Archive | November 2012

Enjoy Double Awards









What a special time it is, to be nominated for two different awards on the same day. I would like to thank Ute smile for nominating me for the Sensual Blogging Award (feeling touched and inspired) and Fae’s Twist & Tango for the Reality Blog Award (Real, Energizing, Amazing, Lovely, Inspiring, Touching, Yippee!).

Both of these awards and blogs are a delightful blend of warmth, joy, and kindness. It is an honor to be recognized by each of these lovely women and I really appreciate it!

There are many who touch and inspire us by sharing their wonderful insights, knowledge and experiences, and many we haven’t met yet, or would like to know better. Awards are a great way to acknowledge and expand our blogging circles through the process of nominations.

Rules for the Sensual Blogging Award

  1. Visit and thank the blogger who nominated you
  2. Acknowledge that blogger on your blog and link back
  3. Answer 7 sensual questions
  4. Select some nominees and notify them on their blogs
  5. Copy and paste the award on your blog

Questions and Answers for the Sensual Award

  1. Most romantic memory – Being surprised with an engagement ring on the beach
  2. Most sensual music – Romantic music like “Wonderful Tonight” by Eric Clapton
  3. Most sensual season – The Fall season feels very cozy  
  4. Favorite flower – Roses
  5. Favorite fruit – Apples
  6. Best gift received – The engagement ring my husband picked out  
  7. Love is – A beautiful marriage

Rules for the REALITY Blog Award

  1. Visit and thank the blogger who nominated you
  2. Acknowledge that blogger on your blog and link back to them
  3. Answer the 5 questions presented
  4. Nominate up to 20 blogs for the award and notify them on their blogs
  5. Copy and paste the award on your blog somewhere

Questions and Answers for the Reality Award

  1. If you could change one thing what would you change?  I would add self-esteem and life skills courses in schools.
  2. If you could repeat an age, what would it be? age 18
  3. What one thing really scares you? The passing of a loved one
  4. What is one dream you have not completed, and do you think you’ll be able to complete it?  To live near the beach, and host large seminar events on personal development topics which  I do believe is possible.
  5. If you could be someone else for one day, who would it be? I wouldn’t want to BE someone else but I wouldn’t mind experiencing the influence and lifestyle of someone like Oprah Winfrey for a day!

Now, it is my pleasure to nominate the following blogs for both the Reality Blog Award and the Sensual  Blogging Award!  Feel free to choose just one!


All you do is Eat

Sunflower Rose CW

Vini Cooks Veg

Relaxing Cooking

Small Kitchen Chronicles

Live. Learn. Love. Eat.

The Truth Warrior

Best of Two Sisters

Celebrate Your Life

Pretty Baking by Ger

Freud and Fashion

Bold Beautyful Young Restless

The Hurt Healer

Turtle and Robot

Joy Fitness and Style

A Day in the Life of a Professional Designer

Elisa Ruland

The World Via Standby

Allyson Mellone

Congratulations to all!



The Sunshine Award









I would like to thank the wonderful Nikki of Baby Boomer Bakes who has kindly nominated me for The Sunshine Award. Her delicious blog is definitely worth visiting, with mouthwatering recipes to brighten your day. It is truly an honor to be recognized in such a positive way, and to share the joy by nominating other blogs as well.

Rules for the Award

  1. Thank the person that nominated you and include a link to their blog
  2. Answer the assigned questions about yourself
  3. Nominate 10 fellow bloggers, linking to their blogs
  4. Inform them that they have been nominated

Questions and Answers

  1. Who is your favorite philosopher?  Lao Tzu (the ancient Chinese philosopher)
  2. What is your favorite number?  28
  3. What is your favorite animal?  Yellow lab
  4. What are your Facebook and Twitter? Surprisingly to many, I don’t have either yet
  5. What is your favorite time of day?  Dusk
  6. What is your favorite holiday?  New Year’s Day, as it represents a fresh start
  7. What is your favorite physical activity?  Dancing
  8. What is your favorite non-alcoholic drink?  Diet coke
  9. What is your passion?  Writing
  10. What is your favorite flower?  Roses in all colors

My Sunshine Nominations

  1. Feeding Your Appetite
  2. Caroline Skanne
  3. Corporate Housekeeping
  4. Home Is Where Your Mom Is
  5. A Leaf in Springtime
  6. Freelance Wanderer
  7. GYA Today
  8. Meg Travels
  9. Frames and Focus
  10. The Perky Poppy Seed

Thank you and congratulations to all!




Improve Your Daily Life


The original writing of the inspirational text, Just for Today has been attributed to Frank Crane who wrote a newspaper column for the Boston Globe in 1921 called, “Dr. Crane Says.”

The article laid out a set of positive suggestions and guidelines for improving our daily life.

Even though many versions of the article have been written since that time, the loving essence of his beautiful ideas still remains.

As we embrace the uplifting thoughts that are written below, and shown in the video above, it will help us maintain a sense of humility, awareness and a deep healing of our spirit.

These concepts are a wonderful way to stay focused on what we can do and change, instead of focusing on what needs to be changed in everyone else.

Just for today, I will live through the next 12 hours and not try to tackle all of life’s problems at once!

Just for today, I will improve my mind, I will learn something useful. I will read something that requires thought and concentration. 

Just for today, I will be agreeable. I will look my best. I will speak softly. I will be courteous and considerate. 

Just for today, I will not find fault with anyone. I will not try to change or improve anyone but myself!

Just for today, I will do a good turn and keep it a secret! If anyone finds out, it won’t count. 

Just for today, I will have a plan. I might not follow it exactly but I will have a plan. I will save myself from two enemies, hurry and indecision. 

Just for today, I will do two things I don’t want to do, just because I need the discipline.

Just for today, I will believe in myself! I will give my best to the world and feel confident that the world will give its best to me! 

Action Step:

Print and put this in a place for easy reference each day.

Super Sweet Blogging Award

I would like to thank Utesmile for this wonderful Super Sweet Award. Her inspirational blog really warms your heart and brings a smile to your face.

Rules for this award include:

  1. Thank the super sweet blogger who made the nomination
  2. Answer the five questions provided with award
  3. Nominate a baker’s dozen of other bloggers

Here are the answers to the sweet questions posed to me:

  1. Cookie or cake?  Chocolate Chip Cookie
  2. Chocolate or Vanilla?  Chocolate is my first choice but vanilla works too
  3. What is your favorite sweet treat? Apple pie
  4. When do you crave sweet things the most? Watching movies, parties and holidays
  5. If you had a sweet nickname, what would it be? Cinnamon

It is always a challenge to single out specific blogs, as there are so many great ones available. However, below are some of the sweet people that I’ve nominated:

Adventures of a Cake Diva

Run Eat Life

A Beautiful Day

The Ultimate Kinship Hangout

Baking with Sibella

Just a Smidgen

Sweet Samsations

The Sugared Pecan

Calee Photography

Just Another Manic Mommy

Realistic Cooking Ideas for Busy People

Baby Boomer Bakes

Congratulations to all!


Be Kind to Your Mind

Being in charge of our life, means that we are in charge of our thoughts, behaviors, and beliefs. If we walk around with a belief that others don’t care about us, or aren’t there for us, then we will interpret the events and people in our life through that negative lens.

For example, let’s say we are sharing something painful with a friend, and he or she appears to be unsympathetic and doesn’t comfort us in a way that we desire. We may instantly decide that our friend doesn’t care about us, and start to distance ourselves or cease talking to him or her altogether.

Naturally, our friend becomes confused as to why we don’t answer her phone calls anymore or why we seem different around her. At this point, she doesn’t understand what is going on in our head; that we have made an assumption that she doesn’t care about us.

She may become withdrawn and different around us as a result, and stop pursuing us for a time. Her behavior further convinces us that she doesn’t care, has changed or was never a friend to begin with.

Ironically, our angry thoughts, feelings, interpretations and behavior toward her, may have led to the strain in our friendship to begin with. We conclude that the emotional distance is her fault but she was just reacting to the change in us!

If we had taken the time to check it out, we may have found out that our friend was temporarily at a loss for words or didn’t know what to say at the time of our original conversation. It didn’t necessarily mean that we weren’t cared about.

This is not to say that we should befriend everyone or that someone is a good friend or to blame ourselves for the actions of others. However, it is important to be aware of how powerful our beliefs can be, and how they contribute to the problems we face with others. For instance, if deep down we believe we aren’t lovable, then we will look for evidence to support that belief and prove that we are right.

Certainly, if we feel someone does not have our best interests at heart, we can leave in a way that is free of anger, understanding that people can’t always give us what we need; either they don’t know how or are limited in certain areas.

However, understanding what our current beliefs are, and developing more positive alternatives, will help us to feel better, be more forgiving, and more liberal in our interpretations of events.

I have a whole section in my book, The Right Relationship Starts with You, which discusses beliefs and asks that you make a list of what you presently believe and what we would like to believe instead.

This knowledge can help us avoid looking for evidence in our daily lives, that supports the negative theories we may presently have about ourselves or others, and gain positive ideas instead. It helps us to be kind to our mind!

Action Step:

During this upcoming holiday, let thoughts of gratitude permeate your mind. Happy Thanksgiving everybody.


Protect Yourself from Harm

In healthy relationships there is a shared back and forth exchange of thoughts, feelings and experiences. There is a sense of being cared about and a genuine caring for another person. Conversely, unhealthy relationships have one person doing all the emotional work and often surrendering their personal needs and rights in exchange for the other persons love.

When we are mindful and pay attention to our feelings, it is easy to distinguish which people have a strong sense of self verses those that are self-centered and not capable of participating in a reciprocal involvement.

For example, think about the way you feel after an interaction with certain people. If you feel nourished, and valued, you’ve probably encountered someone with healthy self-esteem.

However, if the conversation leaves you feeling ashamed, confused, self-doubting, or invisible, it’s highly likely you’re dealing with a narcissist whose motto is “Me first!”

Learning to spot the following traits of a narcissist can protect you from mistaking this person for a friend:

  1. Everything’s all about them
  2. They have a grandiose sense of self-importance and entitlement
  3. They crave admiration and attention
  4. They are a legend in their own mind
  5. The world is reflected in their image
  6. They lack empathy
  7. There is a limited capacity for unconditional love

To find out if you’re dealing with a narcissist, ask yourself the following questions which are found in the book entitled, Emotional Freedom: Liberate Yourself from Negative Emotions and Transform Your Life  by bestselling author Judith Orloff, M.D.

  • Does the person act as if life revolves around him?
  • Do I have to compliment him to get his attention or approval?
  • Does he constantly steer the conversation back to himself?
  • Does he downplay my feelings or interests?
  • If I disagree, does he become cold or withholding?

According to Dr. Orloff, “If you answer “yes” to any of the questions, it’s likely you’re dealing with a narcissist. My professional advice: don’t fall in love with a narcissist or entertain illusions they’re capable of the give-and-take necessary for intimacy. In such relationships you’ll always be emotionally alone to some degree. If you have a withholding narcissist spouse, beware of trying to win the nurturing you never got from your parents; it’s not going to happen. Also, forget about having your sensitivity honored. These people sour love with all the hoops you must jump through to please them. Ultimately, they’ll break your heart and steal your freedom.”

Naturally, we want to keep ourselves away from this and other destructive personality types but sometimes the relationship is temporarily unavoidable, as in the case of a current boss or co-worker.

Therefore, if a narcissist is draining you emotionally; Dr. Orloff offers a few techniques to achieve your desired outcome and get your power back as follows:

Keep your expectations realistic.

Enjoy their good qualities, but understand they’re emotionally limited, even if they’re sophisticated in other ways. Accepting this, you won’t continue asking something of friends, family, or coworkers they can’t give. Consider this definition of insanity: when you repeat the same actions but expect a different response.

Never make your self-worth dependent on them.

Don’t get caught in the trap of always trying to please a narcissist. Also protect your sensitivity. Refrain from confiding your deepest feelings to someone who won’t cherish them.

Show how something will be to their benefit.

To successfully communicate with narcissists, the hard truth is that you must frame things this way. Instead of saying to your employer, “I’d prefer to work fewer nights,” say, “I can bring in more revenue for your company during these hours.” Basically speak to what means something to them.

Ultimately, we know we can’t change or fix other people but gaining knowledge is an important step toward identifying unhealthy characteristics and protecting ourselves accordingly.

Action Step:

Be discerning with whom you spend your time with, and how much you disclose to those around you.

Be of Good Character

“Character is like a tree and reputation like its shadow. The shadow is what we think of it; the tree is the real thing.”

Abraham Lincoln

“Our assessment of a person’s character is an opinion and it isn’t always right. In the quote above, Abraham Lincoln recognized an important difference between character and reputation. Because the shape of a shadow is determined by the angle of light and the perspective of the observer, it’s not a perfect image of the tree. In the same way, reputation is not always an accurate reflection of character. Some people derive more benefit from their reputation than they deserve; others are better than their reputations.”

The material quoted above is being shared from the What Will Matter blog written by Michael Josephson, president of the Josephson Institute Center for Youth Ethics.

This institute is based in southern California, and conducts training to help people who want to make our society more honest, fair, caring, and accountable.

They base their programs and materials on six ethical values referred to as the Six Pillars of Character to help guide our choices as shown below:


Build trust and credibility with integrity (consistency between beliefs, words and actions), honesty (truthfulness, sincerity and candor), promise-keeping, and loyalty (fidelity to family, friends, and country).


Honor the worth and dignity of all individuals. Treat others the way you would want to be treated. Act courteously, civilly, peaceably, and nonviolently. Be tolerant and accepting of differences. Avoid rude, offensive, and abusive words and actions.


Be accountable for your words, actions, and attitudes. Exercise self-control. Strive for excellence and self-improvement. Plan ahead. Set a good example for others. Be self-reliant, prudent, proactive, persistent, and hard-working.


Be consistent, open, and treat all people equitably. Consider all sides and make decisions on the facts without favoritism or prejudice. Play by the rules, avoid careless accusations, and don’t take undue advantage of others. Pursue justice and condemn injustice.


Be kind, compassionate, empathetic, charitable, forgiving, and grateful.


Obey laws in good faith. Do your share to improve the well-being of fellow citizens and the community. Protect the environment, volunteer, and participate in the processes of democracy by staying informed and voting.

Action Step:

Reread the Six Pillars of Character.


Perform an Act of Kindness









The greatest acts of kindness are those that are freely given because we care about others and don’t expect anything in return. However, we ultimately find that extending kindness provides its own rewards by improving our happiness, sense of purpose, and well-being.

We can make giving a regular habit by displaying thoughtfulness throughout the year and not just waiting for a crisis in order to demonstrate acts of generosity!

Ironically, when a disaster does strikes, sometimes we often don’t do anything because we feel our contribution is too insignificant or wouldn’t matter in the bigger scheme of things.

However, even the smallest action can make the biggest difference. We can do a lot with one small act.

Spreading kindness is a valuable experience for all concerned and is very infectious. When we’re willing to share our compassion with others, then we inspire those around us to do the same.

Generosity of spirit, action and warmth toward others are essential parts of a healthy community and life.

Below are some acts of kindness that we are all probably familiar with, and can participate in today and all year long:

  1. Volunteer at a local hospital
  2. Donate blood
  3. Anonymously send cash to those in need
  4. Buy a poor neighbor some groceries
  5. Forgive somebody
  6. Cook dinner for a busy parent
  7. Let your local police know how much you appreciate their service to the community
  8. Offer someone else your seat on the bus/train
  9. Listen intently
  10. Write a handwritten note of appreciation
  11. Be a courteous driver
  12. Let someone get ahead of you in the grocery line
  13. Pay the toll for the person behind you
  14. Give an inspiring book to a struggling friend
  15. Hold the elevator for someone
  16. Spend time with the elderly
  17. Babysit for a single parent
  18. Say thank you whenever anyone does something for you
  19. Visit an orphanage with some treats
  20. Share a smile
  21. Pick up the litter that you find on the street
  22. Pay for the movie tickets of the people in the line behind you
  23. Give out frequent compliments
  24. Speak lovingly
  25. Look for the good in others

Action Step:

Participate in one new act of kindness today.