Archive | September 2012

Second Liebster Blog Award

I was recently nominated for a second time for the Liebster Blog Award. This time it comes from, Ashley Evelyn at Beauty Blog Orlando. As always, it is an honor to be recognized in this way, and I really appreciate it! Thank you very much, Ashley Evelyn!




Award nominations are wonderful to receive, and the questions posed within them are a fun way to learn more about each other!

It is my understanding that this particular award is meant for people with fewer than 200 followers, as a way to get to know them a little better.

However, because it is can be difficult to tell which blogs fit that criterion, it is a great opportunity to bring attention to other blogs, regardless of how many followers they have!

The rules of the award are as follows:

  1. Answer the 11 questions proposed by the person who nominated you.
  2. Select 11 people for the award.
  3. Pose 11 new questions to the new nominees.

Here are the answers to the questions posed to me:

What’s the #1 beauty product you can’t live without?


What does beauty mean to you?

Confidence, kindness, and good character  

Which beauty look do you like, but struggle to achieve?


Which men’s trend of 2012 do you wish a man in your life would try?

I honestly don’t follow men’s trends but I appreciate the casual, comfortable clothing my husband wears.

Which celebrity’s style do you like, or emulate?

I like the way Jennifer Aniston dresses.

What characteristic do you especially look for in a blog?

I like blogs that share beautiful pictures, thoughts and uplifting information that is helpful to others and not solely focused on the author.  

What’s the first blog you fell in love with?

There are several that I really liked immediately, so I would not want to single any one particular blog out.

Who is your favorite Femme Fatale?

Sharon Stone in Basic Instinct was very intriguing.

We’ve all had beauty/fashion “oopsies.” What’s your oopsy?

Wearing white undergarments under white clothing, before long ago realizing the nude shades work best.

From time to time I write about my friends and family. How do the people in your life respond to the idea of themselves as subjects?

I don’t generally write anything very personal about friends or family so they respond favorably because I am respectful of their privacy.

In your opinion, what is the one book that should be read and re-read?

There are so many great books but I have mentioned on a few occasions, You Can Heal Your Life by Louise Hay. Of course, I’d have to include my own book as well, The Right Relationship Starts with You. 🙂  

My nominees:

It will be a pleasure to get to know you better. If you would like to participate, then please answer the questions below.

  1. Oil Pastels by Mary
  2. Curiosity Is My Motive
  3. Boomdeeadda
  4. Home And The Range
  5. The Healthy Flavor
  6. Lovely Buns
  7. Fae’s Twist and Tango
  8. The Meaning for my Life
  9. Evolve and Express
  10. Be Your Own Counsellor and Coach
  11. Speaking from the Heart

My Questions to the nominees taken from my original Liebster award post:

  1. What inspires you?
  2. What is your favorite dessert?
  3. What is your favorite comedy?
  4. When you were a child, what did you want to be when you grew up?
  5. Why did you start a blog?
  6. What is your favorite part of blogging?
  7. What would be the name of your ‘reality show’ to describe your life?
  8. If you were to give a speech on any topic, what would it be?
  9. If you changed your name, what would you change it to?
  10. What is your dream career?
  11. If money was no object, where would you live and why?




Take Care of Yourself

“It is not easy to find happiness in ourselves, and it is not possible to find it elsewhere.”

— Agnes Repplier                                                                                                           

Melody Beattie’s book entitled, Codependent No More, is a wonderful resource if you struggle with feelings of over responsibility for others and the obsessive, controlling behavior that results from it. She defines codependence as:

“A habitual system of thinking, feeling, and behaving toward ourselves and others that can cause pain. Codependent behaviors or habits are self-destructive. We frequently react to people who are destroying themselves; we react by learning to destroy ourselves. These habits can lead us into, or keep us in, destructive relationships that don’t work. These behaviors can sabotage relationships that may otherwise have worked. These behaviors can prevent us from finding peace and happiness with the most important person in our lives…. ourselves. These behaviors belong to the only person we can change which is ourselves. These are our problems. We started to do these things out of necessity to protect ourselves and meet our needs.”

The author is careful to note that, “The only difference between codependents and the rest of the world is that the other people don’t pick on themselves for being who they are. All people think similar thoughts and have range of feelings. All people make mistakes and do a few things right. We’re all working with approximately the same material—humanity. It’s how we feel about ourselves that makes the difference. It’s what we tell ourselves that makes the difference.”

She goes on to say that, “Codependents are some of the most loving, generous, good-hearted, and concerned people I know. We’ve just allowed ourselves to be tricked into doing things that hurt us, and we’re going to learn how to stop doing those things.”

Below, is an abbreviated list of the some of the characteristics of codependent persons as presented in the book:

Care Taking

1. Think and feel responsible for other people—for other people’s feelings, thoughts, etc.
2. Feel compelled, or forced, to help that person solve the problem, with unwanted advice.
3. Feel angry when their help isn’t effective.
4. Anticipate other people’s needs.
5. Wonder why others don’t do the same for them.
6. Doing things other people are capable of doing for themselves.
7. Not knowing what they want and need, or telling themselves it is not important.
8. Try to please others instead of themselves.
9. Find it easier to feel and express anger about injustices done to others than to them.
10. Feel safest when giving.
11. Feel insecure and guilty when somebody gives to them.
12. Feel sad because they spend their whole lives giving to others and not to them.
13. Find themselves attracted to needy people.
14. Find needy people attracted to them.
15. Lose sleep over problems or other people’s behavior.
16. Feel unable to quit talking, thinking, and worrying about other people or problems.

Lack of Trust

1. Don’t trust their feelings.
2. Don’t trust their decisions.
3. Try to trust untrustworthy people.
4. Think God has abandoned them.
5. Lose faith and trust in God.


1. Live with people who are very scared, hurt, and angry.
2. Are afraid of their own anger.
3. Are frightened of other people’s anger.
4. Think people will go away if anger enters the picture.
5. Feel controlled by other people’s anger.
6. Repress their angry feelings.
7. Think other people make them feel angry.
8. Are afraid to make other people feel anger.
9. Cry a lot, get depressed, overact, get sick, do mean and nasty things to get even.
10. Punish other people for making them angry.
11. Feel safer with their anger than hurt feelings.


1. Are extremely responsible.
2. Become martyrs, sacrificing their happiness and that of others unnecessarily.
3. Find it difficult to feel close to people.
4. Find it difficult to have fun and be spontaneous.
5. Have an overall passive response to codependency — crying, hurt, helplessness.
6. Have an overall aggressive response to codependency — violence, anger, dominance.
7. Combine passive and aggressive responses.
8. Vacillate in decisions and emotions.
9. Laugh when they feel like crying.
10. Stay loyal to their compulsions and people even when it hurts.
11. Are ashamed about family, personal, or relationship problems.
12. Are confused about the nature of the problem.
13. Cover up, lie, and protect the problem.

 Action Step:

Identify if any of these characteristics relate to you or someone you love, and read this extremely helpful book.

Incorporate The Four Agreements


Don Miguel Ruiz, the author of the book, The Four Agreements: A Practical Guide to Personal Freedom believes that everything we do is based on agreements we have made with ourselves, other people and with life.

The most important agreements we make, however, are the ones we make with ourselves because this is where we tell ourselves who we are, how to behave, what is possible, and what is impossible.

Based on ancient Toltec wisdom, the Four Agreements briefly outlined below offers a powerful way to transform our lives from self-limiting thinking and needless suffering, to a new experience of freedom, true happiness, and love.



Action Step:

Begin to incorporate the power of the four agreements into your daily life.

Have an Open Mind

I have a friend who was a Wall Street wizard and enjoyed a lot of status and success in his field by many people’s standards. However, even though it provided him with wealth and prestige, he was not happy or fulfilled in his daily work for many years. He was held captive by his ego, and his personal life started to unwind as a result.

Then one day when his life took a particularly low blow, he had to make some hard choices. During that time he noticed that the flower shop at the local train station was for sale. It was in an ideal location because of the daily volume of commuters who stopped in to buy their loved ones flowers on the way home from work. This was in addition to the many holidays throughout the year that drew a big business as well.

He had visited this shop many times himself and enjoyed the low stress atmosphere and had gotten to know the staff quite well. Because he had become open-minded, humbled and open to new possibilities, he was able to see the opportunity that presented itself and decided to buy the flower shop and give up his high powered job.

It may sound insane to the outside observer but his life was imploding and all that mattered to him anymore was being happy, fulfilled and embracing his life instead of struggling through it to keep up appearances.

He has never regretted his decision and his shop is thriving. The added benefit is that he makes a lot of money doing what he has come to love personally and professionally. Plus his wife is enjoying the beautiful flowers that surround her life as well.

I have always loved this story and though everyone does not have the desire or funds to buy a flower shop or the capital to just leave their job, it makes a very good point. The story seems to remind us to be open to opportunities that present themselves and follow those things that we find personally fulfilling. It also cautions against staying with something just for the money or title we may enjoy.

I have heard many stories like this one and they can happen even in retirement. I know of a man who attended a chocolate making show to appease his wife and ended up so fascinated by the way chocolate is made, that he now enjoys making and selling chocolates all over the country. He relishes the unexpected and delicious way he gets to enjoy his retirement.

It is those delicious surprises and experiences that we “accidently” discover that adds a whole new, and often life changing component to our lives, when we are open-minded enough to see and follow them to a whole new adventure.

Action Step:

Be open to opportunities that could help your life blossom in unexpected ways.

Focus On You

I was reading an article today about how ineffective and impossible it is to change other people and how in spite of this knowledge, many of us continue to try anyway. For example, we may try to make sad people happy or attempt to make insensitive people, more sensitive.

Therapist and best-selling author, Martha Beck, suggests that the key to releasing our control over others and focusing more on ourselves is to, “Stay the heck away from the idea of making someone do, feel, or think anything. This is not your job. Your job is to maximize your own happiness, kindness, and health. Let others choose whether to follow and stay in your own business.”

This can be a tall order if the person you are trying to control or “fix” happens to be someone very close to you like a family member, best friend or spouse. It may seem like all the fussing and attempts at changing someone is loving and helpful. However, unfortunately, all this “helping” behavior does is cause you needless pain, loss of happiness and exhaustion, especially if your well-meaning words are ignored.

This is not to say that some people don’t appreciate your input and feedback and use it to enhance their life but we just can’t make someone use the information or make them different. They have to want to change and do the internal work themselves, while taking whatever actions are required in their own life.

Ultimately, we all have the choice to listen and take others advice or not. How freeing when we can let go of control and embrace the only person we have any control over, and that is ourselves.

Action step:

Focus on maximizing your own happiness, kindness and health by putting your loving attention on you.

Get Rejuvenated

My husband and I just returned from our trip to Carlsbad, California and it was absolutely beautiful.

It was rejuvenating for the mind, body and spirit and an amazing reminder of how healing nature can be. Additionally, it was a real treat to see and experience a place we had never been before.

If you are looking for a new vacation getaway, and have the opportunity to visit this wonderful location, you will not be disappointed.



Action Step:

Enjoy this brief introduction of Carlsbad.