Monthly Archives: February 2013

Celebrating You Book

Photo Feb 18, 5 42 18 PM
Photo Feb 18, 5 42 52 PM

One of my most treasured gifts is a book my little sister Hope gave me for Christmas this past year. The book is called Celebrating You: (And the Beautiful Person You Are) and has the most adorable illustrations alongside affirmations and compliments. The book sits on my nightstand and I find myself flipping through it every so often for some crown polished reading. Hope’s note at the beginning of the book made me cry – and I was humbled by her thoughtfulness and kindness. Now THAT is something to be thankful for!

Do you have a favorite {simple} book that you love? Do share!

Photo Feb 18, 5 43 39 PMPhoto Feb 18, 5 44 04 PM Photo Feb 18, 5 44 29 PM Photo Feb 18, 5 45 06 PM Photo Feb 18, 5 45 23 PM

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To Be List

Hello lovies! How’s your week going? My good friend Jenna passed on this wonderful Huffington Post article by author Angela Maiers and it was too good not to share. The article is a “to be” list for aspiring female leaders; the author explains that most people ask “what do I need to DO to become a leader?” In reality, it’s important to shift the mindset to focus on what to BE to become a leader. I was completely inspired and hope you are too! xo

Be a Learner. Being a lifelong learner is what empowers your relevance for the rest of your life. Eric Hoffer captured it best when he said, “In times of change, learners inherit the earth, while the learned find themselves beautifully equipped to deal with a world that no longer exists.” Don’t be beautifully equipped for irrelevance — keep learning.

Be a Question Asker. Great questions are the best way to have a meaningful conversation, the best way to rope in a mentor and the best way to look like a star performer. Make it a priority to listen to people asking great questions. Be in charge of the questions you ask and keep a list of the best questions you hear. Use this to create a question toolbox you use and can apply to every conversation and interaction you have.

Be Courageous. We don’t serve the rest of the world or ourselves by playing small. Humanity’s misfortune is when we don’t realize the very gifts we have, or the impact we have the opportunity to make. It is imperative that you own and honor your genius, and make a contribution that matters. Don’t wait to be recognized; find appropriate ways to trumpet your achievements.

Be Kind. We lead our lives in the company of others, and that is where we leave our legacy. It’s the quality of our relationships that most determines whether our legacy will be momentary or long-lasting. Don’t ever pass up a chance to let others know they are noticed and that they matter to you.

Be Patient and Persistent. Most things of lasting value take time and discipline to achieve. Know that things worth doing seldom come easy. There will be good days and bad days. The bad times tell you that you are pushing yourself, that you are not afraid to learn by trial and error.

Be Passionate. Passion is not only a differentiator; it is a difference maker. Passion makes the impossible possible.That’s what makes a passionate leader effective. She conceives of possibilities and opportunities for progress, whereas dispassionate persons only see roadblocks.

Be Hopeful. Hope is something that takes on a life of its own. As a leader, your ability to be hopeful and dispense hope is crucial to helping those you lead thrive in face of difficulty. Bring the hope of something great to come.

Be Humble. One of the world’s most admired leaders is Warren Buffett, CEO of Berkshire Hathaway. His annual letters to stockholders are widely read. They highlight a litany of successes, but Buffett also readily acknowledges his failures. For example, his 2007 letter included a section titled, “The Good, the Bad and the Gruesome,” with one part referred to as “confession time,” in which Buffett acknowledges mistakes that cost his investors billions of dollars. The section concludes with Buffett’s prediction that he’ll “make more mistakes in the future — you can bet on that.” Don’t be afraid to be humble, when appropriate.

Be Empathetic. One of my favorite CEOs tells a story of a rare time when he failed to be empathetic. One morning, a female engineer showed up late and groggy for a group meeting. He loudly called her out, sending her crying from the room. Her manager politely explained that on the

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previous day, the engineer had diagnosed a catastrophic problem that interrupted operations. She worked until 6:30 a.m. to fix it, went home, showered and returned for the meeting, ten minutes late. An empathetic leader would not have been so eager to make an example of someone that she would have missed the signals this engineer was surely giving off.

Be Yourself

How to Have a "Me Day"

I have to be honest with you – I am the queen of taking “Andi days.” I find it extremely uplifting and inspiring to spend a complete day {or even a couple hours} completely by myself. I’ve learned how valuable it is to give myself self-care – I feel much less stressed and much more happy when I carve out time to enjoy my own company. I also feel like I’m a better friend when I take time for myself – I’m more patient, I am up to do crazy, spontaneous things more often, I feel rested and rejuvenated.

This quote stuck by C. Joybell C. stuck out to me and reminded me how powerful spending time alone is: “The only person who can pull me down is myself, and I’m not going to let myself pull me down anymore.” We all have the unique and beautiful power to take time for ourselves, to step back from our typical routine and focus on ourselves even for a few hours.

Audrey Hepburn also has the right idea: “I have to be alone very often. I’d be quite happy if I spent from Saturday night until Monday morning  alone in my apartment. That’s how I refuel.” Amen, sista.

Today, I want to encourage you to find time to spend alone sometime in the near future. I think you’ll find the experience to be rewarding, relaxing and simply awesome. Here’s my advice on how to have a “me day”:

  • first things first, plan out your “me day” – and don’t feel guilty about it. put it in your schedule. i will always, always, always have things to do – and i’ve learned it’s my responsibility to set up the specific day and time that i can truly be alone
  • wake up in the morning but but stay in bed. no need to rush. enjoy the quiet and sweet
  • stretch! i prefer 10 or so minutes of yoga in complete silence
  • enjoy hot coffee or tea in bed and pull out your journal. i prefer to journal every morning, but find it especially valuable on my days spent alone. i like to write down things i’m thankful for and things that bring me joy.
  • do something silly and out of the ordinary. a few examples: finger paint, dance in your pajamas, break into spontaneous cartwheels in the yard, sing in the shower, go down the slide at the park. do anything that makes you feel like a child again.
  • take a walk. soak up the beauty and quiet and peace — be on the lookout for things that are always around you that you might not typically take the time to enjoy {the pink and purple blossoms on the trees, the bright blue sky full of fluffy clouds, the squeal of laughter from the little girl swinging in the park…}
  • stay away from your computer and cell phone.
  • treat yourself! whether it’s getting your nails done, buying yourself a new piece of jewelry or just splurging on an XL caramel macchiato at your favorite coffee shop, make sure to do something that is out of the ordinary on your day alone
  • pray/meditate. “me days” are a wonderful time to reflect – and spend more time doing this than a typical day.
  • get some quality reading in. do you have a book you’ve started but haven’t quite finished? today’s the day!
  • DON’T check things off your to-do list — obligations and responsibilities can wait. try the best you can to focus on you, your mind, you
  • enjoy a comforting meal – with or without your good book. my go-to for “andi days” is sushi {not at all surprising if you know me at all.}
  • bubble bath!!! enough said. preferably with candles, though.

How to have a me day

A Weekend Reminder

Thought I’d pass along this fun reminder for your weekend. It made me laugh — and I definitely appreciated the very honest words.

I’m heading on a work trip to Barcelona for ten or so days, but have scheduled blog posts throughout next week for you!

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Feel free to stay up to date on my happenings on Twitter and Instagram. Hope you have a wonderful couple of days! xx

Weekend Reminder

I and Love and You

I’m in a big The Avett Brothers music phase of life – not the first time, and certainly I hope not the last. I was reaching an old To Write Love on her Arms blog post that shares the liner notes from The Avett Brothers album and was blown away. It’s a pretty beautiful and brilliant thought if you ask me. I highly recommend listening to their I and Love and You song here.

Have a great day!

The Words “I” and “Love” and “You” are the watermark of humanity. Strung together, they convey our deepest sense of humility, of power, of TRUTH. It is our most common sentiment, even as the feeling of it is so infinitely uncommon: each to proclaim these three words with his or her very own heart and mindset of reason (or lack thereof); a proclamation completely and perfectly new each time it is offered. Uttered daily and nightly (and irresponsibly) by millions, the words are said in an unending array of circumstances — whispered to the newborn in a mother’s arms; shared between best friends on the playground; in the form of sympathy—said by a girl to a boy, as the respect continues but the relationship does not. It is said too loudly by parents to embarrassed children (isn’t it sad that our children are embarrassed by love) in the company of their friends (true friends would respect love), and by grown children—to their fading parents in hospital beds (oh the inhumanity of the anonymous hospital, the terrible final destination for too many). The words are thought in the company of the photograph and said in the company of the gravestone. It is how we end our phone calls and our letters… The words at the bottom of the page that trump all those above it, as a way to gracefully finish a message, however important or trivial, with the most meaningful gift of all: the communication of LOVE.

And YET the words themselves have been the victims of triviality, a ready replacement for lesser salutations amongst near strangers, burst forth casually as “love ya!” Truly? To what degree? Why? How much? And for how long? These are questions (deserving answers) befitting the stature of LOVE, though not the everyday banter of vague acquaintance. The words have also been TWISTED by the dark nature of deceit: to say “I love you” with a dramatic measure of synthetic emotion: a SNARE set by those who prey on fellow humanity (I am so sorry), driven to whatever selfish end, to gain access to another’s body, or their money, or their opportunity (I intended neither of these). In this realm the proclamation is disgraced by one seeking to gain rather than to give.

In any case, and by whatever inspiration, these words are woven deeply into the fibers of our existence. Our longing to hear them from the right place (from the right person at the right time) is maddeningly and simultaneously our finest strength and our most gentle weakness. As living people we are bound by this unavoidable parallel. We are powerful yet weak, capable yet temporary.

We are products of Love surrounded by STRUGGLE.

A chapter in the story of young men (explaining to young women) The Avett Brothers bridge the space BETWEEN the uncertainty (I Understand) of youth and the reality of its release. As far as questions go, there are plenty—the most basic and relatable doubt comes through with a resounding clarity. OUTSIDE of the eternal theme of Romantic Love (let us be friends)—there is a landscape of light-filled rooms, word-filled pages, time machines, forgiveness, singing birds!, falling leaves, beautiful trees, moving clouds, ocean waves, art, change, confessions of short-comings, AND REASONS TO CONTINUE ON.

HOPE and a cause for smiling follow naturally. In the midst of all of this, there are allusions to the less-than-ideal conditions of LIFE: the loss of memory, the inability to control temper, insecurity, indecision, jaded indifference (Causing so much pain), and the general plague of former and current weakness. Emotional IMPERFECTION is a reality.

The words “I Love You” have become “hard to say.” And perhaps that difficulty is as common as its counterpart. Perhaps the inability to say these heaviest of words is as much a part of life as the lighthearted candor of those who say them without any difficulty at all.

—The Avett Brothers “I and Love and You”

I and Love and You

everything is amazing!

6a016764130f68970b0167685e300a970b-800wiI really enjoy the word amazing. I always viewed the word as an extra special version of “great!” but it’s actually defined as: causing great surprise or wonder, astonishment, startlingly impressive. I’m pretty obsessed with that definition. When was the last time you had a startlingly impressive day? When was the last time you were surprised or in sheer wonder of a conversation you had? When was the last time you were astonished at just how wonderful life is?

Today I encourage you to make amazing decisions, have amazing conversations, enjoy amazing company and pursue amazing opportunities. I am going to try to do the same!

Lots of love,
Andi
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this quote

Good morning sunshines! Hope you enjoyed your long weekend. I had a wonderful time spending time with good friends, exploring new places in the city {this view!} and relaxing. As you probably know, I love quotes, lyrics and words that relate to a certain experience or moment. I love discovering the perfect words — and honestly, certain words seem to discover me {usually through Pinterest, Google searches, old journal entries} that I need to re-read at that given time. I am going to start sharing “this quote” blog posts that share a simple quote or lyrics that resonates with me on that day. Here’s the first one!

Now you tell me — what quote are you inspired by lately? xx

The best day of your life is the one on which you decide your life is your own. No apologizes or excuses. No one to lean on, rely on or blame. The gift is yours. It is an amazing journey, and you alone are responsible for the quality of it. This is the day your life really begins.