Choosing How You Think – Do You Get To or Have To?

Holding a bone for my dog while in my bathrobe

Lessons learned from my dogs are always powerful. and the learning never stops, no matter how many I’ve learned, there are always more.

And in case you thought that once a lesson is learned that one is done, allow me to reassure you that it will continue to show up over and over and over.

Today I was reminded of one while I was feeding the dogs breakfast. Mornings are usually a raw meaty bone meal and they tend to be the easier of the two meals the dogs are fed every day. Not this morning. The extra bone I’d gotten out for Larkin (he needs to have serious chew time periodically, it makes him happy and keeps him occupied) was rejected. It was a refrozen leftover from last time but those tend to be favorites as they are already started. Oh well, I got out another bone, a new one this time, and started thawing it in a sink full of cool water.

Then Ian is finished with breakfast and he now wants a bonus bone too. I offer him the one Larkin rejected and Ian did the same. Strange. So a third bone comes out, no time to thaw at all, I just rinse it under the faucet to get the ice off and so no tongue gets stuck. Lol. Both of the ‘replacement’ bones are happily accepted and off go Larkin and Ian. Great.

Well, now Nicklas is done and he thinks it’s a great day outside and additional chew time would be lovely 😋 but I don’t have any more Pork Feet/Hock bones. While I’m deciding what to do, Nicklas spies that twice rejected bone and he trots over, picks it up and happily carries it to his bed. 😮 Curiouser and curiouser. Nicklas is not the biggest chewer, he’s actually the lightweight of the pack; he likes the easy bones. He doesn’t use his paws to eat so without being able to hold bones there is no tearing and maneuvering to get a better angle on the bone is tough.

Nicklas clearly wanted to eat this bone but he told me (we talk all the time) he needed my help to hold the bone for him. I was surprised at how excited he was over this bone so I acquiesced, squatting down next to him I held out the bone.

This boy had a blast eating this bone! He worked on it for well over an hour and I moved from squatting to kneeling to sitting to sitting on my rear with knees up and bare feet flat on the floor to brace myself so I could hope to stay upright and HOLD ON while Nicklas was happily tearing at the bone like we were playing tug of war. LOL.

In that moment, it was Magic. Time was standing still. I wanted Nicklas to have this time and for absolutely nothing to interrupt him. I prayed that when Kerwin came home he wouldn’t let Elly out or even open the door at all. It would totally cause Nicklas to be distracted and, I feared, lose interest in his bone. I kept the corner of my eyes on the other 2 boys who were happily going to town on their own bones but, my note to self, never to break rule is when holding a bone that is being chewed I am not allowed to look away. I give full concentration when canine jaws are involved.

Here’s the thing. Early morning, no coffee yet, in my PJs and bathrobe, getting a mental and physical workout for an hour plus…my core was sore, my hands were tired from gripping, my back and legs got a workout too. Can you picture it? Not the morning I was planning to have.

Backyard scene, 2 Gordon setters chewing on bones, me in a white bathrobe holding a bone for Nicklas

Through it all, I kept thinking of the lesson I had learned: “I get to”.

I caught myself not too long ago saying “I HAVE TO feed the dogs again.” I was starting to feel resentful of the time and effort involved. I was getting tired. I wasn’t happy putting their bowls down in front of them. What the heck?!

It was my CHOICE to change their food to feed them a species specific diet. There is absolutely nothing about that decision I regret. The increased health of the dogs, the Aliveness in their eyes, the new zest for life – it’s beautiful and so gratifying. I’m only saddened I didn’t do this sooner. Like with my own health, I wish I had done made this diet change with the dogs years before. Cancer is the #1 killer of dogs, waaaay too young. It had started to feel inevitable, that it was only a matter of time till one of our dogs got cancer and I would have to say goodbye and watch them die. I am not okay with that! So what then was the problem?

I stopped to consider this and had the ah-ha to reframe it around LOVE. Yes, it is a chore to feed them but it’s one I do out of love. When I think of caring for our dogs out of love, the words change from an at times begrudging ‘I have to’ to a grateful heart ❤️ saying ‘I get to’ feed them. Made a world of a difference!

Because of that simple shift I now meal prep better and quicker, I plan each days mealtimes around my schedule, I feed them earlier in the day so I’m NEVER tired or coming home late from the movies and still having to feed the dogs. I am stepping up my game to do better by them, focusing on ways to increase their health and immune system. Why do this at all if you aren’t going to do it the best way you can? I feel there is still so much more I can learn and do!

I get to feed my dogs raw.

“I get to” go shopping for their food. “I get to” do meal prep when I leave town. “I get to” to spend money and time on their care. “I get to” take care of them. “I get to” teach them mealtime manners because their food is so tasty with such high pay value they get too excited. “I get to” teach Nicklas hot to eat a raw bone. “I get to” chop up raw meat of all kinds, even being a vegetarian and horrified by the feedlot farming industry. “I get to” show them love, kindness, patience and compassion.

Back to today, in that moment, I kept thinking 💭 “How awesome is this?! I get to hold a bone for my boy Nicklas. I could still be working a day job, rushing out of the house in the morning before the sunrise and not being able to have this fun recreational chew time with my gang.”

I am grateful for the time I get to spend with my dogs. I am thankful for all of it. Even when Nicklas has so much to say I think an office outside of the home I could escape to would be wonderful 😜, I am thankful I get to work from home, from anywhere really, and live this life I’m living. It’s a fabulous reminder of why I’m doing what I’m doing with my business. Talk about motivation! My pack is counting on me! Nobody else will look out for them like we will. No way can I or will I let them down.

I encourage you to use this ‘lesson I learned from my dogs’ to change your perspective so that the things around you change too.

How many times do you say “I have to….”?

I have to go to work, I have to cook dinner, I have to pay these bills, I have to do a performance review, I have to make this phone call, I have to drink more water, I have to be more patient, I have to eat more veggies…

When you GET TO do everything in life then life responds and it becomes full of magic, joy and special moments. 🤩🌈💖 And isn’t that what life is supposed to be all about?

I plan to create more of memories like this and to share this gift I have my hands on in Neora with as many others as I can so they can live life on their own terms, whatever it looks like.

Looking to create more ‘I get to’ moments in your life? If you’re looking to earn an extra $500-$1,000/month without changing a lot in your life, so you can create whatever it is YOU want to create – time, freedom, financial independence…holding raw bones for your dog not required 😉 then take 4 minutes and watch this: Why Neora, Why Now

I’m happy to chat with you, answer your questions and if you like what you see and hear, great, if not, no big deal.

I’m grateful I got to share this story and lesson with you! And now it’s time for me to go, as I get to take a dog to the park before sunset.

Cheers!

ps- My most amazing husband did come home, did get the moment Nicklas was having and quietly snapped these pics through the slats of the shutters on the window. 👍🏼💜😍 

Discovery of The Holy Grail

Happy and in my element, the garden of course 😊, it’s a gorgeous day and I spontaneously snap this pic. The sunshine felt so good on my face! I was reminded of an earlier intention I had shared – to take more photos of me, just because.☺️💜 So here it is.

I wasn’t always a fan of selfies, or photos of me AT ALL. Hard to believe?⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀

I’ll never forget the moment 7 years ago when I looked in the mirror and thought 💭 “THIS is why women wear foundation. THIS is what getting old looks like. If you won’t use Botox, harsh chemicals or get a face lift, you better get used to it.” A bit harsh but such was my thought.

I was not loving my skin and never left the house without makeup; I was aging too quickly, stress from work and a poor diet had all left their mark. My face was ashy, pale, tired and sagging. I really was quite discouraged and sad.

So when my husband brought home a bottle of anti-aging night cream I immediately said “NO, I’m not putting THAT on my face!”

Yup, I surely did.😂🤷🏼‍♀️⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀

I was a non-product user, who didn’t wash her face outside of the shower and KNEW nothing worked that didn’t have toxic ingredients. To top it all off, after all my years in the Corp World I was a die hard skeptic. It simply COULDN’T be revolutionary, like my husband said it was. Nope. Nothing is.

Kerwin had gotten the bottle from a co-worker, another guy no less LOL which I find funny, and brought it home for me to try as he was interested in the business. Married life…

He wouldn’t let it go so I finally broke down and used it to prove him wrong. For 4 days I cried about the scent, complained how I didn’t like how it tightened my skin, wouldn’t take a picture – what for?, reminded him I was juicing so of course anything I MIGHT see I would attribute to the juice. Sheesh, I was a tough case! 🤦🏼‍♀️

The morning of the 5th day comes around and I look in the mirror after rinsing off my face in the shower. My skin was visibly brighter. Juicing worked!

Gave him the bottle back and tried to forget all about it. My husband had other plans. A few weeks later, he comes back with the bottle AGAIN and this time says “You’re not juicing, try it again.”

Sigh…..

Fast forward to the morning of the 5th day, second time round and guess what, my face WAS brighter. Hmmm 🧐…what could it be?

There was quietly a burst of HOPE and a ‘what if’ in my head 💭 now. If 4 nights did that, what would 30 nights be like?? What if it was even better? Would it be worth the risk to find out?

After researching to my hearts content, which included reading the scientific white papers (not something I recommend, by the way), who does that?! my skeptic heart was happily blown away to find that this cream passed muster with flying colors.

Turns out the scent wasn’t so bad after all. I mean, the dogs loved it and they would know, right? 😉 Then I figured if I put it on just as I got into bed I wouldn’t even know my face was tight. At least it wasn’t green. LOL.

I did this for 30 nights and I’ll be honest and say that when I looked in the mirror I was ecstatic. I had found The Holy Grail!

I looked like I’d had a face lift without the surgery, expense or scars. I didn’t have deep wrinkles to disappear but gravity had been reversed and there was color in my face again; the tiredness was gone and oh my gosh the best part was how I FELT. I left the house makeup free and wasn’t self conscious. On the contrary, I kinda wanted to show off. 😋Like when you get a gorgeous new dress, you want to wear everywhere and anywhere just because you love it. That was me and my younger looking face. 💜😌

Now, I’m almost 7 years older and I STILL have the confidence to be makeup free, without apology. It’s not an “I don’t care” attitude when I use #nomakeup on a selfie, it’s actually a celebration. A celebration of confidence and gratitude and a serious wish for every woman to have this feeling.

Yes, beauty IS only skin deep but come on, let’s be real, it absolutely affects how we feel about ourselves, no matter how much self care and personal development we do. How we look matters. It’s not everything by any means but why do we spend so much time on the cut, color, design lines and pattern of our clothes if looks don’t make a difference in how we feel and how we’re able to show up in our life?

Sorry, I digress.

Since that first Night cream there have been formula changes and enhancements as new science and new botanical sources are discovered so the newest AGE IQ formulation is even better. The scent is now light, creamy and spa-like, the dogs still love it and when my face tightens it’s a familiar reminder that I’m going to wake up feeling great about my skin; I’m rather attached to it. I will even apply it before boarding a red eye flight so I can be sure to arrive without looking like I had a sleepless night. 😁 Thank goodness it goes on and stays on Clear! 

If you want to truly SEE The Holy Grail results for yourself, then click here. The other thing to know is, it’s risk free. If you aren’t thrilled with your results after 30 days you can send the bottle back for a refund. 

Or you can order a free sample here if you are skeptical and want to do the same 4 night Feel It experience I did. 

**I do recommend you take your picture. Please. Don’t be like me. 😉 I’ve learned my lesson over and over again and I do have results pictures from other products as they were launched but not from the original, flagship product that changed everything for me. 🤷🏼‍♀️😏 Lots of other people followed directions though and you can see THEIR results here.

The business behind these killer skincare and now wellness products is how I fund my product addictions (among things LOL) We have lots more products now and there are two of us so FREE certainly helps! How I got roped into the business side of things is a whole other story.

to be continued…

Joie Is…Wild Horses

This pair of beauties came strolling down the trail as I arrived at the trailhead with Ian. I was delayed from heading out on our hike for a while as I was mesmorized watching them.

They were even closer on our return! It was so inspiring to see them!

Guys, THIS is why the speed limits are what they are. It’s not for road conditions, it’s for the hikers and wildlife that may be crossing the road or wondering alongside.

2 horses were killed just a bit earlier this year, a momma and later one of her babies. So tragic and such unnecessary loss of life.

Hopefully this stallions flirting with the mare will result in a Spring foal!

Joie Is…being proud of yourself

being proud of yourself

This was a special moment to me. I haven’t set up a vendor table in a long while and this new design was inspired by a photo a friend shared. I had to tackle the great unknown Hobby Lobby to find what I was looking for. gulp! That was a huge win all on it’s own! LOL. I was happy I pulled it all together, showed up, dressed as me and spoke to the group. Proud side gig business owner moment! 🙂

What moment in your business has recently made you feel proud of yourself? Post a picture of it! Inspire me and everyone who sees it. 💜

Joie Is…Larkin and his Happy Place

Do you have a happy place? Larkin does.

Every morning there is a crush to get outside. I barely am allowed time to put on a robe and use the restroom before opening the door for the dogs to go out and greet the day.

Larkin grabs his toy and waits by the back door. He runs out and goes straight to “his” corner of the grass or his bed and lays down, holding the toy in his mouth. Doesn’t even make usage of a pee post first.

THIS is his happy place. He will lay there for an hour or two. Sometimes he’ll get up and move from one spot to the other, or change out the toy he’s holding but then he settles right back down and enjoys his morning.

It is such a joy to watch him.

Vegas Gardening | What’s Growing

Dusk is one of my favorite times to wander around in my garden. 

I thought I’d take you along with me and give you a bit of an informal tour to show you what’s currently growing and what you can discover when you look more closely. 

It’s easy to miss produce ready to harvest or a plant that is giving you clues it needs help (before it’s too late!). Taking a couple moments to slow down and ‘look’ is key. It’s also a great way to wind down from the day and ground yourself amongst Nature, who rushes for no one. 

Green Beans!

I missed taking a picture of the plants themselves, I was so happy for my harvest! I'd earlier seen 2 beans ready to be picked so I went to grab them and then sat down and started looking. A bunch more were hiding! They blend in with the leaves. lol.

First Tomatoes!

I was not expecting to see 'red' amongst my tomato plants yet. What a happy surprise! I checked my records but still can't seem to figure out what variety these are. lol. Bigger than a Juliet tomato but smaller than a Roma. All I know is they definitely aren't the Yellow Pear tomatoes I thought I planted here. haha.

Anaheim Peppers

Still a small plant but it's cranking out peppers so quickly! Look how many there are only days away from being ready to harvest. Time to start thinking of what to make with them. AND I have 4 more plants just like this one...

Basil

I love basil so much that I planted 5 varieties, or so. They are really starting to take off! I am determined to keep up on pruning them this season so they stay healthy and to make sure I don't miss out on any of their yumminess! Pesto, dressings and salad greens are my favorite uses. This variety is the more traditional Sweet Basil and has larger leaves.

Chamomile

This plant has the SMALLEST seeds I've ever seen! And the resulting seedlings are just as tiny and frail. Mine didn't survive the transplanting. THIS plant I bought from Star Nursery and it's exploded. I can't wait to harvest the buds to make my favorite tea of all time. 🙂

Calendula

These guys are doing so well, it's a joy to see all the blooms and pop of color they bring. I grew them indoors from seeds and look at the growth!

The New Bed

This, the New Bed as I call it, was bare just a few short months ago. This Spring/Summer growing season is the first planting in this bed that I built over the Winter. Do you see all that's growing?! Dill, Green Onions, Sunflowers, Basil, Bell Peppers, Asparagus and some baby seedlings I'm not exactly sure of right now.

Eggplant

I've already harvested 2 fruits from this young heat loving plant. Do you see all of the babies? There are at least 6 of them that I need to keep a watch on, the sooner you harvest the more the plant will produce. Waiting for them to get bigger is not better. More blossoms are already popping up!

Sunflower

This little-er guy could easily be overshadowed by the giant 9 footers he's growing in the shadow of. But I spotted him blooming AND he's facing my yard! 🙂

Can you spot him?

Here's the wide angle view. Do you see the one that's hiding? Look closely!

Oro Blanco Grapefruit

Looks like limes right now but nope, this is the most amazingly delicious Oro Blanco variety of grapefruit. It's a 2 year old tree and last year was it's first season with us - produced a solitary fruit and OMG was it ever good. Now I am happy to see there are a bunch, I hope they do well!

Lemongrass

First time growing this plant but it's doing wonderfully well! I'm excited for the tea I'll be able to make with the leaves. It's also a perennial and as I'm really trying to find edible plants that are longer lived than annual, I'm very pleased it likes the space it's growing in.

Fig Tree (I forget the variety)

This new tree has had 1 fig on it for several months now. I took a closer look and saw it is now bursting with figs! Do you see them too?

Aloe

What a recovery this plant has made! It sat in a tiny pot on the patio for a year, randomly being watered. It had grown to bursting from the seams and all brown. I pulled away all the babies and gave it some space in a 5 gallon pot (that my nectarine tree came in). It not only recovered with good dirt and consistent irrigation, look at all the new babies! If this keeps up I'll be able to start using aloe in my smoothies. Sweet!

Nectarine Trees

Sun set behind them but these 3 different varieties of nectarine trees are filled with fruit getting super close to harvest. I need to keep a close eye on them as the birds will poke holes to check for ripeness and then BAM! when they are ripe, it's game over.

Nectarine Fruit

Not a great image sadly, as it was getting dark but you get the idea. Currently than a golf ball but smaller than a pool ball.

I hope you enjoyed this tour of my yard at dusk! If you like this closer look at my garden and would like me to do it again as the season progresses, let me know. 😊

Dill Nut Cheese | Plant Based Raw

My Anniversary Month trip to Canada with my husband (of 19 years 💝) was a culinary experience to remember!

One of the highlights from our time in Vancouver BC was the discovery and visit to this plant based cafe in North Van. It was also our very first time boarding the Sea Bus for a fun 20 minute ride over. We didn’t have to go far from the water, which was great since we were on foot. The ‘port’, or so it seemed to be one to me, had a buzzing with activity boardwalk and mall, jam packed with a wide variety of shops, cafes, including a Kombucha growler refilling hang out and a farmers market stand. The Plaza outside had great views over the water looking back out at Downtown Vancouver. 

I got goosebumps as soon as we walked through the doors of Cafe by Tao. I was jumping out of my skin with excitement and sheer bliss looking at the products on the shelves and in the cooler, already dreaming of how much I could carry away with me.

Not to mention reading the menu…Ahhhhhh.

If you think I’m exaggerating, just ask Kerwin. He was right there watching me and laughing.
Who knew 2 years ago that I’d be so excited over (non pasta, non pastry, non potato chips, non cheesecake) food?! I certainly didn’t.

Here’s a video flashback to afterwards, as we were leaving.

Now that the stage is set…the reason for ‘this’ blog LOL is to share a raw food win – I made the ‘to die for’ Dill Nut Cheese for the first time today and am in heaven!

It tastes almost exactly as I remember it!

I spread it, nice and thick, on the matching ‘to die for’ raw onion bread I had a freshly made batch of. Pictured ⬇️. Needing a tasty topping for the bread is what actually triggered me to finally pull up this recipe and give it a go.

It’s food like this that makes me laugh when I tell people I eat raw and they say “oh. Don’t you get tired of eating salads?” Nope. lol. 

Part of this life journey I’m on is about celebrating the joys, wins, and delicious food, so instead of simply sharing a picture on Facebook, I am choosing to savor this moment with an intentional post.

For this Dill Cheese recipe and more check out Cafe by Tao!

I promise I’ll share more about our day and incredible eating experience at Cafe by Tao in another post. 😊

Nothing Like Tea & Pastries

On a cold night in Vegas...

It’s fun to be able to say that. I almost thought the Winter season was over but the snow, winds and below freezing temps (just barely mind you 😉) have done their sneaky thing, as is often the case in February.

Out comes the tea and ‘pastries’, or in my world, these yummy snacks that are better known as Joie Bites. This creamy, sweet, richness that, until yesterday I’d forgotten how to make, is the perfect compliment to my Cinnamon Roobois Chai tea from David’s Tea. 

I’m not a big fan of chotzky souvenirs when traveling, instead I like to get things that we’ll use. This lovely tea cup with lid and loose tea brewing insert (I’m sure it has a more proper name than that lol) is the perfect memory of cozy mornings in our condo sipping tea as we journaled. 

I don’t need a mug that says YVR to help me remember our #CanadaTrip holiday. ☺️

It makes me happy to think back on our trip. It’s the reason we do what we do – to travel, explore and create amazing memories together! Having items out and visible to serve as these reminders is a wonderful thing – it keeps me focused and on track building my side gig.

Mel Robbins calls these visible reminders Positive Triggers in her Mindset Reset program. Check it out here! It’s available on demand replay and is incredibly beneficial. Best thing I did to kick off 2019 was signing up for her free program!

Or….it might actually be tied for top spot with my decision to start my 160 day eating Raw & Living foods challenge. Today is Day 51! And OMG, I had to get a calculator out to add up the days, it’s already flying by. 🤩

Signing off now so I can go feed the babies 🐶🐶🐶🐶! Till next blog…

For fun tips and healthy recipes you can follow me and my friends here: Joy, Wellness and Women. Creating a Vibrant Life You Love!

Cheers!