I love New Orleans – Textures

We’ve been hanging around the French Quarter lately. The weather has been too perfect to be indoors. Here are a few pictures of the beautiful New Orleans.

new orleans texture

I spotted these beautiful doors while walking the streets. I love the texture and the worn look. You’ll find that all over the French Quarter.

new orleans coffee gumbo pot

We didn’t get any gumbo, but we enjoyed some jambalaya and white beans with catfish. YUM!

new orleans bright homes

I love the balconies and the bright homes and doorways of New Orleans. I guess I was born in the right place. Creativity lights up my soul and New Orleans is the home of so much beauty and art!

New Orleans Colorful Doors

Can I please have a home entrance as lovely as this? I love New Orleans style homes, with old shutters and beautiful windows! So much personality!

new orleans statue
You can find statutes like these all over the French Quarter. This one was behind some buildings in an ally way. Beautiful.

new orleans bright doors

Near the end of the day we spotted this colorful building with the bright orange and blues.  I have 100x more picture of my lovely New Orleans. It’s hard to keep your finger off the shutter button.

Aspiring Keyboardists

aspiring keyboardistsWe have 2 aspiring keyboardists in the house! We found an old keyboard in Brad’s closet at his mother’s home during the holidays. And I surprised Brad with a nice keyboard for his birthday. So, it seems father and son will have another hobby to enjoy together.

Teaching your Toddler the Power of Stillness

Father and Son Meditate“When you teach your son, you teach your son’s son.” – The Talmud

I captured this photo of Brad and Lincoln having a sweet moment together… as father teaches son the value of stillness. Meditation has recently taken a place of value in Brad’s life and he took a brief moment to see if Lincoln could focus and benefit from a few seconds of stillness together. Lincoln followed along as his father instructed him how to sit cross-legged with his hands together in his lap, quietly breathing in-and-out. Its amazing what a 2-year-old is capable of. He sat and observed and imitated, and there was silence (and cute smiles) and conscience breathing (for a few seconds!). I was so proud of them both.

5 Things Every Woman Should Know about Feeling Sexy

Women deserve to feel sexy. Here are a few things to keep in mind about feeling sexy as you are, and a few tips on how to own it!

Women deserve to feel sexy. We are beautiful, lovely, and sensual creatures. Sometimes we just need the little reminders and confidence boosts to remember that we have incredibly powerful feminine energy ingrained in us. WE ARE SEXY.. Like, all the time… Here are a few things to keep in mind about feeling sexy as you are, and a few tips on how to own it!

Embrace Femininity

“Tis Woman that seduces all mankind.” – John Gay

Many many centuries past, long before Photoshop and supermodels were the norm, men (and women!) have found women incredibly appealing. Femininity IS alluring and Women ARE attractive. Period.  You don’t have to look like Heidi Klum to wield the natural power of attraction. Being that you are a woman, you’ve naturally developed a beautiful softness and sensuality about you; something deep within that is absolutely sexy and purely feminine in essence. The hard part is learning to embrace it and allowing it to shine. To be a woman is to be blessed with the desire to decorate and adorn ourselves with lovely, sweet, and sparkly things. To pamper ourselves and lavish in our delights is part of the gift that belongs to us as women. In a world where women are more independent and career oriented (both of which are masculine traits), its easy to forget to embrace our feminine side. We need to be more consciously aware, and remember that sexy is part of our natural selves. Forget about any qualms you may have about being a sexy lady, and allow yourself to enjoy being romantic and girly. Wear a nice natural fragrant scent, something like neroli and ylang-ylang are feminine and divine! Wiggle those hips as you place one foot in front of the other. You have a natural sway, so go with it. Let your curves do their thing! Its intoxicating! Being a woman is absolutely a gift and something to embrace and have fun with!

*Try This: Learn how to instantly make your bum go from sort of cute to WOWZA in one second!! Ever notice how those models in the lingerie catalogs always have a nice curvy tush? And no matter how many times you purchase the same underwear, you just never seem to achieve the same (or even close to the same!) look? It’s not just because only models can pull off sexy panties. It’s as simple as learning how to wear them properly. Next time you want to look extra hot in your panties go ahead and give yourself a little tug and create a wedgie. Seriously! Try it in front of the mirror and see the difference. Instant sexier curvy booty! Make it even better –> throw out those old stretched out undies you’ve been holding onto for years and invest in a panty collection you’d be proud of. Buy something beautiful and new that you’d love to be caught in, even if no one’s looking. They don’t have to cost a fortune either! You can find sexy panty sales all over the place!

Women deserve to feel sexy. Here are a few things to keep in mind about feeling sexy as you are, and a few tips on how to own it!

Play Up Your Best Features

As a women in the modern-day world, its easy to feel as though some of our physical attributes aren’t quite up to par. Constantly being bombarded with magazines and advertisements that display women that have been Photoshopped out the wazoo, is never encouraging. Its hard not to compare, but lets not get wrapped up in all of the hoopla. If you focus on what you love about your body and keep the negative self speak to a minimum, you can learn to appreciate what you have and feel good about showing it off. We all have some great physical attributes. It’s all about staying positive and shining a little light on what we love most about ourselves. You don’t have to wear anything too short or too tight to look and feel sexy. Wearing pieces of clothing that highlight what you’re most proud of can be as easy as finding the proper size or a choosing a flattering color. If you love your butt, show them off in some sexy snug jeans. If you’ve worked hard at the gym for some killer legs, throw on a sexy skirt with a nice slit and some heels and rock them! Have some full beautiful lips? Play them up with a punch of color and some shiny gloss! Are you always getting complimented on your wild curly hair? Embrace it!! Wear it down proudly! Taking a little extra time to make yourself look your best on the outside, can have a huge impact on how you feel on the inside.

*Try this: Wear Red Lipstick. Throw it on tomorrow morning and rock it while hanging around the house. Even if no one will see it other than you, your kids or your dog. Wake up in the morning, give your hair a tussle and swipe on some bright red lipstick. Red lips have a way of producing major confidence boosts. For the rest of the day, you’ll feel sexy every time you pass a mirror and see that gorgeous pout smiling back at you. For those of us who aren’t always feeling bold, wearing your sexy red lips around the house is a sweet little baby step in the right direction. And before you know it, you’ll be wearing red lips with the confidence of a burlesque dancer! Here are a few you can try. Bite – Zinfandel is a great non-toxic red lip color! MAC – Ruby Woo (bright red) and NARS – Heat Wave (orangey-red) are super popular red lipsticks.

Enjoy Yourself!

“Life is a verb.” –Charlotte Perkins Gilmore

That is so true! So be sure you are actually making an effort to love living the life you’ve created!! Be happy! Do things you love! Surround your self with people, places, and things that bring you joy! Because a genuine smile is your absolute best beauty secret. Both men and women are attracted to someone who can let loose and genuinely enjoy themselves; those people who give themselves permission to have a good time.  We all know that one super friendly person who seems to always have this natural joyful way about them, and who constantly seem to be surrounded by a small flock of groupies who want their attention. This is because people are naturally attracted to others who find great joy in their day-to-day. You’re life doesn’t have to be exciting and fancy and happy all the time. You just have to learn how to appreciate where you are, and find joy and beauty in simplicity.  Happiness is contagious and people flock towards it! A woman who has a positive and uplifting attitude is hard to resist. It’s like a fly to a bug zapper, its hard to stay away from the bright light! ::SHINE!:: Be playful! Have fun! Laugh! Flirt! Tease! Radiate joy and flash those sparkly eyes and gorgeous smile! Any hey! If you begin to feel like you’ve attracted too many happy little groupies, you can always invent the human sized fly swatter and make yourself millions! ::Hehe!::

*Try This: Find something fun to do, like hula hooping, dancing around your living room, jumping on a mini-trampoline, or swinging with the children at the park! Don’t be afraid to look silly. Let loose! And go with it! I promise, the people who stare won’t be thinking “Oh, look how ridiculous that woman is!” They will be thinking, “Oh, I wish I had the courage to have as much fun as she is!” Go for it! Have fun! Shake your hair out!! PLAY! Its ok!  It’ll keep you youthful and ignite that natural sparkly glow!

Women deserve to feel sexy. Here are a few things to keep in mind about feeling sexy as you are, and a few tips on how to own it!

It’s All About the Attitude

“You don’t have to be born beautiful to be wildly attractive.” Diana Vreeland

Men love women who love themselves! Seriously! Love yourself first, and the rest will follow. You are unique and special. One of a kind. If you feel that way about yourself, others will see you that way. Haven’t you heard?!  Cleopatra, one of the most well-known great seductresses of all time, is said to have been hook-nosed and seriously lacking in the beauty department. But she sure as heck knew how to enchant the socks off of the most powerful men of her time. Confidence is sexy! Its even more important than your physical appearance. Your attitude towards yourself is the most important part of your sexual appeal. A woman who finds her body sexy and walks around feeling beautiful is very desirable. Feeling confident doesn’t come natural to most of us, but the good new is, you can fake it until you feel it! Hold your head up, roll your shoulders back, and smile. The more you fake it, the more you make it your reality. It takes practice feeling comfortable in your skin. So practice, practice, practice! Walk around your house in something sexy (or naked!) and focus on being grateful for what you have. Your body is beautiful and powerful and you need to learn to appreciate it.  Admire your body from all angles. Focus on how you look, feel and move in your own skin. Confidence is by far the sexiest thing any woman can wear. Own it!

Do it for You – Not Him

“Thou, goddess, thou alone rul’st over everything.” -Lucretius

You alone, are the most important person in you life, and you deserve every ounce of respect and positive attention that you permit. Start focusing on the fact that you are worthy of the positivity and admiration in your life, and you will be. When you stop thinking about how to dress, look, and act sexier for someone else, and instead focus on what you personally enjoy and feel good about – things that you love and feel beautiful, sexy and comfortable in – that’s when you start to ooze real sex appeal.  You look like a natural because you’ve taken the pressure off of yourself. Enjoy being exactly who you are right now, in this moment. What do YOU love? What makes YOU feel sexy? Your sex appeal will come off as natural and effortless once you release the pressure of trying to be someone else’s perfect. Be your own version of perfect. Its easy. You’ve already mastered being you. Accept that part of your perfect self is your sexy self. It shouldn’t be hard once you realize sexy is ingrained in you. You were just born that way. You totally are worthy of your own love and affection so be sure to treat yourself like you deserve it!

*Try this: Go out and find something that you’d just absolutely love, and buy it! for your pleasure alone and no one else’s. Think a satin robe for when you get out the bath or drink your morning tea. Or a soft silky teddy to wear as you snuggle up with a book before bed at night. Don’t think about whether or not your man will think you are desirable in it. Get it just for you.  Something that you will enjoy and feel good in, without the pressure of “will my partner like this or not?” Do it for you, and only you. When you believe you are sexy and allow yourself to feel that way, whether someone is looking or not, that’s when you really own being irresistible.

So there you have it! Scribble these 5 tips down and keep them close by as a reminder that you are sexy, its total natural, and absolutely ok to feel that way!! Here’s to a life full of discovering the beauty in something that you already possess!

What are some of the things that you do to help you embrace the wild sexy side of being you? I’d love to hear what you ladies have to say!

Women deserve to feel sexy. Here are a few things to keep in mind about feeling sexy as you are, and a few tips on how to own it!

 

Pretty Feathers

pretty chicken feathersWouldn’t it be nice if you could put your hair clippings into a bowl and have a display as lovely as this one? My chickens have such beautiful feathers, don’t you think? ::LOVE::

Workout Gear Wish List 2015

workout gear!

Here are a few Workout Gear items I’m loving at the moment!

1, 2, 3     <—— Links

1. How perfect is this tank? Great message! And I love the color. Nice and feminine. I’m having a hard time picking out which tank to get, this etsy seller has a bunch of really cute and inspiring designs! Check her out!
2. This hoodie is a great reminder to be grateful each day. I love the design on the back too! This shop kicks major butt. Lots of unique clothing there. I think I’d love to own everything they offer.
3. Thes yoga pants are so cute! Love the look and feel. And I bet they are super comfy! And how about that yoga pose!? Makes me want to get on my mat!

Are there any workout favs you’ve been eying this season?!

Chickens and Toddlers

lincoln loves his chickens2

Lincoln loves his Chick-Chicks! And they seem to enjoy him as well. He IS the official bringer-of-chick-treats! hehe!

Yesterday Brad and I gathered the courage to finally clip their wings allowing them more freedom to roam the yard. I don’t know what all the fuss was about, it really was as easy and painless as a haircut. :) I’m so glad we have access to resources like YoutTube. My girls would have been cooped up for a while if I hadn’t found simple instructions online. But this particular video gave me the courage to go ahead and clip away.

5+ reasons why you want to begin journaling this year and some ideas to help you start now

journaling for health
I’ve always been a writer…

Maybe not the Best Writer, but a writer through and through. Since I was a young child, you could often find me huddled up in a cozy corner, scribbling out the days insights and happenings, recording my moments of happiness and sadness, wishes for the future, or feelings of inadequacy. I’d lovingly tuck away my hand-decorated notebook in a space just for me. There was no judgement. Journaling was my secret place, my hide out, my sanctuary.

It’s funny now, recalling journaling from my elementary school years

I actually had a personal journaling ritual to wrap up each day. I’d turn on my bedroom lamp each night, pull out my flower journal and remove the lace shoestring I had tied around the cover for extra protection and secrecy. I’d pull out my favorite pen and carefully record what had happened that day, followed by name of sweet boy who deserved my attention in that moment.  Each day began a new opportunity for someone else to win my affections. I’d thoughtfully jot down each boy’s name, only to scratch through it before the end of the school day. There was always someone new. I’d carefully write in the name of the boy who was lucky enough to secretly receive my adoration for the day. I filled up page after page of scratched out names : Devin, Jacob, Christopher, Sean, Bradley… Each having their few hours of glory in the Rachel Spotlight of Love… Only to be suddenly replaced by the next boy who happened to share his pencil with me, or allow me to cut in the lunch line.

Oh, to have such sweet and simple feelings and emotions again. To love so freely and effortlessly, and feel so deeply, moment after moment, because of something so simple. A kindness. A sweet gesture. A thoughtless response. All deserving of my puppy-love and admiration in that moment.

I’m proud to say I’ve since graduated to a much deeper appreciation for my personal relationships. Heh! But I’m grateful for the reminders, smiles and laughter those journals bring to me now. Reminding me of those forgotten childhood years. The magic and the innocence. The five minutes it took to scribble out my feelings each night were worth the joy I receive from my own words and thoughts now.  And I’m sure they will bring much joy and laughter to my children and grandchildren as the years pass.

Consider Journaling

You don’t have to keep notebooks full of scratched out crushes (unless you want to have a nice laugh or two later down the line!) or anything requiring much thought, for that matter. But you should consider getting a journal. If only for releasing some extra mental clutter. You don’t need anything fancy. Just a simple notebook and a pen will do. And start recording your own account of your life; jotting down feelings and happenings and unique ideas. The practice will be worth the effort and the rewards will be fulfilling.

Here are 5 reasons why you should begin journaling now:

1. Help Organize your Thoughts

–  Visually seeing your plans and intentions written down helps you to organize and facilitate new ideas more easily. An organized life makes for less time wasted and more time for action. Sometimes you don’t understand a thought until you’ve written it out and had a new perspective to process from.

2. Better Understand your Emotions

– Writing out your thoughts can often help you evaluate, adjust, and direct feelings and emotions in a healthy direction. Being able to see where your mind has drifted to and how you’ve proceeded through life’s experiences helps you to see more clearly. And allows you a better opportunity to readjust, reevaluate, and redirect, if needed. Journaling is a powerful tool for personal growth. Try it! It works!

3. Provide Clarity and Focus

– Journaling out your thoughts will help you keep record of your goals, thoughts and ideas. This can be beneficial in preparation, understanding, and planning for the future. It can help you determine where your true passions lie, what’s most important to you right now, and where to place your focus and energy.

4. Increase Awareness

– Journaling helps clear mental clutter. With a refreshed mind comes clearer thought processes, new insight, better understanding, and a new sense of clarity.

5. Help yourself Heal

– Releasing past judgements, grudges and pent up negativity will help you move forward. It is a healing practice. By writing these feelings and congesting thoughts down, you release the ideas out into the world and allow yourself the freedom to let go and move on.

And here are a few more reasons why you can keep a journal:

It helps you sort through challenges.
It helps you release the troubles and tensions from the day and is a great tool for winding down.
Your journals are a place where you can share goals and dreams, and your plans for the future.
You can express yourself freely without fear of judgment.
You can always discover new perspectives.
You can enjoy creating “to-do” lists and checking off “have-done” lists.
You can use Pros & Cons lists to help you make decisions.
It allows yourself to record the small things in life that you’re likely to forget.
It helps with organization and making sense of the day-to-day occurrences.
It helps develop insight and  intuition. You can look back and find that a feeling you had about something was spot on (or completely off!).

Here are a few ideas to help you get started:

Start with a List!

-To-Do list, Have-Done list, want to buy list, want to accomplish list, have accomplished this year list, things that make you happy, things that get you pumped, things that help you relax, things you want to complain about (and then let go of!), things you’re proud of, and things you’re grateful for

Doodle Journal!

-Stick figure doodles are a simple and fun way to express yourself and are interesting to look back on down the road. I doodle all the time, creating little stick figure scenes in my journals or on love notes. I also love to sketch out positive words or phrases, or draw out abstract color scribbles to creatively record my moods. Give it a try!! Have fun with it!

Ideas you don’t want to forget

-scribble down inspirations, quotes, craft ideas, recipes you’ve found that you want to try out, books you want to read or have read, music you’ve discovered, tidbits and snippets from websites, books or courses you’ve taken and want to keep the tips in one location, funny things your child has said or done, sweet moments between you and a loved one, advice you’ve received, or compliments you’ve been given

Written Free Flow Meditation

-Write without thinking. Put pen to paper and just write. Get everything out, let your emotions do their thing and allow it all to free flow out on the paper. The more you do this one, the more you’ll discover about yourself. You’ll find and release deep emotions and discover new plans, dreams, thoughts, goals, and feelings. Free flow writing can move in every direction on the discovery map, but its good to let your mind release that energy. Let it get messy, let it get wild and crazy, let it do whatever it wants to do. You’ll feel relieved afterwards. Maybe you’ll discover new passions, or come up with a new plan or path. Maybe you’ll write about the mystery of blue whales, or the first time you had French toast. Who knows?! But you will definitely feel more connected to yourself. And that’s always a good thing in my book.

Record and Treasure Your Personal Story

I’ve kept just about every journal I’ve ever written in. I have boxes full of notebooks, journals, and loose-leaf filled folders. I have journals from my childhood, along with from my adolescence and those irrational teenage years, then through college and as I discovered my independence, through heartache and passion, and finally through motherhood. The range of emotions and interests are as wide as the ocean is deep.

And I’m glad I have these memories. I’m grateful for the reminder that I’ve lived. I’ve felt. And my life has been full of living.  It hasn’t all been exciting, and I most likely won’t win any  “Lifetime of the Decade” awards or anything like that. But I value these accounts of my life, all the same. The good and the bad are all tucked away in a box, safely, and lovingly, stored away… for those moments I feel like stepping back in time, and seeing how far I’ve actually come. I treasure these personal recordings of my experiences. They are raw, and real, and beautiful.

*Record the story of your life! If you don’t journal already, grab a notebook and pen, and start now! If you already do, great! How about encouraging someone you know to start the habit?  What a great way to start off the New Year!

Self Portrait Photo Week 2

boho sit
Its another week, and another self portrait session has come my way. I spent today practicing some creative ideas and finding new interesting locations. What better way to learn portraits then practicing on yourself, right? I have to say though, it is a bit challenging. Trying to get the camera to focus on a point before the person is even in the frame takes practice. Its been an interesting experience, but I’m learning quite a bit. Every chance I get, I try something new and am learning as I go.  This particular shoot was fun. I went to an abandoned Visitors Center in my local area. The building had been destroyed after hurricane Katrina swept through the area and the location was never restored. Such a shame, this building is really beautiful. Makes for interesting photos, at least. It has nice textures and backdrops, which I’m a huge fan of. boho stand
Trying to pose in front of the lens has been challenging, as well. I think with time I’ll become more confident and understand positioning and posing much better. I think I haven’t done half bad considering I have to run up to the the camera, push the shutter control button, and run back to the focused location, and then quickly come up with a pose before the camera snaps the picture. I have 2 seconds to accomplish this!! lol!! It’s been fun! There is an old man that is the keeper of the grounds around this park area, and I’m sure he had a nice laugh or two at my expense. Running up to the the camera and back again as fast as possible, and then striking a casual pose. heh! Its been a fun day. I’m grateful for the time alone to focus on my passions.

We Definitely Know How to Have a Little Fun!

My son Lincoln and I met up at the park with Shontel and my brother Timothy this past Sunday. Here are a few of our snap shots of us having a lot of fun at the closing of such a nice day! Yay for awesome friends and family!
Shontel and Rachel Goofing offmommy and baby love rachel timothy jump 3rach tim lincoln smile

Lets just say I definitely feel blessed when I have moments like these in my life.