The Crisp Air
Crinkling leaves falling off trees.
The smoky smell of a burning fire.
Food. Family. Friends
Childhood memories come back to visit again.
Laughter & sugar-highs; you can feel the joy rise.
In my house.
On my porch.
Cooked, & in my drink with cinnamon, of course!
Life’s a Miracle. Celebrate Change. Fall in love!
Have a safe & Happy Halloween!
Trying to sum up what I learned from Oprah
at O You!
feels like an overwhelming task. Oprah has taught me and continues to teach me so much it is hard to know where to begin. What I
know for sure it the world is blessed to have Oprah in it, and as Gayle King
so nicely said once in an interview; as Oprah rises to the top she reaches out her hand to help others up
. Just a few minutes of listening to Oprah and you feel like you can change the world, and most importantly yourself!
The main topic of Oprah’s speech at O You! was What I Know For Sure
. I encourage you to read The Top 20 Things Oprah Knows For Sure
There you will find great wisdom and inspiration that come from a place of truth.
What I’d like to share with you today is a compilation of notes I took during Oprah’s O You! 2011
speech; both words and ideas that deeply moved me. Not everything you will read here is an exact quote, some things are a direct quote and some of it is paraphrased. What I hope is that you will be able to take this celebrated knowledge and wisdom and apply it to your own life, so that you can live your best life!
Inspirational Words & Notes from
Oprah at O You! 2011
Growing & Knowing Who You Are
“In God I live, I move, I breathe, I am.”
“Know who you are. Stand in the truth of who you are. That knowingness disrupts everyone else’s stuff.”
“Knowing who you are is the difference between going up and staying where you are.”
“In spirit we are all the same.”
“Let go, and step out of this. Start right now to continue to grow. Living is about growth!”
The Importance of Searching Within
A confirmation – Get still, Be Still, and know that I am God
Oprah’s office now takes 2 – 20minute breaks every day at 9:00am and 5:30pm to meditate. “It has changed the way we relate to each other.” This quiet and stillness gives them room to come to the true space within.
To a busy Mom who struggles finding Me Time, Oprah suggested she get up 30 minutes earlier than her normal 6:15 at 5:45. She said to “Get out of bed and go sit somewhere alone with yourself.” This time says, “I care enough about connecting with you (God or source energy) to get up and do that.”
Busy Moms start out your day doing this because at the end of the day you are exhausted!
“Feel the presence that is within you.”
Making a Difference
In regards to a question from a young girl in television who aspires to reach millions of people to make a difference. Oprah asked her,
“Do you want the millions or do you want the work?”
This moved me and reminded me of the importance of coming from a space of truth, and the real importance behind your life’s work, and your purpose.
Your job is to get into the flow of your life’s purpose. You must love the work.
How can you make a difference?
Oprah says, “Start making a difference in your own home!” ß A beautiful line of wisdom and a crucial piece of advice we so often overlook. It reminds me of how often our focus is outside of the home, when we have the power to change the lives of those most important to us with our love and attention.
“How you choose to live. How you move forward in grace.”
Oprah also calls A-ha moments God winks. Love that!!!
Oprah’s Biggest A-ha Moment
“That I always was worthy.”
“You are worthy because you are born.”
Being Treated Badly
When Oprah found herself being treated badly, in past relationships and experience, she asked herself (&God)
“What is it I’m not getting?”
Oprah explained, being treated badly- that’s on you, that’s all about you.
There is a lesson needing to be learned- the lesson of your self-worth, the lesson that YOU ARE WORTHY!
God is waiting on you.
“Forgiveness for yourself is the way to move forward.”
It is “holy and sacred.”
Seeing Oprah live was a dream come true, a bucket list, and it doesn’t end here...
Be sure to catch Oprah Monday – Friday 8/7c on OWN
where she shares more of her many great life lessons from 25 years of the Oprah Show! She goes live online for one more hour every Friday night after Lifeclass
Thank you, Oprah
from the bottom of my heart, from my soul! ♥
Thank you, friends for both supporting and teaching me!
Do we hold back who we really are because of what others expect of us?
There is something calming about familiarity in loved ones. What happens when our expectations hinder the journey of those we love?
We expect people to act or react how we are used to in the past. The truth is none of us are our past any longer. Granting each other freedom to grow, freedom from preconceived notions of who we think they are, freedom to be different from the past. This freedom is a tremendous act of love.
Think of things you used to like or dislike in the past. How have some of them changed? Maybe you like a certain type of food you never thought you’d try. Or a type of music you once renounced. It could be that your passions have changed, or expanded. Who we are is constantly changing, constantly growing. That is the beautiful and surprising thing about life.
We especially have a hard time with accepting the change of family members. We try to keep them in the same mental box we placed them in years ago. Let your family members know you accept and love who they are today, and who they will become tomorrow.
Release expectations and grant your loved ones freedom to continuously grow and change.
“It is not the strongest of the species that survive, nor the most intelligent, but the one most responsive to change.” - Charles Darwin
Disclosure – I am not a financial expert. The following is my personal interpretation of Suze Orman’s advice at O You! 2011 Suze Orman
was lots of fun to watch at the O magazine
conference- O You!
She has a lot of personality and is quite funny. Even though she was speaking on such a serious topic – money, she brings out a smile in you and reminds you most importantly of your real value.
Suze Orman Background
At 30 years old Suze was still making $400 a month at a cupcake bakery. She assumed she would be in the restaurant business because that is what she knew. It wasn’t until $50,000 of money from investors for her to start her own business was lost that she got into the financial business. She applied at a financial firm and was hired to fill the women’s quota, which she was happy with because it paid better and she wanted to repay her loans. That is when a feeling of “I love this, I love this” came over her. Now she is a world renowned money expert!
When will the economy turn around?
Suze believes 2015 is when things will start to turn around.
That is hard for a lot of us to hear, but I honestly believe there is a silver lining, and that silver lining is we all have a great opportunity here as a collective to learn from our mistakes with money and get back on track! We can help motivate each other to halt the spending on wants that are not needs. This is hard and much easier to do as a group. See if you can get together with your friends and give each other ideas of ways to cut down on spending. What I have learned from Suze is that we should NOT be afraid to talk about money. Our self worth isn’t in dollars and it is time we start really acknowledging that!
Living Your Best Life
Suze says that the key to living well is to live below your means.
“Live below your means but within your needs.” ~Suze Orman
How many of us actually live below our means these days? The thing about money is- the more your make, the more you spend! It seems in today’s world we are really lucky if we manage to live within our means. Below your means- that is a whole different ball game! Together we should all strive to help each other join in.
Suze says, “Stop trying to impress others with money you don’t have.”
This really got me thinking about how crazy it is that we spend money to try to impress one another. Let’s stop this!
“Stop saying yes out of fear about what others will think about you and say NO out of love for yourself!” ~Suze Orman
This really has me thinking about the upcoming holiday season. To me it is a classic example of a time we spend money to impress one another. A time we spend too much money on things we do not need- gifts, decor, holiday parties, holiday outfits! My husband and I are already thinking long and hard about what we want to do in terms of our holiday spending this year, and ways we can apply Suze’s advice to our own family.
Suze talked with the audience about the importance of saving. She urged us, “Do everything you can to save money.” Even though she can afford a new car if she wants, Suze keeps her car for a minimum of 10 years because cars are one of the biggest waste of money there is, and she encourages you to keep your car for that long too. I couldn’t help but think of how much better it is for the environment to kick this bad habit we as a society have of constantly upgrading.
Another important note Suze made- if your company has a 401k matching plan you should absolutely make sure you max out the contribution. You cannot afford to be missing out on ‘free’ money!
If you are managing to save properly for yourself first- minimum 8 month emergency fund & retirement, she also mentioned a 529 education savings plan for your children.
Remember “When you undervalue yourself, the world will under value you. You are passing the message of less.” ~Suze Orman
YOU are more important than stuff!!!
When Should You Buy a Home?
Suze’s answers to this is ONLY when you can afford to!
How do you know you can afford to?
· You can put at least 20% down
· You have a minimum of an 8 month emergency savings fund
· You can afford a 30 year or 15 year fixed rate mortgage
· You have a secure job
· The home must be a STEAL OF A DEAL!! Suze says this is so important! She gave us an example of condos in Florida that many people thought were a great deal at $150,000 that are now worth $5,000!
Suze does not believe the real estate market is going anywhere until 2023!
That means you should not be in a rush to buy, and only do so if you can afford to by meeting the above criteria.
So many of us have fallen out of touch with what it means to live well with regards to money. We are hurting ourselves, our families, and our society with over spending, and buying things we cannot afford. Most of us are not saving properly, and it’s time to help one another to change the way we live.
Let’s be a positive influence on each other with how we handle our money. Let’s start talking about money!
In my mind’s eye I picture people as a brilliant array of colourful hot air balloons filling the sky. Free to fly. Free to show their beauty for all to see, sparkling in the sunlight, willing to sway with the flow of the universal wind.
Some balloons stay attached to the ground, needing nothing more than their strings to be released. We all have time when we are tied tightly to the ground. Be it fear at work, or pain that holds us down.
The truth is everything we need to fly is already inside of us. All we need to do is cut the strings and release ourselves.
No matter what medium you choose to express yourself- be it art, music, poetry, writing, gardening, baking- it is important that you do. What lies inside needs a way out. It is OK to feel exactly what you are feeling.
The days my balloon feels tied to the ground are the ones when I’m yelling too much, or my patience seems in short supply. Those days are especially important for me to cut the strings by letting my creativity out.
The best songs, the best poems, the best works of art are the ones that fly free straight from the heart, no strings attached.
Today is your day to fly free.
The following is a guest post from Teri Gault, Lifestyle expert, money-saving guru, and CEO & founder of www.thegrocerygame.com.
As CEO of www.TheGroceryGame.com
, and busy mom of two, AND wife… I LOVE to celebrate holidays, and enjoy time with my family. Nothing is better than that! But the frosting on the cake is being able to have the best of the best without spending a fortune. But I also must be able to do it ALL with ease! So I’ve made it my life’s mission to discover wonderful ways to have it all!
Let’s start with the party food. You NEVER have to pay full price for food, especially on holidays. And the good news is that some of the best and most delicious foods are also easy.
Step #1 – Instead of deciding what YOU want to serve for your Halloween party menu, let the sales dictate what goes on your menu. But don’t miss UN-advertised sales. Yes, there are often twice as many sales once you get to the store. So keep an eye out for those great opportunities!
Check drugstores for sales on all kinds of party food like chips, nuts, crackers, candy, and more at great savings.
Stack the deals. Look for store coupons in drugstore and supermarket circulars, and match those with manufacturer coupons from the Sunday paper.
Now that you have a plan for how to get your food for half off or better, here’s how you build your money saving fabulous menu! Ideally, you will gather the best of the best sales over the course of weeks for your Halloween bash. And don’t forget to think about what you already have in your fridge, pantry and freezer.
Start by saving a ton on your main course, which is usually meat. Choose your meat dish from the front page of one week’s sales circular. The big picture will usually be the best deal. If you find a meat sale that you like weeks before the party, pop it in your freezer. A big pot of chili is a good and easy option as dry beans soaked overnight, then slow cooked, are cheap to add to chili. Any type of beef, whether ground or cubed, or even ground turkey is great in chili. Remember, you choose whatever meat is on a great sale. As the weeks go by, look for a great sale on cheese to grate, and canned tomatoes to add in.
Pasta is a super cheap side dish or even main dish. Check circulars for a great pasta sale and stock up for your party, which can be weeks before if the sale hits early.
Be flexible. . Substitutions are one of the best ways to save big money! If you see ground beef on sale for half off, but your meatball recipe calls for Italian sausage, stick with the money saving ground beef, and spice it up. For chip and dip, if plain yogurt is on sale instead of sour cream, make a yogurt dip. Or if hummus is on sale, use that for your veggie dip. Since there are lots of varieties of cheese, let the sales determine which variety of cheese will go on your cheese platter. Get it??? You’re being flexible, and it just might get you out of your rut too!
Stick to traditional fare, much of which became traditional because of readily available ingredients of the season. Caramel apples are traditional Halloween fare, because apples are in season and super cheap. Popcorn balls are also traditional, and you can’t beat the economy of making those! Rice crispy treats are super easy. But only make them, if you find a great sale on the rice crispy cereal!
On the last week, you’ll buy whatever veggies are on sale to go with all that you’ve gathered for super cheap! And how easy was that? You did all the biggest shopping ahead of time! In the end, you’ll find you just cut your food cost by half or better!
SAVE MONEY ON “TRICK OR TREATS”
Deal stacking is huge for candy at drugstores, and some supermarkets. Remember, that’s where you find a “store coupon” in the circular and combine it with a manufacturer coupon from the paper.
Buy the limit! Whenever you see a “limit” on candy, food, or anything else, buy that limit. For instance, if circular reads “limit 2” on a bag of Halloween candy, it’s probably at one of the lowest possible prices. So, get it!!! In most cases, you can also use a coupon to make the deal even sweeter! Nice!
Consider healthier choices for trick or treaters, and save money too! Look for sales on all kinds of granola bars, fruit snacks and more. A good sale is 50% off or a BOGO (buy one get one free). Add a coupon to the sale to save about 67%. Visit www.TheGroceryGame.com
to see these deals and lots of other food deal stacking every week.
Instead of candy, give out prizes! Visit dollar stores for great deals on fun trinkets. I just got a package of ten cute Halloween pencils, Halloween erasers, glow in the dark spider rings and more for super cheap. Kids love to find prizes among all that candy, and it can save you money!
DECORATING – OUTDOOR DESIGN
You can’t go wrong with paper lunch bags, filled with sand and votive candles for an inviting seasonal glow for the front of your home. You can use a hole punch or scissors to cut designs in the sides of the bags. Jack-o-lanterns, fall leaves, and more will help the light to shine through. This is super fast, easy, cheap, and gives you lots of impact for your investment of time and money!
Several jack-o-lanterns in various sizes and different faces are great for your front porch. To make your lantern last longer, refrigerate them during the day, and only put them back out in the evenings. If you don’t have room in your refrigerator, store in a large ice chest with frozen blue ice blocks in the middle of each pumpkin, and a few around to keep it cool. A cut pumpkin can last nicely for over a week when kept cool.
To make a front yard spooky, all you need is a few sheets, lighting and a fan. Hang sheets like ghosts in trees, and use lighting from behind bushes to give an indirect glow. Even Christmas lights laid on the ground behind bushes or a low wall, can cast a glow of light that’s spooky. If wind is forecasted, your sheets will move just fine. But if no wind, a strategically placed fan with an extension cord will do the trick.
DECORATING - HOME STYLE
Decorate with food that’s in season and traditional. Apples are in season, and therefore, super cheap! Plus they’re bright and festive. Can’t go wrong with that! Make apple candle holders. Core out the top of an apple to make a well for a tealight. Do the same with mini pumpkins. Use apples and mini pumpkins for name tags on place settings. Coil a colored paper clip to hold a name tag, and stick into the apple or mini pumpkin. Print the name tags on your computer in spooky fun fonts, and decorate with glitter or Halloween stickers.
Use what you have. If you have clear glass hurricane candle holders, fill them with candy corn or gummy worms, and place a candle in the center. You just created a Halloween candle holder for almost nothing! Gather fall leaves and use to sprinkle around mantles and tables, keeping them away from any candle flames.
Decorate food tables with real fall leaves. I live in California, so we don’t’ have those beautiful fall colors. I bought fake fall leaves from a dollar store years ago, and they serve me well every year! Black and orange curling ribbon is fast and effective to decorate a food table, if you just haphazardly string it all over the table around the food.
Food elevated in various levels is easy to do and appealing for buffets. I use stacks of books in varying levels, highest in the back, then cover with a table cloth. This is super fast, easy, and looks like I had a caterer! Sprinkle around fall leaves and black and orange curling ribbon, and a few apple and mini pumpkin votives. A jack-o-lantern on a buffet table is also bright and fun. Just make sure all candles are not in a place where people will burn their hands or clothes when reaching for food.
Online shopping for decorations for big parties can be super easy for busy moms and can save money. Sites like Oriental Trading Company have good items for place settings, and small decorator items that can be used for sprinkling around on food tables, or for place settings.
I also LOVE streamers! They’re cheap, and really make a party festive, if you do it right. Streamers are best used diagonally stretched across a room from one corner to the other, hanging down about seven feet from the floor. About three or four twisted and stretched across a room’s ceiling really brightens it up, and brings in the festivity.
FREE COSTUMES, AND MORE…
To me, the best costumes are free! For years, we had a costume swap play day before Halloween when we would trade costumes from previous years. My kids loved looking through all the “new” costumes. And even enjoyed getting to wear one of their friend’s costumes they had envied the year before.
The next best thing to free is thrift stores! I just got an adorable plush child’s lion costume for $1.25. Visit thrift stores often, as new items are donated daily. Get to know someone at each thrift store, and ask if they will call you when a costume comes in that you may like.
Buy used costumes on Ebay, Craigslist, or check your local paper for used costumes. This can be a great way to get a nice costume for much less.
Make your own costumes for super cheap. Google “DIY costumes” and you will find tons of ideas from complex to easy. Lots of costumes can be made from what you already have. Kids also like to make their own costumes. Maybe your daughter wants to be a “paper doll”. Help her cut a dress out of cardboard, and cardboard bow for her hair, and cardboard purse. She can add colors and design her paper doll with colored markers or crayons. Add cute round rosy cheeks with makeup, and she’s adorable. A boy could be a tin man using cardboard boxes covered with aluminum foil. Kids can come up with their own ideas, and love making their own costumes that they can be proud of.
Have the kids decorate their own treat bags with glow paint. Glow sticks and glow necklaces are fun for kids, and also keep them safer on the streets.
If your kids are at an age where they can go out by themselves, make them go in groups, and stay together. Also make sure they have cell phones.
All trick or treaters should have flashlights!
SAVE FOR THE COMING HOLIDAYS
What to do with all that leftover candy??? Freeze it, and then use it for your holiday baking! Snickers, Hershey’s, Butterfingers, and almost any other chocolate candy is awesome chopped up and baked into brownies or muffins. Multi colored candy can be used to top off cookies!
Disclosure – I am not a doctor or medical expert. The following is my personal interpretation of Dr. Oz’s advice at O You! 2011
First, I have to start out by saying Dr. Oz
is a great speaker. If you ever get the chance to see him live, DO IT! His genuine care for the health of our nation and each individual is very evident. The empowering and positive energy he exudes is contagious.
The biggest message I walked away with from Dr. Oz
at O You!
was that we can
take control of our health and aging. “70% of how you age is lifestyle.” ~
That means only 1/3 is genes. The way we live has a huge impact on whether or not we turn on certain genes that influence our health. So the next time you are starting to feel down about your health, remember your lifestyle- which you can
control, is the biggest factor to turning your health around.
5 Important Factors to Aging
1. Blood Pressure – know your numbers!
2. Abuses to your body– what are you doing that harms your body? The #1 example here is smoking. Make changes in lifestyle to cut out abuses to your body.
3. Diet that you love, crave & adore. Basically it comes down to this – if you don’t love your diet you’ll never stick with it.
4. Physically Activity – vigorous physical activity is what keeps your body going strong. For example, if you go for a walk, do it with some speed so you’re breathing heavier and your heart is pumping.
5. Stress – how you cope with stress has a big impact on your health. Stress is a part of all our lives and how we deal with it makes a difference. When feeling stressed try deep belly breaths. What is important is that you find a way to deal with and calm stress that works for you, whether that is meditation, breathing techniques, yoga, or walks.
Tips for Connecting with Your Doctor
Dr. Oz highly recommends having a strong connection with your doctor. This enables you to feel comfortable talking with them about all kinds of health concerns. Here are Dr. Oz’s suggestions for connecting with your doctor:
1. Write down questions before going into the appointment. Give your doctor a copy of the questions so he/she can make sure to go through them with you.
2. Push back against medical advice. This makes the system better. Ask questions. Especially, what medicine can I get off of? With 3 pills there is a 30% chance of an interaction complication. With 5 pills there is a more than 50% chance!
3. Bring a tape recorder. Doctors know that half of what they tell you is forgotten by the time you leave. If you record your doctor’s advice and instructions they will most likely speak more clearly and slower for you to understand.
*One interesting fact that Dr. Oz shared with us that stood out to me was that obesity leads to 100,000 cancer deaths per year. He believes for 90% of Americans loosing waist size is the way to go. For example, too much belly fat squeezes the organs such as the kidneys.
5 Life Saving Numbers You Should Know!
1. Blood Pressure2. Cholesterol3. Blood sugar
4. Waist Size –
“Your risk of dying prematurely nearly doubles if you have a large waist line...belly fat is the most dangerous fat.” Hear more about waist size from Dr. Oz here: Why Waist Size is Important
– calculate your BMI here: Doctor Oz Videos- Calculate Your Body Mass Index
The take away message from Dr. Oz
is that you have tremendous power and control over your health! It’s never too late to get started and make changes for the better. Your lifestyle accounts by far (70%) for your health. You can do it!What one change can you make today to positively impact your health in order to live your best life?
is a day about putting yourself first. Realizing that YOU matter. So many women struggle with this. As Suze Orman says- it’s like putting the oxygen mask on yourself first, then your kids so that you are available to them. Many Moms and women burn out, putting their happiness last, becoming paralyzed with zero energy to make necessary change.
Attending an Oprah show has always been a dream of mine. I never got to do that. Quite frankly, as Oprah so nicely puts it “God can dream a bigger dream for you than you could ever dream for yourself.
” O You! 2011
was that bigger dream for me. Although I was part of a larger audience, getting to hear Oprah speak for most of the closing ceremony was better than anything I could have ever imagined. Oprah
live is just like watching her on TV. For my fellow Oprah fans out there, listening to Oprah speak at O You! was similar to watching the very last Oprah show with an extra dose of light heartedness and humor. The energy she exuded, which was in turn magnified by the crowd was more incredible than words could possibly explain- pure magic.
Oprah Live at O You! 2011
By attending O You! not only were you able to listen to and learn from Oprah
about what she knows for sure, but you also got to learn from many talented stars at the top of their game- Dr. Oz
, Gayle King, Suze Orman, Donna Brazile, Lisa Ling, Martha Beck, Nate Berkus, Peter Walsh, Bob Greene to name a few of the many great people who were there to speak.
Peter Walsh, Martha Beck, Gayle King
Suze Orman, Martha Beck, Dr. Oz, Susan Casey- Editor-in-Chief of O Magazine
In the lunch tent I saw David Venable from In the Kitchen with David on QVC.
I was immediately reminded of my Grandma who would have loved that! I’m pretty sure she got most of her Christmas shopping done in the middle of the night when she turned on the TV to QVC as light to go to the bathroom.
In between sessions, I visited the Kleenex
booth to meet the very lovely and talented Erica Diamond founder and Editor-in-Chief of Women on the Fence.
In my pure joy to meet her I forgot to ask my husband to snap a picture. Hopefully one day I’ll get the chance to see her again and do that!
What I really wish is that you all could have been there with me to share the experience. Although I know that didn’t happen this year, what I can do is share with you some of the great lessons I learned while I was there. So stay tuned for more about what I learned at O You! 2011
Have a great day, friends!