Awesome Stuff Tuesday: My Top 8 Discoveries of 2014

2014 has been a great year!  I have discovered some amazing people who have inspired me, motivated me, and helped me on my journey of personal growth.  I have also discovered some wonderful products, blogs, and websites that have made my life easier and more exciting.  Here are my Top 8 discoveries of 2014:

1.  PicMonkey – I use this website just about every day!  It is a FREE photo-editing website.  Most of the photos and quotes I post on this blog are created through PicMonkey.  Check it out if you haven’t already!

2.  Marie Forleo – Marie Forleo is a true inspiration to me.  She is funny, smart, beautiful, talented, and most of all, authentic.  She hosts a TV show called Marie TV, with a new episode every Tuesday.  Her mission is to help people create a business and life that they love.  Check out this quick 39 second clip of her introducing MarieTV.  https://www.youtube.com/user/marieforleo

3.  Wet Brush – The Wet Brush has been a HUGE timesaver for me.  With three girls who don’t enjoy having their hair brushed, mornings have been made so much easier since we got this brush!  I don’t know what the secret is to the brush, but it works!!  I have recommended it to all my friends.  If you have a little girl and brushing hair is a struggle, give this brush a try!

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4.  Brendon Burchard – Brendon Burchard is a personal development trainer.  I discovered one of his free on-line trainings this year, and I thought he was a true inspiration!  He is a wonderful speaker, the information he reveals is invaluable, and his generosity in revealing his knowledge is admirable.   He has also written several books.  This year I read his book The Charge which was very inspiring and motivating to me (see my review here).  If you want to start living out your life’s purpose and would like a little motivation, check out this free 30 minute on-line class by Brendon Burchard.  You won’t be disappointed!

5.  Creative Live – Creative Live is a website that provides FREE creative classes from the world’s top experts. They tend to focus mainly on photography, but there are classes in MANY other areas as well.  Check it out, but beware:  you may become totally engrossed in the class and not want to do anything else or get anything done while the class is on.  Check out my review on Creative Live here.

6. Craftsy – Craftsy is a website that provides on-line classes in sewing, art, woodworking, cooking, and many other different hobbies.  Many of the classes require payment, but there are also some FREE mini-classes.  I have not yet tried the paid classes, but I took the Complete Knife Skills class with Brendan McDermott and it was awesome!  Check out my review and the link to the class here.  I am looking forward to taking more of the free classes in the coming year, so stay tuned for my reviews on those.

7.  Akiane – Akiane is a child art prodigy.  I discovered her story in the book “Heaven is For Real”, and I was fascinated by her story.  Check out her story and amazing paintings here.

8.  I discovered MANY inspirational books.  Check out the Top 10 inspirational books I read in 2014 here.

What amazing things have you discovered this year?  Please leave a comment below. 🙂

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30 Days of Thankful: Days 1-4

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When I think of November, the first thing that comes to mind is Thanksgiving…my favorite holiday!  For me, Thanksgiving means food and family, but it also means giving thanks for every little thing in my life.  It means recognizing and appreciating ALL the blessings surrounding me each day.

This entire blog is devoted to giving gratitude every day of the year, but during the month of November I try to make an extra effort to recognize the gifts in my life that I often take for granted.

I believe gratitude is the key to happiness.  I don’t believe it is possible to be unhappy when you are in a state of gratitude.

This month I am going to challenge myself write one thing I am thankful for each day.  I encourage everyone to look for the good in everything (because there IS good in EVERY situation), and see how many things you can think of to be thankful for today.  I invite you to join me in keeping a gratitude journal this month.  Each day, choose one thing you are thankful for or make a list of all the good things you encountered during the day, and see how your spirits lift during the month.  Here are my first 4 days:

Day 1:  Saturday, November 1

I’m thankful I was able to spend this cold and rainy Saturday comfortably at home with my family.  With nothing on the schedule and no place we had to be, we spent the afternoon in our pajamas, snuggled up together on the couch, watching some of our all-time favorite movies.  We all need days like this once in a while.  As much as I try to keep Saturdays open and schedule-free, days like this don’t happen often enough.

Day 2:  Sunday, November 2

I am thankful we got the first snowfall of the season.  While some were complaining that it was too early for snow, I think the first snow is always so exciting!  My girls had a blast playing in it!  We enjoyed it while it lasted because it was gone in less than a day.

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I am also for this beautiful sunset on Sunday evening.

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Day 3:  Monday, November 3

I am so grateful for the wonderful privilege of motherhood. 12 years ago today, I became a mother and it has been my most rewarding and life-changing experience to date. It taught me to slow down and appreciate the moment.  It taught me the true meaning of love.  It taught me to look at everything through a child’s eye and see the awesomeness of everything in nature and life.  And it ultimately brought me closer to God. I am so blessed!

Day 4:  Tuesday, November 4

I am thankful for the ever-changing New England weather.  Two days ago, it was freezing and there was snow on the ground.  Today it was 65 degrees and sunny.  The winter coats came off, and the short-sleeved shirts came back out.  The kids had the day off of school since it was election day.  It was a beautiful day to be outside, enjoy the day, and celebrate my daughter’s birthday with wonderful friends.

Awesome Stuff Tuesday: Craftsy “Complete Knife Skills” Class

Have you ever wished you could chop vegetables as quickly and uniformly as the professional chefs on Food Network?  I have found a class that will take you one step closer to that dream, and the best part is, it is absolutely free!

As I was going through my e-mails one day last week, I came upon a blog post from one of my favorite blogs, Keeper of the Home.   The author was raving about this “Complete Knife Skills” Class on Craftsy, so I decided to try it out for myself.  Click on the photo below to view the full blog post on Keeper of the Home.  If I can’t convince you to check it out, she certainly will! 🙂

knife skills class keeper of the home

After my kids were all in bed, I decided I would watch the first 10 minutes of the class.  When that was done, I decided to watch the next section, and before I knew it, it was 1:00 am!! (3 hours past my bedtime!)  I was so intrigued by this class!  I didn’t want to stop watching, but I finally made myself turn it off and I finished it the next morning.  Needless to say, I found the class really interesting and useful.  I feel like I learned so much and I feel like my time watching was time well spent.  Knowing how to use a knife properly is a life skill that can be a huge time-saver in the end.  Now I’m going to put my newly acquired skills to use and cut up some butternut squash for dinner.  Wish me luck!  🙂  To check out the class for yourself, click here or on the photo below!  Enjoy!

complete knife skills class

Awesome stuff Tuesday: Creative Live

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Do you love to learn new things (for FREE)?  Do you love to be creative?  If you answered yes to both of those questions, you are going to LOVE this site I am going to tell you about.  I was introduced to it by a friend who is a photographer.  I began watching last spring, and I have learned SO MUCH from it (even tips on creating this blog)!

The site is called Creative Live.  It offers free on-line classes for creatives.  There are 5 Channels:  Photo & Video, Art & Design, Music & Audio, Craft & Maker, and Money & Life.  The site covers a broad range of topics, including photography, creating a blog, scrap-booking, crafts, sewing, and SO much more!  Each channel broadcasts Live classes for free, and then they rebroadcast them during off-hours.  The classes are also offered for sale if you want to be able to watch at your convenience.

I highly recommend checking it out!  The only downfall I have found is that it is very easy to get so deeply involved in the class that I don’t want to miss anything.  As a result, I fall behind on my usual daily chores.  However, that could easily be avoided by purchasing the class.

There are so many wonderful things in life to learn, and I am so grateful to Creative Live for providing these valuable classes for FREE and encouraging people to spend more time with their creative self.  We are all creative deep down, and when we find and embrace that artist, that is where we find God.  Discover your inner artist today and check it out for yourself at: https://www.creativelive.com/