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Think Outside The Box For Gift Giving This Holiday Season… #giftgivingideas

16 Nov

I am the worst at remembering birthdays and anniversaries (even my own…my husband teases me every year) and all those other events in my friend’s and families lives that I kick myself for not remembering. (I have found a new system I think will finally work, and I will report back.) This time of year is when I am able to finally redeem myself. I may not get the cards in the mail on time if at all, but I do my very best to get Christmas presents mailed before the deadline.

My favorite part of this process is finding that perfect gift for each of my family members and friends who inspire and support me throughout the year. For my sister, I try to send sweet treats, a little something fun and something just for her to pamper herself. She is a single mom and works very hard every day to raise my two wonderful nephews. For my friends, I try to think about what they like, what makes them laugh and what they might love. These picks do not have to be expensive.

This year, I will be sending Louisiana Hot Nuts, JW Chocolate Chip Cookies, fresh bread for my nephews, JW Signature Sugar Britches Sugar Scrub for my sister and friends, along with a little something special for each one of them. Some of the personal gifts will make them laugh and others I hope they will have for a long time…a little reminder of their family who has a geographic location that allows them to drive to Canada if they so choose.  So when thinking about what to give, mail or share, take a little time to think outside the box this year. In this age of email, Twitter, Facebook and other electronic media, receiving a box or letter in the mail is a wonderful treat. And it’s the discovering of what’s in the box that is the most fun. The gift below is one of the items my husband will give me this year. He just doesn’t know it yet. 😉 Thank you, honey, for the modern wind chimes. He is so awesome!

Ateenan Aamu Chimes

Ateenan Aamu Chimes - $45

Big Hug…WH

10 Life Lessons You Should Unlearn – #MondayMotivation

14 Nov

I work every day to be present in my life, so I can hear the whispers of my higher self. I take the lessons I have learned over the years from the self motivational books I have read; the Oprah shows I have watched; and the people I have met and try to incorporate them into what I know to be true. I know I can’t remember everything, but little bits and pieces have stuck with me through the years to make me the person I am today. But, I must admit, I LOVE IT when someone tells me to unlearn something and think of it in a different way; especially when it is something I have been preaching to my friends and family members for years. I LOVE IT! I give this gift to you from…

10 Life Lessons You Should Unlearn by Martha Beck from From the May 2010 issue of O, The Oprah Magazine

Enjoy the gift of unlearning something. I enjoyed the review and did learn a few things as I read (shhh…we can keep that part secret). (;

Big Hug…WH

Why God Gave us Girlfriends…

14 Nov

I have been meeting new people all my life.  Raised in a military family, meeting new friends was a way of life.  I count my blessings that I have the girlfriends I do.  There’s a small handful of women who I know, inside and out, and who know me the same way.  We laugh together, cry together, dream and pray together, give each other volumes of unsolicited advice, cheer for each other and dust each other off when we trip {or nose dive into a crater}.  It’s a leap of faith to have a true girlfriend; the kind who know all of you and love you anyway.   You have to be brave, and you have to choose wisely because they aren’t all made of the steel required to stand next to you through the good, bad and the ugly.

My cast of characters is fairly well rounded… the Comedian, the Genius, the Beauty Queen, the BadA*s, the Sweetheart and my business partner, the #CoolestGirlEver.  Without them, well, I’m not sure where I’d be, but because these women are more ‘sister’ than ‘friend’, I know I don’t ever have to think about that.  We are bonded by our experiences, our present paths and the promise of the future.  If you have your own cast of characters, thank them… applaud them and love them the way you want to be loved.  Hold their hand and let them know it will always be there.  It’s a gift.


Make Thanksgiving Pretty!

13 Nov

I love decorating for the holidays.  Thanksgiving and its rich color wheel make me so happy… it’s a great time to pull out the china, your best linens, the family crystal and dazzle your guests.  This year, everyone in my house will be gone Thanksgiving week, so we put up our Christmas tree on the 6th {Gasp!} and I will not apologize for it.  That being said, if you’re home this Thanksgiving, give it its due attention. Here’s some fab and fun ideas that won’t break the bank!

I think that every holiday is an opportunity to show your family and friends how talented and clever you are.  Candied apples as dessert or sweet M&M gifts are lovely ways to offer an unexpected sweet treat.  A centerpiece of family members {photos} who aren’t able to join you is a beautiful way to include them as well as promote conversation.  Candles are a staple, and always a sure fire {no pun intended} way to warm a tablescape.  Make it beautiful & delicious and inspire your guests!

Food is love!


Dandelions Everywhere, and all I can think about is purchasing a high powered fan. #itsasouthernthing

12 Nov

The visual presentation from FlipFlipMeHeidi is amazing. Take a second to go through the blog. I just can’t get over the dandelion ceiling. How fun and creative. Enjoy.

regine ramseier dandy-2.jpg

regine ramseier dandy-4.jpg

101 in 1001

7 Nov

A few weeks ago I was introduced to a photography blog of a friend of a friend.  While the photographer’s work was lovely, something else on her site caught my attention.  She’d made a list of 101 things she wanted to achieve in 1001 days.  They were quirky and fun, personal and tenacious. It inspired me.

When I shared this with Wendy, we decided to do the same.  We have a ways to go, but want to share what we have thus far.  We also want to encourage you to make your own list.  This is different from a bucket list in that this is specific, time oriented and takes deliberate effort.  It may be personal, or professional, or a combination of the two… but it’s yours.  Some of these are ours specifically, and some are mutual goals.

1. Know enough about fishing to enter a fishing tournament.
2. Hike the Pacific Coast Trail. – JW
3. Publish a cookbook with a friend. 😉 – JW
4. Swim with the stingray in the Cayman Islands with my kids.
5. Learn how to ski well {this is ALL Wendy, but I will go and watch!}
6. Jump out of a plane with my husband and my kids and having a parachute would be fun also.
7. Learn to kayak and go river rafting. – JW
8. Do a hike-in camp for a week in the Colorado mountains with the family and friends.
9. Go to Madrono Ranch Hog School. – JW
10. NRA Colorado Elk Hunt and Women’s Gun Camp. – JW
11. Do the Texas Water Safari. – JW
12. Do a cross country bike ride.
13. Put something together about starting a business doing something that brings me joy and is focused on what I love doing. – JW
14. Hit 1,000,000 followers on Twitter. – JW
15. Create a unique and profitable retail collection. – JW
16. Publish our story. – JW
17. Eat the best pizza in Italy w my family and Wendy & her family. – JW
18. Spend two weeks in Bali. – JW
19. Hike through South America, learning about their food and indigenous culture.
20. Climb Machu Pichu – JW
21. Go on a weekend shopping spree in NYC – JW 1 year anniversary!
22. Take a two week pastry class in France with Wendy. – JW
23. Cook w Paula Deen on the Food Network – JW
24. Create a seminar/speaking event for women where we talk, teach, motivate and challenge them to pick a girlfriend and start fulfilling their dreams – JW
25. Outsell the ad space on our blog. – JW
26. Sign a sponsorship deal with Vitamin Water.

We will keep you posted on our progress, and if you’re keeping tabs, you will see this list grow in the coming weeks.  Our 1001 days end on August 1, 2014.  It may seem like a long time from now, but Wendy and I met 1278 days ago and it would take me weeks, perhaps months, to share all that we have experienced, accomplished, witnessed and survived in that time.  Time is precious… what will you do with yours?

Thanksgiving, part 1

2 Nov

I’ve been thinking about all the Thanksgivings of my past, and how they’re all so different!  Some have been full of family, football, women in the kitchen and lots of kid’s tables and others have been spent on beaches, with pool boys bringing drinks and gorgeous dinners served to me.  I’ve also taken my kids to explore for this holiday break, one of my favorites was a trip that my oldest son and I took to NYC years ago… we did the Macy’s Parade, Phantom of the Opera, FAO Schwartz, etc… and it began his love affair with this great city.

This year I’ll be spending the holiday with friends, my older sister, niece & nephew.  We will be sharing family recipes, making memories and relaxing together for a few much needed days off.  I’m road-tripping through the west, putting my feet in the sand in SoCal and playing in the desert of Nevada.  A week of calm and quiet, good food and people I love… which will prepare me for Christmas, which is an entirely different post that you will get in a few weeks.  🙂

We want to know how you’re spending YOUR Thanksgiving… what traditions you enjoy, if you travel or everyone comes to you, and the burning question… when do you put up your Christmas tree?  We’re open to debate over the turkey as well… fried or baked?  I’ll just say this about that… I’m from a family that fries everything but their children but I like mine wrapped in bacon and baked long and slow.  We look forward to your stories, treasures and feedback!

Food is love! ~ JB

Wonderful Women doing Wonderful Things…

1 Nov

We love a good story about wonderful women doing wonderful things and The Caramel Jar is just one of those stories. Not only is this story inspiring from a motivational standpoint, but it might be a great gift idea for Christmas. Find your joy…put it in a jar…and make others happy every day…

Enjoy the sweetness of life!

Big Hug…W