Parisian Charm Necklace

Are you a sucker for everything romance and Paris? Check out Etsy’s pretty Parisian Charm Necklace. Composed of a pewter Eiffel Tower charm, a red glass heart dangle, and an excerpt from a vintage love letter encased in a glass cabochon in antique silver plated setting, this necklace is truly romantic and reminiscent of the most romantic city in the world!

With regards to the length of the chain, you can choose from 16″, 17″, and 18″. This necklace could also be a great gift to anyone who appreciates charms and romance. In fact, it is delivered specially gift wrapped just in case you want to give it to a special person.

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Start Over

One morning I woke up happy and enjoyed playing with my kids that day. At lunch I got a phone call that a loved one had died. It was the most horrible day. 2 days later I woke up having just spread his ashes and facing going through his things and watching his life get parted out and walk away. I woke up sad and dreading that day wishing it would end quickly. But that night found me with my husband on a mountain making camp and celebrating the life we just said goodbye to. We were happy and full of a profound peace.

 Who could have known when I started each of those days that they would have ended in that manner? And if these things are possible then why not others on days where I wake and follow the script society has left by my bed for me to act out. Up all night caring for a sick child and the kitchen is a mess? Do I have to wake up deciding that I’ll be miserable and tired? I choose to start over. What if I forget I was up all night and act as if I had a good night’s sleep? Been cleaning out the closets and you have awoken to stacks and boxes?  Start over.

I faced being one of the families who endured a foreclosure. And as it got closer and I lived out each day, each month, each night of anger and pain, when the day came that it was no longer mine, who could have known the freedom and joy I would feel on knowing it was no longer my problem? Why did I have to make it so horrible? Because society says it’s a bad thing. But what if it’s a good thing? Then I just look crazy, but I feel good. And I have no regrets, start over.

I had a fight with my lover and went bed angry and woke dreading the talking it out. What a beautiful day outside I thought. I started over. My happiness was contagious and after coffee we found ourselves on a river in a canoe watching birds and rocks and fishermen go by. And the day was beautiful. Start over.

I had to buy groceries and pay bills and the day started with coffee and dread. Yet this was to be the day my son would tell me he loved me. One for the books to be sure. Start over.

What are these things we agree are bad? Why do we buy into them so easily and let the groups, the masses, say to us, this is who you are and this is how you shall agree to live your life. You shall mourn death and be very sad and if you feel happy too soon, surely something is wrong with you. You must dread paying bills and hate the grocery store and changing poopie diapers. You must fight with your teen and hate housework.

If you wake up and know that today you must clean out the garage, it will be hard and boring and you agree to get up wishing you could be doing something else. But what if you started over? What if in cleaning out the garage you also travel down memory lane and relive times that make you cherish the few years you have left with your teen? And what if you find items that neighbors could use and you see them smile when you hand it over? And what if after that hard work you soak in the tub and feel your muscles ache and you feel alive and like you accomplished something? Would you say that’s a good day?

Last night I went to bed having lived 2 days in one and my work incomplete, my husband recovering from surgery. I was up all night with him and then my son. Then the alarm went off.

Because when the messy den is the first thing I see and the phone is the first thing I hear I start over. Because those toys were put there by a boy that one day won’t live here anymore and that phone call will be someone who will probably earn me money. And those eggs I have yet to cook will remind me that I can feed my family good food and that I am a good cook. And when my husband is gone to work and I sit down with my coffee, to write and hear the silence in our home as my babies sleep, I know it’s a good day. Any day writing, any day with coffee and any day that begins with my husband’s face is a good day to start over. And after all, I wrote this article today. And you are reading it. And who knows how it may change you. So I was right when I woke up today and said, wow, I’m starting over. It’s a good day.


And you are now reading this because you were busy working or looking for something and then you found me. What happened to you today? Did you sit in traffic? Are you running errands, planning a trip or another day that will be good? Now you can start over.

Did you eat something you shouldn’t have, skip your workout and not drink enough water? Tonight you can start over. And tomorrow you can wake up knowing that today is the day that you are filling your water bottle and preparing to drink more water. And today you can take a few hours and take the kids to the park and run and play with them. You can make an extra lap and you can say no to a donut. And when you go to bed you’ll know you turned things around. And you made it yet another day closer to feeling sexy and beautiful.

So if you woke up today and knew you wouldn’t get to the laundry again, why not start over? Pile it up and put it by the washer. Write a note to a friend and draw a heart on a piece of paper and slip it into a lunch. Those alone are good enough reasons to celebrate that today you started over.


The Author

Teresa Bondora counsels others on the realities of losing weight, and support in the sciences. Check out her book and web site online at


Scared of the first date?

So you’ve been set up by a friend with a certain guy you don’t exactly know too well, and you’re nervous of how it will turn out. It may be with a long time crush you fervently want to impress but scared to do so, or someone totally new that you’ve got no idea how to act in front of. Don’t worry, almost everyone is apprehensive of first dates and you’re not alone. No wonder there are many first date guides in magazines and relationship websites. The following are just two of the more interesting tips I stumbled upon.

Look yourself. Do not waste your time trying too hard to look like someone you’re not. If you naturally love looking glamorous and trendy, then go ahead and be glam. But if you’re the type who’s more comfortable in casual wear, then don’t be afraid to go casual. After all, the point of a date is to be acquainted with someone and to know each other for a possible friendship or relationship. Trying to be someone different just to impress is like fooling him and yourself. Of course, this does not mean you should not look good. Do prepare for the date and be the most beautiful you that you can be.

Do not share or blab too much. So you finally sit on the date and find out that the guy is pleasant and likable. Before you get all comfortable and share your life story, remember that first dates are first dates. Leave a little mystery in the air. Even though a person may seem nice and attracted to you, it takes a lot more for you to really know if someone can be trusted, so take it slow.

Care to share your first date tips?

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Are you too emotionally unstable?

They say women are the weaker sex when it comes to our emotions because we tend to cling more to our partners and fall apart when expectations aren’t met. Of course, a lot would also disagree, saying that it’s the men who are weaker and who really need us. Regardless of what your view is, if you find yourself losing control of your emotions and you’ve been told that you’re too emotional or unstable, it may be time to assess yourself and see if you’re still at the top of your game when it comes to relationships, career, or any other aspect of your life. The goal is not to be emotion-less but to strike a better balance for a more productive you.

For instance, do you find yourself unable to focus much on anything when your boyfriend or husband is away or out of town? It may mean you’ve become too dependent on the partnership that you forgot how to take on life just through your own eyes and goals. Having and depending on a partner is great but remember that nothing is permanent and at the end of the day, a great partnership is made up of two strong individuals who compromise for love and not of two weak individuals who can’t function without the other.

Have you been called self-centered or self-righteous? Do you feel that you often talk about yourself and your experiences instead of listening to what others have to say? Being too focused on your self is also a sign of emotional instability because you feel the need to assert yourself time and again. While it is not wrong to be confident in expressing one’s thoughts, doing it excessively just tells the world that something is wrong with you, and instead of getting respect, you’ll end up being pitied or hated.

Care to share your own thoughts on this?

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Am I Fat?

This is probably the single worst thing you can ever ask your partner. spouse, significant other, or anyone for that matter.  It’s a “trick” question, so guys be careful!

This past weekend, while PMS-ing I was getting dressed for some company we were having over for the holiday weekend for a pool party.  As I was putting on my bathing suit, I asked my husband if he thought I was fat?  I knew after the words came out of my mouth that the answer he would give me would be wrong, no matter what the answer was, maybe with one exception.  But I asked him anyway and waited for the answer.

My husband said that he loved me no matter what I looked like.  Well in women language that really translates to, “yes honey I think you are overweight, but I am not going to tell you cause you will get upset so how can you get upset if I say I love you?”.  Just when he thought he was in the safety zone… I was upset.  I said “I can’t believe you think I am fat”.  He said thats not what I said,  I said, “You did not say no honey you are not fat”.  So naturally you think I am fat.  Obviously this conversation went no place, and I was upset and he was upset and we had a crummy day and it was all my fault.  But after I made such a big about it, it’s hard to say I’m sorry. 😉

The correct answer for you guys out there, even if you have to lie (of course don’t let her know you are lying) is…..Honey, you are gorgeous, beautiful and really hot, of course you are not fat!  Well you get the picture.  if you stray from my suggestion, consider yourself warned!

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Let’s Not Talk About It

I know, the economy is tanking, gas is going up, people are losing their jobs and you’re feeling very scared and hopeless. Everywhere you turn it’s on the news, your friends and relatives’ phone calls are all about how bad it is and still, nothing’s improving. You worry at night about how bad it is going to get before someone does something. Somebody will do something right? Then you remember, oh yeah, there isn’t anybody to fix it. It’s the cycle of an economy so large that it is its own entity. And nothing can fix it. And so you panic and worry and wonder,’how did I get here?’ and you feel alone, ashamed that you can’t afford gas or a movie where before you were buying different purses for different outfits. I know. I hear you.

But I actually have a very strange solution. And no, it’s not about a new multilevel marketing job or just accept where you are, or a plan to get rich quick or rob a bank… It’s a solution that really works. But it’s the one and only solution that no one wants to look at or accept.
Most people see what’s outside of them and those problems, people, job and things that need to change before they will be happy. And right now, it’s money. We are ALL seriously stressed about money. This seeing what’s outside ourselves actually does us harm. It makes us see what we lack, and then it brings inside of us, a feeling of shame, less-than, lack and failure. We pull up to a convenience store and a very nice new SUV pulls up and we think, ‘boy I wish I could have the money to own one of those’. But what you’re not thinking is that person is upside down in the money owed on that car, it guzzles gas and they would give anything to scale down and get something smaller. So seeing how much we lack is not only a lie but can really hurt you and bring you down. The truth is that in these times, everyone is suffering, whether you can see it or not. So you don’t get to be the woe is me person.

So what do you do? The key is in focusing not on what’s out there, bills, cars, lack of money, job, work, etc. but to bring your focus into your body. It is through our bodies that we experience our world and our place in it and so the way out is to go inward. It is inside you where you will find your strength, your power, your best ideas for change and solutions for problems.
There are levels of awareness and the most aware person feels their spiritual energy, listens to hints from the intuition, trusts ideas and operates from a position of peace and trust from within. The next level is feeling powerful physically, beautiful and strong and capable so that you can take the information you have and feel capable of putting it into action. You feel strong physically and that makes you feel stronger emotionally and you know you have the energy to accomplish what must be done for you and your family.

Once we start to dissociate from our bodies, because they are overweight or they hurt or we begin to resent them for betraying us we begin to move our focus outside our bodies so that all our awareness and attention is focused on anything except how we feel, our heart rate and breathing, our stomach and hunger, our skin and how soft it is, instead we focus on dinner, tools, cars, money, bills, the faces of those we love and the things we are doing without.
This shift of focus from inside to outside is the key. It’s the key to pain and despair. And the key to fixing it is to put our focus back inside our bodies. How long has it been since you’ve felt your heartbeat? How long has it been since you’ve been aware of your own breathing? How long has it been since you touched the back inside of your knee or put lotion on your feet, or looked straight into the mirror and didn’t make a single judgment, positive or negative, just looked. As parents, teachers, spouses and employees it gets hard to notice what’s inside but our disconnection from that is to disconnect from the gas pump and run on fumes. So how do you start and where do you go from here?

The way out is in
The goal from here is to relearn our bodies. We have to come back in touch with our senses, our balance, our heart beat, our spirit, our voice and intuition. We have to begin by taking care of the physical body we inhabit. Do your nails and hair, put lotion on and shave. These things get lost by the way side during troubled times. But these are extremely important in our plan.
The next part involves losing weight and getting our muscles strong. As women, we are rarely taught about testosterone and its role in our lives. But it is very important for women. It helps us fight certain cancers and build muscle strength, it helps keep our other hormones in balance and keep us mood balanced. But testosterone is the hormone of attitude. When we can get our bodies muscular, and tight, we begin to live in a different universe inside and out. Once your body feels strong, you feel strong emotionally. You are in touch and that voice speaks loudly giving you the next idea and push forward. Your strong body changes you mentally and gives you a superman attitude where you don’t feel defeated.

Where to begin
If you’re overweight, or just gave birth, or are unmotivated, I can hear you…..”Yeah, I’m not anywhere near that.” And that’s perfect because getting there is part of the process of transforming you into the powerful strong woman our ancestors were, that we can be! Economy, blah! We have resources, we can always find another way. And when you’re in that state, those other ways show up like miracles. I have experienced it myself, from a size 16, breaking out in rashes, tired, unmotivated and depressed, to lose down to a size 5, rock climb and feel powerful and strong. I used to teach science so I knew about my body and how to use it to my advantage. But my beginning was small. Walking around the block and starting to take half the food off my plate. I didn’t see any reward for my efforts for a month. And then it was off and on. But I realized it was a process of transformation. It wasn’t just my body I was changing, I, ME, was changing. My mind, my spirit, my power was changing.

What emerges in us is just as different from who we are now as we think it will be. But focus on today. What can you do to start today? Sometimes all it takes is saying no to candy today. And maybe tomorrow you’ll walk around the block. But this walk is your path back to power. I hope you keep walking running and playing your way back to the only person who can weather this storm.

The Author is where you will find Teresa Bondora. She lives in Atlanta, GA with her family where she counsels others on the realities of losing weight, and support in the sciences.

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Top “40” Things to do to Enjoy Life

Recently I received an email from a friend of mine listing the top 10 things in order to enjoy life more. As I sat there and read the list I thought of 100’s of more things I could add to that list. I figure that if each of us, who read this blog do at least 10 of these a day, we would be happier, healthier and have fuller lives, regardless of how happy, healthy and full our lives are already ;). According to the “ripple effect” we would then act differently, be friendlier, happier and more upbeat then we usually are and thereby the people whose lives we touch each day would also benefit from our enthusiasm and pass it on, and so on and so on and so on. (Remember the movie “pay it forward”? if not rent it, its worth the seeing)

Here are my top 40 things I think you give us all HUGE benefits:

  1. Take a 10-30 minute walk every day. And while you walk, smile. It is the ultimate anti-depressant.
  2. Sit in silence for at least 10 minutes each day
  3. Buy a DVR and tape your late night shows so you can get more sleep each night
  4. When you wake up in the morning complete the following statement, “My purpose is to ___________today.”
  5. Live with the three “E’s”: Energy, Enthusiasm and Empathy
  6. Play more games and read more books then you did last year
  7. Make time to practice meditation and prayer. They are the things our souls need for fuel each day.
  8. Spend time with people over the age of 70 and under the age of 6.
  9. Dream more while you are awake
  10. Eat more food that is grown on plants, and eat less food that is manufactured in plants
  11. Drink green tea and plenty of water, eat fish, broccoli, almonds and walnuts
  12. Try to make at least three people smile each day
  13. Clear clutter from your house, office, car and let energy flow better
  14. Do not waste energy on gossip, past issues, negative thoughts, or things you cannot control. Invest your energy in positive, life affirming moments and live in the present, here and now.
  15. Eat breakfast like a King, lunch like a Prince and dinner like a college kid with a maxed out charge card
  16. Realize that life is a school and you are here to learn. Problems are part of the curriculum that appear and fade away like algebra class, but the lessons you learn will last a lifetime.
  17. Smile and laugh more, it will keep negative thoughts and blues away
  18. Learn that life is not fair, but it is still good
  19. Life it too short to waste time hating anyone
  20. Don’t take yourself so seriously, no one else does
  21. You don’t have to win every argument, agree to disagree
  22. Make peace with your past, so it does not spoil the present and pack the garbage away so you don’t have extra unnecessary baggage
  23. Do not compare your life to others, you have no idea what their journey is all about
  24. No one is in charge of your happiness except you
  25. Frame every “so called” disaster with these words, “will it really matter in 5 years?”
  26. Forgive everyone for everything
  27. Do not care what other people think of you, dance like no one is watching
  28. Remember a higher power heals everything, and only gives us what we have the strength to deal with. Its our journeys destiny to find that strength to deal with things life puts in our path
  29. However good or bad a situation, it will surely change
  30. Your job will not take care of you when you are sick, your friends will. Stay in touch
  31. Get rid of anything that is not useful, beautiful or joyful
  32. Envy is a waste of time, you already have the things you need
  33. The best is yet to come
  34. No matter how you feel, GET UP, DRESS UP and SHOW UP
  35. ALWAYS do the right thing
  36. Call your family often, or email them to death! 😉
  37. Each night before bedtime, complete the following statements, “I am thankful for ___________. Today I accomplished _____________”.
  38. Remember that you are too blessed to be stressed. (even in the simplest form, you are able to read this on a computer when many people in the world cannot afford a computer, or electricity!)
  39. Remember this is not Disney World and you definitely do not want a “Fast Pass”. You only have one life, so make the most of it and enjoy the ride.
  40. When feeling overwhelmed, stressed or depressed, look at something beautiful and take a deep breath and just think how beautiful is it to be alive.

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