Friday, December 31, 2010

Happy New Year!

It's New Years Eve and I'm so excited! Not only am I in Truckee, CA with my family and friends, but we are just days away from the new format of Intentional Winning In Life blog.

The coming year is going to bring a clear explanation of IWIL and a new subject each month. I've been working on this through the holidays and it has really come together. In January, I'm going to share how IWIL came to life and tell my husband Dave's story. Not only will you see how dreams can come back to life, but you will get real, doable tips to dust off you dreams and bring them back to life.

It's not too late to share you Dream-Not-Come-True and let me feature your story. Just think, it will be a whole month of personal IWIL coaching. Comment or e-mail me and share your story! For now, here's my toast to you: "May you be healthy, happy, and surrounded by love for this coming new year."

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Kathy's "Curls Of Wisdom"

You have to plan when you can and adapt when you have to!

All the heavy snow on the in the east is wreaking havoc for holiday travelers. There's no doubt it's frustrating, but it is what it is. When there's nothing you can do to control a situation, find things you can do to be more comfortable. It's easier said than done sometimes but in the end, the grief will all be for not.

Monday, December 27, 2010

Why A Resolution Just Once A Year?

Daily resolutions are the way to go....reset each time you wake up. Keep some going, stop some that may not be working as good as you'd thought, and make new ones that come to light as you go! It's all a living process -- nothing is set in stone, you really do have to roll with it and adjust as needed. If you do this, you won't need to make an annual resolution but it sure doesn't hurt to employ the universal energy that's so high this time of year!

Saturday, December 25, 2010

My Annual Christmas Wish

This Christmas mend a quarrel. Seek out a forgotten friend. Write a love letter. Share some treasure. Give a soft answer. Encourage youth. Keep a promise. Find the time. Forgive an enemy. Listen. Apologize if you were wrong. Think first of someone else. Be kind and gentle. Laugh a little. Laugh a little more. Express your gratitude. Gladden the heart of a child. Take pleasure in the beauty and wonder of the earth. Speak your love. Speak it again. Speak it still once again.

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Kathy's "Curls Of Wisdom"

Intentional Winning for the holidays is allowing them to be what they are - or seeing them in different ways, not the "way it has always been." If you can do this, you can enjoy your holiday to it's fullest, as will those you are celebrating with! Merry Christmas.

Monday, December 20, 2010

Kathy's Curls Of Wisdom

Wouldn't the world be a better place if instead of just making love, we put more effort into making love last? With family, friends, lovers, coworkers - make love last!

Friday, December 17, 2010

Happy Birthday To Me!

Yep, it's my birthday and can I just tell you, I am loving getting older! I feel like I have so much more to offer the world and I feel better offering it. I'm loving my life and all that it entails; the good, the bad but especially the mundane. I love dinnertime, sitting in the hot tub under the stars, going for a run with Dave, Spencer on his leash and Mason on his bike, and watching the news in bed. From my very core I believe that our lives are made richer and more worth living by having people to love and share the day to day activities with. Thank you for loving me and being interested in my life. Big 44th year smiles and love to every one of you! Kathy !

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

First Data eGift Social App

I'm going over a hundred miles an hour this holiday season and honest to goodness, I have not stepped foot in a mall. By the time I drive the 15 miles, fight to find a parking place and make my way into the stores to wait in long lines, I just can't make the space on my calendar. And frankly it's okay with me because I'd rather spent that time with my family - The First Data eGift Social App allows me to get the gifts I want to give while saving tons of precious time!

Just what is this app? The First Data eGift Social app is an innovative new application from First Data that lets people quickly and easily send real gift items (like an ice cream treat, a cup of coffee, a sandwich, or a movie ticket) from some of their favorite stores to their friends on Facebook or by e-mail. Friends are notified by e-mail, Facebook wall posts or both. The message includes an account number that is redeemable for a real gift at participating merchant locations.

This is a great service for so many reasons: You can give something small from eGift Social and combine it with another more personal gift. There is such a great selection of retailers participating - the places that families shop everyday! But the best thing is you can shop via Facebook. I LOVE this! Check it out yourself - eGift Social on Facebook.

“I wrote this review while participating in a blog tour campaign by Mom Central Consulting on behalf of First Data and received an eGift gift card to thank me for taking the time to participate.”

Monday, December 13, 2010

What's Coming In 2011?

2011 is going to bring focus to the Intentional Winning In Life (IWIL) blog. I've touched on this a little bit but now it's time to get down to business. Starting in January we're going to spend each month using the principles of IWIL to making dreams come true.

In January I'm going to introduce you to my husband Dave's dream that he's had since he was a fourteen year old boy. We're going to talk about when his dream was born, what he did to pursue it and what ultimately lead to him believing he would never see this dream come true. We will also look at other ways Dave could live this dream even if not in it's original form. This is going to not only be really fun, but it's going to give all of you a real feel for what IWIL is all about and how you can apply it in your life.

If you have a dream or goal that somehow seems like it's just not in the cards, e-mail me and I may use it as one of my monthly topics. Just think, you could have a whole month of IWIL dedicated to you!

I hope you are having a wonderful holiday season and making the most of time with loved ones.

Friday, December 10, 2010

Kathy's "Curls Of Wisdom"

With regard to motivation and keeping the momentum. If you find that you can't stay motivated, maybe you are not working toward the right prize. If you don't feel the excitement and joy in working toward a goal, it may not be the goal you originally thought you wanted. Feel free to go back and rethink the things you aspire to and long for. When you are on the right track, motivation builds momentum.

Friday, December 3, 2010

My New Business Suit

Everyone knows I'm an Entrepreneur and I work from home. What most of you may not know is that I don't get dressed everyday. Now that doesn't mean I'm, well you know, naked, it just means that if I don't have to put on regular go-out-in-public clothes, I don't! When I had the opportunity to review Soma Intimates Personality PJ's, I jumped at the chance!

I took a survey to determine what style would fit my personality. How fun is that?! I was deemed to be "Fun" - Well, I could have told them that! Smiling! You can take the quiz here See what your PJ Personality is and come back and share it with me!

My PJ's came and I was torn, they were so pretty, I didn't want to wear them! But on the other hand, they were so pretty and soft, I couldn't resist! Really, they are that soft, and the bonus I didn't expect? They fit as if they were tailored! No kidding, they fit beautifully. It's clear that I can't say enough good things about Soma Intimates Personality PJ's. Give them a try and give them as a gift (mom's will love them!). They may start out as a luxury but you will soon find yourself calling them a staple! For me, Soma Intimates PJ's are my new business suit!

“I wrote this review while participating in a blog tour by Mom Central Consulting on behalf of Soma Intimates and received a pair of Personality PJs to thank me for taking the time to participate.”

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Kathy's "Curls Of Wisdom"

Of all the things I've learned, the most important is that people matter. Every single person I encounter makes an imprint on my very being. Thank you for being one of the people who make me who I am today!

Monday, November 29, 2010

Funny Little Story About Gratitude

Talking about Mason and a very busy holiday weekend:

So after a hot bath, teeth brushed and jammies on, I was putting Mason to bed - he was crying. He told me he didn't know why he was crying but he just couldn't stop. I tucked him in and was kissing him while explaining that we've all had a very full and busy weekend. I went on to say that sometimes you just need a release, a good cry to decompress. Just as I said that Mason farted. I didn't miss a beat and said, "Sometimes you release pressure through tears from your eyes or a fart from your bottom, you just have to let it out." He laughed...and cried (but laughed a little more) while I turned out his light and closed his door. I heard him softly say, "Good night mama, I love you." So much to be grateful for, everyday I have Mason, I have so much to be grateful for.

Friday, November 26, 2010

Happy Thanksgiving!

Our Grateful Turkey. Everyone had a tail feather for their place setting and were asked to write what they were grateful for. Everyone was grateful for family & friends, but some were appreciative of our military serving over seas, steady work, good health, and football. It's fun to share all we have to be thankful for! What about you, how do you express your gratitude? We do it so many ways, but this year, it was with out Grateful Turkey!

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Why Use Twitter?

Social Media is the new frontier and if you aren’t making your way to learn how to get involved, you’re being left behind. It doesn’t matter if you have a home-based business or a Fortune 500 corporation, you need to be using these resources, Facebook, Twitter, Foursquare, LinkedIn and more!

Facebook and Twitter are two of the most used social media sites yet they work completely differently. Facebook is like a networking mixer or cocktail party, you meander in, look around, see who’s there and reply to people who have left you messages, or as we say, written on your wall. It’s a leisurely pace. Twitter on the other hand is like a super highway, always moving and sometimes fast!

Twitter, for as many people as it has signed up, is a really small community of regulars. When you join in and start following people, you will see what they do, what they are doing, who else they are talking with and more importantly, building real relationships. Where else can you go and chat personally with CEO’s of major companies and A-list movie stars? Big businesses are offering specials and freebies only on these sites, they are hiring, and doing business with smaller businesses they can see are using these same tools and resoures. It’s not unusual for big business to take the Twitter opportunity to learn from the younger, more tech savvy generation of entrepreneurs – and their customers! Twitter and all the other social media sites are about connecting and making lasting connections, not only for business but also for pleasure. Twitter is the super highway of social media – Merge on, keep up, enjoy the journey, exit – Repeat often! Wonderful.

Follow me on twitter: @Kdpartak


Monday, November 22, 2010

Hickory Farms - Free Shipping To APO/FPO's!

Dave LOVES Hickory Farms meats and cheeses. Our holidays are not complete without these delicious snacks. When Dave was deployed, I sent him Hickory Farms products all year long. The products come ready to ship and with a little of everything in a box. I asked Dave if getting meats and cheeses all year long made them less special at Christmas, "Heck no!" was his reply. Our whole family loves Hickory Farms!

Dave will be the first to tell you beef jerky and everyday snacks are okay, but there are so many other things that make a Soldier smile! Send Hickory farms to service men and women by visiting

The Home for the Holidays Gift Box is filled with Hickory Farms signature beef as well as Italian Recipe Summer Sausage. An array of 4 cheeses and sweet hot, honey pineapple mustards and savory crackers bring it all together. Remember, this gift box, as well as all gifts found in the “Military Gifts” category of the Hickory Farms website, include free military shipping to military APO/FPO addresses on select products, allowing our troops across the globe to share in holiday traditions. If you find a local store or kiosk, pick up an extra box and you'll be ready when you have guests drop by...either for a snack or a gift!

“I wrote this review while participating in a blog tour by Mom Central Consulting on behalf of Hickory Farms and received a signature gift box from Hickory Farms to thank me for taking the time to participate.”

Friday, November 19, 2010

Kathy's "Curls of Wisdom"

"I'm going to bed to let the really wise Kathy work on this problem
while the can't sit still Kathy sleeps."

Sometimes you just have to stop working on a problem so the obvious (and likely best) solution can appear. Many times the only way I can truly stop, is to sleep. I wake up feeling less of the pressure and seeing more of my options, usually with one shining brightly!

Friday, November 12, 2010

Every Day Is A Good Day

Occasionally I hear on talk shows or amongst friends that age-old banter about what is best for young children; a stay-at-home mother or a full-time working mother. I have been on both sides of this argument, and the pros and cons of each have merit.

Without a doubt, leaving our three-year old son Mason to head to work is not always easy. There are days when Mason’s not sick, but maybe just not feeling emotionally up to preschool. When we have those days—which we all do—I struggle with wanting to call in sick and stay home with him, snuggle with him, revel in a play-day with no stresses. Just “Mommy and Mason” time. But I don’t. I get him ready for school and myself ready for work and we head out the door. I feel there is great value in teaching our children that we all have choices, and with those choices comes responsibility. I can choose to stay home with him, but he will miss out on valuable education and socialization, and I, in turn, will miss out on not only the accomplishments I achieve at work, but also providing a higher quality of life for our family.

I recently learned a valuable lesson about our perceptions of a stay-at-home mother vs. a working mother. I rose early, knowing it was going to be a full day that would require precision scheduling. Unfortunately, Mason’s preschool was closed for two presidential Monday holidays in a row; when this sort of scheduling conflict occurs, my husband Dave and I each take a Monday off. It was my turn to take Monday off, but I just had to be at work. Besides holding a full-time outside sales job, I also have a nearly full-time real estate career. That Monday, I had to be at my sales job plus had a full schedule of house showings for two separate families.

I reviewed my day closely and realized that I could schedule office time in the morning from home. I asked my dear friend and Mason’s godmother Dahlynn to meet us at the local mall at noon sharp; Mason would get to have a special afternoon out with his “Auntie.” While he was with Dahlynn, I could make three scheduled sales calls. Timing was everything.

Like clockwork, Dahlynn met us at the mall. I whipped through my on-site sales calls across town and then returned to the mall for a quick lunch with Mason and his auntie, who had bought him a yellow helium balloon and a teddy bear for Valentine’s Day. With kisses goodbye to his auntie, Mason and I then stopped at the real estate office to pick up my listings and lock box key and then headed home to freshen up. We used the potty, combed our hair and were out the door again in a matter of minutes.

The two of us showed several houses to my first set of clients. I was amazed to hear my three-year-old son showing the clients the size of the bedroom closets. After the showings to the first family, the plan was to race Mason home to have dinner with Dave, who would be home from work by then, and then I would leave again to meet the second family to show more houses.

On the trip home, I reviewed the day thus far. Guilt slowly started to creep into my mind; was this all too much for him? A busy morning at home, dropping him at the mall, carting him to the real estate office and then to the showings—did he understand all of this running and going, going, going, or did he think his working mom was crazy?

We pulled into the driveway at the same time Dave was getting home from work. Before I could say a word or even begin to express my concerns about feeling guilty, Mason yelled to his dad from his car seat, “Daddy, Daddy! Mommy took me to play with Aunt Dahlynn and look what she bought for me for Balentines day, a bear, Daddy, a teddy bear, with a balloon, we played and looked at toys and then Mommy came to have lunch with us and then we went to see houses and I helped Mommy at work with the houses, Daddy, it was the best, fun day ever!” He said all of this in one big, long, breath like only a three year old can do.

My guilt of being a busy working mom with two full-time jobs instantly subsided. I realized that regardless of my hectic schedule, Mason was truly happy. His running dialog to his father taught me that he likes being a part of my day-to-day life, whether it’s a very busy work day, a lazy Saturday, a good day, or even a bad day. But most importantly, Mason taught me that any day is a great day, as long as we can be together.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

School's In - School's Out

It's that time of year, as parents, we loathe and love all at the same time! School's in - school's out!

I love that Mason has time off during the holidays and I'm incredibly lucky because I work from home, so when he has minimum days and no school it's not so tough for me to adjust. This hasn't always been the case and when I worked outside of the home, it was tough to work out. I know stay-at-home moms who feel it's all very simple, you have kids, stay home and raise them. I guess until you are faced with the true financial need (to just get by, we're not living the life of luxury!), you may never fully get it. For me, I've always worked and sure, there have been times I've wondered if Mason suffered in any way, but for many reasons I believe we are all just fine.

I'll post a story that I wrote for Chicken Soup for the Working Mom's Soul on Friday. And for the record, whether you leave the house to go earn a paycheck or stay at home and don't get paid, if you are a mom, you are working!

Monday, November 8, 2010

Kathy's Curls Of Wisdom

Kathy's "Curls of Wisdom"
(Cute, huh? So much cool stuff in my head, it comes out in red curls!):

We spend too much time worrying about things that in the end,
work themselves out and often times for the best.
Take action, but don't worry!

Friday, November 5, 2010

Quotes That Resonate

"All emanates from Source! ...You're not this body and its accomplishments. You are the observer. Notice it all; and be grateful for the abilities you've been given, the motivation to achieve, and the stuff you've accumulated. But give all the credit to the power of intention, which brought you into existence."
Wayne Dyer

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Balance In Business

This post has been on my mind for a while now and the time has come to write it. Every business owner knows how important it is to promote and grow their business, without doing so would likely cause the doors to close. Is it possible that too much promotion could turn people off as well? I think so.

Social media has opened so many doors for small businesses and entrepreneurs to reach the masses for darn near free. Sites like facebook, LinkedIn and twitter (to name just a few) are connecting average Joe's like me to CEO's of major companies and dialogue is happening. That's exciting! The problem as I see it, is this social media arena is still so new that people don't know how to do it. Oh sure, they can create an account and post about their business, but they don't know that etiquette applies in the social media arena just like it does in the face-to-face world. It's possible that it's even more important because it's so much easier (and faster) for someone to "unfriend," "unfollow," or disconnect from you. It's my opinion that you have to mix some of who you are personally with what it is you do for a living because if you don't why not just have a web site? The whole point of social media is that it's social - to me, that errors on the side of personal. As my good friend and social media expert Kevin DeSoto says, "You have to humanize your brand." How can you do that in the social media arena if you aren't getting a little bit personal?

The other piece of this equation for me is that people who used to be my personal friends are so caught up in their online presence, that they simply don't communicate with me on a personal level anymore. At first I figured we must not have really been friends to begin with, but that's not the case. There seems to be some prestige in the number of friends or followers that one has, but nary a "Hello! How are you?" comes across the line to those of us who really are their friends. A personal e-mail comes only to ask about a charitable donation, or to share with me how the class they have for sale is right up my alley! It only costs this many thousand dollars and of course, there is a commission to my "friend" when I register.

Here's my thought, why don't we have one online place for our business and another for our personal interactions? People who want to be a part of your business will be there and that's not to say they can't be your friends, too. When it's time to stop working, stop working - on facebook, twitter, LinkedIn, at the restaurant, or at home on the phone. Put your iPhone away when you are sitting with live bodies who are there to be with you. Connect with these people and share something personal, something that you wouldn't necessarily share at your place of business.

Utilize these amazing tools to enhance and grow your business, but come back to the smaller, more intimate circle of the people you love. Finding balance in business is knowing when to go all out and land that big account and when to hang the "Closed" sign and go home - virtually or literally. Just my two cents.

Monday, November 1, 2010

Happy 3rd Anniversary!

Guess what today is? Yes, it's November first. What else? It's the three year anniversary of my first Intentional Winning In Life blog post! Can you believe it's been three years? WOW! It just goes to show you that time is passing whether you take action or not. We see it with ZipperBack Gloves. How many of you have an idea that you've had for a long time, that's still just that, an idea? We see it with people around us who have taken their fitness goals seriously losing weight and being healthier. The clock is ticking so isn't right now the time to do that thing you really want to be doing?

Looking back over three years worth of posts about things I feel are important makes me realize how glad I am that I do take action. My personal blog The Monday Motivator (you can access it by using the link to the right) is another great example, Mason's entire life is documented week-by-week. Can you think of a better gift to a child? It truly is amazing when you realize that just a few small actions each day will lead to years of happiness and even more joy to look forward to!

As an anniversary gift, choose one of the things you want to pay more attention to and do something today! One small action will lead to another, and another until you have something concrete! Do it, go, right now! Come back and share with me what you did. I can't wait to hear!

Friday, October 29, 2010

Happy Halloween Friday!

Happy Halloween Friday! You all know I love Fridays and they are even better when there are parties planned. Dave and I have a party to go to this evening and then another tomorrow night. Dave picked out out costumes and will be surprising me. What do you think he has planned?

I'll post pictures on Monday and share all about our weekend. Do you have plans? I believe that planning and anticipating what's to come is what makes our lives rich and full. Heck, in many cases the anticipation is better than the event itself!

Speaking of plans, I'm planning an Intentional Winning In Life group that will meet twice a month for three months. I'm getting a group of people together to test out my ideas and see if people really can fulfill their dreams. I believe they can, we can! I'll keep you posted on our progress and hopefully this will grow into something everyone can do. In the meantime, Happy Halloween!

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Quotes That Resonate

Don't worry about people stealing your ideas. If your ideas are any good, you'll have to ram them down people's throats. ~ Howard Aiken

Monday, October 25, 2010

Listerine And Halloween!

Mason's birthday is October 20th so it's no surprise that with all the birthday festivities just days before Halloween, we are in Candy Land! Like all moms, I find every way possible to keep Mason plugged into taking care of his teeth. I love the new Listerine kids products, especially the Agent Cool Blue SmartRinse. It leaves a blue tint where he didn't get his teeth all the way clean. It's a good way for him to have fun and get him to go back and clean away the blue! I love Listerine's minty flavors and having products the kids can use too, just increases the value for me!

We are definitely taking the LISTERINE October Oral Care Challenge with Mason. The goal of the challenge is to brush, floss, and rinse with mouthwash twice a day for three weeks. We're good for twice a day most days, but for three weeks I will make sure we make it happen twice a day everyday! Join in and share your experience.

The makers of LISTERINE and REACH have teamed up with America's Toothfairy to launch "Trick or Treat for America's Toothfairy," a campaign to raise awareness of pediatric dental disease and help provide life changing care to under served children. Please visit for more information and how you can help.

“I wrote this review while participating in a blog campaign by Mom Central on behalf of LISTERINE and REACH and received products to take the Oral Care Challenge. I also received a "Global Giving gift card" to thank me for taking the time to participate.”

Friday, October 22, 2010

Yep, It's True...I Have Doubts.

While talking to my friend Alice this week, I admitted to her that I have trouble telling people my dreams and aspirations. I could feel her bewilderment across the phone line. I went on to explain that in junior high and high school I tried out for cheer leading every year and never made the squad. I never told anyone about the tryouts, or really talked about it, but I went and tried out never really believing I could make the team. I never made the team. Some of my girlfriends that did make the squad did nothing but talk about try-outs. Everyone knew they were practicing, creating routines, and couldn't do this or that because they had somewhere to be. I just couldn't bring myself to tell people I wanted to be a cheerleader as I thought they would think I wasn't pretty enough or skinny enough, or who-knows-what enough!

Fast forward to today. My dream is to make my living as a Speaker teaching my Intentional Winning concepts, sharing my journey as an Entrepreneur with ZipperBack Gloves, and right now educating folks about loan modification. As I speak up (pun intended!) and share with people that I want to speak, as soon as they ask for my resume or ask for samples of my work, I cower. I find myself right back in that 15 year old girls body feeling like I'm not enough. I know I'm enough! I know I'm a dynamic speaker with wonderful, useful things to share.

My point to all of this is that no matter how self-assured one is, there is always room for doubt. The trick is to send it on it's way as soon as it pops up. When I recently had someone ask for my speaking resume, I waited to reply. I waited to let my knee-jerk reaction subside so I could send a reply that depicts the real me, the me that is qualified to speak on their radio show. I sent them an excellent reply. I didn't get the gig, but I didn't back out either, so to me that's a win!

It's okay to have doubts and feel fear as long as you can also feel sure and confident when faced with the former. You can, I know you can because I can and I'm no different than you are. We are all magnificent and more than enough!

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

A Letter To My Son

Dear Mason,

You are a bright, funny boy - the best mix of your daddy and I while being so completely your own, unique self.

I love your silly sense of humor and how you can laugh while all by yourself. You are so smart! You fuss about doing math, but it comes so easily to you. You also dig science. I can see already that keeping you challenged in school will be my job for the next eleven years. I won't let you down.

I marvel in how you see what is possible and all the ways it will work. You get that from me, but you still have the conviction without the doubt. You are all things masculine while still being so sweet.

Like your daddy, you are brave. You admire your dad for being a Soldier and it seems you may be a Soldier someday yourself. I wonder about that but know that you will have a million and one career aspirations before you turn 18. I hope you explore every option and find the things that light you up. If you do what you love, you will love what you do. There isn't anything you can't do, but for now, I'm happy to have you cuddle with me on the couch, decorate cookies with me, and every once in a while, indulge in a crap-food buffet! I love you Mason! Happy 7th Birthday!

Love, Mommy

Monday, October 18, 2010

The Intentional Winning Group

As we head into a new week and I have a proposition for you; how would you like to start making your dreams come true right now? Yes! I'm starting an Intentional Winning In Life group that will meet twice a month with e-mail updates the other two weeks.

My plan is to work together to get the ball rolling on making your dreams come true and see some significant results within 90 days. If we start in November, that will have you well on your way by February 1st. How cool will it be to be two-thirds of the way to living your dreams instead of making a resolution to start on January 1st? Come on, I'll show you my plan and help you find a way to make your dream come true, no matter where you are in your life, you can do it!

If you don't want to join my group, but would like my two cents, send me your dream and why you haven't pursued or achieved it and I may select your dream for my blog in 2011. You don't have to send some major essay, just what your dream is/was and why you didn't follow through. Dave's is that he has always dreamed of being a Park Ranger in a national park. He got detoured by marriage and military deployments. It's that simple!

Friday, October 15, 2010

Quotes That Resonate

"Would you like me to give you a formula for success? It’s quite simple, really. Double your rate of failure. You are thinking of failure as the enemy of success. But it isn’t at all. You can be discouraged by failure or you can learn from it, So go ahead and make mistakes. Make all you can. Because remember that’s where you will find success." - Thomas Watson

Thank you to IWIL reader Michele for this quote. She shared with me about the J.K. Rowling quote and as I read this, I got chills. At the rate I'm going, I should be wildly successful very soon! Big Friday Smiles!

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

2011 And Beyond!

All of you know about the Intentional Winning In Life concept and anthology book series plan. I'm ready to start sending that plan into action! November first marks the three year anniversary of writing this blog, can you believe it's been that long? Here's the plan and how you can help:

  • Each month starting in January, I plan to take a specific topic, the topic of your dreams placed on hold, and show you in twelve posts (give or take) how to put that dream back to work making you happy!

  • I need you to share with me what it was you wanted to be when you grew up, or a dream you realized later in life that for one reason or another you stopped pursuing. I also need to know why you came to believe you couldn't see it through.

  • I also need you to put this call out to everyone you know in hopes that with your blessing, they will share their dreams "not" come true with me, too.

I'm going to pick ten of the most popular topics and two of the most unusual to work with next year. This will then become the foundation of what Intentional Winning In Life books will be about. Intentional Winning In Wine Making. Intentional Winning In Writing. Intentional Winning In Nursing. You get the idea. This is going to be really fun, and if I use your topic, how cool will it be to have a real road map to making your dreams come true?

Will you help me? Send me your dreams and why you are not pursuing them and send this request out to your family and friends. I can't wait to make things happen as this year wraps up and we welcome a new year!

Monday, October 11, 2010


Inspiration is one of those things that I get flashes of. If only I could feel the same inspired feelings I feel after a leadership retreat, or while listening to a really amazing speaker. I had such a weekend recently and today I am asking myself how I can keep those fires burning and apply them to all areas of my life. Here's a few of the ideas I came up with:

  • Make a list of words that represent my values and hang it on my bathroom mirror. This will serve as a reminder at the beginning and end of my day.
  • Keep a running log of one thing I've done each day to move me closer to my goals. These could be things like making a phone call to someone who could mentor me, sending out media kits to new prospects, or going to a yoga class.
  • Continually surrounding myself with inspired people. We are what we think and when we are sharing our daily space with people who are making their dreams come true, you will continue to be inspired.
What do you do to stay inspired after an event that really fired you up? Share your thoughts and ideas, I'm listening!

Friday, October 8, 2010


I had a scheduled appointment for Mason and I to get our flu shots and as I expected, Mason was scared. He worked himself up with all the fear and angst that comes with anticipating a shot! I assured him it would be fine, a little pinch at most and would be over before he would even have time to cry. Moreover, I stepped up and said I would go first to show him how uneventful it would be.

The time came and I sat up on the exam table while the nurse prepared the injections, four all together...yes, four! It was then I learned that I would be getting three to Mason's one! Yikes! Flu, whooping cough, and shot #2 of an earlier immunization that I never completed. Well, I took it like a trooper and like I told Mason, the pinch was nothing, but the medication soaking into my flesh was painful! The worst part, I didn't dare flinch as I didn't want Mason to be scared. I prayed the burning medication was not the flu shot as that's the only one he had to get.

When Mason's turn came, he asked some questions, examined the needle up close, and then gave the go-ahead. He winced a little and it was over. No tears! He hopped off the table and went to get a sticker, a pencil, and a lollipop. I was fairly certain that my three injection sites were going to get sorer before feeling better and I was right. Both of my arms are really sore but I did get a lollipop! Doesn't that make it all better? I think so!

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Happy Hump-Day!

Why is Wednesday Hump-Day? Because it's the middle of the week, or when you get there, you are over the "hump" and on the way to the weekend! I've talked about it before, how much I love Fridays, and Wednesdays are just the prelude to the weekend.

It's not so much about the day itself, but how you see it. In fact, isn't that the way it is with everything in life? You get to choose how you see things, the good, the bad, and the ugly. There are really bad things that happen to all of us and for me, it's important to recognize that it's not personal, it's just life. Look for the lessons in those really tough times and keep moving to the brighter side, the good times, the things memories are made of!

Monday, October 4, 2010

Quotes That Resonate

"Rock bottom became the solid foundation on which I rebuilt my life. It is impossible to live without failing at something, unless you live so cautiously that you might as well not have lived at all."
J.K. Rowling
(Harvard University Commencement, June 2008)
I want to write something about what this means to me and I just can't find the words. It resonates with me to my very core and even brought tears to my eyes. I have failed. I have failed again, and again, and again. I have made the same mistakes more than once, and half way through the second (or third) time, I think What the heck are you doing? and I stop. Is it still a failure if you stop before you finish? No matter what, failure is essential to success. I believe this is true. What do you think?

Friday, October 1, 2010

Hope Feels Good.

I don't know if the good news from Wednesday is going to turn the tides, but having the hope that it may is worth the outcome. And if nothing comes of it, it is fun thinking about "what if" it does? I have to live and feel what is appropriate this very minute and right now, EVERYTHING IS POSSIBLE!! Happy Friday and never lose sight of something to hope for.

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Good News!

Yes! Today is the day something sparkled in the dirt! My post last week referred to the fact that we are all working so hard and it seems the rewards are few and far between. Today I got wonderful news with regard to ZipperBack Gloves (I can't tell yet, but when I can, you'll be the firs to know!). Then, on the same subject, Mike signed a new retailer and took a glove order! I know! Just when I thought it couldn't get any better, I got a great opportunity to do a freelance writing gig! Holy cow, I'm expecting my phone to ring any minute with the confirmation that I booked the spot speaking on television. Why not? It's been that kind of a day and thank goodness, we need some good to come along to inspire us to keep swinging that pick-ax!

The lady bugs are clearly not gems in the literal sense, but they are in that they are a symbol for luck. Hard work + Perseverance = Luck!

Monday, September 27, 2010

It's A New Week.

Yes, we have fifty-two of them a year! I love that, fifty-two! It's my favorite number you know. So what does that mean? It could inspire you that you have fifty-two periods of time to make something happen this year...provided you want to work in week long increments. This is silly, but when I thought it's a new week, it just led to this. Laughing!

So what will you do this week? I have big plans...Oh jeez, I know, God is getting ready for a great, big, heavenly belly laugh! I'll let you know what happens, and since we're talking weeks, there is only 13 left until Christmas!

Saturday, September 25, 2010

Chink, Clang, Chuck! Chink, Clang, Chuck!

That's the sound I hear as I keep swinging my pick-ax in the mine that is my life right now. It feels like lots of work with no real gems sparkling. I don't have to ask if you know what I mean because I know you do! I've talked with so many of you and we're all working so hard for what feels like so little.

Well, let me tell you that no matter how long this apparent dry spell lasts, the gems in this mine will appear. Diamonds in the rough, sapphires that initially look black like coal, I just can't believe anything else. Keep your eyes open and be looking for that sparkle, that one little reflection of light, because where there is one, there is more!

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Quotes That Resonate

When the winds of life rage with their fury,
you must sometimes be willing to bend.
When you face such an adverse condition,
you must bend or you’ll break in the end.
- Wes Fessler

Monday, September 20, 2010

Friday Was High...Monday is...

Well that remains to be seen, doesn't it? The day ahead is really all about how you think it will go. Now, I know, I've been around the block and what did I say just a week or two ago, "If you want to see God laugh, make plans."

Even in the light of being side-tracked and kicked to the curb, you can still see something good in the rubble. For me, I see that I have the where-with-all to keep going, to get back to what it was I planned, and in the end, chuckle that it really wasn't all that bad anyway! What about you? What do you do when life derails your perfectly planned day, week, month, okay, I gotta say it, year? Do tell and there will be extra points for making me laugh!

Friday, September 17, 2010

What Is It About Friday?

All of you know me and know I love Fridays! There is a magical energy from the time I get out of bed, through my lunch time, to the five o'clock hour when it feels like anything is possible! It makes me giggle just at the thought of Friday...the magic, dinner out, the possibility of something fun for the night....I love Friday!

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

What Is Winning To You?

Monday's quote resonates with me to my very core! I absolutely see winning as simply finishing in many areas of my life. Finishing the laundry - WIN! Finishing the blog post - WIN! Finishing all the calls on my calendar in my work shift - WIN!

There are many things that we do that start and stop. Lots of little journey's make up a big, collective journey that leads us to destinations that start new journeys! If you don't ever celebrate the little successes because they are not the destination, you will never celebrate.

Monday, September 13, 2010

Quotes That Resonate

“Winning isn't always finishing first. Sometimes winning is just finishing.”
~Manuel Diotte

Saturday, September 11, 2010

We Will Always Remember.

As a military family, we remember 9/11 everyday. We may not talk about it, but when I see Dave leave the house everyday in his uniform, I'm reminded about all that has been sacrificed for the freedom we all take for granted. We do. We get comfortable in our day to day lives and we fail to realize that there are men and women, right this minute putting their lives on the line so we can speak our minds, worship as we wish, and marry who we love. It's not only our military, our emergency services personnel are at the ready when we need them. I'm here to say from our family to yours, thank you for the part you play in assuring our freedom as Americans.

9/11/01 - The day the world stood still.

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

More Mayhem!

I love cliche' sayings. They are repeated because they're true, like the one I'm living right now, "If you want to see God laugh, make plans."

I made plans to have an amazing week, get so much done and instead, I wound up in the emergency room with Mason and a broken arm. Oh, don't worry, it's only a fracture but now there's an appointment with an ortho, another for a cast, another appointment for x-rays, and all of this is time that I am not doing what I had planned. I adore Mason and it breaks my heart to see him hurt. I will do whatever it takes to get him the best care available. In the meantime, God is laughing!

Monday, September 6, 2010

Quotes That Resonate

"Wanting something is not enough. You must hunger for it.
Your motivation must be absolutely compelling in order to overcome the obstacles that will invariably come your way."

~Les Brown~

Friday, September 3, 2010

How Do You Get Around?

How do you get around the barriers and road blocks you encounter? There are just times that you can't get around them. I find that the best thing to do is to leave it alone. Yep, don't do anything. I haven't done an official study, but it seems like more than half the time, whatever is in my way, goes away on it's own.

I'm sorry to say, that my current disease (not literally, I'm completely healthy!) is not going away. There doesn't seem to be a pill to cure my ill, or at least I haven't found it yet. I'll keep looking as giving up is not an option! What do you do when faced with situations like this?

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Dang Barriers!

Do you ever have a cycle in life where it seems like all you do is run up against barriers? I've been dealing with something like this for the last three to four months. It's been in my professional life and to say it's maddening would be an understatement!

Now I'm not one to let one little road block stop me, but I have to say, this one keeps coming back! I know this simply means I have not found the right solution but a girl will get worn out. This week I think I've found a way to do what I want to do while still staying within the letters of the law, so to speak. I'm hopeful, but what if this still isn't it? I'll huff and I'll puff and I'll put my head under the covers until I cool off and can get back to the drawing board. What do you do when you hit a repeated barrier? Share with me and inspire me to keep moving.

I'll share more about what this situation is, hopefully "was" when I finally do find my way and do the good I'm trying to do!

Monday, August 30, 2010

Quotes That Resonate

"Having a strong desire or being successful does not mean that you are going to feel great all the time. No matter how enlightened I become, I will not be positive all the time. You have to understand the swing of the pendulum. It must swing back and forth. The only other alternative is to sit still in neutral, which is precisely what most people do."

~Thomas D. Willhite~

Friday, August 27, 2010

Friday Is Reason Enough To Be Happy

Don't you agree? It doesn't matter if you work a regular Monday through Friday job or some other combination of days, everyone seems to agree that Fridays have a special appeal. I know there is no other day that I wake up feeling like I do on Fridays. What do you think, is Friday reason enough to be happy?

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Happy Talk

Did you know that having a meaningful conversation can actually boost your mood? A recent study suggests that interaction with others may have a positive effect on your happiness. In this study, those who reported the greatest levels of well-being spent less time alone and more time talking with others. In addition, the happiest study participants were twice as likely to engage in deep conversations and truly connect with other people, and one-third less likely to make "small talk." While it can be fun to talk about your favorite television show or the latest celebrity, according to this study, the key to "happy talk" is to focus on having conversations with substance. Share!


Monday, August 23, 2010

The Roses Are Not All Rosey

Part 2 of Is Your Outlook A Habit:

I pointed out in the last post about how Dave seems to be "happy" when he is feeling life's pain. That wasn't to bash Dave, it was to merely point out what I have been observing as we have begun tackling some of our personal issues. The other point I wanted to make about the habit of the way we see things is that the "Bright Side" is not always the best outlook. There are times when I immediately go to what is good in a situation and miss what I really need to see.

I could be called gullible or naive' in that I will automatically gravitate to what is good or how good can come from the bad when in fact, it might be better to recognize that the situation or person I am dealing with sucks! It's bad and we need to address that it's bad. For me that means I made a poor choice or led us into the bad situation. I don't like that feeling...much the same way I suspect Dave doesn't like the feeling of "happy-happy, joy-joy" that he sees me expressing so often. It's not that he doesn't want to be happy, I believe he feels it can't be real when it's as frequent as it is with me. It can and it is, but there may be times when it's not as certain as it could be.

So here is where we are...he's asking himself if he gets off on the pain while I'm pondering if I'm masking my inability to deal with the negative feelings by smiling and looking at the bright side. What do you think, are these habits that we can break or do you think there's more to it? I'll let you know what we discover as we make our way through this journey.

Friday, August 20, 2010

Is Your Outlook On Life A Habit?

I would go out on a limb and say it is. Dave and I have been making some changes in our lives as individuals which spills right over into out life as a family. What I'm finding as we tackle the things we want to improve is that the way we see our day-to-day life is a habit.

I see things through rose colored glasses, almost always seeing the bright side. Dave tends to lean toward what is not pleasing him, the things he wants to be see improved. Now don't get me wrong, there are things I want to be better but I don't talk about it much, I just do what I think it will take to change it. Dave is not the doer in the same way I am.

Here is where the habit theory comes in, we both have our knee-jerk reaction to whatever it is. For me, it's usually whatever is good in the situation and what's not, well, I do something about it. Dave will typically get right to verbalizing whatever it is about the thing or situation that he doesn't like. He may add in something positive or of value, but going down the "what's wrong" road first, makes the compliment seem contrived, basically, not sincere. It's my observation too, that Dave doesn't do anything about what's wrong. He simply wants to make the point and keep living with the pain. This is clearly a habit, the way we have both done things for so long, it's just what we we see things.

What do you think, is your outlook on your day to day life a habit? Can you change it? Do you want to? I have one more piece to this theory that I'll post next week. Let me know what you think, I really am interested.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Monday, August 16, 2010

It's Not Tragic, It's Life!

It's not some tragedy that things go wrong, it's merely life. If we didn't have the crap, it would be impossible to appreciate the wonder. We all have so much to be grateful for even if the car needs new tires (air in twice each day), the bed needs repair, the insurance isn't covering the new computer, all the vehicles need smogging AND registering at the same time, and we are having to fight to keep the government from attaching Dave's wages for a bill we already paid! Yes, we have the proof, but they say they can't stop the process. Really? Next time I'm finding all is going well, I will know how I know! Big smiles and Happy Monday!

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Lazy Summertime and Crashed Computers!

I guess this is the perfect time for my computer to crash...if there really is ever such a thing! I have been struggling with getting mine replaced, but to be very honest, unplugging has me spending more time outside with Mason.

I have to, at some point, get a new laptop but for now, my posts will not be three times per week. Mason goes back to school in the next three weeks and I figure I will push harder to get back to work then!

Let's just call this a little August Hiatus! Why don't you take one, too. Smiles!

Monday, July 19, 2010

Quotes That Resonate

Press close, bare-bosomed Night!
Press close, magnetic, nourishing Night!
Night of south winds! Night of the large, few stars!
Still, nodding Night! Mad, naked, Summer Night!
~Walt Whitman

Monday, July 12, 2010

Life And Summertime

This week, start with this little Motivator that is a Kathy Original.
It's how I see the comparisons between life and summertime.

"Make the most of each warm day, just as we must make the most
of each day with our children.
Just like the days that seem so long,
our kids sweet childhood days are gone in an instant.

Enjoy the warm nights that make us want to wear very little.
Take that same sexy feeling while wearing so little,
and passionately kiss your spouse.

Feed your daily life the energy that summer fills you with. T
he energy that's made up of all your life's summers combined.
Infuse it into this very minute and see what happens.
I bet it will create and even more magnificent energy.
That, to me, is what makes summertime so special."

Friday, July 2, 2010

Is Home Ownership Really The American Dream?

Is home ownership really the American Dream? What about our freedoms to come and go, marry who we love, & worship as we wish?

I don't think you own a home, you own a house. Home is where you are with people who you love and love you back. Poobah is home, Thanksgiving is home, birthday parties are home. The house is simply where you gather.

Isn't this wonderfully appropriate for the July 4th holiday weekend? I think so!

“All the great things are simple, and many can be expressed in a single word: freedom; justice; honor; duty; mercy; hope.” ― Winston Churchill

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Tough Times

It's inevitable, dark clouds roll in and taking shelter under a good, strong umbrella is comforting. Whether it's finances, car trouble, or a broken relationship, we have to confront these issues if we ever hope to get to the other side, the sunny side.

I became unemployed in February 2009 and with that loss of income our family was hit hard by the mortgage crisis. We are working with our lender to modify our loan and I'm hopeful that this will happen, but I have also been very proactive in making the calls, sending in the paperwork, and basically being the squeaky wheel. This is just one aspect of the stress we are all experiencing.

Another is the toll all of this is taking on our relationships, be it marriage, friendships, family, or business associates. When people feel these kinds of pressures, they tend to withdraw and communicate less. With less communication comes confusion and questions. More often than not you find yourself in an uncomfortable situation, a confrontation. Even those of us who handle these situations more easily don't like them but the fact is, a confrontation is merely the warning signal that more communication is needed so understanding can occur. Understanding each other does not mean you will agree, but you can at least see the situation from the perspective of the other.

Take some time to connect and talk. We are all going through these tough times and having many of the same experiences. If you are invited to a barbecue, go. When a girlfriend calls you to join a girls night out, accept the invite. Get out and be with other people, not only will it be a nice distraction from whatever the current crisis is, but you never know, there just might be a connection or opportunity waiting for you!

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Quotes That Resonate

Believe in yourself! Have faith in your abilities! Without a humble but reasonable confidence in your own powers you cannot be successful or happy. ~ Norman Vincent Peale

Monday, June 7, 2010

Noodle to Noodle, Dinner for Two!

"Noodle to Noodle, Dinner for Two!"

We love pasta but we love to have fun more! Pasta is one of those foods that just naturally lends itself to "playing with your food." I've always wanted to share a single string of pasta with Mason and he's finally old enough to play along. We had a ton of fun trying to get this picture and what I learned above all else, you can't suck pasta, laugh, and keep your eyes open all at the same time!

This all came to be while we were putting Ronzoni Smart Taste pasta to a taste test to see if we could tell the difference between the Ronzoni and regular white pasta. I can't say we could tell a dramatic difference in taste, but it was clear we liked the higher fiber pasta better. The texture was clearly better and it was even better in the few days after we originally cooked it. We love it!

“I wrote this review while participating in a campaign by Mom Central on behalf of Ronzoni and received products necessary to facilitate my candid review and photo contest entry. In addition, I received a gift card to thank me for taking the time to participate.”

Friday, June 4, 2010

Quotes That Resonate

~"Behind every technological breakthrough there lies a dream. Behind every new product there lies a dream. Dreams create realities-- through hard work." ~
Rolf Jensen

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Pasta! Pasta! Pasta!

We love, love, love pasta and any of you with kids eat more than your fair share! Not only do we like traditional spaghetti with red sauce, but we like cold pasta in the summer months. As mom, I like to get more healthful grains and fiber with my pasta but it tends to taste a bit like eating cardboard. When I don't like it, I know Mason isn't going to eat it. I was excited to put Ronzoni Smart Taste pasta to the test and even more so, interested to see if Mason can tell the difference. I'm happy to report that we all picked the Ronzoni over the traditional white pasta!

Here's a picture of our favorite summertime pasta dish, Funky Spaghetti! It's pasta with cherry tomatoes, fresh basil and garlic, olive oil, salt and pepper. So easy, so good, and now with Ronzoni Smart Taste pasta, so good for you!

“I wrote this review while participating in a campaign by Mom Central on behalf of Ronzoni and received products necessary to facilitate my candid review and photo contest entry. In addition, I received a gift card to thank me for taking the time to participate.”

Friday, May 28, 2010

Organizing Tip #5

The biggest mistake people make when using planning calendars is to keep more than one. Keep personal, professional and family items on one calendar. It will help to eliminate scheduling conflicts. Remember, 'the man who wears two watches, never knows the correct time.' This is a big one and one of the most useful. I keep my calendar, the events for three businesses, our family, Dave, and Mason. I use different color pens on my most organized day.

The only exception to this rule is I keep an on line calendar for Dave, Mason, me, and our family events. Doing this means I have to put it on line after I put it in my book, but this way, Dave has a point of reference when he needs to schedule something and can't reach me.

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Organizing Tip #4

Instead of starting and stopping at different levels of activity, you'll save time by making all of your outgoing telephone calls together, taking care of all your errands at once, etc. This is a tough one to stick to when you are a wife, mother, entrepreneur, etc. It can be done but when you find yourself in the middle of two or three things, regroup and pick one to finish, then the next, and so on.

Monday, May 24, 2010

Organizing Tip #3

Before you go through the expense of purchasing more file cabinets, folders, etc., take the time to purge all unnecessary paperwork and materials. You don't need to keep everything. Keep in mind, you can likely get most statements if you ever need it, and with most stuff, I emphasize "if."

Friday, May 21, 2010

Quotes That Resonate

Entrepreneurs and their small enterprises are responsible for almost all the economic growth in the United States. Ronald Reagan

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

One Year Report Card

One year ago I did a major declutter and I would like to say that my house is still pristine and clutter free. Not so. We live in our house so it's always in a state of "lived-in" disarray.

Here's my report card:
  • Laundry area: B+ Still in good shape with just a little clutter coming and going from the tops of the washer and dryer.
  • Bathrooms: B Also in pretty good shape but the main cabinet is collecting things that are coming in while others are not going out.
  • Pantry: C This area is tough as it has the most daily activity, from canned/dry goods to plastic containers, it's hard to keep this in good shape. I would say this is the space that needs the most constant attention.
  • Guest Room: A This has been the easiest to keep up because we don't use it as often. Now that my office is in this room, we will see how we fare.

Overall, not too bad. I really like living with less. I'm committed to continuing to keep the stuff to a minimum. One really cool upside is I find I'm saving money. As I mindlessly pick something up to purchase, I flash on getting home, where it will go, and do I really need it. Literally, nine times out of ten, the answer is, "No."

Monday, May 17, 2010

Organizing Is A Daily Process

I'm here to tell you, organizing is something you do everyday. As you come an go in your home, office, and car, you have to be mindful about what you bring in, what you take out, and what you do with everything in between.

After you give a space an overhaul, you have to be diligent about keeping it that way.

  • One very good rule is if you bring something it, something needs to go out.
  • Another is, if you really aren't going to use it, let it go. And don't save the lotion you love that has a little left in the bottle (you know, the suction pump can't reach it, but if you really worked you could get a few more applications out of it!), toss it and get a new one. This is the kind of stuff that clutter your shelves and cabinets.
  • Finally, make it a point to do something that brings order to one of your spaces everyday. you will love the light feeling that comes with less clutter.

Friday, May 14, 2010

Organizing Tip #2

Tip #2: Put things away each time you use them.

This is true for everything:

Pantry items while you cook, use it and put it back.
Your keys, put them in the same place when you come in the door, everyday!
Scissors, once they have a place, put them there when you are done.
Make-up, don't leave it on the sink or counter. After you apply it, put it in your make-up bag and put that in the drawer or cupboard.

You get the point. Put it away when you are finished with it and when you need it next time, you'll know right where it is!

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Organizing Tip #1

Tip #1: Don't buy the storage containers to organize a space until after you're well into the sorting and tossing of your things.

Many people go out and buy all kinds of tubs, boxes, baskets, and bowls to organize a space. Don't do it. Wait until you get the space you are working on cleared out, sorted through your stuff, and when you have what you know you're keeping, you'll know what you need to store it in. You'll also have a better understanding of the space you are organizing, it's easy to think it's bigger or smaller after looking at it jam-packed for years. This way, you won't have stuff you can't use, and have to buy the storage containers you actually need.

Monday, May 10, 2010

Decluttering - Tips!

This month, I'm going to post some of my favorite organizing tips that will help you declutter and keep your space clear and user friendly. I promised I would post a picture of my office space that I moved upstairs last weekend, here it is!
It's a small space and possibly too much knick-knacky kind of stuff, but truth be told, this is the stuff I love condensed down from a much larger space. I'm happy with Donald Duck and pictures of my loved ones around me, so for now, this is it!

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Quotes That Resonate

"Keeping a personal journal a daily in-depth analysis and evaluation of your experiences is a high-leverage activity that increases self-awareness and enhances all the endowments and the synergy among them." ~ Stephen Covey

Monday, May 3, 2010

Using What I Have More Effectively

On Sunday, I moved my desk and office supplies from the downstairs studio up to the guest room. This is a big deal because as it was, I was working from the kitchen table and that meant that the kitchen/dining area was always cluttered. I kept trying to find a way to make it work for both and it simply was not working. Now, the guest room can still host our visitors, but it also works as my office. It was tough doing it by myself, but you all know me, when I put my mind to something, it happens. Today my back is wishing my mind wasn't so strong willed!

This week is very busy, I'm continuing to stay on top of my declutter project I did a year ago. Decluttering is not one of those things you do one time and you're done. It's an ongoing effort and commitment to keep the piles of stuff off the tables, counters, and shelves in the closets. When I find myself stashing something, I think twice and ask myself, is this something I need to keep and if yes, where does it go? If not, I toss it in the donation bag (yes I have one by the door at all times!), or I toss it in the trash. It's that simple.

I hope you all have a home run kind of week and even if you strike out, know that you will get another chance at bat. Happy Monday!

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Simple Ways To Start Decluttering

Let's get real, tackling your whole house is WAY too overwhelming so start in just one place. For me, it's the kitchen table. The table is the catch-all for everything Partak including school work, mail, glove business, consulting work notes, and anything else that comes in from outside.

When I start to feel my clutter closing in on me, I start by putting away things on the table, if they don't have a home, I make the choice to keep it or toss it. Next any paper that I can throw away (or recycle as is appropriate) gets tossed. Everything else gets put in one pile and I go through it piece by piece. Right then, I put it where it goes (file, bills to-pay, sign for school or to mail, etc.), and in just minutes I'm done! I wipe the table off, push the chairs in and I already feel like I am more in control and ready to tackle the next space! You can do it, too...just start!

Monday, April 26, 2010

Quotes That Resonate

"The ability to simplify means to eliminate the unnecessary
so that the necessary may speak." ~Hans Hoffman

I love this! As I stay on top of keeping our home free of clutter and our life simplified, I can enjoy the beings that are my family!

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Happy Earth Day!

Mason wanted to make cookies for Earth Day to take to school, so we did!
We love planet earth cookies! The heart in the cookie is actually "stained glass" by using melted Jolly Ranchers! Yummy!
Happy Earth Day!

Monday, April 19, 2010

Time To Refresh

The major decluttering project last year set me up to feel free of the weight hanging on to stuff put on me, but as time has passed, things have started to pile up again. It's not anything other than living, but it needs attention and intention to be beat!

Just yesterday I pulled a bag out of the pantry and went through the house and easily collected more than 10 things (remember, Give Away Ten A Day?). After I put the stuff that was easy to part with, I walked through again and grabbed three more things, one being a pair of boots that I haven't worn in more than two years but couldn't part with last year. Gone!

I'm going to take you on my refresher and would love it if you would join me and declutter your space a little, too. Call it Spring Cleaning with a twist and Give Away Ten A Day!

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Wanting Less! It's Working.

Mason seems to have resigned himself to the fact that I am not buying him anything (at all). He has not stopped asking completely, but he is asking less and when I say no, he is not pitching a fit! Hooray! I don't think I am out of the woods just yet, but it's working. I know this because he is playing with the stuff he has now, dusting off toys he hasn't played with in months and get this, we are reading more. He has come to me to ask me to read books we haven't shared in a while and he is playing outside in the back yard.

I have to admit, I've had some serious doubts about whether or not I could reach a six year old about materialism and consumerism, but I believe it's working! The secret seems to be consistency, the say what I mean, mean what I say approach. I've outlasted him and he knows I'm not giving in. For me, the bottom line is that I want Mason to build a strong character based on good moral values and who he is as a person, not what he has.

This will be something we will work together on as long as he is learning and growing, but it is a wonderful thing to work on!

Monday, April 12, 2010

So Get This!

I'm in this unfamiliar space where I'm being completely accepting of my body and my weight. I truly have committed to never diet again, and the last month or so (I made this decision well before I posted for all of you to read) I've eaten whatever I wanted. Have I gained any weight? I don't know, don't care. What I do know is I've enjoyed every bite.

So here's the thing, I'm craving raw food. I want vegetables, cabbage salad, cucumbers, and more! I'm going to go with what my body is asking for...salad, marinated vegetables, and more! I'm lucky, I love fruits, vegetables, and salads. I'm not big on lots of dressing and I'm completely satisfied with a salad as a meal. All of this works in my favor to feed my body for health. Next it would be great if I could start craving rigorous exercise! I'll keep you posted!

Friday, April 9, 2010

Quotes That Resonate

"Trust yourself and stop asking so many questions. You will find your own answers as you go through the process." - Richard Schulze

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

No More Dieting, Ever!

I've been on a diet for 35 years! 35 years. I will never diet again and here's why. I have made my weight and body image the focus of my entire life, as a child all the way through adulthood.

It has never mattered how much I have to give to others, how much I donate of material or myself to charity, give of my time to our community, worthy causes I've started from nothing or simply participated in some way, I've always managed to focus on the one area of my life where I fell I fail everyday, my weight/body size. Is it really a failure to be twenty pounds overweight?

Yep, twenty. I weigh 175 and somehow believe I should weigh 155. Why? Because some Body Mass Index (BMI) chart says so? No, because I have never felt like I am pretty enough, thin enough, or good enough as long as I don't weigh 155 or wear a size 8 or 10. Pretty, thin, or good enough for what? For whom? For me, I'm the only one who stands in judgement on this issue and I'm done.

This state of enlightenment comes from my one regret in my life. I have never lived with regrets choosing instead to see every experience as a lesson. In March 2008 while in Vietnam with friends, we found ourselves in a French restaurant that was the most amazing place I've ever seen. It displayed a buffet of gorgeous food, immaculate works of art made from food, hand stirred ice cream in bowls made of ice, and so much more. The cost for the buffet was $15.00. Our group was in awe not only at the visual stimulation all around us, but this was amazing food! So they said, I didn't eat with my friends. They did everything they could to talk me into it, even offering to buy my lunch! Here's why I didn't eat. I was on a diet, the Usana program of liquid meals and meal replacement bars. Dave and I started this diet before our trip and it was important to me to lose some weight because I was traveling to Arizona immediately after returning from Vietnam. I had an event to attend and a special dress I wanted to wear. I was committed to dropping the pounds and a few dress sizes prior to the event in Arizona. We also invested $800 for the two of us to lose our unwanted pounds. I lost the weight, wore the dress at the event, and felt like I had succeeded.

Here I am two years later and that lunch buffet in Vietnam still haunts me. I regret not sharing that experience with my friends and enjoying that meal because I am the same weight now that I was that day. So what was it really all for? Nothing. I will never have that experience with my friends and I can guarantee you that I will never pass another one up again. I'm done dieting, no more deprivation, self loathing, and negative self-talk because of a ridiculous twenty pounds.

Instead of the angst of a diet, I vow to make more healthy food choices than not, exercise for the feel-good effects and a long life, and focus more on all the good I have to give! All the good I've already given! As Stuart Smalley would say, "I'm good enough. I'm pretty enough. And doggone it, people like me!" Laughing!

What do you think? Can you not diet and really feel good about yourself right where you are, here and now? Share with me, I want to know how you see this.

Monday, April 5, 2010

It's Monday! Really?

It's Monday but it doesn't feel like Monday. What exactly does Monday feel like? Well, it feels like we are back in a routine of getting up with an alarm, moving faster than maybe we really want to, and the day typically comes at us full force.

School is out for spring break one more day and work isn't feeling the manic-ness of a typical Monday. So with that, we'll take it, enjoy it, and hopefully Tuesday won't feel like our Monday's usually do!

Friday, April 2, 2010

I'm Restless!

This time last year I was in the midst of a major de-cluttering project, it covered a full two months. Well a year later I'm happy to say, it's mostly still in good shape. The thing with decluttering is it only stays completely crisp and clean if you are not living in the space! We live here and not only do we live here, I work here so needless to say, there is still work to do.

I do a pretty good job of getting rid of things when new things come in, but it's not always immediate. I'm going to be working on my "Give Away 10 A Day" program again and blogging about some of it. I think it's important to recognize the success but also acknowledge the maintenance that is needed to keep up the good work!

Needing to tidy my living space is not all that is making me feel restless. I have something else brewing and I'll share that next week. I think I my girl friends will identify with what I am feeling and how I am taking action. Have a great weekend and welcome to April!

Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Quotes That Resonate

"Something that irritates you and won't let you go. That's the anguish of it. Do this book, or die. You have to go through that. Talent is insignificant. I know a lot of talented ruins. Beyond talent lie all the usual words: discipline, love, luck, but, most of all, endurance." - Author Unknown

Monday, March 29, 2010

Auburn's Biggest Loser!

CONGRATULATIONS! To Debbie Crow for winning Auburn's Biggest Loser weight loss challenge! 22 lbs, 15 inches, and over 12% of her body weight! I knew you were gonna do it. So proud of you! Oh, and did I mention over $350 in prize money? YES!

Friday, March 26, 2010


It's Friday and I'm loading the car with all our snow stuff, two boys, and the dog to spend the week in Truckee. I'm so excited because Dave will be meeting us there and having not seen him for more than two weeks, it will be a bit of a romantic reunion. Intentional Winning in Life is about being present and making the most of every moment. I plan to do just that this weekend! Happy Weekend!

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

It's Getting Worse...

I'm holding firm on this "Acquisition Time Out" with Mason, but he is not letting up on me. Since he knows I'm going to say no, he has upped the anti on requests. We went to the grocery store to get egg colors and a donut. We picked out the colors, each got a donut, and as we waited in line to pay for our items, he picked up darn near everything in the check-out isle and said, "Can I have this?" "What about this?" And on and on. I finally just ingnored him and when we finally left the store, he asked about his donut. The donut that he'd been looking forward to for hours before we actually got it. And for the record, the donut was something I rewarded him with for behaving without having a reward on the line.

I want him to realize that good things come to him when he's good, for goodness sake. Not that he has to be good to get something. So I'll keep reinforcing the good in Mason (and there is lots!), and keep correcting the behaviors I feel will set him up for failure later in life. I have way more stick-to-it abilty than he will ever know!

Monday, March 22, 2010

Quotes That Resonate

A life spent making mistakes is not only more honorable but more useful than a life spent in doing nothing. - George Bernard Shaw

Times are tough right now and I think it's so important to remember that we are not our choices. We certainly are responsible for where we are, but events do not define who we are as people. It is our actions, the way we treat others, and what we give that makes us who we are this very minute, nothing else matters!

Friday, March 19, 2010

Still Wanting, Not Getting.

Mason is still wanting, wanting, wanting. I explained to him that he is not getting all the frivolous stuff he is asking for, yet he still asks. Not only does he continue to ask, he is so frustrated when I say no and he'll go on to say, "Mom, you always say no!" I don't always say no, however when you look at the shear number of times Mason asks for something, it must feel to him like I always say no.

My problem is that I do not want to indulge Mason, but by not buying or giving him what he wants, he feels like it's a punishment. I don't want this to be about him being "bad," he's not bad, he's wonderful, he just needs to realize that he doesn't need to constantly be acquiring things to be happy. I'll keep on the loving lesson and let you know how it pans out!

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

To Want

I'm concerned about Mason. I'm sure it's completely normal for a child to want the latest and greatest gizmo and gadget, but when is it that it's not about the thing, as much as it is about wanting it? I see more and more that when Mason wants something and he gets it, he doesn't take even a moment to enjoy whatever it is...he is immediately on to wanting the next thing. This became very apparent to me over the weekend while we were running errands. Mason asked if we could get a drink, a hot chocolate. I hadn't had any coffee so I pulled into the drive through and purchased a coffee and a hot chocolate. As I handed Mason his drink, before he could even really acknowledge that he got what he wanted, he said, "I wish I had ice cream."

This is not the first time I've witnessed this in Mason, but it really struck me that Mason is forming an early addiction to acquisition. He has a room full of toys that he doesn't want to play with and even when he gets a new game, his interest in playing it is minimal. It's time for an intervention. I'm going to go a full 30 days without buying Mason anything, no toys, gum, candy, nothing that is an impulse purchase. He will have what he needs and we will use what we have. I don't know if 30 days is enough time to make a difference, but it's a good starting point to see what happens. I'll post a weekly update and let you know what I learn.

Monday, March 15, 2010

Quotes That Resonate

Nothing in the world can take the place of persistence. Talent will not; nothing is more common than unsuccessful men with talent. Genius will not; unrewarded genius is almost a proverb. Education will not; the world is full of educated derelicts. Persistence and determination alone are omnipotent. The slogan, 'Press on,' has solved and always will solve the problems of the human race.
--Calvin Coolidge

Monday, March 8, 2010

Quotes That Resonate

Some people dream of great accomplishments, while others stay awake and do them - Anonymous

Nuff said.

Friday, March 5, 2010

Little Things!

"It's Friday! It's Friday! It's the end of the week!" This is a little ditty I sing to Mason when I wake him up on Friday mornings. It's become somewhat of a ritual and I hope something he looks forward to. Do you have little things like this in your family? Tell me!

Wednesday, March 3, 2010


I won Bon Jovi tickets last week...actually, I won three pair of Bon Jovi tickets last week, three tries, three wins! That is Intentional Winning but better than winning the tickets was anticipating the show. I was so excited, I could think of little else. The reality is, I love this band and Dave and I don't get out as much as we'd like to. Winning tickets was the perfect excuse to plan a night out.

I believe that anticipating something is more than half the fun of actually doing it. I looked up the set list on the bands web site, I shared with my family and friends that I was going to the concert, I bought new makeup, and planned what I would wear. Dave made dinner plans for us and arranged for a sitter for Mason. We talked excitedly about what time we would leave and who would be opening the show. All the while I facebooked and tweeted the count down to Bon Jovi.

The night arrived and dinner was wonderful, our energy was high and finally we were at the arena. So did all this anticipation exceed the fun of the event itself? No way! I danced, cheered, and sang every single song. It could happen that the anticipation overrides the fun of the actual event, but you get to choose if that happens. I had as much fun as I expected to have and maybe a little more! Anyone who was at that show who didn't have a good time, made that choice!

Jon Bon Jovi and the band still deliver. They played for nearly two hours, mixed up the old with the new and tossed in some of the lesser known songs (to the general public, fans like me know ALL the songs!), and even did different arrangements of some of their hits. After more than 25 years, these guys still love what they do, do it well, and are the epitome of Rock Stars! If you have an opportunity to see Bon Jovi on tour, go! Win your tickets if you want or buy them, you won't be sorry, the show is worth every penny!

Monday, March 1, 2010

Quote's That Resonate

Entrepreneurship is living a few years of your life like most people won't, so that you can spend the rest of your life like most people can't.
- A student in Warren G. Tracy's class, entrepreneur

Wow! No kidding. Define, "few." Laughing! What do you think? What are you doing today to live the rest of you life the way you dream about?

Friday, February 26, 2010

The Heart Of Intentional Winning In Life

There isn't much that reminds you what's important than a 6 year old playing in the rain.

Do you remember playing in the rain as a child? I do! It didn't matter that it was cold, or that the water in the gutters was dirty, there was just something magical about playing in the rain. Add to the joy a rainbow and you've got an experience you're not soon to forget! Heck, it's been 37 years since I was a 6 year old girl playing in the rain and seeing Mason today, well, it makes me feel like I am that same 6 year old girl all over again!

The heart of Intentional Winning in Life is being happy, truly happy from the bottom of your heart. When you feel joy, you emit a vibration that brings joy from everything you do. Seeing happiness in something as simple as playing in the rain is just one little piece of the big picture that makes up your happy life!

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Viktor Frankl Told Me To, "Drop It."

From guest Amie Chilson:

This morning I sat on the Ventura boardwalk curb with my feet in the sand, journal on my lap, and watched surfers glide on baby waves in the beautiful Pacific Ocean. I needed to write, needed to cry, and desperately needed to release my pent-up anger and frustration that I’d been carrying for the last two weeks.

Fresh were the wounds of my recent move, where my professional moving company took negligent and scandalous care of our belongings by overcharging, classic bait n switch, “losing” irreplaceable memorabilia, damaging and destroying 75% of our possessions, and downright stealing certain things, one of which was our $450 Stainless Steel Sonoma BBQ Grill. The fight I would have to take to them for vindication required exhausting time and money; neither of which I had extra to donate at the moment as I got back on my feet in a new city.

I’d been robbed six times in the past at varying degrees, and every time that gut-wrenching feeling of violation is like taking a punch to the stomach. It hurts a lot and will knock the wind out of ya. As I pondered the meaning of abundance and being able to replace many of the belongings someday, the hate welled up and toppled over my eyelids in the form of tears at the feeling of helplessness. Bad people had planned to take advantage of me, and they continue doing so to others. I wanted to punish them.

At my side was a book I’d grabbed to bring with me to the beach for post-run meditation. When I had thrown it in the car with my running gear and journal, it hadn’t crossed my mind why that exact book ended up with me at the beach; it had not been a conscious decision. Now I wiped the tears from my eyes, focused on it and gasped. Sitting next to me was Viktor Frankl’s, “Man’s Search For Meaning”, a tattered and yellowing paperback copy that had altered the way I viewed life, purpose and suffering.

Frankl was a Jewish Author-Psychiatrist who endured the Nazi death camps during World War II. He watched all his possessions, including life’s work manuscript, stripped from him, and his entire family and wife, excepting his sister, perish in the camps and sent to the gas ovens. Through this life-changing account of absolute injustice, hunger and cruelty, he volunteers himself as his own experiment to examine suffering and the true meaning of existence. He boils life down to the very essence, and while not even having control of his own naked and starving body, he still is responsible for the thoughts he thinks and how he chooses to perceive life; Exist with hate, apathy and anger for the horrific misery he and his family/friends and Jewish people undergo, or find meaning in what most perceived as senseless suffering.

At that moment I started laughing on the beach, which caused nearby dosing homeless guys to pick up their heads and give me a half glance. I couldn’t have scripted better irony than this! Here I was, a blessed woman in my prime, my brand new house minutes from beautiful beaches and living a charmed life; I was crying over my lost barbeque when courageous people like Viktor Frankl had endured such suffering! As I gazed at his face on the book I could hear his words to me, “Let it go, Amie,” and I agreed with him.

One of my favorite spiritual leaders is Lester Levenson, and he said, “Peace is non resistance, complete acceptance, identification with the all, with everyone, everything.” I had been resisting like a crazy woman and hurting myself in the meanwhile, and what came with it was more negativity, tension and bad news. We all know what you resist persists…and I was so ready to live in peace.

Was it possible I set up this lesson for myself so I could learn to let go, release, and not be attached to anything? My beliefs take me down the road of reincarnation and pre-ordaining (not pre-destination, as free will is sacred) opportunities and signs along the way in life to evolve as a human being through the contrast of good and bad experiences. If so, ouch! My soul must be a little dense learning and re-learning through remedial courses this time around…

Buddha says, “You will not be punished for your anger, you will be punished by your anger.” My un-checked emotions had taken me over and I lost awareness of how it affected everything I was doing and being.

It caused me to contemplate the last 24 months of my whirlwind life, and as I did so I realized I had already let go of so many things: unhealthy friendships, poor business relationships, two companies of which I poured my lifeblood into, a network that took me 10 years to build, credit/cash, and family members who passed away. Letting go = freedom. Attachments and aversions = pain. What do I want to feel? Like Frankl learned in the Nazi concentration camps… your mind is the only place you can find freedom, it is not in our external situations.

“Everything can be taken from a man or a woman but one thing: the last of human freedoms to choose one's attitude in any given set of circumstances, to choose one's own way.” -- Viktor Frankl

With the sun on my face and healing seabreeze in the air, every wave the surfers caught and rode, a little more of my anger was released with each and went out with the tide. I choose to be free.

Much Gratitude,

Amie Chilson
Visionary. Teacher. Fearless Leader.
NuSkin Enterprises
408-605-6085 cell