Sometimes The Answer is Simple – CHOCOLATE!

Hello my fellow blog lovers and supporters!

Well I need to apologize to you all, I definitely spoke too soon,  last week I said that Spring was just around the corner and here we are under 30 cms of SNOW right here in Niagara!

Yeah,  sorrrrrry eh, my bad 😛

So I don’t know about all of you, but when things are crappy outside, the first thing I want to do is tuck in the kitchen and get creating – specifically BAKING!

So, I wander into the kitchen yesterday and who is already in there baking fresh bread – MOM!

Gosh we are so much alike 😛  So I asked her, “Hey Ma, what about something chocolatey?” Well let’s be honest this is really a no brainer, “ummmm YES!”

Now, the first thought that came to my mind is this little Chocolate Cake recipe that I remember had a little bit of a twist to it – Miracle Whip.  YES you read that right, it has Miracle Whip in it!  Searching through our box of hand written recipes low and behold there it was – The 100 Dollar Chocolate Cake.  Now, we have only ever made this cake a couple of times but every time I was always so amazed at how moist and chocolatey it was.

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Now I can’t take credit for this one – Our neighbour from when we lived in Dunnville back in the day is the one who gave us this recipe – Trudy Williamson, this one is for you!

As the snow was blowing outside, our hearts and bellies were getting filled inside –  Mom and I danced to country and western music as we baked and laughed the winter day away.

Gosh this brought back so many memories, all the while making new ones for me and hopefully Mom too. This was a wonderful reminder, to treasure those moments you share with those that you love, for tomorrow is NEVER guaranteed…

So without further adieu, here is the recipe for this chocolately goodness!

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100 Dollar Cake

Ingredients

  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 cup miracle whip
  • 2 cups sifted flour
  • 4 tbsp dutch cocoa (or whatever kind you have.  We use dutch because well, we are dutch and its what is in the house.) 🙂
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1 cup warm water
  • 1/2 package of chocolate chips (or take a couple of Hershey chocolate bars and bang them into small pieces like I have done here)

Directions

Add all of the dry ingredients into a large mixing bowl.  In a separate bowl add all of the wet ingredients.  Add the wet to the dry and mix until well blended but try not to over mix. Pour the batter into a greased cake pan or if you like add them into a bundt pan like I did here.  Sprinkle the chocolate chips on the top of the cake covering it evenly.  Put into a 350 degree oven until a fork or tooth pick comes out clean.  Approximately 20 minutes.  Take out of the oven and cool before removing from the pan.  Serve either still warm with a bit of whip cream or I have had it with vanilla ice-cream as well. Both are simply DELISH!

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There you have it, 100 dollar chocolate cake – a dessert that is easy to make and will satisfy anyone’s chocolate craving!

Thank you all once again for coming along on this blogging journey with me, your support and you taking the time to read my ramblings every week do not go unnoticed or unappreciated!

But, before I go, let me ask you this – What is your favorite chocolate treat or recipe?  I am always on the look out for new and exciting ways to use chocolate, either sweet or savory!

 

Until we meet again,

Love & Light I send to you always,

Dina xxoo

 

 

Today We As Women Celebrate

Hello My fellow blog lovers and supporters,

March is upon us and I and my sinuses can feel that Spring is right around the corner.  I am ready for it, how about you?

Recently, I had the privilege to attend the Greater Niagara Chamber of Commerce‘s  16th Annual International Woman’s Day Event in the beautiful Club Roma located right here in the Niagara Region.  As I entered the beautifully decorated ballroom filled with elegance, beauty and sparkle befitting the gorgeous women who we were gathering to celebrate- Niagara’s own Women Entrepreneurs, I was again reminded how fortunate I am to have found my tribe of like minded women entrepreneurs.  These last three years have been a whirlwind of networking, events and meeting and talking with other business owners. This foundation allowed me to enter this room not by myself but greeted with so many familiar and friendly faces that I can proudly call my tribe and more importantly my friends.  Hugs, greetings and lively small talk magnificently complimented the positive energy of the room filled with vendors and women looking to connect, inspire and be inspired.

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We were asked to take our seats so the days festivities could begin.  Ruth Unrau, focus Coach and Past Chair of Women in Niagara and lucky for us today’s MC, graciously gave her introductions and the speeches began.  Compliments, heart felt words and all around inspiration filled the room as each courageous women took the podium to present her part of our Niagara story outlining the impact of women entrepreneurship right here in the region.  No one more inspiring was the day’s International Women’s Day Award Recipient, Rosemary Hale – accomplished author and the first female to be appointed dean in my old Alma Mater Brock University.  Rosemary epitomizes this year’s theme of #BeBoldForChange; her willingness to pioneer her own path, not allowing her gender or societal prejudices to stop her from going after her dreams and her resounding proclamation that “we can and will get so much further if go it together”  solidifies that I am indeed on the right path and surrounded by the right women.

Our keynote speaker Teresa Cascioli – small town Hamilton girl who has done extremely well – Former CEO of Lakeport Brewing and author of M is for Money was the next to graciously take the stage. Through her tenacity and very strong work ethic, she was able to bring a bankrupt private company (Lakeport Brewing) and in turn sell it as a publicly funded corporation for over 221 million dollars in 8 short years. 8 short years of blood, sweat, tears and ironically gratitude.  You wouldn’t think that someone who was able to accomplish such an amazing feet such as this, would say that “working with purpose” and to remind yourself that “success is fleeting, practice gratitude everyday” would be the one of the keys to what she attributes to her success; but it is.  This was a wonderful reminder that we are not guaranteed tomorrow, today is the only certainty that we have and we need to learn to really live and not merely exist.

Being surrounded by my wonderful colleagues and being able to witness the energy and passion of our wonderful presenters, truly has made be acknowledge and realize how fortunate I am to live in the the time that I do and the region that I do, because here, my dreams CAN come true.  So many women in other parts of the world are not given access to resources, knowledge or the support and guidance of other women to let them realize that their dreams do matter – They matter.  I was never more reminded of this than I was today, in Club Roma with all of my beautifully inspiring and supportive sisters of women entrepreneurs right here in Niagara.

So much gratitude!

A heartfelt thank you for each and every one of you for just being your inspiring selves and for coming along on this blogging journey with me.  Your support and taking the time to read my ramblings each week does not go unnoticed or unappreciated.  But, before I go I would like to ask you this, what or who in your circle inspires YOU?

I can not wait to hear your answers!

Until we meet again,

Love and Light I send to you always,

Dina xxoo

Sometimes You Just Need To Take a Hike

Hello My Fellow Blog Lovers and Supporters!

March 1st is here and boy have we been blessed with an OUTSTANDING winter this year! Fingers crossed that this glorious weather continues and we slide right into Spring which is creeping its head right around the corner already me thinks!  2017 is already shaping up to be pretty amazing – why do you ask?  Because, that is how I am choosing to perceive it, and what I have learned these past few times I have circled the earth – how you perceive a situation, a moment or experience is directly related to how it will actually play out in your life.  The energy you expel is the energy you will receive.  This I have experienced more than once.

Sounds pretty simple right? In theory perhaps it is, but to put it in practice, that is a whole other ball game.  You see I lost this way of thinking a little while back.  I was so wrapped up in the big picture of my new life path and journey that I forgot to remember the immediate happenings around me, the little things.  Like the feeling of the crisp winter air on my face as I take a stroll outside, the sheer magnitude and beauty of a sunset over a waterway or the swooping and swaying of a bird gliding through the open sky.  These little things are just as important, they make you feel connected to yourself and the world around you.  In an age when we are always plugged in to smartphones, ipads, laptops and such, we have become more fragmented and stressed out, not only with our loved ones, but with ourselves as well.

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I lost myself a while back, with working many hours trying to grow my business, and trying to get this new path on track I let go of the one thing that used to bring me such peace and rejuvenation, and that one thing was my daily walk.  I used to walk everyday as a means of decompressing after a long day.  I would put on my walking shoes and my ipod and out the door I went, able to just “be” for those 30 minutes and just breathe.  These walks always left me with a feeling of relaxation and invigoration at the same time, it was like my own personal meditation.   I slept better, was more creative and just felt a spring in my step.

Well, as time in the day became a premium, my walk was the first thing to go.  As a result, over time I became lethargic, tired, overwhelmed and a wee bit depressed.  My weight recently started to creep up again and my general outlook on life diminished.  With this new path coming to fruition before me, I still felt this sense of stress and despair, everything I had been working for was happening, why wasn’t I overjoyed?

Then the other day, a Facebook memory I had posted a while back shared from my friend Nadine –  a letter that Michael Moore wrote on his journey over the last 42 weeks of taking a 30 minute walk everyday just as a gift to himself, not to lose weight or exercise but as just as a means to just “be”.

This got me thinking, when was I the most content and at peace in my life?

The answer, when I was walking!

These past few days I have taken up Moore’s challenge to take a 30 minute walk everyday, and already I am feeling a shift.  I was able to take in a breathtaking sunset over the Welland Canal the other night and see the faint sight of the twirling windmills off in the distance.  I wonder what I will be able to witness tomorrow?

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Friends, family, supporters, readers, acquaintances and such, I am sending you a challenge – a challenge to take a 30 minute walk everyday.  EVERYDAY!

Put your kids in the strollers, grab your spouse, put a leash on the dog or whatever, and just give yourself this 30 minute gift.  Rain or shine do it! Not only will you notice a change in yourself but you will notice a change in your relationships with your kids, spouse and others.  You will feel more grounded and at peace.  So are you you with me?

Let’s all grab our shoes and go for a walk!

Thank you all once again for taking the time to read my shenanigans week after week and supporting me on my blog journey.  Your support does not go unnoticed or unappreciated!

Until next time,

Love & Light I send to you always,

Dina xxoo

 

My definition of success

Hello My Fellow Blog Lovers and Supporters,

Here we are again, embarking on a new week, new goals and new responsibilities to fulfill. I must say this glorious almost Spring like weather has made achieving those that much more enjoyable!

Recently, I had the opportunity to attend the Haste & Hustle Marketing Conference right here in the Niagara Region.  In fact, here is a Facebook LIVE I did directly from the event, check it out!

But I digress, while I was watching Gary Vaynerchuk the CEO and founder of Vaynermedia speak, (as mentioned in the video), he said something that really resonated with me, “Find your own definition of success, because no amount of money is a direct correlation to your own happiness.”

Seriously, mind blown!

This got me thinking – What does success mean to me?

I really had to take some time, be quiet and look within and really pinpoint what success would look like for me.  It has not been an  A + B = C answer that is for sure, more like A + B= Infinity and beyond.  So this is where I had to sit down and really map it out and see on paper what true success or happiness really would look like specifically for me and my value system.

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First of all, I need to be working in a career I love.  A career where I get to help people and assist them in some way achieve their own goals for success.  Well, it would seem like I would have this one covered.  My business of social media management and coaching for small business owners genuinely allows me to assist others to go after and achieve their own goals of business success.  When I see my client land a new customer because of the relationships we worked so hard on establishing online for them, it literally makes my heart sing! No really it does.  I really do ❤ what I do and ❤ when I get to experience those moments with my clients!

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Second of all, I want to be surrounded by those I love and care about and nurture those relationships.  Moving back into the Niagara region has allowed me to do just that.  I live with my Mom and Stepdad, my sister lives 5 minutes away, my brother a 1/2 an hour away as well as my best friend.  Having the opportunity to rekindle and reconnect with these people has been a wonderful experience to say the least.  I never realized how lonely I truly was out West until I moved back and was able to experience these relationships once again.  I really was missing out, and getting to watch my precocious, smart and funny great nephew grow up has been beyond wonderful.  Gawd I LOVE that kid!

Lastly, I want to own my own home decorated and filled with the things that make me feel inspired and loved.  Pictures of those I love, items that I picked up from my travels, books and objects that evoke memories or feelings of peace, fun and tranquility.  Have dinner parties where I can invite those I care about to come and sit around my table, eat the food I lovingly prepared for them, laughing and drinking wine the night away, really is an evening of bliss in my books.  I do live in a comfortable home that I have carefully chosen to decorate my ‘rooms’ with these very such things.  However, I do not own it.

So as they say, 2 1/2 out of 3 ain’t bad!

So as you can see, my wants and desires are pretty simple and I by no means am rich.  Not that I am looking to be rich, but improving that part of my life is one of my goals for me and my business this year.  To make a comfortable income so I can afford these luxuries I have outlined and through in world travel into the yearly mix as well.  So I guess what I am trying to say is, Gary was right, the amount of money you make does not equate the amount of happiness you will feel.  But, it does help a bit doesn’t it 😛

So I guess I am well on my way to creating the ‘successful’ life I have envisioned for myself, now the bigger question is, how do I morph into Ashley Graham so I can have the trifecta of happiness? 😛

Thank you once again for taking the time to read my weekly ramblings and supporting me on my blogging journey.  But, before I go, let me ask you this, what is YOUR definition of success?  I can’t wait to hear your answers!

Until we meet again,

Love & Light I send to you always,

Dina xxoo

 

It’s All In How You Choose To Look At It

Hello My Fellow Blog Lovers and Followers,

Well we have done it, we are officially in the second week of February, and might I say the home stretch until the start of Spring (fingers crossed).  But, I find myself in the same quandary I do every year, the quandary of Valentine’s Day, or is it one?

Allow me to explain…

Now I know, many of you HATE this ‘pseudo holiday’ as you like to call it, saying it is nothing but a commercialized ploy by the mainstream to sell more chocolates and expensive presents.  It just puts pressure on those in relationships to live up to the unreachable standards put forth by this day, and it is rigged to make those who are single to feel horrible about their self worth and desirability towards their desired sexual interests.

Now, don’t get me wrong I used to be apart of this mob mentality as well.  Saying down with Valentines and all the negative connotations associated with it!

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I mean the only good thing about it was the half price chocolate you get on Feb 15th right?

But, one year I decided to look within and see it from another perspective…

What if, instead of looking at it from the negative, we, I mean me, chose to look at it from a positive perspective, the perspective of celebrating LOVE in all of its glorious forms.  Why does Valentine’s Day have to ONLY be about romantic love?  Why can’t it be about the celebration of LOVE in all of its beautiful, raw and overwhelming variations – friends, family, neighbours, co-workers, fur babies, fellow human beings. You name it, let’s celebrate it!

Once you flip that switch so to speak and flip the script to the positive, you would be amazed at how wonderful a holiday or an experience you will encounter.  In addition,  your day to day life will open up to greet you and shape how you see and relate to things.  It really does boil down to your mindset.

Now being a small business owner, I have found that this can apply to how I run my business as well.  If I were to have the mindset of never being good enough or overwhelmed with paying the bills or finding new clients to keep myself a float then, that is what will happen.  The energy you put out into the world is the exact energy you will receive.

Now you may not believe in the power of attraction, but I assure you I have seen it work in my own life.  When I acknowledge my feelings, be they negative and I allow myself to reset my energy and my mindset to positive you would be amazed at the outcome – More energy, more feelings of accomplishment, more clients have come my way and my confidence in what I can accomplish has skyrocketed.  Don’t get me wrong, I am not Polly Anna happiness all the time, seriously I am human just like you and I have days where wine and chocolate seem to be the only elixir for the crazy beast of emotion brewing inside of me.

But, now I know how to sense them, defuse them, release them and redirect them towards the positive.  That is huge for my emotional well being and for own sense of wellness and confidence.  But, I truly do believe most of this is due to the company of people I choose to surround myself with. They say you will resemble the characteristics and values of the top 5 people you hang out with the most.  If you hang around negative people you will inevitably become negative in your thoughts and outlooks.  Fortunately, the same can be said if you surround yourself with positive people as well.  I feel so fortunate to have found my tribe of like minded entrepreneurs who are all about community and support and lifting not only their businesses, but those in the Niagara region as well.  So what I am really trying to say, is that it’s a no brainer – Find your tribe!

If you are looking to change you life the answer can be found in changing your mindset, it is really as easy as that!

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Thank you all once again for coming along on my blogging journey with me, your support and taking the time to read my ramblings each week does not go unnoticed or unappreciated! But, before I go, let me ask you this, what are some of your tips for changing a negative situation into a positive one?  I would love to hear your answers!

Until we meet again,

Love & Light I send to you always,

Dina xxoo

Sometimes You Just Gotta Let Go For No Other Reason Than It’s Just Too Heavy

Hello My Fellow Blog Lovers & Followers!

First week of February and we are finally getting some winter weather of sorts anyways. But, I gotta say I am holding onto Wiarton Willie’s prediction and hoping for an early Spring.  There I go again, holding onto something or someone far past when I should; I have difficulty letting go – There I said it!

Not being able to let go has always been a vice of mine that I just can’t seem to break. Maybe it’s because I am a Cancer and part of personality traits are and I quote:

“she likes to hold on to things that make her happy and won’t easily change her house, partner or a circle of friends. She can be irrational, oversensitive and too quiet, and the best way to approach her is to see her emotional side as her biggest virtue.”

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Guilty on all counts! But, the one aspect that truly has been sticking out for me lately is my undying need to never let go even if it is in my best interest to do so.  Am I just stubborn? Or am I just so damn determined that I can take care of or fix anything or anyone that I have dedicated my time and attention too, that I hang on for dear life no matter how crazy and dangerous of a ride it is for me and my emotional well being?

The most likely culprit I believe is that nagging voice, you know that one that seems to quiet down, be hiding in the shadows just waiting for its moment to strike and then BAM out of nowhere – You make a misstep or make a mistake, fall flat on your face and there she is loud and clear bellowing in your ear – ” Hey loser why do you even try, you know you aren’t good enough” Yeah…that one…

My god she is such a freaking BIOTCH!  Maybe I am trying to prove her wrong –  Prove to her if she is wrong about me then she must be wrong about that person or situation right?

Probably not…

What I do know, I need to believe and trust in my instincts more.  That is the voice I need to be listening to with abandon! She is the no filter, no BS voice that will never lie, manipulate or hood wink me into believing or thinking any lies or half truths about me and my abilities, and yet she is the one I generally tell to sit down and be quiet as the adults are talking – You know the adults – My insecurities and misconceptions, those mean girls…

I guess what I am trying to say – On some level we never truly lose our insecurities completely.  We remain those scared, fragile and vulnerable little people who never know if they can or should try something new or be brave enough to go after it and do it anyways damn the consequence.  I have made peace with that I guess.  But, maybe just maybe she needs to have that big sister, that big protector that tells her like it is, picks her up when she falls, strokes her hair and tells her it is going to be OK, to believe in her abilities and her strengths.

That big sister sure as hell needs to come to more parties, dance with abandon and drink like a MOFO.  THAT big sis is in fact Twins – Intuition and Belief. Intuition to know when something is good for you and Belief in your own abilities to make the right choice and have the strength to walk away and let that person or situation go when it or they are no longer serving you.  GAWD, these chicks are a rad pair to have my friend, and are fucking AMAZING family to surround yourself with. I can’t wait for the next family reunion! 🙂

Thank you all once again for coming along on this blog journey with me peeps.  Your support and taking the time to read my ramblings every week does not go unnoticed or unappreciated.  But, before we go I would love to know, what is one habit or vice that you have a hard time letting go of even if you know it is in your best interest that you do?

I can’t wait to hear your answers!

Until we meet again,

Love & Light I send to you always,

Dina xxoo

The Self Care Sounds Of Silence

Hello My Fellow Blog Lovers & Followers!

What an unbelievable week it has been!  World events that have shaken most of us to the core, new influx of potential clients coming down the pipe while trying to fit all of that in with life, exercise, my new daily rituals and now making time for that certain special someone newly entering my life. (Yes THAT kind of someone, suffice it to say, I am dating someone and it is lovely, fun, exciting, comforting and sexy and all other things mixed in. But, that is for another blog to come down the road :P)

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What I have noticed that has given me solace in this craziness, has been taking the time to just be – present, with my own thoughts in silence.

Allow me to explain…

I FINALLY took the time and money to invest in a space that is just for me.  The basement has been an unused area of the home relegated to furniture storage and the varying layers of cat hair and dust that can accumulate in one given space. (Note: not gonna lie it’s a freaking shit tonne!)  Bought a TV and stand and relocated the furniture to create a very cozy and intimate seating area that is both inviting and clean from my countless hours of dusting, vacuuming and removing unwanted stuff.  So clean that Rachel Epp of Misses Clean would indeed have been proud of my cleaning expertise! Rachel, If you are in need of any cleaners just let me know 😛

But I digress…

So I know what you are thinking – “Dina so you created a freaking TV room, big deal, hardly blog worthy my dear!”  That on the surface I would have to agree with you, but what I have noticed is my level of impatience and anxiety has dropped since.  When you are an adult back living with your parents, having a space you can retreat too is even more significant for your over all well being with not only yourself, but with your parental roommates as well.  Inevitably, you are going to get on each others nerves whether its who left the toothpaste lid off, who didn’t put their dishes in the dishwasher or having to watch the same episode of Murder She Wrote for the 100th time (no seriously, that struggle is real)  Having a space you can retreat too allows your to sit with your thoughts, think, reflect or just escape into the cinematic world of an Android box.  All of this has allowed me to just exhale and well just BE.

Always being on, especially with what I do for a living has left me in a heightened state of alertness – brain always moving, thinking, strategizing, analyzing and well as a result exhausted with little to no patience left for anyone let alone those whom you live with and love.

Being able to just sit with your thoughts in silence, not analyzing them or working through them but instead just allowing them to be, definitely  is a practice I need to work on. I started this meditative practice with my recent yoga study stint with Yoga Truly but due to my old coping patterns creeping back in along with finances, I unfortunately have taken a short sabbatical.  But, when I did allow myself to breathe and just be, this wave of calm and peace would fall over me. I miss this.  I never knew how much until now.

We are all so busy just trying to get through this thing called our lives that we forget to take a moment, to breathe and truly allow ourselves to just LIVE!

Taking time for your own self care is not selfish, it is necessary for your overall well-being. Sadly, for most women like myself it has become something we have just taken for granted we will do once sometime or someday is taken care of first.

Having this little space has taught me that my time for self care is now.  Sometimes you just need the sounds of silence to remind you.

I encourage you to find your space whether they are at home, a local hangout, coffee shop, park bench or hidden hideaway. Take these moments of silence and allow yourself to hear your own deafening sounds of well being and stillness so you to can learn to live a truly extraordinary life filled with calm and beauty.

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And who doesn’t want that right!?

Thank you once again for coming along on this blog journey with me, your taking the time to read my weekly ramblings and your continuous support does not go unnoticed or unappreciated. But before we go, I would love to know, what do YOU do for your own self care?

What activities or practices do you participate in to give you a state of zen and self care?  I can’t wait to hear your answers!

Until then, love and light I send to you always,

Dina xxoo

2017 – The Year To Shake Things Up

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Hello My Fellow Blog Lovers & Followers!

I gotta say I am not sorry in the slightest for the lovely mild weather we have been having for our winter here in Niagara – Fingers crossed it stays this way as we head into February – Yes FEBRUARY already!

Gotta say, January has been a bit of a blur for me thus far, with lovely new things happening with my business, using my passion planner, vision boards, guest blogging, networking and biz referrals, it has been quite a good first few weeks of the new year I do have to say.  However, when one part of my life is going well, the other parts kinda get left in the dust sadly.

Allow me to explain…

I decided as the clock stuck 2017 that I was going to go all in on my business this year, really give it everything that I got and make it into the powerhouse that I know she can be.

Something you need to know about me is that when I go all in, I go FREAKING ALL IN!

Now some of you may think, “well how is this a bad thing?” Well, what you don’t know about me is that when I go all in on something, I go all in to the point that the other aspects of my life kinda fall to the wayside.  My relationships, my health, my down time, family etc.

See my problem?

My theme words for 2017 are Balance and Growth – Well I am achieving the growth part, now I need to work on the balance part.  I have noticed that my usual watching what I eat and inflecting exercise into my daily routine has definitely fallen to the wayside as of yet and my old habits are creeping back in.  My weight has plateaued and so has my energy levels.

So, in a moment of  spontaneity I signed up for this years THE 5K FOAM FEST TORONTO taking place on July 15, 2017! Eeeeeeeek

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No more phoning it in.  I have to train so I can complete this.  If I have something to focus on then I WILL make the time to put the energy into achieving it.  Yeah, just doing it for the betterment of me as the end goal, really doesn’t cut it for me to be honest. I know, I know it should – What can I say I am a work in progress 😛

Of course I will keep you all in the loop on my training wins and losses.  You are my peeps after all 🙂

Next step, I would like to start each day with a morning meditation, just so I can get my mind in the right place and set the tone for the day.  Not to mention, I need to get back to my yoga practice, I felt so much better when I did do it on a regular basis.

So there you have it universe, here is my new found  focus on achieving balance in my home and work life that I have been searching for probably the better part of my adult life.

I know that this is not going to be easy, but being aware of my actions and stepping back and refocusing on me and what I need to achieve the best version of me is a freaking huge step for me.  And that I am certainly very proud of!

Time to dust off those running shoes and lulu lemons and get some fitness on! Whose with me?  Together let’s make 2017 the year for focus, growth and balance for all of us!

If balance and growth doesn’t resonate with you – Then let me ask you, what is YOUR focus or key terms for 2017, I would love to know!

Once again, thank you all for coming along on this blog journey with me.  You taking the time to read them and continuously giving me your support does not go unnoticed or unappreciated!

Until we meet again,

Love and Light I send to you all,

Dina xxoo

The Intrawebs..Friend or Foe to Authentic Relationships?

Hello my fellow blog lovers and followers,

We are well into January and I can’t believe how fast the time is going.  This has not stopped me from taking the time to try and sit and reflect on what I am most grateful for (a new practice I am trying to implement into my daily routine) and what I want to concentrate on improving over the course of this upcoming year – Of course building and nurturing relationships with my family and friends are at the top of my list.

I don’t know about you, maybe it is just the nature of what I do, but I have clearly noticed that the landscape of my friendships has changed quite significantly over the years. I have created and nurtured a wide array of friendships globally due to my extensive use of the internet on a daily basis.

Various social media sites, like Myspace, (Yes Myspace my chat room and message board writing days have been going on for quite sometime ya’ll :P) Tribe.net, Twitter and Facebook, along with various other chat rooms and the like, have enabled me to meet, chat and develop some quite amazing friendships with people I never would have had the opportunity to meet otherwise. Whether it is through music, film, political affiliations or charitable causes we happen to be both associated with, these commonalities have enabled us to find and forge a common bond or relationship with one another.

This raises the question, since we are hiding behind the safety of our computer screen and never actually having a physical interaction with one another, can it still be considered a “real” relationship?

I think yes and no.  Allow me to explain…

Yes, I believe that these relationships are real. I open up and talk openly and honestly with these people with no immediate fear of being rejected or dismissed – I am sitting behind this computer screen and in theory, am shielded. I am able to let my guard down and actually be the “real” me to whomever I am conversing with. It doesn’t matter what I look like, or what car I drive, or how much square footage my house is – When I am clicking my thoughts down on the computer keys I am just me. Without the tool of the Internet I would never of had the opportunity to meet, interact, learn and grow with and from these AMAZING people out of sheer geography.

Information sharing, learning about new cultures and different ways of living and seeing the world has allowed me to grow and evolve as a woman and a human being.  Fortunately, I have been able to physically meet some of these outstanding individuals  over the years, which added some much desired stamps on my passport and more importantly, enabled me to take these friendships to the next level.

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Me, Fiona and Sue meeting for the first time in Paris for my 40th birthday!

On the other side, if one is using the Internet to create a persona or version of themselves because their self esteem is so low they think that they could never be the “real” them for fear of being rejected or made fun of – Then this is an absolute negative. When a computer screen and animated characters are replacing actual one on one interactions with anyone, this is where technology is a detriment. We as human beings NEED social interaction to function and have a sense of belonging. If we feel like we do not belong – Inevitably we will feel disenfranchised from society and very much alone. If our only sense of belonging exists on the Internet and not in the outside world this is where a tool used to connect us does the complete opposite.

YES, this detriment does include those who use the internet to lie and deceive others for criminal gain and malicious intent.  For the sake of length and chosen topic at hand, let’s leave that for another blog post all on its own!

So I guess what I am trying to say is, like anything in life, one can only get out of it what they put into it. Like any tool mankind has created in the light of advancement, be sure not to let its bright lights and pretty buttons blind side you as too what is really important in this life – Authentic friendships and genuine love.

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Thank you once again for all of you who taken the time to read and follow along on this crazy blogging journey with me, your support and encouragement does not go unnoticed or unappreciated!  But before we go, let me ask you – Should relationships that we create and nurture exclusively online, be considered authentic relationships?  I look forward to your feedback!

Until we meet again,

Love & Light I send to you all!

Dina xxoo

It’s Time To Go All In on Me…

Hello my fellow blog lovers and followers!

Can you believe we are already onto our second week of 2017!  Time sure does fly when you are having fun 🙂

Now an interesting thing happened to me on the way to my office.  Yes my office is located directly across the hall from my bedroom, but whose counting 😛

Anywho, last week I got up on a Tuesday as I normally do, picked up my phone and checked it for any messages or engagements that may have occurred on my clients or my social media pages over the course of the night as some of my clients have international followers.  I know, I know – Not even a cup of coffee or brush my teeth before I launch into work?? I get it, I may seem a bit obsessive or some may call it committed to my work, but in the end that is what my clients pay me for after all.  Don’t worry, before I get the comments, “but what about you and your well being?”  Not to fret, balance is one of my key objectives that I am focusing on in 2017.

But I digress, nothing eventful so I continue downstairs and jump into the shower and get ready to tackle the day.  As I finish getting ready I notice that I have a voicemail message on my phone.  As per what you do, I listened to it.  To my surprise it was a call from a local Chamber of Commerce asking if I would like to come in for an interview for an open Special Events & Communications Specialist contract position with their organization. Needless to say I was surprised.  Promptly I called them back and spoke to the woman whom I was to be replacing as she was going on maternity leave.  We agreed upon a time for me to come in.  Got off the phone, curious and a bit excited at the possible prospect of having a 40 hour a week job, stable and secure income coming in.  A feeling that I am all to well accustomed to feeling and living.  Never really gave it much more thought, went about my day.  Dinner time came about, as I sat eating my dinner, thoughts of this new job prospect came trickling into my head.  “So if I get this job, I can still have my business, I can just work around it.  I can work as soon as I get home to schedule my client’s posts into the night.  Of course I would have to use my lunch hour to check for engagement during the day.  Probably would have to give up the gym, or extra curriculars and what if I land another client, how would I fit that work in?  All relevant ideas I needed to consider.

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Finally it hit me, “when is it going to be the right time to go all in on you Dina?”  Having and growing your business has been your passion for the last 10 months, so why are you willing to put that on hold for a temporary stable position?

You know what, I wasn’t ready to give that up!  I am worth the time and dedication I have put into me and my business and as scary as it is, moving forward and truly committing even further to growing my business, IS the right direction for me.

Why?

Because I finally believe and realize that I am worth it.  Worth the work, dedication and commitment from who else ME!  2017 is the year that I dedicate to my financial, spiritual, emotional and physical well being through acquiring balance and growth in all of these areas of my life.  Self Care and Self Worth are on the menu this year and I am ready for many, many helpings!

Needless to say, the very next morning I called the very nice lady I spoke too the day before and let her know my plans.  She was so grateful that I took the time to call and let her know, many would just not show up.  Side note:  Even if you aren’t taking a position with a company, don’t be rude and just not show up, common courtesy goes a long way not only in life but in business as well.  Who knows you may need to use their services in the future and having left on a positive foot will get you much further in the process.

So there you have it – 2017 is the year I go all in on me!  Eek not gonna lie I am scared, excited, overwhelmed and determined all rolled up into one.  It is going to be one hell of a ride but did I mention that roller coasters are one of my favs! 😛

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Thank you all again for coming along on this crazy blog ride with me, your support does not do unnoticed or unappreciated. But, before I go, let me ask you this – What is your focus either personal or professional for 2017?  I can’t wait to hear your answers!

Until we meet again,

Love & Light I send to you always,

Dina xxoo