Archive | November, 2013

BLOG – GIFT DAY 334 :: a month of inspiration :: capes

30 Nov

Today, in my month-long nod to inspiration, I share capes.

They are a hit with 5-year olds and comic heroes alike.

But as I browsed the selection on Zulily tonight I couldn’t help but wonder what the world would be like if we all wore capes.

What if capes weren’t just for cuddly little kids to throw over their pajamas before bedtime?

What kind of cape would I want? 
I asked myself this question as I perused the cape selection online.

There was a lighting bolt, a princess tiara, a butterfly and of course, a heart.

As I pondered what would happen if I started wearing a cape around the house, to the grocery store, the bank, on flights as I travel to client sites, I realized that would just be ridiculous.

What I really need is an invisible cape.

Superpowers are so much better when they are hidden, only for you to know and no one else to see. Superpowers are more interesting when they are a surprise.

And that’s what brings me to this.

We all have superpowers. Invisible to the rest of the world, known only to you.

How interesting it would be to be able to see each other’s superpowers, if but only for a day. Like at a cocktail party, A Cape Party, with superpower capes strapped around our necks.

I might realize that you have a heart of gold. Or the uncanny ability to create harmony, bend time, multitask, exert mind control, or make the bed every day.

I think the problem with superpowers is we always seem to need what someone else has. And maybe that’s where the Cape Party could come in handy.

Sure would make it easy to ask for help.
And I bet there’s a cape for that.

More tomorrow.
Lovemore {fearless!}
Jamie

{what cape do you want?}

BLOG – GIFT DAY 333 :: a month of inspiration :: four-letter words

29 Nov

Today, in my month-long nod to inspiration, I am inspired to share four-letter words.

But first… let me share this.

It may have been “Black Friday” everywhere else in the world, but around here I celebrated Cranberry Sauce Friday…

…and Turkey Leftover Friday
…and Mashed Potatoes Leftover Friday

All with tons of cranberry sauce!

I also spent some time cleaning out my email — part of my goal this week. In the middle of my email purge, I found a note from my friend Diane. I am compelled to share it tonight with you.

It’s a story about food shopping and unseen acts of kindness. 

In Diane’s words, this is what happened while she waited in line to pay for groceries. A gentleman stood before her, as the story goes…

***

“He was buying bottles of wine – he said he was getting presents for people in his office.  I smiled and said that is so nice–and then, while I was waiting for him to pay up, I said “I think I’ll get a present for myself, look, they have dark chocolate bars, my favorite, they say it’s even good for you!”

So he paid up and went off, and I put my stuff on the counter.  (Feasting on the bar).To my clerk pal I said: “Oh, and don’t forget the chocolate bar!”  To which he replied:   “That gentleman paid for it.”He’d gone before I could say thank you.

I’m not sure if I’ve told you about another good four-letter word:  UAKS:
Unseen Acts of Kindness.”
***

Diane loves 4-letter words.  
She taught me to pay attention to them. It’s a game she plays with her grandchildren but I think it’s a game we can all PLAY — see how easy it is!

There are tons of four-letter words worth sharing:
PLAY
LOVE
HUGS
and now UAKS.

May you share the magic of UAKS this holiday season. Whether it is Black Friday, Small Business Saturday, or Cyber Monday.

Cranberry sauce anyone?

More tomorrow.
Lovemore {fearless!}
Jamie

{what’s your fave four-letter word?}

BLOG – GIFT DAY 332 :: a month of inspiration :: recipe for sharing thanksgiving

28 Nov

Today, in my month-long nod to inspiration, I am inspired to share sharing.

I mean, really? Why didn’t I think of this earlier?

I am overcome with the idea of sharing today. 
For one, I have completely adored the photos posted on Facebook all day long. The food, the holiday, the snacks, the family pics, the celebration of people coming together and breaking bread, roasting turkey, watching football, revving up for Black Friday shopping deals…

It’s not just tradition. Or a day off. Or an excuse to overeat, kill turkeys and watch men in tights violently hit each other on national television.

It’s proof that we are connected.

So tonight I share what connects me to my mother — her recipes (thanks to my sister for sharing with me!).

Below is Mama Sling’s Famous Roll recipe. 
I am happy to report that my attempt turned out pleasantly surprisingly amazing! Although, I admit, not as GREAT as the way my mom would make. The taste is the same and brought back a wave of memories but there was something missing… possibly her loving touch… or a secret step not written down on the recipe card.

Taste and smell are usually the culprits for good memories, and this was no less powerful.

And now it’s my turn to make new memories… let me start by sharing with you and yours.

***

Mama Sling’s Rolls

1 C warm water (NOT hot-it will kill the yeast)

1 C milk

1 packet yeast

1 egg

1/2 C sugar

1/4 C oil

5-6 C flour (as needed to make dough stiff)

Directions:

Dissolve yeast into warm water – add warm milk (not hot, just take off the chill so the yeast gets activated), sugar, beaten egg, and oil. Combine in flour and mix until sort of stiff. Put in a greased plastic bowl, cover and refrigerate overnight. Take out until warm to touch. Make into rolls or shape into loaves. Put shaped dough into a pan and let raise – bake at 350 degrees for approximately 20 minutes or until golden brown and thumps hollow.

If you want the secret steps in between click here.

***

I wish you many happy, joyous shared moments this holiday.
And thank you for letting me share!

More tomorrow.
Lovemore {fearless!}
Jamie

{what to you want to share?}

BLOG – GIFT DAY 331 :: a month of inspiration :: cheating on the pie

27 Nov

Today, in my month-long nod to inspiration, I share how to cheat — in a good way.

First… let me say Happy Chanukah and an early Thanksgiving.

We received this beautiful card in the mail from Jaynane, just in time to celebrate this moment of abundance and gratitude.

What are you grateful for?

Tonight I am grateful for my sister.  I emailed her earlier in the week and asked her to send me my mother’s refrigerator roll recipe. Mostly so we could fully enjoy turkey leftovers on scrumptious rolls!

My sister sent both the roll recipe and the pie crust recipe. As if to challenge me. 

Let’s just get this out there. I have never made my mother’s rolls. Ever.

I suppose this isn’t that big of a deal — unless you grew up in my house and witnessed every single person that ever walked through your front door for a holiday dinner salivate over my mother’s rolls. I mean, seriously, her rolls were legend. I’m not making this up. Ask anyone related to me. And don’t get me started on her CINNAMON rolls. I might cry.

So tonight, as I read through the instructions that my sister so nicely sent to me over email, the recipe seemed WAY too simple. Mostly because I remember a practical circus in the house I grew up in every Thanksgiving and Christmas morning — and it usually had to do with my mother’s roll dough rising, or not rising.

As if the entire success of our Christmas festivities hung in the balance of dough reaching it’s peak performance.

Was it rising?
Was it warm enough?
Was baking?
Were they golden brown yet?

As I whipped up the mixture, in my mother’s KitchenAid that now sits on my counter, I was shocked that it requires just a few simple ingredients. I even called Justin over to check my work.

“Really, just one egg?” he asked as he looked over my shoulder.

“That’s what I said!” I laughed in unison. And then… “Here’s goes nothing.”

Everything seemed fine…. until Justin caught me prying the dough out of the mixer as I tried to transfer the ball of sticky stuff to the “well greased bowl” and ended up wearing more on my fingers.

Later this evening I called my sister. She asked about the recipe. I confirmed that it was set up in our refrigerator for a long night’s slumber.

Then she asked me if the yeast activated.

To which I said, “How would I know?”

“It looks like a head of deer when it mixes with the water.” she replied.

“A head of deer? What does that look like?”

Justin interrupted from the other room — “She said a head of beer.”

“That wasn’t in the recipe!” I exclaimed to her over the phone.

“Remember how mom would take it out in the morning and then punch the dough down?”

“No….” I frowned.

“Well make sure you punch it down once and then let if rise again.”

“That wasn’t in the recipe!” I exclaimed again to her giggles.

“Jamie, I gave you exactly what was on Mom’s recipe card.”

“Well, she clearly left out a few steps. What else do I need to know?” I begged.

“Make sure you butter the tops of the rolls as soon as they come out of the oven otherwise they won’t taste as good.”

“That was NOT on the recipe either.” I pointed out but now my sister was in full-on hysterics.

I’m kind of a joke around the kitchen with my family. And, it’s my own fault. 

Mama Sling warned me many years ago. “Pay attention to what I’m doing in the kitchen. I can teach you how to do all of this. You will regret it if you don’t learn.”

I didn’t. And I do. And now I know what she was trying to tell me…. you only get one mom, one shot, and one chance to learn from her.

I was clueless. And now I regret it, just like she predicted.

But there’s something else she predicted way back then. 

Every time my sister and I fought she would drag us by the hand and sit us down and wag her finger in the air saying, “You two need to get along. There will come a day when I won’t be here anymore and you will need each other.”

Once again, Mama Sling was right. 

Okay, so I admit, I bought a pie at Albertson’s for tomorrow’s Thanksgiving dinner. But I did attempt to make Mama Sling’s Famous Rolls.

But not without the help of my sister.
And for that I am grateful.

More tomorrow.
Lovemore {fearless!}
Jamie

{thanks=giving}

BLOG – GIFT DAY 330 a month of inspiration :: 5 secrets of abundance

26 Nov

Today, in my month-long nod to inspiration, I share a word.

Abundance.

As you know, this year, I dedicated my 365 days to uncovering abundance. What is it? What does it mean? What does it look like?

So, at first, I asked around. I asked my friends, family, and people in my daily life.

Here’s the funny thing about abundance… everyone had a different definition for it. I dare you to get the same answer from 5 people.

In all my conversations, one word kept popping up.

Thanksgiving.

Now we find ourselves here, on the cusp of Thanksgiving Eve. And I am asking myself what have I learned so far about the “A” word?

So tonight I share my TOP 5 Abundance Lessons and what I have discovered thus far… but I warn you …there is still one more month to go in this search for abundance so this is not final.

1. Health is our greatest wealth

Thank you to my thyroid for that one. And a long string of doctor’s appointments across the country from the east coast to the west coast and finally into the caring hands of Dr. Milas of OHSU in Portland, Oregon. The thyroid was benign and as a wave of relief cast over my entire being, I realized something I have known most of my life: health is wealth.

2. Forever Friends are Family

I love my friends dearly. Always have. But this year, in the midst of a cancer scare (see #1) I was reminded what it means to have forever friends. The kind of friends who show up no matter what. The kind of friends who call, write, send surprise gifts in the mail, text, or find some other way to connect and remind you that they care — and are there, even across the miles. These are forever friends. And they are more like family.

3. True Love is for the Dogs

It doesn’t take long for love to set in. Just look in the eyes of a puppy! We successfully passed “Fostering 101” last week according to our Aunt Judy — which means we were able to foster a puppy and then actually follow through to find it a home. It would have been easy to keep her in our little family pack — she was that sweet and that cute. But it wouldn’t have been the best thing for her. And isn’t true love all about knowing what’s best for the one you love?

4. Focus. Focus. Focus.

This year I took on something new — you! Every single day I write to you to help you along with your goals over at The Promise Daily. My mission is to give you a kick in the pants. But what I have learned is that I need this as much as I thought you might like it. Focus is power. And keeping your focus is what allows abundance to grow.

and finally…

5. Words are gifts.

I know I have already shared The Card Crusade with you. But here’s the thing… I truly believe it changed my life… just three little words:  I. LOVE. YOU. — or even — I. THANK. YOU. bring more than a smile to someone’s face. These words warm a heart, they tell someone it was all worth it, they show someone how much you mean even after all these years, after all the tears, hard work, long days, good tries, bad endings, happy reunions or long lost memories in between. Words heal. Words connect. Words work magic on your heart.

So let me leave you with these words of thanks.

Thank you for being here. Thank you for skimming, looking, reading, sharing, posting, referring, and supporting me.

Your presence makes me want to keep my promise.

Your comments get me up in the morning to check and see who’s here.

Your dreams send me searching for more good ideas, inspiring quotes and touch your heart sort of songs that I can share with you.

I. Thank. You.

On this eve before a Thanksgiving celebration, I am full.
Or, you could say, I feel abundant.

All because of you.

More tomorrow.
Lovemore {fearless!}
Jamie

{may you feel abundant and loved}

BLOG – GIFT DAY 329 :: a month of inspiration :: miracles and roses

25 Nov

Today, in my month-long nod to inspiration, I share a rose. 

In this week of gratefulness and gratitude I am reminded to count my blessings. Because while some things in life last longer than you can possibly imagine, others drift by with a blink of an eye.

I thought the growing season was over …like so long ago! I thought the last surprise rose in bloom had already passed us by.

It turns out I was wrong. 
We have another pink rose in bloom, amongst the morning frost and the November cold.

And, so today, I celebrate more than a winter rose.
I celebrate miracles.

I am inspired by the every day kind of magical miracles blooming under my nose.  The ones with petals and the ones without.

Some occur in the moments right before the sun rises and my pups rise along with it. Others occur in a happy note, a wink, a laugh, a smile from a stranger, a knowing look, a nod, or a song.

Instead of waiting for a miracle I am reminded to stop, open my eyes, look around and smell the roses that abound.

It is, after all, the only way to recognize a miracle blooming right under your nose.

More tomorrow.
Lovemore {fearless!}
Jamie

{celebrate your miracles}

BLOG – GIFT DAY 328 :: a month of inspiration :: winning after losing

24 Nov

Today, in my month-long nod to inspiration, I share a come from behind win – and what it means to you. 

Do you feel behind? 
Like you’re losing, like there’s no way to get where you want to go? 

Then take a note from tonight’s Sunday Night Football game. 
The New England Patriots (our favorite team) played the Denver Bronco’s (Mama Sling’s favorite team). 

Somehow in the first quarter the Pats FUMBLED three times and gave up two touchdowns and a field goal. Blame it on the cold weather, the indomitable Denver defense or just some serious bad luck, but by halftime the Pats were down 24 – 0. 

How could this happen?
And SO fast?

The score looked overwhelmingly pitiful, so Justin required that I wear a NE Patriots hat. Just to help bring back some mojo. To believe in something. Anything to change the momentum.

So I donned the hat, and a new attitude.
Go Pats!

As you probably already know, The Pats won. 

Which brings me to this: 

It’s so easy to get down. It’s even easier to stay down when the going gets tough. But you can always turn “it” around – whatever your it may be. 

The past does not have to dictate the future. 
Because every new action counts more than the one before it. 
Every choice matters. 
And you can always start over. 

So go forth and do or re-do. 
And… no matter what, believe.

You just might win.

More tomorrow.

Lovemore {fearless!}
Jamie

{where do you want a win?}

BLOG – GIFT DAY 327 :: a month of inspiration :: national adoption day

23 Nov

Today, in my month-long nod to inspiration, I share a new home.
For Miss Sadie and for others too.

Today was National Adoption Day.
While I know this day is meant to celebrate and create awareness for the adoption of foster children and young people finding their forever homes…

There is a place in my heart that is warmed because today Miss Sadie found her forever home too.

It was, of course, not easy to say goodbye to this sweet ball of lovable fur.

  

But we were beyond thrilled to introduce her to her new big brother, Wheeler!  Here’s Miss Sadie meeting her new family for the first time.

Her new home will be filled with lots of dog toys, playmates, and children’s laughter. We couldn’t be more pleased.

Even her new big sister squealed with delight when I asked what they would name their new puppy. With a big smile on her face she exclaimed, “Princess!”

Yet, tonight I’ve been restless. Brady is walking around the house lost, sniffing corners of the room looking for his little playmate. Pup is snoring and just plain happy to have his spot on the couch back.

But all my mind can process is, “How is she? How is it going? Is she okay?”

Ironic, really. Since Miss Sadie was only with us for three days.  We fed her six meals total for what will barely be a long three-day sleepover.

Just goes to show how long it takes for someone to enter your heart at breakneck lightning speed.

As I write this, the phone beeped.
We received a text just a moment ago.

From Sadie’s new family. They sent a family photo to us with a ball of black fur smack dab in the middle snuggled by little hands. “She is doing great” it says.

My heart skipped a beat. Somehow, something about this little text confirms what I already knew —  Sadie is in the right place, we did the right thing, and she has found her forever home.  What a gift!

I wish the same for the more than 100,000 children in foster care looking for their special place too.

Home is where the heart is. 
(And possibly a big ball of black fur with a white tuft on her chest too!)

More tomorrow.
Lovemore {fearless!}
Jamie

{#nationaladoptionday}

BLOG – GIFT DAY 326 :: a month of inspiration :: the power of puppies and water

22 Nov

Today, in my month-long nod to inspiration, I share some water and a bath.
Because it’s very powerful. 

Today, Justin spent most of his day fielding calls and making appointments for Miss Sadie, the visiting puppy that we are fostering for a while.

We think we have found the perfect “forever” family for her to meet tomorrow! Keep your fingers crossed and I will keep you updated.

In order to prepare for the big day…
Miss Sadie took a bath. 

If this were a movie, the mere sight of water would signal “change” and something new on the horizon. Usually it’s rain or an unexpected storm that interrupts the scene. For Sadie, it was a bath and a really fun shower nozzle that squirts water and was, by her standards, super! exciting! fun!

We hope the “water rule” of change and new life that it brings holds true and ushers Miss Sadie into her forever home. She sure smells good and looks the part of precious puppy.

As I uploaded photos tonight, I realized the very last one of her in the bathroom is blurry. To which Justin remarked:

“That’s what she will be, just a blur in our lives.” 

I had to nod my head and agree with a lot of hope in my heart.
And a smile on my face too.

Sadie has already taught me some pretty amazing lessons over these last 48 hours. We all need to feel safe, have a home, good food, fun toys, loving hugs, pats on the back, good boundaries, fair rules and friends to play with.  Oh yeah …and a great bathtub.

All that, just might be the definition of ABUNDANCE.

I will report back tomorrow!

More tomorrow.
Lovemore {fearless!}
Jamie

{wishing you abundance}

BLOG – GIFT DAY 325 :: a month of inspiration :: a prayer for sadie

21 Nov

Today, in my month-long nod to inspiration, I share a prayer.
For a puppy.

Meet Miss Sadie.

At least that’s what we call her for now.
Sadie is ten weeks old and she entered our lives last night. We have inadvertently through a long string of odd occurrences *unofficially* become foster parents.

Sadie was a mistake. 
But she is totally adorable. 

Her parents are paper-carrying Golden Retriever and German Shepherd certified dogs. She is all black with a little ruffle of white fur on her chest.

We have papered the local vets offices with flyers and are spreading the word. In the meantime, I reached out to my dog guru friend Susan from Dawgma Gallery to get some tips on being a puppy foster parent.

I want to make sure we give Miss Sadie what she needs and appropriately acclimate her to our dogs.

I also want to make sure I don’t get too attached.
I have a tendency to go “gaga for dogas” ….as you probably already know.

Pup is annoyed by all the hoopla and doesn’t want to be bothered.
Brady is all play all the time and just can’t wait to run in the yard with Sadie.

And I am convinced there is a family out there who need Miss Sadie.

Even though we were told that this puppy was a mistake, there is a place in my heart that knows she is really something else.

I think she is a Christmas miracle waiting to happen. 

There must be an amazing and loving family looking for a bright spirit to enter their lives this holiday. (If you know one please send them my way.)

Until the phone rings with the right family waiting for a cute pup, I’m over here saying a little prayer for Sadie.

Because we could all use a little prayer and a little love…. and a good home.

More tomorrow.
Lovemore {fearless!}
Jamie

{say a little prayer for you}
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