I can’t even help it, I have vacation on the brain! Only 1 more week until we head to the West Coast, but to be honest it’s the lazy lake days of summer that I’m looking forward to. These amazing Spring finds will fit in perfect for our North Carolina spring and summer days! Every year I add a few staples to carry me through the season and this year is the same. I’d call this my vacation/spring starter pack to get you off to the right start. If you aren’t familiar with the Nordstrom Gibson line of clothes, certainly check them out. This dress is from their collaboration with Hi Sugarplum (also my favorite person to follow on instagram). I’m sure you’ll love their resort collection. The other times just make me feel like enjoying our perfect North Carolina spring days. Next week, I’ll be giving the dish on some on my favorite local hiking spots, so this water bottle will come in super handy. After that you’ll likely find me hanging out in the pool with this awesome candy red stripe float. Can we just say that this float screams resort feels? Until next week 🙂
A tear welled in the back of my eye and a lump in my throat as I watched her walk through the security gates. I knew right away that this would be the very best Mother’s Day present that I would ever get. Right there, right now, she embodies all of my hopes and dreams. Not because I forced her to live my dreams but because I showed her that she could live her own! If you would have asked me 19 years ago, “What would be my greatest accomplishment?”, I don’t think I would have had the foresight to know that my greatest accomplishment was far beyond me. I watched her say goodbye with a sense of confidence that I have never had, but fought to instill in her since birth. She looked back with a slight smile and I felt pure success. And just like that she walked into the future she is creating for herself…
How did I raise a young lady with such a heart, such compassion and who is so brave? I give my husband some credit of course, but I can’t help but claim a victory. I taught her everyday how to be the woman I knew she deserved to be. Here I was, watching my sweet girl who was once too shy to go next door alone, head to the other side of the world with a back pack and a dream. This is how my hardest Mother’s Day turned out to be the greatest Mother’s Day yet. It goes without saying that this dream did not come about over night. It started many years ago teaching her that the world was bigger than her mind could ever imagine. I hope that I taught her that despite what she saw in her everyday life, there was a world that was more deserving than she, an earth that was in dire need, many people that would never have her advantages and a God that would always protect her. Beyond all of this…. I tried with all my might to show her a mother that would believe in her through success and stand beside her through failure. On this Mother’s Day, I wish all of you a chance to see your children living their dreams… because what better present is there?
I couldn’t possibly talk about spring without talking about one of the most challenging aspects of this time of year….the Guests! It is inevitable that you will have loads of your favorite family members (or sometimes not so favorite) revolving through your home between spring and summer. If you live near the lake then you already know your home is the most favorite and likly the cheapest place to vacation. If you are one of the lucky few to have a dedicated guest room, then things are already looking up and if you don’t have a dedicated space; I highly recommend bunking the children together for a few days. Nothing is worse than tripping over an air mattress in the family room as you stumble your way to the coffee pot. And let’s face it, living out of a suitcase makes a mess for even the most well meaning guests. There is no doubt that having a guest room is pure luxury. Personally, the day my daughter left for college I claimed her room for all guests (including her) so that I could rededicate the old guest room as a work out room! Here are my top two tips for making guests feel welcome and keeping your self sane through the visitation season.
If you’d like more tips for using all the rooms in your home, or maybe you’d like to purchase a home with a dedicated guest space…don’t hesitate to contact me! If you would like more information on how to organize the perfect guest room, definetly contact Julie Waide with Ten Houses (Photo’s in this post).
1. If the rest of the family can manage sharing a bath for a few days, give your guests their own bath. Set out the towels, extra toilet paper, and some sweet smelling soaps! I know the extra stuff is likely in the cabinet, but why make them scrounge around? Do you really want them studying the contents of your cabinets. (think way too much hemorrhoid cream)
2. Fresh sheets! Yes, I am a sucker for a crisp pair of white sheets. Personally I am a huge fan of dedicated guest sheets. I am completely in love with Target’s Threshold brand. Not only do they stay in place with the double elastic fitted sheet, but they have a little tag that tells me which side is the top! (Yes, this is a life changer for me…don’t judge!). Having the extra set means that I don’t have to get to the wash the same day the guests leave. Next step is for the ultimate layer lover. A coverlet, duvet and a throw at the bottom complete the look and keep your pickiest guest comfortable. We opt for several different types of pillows at the top of the closet so that guest can choose their own. How posh is that?
A six figure salary was once my measure of a successful business year; however, if your end game is measured by money alone you may never reach the height of a true business guru. The truth is that I have come to learn that success is determined only by my actions, and therefore cannot be measured by sales or volume alone (someone else’s reaction). It often means sticking to my principals, knowing that the end result may actually be a lost sale, but for all the right reasons. Success means knowing your worth and demanding that others acknowledge that value as well. Those clients/customers that find value in your service or product will become the brand that you can rely on without constantly having to prove yourself. They trust you, and depend on your expertise for guidance. If you spend your time chasing after those that don’t find your value, not only are you losing yourself; but also losing valuable time that can be spent bettering your service for your trusted clientele.
Today’s world is often in search of the biggest discount but fully expectant of the best service. Determining your guidelines in the beginning will help you plot a course for success. As we near the end of the year, many entrepreneurs and business professionals will be looking at the bottom line to determine if this has been a successful year. I urge you to look deeper. Were you able to stick to your guns when it would have been easier to accept less than you deserve? Were you able to gain a valued client instead of a “one off”? If you don’t value your expertise, there is no way that you can expect anyone else to do so. Now sit back and see if you really had a successful year? I’d love to hear about it!
Tips for determining your value:
Look at your competition and honestly ask yourself how you measure up? Do you offer more services, better quality, dedicated attention, better resources?
Take into account your “behind the scenes” time involved? Not every penny is in markup of a product but the time it takes to conduct a business.
Tote your successes. A proven success is worth a lot more than an unproven discount.
When you have teenagers in the home, you quickly realize that they are unashamedly honest with their opinions. For example, my kids think that I’m too old to have long hair, wear converse or dance in pubic (the last I agree with, but not because of my age). Lately, I’ve pondered a great deal about this decade of my life. It feels like coming of age all over again, except now having the benefit of life experience.
As I look back on my teens and twenties, I realize that a great deal of what I did was tethered to the approval of others, and wanting so much to fit into a role that I had imagined for myself. I see this in my own children today as they approach adulthood and strive to fulfill their mental image of success. I can’t say that I would have done anything different at an earlier age, but now with a different perspective comes different desires.
Starting a new career at 40 didn’t seem nearly as daunting as it would have at 25 when I though that every possible choice had only one outcome; success or failure. Now I realize that the variables in between success and failure are the hidden jewels of life. They hold opportunities and outcomes that you couldn’t have planned. While my much younger bucket list looked like a list of must do accomplishments (get a great job, travel, buy a house); my forties bucket list looks more like self affirmations and is filled with things to conquer (Travel solo, build a piece of furniture, remodel a bathroom completely by myself).
I think that we put so many boundaries around ourselves that are simply tied to a number. My forties have been so freeing and have allowed me the to experience life without meeting anyone else’s expectations. It’s has brought new people into my life that have accepted me without any judgement and encouraged me on my journey. Fear has a way of holding us in a box, frozen in time or routines; but this new chapter in life has the possibility to allow us all a second chance. So in short, it was time to scrap the 20’s bucket list and start fresh! What an enjoyable process to embrace these new adventures with an entirely new perspective!
Also…I’m growing my hair as long as I want, I may get some converse shoes (out of spite), but I will likely choose to opt out of public dancing…(for a while)!
Wondering how to get started on your own bucket list? I think a categories work best. There isn’t a right or wrong way, and you don’t have to get super specific at first. Once you get started, the creativity just seems to naturally flow to your soul’s secret desires. Keep me posted.
Today, I’m sitting on the couch and I finally have to admit that, “Yes, I am officially sick”! Why is this so awesome? Well, because on this sniffly, sneezy, haven’t gotten out of sweats day, I am starting this blog site. I decided last October while on my mother/daughter exploration trip that something was missing from my life. My daughter had less than a year to go before she heads off to college and despite the fact that I have a few years left with my son at home, I could already feel the gap in my soul. Something was calling to me and said, “There is more for you to do, more to enjoy”.
April 30, 2018 –
Well, if this isn’t the story of my life; I don’t know what else to say! On March 3rd, I painstakingly and self consciously created my blog. Full of fear…fear of failure, fear of commitment, fear of success. While I had one thing in mind, life had another and so after a very slow start and a very busy few months; I recommitted to the blog only to find that a fluke happening had erased the entire project! UGH!!! Want to know what else? Rookie mistake is that I didn’t save my work and so all I had to start again was a few screenshots that I had taken to share my moments of pride. The thing is… this is my reality! Sometimes we just don’t get it right the first time. Sometimes we find success in the failures and sometimes we just have to start over and try again! I may have to start over a few times to get this right, but I will keep starting and that’s what counts. After all, half the battle really is just showing up! Here’s to showing up Part 2