Skip the New Years Resolutions, Here’s to Something Better!

 

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Happy New Year! 2018 has arrived and after the champagne buzz has worn off reality begins to set in. The start to a new year can bring a sigh of regret or excitement for a clean slate, a new beginning. With the New Year comes “New Years Resolutions” that oftentimes end up being broken. So, to kick off 2018 with a renewed outlook about goal setting, I have decided to do away with New Years Resolutions and replace them with an “I Commit” List & “Positive Affirmations”.

Also, my motto for 2018 is Carpe Diem, “to seize the day”, a Latin aphorism from the Roman poet, Horace.

If we can objectively reflect on what did and did not happen for us in the past year, we can then set out with a list of positive affirmations that will set the tone for our “I Commit” List. Doing this will help diminish the chatter that can plague the mind when trying to set goals. Then once we state and write down what we commit to, the Universe will grab hold of it and help with manifestation. Remember, you still have to do your part daily with actions to help bring your goals to fruition. This process can be fun!

Here are several of my positive affirmations that I have written down and will recite daily for 2018:

  • I am the architect of my life, I build the foundation and choose what it will look like.
  • I am superior to negative thoughts and low actions.
  • My ability to conquer challenge is limitless. I have infinite potential to succeed.
  • I am guided by Spirit every step of the way and will learn what is necessary for my growth.
  • My efforts are supported by the Universe. My dreams manifest into reality before my own eyes.
  • My obstacles are moving out of the way, my path is carved toward greatness.
  • My fears of tomorrow are melting away.
  • I am a powerhouse; I am indestructible.

Following my positive affirmations I wrote down what I commit to for 2018:

  • This year I commit to creating my new financial blueprint.
  • I commit to writing down my tasks daily and tracking my progress towards my goals.
  • I commit to establishing new, productive habits that will help me reach my goals.
  • I commit to educating myself about investing and then taking the necessary actions to invest.
  • I commit to proving to myself I will expand my brand, manage it well, and continue to create growth.

I have my affirmations & “I Commit” list written down in a journal. This is one part of my daily tracking. The other is my Day Planner Journal. The journal gives me my creative freedom to write, dream, and enjoy documenting what I am creating, while the Day Planner is my tracking device. It allows me to see what I am accomplishing daily and is the roadmap toward the bigger picture.

gratitude

Another way to stay on course daily and be more productive is by writing down a few things you are grateful for every morning and every evening. I write both in my Day Planner and I am finding that it helps my day start and end with a grateful heart. I prefer to write things down instead of using an app because I believe there is a deeper connection to your goals when you are connected with hand/to pencil/to paper. (Have you ever read the book “Write It Down, Make It Happen” by Henriette Anne Klauser? One of my all time favs.) I am also an artist so I really bond with pencil & paper. Do what works for you, the most important thing is that you are documenting and tracking, and having fun with it.

Finally: There are so many tools available on the internet that will help you learn how to begin setting goals. Purchase a journal to write down your “Big Picture”, write in it daily. Purchase a day planner to track and document your progress. Here’s to a New Year brimming with possibilities and potential, now get going on making 2018 a year of growth and prosperity!

  • Best Self Co: offers one of the best day planners out there.
  • Day Designer by Blue Sky: available at Staples. Similar to Best Self’s product.
  • Moleskine journals: found at T.J Maxx, great for writing down your goals & dreams.

I commit to...

“The true test of greatness is most often measured in times of great challenge”.

– a quote from my Father

Go out and be a force this year!

New Years blessings,

Diane Rogers, written 01/01/18

 

 

 

 

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Holiday Blessings

As 2017 comes to a close, I want to reflect on the many blessings that have been bestowed upon me this past year. Here it is just two days from New Year’s Eve and I find myself wondering, where did the time go? I guess thinking this doesn’t really serve me. What matters is what I do with today. Today I am here, I am able to live another day and cherish all that God presents to me in this day.

Christmas looked different this year. I have been so preoccupied with re-branding my business that Christmas was not a priority. Also, my 19-year-old went to spend Christmas with his aunt & uncle, which was weird for me as a mother, but good for him as a young adult flying on his own and making his own choices.

Christmas morning came and I was feeling a bit tired and in a state of “I need a jump-start” really bad. My friend had emailed me info on a YouTube short film titled “The Shepherd” A Story of the First Christmas courtesy of Vidangel Studios. My husband and I decided what a great choice for Christmas Day. It not only moved me but at the same time gave me that boost I was longing for. The rigorous work of the past few months had pretty much depleted my drive & positive attitude. The film helped me re-focus and take stock in what really matters. It gave me the meaning I had been longing for throughout the season of “The Three CCC’s”, (Commercialized Christmas Crap.)

I am committing this weekend to reflection on the wonderful things that have blessed my path this past year. Instead of looking back and feeling as if the year got away and I didn’t accomplish all of what I set out to do, I am choosing to reflect on the things I did accomplish as well as the things that I did learn. I will be thankful for a God who makes me want to be a better me and embrace the struggle that comes with it. Struggle is good, it births change, growth, and renewal.

I will be goal setting and in a totally new way that excites me. I commit to move forward in the New Year with a renewed outlook on all the opportunities that can be obtained, all of the blessings that will be discovered, and all of the blessings I can give to others. I commit to love more, to surrender more, and be present more. Here’s to the close of another year filled with life, and to the birth of a new year full of possibility.

May you have a blessed & prosperous 2018,

Lovin’ Life,

Diane Rogers

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open book…

It is daunting to desire a shift in your life when you experience the forces working against you and your cause, your purpose. But I find peace in God’s promise as I push through in faith and emerge past the difficulties victoriously. I owe my gratitude to my Savior. He is a constant beacon beaming out in front, guiding me down the winding, rugged road of opportunity. As I plow forward in faith, I push past the obstacles. I continue onward toward the light, trusting His word, believing in purpose, determined to leave a mark.  – Diane Rogers

And you will seek Me and find Me, when you search for Me with all your heart.

-Jeremiah 29:13

Lord, you are my God: I will exalt you and praise your name, for in perfect faithfulness you have done wonderful things, things planned long ago.

– Isaiah 25:1

Comfort & Joy: Pillow Talk!

Holiday cheer is in the air and what better time to talk about pillows because they can offer comfort & joy for the Christmas season and beyond!  😊

Those close to me know how much I love pillows. I enjoy a cozy pillow when I cuddle up in a chair to read a book and I have accumulated dozens thanks to the staging part of my business. I am like a kid in a candy store when I approach the pillow section in T.J. Maxx. In others words I have a serious pillow fetish! As a designer, I cannot tell you how many homes I have been in that were seriously lacking in the “pillow department” of the living areas and bedrooms.

So, if any of you out there have guests scheduled to visit over the upcoming holidays I suggest you seriously consider your home pillow situation. Here are my “10 Steps to Create Comfort & Joy” with pillows!

 10 Steps to Create “Comfort & Joy” with a Pleasing Pillow Plan for the

Holidays & Beyond:

 5 Steps to spruce up your home with pillows = Comfort & Joy

5 Steps to prep the guest room for your guests = Comfort & Joy

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5 Steps to Spruce Up Your Home with Pillows:

  • Get rid of the sofa/chair pillows that came with the furniture (unless you purchased a high sofa with high end pillows). They are boring, usually the same fabric, lack in style, and aren’t usually great for comfort.
  • Choose accent pillows filled with down/feathers if possible. They offer more comfort and can easily be given the “fluff & chop” fix quickly to give the “model home” look!
  • Select 2 colors to coordinate with your room palette and consider textures for added interest. Your sofa or chair will transform into a show stopping piece of furniture.
  • Splurge a little! Pillows are reasonable at Marshalls, T.J. Maxx, and Kirkland’s (Kirkland’s offers coupons if you sign up on their email list!) so you can easily stock up on more pillows for a reasonable cost.
  • Buy bedroom accent pillows too. Please add them to your beds! Group in 2s & 3s. Large Square Shams mixed with smaller pillows create that nice hotel atmosphere. This is your bed, make it look inviting after a long hard work day. Pamper yourself with pillows!!!hancock house 2

5 Steps to Prep the Guest Room for Visitors = Comfort & Joy

  • Purchase new bed pillows & sheets if they have seen better days. Both are reasonable at the same stores mentioned earlier. If you are in a cold weather climate, consider flannel sheets for a cozy, warm experience that your guest will thank you for.
  • Offer options for your guest. Have back up pillows in the closet. I use 3 pillows for sleeping so please have more than one pillow available per guest and two types of comfort, firmer & softer. 😊
  • Add an extra coverlet or blanket folded nicely at the foot of the bed. This offers guests a quick, extra layer if needed. Guests may not want to impose by asking for more bedding and if it is in the middle of the night you don’t want your guest having to get up in search of an extra blanket!
  • Select books & magazines visitors would enjoy in the room. I like to have nice magazines and a few books in a basket or on the dresser for my guests to enjoy. It makes the experience more “home like”.
  • Place a few fine chocolates on the bed or night stand. This shows that you have prepared for your visitors and it will make them feel very welcome, especially if their travel was tiring or stressful.

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books

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Bonus Check list for your guest room

  • night light
  • coasters
  • tissue box
  • waste basket
  • bottled water
  • extra throw
  • available hanging space/hangers in the closet
  • bath towels wrapped in ribbon placed on the bed

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Happy Pillow hunting! By Diane Rogers

 

Silent No More

In light of yet another high power figure falling from grace again, I cannot be silent any longer. I want this platform to be positive but with the current events that continue to unfold in work places across the world, I have to speak out regarding this negative; my intention is to speak light into someone’s darkness if they are facing an undesirable situation so that they are not robbed of a bright and productive future.

When I graduated from design school in Los Angeles I was a young 26-year-old ready to tackle the world. I excelled in school and had a great deal of talent just waiting to be molded and shaped into a fabulous career. Unfortunately, several experiences corroded my path along the way and possibly changed my course. Here is part of my story:

I remember getting an offer for an interview with an architectural firm.  I was so excited because I truly desired to further my education if possible and become an architect. I loved drafting and I was gifted at drawing renderings. As a young girl I would draw out  floor plans of dream homes on paper, not really aware at the time, this could become a career.

When I met with the architect who ran the firm he appeared nice and professional at first, then things took a turn for the worse. He interviewed me, and at the very end stated that I had the qualifications for the position, but he didn’t think he could hire me because he wanted to date me. His advances were stifling to me a young, naïve girl wanting to excel in the work place. I politely declined his advances and left. He later would continue to call me and try to convince me that a relationship, not a job, was a good idea.

I also worked for a high-powered entertainment law firm in Santa Monica. I was making decent money while trying to find the right fit for my design career. I was harassed by my boss. I always dressed nicely and professional, but things turned south one day when snide comments were made. I became very self-conscious and uncomfortable in the work place. I recall getting on the elevator one day and crying uncontrollably as I left work for that day. I went to the top lawyer who ran the firm to file a complaint. I was given many excuses for my boss’ behavior and then presented with a 3 month severance package and fired. I did not understand what had happened but I remember feeling so powerless and inferior and truly devastated. How could I even think of fighting such a big firm. I never realized how much these past experiences shaped the course of my life until recently.

The two incidents I share with you are only a fraction of what I have faced over the years in the work place. Because of this I had adopted the philosophy that I had no power, no right to say, “No, this is unacceptable”.

you are fearfully & wonderfully made

Today I have such a strong belief in God that I no longer buy into this bull. I can hold my head up high and say, “I am fearfully and wonderfully made”. I am my own boss now. I speak to any of you out there who feel threatened in your work place. If you have endured unacceptable advances or situations, hold strong to who you are and do not let others rob you of your talents, gifts, and the right to excel in a safe and healthy work environment. If an incident arises, do not be silenced. This behavior must change for future generations. We must evolve as a culture that is respectful of all others. This climate of “turning the other way with a blind eye” when many know that these situations have been occurring must end. We must pave the way and offer protection and nurturing for the generations to come. Be bold, be brazen, and be who God made you to be. You are bigger than the obstacle.

Diane Rogers

 

VJB Cellars Kenwood, California

VJB Cellars 60 Shaw Ave. Kenwood, CA 95452

All the elements of an Italian village; The piazza, food, wine, and family. I had researched quite a bit before our trip to Sonoma, mainly because I was so excited but also knowing our trip would not be an entire week, planning was vital for a memorable experience!

Under the travel category of my bucket list, a trip to Italy holds top billing. Experiencing Italy as if I were living there in a small village speaks to my soul, so when I discovered VJB cellars through my Sonoma trip research I knew this was a contender on my list of wineries to visit.

Created in 2012 by Henry Belmonte, his vision was to replicate a small Italian village and offer a friendly environment for the whole family so visitors would leave with a cherished memory… and of course drink some amazing Italian wines! As a child he recalls visiting a winery with his parents that welcomed the entire family so that experience became the inspiration  for VJB Cellars.

I have to say, my experience was not only memorable but educational. My knowledge of Italian wines is very limited so this wine tasting became a very informative pleasure!

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After enjoying a wonderful lunch with our guys on the piazza we ventured into VJB’s tasting room. We were greeted by Matt, a tall, dark and handsome wine educator. For $15 we sampled 5 Italian wines and a few not listed.

As Matt presented us with our tasting list, we were instructed to take notes while we sipped and listened to the story of each wine. I now have a great fondness for Italian wines, half of which I cannot pronounce! Another added bonus, VJB Cellars has compiled a list of their wines with tasting notes and food pairing suggestions, a map of Italy displaying the appellations of the wines, and a chef’s recipe for visitors to take home.

NOTE: VJB’s limited produced wine varietals are sold exclusively through the winery and they offer a wonderful wine membership, Club Enoteca. Details can be found on their website. http://www.vjbcellars.com

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This Rosso Family Blend was one of my favorite from our tasting experience. I brought home a few bottles!

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 My partner in crime, me Sweet Sis & I enjoying VJB’s piazza.imagejpeg_4 - CopyThis winery holds a very special memory in my mind so on my next trip out to the Sonoma region I will be sure to stop back in for a visit! If you want to experience a little slice of Italy while in California wine country add VJB Cellars to your trip, it will not disappoint. Ask for Matt!

Diane Rogers

 

 

Thanksgiving: Finding Gratitude

The holidays are upon us. And as usual they seem to all of a sudden throw us into a bit of a panic once the candy hangover from Halloween dissipates. Sometimes I think it can become an “Ugh.” feeling instead of a “I’m in the holiday spirit!” one. Partly, I believe this panic and unsettling sentiment manifests from the way that Christmas is stuffed down our throats the day before Halloween.

I recently experienced a dissatisfied mood that overcame me while I was out shopping for Fall candy sprinkles for my leaf cookies I make every year. It was the day after Halloween and I was on a mission to purchase my festive sprinkles. The past 2 years they have been hard to come by and this year ended up being the worst (had I looked at my crystal ball I would have stocked up on the darn things!) I hit every grocery store, Target, Michaels, Hobby Lobby, etc… It used to be I could get these tiny little leaf sprinkles anywhere. Not the case anymore. It seems that Halloween and funky neon sprinkles of every shape and size have taken over the Fall sprinkle slot on the store shelves. While on this futile mission I was inundated with Christmas and it was giving me anxiety, a bah humbug attitude. Anyone who knows me, knows I love Christmas. I love to decorate, bake, throw dinner parties, watch cheesy Hallmark movies. But for some reason this year I was feeling a bit like Scrooge on steroids. BAH HUMMMM BUGGG!

What came to my attention is that Thanksgiving is being sandwiched so tightly in between Halloween & Christmas and pretty much is taking a back seat to the orange, black & purple “Day of the Dead” and retailers want you shopping for Christmas while out buying Halloween candy. I have nothing against Halloween, I loved decorating the yard when my son was young, creating his costumes every year, trick or treating, and handing out candy to all the adorable little ghosts & goblins, but I am disheartened that Thanksgiving is ending up on the clearance shelves at the beginning of November. So, with my mind trying to regroup and put the focus on Thanksgiving before Christmas, I Googled the word thanksgiving:

  1. the expression of gratitude, especially to God.
  2. (in North America) an annual national holiday marked by religious observances and a traditional meal including turkey. The holiday commemorates a harvest festival celebrated by the Pilgrims in 1621….

Gratitude, being grateful I thought. Harvest, reaping and celebrating. Giving thanks, Thanksgiving….O.K, now that I remember what this holiday is all about I want to focus on what it means to me. A day to rest, to reflect and remember all that I am thankful for. I know the holidays can be tough for so many, so I want to place positive energy out into the Universe; I ask God to lay His blessings & comfort on all those who are hurting. I want to enjoy pumpkin muffins, lattes and whatever they can make out of pumpkin because I love pumpkin. I want to bake apple pie and watch football. I want to go for hikes in the crisp Fall air and enjoy the burnt umber colors of the setting sun. I want to give to others in any way I can daily, may it be a warm smile to a stranger or holding the door open for someone when I am in a rush or blessing that person that just cut me off on the road (instead of gesturing at them, I think you know what I mean.)

We can spread blessings in so many ways and these small, daily deeds feed the Universe with positive energy and it will feed our souls too. We can find peace in the chaotic. We can find gratitude in the giving. We can find reflection in the frantic if we slow down and give thought to what we are thankful for. So many others this year will be struggling with finding blessings after all of the tragic things that have unfolded recently. So I ask you all to stop and really think about what you are thankful for and while doing so send out thoughts & prayers to the Universe over all of those who need blessing. Be part of the collective Universe for blessing others. May you have a wonderful Thanksgiving while giving and being thankful… My cup runneth over.      Diane Rogers

collective

  1. done by people acting as a group.
  2. a cooperative enterprise.