Sunday, November 5, 2017


It's the middle of the night and I am still up. I had a wonderful presentation at Pinner's Conference yesterday. I was given an hour to speak to over 200 attendees. We had more people than expected and I asked them to let anyone in who wanted to come. I left feeling just so grateful that my message was helpful. I had many women come up to me after telling me that they had come from other states just to listen to me speak... or a beautiful lady who recently lost her son in a tragic accident. I was overcome with tears and felt her pain. It was something I will never forget. I was talking to two women who said that I had been inspired to share my "pie" story. I talk about how YOUR biggest competition is YOU. Don't worry what others are doing. There is enough PIE for everyone.

UPDATE- I lost 70 lbs since last January and have kept it off for months now. WOO HOO! I work out at Orange Theory and if you leave a comment and want to know more how I am maintaining... I'll post if people are interested. I am having vein surgery on Wednesday and I knew I needed to get my "new found" love & life diet in check.


I could share so many messages that were given BACK to me. I sometimes feel VULNERABLE sharing my "real." I do it because PEOPLE MATTER. We are here to share and help others. I know I am so passionate about life and about sharing my message of GOING on after huge life trials, setbacks, heartbreak and wanting to give up. I am humbled that my mess has become my message. I am so in love with life and the trials have made me REFINED and a better me. 

It was only FIVE minutes before I was going to start. I was already deep in thought and I had just said a silent prayer. On the overhead speakers they were playing music. The song... oh the song... YOU SHOULD BE HERE by Cole Swindell came on. 

 My heart was instantly taken to Tyler. I thought how in just 10 days it will be three years since he died. I held back the tears. Oh my... he would be so proud of me. I made him a promise and I didn't think I could do it. I promised him I would GO ON. I would share my message, my faith and my story in hopes that it would help others. He knew I was ready to quit my business and just let my company go. He made me promise (because he KNEW it was my heart and passion) to NOT stop. He knew it would be my focus and help in my grieving. I want you to know that there is not a day that goes by that I don't think about Tyler. He helped me in so many ways to be the strong determined and appreciative person that I need and hope to be more of. I am grateful for our hard times. I am grateful I learned so much about myself often during harder times. I know he is watching over our beautiful children, grandbabies and me. I have ZERO doubt in some way he lead Brian into my life. I seriously could write another book on this miracle. I find myself so THANKFUL that I was able to find LOVE again. My sweet husband understands me and that marrying a widow is so different than marrying someone who was divorced. YOU never stop loving. Death does not stop love. 

After I spoke at Pinner's, my husband and I were starving. We left the show and drove to a nearby restaurant to eat and talk. We were talking about how the wonderful people who came to listen to me. I saw many tears, smiles, nods and there was many connections. Brian then told me that a lady had come up to him and was buying my book. She asked him if I had talked in my book about Tyler and how I dealt with being married to someone who was very type A and controlling. As we talked, I told him I wish I had the chance to talk to her. I knew she must be in a marriage with control because she mentioned if there was like "advice" on controlling husbands.

It breaks my heart. I understand this and lived this. My children lived this... it's a hard journey to be on. I STILL loved Tyler very much. It would be such a long post and just isn't possible to do online. I will say... I had to learn to stand up for my freedom to choose. I was losing myself. It was a battle every single day. If you are married to someone who is controlling- YOU understand. It's quite painful. I was always walking on eggshells and I had to learn to pick my battles. I learned that "People will treat you the way you ALLOW them to treat you." Dr. Phil.  

I want you to know that it's a vicious head game and I often thought at times I was LOSING my mind. Tyler was "obsessed" with me. It was in my mind... due to his LOVE for me and not wanting to lose me. I was his third wife and he let me know that "divorce" was never an option. It was crazy in that I was and am so fiesty that I would do what he told me not to and tried to hide it. I would hide diet mtn dew and diet coke. I had stashes in my girls bedroom closet and my crafting closets. It was such a HUGE fight if he knew I was drinking soda. He would sometimes come home and find a drink on the counter. My heart would race to get to the soda before he saw it. It was NO way to live. I don't want to  go into more stories because IF you are living this... YOU know it. As strong as I was... I was weak. I gave in often to simply have peace. I still loved him. I wanted him to change. I prayed for years.... I just wanted him to wake up one day and not be so controlling with us. Then about 4 or 5 years before he died... I realized I could not change anyone. I could only change me and my outlook. I could love him but I had to choose ME again. I started to slowly take baby steps. I was in therapy alone. My therapist gave me this book to read- When being in CONTROL is out of CONTROL. I am not sure who wrote it. It was my life. Tyler found me reading it and tore the book up. I STILL found joy, love and happiness. I looked for peace in my own way and I truly think my friends and my children and my therapist helped me be strong. There is SO much more I could say... but I know it may sound crazy but I am a better person from being married to Tyler. In spite of his extreme control issues, he was a great person who struggled with that demon. I know that cute girl from Pinner's is going to read this... I hope I have helped YOU in some small way. I hope my book helps you too. 

So I made an announement at PINNER'S CONFERENCE. I am not sharing the details but you can sign up for the NEWSLETTER and get information if you are interested. I have created and planned a new EVENT for WOMEN only. It is going to be amazing and it's for you to be inspired, motivated, pampered and RENEWED. 

This motivational retreat will be in PARK CITY Utah. I want to SHARE more now... but I intend to share MORE with you with the debut of ALL the details on the my website in the next week. I just want you to know that for years I knew this event was to take place. It will be unlike any retreat that you have went to. It will be very small in nature and very personalized. PLEASE go to my newly debured website now (just went live less than 24 hours ago) and sign up for updates and information. 

I am headed to Park City in about 5 hours. I will be filming videos (just like the B JOURNAL ones I did for JoAnn Fabrics & Crafts) for both the new websites.... this NEW retreat and for my other event. 

I could not believe how fast the CREATE YOUR STORY event sold out. You can go to the website and get on the newsletter and waiting list. I would LOVE to have you join us in Park City at one of my upcoming events.

I cannot believe it's 3:50 am and I'm still awake. Brian is sleeping beside me and my heart and mind are just RACING with gratitude and exploding from all the good things happening in my life. I am loving my new little grandsons- Tanner and Cannon. I am loving being a mother, wife, grandmother ( I highly recommend this one!) and LOVE passionately the path and journey my company is at. 

After I got home from Pinner's I knew I needed to get all my projects, decor and such ready for my filming. I felt on FIRE again. Oh my friends... I had LOST my fire after Tyler died. I just didn't want to go on for a long time. I made some great decisions that have brought me profound PEACE (like moving my event to Park City) and deciding to GO BIG with my empowerment event for women. I have something else... very exciting that I am back doing again. I plan to share that very soon. I just want you to know that I love you all so much for being there for me... I had a harder 4.5 years... Tyler's cancer diagnosis, his death, remarriage etc. so life kind of kicked my butt. I can't help but be grateful for the bad times and the hard times because it makes me appreciate the good even more.


Saturday, November 4, 2017


I am headed to speak this morning at Pinner's Conference. I am thrilled to speak to the 200 people who got into my presentation. I am so passionate about spreading SELF LOVE. I am also announcing the newest passion event today that I am hosting for WOMEN. I promise to come back on my blog and share the details after I announce it but I wanted to share some things that I have been thinking about lately. 

The true BEAUTY of a WOMAN does not come from looking at oneself in the mirror. I have been thinking a lot about REAL BEAUTY and what makes each of beautiful. I don't believe that anyone is ugly. I do think that society wants to make us feel like we need to be perfect. I talk to thousands of women each year at events or during my speaking engagements. I have noticed some HARSH realities. TOO many of us don't feel like we are good enough, pretty enough, cool enough, and that we are beautiful. 

 listentng to my own voice. loving myself TODAY just the way that I am.
How many of you have told me that you don't want your photo taken? You don't like the way you look? You feel excluded, left out or not "in" the popular crowd- you can't compete with social media. YOU feel like every single ONE of us at some time or another. 

I have battled my whole life to love myself. I still am actually a shy person. It's so easy to compare yourself with "her."  I have had to put myself "out" there my whole life. I had at times ALLOWED myself to feel "less than" by other women. I don't do it anymore because I choose to look for "my" real beauty. 
I started looking deep inside myself to see what makes up my heart because it is the heart that determines a woman's true beauty. 

How many of you HIDE from showing the REAL you? 
Are you SCARED like me at times and in photos stand behind things to COVER up your body? Maybe you put a purse in front of your body to hide more. 
I am as guilty as anyone else. 
Do you shy away from being in a photo?
I was at ROSS last year and hide behind my new TC Magnetic Canvas Art boards. I do it...
maybe we all do it at times. I had gained some weight and I was the heaviest I had ever been. I caught myself "hiding" in photos.

I hope the real beauty of being me is seen from my eyes, because that is the doorway to my soul & heart. This is where love resides within me. This photo is after Tyler passed away at his grave. I believe that LOVE for you and for others brings out the beauty in a woman. It really does not have everything to do with society's view that is all based on being physically beautiful. If we compare with the social media "girl" we will never feel or know our own beauty.

I promise you that you do not need a perfect figure to be beautiful. I am grateful I have to watch my weight and that I am not naturally thin. I have to work hard and watch what I eat. It has often humbled me in many ways. 

I often find people will tell me that my smile is real and can be felt from the depths of my heart. I love to smile and say hello to strangers.  I smile because I was so picked on in elementary and jr. high school. I was a cheerleader but never felt like I fit in and that it must have been a mistake I was made the squad. 

I never want anyone to feel "less than" because of me or my actions. I know a sincere smile can make others feel completely loved and accepted. I steer away from MEAN GIRLS. I would rather be alone than surround myself with mean people.
I think that REAL BEAUTY comes from really caring about others. I recently spoke to a group of women at the Enlightened Retreat and I told them-

"I am still the same little girl from NC. I am no better than anyone else regardless of any amount of success that I have had in this life. I tell myself all the time- Get over yourself! You have worked hard, you are blessed- but you are here to love and help others. Comparison is the thief of JOY. I want others to know that I am sincere in my kindness and desire to make friends."
I have tried to focus on my joy in life and encourage others find their own passion and job. It has made me so happy, that I want to sparkle and radiate a LIGHT of love and positive energy to others. KINDNESS matters.  I want others to feel their own beauty and be a KINDER person in a world of 

I was heavier in this photo from early Spring. I was presenting home decor at the HOME + GARDEN SHOW and I was at heavier  than I normally am- but I still LOVE me... THEN and NOW. 
mean girls and societal judgments.

REAL BEAUTY is not fake or two faced
or when you "have" to be nice.
My mother raised me so "southern." Thank you mama. (oh how I miss her!)  I am no better than anyone else and I can BUILD instead of BREAK.

I look back on my early childhood that was brutal from my father and from the children at school. I was so young and it devastated me.
I was made fun of because my mother smoked and they called me horrible names.
I remember being told that I "stank."
I was excluded and felt I was not worthy to have friends. We moved a lot when I was younger and I just "NEVER" felt like I belonged. I was struggling with the shame of my home life and abuse from my father. 
It didn't help that my mother decided to cut my long pretty blond hair to SHORT like a boy in 5th grade. Ha!

So at a young age, I decided to focus on my REAL BEAUTY. This is what I hope you will find in me if you meet me, or know me. 
I hope you will share this with your own self, your daughter, granddaughter... 
I know that SOCIAL MEDIA and feeling "like you don't fit in" can deeply scar and hurt us from finding our own real beauty.  
Again, COMPARISON is the thief of JOY.

These are the things that I CHOOSE-

I choose to speak words of kindness- this makes my lips and mouth beautiful. 

I choose to look for the good in others- this makes my eyes beautiful. 

I choose to know that I am a daughter of God and that I will never WALK alone. I can use my legs to go to those in need and help them.

I choose to LOVE myself and others. I won't allow anyone to make me feel less than. I go to so many shows and events and I see first hand how people are excluded, the cliques, and the "popular" crowd.
True story= I had someone say to me last month at another speaking engagement. "You look so great! You have lost a lot of weight. I saw a photo of you at the trade show in January and you had gotten really big." I know that this person did not intend to hurt my feelings. It was her observation. I actually did not let it hurt me in any way. I loved myself then and I love myself now

We can choose to be offended or we can "let it go."

 I will not base my worth on my weight or on what others may say about my
physical appearance. YOU should not either. REAL BEAUTY is within your heart!

Don't be afraid to leave your friend group and reach out with your HANDS to lift someone else.

Be more observant and make a difference.
REAL beauty is within you...your soul, your heart and your intentions. I felt so strongly that I needed to SHARE this message. I know it will be hard for me to push publish. WHY? 

I don't profess to be perfect or any better than anyone else. I just want to make a difference. I want to remind others to speak kindlessly to and about others and about YOURSELF.

 Remember to BUILD and not BREAK others. 

I hope to
"SEE" others and be more aware of their struggles and insecurities and help build myself and others.

Let's make a difference. It begins from within.

I have never felt more BEAUTIFUL in my entire life. It took me into my forties to STOP listening VOICES of unkind and judgment. 

I hope I see many of you at Pinner's Conference today. I am thrilled to announce some news and following my passion.