A Few of My Favorite Things

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For those of you who know me well, you know what I love: family, the outdoors, music, friends, adventure… I care about healthy living and helping people live into all that they were made to do and be. I love that I can pursue that passion through Arbonne.

For this holiday season, I thought I’d share a “few of my favorite things” that are a part of my every day world that could also offer unique gift ideas for others.

National Parks

National Parks – With 58 National Parks and over 400 National Monuments, Historic Sites, Battle Grounds, and Preserves, there is much to learn and explore. Our family has visited over 100 during our travels, and we are always amazed at and grateful for the unique geography and stories that are preserved. Some of our greatest family memories have taken place in the National Parks. You can purchase a yearlong pass for your family or loved one for just $80. You can also throw in a special Passport Book so they can collect stamps at each park. Or how about this beautiful deluxe National Park sticker set?  Start planning your summer trips now!

Snowboarding

Snowboarding – We always remember this video from Sage Kotsenberg – it captures our family’s sentiments exactly – it’s a magical thing. There is nothing like going down a mountain together as a family, watching the kids try out new tricks and spins, taking in the majestic views. It’s wild how this has become such a central part of our family identity now. It used to be just once a year family winter trip. Now we snowboard about 100+ days a year! But this experience is definitely one of the best ones you can give someone. Keystone Resort caters so well to families. Our favorite is Copper Mountain.  Arapahoe Basin offers the best prices on beginner lessons. Or splurge on the Epic Pass and have fun hitting all the different resorts!

Arbonne

Arbonne – This company rocks. With a business opportunity that allows people to have time-freedom and financial freedom like ours, a company culture of generosity and personal growth, and hundreds of products that are pure, safe, and beneficial to the whole family – it’s really amazing! We use their nutrition products each day, my face stays young and smooth with their skincare line, we all lather up with their lotions, and their shampoo/conditioners are pH balanced, so I never have to deal with dandruff or itchy scalp again! All of their products make excellent gifts!

Barre3Online

Barre3 Online – I’ve been so efficient with my workouts in the past, being able to run for 20-40 mins and call it a day. It’s harder for me to make time to go to a studio class for some reason. Well, the Barre3 Online classes are awesome because they are time-efficient and yet give me an even better workout than running – including core strengthening and muscle tone. You can get an online subscription here!

Sunbasket

Sunbasket – This meal-delivery service has made our family dinner times so much better! They offer organic, sustainably farmed meats and produce. We order 3 meals a week – they have both paleo, and vegetarian options, and we’ve loved all their meals. Don and I grab a glass of wine and whip up the meal together while the kids get their homework done. Then we get to enjoy dinner conversation and sometimes even squeeze in a chapter of a book, like Life of Fred or this month, Unwrapping the Greatest Gift.

BreckCreate

BreckCreate – This is for locals in Summit County! This organization is a gem in our town. They have a beautiful arts district right off Main Street where you can see artisans at work on their craft. They bring in special events and speakers throughout the year. And they offer weekly classes in art, photography, glass-blowing, clay-making, and even writing to the community. I’m honored to be a part of it and excited to be leading the weekly After-School Writing Club for kids 10-14. Sign up for their newsletter to stay on top of off their offerings and pay for a class for you and a friend to learn something new!

Next Page

NextPage – This local bookstore is one of our favorite places in Summit County. We will all grab a pot of tea or a boba smoothie and get to work. The staff is fabulous and hospitable. Their loaves of lemon or banana bread (etc.) are amazing, and you are bound to find a gift here for every person on your list!

Cookie and Kate

Cookie and Kate – This has become a go-to website for healthy recipes for me this year. I love making breads and muffins to send to the kids’ teachers in the morning as a surprise. You can find cookie and loaf recipes here, substitute with gluten-free flour if needed, and send special homemade treats to neighbors and friends.

 

Gifts

Mara Mugs – This was my go-to gift last year. These mugs are the perfect size, and they feel so great and weighted in your hand. You can find them all here, on Amazon or at Abbey’s Coffee Shop on Main Street Frisco. All variety of personalized designs.

Electric Teapot – I drink tea all day long! I love the Arbonne Detox Tea, and Yogi and Traditional Medicinal Brands as well. This teapot makes it fast and convenient to start seeping and enjoying my tea! Gotta stay warm throughout these long winter months!

GoRuck – We each have a couple of these backpacks. The smaller Echo for everyday, with a computer sleeve zipper in the back, and a larger GR1 for one-bag travel. They are sturdy, well-make, sleek, and we just can’t say enough great things about them!

Anker Power Charger – This is a great stocking stuffer for anyone – professional or teen! I carry this in my work backpack or in my snowboarding jacket when I need more juice for my phone.

Calendars – These make great gifts for anyone on your list! I like a whole variety throughout the house that inspire. Here are my favorites: Art a Day, You’re a Badass, Promises and Blessings

Books – There are too many to list here, but some recent personal and family favorites include: Wonder by JR Palacio, The Great Brain by Fitzgerald, and You’re a Badass by Jen Sincero, You can always give someone a subscription to Audible – an amazing resource and treat!

Stay Healthy

And I feel like we are always on the edge of colds here in Summit County, but we work hard to stay healthy. We drink a lot of water, try to get plenty of sleep, stay away from sugar, and eat healthy. But I still have plenty of supplements I pull out of drawers and cabinets when kids start getting that scratchy throat. Here are a handful of my favorite. You could even put together a healthy gift basket for family and friends this year!

Let me know if you use or love any of these things and what have been the best gifts to give. Would love to hear a few of your own favorite things as well!!

 

 

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Broken

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Has something ever taken you out of life for a season – perhaps an injury, a loss, or even a bad decision? I can only imagine as shock starts to slowly bleed into reality. “This is real. This is happening.”  It’s probably like watching a movie and wishing you could push rewind to rewrite the script or get a do-over as in Groundhog Day. 

This last month, our daughter Jadyn broke two bones in her arm from a fall off a rail snowboarding at Copper Mountain with her team. While we were grateful that it was only a broken bone, we were also all so very disappointed because of what it would mean for Jadyn – time off of training in the snow.

She was really heartbroken. She had been training well during pre-season and was looking forward to continuing the momentum in an awesome season with her coaches and friends. But now she was sidelined for 8 weeks. She was worried that it would put her behind, was sad for all the fun memories she’d miss, and just bummed about the inconvenience of a limited “10 pound” weight on her dominant hand!

As a mom, it was difficult to walk that fine line of being strong for her, being understanding and letting her grieve, and also trying to encourage and point her to a hopeful, positive mindset.

But I was so proud of Jadyn. She walked through those stages of grief and positivity – often waffling between them both within the same minute. 🙂 But eventually, she started to embrace the brokenness and look for the best in the situation. It was not easy, nor did we try to be superficial about it. But it definitely helped get through the day-to-day in life when we chose to see the good.

For Jadyn it meant time to get ahead in her online classes, catch up on sleep, hang out with new, special friends, spend more time with her cousins who were visiting for Thanksgiving, watch snowboarding videos to keep her vision strong, and really solidify her commitment and desire to compete in snowboarding.

 

Hard times can either take you out or make you stronger. As athletes, this is especially true when faced with accident or injury. It’s neat to see how much Jadyn loves this sport and how much she wants to get back out there. It’s not taking her out.

And Don and I have often talked about the idea of “being broken.” We would not necessarily wish it on anyone, but we have also come to learn that it’s the best way to live, personally and professionally. There’s a sobriety and humility in knowing that we are not infallible, undefeatable or entirely independent. We depend on a God who loves us and knows all, and we all need each other in this life to do great things. As much as we like to stay organized and efficient, we also know that we can’t control all variables. Being broken teaches us that and helps match our pursuits with reality. It also gives us gracious, compassionate hearts to connect with others who may be in a similar situation. All the cards and gifts meant the world to Jadyn, and we are more focused now to love on any others who may be injured.

So, if you are feeling a little broken or sidelined today, know that you are not alone! Grieve, yes. Reflect – journal and share with close friends who you know you can lean on. And then take time each day to embrace the “lessons” in the brokenness – to see the silver linings and notice the strength, grit, and compassion and humility that is growing inside of you. Those things are priceless, and there’s almost no other way to grow them except through those broken times. Much love to you all, my friends! 🙂

Stuck?

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Do you feel “stuck” in any way? In your career? Emotionally? Health-wise? Relationally?

Last week I had the surprise “honor” of getting my car stuck in the snow.

I had just dropped off my kids at the bus stop and decided to try to make my way up the bank as I had done many days before…Except this time there was snow. I had a new vehicle with 4 wheel drive, so I thought I was fine…Until I started slipping backwards! I learned later that the entire bus saw the whole thing, which was a little embarrassing to my kids (but hey, all kids need a good dose of embarrassment every so often!).

My vehicle ended up getting wedged between two rocks on the left side, and I didn’t feel confident about maneuvering over them, so I just waited. I waited ’til the bus left and all the other cars went on their way. Then I tried a little more on my own, to no avail and then decided to call for help. Unfortunately, Don was away on business in Chicago, so I was on my own.

I saw that my oldest son Gabe had texted and called to make sure I was okay. I called him back, and I think I would get stuck all over again to hear the love and concern and maturity from him.

He asked if I was okay and if I needed him to come back to help. I said I was fine, and he said, “Are you sure? I could be there in an hour.” I don’t know what he was planning, but I figured he thought he could get off at the next bus stop and run home or get off in Breck and take the Summit Stage back home to come to my rescue. Regardless, I kinda got choked up knowing that he really meant it and would do it if I needed him to.

But I was fine. I knew I would get unstuck. Just wasn’t exactly sure how.

Well, long story short, while I was waiting for my friend who lived up the road, another gentleman in a huge truck came by and asked if I needed help. Another man had asked before, and I made the mistake of saying that someone was on their way. This time, I said, “Yes, please!”

He assessed the situation and told me how to move my wheels. He got down on his belly and moved the big rock around the front wheel, told me to just roll right over the big rock behind me, and Voila, I was free! It was the best feeling in the world!!!! I wanted to roll right back up the hill in my excitement, but used my better judgment and took the regular route and made it back home.

I couldn’t tell you how happy and grateful I was to just be back home with my car in the garage. Such a mundane thing that meant the world to me!

And it just got me thinking about the whole concept of being “stuck” in life. Usually it’s not your car. Often it’s our emotions, finances, or health. Or our dreams and pursuits.

Have you ever felt like that? Like you just weren’t sure what to do next? You’ve been trying lots of solutions but not really making any progress forward.

Here are a couple things I was reminded of in my own experience:

  1. When feeling stuck, always believe there is a way out. I knew my car would not stay there forever. I believed it could be moved. I just wasn’t sure how.
  2. Ask for help. There are people who know more than you do. Who have gone before you. Who know which way to turn the wheels and who are strong enough to move those rocks in your way. Accept their help. And look for ways to repay them back tenfold in gratitude.
  3. Appreciate those who care. Often during those hard, “stuck” times, the ones who love you express their care and concern. Have eyes to appreciate them and remind yourself that you are not alone. Gabe made my day that morning.
  4. Learn from your “mistakes.” If there was a decision in particular or a pattern of habits that got you stuck, don’t go back and do that again! Why get stuck AGAIN? Embrace your freedom and use it to go after bigger and better things in life.

We have a long winter ahead of us. I can’t guarantee that I won’t get stuck again somewhere, but I know that I won’t get stuck in that same spot, that’s for sure!

If you’re feeling stuck somehow in life, and there’s a way that I can help – please reach out and let me know. Maybe I can offer the wisdom or perspective that can get you moving in the right direction again – or just the care and concern to remind you that you are not alone. Happy to help!

Dream Big

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Don’t stop dreaming! I have some pretty incredible friends who have gone after some big dreams in life. (One of them just launched a new brand of amazing shoes for young women this week!) And I personally feel like our own life is one big dream. We would all say that every bit of courage or struggle was worth it to see those dreams come true.

But I have these little stars above my bed leftover from a recent Girls Writing Workshop as a constant reminder to KEEP dreaming, and to dream BIG. Life gets too mundane and small if we don’t. And it can quickly become about just us. Our day. Our routine. Our comfort.

Blah.

There’s more to life than that. More impact and love to spread around.

It’s not always intuitive for some people like me to DREAM BIG – I think others may have been born with a special bent for that! But no matter, we can stretch and grow and choose to make it a natural part of our fiber as well.

I’m going after new big dreams these days, and looking for others who want to dream big with me! With this vehicle and platform of Arbonne, we can create amazing opportunities for our families – financial and experiential, inspire others to do the same, and make that big impact in our communities and world around us.

And whether or not Arbonne is your path, keep dreaming big! If you’re going to dream anyway, why not dream big! 😉

A Series of Conversations

I think at its core, business is human.

It’s about adding value in life – to the individual, family, or community – whether through a product, service, or employment.

At a simple level, products or services should make life either easier or more enjoyable, productive, meaningful or memorable.

Sometimes that need is sought out. But sometimes there’s a bit of education required to communicate that benefit to those who didn’t know it previously existed.

In my Arbonne business I have a mix of both. Sometimes people reach out to me because they hear the great results others have had upgrading their health in our 30 Days Program and creating sustainable habits and choices. Sometimes they are looking for another stream of income or a virtual business, and have heard I’ve found a great platform that allows a legit, fun way for income and growth.

But other times, I just reach out first to share with people who may be running so fast, they haven’t had time to think much about their health or career choices more than the status quo. I set up phone calls or Zoom meetings or coffee dates to reconnect or check-in.

I love catching up and listening well to hear where they are coming from and what issues, minor or major, they may be dealing with. And then, I love following up with a few creative ideas on how I may be able to help.

Sometimes it’s with a product, sometimes a referral, and sometimes it’s sharing about this amazing business opportunity.  Regardless, a door has been open for a series of conversations, and it’s those interactions that make life most rich and meaningful.

Sometimes they lead to a sale or a partnership down the road, but that journey is surely more of an art and magic in timing that a rigid science of predictions and quickly-drawn conclusions. I enjoy doing business with people who approach it similarly with great confidence and freedom. It’s human. 🙂

Running to Smell the Roses

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I was running along a trail in Breck today and spotted a beautiful flower, so I stopped to snap a photo of it (and take a breather since I had just come back to life at 10,000 ft!!).

It was a simple act, pretty mundane actually, but when I let myself really pause and admire the flower and focus on capturing the photo at just the right angle, it made me smile big. And then as I was running back, that little act got me thinking about why people say to “stop and smell the roses.”

It changes EVERYTHING.

I started to look around more keenly at all of life passing by. I didn’t just glance at the fairy village on this special trail, but I let myself stop and admire it and notice the intricate details. I smiled big again thinking about the person who took time to create it.

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And as I got back into the main village of Breck, I started to look for beauty, for noteworthy, for special. It was ALL around me. The soothing sound of the Blue River. The afternoon light on all of the flowers. The musicians delighting a crowd. A couple holding hands or smiling at their child.

All the wonderful things that life is made of.

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So what if I had to stop my run for a second to appreciate it? It was totally worth it.

I feel like that happens a lot in life. We are all running towards something. The next event. The next goal. Something better, something easier, something more.

But what is the point? I would argue that one of the “points” of the running is so that we can have the luxury of stopping to smell the roses.

Well, why wait? 

Stop now. Pause now. Live eyes wide open now.

Play that game with your kid.

Smile and say hi to everyone walking by.

Listen. Really listen. To the person in front of you. To nature around you.

Write that postcard to a friend.

Watch the whole sunset or the moon rise.

Take a walk.

Sing, play your instrument, dance to the music playing loudly.

There’s so much good. So much to see and appreciate.

I really do try to live life like this daily. It keeps my heart grateful. It keeps me from taking for granted those little things, and keeps me connected to real life – the people I love and the beautiful world God gave us to enjoy and explore.

So, let’s keep “running.” Let’s keep in shape and keep going after those big dreams and goals in life. But let’s enjoy the roses – the people and the beauty – all along the way!

 

 

 

How You Do One Thing…

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Last month, I had the privilege of listening to an amazing speaker Cecilia Stoll at Arbonne’s Global Training Conference. She said many things that impacted my heart and mind, but one of the most memorable to me was, “How you do one thing is how you do everything.”

It was a call to be excellent in ALL things. The little and the big. But especially the little. Because the standards we have for ourselves in those seemingly unimportant tasks somehow carry over into the more meaningful, impactful ones.

I think a lot of it has to do with how we see ourselves. And as humans, we are wired to be congruent. If we believe we are kind, hard-working, excellent, and courageous, when faced with opportunities that demand those things, we step into them without question. But if we know ourselves to be a person who cuts a corner every now and then either out of laziness or lack of character, then we can’t trust that inconsistency. And sometimes that inconsistency can be costly.

It’s not worth it. May as well work on being vigilant in all the little day-to-day decisions. Here are just a few:

  1. Flossing 🙂
  2. Responding timely and respectfully to emails or texts
  3. Being kind and gracious, never gossiping
  4. Reading every day
  5. Exercising each day
  6. Keeping the counters clean and ready
  7. Saying yes to opportunities, even when nervous
  8. Always giving more value
  9. Making your bed every morning

I, myself, am trying to repeat this mantra each day and becoming aware of all the little ways I can step it up. But we have also been repeating it a lot to our kids these last few weeks as we want them to have the same awareness and standards of excellence for themselves. In our home, on the field, with their friends. It’s a great reality to live into!