Monthly Archives: May 2011

8 Reasons to Enjoy your Life TODAY

Good morning friends! I’m sharing a post I originally wrote for 8 Women Dream on March 10, 2011 that I wanted to repost on my own blog today. I wrote this post during my final week of college in March and at the time, was very overwhelmed. Not just overwhelmed with a lot of nerves, new changes and transitions in the future, but overwhelmed with goodness and joy. Life is truly a whirlwind.

The reason I wanted to share again was because I have a feeling a lot of people are feeling the exact same way now. Many of my friends have their last two weeks left in our little heaven called Athens – and it IS beyond weird to think about the future. Rereading my own post and looking back on the past two months has bee such a refreshing reminder to live life to the fullest in every single moment. Enjoy the people around you – focus on right now. Hope you like the post! xo


I wouldn’t be where am today if it weren’t for yesterday. I won’t be where I will be tomorrow without today.

I’m adopting a new mantra: “Today is a gift. That’s why it’s called the present.” This is why I’ve compiled:

8 Reasons to Enjoy Your Life Today -

1. You are doing great things.

Regardless of where you are sitting right now, you are doing something important with your life. You are impacting someone and you have already done so much. Stay cheerful and optimistic about who you are, what you’ve done and where you are going.

2. There are people who love and support you.

People care about you. Anytime you feel upset, remember how many people love you and are cheering for you! Anytime you feel anxious or freaking out about pursuing your future and your dreams, remember how many people love you right where you are at right now.

3. You have opportunities to grow.

Today is the day to embrace that you can constantly be refining who you are. You can always be growing personally and professionally. This doesn’t mean achieving you dream overnight — it just means taking life one day at a time and constantly trying to get better with each one.

4. The longer you wait to enjoy life, the more you lose in the long run.

Sometimes when you are stressing about your dreams or future, it’s essential to just sit back and breathe. Take a chew on this: the longer you wait to actually enjoy and soak up life, the less time you have to enjoy it.

5. Extra stress keeps you from moving forward.

I live by a sweet saying that runs through my mind almost daily: too blessed to be stressed. We have so much to be grateful for let stress overwhelm us. We have too many beautiful things to be grateful for to worry about the bad things.

6. Life is an adventure.

Life doesn’t have to be one big struggle. What if we viewed life as an exciting adventure rather than a battle uphill. Rather than view life as a battle uphill, why not instead run down the hill sprinting?

7. You have control of your own life.

No one is telling you what to do. No one is forcing you to do something or go somewhere. You have the power to decide how you view your life, you have the control to do what you want to do. Now all you have to do is go for it.

8. Unexpected moments and disasters can be the just what you need.

Sometimes, we just have bad days. It’s inevitable, but just when you think you can’t crack a smile or laugh-something absolutely ridiculous comes along to keep you rolling on the floor.

Case in point: My friend and I were bummed after a rough group project and being bombarded with tasks to do and were walking down the escalator to grab a quick dinner. My friend was wearing a fabulous floor-length maxi skirt and as we stepped off the escalator, she was stuck.

Her skirt was caught in the escalator steps for a full minute until a random stranger came up to rip her skirt out of the escalator. You can’t script moments like this. And I wouldn’t pass up these moments for the world. Today, and the very moment we are in, is an gift.

And a beautiful one at that!

Make today beautiful, positive and enjoyable. I only shared a few reasons to soak up today, live it up in the moment you are in and appreciate how far you’ve come, where you’re heading and the precise moment you’re in. Thanks for reading – I’m always here to cheer for you! xo

Happy Memorial Day

Happy Memorial Day! Thank you to everyone in the armed forces – past and present – for your sacrifice and dedication to our country! Your actions have not gone unnoticed, although many of you have not received the recognition deserved. We are truly blessed to live in America! Want to do something to say thanks? E-mail a soldier showing your appreciation via A Million Thanks. Take a quick break from e-mail, Twitter, whatever and sit down and write an old-fashioned handwritten note! All you have to do is write a letter and mail it to:

A MILLION THANKS
17853 Santiago Blvd. #107-355
Villa Park, CA 92861

Tell them just why you appreciate what they are doing and how it’s impacted your life. You’d be surprised how much a quick note or letter really brightens someone else’s day. On that note, I’m heading outside to enjoy this absolutely perfect day, hopefully with a picnic in the park – Happy Memorial Day!

Be old enough to appreciate your freedom & young enough to enjoy it.

Do the things you used to talk about doing but never did. Know when to let go and when to hold on tight. Stop rushing. Don’t be intimidated to say it like it is. Stop apologizing all the time. Learn to say no, so your yes has some oomph. Spend time with the friends who lift you up, and cut loose the ones who bring you down. Stop giving your power away. Be more concerned with being interested than being interesting. Be old enough to appreciate your freedom, and young enough to enjoy it. Finally know who you are.” – Kristin Armstrong 

Headwear.

>>>From runway shows (Givenchy Couture in particular) to DIY projects (inspiration: PS I Made This) and everything in between, statement headwear pieces are here to stay. Headwear can be a simple accessory ( a la MK Olsen’s simple headwrap with sunnies) or as intricate as an adorned crown-like piece. Take your pick of feathers, flowers, bows, knots or metal studs, but all ensure fabulousness and a little something extra to your outfit. What is your favorite headwear piece?

Happy Graduation Katie!

>>>As you know, I’m very close to my sisters (as you can read here, here, here, here & probably 45 other times) and I have been so lucky to not only watch them grow up, but just be best friends with them. It seems like yesterday, Kerry was graduating high school, but now she is already finished with her freshmen year of college!

>>>Today, my next little babe graduates from high school. Katie is the fearless one out of the bunch – she’s spunky, crazy, ridiculous, passionate and dedicated. She is a roller coaster – and I absolutely LOVE it. She is a prayer warrior, she is a hard worker, she is a change maker, she is a gift giver. She reminded me, specifically this summer, how important it is to think outside of myself. She my not always realize it and we may not say it enough – but she is a true blessing and joy to our family and to my life!  Katie, Feather, Blondie – I am so proud you are graduating. It’s a huge achievement and such a bittersweet time in your life. You are a beautiful lady inside and out and can’t wait to see you conquer the world.

Congratulations Katie! I wish I could be at your graduation tonight and I cannot WAIT to be at your party and celebrate the new, exciting life that’s coming up for you! I hope you are excited for your future adventures. Love and miss you and again, so proud of you. I’m always here to cheer you on baby girl! xo

Thursday Thankful List

  • Waking up super early, even on a Saturday
  • Going to a restaurant for the first time
  • Hard work – even when no one else notices!
  • Embracing change
  • Patterned clothing
  • Taking mid-morning and late afternoon walks
  • When there is sunshine ALL week
  • Being so proud of my Threadies
  • The glow of a front porch light
  • Chaotic organization:
  • Oldies music
  • Humming
  • The smell of freshly clean laundry
  • “Love that endures forever”
  • Impromptu fun nights out with friends
  • Four day weekends! (Literally. I wish I could tell you how happy I am about this right now!!!!)
  •  Thrift store finds
  •  SAN FRANCISCO!
  • Painting my nails (although I’m really bad at it)
  •  Realizing wisdom comes from happiness
  • Pinterest
  • Random acts of kindness
  • Being barefoot
  • Sleeping soundly the entire night
  • Modern art museums: 
  • Catching up with old friends!
  •  Appreciating the journey we’re on
  •  Flavored coffee
  • Talking on the phone with my three sisters seriously everyday
  • Making bike plans – did you know May is National Bike Month?
  •  Meeting new people
  • Living life adventurously 
  • Choosing to listen rather than just speak
  • Peanut butter toast
  • Packing a perfect suitcase
  • Replaying Galway Girl about 34895x this week
  • When a not-so great day ends up being quite okay
  • Being inspired, inspiring others
  • Forgiveness 
  • Remembering one of the best days ever: 
  • Sitting down and getting to know my new roommate a lot more
  • Being comfortable in my own skin
  • New perfume
  •  Remembering what a waste of time it is to judge or look down on others. How many other things could you be doing instead? 
  • Decorating inspiration: 
  • Loving more, worrying less
  • Hilarious carpool rides
  • My encouraging, supportive, amazing momma
  • Places that serve unlimited mimosas
  • My new life motto: Happiness will never come to those who fail to appreciate what they already have!

Happy Positive Thursday! My absolute BEST and favorite day of the week annnnd it’s even more exciting because I have a four-day weekend ahead. I have plans to visit my cousin across the Bay, picnic in the park, enjoying rooftop champagne, sleep in, swim, possibly visit a friend up in Napa, who knows what I’ll come up with in the next few days! I hope you’ve had a great week! Yesterday owned me, but I’m owning today. Letz do this. Enjoy yours & have a fantastic weekend! What else am I thankful for? Find out.

Born to run.

>>>Morning pretty friends! Hope everyone is having a fantastic week – I DEFINITELY am – mostly because of the sunshine and that it’s a four day week and more importantly a four day weekend. Today I wanted to compile a few quotes and images all related to adventures. Adventures can range from something simple like introducing yourself to a new person to something relatively insane like moving across the globe, but all adventures have one thing in common: they are pushing us outside of our comfort zones to explore the new, unknown world. I, for one, LOVE them! One of my favorite quotes is this: “The world is not going to come to you. The sooner you realize this, the more time you have to pack!” Instead of looking at new experiences and adventures with fear, look at them as a brand new time to explore the world around you. To get to know yourself! I hope your weekend is full of adventures and you finally feel inspired to get up and go. GO make life happen! xo

Sow kindness & generosity. An inspiring story:

This is such an amazing story. I read the story this morning and just started weeping.

It’s the story of a homeless man named Curtis Jackson who has raised over $9000 thus far to help with a “down-on-her-luck” banker named “Sandy.” According to the article:

________

A year ago, everything was going right for a woman we’ll call Sandy.

She had a good job at a bank in the suburbs.

She and her 10-year-old son had a safe home.

But then the world came crashing down around the 39-year-old. She lost her job. She lost her house. And she and her son moved into her truck. Police found her and DCFS threatened to take away her son if she didn’t find a safe place to stay.

She moved into a hotel with the help of a social worker who paid for a few nights stay with her own money. That’s when Sandy’s knight in shining armor showed up. And he’s kept showing up, every day, paying her hotel bill, so she and her son can stay off the streets.

But Sandy’s Good Samaritan isn’t a Chicago big shot. He isn’t living in a Loop highrise. He doesn’t even have a job.

Sandy’s Good Samaritan is Curtis Jackson, who’s been homeless since 2004. He pays for Sandy’s hotel room because she used to treat him with dignity and kindness when she did have a house — and he pays for it by panhandling and giving the money to her.

“All I can do is get out there and put a sign in my hand, or put a cup in my hand and ask people to help me out, and everything I get, except maybe bus fare and something to eat, I give it to her,” Jackson said as he stood at the corner of 55th and Harlem.

Jackson pays the nightly bill by pouring his bucket of change on the hotel counter. Since December, he’s raised $9,000, and he’s given it all to Sandy. He said sometimes 40, 70, a hundred cars go by before someone gives him a few pennies or a few bucks.

Sandy can’t believe it.

“I’ve donated to charities, I’ve helped other homeless families — never realizing that one day we’d be in this situation,” she said. “So thank God that we did have an angel waiting for us.”

Jackson said he’s a man of faith; homeless, but not hopeless, and he’s got some words of wisdom for the people he sees bustling by every day.

“I have God. I’m one of the richest men on this earth, ’cause I have God,” he said. “Money is not my master. That’s what’s wrong with this world: money is its master.”

Sandy said she doesn’t think she’ll ever be able to repay Jackson, who’s become like a brother.

“I’m out here for a purpose: to help someone, and that’s all I’m trying to do is help someone that needs help right at this moment,” he said. “And once she doesn’t need help anymore, I’ll move on to something else.”

______

There’s so much to learn from this article:

  • Never underestimate the good of humanity – even from those we often cast out to the margins.
  • Maybe we shouldn’t be too quick to judge the “homeless” person with that sign…
  • The best way to love our neighbor is to serve our neighbor.
  • Sow kindness and generosity. It’s gonna come back.
  • We’re all going to go through our down and out moments.

And how about this word of truth:

Jackson said he’s a man of faith; homeless, but not hopeless, and he’s got some words of wisdom for the people he sees bustling by every day.

“I have God. I’m one of the richest men on this earth, ’cause I have God,” he said. “Money is not my master. That’s what’s wrong with this world: money is its master.”

Originally posted: Homeless man donates thousands.

Living Life on Purpose

Most all of us have dreams, ambitions, goals or aspirations… at least of some kind. Things we want to do or become.

But sometimes life can get in the way, can’t it?

We may have intentions but the monotony of the day-to-day, the responsibilities and the busyness can leave us merely trying to survive… much less giving us any margin to thrive. 

Days turn into weeks and weeks turn into years and if we aren’t careful we can find ourselves living but not being truly alive.

Sound familiar?

The good news though is that it doesn’t have to be this way. We can do anything, if we make the choice to do so. 

In my work with a number of highly successful leaders, best-selling authors and thought leaders I have recognized multiple traits that set them apart from the crowd. Things they do to live their lives on purpose and in a direction that makes them or their accomplishments admirable to others.

What I have found is that it’s not necessarily that they are smarter or better looking or more privileged… it has more to do with their drive and their perspective of how they see the world.

While the traits are many, here are 3 that we all can use to pursue our dreams and live our lives on purpose… 

1. Believe – If you have a dream or an idea to pursue, believe in it and believe that you are capable of achieving it (no matter what anyone else tells you). It’s very possible that your idea is part of your purpose, the unique calling that God has placed on your life. If you don’t go after it then you’re not living the life that you were intended to live and you will feel out of balance as a result. If God gave you the idea then he will equip you to achieve it. It doesn’t mean that it will be easy or that you won’t encounter resistance along the way, after all no dream worth living was ever accomplished without hard work, persistence and determination. The resistance is part of the journey and what helps us to grow. Success in whatever it is you want to achieve may not come easy but it won’t come at all if you don’t believe it is possible.

2. Stop Waiting for Perfection – Perfection is a myth and you will never achieve it. You’re kidding yourself if you are waiting for the perfect time, the perfect place or the perfect sign. Waiting on perfection is just an excuse to procrastinate and bow down to the fear that tries to limit us. Almost every successful person I know is a doer. Yes, they think things through but they don’t over think it to the point of inaction. At some point you must do or you’ll just keep wishing you did.

3. Start Today with Tomorrow in Mind – If you want to achieve something big, recognize that it’s a marathon and not a sprint. There are very few real overnight successes. Most of what we see is the result of years of work. Start today and keep the end in mind. Like a brilliant sculpture is created by chipping away piece by piece, you too must do the same. Don’t get discouraged in the beginning, just keep chipping away. When you work with the end in mind, you are being intentional about your outcome. Being intentional is what keeps you on track towards the goal you wish to achieve. 

Found this post via Daniel Decker (he’s fantastic!) and it was dead on what I needed to remember. Last week, I shared my post about choosing to live life extraordinarily and explained:

I think a lot of times when we set goals and dreams, we often think about the future. This is important, but not as important about enjoying and embracing the moment and day you are in. Are you strategizing and planning to someday reach that point in life where you feel peace and joy, or do you actively do things and take steps every day that bring you peace and joy right here and right now?

>>>Rather than treat life like a to-do list, treat life like a gift. I know, I know….that sounds SUPER cheesy. But it’s true – you absolutely positively have NO idea what could happen tomorrow. Rather than live life through completing your daily obligations and tasks, live life by passionately enjoying what you are doing and take small steps toward your dreams.

Don’t let life just happen to you. Don’t miss out on the little things. Or the big things – like the relationships you have and the ways you share your gifts and abilities with the world. One of my favorite quotes that I try to always remember is “The purpose of life is a life of purpose.” May today be the day you live the full and abundant and absolutely radiant life! xo

journey