Smile!

The second week of August is National Smile week!  In honor I thought we could share things that make us smile!

-puppies

-ice cream

-friends

-rainbows

-reading

-little kids being kids

-bunnies

-rain

-hot cup of tea

-feeling good in the morning

-saying “I love you”

-new clients

-finishing things

-taking a walk

-talking with God

-naps

-being creative

-warm sunshine

If you can’t think of anything that makes you smile, shame on you!  Clearly you need to have more fun with life.  To get started here’s a fun smiling game.

I’d love to hear what makes you smile, share your fun below.

Peaches for the whole Family

In August we celebrate peach pie day, but I think peaches are one of the best summer fruits.  Here are some delicious ideas for whole family fun and eating with peaches.

Breakfast

Peach shake, fruit pancakes, peach jam, peach and french toast, blueberry peach focaccia.

Snack

Peach salsa, peach tart, peach lemonade.

Dinner

Fish Tacos with peach salsa, barbecued chicken breasts with spicy peach glaze, ginger peach glazed chicken, chicken and peach wontons, pulled pork and peaches, peach glazed pork chops, black rice with peaches and peas, tilapia with peach BBQ sauce, striped bass with corn, peaches and figs.

Dessert

Peach praline sundae, peach blossom tart, peach compote, peach cobbler, peach pie with crumbs, peach margarita, peach granita, peach and blackberry muddle, blackberry peach trifle, peach icebox cake, white peach sherbet, peach gingerbread, tropical peach cobbler, summer peach pie twisters, peach pie pops, peaches and cream oatmeal cookies.

What about you?  Are you a peach fan?  What delicious peach recipes have you made?  I’d love to hear your ideas below.

Real Leadership

If you live in the US you’ve seen some poor examples of leadership over the last couple of decades, and especially over the last few weeks.

So what does a good leader look like?  They…

Lead with Purpose

Are Big Picture Thinkers

Have Values (and stick to them)

Are Real (no double lives here)

Love Teamwork

Are Realistic (not dreamers and not pessimists)

Have Experience

Get things done

Are Servants

Encourage Others

Keep Learning

Are Communicators

Build Relationships

Appreciate Others

I could keep going with this list but if you worked on just one each month, you’ve got 14 months (over a year!) of work ahead of you.  Leadership isn’t created in a day, and while you may be born with some leadership talents, even the greatest leaders are still learning how to be better leaders.

I encourage you to take a close look at yourself and your work.  Are you a good leader or do you have a lot of improving to do?  Take this week to focus on discovering where you are as a leader and then beginning next week work on the leadership quality above that you need to improve on most.

I’d love to hear which aspect you’re going to work on, feel free to share your thoughts below.

Simplify Your Life

If you’re struggling with clutter and piles, here are some tips to simplify your life.

-buy slowly

-schedule in time to get organized each week

-pay your bills immediately

-empty your trash daily

-throw out old magazines and newspapers

-keep things in 1 place, not 6, around your house

-sell or donate books, CD’s and clothes you don’t use or like

-if you get something new, get rid of something old

-ask for help

-donate all food you won’t eat (and is still good) to a food pantry

-get rid of duplicates (kitchen tools, supplies) that don’t get used more than twice a year

-work towards financial independence, not struggle.  Get a second job, sell things on Ebay and Etsy, work in a career that you enjoy and will increasingly bring you more income.

-rethink where you live. Maybe it’s time to grow larger or downsize

-evaluate what you’ve committed your time and energy to.  Do you really want to do that activity for that long?

-learn to say no

-establish good routines and habits that will help you enjoy life and not hurt you

-simplify your goals.  Not only should you know what your goals are, you should have more clarity than just “I want to make a lot of money.”

If you still aren’t sure, ask yourself these questions: Do I need it? Is it something I’ll use often? Would a used item suffice?  What is the most sustainable option?  Am I falling prey to consumerism?  Will it last? Could I make it myself?

What questions do you have about simplifying life? Share them below.