Monthly Archives: December 2013

My Top 10 Reflections

Goodbye 2013, Hello 2014!!!

2013 has had its fair share of ups and downs with everything in between!

I have learned some valuable lessons as well as some tough lessons.

I have experienced growth in inches, spurts and leaps.

I have been loving, reflecting and celebrating what I do have in my life!

I have been hoping, wishing and dreaming.

I am living for TODAY and NOT Someday! It is about now and appreciation versus when and expectations. I DO WANT MORE, but MORE of what I ALREADY HAVE!


Reflecting . . .

  1. I love spending time with my greatest someone, especially adventuring together.
  2. I traveled, I adventured and I explored throughout the year.
  3. I am lucky and so blessed to live the life I DO HAVE!
  4. I am learning that in loving myself that I can share and receive love back.
  5. I am learning that living my life is more about progress than perfection.
  6. I have been taking time for myself and my needs.
  7. I have been on a creative writing streak.
  8. I am a work in progress when it comes to getting unstuck in my professional life.
  9. I am learning to control my emotions and deal with my emotions, feelings and thoughts in a safe and healthy way.
  10. I am trying to be more open-minded by gaining new perspectives, especially when stressed, frustrated and just pissed off.


Happy Adventuring!!! (Photos by RSheridan)

Here’s to Letting Go and Being Open to the Opportunities and Living the LIFE YOU WANT!!! Happy NEW YEAR – Here’s To MANY ADVENTURES In 2014!!!

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Oh The Goodness!!!

Celebrating Life

I usually think of gratitude as what good did I do and/or share today, this week, this month, or even this year! I feel good in doing good and giving back. I become more aware of the big picture instead of just focusing in on the details. I feel that I give more of myself to others, especially through inspiration and encouragement!


Be Thankful!

I really try to give thanks more than once a year! I also try not to give thankless thank you’s to others. I want to give thanks from a place of love, kindness and compassion! I also want to give thanks for not only the successes, but the challenges due to the lessons learned and the growth experienced.

The Big 3 Questions To Ask Yourself

  1. What Good Did I Do/Share?
  2. I Give Thanks for . . .
  3. I Am Grateful for . . .

There are times the focus is on being on “OVER” everything and anything! The pressure, tension and stress kicks in. I get down on myself or hard on myself. It makes me want to have one heck of a pity party for myself!


P-A-R-T-Y!!!

Then I just think and reflect about how much good there is in my life! I need to revel in the joy and the happiness. I need to acknowledge the thankfulness and the gratefulness in my life. I need to be celebrating that and MORE!

The Biggest, Baddest Question To Ask Yourself

  • What Am I Taking For Granted . . .
  • How Can I Turn That Into Gratitude!

I know I can complain and woe is me all I want, but it really does not achieve any real results!

I need to be spending my time and my energy on the good and the positive! I need to work on communicating, interacting and connecting better with my greatest someone and greatest someones. I need to learn how to give and how to receive with grace, kindness and most of all love!


Growing . . . Connecting . . .

The Final 2 Questions

  • How can I be more open and accept the opportunities, the changes and the challenges in my life?
  • How can I be more appreciative and thankful for the lessons, the growth and the experiences?

I know I do not put my full potential out there some days! I know I do not stretch my comfort zone enough. I am working on being more open and putting myself out there more! I am trying to learn and grow from the changes and challenges that I experience in my life.


Stretching . . . Being (Photos by RSheridan)

It is a process and a learning experience to become more aware, be more mindful and just have more gratitude when it comes to living the life I WANT!


Welcoming the Day

Taking It One Day at a Time!

I am all for Welcoming a New Day! I prefer to start the day on a good foot and be in the present moment. However, I am not on the happier side of life every day! Some days I need a little practice to see the positive light and just be.

I have to find the 3 I’s:

  • Inspiration
  • In the Present Moment
  • Intention

Inspiration

What Inspires You On a Daily Basis?

I enjoy a great breakfast and a cup of joe. I love sharing and receiving smiles and laughs! I enjoy when someone does something nice for me. I love to take time out for myself to read and write!

In the Present Moment

How Do You Be In the Present Moment?

I really try to approach each day as if it is a GIFT! A gift that is opened carefully, embraced and celebrated. I prefer to find the calm among the chaos and focus on one task at a time! Otherwise I just feel stressed out and overwhelmed.

Intention

What is Your Mantra on a Daily Basis? What Will You Create Today? Do You Believe That What You Desire Will Come True?

Some people have a favorite quote or poem. Some people create daily affirmations or have an agenda for the day. Some people like to journal and write down thoughts and actions. Some people like to reflect on the day; mindful of, grateful for, appreciate this and that.


(Photos by RSheridan)

Here’s to Discovering That You Are Right Where You Need To Be!!!


Days Are

Too Short

I still find each day too short

for all the thoughts I want to think,

all the walks I want to take,

all the books I want to read,

and all the friends I want to see. ~John Burroughs


(Photos by RSheridan)

Remember to Take the Time to Do the Things You Enjoy – Even if it is for 5 Minutes!!!


Living the Big & Beautiful Life – Dec

CREATING and CELEBRATING Your Story.

What are YOU Craving in Life?

You Name IT! What is Your Heart’s Desire Right NOW?

SNOW People, Ornaments, Twinkling Lights . . .

What Motivates YOU?

To Be the BEST Person YOU Can Be!

Getting Out of the Cold & Staying WARM!!!

What are YOU Celebrating?

From Teeny Tiny to Somewhere in Between to HUGE! SHARE It & SHOUT It OUT!

Spending Time With the Ones I LOVE!


(Photos by RSheridan)

YOUR TURN, GO . . .

LOOK from WITHIN & CELEBRATE LIFE!!! Please Jump In and Share Your Successes!


My Healthy Toolkit

Starts In The Kitchen

Kitchen Essentials

The 1 – 2 – 3

1 Good Sharp Knife, 2 Good Cutting Boards and 3 Good Cooking Pans!

  • Invest in a good chef’s knife that works best for your needs and it will do the job for most jobs.
  • Find a cutting board that works best for your needs and buy two; one for meats and one for fruits and veggies.
  • Invest in three good cooking pans that works best for your needs; sauté (frying) pan, stock pot and a pan that suites your style of cooking (i.e. wok, dutch oven, cast iron, etc.).
  • A good sauté (frying)  pan cuts down on sticking, uneven cooking, burning, etc. It allows you to cut back on oils and fats and cook with water, broth or nothing added.

The Electric Stock Pot

  • I love my programmable electric stock pot; the crock pot! I use the crock pot for cooking and heating. The possibilities are endless (i.e. breakfast, lunch, snacks, dinners, side dishes, desserts, etc.).

Water

  • Water Bottles of all Shapes and Sizes
  • Pitchers and Carafes
  • Tea Kettles and Tea Infusers
  • Coffee Makers (heat up water/make tea)
  • Camelbak(s)

I carry a water bottle with me every day. I also have a Camelbak when I need more than a water bottle of water or want to be more hands free.

Blender

I blew up a few blenders in the past. Then I had the opportunity to make an investment in a Vita Mix and love it! Any blender is better than no blender.

Steamer

I have a layered steamer, so I can steam rice in one and veggies in the other. I have been looking into rice cookers lately too.

Spatulas, Wooden Spoons, Whisks . . .

I have multiple crocks (for easy access) as well as drawers full of cooking utensils. I probably have way more than I need too. I love having a hand masher when I do not have the time to break out the electronic versions.

Extras

Spices

Find your go to spices or blend of spices (i.e. Ms. Dash, lemon pepper, garlic herb, etc.).

Herbs

We decided to try our hand at growing herbs again and it worked this time. Rosemary, Thyme, Oregano, and Chives, etc. You can buy fresh or dry herbs or even grow your own (can be grown inside or outside). I am learning how to store fresh herbs (i.e. what and how to store in the fridge or leave on the counter).

Experiment

  • Try new foods or new recipes with those new foods or foods you already like.
  • Try different methods of cooking too (i.e. raw, steamed, grilled, roasted, etc.).
  • Learn the art of blending, especially to blend in fruits, veggies and greens.

Somethings may be tricky or just plain trip you up, but keep on experimenting! Keep the cooking as well as the eating interesting. You may even SURPRISE yourself when you try and taste something that becomes a NEW! LOVE! Remember creating a healthier lifestyle should be FUN and not a chore.

Here’s To Improving as a Cook and as an Eater When It Comes to Creating a Healthier YOU!!!


Give Yourself Some Cha-Ching

Your Values Matter

Sometimes you just lose yourself along the way, especially when it comes to what matters the most in your life. Sometimes what you think matters is not what you really value in your life. Are you getting what you want/need out of your life? Think about it.

You are Braver than you Believe,

Smarter than you Seem, and

Stronger than you Think. ~Winnie the Pooh

What Do You Value in Your Life?

Become more aware of your values. It may help you get unstuck or out of that rut. It may help you make better choices that align with your values. It may help you discover another level of satisfaction and fulfillment with yourself and your life. Make Yourself and Your Values a Priority in Your Life!


(Photo by RSheridan)

Be the Person You Want to Be! Value Yourself & Add Value to Your Life!!!


Money, Money

Certainly Makes Living Life Easier

I do not need to be wealthy to have a rich life. Yes, money helps in living the lifestyle I want at times. However, I do not want to put my life on hold until I have the monies. I want to get out there now and experience life.


Experiencing Life . . .

My Top 3 for Happiness & Fulfillment

  • Living the Good Life Every Day
  • Love from Myself & My Greatest Someones
  • Being Healthy

I have a good life and enjoy living it every day. I appreciate and am grateful for the life I do have and for what I have in my life. I have been given this one body and take my health seriously. I have love for myself and my greatest someones and that is pretty special to me.


L-O-V-E

Think about what is important to you in living your life every day! Become more aware of what makes you feel happy and fulfills you! Money is a means not an end all be all to living your life! You make your life what it is!

I am trying to discover my purpose and really live a value added life. This includes my greatest someone, my family and my friends that add to my life and assist me in gaining life experiences. I am still missing that sense of community and have not given up on finding it. You need that human connection in your life to experience growth and fulfillment.

Do not forget to LAUGH along the way! Sometimes it is the best medicine to turn you around and get your life back on track again. It is the Spice of Life! Plus laughter is better when it is shared with your greatest someones too.


Makes Me Laugh (Photos by RSheridan)

Here’s what I discovered! When you are living your life you gain a richer life as well as wealth. You are doing what you want with purpose and passion as well as drive and motivation. You are accomplishing your goals and reaping the benefits. There is no stopping YOU once you get going!

Grab Life & Just GO . . .


Too Restless

To Meditate

I am the type of person that is “On” or “Off” with no real in between settings! When I do try to sit still and find a sense of calm something is still moving. I struggle between taking on too much or feeling like I am not doing enough! Meditation (the clear the mind kind) is just too stressful for me at times.

I have a hard time making my mind be still and blank! Instead I have been turning my focus inward. I am learning to listen to my inner voice and find a sense of calm from within myself! I want to be more connected and tune into my senses once again.

I want to just be as well as be more mindful! This will help me find my level of ease and relaxation throughout the day! I can find stillness and sanity. I can find motivation and energy. I can find focus and patience. I can find that happy medium and balance.

What is Your Meditation?

I do ENJOY . . .

  • Reading & Writing
  • Nature & the Great Outdoors
  • Walking, Hiking, Biking
  • Cooking & Baking
  • Dancing (like to think I can dance)


(Photos by RSheridan)

Here’s to Loving Yourself and Finding Your Coasting Speed When It Comes to Living Your Life!!!


The Budget Traveler

To Save or To Spend On

I consider myself a budget traveler. I love nothing better than a great deal and anything FREE is an added bonus. I like being able to take my savings and spend it or even splurge a bit while traveling!

$$$$$

Getting Around

  • Pack comfortable shoes, since walking is FREE!
  • Check to see if there is a local bike program or bike rentals as another option to get around.
  • Check out the public transit that is available, especially in major cities.
  • Check out websites that offer transit passes plus admission to popular attractions (i.e. CityPass).

I always pack comfortable shoes when traveling, since walking is FREE! Some cities offer a self guided walking tour or you can create your own walking tour. Sometimes cities offer FREE or low cost guided walking tours too. A great way to explore and add in exercise!

I research the public transit that is available, especially in a major city. I check to see if there is a cost savings with a multiple days transit pass. I like when cities offer transit passes that work on all available public transit too. I check out websites that offer transit passes and admission to popular attractions.

Reading ALL the Print

  • What travel aspects are refundable and/or non-refundable.
  • Remember to factor in ALL travel taxes, fees and additional expenses (i.e. parking, entrance fees, tips, etc.).
  • Remember to read ALL print too; do not want a hidden something, something ruining your travel experience.

Here is where the research really counts and could really rack up the savings! Determine the mode of transportation (i.e. car, plane, train, or bus). Determine the taxes and fees that come with the different modes of transportation (i.e. parking fees, rental car taxes and fees, taxi fees, FREE shuttle available or not, etc.). Then there could be additional expenses (i.e. airport and hotel taxes and fees, entrance fees, tips, admission fees, etc.). Factor in all taxes, fees and addditional expenses; the bold print, the fine print and the hidden print of taxes, fees and additional expenses!

Remember to take into account the refundable and non-refundable aspects of travel! Sometimes it may pay to spend a little on the front end by purchasing travel insurance. Sometimes it may pay to spend a little more on a hotel room if it is refundable instead of non-refundable. Sometimes it pays to book travel aspects separately and other times it pays to bundle. Remember to check out what your local memberships to warehouse clubs offer in the way of travel too. Sometimes it pays to rent a car off site than at the airport (there could be a premium at the airport).

Eating on the Cheap

  • Check out the local grocery store to stock up.
  • Find your biggest bang when it comes to eating out (breakfast steals, lunch deals, dinner specials, etc.).

Eating out can start to add up! If there is a “hot spot” I want to check out, I see if breakfast or lunch is a better bang for my buck. I will also check to see if there are any dinner specials. I like to stock up at the local grocery store on the non-perishables to have on hand when out and about checking out the sights. You can eat well when traveling and not overspend doing it!

Consider ALL Lodging Options

  • Resort (with all the amenities)
  • Hotel
  • Rental
  • Cabin
  • Camper
  • Etc., etc., etc.

Check out rental options for lodging when traveling! You just might find that a rental apartment or a cabin or even renting an RV or camper are less expensive than staying at a hotel. Plus with a rental you have the space to spread out and a kitchen to use. (saves on eating out). Sometimes it pays to go the resort route to get the best bang for you buck with all the amenities included too. There are plenty of options for lodging and some great websites to check out for your needs!

Travel Discounts

  • Remember if you do not ask you will not know what is available to you on discounts, deals, specials, savings, etc.
  • Check out the local membership warehouse stores for travel discounts (i.e. Costco).
  • Check websites to see if ordering online gives an additional discount instead of purchasing at the destination (i.e. early bird discounts, like $90 for two people online versus $100 for two people at the event).
  • Check out the visitor center or chamber of commerce (may have insider knowledge or access to discounts, specials, coupons, etc.).
  • Check out the hotel kiosk of event brochures or see if the hotel has a concierge service.
  • Read the local publications to see what is going on, especially FREE things to do and see (may have discounts, specials, coupons, etc. inside the publication).


(Photos by RSheridan)

Remember if you do not ask you will not know what is available to you. I am talking not only about the FREEBIES, but the upgrades and everything in between, like deals and specials. Tell the front desk, waiter, etc. that you are celebrating a birthday or anniversary or special occasion, especially if you want that special treatment you deserve. You never know what you might receive if you do not ask and sometimes there is no additional expenses either!

I like to read the local publications to see what is going on, especially FREE things to do and see! I like to locate the nearest visitor center (find the latest and greates vistors guide) or check out the hotel kiosk of event brochures. I like to check out the internet to see what there is to do. Sometimes I discover that if I order online I get an additional discount for attractions and events at times.

Remember to check out the local membership warehouse stores for travel discounts, like Costco. Scored some great savings when comparing and contrasting prices on hotels and rental cars. I know it can be a little time consuming, but once you have your go to sites it becomes much easier when booking travel.

You have to find that balance when traveling what to save on and what to spend on!


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