First day of fall! Perfect outfit for the crisp fall day! Check out the hoops, flash sale! Perfect hoops for everyday.

First day of fall!  Perfect outfit for the crisp fall day! Check out the hoops,  flash sale!  Perfect hoops for everyday.

Steffen Schraut slim shirt
€155 –

J.Crew j crew jeans
€145 –

TOMS suede booties
€115 –

Stella Dot purse
€44 –

Stella Dot beaded jewelry
€180 –

Stella Dot band ring
€37 –

Stella & Dot feather earrings
€35 –

Stella Dot gold band ring
€26 –

Good Works!

The purpose of life is not to be happy. It is to be useful, to be honorable, to be compassionate, to have it make some difference that you have lived and lived well.

— Ralph Waldo Emerson

I love hearing about great organizations doing great work to help people who need it most.  I am so sick of hearing about the Kardashians and about Trump.  This is the group we need to be talking about:  Good Shepherd Shelter!

They provide free moving services to survivors of domestic violence.  Being an that environment and you need to get out, often you don’t know if you can.  It can be dangerous and cost a lot of money!  Good Shepherd Shelter can out!  They just in Los Angeles, but I wish they were everywhere!  If you or know someone in a dangerous situation, help them!  Domestic violence is no joke and if you do not live in LA.  Contact the National Domestic Violence hotline at 1.800.799.SAFE (7233), when I heard about Good Shepherd Shelter, it made me think that this is still a problem and we need to make sure that people are safe!  Spread the word and help others. I was not strong enough to help my mom, I was scared, my mom didn’t want to lose her kids.  If I could go back, I would have called the hotline and changed our situation.  This is something that needs to stop!  No more ridiculous so called celebrities taking precedence over real issues.  Please check out Good Shepard Shelter, if you are in the area, volunteer, donate!  The National Domestic Violence hotline can also use your help.  Click on their title for more information.  Even if you help just one survivor it can make a difference!  Check them out!

A few of my favorite things!

A few of my favorite things!

Stella Dot vintage jewelry
€120 –

Stella Dot leather necklace
€87 –

Stella Dot cuff bracelet
€35 –

Stella Dot bracelet
€43 –

Stella & Dot stud earrings
€35 –

Stella Dot scarve
€52 –

Stella Dot vintage jewelry
€43 –

So far so good!

You change your life by changing your heart.

Max Lucado

So my life to do list is off to an okay start.  I got accepted to the University of Alabama.  They have a program called the New College Life Track for people like ME!  With life experience, past college credit and cannot be in a traditional classroom.  So far, I have been working on assignments and am doing my best to carve out time to read and do quizzes (I have been using my Day Designer for managing assignments and my May Design notebooks for note taking.)  Thank goodness for the Amazon Kindle, I can rent textbooks and/or purchase them and load them onto my Kindle app on my iPad or my laptop.  I am officially in college!  If you are military or want to go back to school and can’t go to an actual campus, check out University of Alabama and RollTide!  I like that I am going to an actual university and have a lot of support from the faculty and staff.  Especially being 7 hours ahead.

Working out and feeling good!  I have my second half-marathon this weekend and I am nervous, I have not trained as well as I had hoped, but I ran 10 miles last week so I mentally feel ready to run 13.1 miles.  I am excited and I have been doing well setting up a schedule that gets me up and moving.  There have been moments where I am too tired, I run then.  I do have to work on stretching, I am not as young as I use to be!  I am happy with the way I have been feeling.

I have not been obsessing as much as I use to.  I have had my moments here and there, but not like before where I let it take over everything I did.  I breathe a little easier and just tell myself it was in the past and let it go!  I have not been sad either, learning to let go and move forward has been a learning process.   It had been a long time coming but I finally get it, no matter what, I have to move on with my life and not dwell on the past, I am no good for anyone if I hold grudges.  I love feeling light and without any weight on my heart and chest.  Moving on has never felt so good!  I am still a work in progress, I am not completely there yet.  But I am getting there.

The one thing I have to work on is yelling and not being so hard on my kids.  I want my kids to grow up happy, strong and able to handle things.  I want them to go on the path of strength and I don’t want them to be like how I was as a kid, I want them to not take shit  stuff from anyone!  ANYONE!  I just want to be a good mom!

Life is getting there, I am slowly loving myself and knowing that I am enough.  I am not perfect but I am enough.  My to do is to continue working on me.  40 is not that far and plan to check off the list and so far, I like where I am heading.

What to do!

As an Army family, keeping track of things like important documents and orders for our next post is necessary.  I am great when it comes to moving, for my own personal things that is a different story.  When you move as much as we do, you can’t help but keep track of things.  And when we get to our next station, you have to be organized. Funny I can organize moving a household, but I cannot get myself to finish my degree!  Which is why I have been on a big to do list kick.  The summer is almost over and the school year is about to begin, time to get back on schedule.  I love me a good list!  The whole pen and paper, marking things off in pen with your favorite colored ink.  I also love a good planner!  I do have my iPhone and us my iCal, but there is something about opening a spiraled notebook with dates and reminders.  Having a tangible way of keeping track and staying on track is helpful and can be fun and when you have items that are tried and true and not to mention pretty, it makes staying on track enjoyable.


Now I can get a little crazy about all the pretty papers and colorful pens.  But how can you not? With so many companies out there, the typical filofax and post-its aren’t cutting it anymore. There are stores out there with floral patterns and geometrics, stripes and inspiring quotes to make getting your (pardon my language!) shit together that much more fun!  I am going to share my favorite planners and notebooks to keep me organized.  Do you have a favorite?  Share it with me!


I love a good notebook, through Stella and Dot I discovered May Designs.  Their beautiful notebooks are the perfect size to carry with me in my purse.  You can personalize the cover with very cool designs to match your personality and tastes.  I usually just get the notebooks with lines so that I can take notes and keep track.  Every design is unique and I love when they collaborate with other companies and organizations.  Their Pinterest board is pretty!  I enjoy seeing where they get their inspirations.   The notebooks are a great quality, the stitching is strong and makes for a unique detail.  In the picture below are 4 of the notebooks I created to use throughout the year.  The colors are great and they also have notecards too! That way you can send a sweet message to your favorite person.  They make great gifts for the student, new parent, anyone!  They ship to APOs as well so if you are overseas, snatch these up!  IMG_0599 copy.jpg





Now when I got into planners, I just went with what was easy, Filofax which were all the rage in the 90’s was my go to.  But now you have so many that help you get your life in order.  The one that I have been using and liking has been the Day Designer.  Created by Whitney English this planner is everything and more.  It organizes your life!  It has some great pages to write down long term goals for yourself, family and work.  Every month and day is perfectly sectioned so that you can optimize your output for the week.  The inspirational quotes on each page gives you a little jumpstart.  Whitney English created a great template to map out what YOU want to get done. I like using this to keep track of my volunteering not to mention it has a top three most important, I always make sure to add my workouts so I don’t skimp on them (I have been on a roll since my last checklist post!).  Her blog is great too and ties in the Day Designer so well.  Click on her name and check out ‘Life+Business+Creativity’ and get ready to tackle that list.


And even if you don’t write things down and use just your smartphone, there are great apps for that as well!  I like using my reminder app on my iPhone to remind of what I have to do, I can even remind myself to check my to-do list so I don’t neglect it.  My iCal is great, the husband and I share one so we always know what is going on ESPECIALLY with the kids.  There is no way we will EVER forget to pick up the boys from soccer practice.  By sharing the calendar I can prepare for the week without playing 20 questions.  There is no confusion and the husband as well doesn’t have to question me about school events!  Other apps like Evernote is also helpful!  You can create files, notebooks and load photos, whether you are holding a meeting or getting ready to PCS, Evernote allows you to create these particular files so you stay on task and not lose your cool.  They even have an Evernote food app so you can keep your favorite recipes, restaurants and meal plans in one easy spot.


Checklists offer you a way to get things organized, something I have been trying to do for the past 10 years.  Is all of this a metaphor for something?  Yes in a way, by clearly defining what you want to accomplish it allows you to look at the big picture and tackle big things head on.  For me, instead talking about it, writing it down and seeing it makes me focus.  I have a lot to get done in a few years and so far, I am well on my way.  I like planning trips and get togethers, I have a hard time planning my life and keeping myself in check.  A checklist for life is effective and gets me to my ultimate goals.  I don’t want regret not finishing what I have started, that stops now.  Checklists are used to organize a house, to prep for a new baby, to start a business, plan for big events.  Why not use a checklist to organize your life?  We all want to make sure that we are doing well and making ourselves happy.  We all want to accomplish little and big goals so why not make it into a list to help you do just that!  I am at a point in my life where I am done talking and I have to start doing.  My checklists, are my way of getting things done and feeling awesome for finishing what I have started.


Disclaimer: Sorry for the picture quality.  I didn’t clean off the lens on my camera phone very well. 


Okay so Tim Ferris who wrote the book ‘The 4 Hour Work Week,’ has an amazing blog!  His recent post of ‘5 things I’ve been loving’ has some great stuff!  Check him out and his books!  I will be doing the 4 hour body, should be interesting.  His podcast is great!  If you do not know who he is, you should!

Also I have a Pinterest board that I have been filling up and looking at from time to time.  How to live happy, check it out!



Forgive and forget, two words that seem to go hand in hand, two words I have difficulty with.  I can forgive but forgetting is tough and I know that when I ask for forgiveness, they will not forget either.  I am not perfect and accept that I have made mistakes, my mistakes haunt me every day.  They are a constant reminder of how I have screwed up and that I have failed those closest to me.  I need forgiveness, without it I can’t live with myself.

I also have hard time of letting go, forgetting is not a strong suit, to forget means that I can get over it and I can’t.  I can’t let go of the fact that I was hurt and made to look stupid and taken advantage of.  I have let people do that my whole life and I can’t do it anymore.  It is part of my faith to forgive those who have hurt me, but I can’t.

But I do not want to be weak anymore!  I refuse to let those who have hurt me continue to and I have to remember it is better to forgive than to forget.  I know that it is not the end of the world, a thick skin is what is needed and to move on.  Part of the reason I have this thing is because my mom never forgave me for things.  I would apologize but she never truly forgave me and had no problem reminding me what I did wrong.  She would NEVER forget nor forgive.  Trying to please and make sure that I am forgiven is a result of me trying very hard to get my mother’s forgiveness.  My mom was hard on me and expected me to be good, “don’t breathe like that.”  “Don’t chew like that!”  “Why are you standing like that!”  Everything I did was wrong, I wasn’t what she 100% wanted, until I married my husband who was everything she would have wanted, then in her eyes I did well.

Not forgiving and holding grudges has been a lifetime struggle and last night I screwed up, I messed up on our payments to our HOA and could feel the disappoint in my spouses’ face.  I took responsibility for my screw up but it ate me up inside , I didn’t feel forgiven.  I didn’t want it held over my head, I wanted absolution.  Last night, I couldn’t sleep!  I stayed awake knowing that I made a mistake and he didn’t forgive me.  We are just starting to pay down things I messed things up!  It drained me emotionally and tonight, he confronted me.  He didn’t do anything, I just wanted to be forgiven!  I find myself drained, lightheaded, swollen eyes from crying and asking permission to do things.  He forgave me but it wasn’t enough for me!

I haven’t felt this way since my mom!

I have been harboring this within me for 30 years!  I have been passive-aggressive as to not rock the boat and as a result, I have become this weak person who can’t accept forgiveness unless I am shown.  An embrace or even a touch on my arm, its ridiculous!  I am acting like a victim, I am not.  All because I can’t let go of what happened in my past.

” When you forgive, you in no way change the past – but you sure do change the future.

I forgive the way my mom was, she was brought up the same way, you can’t blame her for her upbringing.  I can’t blame her for mine, I have to grow up and not do the same thing to my kids.  I also have to understand that I can’t forget, if I forget then I can’t learn and grow from the situation.  I have to let go of the pain and the anger, if I want to heal.  Making mistakes is better than making perfection, I could not be perfect for my mom.  Time to let go of that!  I have been selfish and wanted attention and me me ME!  I lost friends because of that and I have let go of that.  My husband forgave me, not in the way I wanted, I have to accept the forgiveness.  I can’t drudge up the past and use it now.  I can’t carry all of this when I turn 40 and I do not want my kids to carry it either.  They can’t end up like me, not like this.  I have to forgive as well, we are human, if I can’t forgive than how can I move on.  It has to go both ways!  Open heart, open arms, forgive, move on.


I have hit the wall, the epiphany hit me as well and my to-do list is getting done.  Letting go and moving on is being worked on, now that it has been pinpointed I can move forward.  I am so drained, my emotional tank is empty I need to go fill it up and get some sleep.  Tomorrow is a new day.

The To-Do List of Life


So I am not far from turning forty, I have a lot of things that I NEED to accomplish before I turn 40. I am currently 38, I turn 39 in 4 months. I have a year and 4 months to do it. Why? Because if I do not then why the hell did I put it on my to-do list. I like to-do lists, they keep me in check, I can knock out everything that needs to get done. I get a lot done, I feel good accomplishing these tasks and know that I can conquer the next day. Tackling a list that has a lot on it is a challenge but one that I can and need to do. Without a list, I would just sit on my ass and do nothing and whine that nothing ever gets done.
My to-do list of life is not long but; it is the to-do list of all lists. This is the list that I have held over my head. The items on this list are items that I have been trying and wanting to accomplish since I graduated high school. Some are things that I have added because I am done feeling sorry for myself. What goes on in my head is not what goes on in real life, it is time to put on my big girls panties on and get through this list before my 40th birthday. That is my intended goal. And I will get through it. Like my currently half-marathon training, I will push myself to do my best.
I will for sure blog about the to-do list. Putting it out into the world, cosmically I think will help me in the accountability department. To be honest, I am good at coming excuses as to why I wasn’t able to do anything. It is a habit I developed that is not very good, something I know I got from my dad which does not make me any happier either. My dad always came up with reasons why he did what he did much to my mother’s chagrin. I don’t want to come up with excuses! This is the swift kick I need.
Now some of the items on my life to-do list are in progress, but they are indeed goals that I need and want to accomplish. They have been lingering around for several years and it is time to get them done. If I do not then I wasted all that time for nothing. I have some now or never goals that I want to accomplish, they are very recent goals that I want to try and accomplish. I will prioritize this list, like I do with my regular to-do lists. And while some tasks will take longer, I want to make sure that I check them off.
The ultimate goal, that by my 40th birthday comes around, I will have 95% of my to-do list checked off. I will consider time constraints like illness or emergencies, the big to-do’s will be checked off for sure. I will take into account that I live in Belgium and that I have kids to take care of, I will not put them on the back burner just because mommy has things to do. I tried doing that and my life was not great as a result of my actions!  I want them to see that you can accomplish things and be proud that you did it.

So what is on my to-do list, it is not long however every item is something worth accomplishing.  We all make list short lists and long ones, the length of the list does not matter, what matters is that you check them off.


My Life To-Do List:

  • Graduate with Bachelors
  • Pay off outstanding debt
  • Become a Star Stylist with Stella and Dot
  • Finally let go of the past
  • Get my teeth fixed
  • Run in 3 half-marathons
  • Stop taking things personally
  • Get certified in Crossfit Endurance and Football
  • Get my certificate to teach English
  • Be a better mom
  • Better my fitness and lose weight


The Bachelors has been a work in progress for the past 14 years.  I am at a point now where if I don’t get it then everything else I want to do would have no foundation.  If I decide to start something, I would have no base to go back to.  And also I would not feel like I failed, failure is such a strong feeling and I am done with failing.

Paying off debts, it is mostly old loans that I have deferred over and over and well it is time to pay them off.  I want build our forever home and build one that is beautiful and amazing, with my credit score we will not have our dream forever home.  And I want to be able to buy items that last a lifetime that do not require assembly.  I want to secure a college education for my kids, we have one started but I want them to not have to worry about taking out loans.

Stella and Dot, I love this company.  It is the one home-based company that I truly stand-by.  We have amazing jewelry, handbags, scarves.  But I am a huge self-sabotageur.  I am all gung-ho, I publicize my business, trunk shows, you name it and when I see an opportunity and I fear that people won’t like me.  I missed out on a lot of great opportunities back in Maryland.  I blame myself for not putting myself out there more.  I didn’t work hard enough and for that I failed myself and my business.  I self-sabotage because it is easier than seeing what I am capable of, I am in a way scared of succeeding.  Also part of the reason why I am scrambling to check off this list, a lot of these is because of self-sabotage.  The high school girl in my head keeps telling me, “you’re not good enough”  I have heard that a lot in my teen years and it still haunts.  So with my Stella and Dot business I need to nix the doubt and go out there!

With the self-sabotage which should be on the list to stop doing, letting go of the past is a huge part of that as well.  Letting go has been a work in progress, the negative thoughts of failed friendships and opportunities creep into my head and I think back to the what ifs which are too late.  They happened and that is it.

“Experience is simply the name we give our mistakes”-Oscar Wilde

I am not perfect and it does effect me that I can’t do things a certain way like other spouses and moms.  I need to let go of the idea of perfection.  It is unattainable.

Getting my teeth fixed is obvious, I have bad teeth end of story.  Run in 3 half-marathons, I haven’t decided which ones, I just want to run in them.

Stop taking things personally.  I do this, I wear my heart on my sleeve and this ties into letting go of the past.  I know and am still learning that not everyone will like me.  I don’t have to be everyone’s friend and if I am not myself, people will not like me.  And if I act like a selfish bitch, it will not get me far, just nasty looks.  The whole world is not against me, I need to develop a thicker skin for sure.

The next two go with bettering myself, getting certified in Crossfit endurance and football and to teach English.  These two will take longer, getting my Bachelors is number one and one of the most important things.  I am not too worried if I do not finish by I am 40.

Be a better mom, I am tough on my kids, I lose my temper and I want to give my kids a great life.  My kids mean the world to me and I don’t want to raise them to be inept adults.  I want them to thrive out there, I want them to be strong, stand up for themselves.  Be courageous, respectful, loving and kind men!  Being a mom is ultimate role of my life.  5 years ago, I put being a mom on the back burner and I suffered.  My kids do not remember that, I do not want them to but I will never do that again.  I do not want to guilt them the way my mom did me, they are the one thing I have not sabotaged.  They are the reason why I want to better myself.

Better my fitness and lose weight.  My physical appearance is a touchy subject with me, I never had a great body, I was never considered pretty.  There was a moment in my life where I was super skinny, but I was not doing it in a healthy way.  I love a good workout,  the low self-esteem keeps me from wanting to love my body the way it is.  I self-sabotage!  I do really great and then I get upset and I over do things because it feels better.  I complain instead of doing something about it.  Beside growing thicker skin, I need to be comfortable in it as well!  Will I look like a model?  HELL NO!  Will a be a healthier version of myself, absolutely.

I am done!  I am done self-sabotaging my chance at an education, of letting go of the past, of taking things personally, my business, my health, my relationships with those around me and my physical appearance.  I am done!  I am irritated with myself that I am at this point, I feel very stunted in the way I have grown and lived my life.  I wish I can go back and change things, but I can’t do that and just focus on the now and my future.  The past has helped me to get to this point, no more looking back.  Just going forward!!  NO MORE SELF-SABOTAGE!!!  I am done!

This list is the ultimate to-do list, I have to get this done or else.  Join me on this journey to finishing!  Do you have a checklist?  I am ready to tackle these tasks and get to where I need be emotionally, mentally,physically and spiritually.

Time to tackle the to-do list!