It’s Not The Leap of Faith That Scared Me. It’s The Landing.

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We’ve all shared that feeling of being at your lowest of lows. When you can’t seem to do anything right, nothing fits, you’re in a bad mood, you’re secluded and isolated and the deafening combination of noise and silence is all that surrounds you.

Which makes the highest of highs even sweeter.

I’m talking you don’t know what to do next because you are so overwhelmed with joy. you get a phone call, a text, an email…and you just sit back to stare out the window, hands clasped and repeat ‘Thank you, GOD, for this!’


So I also know the last thing you want to do when you’re in a low is hear about someone else’s high point. If you want to bookmark this and come back later, no offense taken. But I am such a believer in finding the positive out of the sh**iest day (YOU.ARE.ALIVE! YOU ARE BREATHING!) that I hope you will stick with me and know that my DM’s are always open for you to slide in and talk to me.


I look back at the girl I was as a young adult/teen and it amazes me how ‘fearless’ I was. I tried out for everything I could, I interviewed for every job, I applied for every scholarship…you name it I was probably there.

It was never taking that leap of faith into the unkown that scared me.

It was trying to figure out how or where I would land. 


I wasn’t worried about having to dance or sing or speak in front of others. No, not at all. In fact I was known for usually impromptu-ing the entire thing.

It was when the results came in that I felt the sense of embarrassment or excitement that usually comes from a performance or interaction.


Let’s take dance for instance since I am currently figuring out yet another foot injury. (I promise I am a 25-year-old with 80-year-old bones.) 

I learned the technique, the movement and how to land. I memorized the entire routine and big picture in my mind and all it took was a few bad falls to land sideways and roll my ankle HARD to make me timid of approaching it again. Babying an injury that usually resolves with I.C.E. Then, once you’ve cured the issue, you head back out for your next ‘first time’ and you’re fine doing things full out.

This was quite literally a leap but I understand we all have similar experiences. You ever have those dreams where you’re flying or jumping on a huge trampoline and you just keep going and going like Superman pushing the atmosphere into outer space?

And it’s an amazing, euphoric feeling to FLY!

But then you realize you are a human….and you aren’t built for flying.

Cue your stomach dropping and that sick feeling deep in your gut trying to figure out the next move. How will I keep going? How will I land? Uh oh, going back down better figure this out quickly.


In both of these experiences I was most scared about the landing. Getting height on your leap or knowing you can fly are some of the best feelings. Only when you are up as high as you can go do you realize how much you can see around you. You can see the big picture, every person you love, the good, the bad, the ugly, maybe even a glimpse at the future. But you have to take the action and make the jump to see that.

You’ll never know if you never try.


I find it ironic that the thing I was most scared about–aka falling on the ground, landing on my face, breaking something— was the one thing holding me up. The foundation I was standing on, the thing that holds up multi-story structures, protects us from elements and storms, literally grows and re-grows living things…and I was concerned it would let me down???

How selfish.

I love this quote.

if you think

Your foundation is your faith. Your discipline. Your family and friends and support network.

You are standing on the ground without literally ever questioning how else you will walk, not afraid of falling in (except city grates those things I avoid at all costs) it’s as natural as breathing and you’re telling me you’re more powerful than that?


As we approach the one year mark of starting Local Collaborative, I am reminded of the fearlessness and determination I felt when setting my site to live and publicizing my new venture. The chain of events leading up to the launch were extremely evident and on my mind daily. When the opportunity arose to find another work opportunity or create something I wholeheartedly believed in; I chose to chase after what set my soul on fire.

I know a lot of things I want out of life and I’m intimidated by declaring a ‘purpose’ but I do know had I settled yet again for being taken advantage of, smothering my creativity, following mundane tasks that led nowhere quickly…I would also be headed no where quickly.


I had no clue that I would go months without replacing my income and I am still nowhere close! But I’m fine. We’re fine. I feel no stress. I would be doing this for free if I didn’t want to contribute to my family’s income and time is my currency. I love collaborating instead of closed-off delegation and the flexibility this allows me is exactly what our lifestyle requires.

I often think about if I were given the chance to go change something in my past or take a glimpse of my future…I would probably go change something in the past. If nothing else but to guide that fearless but lost and insecure girl. I find so much of the payoff and surprise of the unknown takes you back to your roots, your gut instinct and trusting the foundation you’ve built for yourself thus far.


A challenge is inevitable but defeat is optional. Even if you ‘lose’ you will gain a lesson.

Don’t worry about how big that leap of faith is. In fact, I hope you take it and soon! No matter how, the ground will always be there to catch you.




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Book Club Review + Bonus Download. GET THIS BEFORE THE NEW YEAR! (November & December 2018)

Before we begin, look to the right. If that doesn’t say you’re following the blog make sure you put your email in and I’ll send you free downloads from here on out!

In 2017 I started a list of my goals and accountability tracking for the year. I reached and exceeded every goal. (You can see that post on my personal page here.) If you haven’t read my other book reviews from this year you can catch up here.

The goal of this section of the blog is to share a glimpse into what inspires, motivates and teaches me. Out of the books I read, I only bring up the ones I would suggest taking a look at…there are still a few that get left out; entirely based on my own opinions.

So where do I find all these books to read? Lots of places. I follow the Book of the Month Club on Instagram and I get weekly suggestions from my daily news source, theSkimm. You can sign up for free here using my referral code!

Read For Fun

beautiful ruins Beautiful Ruins by Jess Walter

A romantic love story set in Italy and Hollywood, this novel takes you back and forth in time and place. This story spans fifty years between people who dreamed of loving each other but cannot find each other or reconnect. There were lies, deception, missed connections and sacrifices. The story revolves around several characters interfering in one another’s lives with surprises and rocky navigation written with descriptive, rich language and telling a beautiful story. It’s less about travel and more about the depth of the characters. While I don’t think this is one that’s the most memorable, it could make for a great romance novel, beach read or audiobook for background noise.


 A Gentleman in Moscow by Amor Towles

Russia Investigation PTSD? No worries this is much, much different than that. It focuses on an in-depth character named Count Alexander Rostov who is a Russian aristocrat. He is convicted (Wrongly? Read it and find out) and is sentenced to confinement in the attic of a luxury hotel. While this might sound luxurious for some of us, the Count finds himself in a deep depression and is saved by the hotel staff before jumping off the roof. He finds a new purpose in sharing his knowledge of manners and etiquette which he shares as an employee, mentor and friend to others in the hotel. This book follows Alexander, the loveable Count, and his tribe in a journey of triumph and complications in communist Russia. Interesting but an easy read.

 Charlotte Walsh Likes To Win by Jo Piazza

This book stood out because of the political climate and was #GirlPower without being super feminist. It was entertaining, heartbreaking, realistic and entertaining enough I could picture it as a TV show. I finished this fairly quickly so it’s great to read on a weekend or during a short trip. This was well-balanced and so well written I recommend to all!


 We Were the Lucky Ones by Georgia Hunter

If I could make it mandatory to read one book this year, it would be this one. When the author, Georgia Hunter, was fifteen years old, she learned that she came from a family of Holocaust survivors. We Were the Lucky Ones was born of her quest to uncover her family’s staggering history. While this novel is inspired by the incredible true story of one Jewish family, the author explained “The story that unfolds in We Were the Lucky Ones is based on true events. Every significant movement, incarceration, brush with death and escape described in the book actually happened.” The Kurc family is separated at the start of World War II, determined to survive—and to reunite—We Were the Lucky Ones is a tribute to the triumph of hope and love against all odds. This will draw you in, keep you there, take you on an unbelievable ride, pull your heartstrings and make you hold your breath. This is a must read. 


stay with me Stay With Me by Ayobami Adebayo

I completed this audiobook in less than three days. I felt like hearing the character’s voices helped jump into the story. This is usually not a book I would ever have picked up or been interested in but it was raw, authentic, emotional and it was shortlisted for the Women’s Prize for Fiction. If I only had a select few words to describe this book I would say it starts off as a young-love romance and the intentions of a happy marriage every new couple has. But after years of infertility and the pressure and shame from the Nigerian culture, they face polygamy, murder and several other high-stake costs of the ‘happy life.’ 

behind closed doors Behind Closed Doors by B.A. Paris

This was so.good. There are two books with this title so make sure you double check the author before reading. Behind Closed Doors has you cheering for the murderer throughout the novel and takes you through the physical and psychological life of domestic abuse from the wife’s point of view. What you would most likely suggest the husband is already two steps ahead of. This jumps between Past and Present chapters in the most seamless way and I came back eagerly waiting to read it every time. 

same kind Same Kind of Different as Me by Ron Hall & Denver Moore

You can’t afford not to read this. This novel was written by the ‘characters’ and tells the true story of how their lives intersected. The book was also released as a movie in 2017. It was recommended to me by a friend and you can easily have it read in 1-2 days. It revolves around a white couple in Forth Worth who begin volunteering with the homeless when they come across a black man named Denver. Denver tells his stories about growing up on a Louisiana plantation and the unimaginable life obstacles and pain he had to face; ultimately deaths of everyone ever close to him lead to his being homeless. As the title suggests, the couple and Denver find out how the other reflects so much in them and 


Read For Improvement










Straight Talk For Startups by Randy Komisar and Jantoon Reigersman


This book was gifted to me by a family who created their own startup business and I was excited to find it was broken down by these 100 rules into chapters; making it a lot easier to read through. They had examples of moguls you always here about, lessons learned from personal experience and went fairly in depth on investors, funding and liquidity. While this is nothing I see Local Collaborative going through any time soon it was great information for on boarding a team and being aware of what OTHER clients who are startups might face. 

girl wash your face









Girl, Wash Your Face by Rachel Hollis

I finally came up on the waitlist for this instantly famous non-fiction novel and it was just as entertaining as you’d think…I finished it in two days. There will for sure be a dedicated post to just this (or even 12,390 posts) so make sure you’re following on the right. I love books like this so much that I filled up an entire sticky note on my desktop with favorite saying, pieces of info and story prompts. My favorite thing about listening to the audio book was hearing the famous speaker’s voice motivating you and the Q&A at the end. It’s a great read for women and young girls and, even if you don’t share in the publicly embarrassing stories like she does because that would be weird, you will internally relate. 

Unlimited Book Review at Unlimited by Jillian Michaels

While I didn’t hear a ton from this book that came across as groundbreaking, I did find a few good examples of the hard-ass approach that Jillian Michaels is famous for. Unless you’re a fan of Jillian then I don’t think you’re missing much. Every chapter is filled with examples from her Biggest Loser contestants. One of my favorite excerpts in her last chapter was the difference of quitting vs. letting go because I resonate with that daily


There will be more in-depth blogs coming up on the self-improvement books especially so make sure to subscribe so you don’t miss out. Simply enter your email in the Follow box on the right and let the world wide web take care of the rest!


You’ve read through my opinions so you deserve some FREE STUFF! Make sure you are following the blog (upper right of this page) to get free downloads in the future. Once you’re following, go ahead and download this document: GOALS FOR 2019 from Local Collaborative I mentioned to track your goals and adventures for the rest of the year and into 2019.



PS: Are you enjoying these blogs? Have we worked together? I would love to get your short and honest review on my Facebook page. Thanks in advance!

Girls Weekend in North Carolina

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We had just moved in to our new home in North Carolina and would host our first guests the next week. Over Labor Day 2018 two of my friends, Lauren and Tessa, made the drive down from West Virginia!

We were new to the area and had much less to do than the PNW but we still had a blast! The first day we had together was spent driving out to Caswell Beach on Oak Island. We chose the Oak Island stretch because of the liquor laws and the atmosphere. There were lots of young couples and about as many families during the busy weekend. Before you go, research what the rules for alcohol are , because some don’t allow it, then pack a cooler of canned beer and head out. 

We made the wise decision of eating lunch before heading out to take beach photos. Much like Oahu. Grab a table at Shagger Jacks for some seafood, burgers and simple drinks. It’s a short drive to the beach and free parking for  beachfront access. 

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We had a great time laying out on the beach since the sand was super soft and surprisingly clean. We were to the left of the Oak Island Pier that’s experienced multiple hurricanes and was built/rebuilt a total of three times from what I’m aware of. We liked playing in the warm Atlantic water even though we couldn’t see much. 

After a day in the sun, grilling at home and having friends over for game night was perfect. 

The next day we wanted to take our friends on a tour of Fort Bragg (something we usually do with any guests we have in a new area) and on up to the infamous Southern Pines. Southern Pines is just south of Pinehurst which is known for their world class golf courses and hosting several events. Southern Pines is easy to walk around eating, drinking and shopping in this area. Over the multiple trips we usually visit Chapmans, The Bell Tree, Neville’s and The Jefferson Inn. New favorites include the Mockingbird on Broad for unique gifts, Betsy’s Crepes for the infamous treats, Southern Pines Growler Co. and Southern Pines Brewing Company just a few minutes down the road. We have a few places on the still-need-to-visit list including Sweet Basil

If you’re looking for any suggestions, reach out! 

If you’re worried about having fun…don’t be.

On our way home we also stopped in at the hometown star of the show, and well loved by locals, The Mill at Puppy Creek. They frequently announce live music guests and have homestyle food with a few local and domestic beers. The thing that really sells this place, however, is that it is set in the woods down a gravel drive with an old mill feel next to a river. During Hurricane Florence it was amazing to see how many people volunteered times and services at The Mill to help block the rising river from destructing the restaurant again. 

There are basically two levels to the restaurant and bar with an outdoor seating patio perfect for twinkling lights and live music. It was not only fun to meet new friends but also get an initial bachelorette party for Lauren! (Hint: The Bud Light hat.)

How we feel after hosting a whirlwind Labor Day Girl’s Weekend.

If you’re familiar with anyone in a military or long-distance position you know how important it is to visit them and make an effort to explore a new place. We have lots of places left on our list but we are excited to get out and see the east coast! Please leave your suggestions below. 



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The Mountains Are Calling: Mount Si

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Si what I did there? 

Okay. I’m done. Mount Si (pronounced sigh) was our last big hike we did before leaving Washington. As any other Sunday we headed out on July 8, 2018 around 11 a.m. to climb a mountain.

From a previous hike at Rattlesnake Ledge, another must do!, we had seen and heard all the rave about Mount Si. Si is in the Snoqualmie Area and is 8 miles round-trip. As far as elevation goes you’ll get a gain of 3,150 ft in under four miles. The highest point is 3,900 ft. From using our WTA app I found out this mountain was very important to the Snoqualmie people.

“In the legends of the Snoqualmie people, Mount Si was the body of the moon, fallen to earth through the trickery of the fox and the blue jay.”


This was a dog-friendly hike so we were taking our German Shepherd/Saluki Mix, Argo, and Drew’s pack. It was the ideal hiking day; maybe even a little too hot: Clear and 72 degrees. As soon as we got near the infamous peak and sheer edges were showing off for us. It’s intimidating to view this driving in but soooo satisfying when you’re driving away. Feeling like a badass=addicting. 

Post-Hike IG story. Can you see Argo’s tired head waiting for ice cream?
IG: @marinslocalcollab

It’s important to note that they have a parking lot but you might find it difficult to find a spot. If it’s a great day expect to create a spot like we (and many others) did. They also have a bus option to shuttle in and out if you don’t want to bother driving. They also have bathrooms and a water spout at the trailhead.

On the way up you have an opportunity to learn about the Snag Flat and how the mountain survived logging, mining, fires, and other natural causes. The trail you walk actually was once a 4×4 track. 

Finding squirrels and chipmunks

By the time we started our hike up it was 12:45 p.m. With a few stops to enjoy the view, catch my breath and dog breaks we reached the top at 1510 (or 3:10 p.m.) 

From the top we could see beautiful Mount Rainier, Snoqualmie Valley, Seattle, and the Olympics. If you look down and around you you can also see small wildlife.

We took turns holding the dog while the other navigated through jagged rocks to climb even further to the peak. If you’re able, go a little bit further up. The view changes with every few feet and you get closer and closer to a 360 view. The true summit is called Haystack.

In early spring, climbers getting ready for Rainier come here with weighted packs. Conventional wisdom says if they can reach the end of the trail in under two hours, they’re ready to conquer the state’s tallest peak. 


The top is mostly rocks so don’t expect shade for your lunch or snack break. I recommend lots of water, a hat and crouching down under the tree or large rocks you’ll find for shade. 

We started heading down at 3:45 p.m. and were back in the truck by 5:30 p.m. I remember how much my knees HURT so wearing proper hiking gear, layers and good boots will make a world of difference. No, we never used poles. 

As I shared on my Facebook and Instagram (FOLLOW ME FOR REAL TIME UPDATES!)

Conquered Mount Si today and HOLY KNEES AND CALVES this was no joke! 8 miles in 5 hours. We gained about 1,000 ft in elevation per mile and reached the elevation 3,500 ft. Perfect hiking day with clear views of all the cities and #mountrainier ! 😍

This kicked my ass!

Not only was it a steep and slightly challenging hike there were a lot of people on the trail (100,000 per year hike this trail) and I was at the battle of some health issues that would last a few months. But, as with all of our hikes, I was impressed that I was capable of handling something like that in good time and the view is always worth it.

Don’t let this scare you away though! Novice hikers are just as welcome and enjoy it just as much. We had so many friends who denied (and continue to deny) exploring the areas we live in. If you just get out and try you will be in awe. You have no idea what you’re missing until you go see it for yourself. 

Cheers to getting outside and moving today!


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Interest in Pinterest: Analytics For Any Season

The world is visual. 

We want to see beautiful photos, watch motivating videos and see professional, clean posts in person and online. 

You may not think the font, colors or editing you use is important but it is. 

You want to know why? 

  • 87 percent of consumers purchase a product solely based on how it looks. 
  • 94 percent of first impressions are design-related.
  • 75 percent of potential customers confessed to making judgments about a company’s credibility based on their website’s design.

Social media, websites and online presence are more than likely the first impression someone will have of you; make it a lasting impression. 

You know why clearance sections are in the back corners of the store? They want the regularly priced items up front, they want the pretty display up front, the neatly folded clothes up front…the disorganized, pile of clothes with the small, white, boring sign above it. 

When an area is too busy or confusing humans avoid it. Chaos and messy areas are distracting to your senses (clean your room!) and you will never get your message across with the ‘noisy’ distraction of a mess. 

If your site is bland it looks neglected.

If it’s all over the place you look irresponsible. 

If you have incorrect grammar, spelling or punctuation it looks careless.

For a review of your current branding efforts, schedule a free consultation. You can also check out this post on branding.

No matter the season or occasion, people hop on Pinterest to plan their next celebration. 

There are several tools you can use to post across multiple platforms. Buffer, IFTTT and Hootsuite are some I have used and enjoyed. 

In order to track your progress and impressions you will need to establish a business account on Pinterest. Here is a quick guide on how to do that. You can either ‘rebrand’ and change your current page or create a new one; whichever makes more sense for your business and products. 

Not sure? Just ask!

Next, make sure your boards are organized into Holiday Recipes, Christmas Decor, etc. For examples on how to do this check out popular brands like Target, Crate and Barrel or other popular brands in your field. 

You will also want to make sure your images and headlines match up with the season as I mentioned in this blog. Get your pins out earlier than the season as people want to prepare. December 1 is not the time to start sharing Christmas decorations. October 31st is not the day to share Halloween makeup. Be there before your audience is. 

How are they performing? 

Pinterest Analytics serves as valuable market research to watch for traffic and what performs well (or poorly) so you can adjust accordingly. 

Pinterest is not my sole source of clients but it does allow business, self help and marketing searches to pop me up. I include visually pleasing photos that include my website so they can return to my page and not use my work on other pages. My travel guides, book club and 

Using my page as an example, I can find my page’s analytics in the upper left hand corner. 

I have 57.3k monthly viewers, 1,414 followers with 2.6k of monthly engagement and I can see what photos or materials were saved from my website or regular uploads. 

Business accounts are FREE so you literally have nothing to lose by trying this out. You start by answering five simple questions telling them about your business and make sure all of your contact information is setup correctly. 

I have the easy view of my stats once I log in to my account and I can promote the page if I would like. 

If I wanted to click on my monthly stats it shows my stats. This is helpful to see when I had a boost, what was posted or what time of day, weekend/day, and more valuable information so I can maximize my reach in future posts. If something performed poorly I might try switching the photo or, as some people do, publish the same material with 2-3 different cover photos and see which performs best then. 

I also get sent regular business page emails about which pins were performing best and how many impressions they received. The one I recently received let me know

“93% of people say they use Pinterest to plan purchases. As a brand,
creating boards helps you get your products or services in front of
Pinners. Pick a theme, like dinner recipes or summer outfits,
add some Pins.”

Here’s a screenshot from another email breakdown. 

While not all of my pins are created by me I can see what people follow me for my most popular impressions and start to create material for them if I would like. 

I highly encourage you to switch over to a business account on all of your main social media pages and, even if a site isn’t a main traffic control, it can always give the opportunity to lead people back to your site…or you can just nerd out on numbers and demographics like me. 

If you need help setting up business accounts on any social media account, let us know. We are happy to help get you the marketing results you need!



Three Year Anniversary (11.07.2015) Paper, Cotton and Leather

You know those moments when you know “Oh yeah, this is going to be big. This is one of those moments” and do everything you can to remember every little detail?

It may have been a first kiss. It may have been a major moment in history you witnessed. It may have been when you saw a shooting star.

I have a few of those myself but three main ones come to mind:

  1. Swimming solo in the Mediterranean
  2.  The day Drew proposed
  3. The day we were married


November 7, 2015 I married my best friend, my better half and my rock.

Three years ago we did not take a honeymoon but have made every weekend, every holiday and every single day an adventure. Words always fall short when I try to describe the type of person my husband is or why I love him but it has always been made clear we were created, raised and meant for each other.

He makes me laugh. Every day.

He makes me smile. Every day.

He makes me work harder. Every day.

He encourages me. Every day.

“Love is not about how many days, months or years you have been together. Love is about how much you love each other every single day.”



In traditional anniversary gift-giving Year One is Paper.

It’s believed that paper is the traditional symbol for the first anniversary because it signifies writing the blank pages of a new chapter in life. It also is a fragile material which represents the delicate state of a new marriage.

From the moment we were engaged I started keeping a journal of our year-long engagement. I wrote about how difficult it was being away from each other, how exciting it was to book our venue, how sweet it was to countdown to the rest of our life.

I wrote my vows in that journal and each year on our anniversary I will pull it back out and write to him/us. The papers of this journal are completely blank. They’re stark white, empty, blank; ready to be marked with the thoughts and milestones of a couple that will never be in that same stage again. If we had lines, we would be guided. If we had prompts we would be influenced.

But the pages are blank.

Only we decide what goes in them, what we never want to forget and we can focus on exactly what is best for us.


“Being deeply loved by someone gives you strength, while loving someone deeply gives you courage.” Lao Tzu

One Year Anniversary. Photo by Liz Rudman.

One Year Anniversary. Photo by Liz Rudman.

For more One Year Anniversary pictures by the insanely talented Liz Rudman, check this out! You can check out the location of the shoot here



Year Two is Cotton

The traditional gift for a second wedding anniversary is cotton. It symbolizes the need for a marriage to remain strong and be able to adapt to changes. The significance of the ‘gifts’ to symbolically mark the years of your relationship is not lost on me. As more time passes the material of the gifts grow more durable and valuable.

On our wedding day we opted to symbolize our unity by tying (literally) a fisherman’s knot with two golden ropes. This has remained untouched since our wedding day and the knot: solid.

During our cross-country move the end of one of the ropes was broken up a bit. The three strands that made up the rope separated but did not fray. It stopped midway up the rope without touching the knot. While I have yet to fix that, I could glue it. But that doesn’t take away the fact it was ever broken. It experienced a tribulation, a slight trauma but it still stuck together. It was held by the solid knot, surrounded by everything meant to protect it. If I were to glue it, it might look a bit better physically but that doesn’t erase what had happened.


Our second year brought challenges. Oh yes, it did! Job changes and promotions. My car was totaled by a drunk driver going the wrong way on I-5. Medical and health issues. Petty fights together and big relationship changes with others. There were sacrifices as individuals, there were sacrifices by family. I brought the gift of efficiency, attention to detail and small daily gestures to ease the stress of his job. He brought humor to tragedy, tight hugs when I could only cry and he lead us through several tough, challenging decisions.

Cotton can show up in many forms. It blends with other fabrics, it adapts to it’s environment and is known for holding strong in any condition. The higher quality it is created with, the longer it will last.


“Chains do not hold a marriage together. It is threads, hundreds of tiny threads, which sew people together through the years.” Simone Signoret




Year Three is Leather

The traditional 3-year anniversary gift is leather, which is symbolic of the marriage reaching a stage of flexible durability. The modern third anniversary gift is crystal (or glass), which has a special beauty, yet is still fragile—again, both significant representations of a maturing marriage.

I feel like this is going to be my favorite stage. We have reached a mutual understanding of expectations.

He updates me on his schedule and what to expect and I’ve relaxed (a little) that we don’t have to clean, do laundry…plan..or cook…etc. the same way 😉 He wants to have a relaxed day on the couch watching football without doing anything and I want to get out of the house and go do things. We compromise and do both.

We understand that good intentions are better than having done nothing at all. We understand the type of people we want to be, the type of people we want to be around or avoid and the type of people we want to raise in the future should we be so lucky.

Our wedding song was “When You Got A Good Thing” by Lady A and listening to that brings back the memories and lyrics that we hold dear to our hearts. We never forget that we do have a good thing! A GREAT thing. A unique thing.

It has always been Us and We not You and Me. We understand every decision we make is for us. Not for family. Not for friends. Not for work. Not for selfish reasons.

But what is best for US. Our favorite thing to do is enjoy every little thing around us, living in the moment, understanding how fortunate we are. We love to try new places and beers, eat new food then make fun of how it was too fancy over french fries. We love having friends and family in our home and we love being alone with the dog.

We choose to trust and love each other every day.

We choose to always kiss goodbye in the morning and say I love you every day.

We choose happiness and to laugh instead of taking each other too seriously.

We choose each other, over everything and everyone else, every day. 


 11.07.2015. Photo by The Grays Photography.


Cheers to Three Years! 



And if you’d like to watch our wedding video click here


“Lord knows we’ve had our bad days
And more than once we’ve disagreed
But you’ve always been a friend to me.
And there’s times I’d rather kill you
Than listen to your honesty
But you’ve always been a friend to me.”

-Garth Brooks, A Friend To Me




Book Club Review + Bonus Download! (October 2018)

Before we begin, look to the right. If that doesn’t say you’re following the blog make sure you put your email in and I’ll send you free downloads from here on out!

In 2017 I started a list of my goals and accountability tracking for the year. I reached and exceeded every goal. (You can see that post on my personal page here.) If you haven’t read my other book reviews from this year you can catch up here.

The goal of this section of the blog is to share a glimpse into what inspires, motivates and teaches me. Out of the books I read, I only bring up the ones I would suggest taking a look at…there are still a few that get left out; entirely based on my own opinions.

So where do I find all these books to read? Lots of places. I follow the Book of the Month Club on Instagram and I get weekly suggestions from my daily news source, theSkimm. You can sign up for free here using my referral code!


Read For Fun


The Road to Eden's Ridge: Book review at The Road to Eden’s Ridge by M.L. Rose

This is a liiitttlleee bit of stretch since this was a book I read in childhood but when I came across it while cleaning my mom’s house, I just had to bring it back and re-read this book. I remember loving the lyrics to songs inside, the way M.L. Rose (two authors) described the main character and placing actual country singers in the fictional character’s roles. This love story is set in Nashville and Maine, with a few flashbacks between family members and a surprising truth (ok you can probably guess mid-way through) of an aspiring country music artist and the George Strait of her world.

Once I was done reading this book I ended up donating it because I don’t like clutter and I hope someone else is able to enjoy this book.


the woman in cabin 10 book review at The Woman In Cabin 10 by Ruth Ware

Another recommendation from a friend, The Woman In Cabin 10 did not disappoint. To me, cabin meant this story would take place in the woods, maybe during camp but it is actually on a cruise ship following a journalist with mental health issues after having been attacked by an apartment burglar. I couldn’t help but think of The Sinner. The journalist witnesses a murder and is instantly viewed by others on the ship as the paranoid woman. After doubting herself, searching for clues and digging where she shouldn’t the main character is taken through a disturbing, confusing and thrilling mystery that ends at a (in my opinion) cliffhanger conclusion.


The Child book review at The Child by Fiona Barton

I feel like if I had read the hardcopy vs the audiobook I probably would have been more involved and follow the three female characters in this book with more understanding on how they were connected. Having said that it was very creative how Barton worked around the fallout when a newborn’s skeleton is discovered beneath a bulldozed London building site. The truths exposed are also eerily tied to what is going on in the world/news currently and hits the pain points many women experience in their lives. As NPR reported in their own book review, The Child does more showing than telling and that’s what makes it a unique and intriguing story. Like the journalist character in this book you, too, will find yourself on the edge of your seat attempting to figure out whose skeleton was buried, whose baby it was and who is to be held responsible.


Read For Improvement

The Secret book review on The Secret by Rhonda Byrne

This audio book was just over four hours long and, while it’s not something I would normally seek out, it is a classic that everyone should read or listen to. It focuses around manifesting what you want and the Law of Attraction. I could have done without the dramatic music and voices but this was still a gem filled with helpful and motivating tidbits such as “Energy flows where intention goes.” and “You cannot help the world by focusing on the negative things.” I agreed with the mindset shift they suggest of being Anti THING vs. Pro THING. Are you anti fast food or are you pro healthy eating? If you’re feeling lost or out of control/off your path give this your attention.

The Go-Giver Leader book review on






The Go-Giver Leader by Bob Burg and John David Mann

This was another fairly short audio book at about 3.5 hours. I didn’t realize this book was originally titled ‘It’s Not About You‘ but they re-published with this new title and new cover because they believe it wasn’t sending the right message about what the book was about. THIS is why BRANDING is so incredibly important. This book asks the question ‘What is influence?’ and ‘What is influence made of?’ It is an unseen flow of power. We often think that influence means manipulation but that is not true. Every person in leadership, business or any position of influence needs to read this book; and own it.


The 5 Love Languages book review on The 5 Love Languages by Gary Chapman

I learned about the love languages during college in a workshop with my sorority and heard about it all over the place afterward. I never read this book before and never read it for marriage; more-so out of curiosity. I believed my love language to be words of affirmation but now after retaking the test this June, realized it’s Quality Time. Here were my results.

8 Quality Time
7 Physical Touch
7 Words of Affirmation
5 Acts of Service
3 Receiving Gifts

I do feel like this has a lot to do with what you’re going through in that moment so it would be fun to retake once a year. You can find out the love language for you OR your child here.



You’ve read through my opinions so you deserve some FREE STUFF! Make sure you are following the blog (upper right of this page) to get free downloads in the future. Once you’re following, go ahead and download this document: GOALS FOR 2018 from Local Collaborative I mentioned to track your goals and adventures for the rest of the year and into 2019.




PS: Are you enjoying these blogs? Have we worked together? I would love to get your short and honest review on my Facebook page. Thanks in advance!

Book Club/ Podcast Review + Bonus Download! (July-September 2018)

Before we begin, look to the right. If that doesn’t say you’re following the blog make sure you put your email in and I’ll send you free downloads from here on out!

In 2017 I started a list of my goals and accountability tracking for the year. I reached and exceeded every goal. (You can see that post on my personal page here.) If you haven’t read my January-May favorites, here ya go. June is right here.

The goal of this blog section is to share a glimpse into what inspires, motivates and teaches me. Out of the books I read, I only bring up the ones I would suggest taking a look at…there are still a few that get left out; entirely based on my own opinions.

So where do I find all these books to read? Lots of places. I follow the Book of the Month Club on Instagram and I get weekly suggestions from my daily news source, theSkimm. You can sign up for free here using my referral code!


Read For Fun

Small Great Things: Book review at





Small Great Things by Jodi Picoult

I love to get recommendations from my friends and family, especially when they have similar taste to me. I saw a handful of my friends snapping this cover and it finally became available through my library. The Small Great Things mentioned in this book are babies. But it’s SO much more than another book about the miracle of life. This is narrated by a black nurse and a white supremacist father-to-be when their worlds collide with the birth of his son. I don’t want to spoil anything but it was a very thoughtful, compassionately written book and I like how the author dug into the good, bad and ugly of each perspective. A must read and I would say this is okay for high schoolers and older.


black chalk  Black Chalk by Christopher Yates

The cover gave me badass Harry Potter vibes but it turned into a Jumanji/Black Mirror/Friends novel. Confused yet? So was I at the end of this fictional book but in the best way possible. As you can tell by the cover, one friend dies. The way the narrator tells the story there are a few parts that have you convinced a certain character died….but when you reach that character, it’s extremely, graphically clear. A game that a group of friends took part in college turned outcasts into the talk of the campus. What starts out light-hearted turns personal, nasty and violent. I found this intriguing and very easy to breeze through while reading because it was entertaining; even if some parts get a little gritty. This is not a murder mystery but it still provides a twisted mind game. See if you can figure it out.


Read For Improvement

Start With Why by Simon Sinek. Book review at





Start With Why: How Great Leaders Inspire Everyone To Take Action by Simon Sinek



If you’re familiar with this bestseller, author, TedTalk, etc. then you already know. With ‘Finding Your Why’ has been a first step in marketing campaigns, fundraisers, company culture and team building for years now this book dives into more details than the quick and inspiring TedTalk. I found myself copying stats, quotes, stand-out sentences and things that made me think constantly in each chapter. If you are an entrepreneur, team leader or seek to be you just need to read this. Period. If you’re in a rut in your job, customer facing or dealing with students and about to fall into that ‘Is it Thanksgiving break yet?’ mentality, read this. Period. At the very least you will understand what the buzz is about everywhere you go. At the most, you will be invigorated to reshape your business. If you would like to find your WHY and re-brand or polish up your business, let’s talk.


The Gift of Fear by Gavin De Becker book review on www.mylocalcollaborative.comThe Gift of Fear: And Other Survival Signals That Protect Us from Violence by Gavin de Becker

I was surprised that what was less than a three hour audiobook had nearly 3,000 reviews for a 4.7 out of 5 stars. As they say in the description “True fear is a gift. Unwarranted fear is a curse. Learn how to tell the difference.” de Becker details a few true stories about people escaping fear and how it was built-in instincts that lead them to safety. It’s not difficult to take these very serious cases and apply it to your own situations. As a woman we are constantly taught how to protect ourselves, watch out for strange behaviors and cautionary tips. We have a natural gut instinct that can lead us in the right direction. Fear is a good emotion because it is there to protect and guide you. With this being such a quick audiobook, I would imagine it is also a quick hard-back read. Either way, highly recommend it’s worth your time.


universe The Universe Has Your Back by Gabrielle Bernstein

I’m late on the Gabby train-I get it. If you like Rachel Hollis, Jen Sincero or the Champagne Diet you’ll probably like Gabby Bernstein! She is a well-known (For example Forbes list of the 20 Best Branded Women) motivational speaker, life coach, and author. I was curious if the next-generation guru would be too ‘woo-woo’ for me but her writing was personable, entertaining and relatable enough that I could pull what I wanted from it and her message came through crystal clear. Basically how to turn your fear into faith and knowing how to use negative energy for positive, joyful change. If you’re in any moment of doubt (Or want to be proactive because, who hasn’t?) then pick this book up and take pages of notes and takeaways like I did.


how not to dieHow Not To Die: Discover the Foods Scientifically Proven to Prevent and Reverse Disease by Michael Greger, M.C.





A long title but a great worthwhile read. While on juice or Whole30 kicks, I devour these books (pun unintentional but it fits). I love learning about what benefits specific foods provide for your body. I put off listening to this audiobook because I was worried it would be pro-vegan/vegetarian/meat will send you to hell textbook. But he did a great job of informing you with facts, statistics, suggestions, stories and case studies to encourage you to eat more greens. With a history of poor family health, cancer and Midwest diet growing up, it’s been fun to incorporate more healthy and nutritious food in our diet. I still find myself falling short compared to people like Greger but the hard-copy version of the books looks to provide recipes and graphics. If you download the audiobook it comes with downloadable pdfs. This WAS a bit of a longer read, 17 hours if you don’t speed it up, there is a lot of good information and if your family death, illness and health is like mine, you need to read this; and so do they.  Do I plan on cutting out meat? No, but I’m willing to increase veggies and fruits. Education is best.




Here is my first post on podcasts. I have also been adding them into the other Book Club posts as I come across entertaining, informational shows. I listen to audiobooks while at my laptop and listen to podcasts on my phone so if they don’t hook me after a few episodes, they’re not getting my attention.

These podcasts were on an episode of Boss Girl Creative and I added them based on relevancy, interest and the description (If you want to get realllyyyy good at catching people on your first impression, I’ve got you.) Being 100% transparent I haven’t listened to these as often as I probably should but in general I feel they were good adds and they’re still on my list. Hopefully they will be a good match for you, too!

marketinginyogapantsMarketing In Yoga Pants Podcast

Let’s be honest. Being someone who *literally* does marketing work from her home in yoga pants, this intrigued me right away. It may be a less-than-traditional/professional name but you bet it draws in her target audience…and that’s the entire goal of marketing pros, right? If podcasts aren’t your thing Brit’s website lets you choose from her podcast, book, Facebook, YouTube, blog and much more as your platform of choice to pick up your information. Every podcast is an interview with a professional of some kind in the field so it’s a fun way to hear how people in similar positions helped their industry or company succeed.

create if writing





Create If Writing

Kirsten is a writer so it’s not surprising that this is what every episode and post revolves around. Her creativity, approach to language and variety of work impress and inspire me to make small tweaks or big leaps in my writing. I also like that her voice translates through whatever position or character she’s trying to portray because I’m able to picture them as brand archetypes; fantastic examples. You’ll know the most important part of marketing and business success is the ability to tell a good story. We’re humans-that’s what we’ve craved since we were kids. Listen in, read her books and get involved to figure out how to tell your business’s story. Need some help? Let me write FOR you!

creative biz rebellionCreative Biz Rebellion





These two ladies host informative and entertaining episodes on a variety of topics to help creative business’s from working with a printer to maximizing holiday sales to reps from magazines. Whether you are the owner or the representative these episodes will give you insight to potential vendors, fresh spins on worn-out sales and helpful ways to maneuver with tricky partners and situations. If you believe creativity is the ultimate rebellion, listen in.


office talk annetteOffice Talk with Annette Stepanian

Notice a theme of female hosts? Annette is no exception. Like many other podcasts, Annette shares interviews with entrepreneurs and professionals building a business and life on their own terms. The most valuable and unique aspect of Annette’s work are her Legal Quickie episode where she answers FAQs about law and your business. This is a fun way to stay up to date on legalities and get your questions answered from a reliable source.

fearless launchingThe Fearless Launching Show with Anne Samoilov


I love the word fearless so I instantly clicked on this podcast. Anne helps small business owners bring their big ideas to the big world. She helps you with everything necessary to LAUNCH your business including prioritizing tasks, creating and reaching your goals, and takes the burdens of stress and overwhelm out of the equation for you.


You’ve read through my opinions so you deserve some FREE STUFF! Make sure you are following the blog (upper right of this page) to get free downloads in the future. Once you’re following, go ahead and download this document: GOALS FOR 2018 from Local Collaborative I mentioned to track your goals and adventures for the rest of the year.




PS: Are you enjoying these blogs? Have we worked together? I would love to get your short and honest review on my Facebook page. Thanks in advance!