Friday, April 24, 2015

BIG WEEK... HAPPY BIRTHDAY GENTRY!!!!!


This has been a big week for my family. We have celebrated Gentry's birthday, Taylor sold her house and got home from a little baby moon trip, and Zach played baseball and Ty is doing his tennis games. We have so much going on and change is always hard.  I have been working to get my home prepared for the buyers by having a general contractor come and take care of things I can't do myself. We will close on our new home next Monday. I have the BEST church ward. They are giving our family a farewell party this Sunday at our  friends home. It really has meant a lot to us. 

I have been at the office creating lots of new projects too. Yes, on the floor and no shoes on. This is how I like to create. I am headed to the NYC National Stationery Show May 17-20th and then to The Island's Creative Escape May30th- SATURDAY- 2 workshops... one day only!!!!!

I am working on new projects with products that is finally shipping. There has been big port issues for the past few months and it has been slowing down the releases. I'm so thrilled that everything is now going to be shipping. 


I have teamed up with OUR WORLD BOUTIQUE and Denise who has been styling me. It has been fun to see her pick things that are my style. The gold necklace and pants were her pick. I am selling the BE A WARRIOR gold BAGS. They
finally came in and I'm so happy with how they turned out.

Watching Zach play baseball is a true highlight of my life.
I love watching him. He has the most amazing coaches who are truly life coaches to him as well.


It was Gentry's 23rd birthday on the 22nd. 
It was a special day to have them come up and went to the game and then dinner together. Taylor and Travis were busy packing and cute McKay is in Seattle this week. (BYU finals are done!!!)


I love these kids. They are my heart and I am so thankful that God gave them to me. I am thankful for Devan and that he will graduate soon with his Masters in Accounting. GO DEVAN!!!!!

They are so happy and this makes me so thankful they found each other and for the addition to their family.


This quote really is AMAZING!!!!!!



I recently read this and it really spoke to me: 

"Believe it or not, everyone you come in contact with has something to teach you. There’s a lesson for you to learn but also to teach. Just like Lao Tzu said it more than 2500 years ago, a good man is a bad man’s teacher and a bad man is a good man’s job.

Get in the habit of looking for the meaning behind every interaction and every experience life sends your way. Look for the lesson, look for the meaning and be willing to use every interaction and every experience to become a better but not a bitter human being.

Treat everyone with respect, love and compassion, including those who judge and criticize you harshly, not necessarily because they deserve it but because you do. Appreciate the contrast and silently thank them for the many lessons they are teaching you." - PURPOSE FAIRY






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Sunday, April 19, 2015

LIFE IS A BEAUTIFUL JOURNEY


I am so THANKFUL for Sundays. 
I love being able to go to church and really reflecting on my life and my beliefs. I feel so inspired and motivated to be a better person. I see my life journey and I think how I NEVER would have imagined WHERE I am and WHAT I would have faced and I am full of gratitude for the experiences that have made me who I am.




I often think how we are NOT in charge of what happens to us in life, the timing of our problems and WHEN things occur. We are merely here to learn from the experiences that we have been given. I believe our trials and joys teach us valuable life lessons. We are all so different and we each have our own journey to experience.

I am so THANKFUL, EXCITED and THRILLED to share my latest  BIG DEBUT that are hitting JoAnn stores RIGHT NOW. 

               They are LIMITED EDITION
                         Teresa Collins 
        BE A WARRIOR GOLD TOTE BAGS

This is WHAT has got me where I am today. I decided to FIGHT harder than I ever had to. I accepted God's plan and to BE A WARRIOR when LIFE literally knocked me to my knees. 

I have NEVER known such profound sadness than when I had to watch Tyler get cancer, suffer and die. These past two years literally at times made me want to give up. I had to dig deep and remember that God is mindful of each of us. God helped me see that HIS plan is not always our plan. We don't know WHY and we merely have to FACE the trials and keep going. I choose to do this and I have really worked hard to be happy and keep going.


Ty and I both knew he was not going to make it. I am truly thankful for the TIME we were given to say goodbye and for our personal journey through this time of pure hell for us. Sorry, that is the only word I can describe how it felt. He is the one who was worried about me most and encouraged and wanted me to "go on" when I thought I could not.

So I tried and I went down on my knees and prayed for Heavenly Father many times a day to PLEASE help me. Please give me the desire to go on. I was in such a dark place and GOD is the reason I am HERE and so fortunate to be HAPPY and seeing the BEAUTY in life.

 You are NEVER ever ready to go through what we have been through the past couple of years. I will NEVER ever be the same person. I say this knowing that my HEART was changed forever. 

  I know LIFE is so precious and we have limited TIME here with those we LOVE. Don't ever spent a moment regretting, feeling hate, judging, but simply LOVE LOVE LOVE. 

I am going on.
I have amazing BIG things happening in my design business. 
My heart is FULL of gratitude. I have found the desire within myself again to DESIGN and LOVE my life again. I am truly feeling thankful that I am full of inspiration again. 



This is my new PSA Essentials TC products. I am so thankful for this big debut into the Stationery world. Yes, they are WHITE and GOLD...


I am loving my "LIFE" of being with my two handsome boys. My heart breaks for what they have lost in their life and my other children. I can never ever replace their dad and what an amazing father he was to the them. Ty was so close to them and called them "his buddies." Zach and I went on a date night this past week and I am so proud of this boy. I see the growth within them and how losing Tyler has made their faith stronger. He told me that every day he wakes up and "I pray everyday for the opportunity to help someone."
THIS is truly what life is about. 

I filmed a new video for Canon and JoAnn this past week too. THIS is something AMAZING and good and will be debuting exclusive to JoAnn stores too. I see this as a way to KEEP documenting and capturing MEMORIES. It's so important!!!!!




 I am blessed to get to watch Zach play baseball twice a week now. He is doing amazing and hitting some amazing BIG hits and catching so great. He broke his bat on Friday with this home run hit. GO ZACH!!!!!

I believe that we must FOCUS on the good in life and we truly just don't know where our life journey will take us. I have found this to be so true.


Last night, we went to the REAL soccer game and it was really fun. Tyler took his "girl" Tallya. 
Oh to be sweet 16 again!!!!


I have been blessed to have met an amazing person. This decision to date after the death of Tyler is  deeply personal. It’s a choice many of us will face. I never thought I would EVER face this to be honest. 


The grief and sadness of losing a spouse can never be explained unless you have been through it. There are so many emotions and things no one will understand but YOU and you alone. There is a huge void in your life. When your partner dies, you know what deep grief it and what its truly like to be alone. 


I have learned that each of us has own unique grief process and that it's all complicated. It's deeply personal and this is my new journey. Starting to date again was scary. It was not in "my life plan" at all. When things happen in my life I am a firm believer that God is mindful of me and each of us and our needs. HE brings people into your life. I see the new possibilities as I have begun this next chapter in my life journey. 

This person has brought me so much joy to my life right now. I never ever thought my LIFE would be where it is RIGHT now. 


I decided to allow myself to experience the happiness and not DOUBT God's plan for me.  I am doing what I always say- KEEP GOING

Yes, it's NEVER easy. Tears come easily and change is so very hard. It has not been easy to do this because there's absolutely nothing scarier than starting over. I realized that happiness can be found again. It has for me.  I have had to push all the worry and doubt from my mind and just FEEL it- TRUST it. My journey is just that... mine and mine alone. I have learned to never judge or question anyone else's journey and life. I am confident in my heart and my desire to always be a great mother, woman, and friend. 

YOU truly never know that anyone has ever experienced or what they are going through. So today.... I am going to remember this-

LIFE IS SHORT, TIME IS FAST, NO REPLAY, NO REWIND, SO ENJOY EVERY MOMENT AS IT COMES.

THINK OF ALL THE BEAUTY STILL LEFT
AROUND YOU AND BE HAPPY.  anne frank

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Sunday, April 12, 2015

LAST day in ROTORUA NEW ZEALAND... heading home


I'm saying THANK YOU for this amazing time here in NEW ZEALAND. I leave tonight to head back home. I have a massive  overflowing heart of GRATITUDE . 

My life has been enriched and forever blessed and changed from the KINDNESS and love these beautiful women have given me. A great reminder that we are HERE to help others.
LIFE IS AMAZING!!!!! 

TIME is precious and being away from home has given me such an appreciation for my life journey and those that mean the world to me. I am the biggest emotional girl. I admit, I hate leaving home. It's hard for me, but it also has allowed me the richest experiences, friendships and allowed me to grow stronger. In a few short FOUR weeks we will be welcoming a brand new little baby into our family and hearts. My daughter is having her baby and life could not been any more miraculous. I see tender loving mercies around me and I am simply BLESSED. I realize who I can depend on and who loves and supports me. You realize who is really there for you. It has changed me to want to do and be MORE for others myself. It truly is about helping each other. 



Words cannot articulate the feelings within my soul for all of you who came to the event and enriched my soul. I made connections for life and that is what I am about. I realize that LIFE is never to be taken for granted. LIVE EACH DAY with absolute LOVE & APPRECIATION for that day. So many women came and mentioned that they follow my blog and read it daily. They see that I am living life, and being full of gratitude. Life has a way of refining us. We each face the consequences for our own choices. We are here to not judge but LOVE. I see the love that I have from you when I attend these events. I get opportunities to share very personal and private conversations. I was given so many special hugs. I see that as human beings we all have the SAME feelings and desires. 

“Let us be grateful to people who make us happy; they are the charming gardeners who make our souls blossom.” – Marcel Proust


 I will never settle for living a life that does not let those around me know how much I adore and cherish them. My imperfect life and moments are so dear to me.  So know that I am grateful and humbled from this experience again. I can't wait to come back. 


This was two years ago. McKay is quite sad to not come this year. We went zip lining last time. It was AMAZING!!!!! I was so scared but it was truly amazing.  McKay is attending BYU right now and the semester will soon be over and she is preparing for a Summer away in Peru. She is doing a service mission there. What a blessing that she in now fluent in the Spanish language. I encourage her to experience life in it's fullest at her young age before she graduates and life demands get in the way. This girl was emailing me this entire trip and kept me updated on Zach and Ty & home. I can't express how much I adore this cute girl. She reminds me daily of a young woman of great faith and love for God. 

We left Taupo and it was time for a GIRLS road trip to Rotorua. 
It is full of Maori culture and thermal pools. This is really one of my coolest experiences EVER. It is BUCKET LIST worthy. 


Nothing like a Sunday drive in New Zealand. This beautiful place is a true testament of God's creation. We laughed, joked and the time flew.  



One of my all time favorite things is road trips. I love to see the scenery and just reflect on the goodness of life. I am so happy and fortunate to be here again. THIS is pure thankfulness on my face.




We had to stop at a thermal pool. We were so scared to fall in. It was hilarious. 


Michele is the best tour guide. She is such a wonderful friend. I adore her and love that she takes the time to make sure it is a EXPERIENCE for her guests/friends.


This is what we did. HOT thermal pools feel AMAZING.
My feet loved the warmth. Yes, my feet are the ones with WHITE polish. It felt relaxing and refreshing. Next time, I will bring a swim suit. 


Is this not really cool?????


Let's see... DANGER... yes, I only put my feet in. I am told this is NORMAL to see at all the thermal pools. 



We finally made it to Rotorua. I was not used to the STRONG smell of Sulfur (rotten eggs). I was even lightheaded. We drove across the lakeside and took a few photos. We checked into our hotel and enjoyed the Maori culture. We had a yummy Italian dinner last night. (McKay you are so missing out!!!!!)



CAN YOU PRONOUNCE THE STREET NAMES?????




I still am getting up at 3:30 or 4:00 am. It's pretty much what I am used to. I use this time to design, listen to music, exercise, email with my realtor and blog of course. I am headed back home later tonight. Did I mention I have to go home and pack for my move?????


It's a good thing I have my hotel room by myself. I get up way too early for most people. I woke up with a massive backache so today "might" be a challenge. I could not sleep and gave into this fact and just got up. I think it is my curse to not be able to "not" worry about my family and life back home when I'm away. 

We are going HIGH ADVENTURE today. My last day here in NEW ZEALAND!!!!!

We are checking out soon and going to shop for souvenirs and go to a lift to the TOP of Rotorua. I am pretty sure we are on a mission to find Coke Zero too. We are going to bob sled down the mountainside. Yes, I am up for it!!!!! We talked about going Zorbing too. You never know what Michele will have us doing. I am sure we will be doing LOTS more fun things today before our several hour journey- drive back to Auckland. 

I am so excited to get home and can't wait to be with those that I love so much. Being away from home will give you perspective on what matters most. It's all about appreciating those people in your life who are your FOUNDATION and love you more than anything.  I know for me my heart is always profoundly thankful to go back to them. 

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Friday, April 10, 2015

I'm in TAUPO New Zealand


This is what I did at 3 am on the flight from LAX to Auckland. I flew on Air New Zealand which I loved! It was the best flight and I managed to sleep for about 6 hours and woke up and added to the WANDERLUST workshop book. My new TRAVEL range is just hitting my warehouse to ship. I literally got the papers the day before I left to fly here. So I am so in LOVE with this GOLD, BLACK, WHITE collection. I did manage to get some stares from people on the flight wondering what I was doing in the dark with the little light from the overhead.  


I arrived in Auckland and met up with Melissa from Kaisercraft. Yes, she is a doll. We waited for Michele and Michelle (yes, the two M's) to arrive so we could hit the road and drive to Taupo. 
ROAD TRIP!!!!!

We had to make a few stops along the way for food and jandales (I think that is the word) for sandles/flip flops. We laughed a lot and these girls are truly my friends. I realize more and more how blessed my life is to have friends like these girls.


We arrived at this beautiful resort and I am feeling very fortunate to be back again in this GORGEOUS green country. Not only are  the surroundings over the top amazing, but the people here are so kind and welcoming. It is rainy and I love it. I am 18 hours ahead of my home right now so that is the hardest part of being here.
My closest friends and family know that I have a hard time leaving and being away. It is when I need the support the most.

I am often inspired when I am traveling and have time to be alone and think. I love meeting people and sharing my passion and story. I want each of us to REACH and BE our full POTENTIAL. As women, as human beings, we can soar beyond anything we can dream and truly want. We only need to SEE and reach for the very BEST that we each have within us. I know the voices in my head... call it fear or thoughts of negativity only have the POWER if I give it power. I have learned to STOP giving power to that chatter- yes, I choose to not give into it. I've learned with age that letting NEGATIVE thoughts into my head will hinder my progress and stop growth. I will not give it the power to lead my life and head off track.

I met a beautiful woman yesterday who recently lost her husband two months ago. As we spoke and shared, we had such a similar story. We bonded and talked about the "real" reality. This is one that only you can know if you have experienced it. She had thought about not coming, but decided to come and we talked, connected and it was very special. I know that being willing to share with each other can help lift one another. That is so much what this event and others is about. It is SO much more than designing and projects and the product.

I feel blessed to live the life I am living. Life is a GRAND wonder to me. I appreciate the life I have. Here and NOW... my trials, happiness and struggles- every moment of it. When life changed for me, I strived to gain clarity. I found that I am stronger than I thought, and that no matter what circumstances I have found myself in, that I will be okay. I take moments like TODAY to look around in awe at the goodness and grace that surrounds me. I take time to notice the BLESSINGS that are everywhere.



Karen spoke to me yesterday and told me that she follows my blog and shared that it's all about 
"COURAGE & KINDNESS"
I am honored that she sees me this way and I wrote it down on the palm of my hand in a black sharpie.
I want to be just like Karen sees me. 
Thank you Karen...



Each person I meet has no idea the impact that they leave in my heart and mind. That is why I am here for such a short time, but felt I needed and wanted to come. It's worth the jet lag and the exhaustion.  I know that I gain more than anyone.


This place is truly a reminder of God's  beautiful hand in his creations. It makes me miss my home and where I grew up- North Carolina. The rain here is calming and it's so relaxing. The people here are just like this. I adore Michele and Jodi who have organized this event. They are such good women.

This is the layout workshop I am teaching. I gave them all so much extra papers to PLAY and design it... it can be completely different than mine. I love teaching workshops and sharing stories of my family and hearing their stories. This is Taylor and Travis. I look at these photos and am so thankful she found TRAVIS. I only want her to be happy. She deserves it.  Now this beautiful girl will be a mom to twins- a boy and a girl. This makes me so happy and I can't stop smiling. I adore her and her little family. Yes, I am ready to spoil these babies. 




This is Sarah and I loved seeing her again here. I love her kind sweet and giving heart. She gave me this GOLD gift. It was the perfect gift- Pure essential oils from The Aromatherapy Co in New Zealand- (orange & jasmine). I am so thankful. Thank you Sarah for your gift and friendship. I adore you!!!!



Here is a few of the "girls" that kept me laughing so hard. Did I mention we have so much fun?????? 

This is Esther. I loved this "ring leader" who admits that she is the "troublemaker." I love to see women being so happy and excited to be here. I love to see the happy smiling faces of friends being together. Don't we deserve this????



I have two helpers/assistants in each workshop. Denise and Melanie are over the top AMAZING. I love them both so much and yes, they kept me in stock with Coke Zero and Pineapple lumps. Yes, I "might" be a little addicted to both. 


I adore this photo and to see this beautiful woman laughing.



Yes, Brenda was the cutest. She would not come up and talk to me the day before. Than yesterday, she came up to talk to me and we hugged and talked. I gave her a big hug and was honored to meet her. I mentioned her last name is McKay and I have a daughter McKay. She was so cute and mentioned she knew that. I love meeting everyone. I love knowing that my blog and products connects me with people around the world. This is something that is very near and dear to my heart. 


Part of the classroom....





Her layout in progress. I love how she used my products. Everyone was so creative.

This is the other side of the room. Okay, it's SATURDAY and I have three more workshops to teach today. I am LOVING being here. 
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