Monday, October 5, 2015

Be you!

Do you ever ponder why some people choose just the right mate and you keep dating people who could easily be featured in an upcoming Dateline episode? Maybe you're like me and see women flounce around in outfits out of the pages of InStyle, while you lean toward being a bit too matchy matchy and find yourself in the same black slacks twice a week.

It's human nature to compare yourself to others and often when we do that, we decide that we've come up short. We talk to ourselves like a dog in the street.

I'm guilty of this too. "Why do you keep making poor choices, Nikki? Why can't you keep exercising? Why are you procrastinating? Why aren't you a better mother, granddaughter, friend"...and the list goes on and on. I did that for all of my 30s and had let that pointless mindset enter my 40s. Then something interesting happened...

Even though folks tell you not to rely on validation from others to determine your worth, sometimes it can help you down the path of self love if you're struggling. As more and more very generous people (many times strangers) took the time to tell me that they were inspired by the NMW journey, I started to see myself through a more positive lens. I started to think, " Yes, I've made some missteps but I've done a lot right too." And you know how it is when you finally get an A, you keep wanting to get them because you know you can.

Please give yourself a break. Talk to yourself kindly. YOU are the one that is garnering comments like, "Why can't I be like HIM/HER?" You have SO many strengths and gifts that it's crazy.

Today commit to focusing on your Pros and not your Cons.

Thank you for reading,

Friday, October 2, 2015

A different American Dream....

The word "down-size" has a negative connotation. When people hear it, they think of losing one's job or having to live a lesser life. I guess I felt the same way about the word in years' past. However, my mind-set around that has changed.

I wasn't born with a silver spoon in my mouth. Yes, there was always food, shelter and even some luxuries as well but I certainly didn't grow up well off.  My dad and Granny were strong money managers and could stretch a dollar in ways you wouldn't imagine. That's what I learned, work hard and spend wisely.

About 10 years ago, I had the opportunity to build what could be considered a "dream" house. I was able to put special touches on it and make it my own. It was/is a lovely home. People would say kind things to me about it and that always made me smile, but I never really lost sight of the fact that it was just bricks and siding and with the whim of my employer, I could be led right out of that place, with a bandana tied to a stick. Big houses often times equal Big bills and after awhile, that's all it represented to me. Thanks to the lessons from my parents, I could still vacation and buy a pair of pants from time to time, but I began to feel that there were different things I wanted out of life.

I have started to truly value experiences over "things." I want to pick up and head to my new fave, St. Thomas on a whim. I want to get weekly massages (yep, I said weekly). I want to treat my friends more often. I want to travel with my children and give them new perspectives and views on life. I want to set up strong college savings for my little boys and help my daughter buy her first house in a few years. I want someone else's hands in my hair and on my nails on a VERY regular basis. I want to buy gourmet groceries and drink expensive alcohol. I want to (maybe :)) work with a personal trainer to work off the cupcakes I refuse to give up. I want to donate more. I don't want to just live, I want to THRIVE.

As we know, everything comes with a sacrifice, but sometimes the sacrifice is too large. I wear a lot of hats and I must say, I've decided that I REALLY want to play as hard as I work. Yes, life is too short and we could be gone tomorrow but in addition to that, there's just SO much to see and do and God willing, I plan to see and do it.

No one will EVER be able to take away a phenomenal memory, the affect that a certain smell will have on you, recalling the look of wonder on your child's face when they see something new. And "things" don't matter at all if you don't have good health and peace of mind.

Having snatched a bit of the traditional American Dream of a decent salary and a comfortable home, I've begun to think outside the box and am planning to enjoy more of life, with less encumbrance. I'm smiling thinking about it. :)

As always, thanks for reading.
~ Nikki

Monday, September 7, 2015

Happy "Labor" Day!

I have carried two children.  Carrying my daughter was a joy,  easy. I was in awe as my belly grew and I felt her move and stretch. I thoroughly enjoyed the process and looked so forward to seeing her little face on "Labor" day. She was clearly quite comfy where she was because no matter what we did,  she didn't want to arrive. The pregnancy had been seamless but the delivery.... not so much.  Yet, at the end of it all, my princess emerged, bright eyed and calm.

Fast forward 8 years. I was carrying my son and 10 weeks in,  I was diagnosed with high blood pressure. I had to go on medication to manage it. I was tired and achy the whole time and it was one of the hottest summers on record. I was mean and miserable. I couldn't wait to see him AND be done being pregnant. I was a little sad because I enjoyed every moment carrying my daughter and wanted to feel the same with him. But on his "labor" day, they went in and got him and here he was,  pure perfection.

What are you carrying? What do you need to give birth to?  It's easy to forget to enjoy the process because we're so focused on the end. Every step of the way is important, valuable, educational. I sometimes forget that I had to be patient along the way while "carrying" Nikki's Magic Wand. I watch Shark Tank sometimes and see that they've gone to market in mere months when it took me years. BUT, everyone's "labor" is different.

I sometimes call my daughter "27 hours" because that's how long I struggled to get her out of my body and on her own.

Remember, our journies are different.  Our experiences are different.  Our resources are different.  However, if we all do the work...the labor,  we'll get to the same place and we'll be smiling,  showing the world our new baby.

Enjoy your day.  You deserve it!

Monday, July 27, 2015


I'm stressed. Not just a little stressed either, like a whole bunch. There's a LOT going on and it involves all aspects of my life.

My first born has to complete about 100 tasks before starting college near the end of August and quite frankly, we are behind on about 75 of them. We are also preparing to move her into her first apartment this weekend and we ALL know what fun organizing a move can be. Let's not forget the new I-pad the school said she HAS to have, along with a new laptop and let's not forget that tuition bill either.

My 9 to 5 is ramping up, including having just done mid-year performance reviews, which quite honestly, could have gone better. The federal government is breathing down my neck, as are some of my co-workers.

I'm working on spreading the word about my new book, while boosting sales of Wands and Gloss, while also attempting to organize my records and documents.

Oh, I need to get my son his annual exam, sign him up again for flag football, pretty soon start to do reserach for his 10th birthday party, go for my mammogram and figure out why the dr's office is just now charging me $200 for an exam I had in January.

My house looks like a Febreze commercial and the dog smells like one big Cheeto. The laundry is piled to the ceiling and there are dishes in the sink.

I am doing my level best to stay calm, cool, collected but it's hard. My mind wanders all day and lands on all kinds of lunacy. What if I packed up one of those bandanas on a stick and just walked down my street like a hobo, off to see the world, with my strip-less debit card and my license?

I'm not usually a complainer. I handle times like this with an SVU marathon and a locked bedroom door but I want to share in case you feel the same. In case you feel that every single way you turn, someone is asking you for something, or to do something. Yes, some things are a joy to do, like hug your babies and grow your business, but some things are just a pain in the ass. I feel your pain. I know what it's like when there's too much on that to-do list.

I need a personal assistant...and a steak with a little pink...and a pear martini....and a #$%$% break.

As always, thanks for reading. You're my fave. :)

Wednesday, July 15, 2015

Keep it simple silly....

My skin started going awry long before I was a teenager. I think I was 9 years old when the first pimple showed up and they just kept on coming.  It turned into quite the emotional roller coaster when I would find what I thought was THE product to heal my skin, only to discover,  it too would fail.

I was always mesmerized by those with invisible pores and a flawless complexion. They were always so casual about it,  never understanding my awe. This perfect skin was simply what they were used to.  I continued to stare and must admit, still do  til this day. 

If I had a dollar for every treatment I've tried,  I'd be able to go back to my new love,  St. Thomas and stay a few weeks.

Twice, I did a round of Accutane which is so powerful that you had to have a pregnancy test before going on it to ensure you weren't pregnant because they flat out told you that it caused birth defects. From that first pill of Accutane,  I didn't get another breakout. It worked by drying up the oil on your skin,  which unfortunately also dried up your whole body,  including your lips and tears. Yes, sounds extreme but I was gorgeous honey and for the first time,  I could look people in the eye without makeup.  It was a wonderful feeling.

Well,  as it turns out,  the effects of the Accutane wear off, plus it was taken off the market and I began to break out again. I got it under control and accepted that this was just my lot in life.

So, I was back to trying every formulation out there.

The acne had been extremely annoying recently because I thought. "I'm 43, almost 44. When exactly am I going to stop breaking out? When the first wrinkle arrives? "

Well,  one day while in my daughter's bathroom, I noticed she had some lemon juice and baking soda on the counter.  I also noticed that her skin (yes, I passed on the acne curse) had drastically improved.  Well,  she told me she was mixing  those two to scrub her face each morning and night.  I immediately went to the store to spend about $3.00 on baking soda and lemon juice.

Well,  I'm happy to report that my skin has improved drastically.  I barely need to use any makeup at all and that's exactly where I want to be at 43 years old. 

Sometimes the simplest things are the ones that truly work.

As always,  thank you for reading.

Friday, July 3, 2015

Be you!

2015 has been a year like no other.  There have been so many new and wonderful things happening. Biz partner and I finally feel like the business is hitting a stride and our creative juices are really rolling. You know how it is when you get that first A in a hard class?  You now know that you can do it so you're determined to keep that going.  We've had some phenomenal wins so far this year and as the corporate folk say, we need to "leverage" that experience to facilitate more successes.
So we've been talking a lot about next steps and they are exciting!
Personally,  my first born is now a high school graduate and about to embark on a whole new journey.  She is maturing and ready to take the next step in life.  My grandson has two little pieces of rice (teeth) emerging too. Life is moving and growing and changing. All of this activity is exciting but can also be exhausting. If you don't stop sometimes and recharge you will surely burn out and fail to be productive to anyone.

At this very moment,  I am lying in a bed, in a beautiful suite, listening to the ocean and feeling the breeze. The fan is circulating that ocean air and all is well.  There are no thoughts of tasks or obligations. My entire job while on vacay is to rest, rejuvenate, and relax.  I'm enjoying my Philly family and feeling their unconditional love.  This experience will be what I think about if someone tells me to go to a happy place in my mind. 

The message of this blog entry is simple.  If you're going to give OF yourself to everyone, all day long,  then you had better be sure to give TO yourself too. This trip was a gift to ME because I'm learning everyday to be kinder to myself.
Please be kinder to yourself.

As always,  thanks for reading.

Wednesday, June 17, 2015

Go Soar!

What did you want to be when you grew up?  Does it match what you turned out to be? I wanted to be a 5th grade teacher when I was younger but then I made the surprising discovery that I wasn't too keen on spending the entire day with children that I didn't actually give birth to. So...the teacher thing went no further than that.

So I decided that I'd be a business chick. I knew I didn't want to be a doctor or lawyer so business it was and off I went to major in business in college.

Here's what was NEVER on my list :
1. Entrepreneur
2. Author

I never really knew any business owners growing up.  My family was made up of hardworking 9 to 5'ers. That was my example. was what we did.  Imagine my surprise when an annoyance turned into an actual company with a logo and checking account.

This year,  I'll add "Author" to the list of things which define me and that has come as a surprise too.

The honest truth is this: while none of these things were planned,  they have enriched my life in ways I couldn't imagine. 

Are you following a prepared plan or allowing life to guide you?

Take a chance, step outside of your comfort zone. I promise,  you will discover gifts and talents you had no idea you possessed.

Go soar!!
As always,  thanks for reading.