This is my life- inspired by the Holstee Manifesto

May 6, 2012 § Leave a comment

I stumbled upon the Holstee Manifesto about 1 year ago at a quite perfect time. I had just left my job of 2 years in search for pushing my limits only to take an agency job that put me a box- literally.  A week at the agency totally depressed me as I realized I would be doing the same thing for years and growth was minimal at best. The ones who had been there for a while, looked stressed, tired and miserable. I knew this could  not be it as I started to realize that  life was too short not to do something that mattered (a book by Hugh McLeod, Evil Plans helped push this idea- just so happen to be on my desk- timing at it’s best).  As I could not stand (or sit in my box) idle- I started to create by Plan B list, drew out my new plan on paper for a visual to hold on to-packed up my desk and went home to get started. I set out a space in my house for “work”, started a blog (this one) and began to search the internet for inspiration, people, companies, organizations that did work that mattered and that is when I found the manifesto. The words spoke to me loud and clear and set me in a new path that has enabled incredible growth. I printed the manifesto (and a few for friends as well) and posted it above my desk to look at each morning.

Over the past year, I took on the launch of this project- http://www.dansessentials.com.  It is all about helping people achieve their performance and wellness goals and well as work through ailments by concentrating on what they eat and how it relates to their health. Along with this amazingly fulfilling project, I started to talk to people about their passion and created actions plans for each. I most recently decided to sell my house, keep things simple, complete a 200 hour yoga certification, travel to see friends and family and finally focus on listening to my kids (they know so much about happiness), reading inspired novels, typing late at night, exploring new places, and meeting new people (basically getting out of my comfort zone)- all for the cause of  doing what I came here to do and that is helping others grow their passions while living a happy, fulfilled, healthy life.

So this post is for Holstee- thank you for putting your manifesto down on paper and spreading the message- it has been truly inspiring for me. I think sometimes if we are open to the signs (they are everywhere) and listen to the little voice in our heads (that will not go away, so just listen to it for goodness sake) and keep pushing ourselves (do something that scares you everyday-  this is a good motivator)- then the world opens up and we take this life, our life, into our own hands and we can then finally start to feel inspired, fulfilled and alive.

Now, my passion seekers out there, I shared my story- I know you have a story to tell as well- if you dare, share it with Holstee here http://mylife.holstee.com/you to join the My Life Project. Here is my story on My Life.

I made it out alive … and boy, do I have a finished project to share with you!

February 25, 2012 § Leave a comment

Well I made it through my first major project officially as a Project Manager … I have disappeared for quite a long time here on my blog, which I do regret, but I dove into this project completely and learned a lot in bringing to life a concept to a fully functional ecommerce website and for that, I am very proud of the work I have completed with my team.

I would like to share with you learning lessons as a Project Manager for the creation of of my newest project, but then also send to you an amazing site that came out of dedicated work with a passionate team of designers over the past six months. Some learning lessons apply to building a website, but most apply to all projects that involve intense coordination between multiple team players.

  1. Start with a site map (basically an outline of all the pages and where they fall)- it will make or break your project.
  2. Create an organizational structure when writing content and save in appropriate folders- same for the photos- this will keep all team members happy!
  3. Determine the scope of the project from the start and stick to it to be able to deliver the finished project ON time. You can always add on later. Stick to your sitemap as much as you can.
  4. Work with passionate people; it is the biggest difference in success or failure.
  5. Do your research and document well.
  6. Don’t forget to stop and sharpen your saw; this is something that I heard about in The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People by Stephen Covey. He makes the point that in order to complete the job, sometimes you need to stop and refocus (or get the tools you need to complete the job), then dive back in- sometimes we forget this, but this is by far, the biggest learning lesson for me.

Well that is it for now, but when you get a free moment, check out http://www.dansessentials.com/ .  It is a very educational site on Nutrition, specific to Kids, Seniors, Pregnancy, Weight Loss, and so much more. In addition, the site sells some pretty fantastic whole food products and recipes for each! Love to hear what you think.

Introducing Lucia Bella

February 1, 2012 § Leave a comment

Serving great food and wine with family and friends  is such a great passion of mine and that is why when a great friend of mine asked me to help her start a new business for cooking, making homemade wine and catering, I was delighted.

We started with creating a name and then a logo that spoke to Italian family traditions, home cooked meals and simplicity.  Next, as the first homemade batch of wine was getting ready to be bottled, we created wine labels with the goal of creating a series for each unique batch.

And finally, we created a blog that features some great recipes for any occasion and notes on homemade wine making. Over the next few weeks, we will be customizing the blog and adding simple and delicious recipes, so I hope you will follow us here.

This is truly a project of passion in sharing the traditions of a talented chef and wine maker with others to bring great food and wine into warm homes to enjoy with family and friends.

Visit Lucia Bella’s Kitchen.

Bringing Clean Drinking Water to Moale

July 26, 2011 § Leave a comment


Last September I donated my 29th birthday to the September Campaign for Charity Water .  In doing so, I invited all my friends and family to make a contribution to the cause.  Charity Water, one of my favorite non-profit organizations, brings clean, safe drinking water to people of developing nations. Clean, safe drinking water is a basic necessity that we take for granted everyday. Charity Water is without a doubt, doing great things, making a really big difference in changing many people lives everyday because water does in fact change everything (check out their site, they have proof). This particular project was to bring clean drinking water to Moale Village, deep in the heart of Central African Republic. Together my friends and family raised just about $500 out of the total $1,700,000 towards the project.

July 20th they hit clean water in Moale with a newly installed pump 240 feet beneath the earth. Click here  to see the video, it is truly amazing.

Thank you to all my wonderful friends and family that made a contribution. This year Juliette will be donating her 1st birthday on October 5th, 2011.  Check our her campaign.

If you to want to donate your birthday or special project to the cause and change the world, start your campaign here.

My Areas of Refuge

July 23, 2011 § Leave a comment

I just got done reading The Happiness Project by Gretchen Rubin, really great, I have a copy if you would like to borrow it. I got a lot of take away’s from the book organized creatively in chapters of 12 months of lessons, but what comes to mind tonight is identifying my area of refuge. An Area of Refuge is the people, places, moments that bring you to a good place by simply thinking of them, enjoying the moment or going to these places that bring you the most happiness.

My Area’s of Refuge:

  • The peace and stillness of watching my children sleep
  • Being in the arms of my husband
  • Getting to my blog to write
  • Enjoying wine and conversation with great friends and family
  • The ocean (east and west coast hold special places in my heart and bring me great peace)
  • A cool breeze on a summer night
  • The namaste at the end of a Yoga class
  • Finishing a long run
  • Waking up from a wonderful full nights sleep
  • Morning coffee with steamed milk and a dash of raw sugar
Everyone has a place of refuge, where is yours?

A night at the Cafe

July 21, 2011 § Leave a comment

I had a wonderful night at a Cafe last night with one of my best friends. What made it so wonderful, beyond enjoying the company of one of my favorites was the relaxed Tuscan atmosphere and professional service they provided. We arrived as the sun was setting on the eastern coast and the cool breeze started to cool the temperature after a hot 95 something day. We took advantage of their comfortable outside seating, ordered a glass a wine, listened to the music and simply enjoyed the time. The service was really nice, the cafe was filled with beautiful plants and decor, and most importantly, they allowed us to chat in total peace. I felt as though I was back in the Cinque Terre, when in fact, we far from Italy.

Now I am saying this, because this almost never happens. Between rude service, tacky decor, and very unsatisfied customers complaining in the background, it is hard to enjoy a great time out. However, there are rare establishments that have got it right and because of this, they will succeed.

When you love what you do, people notice and in the rare time we have to actually get out and enjoy some great food and wine, we will pick the establishments that provide this wonderful haven.  So if you are going to offer a place for people to come and relax and expect people to actually come back, do it right.  Please  do not turn them away by hiring staff that does not care and makes you feel that they do not care, ignore the little details that mean so much and not take the time to make the environment warm and inviting. It’s kinda simple and makes a big difference in success or failure.

Here is to enjoying a wonderful night, finding a place to meet one of my best friends over lovely wine and conversation …  if only for a few hours, well be back.

Walking the tightrope

July 10, 2011 § Leave a comment

Today was a beautiful day, I went to a  fair that  featured some amazing artists and  performers. I was especially drawn to the tightrope walkers as I noticed their brave approach to walking the rope. As the performers reached the rope, I saw that they did not worry about falling, they simply started walking and took it one step at a time. As it got to be difficult and they started to lose balance, they simply took a breath, focused and found their way back to balance. It got me thinking, why do we not approach our challenges and goals with this kind of attitude- to simply start and not worry about the fall. I think this is what gets us most of the time, we worry too much about what will happen if we fall.  When we worry, our thoughts become too overwhelming and most times we never end up taking the first steps. But what if we never start, what if we never feel what it is like to walk the rope and get to the other side. To me, missing out on the adventure is a bigger tragedy then actually falling.

I say, start walking in the direction you wish to go, even if you fall, you can always get right back up. Start on a low rope, (small challenge/goal) get to the other side, enjoy it and then aim higher.  If you make it to the other side, (and you will) well then, it was well worth it.

Go out there and do something great! Walk the rope!

P.S. If you need a helping hand, you know how to find me and I would be happy to help you take the first step.