Advertisements
Archive | You Need To Know RSS feed for this section

Thanksgiving, Texas Girl Style

20 Nov

When we lived in Texas and our kids were little, Thanksgiving was a time of making extra pies for neighbors and visiting Mom-Mom’s house with a few key items we had been asked to bring. Years went by with the kids and grandparents getting older and more of the cooking, along with the ‘when and where’ of Thanksgiving dinner, became my responsibility. It was a gradual change, which I didn’t mind at all, because I love cooking and sharing a meal with our loved ones and friends we consider family.

When Thanksgiving Day finally came, our friends always made it easier with combined dinners where all the cooking didn’t fall on one person; and fried turkeys gave the men something to do while holding a cold beer and trying not to set the house on fire with the hot oil (some good memories were made around that turkey fryer). Add a few state moves over the last five years for us, and our Thanksgiving celebrations have become a quiet day of football with our little family while enjoying a very casual menu. We do miss our big gathering of family and friends, but we usually see everyone around Christmas when they make the trek from Texas to visit us and play in the snow.

For this Texas girl, my Thanksgiving menu is casual and easy. It is about having a collection of food available that will allows us to nibble all day while watching football and without the burden of anyone spending too much time in the kitchen. At the beginning of the week, homemade pies in canning jars will be mailed back home so we can share a little homemade goodness with those we love. And for my little family now located up north and our new friends who will be joining us on Thanksgiving Day, my menu combines a Texas flavor with a little bit of traditional Thanksgiving. Each recipe will be showcased here, and I will also be available Wednesday from noon to 5pm MST, Thursday from 8am to 2pm MST, via TwitterFacebook or Skype for last minute ideas, tips and tricks!

Food is Love…WH

Advertisements

Love Your Windows! Treat them Properly.

19 Nov

Let’s talk about windows.  Bright, happy, glorious windows.  If we’re honest I think most people will admit that they don’t give their windows due attention.   I want to provide some inspiration, as well as some great tips and tricks on hanging your fabrics correctly.  I have to admit that when I walk into a room, anywhere, I look at the window treatments… how they’re hung, the type of fabric{s} used, colors, etc.  Here are some favorites…

One of the biggest mistakes I see people make is hanging their hardware either too low or too close together.  How many of you have hung your hardware, just relieved that it’s level, only to hang your fabrics and find there’s a gap on either side of the window?  Admit it… it’s happened.  Window treatments are one of the simplest ways to maximize your wall height.  Hanging your hardware just a minute below your ceiling creates a dramatic effect that elongates an abbreviated wall.  Hang it at the perfect width {approx 3″ outside the window frame} and you create the illusion that your window is wider than it truly is, as well as utilize all that wonderful natural light.

A few tricks of the trade:

1.  The remnant section at your favorite fabric store can be your best friend.  If I can sew, anyone can!

2.  Please, please do not hang a 7′ fabric on a 9′ length!  Your fabric should touch the floor… pooling is optional.

3.  Your hardware need not be ornate.  Do stay consistent with scale and substance.

Make it Beautiful! ~ JB

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.

XO ~ JB

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?

Halloween Is My Gateway Holiday…

31 Oct

I have never admitted to anyone, until this weekend, that I DO NOT like Halloween, and every year, I face it with dread and apprehension. I hate that The History Channel tries to convince me that zombies could be real and that I should prepare for a zombie apocalypse. I hate that little kids are scared by the different costumes when they go out in the dark to get their candy. If I knew their address, I would deliver candy to their house. I do not like the thought of people thinking that on this one day, ghosts and spirits are more active. My thought: “No, you are just more wierd!” But most of all, I hate that I have to decorate for something with a color scheme of orange and black.  What can you really do with orange and black? I had always kept these feelings to myself, until this weekend.

It was when Joanna asked me if I liked Halloween and not trying to sound like I was a party pooper that I answered her with, “It is not my favorite holiday.” Joanna, in her typical brutal honesty, told me that she hated Halloween along with her oldest son. I can not tell you my relief upon hearing this, because I thought I was alone.  I had never admitted my loathing of this particular holiday until this weekend when I told her how much I also hated Halloween. It was after my friend gave me the courage to admit my feelings that I realized that Halloween is our “Gateway Holiday.”

Once Halloween is over, I can begin to think about the planning of visits from friends and families; making pies, cookies and dinners; picking the perfect gift for those we love; but, most of all, being thankful for all the blessings in our life. Today I am thankful for my girlfriend giving me the courage to be honest about my feelings and helping me find a new way to look at Halloween.

So on this day, that makes some of us happy and others, like me, look forward to the last of the cute costumes coming to the door, just know that sometimes it takes a good friend to help you admit and own your truth. And at the very least, she can help me fight off the zombies if they show up at my door. I may want to invite a lot of friends over, just in case the zombie apocalypse occurs…thank you History Channel for all the tips.

On the scariest night of the year, be safe, enjoy the little ones and give out extra candy to everyone.

Happy “Gateway H0liday” to those of you out there who stand with us, and Happy Halloween to everyone else.

Big Hug…W

Live Out Loud!

30 Oct

I cannot take credit for this amazing list, that is due Sonya Derian of LittleBuddha.com.  I came across this list about two months ago and it spoke to me.  There are things here I fail at, and things that are inherently ‘me’, and I love that it challenges me to be better at it all.  Take what you will from it, but at the end of the day, I think it’s important to understand that we all have so much to give.  Getting past whether or not our gifts fit into what we ‘think’ our life should look like is integral to our growth.

Contributing our gifts to our family, community, and the world is a responsibility we should hold ourselves to.  One of my favorite quotes:  “It’s never too late to change your life.” We don’t know how long we have on this earth. Life is short. Use everything you have.

1. Live your life on purpose. Not on “default.” Be Proactive. Make conscious and deliberate choices. When you don’t choose, circumstances choose for you and you are never leading: you are following or catching up—or worse, living in “default” mode.

2. Utilize your full potential. Give what you’re doing your best and fullest attention. Be here now. Even if you’re not where you want to be, giving it half your effort doesn’t move you forward. Master what you have at hand, for the sake of mastering it and something will shift.

3. Overcome your fear. Get out of your comfort zone. Find out you have a pulse. Let something give you butterflies in your stomach. This is how you know you’re alive—how you grow into something new. Every fear overcome is a freedom gained. Don’t know how to overcome fear? Do the thing you’re afraid of. Cross them off the list. Make it a game. Pretty soon, you will be invincible.

4. Discover a new talent. One of my favorite quotes by Martha Grimes is, “We don’t know who we are until we see what we can do.” But we don’t find this out until we try something new. Learn a new instrument, take an art class, play with a digital camera, sign up for a salsa class, take up cooking, plant a garden, join toastmasters, pick up a needle and thread, try mountain climbing, go scuba diving, camping or kayaking. Find something that interests you and explore it. You never know what will come out of it.

5. Honor your word. When you strip everything else away, your word is all you’ve got. Do what you say you’re going to do. By honoring your word, you honor yourself. And it doesn’t feel good when you don’t. So, make it a habit. Value your integrity and keep your promises. It’s a good life practice. It’s a good business practice.

6. Create a new habit or break an old one. Who has dominion over your life—you or your habits? Make it a game. How many things can you get under your control? How many bad habits can you convert? There is a great sense of empowerment when you feel you are in charge of your life. This helps you get there.

7. Pay a stranger a compliment. Not only does it make someone else feel good, but it makes you feel good to compliment someone else. All of the sudden the world is small and the stranger next to us becomes our friend and we recognize that we’re all in this together.

8. Take yourself out on a date. Treat yourself. Bring a book. Bring something you’re working on. Bring a journal and use it to write up all the amazing qualities that you want in a partner or a friendship when it comes your way. Find somewhere that has music or wireless and plant yourself there. Have a meal, enjoy it. Treat yourself. You deserve it. Living out loud is playing out loud whether you have someone to join you or not. And you never know who you might meet or strike up a conversation with.

9. Take 100% responsibility for your life. If things aren’t working out in your favor, take note and ask yourself what your part in it is. Being a victim is passé, boring. There is no power in blaming other people. Don’t wait for other people to change. When you change, your world will follow suit.

10. Live in the question. There is nothing you cannot be, do or have. So do not impose limitations on yourself. Instead of saying you can’t get there, ask “How can I get there?” Live in the affirmation of possibility rather than the declaration of negativity. There is always a way, and it is being presented consistently, but you have to live in the question to be on the lookout for the answer.

11. Make more decisions for yourself. There is great power in making a decision. It’s a declaration. You don’t know what you want? Then look at what you don’t want and work backwards. I bet you do know what you want; you just haven’t been in the habit of asking yourself. Hey. That’s a new habit to change! (See #6)

12. Learn to say “No.” To live your best possible life, you need to learn how to say no to the things that aren’t serving you. The best barometer to measure this by is: if it isn’t a “hell yeah” (yippee, so fun, can’t wait), then it is most probably a no. If you have to talk yourself into it, it’s a no. Once you get comfortable saying no, everything becomes a matter of choice. Living a life of choice is a living a life of freedom.

13. Know your own value. Others may be more educated, skilled or talented in one or another area, but there is something magnificent and valuable about what you have to offer this world that, in comparison, is equal. Do not allow yourself or anyone else to diminish it. You have a learning disability? So did Dr. John Demartini and that’s what makes him the most powerful speaker today. Joe Vitale came from homelessness. Look at him now. Stop idolizing anyone else’s gifts and dismissing your own.

14. Give yourself permission. For everything. Permission to make mistakes. Permission to shine. Permission to look beautiful. Permission to accept (instead of correct or dismiss) praise. Permission to have bad days. Permission to get angry. Permission to cry, to laugh, to scream. Permission to take the day off. Permission to take a nap, go to sleep early. Permission to get a massage. Permission to do nothing. Permission to succeed. Life is about being here now, in all your full range of emotions, mood swings, wins and losses. Give yourself permission to live out loud today.

15. Own your own opinion. No one has to agree with you in order for your opinion to matter. Stop waiting for consensus. YOU matter. Your opinion matters. The nature of Living Out Loud is that some people will agree with you and some people won’t. You will NEVER get consensus. So, stop looking for it. The only question you have to ask is, does your opinion matter to you? Claim it. Own it. And know that with new information, it could change tomorrow. Life is transitory. Live in the evolution.

16. Do not punish yourself for past actions. Your past behavior was what you’ve done, but it is not who you are. Who you are is still unfolding. Mistakes, errors in judgments, and failures all add to our character and value. They make us human and compassionate and wise. To berate yourself for acquiring these valuable qualities is wrong, so stop it. A new beginning starts today.

17. Live in the realm of “possibility” rather than “probability.” Stay open at the top. You don’t know what the outcome can be. Statistics are made up of groups. You are an Individual. Be the individual that charts your own course. You don’t know what is possible for you until you find out.

18. Do not argue for your limitations, but instead focus on your strengths. We all have weaknesses, but we also have our strengths. What do you do well? Practice that. When you lead with your strengths, the rest follows suit. And miraculously, your limitations sort of disappear. What you focus on grows.

19. Practice gratitude. In a world of imperfections, it’s amazing how perfect things actually are. But sometimes we have to look for them. When your life’s circumstances aren’t working in your favor, the one thing you do have control over is your attitude. If you lead with gratitude, and create a habit of it, in short order, your life will change.

20. Be authentic. Thoreau said, “If I am not I, who will be?” Did you ever notice that the ones who are most successful are not the ones that follow the masses and trends, but the ones who stand in their own authentic expression and declare who they are? Regardless of who agrees with them? There is an expression that is uniquely yours and to dismiss it, is to dismiss the divine.

21. Own your own power. The answers are not outside of you. Own what you know. The more you practice this, the more you hone the powerful magnetic field that surrounds you and the more power you emit in your convictions, knowing and in your life. Your results will confirm this.

22. Stop Complaining. Complaining is a form of passive victimhood. Ask yourself instead, why is this happening to me and what part do I play in this picture? Then work on your part of the solution. Have you ever found yourself not setting a boundary and allowing someone to take advantage of you? Or not taking care of yourself in a situation and getting burned by the outcome? We are always the single common denominators in our lives and we are the only ones we have control over. Use what you are complaining about as your inner clues as to where you need to start taking better care of yourself.

23. Practice “being” and have nothing to prove. Know your own value with or without results. Your value is in your human being-ness not your human doing-ness. In a society that is wrapped up in image, this is sometimes difficult to practice. People ask what you do, not who you are. But a person who knows their own value, does not have to prove it.

24. Be of service. Offer your help where you can and do your part in making the world a friendly place. We are all in this together. As Gandhi preached: be the change that you wish to see happen. You would be surprised by the impact you have.

25. Love generously. Spread random acts of kindness and senseless acts of beauty. Hatred is already rampant. We need to tip the scales the other way. Love is a far more powerful emotion and has far reaching consequences. Living out loud means loving Out loud. And ironically, the more you love, the more love you have to give.

26. Find your bliss and live your passion. Again, don’t know what that is? Then it’s time to find out! Your emotions give away clues. When your life has spun out of control and you are finding yourself in a tizzy, go back to what makes you happiest and do that. The more you follow this thread, the more you are leading with the heart. There are always ways to monetize your passion, to find ways to make a living at what you love, but first you have to discover it. Your emotions don’t lie. Follow their lead.

27. Stop waiting. Life is happening right now. Don’t wait for the right career, the perfect relationship, the landfill of money. Make the best of what you have right now and be creative with it. Don’t put your life on pause. Live with the possibility that what you are waiting for can arrive tomorrow, and live your best life today.

28. Let other people off the hook. They didn’t mean harm, and even if they did, it hurt them more than it hurt you. Pick yourself up, dust yourself off, and rise even taller. Don’t use anyone as your excuse to shirk your responsibility to live a bigger life. Victimhood is not a badge of honor. Overcoming adversity is. Use success and joy as your barometer. And march on.

29. Use co-creation to help you. We are always working in conjunction with invisible forces. They want to create on your behalf, but they are waiting for your leadership to direct them. Living out loud means acknowledging that we are a big presence with a big force of nature at our disposal. We don’t underestimate our power. We utilize it.

30. March to the beat of your own drum and stay the course. Do you hear your own music, but find yourself dancing to the tune of someone else’s beat? Stop it. Were you told at any point in your life that your own music was the wrong kind? Re-Consider. The symphony of the world’s vibration, the hum of its tune, is the sound OM (aum). Your task is to find your own Om—your life force vibration, life pattern or purpose, your song or melody . Find it, claim it, express it, and live it. Never give up on yourself. You are who you are. It’s time to honor that and make use of it. Stay the course.

For many of us, this is already a way of life. But to others, some of these practices may feel daunting. To you, I say this: just start. You may not succeed 100% of the time, but like a friend once said, “Life is a hard hat zone, we’re always under construction.”

Bloom where you are planted. Work from the inside out. Make the commitment to yourself and get started.

Find your “OM”. Claim It. Own it. Express It. Live it. You are divinely supported.

– Sonya Darien

Sunday Blessings to you all!

xo JB

#Dear Santa: Birch Box

30 Oct

I am a product junkie.  I know I’m getting older, and as a lifelong sunshine lover, I am fighting some, uh, smile lines. 😉  But I am not going to age without a fight!  I am all about finding the best, most effective, yummiest, smartest products to keep my face/hair/body amazing and healthy.  Yesterday I found a FUN company that offers you the ability to play with a product {try it long enough to determine its value} for such a fab value that you owe it not only to yourself, but also to your BFF.  And maybe your mother and sister{s}.  Trust me; they’ll thank you.

Each month, a fab box will arrive at your door with a handful of new products.  Yes, delivered to your door.  Here’s the link… go… do it…. right now.  What are you waiting for?!  Birch Box!

My grandmother was right when she said “Always wear lipstick and curl your eyelashes… it makes everything else less important.”

xo ~ JB