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Tuesday, December 31, 2013

New Year!

     Hi everyone! I apologize every time I have a gap between writing, but I have decided not to do that this time, because I really needed that time for physical healing and time spent with loved ones over the holidays. 

     It's the end of the year again! I am so excited for the New Year, as I'm sure a lot of you are. I hope you all remember the challenge I am doing, so you can do it with me. I am making a box (I'll post pictures when I'm done with it) for all the wonderful things that may happen over the next year. This will help keep focus on all the things that have gone right in my life, rather than dwelling on the negative. Here's the deal: Any time an event impacts you positively, or someone does something special for you, or maybe you just had a self realization that will have a positive outcome; you will write that down on a piece of paper and stuff it into the box. The rules I found on Pinterest indicate not looking at what's inside until New Year's Eve of the next year. I am going to change this slightly, because I know that there a lot of people (including myself) who have rough times, and may need assurance throughout the year. I am not sealing the box, but making it accessible if I need a mid year boost.

     I have been thinking a great deal of all of the things that have happened throughout this first year of me being in an industry that was previously unfamiliar to me. Even though I have learned some hard lessons from some business failures in the begininng, I loved every minute of it. I would not take it back or change courses if I was given the opportunity. This has been such a learning curve and has shown me all the things I have to be grateful for. I have a very supportive husband, and such positive friends and family backing me up that it is truly overwhelming at times. I feel incredibly blessed and have my God to thank for all of it.

     I want to share with those of you who may not know me personally, what sorts of things that have happened this year.
1. I started a new business

2. I learned what questions to ask and who to ask (the hard way).

3. I learned that if you are going to bring in a 3rd party or another company to help you, you must be absolutely clear about what your expectations are, or it will have been a waste if time, energy, money, and volunteers.

4. I had to get a pixie cut because of some poor decisions (that I still oddly enough do not regret) from the previous year. This made me learn how to love my face as is. I no longer had hair to hide behind.

5. I learned a very new self confidence that I never knew I could have. Sharing myself through videos and not caring about who doesn't like it, has done wonders for my self esteem!

6. I struggled hardcore with organization this year. I don't even know if that will be better next year, but I'm okay with that. I mean, if that's my biggest issue in life, I think I've got it pretty darn good.

7. My husband and I took bounding leaps of progress in the communication department. We have talked about everything this year and grown closer together because of it.

8. People I love moved away, and although that still stings a bit, I know I can visit them and Skype. The relationships you have to work for, are often the most rewarding.

9. People love me. I had a very scary car accident and I am still overwhelmed to tears every time I think of everyone who brought me food, drove me to appointments, or took time out of their day to send me words of encouragement.

10. I have prayed my hardest this year. I have had so many friends go through rough times, medical problems, losing loved ones, loved ones getting medical problems, etc. this year has possibly been the hardest year for me to be a good friend. There have been times I feel like I'm not doing enough, there have been times where I have felt useless. These are the times I prayed the hardest. If you are my friend, chances are I have prayed for you. It seems like 9 out 10 people in my circle had some sort of hardship this year, and I wish I could do more.

11. Finally, I have learned to blindly trust. This has been such an issue for me in the past. I like being in control, and don't know what to do with myself when I can't be. I have had to trust my own instincts without knowing what could come of it. I have had to trust others and hope that they will be accountable. I had to trust my husband to take care of things that I couldn't when healing. This is the hardest lesson of the whole year, and I find it very fitting that it happened so close to the New Year. 
Please don't allow yourself to be so jaded that you deprive yourself of the joy of trusting others (or even God). I have been let down a lot in my life, so I got to be bitter in some ways, to the point of having the attitude of do everything myself because other people suck. This was possibly the loneliest time of my life. Let people in. I have built some of the best possible friendships this past year.

     I am so excited for the challenges and blessings that 2014 has to offer. Make this your year to be a better you. 
Here's my New Year's box! I will probably decorate it more with pictures as the year progresses.


 I left a perforated flap underneath in case I want to open it throughout the year. Feel free to share pics of the ones you make. I would love to see your creativity.

Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Let It Go

     Hi everyone! I hope you all had a wonderful holiday with your loved ones. I am still restricted from normal life like work, the gym (Nooooo!), laundry (Yay!), and so on. I get my nose cast removed this Friday (I will post pics) and can go back to work Saturday.

     During the Thanksgiving hustle and bustle, I managed to see Frozen in the theater. Without giving anything away, the main villain of the movie has a lot to do with fears, and one of the underlying themes is finding yourself and sharing what you find with others. Also, there is a musical number in the movie called "Let It Go". All of these things are what I would like to talk about today.

     Why do most people conceal who they really are in any given situation? Because of fear. Any amount of fear can be debilitating. I can remember as a teenager, I thought I had excellent style after I started buying my own clothes, until a group of girls my age made fun of me. That made me so wary of being who I was. I was scared of what others thought of me. All of sudden the thoughts of others became a concern of mine. Why? I never saw those girls again. Why would there be a long term affect? Why would I go from confident to insecure over a comment and some laughter by complete strangers? My bubble was popped. I had this beautiful innocent vision of the way things were, and someone pooped on it.

     The insecurities from my eating disorders had been long forgotten and then abruptly thrown back in my face. I would stare at myself in the mirror for way too long analyzing what was "wrong" with me physically. I would pick at myself, including over tweezing my eyebrows and putting way too much makeup on to try and hide what my face really looked like. I discovered the hair straightener and became crazy about not wearing my hair curly (I still sort of have this issue...). I tried really hard to be what I thought other people thought I should be and continued to fail miserably.

     Do you want in on a secret? People don't think about you. I know that sounds brash, but hear me out. When you interact with strangers daily, the people you may run into have a million things swirling around in their brain just like you do. If someone says something unkind to you out of impatience or stress (I am unfortunately guilty of this myself), you will typically think on this for far more time then the offender(s). For instance, when someone says something nice to me, it makes my day and I remember it. This exact scenario can also happen when someone is rude, but I don't usually think about that for nearly the amount of time as a compliment. The person who said or did those things most of the time will not think twice about it once it is said and done. Of course there are wonderful people in this world who genuinely feel bad after a distasteful interaction with a stranger, but not for more than 24 hours typically.

     I am not nearly close to the self image I would find ideal, but I would say I am for the most part; confident. I have already beat the dead horse as far as talking about making lists, so I won't spend time reiterating (but it really works!), but I will say that the practice of letting go can do wonders for your self esteem. I am not suggesting that you become apathetic, nor am I saying you should never care about what people think. Sometimes the criticism of others can enlighten you or change you for better. I like to take a tiny amount of time to reflect on what was said or done to me. This includes asking myself the following questions: Is this interaction a reflection on something I said or did? Did I do something wrong? Did that person sound stressed or hurried? If it was a reaction to something I did, I plan on not doing or saying that thing again, but if there is no lesson to be learned I have to chalk it up to the fact that the other person was having a bad day. Maybe they found out they have cancer, or lost a loved one, or something as simple as they are running late. Be forgiving. Don't be the person who is easily offended.

     I have a saying that a lot of my close friends make fun of me for; "I do what I want", now if you know me, you know that I would never be intentionally unkind to anyone, so this mantra is basically saying "I'm going to be myself". I make a fool of myself on a regular basis. I am probably the butt of many jokes because of the silly things I say and do publicly. I would have zero time to do anything else if I stewed over everything that other people thought was stupid. Somewhere along the line I decided to do what I want. I am not a mean spirited person. I love who I am and who I become daily. I know that I would not have as many friends as I do if I wasn't nice. I love life and attempt to pull others into my silliness as often as I can.

     Please, I am begging you, do not waste time with worries over something so small as what others may think of you. Life is too short to be someone else. You are too good. God made us all unique. Yes we have similarities, but no one can be a better you. Learn to love what is different about you rather than wondering if you fit in. Let it go.




http://youtu.be/1LF0RedPmYo
Here is a sequel to my last video, if you haven't already seen it. This is an example of how I do what I want.

     

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Surgery

     After almost 2 weeks of doctor appointments and not working, I am scheduled for surgery on my nose (6am tomorrow!). I have done a fair job of keeping calm up until this point. Today I had a good cry. It was explained to me by the surgeon, that even after splinting and straightening out the bones in my nose, it could still be "bulgy" and "slightly deformed".

     The idea that I may go through more physical pain and recovery just to find that I still don't look like myself gave me a slight panic attack. I know that my nose is not the first thing people see when they look at me. I also know that my broken nose is very slight compared to a lot of other broken noses, my doctor even told me he has seen far worse. I know I shouldn't be concerned with this, and in the grand scheme of things I should be happy that I didn't lose my eye and that all my injuries could have been much worse.

     I am human, and I have fears. Some rational, and some not. I had a dream this week, that the surgeon didn't put me under, and without warning, bopped the side of my nose with a hammer, nodded, and said "That worked". Logically I know this is not what will happen to me, but I can't help but think about it.

     My bones and bruises will heal. Over time my anxiety as a passenger in a vehicle will will fade and I can eventually forget the accident. I have learned over the past couple weeks just how wonderful my life really is. My husband is the most amazing person in my life, and I have the best friends. My in-laws are some of the most compassionate and kind people. My family is thoughtful and generous. I am truly blessed to be surrounded by such wonderful people, and this has made me realize how much I take for granted on a daily basis.

     I know that no matter what my face looks like, I am beautiful. This is what should matter to me most. I have people in my life that will love me no matter what. I have qualities and talents that will not go away just because my face isn't as attractive as I think it should be. There are much larger issues in this world. I need to count my blessings.

     Thank you for letting me ramble. 




Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Accidents Happen

     Hi all. I realize that I just told you in my last post that I do not want this to become my online journal, but something has happened in my personal life that I feel like sharing with you. Friday evening, my husband and I were in a car accident. Nothing serious, in fact I was the only one in both cars to get injured. The airbag deployed and hit me in the face, causing blurred vision in one eye, internal bleeding in the other, and a broken nose.

     We got home close to 2am after leaving the ER. Once everything was behind me, I was able to reflect on the situation and discovered a few things. My husband felt awful. We rear ended someone while he was driving, and I got hurt. He is still apologizing even though I have let him know I am fine. The things that I have assessed from the accident don't make me feel very proud. 

         1. I felt that Paul was "lucky" that I was hurt, because 
         had we both been fine I probably would have been 
         angry and told him he should have been paying 
         attention and that he ruined our weekend. Granted, this 
         did not happen, but I can almost guarantee that I would 
         have responded that way.

          2. Had we both been injured I would be equally upset 
          over the loss of both incomes as well as
          the damage of the car.

          3. The accident happened about 2 minutes away from 
          our destination, which also made me a 
          little angry.

     Because my husband already felt horrible, I could not imagine rubbing salt in that wound by giving him a hard time over my injury. I am ashamed that anger was the common denominator in each scenario that could have happened, but also relieved that the way in which I acted and reacted to the situation in the moment was out of kindness and concern for Paul. I had blood gushing from my nose, and knew the very second it started bleeding that it was broken. Paul immediately unbuckled and put his arms around me repeating, "I'm so sorry, I'm so sorry!" And in the moment, all I could think to say was, "It's okay. I'm fine. You need to call 911".

     Once we were in the ER and they had assessed my injuries and taken all of the proper precautions, Paul was again by my side upset and apologizing. He is a wonderful man, as you can tell. In our marriage, things seem to always work out like this. One of us is upset, and the other is calm and rational. I don't think we have ever been freaking out about something at the same time. I let my self cry and shake and be scared in the back of the ambulance, and then remained calm for Paul when we arrived at the hospital. This in itself is amazing to me, because I am very emotional.

     I can't explain my own human nature sometimes. I'm not sure why I didn't yell at him when I was bleeding and scared in the car. I like to think I was looking out for him, but I'm not sure that I was. Maybe it was the adrenaline.

     It has been only 5 days since the accident, and we have received such an outpouring of love and help, that I am almost glad I got injured (almost), because it has made me realize what we (I) tend to take for granted. How wonderful it is, during this season of gratitude, to be reminded of how many friends and family I have that truly love and care about me. To everyone who has jumped to our aid, from the bottom of my heart, thank you. I am surrounded by generous and kind people.

     I usually try and find the life lesson hidden in a traumatic experience like this. In the coming weeks, I believe I will have a better grasp on that, and I hope you won't mind me sharing it with you when I do.



Here is a video I made.

Thursday, November 7, 2013

New Year

     Hello! I know I may have lost a lot of my readers because of inconsistency and I really apologize. I get hung up on what to write. I don't want this to be an online journal. I want my topics to be meaningful and inspiring, and because I couldn't think of anything of value to say, I have been absent for the last couple of weeks.

     I am a rare and strange human being. I say this, because I love change. Change is exciting to me. I see change as a clean slate, an adventure, and a new opportunity. Sure there are times when I am hesitant to change, but once things are explained to me, I for the most part am thrilled. Life can get boring without change. The unknown can be exhilarating.

     January is right around the corner. The Holidays usually breeze by, and then I am left thinking about what happened throughout the year. I reflect upon the accomplishments and failures. I was given a great idea by a post from a friend that I will share a picture of at the bottom; a New Year's Jar. Starting January 1st, you write down all of the positive events and things that you have accomplished throughout the year. On New Year's Eve, you open it up and remind yourself of what a good year it really was.

     Human nature often causes us to be so critical of ourselves and others. Wouldn't it be wonderful if we all saw the good in ourselves? Self love leads to love for others. Sometimes we don't have anything to give, because we are being too hard on ourselves.

     Please join me in this next year in writing down the things that matter. I want to look back on my life and have few regrets (I would say no regrets, but no one is perfect, and it's a little too late for me;).



   

Saturday, October 19, 2013

Things and Stuff

     Hey guys and gals! I again forgot yesterday's blog. Yikes. Okay, so this blog is another update since I can't think of anything to write about. Sorry!

     Some of you have asked about my YouTube channel, and I realized I don't really promote that here, so I guess I will take the time to do that today. http://m.youtube.com/user/HeidiMyWorld
Also, if you are local and would like updates on upcoming deals/specials I'm having with my makeovers, I post them frequently on my Facebook page: facebook.com/heidimyworld

     I had mentioned a few months back that I had been working on getting my website up: heidimyworld.com and that should be up with before and after pictures as well as a price list in the next week or so.

     I also want to take the time and say a HUGE thank you to all of you who support me. I know my writing isn't always interesting or exciting and I'm so grateful for my readers. Sincerely, thank you.

     I would like to use this opportunity to say if you happen to be local, I am giving away free makeovers for 5 people who are willing to let me post before and after pictures and free products for referrals that book appointments.

     Here is my latest video. Please take the time to watch, like and subscribe if you like what I do.

Friday, October 11, 2013

Perspective

     Hi everyone! I hope that most of you are having enjoyable Fall weather wherever you happen to be. I know I have said it before, but there is nothing like Autumn in the Pacific NW. I am so happy to be back in sweaters and boots, sipping hot tea and starting a new knitting project.

     As usual, I am having a hard time getting my blogs out on time. I'm going to have to post on Fridays whenever I remember. Sorry! It is so much extra to sit down and write twice a week. I usually have at least one idea, but I struggle with a second. This week, I failed to do my Tuesday post, so that is why I am posting today. Sorry for the weirdness.

     I read something earlier today that mentioned how people need to learn how to explain why they like something. This is especially important for when others feel like it is there obligation to scorn you for liking whatever it is. As I read that, I was thinking, "You shouldn't have to explain anything. You like what you like, and haters can back off". But the more I thought about it, I realized that there are so many opinions about everything, as well as preconceived notions. This means, by having an intelligent non-defensive response to someone who questions your taste, you may be able to allow that person a perspective or side they have not yet seen. Even if they leave still feeling disdain for this said thing you like, you have stood up for yourself in an adult manner.

     True, you can like whatever you want without having to explain, but I like this concept so much. In fact, I can think of a few different times when I mentioned liking something that someone immediately verbally beat me up for liking, or made fun of me for liking it and that person left somewhat convinced they needed to try it, because I shared my passion and explained what I enjoyed most about it. This could be music, books, religious/political views, movies, etc. 

     I would consider myself to be defensive and impulsive sometimes when discussing things that I love, because my mantra in life is be yourself, so when I am being myself and someone puts me down for it my initial response is not always so good. Maybe that is them being who they are. Having a respectful intelligent conversation is so much better than trying to defend something constantly. 

     I have never been very good at avoiding dispute or confrontation, so I am looking forward to making a concentrated effort in this area. I believe it will improve my interactions with others, as well as give me insight and understanding into who my friends are as people. I hope all of you can join me in this challenge. Let's have healthy respectful conversations this week.

     

      

     

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Fear

     This will be a bit of an update blog for everyone. I had my first speech tonight!! I got a lot of great feedback. There are a few things I need to improve on, but all in all I am quite pleased with myself and can't wait to do it again. I have to get through 10 speeches in 6 months, and I feel as though I can do it in 3.

     If you have a fear of speaking, or are typically shy or nervous around people, I highly recommend you look up your local toastmasters club and try it out. http://www.toastmasters.org/

     I am a procrastinator, so I prepared my speech the night before, and tried to memorize it today. I don't suggest that. It causes a lot of anxiety.

     Public Speaking is the #1 Fear in America, and I have to say I am feeling pretty proud of myself. I was told once that when you feel fear or nervousness, it is actually your adrenaline trying to push you forward. It is your body's way of telling you you're about to do something awesome. I'm not sure if that is true, but I hope it is, and it has certainly been the case for me. I am so glad that when I have been so fearful or nervous that I have continued on anyway.

     I had to prepare a 4-6 minute speech and only talk about myself. That was way harder than I thought it would be. I would much rather talk about someone else or even an event going on then go on about myself. I feel like I do that enough in writing.

     I just want to say thank you thank you thank you from the bottom of my heart to those of you who suggested this, and have been my cheerleaders and support group pushing me to challenge myself.

     I hope to be speaking on self esteem to women in shelters by the end of November, so this is really challenging me. Thanks again. Talk to you all on Friday.

     

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

Self-Forgiveness

     Hi everyone, I hope you all had a good weekend. This is my favorite time of year, and I have been thoroughly enjoying all of the weird weather here in the Pacific NW.

     Over the past week, I got together with several friends, and one way or another this topic came up, and I decided to talk about it. Our human nature is to dwell on the things we have done wrong.

     Although I have been just as guilty of this as anyone else, I feel that I have come a long way. Sure I still doubt, and sometimes think of things I could have said or done better, but for the most part I can let things go.

     In the grand scheme of things, our lives are very short. However, being human means that you on occasion offend other humans, sometimes even significantly hurt their feelings, and a month can feel like a year when there is tension between two people who were once close.

     Unfortunately, even when we resolve these issues, we have tendencies to replay that moment in time over and over and begin to not only dwell on the mistake, but let that define who we are. "I am a horrible person because I said this, or let this happen". Everyone makes mistakes. We must learn to accept it, take responsibility for it, find it within ourselves to forgive and move on.

     I, personally ask forgiveness on three levels: I ask the Lord for His forgiveness (please don't judge, this is simply my process and does not have to be yours). Then I ask forgiveness from the person I have wronged. The last is probably the absolute hardest one for me; I ask myself to stop blaming myself and to forgive me. Then I try my best to pick up the pieces and move on.

     I understand that there are circumstances where you don't get the opportunity to make it right with the other person, in which case it is often a lot harder to forgive yourself. This is when I count my blessings. You guessed it, I make a list! I write down everyone who is currently in my life loving and supporting me. People who know my worth and make me feel good when I am around them. If I was really such a horrible person, would I attract such love from others? I am probably being too hard on myself. You are only human, and unfortunately this will probably not be the last mistake you ever make.

     To all my friends currently hurting, I want nothing more than for you to see that you are worthy of forgiveness, and you are not defined by the mistakes you make.


I wish I could forgive myself for the amount of odd pictures people have been able to take of me...

Saturday, September 28, 2013

Stop Comparing (Part 2)

     Hi everyone! I thought I would do a continuation of Tuesday's blog. 

     Comparisons aren't always physical. Sometimes we choose to focus on someone else's skills. "I wish I could be as assertive as so and so" is just as dangerous for your self esteem. Every single one of us has a skill or two that was learned, worked at, and more or less perfected. 

     I know people who were timid and abused their whole lives, and then decided to change it. Sometimes your circumstances and events in your life push you to do things you didn't know you could do, and then you become really good at those things. Then there are people who were maybe born with those skills. I have been loud and outspoken my whole life, but I also understand that  it is partly personality and less of a learned skill. I still struggle with what not to say.

     Please please please make the list I mentioned if you struggle with your own worth. I can't stress enough how much this simple task did for my self image.

     I know this was short, but I felt that I really needed to add this to my earlier blog. Have yourselves a fabulous weekend. :)



     

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Stop Comparing

     Hi everyone. I asked on Facebook what you would like me to write about today, and one of you said, "Comparing yourself to others". This is a very lengthy topic for me because I am so intensely opinionated about it. I will do my best to keep this brief and to the point, but please forgive any rants that may occur.

     I have mentioned in the past that I went through some eating disorders as a teenager. I can recall a few instances where people my age and even older in some cases would make comments like, "I wish I was that skinny, how do you do it?" And I so badly wanted to blurt out, "I'm starving myself so other people like you won't think I'm fat!" I never did, but the thought process that you need to do whatever is "working" for someone else really needs to be removed completely from our society. 

     Our bodies are unique. Maybe I can handle more weight resistance than you, but you may have more endurance and can do more cardio. Maybe I have asthma and maybe someone else has a thyroid problem. When we start comparing, we are assuming that the other person is functioning at 100% and perhaps even better than we are functioning. I am a pear shape. It does not matter how skinny I become, I will forever be a pear shape. It is how my bone structure is formed, and my genetic makeup. If I were to enhance my chest, then I would be closer to an hour glass but would still gain the majority of my wait in the lower half of my body. I can dream of being an hourglass all I want, but it just won't happen. I could waist my time and energy wishing I had someone else's figure, or I could be happy being the best me.

     I have heard so many stories of someone telling an old friend after time apart, "You look amazing, and you've lost so much weight!" Although this seems innocent, what if that person has an inner struggle with eating disorders? Maybe she lost the weight from stress, maybe she has cancer and the medication is causing weight loss. Compliment others on something other than weight and looks. "You're so generous" "You have great taste in music" "You are so kind". Why do we think we have to tell everyone how beautiful or cute they are? Because that's what we want to hear ourselves. We want to know that the effort made in the mirror this morning paid off. If you realize just how beautiful you are on the inside (character traits, personality, your virtues, your intelligence) you will feel beautiful on the outside.

     I can remember a conversation with my mom about wanting to be a figure skater, and her response was, "You'll lose your chest" I didn't realize that was important until she mentioned it. This thought that I would never be attractive because I would be too athletic? But if I didn't excercise I would get too fat, and if I was too skinny people would be grossed out. What was the solution?

      We have all been in a place where we saw someone and wished we looked like them in some way, "I want her legs" "I wish I had hair like that", etc. but these thoughts are so dangerous. They can lead to depression, eating disorders, body dis morphia and an overall lower self esteem. How do we stop this process? A few months ago I challenged my readers to make a list of the things you love about yourself, physical, emotional, spiritual or otherwise, make a list of things you do well, have accomplished or simply know you are stellar at. Here is a sample of my list: 
I love how outspoken I am.
I love my freckles, they make me unique.
I have an awesome sense of humor.
I am loyal to others.
I am a great friend.
I have a very large list. Some of you may think that is conceded, but I am embracing who I am and who I have become through significant events in my life. This is not arrogance, but everyone should know their worth.

     So I am re-challenging you. I would even ask that if you are feeling too low to make the list yourself, ask a good friend or someone that you trust, to make a list for you of all the things they love about you. I have had my husband do this for me during times of self deprecation.  

     Everyone in this world has their own struggles. If you had to trade someone else's troubles for your own, you wouldn't. We all go through things. Comparing yourself to someone else is a false idea that they have everything together. They don't, and they probably wish they could have something of yours. Please look within and find that you are worth while, and you have so much to give this world. You. Not your looks, but you as a whole. You are beautiful.

     

Saturday, September 21, 2013

Fall Haul

     Hey everybody! I mentioned last week I would be doing some Fall shopping and show off the great things I got, but then I got sick and wasn't able to do that. I have never been super into scarves other than as an accessory, and have only really warn them for warmth. 

      Well I am hooked on scarves! After knitting some really cute ones for friends last Christmas, I bought two, thus beginning my collection. I went shopping and found four adorable scarves that I know I will wear a lot this season. Here they are!


     I couldn't pass this one by. It's a cool taupe color with little ivory owls all over. It is very light weight, so I won't be wearing it for warmth when Winter is here. So cute!


     This one is reversible. I tried to show that off, but I'm not sure that I did a good job of it. It's a soft white with a blue paisley floral pattern on one side and blue with with the reverse on the other side. It's a very soft material, but a little heavier so it can easily be worn in Winter as well.


     Put a bird on it! Or several in this case. This is another one that is very light weight. It is a dusty blue color with a tiny bit of fringe around the edges. I love the birds!


     I just might be wearing this one the most this year. It's heavier material, and the picture does not do it justice. It's a muted teal color with shimmery threads throughout. It has an ivory and gold paisley floral pattern that is very subtle. This will go with a lot of things in my closet.

     The other thing that I have managed to not own, is rain boots. I live in one of the rainiest places and have never owned rain boots. What?! Well, I went hunting for a pair of cute boots, and found these gems.



     I love these! They're very cozy, and the tops are a all weather material instead of rubber. I've worn them a couple times and am excited for the rainy season.

     Well, I know it's not really Friday, but I left the house without the IPad last night and didn't get to finish it until today. Hope you enjoyed! Have a fantastic weekend and I will talk to you all on Tuesday.

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

No Longer Under Wraps

     Hi everyone! So sorry about my Friday blog and Thursday video. I was so sick, and still am. I will hopefully be back on track this week.

     I think Summer is officially over here in the Pacific NW. Our dreary days have begun, and it started getting dark at 6pm today.

      Due to me being ill, of course I was not able to do the Fall shopping I had planned on for my Friday blog, so I have a completely different topic.

     I had told you all several weeks back that I had some surprise projects that I couldn't talk about just yet, but now that they are solidified, I can!

     I joined a public speaking organization by the name of Toastmasters. I was affiliated with them many moons ago through 4-H, but never really did anything with it. Now that my Image Consulting is doing well, I will be speaking at some local Battered Women's Shelters on the topic of overall image, first impressions and self esteem. I am really excited and passionate about this and can't wait to get started. This is still 2 or 3 months away, but the process has begun and I am ecstatic! 

     I will have my first speech in a few of weeks, and was hoping you all could help me out with what topics you think I should cover? I have a 4-6 minutes time guideline/limit. 

     Though I am not new to public speaking, there has been about an 8 year gap since the last time I spoke. I am fairly certain I can do a good job, I just get very emotional when I am excited or nervous. A few months of speaking in a small group should definitely help with all of that, and I can't wait to tell you how the first speech goes.

     So I will leave you now with an embarrassing picture of me doing a Public Presentation for 4-H when I was 12 on the subject of Endangered Species.

Monday, September 9, 2013

Starting Over Sucks

     Hey all! I hope you all had fantastic weekends. I had a very productive one that involved new furniture and ordering more furniture. Very exciting!

     On Sunday, my husband and I picked up his parents from the airport. Remember my brother and his family who moved away? My in-laws drove cross country with them, and then flew back. It's really starting to settle in that they are not here anymore. We got to hear fun stories of how the kids are adapting and fun adventures along the way.

     Although it was nice to get updated on everything going on, it made me feel sad all over again. Not only did I not get to experience those things with them, but hearing about it actually made them feel further away. I don't know if that makes sense. My sister in-law was very good about posting pictures along the way, and it made me feel like I was right there with them. But now that the trip is over, it's almost as though I am processing the information for the first time. They are gone.

     I'm really not trying to make this post a downer. I want to be open and honest with my readers and truly share my life.

     On a brighter note (kind of...) my husband and I started with a new gym, and had our first workout in a couple months (ouch). I have realized that starting over is not worth it. Starting over hurts, it's often uncomfortable, and harder than it was the last time. Why do I keep starting over? If I could just stop quitting, starting over would not be an issue.

     Starting over for me is a complete reset. For some reason, when I let my exercise go, for whatever reason, my healthy eating habits go with them. Without going into too much detail, I have a few (like more than 2) digestive conditions that cause me to have to be a little careful with what I eat. Regardless of physical pain and discomfort, the past 2 months have involved me eating whatever I want and not thinking twice.

     Time to reset goals and remind myself of why this is important. I want to be healthy and live a long and full life. I have quite a few obstacles to overcome being that I am only 27 and have health challenges as well as past injuries that like to remind me that they are there. My husband and I do not plan on having children, so we would really like to stay present in our nephews and nieces lives. In order to do this, we need to be at our best. So! It is back to a somewhat strictly primal lifestyle of eating for me and a more active lifestyle for my husband who works an office job.

     I challenge all of you to reset goals, or maybe even make new ones. As much as I hate starting over, it's nice to have reminders of how wonderful life is, and how you can enjoy it so much better when you are healthy. Start over as many times as it takes to start healthy habits, and don't beat yourself up when you "fall off the wagon". It's so small in the grand scheme of things.

      I plan on doing some Fall shopping this week, and hopefully I will have some haul pictures for you this Friday. 

Friday, September 6, 2013

Productivity... I've missed you.

     Things are happening in the Martin household, people! I am sitting and typing while my husband puts together a DVD cabinet that actually... Get this, matches our living room decor! What?! My living room has become our sanctuary in the last couple of months. It has been a long drawn out process getting things organized. We have a huge swivel love seat and sectional couch, toss pillows (!), an accent rug, and we got rid of a ridiculously bulky entertainment center and replaced it with a pull-down projector screen and projector. This project has really opened up the downstairs and made it so welcoming.

     I will post a picture when I feel that it is truly perfect (lol). Pictures and decorative mirrors hanging on the walls, ottomans, matching towels in the guest bathroom. If you knew me, you'd be gasping at everything in that sentence. We lived in an apartment for 3 (THREE) years and never fully unpacked. I bought a gorgeous 3'x5' decorative mirror, that literally stood in a corner and never got mounted.
     
     Things really get done when my husband and I get motivated together. Our upstairs has been a disaster area for an embarrassing amount of time, and I am so excited to be getting organized. We're donating quite a bit to Good Will, and posting some things on Craigslist. I fully intend to bring you all along with me on this journey with me. I will post pictures of all of the closets as I go, and I promise to show you each room after it is finished.

     I know that this won't seem like a huge deal to a lot of you, but let me give you some back-story. I don't talk about this much, because it has been highly embarrassing for me for the majority of my life so far; my mother is a hoarder. If you have ever seen the show Hoarders, then you have had a tiny glimpse into what my childhood was like. I believe this has a huge part to play in my lack of organization. My mom doesn't throw things away and everything is all over the place. I never learned how to file things, balance my checkbook properly, or really how to keep things neat. My room was usually the cleanest in the house, but believe me it was only such after piling things in corners and closets because I wasn't sure what to do with them.

     I have been trying so hard as an adult not to let those things dictate how I live in my own life. I married a passive person who also lacks organizational skills, so this has been really hard for both of us to deal with in the short time we've been married.

     My house getting organized is such a huge step for me as far as handling things in an adult manner. Put things where they belong, don't make piles. It sounds simple, but it has been everything but. I am on the road to being a semi-organized person and I could not be happier about this. Messes totally overwhelm me, and then I get overcome with depression. Unfortunately, this is the exact way in which my husband feels about messes. We have a lot to learn together...

     There will always be a small part of me affected by my upbringing... If there is a surface, it fills up. I think that is the sort of mess I can manage. This month is so exciting for me. I love throwing things away, and I love having a place for everything even more. I feel like September will be a very healing and liberating month.

     I promise to keep you updated as I go along, and post pictures of my progress. I hope you all are having a wonderful Summer to Fall transition.

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

Shoes

     I love shoes. They are my obsession. I can't go into a department store without checking out the shoes. If I find a pair I love, I rarely leave them behind. The biggest part of "people watching" for me, is watching their shoes. This got me thinking, how important are shoes to a first impression?

     I consulted the internet, and found that gijobs.com says this about someone who had a 2nd interview and was up against one other person for the 3rd and final interview: "When he received the call a few days later it was to inform him that the other candidate had been chosen. Of course he asked why he was not chosen and the human resources manager said, "Do you remember when we were walking up to the CEO’s office?" and he said "Yes." "Well I looked down and noticed your shoes were scuffed up. Now you are going to say “What did his shoes have to do with it?” Well only one person is going to get the job. The organization has to use what ever it can to differentiate you from other candidates. You had control over the shoes and did nothing about it. So the assumption is that you do not pay attention to details."

     The number one reason people don't get hired is their appearance. I know that sounds unfair to some of you, but this is why I am an Image Consultant. To help people make good first impressions. Forbes magazine says this: "Think about your ornaments. Clothes, make-up, jewelry, watches and shoes are all types of ornamentation and people definitely take these into account when making initial judgments. I highly recommend getting some of your favorite outfits or ornaments together and asking friends you trust what they think of when they see them." 

     I would be interested to know what people think based on just my shoes... Or maybe not. I like wearing crazy shoes, I'm going to be me!


     I have just converted an old CD rack into a home for 18 pairs of shoes. I'm thinking I need another one! Also, if any of you have cool ways to display boots, please share, because I haven't figured that out yet.

     I am so excited for Fall because I can break out my boots!


 Please pay no attention to the mess on either side. I am in the middle of a process...
 Those red ones with the polka dots on the inside were the shoes I wore for my wedding.


http://www.gijobs.com/first-impressions-are-important.aspx
http://www.forbes.com/sites/yec/2011/11/02/5-ways-to-make-a-killer-first-impression/
This is also an interesting article: http://www.wellesley.edu/news/stories/node/26872

Saturday, August 31, 2013

Moving Sucks

     Well I dropped the ball again (are you surprised?) about my Friday blog. I spaced it. I wasn't joking when I said I was unorganized.

     I had something I wanted to talk about, but there are other things pressing on my heart right now. This week has been tough. My brother is in the military, and we have been fortunate to be living within a half hour of each other for the past several years. Most people get transferred after 3 years, and they have been here 6 (ish?) years. 

     My husband's sister is my brother's wife. We are double connected. We get along with our siblings, and have grown very close to their 5 kids over the course of them living in Washington. They just left for Ohio. This morning. 

     I wish I could say something profound about how great it is to be impacted by others so significantly and how much it burns when those people are no longer readily accessible in your life, but I can't. All I can muster is that it hurts. Their youngest won't even remember the memories we made with him, and he will remember very little of us. I'm not sure when we can visit or how often. 

     The tears haven't begun yet. I told my husband that it will truly sink in that they are gone next weekend when we have nothing to do, and for a brief moment contemplate sending a text saying, "You guys up for company?" and it will hit me and then I will crumble into an emotional hot mess on the floor. I will cry ugly tears. There will be heaving, and every little thing that happens in my life will result in a "good cry". I imagine this will last anywhere between a week to a month.

     It has meant so much over the last several years to have a couple who share similar interests. Someone who you can speak to in confidence and fully trust. Someone who you can have an open discussion and disagreement on something and still have a relationship with that person the next day. 

     My sister in-law is the person responsible for me being in the field I am in. Had she not suggested me be an Image Consultant, it never would have happened. I wish I could explain the kind of relationship/friendship that has formed between the two of us in a few words. We have shared laughs, stories, books, articles, memories. 

     I know that they haven't died and that I will still see these people again someday, it is just very overwhelming to not know when or how often. They will be terribly missed in our day to day lives. I wish them and my nephews and niece all of the best wishes and pray that the distance is short lived.

     It is very freeing to have friends in your sphere who see your every day life, who you are as a person, flaws and all, and embrace everything that is you. I wish that kind of friendship upon all of you.

Teenagers

     Hi everybody! I hope you all had a wonderful summer. Mine was jam packed, and I can't believe school starts next week. Where did the time go?! I start my new schedule this week. I will have a prepared topic every Tuesday and on Fridays I will write whatever is on my heart.

     My topic this week is teenagers. I'm only 27 and I wonder what is in store for our fast moving world of technology in the next few decades.

    Here is a tiny glimpse into my childhood: I drank from hoses, roller skated in the street, hunted frogs, fireflies, butterflies and lizards. I climbed trees, rode my bike, used sleds to go downstairs. As a teenager, I got told no for just about everything I wanted to do (which looking back is a total blessing).

     When our county got a 4-H group that was all teens, I finally found something my parents would let me do. It was free, and close to everything we did as a group was some form of community service. I loved it, because it was kids my age doing something that matters. This led me to get elected into the State Ambassador program, which allowed me to travel. I got scholarships and grants to pay for my event admissions and travel expenses. This opened my world to so many opportunities.

     I was in a play called The Pied Piper during the same year I started with the teen group, and through the theater company met someone who was a competing swing dancer. He taught me everything he knew, and we were able to compete in 4-H talent shows together as well as local competitions and then state competitions. Again, this was free, and gave me positive attention, so my parents were all for it.

     Why do I bring all of this up? Because looking back on my teen years especially, I was busy. I was figuring out who I was and being active. So active that I broke a lot of bones even (yikes!). I had jobs, paid for my first car all on my own, etc. you get the point. I only got to use my mom's cell phone after I got my driver's license and left the house for more than a couple of hours. I always had to give it back. I actually didn't own my own cell phone until I was 20.

     A 2011 Ofcom media literacy study found that smartphone ownership in the 5-7 age group is a tiny 3%, rising to 13% in the 8-11s and then climbing steeply at high school age (35% in the 12-15s). In the US, 58% of kids aged 13 to 17 own a smart phone. What do they do with them? A quarter of the smartphone kids say that they regularly use it to visit social networking sites (Ofcom).

     I am a naturally outgoing person who says "Hi" to people when I pass them. I can't count how many times I have tried to say something to a teenager and they are texting with headphones in. No big deal, don't talk to strangers and all that. But that was a 2011 study, and this is 2013! It is most likely much higher now. I watch young children who know how to use my IPad better than I do, kids who know how to maneuver the Kindle Fire and tablets and nooks of all kinds.

     Don't get me wrong, I think I would have benefited from all of this technology at a younger age, like when my car was broken down by the side of the road, and so on, but will these kids know how to interact with other human beings?

     Social Networking sites, in my opinion are very antisocial. I love getting a hand written note in the mail, and getting a phone call sometimes over a text is what I need. It is so much harder to read emotion through text. You can't always read intention or motive on Facebook. I have been down right   appalled at some of the things teenagers share on Facebook. I worry about the next generation quite a bit. Already, in my tiny sphere of influence I know so many kids who don't know how to interact with their peers, and are grasping to fit in, but are so insecure. Are we breeding turtle children? Kids who poke their heads back in their shell the first social situation they get thrust into?

     I do not have children, so I don't have any right to question anyone's parenting, but can we as a society pull together and figure things out? Teen suicides are at an all time high in the US. According to statisticbrain.com, as of April of 2013 there were 4,600 reported youth suicides between the ages of 10 and 24 (10?!). Another statistic from this site is that on top of those suicides, 157,000 people between the ages of 10 and 24 received medical attention for self inflicted injuries.

     I don't know that any of that is related to technology in the hands of our youth, but it wouldn't surprise me with so much pressure being added through social media and networking sites. Add on the overall awkwardness and insecurities that come along with being a teen in general, I feel as though we are only making things worse for our youth.

      It was not my intention to be on my soap box for this long, but there it is. Thanks for reading, and I would love to hear your comments.
   

Thursday, August 22, 2013

Happy and Pretty Face

     Hi everybody! I know it has been a little while. I apologize, but I was on vacation! I just got back from Alaska Monday night, and I am excited to be back on schedule.

      After a week of riding trams up mountains, hiking to see glaciers, kissing in front of waterfalls, wildlife cruises, local sight seeing and tons of visiting with family, I feel regenerated. 

     I'm not sure where to start, so I'll start with the sweet things my niece said while I was there. I don't typically go anywhere without "putting my face on" first. I don't really think twice about it, doing my hair and makeup before leaving the house is a routine that doesn't change on vacation. I honestly hadn't even given it much thought that my niece had been watching. The day before I left, my niece asked me to lean down (she had lost her voice) and whispered to me, "Aunt Heidi, you have a very happy and pretty face without makeup". Next came the "Awwww" s and "You're so sweet!".

     The more I thought about that exchange, the more it worried me. I do my makeup because it makes me feel good, and it makes me happy. I love everything cosmetics. But children don't know that, and I worry that the message I was sending is I can't be seen this way (naked face). Which for me personally, I do that quite often at home, but when you're on vacation, your picture is going to be taken quite a bit. There's nothing wrong with my face. I like my face. I agree that I have a happy pretty face without makeup, but I enjoy makeup so much that it is part of who I am. I may have made jokes about not being seen naked faced as well, which she may have taken a different way (which means I shouldn't joke that way!).

      I don't want to give my niece (or any other little girls for that matter) a complex on beauty. No one really needs makeup. Some of us delude ourselves into thinking we do, where as others avoid makeup altogether in fear that it will cause a complex. I say wear it if you want. There is nothing wrong with it, especially if you're like me and just enjoy it.

     I have a lot of qualities that others enjoy. I am weird, silly, funny and in general, a hoot to be around. I know this for a fact. I want people to remember me for those things. Somewhere along the way I have sent mixed messages about which is more important to me. I could live without makeup. I could. I don't want to, but I could.

     I thought about writing about my vacation and all of the fun things we enjoyed, but I understand that reading about someone else's fun times can often be boring to others, so I will refrain from going into detail.

     Some quick notes that I am sharing just so I can be held accountable: I caught myself judging others based on appearance. This is not something I usually do, but I am human. I apologize because that is the opposite of my message. I felt very disappointed in myself when I realized it. I know that I am not perfect, but I will do better. I love to read, thus I will read more on that subject and hope to absorb like a sponge. I know what it is like to be judged based on physical things and how much that hurts.

     Next week, I will begin my new schedule with blogs being posted on Tuesdays and Fridays. Please watch out for my video tomorrow (Thursday). There are some cool things in my immediate future that I can't wait to share with you all.
   
   

Here I am with my husband in Seward, Alaska in front of a waterfall.