goals Archive

December 2013

Whoa. It’s December already, guys! I cannot believe this and how quickly the past year has flown by. Normally, I use this month to relax, catch up on my rest and regroup for the new year ahead, but this year is a little different since my calendar is blessed with a New Year’s Eve wedding set downtown in Cincinnati, Ohio (oh goodness I’ve been counting down the days until this lovely fete is to unfold). The mere thought of literally pushing the very end of this incredible 2013 wedding season to the edge of the year and into a brand new one is pretty exciting. Truthfully, these past 11 months have been such a blessing of ups and downs, and I look forward to finding that perfect mix of business and pleasure in December to transition into 2014. A new year? Yes please. I’m a sucker for new beginnings and fresh starts.

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Below are my goals for December. I actually met close to 90% of November’s too. High fives, all around!

• Head back into the gym at least twice this month. I haven’t been since April.
• Purchase and prepare my 2014 planner with all key dates and appointments.
• Finish organizing and preparing to announce the Trouvaille guest speakers.
• Clean and organize the garage and the basement to make room for drywall.
• Research online shop platforms and prepare my inventory/photograph all.
• Make a batch of Christmas cookies from scratch for all of our neighbors :)

I’d love to hear your goals below too! Let’s finish off this year with a bang! Photo above by the gorgeous Shay xoxo

November 2013; and a little bit of truth.

A year ago I sat in a Chicago hotel conference room with close to 30 women like me, looking to change their lives for the better. It makes me smile when I think of how very different circumstances and seasons of life we were all in at October’s Making Things Happen. I came in so confused and hurting, and left a changed woman. I left with a mended heart and better sense of self despite feeling a little bit overwhelmed with the hard work and the hard decisions that were set out before me. Last week I returned to Making Things Happen, but this time as a speaker and there’s so much truth to the saying, ‘What a difference a year makes.’ This time around, the intensive and the entire experience was equally as life changing as the first. I am so thankful to Lara for extending the invitation to come along, and to every single person in Chapel Hill those two days who opened up their souls so beautifully and from such a place of vulnerability and fear. There is such power in community and in love. Last week is absolutely a testament to this.

But then this week, I felt like everything that happened last, happened years ago. Scratch that, it felt like Making Things Happen was only a figment of my imagination. The girl who felt like mountains moved inside her heart just last Tuesday couldn’t have been the same girl I felt like I was this week. This week there were too many negatives in my dialect, too many wont’s and cant’s, too much of wishing for what I don’t have, wanting what I don’t need, when I know too well I have everything I need sitting right in front of me. Too much doubt, too many distractions, too much yuck.

Except this is what it is all about. Deep down in your heart knowing something is true and good. Life isn’t supposed to be pretty instagram photos, sunshine-filled days, and business triumphs every single day. Success isn’t measured by how many clients you book, magazine features you land, and the money you have sitting in your bank. Happiness most definitely shouldn’t be measured by social media followers, cute sweaters in your closet and well, I could list off a plethora (love that word) of other stupid stuff that I use as a measuring tool of my joy and contentment. It’s not that these things are bad but life is at times, about the no’s, the let downs, the ugly, the real, the uncensored, the hard, the challenging, and the unavoidable. Yeah, tough times are unavoidable. That’s what makes the journey so beautiful right?

I used to treat obstacles as devastating blows. For those of you at MTH last week, you get it. Life used to come my way and derail me completely. I almost let a few things derail me this week. Things started unfolding around me and like a big black hole I thought it was all too much. And this morning I looked outside and thought, ‘honestly, another rainy, freezing cold day without sunshine?’ How miserable is it living in a place with no sun! Another day of this awful and literal pain in my neck, another day staring at my computer again for hours, another day of worrying about what everyone else is doing, another day blah blah blah. Nevermind, the blessing that I have just that. Another day! Andrew kneeled next to the bed and simply said, “You need a little something to get you out of this funk huh? When’s the last time you designed some flowers?” He’s so grounded and matter of fact like that. Flowers for me = joy. It’s simple.

Happiness is a choice. I can admit emotions are sometimes these tidal waves that knock you down unexpectedly, but happiness is a choice. Oh Lord, I say this, rather I type this, with tears running down my cheeks because I have been so blessed. I am so loved even if it doesn’t always feel like it. I have been given so many gifts to share with others. And I am at times too weak to admit this. To embrace this. To take these gifts and just do. Last week was a gift. Metaphorically for me at least, Making Things Happen is this average wrapped gift, that yields the most intricately and stunning contents on the inside. I would be nothing but a fool to so carelessly throw away this offering. This gift.

So here I am. I’m imperfect and flawed. But I am so many other things too. Good things. Great things. Today I’ll get back in the saddle. Today is a new month. And today I will be kinder to myself and my heart. I will count my blessings for this. We sold out in TWELVE hours! So I added a few more seats and as I write this there’s just one left. Oh my heart. I will call my Mom to tell her I love her today. I will design some flowers so I can gift them to my Mother in Law who just lost her beloved dog this week. I’ll stop loading my body up with donuts and hash browns and cheese starting ten minutes ago (seriously guys, I feel like I’m living in a frat house). And I will be OK. We all will. We are all enough.


And here are my November goals; that I thought of last week in a big room with 80 plus others. They’re good ones.

• Drink more water. Pure and simple. I can go a full day without liquids. Terrible right?
• Launch the Trouvaille website and ticket sales (guys, we sold out today! oh my word!)
• Schedule once a week date nights for Andrew and I, that do not include our phones.
• Get back into a blogging groove even if it means only one post a week until next year.
• Dedicate one day a week to accounting/budgeting, both personally and professionally.
• Learn how to and execute a cooked turkey and homemade pie for Thanksgiving :)
• Take Zoe for more walks. This dog brings me so so much joy. Walks are important.

I’d love to hear about your goals this month too! Feel free to link below too your goal posts! Happy Friday :)

Photo by the amazing Bradley James Photography.

Pep Talk Tuesday {Simple Pleasures}

During many years of competive gymnastics, I often found myself sacrificing typical outings and activities for practices and competitions. Such was the case that time my parents decided to take our family to Disney World for the first time. It was the fall of my eight grade year and my brother was finally old enough to attend the park and remember it after the fact. My Mom and Dad planned the trip while my brother and I counted down the days. Until it was announced at my gymnastics club that our opening meet that season would fall on the same weekend. I was crushed. Because before my parents could tell me they were leaving me behind, I knew they were (and it was all with good intentions to further my gymnastics career, I respect that and promise that within a few weeks/years I got over it all.)

Fast forward to two weeks ago and my parents called me from Toronto. My Dad had a conference in Orlando. My Mom was going along for the ride. And she would be so lonely there by herself while my Dad was off doing conferencey-things so would I like to come with? And go to Disney World finally after all of these years? Duh. My bags were already packed. Up until this point I was sure I’d age off into adult-dom (wait, am I there yet?) never to have been able to instagram the magic of Disney. These are seriously the things I was worried about. And now finally, yes I too could meet Arial in her grotto (my fave), and eat Mickey Mouse shaped soft salted pretzels until I couldn’t eat anymore.

The truth is Disney ended up being an unexpected and terrible experience. It’s a long story meant for another day that we actually shared with many representatives at Disney resulting in two free park passes that won’t expire until 2033. Disney did the right thing to rectify an otherwise awful day at a place where client experiences are supposed to be ‘magical.’ But on day two my Mom and I went to Universal Studios with my Dad, and the three of us had the time of our lives. The Harry Potter ride is absolutely incredible. This is the ride of the future, people. The Spider Man ride, again, ride that twice if you can. All of the water rides were perfectly appropriate for a very hot and humid Florida day.

But the Jurassic Park ride is what I wanted to tell you about today. Some of you have probably been on this before so if you have, bear with me. For those of you that haven’t, I hope one day you’re able to meet me in real life so I can tell you about it (Andrew says you don’t even need to go on the physical ride once you listen to me describe it to you!) Basically you sit in a 25 passenger car that is on a track submerged in water and you trek your way through Jurassic Park hunting/looking/running from dinosaurs. The dinosaurs are so realistic looking. I appreciate the craftmanship that goes into putting these elaborate rides together. Truthfully. Every time we’d round a corner, with the movie’s theme music blaring from one side of the ride and special effects coming from the other, I found myself marvelling at all the details.

Then at the end of the ride, you know what hits the fan (you know what being a four letter word that starts with the same letter Starbucks does) because your car has entered the disaster zone where the dino’s have all broken free and you of course have no idea where they could be. Boats off to the sides of the car have been flipped upside down in the ride set, fences have been snapped in half, alarms are blaring, lights are flashing. As the car creeps into this warehouse type structure and begins to move up the hill into the dark, you realize (well I did because I read the park map) there’s one not so friendly dinosaur you’ve yet to meet. And this is the foreshadowing of the Universal experience I so love, guys. And all of a sudden, straight in front of you in the pitch black warehouse, you see a T-rex burst out, lunging head on with our car full of bless their hearts, sweet little kids and my Mother. This thing is actually breathing smoke (fog I presume) and making very scary noises (seriously) and we are headed straight towards it! I remember saying to my Dad, ‘Dude that thing looks REAL!’. And if you don’t believe me I dare you to click on this link here. This is serious trickery.

Right before Timmy the T-rex lunges forward to snatch up the car of ride-goers/hunters/sweet little kids and my Mother, we all/mainly me scream in terror and then the car drops. Like drops as in you get some serious butterflies in your stomach, and you find yourself plummeting into the darkness, the big bad dinosaur somehow left behind, as you quickly are thrust back into the daylight, making your splash finale to safety. Phew. Here’s another photo to give you measure of how many splashes you may encounter. There are also a number of kiosks in Toon Town adjacent to Jurassic Park where you can buy new shorts for $14.99 after the ride because you look and feel like you peed out an entire bottle of Gatorade in your pants thanks to the above mentioned splash finale. Not that I would know that or anything.

Here’s what I’m getting at though. From the minute our car dropped into the darkness narrowly missing Timmy the T-rex, I felt like a kid again. My Dad threw his arms in the air and made some very masculine screams (like you’d hear at a sporting event). I literally screamed like a girl! Everyone around us joined in. Screams! Everywere. Then as soon as the tsunami of water came up and smashed all 25 of us strangers in the face, the laughter started. My hair was matted to my face the way it would be after being hosed down in your front yard, my Dad’s shoes filled with my water than all the Great Lakes combined. All of the people surrounding us started to laugh. It’s like we were a big family in town for a reunion together. I said in a louder than normal voice, “Simple pleasure, people! Simple pleasures.” And everyone continued to giggle and wring out their hair/shirts/purses/kids before and even long after getting off the ride.

We didn’t we buy the $25.00 souvenir photo of our faces as we plummeted down that final hill but the imagery of that shot will be forever engraved in my memory. My Dad’s face serious as ever, shades on, arms straight up in the air. I look like the 5 year kid next to him, mouth wide open in delight, make up free, knuckles white from holding onto the lap bar with all I’ve got. And my sweet Mother has her eyes closed. And she’s holding her breath. Full cheeks poofed out. The poor thing must have thought we were going under! That’s my Mom for you. Always prepared for the absolute worst.

That ride, more notably, the drop in the ride and subsequent tsunami splash, was about 20 seconds of my adult life. Yet one that still will probably always bring me so much joy. I urge you, wherever you are, whatever you do, however you do it, to stop and find simple pleasures around you at least a few times a day. Part of my October goals include not only simplifying my life and getting my priorities straight but finding more simple pleasures. Cutting back on ‘stuff’.

Come and join me won’t you?

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Oh and I know the above bouquet has nothing to do with dinosaurs or Disney but it sure is pretty. And I think it’s fair to say blooms are one of my simple pleasures in life. That gorgeous photo was taken by LinneaLiz Photography last month at Rebecca and Dave’s wedding. It rained and rained and rained and rained that day. But I don’t think I have ever seen a bride and groom look so happy together. Simple pleasure, people. Simple pleasures. Xoxo

May 2013

Yay for May! It is finally here.


I love May. May just might be my most favorite month of the entire year, guys. For a multitude of reasons. Not only do I celebrate my birthday each year on the 19th but May in the Midwest is truly the changing of seasons. For example, this morning I woke up and boom. The loveliest of natural light was streaming through our windows and the birds were chirping outside in the tress. I think I may have even heard a lawnmower from down the street. And this was all around 7:00 am! Talk about motivation to get out of your bed and start your day! For as nasty as our winters can get and unpredictable as the climate may be here we really do have the loveliest of springs and summers. I could hug a stranger or two today because it’s May and I’m not just saying that because I’m typing this from a patio overlooking the water with a delicious and fruity martini by my side :) Shall we move on to this month’s goals now? Yes please.

Healthier Living This was one of the goals I made back in January (like most of the world I am sure) and I actually did really well with making healthy choices in my life up until I returned home from our vacation to Jamaica last month. I’d like to get back on track with my work outs, eating balanced meals (again, someone please convince me Starbucks isn’t a balanced meal) and just getting up and out there especially now that the weather is nice. Zoe loves going on walks so I’d like to take her on more and I enjoy working on some landscaping so I’m game for kicking it up a notch this month.

Smarter Living With the possibility of signing for this studio space soon, I need to continue to keep on track of my finances and where my money goes. Last month I made it a goal (thanks to the sweet Nancy Ray here) not to spend any money on things I do not need, and with the exception of some Starbucks at meetings, I succeeded. I purchased items from Home Goods for a client without walking through the remainder of the store, I walked by the decorative accent section at Target and left only with some cotton balls and Q-tips, and while it was painful not to buy myself or our home nice new things it was refreshing to stick to my guns. Less stuff equals more money in the bank. For rent. Right?

Happier living I’ve been feeling really good lately just about with everything in my life. Things aren’t perfect but wonderful. I made it a general goal for 2013 to just be purposeful in all I do whether it be with my marriage, my business or my personal life and I finally feel like four months into this year, things are where they should be. I’ve been trying to really live in the present and be content with things as they are and I feel like those efforts are paying off. So in May I’d like to continue feeling that way and continue to build off of this wonderful momentum. Feeling happy and content.

So let’s hear it! Who has some May goals they’d love to share? P.S. Go here and snag yourself a copy xoxo

April 2013

Happy April 1st, friends!


I love April. Not as much as I love May (we’ll get to that next month) but it’s a nice change of pace from January, February and March here in the Midwest. The birds have been out in the morning, the sky’s been a bit bluer than normal, we’ve started to put the snow shovels away and my favorite of all, wedding season is closer than ever. I always feel like the months leading up to my first wedding of the year seem to drag on but we all know 2013 is just flying by. I feel like I have just so much to be grateful for. So here we go. A few goals I’m focusing on for the next five weeks.

Clutter-Free Living. Andrew and I have been doing some serious spring cleaning around here before we leave for a much-needed vacation tomorrow. And we generally pride ourselves on being minimalists but man we have a lot of crap. Like a lot of clothes we don’t wear, towels and sheets we don’t use, furniture in the basement we can’t put anywhere. I always think if I hold on to something it will come in handy one day but then that day never comes and the crap piles up. I’d like to donate the things we no longer need and use so when we get back from vacation, I’m making it a point to go through our basement and closets and get everything together to get rid of. Just typing this out feels freeing!

Stuff-Free Living. Going off of the above, and inspired by the lovely Nancy Ray, I want to try a month long challenge of not buying any ‘stuff’. This is going to be way hard for me, guys. I’m one of those people that buys things for instant gratification and comfort. Sort of like how some people eat food to fill voids. Booked a new client? Buy a new pair of shoes. Not happy with something in my life? Buy a new home decor piece. This way of thinking and living has got to end or change because it’s not conducive to purposeful living; at least for me personally. Or for my bank account. If you need more motivation or inspiration on taking this wonderful challenge read this blog post here that started it all.

Domesticated Living. I used to put in a ton of effort when it came to cooking dinners and desserts for Andrew and I. I think this is actually how I won him over in college when I was a sophomore living in my first apartment across the hall from Andrew’s :) That guy was lucky and got fancy dinners 24/7! Then I got lazy, life got busy and I figured I didn’t need to try any more in the kitchen since Andrew loves to cook. So I didn’t. And it’s not fair to Andrew. This past weekend I actually set out to try and be more of a help in the kitchen. I tied on my apron and whipped out a carrot cake, a pasta dish and a Frito frittata. The fritatta was a success. The other two dishes, not so much. But A for effort right? I already feel like I’m doing good and even contributing to my marriage so I’d love to do more cooking and baking in April too.

What are you all shooting for this month? Spill your goals below :) xoxo

Oh and the photo above is one I took of my office space. One of my goals was to pick up my camera more! Score.