An email that changed everything

I received this email from my long time friend Kim Fiske. It was timely and just what I needed.

You can read it here

The difference is the group setting. For me it has a certain non incumbent feel to it. I don’t feel like I have to, but I want to instead.

We all have scars. Some inner, some outer. We all need healing. Give it a try while she’s offering the 7 day free trial.


Seven Decades

I’ve lived through 7 decades. During those years I’ve witnessed history, learned, and relearned. Ive been incredibly thin, and very overweight. I’ve ran with the trends, only to settle with different.

I’ve spent most of my life battling illnesses and myself. I’ve suffered immeasurable losses, and been blessed with abundant blessings. I’ve lived in the city, and lived in the hollers of Tennessee. I’ve wiped more bottoms than I care to remember, and wiped away many tears. What I know is this.

Life really is just a matter of perception. There isn’t a right or wrong. There are values, manners, and morals that serve as guidelines for choices. It doesn’t matter who is pro choice, or prolife. The choice is yours, based on your own perceptions, formed by your personal guidelines.

It’s ok to not have kids, it’s ok to have a bunch of kids. The choice is yours and so is the responsibility.

You will not be any happier thin if you don’t find inner peace overweight. When you figure it out, acceptance will follow.

Stop shouting, shaming, bullying. I don’t want to know who you are sleeping with, my perception of you will be based on who you are as a human, not who you sleep with.

The generations now are completely missing the mark on marriage, family, and the entire institution of love. A family is your circle of love. It doesn’t matter who is in your circle. Marriage is a commitment, there will be days that will be extremely difficult, there will be other days that make you forget about the difficult ones. Stop being afraid of commitment.

Being in nature is the most important. walking barefoot, learning about all the things, and just being quiet is so vital to our health. You don’t need to run, hike, swim etc you just need to sit some where, be quiet, and wiggle your toes on the earth.

Lastly, what I know is this, life is incredibly short. We are here for a purpose. Maybe that purpose is the raise children, maybe it’s to discover a cure. It doesn’t matter, you will know.

Everything I know about weight loss and health Part 3

If you haven’t read part 1 and 2 you should read those first.

One of, if not the biggest obstacle in becoming healthy and remaining in a place of good health is in your head. Literally. What you feed your brain is as important as what you feed the rest of you.

It isn’t just your thoughts. It’s your surroundings, people in your life, your career. What we say, do, encounter on a daily basis become noted in your brain. The result can be stress, depression, anxiety, brain fog etc.

So let’s begin with the basics.

Your home. Having a clutter free clean space is hugely beneficial. I can’t say that loud enough. I know it can seem daunting but really it’s easier than you think. There are a ton of blogs on this subject but I’ll add that I started with my walls. I removed everything, even curtains in a few rooms, painted the walls white and did not rehang anything.

Having open windows allows more of nature to come in. Then I decorated with plants. Research the topic.

Sleep is so very important. I use to be on the go early and late. I fueled with constant caffeine. It showed! It’s really important to get up at the same time every morning. So I adjusted my bedtime. At 9 I’m in bed. Period. Even if I can’t sleep yet. I meditate, read, unplug.

Reading is good for your brain. Feed it well.

Having a schedule keeps you on track and your body will learn when to expect sleep, fuel, movement. It will also help to keep your stress levels in check because you will find it easier to schedule in the important stuff like moving your body, family time, journaling, etc. I recommend a paper planner. Writing it is more powerful.

Stress promotes weight gain.

Slow down, unplug, move your body.

If you’ve made it this far thank you for reading. I hope that this will help you in your journey.

Everything that I know about weight loss PT 2

Welcome to part 2. If you haven’t read part 1 you might want to begin there.

Everyone has cravings. Some of us are stress or emotional eaters. Sometimes we are bored, or sometimes we are tired.

Planning for possible slips helps a lot.

If you work long hours or find yourself too tired to think about dinners, then meal prepping may work to combat this and it’s super easy if you are eating lean and green dinners.

If you find the cravings do you in then the following items are fantastic to have on hand, along with a well stocked pantry full of the right foods and zero wrong foods. For that reason I haven’t bought Oreos in 15 years.

Here are my go to items

Smuckers sugar free caramel syrup to go on apples

Smuckers sugar free chocolate syrup to go on strawberries or bananas.

Sugar free chocolate chips

Whole grain gold fish

Frozen Greek yogurt pops

Sugar free popsicles

Real popcorn

Plenty of fruit

Sugar free brownie mix

Sugar free pudding

Sugar free jello

Fat free whipped topping

The rest of my kitchen is stocked with whole grains, meat, eggs, veggies. I use canned black beans, and white northern beans, canned tomatoes, and no sugar added fruit.

There is only one bad thing in my kitchen. Splenda. I’m trying haha.

A word to those of you who really don’t care for veggies or meat. Me either! I eat chicken or fish. I pair them with a salad and fruit on the side. Having fruit for dinner helps kill those sneaky sweet cravings and they are nutritious.

Moving your body and strength training are both very important for good health. While they won’t help a ton with weight loss there are other factors that can help with long term success. Strong muscles burn more calories. A body in motion is like a well oiled machine. It pumps blood to all the right places, reduces stress, and it is after all what our bodies are meant to do, move!

So if you are not into “exercise” That’s ok, just move your body. I love using a fitbit to keep me on track.

Part 3 up next

Every thing I know about weightloss PT 1

I’ve been coaching for 11 plus years. I’ve had weight-losses and gains of my own. I have personally tried nearly all weightloss programs, and I’m certified in nutrition and coaching. However, I am not currently coaching and I may not return to it. Here is why.

My own struggles have prompted me to ask “why isn’t this working” at various stages of my life. Helping others drove me to find solutions. However, you can’t unknow once you know something. It doesn’t simply just go away.

Here is what I know and what you can do to push forward .

Diets do not work for the long-term. Sure you can do a cleanse and drop some fluid while messing up your gut flora, or you can eat prepackaged foods while creating havoc with your health, or perhaps you decide to follow a trend and buy into the marketing of the latest new supplement.

We all have that one friend who swears that they are selling the next best thing. In our world today everything is marketing. From the placement of food items on the store shelves, the ads in magazines that are being endorsed by famous people, to the new diet pill that your Dr prescribed. Its all BS. All of it! Its time to take your power back.

Whatever it is that you believe in I want you to take a few minutes and just read with an open mind.

Having a healthy body and living at your best is as simple as deciding to do it, along with making the correct choices.

Everything that you do begins with a choice. There are always two choices. Always! Just knowing that you have two choices gives you back control. Pretty simple right?

Now its time to decide what it is that you need in your life. This gives you back power. Example

I want pizza in my life. So let’s say that I go on a restrictive diet, I lose weight, I succumb to wanting pizza, I regain some weight. That causes stress, takes away power and then I lose control. Sound about right? So now lets change that.

I decide that I want pizza in my life. I eat whole nutritious foods 6 days a week. On date night I enjoy pizza in moderation. I choose to not have toppings, just cheese. I begin to see a drop in weight. I never see a gain because I’m in control.

How easy is that?

So now let’s talk about an unrealistic weight loss goal. At each significant drop your body will require less calories to continue to lose or maintain. Portion sizes and moving your body become very important but the choice is yours. You must ask yourself the hard questions. At this point you need to think about what you want your life to look like.


I hate exersizing but I enjoy a walk. I can see walking as a daily commitment. I like having eggs but I can’t see just eating one egg so i ‘ll have two. For dinner I always do lean and green. I dont need a potatoe, or white rice. Because I made that easy simple choice dinners are not stressful. My choice, my power. I make the choices and my body will respond. I accept that I’ll be healthy, fit, and happy.

Calories. Yes it really is just about calories. Calories in calories out. Knowing that gives you power over all the BS. You get to decide how you want to spend your calories. Choices.


I love bread but its not so important that I have to have bread with high calories so instead I’ll spend 35 of my calories on 35 calorie bread instead of 120 calorie bread.

Its no longer about a number on the scale. Its about you, your choices, and taking back the power. Once you do that life will be a much happier place.

Why everyone should become a photographer

But not everyone has what it takes to be a professional photographer.

Every single person should experience photography. It can change your perspectives. But first you need to learn how to see. When you look at objects through a lens they suddenly become less scary, more beautiful.

After exploring the world of macro photography I no longer think, “ack, a spider”, instead I think, ” I wonder how many eyes she has”. Instead of shooting just a sunset, I wait for the brilliant colors after it sets.

My appreciation for a dew drop glistening in the sun while balanced on a petal has changed the way I view mornings.

Everyone should embrace photography, but just because your photos are good doesnt mean that you are a professional photographer.

A professional photographer takes classes, attends workshops, knows the differences to the rule of thirds and not just what the M means but also how to use it to create awe inspiring photos.

There are different types of professional photographers. Some shoot landscapes, are published, earn a nice income to cover the cost of gear. If that’s even possible haha.

Others shoot newborns, or weddings. Let me say that the best wedding photographers that I know, only shoot weddings. They are experts in all things wedding. They work hard, are physically fit because weddings can be physically demanding, and they have help. They see things through the lens that other photographers don’t.

The same holds true for sports photographers. They know the sport, they know what to look for, they see things from a different perspective. They know where the ball is going.

All people should embrace hobby photography, It’s fun, it’s addicting, it can be incredibly relaxing.

Happy shooting

Everything that I know about Aging

I remember when I turned 40, there was a moment when I thought, hmmm I am half way to death. Then the moment left, life happened, and nothing changed. I didnt suddenly gain weight. There were not any grey hairs to be found, and my face didn’t suddenly wrinkle. Life was good. Actually my 40s were the best of years.

But slowly things began to change. At first it’s finding grey and running to have highlights added. Then frown lines join with smile lines, and stuff begins to hurt. Then 50 arrives. I remember thinking, hey you don’t look 50. I didn’t, but I was beginning to feel 50. I started to slow down which wasn’t necessarily a bad thing, but still a thing.

I remember the first time I realized that there was a younger person inside my aging body. I struggled with age appropriate style, and admired younger women for their ability to walk in heels, and cheesecake, I really admired cheesecake.

I never envisioned my limbs popping off with age, but by the time I was 54 I had received a brand new titanium hip. I named her Rosie after a burlesque dancer. By the time I received Rosie, in just a few short years my life had changed dramatically. Just like that. Not one parade, not a marching band, not even a party hat. Just farewell to who I was, hello new old person.

At 50 my moment of realization was recognizing that my existence on earth was limited. All of a sudden living a long healthy life with a multitude of possibilities was gone. There were new limitations, different possibilities.

Suddenly everything was done with urgency because I knew my time and abilities were now limited. The truth is they always have been, but for some reason we don’t live life like that.

So here is what I know

There are 3 stages of life. Each stage affects the next stage. What may not seem important now, will matter later. We are not given life to just be. We all have a purpose. Each of us.

In everything that you do you are setting an example, walking a path, becoming you.

Live life simply, easily, joyfully, and healthfully. Eat the cake, wear the clothes that bring you joy. Start taking care of your skin in your 20s, don’t lay in a tanning bed instead close your eyes and feel the warmth of the sun on your face, for just a moment.

Embrace your grey, be authentic, drink plenty of water and coffee, and eat only whole foods 6 days a week but on the 7th enjoy whatever you want. Have Sunday supper, take long walks, and hug. Hug the people you love, and hug the ones you don’t.

Save for retirement, say no to credit cards, and never live above your means.

Now read the last parts again. Do you understand my message?

Product Reviews for Beauty Products

After 5 months of testing various products here are my reviews. Disclaimer:These reviews are based on my own opinion and are not influenced by sponsorship, affiliate links, or payments. I will include a couple of refferral links.

Let’s begin with the most important cosmetic you should own. Face primer!

They are packaged exactly the same but theres a huge difference. Huge! Milani was purchased at Walmart. Price around $8.00. The feel, smell, and texture reminds me of Elmer’s glue. Enough said.

Face primer by Elizabeth Mott. I purchased it here and the price was around $15.00. It feels soft and silky on. It actually felt that way all day. Hands down the best primer I’ve ever worn. You definitely will thank me later.

Next up the mascaras. If you have awesome lashes but want a quick bit of length my old favorite is the “better than sex mascara”. Purshased at ulta. However I wanted to plump up my lashes. Fiber lashes flake, and leave residue on your cheeks, other mascaras are way over priced, and frankly I just wanted normal lashes. Finding a regular mascara that woukd just enhance was difficult. After a few fails I finally settled on a lash primer and a regular mascara. Tried them and love them. Loreal lash primer and maybelline like Full and Soft mascara. Simply, classic, and affordable.

While we are on eyes I’ve noticed that my eyelids have darkened with age. So I wanted an eye shadow that would give me that awake, fresh and bright look. It needed to stay all day, not look overly done, and be fast and easily applied. The winner is Thrive eye shadow sticks. I will continue to look for a less shimmery one but the gold is my go to. I also like the pink. They glide on, stay all day, and they did help with the fresh bright look that I wanted. $20.00 each.

While I was purchasing the eye shadow sticks I decided to give the blush a try. At first glance it looked promising and the other end of the blush stick contained a blending brush. Even with the handy brush it didn’t blend. It just kind of laid on top of my bb cream. It didnt look natural and it was shimmery. This blush hits the trash can. $36.00 ouch

Lips! I have a lot of lipsticks, what girl doesn’t right? All in different shades of pink. Last year I tried lip sense.. The color was amazing and it stayed all day but it burned. It burned so badly and it wouldn’t come off. So I’ve returned to my old favorite which is still a great everyday lipstick. I picked this one up at Walgreens. Maybelline 14 hr. It does stay on all day but it’s doesn’t always look fresh. I’m good with that because theres still color.

Face moisturizer. Did you know that oil doesnt moisturize? Not on your hair or your skin. It may feel like it does but thats just the oil that you feel. This has. I have tried moisturizers from many of the DS companies as well as top rated moisturizers. been my favorite for a couple of years. I haven’t found another one that tops it.

This spring and summer I embarked on a hair journey. I wanted the embrace my natural curls. That meant products, and lots of them. first up the highly recommended Quidad. next to it Aussie curl refresher. Quidad was expensive so my expectations were high. Sorry quidad but you aren’t any different than a regular gel. Gel by the way doesn’t feel great on your hair, and I did not find anything moisturizing about it. Aussie curl refresher was more of a setting spray. It did zero refreshing, instead it set my mesmessy hair in place. 👎

OGX coconut curls decadent creamy mousse on the other hand is wonderful. Soft bouncy curls. It’s a keeper.

Foam rollers are a great no heat alternative to big bouncy curls. I found this set on Amazon. Just mist hair, roll and twist. Yes there’s a wait time. I tried sleeping in mine, that’s not happening again

We have all seen the videos! Lange’ has been heavily marketed on social media so I wanted to know what all the hype was about. My end result, it was nothing but hype. Rival Heat Shield smells awful. I don’t know if it actually protects but I can’t stand the smell. The flat iron and the iron brush are not any better than the lower end products. Dear Lange, I would really love a refund 👎

That’s all for now. I’ll be posting a general product blog soon.

Staycation in Virginia

This year we decided to forego our annual trip and do a staycation instead. As with most things there are pros and cons, but overall it was a very nice experience. Between eating at all the places, and doing all the local things we were pretty exhausted.

We re-discovered the beauty of where we live, which is pretty close to the Blue Ridge Parkway.

We drove the Parkway, stopped to have a picnic, and visited the towns of Floyd, Buchanan, and Fincastle. All are rich in history which we explored via Google before we went and I’ve linked the towns so that you can explore them too

We also had time to venture to Burke’s Gardens God’s thumbprint. We stopped by the New River and road through Pearisburg. We had other plans but our staycation was cut short.

While in Floyd we experienced an old fashioned dance with blue grass while eating at The Floyd Country Store before getting back on the BRP and heading into Roanoke.

By the 3rd day we were tired …really tired. We napped, we enjoyed homemade muffins pre baked by me, and we watched movies. There are some cons as I mentioned above. It’s pretty hard to disconnect when you staycation. From the virtual world and the real world. It’s too convenient to return to work early, answer calls, or browse through messages. People know you are home, or nearby, and it’s hard to overlook chores.

A staycation requires planning just like an away vacation unless you are planning to sleep the entire time. I planned everything from routes and stops to meals and locations.. There were a few things that we didn’t get to do but we plan to do them.

This year we rediscovered our home town and surrounding areas and what a beautiful place this is.

So…I did this thing..

Yes, I did this thing. Finally I have everything in one place. My photography fine art prints, and now….everything I love so you can easily find it. Some are amazon affiliate links (yes I may receive a very small stipend). Some products may take a couple of weeks to arrive, for example my photography has to be printed, but you can now easily find it all here on my blog.

Just go to click menu then All the Things.

Here you will find All the Pretty Things.

From doggy loves

Dog leash

To the funnest accessories

Fashionable rain coat with floral details

Everything planners…because who doesn’t love planning

Washi staple for planners

Planners for planning

How fun is this! So stop buy and take a look at all of the Pretty things.