Making Memories

By Help Plug in SEO
on February 06, 2018

Making Memories

While not everyone may agree, there is nothing that makes me feel more relaxed than coming home from a long day at work to a nice clean house.  I value the saying, “a place for everything and everything in its place”. Some people look at cleaning and organizing as a chore that must be done, however for me cleaning and organizing is one of my main ways to relieve stress. 

So, you can only imagine how hard it can be to enjoy a nice clean house with three kids, a husband, and a new puppy.  While I feel I do a good job of staying on top of things, some days I feel as though my anxiety level will go through the roof as I look around my home and see nothing but clutter.  For me, nothing is more frustrating than cleaning my kid’s bedrooms and then having them destroyed an hour later by my loving offspring.  It is not unusual to find myself cleaning their rooms 5 or 6 times a day and not letting them do anything fun, like play with playdough or color. 

But then one day I was walking past my three-year-old daughters room and noticed that she was playing with a couple of her baby dolls.  I stopped to spy and gush over how cute she was when to my surprise she was scolding her toys for making a mess!  I was so shocked!  I didn’t even realize that my constant need for things to be clean was making my kids feel like they couldn’t even play with their toys. 

I instantly felt like a horrible mother.  How could I not realize that my need for everything to be so neat and tidy was ruining my children’s childhood!  As I reflected on this, I remembered the saying, “please excuse the mess, our children are making memories.”  It suddenly occurred to me that I needed to change the way I looked at my house and my family.  How could we spend time together as a family making lasting memories if I was spending all my time worrying about my house being perfect.  I vowed that day to make sure I stopped making a clean house my top priority.  

Life isn’t perfect and I working on finding that right balance between my need for order and my family’s need for expression. However, I now know that when my kids are grown and gone I want them to only look back on their childhood home and remember a place where there was fun, love and laughter. I’m pretty sure it won’t bother them at all that it wasn’t always perfectly clean. 

In Praise Of The Dysfunctional Workplace

By Sharon Edgar
on August 19, 2017

In Praise Of The Dysfunctional Workplace

At my age, I think I can attest that I’ve spent a fair amount of my time in dysfunctional workplaces. You know the type, the ones where the boss, co-workers or customers seem to be put on this earth for the sole purpose of sucking the joy out of your life. The soul numbing day-to-day of working in this dysfunctional world can often leave you wondering about the meaning of your life’s purpose.

You may now be asking yourself why I’m writing in praise of a dysfunctional workplace – well the main reason is we all have, or are currently, or in the future, will have to deal with a dysfunctional workplace. To me that just shows that if we can’t avoid this, then it’s time to celebrate our dysfunctional workplace in the same way we must often accept our dysfunctional families! Nothing is all bad and it always helps to share a laugh and strive to enjoy our lives no matter what is going on around us.

With this in mind, I came up with a few things that are positive about a dysfunctional workplace:

· You get a paycheck – celebrate every payday and appreciate the fact you have a job!

· Friendships – often a dysfunctional workplace helps foster closer friendships with fellow sufferers. There is a greater camaraderie that develops when you band together with others who understand what you’re going through.

· Opportunity to learn and grow – watching how others operate, both good and bad examples, allows you to develop a positive base line for the type of employee (customer, spouse, parent, etc.) you want to be.

· Life experience - being able to keep your sanity while surrounded by chaos is good training for dealing with teenagers.

· Spiritual growth – no matter what your beliefs, life is tough and this type of workplace can help you grow and, hopefully, be able to have the strength to handle harder issues down the road.

· Change - situations like these are often the impetus for driving us to do something different with our lives that will eventually put us in a better place.

As a final thought, when you're in this type of dysfunctional workplace situation you must find a way to survive. So, the first thing is accepting that there is a line that can’t be crossed. If the workplace, or a person you work with, is truly evil then you must leave immediately. Life isn’t like a movie where the good guy always wins against the evil villain. In this situation you may be playing the part of the extra that gets killed off to improve the story line, so you may need to plan your exit before that happens. However, if you’re only dealing with run of the mill stubbornness, stupidity, petty dictators and crazies then here are a few simple tips you can try:

1. Write out all the reasons this is a decent job for right now in your life. You could be gaining necessary work experience, earning a great salary, close to retirement, getting through school, have a lot of seniority and benefits, etc. – all good reasons to stay based on you and your family’s needs.

2. If your reasons to stay for the long haul make it worth dealing with the dysfunction then set in your mind that you “choose” to stay. Then work on choosing a new attitude that allows you to relax and appreciate what you can about your workplace. No one can make you feel bad about yourself, or lose hope in humanity, if you don’t let them. By choosing you take back some of the control over your life and feelings you'll feel better.

3. If your reasons show you need to find something better – then start looking! Brush off that resume, research job search techniques or take extra training to help you land something better.

4. Focus on things outside of work that make you happy. Volunteer, take up a hobby, take care of your family and home life, develop friendships, etc. Having something to look forward to can help you get through each day spent on the job.

5. Seek professional help if needed. There are many mental health services that can help you deal with job issues and the earlier you start these the better. You can also try positive affirmation and/or self-help books and media to keep yourself feeling good about life.

Always remember that you aren’t alone and this is a problem we all face. And speaking of us all facing this problem – do you have any dysfunctional work stories or coping ideas? We’d love to hear from you so please share you story on Facebook!

Positive Affirmations

By Help Plug in SEO
on July 21, 2017

Positive Affirmations

I won at Bingo last week! Now for some of you that may not seem like a big deal, but you need to understand that I come from a family of diehard bingo fans and I’ve played a lot over the course of my life. But up until last week I had never won a game of Bingo. But my day finally came and I not only won, but I won two games! I also won two prizes at a Fourth of July raffle. Pretty awesome to feel like a winner isn’t it?

But I didn’t think much of it beyond how fun it was to win until this morning when I started my day with my usual morning devotionals, which included reading from a study topic which I started about two weeks ago. The study topic is by Chellie Campbell and it’s called “The Wealthy Spirit”. I’m enjoying it because the book has daily affirmations and this author emphasizes that a wealthy life isn’t all about money (though if you have financial troubles you should check this out).

Being the curious intellectual that I am, I checked the affirmations from last week and included among them were:

· Something wonderful is happening to me today – I can feel it!

· I am a winner! I win often – I win big!

· Thank you, God, for the abundant gifts you provide for me every day!

· Great riches are heaped on me just because I’m me!

If nothing else it started off this week with a good chuckle.

Now I’m not suggesting that if we all go out and start using positive affirmations we’ll all be showered with money and prizes. However, I’ve found that the biggest win for me is that with every day’s positive thoughts and affirmations I start to smile a little more, be a little more open and outgoing around others, and do just a little better at everything I tackle throughout the day. My heart and mind are just lighter.

When I bought the raffle tickets I didn’t think my usual “why bother, I never win”, and when I played Bingo I wasn’t focusing on anything but having fun. So, for me, I’m ready to surround myself with even more positive affirmations because more important than winning money is winning at the game of life! Today I suggest that we all be winners!

Sisters

By 121072860
on July 14, 2017
The other day my oldest sister and I were talking on the phone and we were got around to discussing retirement, finances and being able to manage when we got older. Bringing up again the running joke that we would all have to live together to save money and because surely one of us would still be able to drive. (Though as the years go by it hit me that this is becoming less of a joke and more of a possible reality!) Which got me to thinking about sisters and their influences on our lives. I’m the youngest of four children, one boy and then three girls. Sometimes the best position, sometimes not. It often seems that I’ve spent my life playing catch up because there was nothing major that I did first. As many younger siblings will attest to that included rarely getting toys and clothes first. As the only boy my brother was lucky to be the oldest because it meant he could avoid ‘the girls’. My sisters and I ran as a pack when we were younger and spent our childhood following each other through school. This didn’t always make for easy times for my mother as we were so close in age, and each one of us has a completely different personality, which led to some fireworks over the years. But that’s helped us learn that just because you fight and don’t agree doesn’t mean that you don’t still stick together no matter what. As the years have gone by we’ve each followed different life paths which has us spread out across the country, but we’ve always stayed in touch. Now that our kids are all grown we’ve even started annual ‘Sister’s Trips’ where we spend time together (and can argue about silly things in person). But that special bond of sisters is one I think many can relate to and in honor of my sisters, and for sisters everywhere, I found this poem which I think says it all: Three Sisters By Francis I. Gillespie – Published February 2006 We are three sisters. Three sisters are we. I love each of you, And I know you love me. We're not always together. Life sometimes keeps us apart, But we're never separated. We're in each other's heart. Now I know we've had our troubles, But we always get through. The real message is you love me, And I also love you. We have had lots of good times That we'll never forget. Sometimes we worry And sometimes we fret. But if God ever gave me Something special, you see, It might have been the blessing of Three sisters are we. The Lord above has given me lots Of happiness and glee, But the most special thing he did was Make us sisters, all three. Source: https://www.familyfriendpoems.com/poem/three-sisters

Family

By 121072860
on June 24, 2017
I was luckier than most in that I grew up in a loving, if somewhat eclectic and dysfunctional, family. If we never had much money, we always had what we needed. If we never had much room in the house, my mom always found room for one more. If we weren’t always the best, brightest and most attractive, we never felt that weren’t still terrific human beings. Like most children I didn’t always appreciate what I had, but now like most older adults I wish I had spent more time savoring those special times. So in celebration of my family I wanted to share this poem that I found: I AM FROM By Rose M. De Leon (Published November 2007) I am from the love of my family. I am from my mom, my dad, my grandmother, and my grandfather. I am from sweet baked cakes, homemade cornbread, and all the smells of the world. I am from good jobs, great effort, and "GO TO YOUR ROOM." I am from thick and thin, cold and hot. I am from stories from my neighbors, from my dad and my mom, from my nephew and nieces. Stories to stay strong. I am from childhood pictures and baby toys. From rattles, pacifiers and bottles. I am from my mother's stomach where she held me for nine full months. I am from good and bad. I am from music of ALL kinds. I am from feast such as parties. I am from piñatas, candy and ice cream. I am from all kinds of fun. I am from "I got your back" and "You're one of a kind." I am from love and harmony and everyone around me. I am from hard and soft. I am from my father's heart and my mother's love.... I am from the hands of God. Source: https://www.familyfriendpoems.com/poem/i-am-from-the-hands-of-god

Dream Catcher

By 121072860
on June 09, 2017
I have always been interested in Dream catchers, which I’ve seen used in different home décor for years, but have you ever wondered where they originated from? In doing research I found that the web dream catcher originated from the Native American Ojibwa tribe. American ethnographer Frances Densmore says that according to an Ojibwa legend, the dream catcher is correlated with Absibikaashi, who is also known as The Spider Woman. She used to look over all her people, and cherished them, but she couldn’t be with all of them every evening to protect them from evil. This is how the dream catcher came to be, mothers and grandmothers agreed to weave a design like a web inside a circle made from the willow tree to protect their children and families. The web was said to catch the evil dreams and hold them until sunrise, and then when the sun hit the dream catcher it would evaporate the dream. In the 1960’s and 1970’s they were also adopted by other Native Americans. Some consider the dream catcher to be a symbol of unity among the various Indigenous Nations. Dream catchers today come in a variety of sizes and styles. They usually consist of a small wooden hoop covered in a net or web of natural fibers, with meaningful sacred items like feathers and beads attached and hanging down from the bottom of the hoop. We love the inspiration of the dream catcher and hope you do too!
*Information from https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dreamcatcher and http://legomenon.com/dreamcatcher-meaning-legend-history-origins.html sites were used for research for this blog.
'Dream Big' Dream Catcher Metal Wall sign

What Is Rhodium Plated Sterling Silver Jewelry?

By 121072860
on May 26, 2017
Before I get started, I must tell you first that I love jewelry! I have an extremely large, and diverse, collection of costume and fine jewelry that I treasure and keep in a large, standing, jewelry chest. I love it all – pewter, gold, sterling silver, diamonds, glass, gemstones, resin – put it into a piece that catches my eye and I’m happy. However, I haven’t spent most of my life following jewelry trends so when I first started to see descriptions that mentioned rhodium plated sterling silver I wondered what this was. So, I decided to do some research that I’d like to share with you. Rhodium holds the distinction of being the world’s most expensive precious metal. It was first discovered in 1803 by William Hyde Wollaston, who isolated it from platinum and named it after the Latin rhodon, meaning rose. It’s a silvery-white metal and its appeal comes from its high reflective properties, which is almost unique among metals. Rhodium also costs about six times as much as gold by weight and 80% of the world’s rhodium comes from South Africa. The world production of the metal is only about 20 tons per year and some of the most expensive consumer items are made from rhodium. Right now, it’s very popular with Italian jewelry designers One of the most common ways to use rhodium is plated onto sterling silver, so what’s the difference between the two? Sterling silver is 92.5% silver with 7.5% copper added to make it a nice metal that is very popular with jewelry designers, and wearers. It has a glowing patina on its own and can be oxidized to give it a unique look. However, it tarnishes. Rhodium plated sterling silver has been polished and dipped in rhodium. It has a bright finish, similar to white gold items, and doesn’t tarnish. However, it shouldn’t be polished as that could scratch and dull the shine. Which is better? The answer is either depending on the piece, the look you are going for, and how you plan to wear and use the item. Each option has its good qualities so you can select either one and know you’re getting a good piece that will bring you years of use if you take care of it properly (i.e. no wearing of your rings while dishwashing, scrubbing floors, washing your windows, car or your pet, etc.). One last thing – because of its reflective properties some jewelers will plate rhodium onto nickel based items, which you don’t want if you are allergic to nickel. So always look to confirm that .925 sterling silver was used for the base of your rhodium plated piece (which you’ll see on our rhodium plated items). I’ll provide more information on the proper care, and feeding, of your costume and fine jewelry in future blogs so stay tuned! You can also see an example of our Rhodium jewelry here.

What Is Rhodium Plated Sterling Silver Jewelry?

By 121072860
on May 26, 2017
Before I get started, I must tell you first that I love jewelry! I have an extremely large, and diverse, collection of costume and fine jewelry that I treasure and keep in a large, standing, jewelry chest. I love it all – pewter, gold, sterling silver, diamonds, glass, gemstones, resin – put it into a piece that catches my eye and I’m happy. However, I haven’t spent most of my life following jewelry trends so when I first started to see descriptions that mentioned rhodium plated sterling silver I wondered what this was. So, I decided to do some research that I’d like to share with you. Rhodium holds the distinction of being the world’s most expensive precious metal. It was first discovered in 1803 by William Hyde Wollaston, who isolated it from platinum and named it after the Latin rhodon, meaning rose. It’s a silvery-white metal and its appeal comes from its high reflective properties, which is almost unique among metals. Rhodium also costs about six times as much as gold by weight and 80% of the world’s rhodium comes from South Africa. The world production of the metal is only about 20 tons per year and some of the most expensive consumer items are made from rhodium. Right now, it’s very popular with Italian jewelry designers One of the most common ways to use rhodium is plated onto sterling silver, so what’s the difference between the two? Sterling silver is 92.5% silver with 7.5% copper added to make it a nice metal that is very popular with jewelry designers, and wearers. It has a glowing patina on its own and can be oxidized to give it a unique look. However, it tarnishes. Rhodium plated sterling silver has been polished and dipped in rhodium. It has a bright finish, similar to white gold items, and doesn’t tarnish. However, it shouldn’t be polished as that could scratch and dull the shine. Which is better? The answer is either depending on the piece, the look you are going for, and how you plan to wear and use the item. Each option has its good qualities so you can select either one and know you’re getting a good piece that will bring you years of use if you take care of it properly (i.e. no wearing of your rings while dishwashing, scrubbing floors, washing your windows, car or your pet, etc.). One last thing – because of its reflective properties some jewelers will plate rhodium onto nickel based items, which you don’t want if you are allergic to nickel. So always look to confirm that .925 sterling silver was used for the base of your rhodium plated piece (which you’ll see on our rhodium plated items). I’ll provide more information on the proper care, and feeding, of your costume and fine jewelry in future blogs so stay tuned! You can also see an example of our Rhodium jewelry here.

Praise For The Lowly Dandelion

By 121072860
on May 22, 2017
You may have noticed that the logo for our shop is a surprising ‘flower’ – the lowly dandelion. Since I have always thought of it as a weed, I can tell you that at we were a little surprised at our choice at first. When we started down this path of starting our own business, I knew I wanted a flower in the logo. My thoughts kept coming back to something elegant like an orchid or magnolia. I could picture it in my mind, but something kept stopping me and didn’t seem right. As many of you will probably relate to, I’m not exotic or delicate like a hothouse flower. I’m just me – hardworking, loyal, loving, kind, and responsible. Amazing in my own way, but certainly someone who is better symbolized by a flower that can thrive under any circumstances and not a delicate bloom that withers under harsh conditions. So, in looking for a flower that adequately suited what we as a family stood for, I found the dandelion and discovered it’s not lowly at all. The common and humble dandelion has a surprising number of different meanings which I’d like to share: * Healing from emotional pain and physical injury alike * Intelligence, especially in an emotional and spiritual sense * The warmth and power of the rising sun * Surviving through all challenges and difficulties * Long lasting happiness and youthful joy * Getting your wish fulfilled No matter what you do to it, a dandelion keeps coming back. Look away for a little while and you’ll find they are blooming all over the place. Blow on it and it sends seeds of greatness far and wide. Since the dandelion can thrive in the most difficult of conditions, it is no wonder that people say this flower symbolizes the ability to rise above life’s challenges. I can now say that I’m inspired by the dandelion and proud of our choice to make this the symbol of ‘A Uniquely Inspired Life’. We hope that because you now know more about this special bloom you’ll also be inspired, encouraged, and remember that you don’t have to be a hothouse flower to be meaningful to yourself and others.

Praise For The Lowly Dandelion

By 121072860
on May 22, 2017
You may have noticed that the logo for our shop is a surprising ‘flower’ – the lowly dandelion. Since I have always thought of it as a weed, I can tell you that at we were a little surprised at our choice at first. When we started down this path of starting our own business, I knew I wanted a flower in the logo. My thoughts kept coming back to something elegant like an orchid or magnolia. I could picture it in my mind, but something kept stopping me and didn’t seem right. As many of you will probably relate to, I’m not exotic or delicate like a hothouse flower. I’m just me – hardworking, loyal, loving, kind, and responsible. Amazing in my own way, but certainly someone who is better symbolized by a flower that can thrive under any circumstances and not a delicate bloom that withers under harsh conditions. So, in looking for a flower that adequately suited what we as a family stood for, I found the dandelion and discovered it’s not lowly at all. The common and humble dandelion has a surprising number of different meanings which I’d like to share: * Healing from emotional pain and physical injury alike * Intelligence, especially in an emotional and spiritual sense * The warmth and power of the rising sun * Surviving through all challenges and difficulties * Long lasting happiness and youthful joy * Getting your wish fulfilled No matter what you do to it, a dandelion keeps coming back. Look away for a little while and you’ll find they are blooming all over the place. Blow on it and it sends seeds of greatness far and wide. Since the dandelion can thrive in the most difficult of conditions, it is no wonder that people say this flower symbolizes the ability to rise above life’s challenges. I can now say that I’m inspired by the dandelion and proud of our choice to make this the symbol of ‘A Uniquely Inspired Life’. We hope that because you now know more about this special bloom you’ll also be inspired, encouraged, and remember that you don’t have to be a hothouse flower to be meaningful to yourself and others.

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