Friday, March 21, 2014

Seven Quick Takes or Couch Ridden Thoughts Volume 22

This week has been anything but quick and easy. I can barely believe it is Friday and yet, how can it be Friday already? Either way, it is Friday and a good day to choose joy and be thankful for another full week. 


I think I can count on my hands how many times I have left my couch since 4:00 pm yesterday. The lovely bug visiting my family decided it would like a bite of me. Fortunately, I am already feeling a good deal better, but extremely worn out. It is funny how a little illness can make you appreciate simple things. My cracker and Gatorade lunch seems like a feast today.


Wednesday we celebrated my go-to-guy, St. Joseph. It is hard to pick a favorite saint, but St. Joseph is the cream of the crop in my book.

I taught a class to Catholic educators on Wednesday and to celebrate the feast some brought in goodies to share. One of the early arrivals asked what the special occasion was and I explained that it was the feast of St. Joseph and when such a special day falls in Lent we can celebrate and not observe our Lenten fast. After that he got up, grabbed a cookie from the buffet of sweets, and vocalized his love for St. Joseph.


Speaking of Lenten fasts...Two weeks in and my lack of caffeine headaches have died down. My cravings, however, have not.

I have noticed some other developments. The first week I was constantly nursing herbal or decaf tea; having a warm beverage in my hands was comforting and helped me think less about how physically I felt I needed caffeine. The beginning of the second week I could substitute caffeine free beverages in place of the normal coffee or tea break. And the past few days I have had something in the morning and in the afternoon I have not had the same "must have something now" feeling.

Trips to coffee shops have also gone down, obviously this helps me stay caffeine free, but I have noticed a small change in my bank account that I must admit is nice. In fact, I have only visited an official coffee shop twice this Lent. Once during a freezing business trip and once with a good friend. This is much better than the whenever-I-had-down-time-between-appointments-habit I was in.

So all in all, my Lenten fast from caffeine is helping in more areas than one. 


Emily joined me for my first trip to a coffee shop this weekend. It was so good to sit and talk for hours about everything and nothing. Although we never did get to blog-storming, our time was well spent and we both came away refreshed. Raising Barnes got a post out of it! I am also loving her new look!


After my date with Emily, I went on to a successful Lia Sophia party and recruited my hostess (yay)! I am so excited to help her start her business and follow her dreams with Lia Sophia. I also learned a valuable lesson at her party that I am excited to share soon.


After the party I drove home and began unloading my car. It was bitter cold and windy, so I loaded my arms with as much as I could carry, came in, and turned up the heat. As I walked by my house keys on my kitchen table for a second load, I thought, "Should I grab those? Nah, the door is unlocked. I don't need them." I got to the door and noticed that it was not closed and on my way out I made sure to firmly shut it. You can probably guess what happened next. With my arms full of my purse, computer bag, and such, I returned to the door to find it locked tight and no amount of wiggling was going to change the button lock's shift to block the way.

Luckily, my phone was in my purse, and my little brother came to my rescue. 
Unluckily, there was only one key to the button lock and it was safe on my kitchen table. 

Luckily, one of the kitchen windows was unlocked. 
Unluckily, the previous renters had painted over all the seams and the window would not budge from the outside. 

Luckily, I could stay at my parents' and raid my sister's closet for something other than a dress and heels. 
Unluckily, what I thought was a light switch was an emergency alert button.

Luckily, we contacted the company and they called the police to inform them of the false alarm before we had to explain that we had already failed to break into one house and I was wearing stolen clothes.
Unluckily, B had the fun of replacing the doorknob.


Spring is here!

And there is snow on my driveway.

Make sure you visit Jen and the rest before you head out and have a fantastic spring weekend!


Thursday, March 13, 2014

Bedside Books

Next to my bed, a stack of books has grown and found a home in the recess of my nightstand.
I have always loved to read. The older I got and the more time that became dedicated to school, however, ended in a desire to do anything, but read. Each break and summer would begin and my desire to read would return just in time to hit the textbooks once more. Fortunately, being an Arts & Letters major I was assigned some Literature or sources that were enjoyable to read. This lack of reading only for school and never for fun lasted through most of grad school as well. I am kind of amazed that I read and finished Game of Thrones this summer while preparing and taking my comprehensive exams. It was my escape to a fantasy world with much larger challenges than a final exam. And then I passed my comps and the thirst to escape in a book ended with a halt. I would start books, but could barely be motivated to continue reading them. In fact, the only thing that got me to read was reading a book out loud with B. My brain was burnt out and if it was going to read it was not going to do it alone.
That attitude ended this winter when I found myself joining two book clubs at once (one had to fall to the wayside) in addition to trying to finish the many books I had begun in the midst of my studies and sabbatical from the written word. Now I am left with this nice stack full of old favorites and new discoveries:
From bottom to top:
Better Photo Basics
a gift to help me with my desire to take better pictures...just need a camera...
A Guide to Quality, Taste & Style
an old favorite that I pull out when my wardrobe feels greatly in need of being thrown out and started over
The Little Black Book of Style
another old favorite for defining and re-defining my style
The Know-It All
a book about a comedian reading the entire encyclopedia and the treasures he found within, a favorite of B's
Choosing Joy
I received this at an event and thought it was perfect for my year of joy
The Book Thief
the first installment of book club, so far the movie is so much better than the book, I almost never say that, but the film is excellent
Jane Eyre
the second installment of book club, fortunately, this is one of my favorites so completion was not necessary for discussing, but now I want to finish it again
The Tao of Pooh
a Christmas gift from B, because of my love for Pooh...
well because of my love for Pooh I found the only parts I really liked were the quotes from Pooh, so I stopped and re-read Winnie the Pooh instead...two years later I figured I should actually read it before I judge
A Clash of Kings
book two from the Song of Ice and Fire (aka Game of Thrones), I had a hard time reading it right after the first book, mostly because my favorite character does not appear until page 200-something
Not pictured: The Hobbit, The Dresden Files Book 1, and a book on Love and Responsibility (i.e. the books B and I are slowly working our way through), and Divergent (#3 for book club).
I will finish them!
Maybe I will document my progress from time to time.
Now I just have to choose which one to read first.
Which would you choose?
This post was partially inspired by Freckled Italian's


Monday, March 10, 2014

Monday Smiles Volume 25

Anyone that knows me well, knows that I have a deep love for Winnie the Pooh. My mother read them to us as children and the bear shaped hole in my heart has remained. One of my favorite things, do not ask me to pick just one, is the bits of wisdom pertinent for all ages filling the pages.

This passage was on my mind this morning reminding me, as I struggled with the time change, to greet my day in an optimistic and cheerful mood.

winnie the pooh quotes what is for breakfast Pooh Quotes
original source unknown

There is a little bit of good in every day, sometimes we just have to find it.


 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.


Sunday, March 9, 2014

The Pearl

Awhile back, I was invited to attend and speak at a girls' beauty night. My topic was to share some thoughts on true beauty and tips for styling outfits with jewelry. I jumped on the opportunity to be able to focus not only on external beauty, but to reflect on internal beauty as well and I wanted to share it with you.


As women we learn a lot from each other. We mimic our mother as we play house. We give each other make overs, shop together, convincing each other to buy or not to buy, analyze situations, and learn what it means to be a woman. So what I have to share, is not really mine alone, it is something I learned from another woman.

A few years ago, a couple girlfriends and I met for coffee. At one point in the conversation my friend referred to the two of us as treasures. Being one not to take compliments well, I turned her sentiment around and asked the deep question, "If you were a piece of pirate treasure, what would you be and why?" After my even deeper answer that I would be a crown, because "it is always the Queen's way," my friend responded. She would want to be a simple strand of pearls.

Her desire to be a pearl was not because they were sophisticated, classic, or pretty. She desired to be a pearl because they start off as a tiny grain of sand and over time become beautiful.

This answer struck my heart and continues to do so. Her reply summed up one the deep desire that I believe every woman feels. She desired for someone to see her, not as a comely grain of sand, but as a beautiful pearl. The hours women spend on making things beautiful are an expression of their deep desire to be precious, like a precious pearl.

This thought quickly turns to the merchant in Scripture that sells all his possessions to hold a solitary pearl of great price. This parable can be read as calling us to leave worldly desires behind for heaven, but there is another meaning that my friend's comment brought to my heart. We are already the pearl which is worth giving everything for. We started off as dirt (or ashes in the Lenten spirit) and God painstakingly created us in his Image and Likeness. The dignity we possess deserves even more awe than the world's rarest pearl.

So everything we wear and do should reflect and draw out the beauty that is already there. And if we have questions, we can ask ourselves, is this becoming of a treasured pearl?

Just in case you were wondering, my friend's dream came true. Not only did someone see her as a pearl, but he gave her pearls, and a wedding ring too.


We made it! Post 7 for Seven in Seven.

Saturday, March 8, 2014

I think I might just be a blogger...

Last night and thus this morning did not go as planned. A little thing called my furnace decided to go on strike. Well actually the opposite, the furnace refused to strike due to poor working conditions and ultimately fatal injuries. Thank goodness for parents nearby and my generous handy man! I slept in a warm bed and my home is now warming up quite nicely. 

My planned post, however, is not edited. So I will leave you with this mini-picture-post that just found its way off the chopping block.

One of many snowed in conversations: 

The only rational thing to do when one has the urge to clean, is to do just that... 
and document it for the whole world to see.
 I hope your Saturday is warm and cozy.


Post 6 for Seven in Seven.

Friday, March 7, 2014

Seven Quick Takes or Better Thing to Read Volume 21

 I have been gathering links all week to share for Quick Takes, only to be greeted this morning by the same sort of post from dear Emily. Imitation is the best form of flattery, right?

So here are some things that I have been reading and thought were worth passing along.


Thanks for all the support and prayers after sharing my prayer intentions last week. My cousin is doing so much better. I cannot wait to plan a visit while she is well.

If you are a runner and want to run for a reason, you should check out Joan's idea of creating a prayer network of runners. This has really motivated me to get back to the gym. 

Running for a Reason 

 I was introduced to Call Her Happy recently. I love her sense of humor and her blog.
Keeping with the imitation theme, her post on content ideas is awesome! 

Content Secrets 


A good friend's sister-in-law was interviewed about what she is doing for Lent!
Knowing this young woman makes me even more inspired by her simple Lenten challenge. 

Paint the Mirrors 


Grace shared about the charity, Sister India today. I love how the platform promotes sisterhood between all women. It is worth a watch. 

Sister India 


Tomorrow is International Women's Day. I thought this article from Verily about why observing this day is still worthwhile was well written and thought provoking. 

Why International Women's Day is Still Relevant 


A friend shared this article about Edith Stein's advice to single women. I have read snippets of her work over the years, but I had not read this quote before: 

"[The priest] spoke to the temptation of the person in their twenties or thirties to measure their life in a linear way: to measure their worth and success by whether or not they had achieved certain standard markers that they felt they “should” have arrived at: obtaining degrees, landing a dream job, getting married, having a set number of kids by a particular age, and buying a house. The priest said that we ought to measure our lives vertically, like the corpus on the Cross. We should measure our lives by the depth that we enter into the present moment and how much love we are putting into it." ~ Edith Stein


I thought this buzzfeed article was worth sharing. Okay, I happen to know half of the ladies in it, so maybe I'm biased, but it is cute.

Things SAHMs Want to Tell You

Have a wonderful Friday friends!


Post 5 for Seven in Seven.

Thursday, March 6, 2014

Pretty, Happy, Funny, Real

Joining Like Mother, Like Daughter for a belated birthday and Valentine's round of Pretty, Happy, Funny, Real.

~ Capturing the context of contentment in everyday life ~


Perfect red roses.


Homemade Dinner


Poor 9 needed a little support staying up on the cake, sigh, old age.


Attempting to show of new jewelry. Still learning how to take decent selfies.     

We've made it to Friday Eve!


Post 4 for Seven in Seven.

Wednesday, March 5, 2014

"What are you giving up for Lent?"

It's the question of the day and as on most Ash Wednesdays I am still deciding. It isn't that I don't have ideas, I have a ton, but it's that none of them seem to be enough. 
As a child, it seemed odd that going 40 days without candy had anything to do with the crucifixion. I understood that a little sacrifice was a way of imitating and joining my suffering to the cross, but T.V. and thorns are not even closely related. This does not even begin to touch on the vanity aspect and Lent becoming a weight loss plan.

This year I had a priest explain the purpose of fasting in such a way that it finally clicked. He said we fast and abstain from something little so that we can train ourselves to say no to something easy and grow in our willpower and strength so that we can say no to something bigger that is or can lead us to vice.

Practically speaking this made so much sense. I can easily order decaf instead of regular, sure I will crave the real deal, but it is feasible to put one word in front of my order or pick up a different box. The discipline will help me grow to be able to do something harder, such as remembering to ask myself if the items in my shopping cart are needed, edit my purchases, and focus on the joys in life beyond material goods. This harder choice of focusing on immaterial goods, opens a place for the ultimate good in my heart.

And that is what Lent is all about.

What are you giving up for Lent?


Post 3 for Seven in Seven.

Tuesday, March 4, 2014

Lia Sophia New & Now - March

Awhile back I mentioned wanting to share more of my home business on the blog. I thought it was about time to get started and introduce you to a new monthly post.
New & Now is a monthly Lia Sophia publication with the latest exclusive specials for our hostesses and customers. It also contains the information for our limited edition collections. This publicity tool is available for advisors to share with their clients to keep them up to date on the great sales and it doubles as the perfect invitation for in home parties. Since I cannot mail each of you, dear readers, your very own copy, I decided to share the contents with you here.
Welcome to New & Now!

Hostess Specials
Lia Sophia has one of the best hostess plans out there (if I do say so myself).
In addition to our traditional Hostess Benefits, our March hostesses are receiving the limited edition Hutton necklace just for hosting a party with their girlfriends!

The combination of the rose gold ring with the silver makes this necklace easy to pair with silver jewelry. The style also has a classic sophistication to it that makes it wearable for work and play.

Our hostesses always have the option to purchase four items at a Hostess Bonus Price (HBP) of $15.00 or the listed HBP. In March our hostesses can purchase two of our top necklaces for 50% off the listed HBP. Juliet Necklace, by Jody is a favorite of mine and I just happen to be wearing it as I type this.

Instaglam & Juliet Necklace, by Jody

Customer Specials

In addition to showering our hostesses with jewelry, we want to make sure that her friends are getting a good deal so they can walk away with something pretty too! Our customer savings plan is buy two full price items; get one half off. The least expensive items are always full price, so you always get most expensive items on sale. The bonus for March is when you buy two, get one half off, you get three necklaces half off too!

And there's more. If you spend $80.00 you can purchase the limited edition Thea necklace or Bardot bracelet for $10.00!

Limited Edition Pieces

Pastels are big this season, as well as feminine details. With this in mind our new limited edition collection is full of dreamy blues and purples, sparkles, and ladylike proportions.


The emphasis of combining rose gold with silver in this collection is a great way to make a nod to the pastel trend with something that is classic for seasons to come. Personally, I am loving the rose gold with my skin tone. I am excited to see it on more women. I love trying something new and finding something universally flattering.

New Advisor Specials

Our new advisors are given the option to start their business with a $99.00 or $149.00 Starter Kit. This month the $149.00 kit includes some of the limited edition pieces in addition to the $1,000.00 worth or jewelry already included.

The additional jewelry in the Starter Kit is such a bonus! I am so excited for the incentives Lia Sophia keeps offering to help everyone get started smart.

If you are interested in learning more about Lia Sophia, I would be happy to answer your questions!


Post 2 for Seven in Seven.






Monday, March 3, 2014

Seven in Seven

7 day blog challenge 7 posts, 7 days

While the rest of Jen's crew finished up their seven posts in seven days challenge,
I am beginning my own.
Even though my intention to participate was thwarted by one of those weeks that all you can do is throw open your arms, letting go of all your nicely made plans, and embrace the new set of priorities you have been given, I can say that I did walk away from last week's challenge having learned a few things. I recognized the symptoms of the perfectionism bug, the need for routine, the priority of family, and the importance of learning to forgive others and yourself.
So here I am, on this sunny, yet bitter cold, winter Monday,
brushing myself off and starting up again where I left off.
Will you join me?

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