Saturday, October 31, 2020

Shop Small ~ Unique Gifts from "DreamChaser" Businesses

Hard to believe, but the holidays are just around the corner! πŸŽ„πŸŽ…πŸŽ„

We can all admit that 2020 has been a kinda totally crazy year, and it would be so  easy to just give up on wanting to salvage it. However, I think we have a way of ending this year on a fantastic note 🎢 that can bring a lot of cheer to the "Dreamchasers" that you may know!

I know several people that have been Chasing the Dream with their own businesses, and have been hit hard in 2020. While Amazon and Wal-mart were doing a killer business, they were struggling to keep their dreams going this year. 

And, while talking to a good friend of mine recently, she reminded me of the best way to shop for Christmas this year. She is planning on buying all of her presents🎁🎁🎁, gift certificates, vouchers, etc. from small businesses this.




Shop Small   πŸ› πŸ’³πŸ’² πŸ›

I would like to help my friend, and all of you, by helping you to spend your money πŸ’°πŸ’°πŸ’° wisely. 

If you have friends and neighbors in your own community that you would love to support, start by Shopping Small at their businesses. That would be wonderful!

However, if you are looking at new businesses and would like to support a few fantastic ladies just following their dreams...then, check out these DreamChasers right now!




Shop Small at these "DreamChaser" Businesses Today!


Heather @ Blue Barn Hill Farm

"Dreamchaser" Story 

Since I was very young I have loved kids, animals, plants, crafting and baking. It has taken a lot of hard work and sacrifices but I am finally able to do everything I love AND I get to do it all from my home, so I can still take care of my family too . We started our family in 2000 at a young age in Florida . In 2009, after losing everything  in the recession, we had an opportunity to move to Indiana & start over . I came begrudgingly because I didn't want to leave my home (Florida & city life was all I had ever known). I struggled with depression for several years after we moved. And then I started crafting, selling produce & baked goods at our local farmer's market. That reignited a spark that had died...and I started embracing our new life. We started by putting up an honor system produce stand, and we have continued growing from there. I have fallen in love with the farm life. The last two years have been full of growth & change . Currently, we have a farm where we sell all naturally raised produce in the summer, hatch/sell chickens year round, have weekly bake sales all summer, and sell crafts online. 

I have designed a website so I can sell our delicious Old Fashioned Homemade Hard Candy. Our candy can be ordered easily & shipped anywhere in the USA! And the best part of all, is I am able to raise my 10 kids while I work from home. Itls not always easy & I feel like a scatterbrained wreck some days, but it is everything I love all wrapped up together so I can also help provide for my family :)

What I Sell

(Image source: Blue Barn Hill Farm)

Contact Info

Website is www.bluebarnhillfarm.com

Facebook page is www.facebook.com/bluebarnhillfarm


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Katie @ Historically Katie

"Dreamchaser" Story 

I have always been a writer. As a child, I spent hours filling spiral notebooks with stories. As I grew, I continued writing and began dreaming of becoming an author some day. I dreamed especially of writing historical fiction for kids and teens. When I entered college, my first majors were History and Writing with this goal in mind. Somewhere along the line, however, I got it in my head that this wasn’t sensible or even doable. So, I changed my major to Elementary Education. I graduated with this degree and went into the education field, though I have always continued to write and dream in story ideas. In 2012, I finally released my very first novel - and it was young adult historical fiction. It was a dream come true. Since then I have published other books, including a sequel to my first book and a children’s picture book based on the memoir of an ancestor of mine. I am finally realizing a dream of combining education and writing. I run an online business called Historically Katie, which serves as encouragement, support, and guidance for families who write. I am still writing too. I am happy to finally bring my writing dream to life in my career. 

What I Sell  

I sell writing resources for kids and families at my TeachersPayTeachers shop. More are being added all the time, and I offer free writing prompts and activities for email subscribers at my site. Resources include writing prompts, writing choice boards, plus poetry, literature, and history writing activities. Online writing classes for kids may be coming soon, too! 


(Image source: Historicallykatie.com)


Contact Info

Website is: https://www.historicallykatie.com/

Also:  https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Store/Historically-Katie

https://www.amazon.com/Katie-Andrews-Potter/e/B077G5JW1M

Email address: kathrynandrewspotter@gmail.com


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Terri @ The Silver Dragonfly 

"Dreamchaser" story

As the mother of 5 sons, fishing and soccer and rough housing were the norm.  As much as I love spending time with my kids, I needed some girl time.  I have always been a crafter and creator, so I started dabbling with beads.  My little sister moved back from the east coast, and beading became something we could do together -- my girl time.  I was still working full-time hours at a corporate gig at that point.  Then the day came that changed everything....I got downsized!  After some serious soul-searching and the ever present support of my loving husband and son's....The Silver Dragonfly LLC was born!  It will always be a work in progress, but I couldn't be happier with where it is today.


What I sell ~ Handcrafted fine silver jewelry


(Image source: The Silver
                                                              Dragonfly FB page)


Contact Info

(Terri is offering a code to help you save some money! Just enter DREAMS at checkout to save 10%.)     

Email address is: info@thesilverdragonfly.com

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Sandy James (Award-winning author)

"Dreamchaser" Story

By day, Sandy James is a high school teacher. However, she has also carved out a successful career as an award-winning author, while still continuing to be a well-loved educator. She is the author of several stand-alone novels, and quite a few book series.  Too numerous to list them all here, but you can find them listed on her website (https://sandyjames.com/books.html) or at Fantastic Fiction (https://www.fantasticfiction.com/j/sandy-james/). I have already become a big fan of hers, and you can read my "Dreamchaser Spotlight" post here.  According to her standings on Amazon, she has many more fans, also. She has won awards for her work, including the Maggie Award for Excellence Finalist and two Holt Medallion Awards.


What I sell


(Image source: Fantastic Fiction)



Contact Info

Website is: www.sandyjames.com/index, or go to Amazon to learn more about her books.


          🎁🎁🎁🎁🎁🎁🎁🎁🎁🎁🎁🎁🎁🎁🎁🎁🎁🎁🎁🎁🎁🎁🎁🎁🎁🎁🎁🎁🎁🎁



You can't go wrong by "Shopping Small"! ~ You are helping a DreamChaser to continue following their dreams while finding unique gifts to give family and friends! Please remember to share the idea of  "Shopping Small" (and this post, too!) with all of your friends!

     




Thursday, September 17, 2020

Thankful Thursday ~ There Is Always a Reason to Be Thankful



Attitude of Gratitude


It is not what happens to us in life that determines what kind of life we have. It is how we respond to the events in our lives that will have the most impact. I have seen very
wealthy people that are miserable, as well as poor people that are joyous.

Choose to have an "Attitude of Gratitude"!!! Look for all the small things to be thankful for, as well as the extraordinary. 


  • Take the time to appreciate the beauty of a sunsetπŸŒ‡, or an Autumn tree.
  • Notice the small kindnesses that come your way, such as a door held open for you, such as your husband giving a small neck rub πŸ’† because you are stressed out.
  • Even if only for 5 minutes, enjoy the rest for your weary body & mind.πŸ›ŒπŸ’€πŸ›Œ
  • We should always be thankful for our health. A healthy body is such a blessing. πŸ’ͺ🍎🏊
  • True friendship is many times undervalued. Having friends who are there for each other can help you weather any storm. πŸ‘₯πŸ‘₯
  • Every day that you are alive is a day to be grateful. Each day, you wake up with a clean slate and can begin anew.πŸŒ…

What are you thankful for right now? Do you already have an "Attitude of Gratitude"? 

Saturday, August 29, 2020

Don't Box Me In: Lessons From My Cat

Are you always on the lookout πŸ” for new ideas? Trying to keep your eyes πŸ˜ƒπŸ‘€πŸ˜ƒ open for motivation to follow your dreams? 

Fantastic! As you do, you will discover that motivation, inspiration and sources of learning can be found all around you! 

Amazingly, even our pets can teach us a thing or two! 😸😻😸


Today's Lesson by Miss CallieCat


Let me start by introducing you to this little furball, who goes by the name of CallieCat. She is your typical cat that normally goes about her day on her own terms. However, on this particular day, I was attempting to manipulate her to my terms: as a photography πŸ“· subject. 

I had been following her around with my smartphone for a little while, to work on my focusing skills and candid shots. And as I watched her with these empty boxes, it hit me that I was being taught some very interesting concepts about life!


1. Don't Let Anyone Box You In.

I had been trying to get her to jump into the other box. She was not having anything to do with it. When I least expected it, she jumped into this box on her own. Then, looked at me like, "I will get in the box I want, when I want!"



2. Have an Open Mind, and Stay Curious.

Learning is always a good thing! Be willing to look at life from different perspectives. Investigate new ideas. Be willing to step out of your comfort zone. If you notice, CallieCat is not leaving her original box as she investigates a new box. She is merely learning about it, before making any changes. As the saying goes, "Look before you leap!"




3. Think Outside the Box.

The box is the status quo, or the "way things have always been done".  Sometimes, the best answer to a problem can be found outside the box. Trying a different way to proceed, or looking at a project from a new angle, might be the exactly what is needed to have that golden "Aha" moment!




In Conclusion

This blog post is a perfect example of the lessons I have learned from Miss CallieCat.  😻😻😻 Although this blog is generally about following your dreams and trying new endeavors, I am always open to new ways of inspiring you to do just that.

Realizing that I myself can find inspiration from my cat 😺 and a couple of boxes πŸ“¦πŸ“¦ was a little bit of an eye-opener to me.

What Are Your Thoughts?

Have you found inspiration, or interesting insights, in the most unusual places? Have you learned anything from your pets? Are you already an "Outside the Box" thinker who doesn't like to be "Boxed in" by others? Do you have an open mind, and try to stay curious?

I'm curious about your thoughts. Leave me a comment below, and let me know what you think. And always, if you think others might be interested, please share on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram or Pinterest!


Sunday, August 9, 2020

Embrace Who You Are!

 Do you like who you are? πŸ€”πŸ€”

I understand that this may be tough to answer, but it is necessary to ask yourself this question every so often. 

Why? Because if you cannot embrace who you are, you cannot really go forward in life. You can exist, but you can't go towards what you really want without some type of inner compass leading the way.  When you know who you are and what you want, you have confidence in yourself.

And according to an affirmation inside my new purse:


EMBRACE WHO YOU ARE

What does this mean to embrace who you are? Let's start by defining what it means to embrace.

According to the Oxford Dictionary, one definition of the word:

 Embrace ~ an act of accepting or supporting something willingly or enthusiastically. 

It is easy to accept something enthusiastically when it is a fun activity, or a new passion. Much, much harder to enthusiastically do the same for yourself.

How to Start Embracing What Makes You, You!


♡♡ Embrace What You Love to Do

    *For myself, I have always loved reading. I cannot remember a time that I didn't. I 
      love this facet of my life. I have learned so much, gained perspective & been made a 
      better person through my reading. 
       (I know that I have truly accepted this. Today, Facebook brought up 5 past "On this 
        day" memories ~ they were all about National Booklover's Day!)
      
A Typical Reading Pile from 
my nightstand!

♡♡ Embrace Your Unique Personality

     *If you love to talk (and can make friends standing in lines even), wonderful! If you           are more reserved & quiet, fantastic! People that are drawn to you appreciate these         qualities in you and will enjoy your company.

♡♡ Embrace Authenticness

    *I am not sure if "authenticness" is a word, but it is now! LOL πŸ™Œ  Being authentic is        one of the best things you can be. Whether someone is an unlikable old cuss or a              people person, at least you can appreciate when someone is real. No games, no                messing around, just be yourself! People will either like you or they won't, but at least          you will be true to yourself.

Last Words

I will close with an appropriate quote. I am not quite clear on the origins of this quote, but it is very fitting for our discussion today.

"No matter where you go, there you are." 

EMBRACE WHO YOU ARE! You are unique for a reason! And, at the end of the day, you have to learn to love yourself, because no matter where you go, there you are. 

And as my purseπŸ‘› has already stated above: Confidence is your best accessory!


Tuesday, July 14, 2020

Tuesday Motivation~Permission to not be Perfect

As we all love to binge-watch favorite shows on Netflix, I have to confess that I am no exception! LOL.  πŸ“ΊπŸ“ΊπŸ“Ί

Recently, I found a new uplifting positive show about inspiring women. It is called "Shine On With Reese", starring (of course!) Reese Witherspoon. She goes around the country, interviewing women that have made a difference.



In the episode I watched tonight, a small part of a conversation with Sara Blakely caught my attention. 

Just one of those little things that you don't realize you need to hear, until you hear it!

Transcript of Conversation

Reese: Well, I think you have to be like water off a duck's back...if you wanna accomplish anything.

I think about people like you or anybody who's accomplished something really extraordinary, has to learn to tune out the naysayers.

Sara: Yeah, I consider that a life practice for me is to really work on not caring what other people think.

I think that that is something that, as women, if there's, if we could free ourselves up from feeling that need, to look like we have it all together at all times...

Reese: Yeah. I have these days when I'm so on it, and everything is firing on every cylinder, and there's days where I'm just like 30% of myself. Like I'm lobotomized or something.

I had this great coach when I did this movie where I was playing a softball player, and she said, "I don't care if you have 30%, give me 100% of that 30%."

I was like, "Thank you. What a relief."

Sara: Permission.

Reese:  Permission to not be perfect. 

Sara:  Permission. Right.

"Shine On with Reese" on Netflix


Tuesday's Motivational Takeaway

In an era of Pinterest and more, I think that last line bears repeating one more time...."Permission to not be Perfect."


~  Be yourself! Enjoy life! Be a good person! Try to help people! ~


Those are important. But, do not worry at all about being perfect! You have permission to not be perfect. 

What do you think? Did you need to hear this today?






Friday, July 10, 2020

Photography Friday ~ Life in the Country

Peaceful...that is the word we hear all the time from our visitors. 

"I love being out here! It's just so peaceful." ☺πŸ’¬☺

On this Photography Friday πŸ“·πŸ“ΈπŸ“·, I thought I would share a little bit of our peaceful countryside charm.

Enjoy! We definitely do!



Sunset in Paradise



No Electricity Stops Me from
Enjoying Life!



A Beautiful View 



Apple Tree Blooms



Miss CallieCat



What do you think?



Tuesday, June 23, 2020

Monday Musings ~ Learning the Fine Art of Listening

Growing up as the fourth child in a family of five, it would be safe to say that I didn't spend much time on the fine art of listening.πŸ‘‚πŸ™‰πŸ‘‚

No, I spent a lot more of my time and effort on making sure I was heard instead. It was very important for me to insist on getting my point across to anyone that would let me.

In over 50 years, I would hope that I have learned a few skills in the listening department. I try my best to be a good listener to my friends, family and co-workers.

However, with all that 2020 has thrown at us in the last several months, it has become apparent that a crash course in the fine art of listening might be in order.


Image source: Canva

With a pandemic, an election and so much more in the news this year, it has honestly looked like our communication skills have taken a turn for the worse.

In person and on social media, I have witnessed a multitude of talking, shouting, sharing of opinions, passing along of memes/images and so forth.

If I could put all of it into a visual, I think it would look something like this:

Image source: Canva

This picture reminds me of that child I described above that is demanding to be heard by anyone that would listen. 

This is not communicating. It is only a mere fraction. Real communication and understanding comes with LISTENING.

WHAT IS LISTENING?

  • Listening is truly understanding what a person is trying to say. If a friend is telling you about something personal, listen to where it is coming from, why they may feel what they feel.
  • Listening is remembering that other people will have other experiences, backgrounds and perspectives than you. This is what makes us the beautiful, individual souls that we are.
  • Listen to the character of the person that is talking to you. The old expression, "Reputation is what you do when someone is watching; Character is what you do when noone is watching" applies very well here. Who we chose to listen to will affect what we hear.


Using Listening Skills in Real-Life Situations

Recently, a friend shared on Facebook how she had felt upon meeting me & other friends at our class reunion. I had previously gotten to know her on FB a little when I had reconnected with her husband/my classmate. 

She has given me permission to share this with others. I would like you to read her words, as you use your newfound listening skills. Her story is important to share, but you need to be listening to hear all she is saying.

"When my husband wanted to come to the class reunion, I was hesitant to go. I was afraid that because he was married to me that people would not want to be around us.  When he started introducing me to his former classmates at the reunion, my heart was racing. Waiting for someone to make a remark or see in their body language that they were uncomfortable with our interracial marriage."

She discovered through the course of the evening, that there was nothing to worry about from us. However, this does not discount how she felt. By truly listening to her words, this message hit me deep down to my soul.

Image source: Canva

Last Thoughts


Learning the Fine Art of Listening is truly a valuable skill that will  enrich your life immensely. Everyone has a story to tell. If we just remember to stop talking and shouting every once in a while, we may just learn something from each other.

~~Are you a good listener? Let me know your thoughts?~~