Summer Holiday Essentials

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I sorta, maybe, could be on holiday enjoying cocktails and walking along the beach as we speak…or rather as you read. So, being the good person I am (?) I thought I would share some of my must have items for a holiday away in the sun…

A good bikini: Not just one, but a dozen bikinis are essential. That said, we always have a favourite don’t we? Whether it be the most flattering or the prettiest pattern. My favourite at the moment is this rather funky Matthew Williamson number, called the Blue Ikat bikini. There’s a range of different mix and match tops and bottoms which you can find here, I’ve read some good review about SOCFashion here. But I have the triangle bikini top which ties at the front and has a racer style back, whilst the bottoms are the cutout side bikini bottoms which speak for themselves really.

Some cute shoes: These floral sheer fabric espadrilles are just cheapy ones from Primark but aren’t they so pretty? It also helps that they’re super comfortable and were just £7!

A trustworthy deodorant: I’ve always been a Dove girl at heart, whether it be shampoo, moisturiser or their good ol’ deodorant, I just can’t fault them. The Dove Maximum Protection Go Fresh Pomegranate and Lemon Verbena Deodorant Cream is incredibly gentle on your underarms, smells wonderful and keeps me feeling dry and fresh all day long. What more could you want?

Suncream for the face: I’m super fussy with my facial suncream. I was a big fan of Ren’s one before they discontinued it and then I found this, the Apivita Face Cream For Sensitive Skin SPF 50+. It’s extremely gentle and doesn’t cause a single spot (no, not one!), is non-greasy but adds just the right amount of moisture to keep your skin hydrated and my face doesn’t look like a lobster my the end of the day, score!

Easy peasy body lotion: I cannot get enough of the Vaseline Spray & Go Cocoa Body Moisturiser, it smells delicious, dries faster than any other body moisturiser making it easy to whip on your jeans straight after smothering this all over and it’s surprisingly moisturising. Perfect.

What are your must-have’s for your summer holiday?

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What’s with the black Dell tab – the real dirt

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What motivates for shoppers? Deals – the lowest price on a quality product. Dell has experienced this first-hand with the popularity of products like the Inspiron Mini 10v, Nickelodeon Edition. So when Dell had the technology they needed to move, they knew where to come.

Dell approached us about offering three of their best laptop deals exclusively to you. Our advice to them: It has to be the best deal, THE BEST DEAL. We worked with Dell for the lowest price on quality machines. We’re proud of the close relationship CeeCoupon has built with Dell and Dell’s enthusiasm for CeeCoupon shoppers. That’s why you’re seeing Dell deals featured front and center for twelve hours ONLY, starting at 7:00 a.m. CST, August 10.

Now, the skinny on these deals via resident expert

Dell Studio XPS 16 Laptop w/ Core 2 Duo T6600 (2.2GHz) $999 w/ Free Shipping at DellHome

  • Intel Core 2 Duo T6600 (2.2GHz, 800MHz, 2MB L2 Cache)
  • 15.6″ (1080 x 900) LED Display
  • 512MB ATI Mobility Radeon HD 3670
  • 5 GB DDR3 1067 RAM (2 Dimms)
  • 500GB 7,200RPM Hard Drive
  • 9 Cell Lithium-Ion Battery
  • Windows 7 Home Premium 64-Bit

Features gigabit ethernet, full 1080p HD display, 2-year basic service plan ($199 addition), wireless N, HDMI, 8X slot-loading DVD burner, 2MP webcam, and backlit keys. Comes in an obsidian black high gloss finish. Great little portable multimedia laptop with its full HD 16″ screen and almost 4-hour battery life due to its 9-cell battery.

This is a savings of $319.19 on this configuration:

  1. Base model $949.99
  2. 5GB Ram upgrade ($60)
  3. 500GB hard drive upgrade ($40)
  4. 9 Cell battery upgrade ($45)
  5. 2-Year Basic Service Plan Upgrade ($199)
  6. Soundblaster X-Fi Audio Upgrade ($25)
  7. Total: $1,318.99
    Exclusive price: $999 w/ Free Shipping

Dell Inspiron Mini 10v Nickelodeon Edition 10.1″ Netbook w/ Intel Atom N270 (1.6GHz) $199.99 at DellHome

  • Intel Atom N270 (1.6GHz, 533MHz, 512KB Cache)
  • 10.1″ (1024 x 600) LCD Display
  • Intel GMA 950 Graphics
  • 1GB DDR2 667 RAM
  • 160GB 5,400RPM Hard Drive
  • 3 Cell Lithium-Ion Battery
  • Windows XP Home

Features a 1.3MP webcam, Nickelodeon desktop theme, and 1-year limited hardware warranty. Weighing only 2.5 pounds, this netbook is the perfect size for kids. This current configuration is being sold for $299.99 but has been as low as $249.99 in the past, so this is a savings of $50 or more.

This laptop is basically your standard Dell 10v Mini with a Nick theme. The only parental controls for this netbook are done through the 15-month trial of McAfee’s Family Center, unlike the Disney Netpal by Asus, which offers native parental controls that do not expire. For the price, however, you cannot beat it.

Dell Studio 17 Laptop w/ Core 2 Duo T6600 (2.2GHz) $649.99 w/ Free Shipping Code at

  • Intel Core 2 Duo T6600 (2.2GHz, 800MHz, 2MB L2 Cache)
  • 17.0″ (1440 x 900) LCD Display
  • 512MB ATI Mobility Radeon HD 3650 Graphics
  • 4GB DDR2 800 RAM
  • 500GB 5,400RPM Hard Drive
  • 9 Cell Lithium-Ion Battery
  • Windows 7 home Premium 64-Bit

Features 2MP webcam, 1-year limited warranty, 8X DVD burner, 500GB hard drive upgrade, 9 cell battery instead of the standard 6 cell and 1-year limited hardware warranty.

What do you think?

CeeCoupon and Dell want to do more exclusive sales. Needless to say, we all stand to benefit. So if you’re not biting, why? Are you not in the market? Are you holding out for any particular size, processor or upgrade?

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5:15 am is just too early to get up on a Sunday. Or any day in my opinion. Sure, maybe you get up early to train for a triathlon or nurse a baby or go to the airport, but none of those apply to me right now. My 2-year old daughter does not seem to comprehend. What she does understand though is the grumpiness that kicks in around 3:00pm when the early start begins to affect Mommy’s mood.

For me this weekend, it was more than cranky, and it lingered into the evening hours. I spent too much time indoors and specifically in our home (a lovely home mind you) surrounded by the laundry, the toys, the dishwasher awaiting an Emptier, a backpack filled with work screaming to be opened, two kids, and my husband. Granted, I love my kids and my husband, but hours inside can blur your perspective and then layer in guilt too while you’re already feeling down. Finally, after nearly falling asleep putting my daughter to bed, I announced that I needed to take a 15-minute walk before it was Round Two with my son’s bedtime routine.

With the onset of summer, the sun was still in the sky even though it was after 8:00pm. Living in San Francisco, I am able to walk out the door and down to the Bay. I do enjoy being only a few blocks from the water, yet I had not walked down there by myself for quite a while.

When I saw the sun just starting to tuck behind the headlands, and the light reflecting beautifully off the water and the sailboats, I lit up inside. My worries faded and I began to connect to that energetic aspiration feeling you get when you start focusing on Your Big Picture (you know that one — it is THE BEST). When you give yourself permission to dream. When you get out of your daily monotony and lift your head and look around. When you see and appreciate the beauty.

Yes, this is age-old wisdom. If you have a toddler, you know its power — if you change the scenery, you can circumvent the imminent meltdown. You can do the same thing with your finances. If you have not glanced at your Big Picture in a while, take a look. What do you want? What do you aspire to for your family? What needs to change?

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Debt Free in 60 Seconds

Imagine it, you being debt-free. No more annoying calls from the credit card companies, “reminding” you that your bill is past due (as if you’d forgotten) and no more giving your entire paycheck over to debt that you accumulated last semester.

Does it seem like a dream? It doesn’t have to be. You can make it your reality! Here’s how to do it – in just about a minute.

0:60 It’s simple – spend less than you make

OK, I know it’s simple, even if it’s not always so easy to do. But following this rule could have a serious impact on your financial health and peace of mind. The truth is if you can’t pay for it today then you probably won’t be able to afford it tomorrow either. So don’t put any unnecessary pressure on yourself to come up with money in the future that you can’t guarantee you’ll have today.

0:50 Bad Debt vs. “Good” Debt – know the difference

Good debt generally has an interest rate of 10% or less and will appreciate in value. Home mortgages and student loans are examples of money borrowed that will be well worth the investment in the future. Car loans are somewhat on the fence, true, they meet the low-rate rule, but cars almost never go up in value. Bad Debt (also known as consumer debt) is everything else – yup, that even includes your platinum-all-star-VIP-rewards card that you’re paying 29% interest on.

0:40 Pick a card & stick with it

I know that “settling” down is probably far from your mind with all the dating choices that you have, but when it comes to credit, you’re better off going “steady” with just one major credit card. Choose one with the lowest annual interest rate possible (check out your options at Cancel and cut up any other cards, including all department store cards – you can even use the little pieces of plastic to make some cool wall art. Now that you’re exclusive to just one card treat it with respect, and you’ll have a great and long-term relationship.

0:30 It’s time to face the music

This won’t be fun at first, but it’s necessary to get you closer to not being afraid that “someone is after you” every time the phone rings. You’ve gotta pay to play, so pull out all of your credit card bills and line ‘em up on the floor. Find the minimum monthly payment for each one and then total them all up to get an overall monthly minimum payment amount. Make a commitment to pay the total minimum due PLUS $100 more to the highest outstanding balance every month (or at least enough to make a dent in it) If you can’t pull this off right away, then come up with a plan that will make it possible within the next three months. It might not be fun, but it’ll be worth it.

0:20 Ready. Set. Attack.

Get angry; I mean fighting mad. Your future is on the line, and it’ll be a bright one as long as you’re not strapped with debt. So the next step is to identify which of your credit cards has the highest annual interest rate and apply the $100 more (above the minimum amount due) to the highest interest rate account(s) first. Repeat this process monthly until the last Bad Debt account is paid in full.

0:10 Pretty pleeze?!

Grab a bill from any creditor that’s charging you more than 15% interest. Call them up, and with all the Academy Award winning acting skills you can muster ask that your rate lowered to 11%. Tell them that you’d really like to keep your account open with them, but that you’ve gotten “offers” for much-much-lower-rate cards (at this point let your voice trail off for dramatic effect). They’re gonna try to break you, but don’t let ‘em see you sweat, because to them, you’re not just a customer you’re a cash register (they hear cha-ching every time you charge something and don’t pay your balance in full). What do you have to loose? Just try it. It’ll be fun, and you stand to save a bunch of money.

0:01 Go ahead…Get your dance on

When the Bad Debt is 100% exorcised go ahead celebrate – heck, when you’re halfway there start doing the “happy dance” – life is meant to be enjoyed, and you’ll feel more carefree today when you’ve paid off your bar tab from spring break two years ago. Now that’s something to cheer about!

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Dream Anniversary Date in Chicago

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My husband and I have been married for 16 years, have 3 kids, a house, jobs. To put it mildly, life is crazy busy, which is not always of my liking. Sure, I thrive in organized chaos, but every once in a while (okay often) I crave for a moment of peace.

I got that moment this weekend!

There’s something so magical about writing down a goal. It makes it real, brings it to the forefront of the mind, and makes us aware of opportunities we might otherwise have ignored.

One of the items on my list of 100+ dreams was to start traveling with my husband. In our 16 years of marriage we’ve taken one true vacation, our honey moon. We had a weekend in Arizona without the kids several years ago, while my mother in law was going through Chemo, which was not romantic in any way. We had plans to go away on our 15th anniversary, but a tight budget and crazy-busy schedule got in the way.

So when I saw a deal on Groupon for a hotel in Chicago, I hesitated momentarily and then thought, “Why not? We could have a night together, without the kids, in the city we had so much fun dating in!” My hope was to plan a Valentine’s day getaway.

Like any goal, the minute I stepped into action on it, challenges started to appear. We had to complete our stay before March 31st, and between our own work/travel schedules and my mom’s travel schedule which consumed most of February, there was only one available weekend which was less than a week away.

The restaurant we wanted to have dinner at, was booked and didn’t have a reservation open until 9:30 pm. The theater tickets I wanted weren’t available for the date I wanted, etc. We ended up getting reservations at The Signature Room at the 95th floor of the John Hancock building, just a couple of blocks from the hotel and we figured we’d play the rest by ear.

Well after a comfortable train ride into the city and a funny cab driver, we arrived at the Millennium Knickerbocker Hotel located on block East of Michigan Ave. After my husband mentioned we were here to celebrate our belated anniversary, we received a surprise free upgrade upon check-in to a suite with a jacuzzi tub! Happy Anniversary! The 1920′s hotel was beautifully decorated with dark woodwork, frosted glass doors, marble bathroom, luxurious bed…and did I mention the jacuzzi tub? 🙂

Dinner was nothing short of a gift as well. They did not have a window table available when we arrived, so they sent us up to the lounge on the 96th floor for drinks and appetizers. I celebrated with a yummy Peach Cosmo and an artisan cheese platter with blueberry chutney. My husband had a Goose Island beer. (One of our first dates was to Goose Island!)

When we were seated at our table, I actually had to hold back my emotions. I wanted to cry because the view so absolutely breathtaking. We were on the South East corner of the building overlooking the majority of the city, the Lake Michigan Shore including Navy Pier and strange as it may sound the lights on the horizon actually shimmered and twinkled. It had to be the best table in the restaurant, and I’m not exaggerating in any way! Words cannot express how amazed I felt at our good fortune to have the weekend start off with so many wonderful surprises.

The rest of the weekend was equally romantic, and this overwhelmed mom, truly enjoyed dozing in a long, quiet bubble bath with a glass of wine and sleeping in until 9:00 am and lots of time alone with her guy!

One dream completed…way beyond my dreams!

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Free Products for Your Review at

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Ever wish there was a way to save even more money when you shop at Of course you do. We’ve all dreamed of a day where we could visit, click on a few hot ticket items and then check out for less than the cost of a tank of gas. However, until now this has remained just a dream. Until now. Whatiscainz has made it possible to get even better deals on all of the Wish merchandise you want…and all you have to do is be willing to review the product.

Whatiscainz is an online community that consists of both top rated Wish sellers and consumers who are willing to accept deep discounts on all of the best merchandise in exchange for leaving their honest, real reviews online. That’s right. Just a review. What’s even better is that there are no costs whatsoever for joining Whatiscainz. It’s 100% free.

How is this possible?

Sellers on Wish know how important consumer reviews are to the success or failure of a product online. Because customer reviews are so difficult to come by, they are willing to offer those who will offer their time to create such a review the ability to get products at a discount in an effort to generate those valuable reviews.

But wait, so what does Whatiscainz get out of facilitating this arrangement?

Whatiscainz gives sellers access to thousands of potential reviews. For this access, sellers pay a small fee.

But, doesn’t this constitute paying for five star reviews?

Absolutely not. As a matter of fact, Whatiscainz does not encourage nor endorse the use of this program by any consumer or seller as a way of soliciting five star reviews. While users are required to review the products they purchase, the reviews are to be 100% honest. Even if the product you purchase is 100% free, you are encouraged to leave a real review detailing your actual experience with the product. This means that if you aren’t satisfied for any reason, you are asked to provide those details in your review. It’s really that easy.

But wait, did you say free?

Yes. While all Wish sellers offer their products at a steep discount to Whatiscainz users, some offer you the ability to try products 100% for free. They are looking to get real feedback from consumers in order to ensure that the products they offer are of the highest quality.

So, if you are looking for a way to save even more money on the things you buy on Wish , visit and sign up for a free consumer review account. If you are an Wish seller looking for a great way to boost your reviews, sign up and get started with Whatiscainz today. Whatiscainz is a win-win for everyone. For more information about the Whatiscainz online community and how it works, please visit and start saving money on your very first purchase. Become a Whatiscainz reviewer today and offer your Wish review for free products. Whatiscainz is one of the best Wish review sites available.

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2018 Dreams and Goals List

I mentioned in my previous post “Got Dreams? Get a Dream Manager,” that I’m working with a dream manager at work to help me clarify and achieve the goals I want to work toward.  It’s an awesome program based on the Dream Manager book by Matthew Kelly that helps people feel more fulfilled in their jobs because the job is helping them to work toward life long dreams.

Here’s my (still evolving) list.  I’ve had this post in drafts since mid December, and I’ve had fun watching it grow and eliminating goals that don’t feel like they are authentic after I’ve sat on them for a while.

I started my dream list on the Dream Manager website, but realized that I had more flexibility and a higher chance of success if I created it in my blog since I won’t have “one more place” to log into frequently.  It’s been easier for me to update it when I think of another new dream.

I challenge you to do the same thing.  You may realize that there really isn’t much standing in your way of achieving many if not most of your dreams.

Happy Dreaming

♥ Heather

Here’s my list of goals and dreams:

(This list includes the dreams that felt more like to-do’s I talked about in my first dream manager post, since accomplishing them will help me to feel less overwhelmed.  The ones that are bold are the dreams I’m focusing on for the first half of 2012)


  1. New job for hubby
  2. Have energy to enjoy things with family in the evenings
  3. Time to to Y 2 times per week with kids
  4. Time to to gym for me 5 days a week
  5. Hire a personal trainer
  6. Hire someone to mow and weed yard so hubby and i can play with kids
  7. Hire someone to wash windows
  8. Have the house washed
  9. Hire a cleaning lady every 2 weeks so house is clean and we have more time with kids
  10. Treat myself to weekly massage
  11. Sign up for a yoga class
  12. Grow my nails
  13. Get my hair colored
  14. Time with hubby each week (Friday date night?)
  15. Deepen relationship with hubby–less stress more fun
  16. Take vitamins and balance my iron levels
  17. Reach a healthy weight under 150 pounds
  18. Take up tennis again


  1. Find way to incorporate coaching again for fulfillment
  2. Get coaching for CM blog for fresh ideas to improve sales/marketing funnel 
  3. Attend training or seminar quarterly to network and stay current
  4. Go through market motive training at work
  5. Go to wizard academy
  6. Turn CM into a social media marketing agency?
  7. Create a blogging contest for FW bloggers
  8. Revamp FW blog, opt in, side bar, etc.
  9. Create couponing training program with Shauna for FW
  10. Do weekly interview series with financial forum people and financial bloggers for FW
  11. Turn FW interview series into weekly podcast
  12. Become a regular contributor for another website for FW
  13. Use send out cards for Arbonne again
  14. Create opt in for becoming me
  15. Post weekly on becoming me
  16. Post weekly on cm
  17. Focus more on video for cm
  18. Get an assistant for fw to help expand social
  19. Hire a VA for cm
  20. Speak on stage trainings at seminars
  21. Develop speaking skills
  22. Create complete training system for cm
  23. Write a book (turn CM into a book)
  24. Write a book (becoming me)


  1. Send our daughter on the DC trip with school (Paid balance in full 12/23/2011)
  2. Save new car for hubby
  3. Tithe regularly
  4. New family car
  5. Save for retirement so that we have 100K per year living money
  6. Have 3 months savings in the bank
  7. Have 5K in the bank for emergencies
  8. Pay cash for a new car for the kids
  9. Pay off all credit card debt
  10. Get a month ahead on all bills
  11. Pay off second mortgage
  12. Pay off mortgage


  1. Go to Rio de Janiero
  2. See castles in Scotland
  3. Visit Yellowstone
  4. Take a paddle boat cruise down the Mississippi
  5. Family vacation to Mexico
  6. Family vacation to LA, San Diego, etc.
  7. Visit Thailand
  8. Family vacation to Hawaii
  9. Drive to Alaska
  10. Plan an overnight trip for each child yearly to shop, theater, or whatever they want with mom and dad
  11. Girls vacation spa trip with both of my girls when they’re older
  12. Girls vacation with mom and sister
  13. San Francisco with hubby
  14. Family vacation to north east shore (NJ)
  15. Family vacation to Grand Canyon and out west
  16. Family vacation to Europe
  17. Family vacation to Disney
  18. Yearly romantic vacation with hubby
  19. Take a tropical cruise
  20. See the arches in Utah
  21. Take cruise to Alaska to see glaciers
  22. Take the badger line ferry across Lake Michigan
  23. Visit Shenandoah valley
  24. Vacation in Hilton Head
  25. Vacation in Mackinac
  26. Go to Australia
  27. Trip to NYC with kids
  28. Go to the cedar point amusement park in Sanduski OH
  29. Go to Maine, see the crabbing and eat lobster
  30. Go to Seattle
  31. Take a romantic weekend in Chicago, ride the train in, eat a Geja’s, see a play (Bought Groupon for Hotel 1/6/2012)
  32. Go to Monterrey California for a romantic trip
  33. Go to wine country


  1. Learn to speak French
  2. Learn to speak Spanish
  3. Skate boarding lessons for daughter
  4. Games for the kids’ x-box
  5. Get another dog
  6. Take cake decorating classes with daughter
  7. Buy husband guitar and lessons
  8. Buy husband a GTO to restore
  9. Finish “old man winter” carvings
  10. Live on water front property in Wisconsin
  11. Have an art studio and writing studio
  12. Remodel an old house after kids are grown
  13. Take a sculpting class
  14. Float the Colorado river through the grand canyon
  15. Learn to sail
  16. Finish pilot’s license
  17. Float Namakagon river with family, and camp on shore
  18. Float the Wisconsin river with hubby, kids and dad
  19. Kayak the apostle island caves
  20. Sail from Chicago to Mackinac
  21. Fly to all 48 states
  22. Fly to Alaska
  23. Fly in an open cockpit Steerman
  24. Learn to play the piano
  25. Take up photography again
  26. Write a book (children’s book with photos)
  27. Paint again
  28. Get proficient at pottery again
  29. Archery for kids and hubby
  30. Karate for hubby
  31. Help hubby build a cedar strip canoe
  32. Compete in the annual Namakagon regatta
  33. Own a convertible (drive it to the cabin in the summer)
  34. Have the ability to move around and if we like a place, stay there for a while, if we want to move on, be able to
  35. Go camping in Colorado with the kids
  36. Be on a boat in the ocean or great lakes far enough out where you can’t see land
  37. Camp in Aisle Royale
  38. See a moose
  39. Go fly fishing in Montana or Wyoming
  40. Canoe the boundary waters in Ely Minnisota
  41. Scuba dive
  42. Go down hill skiing with the kids
  43. Ride in and finish the scenic shore 150 and other longer bicycle of rides
  44. Take the Amtrak Southwest Chief train trip/vacation


  1. Put in alarm system (Installed 12/31/2011)
  2. Have a big fish tank for family room
  3. Laptop for daughter’s 8th grade graduation gift
  4. Fish tanks for kid’s rooms
  5. Knock down wall on stairs and put in banister
  6. Put in a pool for the kids
  7. Get a hot tub in back yard
  8. Fence in back yard
  9. Recarpet upstairs
  10. Add hardwood floors in family room
  11. Expand kitchen into dining room
  12. Buy a gas kiln
  13. Buy a sailboat
  14. Buy a plane
  15. Insulate garage and heat it for pottery
  16. Get a bigger TV for bedroom
  17. Build a media room in basement
  18. Move family room gas fire place to office in basement
  19. Convert family room fireplace to wood burning
  20. Get a piano and learn to play
  21. Have professional family photos for the both sides of the family
  22. Help send other kids in need to college
  23. Help my kids graduate from college debt free
  24. Sponsor a family in need every year for Christmas
  25. Landscape yard – boulders
  26. Outdoor lighting
  27. Riding lawn mower
  28. Swing set for son
  29. SLR digital camera
  30. Braces for the kids
  31. Build room to move office to basement
  32. Decorate FW office
  33. Decorate living room
  34. Redecorate dining room to get rid of red walls
  35. New dining room furniture
  36. Living room furniture
  37. Patio furniture
  38. Get a new family car big enough for all 5 of us
  39. Clear out toys and give them to new baby (1/7/2012)
  40. Declutter bins of clothing in basement–keep only hand-me-down clothes
  41. Build laundry room in basement
  42. Turn laundry room into coat closet
  43. Turn coat closet into pantry
  44. Closet organizers for all the bedroom closets
  45. Bedroom dressers and mirror for our room
  46. New curtains for our room
  47. Jacuzzi tub
  48. Upholster lazyboy in bedroom
  49. Upholister chairs in family room
  50. New family room furniture
  51. Insulate the attic
  52. New cell phones (iphone?)
  53. Laptops for kids with study area in basement
  54. Own a truck again
  55. Own a jeep again
  56. Own a convertable
  57. Own a tandem bike
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Got Dreams? Get a Dream Manager

I’m participating in the dream manager program my company offers, where I meet with our dream manager who helps me sort through the things I want to accomplish and fulfill the dreams I have for both my family and myself.

My first challenge was to try and come up with a list of 100 dreams, but that wasn’t my “challenge.”While it was super fun and rather easy–I think I have more than 175 dreams–what I noticed on my list is that many of the dreams are actually more like to-do’s than big dreams.

I sat on the list for a couple of weeks, thinking about it and wondering if maybe I wasn’t dreaming big enough.  What I discovered is that I want, more than anything on this huge list, is to feel in control.  I’ve lived for the last 5 years in a state of stress and overwhelm.  Life feels like it’s taken over and I’m just trying to keep my head above water from one wave to the next.  Whether it’s surprise car repairs, housework, family responsibilities, weight gain, social obligations, or work, I’ve not felt like I’ve been able to entertain my own dreams and desires.

The Challenge with Dreams:

I’ve tried keeping dream journals, creating vision boards, and daily prayer and meditation to get focused on my dreams, and for me, the dreaming part is easy.  Allowing myself to feel like I deserve them now is the hard part.

I’ve stuffed my dreams down, too much, living by the unwritten and self inflicted rule of work first/play later.  The housework, laundry, and unfinished things on my to-do list, drain me of energy, leaving me in a state of not really feeling like doing anything.  In reality, I know the work will never be done, but I have a hard time releasing myself from it.

I know this is what many moms and nurturing women feel.  We live like martyrs and end up feeling resentful that we don’t have time for ourselves because there are too many things we NEED to do.

Even though consciously, I know it’s my perspective and outlook that makes me feel overwhelmed, not the “stuff” on my to-do list,  I let myself live in that state, day in and out.  It’s not fun for me, my kids, or my husband.

Coming up with this dream list helped me to see that there are a lot of joys in life that I could have easily achieved, but I’ve stolen from myself and my family because of my work before play attitude.

My Next Dream Big Step:

So, I’m not sure what the next step for the dream manager program is for me, but I plan to make my first step one of stopping to smell the roses and making a commitment to reduce the external, energy draining stresses in my life by decluttering my finances, home, schedule, and body of as many things that don’t bring me joy as possible.

Ironically, there’s a banner I see every day, hanging above our lunch table at work that says, “Balance.”  It’s one of our 7 core values at work.  I don’t know if it’s ever truly possible to be balanced, but I’m sure as heck excited to try.

Maybe it’s the residual buzz of the New Year’s new beginning combined with knowing that I’m going to have some accountability from our amazing dream manager at work, but I’m thrilled beyond belief to start tackling some of these things on my list–both the to-do’s and the just for fun dreams.

Dreams Coming True Already:

Just since making this list, I’ve been able to cross off a few of the items:

  1. For peace of mind we got an alarm system for the house. Now I have a spy who will announce “back door” when my eager explorer 4 year old son attempts to escape. 🙂
  2. We also bagged up a bunch baby things from my son this weekend and brought them to my husband’s best friend’s 3 day old new baby boy.  (I felt so excited driving there with a car load of toys and baby gear, knowing that they’ll enjoy it and we’ve cleared some space for new dreams in our house.)
  3. We paid the balance in full for our daughter’s trip to Washington DC with school
  4. And finally, I bought a Groupon deal for a night in a Chicago hotel for my husband and I to take a mini romantic getaway this spring.

I’ll keep you posted on more dreams come true, but in the mean time, I encourage you to make a list of your 100 dreams.  Who knows, it may be more revealing than you think!

If it will help you brainstorm some of your own ideas, here’s my list of goals and dreams!

Happy Dreaming!

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Blogging My Weight

I was on the rooftop of a hotel in downtown LA at a book signing party when I met the woman who inspired this blog.  You know the connection you feel when you meet someone whose story is so much like your own, you can finish each others’ sentences?  That’s what meeting Kristi was like for me.

We were drinking Cabernet (yummy) and chatting about the blogging conference we attended and sharing what we did.  She’s self employed and I’m working for non-corporate (a wacky fun company with a Google-type atmosphere) but our jobs are the same: social media managers.

Both of us overweight (me more than she), got to talking about the struggles of weight loss and she mentioned that she’s been blogging her weight every week and told me I should too.  I almost spit the sip of wine I had just taken in her face.  What?  No way!  You can’t make me.

I think about my weight in round numbers.  Details stress me out.  I’ve gained 30 pounds with each kid–I’m a mom of 3–so you do the math. Plus a few more here and there–thank you non-corporate for the catered lunches and snacks. I’ve lost hundreds, but always gained it back and I’ve been at the point of feeling like so many things in my life are out of control that I can’t add weight loss to the list and stay sane.

But I hit a round number limit that made me want to die.  I promised myself I’d never get there, and in the surreal wee hours of the morning, I realized I’d not only gotten there, I’d passed it.  Shit.

So while Kristi was rambling on about her green smoothies and wanting a juicer , I wondered if blogging would hold me accountable?

Fast forward a few weeks (due to traveling and Black Friday craziness at work)…while I’m not ready yet to post a picture of the scale, I have at least made the baby-step to build this blog and write this post.  Progress! :)

That’s what this blog is about…living in a place of continuous personal growth.

Sounds yummy to me.

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“Thank You, Turkey, for Letting Us Eat Your Legs”

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It’s Thanksgiving weekend and the highlight of my weekend (by far) will be my almost 4 year old son contributing to the family prayer, “Thank you, Turkey, for letting us eat your legs.”

It will be something I laugh about forever, I’m sure, but what I loved most was seeing how easily he found something to be thankful for in the moment.

It’s natural this time of year to reflect on what we’re grateful for, but I find myself being thankful for the things of another time; an experience from the past or an opportunity in the future.  I’m grateful for my family, friends, job, and home.  I’m grateful for my challenges and opportunities to grow.  I have never focused on finding gratitude in the moment.

I’m Giving up Typical Gratitude:

In the past I’ve kept a gratitude journal where I wrote down a few things each day that I was thankful for, but I’ve gotten lazy with it.  I’ve been as inconsistent with it as I’ve been with the laundry lately.

Sometimes, I will write down things I’m thankful for about in the gratitude area of my day planner, but this week, in the crunch of Black Friday–the busiest time of the year for my job–the real estate in my day planner has been used as an extension of my to-do list.

Challenging Myself to Find Unexpected Moments of Thankfulness:

So as I write my first post on my brand new blog I am setting a challenge for myself to find one thing of gratitude, in the moment, each day this week.  I am setting a gratitude alarm on my phone to go off at random times each day this week to remind me to stop and find something, in the moment that I’m thankful for.

So I don’t let the moments or my gratitude slip by, I will email them to myself, post them on my Facebook status, jot them in my day planner, or leave them on my voice mail.  At the end of the week, I’ll share them here on the blog in a gratitude section.

Will you join me this week?

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