Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Being Pretty

Before bathing suit season fully commences, and women's self esteem plummets because of the dread swimming attire I thought I would address the being pretty attitude.

If you feel ugly or fat there is nothing I can type here that will change your opinion. However, there is One who can: Jesus. I want you to understand that God will always require our cooperation when He is doing something in our lives. So, please, never think that if you pray for Jesus to make you thin you are suddenly going to be thin.

Quick Tangent: Being thin does not automatically make you beautiful.

Did you know God created you? When you hate the way you look or hate on yourself you are hating on a creation God made. Now this is nothing against plastic surgery, at all, but I find it sad when a seven year old girl needs surgery on her ears because the bullying is out of hand. I get how important looks are in this world, but if you are doing surgery to change your life, then I think you need to re-look at why you are doing it.

No matter what state your body is in I fully believe (and see) where telling it that it is beautiful is beneficial. You may feel like the fattest blob this side of the century, but if you wake up every day, and tell yourself you're beautiful, you will start to believe it. What's even better you will start to act it. What you believe about yourself is what determines your choice. Remember you are the daughter of the King! He created you and He thinks you're beautiful! SO BELIEVE IT!

You Are So Beautiful
by Joe Cocker

Much Love,

Monday, May 30, 2011

Happy Memorial Day

As my pastor said yesterday this day is not about hamburgers and cookout (although it is a nice way to spend time with family), it is about remembering those who sacrificed and gave their lives for this incredible country.  I do not think there are enough words to express the gratitude to those individuals who have both served and sacrificed.  Thank you all.

Much Love,

The Warrior Song
by the Warrior Project

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Perfectionism & Letting Go

I don't know if there is a more frustrating person out there than the perfectionist.  The reason I say that is not only do I know a few, but I am one.  The perfectionist demands perfection from themselves and usually those around them, the problem is not just that people let them down, but worse, they let themselves down.  And so the vicious cycle continues.

I have learned that I do myself no favors by being this way. The only perfect thing in this world is Jesus, NOT ME. Although sometimes I fancy myself I am I know for a fact I'm not.  BEING PERFECT IS NEVER REQUIRED, not even by God.  Especially by God.  Making a mistake is not the end of the world (unless you're in charge of the nuclear war codes, then please double check.)

Do you want to know the best part of making a mistake? And yes there is one.  You learn compassion - for yourself and others.  When you are able to let mistakes go you feel your whole body relax.  Now, I will be full out honest and tell you my default settings are set to maximum freak out.  Not freaking out for me is a learned behavior .  One I still learn.

My first lesson in this is to keep my panic to myself.  If you freak out, everyone else freaks out too.  My next step is to take a deep breath and gather my thoughts.  (The little suckers like to run rampant and I can't catch one long enough to make a good decision.)

If it is something I have to make a quick decision on I pray and then I go to the closest trusted person (or call them if necessary). I explain the situation, and sometimes venting or using someone else will give me perspective, and allow me to make a more clear headed decision.

If it doesn't require immediate decision I take a walk.  I pray when I do this because God is not only an excellent sounding board, but with prayer God will often direct me.  Giving yourself  space and time can never be underestimated.

What I'm also learning is that the more I let go the easier it is.  When you treat people right and are honest most people are willing to give you a break (especially if you can fix the issue quickly).  Of course you will always run into those jerks who won't, but really you have to let that go (I'm really talking to myself here too!).

For those of you like me it can be tough, but you will be so much better off if you can let it go.

Snow (Hey Oh)
by: Red Hot Chili Peppers

Much Love,

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

The Storms

Not much of a post today, had several tornadoes surrounding me last night, but PRAISE BE TO GOD, He kept me and my family safe.  For those who are hurting and those who are blessed I have a song I listen to regardless of the situation.

by J. Moss

Much Love,

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Going Through Hell

Not only so, but we also glory in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope. And hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured out into our hearts through the Holy Spirit, who has been given to us. Romans 5:3-5 (NIV)

"If you're going through hell, keep on going." - Winston Churchill
This can at many times, be the hardest thing. Especially when the tough time has been going on for a long time.

And when you are in the middle of it your thoughts usually go to: I WANT TO QUIT THIS! You are not alone in this thought process. However, please don't quit.

I know you've been praying and it seems God doesn't hear you, but He does! He really does. When you're at your wits end, and you don't know what to do - Go to bed. Or watch a movie, read a book, read your Bible, go for a walk, whatever it is, but some activity to get your mind off your current situation. God gives you all the grace you need, and as Pastor Paul says, if you don't think you can go on, go to bed, you'll get new grace tomorrow.

Often the hardest thing to hear from God is nothing. But please don't take that to mean God is nothing. But please don't take that to mean God is not moving or working on your behalf. Always pray before you make a move, because you do not want to do anything unless God is prompting you. I'll do a whole devotional on how to know when God is moving in your life, but for the time have others pray with you.

I know this can be difficult, I've been there many times myself, but it will pass. Until then I'll give you my secret weapon: Motown

Higher & Higher
by Jackie Wilson

Much Love,

Monday, May 23, 2011

How To: SEO Part II

SEO Content:

Content is what you say, and more importantly, how you say it. Not only does what you what you write need to be keyword rich, but it needs to make sense, and be concise.

Side Note: For the love of Pete, do NOT put keywords in a jumble then make it white. Google is on to you and will ping you for this.

Think about you as a reader and what you'll invest in reading, or more precise the person who hates reading, and that is who you should keep in mind as your audience. Content, and how you say it really does matter.

If you are a bad writer, pay someone. Most people leave within thirty seconds of arriving at your site. You can help keep them there by having something interesting to say. Make sure your content is both what they are looking for and engaging. You'll retain your viewers, and hopefully have them click on something besides the back button.

A great site to look at this is CommXTech.

Any questions please ask.

Much Love,

Friday, May 20, 2011

Friday Fun

I hope you all have had a fabulous week.  On Sunday I got to see Bridesmaid, it was hilarious!  It is raunchy, but ridiculously funny.  More than anything I'm just really tired.  Even my mother commented about how I don't talk much anymore and considering how much I usually talk that is a big deal!

Anyway, here are my weekly finds:

Recipe to Try: Salted Chocolate Covered Fluffer Nutter Wafers

Favorite Tweeter of the Week: Gary Sinise (I love this guy!)

Favorite Video/Song of the Week:
I'm not a huge Haley/Damon fan.  Give me Haley/Dean or Haley/Jax, but the video by gaby0189 is amazing and the song is phenomenal.

Salted Skin

by Ellie Goulding

Favorite Day This Week:  Sunday.  I went to church, the weather was perfect, I went and saw Bridesmaids with Shas and had a fabulous time, and then I went to the church picnic.  I also saw the new Law & Order: Criminal Intent.  It was just a picture perfect, beautiful day!

What was your favorite day?

Much Love,

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Irony & the Rolling Stones

Ironically I just told this story to one of my new co-workers, so I will try to tell you just as effectively and quickly for this Thursday Life Application. You might not know, so I'm going to tell you that I do not have a favorite band, I do however, have a Permanent Top 3. These do not change and effectively are in the slot for #1 at any given moment. Those bands are: The Rolling Stones, The Who, and the Foo Fighters. I tell you this because one of those band's infamous song is the reason for this post. And why I think irony likes me:

A few years ago life was not as idyllic as I might have liked. I was splitting from my best friend at the time, and I was unsure as to why. (I would later find out, but that is neither here nor there.) So, in misery because I was losing a friend, and unsure of anything I poured my heart out to God, in the bathroom, listing out what exactly I wanted. As soon as I was done I turned the radio on and through the speakers came the old familiar tune, "You can't always get what you want. You can't always get what you want. You can't always get what you want, but if you try sometimes, you'll find, you get what you need."

I was not amused.

In fact I felt slightly insulted by the song, and did not think it was funny at all. Fast forward a few days later and my mom and I were in the car. I was once again lamenting to her about the best friend drama and told her of my story. Right after I finished telling her again that tune came on. "You can't always get what you want. You can't always get what you want. You can't always get what you want, but if you try sometimes, you'll find, you get what you need."

My mother laughed.

I did not.

However, as time has gone on from this moment I can tell you the words sung by the ever cool Mick Jagger, are true. You can't always get what you want, but God will always make sure that you get what you need. Now sometimes it may seem that He is being slow on it, but He will come through his time.

And as someone who has just come through a storm, I can tell you that sometimes, God will give you what you want. (If it is within his will and pleasure to do so.)

You Can't Always Get What You Want
by the Rolling Stones

Much Love,

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Media Fun

For Media Wednesday I have two fun videos.

The first is how we got Cntrl+Alt+Delete.  You can read the whole thing here. But I highly suggest you watch the fun video below (Bill Gates doesn't it find it funny, but everyone else does.)

This video I thought was beautiful.  I love this song.  Reminds me of Hawaii and Batman Forever (the one with Val Kilmer).  Oh yes.

Kiss From A Rose
by: Seal

Much Love,

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Devotional: Humor

A joyful heart is good medicine, but a crushed spirit dries up the bones. Proverbs 17:22 (NIV)
He will yet fill your mouth with laughter, and your lips with shouting. Job 8:21 (NIV)
Is there anything better than a good laugh?  One that makes your sides hurt and tears run down your eyes?  For whatever reason, I've noticed, many of us forget to laugh with God.  As my pastor once said (most conveniently after I had prayed and asked God if He had a sense of humor - I was in the 8th grade) "If you don't think God has a sense of humor, look in the mirror."

Jesus came to give us an abundant life and humor is very much a part of that.  I know that with financial difficulties, bad health, bad drivers - especially, it can be hard to remember the humor of things.  But I want to encourage you to laugh.  For today's devotional, while unconventional (hey that's me!) I have listed some of the funniest movies I can think of.
  1. Young Frankenstein - not suitable for young kids, but mostly innuendo that goes over their heads.
  2. Princess Bride - inconceivable, I know!
  3. Move Over, Darling - "What idiot would do that?"  "You did sir."  "Oh, strike that last statement from the record."
  4. Tangled or Cars - either is hilarious and perfect for any age
  5. The Money Pitt - Cause you can easily see how you could be there

Cupcakes & Ponies
Steve Byrne

* one small word problem, still funny.

Much Love,

Monday, May 16, 2011

How To: Quick SEO Breakdown Part I

This post is for those of you not familiar with how websites work or how does Google display your site.

What is SEO?

SEO stands for Search Engine Optimization.  So what does that mean?  When you type into Google, 'green necklace' a list of websites come up, all selling green necklaces. (Hopefully)

How man websites do you click through to find a green necklace?  Most people, the first five.  If you are in search of something specific, the first page.

Now think how many jewelry and costume jewelry stores there are.  More than ten right?  So how do those stores make sure they are on the first page and in the top spots?  SEO.


What you enter in Google to search on is a keyword.  Believe it or not all SEO revolves around keywords, the right keywords.

There are many approaches to this, but the one I've found works best is knowing what you want to be most known for.  Cookie recipes? Green Necklaces?  Light bulb dog collars?  Whatever it is when people say or see that keyword it should be synonymous with you.  Once that one keyword is established pick four other keyword runner ups (hey, they did their best) and you've established a goal.

There will be more next week, but I'll let you digest this, or dismiss it if you already know it.

by Armchair Cynics

Much Love,

Saturday, May 14, 2011

Life Application: Confessing

Want to know something?  This is a lesson God has personally given me.  I first heard it weeks ago in an Andy Stanley message, and the minute I heard it... conviction.

(Side Note: Before I go further this is lesson I learned is not for everyone.  I can tell you that when you grow in Christ every time you've completed a lesson, so to speak, a new one will come along.  After all we are never going to be perfect this side of heaven, so know you'll always be learning.  However, each of us have different lessons and different combinations, so this might not come to you, but it certainly came to me.)

Therefore confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous person is powerful and effective. James 5:15 (NIV)

I'll admit to you now I have one area in my life where I really struggle. The basics of what God is teaching me is that the sin strong hold I am under needs to be treated like an addiction, because in a way it is.

The first step for me was confessing I had a sin strong hold.  (It isn't something that hurts anyone else, and physically it doesn't hurt me, but it does hurt me spiritually.)  And then prayer.  I've prayed about it often, and although it is better it is not gone.

Hence we have the second step: Confession.  My first confession is it is a secret sin.  One I've never told anyone.  All because I am embarrassed to do so.  However, because I've heard this lesson over three times now, I know I need to do so.  I'm in prayer as to who to tell. My mother is probably my best choice, but... well you see my dilemma.

So I'm not sure how much of a life application this is since I haven't done it yet, but I want you know to know that if you are struggling with something God has asked you to do, you are not alone.

by One Republic

(PS: Today was SO MUCH BETTER than yesterday!  I had a wonderful day!!)

Much Love,

Fun Friday Finds

Well when blogger went down it screwed up my posts, so I'm trying to catch up.  Not to mention it has been a little weird this week trying to get everything together since I've started a new job, but I'll get a rhythm down eventually.  In the mean time this is what I've found:

New Recipe to Try: Summertime Strawberry Lemonade Scones by Sugar Plum (Emily)

Favorite Twitter User: American Hypocrite

Favorite Day of the Week: Thursday & Friday.  I finally got some confidence in what I was doing.  Obviously I'm still learning, but I felt much better about the new job.  Even though I miss doing my own thing all day, I'll be back to being a full time self employer soon enough.

Favorite Video or Song:

Ride My See Saw
by the Moody Blues

Such a great song. :D

Have a great weekend everyone!!!

Much Love,

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Devotional: Dealing with Fear

"I sought the Lord and He answered me, and delivered me from all my fears." (Psalm 34:4 NIV)
I don't think there is any other emotion that we have that can strike us to move faster or stand completely still.  The above verse is my favorite, because when fear strikes, and it strikes more often for me than I care to admit, I say this verse.  I have also, received more peace, and I'll gladly admit that, when I say this verse.

Today I started my new job.  My trainer left for the afternoon and I had only been with her for less than two hours!  So, that left me answer the phones... massive, and well deserved panic.

Then I did what I always do when I'm in an unfamiliar place tasked with unfamiliar functions... I ran to the bathroom... okay maybe not (but I never underestimate the power of a well placed bathroom break) I prayed the above.
“Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.” Matthew 11:28-30 (NIV)
With Jesus we are not fear or be anxious about anything, and as someone who gets anxious about most things I fully understand how hard this command can be.  So for you, who like me, suffer from this ailment, and would like to stop I suggest the following:
  1. PRAY - do this first.
    (Remember to breathe while you are doing so.)
  2. PRAY - do this second.
    (Remember: Greater is He who is in ME than he who is in the world.)
  3. PRAY - do this third.
    (Remember: God did not give us a spirit of fear.)
So, how did it go for me.  One of the worst days.  It was so surreal and I have a ridiculous headache, but I'm okay.  I will figure this out and for only having less than two hours of training and having absolutely no clue about any of it, I think I did well. 

Voice of Truth
by Casting Crowns

(Because it bares repeating.)

Much Love,

Monday, May 9, 2011

How To: 5 for Branding

Quick Note: If you don't want to read the last post, What Did Joseph Think, I understand, the sum up is that I have a new job!  However, I'm not giving up on my current business, so if you have a calculator or know how to count on fingers and toes, that is two jobs.  I might have to modify my schedule on here, but there will be one.

1. What is your purpose in branding?

Why are you starting a blog, why are you starting a business, or side project?  There has to be reason to do it, and passion to sustain you.  To be fair when I started this blog I had lots of time, through a series of life changes I have slowly lost that time.  However, learn from my failings and do better, but please have purpose.

2. Create a Name

If you want your name to be your brand, then congratulations you are already done.  However, if it is a blog or business then you need to come up with a unique name.

3. Grab all the Web Real Estate You Can

Once you've determined your name, now you need to see if that name is available.  You can look up on google, or on a WhoIs Look Up, which will tell you if the name is available.  DO NOT look up on GoDaddy or Network Solutions.  Once they know someone is interested they can jump the price up.

From there I suggest going after social media.  You'll want your name on Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, Linked In, Blogger, etc. Whatever can have your name you want to grab it on the social media's while you can.

4. Invest in a good social media control panel. 

I know Twitter bought TweetDeck, but I still recommend it.  Except for your blog posts it is one application for all your social media.  However if you are not going to keep up with your social media don't do it.  People are let down by dates that are more than two weeks old.  If they see inconsistency it worries them and their trust in you is shaky.

5. Have Fun.

The whole purpose of this is to grow yourself or business, and you need to enjoy it.  If you hate it, then why bother?  Sure it can get a little straining at times, but that's to be expected.  So have fun and enjoy.

One Track Mind, One Track Heart
by: Marina & the Diamonds

Much Love,

Thursday, May 5, 2011

What Did Joseph Think?

Author's Note: This has been written over a two week period.

Quick Point: If you haven't had any struggles in your life, or things have pretty much always gone your way what I'm about to say is not for you.  However, if you've done everything you know to do and you're worse off than you've been this is for you.

I have had to pray for encouragement for the past few months and much more intensely for the past few weeks.  Financially, personally, spiritually, politically, drivingly (I know not a word, but I was on a role)...  Lets just there isn't a realm that hasn't been affected (or is it effected?  I get this wrong nearly every time, I'm sorry!! - I don't like be grammatically incorrect, but I'm really bad at it.).

The worst has been my finances.  I do everything I know to do: I tithe, I pray, I study the Word, and still it is in such a dire state that the actual thought of it could bring me to tears... so I gloss over it.  A week or so I was to the point of no longer being sad or upset, but downright furious.  Everything irritated me.  In fact one night I went to Keni's house and told her that I was at the end of my rope, and all I wanted to do was swear.  I wanted to use the f-word like no one's business because it represented my frustration and anger over a situation I can't seem to have any control over.

I refrained for her.  I did not refrain for my mother when she asked what was wrong.  After my spilling of all that was going on, of all the failures (and my seeming anti-Midas touch where everything I touch seems to go to crap), I said I was mad at the world.  Then she asked me if I was mad at the world or at God?

The truth is I was mad at God.  I didn't want to be. I don't want to be a petulant child unable to have the "faith" to go through this without complaint.  However, I couldn't lie to myself or to God and I was angry.  Deeply angry.  It isn't like this problem just suddenly manifested itself and has only been going on a few weeks, months, or days.  No, it has been going on for YEARS.  And it seems no matter what I do it doesn't get better.  I have faith God can do anything, but it has seemed, especially the last two years, that He has some how forgotten me.

I know that's not true, but in the hardest moments, especially the last few weeks when it all was so unrelenting that is how it felt.  Last week I started making it a daily prayer.  And I want to tell you God has delivered.  My circumstances are just as depressing as they ever were, but He has given me the peace and encouragement I needed.

Last week I found out I didn't get a job I had interviewed for.  While slightly upsetting I mourned the money more than the job itself.  However, it didn't upset me nearly as much as it could.  At the exact moment I got the call I was reading the wonderful news that Shas was having a boy!  Plus with all the people praying for me if I didn't get the job it was because God didn't want me to have it.

At the same time I was able to put a two month deferment on my student loans, which although I know all about the problems with that, it is a blessing for me.  So, even though I only made $3 (all gifts) it was okay.  It was really okay.  Then I made a radical change, one that I've been trying to implement for some time.  As the saying goes, "Money makes a wonderful servant, but a bad master."

I no longer wanted my money to be my master.  It certainly is necessary to every day living, but at the same time the way it can cause such stress is, for lack of a better word, stressful.  After this epiphany I tithed one of my dollars.  There.  To be honest it was hard (I now only had $2), but the longer I thought about it the better I felt.

On Monday it was pouring. It was blissfully cool (54 degrees), and rainy.  My radio doesn't work most of the time, so I was listening to my MP3 when I started to skip past "King of Glory" by Third Day.  Then I thought, no, I'm going to praise God.  No matter what, He will see me through this.

Before the chorus began my phone rang.  It was the guy I had interviewed with asking me if I was still interested in the job.  I most certainly was....

A few days later I want you to know I start on Monday.

I want you to know, if you are in that spot now, if it is hard and you're thinking, that's great for her, but what about me?  I do know how you feel, and I do want you to be encouraged that it will get better if you know Jesus.

Thank you for those of you who have been praying for me.  They have blessed me and I'm truly grateful.

King of Glory
by Third Day

Much Love,

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Devotional: Encouragement

I apologize for not getting yesterday's post out.  Exciting day, but it didn't give me much of a chance to be here.  Today's devotional isn't really any new in insight, but I think it is something that we don't give or get as much as we should.

"For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future." Jeremiah 29:11

I want you to know that if you are going through a rough time that it will get better.  I know it might not seem like it, I truly do, but it will get better.

I want you to know that if you are not feeling like you are looking your best that you are beautiful.  I realize that you might not look like a supermodel, in fact you are what some would call the dreaded "fat" word, but you are beautiful.  Absolutely beautiful.

I want you to know that if you are struggling to be a better person, or turn your life around you will.  The very fact you care to do so and are taking the time to do it means the most.  Keep it up and one day you will be that person that you want to be and Jesus wants you to be.

I love you all!

Voice of Truth
by Casting Crowns

Much Love,

Monday, May 2, 2011

How To: Twitter

When things are constantly changing you are constantly learning.  The reason I tell you this is that what I state today may change down the road, but I hope to provide some basic guide lines and knowledge for the social medias listed below.

If you are blogging and building up your brand in blogging then I firmly believe you need to establish your name across all social media forums.  However, each one should be handled differently.  Today I'm going to focus on Twitter because it is my favorite, because its purpose is to share information and links 140 bite piece at a time. News links, opinions, short thoughts, photo snapshots are best used for Twitter.

Basic Twitter Tools:

A mention is when someone includes you in their post.  When someone "mentions" you they will have @yourusername in their tweet.

This is where someone mentioned me:

When this happens the best thing to do (within reason) is respond.  Whatever you feel the best response is.  When you respond to your mention you do a reply, which then puts the user who mentioned you into your tweet. 

To reply you can use the reply button which you see above.  Replying automatically puts the other user

Here is what it would look like when you are replying:
As you can tell I would be responding to Jerry Bruckheimer.  By replying or responding to someone tweets you start to really build up your social network.

The whole point of social media is to be social, so being engaging with people is important.


Sometimes the people you follow are hilarious or have a poignant message and you want to share this.  To do this all you have to do is a re-tweet.
Gary Sinise re-tweeted me.  Great day!  Re-tweet is easy.  Sometimes people will even re-tweet you.


When you favorite a tweet it is a way to keep track of those tweet that you really like.  It could be because of the message, or the link, or whatever other reason you wish to keep it in a list.

Direct Message:

This is the private message of Twitter.  If you wish to send a private message to someone on Twitter you do it by Direct Message.

Basic Twitter Lingo:


Hastags are anything you put a # in front of.  You can put anything after the #, if you want to be trending you can put specific keywords after.


Trending is when you and many other twitter users are using a specific phrase or keyword so that you can find or follow information.  The two most famous on Twitter are #ff and #musicmonday.
#ff or #FollowFriday

When you put this hashtag in your tweet you will then proceed to put user names into the tweet. This lets those who follow you know the cool people you are following.  If you follow certain tweeters who have great content, great tweets, and you really like then on Friday put those people into a tweet.

#ff @northparknow @GarySinise @michellemalkin @BethanyJoyGaleotti @backdoralora @waitmel


This one I use a lot because I'm always listening to music.

"Timshel" by Mumford & Sons and "Brother Louie" by Stories for #musicmonday

Twitter Apps
I use TweetDeck.  I can see all the people I follow, my mentions, my DMs, keywords I'm following.  There is HootSuite, but I like TweetDeck because you can also add your Facebook, Linked In, and other Social Media all in one place.  And if you have several Twitter accounts or Facebook accounts you can keep it all organized there.

If you have any suggestions please comment. I love to learn and do so constantly, but for those of you new to Twitter or thinking about joining I hope this helped.

Much Love,