Its the little things

I decided to take a break from all my duties today and just climb up in the bed, in my pajamas and listen to smooth jazz while sipping a mocha coffee. I decided to give myself the gift of relaxation.

I told my husband that I wasn’t running any errands and that my two teenage children would have to cook for themselves, mama’s resting today!

I was engrossed in a good book around 2 o’clock this afternoon when the doorbell rang. We don’t get a lot of company so I was curious as to who it could have been.

When I opened the door, I was pleasantly surprised to get a beautiful little package, that I was not expecting. It is truly the precious, little things that make this life beautiful.
!flowers from charles

Thank you husband. I love you too. Through it all. No matter what. For better or worse. Through sickness and health. When times are good and when times are bad. Thank you for the little things!
flowers from charles2

My 2013 Resolve (Small Changes)

My husband and I rearranged our bedroom last weekend. Man, what a chore!

After talking about it for several months, we both agreed to get out of bed and just do it. We found things we thought we’d lost, cleaned areas that couldn’t be reached before (like behind our heavy mirrored dresser) and vacuumed and sneezed from the dust, polished the furniture and sneezed some more. I have asthma, so my husband threw open the windows to give me some relief.

The move was a 6-7 hour process but when we finished, we both stood back and admired our hard work. Pleased, is an understatement. Enlightened, is more the word for what I felt.

In addition to rearranging the furniture, I went out and purchased a few simple things to add some color and elegance to our master suite. From a store called Ross’ I bought two metallic red lamp shades and two burgundy throw pillows to add to the black, white and silver pillows we already had. I found a beautiful black and white photo at Kirkland’s of an ocean cascading over giant rock pieces which now hangs above our bed. I got a black leather bedroom bench that sits at the foot of our bed atop a contemporary area rug and my husband stumbled upon two matching pictures of an ocean beach with hues of a bronze sunset echoing off the water and sand. Breathtaking!

Now it doesn’t take much to inspire me to write.

Relaxing in my comfortable chair, I reflected not only upon my day, but upon the year ending. 2014 is right around the corner and I’ve decided to look at my new year with a new heart and a new mind. I’m not making any resolutions, (I’ve never kept them anyway) but I have been inspired with a few new revelations from this year.

What I resolved in 2013:

Things may look good on the surface, but may have decay on the inside. This applies to humans as well.
To have an exterior of beauty is simply not enough.
Resolve in your heart to make small changes.
Small changes make big differences. Like my bedroom.
Don’t try to give up all your bad habits at once, instead, give them up one at a time, successfully.
Some things only God can do. And some people, only God can change.
I/We do not have the power to change another individual. Only ourselves!
Walk in integrity, even if you have to walk alone.
As Polonius, in Shakespeare’s Hamlet once said, “To thine own self, be true.” Be brutally honest with yourself, even if the self you see, is ugly.
Do not be afraid of change.
Choose to love, at whatever cost.
Pursue peace as a priceless gem, and when you find it, don’t let anything, including death, part you from it!
“Thou shalt have no other gods before me,” saith the Lord. I promise to never worship any thing or any one, in this lifetime or the next. ONLY GOD, will I serve!

HAPPY NEW YEAR EVERYONE! May 2014 be our best year ever!

BEFORE
bedroom1

AFTER (Small changes)
bedroom2

Book Trailer

Book trailers are HOT! I just learned how to navigate through a program that helps you design videos for your books or anything else you may want to share a visual message about. Whether it’s an online training, a webinar, a new product, or your new book, video messages are powerful.

Soooo, check out my new trailer for my book, The 2 Faces of a Preacher’s Wife.

Love,
Toni

Author’s Quote for the Day – Couples

couple in the woods

“I don’t want to be married just to be married. I can’t think of anything lonelier than spending the rest of my life with someone I can’t talk to, or worse, someone I can’t be silent with.” ― Mary Ann Shaffer

man praying

“No woman wants to be in submission to a man who isn’t in submission to God!”
― T.D. Jakes

married couples hands

“If I get married, I want to be very married.”
― Audrey Hepburn

Love,
Toni

Author’s Quotes for the Day – Love

love in big words“The first symptom of love in a young man is shyness; the first symptom in a young woman is boldness.” Victor Hugo

“Love is a promise; love is a souvenir; once given, it is never forgotten; never let it disappear.” John Lennon

“When you fish for love, bait with your heart and not with your brain.” Mark Twain

“Love recognizes no barriers. It jumps hurdles, leaps fences, and penetrates walls to arrive at its destination.” Maya Angelou

Valentine-heart.jpg

“Love looks not with the eyes, but with the mind; and therefore is winged Cupid painted blind.” Williams Shakespeare

“True love always makes a man better, no matter what woman inspires it”. Alexandre Dumas

“Love doesn’t make the world go round; love is what makes the ride worthwhile.” Elizabeth Barrett Browning

Love,
Toni

Are you building a business from scratch?

IMG_1203If your answer is yes, I tip my hat to you, I applaud you and offer you my greatest sympathy. I’m kidding, but I do understand the extreme sacrifice that goes into creating something brand new. Some people are just born with vision and the entrepreneurial spirit. They may work for others most of their lives, but are never truly satisfied because something deep inside of them screams for self-sufficiency, self-employment, and the desire to design a product or a service.

I am one of those people. I’ve been running my own business since I was about twelve or thirteen years old. My first business was sewing and designing monogram pillows and the kids at my middle school were my customers. My second project was selling home-made cookies, brownies and cupcakes and once again my classmates supported me. This was during a time when vending machines were not available to students in public schools.

Another business venture idea was an alteration service I provided. I also designed an African print wrap skirt with a matching tunic that sold like hotcakes. I could not keep up with my orders; I eventually hired a good friend to cut the fabric for me while I did all the sewing. It was fun but I had to turn away customers (and money) as I was not able to fill all the back orders.

Then several years later, I started a daycare in my home. The process was tedious with all the paperwork, licensing, coding, meeting state standards and regulations including compliance with my local fire department, applying for an EIN through the government and so on. But I loved it! It gave me the opportunity to raise my babies at home while making a decent living as a self-employed mom. I loved the children, I enjoyed teaching and the money was pretty good too.

Now here I am today, still self-employed but feeling the pressure of building this writing business. It’s hard work yall. It keeps me up late at night and I rise early to get on my computer to research, study, write and learn. It makes me pray hard too. Then there’s my family who demands time and attention. I may be self-employed but I’m still a wife and a mother who has duties around the home that cannot go neglected.

Building a business from scratch is hard work, but very rewarding if you don’t give up or cave in. You have to pace yourself and develop a schedule. I run my home just like I run my business. It works for me. I have a schedule and a to do list that I follow daily which helps me stay on track. I have learned not to put too much on my list. It is unfair to expect more of myself than I’m able to accomplish.

Self-employment requires a financial sacrifice as well. Unless you have a full-time ‘paying’ job or a spouse that works full-time, or a savings account for cushion, you must understand that you may not be rolling in the millions $$$$ initially, but good old-fashioned hard work, commitment, sacrifice, patience and trusting God will pay off!

Are you building a business from scratch, if so, what kind of business is it? Maybe we can share some ideas, tips and resources to help each other fulfill our dreams of success.

Love,
Toni

Dare to Dream! 10 Quotes to Inspire!

Happy Friday everyone! I was on Facebook this morning and saw a video posted by one of my good friends from Kansas City, thank you sis!

The video is moving, inspiring and hopefully encouraging to any and everyone who has the guts to not just have a dream but also do whatever it takes to make that dream come to pass. To all my fellow writers, bloggers, authors (to be), doctors, lawyers, business owners, mothers, fathers, dreamers. . . .

I’m willing to take the dare, are you?

INSPIRING QUOTES TO DREAM (LIVE) BY:

1. “It may be that those who do most, dream most.” – Stephen Butler Leacock

2. “Do not follow where the path may lead. Go instead where there is no path and leave a trail.” – Ralph Waldo Emerson

3. “Go confidently in the direction of your dreams. Live the life you’ve imagined.” – Henry David Thoreau

4. “The future you see is the future you get.” – Robert G Allen

5. “Between the great things we cannot do and the small things we will not do, the danger is that we shall do nothing.” – Adolph Monod

6. “When we are motivated by goals that have deep meaning, by dreams that need completion, by pure love that needs expressing, then we truly live life.” – Greg Anderson

7. “Dream lofty dreams, and as you dream, so shall you become. Your vision is the promise of what you shall one day be; your ideal is the prophecy of what you shall at last unveil.” – James Allen

8. “Follow your heart and your dreams will come true.” – Anonymous

9. “Reach high, for stars lie hidden in your soul. Dream deep, for every dream precedes the goal.” – Pamela Vaull Starr

10. “When you have a dream you’ve got to grab it and never let go.” – Carol Burnett

Love,
Toni