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Living Single: What Every Single Girl Hears

I am wholeheartedly a Friends fan and I watch reruns anytime I can!  I love the show, have been an enthusiast since the very beginning and cried like a baby on the series finale!  I felt like I was losing my friends!  Of course, everyone has their favorite character on the show and mine is Rachel Green.  I love everything about her; her look, her style, just everything! But it was Monica who that had so many endearing qualities that were only magnified by her OCD tendencies.  It’s what made her a great friend.  She found joy in cleaning not only her apartment, but others as well!  Something that I’ll never be able to identify with.  In one particular episode we were able to get a glimpse into what sparked that quirkiness by seeing some of her inner struggles she faced with her parents.  I forget exactly the circumstances, but apparently Monica made some kind of mistake that provoked her parents to ask, “Did you pull a Monica?” which really meant, “Did you mess up or do something really stupid?” That really irritated Monica, as it would anyone who had been forced to endure the same question since childhood.  It definitely didn’t offer any encouragement to say the least!

But as in all thirty-minute sitcoms, all was resolved quickly when Phoebe was able to change Monica’s perspective by showing her how “pulling a Monica” could be positive phrase instead of negative one.  Phoebe told her one day when people won a Nobel Peace Prize people would say they “pulled a Monica” because what they did was so good. Phoebe was able to take a phrase that was meant to be negative and turn it into one that became encouraging and sought after!

Living Single

I think that’s how a lot of single women feel when they hear the phrase “living single.” It has become a negative phrase in certain circles that no one wants to any association with. Well, I beg to differ and dare to show you how living single is a lifestyle that every single woman should feel proud of and embrace. Being single offers us the opportunity to unselfishly be selfish by focusing on our dreams and goals without interruption.  “Living single” means that we are brave, confident women who dare to take life by its reigns courageously embracing all that it has to offer.  Single life is a life that should be lived in the limelight, shining brightly as our successes and failures lead those around us to become the women we were created to be.  As single women, we are the envy of other women when we’re able to take a little longer shopping at the mall, have a girl’s night out without permission, or simply sit in our jammies all day sipping coffee and reading a book while the dishes sit in the sink.  “Living single” has the perks that “Living double” does not.

So now when we hear that someone is “living single,” we’ll all know that person has the opportunity to pursue their dreams with passion and gusto without interruption.  The world will know without a doubt that you, as a single woman, have a life that is yours completely and is only concerned about the affairs of her Father.  What an amazing privilege that is to have!  So single ladies, “pull a Monica” and embrace the phrase "living single" as one that has worth, destiny, envy and privilege. “Live single” with your head held high!

I Corinthians 7:32
I want you to live as free of complications as possible. When you’re unmarried, you’re free to concentrate on simply pleasing the Master.

[title subtitle="Get Your Copy of Heather's Book"]Now, While You Are Single[/title]

Now, While You Are Single
Walking Out Your Purpose Before You Say “I Do”
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Now, While You Are Single is a practical guide to help women discover and embrace their true identity in Christ through a journey of healing, ultimately revealing God's purpose and plan for their life while they are single.

CW-front-cover

Next Level Fitness

Take your fitness to the next level, no matter what your physical activity of choice may be. Today I begin a 3 part series with practical tips that are easy to incorporate into your life and current regimen. First things first- start with your core.

Now that yoga and Pilates have made it to the mainstream fitness scene to stay, core work is getting more attention, which is fantastic. It is critical for an overall health emphasis to incorporate core work for both injury prevention and stabilizing your spine.

It’s easy. First, you can engage your core in whatever activity you do, including walking, cycling, golf, dancing, and running. Simply draw your belly button towards your spinal cord. You can even do this while you sit at your computer! Feel your posture improve as your elongate your torso. Add to this a conscience relaxation of the shoulders- away from your ears- down and slightly back. Last, gently draw your shoulders back a little while you keep your belly button towards your spinal cord. Take a nice breath in from your diaphragm instead of your abdomen, (from your lungs instead of your tummy). Don’t skimp with shallow breathing- try 4 seconds in and 4 seconds out. This will optimize lung function.  Keep this posture and breathing pattern for 1-3 minutes once per hour if you work at your computer, and as long as possible with whatever exercise routine you do.

When doing abdominal exercises like crunches or sit-ups, it’s very important to be sure your core is engaged. Follow the above steps before starting any abdominal work to ensure that you are working towards a flat tummy. If your core is not engaged, you can actually work a “pooch” instead of a flat belly! So, instead of getting all fancy with leg lifts and such, concentrate on engaging your core and master that before progressing.

The best way to add core work to your current routine is to begin with the “Plank” and the “Bridge.” They are easy and very effective when done properly. If you have any pain with these exercises, definitely hold off and ask your doctor of chiropractic or medical doctor before continuing. Here are videos that have good demonstrations.

Plank: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MHQmRINu4jU

Bridge: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yOPkM2pzznc

If you don’t have a work out routine, consider simply walking 10 minutes per day and doing the plank and bridge. In less than 15 minutes per day, you could really jump start your health and well-being!

Sprinkle your Valentine's date

Everyone loves sprinkles. Sprinkles on cupcakes. Sprinkles on cookies. Sprinkles are a universal love language wherever you find them. Yum. They make you smile, don’t they? Kindness is a universal love language as well, no doubt. Yes, even with men. Never underestimate the impact of kindness, especially when delivered from a confident, powerful, and feminine woman. This Valentines Day, try one, two, or a dozen simple thoughtful ideas that ooze kindness and caring compassion to melt the heart of the man in your life (or the one you want in your life). Notes. From a long love letter, to a simple card, to a series of small notes scattered about, written notes can touch his soul. Tell him what it is that you like, love and admire about him- his personality, values, little oddities, likes and dislikes. Tell him how much you appreciate what he does on a daily basis or maybe something big over the course of your relationship. What does his soul possess that you are grateful for?

* I love the way you look in a white t-shirt, blue jeans and Frye boots. * It’s so cool that you love to build things. * I really appreciate it that you make coffee every single morning, and never complain about it. * Your curiosity about life and learning new things really makes me smile.

Actions. Think about his favorite things in life and pick one, two or a dozen to incorporate into his day. What is his favorite food, candy, or drink? What is his favorite pastime? Maybe it’s a thumb’s up to a hunting weekend, a Vegas weekend or night out with the boys. Which outfit does he love you on the best- that extra short little black dress with those uncomfortable stilettos? Maybe it’s the racy lingerie instead of the sweet cute ones? How does he like your makeup and hair- curly or straight, smoky eyes or au natural? Put away those frumpy sweat pants, shave, wax, and paint your toes (and not blue, unless that really makes him smile).

Don’t let your man’s tough exterior fool you. All men are little boys deep inside who absolutely love (and dare I say, even, need….) the caring, thoughtful, and gracious touch from the woman in their life. Don’t be skimpy. Would you rather get 3 roses or two dozen?

Let kindness sprinkle your Valentine’s date, and entire day this year, whether you cook a foodie feast of all his favorites or let him take you out to a fancy dinner and dancing, to putting together a creative scavenger hunt through out town to even snuggling up and having a non-traditional evening in, being cozy, ordering pizza, and watching a movie. One of my most favorite Valentines was skipping the fancy dinner and having a hamburger at Hut’s Hamburgers (a beloved, funky dive in Austin, Texas). It was oddly intimate and a whole lot of fun!

Kindness will make whatever you do- traditional or out-of-the-box, an extra special event that he won’t forget. Neither will you. Everyone loves sprinkles. Happy Valentine's Day!

Beauty Essentials: your fall make-up bag

I don't know about you but my make-up bag can get a little out of control from time to time! At least every few months I like to clear out the clutter and add in a few "must-haves". There are so many great products out there sometimes it's hard to choose which items are right for you. After researching, trying on, and reading reviews here is my list beauty essentials that may be a great addition to YOUR make-up bag!

  • Moisturizer is a must as we move into the chillier months - La Mer is an incredible face cream (if you can afford it)...if not, Oil of Olay Regenerist and Oil of Olay Age Defying, and the ROC series have received great reviews!

  • Fragrance - Burbberry Brit Limited Edition is a perfect fall choice with citrus, pink pepper, baked apple and plum (pomarose), cinnamon, peony, cedar, sandalwood, amber and tonka bean. Christian Dior Hypnotic Poison is another great choice with notes of jasmine, heliotrope, bitter almond, caraway, tuberose, ylang ylang, orange blossom, green stems and leaves, vanilla orchid, sandalwood and musk.
  • Deep blue/teal/burgandy nail polish is great to include in your bag for any quick touch-ups - stick with OPI for a long-lasting finish.

  • Cream blush is a more favorable choice to powder during the fall/winter when skin tends to be dryer - Smashbox Skin Tint is an amazing product!!
  • Lilac Purple and Metallic eye shadows can brighten up your face while not overdoing it  - MAC Seedy Pearl, Plum Dressing, and White Gold are all great fall picks that have a smooth finish.
  • Berry Lipscomplement any skin-tone - try Benefit Full Finish Lipstick in Espionage or Sassy-Frass.

Looks like it's time for a little shopping trip...:)

Dreams Do Come True, pt. 2

  After dedicating twenty-three years to being a wife and mother, in 2004, Eleatta Diver's artwork began to occupy more space in her life.

She donated the proceeds from her Redemption series to the purchase of  the Merimbe House, a home on six acres where the African Children's Choir can take a few days to rest  in between concert dates.            

Durham Dreams

The idea of a dream series came to her. She could imagine herself  listening to people tell her about their dreams and she would put their story on canvas. She approached leaders  renovating downtown Durham, North Carolina and proposed that she  paint a canvas depicting the visions of twelve community leaders.The paintings would be her gift to the city. Durham Dreamers include the sheriff, a local minister, a historical preservationist and hip hop artists .Six of the proposed paintings are complete and have been unveiled. When the paintings are sold, the proceeds will be directed to a new Durham City dream. Once again, Eleatta gives her talents and time in an altruistic manner.

Dividends

Her expectation is that her "parables of hope"  touch the human heart. As people walk through her studio, she inquires, "What is your dream?" The question cracked the crusty exterior of one over-sized, burly man, and he responded, "No one has ever asked me that."

Diligence generates the fulfillment of a dream. As this full-time mom turned artist  dedicates herself to her  craft and the dreams of others, her stage grows. Her work is displayed and sold in a gallery in Norfolk, Virginia and her list of private clients who want to own their own dream portrait increases.

George Washington Carver once asked God to show him the secrets of the universe. Perceiving God's reply as a no,Carver sensed the direction that God would, however, show him the secrets of the peanut. In that one concentrated laser- like focus of effort, worlds of revelation and discovery were opened to Carver.The subject of dreams are my "peanut". Through painting, the exploration of human hopes and aspirations  provides endless opportunities to create visual parables that encourage  and inspire.

There's no expiration date on your dreams.

.

Eleatta's blog is an oasis of inspiration offering insights into her latest pieces, surprise offers, as well as links to purchase prints.
To view a more thorough tour of Eleatta's painted parables, you may visit www.eleatta.com.
Images my not be copied or printed without permission of the artist.

 

Dreams Do Come True, pt. 1

As Eleatta makes others' dreams come true, her own dreams unfold.

On the third Friday of each month, Eleatta Diver can be found at Goldenbelt Art Studios in Durham, North Carolina on "open studio" night. You might witness the unveiling of her newest painting and if you want to chat with the artist, you can count on her asking,"What is your dream?"

Eleatta and her husband of twenty-nine years, Brian,  have five children. The older ones are  making their  mark in society while the youngest is in middle school. A home-schooling  mom,she made her family's needs the priority for twenty-three years.

Shift

Six years ago,  Eleatta's  art moved from the back burner of her life to the front. She began to create  from a new medium, trash. Soon after,  a series of events occurred that would make it clear  that her artwork was a catalyst for change .  King's Park International , the Diver's local church set a goal to purchase a home for the African Children's Choir , a troupe of  singing orphans  who perform concerts throughout the world.It was the desire of the church to provide them a home base  while they are in America, where they can rest, play and focus on their studies. Hence, the fund-raising began.

Eleatta saw the correlation between her medium of trash and these children,orphaned by AIDS and viewed by their countries' as disposable.  Discarded items  and the orphans could all be considered without value,but her creative eye saw what the founders of the choir saw.  Just like her trash was transformed into art she realized what  the children needed for transformation was for someone to look at them with a different eye. Eleatta chose to look beyond the obvious and into the potential. From that experience, the Redemption series was birthed.

"Redemption is a word that is pregnant with hope...it carries with it the idea of re-purposing or redefining...the assurance that something that is wrong can be made right.

Sales from the Redemption series were applied to the purchase of the Mirembe House, where the African Children's Choir enjoys rest on six acres when they are touring in the area. Eleatta's life as a working artist began when she availed her giftings to better the lives of others.

Look for Part 2  of Eleatta's journey on Thursday, Sept. 30th.

Eleatta's blog is an oasis of inspiration offering insights into her latest pieces, surprise offers, as well as links to purchase prints.
To view a more thorough tour of Eleatta's painted parables, you may visit www.eleatta.com.

To learn more about the Mirembe Capital Campaign, go to: http://www.kpic.org/ministries/missions/acc.html

Images may not be copied or printed without permission from the artist.

Raising Confident Children, pt. 3

Parents play three distinct roles as mom or dad, teaching, coaching and cheeringWhen children are young, our every action teaches them what we believe . As they grow, we teach then stand on the sidelines and watch them practice. At some point in life, every child makes a decision or a series of decisions that are the exact opposite of what a  parent would choose for them.

What to do? What to do?  When your teenager, young adult or adult child is off-roading  and you, the parent can see there's an easier way to arrive at the same destination, how do you advise when no one wants your advice? I'd like to submit to you the idea that this is when we put on our cheerleading uniforms and begin to "cheer" them through the game.

Sound,independent decisions are what we want to see our children repeat over and over. One definition for sound is sensible. What is sensible to a man or woman in their 20's might not be to one in their 40's. Because of experience, a parent can usually "see farther" than their child but it doesn't change the fact that most of us are who we are because of the mistakes we've made, and our children will become the men and women they are destined to be through their good and bad decisions.

If your child isn't interested in your words of wisdom,  it's okay to let him/her know you would do things differently, but don't stop there. Do your own self a favor. Look at the attributes your child possesses and verbalize them. "I admire your ability to commit," "Your creativity amazes me," "You're such a risk-taker!" Hearing you speak positively  will let your child know 1) your love is unconditional 2) you believe in him/her 3) you are a safe place to run to if things don't work out. Hearing your own words can assuage your fears because you can visualize the characteristics you name out and when you do, you'll realize your child is many times, better equipped than you think.

Finally, human beings are like a garden. There are all kinds of flowers. Some require direct sun and some flourish in shade. We can be comforted in knowing  there is a Gardener that waters daily and guards it day and night, ensuring the care of each individual flower.