Monday, November 23, 2009

Let the Christmas season BEGIN!

After Thanksgiving, my Dad would go up to the attic and bring down the decorations. I still remember some of my favorite decorations, which surely have been tossed years ago at the determination of their tackiness, but I loved them. The macaroni ornaments, artificial fluff snow and plastic Santa and reindeer, and the felt Christmas figure magnets for the refrigerator door. I fondly remember decorating the Christmas tree and then laying under it admiring all the beautiful ornaments.

After Thanksgiving, everything began to get exciting - everywhere. There was a certain buzz in the air. At church, we received our pieces to be memorized for the Christmas pageant, and the sanctuary looked and smelled like Christmas; with the live decorated Christmas trees and large red bows and candle decorations. The houses in the neighborhoods transformed themselves into illuminated masterpieces. What would appear to an adult as T-A-C-K-Y, to a child looks spectacular! And, when we returned to school after Thanksgiving break, the classrooms were transformed into winter wonderlands.

I remember almost pitying adults during the magical time between Thanksgiving and New Years. How sad it must be for them to grow up. But here I am, an adult (most of the time), and I am right back there: grinning from ear to ear, so filled with the Christmas spirit that I can hardly contain it. For this reason, you will notice on my blog that I probably will be speaking a LOT about Christmas, my old and new traditions, and everything in between.

My Christmas decoration boxes are down from the attic, I have my Christmas choir music to learn, and I secretly admire even the tackiest illuminated homes – even if I don’t plan on emulating them!

May God bless us all this holiday season!


Thursday, November 19, 2009


Is gratitude the act of being grateful when you get what you want out of life? Or, is true gratitude perhaps being grateful despite what you get? I looked up the definition of gratitude this morning on the internet, and this is what I found on, “Gratitude, thankfulness, or appreciation is a positive emotion or attitude in acknowledgment of a benefit that one has received or will receive.”

How can you be grateful if what you have been given is not at all what you asked for? According to the definition I found, it looks like first of all gratitude is a positive emotion or attitude. I can’t be grateful unless I act grateful. This is an action that I must carry out. Point well taken,!! The other aspect of the definition that struck me was that this positive emotion was backed by an “acknowledgement of a benefit … received or will receive.” Therefore, although the circumstance itself may not have been my wish, I will reap some sort of reward, even if for the life of me I can’t see the greater good right now. To acknowledge this is an act of faith on my part.

Thanksgiving is next week and I am so thankful and grateful for the lives of those around me. I don’t always savor the taste of life’s experiences, as so many lately have tasted quite bitter. But, I guess the old adage is true, that with a little sugar, even the sourest of lemons can make a wonderful glass of lemonade. Life’s sugar is gratitude.

What areas of your life need a little sugar?


Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Bitter Ending

I never met Scott’s Great Uncle to my knowledge. He may have been at some wedding or funeral from my past, but I certainly have no recollection of it. I would have easily passed him on the street without so much of a second glance. He was a stranger. I will honor his passing today by attending his funeral, but I am saddened that there is no piece of him: his personality, his hopes and dreams for the future; that I can carry with me. Sadly, no one from the funeral has really known him for years, as this is what he wanted. To my knowledge, I don’t believe he even had an animal companion.

I am reminded once again that to live is to share my life with others. It is not to acquire things, or to protect myself (above all costs) of becoming hurt. I have a responsibility to myself to share my story: my past lessons, present priorities, and future aspirations. We all have stories to tell, don’t we?

I ask you, as I ask myself, are you sharing your stories? Do you love others as deeply as possible? Are you weaving bits and pieces of yourself into those around you, so your life will go on here on earth well after you have left? Will others be better for knowing you? Or perhaps we also need to recognize whether someone amongst us is trying to share their story, but we keep pushing it off as we try so desperately to grasp everything we can in our own today.

I can usually find great solace, even amongst great sorrow, because I feel that there is a plan for everything. Today sitting at this funeral of a life I have never met, I’ll pray for lessons to be learned. When my final days are here, and let’s face it… it will happen someday for all of us. I want my ending to be sweet and lovely, just like my life.


Tuesday, November 3, 2009

"Me... Simplfied" is now available on

I am so thrilled! The search engine capabilities are not totally working yet, so if you want to check out the book on Amazon you either need to know the ISBN number or you can simply click here:

Thursday, October 29, 2009

My book is DONE!

The book shares not only our personal story of the fire that changed everything, and includes many of my de-cluttering tips, but I also wrote it with space for journal entries at the end of each chapter. You can find it by visiting my website or by going directly to the e-store at It will also be available on within 3-5 days. Will keep you all posted when it is in Amazons search database. VERY excited!!

Monday, October 26, 2009

On Pins and Needles

It's coming today. My first book (notice how I said first) will be arriving today for my final review before it will be available for purchase on The name of it is "Me...Simplified" and I am so thrilled that I am actually at this point. I am on pins and needles wating for the FedEx man! I'll keep you all posted!

Monday, October 19, 2009

What is my cancer?

Yesterday I had the amazing opportunity to listen to Kris Carr, from "Crazy Sexy Cancer" speak at Geisinger Medical Center. Kris was diagnosed with stage 4 cancer 6 years ago. She probably will never be cured from cancer, yet she considers herself a survivor.

What is a survivor? According to: it is "one who lives through affliction." It is not living despite affliction, and it is not living after the affliction is cured. It is living through the affliction while it may be ever present.

Kris asked us what our personal cancer was. I ran through all my ailments which paralyze me from time to time. I am not a patient of the hospital, but I wear a gown of fear. Kris was talking directly to me it seemed and in that moment, I think I finally got it. All this time I wanted to be cured from my afflictions: self-doubt, feelings of unworthiness, debt, and countless others... yet the cure was not the key to overcoming these obstacles. I need to live through them, allow those things to make me better; use my ailments as my teacher.

The light-bulb glowed so brightly above me, I am quite sure those around had to have seen! My life is not just starting gate and finish line. It is all the twists and turns along the way, and if I don't hold onto the steering wheel and enjoy the ride, I will spend so much time trying to look ahead to see where life is going next, that I'll forget to look out the window on my right and left side and see all I have right in this moment.

Today is a new day and I am still not perfect. Rather than spending the day doing an imperfect inventory on myself, I am going to embrace my flaws and persevere. If I did everything perfect all the time, what fun would that be? right?

Untying my gown of fear and putting on my big girl pants! Who's next??


Friday, September 18, 2009

Planning a yard sale next spring? Better do your research first, or you could get a HEFTY fine!

Do you know which items in your house right now that have been recalled by the manufacturer? I know that I don't! Did you know that if you sell that recalled item in your cleaning-out-the-house yard sale, you could get slapped with a hefty fine?

As of last year, it is now illegal to sell items that have been recalled. It does not matter if you are selling it on eBay, Craigslist, or for a buck-a-bag at your next yard sale. It doesn't even matter if you don't have a clue it has been recalled. Don't think you have anything that has been recalled because you don't have any children's items? You could very well be wrong! There are many non-children items that have also been recalled.

So, what do you do with your recalled merchandise? You can't sell it... right? You certainly cannot donate it either. The best thing to do is to contact the manufacturer and ask for their recommendations on proper disposal or recycling methods.

For more information please read the following article, and see below for some links to check out if your clutter is unsafe goods!

Taken from the article:

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Spreading a little fairy dust...

Sitting outside my office is 5 bags of outgrown clothes from my family, ready to be sent to the local charity store. This is the best feeling! Now, I admit, I love shopping. I love everything about it! Malls, outlet stores, catalogs, and online; I simply love a good bargain; and wearing a new outfit makes me feel simply amazing. But new clothes are only new for a moment and the feeling fades quickly, doesn’t it? That is why being able to pack up clothes that I don't use, can make me feel even better! Especially when I know someone else will use that which was simply cluttering up my space.

Often times as I am working with clients they struggle with getting rid of things that they "might" need someday. I understand this, but I am also am a firm believer that what goes around - comes around. Why keep something you "might" need, when someone else DEFIINATELY needs it right now. Now, I am not saying that you should toss out baby clothes when you are planning on another child, but when you are finished with that chapter, it is a great idea to give to someone else who is in need. And it can, quite frankly, feel amazing.

There are many different categories of clothing that we have in our closets, but today I want to focus on used prom gowns. There is a wonderful organization that I read about recently called Operation Fairy Dust: This amazing charity is in NYC and is a non-profit group that is providing prom dresses, accessories, and even makeup to girls who might otherwise not be able to afford to go to their prom. This organization is made up of volunteers who are spreading their love to those around them, but they could not operate without the donations of those who are willing to keep their memories of their proms, but let their dresses fulfill the dreams of someone else.

If we could all accept that mantra; to keep the memories but let go of the stuff... our homes would be so less complicated, wouldn't they? The next time you are going through your drawers and closets, instead of saying, "What if I might need it someday," ask yourself, "Who could use this now?" I promise you, the reward of giving is well worth your effort, and your de-cluttered drawers and closets will thank you!


Monday, January 12, 2009

Missed Opportunities

Every year directly after the new year begins, I get the unyielding desire to fix everything that was broken in 2008. I have always been one who wants to fix things, and trust me; if there is nothing broken I have the unique ability to create problems that will need fixing. This year is not special, it is time for me to look around at my world and correct those wheels that are squeaky; and there are many…

Sometimes I think the biggest mistakes I make in life are not the things that I have done wrong, but the things that I have not done at all. Missed opportunities that pass me daily, and I don’t even recognize them for the gifts that they are. Some of the most amazing turning points of my life were actually the result of simple ripples of fate, not booming life altering experiences.

My hope for this year is that I’ll do better savoring the everyday moments. I hope to be more thankful for all the experiences that come my way, especially the ones in which I get to share laughter with those around me that I love so dearly. I pray that my eyes are more open to the important, yet seemingly simple opportunities, that I often cast off as irrelevant or a waste of my time.

Finally, my hope for this year is that I can continue to show those around me how deeply I care for them.