When In Doubt, Reach Out

(cheesy rhyme, I know ūüôā )

It’s easy to forget – or not realize – how much a kind word or action can mean to someone.

It doesn’t matter how much time has passed since you’ve spoken to someone or heck, with technology these days, if you even know them.

If you feel the urge to reach out, go ahead and do it. ¬†Even if you’re not sure if you should, or you don’t know how it will be received, do it anyway. ¬†I can pretty much guarantee it will be appreciated in one way or another.

Kindness matters.  Kindness is important.  And kindness will always matter and be important.

Here’s an example…. ¬†There’s a gal I went to high school with that has been struggling with starting a family for the past few years. ¬†We were never really close, but we always exchanged a hello and a smile when we passed in the hall or had a class together. ¬†She’s shared her experiences publicly on Facebook, and while I don’t honestly remember what finally made me think, “gosh, I want to send her a message and let her know I’m thinking about her and praying for her”, I did it.

Even though we hadn’t talked probably since high school and had only communicated by really ‘liking’ each others posts and such on social media. ¬†Even though I knew nothing about their situation besides what was on Facebook. ¬†Even though I thought for a second, “Is this okay to do? ¬†Will this be received well? ¬†Will be be uncomfortable for her?”

Despite all these questions in my mind, I did it, and I’m SO GLAD I did. ¬†She told me that the messages she’s receiving from everyone that’s reached out were carrying her through moments when she didn’t feel she could go on. ¬†By sending a simple note letting her know I was thinking of her and appreciated her sharing her story.

Simple words and actions can have a big impact, people.  Never forget that.

We’ve exchanged several messages back and forth¬†since last summer, and I’m so glad we’ve reconnected a bit. ¬†After losing several pregnancies in a very short amount of time, she and her husband conceived naturally and are expecting their rainbow baby! ¬†I am so happy for that sweet little boy. ¬†He will be so very loved and already has the greatest parents.

She had been asked by several friends and supporters if there was a registry or wish list she could share for people who wanted to donate or purchase gifts, and I took a glance at it one day. ¬†I noticed that there were quite a few safari/animal themed items on the list, and the itch to reach out hit me again ūüôā

You see, just a few weeks prior to seeing that list, my husband had returned from safari in Africa.  He and his business partner got some AMAZING photographs of elephants, so I thought it might be cool to see if she wanted a couple prints to possibly use in some way for the baby.

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I sent her a note, and she was so excited! ¬†She and her husband were wanting his nursery to be filled with people who were praying for their little boy. ¬†So I printed a couple photos and mailed them to her. ¬†It took only a few moments of time and a couple bucks to mail, but they ended up meaning so much to her and her husband that they had them framed and are on the wall in the baby’s room. ¬†(Which, when she told me this, I found to be a HUGE honor and promptly started bawling.)

I share this story not to say, “hey, look what I did”. ¬†That’s not my style and never will be.

Rather, I share this story to simply provide an example that small actions can mean the world to people, even if it’s been years and years since you’ve spoken or seen them.

If something in your gut is urging you to reach out to someone, do it. ¬†You may or may not know the full impact it will have on that person, but it. will. mean.¬†something. ¬†It could simply brighten someone’s day, or in some extreme circumstances it could end up saving them from harm.

Spread the happy, the kindness, and the love, folks.  Always.

Cheers!

SMR

 

 

 

 

Valentines Gift Ideas for HER

Yes, yes, I know…some people that think of Valentine’s Day as a “Hallmark holiday” and roll their eyes at the whole notion of the day.

If you are one of those folks, rock on. ¬†And perhaps save this post for a birthday or holiday gift guide instead ūüėČ

I¬†myself enjoy Valentine’s Day. ¬†I view it as not just a day for lovers but also a day to show anyone you love that you care for them. ¬†(Of course,¬†this shouldn’t just be reserved for Valentine’s Day. ¬†You should always let people know you care. ¬†Valentine’s just has some extra fun and sparkle and fun around it.)

So, in the spirit of that, here are some of my current favorite things. ¬†Check them out if you have a wife, girlfriend, mother, sister, daughter, or simply a friend who you want to buy a special something for this Valentine’s Day.

Or heck, buy these things for yourself if you’re celebrating Singles Awareness Day ūüôā

UGG Leggings РI got a pair of these for Christmas.  They are A-MAZING.  Seriously.  Best leggings ever.  So warm, so cozy, so comfy.  https://www.amazon.com/UGG-Australia-Womens-Goldie-Pant/dp/B00HJYTXMQ?th=1&psc=1

Sparkly Things – I dig sparkly things ūüėÄ ¬†And the Swarovski folks are real good at the sparkly stuff! ¬†They have some free-standing stores throughout the country, but their website is great.

Spa Gift Card РI find it incredibly relaxing to visit a spa and be pampered by a pedicure, massage, facial, etc.  Woodhouse Day Spa has many locations nationwide and is fabulous.

Favorite (insert the blank) –¬†Choose a known favorite of hers – wine/spirits/beer, books, magazine subscription, sweet treat, coffee, sports team gear, etc. ¬†She’ll love it AND bonus, you’ll score some extra points for paying attention ūüėČ

Personalized Photo Gift – Choose a favorite photo of you and your loved one and make it into a fun gift. ¬†Shutterfly has soooo many options to choose from. ¬†I’ve made ornaments, magnets, photo books, and calendars. ¬†There’s also cell phone cases, mouse pads, pillows, and much more!

Lotions or Candles – Bath & Body Works has some of my favorite fragrances for body lotion and candles. ¬†My current favorite body lotion scent is Tahiti Island Dream. ¬†It’s an ultra shea body¬† cream that is absolutely divine. And as far as candles go, the Eucalyptus Mint is a staple in our house. ¬†Lavender Vanilla is another good one.

Time – There’s no link for this one ūüôā ¬†Sometimes the best gift you can get for someone you love is simply the gift of time. ¬†We’re all busy in our own ways. ¬†Make time to be with those you care about. ¬†Have a coffee, watch a movie, go for a walk, see a show, take a spontaneous road trip – whatever you choose. ¬†And really BE there. ¬†Be present. ¬†Avoid the temptations of technology and other distractions.

“All you need is love…”

Cheers!

SMR

Baby Sea Lions!

Back in September, my husband and I visited the Galapagos Islands with some of his clients.  Everything there is spectacularly fascinating – the wildlife, the terrain of each island, the beaches, the foliage, etc.

One of my very favorite experiences was seeing some of THE cutest animals up close and personal.  You have to stay at least 2 meters away from all animals there, but sometimes they come up to you.  Because they don’t know humans as predators, this happens quite often.

Galapagos Sea Lions are adorable, curious creatures, and we were fortunate to be able to study them so closely.  Here are some of my favorite sea lion friends from that trip: 

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This one was my very, very favorite ūüôā  So calm and serene.

 

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This FACE! 

 

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“Do I have something on my face?” ūüôā

Volume WHAT?!?

I love music. ¬†Not new news ūüėÄ

There is a series of CDs called “Now That’s What I Call Music” that compiles current hits from various artists onto one CD. ¬†I love them. ¬†It’s like an already-made mix tape without all the work. ¬†***winning *** ¬†The first one I bought was Volume 2. ¬†Released in 1999, it came out during my sophomore year of high school.

Fast forward to last week as I was walking around Target, and in the music section I saw “Now That’s What I Call Music, Volume 60”.

SIXTY?!?  Seriously?!??  WTH.  Talk about instantly making me feel old.

So just for fun, I thought I’d compare the lists between the two CDs – my first purchase in 1999 and the latest one released in Nov 2016.

Volume 2

¬† 1. …Baby One More Time – Britney Spears
  2. You Get What You Give РNew Radicals
  3. Millennium РRobbie Williams
  4. Closing Time РSemisonic
  5. Sweetest Thing (The Single Mix) РU2
  6. My Favorite Mistake РSheryl Crow
  7. Praise You (Radio Edit) РFatboy Slim
¬† 8. I Think I’m Paranoid – Garbage
  9. Never There РCake
  10. Because Of You Р98 Degrees
  11. Goodbye (Single Version) РSpice Girls
  12. Take Me There РBlackstreet/Mya
¬† 13. When A Woman’s Fed Up (Clean Version) – R. Kelly
  14. Father Of Mine РEverclear
  15. What I Got (Clean Version) РSublime
¬† 16. I’ll Never Break Your Heart – Backstreet Boys
  17. Hard Knock Life (Ghetto Anthem) (Edit) РJay-Z
¬† 18. Everybody’s Free (To Wear Sunscreen) (Edit) – Baz Luhrmann

(HA!!!!  Such a walk down memory lane.)

Volume 60

¬† 1. This is What You Came For¬†–¬†Calvin Harris, feat. Rihanna
  2. The Greatest РSia, feat. Kendrick Lamar
¬† 3.¬†We Don’t Talk Anymore – Charlie Puth, feat. Selena Gomez
  4. Into You РAriana Grande
  5. Me Too РMeghan Trainor
¬† 6.¬†Make Me… – Britney Spears, feat. G-Eazy
  7. Never Be Like You РFlume, feat Kai
  8. Starving РGrey and Hailee Steinfeld, feat Zedd
  9. Sit Still, Look Pretty РDaya
¬† 10.¬†This Girl – Cookin’ On 3 Burners and Kungs
  11. Greenlight РPitbull
  12. LUV РTory Lanez
  13. Rise РKaty Perry
  14. Unsteady РX Ambassadors
  15. Hymn For The Weekend РColdplay
  16. Mama Said РLukas Graham
  17. Lovesick РJacob Whitesides
¬† 18.¬†Ain’t Love Strange – Stanaj
  19. Ilysb РLANY
  20. Happy Pills РWeather
  21. Talk Too Much РCoin
¬† 22. Fool’s Gold – Aaron Carter
Incidentally, when finding the track lists above, I saw that the next CD, Volume 61, is being released this Friday.
Cheers!
SMR

MUST SEE MOVIE – “Hidden Figures”

I don’t often get a chance to watch movies, for several¬†reasons. ¬†But boy, do I love love love¬†going to see a good movie in the theater.

Yesterday, I accompanied my parents to see “Hidden Figures”, and it was AMAZING. ¬†Seriously might go see it again while it’s still in theaters.

Here’s a description from the¬†20th Century Fox¬†website:

HIDDEN FIGURES is the incredible untold story of Katherine Johnson (Taraji P. Henson), Dorothy Vaughan (Octavia Spencer) and Mary Jackson (Janelle Mon√°e)‚ÄĒbrilliant African-American women working at NASA, who served as the brains behind one of the greatest operations in history: the launch of astronaut John Glenn into orbit, a stunning achievement that restored the nation‚Äôs confidence, turned around the Space Race, and galvanized the world. The visionary trio crossed all gender and race lines to inspire generations to dream big.

The cast is phenomenal…Taraji P. Henson, Octavia Spencer, Janelle Monae, Keven Costner, Kirsten Dunst, to name a few. ¬†And I don’t know who plays John Glenn, but he’s QUITE easy on the eyes ūüėČ

It’s such an incredibly compelling story from start to finish, touching many issues around race and gender. ¬†The feelings¬†that viewers go through are vast, including happiness, discomfort, humor, sadness, and ultimately, joy.

There are a number of memorable scenes and lines from the movie for me – some poignant, some that made me chuckle – but one of my favorites is one that is applicable in many circumstances both then and now.

“We all get there together, or we don’t get there at all.” – Kevin Costner

Check out the trailer below. ¬†And GO SEE THIS MOVIE ūüôā

Cheers!

SMR