Listen to your stomach!

Have you ever been in situation where you were totally confused? Didn’t know which way to go? You didn’t know what to do? You had no idea how to get there from here (wherever there is)?  If you said no to all of these, I need your number so I can get your secret! ;-)

Quite a few years ago, a friend of mine was going through a difficult time and she asked me for advice. I told her to-listen to her stomach.  She quickly looked at me and said listen to my what?  I said, listen to your stomach. listen to your stomachYour heart will tell you one thing; your head will tell you something else, so listen to your stomach.  It took her a while to understand what I was telling her, but when she got it she really got it and it worked! Now she uses that piece of advice when making big decisions and I’m happy to say she is super successful in her personal and professional life!

This also reminds me of a time in my own life when things were not going particularly well. Although I had a great career working in politics, there were a lot of things that were off…I mean really off.  I specifically remember a day when a coworker of mine (an older lady that I only saw about once a month) asked me if everything was ok. I thought this was super odd since I have a habit, good or bad, of always trying to seem like everything is great (I try to seem even happier when things are terrible, so I’m sure my “happy” meter was on overdrive).  Maybe that was what tipped her off.  Maybe it was because I had lost weight and didn’t even realize it. Maybe it was because she was just older and wiser.  Who knows, but she definitely knew and she knew immediately!  I thought to myself…how could she know that my insides were doing summersaults?  She has no idea what is going on in my life. Continue reading

Great Skincare…the first step to complexion perfection!

beautiful skinGiven my background in the beauty industry (I created dana L Skincare & Cosmetics in 2007 and worked as a makeup artist for a national morning show during the Balance Your Life Road Tour), people often ask me beauty related questions.  What moisturizer should I use? What color blush should I wear? How can I get my eye brows to look like that?  So by request, at least one post a month will focus on a beauty topic. If there is something in particular you would like to know or read about, please let me know! My goal is to answer your specific questions!

Since we are in the midst of the cold, winter weather season, I thought it would be appropriate to start with skincare. The beginning of the year is also a great time to start a skincare routine (if you haven’t already) and winter is notoriously a difficult time of year for our skin.  Great skincare is always the first step to complexion perfection, so it only makes sense to start there!great_skincare_the_first_step_to_complexion_perfection-680424

Here are a few of my favorite skincare tips: Continue reading

How to Handle the Small Things

One of my dearest friends for over 20 years asked me a couple weeks ago to write a post and share my thoughts on how to handle the small things.  She is literally a person that can handle major surgery just fine, but give her or one of her children a paper cut and it’s all over…the world is crashing down! It’s hilarious to me that she asked me to write this, since I think she has heard everything I have to say on the topic.  Just in case she hasn’t and since you all haven’t, here it goes! Continue reading

Did I Pass the Test?

Sunday night I watched a show where a celebrity was tasked with transforming a man’s life. No breaking news there, haha! Just like a lot of transformations, the first step was to test the man’s inner strength and determination…basically to see if he would quit his journey before it even started.  After the initial test, the man asked the celebrity-“did I pass the test”? I’m happy to say he passed with flying colors and it seemed like (as much as it can in an hour) that he was well on the way to a much more fulfilling life because of the experience.

pass-failThe question he asked really got me thinking…did I pass the test?  We are taught this mentality from such an early age-did I pass or fail?  Our society wants to put everyone into a box that we can label and easily identify, but this is highly counterproductive when trying to encourage someone to be their best self. What if your best self doesn’t fit neatly into the box? I say, go create your own box! Live the life you want, not the life everyone else tells you to want or how to act or what to think.

It’s actually quite fitting that I am writing this now, as I don’t believe in irony or coincidence. I think things happen how and when they are meant to happen…they happen for a reason. Last week, as I was preparing to speak to a group of women that have completed their cancer treatments, I was hoping to be inspirational, uplifting, empowering, and encouraging.  In my prepared remarks,  I planned to share some of my favorite quotes from Elizabeth Gilbert, Joel Osteen, Oprah and a few others. It wasn’t until about 3 hours before my presentation when one of my best friends on earth said to me…that’s great, but what do you think? What would you say to those women? Oh my, I was in trouble! Now I was thinking and rethinking and then I thought again!  Just those few words and a couple questions later, my world was turned upside down (thanks “Thelma”)!  You mean I can’t hide behind great words from people I admire? I have to actually tell them what is in my head? That’s scary and so intimidating. Continue reading

Live in every moment!

As I am preparing to speak to a group of cancer survivors tonight night and with the recent passing of ESPN commentator, Stuart Scott, I began to think a lot about life…what does it mean, why are we are, what is our purpose, why are people taken from our lives too early, how can we have a positive impact?

I’m reminded of Jim Valvano’s  infamous ESPY speech.  He taught us some very important lessons:

  1. Time is precious
  2. It’s important to know where you came from
  3. The 3 things we should do every day are-laugh, think and have our emotions moved to tears
  4. Don’t Give Up, Don’t Ever Give Up!

Continue reading

2015, Here We Come!

happy new year 2015New Year, new you…we all hear that every year about this time, but who in the world actually wants to be a new person? Haven’t you spent a few (or more than a few) decades getting to know the real you and is it even really possible to recreate yourself every single year?  I’m not sure.  So what if we look at it like this, New Year-a new chance to be your very best, authentic self?  Yes, I can totally get behind that!!! Continue reading

Joyful, Peaceful, Grateful

magicThis is truly one of my favorite times of the year!  Holiday parties, spending time with family and friends, great food, festive outfits, beautiful makeup, the smell of Christmas trees and celebration is in the air! It always feels so magical, special and stressful! Is it just me that thinks this absolutely wonderful time of year can create anxiety that would rival the signing of your first mortgage?  Why is that? It’s probably different for everyone to an extent, but most of us just try doing way too much in way too little time!

For someone like me that is chronically overscheduled, this time of year will put you into overdrive!  I think you can always fit in one more stop to visit someone you love, make one more appetizer, or wrap one more gift. I also have this very idealist approach…if someone I know shows an interest in an item or says they would like something, I do everything in my power to make it happen.  I think that is probably because I was so lucky to grow up in a loving home with amazing Christmas traditions and I believe in the idea that everyone should have that special moment on Christmas morning when they open a gift that is a complete surprise and they think….Santa really was listening! Continue reading

Patience and Perspective

thanksssHave you ever hear the John Lennon quote, “Life is what happens when you are busy making other plans”?  That is exactly what happened to me this year at Thanksgiving! As Tim, Marley and I were heading to Raleigh the day before Thanksgiving, we were talking about what we are thankful for and I was making notes for a “thankful” post to share with all of you.  We were listing pretty typical things: family, friends, health, knowledge, life experiences, etc.  Little did I know that 12 hours later my list would change dramatically! Continue reading

Givers Gift Guide-All Under $100

My_Favorite_Things_Linkup_2014Now that it’s officially December, we are officially in the full swing of the Christmas season.  I know a lot of people started decorating weeks ago, but we always wait until after Thanksgiving to break out the Mistletoe candles.   We usually get our tree from the church right down the street the morning after Thanksgiving and decorate all weekend long. That way we have a month or so to enjoy the 3,000-4,000 lights on the tree (I know I have a light problem) and it makes it worth the hours and hours I spend putting up those lights! This year things didn’t go exactly as planned… more to come on that story next week.

So if you are wondering what in the world to get your mom, a special friend, or anyone on your gift list, check out this list of gifts all under $100.  Hopefully some of these ideas will help!Under $100   Continue reading

Favorite Things…Stocking Stuffer Style

My_Favorite_Things_Linkup_2014One of my favorite Christmas traditions is on Christmas Eve when my mom and I curl up on the couch and read the same story from the same book that we have been reading my entire life…Twas the Night Before Christmas.  Now we all know “The stockings were hung by the chimney with care, In hopes that St. Nicholas soon would be there”, but what are you hoping to see in your stocking this year?

Here are a few things I think are really great!

Stocking stuffers
Continue reading