BLACK FRIDAY GOES PINK!

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MORNING!  Many of you may be seeing this post late in the day because you are part of the CRAZINESS that is called Black Friday.  I am driving to work BUT I can’t help but think of past Black Friday mornings…

Black Friday has an array of memories.

The years Belinda and I camped out at Walmart to do holiday shopping for my best friend’s kids.  She couldn’t get there so we did the shopping and put it on layaway for her.  It was a game for us while others were getting crazy knocking each other over for what they thought was a GREAT deal.

Then there was the year that my Mom was hit head on by someone headed to a Black Friday sale at Best Buy AND she was on her cell phone.  Our lives changed that day for several months as mom healed and we are blessed that God that he kept her safe.

The years that Belinda came home from college and we headed out for “kid and me” time.  Not crazy early but just a day to see what deals we could find after the crazies headed home.

This year, Black Friday will be PINK.  Specials galore on my VIP Customer page along with unannounced specials at my events over the weekend.  Come visit me at the Avon Municipal Building on Saturday.  Check out December’s special and the BEST part is that you can get THREE (yes, I said 3) with ONE purchase of $35.

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Black Friday has memories of happy and sad times but all of them I  cherish.  How are you spending YOUR Black Friday?  Shopping?  Resting? Working?  Visiting with family?  Share your favorite memories with us.

Best wishes for a safe and fun day filled with memories to last a lifetime.

Have a ThirtyOne-derful day!

HAPPY HALLOWEEN

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Halloween, the time of year when we get to dress in costume and pretend to be someone or something else. I can remember going trick or treating when I as growing up with lots of friends. It was a big deal to dress up and collect as much candy as possible. I wanted it to be a fun time for my daughter, Belinda as well but from an early age, this fun night turned into something totally different. We laugh about it now but I know that it has left an impression on her that caused her to dislike Halloween and “masked” people even now at the ripe age of 26.

Our first trip to Disney, Belinda was about 18 months old. I think my mom and I were more excited then Belinda for her first trip on an airplane AND her first of many Disney trips. In a nutshell, Belinda screamed every time she saw a Disney character come near her. She was happy to see them at a distance but did not want them to be close to her. They were BIG, SCARY creatures. To say the least, there are no pictures of my daughter hugging Mickey.

Every Halloween, Belinda dressed in costume and did the trick or treat thing. We did the mall thing sometimes because Belinda wasn’t a big candy eater and the local mall gave out stickers and other items for the kids. Belinda also managed to always get Edythe, Elsie and I to dress up. I can remember one year – we were all ducks. It was rather comical to see 3 grown adults walking around in all yellow sweats with foam web feet and caps made to look like beaks. No, there are no pictures of that fateful night.

Fast forward again when Belinda was trick or treating with her best friend Jen Loder (Otepka). Halloween in Jen’s neighborhood was a BIG deal. The kids dressed in costumes, the houses were decorated and even the adults got into the spirit of things. It was Belinda’s first year spending the holiday in their neighborhood. Rich dressed in costume, came out of the darkness and scared the kids. Now, he did this every year so most of the kids knew it would be coming sometime during the night. No one bothered to tell Belinda about this Halloween tradition. Rich jumped out from behind a tree shaking his chains and dressed in costume. To say the least, Belinda screamed and ran to Jen’s parents who quickly tried to convince her all was well. Rich apologized but it became the talk of the neighborhood how he had managed to scare her. From then on, when Belinda did Halloween at Jen’s, she was watching for him but she was never ready for him to scare her.

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Masked people, large characters and scary/ haunted events were on Belinda’s list of things NOT to do which is funny because she ALWAYS watched the “Nightmare on Elm Street” series at home with my friend April when she was young. Great Halloween memories. What are your favorite Halloween memories growing up or with your children? Share them with us or share pictures of your BEST Halloween costume

Have a ThirtyOne-derful day!

Travel Thursday – Asheville, North Carolina

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Asheville is a city in western North Carolina’s Blue Ridge Mountains. It’s known for its vibrant arts scene and historic architecture, including the dome-topped Basilica of Saint Lawrence and the vast 19th-century Biltmore estate, displaying artwork by masters like Renoir. Its Downtown Art District is filled with galleries and museums, and in the nearby River Arts District, former factory buildings house artists’ studios.

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I have been a sand in my shoes girl all of my life – never wanting to get too far away from the smell of the ocean or the chance to sit by the water and ponder the blessings in my life.  Then my daughter went to North Carolina for college.  Our first trip down was full of wonder at the beauty of the mountains and the trees.  We didn’t spend a lot of time doing much more than moving her in to her college dorm before heading home.

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Over the last 8 years, we have come to love this area.  The small towns nestled in the mountains but close enough to the city to have some fun.  We have been exploring parts of Asheville each time we visit – from shopping to the farmer’s market to the quaint little restaurants.  We had an AWESOME breakfast here….

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Of course no trip to Asheville is complete without stopping by the Mellow Mushroom

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I love to use my Go To Tote to hold those little treasures that we find while strolling through the Farmer’s Market.  It has LOTS of pockets on the outside and room on the inside.  So when I am not keeping my treasures safe, I can use it as my purse.

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Along with my Double Up Crossbody which is great for shopping hands free!

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I am counting down the days till we head back to the quietness of the mountains and get to explore more of what Asheville has to offer.  If you have visited this area or better yet, if you are a local, what are some of YOUR favorite spots?  We would love to check them out on our next trip.

Have a ThirtyOne-derful day!

Source: Courtesy of Free People

Has Your Sparkle Dulled?

“It’s not your job to like me. It’s mine.” ~Byron Katie

I love this quote!

Does this describe you or at least how you view yourself?

I’m short. I’m stumpy. My inner thighs touch when I walk. My gums show too much when I talk. I have to change the way I look. Maybe then you’ll like me.  I obsess. I overanalyze. I get caught up in my head. I dwell on things I should let go. I can never simply go with the flow. I have to learn to be laid back. Maybe then you’ll like me.  I’m shy. I’m anxious. I’m dependent on reassurance. I ask for advice way too much. I look for validation as a crutch. I have to be more confident. Maybe then you’ll like me.

I lived my life like that for many years.  Looking for approval from others when the truth was, I just needed to like myself.  During a coaching session about a year ago, I was “given permission to be myself”.   WOW!  That was a scary thought because I wasn’t sure who that was – I was the preverbal people pleaser.

For many of us, we define ourselves by what we do or who we are related to. Growing up – I was Bob & Joan’s daughter. Florence & Harold’s granddaughter.  Edythe & Elsie’s niece.  At college – I didn’t know who I was. When I entered the adult work force – I was Hope – Security Supervisor or Social Worker. Then there was “I am Hope, I’m an addict.” Then as a mom – I was always “Belinda’s mom”. Don’t get me wrong – I wore each of my titles with pride because that is what defined me.

I was like an antique (yes quickly approaching 60) that had been covered many times with paint to change its color to match the environment that it was in.  Over the last year or so, I have begun to strip away the layers to see who Hope really is and I would say 90% of the time – I like me!

Being in direct sales, I again added a title to my name.  I had to be careful not to hide in the group but I had to let me inner sparkle shine.  I am no longer defined by the job title I have but I am now Hope – wife, mom, daughter, business women, life/ business coach, teacher, consultant, party planner and blogger. I wear many hats but now not just one of them defines who I am.  They are titles but what I want to be remembered for is

Giving myself away so others smile

If you met someone on the street and they said “Hi, my name is Hope. It is nice to meet you?” Would your immediate response be “XX, (your child’s name) mom? Or “XX, (your hubby’s name) wife? They are hats we where but they do not define who we are on the inside.  They may be the way that we know a person so it is an identification factor BUT it is NOT who we are on the inside.

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Peel off the layers and find out who is on the inside.  Transform from the shabby chic antique covered with layers to the polished antique that shows its natural beauty.

Have a ThirtyOne-derful day!

Happy Birthday E!

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I know that there is a party going on in heaven today, well probably for most of the month!!

Growing up, I always liked October because it was birthday month. No, not for me but for family members. It seems like it was one big party. Let’s see there was:

  • Edythe
  • Pop Pop
  • Dad
  • Mom mom Lane

I know, you are saying 4 so what is the big deal, right? Well they all fell within about 1 week of each other. When mom-mom wasn’t cooking a big Sunday dinner to celebrate, we went out to eat. I can remember going to The Squires Pub where the family seemed to know everyone. I mean, I was young so it seemed that way. Two years in a row stand out for the record books. We were all sitting at dinner when my Grandmother said she wasn’t feeling well. She got up to go to the Ladies Room and passed out. Mom got up to help her and she passed out. Okay can you picture this – about 9 of us around the table and now two are passed out on the floor. The manager comes rushing over and the next thing I know the ambulance is there taking care of them. I am not sure that we even finished dinner. It was crazy. No, it wasn’t food poisoning, just a bug or something. Yes, it happened TWO years in a row! Talk about embarrassing. I mean, I couldn’t make this stuff up, right?

Actually, fainting seems to be a family trait that used to happen quite frequently when a room was hot or we felt too closed in. Yes, I would later fall into that family trait. Oh and did I mention that if someone else passed out, we sometimes did as well. It made for some interesting adventures.

As the years went on, things changed. Mom-mom Lane passed away. Mom and Dad divorced. Pop-pop passed away and then sadly 4 years ago so did Edythe. Family celebrations have changed to smaller gatherings. Dad is getting up there in age so we usually just do dinner or something small.

Oh yea this started out as Birthday wishes for Edythe…. so I digressed but that happens when I start thinking about the past. So there is no one to call and sing Happy Birthday to this morning before the sun even rises. No silly balloons or cards to send. No attempts at cake baking by Belinda. Just a day to remember a life lived and memories cherished.

Happy Birthday Edythe! You are missed more than you will ever know. Sending hugs and kisses to the Weston clan in heaven as they celebrate your special day. Love you!

Have a ThirtyOne-derful day!