Necklace and Scarf Organization

Hello my loves. It has been a busy Spring for me so far. I am beginning my Spring cleaning and organization hull all over my house. Recently, I hosted a Premier Designs jewelry party and I received A LOT of free jewelry for selling so much. Almost too much… because I already had a lot of jewelry and when I added this is, I had no idea where I was going to put it all.

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I am so OCD, having no where to put all my jewelry was driving me insane. So just like in solving many conundrums I come across in life, I headed to Pinterest (as any pinning addict would do) to see what kind of inspiration I could draw up for this organization problem.

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Without question, there were thousands of ideas on how to organize your jewelry. Everything from fancy decorated cork boards, to home made jewelry boxes. I found an interesting idea of taking a towel rack and using shower curtain hooks in the “S” shape to hang your jewelry on. I began to online window shop for nice looking towel racks. I looked on several big box store’s websites but all the racks I found were either not pretty enough for this project, too big or too pricey. Then I thought, where do I usually go for all my crafty fun? HOBBY LOBBY! I went on Hobby Lobby’s website and low & behold there were really nice looking towel racks (in the clearance section too). I found these gorgeous ones for only $5.99 a piece and they were only about 17″ wide. It was perfect for what I was trying to accomplish.

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HOW ADORABLE IS THAT AND CHEAP TOO! I did not find any shower curtain hooks on Hobby Lobby’s website so I made a quick trip down to my local Dollar General to look in their bath section. I did not like the idea of the “S” shaped hooks because I am pretty clumsy and I did not want them falling off all the time. Therefore, I was looking for something that closed completely. AND BOY did I luck out and find some cute ones!

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The Dollar General in my neighborhood only had these in black and clear beads which I was okay with. I did not want something colorful because there would be enough colors when I hung my necklaces. I love these little hooks. They were so cheap and so cute! I nailed the towel rack to the wall beside my dresser, then hung up all my necklaces. This seriously turned out to be so classy looking and took hardly any effort.

End Result:

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With that being said, as most people that know me know that my absolute favorite accessory is a fashion scarf. Ohio weather is bi-polar so you never know when you may need an extra layer. Also, I travel a lot for work and scarves can double for a blanket and they spruce up any outfit. I just think adding a scarf to an outfit makes you look more sophisticated and put together. I never pay more than $5-$10 dollars max for the scarves in my collection. I find them on clearance racks or surplus scarf sales from my favorite retailers and I buy them in bulk on Black Friday when they are really cheap.

Up to this point, I had them all hanging on a small scarf hanger and random hangers which was really messy in my closet, they fell off a lot. In order to get a specific scarf or color I wanted it required taking all the scarves down and sorting through them. Nine times out of ten I did not have time to hang them back up right away either. (Again the OCD part of me HATED this!) Since the towel racks were so cheap from Hobby Lobby, I ended up buying three because I figured I could use them for something later at that cheap of a price. Unintentionally, when I was reorganizing my dresser/vanity (pictured above) I had one of my scarves sitting on top of it. I had a lightbulb moment – Why don’t I use the towel rack/shower hook combo for my scarves as well? It worked out so great! I had some extra wall space in my closet and the two racks fit perfectly on the perpendicular walls:

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I did not have very many curtain hooks left after I hung my necklaces, so I used them strictly on my infinity scarves/circular scarves (pictured on the back wall). Then I took all my regular scarves/straight scarves and tied them in a knot directly on the towel rack (pictured on the side wall).

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Pinterest is an OCD girls best friend. I could not have been any happier with the way this turned out. It was so effortless but now all of my necklaces and scarves look so classy and organized. I hope this inspires you to do some creative Spring cleaning and organizing. Pinterest is full of ideas. Make someone smile today! ❤ N.Sweet

Too Cute Tuesday 3-11-14

I don’t know about you but this time change has really kicked my butt this year. I am dragging today… so of course it is time for a Tuesday pick me up. If you haven’t watched this viral video today of the Little boy trying to convince his mom to let him have cupcakes for dinner, you are missing out. This little munchkin drives his point home. Three-year-old Mateo was videoed arguing with his mother, who he calls “Linda”. Mateo wanted a cupcake and went behind his mother’s back to his grandma. Sensing his argument is not going well, he begins sweet talking his mother by saying: “Linda, honey, honey” he says to his mother Linda Beltran, who manages to keep a straight face. He will make quite the little lawyer one day. Enjoy, this made me smile I hope it makes you smile today too! ❤ N

But really who could say no to this face? lol

‘Linda, honey,’ 3-year-old Mateo says in the hilarious video.

You’re giving WHAT up for Lent?!

Today is Ash Wednesday and the beginning of the Lenten season before Easter. So often I see people give things up for Lent because they feel they “have to” or “they want to see if they can endure it”. In a way, sometimes I feel people use Lent as was a way of getting people to pay attention to them. Newsflash! That is the opposite intent of Lent. I don’t think Jesus cares that you want to give up chocolate, coffee, cigarettes, beer or soda for Lent because you want attention, just want to see if you can do it and not doing it for a bigger purpose. Looking back over the years, I think the one thing that has annoyed and bothered me most about this whole topic was the perceived focus on what that individual was doing for Lent/was not doing for Lent, rather than what God is doing in their lives and the lives of those around them.

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According to Milton Brasher-Cunningham’s book “Keeping The Feast,” it explains the difference between a “habit” vs. “ritual.” Habit, he writes is repetition of a behavior that grows out of convenience, compliance, or “just because.” A ritual, however is best described as “meaningful repetition” – repeating those things that remind you who you are and Whose you are. I see so many people “giving up X, Y or Z for Lent” as habit, not meaningful action – and I’ll be honest I have been there before too. Once I understood the difference between a habit and a ritual, it was more clear to me that I was going about it all wrong. This was because I grew up having to “give something up” and I got used to going through the motions. I just wanted to point this out because it makes it a little more clear on realizing the greater purpose for what God wants from us this time of year.

Another thing that could add a little meaning to your Lenten season is to possibly adding something to your life instead of rather than “giving something up”. Pray more each day, do a devotional every day this Lent. Cut back on your work. Get more sleep. Take care of yourself better. Tell someone every day that they mean something to you and tell them why they matter. Volunteer. Give back. Do something good, not for the purpose of looking good or for public knowledge; do it because it is the right thing to do. C.S. Lewis once said “‘Integrity is doing the right thing, even when no one is watching. That is what this Lenten season is about.

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If your heart is really set on giving something up, why not give up something that is not a physical thing… What if you gave up not judging others? Or how about not judging yourself so much? What if you gave up putting the pressure on yourself to get everything done at once or to have it be done perfect every time? (Trust me nothing is perfect and that is how we learn and grow from mistakes). What if you stopped your negative thoughts about the world, or even negative thoughts you may having about yourself? Stop worrying so much… stop doubting so much… WHAT IF WE JUST DID NOT DO ALL OF THE ABOVE AND GAVE THAT UP FOR LENT?  How much better of a world this would be!

Please understand, if you are giving something physical up for Lent, I am in no way saying it is bad or wrong to do so. I just want to point out the the sense of growing as a person in the inside could be just as, if not more beneficial. Besides that, it just kind of makes me sad that people turn Lent into an excuse for diet plan or for a way to look at themselves with negative self image (the same reason I do not believe in New Year’s resolutions…. no better time than right now to make a better life).

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The truth is Lent is not about giving things up but instead is about slowing down, focusing your attention on where you have been in your life, where your life is right now and where you desire to be in the future.  It is about focusing on behaviors and having contemplation, examination and preparation and making positive changes in not only your life but those around you. Whether you are a Catholic, Christian or just participating in Lent because you want to – I pray that whatever you do or don’t do this Lenten season – as you prepare for Easter, you do it with a greater meaning, to make the world a better place for not only yourself but those around you and recognize that is the path you should be heading and where God wants you to be, regardless the time of year. Have a wonderful Ash Wednesday, make someone smile today and everyday this Lent. ❤ N

Spring Training is finally here!

Hello my loves, it has been over a month since my last post. I have to be honest with you, I have been plagued with the winter blues. I have not had the motivation to write much on here, not too much has sparked my blogging interest to share because like I said at the beginning, I only wanted to post meaningful things on here. This has been one long, bitter, cold winter. It has been one of the worst ones that I have seen in my entire life. So needless to say, I didn’t have much to blog about lately, until today…

This is one of my favorite weeks of the year. Not because Valentine’s Day is this week… IT IS FINALLY TIME FOR SPRING TRAINING! Truthfully, when it comes to baseball I could give a hoot about Valentine’s Day. Today, my favorite professional baseball team’s pitchers and catchers are reporting to Spring Training! Spring training typically lasts about six weeks and pitchers & catchers report to spring training first because pitchers benefit from a longer training period. A few days later, the position players arrive and team practice begins. I am so excited, this is basically like Christmas morning for me!

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In case you are still lost on what the heck Spring Training is, let me explain a little further: around this time of year members of a Major League Baseball organization head down south for a series of practices and exhibition games before the start of the regular season in April. This allows new players to try out for a spot on the roster and gives existing members on the roster some practice time prior to the regular season. Although spring training statistics are unofficial, teams still frequently use players’ spring training performances as a way of assigning starting roles and roster spots on the club. Stats are recorded during spring training games, but they are not combined with the listed statistics for regular season games. Spring training has always been a huge fan get away because it is held in warm climates. It gets fans excited because it means a new season is upon us and they can get a taste of what is yet to come (for their team and the weather lol).

It seems as though of all sports that we rave about Baseball is the one you can easily relate to. After a team gives you heartbreak in September/October, the cold winter sets in and you just can not wait for the yucky winter to be over (I don’t know about you, but this year especially I am ready for it to be over). You wait and countdown the new year and when Valentine’s Day rolls around pitchers and catchers start to report to Spring Training. Valentine’s Day is said to be one of the most romantic days of the year, is it irony that the team that broke your heart last fall starts to rebuild it back up with hope around that holiday? I think so. Opening day of baseball season begins in the spring, spring tends to signify warmth, new life or new beginnings after a long cold winter. There tends to be a youthfulness and purity about springtime. Spring time for baseball does the same thing, teams with disappointing prior seasons are reborn again. They have a new slate and a new opportunity to start over. Baseball season is finally here and I am pretty excited! Take me out the ballgame! Make someone smile today! ❤ N

(This is my excitement yay!)

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losing a loved one; waterbugs & dragonflies

My family lost one of our Matriarchs this past week and she will be laid to rest tomorrow. She was a beautiful soul, with a heart of gold and loved by many. Losing someone you love is the hardest thing anyone will ever have to go through. It never gets easier; old or young, sick with a terminal illness or an unexpected death. It doesn’t matter how it happens, it always hurts the same. Grief is an emotion like no other. You think you’re okay, you think you’re getting through the day, then all of the sudden grief taps you on the shoulder when you least expect it. When this happens to me, I close my eyes and open my heart and remind myself that Heaven needs more heroes and angels.

My Mom sent me an email this past year of a story she had read. Apparently it is a Children’s book about “How to Explain Death to Young Children”, but I am not a young child and it is one of those things that touched my heart dearly and it can teach you a lot over and over again. I wanted to share it with you today because my family is mourning and I know that it is something that can bring a little peace to your heart, as it did mine.

Waterbugs and Dragonflies 

by Doris Stickney

Down below the surface of a quiet pond lived a little colony of water bugs. They were a happy colony, living far away from the sun. For many months they were very busy, scurrying over the soft mud on the bottom of the pond. They did notice that every once in awhile one of their colony seemed to lose interest in going about. Clinging to the stem of a pond lily it gradually moved out of sight and was seen no more.

“Look!” said one of the water bugs to another. “One of our colony is climbing up the lily stalk. Where do you think she is going?” Up, up, up it slowly went….Even as they watched, the water bug disappeared from sight. Its friends waited and waited but it didn’t return…

“That’s funny!” said one water bug to another. “Wasn’t she happy here?” asked a second… “Where do you suppose she went?” wondered a third.

No one had an answer. They were greatly puzzled. Finally one of the water bugs, a leader in the colony, gathered its friends together. “I have an idea”. The next one of us who climbs up the lily stalk must promise to come back and tell us where he or she went and why.”

“We promise”, they said solemnly.

One spring day, not long after, the very water bug who had suggested the plan found himself climbing up the lily stalk. Up, up, up, he went. Before he knew what was happening, he had broken through the surface of the water and fallen onto the broad, green lily pad above.

When he awoke, he looked about with surprise. He couldn’t believe what he saw. A startling change had come to his old body. His movement revealed four silver wings and a long tail. Even as he struggled, he felt an impulse to move his wings… The warmth of the sun soon dried the moisture from the new body. He moved his wings again and suddenly found himself up above the water. He had become a dragonfly!

Swooping and dipping in great curves, he flew through the air. He felt exhilarated in the new atmosphere. By and by the new dragonfly lighted happily on a lily pad to rest. Then it was that he chanced to look below to the bottom of the pond. Why, he was right above his old friends, the water bugs! There they were scurrying around, just as he had been doing some time before.

The dragonfly remembered the promise: “The next one of us who climbs up the lily stalk will come back and tell where he or she went and why.” Without thinking, the dragonfly darted down. Suddenly he hit the surface of the water and bounced away. Now that he was a dragonfly, he could no longer go into the water…

“I can’t return!” he said in dismay. “At least, I tried. But I can’t keep my promise. Even if I could go back, not one of the water bugs would know me in my new body. I guess I’ll just have to wait until they become dragonflies too. Then they’ll understand what has happened to me, and where I went.”

And the dragonfly winged off happily into its wonderful new world of sun and air…

I just love that story! Every time I read it, it brings new meaning and my heart heals a little. It is not just for children, any adult can learn a lot from that simple but beautiful story. We sometimes do not know why they leave us when they do, but I believe in my heart one day you will know when your time has come. All you can do is think about the happy times you shared together, you can see them laughing and smiling and that is how you should always remember them.

As the old saying goes; life is so short, such a blink of the eye. Always take the time out of your day to tell the ones you love how important they are to you. You never know when it could be the last time you get to say it to them. You learn to appreciate what you have because of what you have lost. I believe God has a plan and it is hard to see the blueprints through your tears sometimes. When those who have died, are never really gone. They’re just waiting patiently for the day we can join them, just like the dragonflies are for the waterbugs. Love lasts forever. Smile today. ❤ N. Sweet

how to deal with cousin eddie

We all have that family member that you regrettably can only take in small doses… twice a year.. once a year… okay you just can’t take them at all. We all have a cousin Eddie from the movie Christmas Vacation in one way or another.

Whether your cousin Eddie is that opinionated grandparent who thinks they can say anything on their mind because well, they are old and earned the right to/that sibling who has to one up every single story you tell or accolade you have/the drunk uncle that passes out before dinner/the aunt who can’t control her kids and let’s them run, scream and annoy the daylights out of everyone… or the annoying cousin who parks his RV in front of your house and lets his snot-nosed dog run across the dining room table… My point is we all have a cousin Eddie in one shape or another and there are respectful ways to dealing with them so your holiday season is not full of grief and strife.

George Burns once said: “Happiness is having a large, loving, caring, close-knit family in another city.” – It is that wonderful time of year again where we will be undoubtedly be spending time with that special group of people that you may not really care to see outside of weddings and funerals. With that being said, it is just better to embrace it because there is no escaping the inevitable of having that annual visit with them.

There’s no way to control your cousin Eddie and chances are they may end up doing something or saying something you do not agree with or it may get under your skin. Nonetheless, the thing you can control is your reaction to them and or the situation. Having a little compassion this holiday season will go a long way. Yes, I know it is difficult to be the bigger person, especially when everything they say or do makes your blood boil… Change starts with you and if you try to understand where cousin Eddie is coming from and why their behavior is that way, then maybe you will feel a little less tense and angry. As Gandhi once said: “You must be the change you wish to see in the world” and there can be no real change until people begin to realize the power of their choices. So choose to be the bigger person.

If your cousin Eddie is the type of person who never has anything nice to say about anything or anyone and nothing will ever be good enough in there eyes (and they will always make sure everyone is aware). Their opinions are always right and it is the end all be all of opinions. Chances are this person won’t magically agree to see the good in things or agree to disagree with you, so the smart thing to do is to not waste your energies trying to convince them otherwise. In this type of situation, all you can do is just let them know you understand what they are saying and then politely move on to the next topic to something more positive. You may not agree with their political, religious or strange opinions but just respect them and change the subject.

If your cousin Eddie is the stressed out OCD perfectionist and if the napkins aren’t folded correctly or the ribbons on the packages aren’t pristine they just may have a coronary. The best way to deal with this cousin Eddie is to ask them if there is anything they may need help with? They are probably the types of people who want to do everything themselves which is impossible. They do not have to do it all. Remind them or show them they do not have to wear every hat and the best things and experiences around this time of year are the ones that aren’t perfect or aren’t planned.

If your cousin Eddie has hurt you and you need to mend some bridges, there is no better time than this time of the year. Have an honest conversation and voice how you are feeling and just try some mutual understanding. Chances are you may not agree on whose fault it was or why it happened, but take some baby steps and just try having a clean slate for the upcoming new year. Loving one another is what this holiday season is about. There is room for forgiveness in your heart if you just allow it.

Accountability and trust will take time to build but it has to start with you opening up and being honest. Just learn from this situation – difficult people like your cousin Eddie are your greatest teachers. They test your limits and help you grow. Although it’s hard to give difficult people love, they’re the ones who need it most. By just letting go and starting fresh you are doing yourself a huge favor. I truly find the Serenity Prayer to be helpful with these types of cousin Eddie’s. Each line of the prayer speaks true, not just in difficult times with your cousin Eddie’s but in all times in life. You may not be able to change your cousin Eddie or the conflict/hurt at hand, but you can seek strength and wisdom through this prayer to allow yourself to know God is working to bring peace this holiday season. Even if you have to have the courage to bring it forth.

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You can pick your friends but you can’t pick your family. They are your roots and they are where you come from. There is a cousin Eddie in every family, not just yours and if you’re heading into the holidays just waiting to be offended or for cousin Eddie to screw up, I would say the odds are high that you probably will be annoyed. Maybe there’s a better way to go about it and just tell yourself that it always starts with you and how you react to the situation. Because trust me, no one is telling you that you have to like every single person that you may be related to. However, all you can do is be kind, respectful, and cordial to your cousin Eddie’s and make sure you know it is okay to step away from those uncomfortable situations if they present them to you.

Let them just do their own thing and you do yours. It is okay to spend more time with family members that make you happy. If all else fails… just remember the good news is you won’t have to see your cousin Eddie again until this time next year! lol JUST KIDDING! But on a serious note, I pray for you and your families for this holiday to be a time of peace, hope, joy, and love. Remember the true reason of the season, you can be the beacon of light that guides peace in your family. Make someone smile today! ❤ N

An editorial note from N to my family: If you are a family member reading this, this is not a specific post about anyone in particular in our family. I just love the movie Christmas Vacation and after thinking well hey, everyone has to have some kind of cousin Eddie in there family; I figured I would write a post about it to give some insight on how to deal with them. So don’t freak out, I love you all. Who knows? Maybe I am your cousin Eddie… (“Hallelujah! Holy sh*t! Where’s the Tylenol?!” -Clark Griswold, Christmas Vacation)

Sweet Friday Faves 12/13/13

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Happy Friday the 13th. Today’s Sweet Friday Faves is dedicated to Urban Decay’s newest addition to the Naked family; the Naked3 Palette. The Naked3 Palette is absolutely stunning. Since this was announced this past fall, I have been saving all my extra money to purchase it and obsessing over reviews and information about it. The theme of this palette is rose gold colors and just like its predecessors (Naked and Naked2) it delivers with impressive color pigment and wear. Seriously I can not contain my excitement that I finally have this palette….

While the previous Naked collections were were more focused on the neutral and nude tones, the Naked3 palette has mostly pink, rose, and gold shadows. Although the majority of the palette is rose gold, it is possible to create a fairly neutral everyday look using the palette. Naked3 contains 12 never-before-seen and absolutely gorgeous rose-hued neutrals; from pale, shimmery pink to deep black matte with red micro-glitter. Here are the colors this palette contains (from left to right):

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            •  Strange (pale neutral pink matte-satin)
            • Dust (pale metallic pink shimmer w/iridescent micro-glitter)
            • Burnout (light pinky-peach satin)
            • Limit (light dusty rose matte)

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            • Buzz (metallic rose shimmer w/silver micro-glitter)
            • Trick (light metallic pinky-copper shimmer w/tonal micro-sparkle)
            • Nooner (medium pinky-brown matte)
            • Liar (medium metallic mauve shimmer)

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            • Factory (pinky-brown satin)
            • Mugshot (metallic taupe shimmer w/slight pink shift)
            • Darkside (deep taupe-mauve satin)
            • Blackheart (smoky black matte w/rosy red micro-sparkle)

The best way to use this palette is to mix up the hues to add depth to your overall look. If you use only the matte shades, you’ll end up with a flat look, so if you add the shimmer and metallic finishes, it will add more dimension to your finished look. Using the darker shades from Naked3 (Blackheart, Darkside, Mugshot) on the lash line and the outer corner of the eyes will also add depth. All the colors complement one another, so you can mix and blend them to customize your look.

When you purchase Naked3, just like Naked2 it comes with a synthetic dual-ended eyeshadow brush (blending and flat) which is quality and very much usable. It also comes with a sampling of 4 Primer Potions: Original, Eden (nude matte), Sin (shimmer), and Anti-Aging.

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All of the shades have seemed to last around 10 hours before any fading *that’s with an eye primer*. The slightly pink and rose tones of this particular palette set off my hazel-green eyes perfectly! They are highly pigmented and blend beautifully. I was nervous about the “micro glitter” but even those are lovely and wearable and not too glittery. I think these shades would look spectacular on both warm and cool skin tones (even though overall palette to be neutral to cool). I am telling you right now, if you buy this, you will NOT be disappointed. You are going to look so amazing wearing this palette! Keep checking Urban Decay’s, Sephora’s and Ulta’s websites to purchase yours today, this is one of the biggest hot ticket beauty items right now so it sells out fast. (I happened to get mine through Sephora).

The color options are simply stunning and combinations endless. It’s priced well for the size and quality. The packaging is well designed and sturdy. I think it’s a definite must-have and will make an amazing holiday gift for any beauty lover. Safe to say, I am obsessed. Make someone smile today! ❤ N.Sweet

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I’M SO EXCITED!

you’re a mean one mr. grinch

It’s the most wonderful time of the year, well at least that is how the song goes. I personally find this to be true and feel the magic and love this time of year heightened and I try to spread the spirit of giving and good blessings to everyone I meet. But sometimes it can be difficult because not everyone is feeling yuletide happiness and they go out of their way to make you aware of it (especially on social media).

Face it, not everyone is full of holiday cheer. Chances are you have a Scrooge in your life who just flat out doesn’t like this time of year. However, before you write them off as just a mean one, Mr. Grinch; did you ever step back and think why they may be acting the way they are? I guarantee you that they did not just wake up one December morning and decide “I think I am going to hate this holiday”. I have been guilty in the past to just be blinded by my holiday haze and ask well why the heck would people not like this time of year? Undoubtedly there is a reason that they are feeling the way they are.

I am naturally and over annoyingly a bonafide fixer. It is just who I am, I want everyone that I love to be happy, healthy and feeling a sense of fulfillment. When they aren’t, I try my darndest to help them. Okay, maybe I am a little bit of a control freak and obviously there are plenty of things I can not control, but when I see someone I care about struggling, I want to just reach out and fix it for them and take all their worries away. I am not ignorant to comprehend that I can’t fix everything but when it comes to my favorite time of the year, I find myself on over-drive, especially when it comes to the Grinch’s and the Scrooge’s in my life. No matter how much holiday cheer you try to spread, sometimes the best thing you can spread is a little bit of holiday understanding. There is a difference between being genuine with your holiday cheer and being obnoxious about it. If you are sincere with your joy, it will be infectious. Staying pure with your intentions will not go unnoticed. Little random acts of kindness could be the best gift you can give someone. Something as simple as sending a Christmas card, shoveling a drive way or baking a batch of cookies can be enough to make even the crankiest Scrooge smile.

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Don’t just assume that the Grinch is out to ruin the holidays for everyone they know (you know what happens when you assume)… Sometimes, all they really are looking for is someone to just listen or know someone truly cares. Being present and being a good listener is a wonderful gift and it is FREE. Find out their interests and the one thing they actually do enjoy about this time of year. There is no way they absolutely hate EVERYTHING having to do with the holidays. Once you find out what they enjoy doing and taking their interests to heart, they will begin to remember the good of this time of year and  this can make a difference to them.

There could be many reasons they are being a Grinch. Are they just plain stressed out? Are they having a hard time at work or school? Are they worried about the financial difficulties this time of year? Unfortunately, some people feel more pain than peace. There are some people who never experience the joys of the holidays because they are hurt by pains of the past. Grief has a terrible way of distorting our lives and making the clouds very grey. It will then slowly drain everything out of us and giving us no desire to participate this time of year. Pain has a way of destroy our perspectives, it takes our inner peace and keeps us from experiencing the fullness of what is supposed to be the most wonderful time of the year.

Did something happen to them that traumatized their life like a death or accident? Missing a loved one during the holidays tends to be the most difficult part. People end up asking themselves, how are we supposed to “celebrate” while we are so lost in our grief and then they completely shut down. The holidays are tough, but not impossible and you have to be the one to pick them back up when they shut down, they can not do it alone. It is easier to go through the holidays together, remembering the good times, celebrating the life of those we loved and lost, and remembering them in special ways during this time. If the Scrooge or Grinch in your life is shutting out the world and tries to go through the Christmas season alone, it will magnify their grief. Reach out to them, there are things you can do with them or suggest for them to do to help you through the grief. There are things like adding a special ornament to the tree in their loved one’s memory. If they do not celebrate Christmas, light a special candle in their memory. Make a donation to a needy charity in their honor. Send a card to someone else you know who has suffered a loss and offer a word of encouragement to them. The possibilities could be endless as to why they dislike the holidays and all you can do is just be there and give some understanding and a little bit of empathy and keep reminding them that they are not alone.

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Paying attention to their accolades may help too, they may be feeling down because they feel like all their hard work is for nothing and no one is noticing. Compliment their achievements by giving positive feedback to them. Did they do something good at work or school? Did they go out of their way to make a difference? It’s beneficial to spread the holiday cheer by giving good reassurance and feedback that will push them forward. If you be their cheerleader by showing your support for all of their contributions and recognizing the good they are doing, they will begin to feel appreciated and feel a little happier too. Fundamentally, giving a kind word to someone is part of what the holidays are about.

Unfortunately, of course you just have your plain, flat out, rude people. They are just so negative and mean, not sad or grief stricken. Rude and miserable people just want to bring others down to their level and make them feel their misery, because just as the old saying goes; misery loves company. Just remind yourself, no one is perfect and you can not control their hateful behavior. However, you can control your reaction to it. There can be no real change until people begin to realize the power of their choices. If all else fails, you can just ignore their negativity. Don’t let them put out your light.

When it comes to the Scrooge’s and Grinch’s in your life, the bottom line is; they are all going through something. Whether is is a loved one, a co-worker, or even a stranger… if they have appear to be having a hard time dealing with all of this holiday cheer, all you can really do is try to spread some understanding this holiday season. You never know what’s going on with folks behind closed doors. It is difficult to break the shell of someone who utters nothing but “Bah Humbug” all the time but by genuinely expressing your holiday happiness, you may be able to make a difference in even the crankiest Scrooge’s holiday. It all comes down to understanding and compassion.

And what happened, then? Well, in Whoville they say – that the Grinch’s small heart grew three sizes that day. And then – the true meaning of Christmas came through, and the Grinch found the strength of *ten* Grinches, plus two! -How the Grinch Stole Christmas

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My challenge for you this holiday season is to step back and quick not to judge the Scrooge’s in your life. I encourage you to not tell people “You’re a mean one, Mr. Grinch…” and write them out of your life before thinking twice about why they are acting that way. I pray that you all can spread some happiness in the hearts of the ones you may know that are struggling this holiday season. Keep spreading your holiday cheer mixed in with understanding. Be genuine and be sincere with your joy, it will be infectious. Don’t give up on trying to make them smile. ❤ N

Sweet Friday Faves 12/6/13

Happy Friday. Today’s Sweet Friday Fave is dedicated to my latest gadget I purchased on an amazing deal. I have been searching near and far on reviews and beauty blogs to find the perfect versatile flat iron to not only straighten my hair, but to curl it too. Since flat irons seem to be the only styling tool that I can use that actually curls my hair and then the curl lasts all day, I wanted to invest in one I knew would do the job exceptionally well.

The flat iron I kept seeing great reviews for and always seemed to always end up on top was the NuMe Vintage Flat Iron. Just like when anything with a price tag that is a little more than what I want to pay for, I started with my routine of going on NuMe’s website and registering for their emails to see what kind of deals and coupons I could receive for a price break. The Vintage Flat Iron on their website retails for $165.00… and unless it turned into a robot and curls or straightens my hair by itself, there is no way I am going to pay full price for it. Knowing the holidays were right around the corner I patiently waited for email blasts until I struck gold with deal for it over 80% off. Merry Christmas to me!

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Vintage_Black_Beauty-990x728I absolutely am obsessed with how amazing this flat iron is. I have burned through many flat irons over the years (no pun intended) and this one has by far left the best impression on me. Here are the key features:

  • 100% solid ceramic plates eliminate uneven hot spots and chipping that often befall conventional flat irons for a long lasting styling tool.
  • Negative Ion Technology neutralizes positively charged electrons for replenished style.
  • Infrared heat technology brings heat within to minimize styling time.
  • A comprehensive power button turns your styler on and off in a flash and your dial style settings adjust from 140°F to 410°F.
  • Get styling in 6-10 seconds with an advanced salon-grade MCH heating mechanism.
  • 1 1/4 inch floating plates use NuMe’s unique alignment system to ensure ideal contact with your hair, so that every strand gets the ion attention it deserves.

To quote their website:

The Vintage Ceramic Iron is the knight in shining armor to any damsel’s distressed hair. NuMe’s best-selling, original iron will be the staple of your hairstyling needs, from straightening to curling and everything in between.

The Vintage Iron’s 100% solid ceramic plates provide precise and even far infrared heat distribution, eliminating the chipping and hot spots that are typical of conventional flat irons. The rounded barrel and overall ergonomic design makes styling simple, so you can maneuver around seductively smooth locks, voluptuous waves, or flirtations curls with the flick of your wrist. Its precision-engineered, 1 1/4 inch floating plates use NuMe’s unique alignment system to ensure ideal contact between your hair and the temperature-controlled ceramic plates. Cutting-edge technology enables each hair cuticle to be infused with negative ions, sealing in healthy moisture for that irresistible shine.

Make boring hairstyles a thing of the past with NuMe’s Vintage Ceramic Iron, available in Purple, Hot Pink, Black, Purple Zebra, Giraffe, and Hot Pink Cheetah. With all of its uses and advanced technology, this is one ceramic iron that you simply shouldn’t be without.

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I purchased the Purple Zebra and they also offer a heat protectant Thermal Pouch that I bought in the same print. The heat protectant pouch doubles as a counter protecting heat mat and a quick way to let your heat tool cool off. The NuMe Vintage Flat Iron comes with a 3 year warranty. I have both straightened and curled my hair numerous times with this tool and the results are all day lasting great style. It also has a swivel cord, so when you are styling it wont get tangled no matter how you maneuver it. So if you are looking for a new hair tool, I really recommend this! It is so versatile and handy. Quick to heat up and cool down also.

Like I said, I have tried pretty much all the big names in the flat iron businesses and spent stupid amounts of money on them to just to be disappointed or not living up to the hype. This one does not disappoint and I am now a dedicated NuMe customer. I can do any style in a matter of minutes, it delivers and will cut the time of getting ready for you. I am obsessed with what this thing can do to my hair. If this looks interesting to you, definitely go on their website: http://www.numeproducts.com, sign up for their emails. Also, right now they are offering a Last Chance Black Friday deal… (and since you were awesome enough to read to the end of my post, here is a little early Christmas gift for you…) The entire website is 70% or more with the offer code: lastchance when you checkout! Therefore, this awesome $165.00 flat iron would be yours to own for super cheap! Now thats something to smile about! Happy Friday! Make someone smile today! ❤ N.Sweet

black friday shopping

Hello my little Turkeys! It has been over a week since I have posted last and I am so sorry. I traveled last week to Florida for work, but now I am settled back at home until the end of the year. I also have been busy prepping my house for the holidays. We have been busy decorating the house for Christmas (inside and out) and it looks so cute.

As we all know it is Thanksgiving week and it is definitely one of my favorite holidays. What is better than spending time with your loved ones and family indulging in an amazing Thanksgiving meal? Well, of course that would be extending your bonding time on Black Friday in the annual pilgrimage to the mall and other big box stores! Basically, it is the most perfect combination of all my favorite things — genuinely purposeful time with the people I love, lots of yummy food and then working it off with some major retail therapy.

I love the rush of Black Friday shopping. Some people may call me crazy; but I have also worked retail at the mall on Black Friday too, so I have experienced the other end of the spectrum as well. But it is just the experience and the excitement I feel when I am scoring great deals and competing against the crowds. My family and I have developed a system over the years to have the most optimal and successful shopping experience and I wanted to share them with you to help you if you are planning to go shopping this year:

Black Friday Shopping 101

  1. Have a Gameplan: Do your research. Up until a few years ago you had to wait until Thanksgiving day to look at flyers and sales ads to know what is on sale. But now with the beauty of social media and the internet, you can view all ads a week or two in advanced to help you plan where the deals are. This will allow you to  know where you are going and what you are getting in advanced. To be really prepared you can even find out where it’s located in the store. Just be friendly and kind to the workers, you may be able and find out where your big ticket item may be located. However, if they can not share that information with you, don’t take it as a personally. They are just trying to be fair for all customers. 
  2. Plan your Budget: It is important to know your credit limits, know how much you have to spend because you can get carried away on impulse purchases (trust me there will be a lot of them). Set a spending limit and stick to it. Draw up a list of what and for whom you need to buy and when/where you’ll shop. If you plan on purchasing a large amount or a big ticket item, calling your credit card company ahead of time to warn them is a good idea. That way they do not flag your account, leading to you might not being able to buy anything else that day. Before leaving the store or even the register, check your receipt to make sure all your items came up for the price advertised. Double checking this in advance will save you from the headache of returning to the store to wait in another line for a refund. 
  3. Go Team Go: The best way to go shopping on Black Friday is with a group of people. Dividing and conquering the masses is the best way to do this. If you have someone who is not crazy about going and getting the items, have them be the person standing in line for you, holding the spot in line.  Everyone should know what they are doing and what they are getting in every store. Everyone should have a cell phone that they can use to contact people within the group. Also, there is safety in numbers. 
  4. Watch your purse/wallet: Place your wallets in your front pant pocket or have a zippered purse that is crossbody bag; this will keep both your hands free to grab all the deals. It will also reduce your chance of getting pick-pocketed, sadly there are people out there who will be shady. Just make sure you hold on to your personal belongings and the stuff you intend to purchase with a tight grasp. 
  5. No Children: This really is not the time or place to hull your kids around so just leave your children at home. Not only will they slow you down, but they could be kidnapped in a crowded environment. Just do yourself a favor and plan for a babysitter or family member to watch your children or else you and your child both will just be miserable. 
  6. Coupons and Rewards: Clip coupons to save more money. A lot of stores like Kohl’s offer cash back rewards for spending a certain amounts. Other stores give a free gift if you spend enough. Some stores offer deals through social media too. WalMart is offering a price match guarantee this year if you bring another store’s ad and show them. Know where you can get more bang for your buck at.  
  7. Be Kind to the Workers: Please thank the workers and be kind to them. Times are hard, jobs are slim (otherwise they probably prefer to be working elsewhere), they are away from their families and have a hard job to do this weekend in the chaos. So just be nice to them, it is probably refreshing for them and chances are they probably have not slept much….
  8. Dont be a Jerk: You will have to to wait in line, so just be kind to others, say please and thank you, and wait your turn. If you are impatient, this probably is not the environment for you to be in. Just let it go, many customers might be stressed by crowded stores. Although you may really want that item, it might be worth it to just let it go instead of having an incident with another customer. If you can’t do that then…
  9. Stay at Home: No one is making you go out and take on the masses. Just don’t go if you can not handle it. If you stay at home, there aren’t crazy people trying to run you over for the latest fad, best deal, or because you just didn’t move fast enough. Besides, Cyber Monday is just a few days away, buy it online and have it shipped to your home instead! 
  10. Just have Fun: This is not the time to be serious, so enjoy yourself. Life is too short not to enjoy crazy experiences. And let me tell you, Black Friday Shopping is definitely a crazy experience to have. So with that being said, spend some monday, save some money, work off that Thanksgiving meal with power walking and have fun with your loved ones. It is the most wonderful time of the year. Make someone smile today! ❤ N