Sunday, January 29, 2012


I made some progress today in my quest to become more disciplined. First, I made two lists of things I want to accomplish: One entitled "Discipline" lists the things I want to be sure to do every day. The second is a "Home Projects List" which contains the things I'd like to accomplish around the beach house this year.

The teenager that lives here had a most pathetic weekend - having nothing else to do, she hung out with me yesterday. We went to the grocery store and then out for dinner. Today she graciously completed all the chores I gave her while we both rocked around the house listening to our separate ITunes! And that included doing the two chores I hate the most vacuuming and cleaning the bathroom. She helps me out alot.

I made a new recipe Slow Cooker Cuban Chicken - a recipe I got from a new magazine from Better Homes and Garden's "Skinny Slow Cooker"Magazine.

While this was cooking, I took a walk down past the beach to the marina. There was no one there, just the sound of the water against the few boats still in the water. On my list this morning, I listed 30 minutes of exercise. It was a nice walk and I took a few minutes to sit on the dock and just reflect.

Saturday, January 28, 2012

Some Crazy Juju

In the "about me" section of this blog, it mentions that I have an estranged relationship with the church but not with God. So, recently I made a comment on the Facebook page of a Christian author that I've come to respect and enjoy and we've even exchanged some emails. After a few other people commented, I was invited to join this group of people who feel that they've been involved in churches that are spiritually abusive, and some of them personally sent me friend requests. While it took me about 7 years to get kicked out of my church, I lasted in this group for less than a week. In fact, I think I made less than five comments during my tenure with the group. I'm feeling a lot better now. Turns out, I'm a couple years past the anger and sadness, but they've chosen to make a cottage industry out of it. They welcomed me by telling me that I didn't have to worry about judgment or condemnation here like I had found in the church and that I was among friends. This is the kiss of death it turns out. I did not have to worry about judgment or condemnation as long as I was willing to listen to their near constant judgment and condemnation of the church - and certain high-profile pastors and their followers. Life is too short and God is too good, I can't live there anymore. I wish them all the best. Amen.

Thursday, January 26, 2012


So I've picked my word for the year: Discipline. Discipline has a few definitions but for my use the word will be defined as follows:

  • training that molds or perfects the mental faculties 
  • self-control gained by orderly patterns of behavior

It is no surprise to those that know me. I am not disciplined. I have a hard time with schedules. I own my own business and I homeschooled my child for seven years, and I believe those choices, in large part, were due to my lack of discipline and that I don't play well with authority. My poor kid - it's a wonder she's survived. On any given day, she is the most mature person in the house.

That's it. I've picked my word of the year. If you'll excuse me, I'm going to go cry.

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Word of the Year

There are several blog pages that I subscribe to on Facebook. One that I love is Kevin and Layla Palmer’s, The Lettered Cottage. They have such beautiful and creative decorating ideas and I enjoy Layla’s blog posts. Recently, she posted an inspiring piece called This Little Word of Mine Link Party in which she invites other bloggers to link their posts about their “word of the year” selections.
The idea for a word of the year comes from Ali Edwards at She writes, “Choosing a word each year came about as an alternative to a list of resolutions. I wanted something I could hold close and actually develop a relationship with over the course of the year.”
I’ve been thinking about this and what word I could choose. I think it’s such a lovely idea – rather than a list of resolutions – to have a word to keep in your mind, or your pocket, to inspire you to press forward. I made a list of words and I’ve whittled it down to ten words. I will get it down to one, but I need to think about each of these and what it is I hope to achieve this year.  Many words came to mind that I didn’t choose: travel, joy, family, adventure, curious, because I want to introduce something new, perhaps work towards something that is more difficult for me.
Perhaps by writing a bit about each of the ten words, I’ll be able to choose just one as my word for the year.
Attitude:  The front-runner. I thought about this earlier this morning and then had a discussion about attitude with my neighbor when we went out for coffee. We talked about how much easier the day goes when we look at our responsibilities as choices. Instead of groaning and wanting to roll over and go back to sleep in the morning, can I adopt an attitude of excitement about my day?
Commitment: An easy one to put on the list - but perhaps not to choose. Probably the only thing I’ve consciously committed to is parenthood. Wouldn’t trade it for the world. I find myself preferring to look at everything else with a “one day at a time” view. Is that wrong? Maybe a deeper sense of commitment in everything I do might push me to the next level.
Deeper: As in commitment and learning and sense of urgency. I've created a pretty great life for  my little family.  Is this the year to go deeper in learning, decorating, marketing, photography, writing?
Discipline: Maybe a word that makes me cringe should be my word of the year. Discipline sounds a lot like commitment! When I think of discipline, I think of schedules, and then the room starts to spin.
Energy: I’m a low energy person a large percentage of the time. I think that’s something I can change – through intentionality.  Regular exercise and healthy eating are keys to producing more energy. 
Focus: I suppose this one could do double duty with my photography and my difficulty staying on task. If ADD had existed when I was a child, I think they might have wanted to put me on some type of medication. Instead I just got in trouble for being disruptive…some things never change.
Improve: Progress not perfection. As I write this I’ve already decided this will not be it. God has seen fit to effect some change for the better in me every year that I’ve followed Him. It almost seems a bit lazy to pick this one!
Less: As in downsize. Reduce. Let go. Can I do that? Can I continue what I started last year? This would be an interesting task – to weed out what I don’t need or can do without and implement some system of organization? Hmmm, this may be it!
Purposeful: Instead of accomplishing what must be accomplished, could I do it with purpose? Do I attack my tasks and chores with a sense of doing them well or is the goal simply to complete. In addition, what about relationships – can I do a better job of loving and listening with purpose?
Write: Get serious and write. Quit screwing around with opinions and debates and write on both blogs – the personal and the business. Write with attitude. Commit to writing. Go deeper – be willing to expose vulnerabilities in my writing. Write with discipline – insert the dreaded word “schedule” here! Write with energy – looking forward, not waiting for the deadline. Oh, you get the idea – focus on improving my writing, making less excuses and writing with a purpose!
How about if I pray about this? Stay tuned – I’ll reveal my choice tomorrow…or the next day!

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

A Day at the Beach by Botanicus - Product Review

Several years ago, while poking around the shops at the Corolla Lighthouse in the Outer Banks, I picked up and smelled a candle that instantly brought back wonderful beach memories of my childhood. The candle was called "A Day at the Beach" by Botanicus. That day I purchased a set of three travel candles and a room spray. Over the last couple of years, I've acquired a diffuser and another large candle and I absolutely love them.

Those of you that know me well know that I have a philosophy about creating the life you want. Without going into the long history  - which resulted in owning my own business and homeschooling my daughter for seven years - that philosophy is one of the foundational blocks of My Beach House. Creating the life you desire requires lots of clumsy missteps, but even small details are important. As inconsequential as a scent might seem, walking into My Beach House and being greeted with the fragrance of summers' past signals to me that I am home. Inside my house, as I create the home that I desire, this scent is an important part of the whole.

Botanicus describes "A Day at the Beach" this way:

  • "The name says it all.
  • HISTORY: We have created a wonderful fragrance from our favorite beach scents- suntan oil, ocean air, tropical flowers, a touch of vanilla.
  • AROMA: Pikake, plumeria aroma with orange blossom, ocean and soft vanilla, amber notes."

What stands out the most for me is more than a hint of the "Coppertone Tanning Lotion" of my childhood - when the choices were Coppertone or burn! It reminds me of sandy floors, dinner on a screened porch, wet bathing suits and towels hanging on the line. Summer vacations were a time when we stayed up late and caught fireflies, and spent whole days with my father and mother together. I think it's the right scent for creating that summer vacation feeling all year round. I have diffusers in two rooms of the house and candles all around. When I feel like the house needs a little extra - I spray the room fragrance. It's in every room of My Beach House but one. I still have the travel votives that I originally bought in Corolla. One sits next to my computer in my office. And one is always packed in my travel toiletries bag. I take it with me wherever I go and immediately unpack it to remind me of the beach and of home.

Check it out sometime: A Day at the Beach. And let me know what summer memories it brings back for you.