God Bless You – Love Never Fails

Yesterday a man was watching me handle a serious temper tantrum while my youngest son was waiting to get his haircut. We were truly making a scene. I thought this man was judging me and that he probably thought I was worst-mom-of-the-year. As he got up to leave, he handed me a folded up piece of paper and said “This is for you”.

As I unfolded the paper…

This is what I read…

God Bless YouThe response I received on Facebook about this little note was AMAZING. Click here to ready all the Facebook comments. It was even shared 26 times!

Amazing, right?

God Bless You.
Love Never Fails.

So remember, you too are doing a great job. And one thing I know for sure… is love truly never fails.

Still Evolving

Total Success on Your Terms

Whoosh, it’s been a busy couple of weeks, with not a lot of time to blog. I just got done being interviewed by Kim Jones for her FREE video tele-summit. I love doing these kinds of interviews, because there is so much power in speaking my voice and telling my truth. It’s borderline addicting!

The video tele-summit is called: The Secrets to Total Life Success: How to Be Wealthy, Happy and Create a Much Bigger Life for Yourself.

total success

Sure everyone wants SUCCESS but do you actually know what “total success” looks like to YOU?

This free speakers series is all about what you can do to start creating a life of SUCCESS and FULFILLMENT so that you can really LOVE your life!

And the BEST NEWS….

YOU have permission to define what success and fulfillment mean to you.

In addition to me, Kim has interviewed 27 other inspiring and influential entrepreneurs and business owners, including one of my favorite – Leonie Dawson!

Total Success
Each speaker will be sharing the strategies and mind shifts they experienced to achieve success. And you might be surprised at how simple some of it really is…and how we all define success differently.

Click HERE to Get FREE Access to my Interview!

Still Evolving

Xfinity Apps for the Suburban Priestess

Xfinity recently invited me to a lunch and learn at Philadelphia Magazine’s 2014 Design Home. I’ve been a Comcast customer for years, so I figured I already knew all I needed to know about Xfinity. Boy was I wrong.

If you are a Comcast customer, I highly recommend learning more about Xfinity Apps – most of them are free if you have a Comcast account.

Xfinity To Go AppXFINITY TV GO APP: My family uses this app when we are on the go. Sometimes I use this app while making kitchen and yes… I’m guilty of also using this app resting in bed sometimes too. With the Xfinity TV Go app, you can take Xfinity On Demand any where you go with your tablet, smartphone or computer. You can even download TV shows and movies from Showtime, Starz, Encore and Movieplex to your mobile device and watch them when you’re offline (I have not tried that yet).

Download: Xfinity TV Go App in the Apple App Store or the Google Play Store.

 

Xfinity RemoteXFINITY TV REMOTE APP: This app has gotten a lot of use since I attended the Xfinity lunch and learn at Philadelphia Magazine’s 2014 Design Home. No longer are the days of my boys looking for the lost remote. Now they use our new Galaxy Tab4 (that I received at the Xfinity lunch and learn) as a remote control.

Download: Xfinity TV Remote app in the Apple App Store or the Google Play Store.

 

Xfinity Connect App XFINITY CONNECT APP: We haven’t tried this app yet, but it’s still one of my favorites. Get this… if you use Comcast for your home phone service, you are entitled to unlimited talk and text on mobile devices. That means you can make outgoing calls from a mobile device (that is not a phone) using an Xfinity voice number. You can also answer your home phone calls and forward calls from your home phone to your iPhone.

Download: Xfinity Connect App in the Apple App Store or the Google Play Store.

 

Xfinity Home AppXFINITY HOME APP: We are not signed up for Xfinity Home, but there are great tools that I would definitely use. With the Xfinity Home app, you can stay connected to your home from anywhere. This means you can remotely arm and disarm your home security system, see when the kids got home with video monitoring, and adjust your lights and thermostat – all from your smartphone or tablet. If you purchase all the bells and whistles, you can see everything going on in your house at any time. It very cool, but it’s not something I need for my house and my family right now.

Download: Xfinity Home App in the Apple App Store or the Google Play Store.

 

Xfinity Wifi AppXFINITY WiFi APP: This is totally awesome! With this app, you can locate and get directions to millions of XFINITY WiFi hotspots in cities around the country. I used it last week for an important business call. My husband and boys were home, so I couldn’t take the call from my house and I knew a coffee shop would also be too loud. I needed to be on my computer during the call, so I grabbed my phone and computer, jumped into the car, and used this app to find the closest Xfinity WiFi hotspot. I drove less than a mile away, tapped into Xfinity’s hotspot, and successfully had my call. Thank You Xfinity!

Download: Xfinity Wifi App in the Apple App Store or the Google Play Store.

Remember to use your Comcast ID to sign in to the XFINITY apps.

Are you a Comcast Xfinity Customer? I’d love to know what your favorite Xfinity App is! 

Still Evolving

Disclosure: I was received a complimentary tour of the Philadelphia Design Home and a Samsung Tab4. Opinions are 100% my own.

Top Toys for Tweens from the HoliDAY of Play #HotToys14

This was my very first blogging opportunity in New York City.
Will attending blogger events in New York City ever get old?
New York Blogger

As a self-proclaimed Suburban Priestess Mama, my life these days has been about all things body, mind, soul, motherhood, and PLAY.

I meditate.
And I also play Pokemon with my two tweens.

I have made a promise to myself to embody the divine feminine.
And I also build pillow forts + play with Nerf blasters with my boys.

I empower women to remove their masks and to light up as bright as they possibly can.
And I also play, giggle, and be super silly with my boys.

HoliDAY of Play!

Big Toy BookI was super excited when The Big Toy Book (in partnership with Woman’s Day magazine and the Toy Insider) invited me to New York City for the HoliDAY of Play, where I discovered hot new toys for my tweens! I joined over 140 bloggers and members of the press and was given the opportunity to PLAY with some the best toys on the market.

Plus… The Toy Insider displayed toys from their Hot 20 and Top Tech 12 Holiday Toy lists.

TOP TOYS FOR TWEENS
FROM THE HOLIDAY OF PLAY

1. MaKey MaKey

2. Bungees Flick to Stick

 3. LEGO FUSION Town Master
LEGO FUSION Town Master

4. Laser Pegs

5. Tony Hawk Hexbug Circuit Boards

6. Skylanders Trap Team

7. Minecraft Papercraft 90 Piece Deluxe Set

I’m sending BIG LOVE out to the Big Toy Book, the Toy Insider, Women’s Day magazine, and all of the HoliDAY of Play sponsors!

Sponsors HoliDAY of PlaySOUL INQUIRY: WHAT TOYS DO YOUR INNER CHILD LOVE TO PLAY WITH THE MOST?
My inner child loves to play with all of the hands-on art and crafts toys, like Crayola’s new Paint Maker!

Crayola Paint Maker

Still Evolving

Two Inspiring Suburban Priestess Mamas

On October 23, I started a 13 moon spiritual journey. During the next 13 moons, I’ll be learning more about and EXPERIENCING the divine feminine. It’s all a bit of a mystery… and I’ll be blogging about my experience along the way.

One of my first deepening soul actions was to visualize fictional or real women that really speak to my heart and soul… women who hold the kind of high vibrations that I myself want to radiate body, mind, and spirit.

As I began to meditate who these women might be, two amazing women quickly and clearly came to mind: Annie Burnside and Kim Holstein.

Suburban Priestess Mamas

Annie Burnside…

Kim Holstein…

Sparkling Inspiring Beams of Light

When I first met Annie and Kim, I knew immediately that they were sparkling inspiring beams of light. They were somehow different. I couldn’t articulate it, but I could somehow feel their energy and I knew I was witnessing suburban priestess mamas.

Annie and Kim are fierce while also living in grace, speaking their truths, and lighting up as bright as they possibly can.

Annie is a soul nurturer, helping women embrace a soul-to-soul approach to life through self-awareness. She inspires others to listen to the voice of their own soul to increase the authenticity and joy in ordinary living.

Kim is a radiate divine feminine beam of love. She is currently the co-founder and Chief Chocolate Officer at Kim & Scott’s Crave Bar and used to be the CEO and Chief Inspiration Officer of Kim & Scott’s Gourmet Pretzels

They both radiate beauty, grace, peace, and joy.

SOUL INQUIRY: CLOSE YOUR EYES AND VISUALIZE WOMEN THAT REALLY RESONATE WITH YOUR HEART AND SOUL. Feel inspired? Share who showed up for you in the comments section below.

Still Evolving

What You Need To Know About Pregnancy and Stress

According to TM Home, Transcendental Meditation – an ancient technique with well-documented benefits – is one of the best stress-busting methods for expectant mothers. Based on their research, TM Home has found that excess stress can lead to longer labour, low birth weight, and cognitive development issues. It can also increase the risk of premature delivery and miscarriage.

We all know stress is not good for babies… and fortunately there are easy ways to reduce pregnancy stress levels. The meditation experts at TM Home have put together this infographic detailing how to manage stress during pregnancy.

pregnancy-stress-meditation

Are you a mom or an expectant mother? How have you managed stress during pregnancy?

JOY
Note: The information and reference materials mentioned above are intended solely for the general information of the reader. It is not to be used for treatment purposes, but rather for discussion with the patient’s own physician. The information presented here is not intended to diagnose health problems or to take the place of professional medical care. The information contained herein is neither intended to dictate what constitutes reasonable, appropriate or best care for any given health issue, nor is it intended to be used as a substitute for the independent judgment of a physician for any given health issue. All content, including text, graphics, images and information, within this blog post is for general information purposes only. If you have health problems or if you have further questions about stress and pregnancy, please consult your health care provider.

You Don’t Have to Earn Your Wings… They Are Your Birthright!

Earn Your WingsI’m not sure where the idea of having to “earn your wings” came from, but I’m here to tell you that you do not need to earn your wings. Your wings are your birthright!

Many of us were never told by our parents that we even had wings. Sure, our parents wanted us to grow up, be responsible, and be contributing members of society. But the idea of them encouraging us to wear our big bright wings, jumping off cliffs, and soar into the sunset… I think that was a bit much for my parent’s generation.

I was taught….

Play It Save.
Find a Job.
Be Realistic.

And so I did.

Until the invisible cage that was suffocating my wings brought me to my knees.

And that is when I knew I had to find my wings – the wings that I was born with – the wings I have been subconscious longing for most of my life.

I first re-discovered my wings while painting in California last year.

Essence of My SoulAnd ever since then, I’ve been wanting to actually have my own set of tangible wings.

I believe all girls and women deserve tangible wings as a reminder of their own ability to fly and soar!

So I Partnered with Great Pretenders…

Great Pretenders graciously provided me with my own in-real-life set of wings! And I LOVE THEM!

Earn Your Wings

The amazing team at Great Pretenders believe that “dress-up” is so much more than just putting on a costume. They are passionate about what Oppenheim Toy Portfolio says about present play…

“Pretend play is not just great fun. It’s the way kids develop imagination and creative thinking skills and try out being big and powerful. Pretending also brings the world down to the child’s size and understanding. It’s a way to develop communication skills and an outlet for expressing feelings and fears.”

I love that!

Can you imagine if you were given a set of pretend play wings when you were a little girl and having your parents encourage you to PLAY BIG AND SOAR! Although my boys won’t wear a pair of wings… I hope I am successful in teaching my boys to play big and soar.

Below you will find 5 benefits of pretend play. Read them. Embrace them. And go on your own magical pretend play adventure.

Benefits of Pretend Play

Provided by Great Pretenders.

Children learn by imagining and doing. The process of pretending builds skills in many essential developmental areas. Dress-up play is vital to a child’s development. According to licensed child psychologist Dr. Laurie Zelinger, “It fosters the imaginative processes, and allows for play without rules or script. Dress up allows for experimentation, role play and fantasy.”

1. Social and Emotional Skills: Dress up allows for experimenting with the social and emotional roles of life. Through cooperative play, children learn societal rules such as how to take turns, share responsibility, and creatively problem-solve. Character play means that the child is “walking in someone else’s shoes” and it encourages teamwork along with an interest in peers. The child also learns to negotiate which helps teach the important moral development skill of empathy. Since children see the world form their own point of view, cooperative play helps them understand the feelings of others.

2. Language Skills: When children engage in pretend play, you will hear words and phrases you never thought they knew. Pretend play requires children to invent and tell stories and since almost all children narrate their pretend play experiences, they train their minds to transform ideas into words. Children usually mimic words and ideas from parents, teachers, daycare or what they hear on TV. This repetition builds vocabulary and helps kids visualize what they say, especially when adults offer feedback to help kids better understand the words they use. This also helps with grammar – they may not know the rules but they are training themselves to speak like adults. This also helps make the connection between spoken and written language — a skill that will later help them to read.

3. Self-Control: Young kids typically have little self-control. During pretend play, children have to take a role and play within those boundaries, especially when other kids are involved. Studies show that children control their impulses significantly better during pretend play than at other times. Did you ever wonder why parents often make up a game to get their children to eat their vegetables or finish chores? Transforming an unappealing task into a make-believe game is a popular trick among clever parents and educators.

4. Problem Solving Skills: Pretend play also provides your child with a variety of problems to solve. Whether it’s the logistics of sharing toys or a pretend problem the children are escaping from, the child calls upon important cognitive thinking skills that he will use in every aspect of his life, now and forever. Role playing games lead children to face situations that far exceed kids’ real-life experiences. Children work out confusing, scary, or new life issues. Through these role plays, children become more comfortable and prepared for life events in a safe way. Children often use pretend play to work out more personal challenging life events too, whether it is coping with an illness in the family, the absence of a parent or divorce, or a house fire. Although kids may not always act logically during tough pretend dilemmas, the very process of problem solving becomes habitual. By practicing problem solving in an artificial environment, kids are better prepared to think of creative solutions to their own real-life problems

5. Self-esteem: By giving your child complete control in their pretend world and accepting them as a silly character, you are enhancing their self-esteem. While they use their own initiative to develop story lines, their creative imagination to expand stories and their own personality to choose a character they enjoy, you are enhancing their self-esteem by allowing them complete power in the world & enjoying it with them. Take for example superheroes. Considering the thrill children get out of pretending to be a grown-up, it’s no wonder that they’re also crazy about mimicking the most powerful version of adults: superheroes. Pretending to be Batman or Wonder Woman allows a toddler to feel brave and invincible, which helps them develop self-confidence. Similarly, all that running and leaping keeps them active and builds strength, balance, and coordination.

“Confidence is brought about in children by the realization that they have the ability to be anybody they want in this life and accomplish anything they desire. Our goal at Great Pretenders is to help kids achieve that level of confidence.” ~ Kate Muddiman, Creative Director, Great Pretenders

JOY

Disclaimer: I received my wings for free and opinions are 100% my own.

 

 

Moms Are Creating Healing Art Through Community Building

When Women Come Together, Shift Happens.

Green Star MovementWhile police commanders and policy makers debate how to quell violence in Chicago, some south side mothers are taking things in their own hands. On September 10th they will begin the creation of a “Peace Mural” on the rail viaduct at 63rd Street and Wallace Avenue – the ‘gateway’ between the Engelwood and Woodlawn neighborhoods from which the women come.

Earth Foundation MothersRanking 13th out of 77 communities, Chicago’s Woodlawn neighborhood had a calculated total of 1.7 violent crimes per 1,000 people in just the past 30 days. In neighboring 5th ranked Englewood, residents suffered 2.9 violent crimes per 1,000 people in the same period. Concerned by the violence occurring among youth in their neighborhoods, finding solutions to it became a focal point of the south side women’s group that has been meeting for the past two years.

“Over time it became clear that while we face lots of issues as women, the safety of our children was an overriding concern”, says Dede Koldyke, the founder and president of the EarthHeart Foundation which founded the Engelwood/Washington Park/Woodlawn women’s group. “We’ve done marches, meetings – the mural will give everyone in the community a chance to participate and will be a permanent reminder of the possibility and importance of peace.”

EarthHeart Foundation celebrates mothers as peacebuilders and compassionate changeleaders.

Construction on the peace mural begins on September 10, 2014 and will end on October 2, 2014.

Community Days, where members of the community are invited to participate in the construction of the mural, will be held on the following Saturdays: September 13, 20, and 27. Light snacks and refreshments will be provided by EarthHeart Foundation.

Design for the mural is being done by the Green Star Movement, while support has come from 20th Ward Alderman Willie B. Cochran and Metra, as well as from individual donors through Kickstarter, a web based crowd funding campaign.

  • EarthHeart Foundation was founded on the idea that women have a unique perspective on and ability to solve challenges on issues of their neighborhoods, cities and lives and brings together diverse groups of women to uncover their commonalities and address concerns together.
  • The Green Star Movement works in Chicago to inspire students and community members to design and realize public art by using the designs and sweat equity of the youth and adults living in the neighborhood where the projects are located. Projects start with workshops teaching design and the necessary creation of the mural’s micro elements. A non-profit organization, Green Star works closely with the community youth to install items such as the Bricolage, while also teaching them basic fundamentals of sculpture, mosaic, painting, and some construction techniques.

For more information, visit ART THAT HEALS PEACE MURAL.

Floor & Decor Celebrates Skokie Grand Opening with Family Fun

Floor & DecorI’m known to say… You can take the girl out of Detroit, but you can’t take Detroit out of the girl. And now that I just moved away from Chicago, I feel the same way about Skokie-Evanston. So for my last hurrah and for my last Chicago blogging gig, I’m thrilled to introduce you to one of the newest stores to hit Chicago’s North Shore…

Introducing Floor & Decor

Floor & Decor, a leading specialty retailer of hard surface flooring and accessories will be opening a 4th store in the Chicago area. The new 62,000 square foot showroom and design center is located at 3300 Oakton Street in Skokie, Illinois and will officially open on Friday, September 12, 2014 (they have three other Chicago locations — in Lombard, Aurora and Arlington Heights).

“We are thrilled to expand our commitment to Chicago and the suburbs with the opening of our Skokie location,” said Jake Jimenez, General Manager of Floor and Decor in Skokie.  “Floor and Decor is all about providing the customer— whether a contractor or homeowner- with the highest quality flooring at the lowest prices.   Our free design consultation services and unrivaled selection of in-stock materials means that our customers’ shopping experience is efficient, enjoyable and cost-effective as they imagine the possibilities for their homes.”

Floor & DecorFun Grand Opening Activities

Floor & Decor will be celebrating the grand opening in style with fun for the entire family.

Friday, September 12, 2014

  • 9:00am – 11:00am: Skokie Chamber of Commerce ribbon cutting
  • 10:00am – 6:00pm: NASCAR Simulator
  • 11:00am – 2:00pm: Ice Cream Truck – free to the first 200 customers
  • Plus Chicago mix popcorn will be available

Saturday, September 13, 2014

  • 10:00am – 6:00pm: NASCAR Simulator
  • 11:00am – 2:00pm: Hot Dog Cart – free to the first 200 customers
  • 11:00am – 3:00pm: Face Painter/ Balloon Artist
  • 11:00am – 3:00pm: Inflatable Sports Challenge
  • 12:00pm – 2:00pm: $250,000 Dice Roll Challenge
  • Plus Chicago mix popcorn will be available

Schedule a Free Design Consultation

Floor & DecorI was able to sit down with one of Floor & Decor’s designers to learn about their free design consultations. Personally, having this free service at my fingertips is a big WIN for someone like me who lacks the skills to design a room all by myself.

After getting to know you, your style, and your vision, a Floor & Decor designer will recommend styles that can last the lifetime of your house. The designer I talked to likes to recommend timeless styles… so the look and feel of your room doesn’t quickly go out of style.

All design consultations take place in person at the store.

Designers will work one-on-one with you to help you find the inspiration and great products to bring your project to life. Whether it’s a new floor in your living room, bedroom, kitchen or bathroom, or adding decorative tiles to your wall, Floor & Decor designers will show you the latest styles and find the right products to enhance your room.

More About Floor & Decor

Floor and Decor is an Atlanta-based company getting ready to open their fourth Chicago area store. They are a leading specialty retailer in the hard surface flooring market, offering the broadest selection of ceramic, stone, tile, wood, and laminate flooring available in the industry. Floor & Decor sources directly from manufacturers around the globe to bring the world’s best and most innovative flooring to our customers at the lowest price in the marketplace. In addition, Floor & Decor stocks the necessary tools, decorative, and related accessories for flooring projects. Floor & Decor is focused on the residential remodeling segment.

To learn more about the Floor & Decor visit their Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/flooranddecor

Note: Although I was compensated for writing this post, all opinions are 100% my own.

 

How to Step Out of Your Comfort Zone… And Meet New Friends

“Life begins at the end of your comfort zone.” ~ Neale Donald Walsch

Your comfort zone may feel like good old fashion comfort food and a warm soft blanket.

And yet, if you get really still, and listen to what your heart and soul desire, you may realize that your comfort zone may not be where you need to be. You may need to leap, fly, or soar away from your comfort zone to find the life your were meant to live.

Being new to the Philadelphia area, I know I need to leave my comfort zone to find my tribe of local soul sisters.

xoxo
Stacey