Friday, January 31, 2014

7 Quick Takes of a Year of Blogging

Waltzing In Beauty turns one tomorrow!
How has it been a year?
How can it feel like a longer and much shorter period of time at once?
There is only one time in our life when we can shamelessly enjoy the texture of cake. That is your one year old birthday when your mother presents you with a cake prepared for no reason other than for you to sink your hands and face into its goodness. Don't worry, I will not be vicariously living through my blog to do so again, but I will be shamelessly re-living my first year of blogging in quick take form.

You can thank, Jen.
Celebrating one year via Quick Takes seemed the perfect venue, since it was just shy of one year ago that my dear Emily and I introduced ourselves to the blog world with our first Quick Takes. It took us a long time to take that first step, fortunately we found each other just in time to start on this journey together.

Seven Quick Takes or Hello World
One of the things that kindled the spark of desire to blog was writing guest posts for the My Year of Faith blog. I shared a couple of my guest posts here already, but here's the one that really started it all.

Hearing Forgiveness


One of the highlights of this year has been the amazing ladies I have had guest post for the Questions of the Heart series. The most humbling moments was when Anna from In Honor of Design graciously participated. I still cannot believe it!

Questions of the Heart; Answers of Real Women


Oh, Monday Smiles.
Finding something to smile about on a Monday can be a challenge in itself;
writing about it is a whole other matter.

Monday Smiles


Still looking for the perfect red sweater.

The Perfect Red Dress


The Benches


This one probably means the most to me.

In Remembrance

I am so excited for this new year and to see what it brings to Waltzing In Beauty. Thank you for reading and sharing. I hope you walk away lighter in your step, renewed, and inspired to not only see but to waltz in the beauty.

If there is anything you would like to see more of here, let me know.
I am eager to grow and would love your input.

Have a wonderful weekend!


Monday, January 27, 2014

Monday Smiles Volume 20

One car
on a 5 degree snowy windy night
stuck in a snow bank 
a block from home


one frozen girl

in a dress and heels.

- - -
 One car

on a -15 degree windchill day

pushed, prodded, and pulled

no longer stuck in the snow


one happy girl.
What makes you smile today?
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.
P.S. Listen to your mother and pack that winter survival kit!

Friday, January 24, 2014

Baby Steps Part Two

Picking up from Part One...

 Breaking tasks down into baby steps sounds easy, right? Then why does it seem like I cannot get anywhere even with this great advice?
I have found beginning is often the hardest part. It is so easy to get overwhelmed that you become paralyzed in analyzing how to tackle your project in baby steps.

If only someone else could break it down for us?
Good news!
We have the internet, and by the internet I mean 90% Pinterest! There are so many great tips and tricks out there that people have mastered and shared. Now all we have to do is to be careful about how much time we spend searching for the best Do Your Project in [insert nonthreatening number here] Steps pin.
Here are some of the most helpful pins and sites I have found in my own search for tackling my ever growing to do list!


How to Break Bad Habits: Replace with a Good One

"It takes 28 days to form a habit," I don't know where this saying came from, but my experience has shown me it to be pretty accurate. Replacing a bad habit with a good habit is also a good approach and if you like to have something to check off, like I do, this ready-to-use chart puts you one step closer to achieving your goal!


Fly Lady Net

Plans, daily reminders, baby step approach, and a friendly inviting mascot, everything is ready to go, all you have to do is start by putting on your shoes (check out the site and you'll understand why...such good logic).


52 Week Money Savings Challenge

I do not know the original source of this, but I have seen it all over on Pinterest. The Roses picked it up and turned the challenge into a giveaway (enter by January 31st).
Health and Fitness

Shrink A Size in 14 Days

I love how this plan has workouts and schedules. So you just have to do.


When Blogging Isn't Fun Anymore

 Amanda's post has been so helpful to me (even though blogging is still fun for me). Her insights are great and her writing style so genuine. I can't wait to read all the additions to this series.
The Blogger Guide Book

The place to go for all your practical blogging questions.

I hope this helps and would love to hear what works for you!


Monday, January 20, 2014

Monday Smiles Volume 19

These words of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. have always struck me. Darkness being a complete lack of light is a fact few would deny. This idea of something being the complete lack of another, however, is not daily fare (unless, of course, you are philosophically inclined). The juxtaposition of darkness and light with hate and love sends the deep message that hate is a complete lack of love.
I have noticed the saying, "Comparison is the thief of joy" circling social media lately. It is such a valid point that when you are too busy comparing yourself to others you are robbed of the joy in yourself.
These two thoughts hit a deep chord in me today. This is my one hundred and first post on this dear old blog. When I first realized this I was excited to have come so far. Then I did the math; 101 posts in almost a year, that means I only post less than 30% of the time, so many other bloggers do so much more, bloggers that started after me do so much more... My milestone did not seem so special anymore, until I reminded myself of why I started blogging to begin with and combined these two thoughts:
 Comparison cannot drive out dissatisfaction or insecurities, only joy can do that.
So today, I am choosing joy and celebrating my little personal victory.
And that is something to be smiling about, even on a dreary winter Monday.

Thursday, January 16, 2014

Five Favorites Volume 17

Joining Hallie and the gang a day late, but better than never.
In February we launch the new Lia Sophia Spring/Summer catalog. With the pending arrival of new pieces, we must bid adieu to some good friends (sniff, sniff). Here are my top five retiring pieces that I am sad to see leave our catalog.


Melissa has been a top seller for me.
She is hard to put in a box, but she is definitely here and now, and on top of her style.



 I LOVE this necklace (not sure there is any other way to dramatize that statement more), so much so, I may have internally thrown a fit, "How can they? Why? Please, no!" about this one. After the temper tantrum and the return of reason, I took the more mature approach of vowing to wear it every day until it retires. Have I? No.
But the reality is, you could wear this necklace every day and not tire of the look or run out of options in my wardrobe. A modern version of a strand of pearls, it can transition to classic, sophisticated, vintage, and trendy depending on your look with ease.


Now these are earrings that are perfect for wearing for a whole weekend long without needing to run to your jewelry box, at least, I have.
Simple and elegant. No more words necessary.

This li'l guy is so cute. How can you not love him? Doesn't he just say, "Take me home, please?"
And if you have a day when you are not feeling so whimsical (or fierce, depending on how you look at it) you can swap him out with another bracelet clip.
Now go visit the rest of the gang; there you can find someone a little more sane.

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Baby Steps Part One

Sometimes I can be an over achiever when it comes to setting goals.
They may not be unobtainable goals, but they are often broad, vague, unwieldy, and with the deadline of yesterday.
Not knowing where to begin I become overwhelmed, beat myself up about failing, and suffer defeat within a day or before I start.

Does this sound familiar, ladies?
The solution to this problem is to resign yourself to a life with an unbalanced budget, disorganized house, hectic schedule, fast/unhealthy food, and self deprecation. Ahem. No...been there done that...

The solution is to break that big dream down into smaller goals
 and, in turn, break that goal down into baby steps.
A friend of mine once told me that her goal for weeks was to clean her bathroom and she never did it. Following her mother's advice, one week she broke that chore down into teeny tiny chunks:
Day 1: Remove all items from counter and gather items to put away
Day 2: Wipe down counter and clean sink
Day 3: Return items to proper location
Day 4: Clean mirror
Day 5: In the morning remove items from shower, in the evening clean shower and return items
Day 6: Clean toilet
Day 7: Dust and sweep
and finally it was clean!
Now she could move on to another goal and slowly, but surely, her home was clean, she felt proud of what she accomplished, and she felt good enough about doing one baby step a day that she did not feel guilty doing something she enjoyed each day.
To be continued...

Monday, January 6, 2014

Snow Days (Monday Smiles Volume 18)

The feet of snow and bitter cold may not be the most enjoyable, 
but the moments you can capture are one of the reasons I love this time of year.

Stay warm and safe!

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?

Friday, January 3, 2014

A Word To Live By

My resolution for 2014 is one word:

Joy is not about feeling "goody, goody gumdrops" all the time.
I think we forget that, I know I forget that.

Joy is a gift. 

It is a result of the choices we make. 
Just like love, joy is a choice. We have to choose joy and keep choosing it every day.
Joy comes from choosing:
to do the right thing without looking for acclaim.
to love until it hurts and our heart grows and we can love even more.
to do the ordinary as if it were extraordinary.
to accept who you are and what you are called to be and moving towards it.
to find the good in every situation.
 to be content with what you have.
to put others first.
to share joy.
to be joyful.
This year I am going to focus on being thankful for the joy I have already received, finding joy in the every day, and spreading joy to those I love most and every person I come into contact with each day. The daily doings to reach this resolution may vary, but let's start with the simple questions first:
Does this live joy?
Does this bring joy?
Does this spread joy?
 What word will you live by this 2014?

Linking up with all the lovely ladies hosting:
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