Wednesday, December 31, 2014

D.I.Y. HOME DECOR

5 Tips for Mixing and Matching Your Home Decor
by Jane Blanchard

The idea of traditional decor is being challenged every day by homeowners who want a style that goes beyond the basics. Creating your own design is easy and doesn't require anything other than a little imagination, some planning and a willingness to experiment.

via SF Girl By Bay



Decide on a Theme

Designing a themed room gives you a blueprint to work with as you choose furniture and accessories. Think about whether you want a formal look or something relaxed. Do rugged, outdoorsy styles appeal to you or are you a lover of modern minimalism? Your preferred theme will create a unified look for the finished room.

Anchor the Style with Consistency

Start with one color or pattern that you love and work your way up from there as you decorate. This may be your favorite deep blue or the pattern on an overstuffed sofa that you've loved for years. Repeat this motif in other elements of the room to create a consistent backdrop for your more unusual decor elements.

When introducing wood pieces, choose those made from the same type of wood or stained in similar colors. The idea is to create uniformity that allows different styles to work together. However, try to avoid picking two styles of furniture that noticeably contradict each other such as mixing ornate antiques with do-it-yourself bookshelves from a department store. Keep color choices to a minimum to ensure that the room doesn't wind up looking busy.

Add a Modern Edge

Once you've established a basis for your design, it's time to get creative. Look for accent pieces that complement the look of the room while adding visual interest. Try placing boldly patterned pillows on your sleek modern sofa or hanging café style art in your formal dining room. Introduce a few mismatched furniture pieces that share a color or texture element with other fixtures of the room for a unique twist.

Go Beyond Traditional Use

A fun way to mix and match styles is to place furniture pieces in rooms they're not traditionally meant for. Nightstands, for example, make fun end tables in the living room. A sideboard can be moved from the dining area to the front hall and used as a unique place to display photos or flower arrangements. You might even want to shake things up in the bathroom by adding a dresser for storing linens or creating a themed display with an open-back bookshelf.

Make it Personal

You're never obligated to stick to a particular style just because it's how your home is "supposed" to look. What works in the houses you see in magazines or online may not work in your home. Don't be afraid to try new designs and mix things up to find a style that's truly yours. Use decorating advice as a general guideline rather than a strict set of rules. Thinking outside the box can lead you to a style that no one has ever tried before and open up new possibilities for decorating other rooms in your home.

For more home design ideas and inspiration check out Modernize.


Wednesday, December 3, 2014

The Beauty in the Struggles We Face-Positive Wednesdays

The Story of the Caterpillar


Once a little boy was playing outdoors and found a fascinating caterpillar. He carefully picked it up and took it home to show his mother. He asked his mother if he could keep it, and she said he could if he would take good care of it.

The little boy got a large jar from his mother and put plants to eat, and a stick to climb on, in the jar. Every day he watched the caterpillar and brought it new plants to eat.

One day the caterpillar climbed up the stick and started acting strangely. The boy worriedly called his mother who came and understood that the caterpillar was creating a cocoon. The mother explained to the boy how the caterpillar was going to go through a metamorphosis and become a butterfly.

The little boy was thrilled to hear about the changes his caterpillar would go through. He watched every day, waiting for the butterfly to emerge. One day it happened, a small hole appeared in the cocoon and the butterfly started to struggle to come out.

At first the boy was excited, but soon he became concerned. The butterfly was struggling so hard to get out! It looked like it couldn’t break free! It looked desperate! It looked like it was making no progress!

The boy was so concerned he decided to help. He ran to get scissors, and then walked back (because he had learned not to run with scissors…). He snipped the cocoon to make the hole bigger and the butterfly quickly emerged!

As the butterfly came out the boy was surprised. It had a swollen body and small, shriveled wings. He continued to watch the butterfly expecting that, at any moment, the wings would dry out, enlarge and expand to support the swollen body. He knew that in time the body would shrink and the butterfly’s wings would expand.

            But neither happened!

The butterfly spent the rest of its life crawling around with a swollen body and shriveled wings.

It never was able to fly…

As the boy tried to figure out what had gone wrong his mother took him to talk to a scientist from a local college. He learned that the butterfly was SUPPOSED to struggle. In fact, the butterfly’s struggle to push its way through the tiny opening of the cocoon pushes the fluid out of its body and into its wings. Without the struggle, the butterfly would never, ever fly. The boy’s good intentions hurt the butterfly.


As you go through life, keep in mind that struggling is an important part of any growth experience. In fact, it is the struggle that causes you to develop your ability to fly.






Tuesday, December 2, 2014

Out and About.........Port Royal Jamaica









“The beauty of the natural world lies in the details.”— Natalie Angier



Wednesday, August 27, 2014

The Big Wide Calm Book Review

Order Here
First Impressions
The Big Wide Calm first reads like a ‘rags to riches’ story when the reclusive rich multimillionaire John decides to help the talented starving artiste Paige Plant with an arrangement that would see him helping her to record her first album. With this deal, finally Paige would be able to write and create a multigenerational album that will help carve her place in stardom. It seemed overnight Paige would achieve her dream of being famous and rich. The deal John offers Paige almost seems too good to be true and the reader is left wondering when the other shoe might fall.

Peeling Back the Layers
The book progresses and the layers start to peel away. It becomes clear that the story isn't just about a girl (Paige Plant) wanting to become a rich or famous star or a man (John) whose past decisions had made him into a broken shell. In truth, the story is about unconditional love. No, The Big Wide Calm is not your typical love story that you see in a cheap copy of Mills & Boons. It is much deeper than that. It explores love that blooms after pain, rejection and brokenness.  The Big Wide Calm offers no clichés just raw human experiences in the stark reality of the need for human connection.

Writer’s Craft
I admire the writing style of the author Rich Marcello. He craftily creates a world in the novel which is surreal yet believable. This technique is also seen in the presentation of John. John is quite unlike any other character I have met before. He is childlike and complicated at the same time. The character of John leaves you wondering what events in his life might be real or is every event craftily created by his delightfully demented mind. Marcello’s development of John’s character leaves you wondering if a number of events in the novel are carefully orchestrated by John to test Paige.

 I am normally able to size up the flow of a plot within the first four chapters. This was not the case with this novel. In short, Marcello leaves you guessing with each page. In The Big Wide Calm each page, each chapter is an adventure. The novel will leave you wanting more. This is definitely a good buy. You won’t regret your purchase.  

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Overcoming Failed Relationships- Positive Wednesdays

Relationships are a necessary part of the human existence. They help us to be well adjusted, they often cause us to feel love, they make us laugh and they give us something to look forward to.  Our lives seem more joyful when we form positive relationships. But what happens when everything goes south? What do you do when you are faced with the reality that a major relationship in your life must end? 

What do you do when a relationship fails?

Often when a relationship fails, it is because of one reason or another. It might be that you or the other person (s) decides to walk away from each another.  In a situation like this there is a period of mourning. We mourn not only when someone dies. We also mourn the absence of a person from our lives without even realizing it. Whether we want to admit it nor not, to loss someone who is close to use is a painful process. It is so painful that we become so closed off that we don’t even realize that we are mourning.
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In times like these it is great to remember that people often come into our lives for a season. In that season we grow and change because of their presence. When they leave it is good to always remember the good we have learnt from them and disregard the negatives. Our natural instincts are to try and make up. But just remember that you have done that all we can do to fix the situation and now it is time to pick up the pieces and move on. Sometimes we still, try to make the relationship work because of fear of losing that person. Just remember that it might hurt now to overcome a failed relationship but the pain won’t last forever. Life has a way of healing us.

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

FREE Book Reviews for Self Published Authors

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I have observed that there are a number of very talented writers who have opted to publish their own books instead of going the traditional route of being published through a publishing house. I have also noted that these excellent writers often find it challenging to get their book reviewed for one reason or another.

So, starting July 23, I will be accepting self published books for review. Once a book is accepted for review you will receive and email notification. Once, the book review is written it will be published on the following blogs: Lioness Rebirth, New Day Book Reviews and C.S.E.C. English Made Easy. The review will also be shared on Good reads, Amazon, Face book and twitter.

Additionally, I am open to doing blog tours, author interviews and guest post reviews. For further details please read my review policy.

Review Policy 
I am currently open to receiving Advance Reading Copies and Review Copies of e books  from self published authors. My preferred genres are How to books, D.I.Y. Books, with the occasional Romance novel (Historical, Contemporary). This does not, however, mean that we will not consider books from other genres! I love mysteries, historical fiction, and will consider any book with a great synopsis.
I will not accept any book that is linked to: the occult, erotica, zombies, etc.
I cannot promise to agree to every review request, nor can I guarantee a favourable review of books sent to me. I ,however, promise to be fair and honest in my review.  I will consider all queries and review copies sent my way but I regret that I might not able to respond to all email  queries. If you don’t hear from me in a timely fashion please resend your email.

My review copy preference is for e books, followed by print copies as I am located in Jamaica. As such, digital ARCs/review copies will be given precedence over print copies. My preferred format is PDF.

If you are willing and able to ship to my location I will definitely review your book.

In order to contact me with a review query, please sent an email @ lionbiz25@gmail.com 


Positive Wednesdays- P.S. I Love You

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When was the last time you sat and wrote a letter or a note to someone you cared about?

For most of us it has been years. In this technological savvy age individual handwritten notes are a rarity.  It is so rare that there are now companies that specialize in creating handwritten notes for individuals and businesses. Why is this? There is something to be said about receiving a hand written note or letter. It brings a smile to your face and warms your heart. It reminds you that somewhere out there someone cares enough to patiently pen a letter or note just for you. In short, in a way it makes you feel valued and special. 

So today I encourage you to sit and write a note for someone near and dear to you.

Here are some free printable positive note sheets that you can write your letter or notes on.










Saturday, July 19, 2014

Tips for Conquering Your To Do List and FREE Printable- D.I.Y. SUNDAYS


Examining the To Do List


SOURCE
A To-Do- List is an electronic, handwritten or typed list of tasks that needs to be accomplished. The creator of the list makes a decision of the tasks that needs to be accomplished and he/she makes note of these tasks, often in order of importance, in a list format. Once an item is completed, it is often marked off the list. In doing so, the individual goes to the next item on the list until the list is completed.

This seems like an efficient enough system; however, for some of us it does not matter what we do; we just cannot make this system work. Instead of being organized with completed tasks we become frustrated and stressed by what we have not done.

Here are five tips that I have found can be quite useful in creating a To-Do- List.  

TIPS


1)     Be Realistic
I say be realistic because often we create a to-do-list with fifteen or twenty items on it which needs to be completed. At the end of the day, you will realize by looking at the list that you have only completed five tasks. This leads to you being frustrated and out of frustration you scrap the whole idea of making a to-do- list.

Solution
Write only four to five items on your list. Choose the four or five most important things to do for the day and write them on your list. Once you have completed those tasks, you can then add three to four more items. Just do not overload your list. Once again I say be realistic.

2)     Plan Ahead
From my experience, I have found that I keep putting things on my list that were not essential to my day. Yes, these things needed to be done but they could be done on any day at any time. When this happens the most important things that needed to be completed were not accomplished.

Solution
Write your to-do- list the night before or early in the morning before you start your daily task. This way you can review all the things you have to do and set propriety to the ones that are more important. You will also find that you can make your list more concise by doing this.

3)     To- Do- List to Go

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You are out and about conducting business however you cannot find the paper you wrote your to-do- list on. This then turns into a never ending dive into your bag. If your handbag is like mine then searching for this list is a hopeless cause. You give up searching for the list and then you forget a task or two that needs to be accomplished.

Solution
Create your to-do- list on your phone, tablet, etc. I currently use the app color notes on my phone. It works for me because it syncs with my Google calendar and I can make multiple notes with it.  This way if I am on the go my list is easily accessible.


4)     Make Major Tasks Continuous

You have a task to do that will take three or four days.  You try to complete this extensive task in one day and find that at the end of the day you are unable to tick it off your list. Somehow you feel like you have not done anything substantial because there it is on you to-do- list smiling at you as if to mock your efforts.

Solution
Break up these major tasks into different sub tasks. Then, add a different sub-task on each day of your to do list.  This will enable you to complete the major task on a step by step basis. In doing this, you will also stem the habit of procrastination.


5)     Make it a Routine
You make a to-do- list today and it works. Tomorrow you are too tired to do it or you go back to making mental notes of the things you need to do. At the end of the day you are tire and overwhelmed because there is still so much to do that you have not done.

Solution
Make creating and completing a to-do- list a routine. I have a co-worker who I admire so much because of her excellent organization skill. What I have observed with her is that without fail every day before she starts to do anything she either writes or evaluates her to do list, if it was created the day before. In doing so, she has created a routine for herself that ensures that without fail she completes her set tasks. Remember, if you fall off the to-do- list wagon one day, just brush yourself off and jump back on.


FREE PRINTABLE

In preparation for this post I decided to try my hand at creating printable using Microsoft Word (let me know if you want me to a post about this). You will find them attached for you to download free. These to-do-lists can be posted on your fridge, in your home management binder or just use at your work station. Please feel free to share your reviews and comments on this post and the printable to-do- lists.



Thursday, July 17, 2014

Do It Yourself Money Tips- How to Get Paid Blogging


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Although money is paper we all have some need for it. We need it to pay the bills, to buy important items that are needed and the list goes on. In short, money is helpful to function on a day to day basis. However, what do we do when the little money we have is not sufficient? What then?

Some of us would love to live in a mansion with hired help but the reality is our merger salary just cannot support the lifestyle. Do we (A) change and adapt to our situation or (B) create more debt while trying to keep up with the Jones?

 If we examine nature, we realize that the natural environment adjust itself to each season. Animals hibernate, trees lose their leaves and birds migrate to survive winter. They all adapt themselves knowing that a different season must come. That although it is challenging now, tomorrow will be better. Tomorrow will be better if when life changes; we function more effectively in our new environment of change. In adjusting we will develop skills that will ensure our survival like the animals in nature. 

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With all of this in mind, for this summer we at Lioness Rebirth will embark on a new project entitled, Do It Yourself Money Tips. This will be a weekly post that will explain to you how to make money online, how to save money and how to find great deals. All of these will be simply and easy ways in which you can create additional income for yourself, while saving. At the bottom of this post we will give you a brief preview of this weekly post.


Do it Yourself Money Tip # 1-How to Get Paid Blogging


When I first started blogging I did not have any idea that I could get paid to blog. For me blogging was a great hobby that I loved. It was and still is a joy to sit and create for others to enjoy. However, then I discovered that once you have great content and you have honed your skills as a writer you can be paid to do what you love.

Content is KING

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I shared my experience above because I wanted to highlight two things about paid blogging that is important. The first is great content. In blogging content is KING. If you are not a celebrity no one wants to really know the inner details about your life. Don’t get me wrong, it is good to share details about yourself to your core audience to build a rapport but it is better to provide information to your readers that they can use in their daily lives. Great content is what will drive readers to your blog and increase your blog stats. High blog stats is one of the things that will help you to gain paid blogging opportunities. Therefore, think about a niche for yourself and develop great content for the readers in your niche. This way you will be successful.



Honing Your Skills

 The second important thing I want to highlight is honing your skills as a writer. There are a number of excellent bloggers out there who have worked tirelessly to develop their blogs and their skills and in doing so they are reaping the rewards of their hard work (paid opportunities). In honing your skills you can develop an eye for good content by reading other blogs, books, magazines, newspapers, etc. Basically, immerse yourself in the written word; in doing so you can examine various writing styles and develop your own. It is important to note that in writing your posts; you should aim to keep your language simple and to the point. This way your readers will not be confused by highfalutin terms. 

My dictionary is right at my finger tips.
Most importantly, always proofread and edit your blog. If your spelling is poor make your dictionary your friend. If you don’t have a dictionary get one. No one wants to read a post that is loaded with grammatical errors. What I find helps me is that I type my posts in Microsoft Word and then paste them in Blogger. This helps me to edit my posts better. After I have published my posts, I also read my posts to see if I missed any errors while I was editing. Even if you only have one reader always try to produce the best final product.



Paid Opportunities

 WEBSITE
Once you have done the above you can start looking for paid blogging opportunities. One website that I found that is simple and easy to get paid blogging jobs is Bloggingpro.com. Bloggingpro.com is a website that helps bloggers by providing help tips on how to improve your blog. What I absolutely love about the site is its online job board. Their job board is designed in a way where you the blogger, writer, editor can apply for various blogging jobs from real companies. In doing so you don’t necessarily have to go through a middle man like with a company like SocialSpark.

For additional information on How to Get Paid Blogging you can also read this post: Five Websites You can Use to Monetize Your Blog 


Monday, March 3, 2014

The Irony of Life

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If you would have said to me 15 years ago that I would have a blog today i would have said you were crazy. First of all, I was one of the worst spellers in my class in High school. To compound the problem, my grammar was horrible. I loved the written word and I was always reading; however, my spelling was still atrocious. I left high school and went to college to study English. You would have thought that I would have had a clue and chosen a different field. Years later, I sit in a dark room and write posts for my blog and sometimes, just sometimes I am paid to do just that. 

Why am I sharing all of this?

We often limit ourselves based on our perceived weaknesses. We often allow these weaknesses to create shame and self doubt in us. Often, this results in us barely scraping the surface of our potential. We often give up before we even begin. I have come to realize that no one is perfect; even the people we admire and put on a pedestal.   I believe it is utter madness to try and be prefect because human means we are imperfect.

Instead, I suggest that we focus on using our weaknesses as strength.  One of the ways I was able to overcome the shame of being horrible at grammar and a poor speller is to be honest about it. The more I shared my experiences the more I was able to grow and address my problem in a healthy way. I was able to say to my peers that this is my problem so if I make a mistake let me know. I am not going to lie; it was hard to admit that someone who studied English at the college level had a problem with the grammar of the language. This was one of the ways I was able to deal with the self doubt, shame and the downright feelings of feeling dunce.  Through this, I was able to motivate others with the same problems and issues. I don’t think I would have had the courage to start blogging if I had not been able to deal with my challenges. My grammar is still not perfect; however, it has improved.

Friday, February 28, 2014

10 Reasons Why Men Should Respect Women

Men's and women's natural tendencies complement one another nicely, creating solid incentives for pairing-up to tackle life's challenges. Of course everyone is different and couples create countless scenarios, but common threads weave their ways through most relationships shared by men and women.
While each gender brings something to the table, men are the biggest benefactors in most pairings; trading sensitivity and understanding for manly traits like stoicism and brute strength.  Whether mothers, wives or daughters; there are plenty of reasons for men to respect women, including the following:

Women See Things in ways Men Can't - Women carry a unique perspective that's hard to put a finger on, at times. Perhaps explained by the fabled "women's intuition", they just have a knack for getting to the heart of the matter, without requiring a logical progression of ideas or actions to arrive there. Not that they don't lean on perception and observation like men do, but women somehow seem as though they'd be fine with or without a great deal of forethought.

Men do Better with Women's Support - The old adage holds true for a reason: Behind every great man, there really is a great woman. More often than not, men reach greater levels of fulfillment in their lives, when partnered with strong and understanding women. Whether career ambitions or child-rearing duties, men with female support embark more confidently toward success - perhaps explaining the phenomenon.

They are Mothers - Men share close bonds with their mothers, in much the same way "daddy's little girls" hold special places with fathers. You don't need to be a "mama's boy" to appreciate women on a maternal level, though. The experiences you've shared with mom are enough to carve out an everlasting bond. And you are ever-indebted for her efforts - not the least of which is bringing you into the world.

Mirror Image of Men - In many ways, men and women occupy opposite ends of the spectrum. Physically, emotionally and motivationally; men and women are like night and day. Men's respect for women acknowledges it, and salutes women for filling in the blanks where men fail to see the light.

Women are Smarter - More than just lyrics to an old folk song, women carry unique understanding that eludes men. While it is hard to quantify smarts, it is safe to say women bring insight to the table, which might otherwise escape male audiences.

Compassionate Beings - Empathy and compassion are much-admired traits held by women; especially by men who sometimes need sensitivity training. Women seem to care about others more than men do, at times, so men respect them for getting in-touch with their feelings.

Born Nurturers - In addition to abstract commitments to others, women actually do something about it.  Tapping maternal instincts and kind dispositions, women start nurturing others at young ages.  Girls help siblings and parents, and then grow up to nurture their own children. Men respect women's ability to take-on nurturing roles without hesitation.

Women are Strong Negotiators - Men are called on to bargain with car dealers and make sure no one gets ripped off by the furnace repair man, but it is actually women who shine brightest during negotiations.  Stopping short of manipulation, good-hearted women influence others to see things as they do, yielding compromise and progress faster than men who draw lines in the sand.

Spiritual Strength - Men admire women for strong spiritual connections they develop over the course of their lives. Women earn additional respect for applying their strength of spirit in meaningful ways; through charity and outreach.

Unselfish Actions - Women prove worthy of respect time and time again, engaging in unselfish acts of kindness, at the drop of a hat. As daughters, mothers and mates; women contribute immeasurable positive influences to the lives of those around them.
Men love and respect women for countless personal reasons, but universal adoration stems from some of women's most endearing traits. Men need not look far for worthy reasons to respect their female counterparts.

Author Bio:
This is a guest post by Sarah Brooks from free people search. She is a Houston based freelance writer and blogger. Questions and comments can be sent to brooks.sarah23 @ gmail.com.



Sunday, February 23, 2014

Looking at 30

I am 31 now but when I started this blog I was 28. I remember vividly dreading the onset of 30 like yesterday. I feared the idea of getting old like everyone else. I also remember conjuring up pictures of my life slipping away like sand in an hourglass. Three plus years later I can proudly say that I have adjusted well to the BIG 3-0. If anything I must day that I am more thankful to be 30 plus. As I skip through my mental file of my 20’s I cringe; my 20’s was a period where I seemed to stumble around not knowing who I was or my place in the world. I have always been blessed with an internal compass that always charted where I was and where I wanted to go and what I needed to do to get where I needed to be. Therefore, my sense of direction was always on point.
However, I don’t think I was really ever comfortable in my skin as I am today. I have learnt to be me, accept me and understand my limitations. Anybody who knows me knows I walk to the beat of my own drums. Simply put, I am weird. I have realized that my 30’s have allowed me to accept the fact that I don’t have to fit into that tiny box that society dictates. I have now completely given up on fashion trends and what’s in or out. I buy want I like and what I feel comfortable in. I do worry about looking like the latest trends in a magazine or in a music video. If I feel like wearing slippers and socks I will. I have learnt that self acceptance is very important. When I say this, I do not mean that I have given working on my faults or areas of weakness. Nor do I mean that I do not take advice or correction from my peers. In short, I have come to understand my imperfections for what they are and often I have come to appreciate that I am perfectly imperfect.

Monday, February 10, 2014

ODE TO CHANGE ........


I know that life can change in a heartbeat. However, before i was afraid of change. To be honest change of any kind use to terrify me. Yet, now it seems like change is my new best friend. I find myself taking long walks, having nice dinners and beautiful days with Change. I have fallen in love with Change's character, complexities and innovative ways. In short, Change steals my breathe with her beauty and often complicated essence. 'Her' you might ask? Yes, Change most definitely is a woman. If you think about it change can be temperamental, moody, heartrending and in the same breathe a delicate flower. Just like a woman.

Change is often wise. If anything I have learnt with my encounter with Change is that she is constant. She cannot be stopped. She is often a wind sweeping the desert floor with her soothing lips or a fierce tsunami destroying everything in her path. So in short dear friends, change can be good or bad. It is up to you to decide.

 
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