Getaway Is A Must!

Back from Sauble Beach and feeling relaxed and comforted. It was a really nice getaway. We got to swim, play, be a kid again, have coffee on the patio overlooking the water and just relax. We also got to spend some quality time w/ family members. It was nice b/c it wasn’t your normal beach vacation where you spend the days recovering from the night before. We got to relax, grill out, be a family and enjoy the days start to finish. It never gets old to feel the sand between your toes, but that is the only place I want to feel sand. Unfortunately, you do find it everywhere later in the day. Oh well, it is worth it.

We got our exercise by running on the beach and doing yoga. We got our laughs by chatting w/ one another and playing w/ the kids. Oh, and Woody the woodpecker–yes even he went to the beach. When we were at the cottage, he nestled outside on a tree, eating all the bugs he could find. When away he went in his cage. He even made improvements–he can now fly a good distance–not enough to be on his own yet, but getting there. He even gave us a big scare one day when he climbed about 10ft up the tree. He’s never gone that high and we all thought something terrible happened. Then, we heard the rustling in the tree. There’s Woody–all high and mighty. Next was trying to get him down. I won’t get in to that, but that was pretty difficult.

Even though I love my job, my life and all my surroundings; I still feel so refreshed w/ a few days away. You just feel in such awe and delight. I got to do new things, try things and learn more about the places around me. I also got to learn some new things about my fiance’s side of the family. We really had a blast and I recommend everyone go on a getaway. No matter how big or small, expensive or inexpensive, just get away. It makes you focus better when you are back and you learn a lot. Thank you to everyone for making our vacation a blast! We really enjoyed it all.

“Make It A Great Day–Go Inspire!”


Oh To Be A Kid Again….

Well, another magnificent jog w/ MG and his sister this morning. Not that many people were out exercising as early in the morning as we were, so it was nice and quiet. We ran on the road and on the beach again. Might as well use the sand while we have it to intensify our jogs. Followed up w/ some more yoga. I’m really enjoying being back in to yoga. It helps w/ breathing, sinuses, toning, stretching, strengthening and more.

After a healthy breakfast of coffee and cinnamon buns, it was out to play. Ok, so I get to cheat a little while on vacay. I just really enjoy going for a coffee on a patio overlooking the beach. I got to be a kid again for just a little while. We blasted the ipod player and danced around to whatever song was chosen next. Free of concern or care of what I looked like or what others thought. It was just all of us. All of us having fun and being free. Back like the days of when we were kids. Now sharing our dance moves w/ the little ones. We drove around and found a park w/ a nice area to see some fish and tiny waterfalls. There was even one area where you jump off the rock and in to a deep water hole. In this pic the lady was actually pushed off by her daughter. You might notice her turning to say something while in mid flight. See, being a kid again. Jumping, playing w/ a little nudge from her daughter.

We all got to wander around from waterfall to waterfall, looking for fish and other animals and exploring like a kid w/ the kids. Loads of fun!

Then, it was off to the amusement park. We went w/ our nephew b/c our niece was shopping to find new shoes. My kind of girl, already loves her shoes and she’s only 7 yrs old. It is so nice to feel like a kid again. I got to go down the big slide w/ our nephew and MG took him on the big go carts. We all had a great time and so much fun.

These couple of days away are not only fun and relaxing, but have reminded me of some very important life lessons. We can’t always be so serious, uptight, worried about what we look like and who is watching. Make time to be a kid again. Have some fun, be silly, dance like no one is watching. Nonetheless, just make sure you are having more fun in your life than stress. Get out and enjoy! Feel young, be young!

“Make It A Great Day–Go Inspire!”

Sauble Beach, ON–Aaaahhh the Beach!

We are getting away. Wooohooo!!! It is only 3 hours away, going further North in Ontario and only for a couple of days, but it’s a getaway. MG’s family goes to this cottage in Sauble Beach, ON every year. We get to tag along for a couple of days w/ them. We are only able to go for a few days b/c luckily work (real estate)  is very busy. Usually the housing market around here is not at the hottest in July/August, but this year it has been steadily busy. No matter–the next couple of days soaking in the sun, having fun, swimming, walking on the beach will be fantastic.

So, we came up late last night, which works out well. Just in time to get a good night’s sleep and be there ready to go for the first full day. Myself, MG and his sister woke up bright and early to get in some early morning sunshine and exercise. We welcomed the cooler weather. In Hamilton, ON we have been having record heat w/ over 90’s F every day of July. So, it was a pleasure to go for a jog outside and it was only in the 70’s w/ amazing beach breezes. Somehow exercise always seems much better at the beach. We went back and did some yoga and the day was ready to begin. By the way, we ran 1/2 of our jog on the beach–whoa! what a difference. We were all much more tired. It is way harder, but supposed to be much better for your joints. My legs were shaky for a bit after b/c of running in the sand.

Afterwards, we all headed to the beach. We played some soccer and football, but w/ the high winds it was too chilly to swim. In fact, we decided to go have a coffee and muffin on the patio. Beautiful! The good thing about all of us is that we can find the positive in anything. See it may be too chilly for the lake water, which is on Lake Huron, but there is this place called Oliphant that is fun! The water is generally very shallow for as far as you can see, so it is warm. The sun heats it up quickly b/c it is so shallow. You can walk out for miles and never be in water higher than your waist. We were able to catch a few creatures (turtle, sunfish, crayfish, etc), but of course we immediately turned everything loose. Don’t want to harm any animals. Then, we stopped to roll down a gigantic hill of sand and off to the cottage for some asparagus and grilled veggies.

After all of this, it was a serene night of fishing. Not a lot biting, but we caught a few and of course turned them loose. See a pattern going here? Doesn’t my sis-in-law look like a pro?

Even the kids were fishing. Beautiful night. Then, it was off to a local ice cream shop for a tiny bit of yummy treats. Well deserved. Back to the cottage for some chill and relaxation and off to bed and ready to start a whole new day. Aaaahhh the beach–we make the most of time away. Heck, make the most of every day. Life’s a beach, but if it is too chilly, go make your own fun elsewhere. There’s always something else to do and be excited about. The weather is perfect, not so much for swimming, but for everything else–Magnificent!










Oh and a little shopping never hurt anyone. A pair of the most comfortable shoes ever and some adorable Diesel rainboots for only $40. Cool deal. Too bad we haven’t had rain in over a month. I’ll get to wear them sooner or later!










 “Make It A Great Day–Go Inspire!”

Pride In Trying!

I am very competitive and really enjoy winning. Yes, probably like the rest of the world. Difference is I see the competition in everything and constantly have to remind myself to not take things so seriously. Well, today I learned that winning is not everything.

As most of you have read, there is a local jewelry store that I love–Bluboho! They had a competition to win matching best friend Chan Luu wrap bracelets. I instantly thought of my best friend from NC. She and I have been best friends since we were 4yrs old. We basically have the same name, only 2 wks apart in age and share everything. We are each others yin and yang. We are always there for one another even though I now live 12 hrs away. It doesn’t affect our friendship. Of course, it would be nice if we could see each other more, go for lunch, coffee, whatever. Point is that after all these years she knows me better than anyone, we pick up where we left off and nothing changes.

Anyway, as soon as I saw this giveaway, I was immediately writing in. I am not even on facebook, but I wanted to win.

We did not win, but I realized how important our friendship is to me. No matter win or lose, getting something meaningful for her was my top priority. This is when I learned that winning is not everything. I learned a lot about how much I value our friendship and how instantaneous of a thought it was for me to get something for her. The paragraph I wrote about our friendship just flowed out. It was so simple. She is an amazing friend, mother and the list goes on. Thank you for everything and for putting up w/ me for all these years. I’ll never forget it.

We should always remember what is near and dear to us and don’t be afraid to show it. I don’t show it enough, but I know what is important when it is the first thing on my mind. Don’t lose touch of your friends, your importance and what makes you YOU! Do be afraid to lose in any competition! Just kidding, but it is important to me!



“Make It A Great Day–Go Inspire!”

You Said What????

I find it funny how very similar my hometown of Greensboro, NC and my new hometown of Hamilton, ON, Canada are to one another. Even when family and friends come to visit–they remark on how familiar it all feels. It is only a 12 hour drive passing by Niagara Falls and through the lovely mountains. You would just assume that they would be completely different.  The weather is relatively similar. This year especially, NC has been a bit cooler at times than here in Canada. This seems weird b/c it seems that Canada would always be colder, but not so. NC seems to have warmer, longer summers, and warmer, shorter winters, but on average the temps are pretty close.

Some of the biggest differences I have noticed are racial issues. Where I live in Canada, there aren’t any race issues that come up, or at least that you hear on a common basis. In NC, we have advanced a lot, but let’s face it, race is always there in most people’s minds. It is overheard all the time. Another is that here in Canada, most all the people are well-traveled and have a lot of knowledge about other places in the world. In the states, we seem to travel outside the country, yes, but not a lot. Most vacations are to another state. We know a lot about our country, but not so much about the rest of the world. Both places have a ton of positive things to offer and I can happily live in either place.

One of the most troublesome differences is language. In both places we speak English, but have different meanings for some words and simply don’t even use others. For instance, I use the word commode. Most people here in Canada look at me like I have 3 heads. Especially if I am showing clients around homes and throw out that there is a 2 piece bath w/ a new sink and a commode. What? w/ some confusion. Apparently, commode is a funny word meaning something other than toilet. Another that just really throws people off is when I proudly state that “I am wearing my toboggan to stay warm”. What? You said what? How the heck do you wear a toboggan? All you Canadians are thinking right now–how can a toboggan keep you warm? All you Americans are thinking, well of course a toboggan keeps you warm. Well, apparently up here a toboggan is a sled. MG had a long discussion w/ some of my friends who just didn’t believe that a sled is a toboggan. No, they said, it is a sled. Anyway, right around the corner from my home in Ontario is this sign. It certainly doesn’t mean that you can’t wear a hat.

Oh well, I don’t think I’ll ever change. MG would really like me to take up some of the Canadian terms, such as toboggan meaning sled-like, but I just can’t. I feel like a traitor or like I’m trying to “be Canadian“. Yes, I live here now and I’ve certainly picked up the saying “eh” (if you don’t people don’t realize you are asking for a response) and a few others, but I have to stay true to what I know. It may seem silly here, but that’s who I am. I may not be in North Carolina now, but the North Carolina will always be in me.

Love to hear thoughts from any of you. Have you ever moved and picked up different ways of speaking or words? Did you change? Either way, I’m lucky to have 2 hometowns w/ loads of people who care about me in both and even though they may giggle at me a bit, they enjoy what makes me different or the differences they notice in me now.




“Make It A Great Day–Go Inspire!”

Animals Have It!

I’m a HUGE animal person in general. It seems lately that I have had so many encounters w/ all types of animals. I’m not sure why this is, but sometimes the universe plays a funny role w/ us. I have really been missing my two boys lately (my Australian Shepherd dogs). As you know, I lost my 12yr old dog last March and my other dog in December at 11.5yrs. I miss them each and every day and I always will. They were family to me, so it is nothing short of losing a person near to me. Anyway, I have been thinking about them a lot lately and enjoying the amazing memories we shared during the best 12 yrs of my life. We went everywhere together–the beach, lake, hiking, jogging, they even went to my real estate appointments w/ me. In missing them, I have had the pleasure of so many other encounters w/ animals.

My in-laws have a fun, loving, full of energy dog that I get to walk and hang out with and you know about the woodpecker that they adopted. They still have “Woody” and he is doing really well, but I don’t know if he will ever be able to live on his own. Any suggestions, send them to me. He seems to be able to walk and can fly short distances, but not well enough to get away from danger. So, they buy him mealworms, but he also enjoys blueberries, banana, earwigs. He has a cage, but during the days (while someone is home) he stays out on his own. This gives him the opportunity to peck at the trees, he climbs a few feet up them and gets to hang out w/ other birds.

At our house we have a family of 6 raccoons that come around. They aren’t friendly w/ us (thank goodness), but they know we are there and that we won’t mess w/ them. They drink out of our bird bath, catch worms in our yard and practice their climbing. We watch them almost every night. They have a pattern and it is the same every night. It is so fun to sit back and watch. Here’s 2 of them drinking in our back yard. The other pic is hard to see, but it is a mother and baby skunk. Yes, they live under our shed (or the neighbor’s shed). It is a  family of about 5 skunks. Crazy feeling the other night when we were out watching the raccoons and nearly 2ft away was a mother skunk and her babies. She saw us. We sat über still and didn’t move. She stared, gathered the babies and kept going through the yard. Phew! We were so nervous she was going to spray. Not only bad for us, but all of our new, expensive patio furniture. They have made a few more appearances as well.

This brings me to how smart animals are. Animals just have it!!! I read today that they have dogs in the navy seal program, in fact, Cairo is the only known navy seal who took down Bin Laden. They use dogs for sniffing out drugs, cancer, guide dogs, they help people w/ seizures and the list goes on. Animals in general know the weather, how to take care of young, how to work together to prevent danger. Have you ever seen all the little birds bond together to scare off a hawk? Amazing, humans could learn a thing or two. Take some time and read about how the snakes, elephants, monkeys, etc were acting before the Tsunami. They were running away, climbing trees. Dolphins even helped guide a boat further out to keep them out of the way of the wave. Kind? I don’t know how animals think, but they are lifesavers. They are best friends. Companions and just plain smart. I feel animals have a step up on us. Of course there are things that we can do that animals never could and feelings that they would never understand, but just think sometime. They don’t have hands, toes. Watch how observant, knowing, gentle, protective they are. They can tell you the weather better than any meteorologist. I just love animals, find them amazing and learn from them every day.

I feel so lucky to have the connection w/ animals that I do. I have trained dogs since I was 6 yrs old. My family did a great job teaching me respect and kindness towards all animals. They trained dogs as well. I feel that we have to be a voice for all creatures and help them. They do a lot for themselves, but sometimes they need us. Please don’t ever let any abuse occur to any creature, but do sit back and enjoy them. Let them be, live and just observe. What you see might surprise you. It might even change a few things about yourself. I strive to be the person my dog thinks I am. Done! That said, you will lead a better life.


“Make It A Great Day–Go Inspire!”

Heat Dome!

I believe this is what they are calling this wave of heat we are all experiencing. According to the meteorologists, the states are getting hit w/ this wave as well. I’ve got to be honest, I hate it this hot!!! We reached a high w/ heat index of 110F. This is ridiculous. I’m in Canada–hottest day on record! Even worse, we went to a listing evaluation at 1:30 (hottest part of day) and they didn’t have ANY air conditioning. Holy cow, hot! We were all drenched w/ sweat and not even hardly moving.  Everyone was stressed over the heat. There’s only one positive in temps this high–wait for it, I’m wiping my brow off–it is a free sauna. When you sweat like this, you release all the yucky, bad toxins in your body. It can actually be a good thing.

Sweating while working out promotes hormones that makes us feel good. Hot yoga is a great way to sweat while working out. Speaking of working out–the last 2 days before this one, I have done my workouts outside. I have been out for a run one day and the stairs the next. Both days, I got started at around 7:30am. It was already 78F, but felt like 88F. Anyways, I did alright on my jog, but the stairs, well….

It was strange, I did a 5km (3 mile) jog w/ 400 stairs. I felt good during the jog, but as I started my first flight of stairs (250 stairs) my heartbeat got really high. I did a light jog to the next set of stairs and was more tired than usual, but ok. Then, I started the next set of stairs and whoa! All of a sudden, I felt dizzy, nauseous, a bit disoriented and then my heartbeat went up. Problem was my heart was racing and I couldn’t get it to calm down. A lot of this I think was more due to becoming anxious b/c of how I was feeling. There were people all around doing the stairs, jogging, etc, but I couldn’t regain myself. I have never felt like this or had such anxiety. Luckily, I had the wherewithal to realize that I needed to gather myself, so I reverted to the yoga I’ve been doing lately.

Remember how I’ve written about doing yoga every day under my cabana w/ the fountain on. Well, thank goodness. I thought about deep breathing–counting to 4 inhaling and exhaling for 4 counts. After minutes of feeling anxious and sick, the breathing calmed me right down in about 45 seconds. Amazing! I was ok enough that I was able to continue my jog back home.

So, sweat and sweat a lot. It helps us feel good, our skin is better and we rid ourselves of about 30% of the toxins in our bodies. Don’t overdue it and know when to stop. I’m thankful for my indoor gym b/c I ran on my treadmill today and I will do the Elliptical tomorrow b/c it is just too hot outside. I learned a huge lesson. I learned how very, very important breathing is to us. I’ve written on it a lot lately, but I used it yesterday. It really helps and was the only way I calmed down. Use it for anxiety, stress, anger, etc. It is a little miracle we do all day every day, but don’t focus on. Try it.

Had a phenomenal dinner w/ MG at our commercial restaurant that we have listed. We had to show it to some buyers today, so we stayed after for a tasty dinner. Some cucumbers, tomatoes, egg, cheese, pickles, rye bread and a huge glass of water for me and a lovely German beer for MG. Very refreshing. Now, stop reading and go breathe.

“Make It A Great Day–Go Inspire!”

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