Friday, October 21, 2016


I took a leap a few months ago and signed on to be an Independent Fashion Consultant with LuLaRoe. 
LuLa what?  Yea, I got that from a lot of people.  And there have been quite a few naysayers who question my sanity.  But that's okay.  Nobody ever paved a new path for their life without taking risks.  And honestly, this is not that big of a risk.  I will get out of it what I put into it.

LuLaRoe puts a large emphasis on "our why".  Why did we choose LuLaRoe?  Why are we doing what we are doing?  I've been reflecting deeply on this to try to pinpoint my why, and I cannot come up with only one reason.  My why has many layers.  I want to share them with you in hopes that I may inspire you to take some time to reflect on why you are doing what you are doing ... especially if some of you are not happy with where you are in life.

Simon Sinek, an author, consultant, and speaker specializing in leadership, wrote a book a few years ago called Start with Why: How Great Leaders Inspire Everyone to Take Action.  He says "People don't buy WHAT you do, they buy WHY you do it."  He uses a model called the Golden Circle to identify your What, How, and Why.   If you have 18 minutes and 4 seconds to watch his TED Talk, it's well worth your time.  If you can't watch it now, bookmark this to watch later!  Very thought provoking!

MY WHY started a little over a year ago in September 2015, when my son had a brain tumor removed.  This was probably the most fearful I have ever been in my life.  We did not know what the outcome would be, and the thought of losing one of my children was unbearable.  But God heard the many prayers that were being sent up to Him, and the tumor was benign, and my son is healthy again!  Only a few short weeks after his surgery, my son and his wife learned that they were expecting their second child.  My granddaughter is now nine years old, and they have tried for years to have another child.  Talk about timing!  God knew we needed something positive to happen, and we are so blessed to now have a healthy 6-month old grandson ... and his big sister adores him, as we all do.

About a month after my son's surgery, we learned that my niece also had a brain tumor.  Yes, for real!  Two people in our family within a month.  What the heck was going on?!  My niece, however, was not as fortunate, and her tumor was malignant.  She had surgery, went through radiation, and is still undergoing chemotherapy.  Thankfully, her prognosis is good, she is a fighter and the tumor is gone, but she has to continue her treatments for a few more months, and we are still praying that God completely heals her.

In November 2015, I lost my mother.  She was only 74 years old and had a terminal lung disease.  We knew her time was short, but nothing ever prepares you for such a loss.   We buried her the day before Thanksgiving and although the holidays were very sad without her, we were so thankful that we had her in our lives for as long as we did.  I believe she is now with my father, whom she missed desperately for 16 years.  They are together again, holding hands, free of pain, and singing with the angels.

Fast forward to February 2016.  My employer was going through very difficult times (and still is).  Guess who was one of the 100+ people who were laid off?  This was not the first time I found myself unemployed due to restructuring and downsizing.  It is stressful, painful, scary.  Now what?!

Although I still think and feel young, when I look in the mirror I am reminded of my mortality.  I realize what a blessing each new day is, and I am tired of being at the mercy of someone else to determine my worth, my schedule, my job duties, and my time off.  I sacrificed family time too many times over the years because I was fiercely loyal to my employers.  I had some wonderful employers, don't get me wrong, but in the end, where did I end up?  I worked hard, continued my education, stayed up to date on trends in the industry (human resources), and ended up unemployed.


As corny as it sounds, I believe everything happens for a reason.  Thanks to my employer giving me the boot, I had ample time to help clean out my mother's home and prepare for multiple sales of her belongings.  Because of my layoff, I was able to visit my daughter and son-in-law in California, not once, but twice, for a week at a time.  Oh yea, I failed to mention my daughter had her fairy-tale wedding one month before her brother fell ill.  Talk about a roller coaster ride of emotions!  The wedding was absolutely beautiful (of course - I was her wedding planner).  Oh, and you know how I mentioned that they live in California?  Well, they got married in Pennsylvania.  It could have been a logistical nightmare, but we made it happen!  And I digress.

Because of my layoff, I was able to visit my son, daughter-in-law, granddaughter, and new grandson several times, and was able to stay for a week at a time.  I was able to be there the day my grandson was born.  I was able to help them pack for their big move from Columbus to Toledo.
I spent hours and hours searching for a job, interviewing, planning, and praying. I paused everyday and I prayed for God to lead me down the right path ... to show me a sign of what I should be doing.  I had job offers, but after serious consideration, I turned them down because of the long hours and travel required, which would take me away from my family and create so much unwanted anxiety for me.  I am not ruling out another full-time corporate job, I am still looking, but it has to be the right opportunity.  So now what?



Enter LuLaRoe

As always, God has perfect timing and I believe He was planting seeds!  I first heard about LuLaRoe when I was visiting my daughter in March of this year.  We were walking down the streets of San Francisco, and she was constantly looking at her phone.  I got irritated and told her to put the phone away and she said "No mom, you don't understand.  I'm shopping LuLaRoe, and if I don't claim what I want, it will be gone."  I had no idea what she was talking about, but I soon learned.   A few weeks later, back home, my niece was raving over LuLaRoe leggings.  That same week, my sister asked me to go to a LuLaRoe open house.  I had to see what all the hype was about, so I went, but I made it very clear that I am not a leggings person!  Guess what I purchased?  Yep, leggings!  LOL  I also learned that LuLaRoe is so much more than just leggings!  This open house happened to be at the home of my beautiful LuLaRoe sponsor, and when I walked into her boutique, I had an AHA moment!

I have always wanted to own my own business, and I feel like I have been in search of my passion all of my life.  I have thought about other direct sales businesses over the years, but nothing ever lit a spark in me.  When I saw the LuLaRoe clothing, learned about the company, their mission, and the opportunity they provide to women (and men), I lit up.  After much research, many questions to my sponsor, and discussions with my family and friends, I decided to join the movement. This is a REAL BUSINESS people!  It's not just any old direct sales company, and it's certainly not a pyramid scheme as some people might think.  Anyone who knows me well knows that I don't make rash decisions and I analyze things to the point of nausea.  Just ask my husband and kids how many questions I ask!

So back to "my why" ... Here are the layers I mentioned.

I regret not spending more time with my mom.  Why didn't I spend more time with her?  Mostly because I was too busy working for someone else or taking classes to try to advance my career.  I silently beat myself up about this and I can never get that time back with her.

I want to have the flexibility in my schedule to visit my children and grandchildren more often and make memories with them.

I want to be my own boss.

I want financial freedom so my husband can retire at 62 (which is only a year and a half away).  How many times do you see people work their fingers to the bone all their lives to provide for their families, and they can't retire until they are 65 or 70, or never!  By the time they do retire, they are too old or sick to have any quality of life.  I don't want that to be my husband.

I want to be part of a positive, loving, inspiring culture, which is what LuLaRoe is all about.

I want to reconnect with women and the people I have lost touch with over the years.  No, I do not need LuLaRoe to do this, but it is a fun excuse!

I want to make other women feel beautiful and confident.  I have always struggled with my weight and have never loved my body, but when I wear LuLaRoe, I honestly feel more confident in how I look.  I want other women to feel that way too.

I want to bless other lives the way LuLaRoe is blessing me.  I do not have to build a team with LuLaRoe ... I can make a good living and love what I'm doing by selling the clothes.  But the more I am involved with LuLaRoe, the more I realize that I should be spreading the word so other women can be blessed by LuLaRoe too.  People are paying off their debt, traveling, adopting babies, helping those less fortunate, retiring their spouses ... all because of LuLaRoe.  

IT'S NOT JUST ABOUT THE CLOTHES!  This is not a sales pitch, really.  But if you want more information about the opportunity, I am happy to answer your questions.  If you just want the clothes, that's okay too, because they are amazing.  Call me, text me, email me, reach out to me on Facebook.  

But more importantly ...

Blessings to you,

Friday, June 24, 2016

I'm Alright - Are you?

Life is hard, right?

We never know what hand we will be dealt, but it's what we do with the hand that makes all the difference.  Do we keep playing or do we fold?

The past few years have been a roller coaster ride for my family and some of my friends.  We've experienced many wonderful cherished memories ... weddings, babies, vacations, graduations, new jobs, new homes; and many very difficult times ... funerals, loss of jobs, and devastating illnesses.   In spite of the sad harsh moments in our lives, we have to go on.  But how?  For me, it's about having a purpose and a path and the right frame of mind.  My purpose is my family, and my path has been paved by God.  Certainly, I have made choices in my life that have side tracked me, but I always find my way back on the path.  I try to remain focused on the blessings in my life, and how the good times outweigh the bad times ... and how the bad times make the good times so much sweeter. 

Then just when I reroute and think I know what direction my path is going, there's an unexpected bend in the road, sometimes a sharp turn!  It's at these times that I have to take a step back and reassess where I am in my life, decide what is most important, and trust that God will guide me down the right path again.  I am at this crossroads now.

And I'm alright.

Today, instead of sharing a happy hour beverage, I'd like to share a song with you.  A few weeks ago, I was sorting through some old music, and I came across a few FFH CD's.  FFH (stands for Far From Home) is a contemporary Christian band and the song is "I'm Alright".  The YouTube video and lyrics are below.  So have some tea, or wine, or whatever will help you relax, and have a listen.  I'm having Serenity tea from Teavana that my daughter gave me for my birthday. (Check out the very cool floating tea egg that she gave me as well.)  And I'm drinking it out of a favorite mug from my son.  My kids are so good to me!  Oh, and that's Madison keeping an eye on me.

As I ponder on the lyrics of this song, I realize that most of the time I truly am alright.  Despite the problems, annoyances, and inconveniences that I might encounter, I can get through anything by trusting in God, leaning on my family, and counting my blessings every day.

Can you?

Stay in the game,


FFH - I'm Alright
"Some say that life is hard
Like swimming upstream or going against the grain
But I say life ain't that hard
'Cause I've seen how the joy outweighs the pain
So you can sit and whine about the times you've been having
Oh but as for me I choose to be as happy as I can be

Because I'm alright
Trouble may find me but it's not gonna keep me down
'Cause I'll hold on tight
To the Father who loves me, He likes having me around
Yeah He loves me and He cares for me and so I'll be alright

We go round and round back and forth and almost upside down
To buy who we are, a great big house, nice jeans and a shiny car
But I'm learning that this world keeps turning with or without me
So I'll do my best and leave the rest to the one watching over me

Because I'm alright
Trouble may find me but it's not gonna keep me down
'Cause I'll hold on tight
To the Father who loves me, He likes having me around
Yeah He loves me and He cares for me and so I'll be alright
Alright, alright
You know I'm gonna, I'm gonna be alright
Oh you know I'm gonna be alright
Everything's gonna be alright"

Saturday, March 15, 2014

One of these days ...

This week was a big birthday week in our family.  My daughter, my daughter-in-law, and my husband all celebrated their big days.  Later this month, we will celebrate my mother-in-law's birthday ... she will be an incredible 92 years old!

Birthdays cause me to reflect on life, how far we've come, and what is yet to be.  I don't dwell on getting old, but the older I get, the more I realize how short and sweet life really is.  Do you find yourself putting things off until "one of these days"?  Have you said "one of these days, I will (fill in the blank)?  I have said those words ... many times.  One of these days I will get my passport and travel.  One of these days I will own my dream car, a mustang.  One of these days, I will work less and spend more time with my family.  One of these days, I will spend more time reading, or exercising, or cooking, or gardening, or having sex, or riding my bicycle, and so and so on.

Or how about, "one of these days when I lose weight, I will buy new clothes, or take dance lessons".  Who says you have to be skinny to shop or dance?  Or here's one for you ... have you ever found yourself saying, "One of these days when I make more money, I will be happier"?  Well, I've got news for you, money will not make you happier (I'm sure some of you are saying, yea right).

What if "one of these days" never comes?  How many times have you known or heard of someone who finally reached retirement but didn't get to enjoy the golden years because of illness or even an untimely death?  Come on people, we need to start living now ...we do not know what tomorrow will bring.  Find what makes you happy and just do it.  But be careful, don't go looking for happiness in a shopping mall, or on a cruise ship.  Yes, those things may bring happiness at that moment in time, but they are not the foundation of happiness.  Oh, and do not wait for others to make you happy.  You are responsible for your own happiness, not your significant other, not your boss, not your parents, not your friends.  IT'S UP TO YOU.  Find your purpose, find your spirituality, find a way to help others, and make a promise to yourself to the best you you can be every day.   And do not confuse "best" with "perfect".

“Happiness cannot be traveled to, owned, earned, or worn. It is the spiritual experience of living every minute with love, grace & gratitude.”Denis Waitley, Author

The shopping and cruise ship are just icing on the cake.

I saw this video earlier this week, and it is so contagious, I have to share.  Turn up your volume, watch it over and over again, dance to it, sing to it, and spread that positive energy to others.

24 Hours of Happy

Oh, and speaking of cake ... Birthday Cake Martini

1 oz. Cake Batter Vodka
3/4 oz. Amaretto
1 oz. Crème de Cacao
1 oz. half & half

Dip rim of martini glass in honey and then dip in sprinkles.  Pour ingredients into shaker with ice.  Shake about 30 seconds and strain into martini glass.  (p.s. I was out of half & half and used skim milk ... not the same ... half and half will make a whiter, frothier, creamier, yummier, drink.)

Cheers!  Or as the Irish would say ... Slainte!  (Pronounced Slawn-cha)

Saturday, February 8, 2014

Seeing RED

Are you seeing Red?  Well, February is not only the month of valentines and red roses, but it is also American Hearth Month.  Yesterday, February 7, was National Go Red Day to raise awareness of heart disease in women.
Heart disease does not only affect men.  In fact, heart disease is the number one killer in women, killing more women than all forms of cancer combined!  Scary!  So what are you going to do about it?  Do you know your numbers?  If not, you should.  Blood Pressure, Cholesterol, HDL, LDL, Triglycerides, and Glucose can all lead to heart disease if not controlled.   There is nothing in my mind that can improve happiness more than good health.  Promise yourself you will take the time in the month of February to know your numbers, and to encourage the people you love to do the same.

A great resource for information on heart disease is this website ... American Heart Association.

Many times, the signs and symptoms of a heart attack are ignored, especially in younger women.   If you experience anything like what is depicted in this short video, get medical attention immediately!

In honor of Go Red month, I am happy to say that I know my numbers and they are under control.  For a little fun, I also added some red to my hair color and I thought this drink would be perfect for the occasion (and may even put some red in your cheeks)!


2 oz. Bourbon (I used Makers Mark)
2 oz.. Cranberry Juice (or more to taste)

1 oz. sprite (or club soda if you don't want it as sweet) 
Fill rocks glass with ice
Add ingredients and stir

Not only does the cranberry juice have health benefits, but according to Dr. Oz , whiskey (in moderation) is good for your heart.  It is high in antioxidants, and women who drink no more than one drink per day and men who drink no more than two drinks per day can help to reduce their risk of Cardiovascular Disease. 

To your health!

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Cabin Fever

As I write this, it is 40 degrees warmer in Anchorage, Alaska than it is in central Pennsylvania.  I do not remember a winter when we have had so many below-freezing (and below-zero) temperatures.

And if you think it's cold in PA, you should spend some time in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, where I traveled last week for work.  Brrrr.   

I don't know about you, but I have a serious case of cabin fever

If you are not a lover of frigid weather, how do you find happiness this time of year?   Happiness is relative.  We all have different likes and dislikes, preferences, moods, experiences, etc., and if we asked 100 people how to define happiness, we would probably get 100 different answers.  But I believe there are many things we can all do to enrich our lives, no matter what the season.  So what did I do recently to enrich my life?

I indulged in some "down time", even though I could have easily said I don't have time for down time.

This past week, I had dinner after work with a friend and former co-worker who I haven't seen in several years.  It was snowing and I could have easily gone straight home, but I'm so glad I didn't.  Instead, we caught up over a nice dinner, reminisced, and had some good laughs.   

Although I didn't have much down time in Cedar Rapids, I did treat myself to a glass of Gekkeikan Plum Wine at a Chinese restaurant one evening.  It was a little sweet for me, and had a heavier body than other wines, but was very interesting and paired very well with spicy sesame chicken.

A few days later, on Saturday evening, my husband, daughter, and I had a delicious home cooked dinner with our wonderful neighbors, the ultimate hosts ...  Homemade spaghetti (including the noodles), and an excellent Bordeaux wine (which I can't remember the name of, but it was delightful).  Speaking of wine ... in case anyone is concerned that I imbibe more than I should ... the results of my routine lab work this week showed that my cholesterol is at an all time low.  My doctor asked what I have been doing differently, and I told him I was drinking more red wine.

The following day, I spent the afternoon being crafty with my Mom, Sister, Aunts, and Cousin in my mom's garage (which has been converted into her own Hobby Lobby).  As you can see, we had quite a variety of projects in the works.

My crochet project - a spiral scarf

My Cousin's knitting project - a baby sweater

My Aunt's rag quilt project

My Mom's mystery quilt project

My Sister's mystery quilt project

My Sister's mystery quilt project

Do you have any down time planned?  If not, here's some homework for you.

"Take some time to make a happiness list."

Curl up in a comfy chair with a warm blanket and a cup of tea, and reflect on the things that make you smile ... the things that comfort you ... the things that you are thankful for ... the things that you know will make you feel better.  NOW WRITE THEM DOWN!  You can scribble them on a random piece of paper, but better yet, pick up a nice notebook or journal for a few bucks and make it your happiness journal.  After creating your initial list, keep it handy so you can add to it as you experience things that make you feel warm and fuzzy.  You don't have to use full sentences or proper grammar ... just jot down your thoughts.  When you are suffering from cabin fever, go back and look at this journal for reflection.  Here is my list (so far) in no particular order:

1)  Lighten up and don't take myself too seriously - I do not have to be perfect
2)  Move!  Walk, dance, do jumping jacks, stretch ... anything to keep the blood flowing
3)  Eat Healthy - this does not mean I can't have dessert ... everything in moderation
4)  Listen to music everyday
5)  Get more sleep!
6)  Pray
7)  Stretch out of my comfort zone
8)  Smile ... even if I don't feel like it
9)  Never stop learning
10) Tell my family I love them every chance I get
11) Count my blessings
12) Think outward, not inward - Everything isn't about me
13) Even though everything isn't about me, find time for me 

14)  Oh yea, and have a cocktail!


1 Mug of your favorite hot chocolate
1 oz. Bailey's Original Irish Cream
1 oz. Creme de Cacao
(you can use Creme de Menthe instead of Creme de Cacao if you like mint in your hot chocolate)

Mix well and top with whipped topping



Monday, January 6, 2014

The Seven Dwarfs


What did you do this week that brought you happiness?  Please share - I would love to hear from my readers!

My happiness this week came from creating this blog, continuing to read The Happiness Project, and starting a journal of ideas for future posts.

I have some unfinished business, though, from my last post ...  I guess I assumed everyone knows how to make a Mimosa, but just in case...

Ingredients:  Equal parts chilled Champagne or Sparkling Wine and chilled Orange Juice (pulp free is best in my opinion).  Optional, add a splash of Triple Sec.  Add sparkling wine to the glass first, then follow with the orange juice.  Sip and enjoy!

From ... For cocktail techies, the drink made with just OJ and sparkling wine is called a "Buck's Fizz," when you add triple sec it becomes a mimosa. However, most people think of a basic mimosa simply as OJ and a sparkling wine. 

Oh, and for the gardening enthusiasts ... From ...

Definition of Mimosa
  • an Australian acacia tree with delicate fernlike leaves and yellow flowers that are used by florists. 

So what's up with the title of this post?

This past week, my home was invaded by the Seven Dwarfs ... well, I guess only six showed up.  First it started with Happy - feeling good, had a great holiday, time for a new year and new beginnings.  Then Sneezy showed up, followed by Grumpy, Sleepy, Doc, and then Dopy.  Bashful, however, was nowhere to be found. 

Doc (that would be Jules) ordered the following medicine, and although it gave me a warm and cozy feeling, it didn't cure the sneezing.  Maybe I just need a few more doses.

Hot Apple Cider Toddy

Hot Apple Cider (I used a Green Mountain K-Cup with my Keurig)
Honey (about 1 Tablespoon)
3 whole cloves
1 cinnamon stick
Oh yea ... and BRANDY (2 ounces)

Brew, stir, sip.  If you have had any trouble getting warm lately in this cold weather, I promise this will warm you up.  Possible side affect could be "Dopy".


Wednesday, January 1, 2014

New Year ... New Blog

Hello 2014!

Have you made your New Year's Resolutions?  I have resolved to NOT make any resolutions.  Rather I have decided to start a fun blog in 2014.  Not a resolution ... but a project.  Some of you may remember my blog from a few years ago ...  That blog was an attempt to document the wild and fun journey my sister and I took on bicycles.  I'm not sure why I stopped blogging about that adventure since we still ride.  Maybe I will update it one of these days.

This blog, however, will be different.

A few years ago, I purchased a book about happiness (one of many books in my collection that I just had to have, vowed to read immediately, and then allowed to collect dust for a year or more before picking it up again).  I am finally reading this book ... The Happiness Project by Gretchen Rubin, and am feeling the need to do something, anything, to follow in her footsteps in the pursuit of happiness.  

But why?  I am happy.  I think.  I have a wonderful family, a good job, a nice home, and have many things to be thankful for.  But is this all there is?  Am I selfish to want more?  The challenge is figuring out what "more" is.

I am still trying to define this blog ... .

One ... we will talk about happiness ... find something every single week that will make you happy for an hour (or more).  Anything.

Two ... we will share our happy hour with a cocktail.  Today's beverage of choice is a mimosa.  What better way to celebrate the New Year than with some bubbly ... and thanks to a lovely bug that has bitten me the past few days, I decided I needed a boost of Vitamin C.

More to come, be sure to check back!