Thursday, January 30, 2014

Daily Post #15: I've always been curious.

I've always been curious.  
Who would you like to have lunch with? I learned that Diane Sawyer keeps a list of people whom she would love to have lunch with.  I thought this was a really interesting idea and telling.  I considered this as well, who I would like to get lunch with, either well-known people that I either respect, thought to be intriguing or admire. So, I draft a list, to include people who are still living, those I greatly admire or people that I find to be intriguing and those who I would love to sit down with for a little while and learn more about who they are and how they got to where they are today, simply listen to their story.


Some questions I would consider asking are:

  • How did you get to where you are today?  How did you survive it all?  What were the biggest setbacks for you and why?  What were some of your obstacles and how did you overcome
    them?
  • You made some tough decisions, looking back, what was your strategy and if there was one created, the framework that you developed from the outcome of your decisions.
  • If you could give yourself advice at age 20, what advice would you tell your younger self?
  • What is your favorite color?


These are people on my list and my reasons for choosing them.  I tried focusing on the basic concepts, Eat, Sleep and Live.  Eat covers body, those people who care about taking care of body through nourishment and exercise.  Sleep covers rest, those people who understand being in the moment and giving self rest and spiritual awareness, those people who live life now to create memories. I also picked those individuals who are doing things that I aspire to do or who I have watched and admire.


If you could lunch with any 10 people (alive) today, who would you love to have lunch with? This is my list:

  1. George Clooney - I have asperations to produce a big screen movie and want to connect with George to learn more about the process and see if he would help mentor me to create this dream into fruition.
  2. Mary Tyler Moore - I loved watching her show and want to just sit with her and listen to what she has to say now.
  3. Barack Obama - Just to listen to his stories with his guard down, no screens or filters.
  4. Barbara Walters - To hear it from her, rather than reading it in a book or seeing her on the screen.  I want to see what she really is made of without all the glitze, glammer and make-up.
  5. Ben Bernanke - one of the greatest federal chairmen of all times, Ben Bernanke, has been the Federal Reserve Chairman who faced challenges unlike any other since the great depression, a global financial crisis that threatened to become financial Armageddon and followed by a deep recession.  "He made tough, courageous and sometimes unpopular decisions."  
  6. Dalai Lama - spiritual leader and living life now.
  7. Sheryl Sandberg - An advocate for women. I'd love to listen to what she has to say with her guard down.
  8. Dr. Oz - To hear how he eats; his diet, his workout routine and why he does what he does.
  9. Rachael Ray - cooking show.  I’d love to sit down at Rachael’s table and eat some of her amazing food and hear how she got to where she is today.
  10. Nora Roberts - I’d like to learn more about her writing.  I read a lot of her books and would love to hear her story, and what process she goes through to make her writing come to life.

I have my list, what is your list of people you would love to have lunch with?

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Health Tip: A good night's sleep...


To ensure a good night's sleep, avoid eating large meals within a few hours of bedtime.

Monday, January 27, 2014

Recipe for today: Avocado Ranch Dressing

Makes 1 1/2 cups 

Ingredients

  • 2 cloves garlic, peeled
  • 1 ripe avocado, pitted and peeled
  • 1 cup vegetable broth
  • 2 Tbsp. fresh lemon juice
  • 1 Tbsp. olive oil
  • 1 Tbsp. onion powder
  • 1 tsp. sweet paprika
  • 3/4 tsp. salt
  • 1/4 cup chopped, fresh dill

Directions


Pulse the garlic in a blender to get it chopped up. Add the avocado, broth, lemon juice, oil, onion powder, paprika and salt and blend until completely smooth, scraping down the sides with a rubber spatula occasionally to make sure you blend everything. Add the dill and pulse just until the dressing turns a brilliant green with flecks of dill throughout. Taste for seasonings. Remember that the salt flavor will be diluted when you add it to the salad, so make sure it's just a tad saltier than you think it should be. Seal tightly and refrigerate until ready to use. 

From Isa Does It: Amazingly Easy, Wildly Delicious Vegan Recipes for Every Day of the Week (Little, Brown) by Isa Chandra Moskowitz. 

Sunday, January 26, 2014

Recipe for today: Gerri Hirshey's Salad Dressing


Ingredients
  • 3/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
  • 1 clove garlic , finely minced
  • 1/3 cup red wine vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce or to taste
  • Salt and freshly ground pepper , to taste
Directions
In the bowl of a mini food processor, combine all the ingredients and blend until emulsified. Or, in a glass jar with a tight-fitting lid, shake all the ingredients together. Makes about 11/4 cups.

Recommended substitution: Instead of Worcestershire sauce, try about 1 tablespoon Soy Vay Veri Veri Teriyaki (available at soyvay.com), dill pickle juice, or smashed green olives.

Health Tips: Good night sleep...

To ensure a good night's sleep, create a dark, cool and quiet environment to promote rest.

Saturday, January 25, 2014

Recipe for today: Honey mustard dressing


Servings: Makes 4 servings
Ingredients
  • 2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
  • 2 tablespoons whole grain mustard
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons ground cumin
  • 2 tablespoons mild-flavored honey (such as clover, wild thistle, or lavender)
  • 5 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • Salt and freshly ground pepper
Directions
Combine lemon juice, mustard, cumin, and honey in a medium bowl. Slowly whisk in olive oil in a steady stream. Season with 1/2 teaspoon salt and 1/2 teaspoon pepper. Set aside or refrigerate until ready to serve.

Perfect on Grilled Chicken, Spinach and Cashew Salad .

Recipe for today: Ginger-Scallion Vinaigrette Recipe

Serves 4

Ingredients

  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 Tbsp. grated ginger
  • 1/2 cup scallions, finely chopped
  • 3 Tbsp. honey
  • 4 Tbsp. soy sauce
  • 2 Tbsp. rice vinegar
  • 2 tsp. sesame oil
  • 1/3 cup canola oil

Directions

Whisk all ingredients except the canola oil together in a bowl. Whisk the canola oil in slowly until vinaigrette is combined
.


Health Tip: 6 vs. 8 hours sleep...

A person who sleeps 6 instead of 8 hours for 2 days reduces their reaction time by 10 to 15%.

Thursday, January 23, 2014

Health Tip: Focus on solutions...

If you are unhappy with something in your life, focus on the solutions rather than the problems.

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Daily Blog Post #14: Looking from the outside in!










A twisting, twirling twat,
lies upon the swish and swatch;
viewing over, under there,
What the heck, exceed declare.

Simple, sample, stitch that cloth,
over, under, slip the notch.
Fundamental, takes some time,
Careful thought, just tie the knot.

Careful people oversight,
suspend a simple countless might.
Being there the first, assure;
a promise, simply, wait without.

People struggle, twisting, turn,
power structure, might return.
Not much joy which comes from plight,
strongly hint to hang upright.

Stingy, judgment and control;
Woe alas a staunch tantrum,
Wanting, lacking, includes some troubles.
Switching nigh the world a-crumble.

**Can you gather the meaning of this twisting tale?



If you judge a fish by its ability to climb a tree it will spend its entire life thinking its stupid~Albert Einstein.

Health Tip: How to pick up a heavy item..


Instead of bending over to pick up something, squat instead.

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Daily Post #13: Ways you can add value

A meaningful life is not being rich, being popular, being highly educated or being perfect... It's about being real, being humble, being able to share ourselves and touch the lives of others.  It is only then that we could have a full, happy and content life.

Ways you can add value
Being the new person.  Many times in my life I have been the new person on the block at work and as volunteer for organizations, etc.  In 2009, I decided to start getting more involved in volunteer organizations.  The first in-person meeting I remember when I walked into the room a hush came over the room. Everyone stopped talking and just stared. They were sizing me up, trying to get a sense of whether I deserved their respect or ridicule. That’s a tough spot for anyone to be in.  At the time, I was quickly able to bring some of my skills to the table, and prove I deserved to be valued.  I was pretty good at taking notes.  I did well organizing the kayos. And I had experience building team, so, I quickly fit in because they valued these skills.

At times as a Project Manager I relive the same awkward experience whenever I start with a new company or a new group of people.  I get the same stares and know everyone is sizing me up at the first meeting.  I walk into the room and the leader says, “Today we’d like to welcome Kim she’s our new project manager and will be heading up some of our key initiatives from this point forward.”  I can feel the hush come over the room as the adults at the table whisper to each other and decide whether they are going to respect or ridicule me. 

Just like in those awkward situations, I brought a few skills with me to quickly give value to the people I work with.  As a seasoned project manager, I am in a much better place because I have decades to prove myself in other companies and other projects.  I have a level of confidence that will push through those awkward first couple of weeks as everyone tries to figure me out.  

Here's some advice:
As a new project manager (or new to the profession or new to a company), it is important to bring immediate value.  You know what your value is going to be long term:

·         You are going to have project schedules in place
·         Status meetings
·         Work breakdown structures
·         Risk management
·         Time tracking
·         Reporting
·         All kinds of other crafts of trade to the table

These long term skills can take anywhere from six months to a year to really get up and running.

What can you do in the short term? That will bring immediate value to the new team?

Serve as the document repository – Teams often struggle with keeping up on documentation that surrounds the project.  Sometimes there is no documentation for the project or the documentation is unwieldy outdated.  This is a perfect opportunity for you to get your hands around a project and bring some organization to the team.  Here are a few steps, first establish the number of required documents a project must have.  Examples could include:
  • Project Charter Contract (if it is client-paying work) 
  • Design Document 
  • Business Requirements 
  • Project Schedule 
  • Fill in gaps as needed
Run interference and help prioritize – help prioritize which activity is most important to get done.  There are times when people, in most companies, without project managers are thrown tasks at whim by anyone above them on the org chart.  A VP from one department may ask for something he/she needs completed by next week, then a top-level salesperson may ask you to drop everything to finish his work because he is behind and the marketing department may ask the same person to focus on a prototype that needs to be shown at a trade show next month.    Set yourself up as a point person between the business and the production side of the company.  This setup will allow people to take direction from one person (you) or at most two people (you and their functional manager).

Put a Change Control Process in place immediately – having a change control process in place that will manage change on projects will help alleviate disaster.  People have short-term memories and may forget that decisions change the direction of the project and makes a short-term project a very long time to complete.  Managing a simple change control document that includes the change, reason for change, estimate time to complete the change and who approves the change (like a sign off).  This will help bring you into the fold of the team quickly.


If you do these three simple things you gain respect in the short term as a project manager.  And you can buy more time to roll out the bigger plans.   

Health Tip: To prevent back injury...

To prevent back injury when carrying heavy objects, carry them as close as possible to your chest and abdomen.

Saturday, January 18, 2014

Health Tip: Room freshener

To create a non-toxic room freshener, place a few drops of your favorite pure essential oil in a bowl of water to evaporate.

Friday, January 17, 2014

Daily Post #11: It's a mindset.

#dailymission What inspires you? Those that keep moving forward after a traumatic injury. I think what has kept me going, is to have it in my mind, to take it one moment at a time, and just taking a step, then another and soon, I was walking down the driveway, .6 miles, then walking around the block 1/2 mile, then more miles, then ride a few miles on the bike, and so on. I chunk progress up in itty bitty pieces, just like I do my long runs. (*Just like I just did the Goofy Challenge) It's a mindset.  Here's my story...
I accomplished my first running goal for this year (2014).  This goal was different, it was an extreme running goal, to run a half marathon (13.1 miles) on a Saturday and then run a marathon (26.2 miles) on Sunday: back-to-back distance run.  This run was in Florida at Disney, Disney’s Goofy challenge.  The additional catch was to test the “Mind over matter” debate my husband and I have.  When we first met, over 27 years ago, I was an avid runner.  I believed in working out at least every day, running or walking to stay in shape.  At that time, I didn’t do a lot of organized runs; maybe I’d throw in a 5K or 10K fun run here and there; but, nothing else.  When I met my husband, he’d run with me through the parks circling around me chewing a wad of gum.  He didn’t really believe in having to train for a run, he would state, “I don’t have to train, its mind over matter.”
Many years later, I decided to sign up and train for my first marathon.  In the meantime, my husband had a gym membership and consistently went to the gym at least 5 days a week, running no more than 2 miles on the treadmill and lifting weights.  He was doing this consistently for 2 years.  He didn’t feel like wasting his whole day at the gym, so 1 hour was sufficient.  I trained hard for the marathon.  I live in the Midwest, and training started in January; so, training inside at a gym was the only way I could get my running time in.  I trained mostly on a treadmill.  The most I ran was 13.1 miles during my training, but had some good mileage in daily, with core work and lots of weights.  There weren’t training models available to follow like they have available today; but, I felt ready.  The time arrived for me to pick up my packet it was the day before my marathon race.  I was getting nervous and told my husband that I was not going to do the marathon.  He quickly said, “I’ll go with you and sign up to run it with you.” (This was the time when you could sign up for the marathon up until race day because running a marathon was for the elite runner and it was pretty special back in the day).    I asked, “Without training?”  And of course his response was, “Mind over matter.”  We proceeded to pick up our packets and plan for the time to arrive.  I ran a sub 8:30 at a 4:10 hours and he came in around 5:10 hours.  We both finished.  I was 10 minutes off from getting 3rd in my age group.  The consequence of running our first ever marathon, we both limped for a good week after the run and learned how to work out that lactic acid in our muscles, but we did it.

Years’ later, after running 6 marathons and over 60 half marathons, I decided to test this theory out.  I ran the Detroit marathon the end of October and my last half was in November.  This was my last long run until my scheduled half and full, back-to-back, in January, 6 weeks of only 2 times running about 4 miles.  My training was not the usual mileage; I practiced a form of hot yoga 2 times a day during the weeks prior to the marathon weekend. 

I made it to the weekend, deciding to go with it, run it one mile at a time.  I ran the half marathon on Saturday; it was tough after mile 9 and was happy to be done at 13.1.  I finished around 9:00 a.m., did some yoga, slept for 1 hour then headed out to the beach for the remainder of the day.  Woke up early the next morning, promising myself to take in the experience and not worry about the number of miles.  I did just that.  During the run I ran each mile with focus, and then walked the water stations as long as I needed to allow my body to recover.  I focused on the run this way, each mile.  I finished! 

I came back to work the next day and people could not believe I was at work.  I wasn’t limping, just had a little swell in my left foot.  That went down day 2 and day 3 I was able to run a short 5K without a problem.  A week after (everything is said and done) I look back and sometimes wonder how I was able to make this happened.  One thing I do know is that without having the marathon running experience these past 11 years, finishing these two runs back-to-back would have never happened.

This is my little applied research on myself.  The hypothesis, “You can run a marathon without training all those miles.  Training can be substituted with an alternative cardio and strength-builder workout like hot yoga;”  the added caveat is “with long distance experience and several marathons complete.”  The way to do it is to run the marathon in small chunks and focus on the experience and listen to your body.


You can do it; anything is possible if you put your mind to it. J

Monday, January 13, 2014

Health tip: To increase your walking speed...

If you would like to increase your walking speed, think short strides. Taking short, quick heel-to-toe strides will allow your feet to roll forward easier and you'll move at a faster speed without stress.

Friday, January 10, 2014

Health Tip: Stay active, less TV...

Harvard Researchers found that for every 2 hours a day women spent watching television, they were 23% more likely to be obese and 14% more likely to have diabetes.

Daily Post #10: Adventure...

An amazing thing happened to me today, I had several conversations and here is what I heard (note: there were several threaded conversations, but these were the key themes)...

What do you want on your tomstone or
If you only had 1 week to live, how would you want to live your life to be remembered?

I see the importance of "Living in the moment" or "being there when a person needs you most," and " to not let other people guide your life."

I am more aware of those people who control their own thoughts, actions and experiences or control other people by warning them and giving their opinions and judgements, because fear gets in their way.  When I am with individuals like this, I lose myself, and end up going down "someone else's path."  I have learned through the years, there are signs to alert me and I need to choose, 'me' and 'my individual focus' or 'follow them.'

The effort it takes to have a simple conversation or an ongoing relationship can be strained, one-way and very intense.  I always choose to keep myself intact and never lose myself in the process.  It's best to be wise in who you choose to be with.  It is important to be open to relationships and new acquaintances.  You never know the impact one conversation can have on their (and even your own) lives.

Going back to the original question: What I want to be remembered most is....

"That I am available and listen, I am creative and innovative, I care and I made a difference in people's lives.  

So simple and true.  Hence the theme of 2014 for me.

Thursday, January 9, 2014

Recipe for today: LOVE FRIED RICE (Both vegan and non-vegan)

LOVE FRIED RICE

3 cups cooked white rice
3 tbs sesame oil
1 cup peas and carrots (thawed)
1 small onion, chopped
1tsp minced garlic
2 eggs (for vegan use replacement egg option)
1/4 cup soy sauce

On medium high heat, heat the oil in a large skillet or wok. Add the peas carrots mix, onion and garlic. Stir fry until tender. Lower the heat to medium low and push the mixture off to one side, then pour your eggs on the other side of skillet and stir fry until scrambled. Now add the rice and soy sauce and blend all together well. Stir fry until thoroughly heated. Try adding some green onion.

Share to save Lose it with Lisa

Daily Post #9: Take the moment and make it perfect.

"If you don’t have daily objectives, you qualify as a dreamer."- Zig Ziglar


Many people ask me, "Why do you wake up so darn early and what do you do?"

Many people think all I do is work on the computer or write on social media sites, and yes, there is a little bit of that which is part of my marketing and PR strategy for my personal brand.  And then there’s even more productive work.

To start, it’s all me, that's my first focus in the morning.  I take care of my health.  I usually wake up at 3:30 - 4:30 AM and start my day working out.  Then I work on my vision and intention for the day.  Seeing that I own my own business and outreach programs, I work on a lot of business-focused or program-related things, depending on the morning.  I may switch it up and focus on personal things too, or outreach (which includes my productions, products and books).  The current things I work on include my vision for my new book or products, plans for my TV show or new movie, develop marketing strategies, on-boarding and connection strategy, script sales emails and newsletters and start writing materials for my blog and so the list goes on and will change over time.  I take about 30 minutes after this carved out time, for me 'again; to relax, eat breakfast, drink coffee and think. Then I'm off doing... Working at my consulting contracts, clients, or meetings for the remainder of the day.  As I do this, I have experienced a large evolution in my business and outreach programs. 

When people ask me, "How do you get so much done in so little time?"  This IS my secret.

I'm not suggesting that you get up at 3:30 or even 4:00 AM, in the morning; however, I do suggest you do something like I suggest, sometime in the morning.  The reason I suggest the morning is because you will typically get the more important things on your list done first, early in the day.  This way, you can plan your objectives for the day and be very conscientious about it.

You carve out the time, and are sitting at the table and ask, "Now what?  What do I do next?"

To help you get started, here are some tips and some simple questions you can try to answer to get started.
  • Carve out 10-15 minutes each morning
  • Dedicate time like this daily. 
Here are some questions:
  • What are my plans for my business or personal life this year? (Vision)
  • What is it that you see to change in your business or personal life in the future?
  • What would happen if you carved out time to do a little more marketing and sales or connecting with people?
  • What do I want to do today to make that happen?  (Make a list of small things that relate to your bigger vision)
You will see results. It might surprise you.

Don't wait for the perfect moment. Take the moment and make it perfect.


Live authentically and savor each precious moment of your journey; because when you arrive at your destination, another journey begins. ~Joe Koene

Wednesday, January 8, 2014

Health Tip: Eat meals cooked at home

According to the American Dietetic Association, people consume 50% less calories, fat and sodium when eating meals cooked at home.

Daily Post #8: Love yourself more













It's time to consider to love yourself more,
it takes just a moment, consider the thought.
The challenge to do this is simple I'm sure.
It's just as this easy to capture your shot.

Enjoy this idea, it's easy to say,
apply it this instant the action is yours.
I think you might take on the challenge today,
you may find existence beyond your front doors.

Tuesday, January 7, 2014

Daily Post #7: Freedom + Health = Happiness


Life and happiness, it’s a simple formula:

Freedom + Health = Happiness

Freedom, I'm talking about the everyday freedom that each of us have to apply what you want and when you want to do it.  This is a choice, your choice.  This is at work, home, the gym and other places you go.  For health, your favorite food is useless to you if it gives you no energy benefit or you pull a muscle and keep running or walking on it, causing more damage.  For Happiness, it's a culmination of things, if you don't have money or time to do things which gives you freedom, or are too sick and lying in bed because you have no energy to do anything, then it's simple, you cannot be happy.

Breaking out the formula.  (Freedom + Health = Happiness)
Freedom is your choice.   Staying fit and eating well takes knowledge and consistency.  As you find yourself getting healthier and happier, the people in your life will view you differently too.  Healthy-looking people generally earn more moneyt, get more offers and enjoy a better social life.  Happiness is progress, if we feel happy when things are moving in the right direction we are happier.  

Freedom
Freedom is a choice, your choice.  It is your choice, the freedom for YOU to choose.   If you choose to make a change in your daily routine, you might feel a little better.  Then you will be feel up to doing more.

Empirical Freedom Tips
·        What does freedom look like for you, know your reasons for wanting freedom.
·        Who can help you get there?  Reach out to philanthropists, experts, or a close friend who can give you support on your journey to freedom.
·        Know what you want.  Most importantly, being able to live out your passion every day is important.  E.g. some people say, ‘being able to stay home to raising my kid(s) or not having to worry about paying bills is freedom.  How can you get there?  Do some exercises to understand this, this will lead to freedom.  How do you see yourself? You are who you think you are… and this determines what freedom looks like to you.  The journey to freedom starts when you embrace ‘change.’
·        Time is Money.  The old adage that I grew up with, by managing assets and investments over time you will have a flow of cash as a base.
·        Understand that relying on fictitious ideas, like hoping to win the lottery someday, is going to give you freedom.   The lottery is not an investment strategy.   You are the one to change your situation and create the life and freedom you want.  And only you are the one that is going to make it happen.  You can have the kind of things you dream about by making a plan and creating it.
·        Set monthly and annual goals, both solutions and financial.  The more you set goals and check back with them, the more likely they are going to happy.  So for example, I set goals every year about how much I want to earn, how much I want to save and what I’m doing with my savings to make an investment.  Keep learning about money and investments.  If you want freedom, you need to have a cash flow that will provide a base to give you the freedoms you desire.  And spend less than you earn and be wary of your debt, you need to be on a budget.
·        Look at your health as your greatest asset.  Do you think you will have real freedom if you are free financially but you’re too sick to enjoy it?  Your health is your greatest wealth.

Health
The next part of the formula is Health.  I know too well how health can stall a person's life for many years if it looms in the background, eating away at your body.  Even if it isn't yourself who is dealing with health issues, but a loved one close to you, it can take a toll for many years.  

There’s a right time and a wrong time for nearly every activity!
  • Eat
  • Sleep
  • Work
  • Sex
  • Paying bills
You name it... And the good news is that timing is manageable, you have the controls.

Staying fit and eating well takes knowledge and consistency.

Make sure you always have access to a healthy option, you choose through the power of knowledge and experience.

Empirical Health Tips
  • Target problem foods from your diet one at a time.  
  • You can eat anything you want whenever you want, so the choice is yours and you can train yourself to enjoy relatively healthy food and have it always nearby.
  • You can eat as much as you want of anything that is healthy.
  • You can have a system not a goal.  (Like mine is to continuously learn more about the science of diet, try it out and see what methods for making healthy foods taste great).
  • Learn to eat right and let that be your guide during your lifetime.  If your diet is right, moderate exercise is all you need.
  • Be active every day.  You'll discover it is harder to sit and do nothing than it is to get up and do something.  Your reward becomes addictive over time. (like Pavlov's dogs, condition: activity).  
  • Exercise is only a small percent that contributes to weight loss. It is still important for building muscle. (No one can exercise enough to overcome a bad diet, people who eat right and stay active usually have no problems with weight).
  • Remember, science keeps changing.  I was watching an episode of Dr. Oz, and he stated they learned within just 10 years of studying diet and exercise that it isn't heredity that defines your future healthy fate.  By changing what you eat, you can change your future health.
By following these simple tips, stay active every day, without pain and without the need for willpower, today, I'm in the best shape of my life at age 48.

Happiness
As you find yourself getting healthier and happier, the people in your life will view you differently too.  Healthy-looking people generally earn more moneyt, get more offers and enjoy a better social life.

Happiness is progress, if we feel happy when things are moving in the right direction we are happier.   This influences happiness.  Just like when you are learning how to eat better and do a little more exercise, it will give you a sense of progress and control over your destiny.

Empirical Happiness Tips
  • Match your mood to your activity.
  • Make sure all your important decisions are consistent with the end-game in mind!  (in my case, I like a more flexible schedule so I work toward this).
  • The role of money can buy you more options, but it can't buy you happiness.  (In order to have flexibility, don't give up too much income potential just to get it.  I've learned very quickly, there's no point in having a flexible schedule if you can't afford to do anything!)
  • Simplify your life.  Clean out the clutter.  If you live a simple life, you create space in your heart.
  • Love More.  True happiness is found in relationships.
If you don't, you shut yourself off from the access to happiness, you will have Happiness!  Start your journey to freedom, stay focused and when you reach your goal, you can look back and say, “Great job!”

Health Tip: Low calorie 3-bean salad

To create a nutritious, low calorie 3-bean salad, combine kidney, black and white beans, mix in chopped fresh tomatoes and green onions, and drizzle with olive oil, lemon juice and black pepper.

Monday, January 6, 2014

Health Tip: Kidney Beans...


Kidney beans are rich in folate, potassium, magnesium, protein and soluble fiber.

Daily Post #6: Progress


I was reading an article by Rachelle Gardner who created “one word” to represent 2014, which is a concise way to give off a theme that relate to our new year’s goals in one simple word.

My word is “progress!”

Over the last year I have become increasingly aware that I need to bring focus to every aspect of my life.  I have so many projects going at once and sometimes it’s hard to take a breath or sleep.  This year, I start with a clean slate.  I focus my intention on the smaller and simpler things.  The first step is to take the load off my plate, peeling layers.  I start with nothing.  This concept has been freeing.   Now, I have been intentional about approaching every task with the urgency it deserves.

By focusing on the word “progress,” I will have a daily reminder to bring my “a-game” each day.  I am lucky enough to have a career I love, that’s because I created it!  I have a number of clients and assignments that promotes progress.  My family and friends deserve the best and it’s time that each moment is more meaningful especially if I consciously apply my full energy to it.

How will I maintain progress?  My goal is to align everything I do this year with progress; in my business, career, community involvement and family.   And my intention is peace, love and kindness.   I plan to fulfill both progress and the intention.  If I stay mindful of this intention I have for my life, it will resonate into my daily activities.  If I get enough exercise, sleep and eat the right foods to keep me energized; it will be easy to maintain and enjoy the exciting projects I lead.  This give the vitality of progress necessary, and now I’m accountable to it.  I am laying the baseline of where I am today and the foundation to lead toward progress by the end of 2014.

Watch out 2014, progress will be made with peace, love and kindness.

Do you have a word, or a goal, for 2014 that you’d like to share? Why did you choose it?

Never waste your time trying to explain who you are to people who are committed to misunderstanding you.~Unknown.

Sunday, January 5, 2014

Health TIp: Healthy whole grains...

There are many types of healthy whole grains such as brown rice, wild rice, bulgur, barley, millet, whole wheat bread and pasta, oatmeal and buckwheat.

Daily Post #5: Seny

Despite all that has changed in my life, I would never want to be 20 again. Sure, I was thinner, with loads of energy and free time.  Now at 48, I have more responsibilities, more wrinkles (crows feet as my husband reminds me) and more drooping body parts than I could imagine.  But I also have three things I didn't have back then: self-awareness, confidence and a really awesome kid.

At one time, I imagined, 'wouldn't it be cool to be in my 20's and know what I know now then?'  Then, I watched The Curious Case of Benjamin Button in 2008 and that thought quickly disappeared.

This movie changed my thinking,   “Life can only be understood looking backward. It must be lived forward.” ― Eric Roth and there were several additional quotes that moved me.  Here are some of those quotes with my thoughts or experiences that follow.

“I hope you live a life you’re proud of. If you find that you’re not, I hope you have the strength to start all over again.”― Eric Roth, The Curious Case of Benjamin Button screenplay
The key is are you living that life you are proud of or are you living from someone else's expectations and dreams.  My 40's redefined me, especially my experiences during this decade of my life, helped me gain strength to 'start all over again.'  It's been life-fulfilling and invigorating to get up every morning and experiencing a new day with new experiences.  We create our day, choose who we want to be with, the friends we stay close to and family, with those experiences, who will always be in our hearts.  I am stronger now, ready to take on the day with a new vigor.

“For what it’s worth: it’s never too late or, in my case, too early to be whoever you want to be. There’s no time limit, stop whenever you want. You can change or stay the same, there are no rules to this thing. ” ― Eric Roth, The Curious Case of Benjamin Button screenplay

It is a choice, you have a choice whether to remain the same or change.  There are no rules, and you can't expect to live by rules that others place in your vocabulary or in 'who you are being'.  You can be free of this, and stop what you were doing before and being someone different.

“Our lives are defined by opportunities, even the ones we miss.” ― Eric Roth

Mainly by keeping our minds open to the possibilities.  I have learned and am still learning, to listen, really listen to what people are saying.  Instead of interrupting, putting words into sentences or continuing a thought when someone is sharing their experience or story.  Every story is different.  Even if you come from a family, family doesn't create your story.  Only you can experience the story you live.   Appreciate and respect this in others.  Just because you have an opinion doesn't mean it fits in the other person's life experiences.  Appreciate their story, listen, really listen to them and maybe you will gain some new insight or be enlightened by the conversation.

“It’s a funny thing coming home. Nothing changes. Everything looks the same, feels the same, even smells the same. You realize what’s changed, is you.” ― Eric Roth

I love taking a stroll back to my childhood home.  It's lovely to reminisce with my loved ones, to share my stories with them.  Showing them the ballpark where I played my first softball game, or my schools I attended.  Even sharing my childhood home.  There are wonderful stories.  The place doesn't change too much.  Many people stay there because they like the 'same-ness' about it.  I appreciate and respect this.  I am happy to realize that I have changed, and have grown into a successful and award winning author.  I think these experiences are the base of my stories.  And I have grown from there.  I love to go back to feel the sameness, the feelings, the smells, the dialogue, it doesn't change much and that's what's nice about having that experience, to visit it all over again.

“I hope you see things that startle you. I hope you feel things you never felt before. I hope you meet people with a different point of view. I hope you live a life you`re proud of, and if you find that you`re not, I hope you find the strength to start all over again.” ― Eric Roth


More and more, as I continue to meet more people, locally and from around the world, I gain a large respect for people who are different than me.  I learn much about their different point of view.  It took me a while, but I am very proud of who I am.  I have learned to not expect anyone to tell me they are proud of me.  Those words don't come easy.  I forgive myself a lot because I am harder on myself than anyone.  And I do tell myself how proud I am to be who I am.  I'm different! I'm strong, I'm resilient, I'm smart and I am happy!  I have found the strength many times to start all over again, again and again.  And I hope you can too.  It's a lifelong process, to Reach, Stretch and Grow!

Catalan language -  Seny. A combination of well-pondered perception of situations, level-headedness, awareness, integrity and right action.

Saturday, January 4, 2014

Health Tip: Select whole grains...

Research shows that selecting 100% whole grains instead of refined processed carbohydrates can reduce your risk of heart attack by 30% and decrease your risk of metabolic syndrome by 33%.

Daily Post #4: Abjure

I feel chewed up and spit out these days.

I read nothing but bad news, people looking for a hand out or want something in return.  Where is the peace, kindness and love in the world?

It's amazing how people are only concerned about themselves.

I met a professional recently, on our first time meeting stated, "I will win by treating everyone with my kindness."  It's working, but it isn't used as a true kindness measure but more of a vice.  Everything is turned upside-down.  I thought to myself, 'I didn't know this was a competition.'  There are many professionals who think this way; the impact is great.  Do people realize what people are dealing with outside of the workplace?  The pressures, anxiety and obstacles each person is dealing with at work, home, or school.    It's so easy to see why people are getting sick.  People see the bad when they are exposed to the media and news, people experience this in their daily lives, and of course, the decisions and impacts from the political economy are taking its toll; like, environment, jobs, money, you name it.

A professional recently told me her story about the tumultuous situation she is currently dealing with at home.  She raises two teenagers as a single parent, with a very little family support.  I won't go into details, but her situation is very grim.  No one would notice the angst she goes through as she sits behind her desk working diligently.  Completing each task with a vengeance, articulating with the accuracy required to support the organization.   The administration doesn't know she went home crying the other day because of the pressures at work and home.  I'm saddened when I write this.  People are painfully sabotaging others without even realizing the impact.  Each person is dealing with something.  Where is the compassion?

If people would take the time to look under the hood, instead of stepping all over people and 'taking care of themselves,' the world would be a kinder more loving place.

You were given this life, because you are strong enough to live it.~unknown

Friday, January 3, 2014

Daily Post #3: Brev·i·ty

I was working at my computer when somone approaches me to ask, “How was your week?”  I stated, “I got a lot done. Not many people in the office so it was pretty quiet.”

This person proceeds to ask me all sorts of questions, I was uncertain what to answer.  My confusion grew as I try to figure out where these questions were coming from.  Questions spew out of this person’s mouth while proceeding to ask another question.  I pause after hearing the next question, it seems to be the same question.

I didn’t know how to answer it.

Slowly becoming aware of speaking the same question over and over again, this person paused, then asks a different question. 'Phew! I think,' At least this one was a new topic.  From my vantage-point this person seems unhappy with my first answer, or maybe she isn't listening to me.  Or better yet, it not what this person wants to hear.

After the short question and answer, this person quips, “I’m sorry to have bothered you and walks away.”

I sit here dumbfounded.  Thinking, ‘What was that all about?’

I am confused when people do this.  I’m not certain whether it is out of curiosity, insecurity or leverage, or if it is to drum up conversation.

I go back to what I''m doing after that uncomfortable 5 minute conversation.

I believe that words are powerful.  The words show us who we are and what we represent.    In this fast-paced day of technology, it is more important than ever to choose our words wisely.


 “When life puts you in tough situations, don’t say “Why Me?”  Just say, “Try Me!”

Thursday, January 2, 2014

Health Tip: Create healthy habits and record progress.

As you create healthy habits, record your progress. Tracking your progress will reinforce your commitment to a healthy lifestyle.

Daily Post #2: A Letter to My Daughter for the New Year (2014)

A Letter to My Daughter for the New Year (2014)  *To My Favorite Daughter, Staci you are an adult and you are far from little anymore!

Don't forget what you learned in Kindergarten.   Did you know the key life lessons are taught when you are young, and the most valuable lessons are taught when you are in Kindergarten?  As Robert Fulghum states, in Kindergarten you learn to share everything, play fair, don't hit people, put things back where you found them, clean up your own mess, don't take things that aren't yours, say your sorry when you hurt somebody, wash your hands before you eat, flush the toilet, warm cookies and cold milk are good for you, live a balance life (which includes learn, draw, paint, sing and dance and work every day), take a nap every afternoon, watch for traffic, hold hands, and stick together, be aware of wonder (remember that little seed, then it takes roots, and grows branches; but, nobody knows how or why, AND we are all like that), all living things die and so do we, and remember the first word you learned and biggest word of all is, LOOK!  

And you already know that, Reading, Writing, Math and Science are very useful!

Stay close to this advice.  I want you to hold onto the magic of language and numbers in a way that I was never able to do.  You will speak your entire life in ways that will internalize the experience, be sacred and impact others.  I also believe, along with Fulghum who states, that imagination is stronger than knowledge, myth is more influential than history, laughter is a cure for death and dreams are more powerful than facts and love is stronger than death (you can gather this from how I live).

Remember this as you take on life and encounter experiences.

You are what you eat.  No one does a better job than you by eating healthy.  As you continue to learn how to bake and cook from scratch, realize the importance of reading the nutrition labels.  And continue to expand your mind and grow into the good foods that work for your body.  You are a smart adult and you know that the wrong foods can cause obesity and disease.  The right foods help you feel better and give you more energy to live life to your fullest.  I encourage you keep close tabs on your inner self and nourish your body with the foods that provide energy and good health.

It doesn't matter if Santa, the Tooth Fairy or Athena is not real.  What matters most is that you discover the strength of faith, believe and love.  Don't let the unrefined commercial exchange of goods, products and gift cards get in the way of what is in your heart.  There is a value in the sense of faith and sense of belief; it channels your feeling and experiences.  If you can find a feeling of wonder and warmth in the simplest of situations we bring it every place we go.   We feel this, together, always.  Never forget where this feeling comes from, inside yourself, in your heart.

Your stories that you make up will carry you forward.  You have gone places I can only dream about.  Your world is an echo, through happiness and disappointment...you will always be able to imagine the next place to be.  The more places you imagine yourself to be at, the more you understand how to live anywhere.  You know I like to tell stories.  I imagine your life in the best possible way.  Your bravery in sharing and speaking your life, reflecting on yourself, about us and in the world we live makes you very special.  Your experience right now are making you stronger; go the distance.  Remember when it was just too hard, when you seemed to have no choice but to stop?  Don't stop; keep going.  The stories you create are your own.  It may seem strange or difficult right now, but you know the strength you gain and the stories you create are everlasting.  Hold onto those stories, use those stories as you go out in the world and use your talents to speak to audiences.  That IS your passion.

Your mom and dad are a gift that will stay with you the longest.  We play, laugh, cry and get mad together!  As Fulfhum says, "We are all a little weird... life is a little weird... we find someone whose weirdness is compatible with ours.  We join up with them and fall into a mutually satisfying weirdness.  This is called love... true love."  When you find that weirdness, hang onto it and don't let it go.  Work at it, be open to it and embrace it.  Do this every day.  You know weirdness falls in the family, I hear it from you every day, how "weird" mom is, and you accept it and embrace it.  I love you for who you are, take that love and spread it to others.  Keep that weirdness and fun personality you possess and be proud of that weirdness.  It makes you a special individual with such love, that the compatibility you find with outshine your current expectations.

I wish that you have all the love, peace and kindness.  Because love is never-ending like the never-ending stories you create in your life.

Love you always, Mom

*Love and compassion are necessities, not luxuries.  Without them, humanity cannot survive.  ~Dalai Lama

Wednesday, January 1, 2014

Writing tip for the new year:...

Write one word in your journal every day for a year. Read the resulting piece on New Year's Eve at midnight! What will today's word be?

January 2014
1. Crisp pleasantly cold and invigorating
2. Unabashed not embarrassed
3. Brevity being brief or fleeting or the use of brief expressions
4. Abjuren formally reject or disavow a formerly held belief, usually under pressure
5. Seny A combination of well-pondered perception of situations, level-headedness, awareness, integrity and right action.
6. quintessential representing the perfect example of a class or quality.
7 Progress
8 Burgeon - come forth, bud, begin to grow quickly
9 Quintessential representing the perfect example of a class or quality
10 Capricious
11 flagellating usually nonphotosynthetic free-living protozoan with whiplike appendages; some pathogens of humans and other animals (n.) whip (v.).

*Note: This post will be updated each day, come back, and watch the story form daily!

Daily Post 1: Cold, crisp, snowy day.

What a beautiful, cold, crisp, snowy day.  

I wake up this morning, look out the window and find, snowflakes drifting on the crystalized snow.  I sit up and stretch, thinking, 'What a great adventure to take a walk in the fluffy stuff.'  So, I put on my snow pants, heave on my heavy down coat, pull my boots on and top it off with my hat, mittens and scarf.

Luna was following me as she could sense what I was planning to do.

With a warm mug of coffee in hand, I open the door.  A gust of ice-cold wind hits my face.  I close the door behind me and don't look back.

Luna, being a boxer, jumps up and down almost to my shoulders, with excitement.

Leon grabs her leash and Luna immediately pulls the end of the leash as she walks herself along the snow-cleared driveway.

I walk down the flattened treads, kicking the fluffy snow surrounding the treadmarks.

We talk about the simple things.

I was caught off guard by the ice-cold wind hitting my face as we walked.  Too cold, I decide to cut our walk short.  It turns out the temperature was grazing 0° degrees.

Arriving back in the house, I am in front of the roaring fireplace, with a cup of coffee.  I watch the flames and listen to the wood crackle below.

Happy New Year!

Health Tip: Decrease fat and calories...

To decrease fat and calories in a hamburger patty, yet keep the taste, mix half ground turkey and half lean ground beef to form your hamburger patty.