
Happy Tuesday!


Friday, August 16, 2013

7 Quick Takes or Twofor Volume 17

Linking up with Jennifer for the serious business of quick-taking the last couple weeks.

---1---

Last edition of Quick Takes I was preparing for a good friend’s story book themed baby shower. Everyone was asked to include a favorite book with their gift. I love practically everything about this theme. I love children’s books so I thoroughly enjoyed the legitimate excuse to visit the section of the bookstore. I gifted the mama to be a personal favorite: But Not the Hippopotamus by Sandra Boynton. If you have not read Sandra Boynton’s children books and enjoy animals, rhymes, or silliness, you must go visit her books in the store. Love them!

But Not the Hippopotamus is the delightful tale of a poor lonely hippopotamus who sees all the other animal friends having wonderful times in rhyme. In some senses it is a book about welcoming others, with a twist at the end.

Perfect shirt: "I'm told I love Notre Dame Football." Haha.

---2---

The dance school I go to is branching out into fitness classes. To launch the new addition, they held a fitness day, offering multiple fitness class demonstrations. B and I attended a LaBlast and Thai Yoga Massage class. Both were new to me, but it was easy to catch on. Overall it was a good experience, combined with a double set of dance lessons earlier in the day, I think I “worked out” more in that day than the whole week. At least I did it right?

---3---

Slowly but surely the walls in my place are changing colors. I have been on the maximum results plan of thoroughly painting a coat in one room and after week long breaks moving to another room for a coat.

Is this the most efficient way? No. But it does wonders for making things feel more like your own, especially when the walls have been the wrong shade and finish of colors you normally avoid. I am now switching to doing things in the proper order and will conquer the trim and then go back and paint the walls a second and third time.

My happy painting buddy.
  
---4---

This past Saturday my brother and I attended a local car lover’s brunch. Our dad has passed his love of cars onto us. It was nice to walk around and look at the different cars from various time periods, makes and models and having my brother explain why this one is better than that one, how the design relates to the speed, or the combination of dark tan leather being prettier paired with hunter green than the black exterior.

And then the clouds parted and the angels sang, as this beautiful car sped up the drive to join the rest. Lamborghini’s Aventador is the car, according to my brother. I normally do not qualify things in this way, but for this vehicle it fits; it is sexy.


---5---

I had the best mail day ever: a sweet letter from a best friend, a sparkly bracelet from lia sophia for meeting a personal goal in June, and the most wonderful piece of paper I have ever seen: my Masters diploma.


---6---

After my Masters exam I swore off all books. I did not want to read another one for a good long time. Well, a four book box set of the Song of Ice and Fire series (aka Game of Thrones) on sale had to come home with me. If you are interested in the hype, I will warn you: do not read them before bed, or if you do set some sort of limit, otherwise you will find yourself struggling to wake up the next morning due to lack of sleep.

---7---

And another helpful hint: make sure you look at your shoes before leaving a party. Or you will get home to this situation:

Silly B.
 Have a happy weekend!




Thursday, August 15, 2013

Questions of the Heart: Encouraging Beauty



What would you like to share with other women to encourage them to recognize their value and to be beautiful?

This post has been a long time coming. I began Questions of the Heart, asking myself five questions. Reflecting on these questions has been an edifying experience. They have prompted me to look at what beauty really is and how I can live it. The most challenging part has been realizing that the one thing I want for others the most is that I struggle with myself. I have a passion for helping others know they are beautiful, worthy of love, and are loved. In the end I think this is one of my main objectives with this blog.

I want Waltzing In Beauty to be a place to encourage and inspire others to be content, to enjoy the little things of beauty in life, to dream, and to follow dreams. And by joyfully living each day and finding the beauty in it that others will see that they are valuable, they are enough, they are beautiful, they are worthy of love, and are loved.

This post may be the end of my addition to Questions of the Heart, but it will not be the conclusion of reflecting upon them and discovering how to integrate the fruits in my own life. It will also not end this series. When I began asking myself these questions, I realized that I had a deep desire to know what others thought. I wanted to share this process of reflection with others and to learn from their experiences and thoughts as well as my own. Connecting with other bloggers through the guest posts has been one of my favorite parts of Waltzing In Beauty thus far. So Questions of the Heart; Answers of Real Women will continue.

Thank you for joining me on this journey, dear reader.
Thank you for taking time out of your day and visiting me.
Know that you are truly appreciated by me.
You are beautiful.

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If you are interested in contributing to Questions of the Heart please contact me. The more the merrier!

More Questions of the Heart:

Monday, August 12, 2013

Monday Smiles Volume 8

Quotes


"I love quotations because it is a joy to find thoughts one might have, beautifully expressed with much authority by someone recognized wiser than oneself."
~ Marlene Dietrich


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I cannot find the original source. If you know it please let me know.

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Because the ultimate cure for the Monday blues is 
something that will make you smile and grateful for what you have.  
These things make me smile and hopefully they will make you smile too.
What makes you smile today?

Thursday, August 8, 2013

We Two...

 
...on a date.
 
"You still go on dates. I need a good idea to surprise my husband with a date."
This was the conversation starter from a friend of mine. I laughed, but what she said was true. I am still in the dating stage of life and all time spent together is 'scheduled' so to speak.
 
There are a plethora of blog posts discussing the importance of dating your spouse, etc. I do not plan to add anything new to them. But I do agree. Spending time focused on being with the other person is important in all relationships. Date night should not be overlooked because you see someone often. Yes, you are physically present in the same spot, but are you really focused on growing and strengthening your relationship with them? 
 
A date is like a gift. You give your time and attention to the other and in turn it builds the bond between you. For me, it gives me a much desired opportunity to get dressed up just for my guy. This makes me feel beautiful, cherished, and secure. It also allows me to learn more about him. That he is really spontaneous where as I am not, for example. A date is also like a mini-adventure,
just between we two. 
 
My friend's question also pointed me to something else. Coming up with date ideas is something that I am good at. It is something I can share. It is something that I am always on the look out for and enjoy reading about, so that is what I intend to do with a new little series. Some may be tried and true, but I do hope to share something that may inspire you to have your own date night.
And I won't complain if it helps with planning ours.
 

Wednesday, August 7, 2013

Five Favorites Volume 10

Up until now I have mentioned but not really talked about my business as a lia sophia fashion advisor. I guess I did not want to sound like a commercial, however, it is a part of my life, something that I enjoy and want to share with others. So as I join Hallie and friends for a link up, let me introduce you to my lia sophia five favorites.
PSA The following contains multiple images of sparkly things that may cause excitement and shopping sprees. View with caution.
 
---1---
 
Among other things, I am allergic to metals, because of this my jewelry selection has been limited. lia sophia is now nickel safe! Every piece of lia sophia is electroplated with rodium or a gold/rodium blend. Rodium is a sister metal to platinum, does not tarnish, and rarely causes problems for those with sensitivity to metals. I was so excited when I did not have a reaction to lia sophia and hope other ladies with metal sensitivity will be able to grow their jewelry wardrobe, like I have.
 

My current go-to earrings.
 
---2---
 
The company's philosophy was something that attracted me to as well.   lia sophia aims to help all women reach their dreams through owning their own business or quality jewelry that reflects their beauty inside and out. I can be a cynic at times and to me it sounds all great and grand, but in my experience it is one hundred percent true. For example, each year lia sophia creates a special piece and donates a portion of the profit to the Dress for Success charity. Dress for Success is a non-profit organization that promotes the independence of disadvantaged women by providing professional business attire and a network of support for career and life.  To date the Dress for Success pieces from lia sophia are always a favorite of mine. In addition to this, after the weather tragedies this year, lia sophia and Dress for Success teamed up to help out some of the advisors that had lost their homes, so they could continue their business.

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---3---

The hostess benefits and costumer sales are phenomenal.
Our hostesses are treated like princesses. On average hostesses earn over $100 in free jewelry for simply having a party with their friends. In addition to monthly benefits that offer them hostess exclusive items or ways to earn more free jewelry.
 
August Hostess Special

The costumer save plan is always buy 2 get 4 items at half price, but...
Cynical Christina: I was waiting for that.
but the least expensive items are always the full priced items.
Cynical Christina's ears perk up: Who does that?



Another perk is the Lifetime Replacement Guarantee. All you have to do is keep your form and if something gets broken or damaged you can always replace it!

---4---

Have you ever put on an outfit, looked at yourself in the mirror, and just could not stop smiling or could not help but tear up because you felt beautiful?
I love helping other women style themselves and feel beautiful inside and out.
I was blessed through lia sophia to share that moment with a friend and that is inspires me to keep going.
That is why I sell lia sophia.




 

---5---

Last but not least. The sisterhood in lia sophia has surprised me. My lia sophia team is full of uplifting, caring, and generous women. Despite the varying backgrounds and values, everyone sees each other as members of a family: challenging, supporting, laughing, and loving. These women inspire me and I am so grateful to have them in my life.

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Happy Wednesday!

 

Monday, August 5, 2013

Monday Smiles Volume 7

Have you ever had the experience of growing to love something because it is loved by someone special to you? Maybe you liked it, but because of that person you see it with new eyes, it captures your fancy even more, and the thing, in a way, becomes synonymous with the person. That has been my experience with what is making me smile today.
 

Giraffes

 
In the animal kingdom, giraffes have always been pretty high on the list of favorites for me (pun not intended). Then my boyfriend and I went to the zoo. He loves giraffes.  Consequently, my love for them has grown and I cannot see a giraffe without thinking of him.
Before I might see something with a giraffe theme or print and think it was neat and if done well I would really like it and may purchase it. Now I will get excited, start smiling, take a picture and text it to B, and have the uncontrollable urge to buy it.
I want all the things.

What is it about giraffes?

They are so incredibly unique.
They require multiple adjectives.

Their lanky legs and long neck give the appearance of a klutzy creature. In fact, they are rather surefooted and ever so graceful. This grace of movement gives them a peaceful and gentle demeanor that is just so relaxing to view. Yet, this grace does not even begin to demonstrate their strength.

Gentleness, grace and strength, I admire these qualities in people and I think it is what draws me to the giraffe.

B likes them because they are tall (among other reasons of course). Something I can only relate to through an opposite life-experience.










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Because the ultimate cure for the Monday blues is 
something that will make you smile and grateful for what you have.  
These things make me smile and hopefully they will make you smile too.
What makes you smile today?
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