Monday, December 28, 2009

Do more than Hope this New Year – Achieve your dreams!

Every New Year, you hear about resolutions. I used to do them and never achieve them. One day my husband and I were talking and we came up with the idea of goal planning for the New Year.

Wouldn’t you know it – when we planned our goals – we achieved them (or most of them).


Sit down and set realistic possibilities for meeting your dreams. Write your dreams down, and map out how you plan on reaching them. Be realistic, and only plan for the year. Remember, anything you do consistently for 6 weeks you will achieve it.


Here are some ways to trick yourself into being successful at the most common goals for the New Year;

Trick Yourself into Saving Money
Okay, let’s say you want to save more money. Well trick yourself into meeting this goal by setting up an account or direct deposit to take the money directly from your paycheck. Don’t have an atm card for this account, or a check book. Make it really difficult to get the money.
Trick Yourself into Losing Weight
Get friends to join with you in your endeavor to lose weight (chose a friend who is already achieved the goal you desire to achieve). Then sign up for a walk a thon within four months of your goal. You can also join a gym. Make a promise to yourself that you can’t go to sleep without doing some exercise (even walking up the stairs 10 times will work).
Trick Yourself into finishing that novel you always wanted to write
Join a critique group. Yep, force yourself work with other authors who desire to finish their books by the end of the year. Accountability goes a long way.


What good is planning if you don’t give yourself a reward? I treat myself with a vacation. I book a cruise or an apple vacation that I can pay on monthly. Then when it’s paid off – I get my reward.

DON'T make a resolution

Make a Plan, and a promise to do something awesome for yourself!

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

What do I think of when I think of Winter

Winter, I actually have a love and hate relationship with winter. I love taking my kids snowboarding, to ski resorts, and playing in the snow. I hate driving in ice and snow. Absolutely, hate it.

I love living in a state that has all of the seasons. However, winter causes me to cozy up and do hot cocoa every night. A secret treat I love to give myself every night before bed. I also tend to gain the most weight in the winter. If I lived in a cold and rainy state I would be a lot bigger than I am, and trust me I fight to stay the size I am now.

SLEEP, I do more of this in the winter

You ever notice that because it gets darker earlier, and lighter later that you tend to sleep more in the winter? Well I do. I am not much of a sleeper. Typically 6 hours is all I require, but in the summer time, I am up in 4 hours like I am excited to start my day. The winter time requires the entire 6 hours of sleep, and I even would like to take a nap here and there.

SWEETS, I definitely eat more of these in the winter

Okay, most people gain more weight in the winter time than summer. You know why? Comfort foods are the culprit. Firstly, I definitely up my warm drink from tea to cocoa. I desire more coffee, and exercise less. There is something about cozying up with a warm blanket and watching TV while drinking cocoa that seems to be the best winter treat possible.

EAT TIL U DROP, two holidays that require a lot of eating.

Thanksgiving followed by Christmas, Hanukah, Kwanza and parties. Okay, let’s be honest, how many of you gorge yourself for Thanksgiving? *slowly raised hand* Well, then in December, all the holiday parties where you eat and drink come along. I have four to go to this year alone. You have to dig into to cookies, cakes, drinks, pies, yummy meats and treats – why? Because they only come along one time of year.


For most people, the day after Thanksgiving marks, “BLACK FRIDAY” and the start of the marathon Christmas shopping spree of the year. I used to stand in line on the day after Thanksgiving in hopes of the great deals, but now I don’t do that. I will admit to getting a rush at having my pockets filled with money to spend (I would take cash so that I wouldn’t overspend – however, I always ended up pulling out my credit card in the end).

For the last six years though, I stopped doing the “BLACK FRIDAY” sales and the shopping marathons. Funny thing is, my kids ask for less now because we travel during the holidays. Usually, they are asking to go to the pool, snowboarding or do the family games we do when traveling. We only exchange a handful of presents, and as soon as they are opened the kids want to go to the pool. Go figure.


Some of the cold realities of winter where I live is snow, freezing rain, and accidents. I have had my share, and wouldn’t trade the change of seasons for anything. There is just something about winter that makes the waiting for spring and summer all the sweeter.

Tuesday, December 8, 2009


I have always, always, always had a passion for karate flicks. I grew up when Bruce Lee was the hottest action star smoking. Everyone wanted to be in one of his movies. I even took martial arts because of my obsession with his movies. You would think I would have outgrown him and flicks like that, but I haven’t.

One of my hobbies or obsessions, is to go to the local flea market and purchase karate flicks. I talk the vendor down to 4 for $25 because I go so often.


I remember a beta reader, an older guy, telling me that he absolutely loved my fight scences. He commented on how real they seemed. He wasn’t the only one. Many of my beta’s said they loved my descriptions and the defensive moves my smaller characters made.

Well I get a lot of my material from all of those years watching those Karate movies and wishing I was in them. Hey, some of the moves I even tried out on my baby brother (shhhhh…. Don’t tell him I told you that).

NINJA ASSASINS – the most recent Karate movie I went to see

Now that you know all about my obsession, then you know why I went to see this movie. This movie had it all. Cool moves, blood, a little romance, and fighting. However, even for me – a gore queen – it was a bit over the top on the blood. I would have preferred more fighting without so much cutting or slicing. This movie made KILL BILL look like a walk in the park.

With that said, I still enjoyed it. I admit it, I have a tough stomach and I couldn’t stop watching it. I did notice though that some of the ladies in the theatre got out of there. When I did go to the bathroom, one lady asked me, “Oh my, it was too much for me! What about you?” and I looked at her and said, “Oh it’s violent, but I can handle it.” We both laughed and I went back to join my husband who has the same obsession.

My recommendations for this movie is, don’t expect it to win an award. If you like gore, fighting, skimpy romance with just a chaste kiss, then you just may enjoy this movie. If I was to rate it, I’d give it a 2 stars only because I’ve seen much better karate flicks than this one.

Tuesday, December 1, 2009


When I was growing up, I had many presents in excess for Christmas. My mother would start purchasing Christmas gifts as early as spring so that she could give my brother and me all the things she thought we wanted. As a teenaged mother, this was a great feat for her.

I totally took that for granted. I was never really a materialistic person, and the things she bought me I considered were a poor excuse for her not being around. As a single mother she usually was working all of the time and I spent my time taking care of my brother and our tiny apartment in the seedy part of town in which we lived.

However, every Christmas I would awaken to a living room full of more toys than I could have ever imagined.

You would have thought that I would have learned to be more conservative with my gift giving for my own children. Well, you are wrong. I started out doing the same thing. My husband didn’t help much both because he was adopted and felt as though he wanted to give his kids the Christmas that he never had.

After several years of this excessive gift giving, my son looked at me and said, “Mommy, it’s too much. I don’t know what I want to play with.” I was jolted back to my childhood and realized that I forgot the true meaning of the season.

Now, we travel for the holidays. We take a few small gifts that we exchange. We talk about what we are grateful for and what we hope for the New Year. Over the years I am more and more surprised when I ask my older kids what they want for Christmas and they say…”Oh, not much. I’ve got everything I need.” Wow, who’d a thunk it? Christmas, about us spending time together and appreciating the gift we have of a loving family.