Start Counting Your Blessings and Watch Your Life Turn Around! #grateful #FridayFeeling

Counting my blessings


It’s Friday and normally on social media, people tweet about their Friday Feeling. Today, my Friday Feeling is this: blessed.


I have so many things that I have in my life, so many people I’m grateful for, so much to be thankful for, that I get overwhelmed with emotion when I start to count them all. Instead of focusing on what I don’t have, I’m concentrating on all that I have. My blessing basket is overflowing and so is yours.


Want to feel good? Take out a pen and paper (or your finger and device) and write down all the blessings in your life. Go slow and think about all the facets of your life. When you’re done, read it aloud and pay close attention to how your heart reacts. Best feeling in the world… am I right?


Be like Willie Nelson (and me) and count your blessings. It will definitely turn your life on its head for the better.




Strive to Always Improve Through Goal-Setting and Perseverance! #inspiration #motivation

work improve


Are you basking in what you’ve accomplished or are you reaching for the stars?


Back in January, I made a group of goals I wanted to accomplish this year. One of the things I wrote down was I wanted to be a Top 1000 Amazon Reviewer. I reached that goal this summer. Did I sit back once I reached it? Heck no! I pushed myself harder and harder.


Yesterday, I got a notification that I’m now a Top 500 Reviewer! I couldn’t believe it. I was speechless, jumping up and down with excitement coursing through my veins. I emailed MR N and told him the great news. He’s just as excited as me.


Will I stop? No way! I’ll keep pushing myself to be the best reviewer I can, growing and persevering through all challenges. 


Just because you’ve reached one goal doesn’t mean you’re done. Life is a constant journey of climbing one mountaintop after another. Some will be easy while others will seem impossible. With each success, we’ll be critiqued by others. Is she as good as she appears? Did she cheat to get to where she is or did she work her bum off? What will she do next? 


The secret to life is to keep growing, keep trying new things, keep setting goals and reaching for the stars. 


How are your yearly goals going? Share in the comments below.

You Need to Stop Worrying and Enjoy Life’s Journey! #inspiration #motivation #WednesdayWisdom



Are you worried?


Is your stomach tied in knots and you’re not sleeping?


Worrying about something or someone is a total waste of time.


I worry about a lot of things and I’m going to let you in on a little secret. Worrying about something/someone hasn’t helped me one bit. In fact, most of the time, all it does is make me feel miserable and makes the circumstance worse.


Instead of worrying, meditate about the situation. Release your death grip on it and let the Universe take over.


Breathe… yes, breathing is important too. Take several deep breaths and mentally tell yourself it’s going to be okay.


Smile, you’re living your life and have many blessings. Take out a piece of paper of write down all you’re grateful for. Don’t hold back.


What do you do to combat worry? Share in the comments below. 



#1 Key to Success: Believing in Ourselves #inspiration #motivation #TuesdayThoughts

believe in yourself


Feeling frustrated and down?


Keep focused on your goals and refuse to let a little self-doubt set up a tent in your soul.


You know that old saying where it talks about how you’ve got to believe in yourself before others will? Well, I’m here to tell you it’s totally true. You can’t expect other people to invest in you when you don’t exude confidence in your abilities.


Over the weekend, the winners of a book award were announced and we didn’t win. Heck, we weren’t even a finalist. Was I disappointed? Sure. Does the fact that a group of judges didn’t care for our poetry book stomp out my belief in our writing talent? NO WAY!


We all deal with roadblocks and there are times when we’re faced with a belief crisis. Do you keep going or do you stop? Are you good enough or are you a failure? What happens next?


The difference between those who succeed and those who don’t boils down to belief, courage and determination. Yes, you’ll encounter set-backs. Yes, you’ll be tested. Yes, you’ll second-guess your goals. No matter what, keep going! Let your determination lead the way and before long, you’ll be a roaring success! 



There’s Only One Way to #Happiness and This is it! #inspiration #motivation #MondayBlogs



Are you embracing what life has to offer or are constantly worrying about what’s being thrown your way?


I used to be a worrywart. I used to fret and let my anxiety get the better of me. I used to worry what will happen next and how else can my life suck. Honestly, I was so unhappy because I was sucking the happiness right out of me.


Happiness is not as elusive as you might think. True happiness is not measured by how much money you make or how many cars you own. Happiness is a mindset and it’s different for each person. What makes me happy will not necessarily make you happy. Let me give you an example.


This past weekend, MR N and I went on a shopping spree. We shopped for clothes, books, music, movies, beauty (bubble bath, anyone?), housewares and more. In the afternoon, we went to the liquor store. For the next hour, we went up and down the aisles picking up wine, liquor (bourbon) and more. I’m a big wine drinker and I loved looking at each bottle then putting the ones I wanted in the cart. I got eight different varieties of wine and one bottle of Jim Beam Honey (yum). I was giddy with happiness and joy.


That’s an example of happiness. The experience of being able to take my time, pick out new varieties and grinning from ear to ear took away the stressors of life and allowed happiness to course in my veins. It’s not the items I bought but the journey that created the happiness.


Let happiness flow in your veins! Stop worrying about stuff you have no control over. Find something you enjoy and let the rest of the world fall away.



No Matter What Keep Pounding! #inspiration #motivation #FridayFeeling

Keep Pounding


Keep pounding!


This is the mantra of the Carolina Panthers and it really resonated with me when I watched Thursday Night Football last night.


Sam Mills was a Carolina Panther football player who was told from the time he was in high school that he was too short (5’9″) to play. Did that stop him? No way! Pro scouts told him he wouldn’t make it in the NFL. Sam took that as motivation and proved everyone wrong. He played several years in the NFL and even coached the 2003 NFC Champions Carolina Panthers (lost in the Superbowl). Cancer took him in 2005 but his legacy is alive and well.


Are you struggling and don’t know how much more you can take?


Keep pounding!


Are you heartbroken after a bad break-up?


Keep pounding!


Is an illness/disease bringing you down?


Keep pounding!


No matter what comes your way, remember Sam’s words and keep pounding. 




Indulge Once in Awhile… You Deserve It! #inspiration #ThursdayThoughts #grateful

indulge SJP


When was the last time you treated yourself? 


I like to treat myself. Not only does it make me feel good for all the hard work I’ve done but it makes me grateful for all the wonderful things life has to offer. Mostly, I treat myself with food (hello chocolate), drink or books.


I’m reading this book called Candyfreak by Steve Almond and in it he talks about his obsession with candy. He says it’s his freakdom and he embraces it with every fiber of his being. He says, “You don’t choose your freak; it chooses you.” I totally agree.


Ever since I was little, I’ve loved chocolate and pop/soda. It’s my freakdom and I’ve learned to embrace it full-force. Luckily, I married a fellow chocolate freak (MR N) so we can covet chocolate together. At all times, we each have a stash of chocolate and every day we indulge in a chocolate bar.


With Halloween just a few weeks away, I hope you can treat yourself. You’ve worked hard and deserve a treat. No matter what it is, indulge yourself. It’ll change your perspective and gratitude for all that life has to offer will radiate from you. 


What’s your freakdom? What do you indulge in? Share in the comments below.



You Have the Capability to Change the World! #inspiration #motivation #WednesdayWisdom

living up to potential


Are you living up to your potential?


Each of us has incredible potential and has the capability of changing the world! It’s all a matter of believing in yourself and hard work!


It’s too hard.

I’ll mess up.

I don’t have the energy or talent.


These thoughts and more tie us down. Sure, it takes hard work and perseverance. But if it was easy, everyone would do it.


I talk to authors and artists all the time. The biggest complaint I hear is how hard it is to get noticed or to make a difference. Here is what one author asked me yesterday:


How do you do it? How do keep positive? How do you continue when constantly met with rejection? It’s exhausting!


Without thinking I replied:


This is what I have always wanted to do with my life. Ever since I was little, I have loved books and creating stories. Sure, some people may not like them. Sure, I may have made some mistakes along the way. I keep positive because I’m living the life I envisioned when I was five. 


We all make mistakes and encounter obstacles. The purpose is not to defeat you but to strengthen you! You limit yourself to what you can achieve. There is no limit to your potential!


There will be obstacles.


There will be doubters.


There will be mistakes.


But with hard work,


There are no limits!



Today is #WorldMentalHealthDay so be Sure to Take Care of Yourself, Even at Work! #inspiration

healthy soul


Are you taking care of yourself, making sure your soul is fed and you’re getting the help you need?


Today is World Mental Health Day and this year, the focus is on mental health at work. Stress, especially work stress, is one of the main causes of illness and sudden death these days. People are taking less vacations and working more.


I remember after 9/11, I struggled at work just to get through my shift. A co-worker and friend of mine suggested that I ask for a couple of days off for my mental health. She told me I wasn’t taking care of myself properly and if I didn’t start taking care of myself, I wouldn’t be around long. I took a hard look at myself and she was right. I took some time off and it helped me tremendously.


We all need to take care of ourselves. If the stress is mounting and your body is feeling rundown, maybe it’s time to take a Mental Health day off of work. Your body and soul are the only ones you get so please, I beg you, take care of yourself. Seek help and take steps necessary to achieve wellness. Like the quote above states, your soul is like a beautiful flower and needs Light to bloom. 



Be #Grateful for Everything… Even the Bad Stuff! #inspiration #motivation #FridayFeeling



What if today you were grateful for everything? Yes, even the bad stuff.


Gratitude comes second-nature to me but that wasn’t always the case. Years ago, I was a complainer. I cried every time something bad happened. I thought the world was out to get me and my mantra was basically, woe is me. I railed at God for letting all this bad stuff happen to me. I was so focused on the darkness that I didn’t see the light.


Being grateful is a conscious decision. I choose to find joy in whatever situation I’m in. I choose to look at the positive rather than the negative. I choose to let my path unfold and learning more about myself along the way. I choose to be grateful for everything.


Do I falter? Sure I do. Last month was proof-positive that I get down in the dumps and focus on the negative. Once I realize what I’m doing, I quickly think up a few things I’m grateful for and my perspective shifts back to the positive.


Here’s your task today: be grateful for everything. Be aware of your thoughts and reactions. When you feel yourself slipping back towards the dark side, think of four things/people you’re grateful. Repeat it until your switch back to the Light side. Gratitude is a strong motivator and we need to utilize it to the best of our ability!



When You Hit a Roadblock, Try a Different Path! #inspiration #motivation #ThursdayThoughts



Are you dealing with roadblocks on your way to achieving your goals? Is frustration making you rethink your goals?


STOP! It’s not your goals that need a readjustment but the plan to get there needs tweaking.


I have certain writing goals that are taking longer than I thought to achieve. Am I feeling frustrated? Sure, but I know it’s a long road to the top and I need to keep trying new things. I keep writing my stories, blogging every day and with each baby step I learn what works and what doesn’t.


When I hit a roadblock, I steer myself around it and try to navigate through on the same path. If I can’t, then it’s back to the drawing board. I redraw a plan and take a different route. There’s more than one way to achieve a goal and most of the time, it take five or ten plans to make it happen.


Don’t get discouraged when your initial plan doesn’t work. Change the plan, not the goal. Stay motivated.



How Do You Handle Disappointment? Sometimes It’s a Blessing in Disguise #inspiration



How do you handle disappointment?


I’m struggling with disappointment this morning and I must admit it’s a situation dealing with fashion. Back in August, I read about this trend sweeping America called the Ta-Ta Towels. It’s a towel for a pair of well-endowed ta-tas. Women raved about them and knew I had to have it. It was pricy but I figured I was worth it. Two months later, it arrived. I tried it on and was rather disappointed. It wasn’t as advertised and it left a bad taste in my mouth.


Disappointment comes in all shapes and sizes. It can be big (didn’t get a promotion, break-up, didn’t get into the school of your choice) or it can be small (like my example above). It doesn’t matter whether its large or insignificant, how we deal with disappointment is what makes the difference.


See, I could’ve railed against the company and spew vitriol online yesterday but I didn’t. I truly believe I didn’t get ripped off and I can still get use out of them, especially in the heat of summer. Sure, the elastic is weak and doesn’t provide any support but it’s supposed to keep me cool, not uplifted.


I find inspiration in the quote above. Many times throughout my life, disappointment has been a great teacher. It has taught me determination, resiliency and overall a stronger person.


So the next time you’re disappointed, ask yourself if maybe your expectations were too high. Flip your perspective and realize that whatever happened may just be a blessing in disguise. The Universe works in mysterious ways. 



Find Comfort in the Uncomfortable… #inspiration #motivation #TuesdayThoughts

be vulnerable


Find comfort in the uncomfortable…


What imagery comes to mind when you read the statement above?


For me, it’s all the hard life lessons I’ve learned over the years. It’s stretching my wings into the unknown, not knowing if I’ll be successful or a failure. It’s the heartbreak that ripped my body in two. It’s the leap of faith when I left my family and friend to forge a new life with MR N. It’s every obstacle life has thrown at me and how, with the love and support of MR N, we overcame it together. It’s all the lessons learned that while scary at first, taught me to find comfort in the uncomfortable.


No matter what life throws at you, your response determines whether you’ll be courageous or cowering, brave or scared, victorious or defeated. Don’t fear the unknown but embrace it. Open yourself up to a new experience and find solace in the unease. 


What do you do when faced with an uncomfortable situation? Share in the comments below.

Go Out Into the World Today and Spread Love! #inspiration #motivation #MondayBlogs

Light Mother Teresa


Love one another.


This simple statement is burning in my heart as I read the horrific account of the terrorist shooting in Vegas last night. More than 50 dead and more than one-hundred injured. A white American planned and executed fellow Americans who were listening to music at a festival.


Where’s the love for our fellow men and women?


There’s many people who say that if we had bigger and badder weapons, those people could’ve defended themselves. But it’s that attitude of violence begets more violence that is exact opposite of how we need to respond. Instead of violence, let’s love each other, seeking understanding through talking not guns.


Go out into the world today and love the people you encounter. Smile, spread the Light that’s inside you and let kindness guide you. Mother Teresa had it right with her quote above. When you love one another, hatred and fear wave the white flag in defeat. 


I love you all and hope you have a safe Monday!



Never Forget How Far You’ve Come! #inspiration #motivation #FridayFeeling

never forget

Never forget how far you’ve come!


We all go through difficult circumstances; we each have a story to tell. Every obstacle molds us into who we are and who we’ll become.


Be proud of yourself and celebrate your perseverance!



Poetry is Vital to Society and Our Human Experience! #inspiration #poetry #NationalPoetryDay



One of my favorite movies of all time is Dead Poets Society. In it, a professor (played brilliantly by Robin Williams) teaches a group of young men the value of poetry and why it’s so important. The quote above is from one of his teachings.


Poetry, no matter the form it takes (verse, prose, song, rap), is a glimpse into the human experience. It gives the writer as well as the reader a chance to let go of society’s restraints and immerse in an artistic expression of thought, feeling and/or insight. It’s like being a voyeur, only totally legal.


Today is National Poetry Day and on this day we encourage you to either read or write poetry. Write about anything. Read from a poet you’ve never heard of. Let go of your preconceived notions and just enjoy.


Here are a few of our poems for you to enjoy:


Poetry is a beautiful way to experience life and I, for one, would be lost without it. 



When You’re Healthy, You Have Hope so Pay Attention to Your #Health! #inspiration #grateful



Are you a healthy person? If so, you’re filled with hope and that’s a great thing!


I’ve struggled with my health for most of my life. My weight has fluctuated over the years and I’m happy to say that I’m in the best shape of my life. This is a good thing with the changes going on in the environment and my body. As I grow older, new health issues pop up and yet, instead of being depressed, I embrace what’s going on. How? By staying hopeful and knowing that I’m taking care of my body.


Your health (and mine too) is key to living a happy life. Without your health, you have no hope. But when you’re healthy and taking care of your body, hope erupts from your pores. Take care of yourself and listen to your body. If it says rest, rest. If it says drink, drink. If it’s craving something, listen to it. 


Three things keep me healthy: drinking at least 64 ounces of water a day, exercising at least four times a week and eating delicious food. Sure, I have a gourmet chef husband who loves cooking for me but he also takes care of me, making sure I have enough vegetables, fruit and dairy. He knows how important it is for me to stay healthy.


Instead of dreading your health or tired of being lectured by people about how you need to get healthy, take control of your health. Do what works for you and on your terms. You’ll have tons more energy and feel hope surging in your veins. 



Ask Yourself, What Does it Take to be Successful? #inspiration #motivation #TuesdayThoughts



Many of life’s failures are people who did not realize how close they were to success when they gave up.  — Thomas A. Edison


I’ve been thinking a lot about what it takes to be successful.  There are so many opinions about success (everyone has their own say, it seems) that it can be confusing.  Your parents have an idea about what it takes to be successful.  Your friends have an idea about what it takes to be successful.  Your boss knows what it takes to be successful.  Professionals promise to show you what it takes to be successful (Hint, it involves buying their book).


It can be daunting but, you have to look inside yourself to find it.  Ask yourself, what does it take for me to be successful?  Married?  A six-figure income?  A large house?  Children?  Best-selling author who is recognized on the street?


Whatever it is, write it down and keep it somewhere where you can look at it every day.  Then, take the steps needed to achieve it.  Remember, success is not a destination but a journey! 



Step Up to the Self-Serve ‘When Life Hands You Lemons’ Bar! #inspiration #MondayBlogs



“In all my work, I try to say – ‘You may be given a load of sour lemons, why not try to make a dozen lemon meringue pies?'” — Maya Angelou


Life, it seems, thrives handing out lemons. Just when you think you’ve done all you can with the sour fruit, another bushel appears.


When life gives you lemons, what do you do? 


September has been chockerblockful of lemons for us and just when we think we’ve drank as much lemonade as we can take, a new basket of lemons appears. As MR N said this past weekend, “We’ve bellied up to the lemon serve yourself bar and we keep on making it delicious.” See, we tackle whatever comes our way and deal with it head-on. We used to freak out but no longer. We, instead, ask the bartender for another round.


Life is teaching us a life lesson every time we get a bushel of lemons. It’s not the lemons that matter but how we act and react to the sour fruit. Tired of lemonade? Make up some lemon cookies, lemon muffins or even lemon meringue pies. Be creative and remember that you’re not alone.


I see a bar stool has opened up. Who’s next? 😉





Everything You Do is a Self-Portrait so Weave Excellence Throughout Your Life! #inspiration



Are you proud of the life you’re living? 


Everything you do reflects who you are.


I love this quote because it hits home for me. No matter what I’m doing or who I interact with, my actions are an example of who I am. Every blog post, every book, every job, every behavior shows the world who MRS N is. Am I proud of everything I have done in the past? No, I regret my errors and rash decisions. I’m human, after all, and I make a lot of mistakes. But I strive for excellence. I try to be a good example and that’s all anyone can hope for.


Every job is is a self-portrait so make sure to do your level best, no matter if you get credit or if anyone notices. You know in your heart that your actions are your signature.



Write Down Your Dreams so They Become Tangible! #inspiration #motivation #ThursdayThoughts

setting goals


Dreams are just dreams until you write them down. Once you write them down, they give birth and become goals.


One of the most important lesson I learned in life was the simple act of writing down my dreams. See, dreams are like air; you can’t see them yet you know they’re there. But when you write down your dreams, they become visible and tangible. Dreams, once written down, become goals and we all know about goal-setting.


Cowboys Hall of Famer Emmitt Smith at the ripe age of 22 wrote down his dreams. He wanted to become the all-time leading rusher in the NFL. He hadn’t played one snap on the field yet he wrote it down. He kept his list with him and used it as inspiration. The result? He achieved his goal and many more.


My advice: write down your dreams and use the list as motivation. You have the power to make your wildest dreams come true. 



What’s the Point of #Wisdom? To Discern What’s True and False! #inspiration #WednesdayWisdom



What’s the point of wisdom?


To discern what is true and what is false.


In today’s world, there’s a whole lot of false, lies, fakeness and skirting around the truth. We have fake body parts, fake news, fake leaders, etc. People lie, cheat and steal. Wisdom, true wisdom, is being able to tell the difference.


Gaining wisdom is a life-long pursuit and we’re much wiser today than we were yesterday. Seek truth and understanding; dismiss falsehoods and ignorance.



Life is Too Short to Wake Up With Regrets! #inspiration #motivation #TuesdayThoughts

Sun smiling thru clouds


Life is too short to wake up in the morning with regrets. So, love the people who treat you right and forget about the ones who don’t. And believe that everything happens for a reason… if you get a chance, take it; if it changes your life, let it. Nobody said it would be easy… they just promised it would be worth it.


Life too short to wake up in the morning with regrets.


That is my mantra for this week.


Last few weeks were hard for me. Over the weekend, I did a little retrospection and caught myself mulling over regrets. Here are some of my thoughts:


I wish I did better in school.


I wish I stood up to the bullies.


I wish…


I wish…


I wish…


The thoughts went around and around. It wasn’t until MR N took my hand and said softly,


“I love you.”




I smiled at him. His three words silenced the voices in my head. Amazing.


I’m tired of living with regret. So today, I’m releasing all my regrets like little sparrows.


“Fly away,” I say.


Are you living with regret?


Gather all your regrets and release them like little birds. They no longer have any hold over you.


Embrace the Suck to Achieve Mental Toughness! #inspiration #motivation #MondayBlogs

embrace the suck falcons


Embrace the suck.


I was watching a NFL pre-game yesterday and they did a cool story on the Atlanta Falcons. After the devastating loss in the Superbowl, Dan Quinn took his team to a SEAL training boot camp, so to speak. It’s run by former SEALs and they train teams to be the best they can be. When asked to sum up his experience, Matt Ryan said, “Embrace the suck.”




Mental Toughness



These are the core values that Matt Ryan and the Falcons took away from the training and these are the same values we need to embrace, too. Bad things happen and most of the time, it’s out of our control. How we handle adversity and triumph is what matters.


According to Matt Ryan, the SEALs have a wonderful way of being able to compartmentalize life into what matters and what doesn’t.  We can do the same thing. No matter what comes at you, sort it out and deal with it.


Embrace the suck.


You’ll defeat whatever comes your way and be a champion before you know it. 



Good Friends are Like Stars… I’m #Grateful for my Friends! #inspiration #FridayFeeling

good friends stars


Friends make the world a better place and today I want us to thank our friends for always being there.


You have friends who are your best friends, who are there for you no matter what’s going on in their lives. You may not see each other as much as you’d like but when it comes to life’s ups and downs, they’re by your side. 


Pick up the phone, text, email, carrier pigeon them a message saying thanks. Let them know how grateful you are for their love and friendship.


For all my dear friends who’ve supported me the past month, THANK YOU! Your kind words uplifted me and I’m so grateful. I love you all!


Make today Tell A Friend You’re Grateful Day!