31 October 2009

Go Beyond The Bus Stop With Me!

Good morning, I'm a little late this week getting an inspirational thought out to you all. It's been one of those weeks and I just couldn't get beyond the bus stop! You know, sick kids, projects, field trips, order form deadlines, cramming for tests. Sometimes it isn't about me, not for one minute; and sometimes it's all about me! I've been searching for a special place that I belong, something just for me for quite a while and I think I've finally found it. It's called Beyond The Bus Stop. Beyond The Bus Stop is a locally "grown" organization created especially for Moms. It has a national impact now with groups popping up all over created for Moms who need and want to look beyond their own bus stops. We do so much every day for our children, and we want to. It's our job description and it's also out of love that we put aside who we are to tend to the kids. Sometimes, however, we get so stuck in our rut of "mommy" that we forget the "me" in mommy! We all know that this is not a good thing, but duty calls and we continue to push the "me" aside. Well, after years of this behavior it can feel like we're drowning in our own goodness! There is not a moment in a mans' day, I'm certain, where his identity of who he is is questioned by himself or others, generally speaking. Beyond The Bus Stop encourages moms everywhere to reach out to each other, to share their experiences, their joys, their pains and their dreams. It allows moms to support, encourage and share in triumphs with each other. Nothing can get someone off the couch like another woman who's been there and done that! Beyond The Bus Stop is looking for H.O.T moms everywhere. H.O.T being Happy, Optimistic, Take Action women! Are you out there? Do you need to move past the bus stop drudgery for yourself? Is there something exciting you'd like to try that you just can't get the courage to do? Have you always dreamed of starting your own business but don't trust yourself to even begin the process? Do you want some motivation to get off the couch and start working out to feel better about you? This is the place! Come share with other women just like you and get inspiration and guidance and love. It's an amazing thing that's happening around the country. Visit www.BeyondTheBusStop.com and look for a chapter near you. If there isn't one, email Suzy Stauffer, founding Mom, and start your own chapter! You won't believe the momentum you can create when you get a room full of likeminded, take action women together. It's awe inspiring! Do it for you...and do it for your kids. Please email me if you have any other questions or want to share your dreams and experiences. I'd love to learn and share with you. Also, if you live in the vicinity our next Chapter Meeting will take place on Thursday,November 5, 2009 from 7-9pm at Bling It On, West Chester, PA. Contact Rosemarie Miller www.BeyondTheBusStop.com, Chester County Chapter Leader for more details!

19 October 2009

Don't Forget the Advil

I've just about pulled out all of my curls, one by one. College Application drudgery, like childbirth, is a memory that I'd most like to bury deep, "Oh, this will be fun! Let's visit 23 college campuses in 8 weeks then submit applications, paperwork, and promise firstborns to half of them! Why not, we have nothing else to do!" I'm going through this life event for the first time with my oldest son and I am thankful that I have a five year reprive before I have to do it again. When I do I will certainly mention to son No. 3 to take notes, I will not repeat myself! With the idea of visiting college after college came the thought of reliving some sweet memories of days gone by. The carefree, independent, world-at-my-fingertips feeling going off as a college student gave. I was so anxious to step back onto a campus full of life, youth and promise. Then I took my teenager with me! Nothing could be more agonizing! Many times he refused to exit the vehicle once we drove the two plus hours, made four wrong turns and with the tank on "E" chugged into the last remaining parking spot on campus 20 mins. late for the welcome session. This is where I'd hear the familiar declaration, "I'm not going in there! This place sucks!" First of all, that word a year ago was not allowed in their vocabulary. Now, it's the definitive vernacular I wait for with baited breath to learn whether he will bestow the honor of his presence and actually make application to this particular institution of higher learning! Well, I anticipated this reaction so we did begin the process early. A year ago exactly...to the day as I write. Now we find ourselves five applications into the process and wondering if it's all worth it. Where will he get accepted? Will he make a mark? Will he thrive and mature and find who he is on this campus? Will he meet his future bride? Many say that life is not fate but all about your choices. I kind of think it's a bit of both. I know from my own experiences that much of what I am today is because of the choices I've made...or didn't make. We are about to help our son make one of these larger than life choices that will determine the fate of, at the minimum, his next four years. Quite possibly and most probably the rest of his life. At this juncture we are just happy we are getting the online applications filled in properly then assembling the stack of required paperwork and delivering it to the appropriate authorities! Can it be more complicated? And FAFSFA..isn't that a Greek Pastry?? I don't know, I'm sure I'm stressing too much and that everything will fall into place beautifully. I'm hoping he has some choices and that he finds the perfect place to bloom and grow. I cherish my collegiate experience and count it as some of the best years of my life. I want that for my son, too. I am hoping that this roll of the dice kind of a process will prove beneficial in the long run. We can only hope that the applicant is presented in the best possible light and that one of these colleges sees something special within him and gives him a shot at building a good foundation for the rest of his life. Heavy stuff when you think about it. Now, back to the checklist. Thanks for reading! Miriam

16 October 2009

HGTV's Inspirational Kristan Cunningham

I have many things in my life that inspire me but now I have a new inspiration! Kristan Cunningham of HGTV's Design on a Dime. Kristan is the newest spokesperson for Raymour and Flanigan furniture stores and I had the lucky pleasure of meeting her recently for an in- store event. Raymour and Flanigan's King of Prussia location on DeKalb Pike hosted two design seminars along with two sweepstakes for an attendee to win a $2,500 room makeover. What fun! I was scheduled for another promotional event so when I arrived at the store the first sweepstakes winner had been selected and was on a whirlwind shopping trip with Kristan around the showroom. I was allowed to join in and get a glimpse of Kristan in action! The first prizewinner, Janice and her husband Phil were working on furnishing their master bedroom in their newly built home. I was happy to hear that with three small kids Janice was making it her priority to create a space for she and her husband; a haven, if you will. Many people spend time and money making the rest of their home a showpiece but leave their bedroom as their last project, which many times takes years to get around to. Personally, I think it's the most important room of the house and was my first project in my home when we moved in. Your bedroom is the first thing you see when you open your eyes in the morning and the place where you lay your head at days' end. It should be cozy, welcoming and a respite for you and your husband. I firmly believe this, especially if you are raising small children and are usually sleep deprived and generally also never without someone tagging along beside you. The aqua blue chaise Kristan selected for the master sitting room is just what the doctor ordered for a quiet place to sit and rejuvenate, and the bolster pillow a perfect rest for reading. I loved the idea of the metallic mirrored bedside table to add a little shabby chic style. Kristan was a breath of fresh air and I had a wonderful opportunity to sit and chat with her for a bit after her design consultation was complete. Not only was she welcoming to me but offered me moments to insert my thoughts and comments. How cool was that? Kristan was born and raised in the south and her comfortable way, her outgoing personality and her relaxed and cool style shows. Design on a Dime, her design show featured on HGTV does the same. Kristan's ideas are ready to go, easy to accomplish and have a unique impact. Her experience at the high end furniture show rooms in Los Angeles helped to guide her style while her desire to create a look that is affordable for everyone turns simple items into looks with pow! Kristan is a busy young woman because she has such a knack for helping her clients be successful with their dreams and their goals. Through her work Kristan has noticed an evolution with her clients. They are no longer interested in having someone come in and drape the home in expensive fabrics and high end furnishings, Kristans' clients are savvy, informed and have opinions and definitely chose to be part of the design process. Kristan finds a give and take and a satisfaction in working closely with someone to help bring their ideas to fruition. People work hard and want their home to be a place of leisure, of comfort and have a style that expresses who they are. My sentiments exactly! Kristan accomplishes this with her own individual flare and trained eye. She is always evolving and changing with her clients and Kristan feels she has found her niche with her work and loves what she does. I am hoping that Kristan's relationship with Raymour and Flanigan is long and rich. The regular mom needs a one stop shopping experience where she can quickly and easily find what she needs, have advice on how to pull it all together affordably and feel confident that her choices are current and stylish. The event was a boon for Janice, who initially arrived baby in stroller! Grandmom came and took the baby home and Phil arrived for the makeover consultation. Janice had definite ideas and desires for her room and she and Kristan worked well with the give and take as they discussed the project and made her ideas come to fruition. It sounds like Janice is very comfortable, once receiving ideas for a foundation, with adding her own personal style to the room. I was also inspired by their relationship and ideas. On behalf of my business, Equilibrium Design and Consulting, I offered Janice a free consultation at her home to help her accessorize her finds and pull her look together once her furnishings are delivered. Keep your eyes on Kristan Cunningham and Raymour and Flanigan. If you've caught her recent commercials she has much more for us to learn through her relationship with the store. We'll look for more Design on a Dime inspiration from you, Kristan! And thank you for reading! Miriam

06 October 2009

Headache Reduction 101

This may seem like an odd topic but believe me, I hear this complaint so frequently I thought I'd explore it! Soothing an aching head once again I find myself contemplating what it was that brought this one on in the first place. I have had my share of aching heads lately and I usually like to place the blame somewhere so as not to panic, I suppose. Weather? Lack of sustenance? Dehydration? Female crankiness? Too many hangups on the answering machine? I don't know. I don't usually get it's origin correct but I continually try to nail down a cause, doing this, of course, without suffering another one! Something I have learned about the chronic headache is that there are some things I can do in advance to possible keep them at bay. I can make sure the boys don't pollute the entire upstairs with their Ax in the morning for starters! I also like to give myself a couple of moments after the alarm...well, I never seem to actually make it to the alarm, but will awaken by myself just in time. This is usually a good way to avoid the early morning heart palpitations a screeching alarm induces. Headache avoidance 101. I allow myself a few minutes to just lie still, take a few shallow breaths and reflect on what lies ahead. Feeling a rush of to-dos is completely headache inducing so I try not to get all jumbled up over it. If I'm successful here, I meander downstairs for a leisurely cup of coffee and puttering in the kitchen. I like this quiet time. Eating some protein and taking my morning vitamins are two good things I do for myself to take care of my body. This should fend off a head pain or two, shouldn't it? I'm kind of liking that my boys are in three different schools again this year because I can usher them out the door one at a time, avoiding the chaos of years past. Headache fender-off-er number 4! I'm doing ok so far. This is when I like to sit and take a few moments for myself and focus on my meditation. I swear that with a clear mind I can continue my day at a slower pace with a more relaxed state of being. This part hasn't really been happening much of late so I could point the finger at myself. Another remedy recommended to me from my women's health expert is Alpha Lipoic Acid, a natural supplement used to fend off the headaches caused by fluctuating monthly hormone shifts. This can be taken on an as needed basis and does seem to do the trick. Advil not needed. An old remedy that someone recently reminded me of and that my mother always employed was with your hand gently rub the area between your other thumb and forefinger, you know, the kind of webbed area, for a while. Headache gone! Weird but effective! There are many factors that come into play that I can't control but I have decided to make it a goal to help myself start the day right and during the course of the day keep frustrations, conflicts and aggravation at bay. This includes smiling nicely at the road ragers I encounter at 5 pm on the way to baseball and taking a more relaxed viewpoint when the teenage angst gets flung at me again. Let me know if you've found something helpful that you utilize for your own headache calming effects. I'll add it to my arsenal of go-to remedies. Thanks for reading! Miriam