Thursday, March 31, 2011


Graduation Day
Tell us why you felt at your best in this moment:
I felt best at this moment for several reasons: I was celebrating my 35th birthday; I was a new mom; and I’d just earned my Masters in Public Administration--while being pregnant. I felt overwhelmingly blessed, and a sense of joy and accomplishment.

I always wanted to return back to school earn my masters degree, but felt like since I did not do as well in undergrad, that maybe I would not get accepted or wondered, “what makes me think I could earn a Master’s degree?”! I also wanted to become a mom and that part I did not have any control over, other than just praying to God that he would bless my husband and me with a child. Well, with the encouragement and support from my wonderful husband who believes that I can do anything, I applied to graduate school! My first quarter I received a 4.0 and began to gain confidence in myself that I could do this! Well, shortly after starting the program, to my excitement I found out that I was pregnant! Not only was I pregnant, but the Lord blessed us to be pregnant with twins! I still remained in graduate school, with determination and a goal to be almost finished with my program by the time the babies were due. To my dismay, we got the heart breaking news that one of the twins had passed away and that the likelihood of the other surviving were very slim. I was given the option to abort the remainder of the pregnancy or to just wait for the other baby to pass! My husband and I decided to leave it in God’s hands and decided to wait it out! In the meantime, I remained in grad school still holding a 4.0. Months passed by and I was still pregnant!

On January 23rd 2010, I gave birth to a beautiful baby girl! Our miracle blessing who doctors never thought should have made it! I also completed my Masters in Public Administration on August 29th 2010. The best husband in the whole entire world, who always believes in me and had no doubts, threw a beautiful Birthday/Graduation party! It was all in my honor to celebrate my accomplishments. That day I was surrounded with so much love from my family and friends! I felt absolutely beautiful!

Birthday/Graduation Party

Later, on January 22, 2011, my husband, daughter and I traveled to Miami, FL to attend my graduation ceremony--which just so happened to be the day before my daughter’s 1st Birthday! Walking across that stage that day and hearing my name called knowing my wonderful family was there cheering me on was like an out of body experience! Who would have ever thought, a black girl that was a product of a mother who got pregnant at 14 years old and married at 15, and of two parents who did not even earn a high school diploma, would be walking across the stage earning a masters degree! I felt my best at that moment because my beautiful daughter will always know the true meaning of determination, perseverance and education! She can look back at this picture and say “there are my mommy and daddy holding me at my mommy’s Masters Degree graduation ceremony and I was turning “1”!

How do you define beauty:

I define beauty as being on the inside! Someone who is kind spirited, respectful and nonjudgmental. Looking beyond people’s faults! Outward beauty is having poise, radiance and being self assured.

How do you define happiness:

Happiness is when you have loving family and friends. Happiness is when you don’t need the material things in life to satisfy you, but you’re rich in Love!

Your turn! Send your pics in to and tell us why you felt happy and beautiful and at your best in that moment. Feel free to share your favorite quotes about happiness and beauty and we'll include them with your feature. Please put AT YOUR BEST in the subject line.
Read more »

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Loving Reminders

Sometimes we can be self-deprecating, perceiving ourselves as "less than", and zeroing in on our perceived faults, shortcomings and weaknesses. In those moments, it helps to have a support system--a group of cheerleaders--reminding us to think positively about ourselves.

I keep a list of "loving reminders" for this purpose. This list consists of what I like to call "sweet nothings" from friends and family; things that they've said or written to me that lift me up. I can review it when I'm beating myself up and need reminders of my strengths and unique gifts. You could use kudos from your boss at work or a testimonial from a client—any positive feedback that you can reference as a testament to how amazing you are.

Here are excerpts from a few of mine:

"You just exude ‘communication’ in person. I’m not just saying that because you’re my buddy, you really do. The tone of your voice, the way you speak, the way you write….you’re a great communicator..." ~YS

"…you are now in a place where you are making wiser decisions. You're more aware. That means that you will face these kinds of situations with a confidence of knowing what you want and don't want. You won't spend time in limbo or denial. You have to keep doing what you know is right for you and communicating what is NOT right for you. You're so on the right track so try not to judge or be hard on yourself for how long it takes…" ~RH


Do you keep a source of positive energy on-hand? Perhaps a loving reminders list; or maybe affirmations for positive self-talk? What do you do to give yourself a boost when you’re down in the dumps?
Read more »

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Guest Post: Coming Out of the Closet and Finding Your Calling

In this PLPT guest post, Jess J. shares the closet experience that led her to step out of her comfort zone and change her life.

Have you ever sat in your closet, crying and holding yourself asking repeatedly to the omnipotent more insightful you that rests silently in your mind until specifically called upon, “how did I get here?” How did I get to this place of routine, comfort, and completely void of passion? What one decision changed the course of my life, straying from the golden road of childhood dreams with no bread crumb trail to lead me back? Have you ever been so angry at something you could not identify? I have.

I remember standing still and examining the broken shards of glass that were my life; glistening like diamonds in the sunlight but leaving me wounded, weak and bleeding at closer look. What I had was not happiness, it was complacency. I was working at a job that had excellent benefits, good pay, room for advancement, supportive management, and cooperative coworkers, and I was dying. I heard a long time ago that we only change when it’s a life or death decision; if I never believed it before, at that moment in time I did.

I knew something had to change. I had nothing to give.

I was a shell of myself and my insides were cocooned in webs of waiting. After college there was so much pressure to figure out my next move, take the good job offer, and be on par with my classmates that I left myself no time to answer the question, “What do you want?” As a result, all of the best parts of me began to preserve themselves leaving me with very little to offer the world. When my motivation began to amber over, I could not ignore how heavy I had become, I had no other choice but to look around and examine myself closely and what I saw left me curled up on my closet floor.

I quit my job. Not because I could afford to, but because I couldn't long afford not to. I began a rigorous self-exploration, digging through parts of me that had become strange wasteland. I kept asking myself, “What do you want,” repeatedly and forcefully, dissatisfied with feeble and superficial answers I plowed through my own earth determined to find the answer. The layers I moved through included expectation; what my family wanted for me, what society anticipated from me, what friends predicted, and then I reached the hardest layer of self expectations.

I had to give up the impossible standards I’d set for myself in order to get to my core, my center and my essence which is nothing more than a white light of acceptance; which is everything. I asked myself one last time “What do you want,” exasperated from my journey, dirty and covered in grimy “shoulds”; I answered in a voice full of knowing, “I don’t know, but I will.” And that was the beginning.

Sometimes it’s hard until it’s easy. At some point though, I think we must all ask ourselves what we want and demand the truth. We must sift through the values and standards that other people have given us and keep only the ones that our heart recognizes as sound. We have to live our own truth, or the closet is coming. When you are still, you can hear that voice of the omnipotent you telling you everything you need to know. Your career, your vocation is a calling. It is the world calling you to contribute by giving your talent in such a way that it benefits others. You have to first know what your talent is. Until you know who you are, you cannot answer another question.

In my work as a therapist, people come in daily saying, I don’t know what to do with my life. I ask them, in response, what they want to do. More often than not I see grey fill their eyes and I know they have not yet made the journey to themselves. It starts there. There are only three things: recognize what you are called to do, do it, strive for excellence not success. Do that and you have everything.

For more of Jess J.'s insights, check out her blog and her tumblr.
Read more »

Monday, March 28, 2011

14 Truths That Have Changed My Life

Keep me where the Light is

Happy Monday, y'all!  I started making this list in my journal and thought this would be a great opportunity for us all to share.  The key to this list is that these are truths that I have learned from MY life.  These are not things that someone told me or drilled into me.  Let us know if you can relate to any of these:

1.  I can't miss out on what is meant for me.

2.  Loving myself has allowed me to be more vulnerable and thus more outgoing and more impactful.

3.  A peaceful and calm nature is a strength, not a weakness.

4.  Abundance is not just about money. It's a feeling of knowing that you already have everything you need.

5.  I can't change other people, but I can change how I interact with them.

6.  Guilt nags at me in every situation where I have yet to let go and live peacefully with my decisions.

7.  Just because someone is angry, loud, or dismissive towards me doesn't mean they are right.

8.  Failure is temporary.

9.  I don't need constant attention to have a good time and feel sure of myself.

10.  Asking questions is empowering.

11.  The things that other people do have nothing to do with me and everything to do with themselves.

12.  Finding meaning in every moment is more valuable than finishing first.

13.  I don't need to always be right, always have the last word or always be faultless.

14.  The only thing that has prevented me from achieving anything in life is my belief that I could not do it.

What truths and life lessons have you picked up from personal experience that have changed your life??  Share with us in the comments.
Read more »

Friday, March 25, 2011

Love Notes - Friday 3/25/11

Read more »

Thursday, March 24, 2011


Tell us why you felt at your best in this moment:

I was out celebrating the graduation of a friend in this picture (me at the right). I'm my happiest when I am surrounded by my friends and having a great time. I feel my best around them because I don't have to "behave". I'm myself: silly, crazy and unapologetically me.

How do you define beauty:

Beauty is confidence. It radiates from the inside out. It is fearless.

How do you define happiness:

Happiness is finding the beauty in the simple pleasures of life. Life is too short to be unhappy.


The most beautiful things in the world cannot be seen or even touched, they must be felt with the heart."

Helen Keller

Your turn! Send your pics in to and tell us why you felt happy and beautiful and at your best in that moment. Feel free to share your favorite quotes about happiness and beauty and we'll include them with your feature. Please put AT YOUR BEST in the subject line.
Read more »

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Why I'm Thinking About Burning My To-Do List

Lately, I've been feeling very impatient. It's as if I've forgotten how to relax. Even when I'm supposed to be relaxing, my mind is going going going going. I try to breathe, stretch and meditate and my mind still relentlessly runs through list after list of things I need to do.  When I do forget something or I fall behind on tasks, it bothers me way too much.  Sometimes it even bothers me when I see my family relaxing because I think they should be busy busy busy like me!  I realize that somehow, some way I've got to get my chill back. Right now, I literally feel like a puppy chasing his tail around and around exhausting myself and not accomplishing anything.

I've always been a list-maker and it gives me so much satisfaction to check things off.  However, my lists are unreasonable if not outrageous and they're simply not effective these days.  I'm going to try Leo Babauta's One Thing System which essentially means that I will choose One Thing each day that I'm excited about and will get done no matter what.  Sure, I'll still keep my master list(s), but I will choose One Thing from it each day.  If I finish that One Thing and still have the desire to do more, then I will.  If not, I will relax and be content knowing that I got that One Thing done.   We'll see how this works out.

I hunted down the following excerpts to remind me of the importance of relaxation and patience:

"We cannot rush our victory; we cannot cut short our pains. Everything happens when it needs to happen; everyone is always where they need to be. You will never miss out on what is meant for you, even if it has to come to you in a roundabout way. When we relax and follow our inner guidance, everything that we should have is all that we get. When we rush around trying to make it, disappointment may be all we get."
~author unknown
"Patience is a virtue many do not possess. We have very little difficulty identifying what we want and need. The difficulty comes in waiting for it to manifest. We become doubtful, even fearful when we don't see our good coming as quickly as we think it should. Sometimes we even allow ourselves to believe someone or something can hold us back or stop our good from coming. We worry, we complain and sometimes we give up hope. We cannot see how we get in our own way. We forget about universal timing and divine order. We may not realize how our negative thoughts, doubts and fears uproot the positive seeds we plant. We just don't understand that we would not have the desire unless the supply were ready to come forward."
~author unknown
"Most of us do not work because we want to; we work because we think we have to work for money. The problem is that is all we do. We forget that life is more than work. Life is also about balance. In order to have balance, we must do more than work. What about fun? We need fun to keep our minds off work. How about rest? Not just sleeping to get ready for the next days work, but resting the body and mind from all activity. What about solitude? Take an hour or perhaps a day away from the hustle and bustle of life and people. It's called a mental health break. Let us not forget the mind. Education. It helps to keep the gray matter upstairs from getting dusty. Work is necessary but it is not the only thing required to get ahead. All work and no play may give us a balanced checkbook, but it can also give us an unbalanced mind."
~author unknown
Do you have any quotes, scriptures or affirmations about patience and serenity? I could sure use them right now. How do you stay mindful in the midst of your busy, active life? Please share in the comments.
Read more »

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

PLPT GEMS: Meet Carmen Cardoza

Our GEMS feature today, Carmen Cardoza, is responsible for the redesigns of Peace, Love and Pretty Things and The Write Curl Diary.  We are thrilled to feature her and share her beautiful spirit with all of you.

PLPT GEMS presents
Carmen Cardoza
Mama. Yogini. Marketing Strategist.Web Designer.

1. Share with us a defining moment in your life that has shaped the woman you are today.

I would have to say that I am continuously being shaped by every moment in this life of mine. I am so malleable, which at times is frustrating for me because I get restless, but most of the time it is what I enjoy about my mind and spirit. With that said, there have been moments in my life that I can say made a significant impact on me. For example, when I was pregnant I was astounded by the nurture and courage that evolved within me.

I’ve always loved children, but I did not intend to have any myself, so I was blown away by how in love I fell with my pregnant self and how hard I fell for my child. I was sure that my small frame would not survive childbirth so I was very afraid. I bought books to understand what was going to happen to my body. I took a class. And, typical me, because I was so afraid, I challenged myself to give birth without medication in a birthing center. I felt miraculous and developed such a respect for women, as I witnessed my body do it’s thing for my child. From the widening of my hips to the sound of my crying baby triggering my body to release milk, I was just in awe of woman and nature and me.

2. What do you do for a living?

I’m a freelance marketing strategist, web and graphic designer, and I provide outsourcing services to boost the day-to-day business efficiency of small businesses and non-profit organizations.

3. What are the most fulfilling and most challenging aspects of being self-employed?

The most fulfilling aspects of being self-employed and working from home are being there for my daughter after school, not having to take part in countless anti-productive staff meetings, training as much as I want, the ability to “choose” my clients, and being able to experiment with my ideas.

Some sillier aspects of working from home include being able to let my hair air dry, taking a longer shower in the mornings if I want to, working in my pajamas (for whatever reason working in my pajamas helps keep me creative), and having Law & Order playing in the background while working. But seriously, I love that I can work on a copywriting project or code a website – which I do enjoy - while having a CO2 gel mask on my face – which I also enjoy. I love that I can have dinner ready by the time I have to pick up my daughter from school, all while having done conference calls and the like. I feel like I’m living more now. Although I sometimes spend endless hours working, I am also taking care of my home, my family and myself, and having fun while at it. Right now, I am working on these interview questions while at my daughter’s Twae Kwon Do class. That is just splendid to me.

The most challenging aspects of being self-employed include having an unpredictable income, being a one-force team, thereby having to market myself and work on my assignments simultaneously, or not so simultaneously - hence the challenge. Another challenge I have is not having a marketing budget, so I have to be really creative (which sometimes ends up being fulfilling).

4. How would you describe a day in the life of Carmen Cardoza?

My days are a melting pot of my career work, my housework, my play, and mommyhood. It changes from one day to the next depending on the projects on my plate, the activities in my child’s life, trips, my latest obsession, etc. There are certain things that I am working towards incorporating into my daily routine. Although I don’t like to be restricted I do have respect for discipline.

So here’s a typical day of the week for me: 6am yoga and exercises - 7am get daughter ready for school - 8am breakfast, emails & voicemails, to-do list - 9am work and laundry - 2pm pick up daughter - 3pm daughter’s Twae Kwon Do - 4:30p snack, homework, piano, dinner prep - 6:30pm dinner - 7:30pm bath - 8pm read with daughter - 8:30pm bedtime - 9pm rest - 9:30pm work - 11pm bedtime

I found that doing yoga first thing in the morning has been mentally therapeutic for me, and a creative catalyst. By the time I’ve finished my yoga session and it’s time to wake up the rest of the house to start the day, I am in such a great mood. Yoga also prepares my body for the long hours of sitting I’m going to do.

5. How do you stay motivated and overcome doubt, fear and negative thinking?

I meditate in order to fight negativity. I stare at pictures of my daughter to stay motivated. I cry to release my doubts and fears. When I feel myself nearing panic because I don’t know where my next project is coming from, I just dive into activity. Activity begets activity so I just do something. It may include volunteering, more tutorials, more blog posts, illustration, updating my portfolio and calling potential clients (which I should be doing every day anyway, right?). Mood boosters like yoga, arts & crafts with my daughter, a tutorial, which always gets me going, and reading which makes me happy, are necessary.

I’m honest with myself. When things aren’t going well, I look to myself to make them better. Talking to like-minded people who are going through the same challenges and people who have successfully overcome them is great too. It gets the juices flowing, ideas emerge, you get excited, build momentum, etc.

6. What advice would you offer to others who are searching for their purpose or are afraid to take the first step towards their dreams?

Take the time to identify your strengths and weaknesses in order to plan accordingly for a successful venture. Know what you want to do and who you want to be. Know why you want it. Have realistic expectations and take it a step at a time so you don’t set yourself up for disappointment and failure. Write it down. Write down what you want to do. Then write down how you are going to get there. Even write down when you want to get there. Then do a little something every day to get you to that first step. Even if it doesn’t happen according to plan, you are putting it out there.

7. Name someone who has inspired you and why.

This is so tough because I am inspired by a hodgepodge of people for arbitrary reasons. I cannot pinpoint what inspires me about these people. Their spirits uplift me and when in doubt or when in search of a little charge, these are the people that come to mind. They include my daughter for her jubilant and magnetic personality, my mother for her sweetness, strength and laughter, my cuddlier-half for his kindness, patience and mentorship, an unbeknown mentor/client who has shared some energizing stories with me, Mother Theresa for just knowing what she wanted to do and just doing it, Toni Morrison for some deep and beautifully raw prose. I really cannot name ONE.

8. How can people connect with you?
Read more »

Monday, March 21, 2011

Tune Out the External Noise

There are times when we need to tune out all the external noise: log off Facebook and twitter, close out email, turn off the TV and silence our phones. Modern technology has created an environment that has made us too accessible; and where we can find ourselves a little too connected to the outside world--so much so that we forget to tune into ourselves.

Serving as catalyst for this train of thought was this post from Jess J. It’s short and sweet, but speaks to our controlling our own experiences. Whether or not we’re always cognizant of it, we can control a great deal of what we’re exposed to. We simply have to make choices and set priorities.

For example, Sunday nights are particularly difficult for me. I’m unsure why…there's just a melancholy that settles in as the sun goes down; the source of which I have yet to surmise. What becomes more important in that moment, however, is keeping this sense of seriousness from turning into sadness; being present with it, and using it to uplift myself, or to learning something about myself.

On these nights, I choose to tune out negativity. If I bother to watch TV, it has to be something positive, or inspiring. Last night, I watched my recordings of Janet Jackson on Dateline, and Diana Ross with her family on Oprah. If these three divas aren’t inspiring, I’m not sure who is!

I might also spend time reading books or magazines, journaling or free-writing; I might even straighten up around the house. It’s not the outlet that’s important, but what I can gain from it—whether it’s a new idea, a fresh perspective, or a plan for the week.

How important do you feel it is to turn off the external noise occasionally and turn inward? If so, how do you go about it? How often do you think we should we make this a priority?
Read more »

Friday, March 18, 2011

Love Notes - Friday 3/18/11

Read more »

Thursday, March 17, 2011


Tell us why you felt at your best in this moment:

There are always those divine moments when you realize that things aren't as bad as you think. I was with my best friend in the entire world visiting another one of our friends in my favorite place in the entire world NYC! I came across this sign and it made me realize that life is indeed good! Seeing how the previous summer around that time I was in a little funk, capturing that moment in front of those words with great friends, and lasting memories came at the right time, helping me define one of my greatest moments of clarity.

How do you define beauty:

Beauty to me comes from within. Every "YOU" moment makes you beautful, every time you are able to shine, love, and give back while being who you are destined to be is what makes you beautiful inside and out.

How do you define happiness:

Happiness to me is living without a care, when you can put away everything that is bothering you, or find ways to manage them so you can still walk around with a proud smile. I find those moments of happiness when I am with my friends, and family and just letting go of every problem as I share smiles and laughter with the ones I love.

Your turn! Send your pics in to and tell us why you felt happy and beautiful and at your best in that moment. Feel free to share your favorite quotes about happiness and beauty and we'll include them with your feature. Please put AT YOUR BEST in the subject line.
Read more »

Monday, March 14, 2011

Pretty Things: Love Your Body, Love Yourself


When I look in the mirror, usually what draws my attention the most are my flaws. For any compliment you can give me, I can counter it with a gripe about how this hangs or how that sticks out. Many of us have been rejecting our bodies for so long that we don't even realize how negatively this affects are overall self-image. Case in point, I can't tell you how many times I've thought "If I was prettier, 'insert stupid boy name' wouldn't have done this" or "If my body did 'this' instead of 'this', I'd feel more comfortable in my skin."

Body image is complicated. We have these high (and ever-changing) expectations that we set ourselves up for; always reaching to achieve this ideal of beauty knowing that we'll never really be satisfied. Plus, how can we talk about loving ourselves on the inside when we haven't accepted what's going on on the outside? Just as I strive to grow in wisdom and spirituality, I also strive to develop my own perception of physical beauty.   That is to say, I'm focusing on what makes me feel beautiful and learning to mitigate the things that don't.

Here's a thought: let's try to work with what we've got right now. Pre-weight loss. Pre-hair growth. Pre-whatever you're working on. Remember that your magnetism and confidence come from within. Let's learn to accentuate the positive in small ways that make us feel good in big ways. Here are a few ideas:

Step up your underwear game. It's amazing how wearing pretty underwear can make you feel like a new woman! Take a look through your underwear drawer and throw away the old, stretched, torn, droopy panties. Invest in good bras that fit you correctly (go get fitted!) and make sure that you have a variety of bras that will work under a variety of tops. Store your pretty underthings neatly and wash them gently and separately.

Invest in professional treatments. I'm not talking about plastic surgery. However, if you have issues with your skin, have you seen a dermatologist? Do you know your options? What about facial hair? Have you explored laser hair removal? Plucking and waxing can cause hyperpigmentation, so they're not the best option for black women. Instead of hiding problems like acne and unwanted hair, learn what your options are and use your grown woman money to find solutions for your grown woman beauty needs!

Dress to accentuate what you love about your body. Don't buy clothes that are on trend but unflattering to your body type. Learn what shapes are flattering on you. I never used to try on clothes, but now I try almost everything on to see how it fits ME. Just because it's cute, doesn't mean it will be cute and/or comfortable on you. It's never cute to be tugging and pulling at your clothes all day, and it just makes you feel self-conscious and distracted.

Get your clothes tailored. So many of us overlook this! I'm 5'9" so I have to wear long or tall pants always. However, if I find a pair of regular length pants that fit great except for the length, I'll buy them and have my tailor let the inseam down. If there's just a slight change that would make that item fit you like a glove, then it's worth paying a few extra dollars to make that happen.

Exercise, Eat healthier, Drink more water. Nothing makes you feel more beautiful than taking care of yourself. Sometimes our dissatisfaction with our bodies comes simply from our awareness that we're not taking care of it like we should. We feel guilty and we see that guilt and mistreatment when we look in the mirror.  Challenge yourself to adopt healthier habits, so you can feel better on the inside and look better on the outside. 

"Don't wait for the world to celebrate you.  Carve out your own niche.  Focus on what's great, forget what's not.  Find joy in your own reflection."   ~Sarah Bon Breathnach

What do you think comes easier - loving your body or your mind?  What's more important?
Read more »

Friday, March 11, 2011

Love Notes - Friday 3/11/11

Read more »

Thursday, March 10, 2011


Tell us why you felt at your best in this moment:

I'm a proud Mother of four of the world's greatest kids...I mean really, they are great kids. We have tons of fun together and we are a very close and happy family. My hubby plays professional basketball in Europe, so I'm the one that has to hold down the home front, which sometimes means being apart for awhile. I feel that I'm every woman, I do it all--you name it (except sewing, lol!). But I'm at my best in doing what I do because I love it! I love my life! Not only do I feel at my best but also very blessed to have my family, and I have to stay at my best for all of them. They keep me active and make me feel beautiful everyday!

How do you define beauty:

I believe that beauty comes from within your heart...if you have a beautiful heart, than you’re a beautiful person.

One of my favorite quotes is by Audrey Hepburn:
“For beautiful eyes, look for the good in others; for beautiful lips, speak only words of kindness; and for poise, walk with the knowledge that you are never alone.”
One of my favorite scriptures on this subject is Proverbs 31:25-31:

25 She is clothed with strength and dignity;

she can laugh at the days to come.

26 She speaks with wisdom,

and faithful instruction is on her tongue.

27 She watches over the affairs of her household

and does not eat the bread of idleness.

28 Her children arise and call her blessed;

her husband also, and he praises her:

29 “Many women do noble things,

but you surpass them all.”

30 Charm is deceptive, and beauty is fleeting;

but a woman who fears the LORD is to be praised.

31 Honor her for all that her hands have done,

and let her works bring her praise at the city gate.

How do you define happiness:

Happiness is when you don't worry about tomorrow, but you live for today, also knowing that God will lead the way. You don't let others get you down, you keep a smile on your face and not a frown. Happiness is being in love, knowing it’s true and it won't fail you. Happiness is in your walk, your talk, your prayers and your thoughts. True happiness is enjoying you! (Yes, I write a little poetry too :) )

Your turn! Send your pics in to and tell us why you felt happy and beautiful and at your best in that moment. Feel free to share your favorite quotes about happiness and beauty and we'll include them with your feature. Please put AT YOUR BEST in the subject line.
Read more »

Monday, March 7, 2011

How to be Happy by Sri Swami Satchidananda

Today has been rough for me, Lovelies. I feel a little frustrated and quite drained, but I didn't want that to keep me from posting. So, instead of an original post, I am sharing something that has helped me today. It reminded me to be present and  patient; and that no matter what happens throughout the day, it's my choice to be happy. My current circumstances don't dictate my state of mind. Despite repeating this in my head, sometimes it helps to see it and read it again. Another fantastic post on this subject resides right here at PLPT (click here to read). Hope these help you too.
How to Be Happy
By H. H. Sri Swami Satchidananda (source)

If you observe carefully, throughout nature you will find one common goal in everybody and everything—even in the atom. All are searching for happiness. In the case of human beings you see hundreds of efforts of various forms. The common purpose behind all these efforts is the search for happiness.

The goal is approached by many in different ways. Some people want to be happy quickly, so they take short cuts and get temporary happiness, but borrowed joy comes and goes. The happiness that we seem to be getting by our daily efforts is fleeting and mixed with a lot of troubles, worries, and unhappiness. Happiness cannot come without unhappiness before and after.

It's better to say, "I am happy," than, "I want to be happy." The minute you say, "I want to be happy," that very want disturbs the mind. And suppose the want is fulfilled? How many people go crazy over a small piece of paper, a stamp printed some one hundred years ago? They pay thousands of dollars to get that piece of paper. They give value to it and struggle to obtain it. If you are caught up in this, you'll say, "I can't be happy without the stamp." So you pay the price. Then you say, "Ah, I got it." It's simple enough. First you said, "I want it." After all the effort you say, "I got it." Where are you now? The same place you were before you wanted it. Happy.

You were happy before you wanted the stamp. The moment you wanted it, you became unhappy. And the moment you got it, you were happy again. Where did the happiness come from? The thing by itself didn't give you any happiness. You regained the happiness when you took the want back or when you fulfilled the cavity or depression created by the want.

When we finally tire of searching for happiness outside, we sit quietly and analyze and realize that true and lasting happiness can never come from outside. It can't come because it simply is. You are Happiness personified. You are that Supreme Bliss. You are that Joy. You are the image of happiness. God is the one who is always happy, and you are the image of God.

When you forget your true nature and look for happiness in external ways, that is the basic ignorance. The aim of all the Yoga practices is to stop anything from disturbing the mind so that it can reflect the Peace and Joy that is your true nature.
Read more »

Friday, March 4, 2011

Love Notes - Friday 3/4/11

I hope you all have a restful and rejuvenating weekend! 
By the way, it's my beautiful co-author's birthday today! 

Join me in wishing Kim the happiest birthday ever.  She truly deserves it. 
Love you sis!!!  xoxoxoxo
Read more »

Thursday, March 3, 2011


Tell us why you felt at your best in this moment:

This photo is from my 30th Birthday party. All of my nearest and dearest friends and family were there to celebrate this day with me, which made it so special. I am now 34 approaching 35 in November, but I remember my 30th like it was yesterday. I knew I was not quite where I wanted to be in life, but I knew I had come so far from who I was when I was in my twenties. I can say I was a little reckless. When I turned 30 I felt like a grown woman, no longer careless and wet behind the ears. I had learned so much from all of the beautiful, smart women God had surrounded me with. As I continue on this journey I am still discovering so much about myself and who I am becoming. Let me just tell you that I like what I see.

How do you define beauty:

Beauty is generosity and kindness, when you have these characteristics a light shines from within you that others can't ignore.

How do you define happiness:

Happiness is self awareness and acceptance. Loving yourself from the inside out and enjoying life to the fullest.
Your turn! Send your pics in to and tell us why you felt happy, beautiful and at your best in that moment. Feel free to share your favorite quotes about happiness and beauty and we'll include them with your feature. Please put AT YOUR BEST in the subject line.

Read more »

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Which Of Your Daily Habits Move You Closer To Your Goals?

Goal attainment is generally reached as the result of several small actions that eventually lead to one larger desired consequence. Thus, it's important to incorporate habits into your daily routine that are ultimately helping you to achieve your goal(s).

Some of my daily habits include the following:

1. Meditating for 10 minutes or longer - This aids in spiritual health, helps me to set the intention for my day, and helps me to remain positive throughout the day.

2. Exercising for 30 minutes or more – Beginning my day with exercise helps me to stay physically fit and gives me the energy to be productive each day.

3. Reading high-brow writing (i.e. something from the New York Times) – I seek to improve my writing by studying the styles of those who are considered to be the best.

4. Writing or editing 200 words or more – This is how I practice what I’ve studied.

5. Reading a few pages or chapters in a book – I’m a voracious reader. It’s a way to learn about any topic imaginable, to study writing styles, or to be entertained. In short, reading helps keep my mind from turning to mush.

6. Studying/listening to/reading about a metaphysical, spiritual or religious theme or practice – I’m still figuring out how I feel about religion as it was presented to me growing up, so I’m researching and figuring out what feels right for me.

7. Writing a desire list – I end my day by writing out a ‘desire list’. It can list desires for the following day or week, or for the future, but it is intended to remind me of what I want, and why I need to keep up these habits each day.

On most days there are other items added to this list, and sometimes there are things removed. The ultimate goal though, is to be cognizant of how my current daily habits are affecting my future. If I can complete the tasks on this list throughout the day, I know I've moved just a little closer to accomplishing the tasks in the bigger picture.

Which of your daily habits are moving you closer to your goals?
Read more »

RSS Feed Like us in Facebook follow me!