Archive | Inspiring

LOVE THREADS

Welcome to LOVE THREADS. A mom-made boutique created while Eleanor was still inside mommy’s tummy. The shops very first click happened in Vero Beach, Florida where we had gone on the wings of a prayer and the hopes of a miracle happening. The miracle happened, (one of many too come) and we were blessed with a little girl. Today, LOVE THREADS is a flourishing boutique offering contemporary women’s clothing and accessories. The inspiration for this post is to share some of the behind the scenes activities that drive the entrepreneurial spirit of this amazing woman.

https://shoplovethreads.com/collections/women

(Girls support girls tee available here)

Showcasing a few new arrivals to the store, hundreds of hours are spent filling orders, updating the sight, working on emails and social media all while being a mom and providing a fun loving, stable and secure home for Eleanor.

https://shoplovethreads.com/collections/women

(Alden pant available here)

Being a business owner is a twenty four hour job, but if you love what you do you never work a day in your life. The rewards of creating a successful business, (from scratch) is the confidence that anything is possible. The greatest sense of accomplishment derives from overcoming the challenges that stand in the way of your dreams.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Filed under: Art, Fashion, Inspiring, Life, Sale

A Day At Disneyland

Eleanor turned four this month, and Disneyland was what her heart desired. Seeing the expressions on her face when she met Mickey Mouse, and her favorites characters were priceless. Join us for a fun filled day at the “happiest place on earth.”

Our first stop was Toontown, where Pluto greeted us. Pluto, also called Pluto the Pup, is a cartoon dog created in 1930 at Walt Disney Productions. Walt was inspired to create Disney’s top dog by remembering the personable pooches he met while living on the farm in his childhood home of Marceline, Missouri. Ever since Pluto has, as Walt put it, been “working hard and trying, but usually not succeeding, in staying out of trouble.” Pluto is Mickey’s pet.

Meeting Alice was Eleanor’s favorite experience. Alice in Wonderland is a 1951 American animated musical fantasy-adventure film produced by Walt Disney Productions and based on the Alice books by Lewis Carroll. The 13th of Disney’s animated features, the film premiered in New York City and London on July 26, 1951. The Mad Hatter wished Eleanor the happiest of birthdays.

A day at the Magic Kingdom is not enough time to see all Disneyland has to offer, but we made the most of it. “It’s a Small World,” walking with the “Beast,” meeting “Snow White, Rapunzel, Cinderella, and Minnie Mouse,” riding in the tea cups, pictures, popcorn and souvenirs made this the best day ever!

If you have a Disneyland experience to share feel free to share in the comments.

 

 

 

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Filed under: Children, Cool things, Family, Holiday, Inspiring, Travel, Uncategorized

JOINING THE TEAM

I am so excited to announce that I will be a contributing member of the goodnewssantabarbara.com team. My excitement comes from finally making the decision, and following through with the action, to invest my time and effort into the dream we envisioned when Good News Santa Barbara initially launched in 2014.

Our mission is to provide a space where we can share who and what inspires us as parents, partners, and individuals.

Please reach out to us, leave comments, contact us personally with anything that intrigues and inspires you.

Here are a few pics from our day on Stearns Wharf. We enjoyed a great lunch at Long Boards Grill.

 

A couple of happy campers

A unique and interesting attraction on the wharf is the Ty Warner Sea Center.

The Harbor Restaurant and Santa Barbara Shellfish Company are great dining experiences.

Eleanor is on her way to lil’ ninjas, karate for kids class at Martial Arts Family Fitness. We love the fun, learning atmosphere.

In the year we’ve attended we have observed Eleanor build a strong body, a disciplined mind, and a resilient spirit. Courtesy, Integrity, Perseverance, Self Control, and an Indomitable Spirit are the school tenets.

Your first class is free.

Check them out!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Filed under: Art, Children, Cool things, Culture, Family, Food, Friends, Home, Humor, Inspiring, Life, Local, Outside, Photography, Serenity, Travel

New arrivals!

Fall is fast approaching, and we are gearing up with a few new arrivals at Love Threads.  Also, keep an eye out for an upcoming handbag line that we will be talking about on here.  You won’t want to miss out!  If you are in Santa Barbara, you will have a chance to meet the designer.  Fun stuff, and we will keep you posted.

Until then, here are a few new items at Love Threads…

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Filed under: Fashion, Inspiring, Jewelry

spaces

I’m a big believer in “how a space feels.”  I like clean, white spaces.  Our home now isn’t white like I would love, but it is definitely clean and has an open feel about it.  Unfortunately, the walls are cream, with white trim.  It works, and is fine for now, until we have a place all of our own.  Here are some inspirational spaces that I really enjoy…

space collageliving room, dining room, kitchen, bedroom, bathroom

You can follow me on Pinterest here.

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Filed under: Home, Inspiring

kindness

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I came across something the other day on one of my favorite blogs, and wanted to share…

The following is George Saunders graduation speech at Syracuse University this year, which was recently published in the New York Times.

Now, one useful thing you can do with an old person, in addition to borrowing money from them, or asking them to do one of their old-time “dances,” so you can watch, while laughing, is ask: “Looking back, what do you regret?”  And they’ll tell you.  Sometimes, as you know, they’ll tell you even if you haven’t asked.  Sometimes, even when you’ve specifically requested they not tell you, they’ll tell you.

So: What do I regret?  Being poor from time to time?  Not really.  Working terrible jobs, like “knuckle-puller in a slaughterhouse?”  (And don’t even ASK what that entails.)  No.  I don’t regret that.  Skinny-dipping in a river in Sumatra, a little buzzed, and looking up and seeing like 300 monkeys sitting on a pipeline, pooping down into the river, the river in which I was swimming, with my mouth open, naked?  And getting deathly ill afterwards, and staying sick for the next seven months?  Not so much.  Do I regret the occasional humiliation?  Like once, playing hockey in front of a big crowd, including this girl I really liked, I somehow managed, while falling and emitting this weird whooping noise, to score on my own goalie, while also sending my stick flying into the crowd, nearly hitting that girl?  No.  I don’t even regret that.

But here’s something I do regret:

In seventh grade, this new kid joined our class.  In the interest of confidentiality, her Convocation Speech name will be “ELLEN.”  ELLEN was small, shy.  She wore these blue cat’s-eye glasses that, at the time, only old ladies wore.  When nervous, which was pretty much always, she had a habit of taking a strand of hair into her mouth and chewing on it.

So she came to our school and our neighborhood, and was mostly ignored, occasionally teased (“Your hair taste good?” – that sort of thing).  I could see this hurt her.  I still remember the way she’d look after such an insult: eyes cast down, a little gut-kicked, as if, having just been reminded of her place in things, she was trying, as much as possible, to disappear.  After awhile she’d drift away, hair-strand still in her mouth.  At home, I imagined, after school, her mother would say, you know: “How was your day, sweetie?” and she’d say, “Oh, fine.”  And her mother would say, “Making any friends?” and she’d go, “Sure, lots.”

Sometimes I’d see her hanging around alone in her front yard, as if afraid to leave it.

And then – they moved.  That was it.  No tragedy, no big final hazing.

One day she was there, next day she wasn’t.

End of story.

Now, why do I regret that?  Why, forty-two years later, am I still thinking about it?  Relative to most of the other kids, I was actually pretty nice to her.  I never said an unkind word to her.  In fact, I sometimes even (mildly) defended her.

But still.  It bothers me.

So here’s something I know to be true, although it’s a little corny, and I don’t quite know what to do with it:

What I regret most in my life are failures of kindness. 

Those moments when another human being was there, in front of me, suffering, and I responded…sensibly.  Reservedly.  Mildly.

Or, to look at it from the other end of the telescope:  Who, in your life, do you remember most fondly, with the most undeniable feelings of warmth?

Those who were kindest to you, I bet.

It’s a little facile, maybe, and certainly hard to implement, but I’d say, as a goal in life, you could do worse than: Try to be kinder.

Now, the million-dollar question:  What’s our problem?  Why aren’t we kinder?

Here’s what I think:

Each of us is born with a series of built-in confusions that are probably somehow Darwinian.  These are: (1) we’re central to the universe (that is, our personal story is the main and most interesting story, the only story, really); (2) we’re separate from the universe (there’s US and then, out there, all that other junk – dogs and swing-sets, and the State of Nebraska and low-hanging clouds and, you know, other people), and (3) we’re permanent (death is real, o.k., sure – for you, but not for me).

Now, we don’t really believe these things – intellectually we know better – but we believe them viscerally, and live by them, and they cause us to prioritize our own needs over the needs of others, even though what we really want, in our hearts, is to be less selfish, more aware of what’s actually happening in the present moment, more open, and more loving.

So, the second million-dollar question:  How might we DO this?  How might we become more loving, more open, less selfish, more present, less delusional, etc., etc?

Well, yes, good question.

Unfortunately, I only have three minutes left.

So let me just say this.  There are ways.  You already know that because, in your life, there have been High Kindness periods and Low Kindness periods, and you know what inclined you toward the former and away from the latter.  Education is good; immersing ourselves in a work of art: good; prayer is good; meditation’s good; a frank talk with a dear friend;  establishing ourselves in some kind of spiritual tradition – recognizing that there have been countless really smart people before us who have asked these same questions and left behind answers for us.

Because kindness, it turns out, is hard – it starts out all rainbows and puppy dogs, and expands to include…well,everything.

One thing in our favor:  some of this “becoming kinder” happens naturally, with age.  It might be a simple matter of attrition:  as we get older, we come to see how useless it is to be selfish – how illogical, really.  We come to love other people and are thereby counter-instructed in our own centrality.  We get our butts kicked by real life, and people come to our defense, and help us, and we learn that we’re not separate, and don’t want to be.  We see people near and dear to us dropping away, and are gradually convinced that maybe we too will drop away (someday, a long time from now).  Most people, as they age, become less selfish and more loving.  I think this is true.  The great Syracuse poet, Hayden Carruth, said, in a poem written near the end of his life, that he was “mostly Love, now.”

And so, a prediction, and my heartfelt wish for you: as you get older, your self will diminish and you will grow in love.  YOU will gradually be replaced by LOVE.   If you have kids, that will be a huge moment in your process of self-diminishment.  You really won’t care what happens to YOU, as long as they benefit.  That’s one reason your parents are so proud and happy today.  One of their fondest dreams has come true: you have accomplished something difficult and tangible that has enlarged you as a person and will make your life better, from here on in, forever.

Congratulations, by the way.

When young, we’re anxious – understandably – to find out if we’ve got what it takes.  Can we succeed?  Can we build a viable life for ourselves?  But you – in particular you, of this generation – may have noticed a certain cyclical quality to ambition.  You do well in high-school, in hopes of getting into a good college, so you can do well in the good college, in the hopes of getting a good job, so you can do well in the good job so you can….

And this is actually O.K.  If we’re going to become kinder, that process has to include taking ourselves seriously – as doers, as accomplishers, as dreamers.  We have to do that, to be our best selves.

Still, accomplishment is unreliable.  “Succeeding,” whatever that might mean to you, is hard, and the need to do so constantly renews itself (success is like a mountain that keeps growing ahead of you as you hike it), and there’s the very real danger that “succeeding” will take up your whole life, while the big questions go untended.

So, quick, end-of-speech advice: Since, according to me, your life is going to be a gradual process of becoming kinder and more loving: Hurry up.  Speed it along.  Start right now.  There’s a confusion in each of us, a sickness, really: selfishness.  But there’s also a cure.  So be a good and proactive and even somewhat desperate patient on your own behalf – seek out the most efficacious anti-selfishness medicines, energetically, for the rest of your life.

Do all the other things, the ambitious things – travel, get rich, get famous, innovate, lead, fall in love, make and lose fortunes, swim naked in wild jungle rivers (after first having it tested for monkey poop) – but as you do, to the extent that you can, err in the direction of kindness.  Do those things that incline you toward the big questions, and avoid the things that would reduce you and make you trivial.  That luminous part of you that exists beyond personality – your soul, if you will – is as bright and shining as any that has ever been.  Bright as Shakespeare’s, bright as Gandhi’s, bright as Mother Theresa’s.  Clear away everything that keeps you separate from this secret luminous place.  Believe it exists, come to know it better, nurture it, share its fruits tirelessly.

And someday, in 80 years, when you’re 100, and I’m 134, and we’re both so kind and loving we’re nearly unbearable, drop me a line, let me know how your life has been.  I hope you will say: It has been so wonderful.

 

You can see the full speech here, in the New York Times.

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Filed under: Inspiring, Life

remaining grateful

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Sometimes in life you have to take a step back, and pause…

I often get so caught up in life, that I forget to take time to remember the small things that I should remain/be grateful for.  It’s so easy to go about your day by day activities, and get completely absorbed in miniscule distractions.

Today, I have to change my thinking so my mind stays focused and my head doesn’t spin.  Today, I have to self-care and get healthy.  Today, I have to live life to the fullest.

I’m grateful for the beautiful ocean I live by.

I’m grateful for the roof over my head.

I’m grateful for my loving and supporting husband.

I’m grateful for my loving family and friends.

I’m grateful for red lipstick.

I’m grateful for records, and how happy music makes me.

I’m grateful to be alive and breathing.

Remember, don’t take each day for granted, take it as a gift.

Be grateful!

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“Let gratitude be the pillow upon which you kneel to say your nightly prayer. And let faith be the bridge you build to overcome evil and welcome good.”
―  Maya Angelou

I love these pictures of such an inspiring soul.  Chloe has a very similar past as mine, and has found a life full of happiness and spirituality.  She is such an inspiration.

On another note these guys make me smile…

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Filed under: Inspiring, Life, Serenity

lost pictures from mexico

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I came across these beautiful photos from Mexico, that my husband snapped while we were there, a while back.  I don’t know how they got lost, but now they’re found.  I miss this place.    A place where your everyday life is easy and simple, and smiling faces is all you see.  You read, eat and sleep, and that’s about it.  I like that life.   I like simple.   I like smiling faces.  Some days I wish I could close my eyes, say “poof”, and I’m back there.  But for now we have these amazing pictures to look at, and DREAM!

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Filed under: Inspiring, Travel

the neshama project

I don’t know Rachelle Tratt personally, but I admire her from afar through her beautiful Instagram,  blog, and of course her beautiful hamsa necklaces.  She’s on a spiritual journey that captivates you through her story and pictures, and how peaceful and serene her life is.  She started The Neshama Project, the mission is to have a hamsa as a support, to the people and organizations making a difference in the world today, and making the world a happier, brighter place.  I’m only giving you a synopsis of her story, which sounds similar to mine in many ways, and many I know.  Head over to her website to read more, and check out her beautiful necklaces.  Oh, and every purchase made from the The Neshama Project, they will donate towards your choice of Innovation Africa or Zeno Mountain Farm.It’s people like Rachelle that make the world a happier, better place.

Here is a little video of Rachelle.  She is a gem.
Vault- The Neshama Project from VAULT on Vimeo.

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Filed under: Beauty, Inspiring, Serenity

Weekend Shenanigans

Hope everyone had a wonderful weekend!  We were busy, good busy.  The mister was working all weekend, but I was playing.  the weather was gorgeous.  I got to celebrate a friend’s birthday, attend a tea and crumpet gathering,  a fabulous dinner at this place, and go to the beach.

This was my first time going to a tea and crumpet party.  Crumpets, which are a mix between a pancake and an english muffin, are pretty darn good.  If you’d like to try them, you can purchase already made ones, at trader Joe’s.  They’re pretty much a carb overload, but, who doesn’t love that!  I was also part of a very special celebration this weekend, for a very special lady.  So proud of you, Stephanie.  Then Sunday rolled around, and it was time to hit the beach for a little r&r.  So we gathered some folks together and made a fun day out of it.  Thanks, friends.

I feel so grateful to be surrounded by such amazing people, today.  Who knew life could be this good!

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Filed under: Family, Friends, Gifts, Inspiring, Life, Local, Uncategorized