Pacific Book Review –

Grow Yourself Beautiful

Title: Grow Yourself Beautiful: A Smart Girl’s Guide to Following Her Heart and Focusing on Her Inner Joy
Author: Sharon Caldwell Peddie
Publisher: iUniverse
ISBN: 9781532057342
Pages: 154
Genre: Young adult non-fiction
Reviewed by: Lisa Brown-Gilbert

Read Book Review

Grow Yourself Beautiful: A Smart Girl’s Guide to Following Her Heart and Focusing on Her Inner Joy is an impassioned narrative written by a lovingly concerned mother looking not only to encourage and influence her own daughters’ positive growth, but also seeks to encourage all young ladies through the hectic maze of this largely depthless, one-dimensional world, where society gives sanction to unreasonable standards of beauty and behavior for women. Author Sharon Caldwell Peddie’s debut narrative Grow Yourself Beautiful works. Powered not only by the experiences of being a mother to three daughters, but also her over twenty years of experience of working with young women through multiple arenas including leadership development, community service, as well as cultural awareness.

Instantly, author Peddie solidifies a heartwarming connecting with readers with her encouraging poem entitled the same as the book, Grow Yourself Beautiful. Both reassuring and inspirational this poem addresses the considerable angst that young ladies will encounter in today’s world and very much set the tone for the whole narrative which is one of practical guidance and supportive encouragement.

Moreover, the book is comprised like an acrostic poem, with each of the letters in the word-beautiful broken down letter by letter into chapters which artfully expands on developing inner fortitude and growing the beauty inside instead of focusing on the superficial exterior. Each chapter focuses on pertinent conventional notions that are simple but highly effective when duly employed; such as kindness, gratitude, thankfulness, education, being authentic, resilience and more. My personal favorite is chapter four; U is for Unplugging where she encourages leaving the electronics alone and taking an introspective journey into yourself in order to get to know yourself and foment the most important relationship you will ever experience in life – and that is with yourself. In particular, this is very important advice for this technologically submerged world, and not only do young females need to do this, as well, there are many adults that should heed this advice as well, as society would be a lot better off.

Author Sharon Caldwell Peddie’s passion for the development of healthy young women shines through her work in this book. Entirely an enjoyable and beneficial read, I found this book to be an invaluable guide, both empowering and encouraging for female readers of all ages. Also, as a mother of four girls myself, I could easily relate to the necessity for a book like this in a world full of sexist paradigms that barrage young ladies and discourage female independence while battering self-esteem. Our daughters need to know that they are great and have phenomenal potential, of which Grow Yourself Beautiful accomplishes with an endearing quality and comes across as more than just a guide to growing up female, it is a lovingly earnest tribute to all daughters and the devoted mother-daughter bond. An additional perk to the book is the inclusion of ten journaling pages and links to websites with more information.

Falling in Love with Change

For many years of my life, I was terrified of change. The fear of the unknown. The loss that might come from it. Would I have the ability to handle it?

However, I’ve always been someone who bores easily with robotic routine. I love the comfort of my normal routines but having new experiences out of my comfort zone feeds my soul. I like the security to keep repeating what I’m good at but I crave learning something new. It electrifies me and recharges my life. While I hold on tight to my oldest and dearest friends, I also love the magic in meeting new people and making new friends. I feel grounding roots in revisiting my favorite places, but experiencing a new piece of earth invigorates and excitingly educates me. This is why I have learned to love and embrace change rather than be afraid of it.

Change is really the only “constant” we have in life. Unless we learn to embrace it, we will always feel unsettled. Resisting it causes us anxiety and exhaustion. Embracing it brings inner peace and tremendous growth. The difference between resisting or embracing is either a negative life or a positive one.

Right now, my life is full of change. I wanted to write about my philosophy of positively embracing change as a therapeutic reminder to myself and to also help anyone else needing it too. I have a lot of personal change just with myself as individual–but also with my family unit who has been the center of my life. My oldest daughter moved out on her own. My middle is graduating college and she will live where she finds her job. My youngest is graduating high school and she’ll leave for college in less than 4 months. My husband and I will soon be empty nesters asking ourselves what we want the rest of our lives to look like. My step-dad for 41 years just passed away this week. All of this on top of each other could have made a younger me buckle, but change has shown me it’s all a sign of a full, well-loved, well-lived life!

Reasons to Fall in Love with Change:

  • Change closes the doors to bad situations and black spots in life. Change causes it to finally end. It moves us forward.
  • Change opens new exciting chapters to our story. It provides a chance for fresh new words and pages!
  • Change keeps life from being boring. The same routines make us feel stale and like sleepy robots.
  • Change adds mystery to our life. When we aren’t sure what lies ahead in the dark, we are forced to be more alert. It causes us to be more open, seeing and hearing things like we didn’t before.
  • Change opens new doors. There are new people to love and to love us. There are new opportunities to make our life more exciting!
  • Change brings valuable lessons and better perspective. Every time we go through a change, we learn so much about life and ourselves. It makes us look at everything through a fresher, sharper, wiser lens. 
  • Change makes us more loving and more compassionate. With every new change comes an experience that helps us see what walking in someone else’s shoes feels like. 
  • Change makes us more flexible. There are many things every single day we can’t control. When we learn flexibility, we get to have inner peace when things don’t go as we planned. When we learn how to be flexible, we become less afraid we’ll break.
  • Change builds strength and resilience. I devoted a whole chapter to resilience in my book because I believe resilience is our most important life skill. Resilience is like a muscle. The more we use it, the stronger it gets. Every time we go through a tough or challenging change, it builds our resilience. It shows us, we will be ok. We will be just fine.

Spring is the perfect time to plant our intentions to grow a more positive mindset about change. There are so many signs in Spring from God, the Universe and Nature that assure us change brings us faith, light, hope, joy and love. Change helps us grow stronger and more beautiful.

Sharon is the author of “Grow Yourself Beautiful”. For more information on her book, visit www.sharoncaldwellpeddie.com,sharonpeddieblog.com

I took the cover photo of this blog post at Wooden Shoe Tulip Farm. It’s one of my favorite places to celebrate Spring and the changes of my year. https://www.woodenshoe.com

Perfect Food and Wine Pairing for a Cozy Night in-Truffle Cheese Popcorn and Tamarack Cellars Red

My only gig as a wine sommelier is in my own kitchen haha, but living in Oregon Wine Country, I’ve gotten a chance to get pretty decent at it! When I create a great pairing, even a simple one like this, I love to share it! Great food and wine pairings are one of life’s simple pleasures and should get to be enjoyed by many. You know it’s special, when a combination of food and wine just hit the palate with that yummmmm factor! It’s like a beautiful symphony of the most perfect notes dancing in your mouth!

I’ll set the stage that possibly added to making it seem so good. It was cold and rainy all day and last night. A fire, candles and comfort food were definitely in order. I decided to make a cozy zucchini, lemon risotto for dinner. I’ll share that recipe too, very soon! Since risotto takes patience and we were hungry, we decided we should have a little snack to enjoy during the slow cooking process. I needed to tend to the risotto so whatever I was going to whip up for a little delicious nibble needed to be fast and easy. I decided on popcorn but also wanted it to be a little special like the dinner we were waiting on. I remembered I had a block of delicious truffle cheese so the minute the popcorn came out, I began shaving the cheese all over it! I thought it deserved a velvety red wine that would be great with the risotto too. This is super simple but it tasted so special, that I want to share it. It’s a perfect pairing for a cozy night in!

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Perfect Pairing-Truffle Cheese Popcorn and Tamarack Cellars Red

Popcorn with fresh shredded truffle cheese and Tamarack Wine Cellars “Firehouse Red” 2015 wine.

  • Author: Sharon Peddie
  • Prep Time: 3 minutes
  • Cook Time: 3 minutes, 30 secs.
  • Total Time: 6.5 minutes
  • Category: Appetizer
  • Method: Microwave
  • Cuisine: Food and Wine

Ingredients

Microwave Popcorn ( I love Costco because it’s not too buttery but just enough!)

A bar of Melkbus Truffle Cheese ( I get it at Whole Foods- any kind of truffle cheese will be great)

Tamarack Cellars Firehouse Red wine, Columbia Valley 2015

Instructions

So easy- Spread the popcorn out on a long tray so all pieces get a nice coating of cheese! Shred the fresh truffle cheese generously on the popcorn while it’s hot. Watch the cheese melt as you pour the wine. Relax and enjoy every delicious bite and sip!

Notes

Perfect pairing! Easy! Creamy + crunchy + velvety = delicious!

Why it’s a perfect symphony for the taste buds.

The truffle cheese is a warm combination of garlic, creamy, earthy, nutty flavors that meet so well with popcorn and this red blend from Walla Walla Washington (Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Syrah, Cabernet Franc +) that also has earthy flavors, but of fruit, herbs and spice tones. It’s like when 3 new friends meet and just all hit it off! Even if you can’t find this exact pairing, I hope it inspires you to try a fun combination of popcorn, cheese and wine that you have access to. It’s funny how something so simple can be so special! Not everything needs to be fussy to be great!

If you’re a cheese nerd like me and want to learn more about Melkbus Truffle cheese here’s a fun link for you:  https://culturecheesemag.com/cheese-library/melkbus149-truffle

Keywords: Truffle cheese, popcorn, red wine, red blends, perfect pairings, gourmet popcorn, easy fancy snack

You’re Ready to Grow!

Our hearts are speaking to us all day long. Our own heart knows what we yearn for. It knows exactly what we need. Our heart tells us when it’s time to stay or time to go. It tell us it’s time to relax or time to spread our wings and chase a dream. It tells us if we need to take better care of ourself. Most importantly, it tells us when we are strong enough to be uncomfortable to grow. Many ignore, the smart and empowered, listen, then follow.

Growing is very uncomfortable that’s why many stay stagnant in their life. They stay in places they don’t love. They do the same things they “sort of” like. They are with people who don’t make them feel good. They don’t face their fears head on. They never dig deep to turn their dreams into reality.

We are all made to grow. When we don’t, it starts to make us make us feel disappointed, anxious and out of sorts. We don’t recognize it as such but that’s what’s happening when people aren’t growing. It takes a lot of energy and mental health to resist it, so why not use that energy to grow positively and to make ourselves proud?

Each and every day our heart wants to tell us what we need. We just need to schedule time and unplug to listen to it openly. Once we listen, visions, dreams, wishes, talents and direction all come to light. It guides us to purpose and puts us on a path of growth that is right for us. We don’t have to try so hard, we just have to listen to our natural path.

To grow, we can’t and shouldn’t wait for others to validate it for us. We have to empower ourselves to listen and follow our own heart. We have to be the one who validates it for us. We have to be the one that gives us permission and determination to grow.

It will make some people uncomfortable to watch us grow. We have to be mentally prepared for that. We have to be determined to not wait for them to cheer for us or support our growth before we’ll begin–and we can’t quit our growth after we’ve become aware they aren’t cheering. It’s sad but it is part of human nature for some of that to happen. When we grow, it challenges other people to grow out of their comfort zone. It may inspire some and it may aggravate internal struggles for others. Some also see our growth as a threat to their relationship with us. They’re scared that we may not see their value anymore. Because of that, they will refuse to validate our growth. They will not be in our ear telling us everything will be okay as we embark on our scary new dream or bumpy path of growth. That’s okay, the right people for us will always be there for us. However, there is only one person who really needs to validate our growth anyway and that is us. We’re strong, we’re brave, that’s enough.

Empower yourself to listen deeper to your heart so you know when and how to grow. Let today be the day you understand it’s your validation of your growth that’s most important. Other people’s validation can be fleeting, yours can be forever!

Also, let today be the day you become even more aware if you are someone who supports the growth of the people in your life. We’re all in this together, let’s help each other grow. Let’s help each other be more comfortable on our journeys!

(Sharon is the author of “Grow Yourself Beautiful”. For more information on her book, visit www.sharoncaldwellpeddie.com or follow: sharonpeddieblog.com)

An Accidental Paella Party!


Paella and I began our long romance about 25 years ago when my dear friend Cristina, invited me to her house for dinner. It was that night, I was introduced to Paella for the first time through her Cuban family’s delicious recipe. When she opened her door to greet me, it smelled like a toasty warm hug that I can remember to this day.


Paella is one of the oldest and most well-known dishes in the world. It has a beautiful heritage back to farmers in Spain. They would make rice lunches out in the fields with whatever food resources were on hand. It’s hard working roots, make it a beautifully humble dish.

For Paella to be “traditional”, I’ve learned it depends on who you ask! Some say it can have seafood, some say mixed meats only, some say all the above! I’ve learned the many Paella “rules”, stories and variety of recipes are part of it’s charm.


My love for Paella grew to new heights when I visited my oldest daughter while she was studying in Spain. Every restaurant had it on the menu. Each time I dared myself to try something new, a waiter would walk by with a Paella that looked challengingly different than the one I had in the town before. The reason it never got old, is I quickly learned that Paella was not only a pan of fresh ingredients available to the town, it was an artistic canvas for the artist crafting it. Each Paella reflected the heart, resources and creativity of the chef.


I love to cook and I have made Paella many times over the years. When my kids were little they didn’t care for seafood so it became a romantic dinner for two on a Valentine’s day or a date night in. It’s cozy and perfect for a couple but Paella is also a dish of love to be shared with many! Paella has invited me to paint with it many ways depending on the taste preferences of who I’m cooking it for.

After years of making Paella in my iron skillet or dutch oven, I decided a few years ago, it was time for a real Paella pan. I was on the chase for the “Socarrat”, the toasted, crusty, rice bottom technique that can really only be achieved with a real Paella pan, because of it’s shape! So click click on the internet I went. I found a really fun website: www.tienda.com and over enthusiastically placed my order right away!


Fast forward to a giiiiigantic box arriving on my doorstep that my hubby found first. C’mon ladies, you know that feeling when you know you have some explaining to do. My husband and I both giggled at me pulling my new, gigantic Paella pan out of the box! Oops! I did not realize it would be THAT BIG! Of course my intention was to be able to make Paella for company, but the size of this pan took it to Paella Party level! What’s wrong with that?


Nothing makes me happier than having a kitchen full of family and friends and cooking for them! To me, that’s love at its highest level and that’s what makes a house a home.


While I might have thought I didn’t order the right Paella pan at first, I believe the right Paella pan found me!

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Paella Party!

Paella Party

  • Author: Sharon Peddie
  • Prep Time: 30-45 min.
  • Cook Time: 45-60 min
  • Total Time: 90 min.
  • Yield: 4-6 generously
  • Category: Paella, Meat and Seafood Rice Dish
  • Method: Stove top, pan
  • Cuisine: Spanish

Ingredients

CHICKEN INGREDIENTS:

         1 tablespoon sweet or smoked paprika

         2 teaspoons oregano

         1 package of trimmed chicken thighs cut into pieces

(I make chicken ahead of time, cut into bite size pieces, set aside to add later)

 

         PAELLA:

         1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil or enough to cover bottom of pan

         2 Spanish chorizo sausages, thickly sliced (you can use ground chorizo too)

         Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper

         1 Spanish onion, diced 

         4 garlic cloves, crushed

         1 each, red and yellow bell pepper

         Bunch flat-leaf parsley leaves, chopped, keep some for garnish

         1 (15-ounce) can diced tomatoes

         4 cups short grain Spanish rice (I like “Matiz Valenciano Paella Rice”. I get it at Whole Foods)

         6 cups chicken broth (have extra on hand)

         Generous pinch saffron threads

         1 dozen clams, scrubbed

         1 pound jumbo shrimp, peeled and de-veined

         2 dozen rinsed mussels 

 

         Lemon wedges, for serving

Instructions

PAELLA IS A PATIENT, ROMANTIC PROCESS:

Combine the paprika and oregano in a small bowl. Rub the spice mix all over the chicken and marinate chicken for 1 hour in the refrigerator. I like to have the chicken cooked prior to starting the Paella. When it’s done, I cut into bite size pieces and set it side to add later.

 

Heat oil in a Paella pan over medium-high heat. Saute the chorizo until browned, remove and reserve. If you used ground chorizo, you can leave it in the pan and move to the next step.

 

In the same pan, make a “sofrito” (sauce) by sauteing the onions, garlic, peppers and parsley. Cook for 2 or 3 minutes on a medium heat. Then, add tomatoes and cook until the mixture/sofrito/sauce caramelizes a bit and the flavors meld. 

 

Fold in the rice and stir-fry to coat the grains.  Pour in broth, add saffron threads and simmer for 10-15 minutes, gently moving the pan around so the rice cooks evenly and absorbs the liquid. (Have extra broth on hand to add if rice isn’t as tender as desired…taste test!)

 

Add chicken and chorizo- mix it into the rice. 

 

Add the clams, mussels and shrimp, tucking them into the rice. The shrimp will take about 8 minutes to cook. You’ll know it’s done when it turns a beautiful orange. The clams and muscles will show you their done when they open.

 

 

 

When everything is cooked and the rice looks fluffy and moist, the seafood looks done, turn the heat up for 40ish seconds until you can smell the rice toast at the bottom. It will smell “nutty” and then it’s perfect. This is when Socarrat happens.  “Socarrar,” means to lightly singe and toast. Be careful not to burn! This is the key to mastering Paella. It takes awhile to perfect the technique but think of it as a challenge!  Regardless, it will be so delicious and colorful no one will know but you whether you achieved it or not! 

 

Remove from heat and rest for 5 minutes. During that time, add the parsley and lemon wedges-Presentation is everything! You and your guests will not help but smile at this beautiful gift you are presenting!

Notes

Check the size of your Paella pan to determine recipe size.

Keywords: Paella recipe, rice dish, spanish rice, paella, Spanish cuisine, seafood rice, meat and rice, saffron rice,


Making Paella is a fun, patient, romantic process. Having a kitchen full of friends keeping you company and sharing laughs while you make it, is one of life’s best, simple pleasures. If you want to add some love and color to your life, learn to make to Paella! The hues of red from the tomatoes, red peppers and chorizo- coupled with dark black mussels and bright orange shrimp become the adorning accessories nestled perfectly in the beautiful golden backdrop of the yellow rice. Paella is colorful, romantic, fun, gorgeous and delicious. It is a dish that says come on in, I love you!

A Purpose, A Book and A Blog…From my heart to yours.

About two years ago, I decided it was time for me to write a book. Fast forward two years, it’s written, published and has just been released! I’ll share my inspiration and motivation for writing it as I go. I have always loved to write and it usually comes pretty natural to me (unless I’m trying too hard…then nothing flows). When I was in college and it was time to decide a major, I chose to pursue a degree in Journalism and Public Relations. I really had no idea what of “what do I want to be when I grow up?”, but if it involved writing, it seemed like it would at least be a natural route to a road that was right for me.

Chasing my independence and a needed paycheck after college, I quickly got off course from a career in writing, following more of my minor in marketing and business management into the field of Commercial Interior Design and Contract Furnishings. That’s a big book all in itself but I want to stay on track telling you how I got back to writing. There are many “Sharon’s-life” chapters from then until now– but it’s my most important chapters of being a mom of 3 daughters and my experience with girls that brought me back to “what do I want to be when I grow up”.

Having girls and working with girls in many different volunteer capacities made me fall in love with wanting to protect them and help build them strong. I feel God intended me for this role and I cherish it with all of my heart. I didn’t intentionally acknowledge that’s “what I wanted to be when I grew up” but that “position” has felt very natural, purposeful and important to me. In addition to being a mom of 3 daughters, I have been involved with dance teams, sports teams, schools, children at church, sororities–you name it. I have also been a volunteer in a Mother and Daughter organization for 14 years working with girls in leadership, community service and cultural awareness. I have spent the last 26 years being around a lot of girls! Having so much time and experiences with them, I began to see how society was playing a very harmful, serious role in shaping how they felt about themselves. I hated what I was seeing. It was breaking my heart. I felt compelled to be a loving, counteractive voice to society’s harmful messages to them.

Seemingly overnight, I saw these fun, precious girls go from being happy go lucky and confident to feeling stressed that they could never measure up to what our world is expecting of them. They are bombarded with unrealistic expectations of superficial beauty, body type, and hyper overachievement in all areas-and social media is magnifying it! These relentless messages begin at younger and younger ages and are harmful to their self-esteem and well-being. Far too many young women are suffering from anxiety, depression, eating disorders, sleep issues, bullying or lack of simple joy. I wanted to explore this and offer a way to shift focus away from these pressures and help them build themselves stronger. I wanted to help them empower themselves to grow in satisfying, meaningful ways that will bring them joy, inner strength and feel their true beauty.

So, I wrote my book “Grow Yourself Beautiful”! I hope to get it into the hands and hearts of any girls and young women needing it’s message. Writing it made me realize I’ve been doing “what I want to be when I grow up” for the last 26 years! Sharing my heart, time and experience, to inspire and help other people gives my life purpose. I love helping people build their strength. Honestly, it helps build mine too!

Sharing my experience, perspective and heart through writing is just another chapter in doing what I want to do when I grow up! The fun part is realizing, regardless of age, we are all still “growing up” until the day our life on earth is done.

I like being a light in a world that sometimes can feel very dark. Whether it’s in my personal relationships, with people on my path or the ones who read my book (books?) or blog–Young or old, male or female, if someone is needing a friend in their corner to help inspire them to build themselves in ways that will add to their comfort, strength, peace and joy, I hope they find it in me…I hope they find it in the writing I share. I hope my blog brings hearts needing it to my book and I hope my book brings hearts needing it to my blog. I’m not perfect. My writing won’t be perfect. My book, blog and website won’t be perfect. But if we wait to be perfect before we begin something…we will never begin anything. Let’s grow our lives beautiful together, there is strength in numbers!

Website: www.sharoncaldwellpeddie.com

My book ‘Grow Yourself Beautiful’ is available online: Amazon, Barnes & Noble, iUniverse bookstore and Walmart

https://sharonpeddieblog.wordpress.com



Why we celebrate birthdays for a whole week in our house!

Somehow over the years, birth”day” celebrations have extended themselves in our house from a day to a whole week. As I began to realize it, I was like hey, what’s going on here… haha, but I have actually come to cherish it! I love it because it honors our family member and truly takes some time to acknowledge them as one of our blessings. After all, if we do this right, our family will be our forever friends!

I love what celebrating a birthday signifies! Besides the obvious of being the day someone is born, it’s the day someone we get to love and that loves us back was born! With busy lives, days can sometimes all run into each other. So why not spread a birthday over a week in order to really celebrate someone we love and show them what they mean to our life? How often do we have a week devoted to us for people to really see us and show us they care? Not only does it make them feel special, it makes us all reflect and take stock with that person. How are they at this age? What struggles have they faced or are they facing? What are their triumphs and joys? What are their hopes and dreams for their coming year? How have we been part of their support and how will we continue to help them grow? Can all of this really take place in a quick moment or day once a year? Of course, I think this is something I hope we try to do all year, but it gets blurry during our daily routines and hustle of life.

I’m not talking about an over indulgent week of “things” just promoting a week of really paying attention to that person we love and making sure they know how loved they are. Our family birthday week plans vary a little person to person based on what they like. They may include a family hike, movie night, homemade birthday cake or pie, favorite restaurant, home cooked meal of choice or all of the above. However, we all include our “favorite home cooked meal” night. Having someone make our favorite home cooked meal warms our heart, right? If you can have everyone sit down together at the same time and share your favorite meal, it becomes soul food!

Birthdays are so special because we really don’t know how long we have with each other. Just taking a simple life pleasure like a birth”day” celebration and extending it over week has been a fun bonding experience for our family. With 5 family members, it has brought 5 extra weeks of comfort and joy into our year, making hearts brighter and souls stronger!

This past week, we celebrated my hubby’s birthday! I’ve attached a picture of his homemade birthday meal request–and the Tyler Florence recipe I used. It was Smothered Pork Chops, rustic mashed red potatoes, homemade applesauce and sautéed spinach. It was very comforting, pretty easy and so tasty if you want to give it a try! https://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/tyler-florence/smothered-pork-chops-recipe-1941069

“New Year, New Me!!”…Oh Hell No!!

Photo by Murilo Folgosi on Pexels.com


“New Year, New Me!!” How many times have we heard that since January 1st? While I understand what people mean, it’s just not for me! Personally, I don’t think it’s a healthy message to send to ourselves. It also feels like a tremendous amount of pressure right out of the gate! To me, telling ourself we need to be a “new me” feels the same as saying, we are not “enough”. There are so many places in life that tear us down and tell us we’re not good enough, let’s be determined to not be one of those places!

I wonder if it’s healthier and more productive if instead, we hit the refresh button on our self-love each year! What if we get rid of the “New Year, New Me” message and replace it with a “New Year, New Love” mindset? Each year, we learn so much about ourselves and gain so many valuable life lessons. Why on earth would we not bring that wise person into our new year? Let’s just throw more love at last year’s “me”!

We are all works in progress and the “New Year, New Love” mindset allows us to celebrate where we’ve been, how far we’ve come and where we want to go. The fuel needed to get where we want and need to go is self-love. My way to define self-love, is it’s that kind, loving and supportive conversation with yourself backed up by the choices you make throughout the day. It’s what you think to yourself, say to yourself and do for yourself. A new year is a great time to hit the refresh button on that love and remind ourselves that is our fuel!

Rather than the pressure to be new and perfect, let’s just take small steps each and every day toward a loving, healthy, productive life. Let’s remind ourselves we’re worthy and we’re enough. Self-love fuel will help us spread more love and attract more love. It will help us develop a healthier lifestyle. It will give us the strength to walk away from people and situations that don’t line up with our health, peace and joy. It will ignite dreams in your heart and make them a reality. I’ve worked too hard on the old me to ask for a new me…how about you?

So Happy New Year…Happy New Love!