I truly enjoy quick and dirty memes that provoke a bit of thought and help me kick start my otherwise stalled blog. This one specifically reminded me of an exercise I'd done in the past using letters of the alphabet to describe myself.  Not at all an entirely easy task especially if you're trying to honest and loving in the process. I tripped across this particular meme on a blog called A Design so Vast by Lindsey Mead, who of course found it elsewhere.  I like to give the credit to where I found the treasure.

A: Attached or single?  Attached.

B: Best friend?  One or two or three; I am blessed.

C: Cake or pie?  Pie girl.  You can't be born on Thanksgiving and not love pie. It's like a rule written somewhere.  Really.

D: Day of choice? Friday, it's the beginning of the weekend.

E: Essential item? My Ava lip balm.

F: Favorite color?  This really should just be a one word answer I know. But for me it just never can be, it depends on what the color is for... I know, weird huh?  Love me regardless.  Butif  I have to choose one color I will pick green, no blue... okay blue/green.

G: Gummy bears of worms?  Worms and the sour kind.  They have pizzazz.

H: Hometown?  Wyoming, MN.

I: Favorite indulgence? A pedicure and I am long over due.

J: January or July?  July it's festive and so many flowers are in bloom.

K: Kids?  Two.  Beautiful boys.

L: Life isn’t complete without?  Those I love being a part of my everyday.

M: Marriage date? August 1993 now free and in love.

N: Number of siblings? One wonderful brother and two sisters I need to get to know.

O: Oranges or apples?  Apples.  Preferably Honey Crisp or Ginger Gold.

P: Phobias? Deer they have a way of crossing the road that is unsettling to me.  Oh yes, we've experienced a few run ins.

Q: Quotes? My favorite of late: "let it go," and I'm going to credit Cowboy Mouth with that one.

R: Reasons to smile? Waking up, watching the sunrise, hugs from those I love, just to name a few.

S: Season of choice? Autumn. Warm days and cool nights.

T: Tag 5 people. Really?  Can't do it. I love my friends too much to burden them, those that want to will take it upon themselves.

U: Unknown fact about me. I am a slow eater. Something I just recently truly realized about myself.

V: Vegetable? Just one? Hmm, summer squash, cucumbers, red bell peppers, baby greens... I don't do just one.

W: Worst habit? Impulse book buyer.

X: x-ray or ultrasound? Been there done that on both counts.

Y: Your favorite food? Seriously? You may as well ask me to name a favorite child.  A perfectly grilled steak, a fresh bountiful salad with ALL the trimmings. Pizza, something Asian I can eat with chop sticks, it's such fun.

Z: Zodiac sign? Sagittarius

To my mom,
 I love you with all my heart. I am so blessed to have a beautiful and loving mother like you.  Thank you for always being the one that's been there for me my entire life. Thank you for all the wisdom you've shared with me, thank you for letting me learn some lessons on my own. Thank you for being a guide and steady force of love.  I summed it up best last year how very much you mean to me.

Wishing you a wonderful Mother's day.  Give grandma a hug from me.
Friday night we had an impromptu date night.  I love it when those happen.  There is no pressure, no indecision, we just say let's and we do. We started out with dinner at a local restaurant that has become a favorite and our go to choice as they consistently produce good food, which when you're paying for a meal out, it's so hard to settle for mediocre and wish you'd cooked at home. I have to say even though they were busy as all get out at the Pine Brook Inn they had a seated in a short time in a warm booth.  I don't know if it was strange coincidence or something else but our server was "Angel" - I smiled when she introduced herself and Steve did too, commenting that he brought one with him too. Drinks served, and quiet conversation ensued. It's these times we spend alone together that I adore.  We talk about our dreams and goals and how we will get where we want to go. We support one another and offer ideas and suggestions to one another and the distance between us grows even smaller. It's these times I feel the blessing of Steve in my life. A short time later and we are both eating steaks and lots of "mmm's" and "oh that's good and hitting just the right spot" are vocalized. We check the time and decide we'll make the late movie and opted to see Pain & Gain.  From the trailer it's not real easy to tell what it's about but we know it's based on a true story and like the cast.

The theater is a buzz with people many seeking out Iron Man 3.  We find a cozy seat and snuggle in and the lights dim. I must say after the fact, this is truly a disturbing movie when you concentrate on the fact that it truly happened.  Was it action packed? Was it funny? Was it something that remained with you after you left the theater? Yes, it was. It also made me grateful that I was raised in a manner that respects human life and that even though I know the American dream, I also know it never comes easy and that there are no shortcuts. 
Pain & Gain is a 2013 American film directed by Michael Bay and written by Christopher Markus and Stephen McFeely. The film is based on a true story, published in a 1999 series of Miami New Times articles written by Pete Collins and compiled in Collins' 2013 book Pain & Gain – This Is a True Story, detailing the brutal kidnapping, extortion, torture, and murder of several victims by an organized group of criminals that included a number of bodybuilders affiliated with Sun Gym
When do you think you reach that point in life when you actually want to do the right thing?  I hit that point in 2012 when I made the decision to live healthier.  I started making changes to my lifestyle that included looking at what I eat, how and when I move my body and getting more rest. I made choices to change the way I live my life every day. I started reading labels, digging into information that would help me understand how food, exercise, and as I’d come to learn, other things effect our bodies.

Recently, I decided I wanted to have my own business, but I wanted to sell a product that people could love and I could believe in and use to better the quality of my life.  I started researching work from home opportunities that I could do in my spare time and lo and behold I found there were hundreds of varied opportunities out there.  But the further I dug the more I realized I wanted to share more than a sale with people. I wanted to share a message about how they can improve their health and lives and the health and lives of their families.

What I found through my research was that there are a lot of products out there that claim to be “natural,” “organic,” and “pure,” however the more you learn and come to know you start to realize and understand that much of those claims are just that; claims for marketing purposes.

What I did find was a great new up-and-coming company started by the passion of a young woman named Ava Anderson.  Ava discovered that many of our personal care products are laden with toxic chemicals and she wanted to eliminate those toxic chemicals from use for herself and her family.  She looked long and hard to find products that would meet her standards, but was unable to find anything that she felt safe using.  With help from family and friends Ava was able to develop and market safe, non-toxic personal care products and Ava Anderson Non Toxic was born.

What I love about Ava Anderson Non Toxic as a company is that they are committed to educating their customers about the many dangers out there now, as well as providing safe quality products for their customers.  At Ava Anderson Non Toxic the mission is to educate consumers about the health risks in personal care products, to provide nontoxic personal care products, and in so doing build meaningful businesses for many partners. Through Ava Anderson I have found safe products, wonderful business associates, a platform to share the message that there is hope and safe products for ourselves and our loved ones.

If you find yourself wondering about the products you use, there is a good tool and resource that was introduced to me by Ava Anderson Non Toxic.  Ava Anderson is not affiliated with this resource, the Environmental Working Group, however we often recommend it as a starting place to start investigating the products we are currently using. If you want to reference this resource to look up a company or specific ingredients this is a great website to do that.

What you will find on my site, Love Non Toxic, are resources to help you learn more about toxic chemicals found in products we commonly use everyday, safe and effective alternatives  that are toxic free for yourself and your entire family, a way to share this important message with family, friends and coworkers as well as an opportunity to have your own business.

I'd love for you to check out mine new site Love Non Toxic and see what you can learn.  Like me on Facebook and truly make my day. 



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“I want to know if you can see beauty even when it’s not pretty, every day, and if you can source your own life from its presence.”   ― Oriah Mountain Dreamer
It's been a while since I've made time to write here.  I've been exploring, seeking, absorbing, learning, digging, leaning in and looking closer at what's pulling at me.  What is calling to my heart and soul and spirit, what has been catching my eye and curiosity. Those things that have captured my attention and been keeping me from sharing with you here. It's not that I haven't done things or read good books, or viewed interesting movies or contemplated various thoughts worthy of sharing.  It's one of those things, maybe a dead of winter thing when all you want is spring and something fresh, a splash of color to brighten your day. Perhaps, I was worried I couldn't give that to you; to bring you a breath of fresh air or splash of spring color that so many of us are craving when we reach this page on the calendar each year.

Truth be told, I've been missing you.  Missing the sharing my odd curiosities, my cravings, my discoveries. Wondering if you have been missing them too?

The last book I consumed was The Compass by John Spencer Ellis and Tammy Kling from Vanguard Press. Its a relatively quick read, often compared to the likes of The Secret by Rhonda Byrne.  I can understand the comparison in that they are/were trendy books that people may have gravitated toward in our ever unquenchable thirst to find ourselves. But what I loved about The Compass in it's story telling and message wasn't about how the Universe can deliver to us what we desire, but rather reminds us to turn our eyes inward, reminds us to follow our instincts, to listen to our intuition and really align ourselves with the things that resonate with us because we can feel it to our core, to our internal compass.

So important and also so in conjunction with all the other things I was absorbing at the same time. I've taken several courses since we last shared.  Shift_Option_Save with Tracey Selingo. A beautifully crafted course that opens our minds and hearts and allows for an environment where opening our souls isn't a scarey thing but rather a way of finding our true essence and discovering our edges or fears, a place to attune to our instincts and learn to trust them, to know that when we feel fear, it's really and edge and the place where we need to make a decision, turn and run and face it another day or to run to the edge and take a leap of faith; to trust our intuition and realize what is holding us back is all a part of ego.  All a part of our mind that so desperately wants to save and protect us from all the terrible and hideous things in the world, but doesn't really always know what's best for us to grow and flourish. She reminds us that we are our own captain and crew and we have the compass.  Ironic?  Not really, more like .."hey Angel, wake up and smell the coffee. You keep getting the same message because it's something you need to know."   I loved Tracey's course and wanted more.  Needed to dig deeper to learn more, know more, find my truth, face my edges and grow.  Really grow. I'll share where I went next another day.

The last CD I purchased was the new release from my favorite Washington state band, Coyote Kings w/Mush, called Nasty Habits & Dirty Little Secrets. I've loved the Coyote Kings since I first found them and hope to see them live someday.  Yup, a definite bucket list item. There's just something about their sexy bluesy-rock that stirs my soul and makes me want to groove.

Have you run across the poetry of Tyler Knott Gregson yet? Take a peek here on Pinterest and tell me if I am swooning alone? Seriously, I'm swooning over it; such beautiful prose. Unless prose isn't your thing then it could be creepy.  But for me... I think it's beautiful and swoon worthy.

Do you have a business? Are you a small business owner who wants to gain more clients? Would you like to generate more cash flow? Find wiser ways to use the internet? If you answered yes to any of these questions then you need to meet Ashley Ambirge, the genius mind behind the website called The Middle Finger Project. I came across an interview with Ash Ambirge and needed to know more about this vibrant spirit.  I went to her site and spent two days there camped out, reading, absorbing and thinking of how I can use this information, who I knew that could use this wisdom, the many ways it would/could be beneficial.  Yes, another place I've been spending time not writing here and expanding my mind with more ideas.  Next step.  Action plan.

Wow... so much to share and so little time.  I'll try to bring these wonders to you on a more regular basis rather than flooding your senses and sensibilities all at once. Go forth and enjoy your day.



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A beautiful find via Noisetrade, Hem.  So often I feel I am so lost in the times. I don't find "things" music, art, books, movies, and the like until sometimes years later.  For me it's a beautiful discovery and I wouldn't trade it for the world.  But then I wonder when I share here, is it new to my reader or do you roll your eyes at me and say, "finally girl." Until someone actually says, "finally girl" I'll continue to share with you.

After researching this band I find that they have been together since the late nineties and their first album was released in 2002. Their sound is described as similar in venue to The Lumineers, The Carpenters, Ollabelle, Over the Rhine, and  Cowboy Junkies.  A sort of country/folk alternative sound that has a beautiful "old music" sound to it.  My first find after listening to my free download from Noisetrade was this interview on youtube explaining how these people came together to form the "band" Hem.  At the time of creation the members didn't feel like a band, but rather that this was a one time effort to create.  Take a look for yourself.
Of course I had to find the All Things Considered interview and give that a listen.  It was much of what was revealed in this video above.  I've shared the link here in case you too, like to dig deeper into a story and feel more of what it took to bring you Hem's music. I love the story of how Sally Ellyson came to be the singer and voice of Hem and that she never even considered her singing as "art" but that it was something she enjoyed doing more or less as a hobby.  I think it beautifully illustrates how when we take a risk and step out of our comfort zone amazing things can happen.  In this case it's beautiful music that comes together to touch the listener.

This is Hem's song Half Acre, the first song Sally recorded with Hem and sealed the deal that she was the voice for them.
If you've been enjoying Hem for sometime now I hope you have enjoyed that I have finally discovered this beautiful music.  If like me, Hem's music is new to you I hope you enjoyed the brief introduction and tasting.

Finally, a recent taste of what's new from Hem via All Things Considered again, along with a video of Tourniquet.  Definitely worth a view.

Go forth and enjoy the day. 
Things of beauty, interest and life that captured my attention along my path of morning meanderings this fine Sunday morning.  This first one is powerful. It's moving and may move you to tears.  You may relate personally which will amp up the emotion.  But it must be shared because it's that beautiful; that powerful.
Easing into Sunday morning with some American blues check it out. It may not be to your liking, but I enjoyed it this morning... albeit a bit Doorsy that might have been the draw for me.  Take it for a spin.

Wisdom that spoke to me this morning was from the Adele Malone book I'm reading.
If you choose to respond negatively by getting upset and anxious towards one of life's setbacks you have chosen to damage the balance of your mind, body and spirit.

If you respond positively by accepting the setback as an opportunity to learn you can live a happier and more fulfilling life.

Allow yourself time each day to really laugh and have fun.  Watch a funny movie or television show.  Read a humorous book or magazine.  Whatever it takes to make you laugh - do it.  Ralph Waldo Emerson said, "Man surrounds himself with images of himself."  This wonderful pearl of wisdom teaches us that if you want to be happy mix with happy people.  Likewise if  you want to be negative and constantly worrying you simply need to associate with people who are negative and worrisome.
In my experience this is true we get back what we put out into the world.  If you want joy, share joy.  If you want more love in your life, give love.  Birds of a feather flock together for a reason. If you find yourself distanced from someone and don't know know why.  Take a reflective look and see what you're putting out there that is coming back to you. this is where my thoughts are today.

Finally, sharing some etsy love.  A place you can make your own private go to one stop shop for beautiful, unique, handcrafted gift giving goodness.  Find your own delights, here are a few that made my heart flutter this morning.
Go forth and enjoy your Sunday.  Feel free to share anything that made your heart flutter today.
Today I wanted to share something with you. Something that I thought was main stream, but I am finding out not everyone is in the know about TED Talks. What are TED talks you may ask? TED short for (Technology Entertainment Design) Talks are short videos recorded at conferences and events the world over by people of note.  Their tag line is “ideas worth spreading” and that they are. TED Talks typically run around 18 minutes give or take a few minutes.  Who doesn't have 20 minutes to spare? I find them to be educational and entertaining and you may too.  The topics you can find are truly varied because they fall into the three higher groups of technology, entertainment and design but the really cool thing is you can find specific area’s of interest by checking their tag word list.

I guessing you are asking what good are TED Talks to me?  Consider it a front seat to see a wonderful speaker speak on a topic of interest to you.  Consider it taking time to enrich your mind.  Consider it time invested in you.  Consider it as a resource for information that can be used in your everyday life from personal development to morsels  you can use in your career, your blog, your endeavors to connect with and expand on ideas worth sharing.

The TED Talk below may have been the very first TED Talk I experienced and it's from Brené Brown. It was part of an online course I had taken and  that is how I became exposed to TED Talks.
Genuine happiness can only be achieved when we transform our way of life from the unthinking pursuit of pleasure to one committed to enriching our inner lives, when we focus on 'being more' rather than simply having more. ~ Daisaku Ikeda
Here is Steve Jobs TED Talk from his Commencement Address at Standord 2005. Allow it to inspire you.
By sharing this "something," TED Talks, with you today it is my wish that you will explore them, use them, source them, to enrich your inner lives to 'becoming more,' rather than a means of just 'having more.'  TED Talks can be powerful in that they can get us thinking, when shared they can get us talking and discuss topics in a meaninful way.
Steve has made a courageous decision and I am so proud of him for doing so, he's gone back to school.  So earlier this week he shared something with me from one of his classes and it took me to this exciting and beautifully positive site.  Whether you are looking for some positive energy to charge your personal life or professional life I think you will find something here that speaks to you. I happened across this one called Learning to Dance in the Rain. I found myself nodding my head and smiling in agreement with the message delivered in the short film.
If you want to access more positive energy for your personal or professional life take a peek over at Simple Truths, your destination for inspiration.
The new year is here.  We made it. Perhaps a little older, hopefully a bit wiser and hopefully with intentions for a good year ahead.  I've been so busy with work this past month I feel like I've been neglectful here. But it's not without much thought of the things I have found and want to share with you moving into this new year, 2013.

A wonderful thing I discovered over the holiday season was a site new to me called Noisetrade. A site filled with free music for you to discover and download. It offers a place for artists to share their music with new fans. think of it as an outlet to introduce themselves to the world of music lovers and fans alike.  There is nothing to do but explore listen and let them know what you'd like to download, they will email  you a link and that's all there is to it. If you like you can leave a tip of gratitude for the artists. However, it's not required to explore and experience a whole new world of music.  Really, check it out you may be surprised at what  you find at Noisetrade. 
Three books I'm currently reading via my phone. Who ever saw that happening with me?  I know I didn't and yet I am.  Wow!  Now don't think I've gone all woo woo but these are really great reading and are speaking to where I am right now.
1. A Guide to The Present Moment: How to Stop Believing the Thoughts that Keep You from Feeling Free, Whole, and Happy by Noah Elkrief.

2. Booyah! Spirit: 52 Ingredients for a Healthy Soul, Suffering is Optional by Sheila Burke

3. Magical Housekeeping: Simple Charms and Practical Tips for Creating a Harmonious Home by Tess Whitehurst
I know, there is a trend going on here.  See it's all about being positive, happy and living a good live that is in harmony.  It's all good, I promise, and fun reading too.

I'm not one to make resolutions but this year I'm opting for setting intentions.  I'm choosing to move gently through the year in a way that is kind to myself and bring me, my family and home to a place of joy and love. Some intentions I'm setting for myself this year include but are not limited to:

1. Following my intuition. Listening to my gut, my heart and my body. It knows everything I need to know to make choices that will keep me on my path.

2. Clear the clutter. This is going to be an ongoing process and will take time. More to come on this in the weeks ahead.

3. Deepen my knowledge and understanding of essential oils and how beautifully beneficial they can be. Ancient wisdom is wonderful because it works and this is why it still continues today.

4. Keep moving my body through exercise: walking, Tai Chi, dancing and riding bike are all a part of my 2013 intentions.

This is my short list of intention that I'm sharing with you today.  Have you set intentions to move you gently through 2013?