November 12, 2015

Ticket to Ride

If you're looking to infuse more amazing energy in your life and work, I urge you to pickup The Energy Bus. In this international bestseller, Jon Gordon teaches us ten secrets to "fuel your life, work, and team with positive energy." I can promise you this: you will walk away with more than you can imagine. The best part? You can include children in the process by having them read The Energy Bus for Kids, helping them embrace the concept of being responsible for the energy every single one of us brings to the table. 

November 10, 2015

The Wellness Question

What does wellness mean to you? 

For the last several months, I've been exploring that very question. For me, it's all of the above ... but what I know beyond a shadow of a doubt is that it begins from the inside out.

December 20, 2013

Wishing You ...

Earlier this year, when preparing for our family's summer vacation, my daughter asked me to make a promise: "For the next two-weeks, Momma won't be elbows deep in work, the blog, schedules galore and commitments to keep. Momma promises to just relax."

Well, today is the last day of work and school for two-weeks, and I reaffirmed that promise to my girl again last night.

No matter where you are, who you're with, or what you're doing for the holidays, make sure to take a moment and remind yourself that every day, you change someone's life for the better. You matter. You are full of meaning. And you are worth some rest & relaxation. After all, it's time to stop and renew.

Looking forward to sharing all sorts of lovely things together in the New Year!

Happy Holidays,

xx JN

October 28, 2013

Seriously, Ladies?

In middle school, I was BFF’s with one of the popular girls starting in fifth grade, but by the time we got our periods, discovered boys, and started to have different interests, she emerged as a mean girl, and I was arbitrarily outcast. Simply put: I didn't make the cut. There was no room for me to be different and continue to exist in that circle. Joining an entirely new lunch table was nothing short of terrifying, and I was grateful to make new friends, helping ease that pit that lived in my gut every day as I left for school. 

I am amazed at how decades later, nothing has really changed. Put a group of women together, and the minute someone stands out as "different," she is bound to come out hurt, judged, ridiculed, picked on, ganged up on, talked about, teased, or scrutinized. Rarely do you find a group of women in complete and genuine support of one another. How sad is that?

When there are multiple women standing on the same landing, sharing similar aspirations, desires and ideals, there is this incredible sense of community and empowerment. But when one person shifts and takes a step in a different direction, quite possibly perceived as "ahead," look out. 

Seriously, ladies ... why does everything between us turn into such a competition? 

Although it is never easy to acknowledge - let alone admit - we have all been there. We've seen another woman move forward in an area of her life, and instead of applauding her, we find ourselves saddled with negative feelings. The truth is, those feelings are nothing more than an outward expression of our own insecurities.

When we put our cards out on the table, those insecurities stem from key, universal topics: body image, career, education, children, financial status, relationships, etc. Depending on where we stand with each topic - "Am I a success or failure at this; good or bad; worthy or unworthy?" - oftentimes determines how we treat the other women who come across our path.

Not only am I disheartened by this, but also exhausted from it. Nowhere in the rule book does it say that being mean, rude, snarky, smug, spiteful, arrogant, and/or critical are necessary when we watch someone achieve a goal, implement a change, or try something different. 

On the flip side, we must also remove from our thinking the idea that when we decide to make a different choice, act a different way, or explore a different direction, we have the right to flaunt it and shame those who aren't there yet. After all, the need to broadcast anything on our own accord is merely a cry for attention and validation. If the actions we take are motivated by proving something to ourselves, or to someone else, we are still functioning from a place of insecurity and unworthiness. That, too, will drive people away. 

Lesson learned: when humility and compassion are removed from either side of the "different" equation, people get hurt, and relationships suffer. 

What would the landscape look like if we chose to foster the good in each other, to validate each other’s worth, to acknowledge each other’s struggles, and to embrace each other's changes and differences? There is, in fact, room in this world for each of us. Let’s celebrate that fact! No matter where we are on our path, let's sit side-by-side and share a very important universal truth: we are in this together - maybe not on the same time schedule or with the same result - but in it together nonetheless. 

xx JN

October 16, 2013

Pretty + Posh Pumpkins

If you are ready to embrace something other than the traditional Jack-o-Lantern this year, here are some creative DIY techniques to transform your pumpkin into something way more posh! 

Drilled Pumpkins

Decoupage Pumpkins

Argyle Pumpkins

Fabric Leaf Pumpkins

Push Pin Pumpkins

Patterned Pumpkins

City Lights Pumpkins

Southwest Pumpkins

Do you have a favorite non-traditional way to display your pumpkins? Make sure to leave a comment below and share it with us! 

xx JN