Tuesday, March 30, 2010

An Organic Xperience



Anybody that knows me knows that I love to support other female entrepreneurs. But not just anybody, I am drawn to the sincere and genuine. the ones that are beautiful in spirit and kind at heart. One entrepreneur that I am developing a great relationship with is Dian Thompson of Organic Xperience. We met at the Trumpet Awards Gifting suite and have worked together on BagTherapy. Now I have the privilege of being a Passport Partner for Organic Xperience. Which means that I get to share with you and many others the wonderful pieces of wearable art that are available in her online store.

March 31,2010 at 9:05 a.m. marks the grand Re-Birth of Organic Xperience online! Please come and celebrate with us, check out what great pieces have been imported from Turkey, Canada and Africa. Organic Xperience is all about healing from the outside in using art, what's organic, new and beautiful. Be among the first 46 registered guests and receive 25% off your first purchase! When checking out don't forget to reference me: Sandra Hicks, Passport Partner.

Monday, March 29, 2010

Tonight was the last night

Yes, tonight I said my goodbyes to my last pork chop. Seasoned with Adobo and fried in grease, with two sides of scalloped potatoes and baked beans with a biscuit. I was saying bye-bye-bye because as of April 1st I will be participating in a healthy eating blogging challenge. Myself along with my partner with Be.Beautifully.Well, SwarthyDaisy and Dalia of Eating Beautiful Blog will change our diets and increase our physical activities for one whole month. (Hopefully it will be for good)

Now this is not new to me. I have embarked upon a healthy living and eating lifestyle at various times in my life. The problem is that I have been backsliding....okay, more like bungee jumping when it comes to sticking to the healthy choices. A lot of my struggle with healthy eating comes from my own head. So, this is the reason why I had the big dinner of the foods that I know are not good for me. Hey, I had to get it out of my system! I know it's not smart to do that but, it is what it is.

For the next few days I will be detoxing before going full steam ahead. Then the challenge begins. I will be working out, eating right, cleansing my mind, body and spirit. Every Friday I will post an update of my progress. Please check in with me, cheer me on!

Getting things in check

So, today is Monday the beginning of a new week. New goals to achieve, new ideas to be thought of. Today I find myself in a familiar place, the space within my mind and emotions. Not in a bad way, but like I am taking note of who I am within. Going through the internal maze, doing a house check so to speak. Recognizing the places that are a little bit dusty, realizing that some areas are getting more attention than others. Looking to see where and how I can put it all in balance. I hate to be off balance, I need and thrive with things being even. However life is not always that way. It is not always "even", which is why the house check is in order.

I plan to enlighten myself with meditation, prayer, some breathwork and soothing music without lyrics. Walk quietly so that I can listen to the goings on of mind. Take a Look at where I have been and where I am going, feeling the path that I am on and making my connection with it. This is a renewal of my spirit, a rejuvenation. I always feel better and focused when I do that.

I have my way of doing things to get back in balance, what about you? What is your way?

Friday, March 26, 2010

A soldier of Love- Sade has struck a cord

I don't know what it is about this song that has just captivated me, but I am totally engrossed in it. Over the years I have liked a few songs by Sade just like the majority of the population, however I would not ordinarily consider myself her "fan". With this new album though, I have felt myself become her fan. Is it the beat of the drum or the strum of the guitar that I hear?Or is it really just parts of the lyrics that are resonating within me right now? It seems that due to all of the things I have been through with certain familial relationships, that I have a soldier-like approach at times. Well, at least I want to have that type of approach. Absolutely, I feel the need to protect my heart from harmful effects of toxic relationships without losing my ability to still serve love greatly and deeply. I totally get what she is saying ..."it's a wild, wild west. Doing my best. To stay alive." Often times I feel like it is a battle to continue to fight for love....not so much to have to love others (that is easy). But the fight is to continue to always love myself ....I have to be a soldier of love sometimes, because I am worth the fight.

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Behold the Beauty of Ruby Falls! Chattanooga Tennessee

Sunday, March 21, 2010

The Five Keys to Seventeen years

This weekend my husband and I celebrated our wedding anniversary. We both are amazed that so much time has went by....19 years to be exact, 17 of which we have spent married.

How did the time go by so fast? One day we are two kids totally infatuated with each other, refusing to be apart for more than a day, willing to go through hell and high water just to be together. The next day we are an old couple with two kids of our own, still willing to go through hell and high water to be together.

What a wonderful feeling it is to be able to look at him and feel that I have made a good choice. The very qualities that drew me to him 19 yrs ago are the same ones that draw me today, perhaps enhanced.

What makes it work? Well, for One we both want a successful marriage. It was and is important to us that we keep our vows not only to each other but to God, the originator of marriage. We realize that there is a bigger commitment involved and we want to honor it. Secondly, we forgive, even when it feels very difficult and beyond our limitation. There is a old saying: "a successful marriage is made up of two great forgivers" This is absolutely true. If he and I did not work on forgiveness I don't even think our union would have lasted past year number 2! I promise, our relationship was on the rocks the day he washed and dried his car greased hands with my "good towels!" And of course I'm not perfect so I'm sure I did things that needed forgiving too, but you'll have to ask him about that...I'm pleading the 5Th! The Third key to our marriage is compromise. We both compromise on a regular basis, recognizing that this is a partnership of which selfishness does not dwell. Well, at least not for long. It is important to remember that we should keep an eye out for not just our own interests but for those of the other person. This willingness in itself generates much love and respect in any relationship. The Fourth key is that we are still friends and still find things that we can mutually share in, although we have grown in different areas of our lives. We have not grown so differently that we have let go of the core of what made us laugh in the first place. Which leads me to the Fifth key, keeping it sexy and intimate. This is so important to me, and I don't mean just sex. However I do mean all the things that lead up to sex, no not foreplay... technically. I mean remembering to hold hands, making it a point to hug everyday. Taking the time to snuggle with each other, at home and in public. Nothing obscene has to be done in public, but it feels so great to sit in the movies with arms wrapped around each other and hands held. This is a lesson that was taught to me by my husband, through his sincere and honest communication I have learned the value of true intimacy.

There are so many other keys to a successful marriage, these are the few that I wanted to highlight today. If you appreciate it, let me know. If you know someone who can benefit, please share it with them. I love to see and hear about happy couples....it does my heart good. ;)

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Authentic Scentsy Candle Warmers - Sponsored Post

Authentic Scentsy Candle Warmers - www.losetheflame.com
A wick less candle is a safer alternative . No flames, no danger. Various colors and scents to choose from , you can even choose your own design!

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Sandra Hicks's profile on MyLikes

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

I used to do it several times a day, but I gave it up

Lately, my conscious has really been giving me a good thrashing. I am plagued by guilty feelings due to some very bad habits that I have acquired. I'm not the only one... every body's doing it. Some are trying to be discreet about it and others are boldly doing it without shame, even in front of the kids! First I started to do it just a little bit, you know, for fun. Then it turned into an everyday occurrence as if I had no more control, my lack of patience got the best of me.

I'm not talking about anything illegal, as I'm sure you are sitting there trying to figure where I'm going with this. Actually depending on which state you live in, it is considered illegal and is punishable by law. What am I referring to? TWD: Texting While Driving. Yeah, I've been really bad about this. But lately I've been trying hard to stop this pattern of behaviour. For one thing, I do not want to be the one who causes a horrible accident perhaps killing someone on the road because of my carelessness. Not only that, but I could injure or kill myself and those that I love in my own vehicle. As I drive everyday I am carrying precious cargo in my backseat, my two babies. How can I be angry with another driver for being careless if I am doing the same thing? I cannot rightfully expect a stranger to care about the safety of my children if I myself am not taking the same if not safer precautions while behind the wheel of my car. Not to mention how much of a hypocrite I will become in the eyes of my children , when I talk to them about being a safe driver, setting rules for them that I myself am not willing to follow. I know that children are more apt to follow what a parent does rather than what they say. Lord knows, that when they become of driving age I will have PLENTY to say, but I want to have good actions to support my words.

Studies have shown that a person who is distracted by texting while driving has the same driving skills as a person who has had four alcoholic beverages! And just like a drunk driver, a person who texts and talks on the phone while driving thinks that everything is under control and that nothing is going to happen to them. WRONG! It is so very possible. Just with the push of a button, someones life is in your hands. It could be a passenger in your car, an adult or child crossing the street or another driver in the next lane over. One careless action can cause a person to be blood guilty in a major way, changing lives of families forever.

So, to prove to myself, to my children and to others that I am committed to being a safe driver, I took the pledge. I went to Oprah.com and pledged to stop texting while driving and to only use my cellphone with a hands free device while driving if I have to make or take a call.

What about you? Are you guilty? Can you make changes in your daily habit and routine while commuting to and fro? If you want to do the right thing along with thousands of others, go to Oprah's site and take the NO PHONE ZONE PLEDGE . I did, and I am happy to have done it. Now my conscious is clear. It's one less thing I have to worry about.

What is beautiful to you? What is YOUR PRICE OF BEAUTY?

Just like so many women I have spent the better part of my adult life trying to determine for myself what is beautiful. What makes me look and feel beautiful, not only on the outside but also what is beautiful on the inside. Trying to develop the woman that I am deep inside is far more important to me than what I look like outside...but don't get me wrong, a sistah still likes to look good! And when I need to, I can work it *two snaps in a z formation*

....Ahem! back to my point.

With all of the media around us trying to dictate what is beautiful it is hard to feel comfortable with yourself sometimes. It often takes a lot of inner strength and confidence to be able to love yourself for who you are and what God has blessed you with. However the earlier we learn to do this the better off we are, the more time and money we save ourselves from therapy and anti-depressants.

In light of the latter I want to encourage everyone to watch the new t.v show with Jessica Simpson; The Price of Beauty. Being a woman who have had her share of ill comments about her body (and brains) she has had to try hard to look within herself and try to love herself despite the constant talk in the tabloids and gossip shows. One way that she is doing this is by traveling the world to view how others determine what is beautiful. She and her two best friends travel to many countries with the cameras in tow, experiencing first hand the lives of other women. I am proud of her for taking this bold step, she has taken the negativity that has been thrown her way and turned it into a big positive. Kudos to her! Here is a brief clip of what to expect of the show.

Sunday, March 14, 2010

Can I do it?

As most folks know I have been pressing on in a new business venture with Be.Beautifully.Well, a mobile service. Offering massage, reflexology, and aromatherapy we are really pushing ahead. But, can I just say it is such a brain boggler?! I guess this is true of all new business ventures, I am often overwhelmed by the constant tweaking that is needed to be done in order to build a business that I am proud of. So far we have had a good measure of success, according to the wonderful testimonies that we hear.*woot!*

What is inescapable in the trenches of my mind are the nudging's of doubt. Doubts are there, I keep pushing them back. Trying not to listen to the esteem crashing words. Somehow, they wiggle their way back to the forefront of my mind. I find myself, stepping into realms that are not very familiar to me and like a moth to a flame I am drawn to it. I often wonder if I am the only one who feels this way, but after listening to others I know that I am not.

Have you ever felt like the thing that you want is right at your fingertips? If you... just.reach.for.it
It's yours!
It is that continual feeling that keeps me moving ahead and pressing on in spite of my fears. I am happy to have my blogging as an outlet in which I can express myself and release what I am feeling. Honestly, sometimes it's better than therapy!

Soooooo, now that I have let that off of my chest i'm gonna end my post right here. What? I got a business to run!
PEACE!

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Not so wordless Wednesday: I am a butterfly

Do you see this beautiful butterfly? Full of life and vibrant color, no longer in it's cocoon, it's wings are completely open for all to see. We notice it, admire it and encourage it to keep flying and soaring because it's very existence adds beauty to the world.

Some times I feel like this Butterfly and sometimes I don't. However, on days when I am not feeling my most glorious I am uplifted and encouraged because someone else saw my (inner) beauty and appreciated me, even when I did not feel it nor thought that anyone else even noticed.

To the ones that see me......Thank you

Terrific Tuesday Tasty Recipe: Quick Chicken Burrito


Here is a fast meal that you can make for the family. It's a healthier version of a burrito that you would get at some drive thru joint, and it tastes better. I got this recipe out of a Nickjr family magazine several years ago, it serves 6. The prep time is 15 min. and the Cooking time is only 10 minutes. No slaving in the kitchen, Love THAT!




Quick Chicken Burritos

1 tblsp canola oil
1 lb. skinless, boneless chicken-breast halves, sliced into thin strips
1 large carrot, peeled and shredded (about 1 cup)
1/2 to 1 tsp ground cumin
1/2 to 1 tsp chili powder
1 can (15 1/2 oz) pinto beans, drained and rinsed
1 cup frozen corn kernels, thawed
1 cup pre-shredded reduced-fat cheddar cheese
3/4 cup salsa
6 flour tortillas

  1. Heat the oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add the chicken, carrot, cumin and chili powder and cook until the chicken is no longer pink, 4-5 minutes
  2. Stir in the beans, corn , cheese and salsa and cook until heated through and the cheese melts, about 2 minutes.
  3. Meanwhile, stack the tortillas on a microwave-safe plate, uncovered, and heat in the microwave until warmed through, 30-45 seconds.
  4. Assemble by placing the chicken mixture down the center of each tortilla. Wrap burrito-style and serve

Sunday, March 7, 2010

Sunday Best


This morning I woke up and prepared to make Sunday breakfast for my family. It is one of the times that we are all actually together at the same time. There is no hustle and bustle going on, we can actually sit down at the table and enjoy each others company before our Sunday meeting.

It feels good.

As the coffee was brewing, and the sausage was sizzling I was getting the plates ready to set the table. Like always I grabbed our everyday plates and our everyday coffee mugs to set our table and I had a thought. "Why not use my 'good plates'? " You see, I have 2 sets of "good plates" that I inherited from a very, very dear relative. They are so precious to me that I rarely ever use them. I like to look at them from time to time in the cabinet with admiration and on occasion I pull them out for our "special" guests. However, it dawned on me that although not guests, my family is SPECIAL. So why not use these pretty dishes for them too?

So right away I put back the everyday plates for us everyday people and brought the special dishes for the special people in my life. As we sat down to enjoy our meal, my kids began to say "wow! it looks like we are rich today!" Which began a brief dialogue and lesson for our family:

Remember to appreciate each day, Each of us are special and we don't need a special day to enjoy some of our special things. Tomorrow is not promised to anyone, so don't wait for it to enjoy today.

Friday, March 5, 2010

Zoom!, Zoom!, Zoom!


Zoooooooom!
This week has flown by me. How it happened I don't know, but each day has just rolled on like the river. All of a sudden this week I had 4 new clients for reflexology and herbal body wraps! Which is good, but also typical of how my work at the chiropractors office goes. I will have a dead period with hardly anybody, A ghost town. Then I get a whole bunch of folks back to back to back for a while. I have worked 4 days at the office this week, I'm all off balance now. I'm thankful for the work though, believe me!

Zoom, Zoom!
This week has been a whirlwind of preparation for Be.Beautifully.Well's next spa party event, Bag Therapy. Making phone calls, sending emails, reading emails and locating venues. To top it all off I don't even think I fully recovered from all the work we put in from VinoTherapy!

Zoom, Zoom,Zoom!
I really surprised myself this week because not only am I doing all the things I mentioned, I'm staying on task. It feels like it has been a long time since I've felt "on task. " Usually a stickler for keeping everything in order around the house, I have really begun to just let things go. But almost as if I have a renewed zeal I have been getting up in the morning, showering and putting on clothes (don't judge me), getting my laundry done and out of the way by 9:30 am and actually cleaning house. I've been getting my blogging in too, have you noticed? CONSISTENT. I have even been getting to bed at a descent hour...but I guess with all the work I've been putting in I'm too tired to stay up late. I'm not saying that everything inside and around Fort Hicks is perfect, but things are certainly looking up and I am gettin' down!

So at the end of this zooming post, I guess the only thing left for me to do is to toot my own horn so here it goes: TOOT! TOOT!

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Mommy blues, laundry woes


I love my husband, I most surely do. But.....how long am I gonna have to wait for my dryer to get fixed? Seriously, I am so tired of going to the laundromat to dry my families clothes. I mean, not that I'm above it or anything. Most of my childhood, I grew up in New York City and in our two bedroom apartment we did not have a washer and dryer. Along with our neighbor's, we would lug our week's worth of dirty laundry down five flights of stairs to the laundromat on the corner and clean our clothes every Saturday morning. That is what we were used to. When we moved to Georgia it was the same scenario. Small apartment and no personal washer and dryer. It would be a few more years before we had a house with enough space for our own washer and dryer. Even when I moved out and had my own place, I continued the lifestyle of going to the laundromat to clean my clothes. But once again, It was what we were used to and what we always did.

Now, flash forward years later. I am married with a family and have my own home. For about 15 years I have had the comfort of having my own washer and dryer. So ,I am not so accustomed to going to the laundromat every week as I once was. Our dryer broke down 5 months ago and it still is not working. I went from washing one to two loads a day per week to washing one day a week and toting 3-4 loads to the laundromat to dry each week. I think I've had my fill of this situation. I need my dryer to be fixed! We cannot go on this way, seriously I'm drowning in my laundry! I'm drowning! I'm drowning ! I'm drowning!

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

It was good, really good


One of the highlights of VinoTherapy for me was having an area reserved for the South African wine tasting. The wine used was from Heritage Link Brands. A company that was formed in 2007, out of a need to represent and promote wine makers of color in South Africa.

Unfortunately, because I was so busy working I was not able to sample the variety of wines available (six to be exact). However, at the end when all the guest were gone I was able to sit down, kick up my heels and sip a little sumthin' sumthin'. What did I have? I poured myself a glass of M'HUDI. Now, don't ask me to pronounce it 'cause I can't. Well at least I don't think I will do it justice. So you'll just have to figure it out on your own how to pronounce it! But anyway, Let me tell you about this M'HUDI wine. M'hudi, meaning "harvester", is inspired by a great African story. That of a bold and graceful woman who flees from her village to recreate life in a turbulent and unfamiliar environment. M'hudi Wines are in every way a celebration of this story of courage, possibility and generosity without expectation. -Tseliso Rangaka.

I had the Pinotage, a variety that was created 1925 in South Africa. It is a cross between Pinot Noir and Cinsault wine varieties. This red wine was good and bold and I've read that it is a really good dinner wine. I think it is a good wine for dinner, lunch, or anytime *wink*wink* (no judging)

If you would like to learn more about these Wines from South Africa, go to the website www.heritagelinkbrands.com

VinoTherapy

Well, in case you haven't heard me speak on it via Twitter, Facebook and Blog Talk Radio, my partner and I hosted an event last week. The event was VinoTherapy and it involved all the things we love; wine, massage, reflexology, good food and pampering.

I am still floating on a cloud from the success of it. People came and walked away feeling exactly the way we wanted them to....relaxed, renewed, and refreshed. We put forth the best that we could to offer a good service in a comfortable and beautiful environment.

Our company is Be.Beautifully.Well and we do combination therapy (massage,reflexology & aromatherapy at once). In efforts to spread the word about what we do we host events. This was the first of many more to come. We have big plans and we are pushing full steam ahead. Keep your eyes open for the website! Check out the video clip, we look Hot! ;)

Mojito's for you, you and you

In my own way of supporting National Cherry month, here is a simple mojito recipe featuring cherries, Enjoy!

For a large database of cherry recipes go to www.choosecherries.com/recipes


Red Eye Mojito

Ingredients:
2 1/2 teaspoons super fine granulated sugar
3 Tablespoons tart cherry juice
12 mint leaves
Squeeze of fresh lime juice
1 ounce white rum
1/2 cup soda or seltzer water
Ice

Directions:
Place 6 mint leaves in a tall glass. Crush mint leaves with a muddler, or with the back of a spoon. Add sugar, tart cherry juice, lime juice, white rum and ice. Mix well. Finish drink with soda water and remaining mint leaves. Stir to combine and serve.

Yield: 1 serving.

Monday, March 1, 2010

No need to be all SNOOTY about it!

Okay it is Monday and I feel a need to vent. Generally I don't like to complain but what's up with peoples attitudes these days? It really isn't necessary to act..." cold blooded !" (in my Dave Chappelle, Rick James Chronicles voice)

The last couple of days I have been reaching out to some people I've met at networking events, that I THOUGHT were great. Looking for an opportunity to connect in business. However, it seems that after a 5 or ten minute conversation or email with them, THEY are NOT so great.

Is it because some people are only out for themselves? Perhaps they have reached a higher level and they feel above others? I'm not sure what the problem is, but I know one thing. I don't appreciate being treated like I'm a scrub. I am far from that. I have always tried to treat people with dignity and respect, to honor their light which is in my presence. So, I am very taken aback when I am not treated in like manner. It is downright disturbing to my spirit.

Needless to say, each of those persons have been removed from my Rolodex. I do not want to work now nor in the future with anyone who has a snooty demeanor. The world is so full of fake people and folks with unscrupulous business practices, but I do not have to choose to work with them. They are not deserving of MY light.

So, I end this post with a bible verse that I learned a lesson from years ago:
"Let him who thinks he is standing beware that he does not fall" 1Corinthians 10:12....
A little humility goes a long way.