Thursday, December 17, 2015

Hey Lovies!  New blog design coming soon.  Will be blogging and selling my paintings from here soon!

Monday, February 23, 2015

Here's the Real Deal...

So, I'm going to give this blog one more try.  I stepped away from writing and sharing my thoughts for quite awhile.  This blog started out with me, Coco, writing just about everything under the sun from organizing under my kitchen cabinets, to food challenges, blogger award interviews, what I was wearing for the day, to writing about my Pinterest boards.  Blah, blah, blah, bleh, phew! Well, none of that was me.  I was all over the place with no borders to contain me.  And I deleted most of those posts five minutes ago, gak!

No one (believe me), no one wants or cares to read about what I wore on any given day.  It's not exciting.  There are no designer labels, sparkles, or fluff on this gal.  And even though I devour reading cookbooks and foodie blogs, I really don't step out of the five core meals a week menu.  It's a sad misfortune for my family.  Organization is in my bag of tricks.  But, I am so stinkin' good at it that there is no need to write about it.  It's all put away, labeled, packed up, thrown out, zipped up, get the picture.  Kidding, that was a joke.  I have one pile, ok.  

Through my guilt of feeling like a quitter (since May 2014), I decided to think...what is the subject matter that excites me the most?  What's my passion?  It's inspirational living!  

Inspirational living, now that's my passion.  That's what I strive for each day.  I drink that stuff up lock, stock, and barrel.  I absorb inspirational living from the books I read each day, youtube videos I watch while on the elliptical (Hay House shoutout), listening to the amazing people in my life, actually attempting a new recipe, being with my family and available to my friends, painting Frida's, painting chandeliers, the list never ends.  Inspirational living is all encompassing.

So, I will try to tie all those things together with a little glue called cohesiveness.  I will cinch up my belt and have a tighter blog and feel a little better about Coco in Magnolia.

Inspirational living is the goal.  Let's learn and grow together. 

-Graham Moore

Friday, May 2, 2014

A Spot of Tea with Mum

As far as her mom was concerned, tea fixed everything.
Have a cold?  Have some tea.
Broken bones? There's tea for that too.
Somewhere in her mother's pantry, Laurel suspects, was a box of tea that said,
'In case of Armageddon, steep three to five minutes'."
-Aprilynne Pike, Illusions

Btw doesn't her skin look amazing! She's in her 70's ya'll.  Note to self, take care of my skin.
Ok, I don't really call my mom, mum, but I like the way it reads.  So pinch me.  Two things the mom and I have in common: our love for the still, quite time a hot cup of tea brings and the elegance and beauty of Paris.  And being that I love both, she probably had something to do with that.  And probably my love for dishes too, blue and white dishes to be exact.  

Every time my mom visits, we spend the first hour of our morning sitting together chit chatting over a cup of tea in the courtyard. During her last visit, as we were packing the car with her things for her trip back home, she gave me the prettiest bone china tea cup.  It has soft pink roses with the word 'Paris' inscribed.  

She explained she bought two.  One for me and one for her.  She told me each time I make a cup of hot tea to let her know.  She will stop what she's doing and pour a cup for herself in the same tea cup so we can have our tea together. Here we are yesterday having our tea together.  She's sitting on her back patio after a long day of teaching and I am sitting at home just before I cook dinner.

When I open the cupboard and see my Paris tea cup.  I think of her and our special mornings together.  Even though it is not as good as sipping tea with her here in the courtyard.  I can still pour a cup with my mom anytime I want.

I think this is my favorite gift from her.  It was a true sentiment  of thoughtfulness.  I will guard this tea cup with my life.    
Mom and I walking along the Seine River in Paris

Do you want to feel inspired to live bigger?
Do you want to feel inspired to do more?
For you, me, and everyone around you?
It's about the dominoe effect.
So have a spot of tea with mum and me as you watch this short video.

Have an awesome weekend erbody.

Wednesday, April 30, 2014

A Real Answer for An Honest Question

How do you spell 'love'?" - Piglet
"You don't spell feel it." - Pooh” 
― A.A. Milne

I  think Goldie hit the nail on the head here.  I hope you take a moment and view the answer she gave her daughter, who was four at the time, about whether God was her cousin. I mean, how stinkin' honest and inquisitive is that question coming from a small child.  

Goldie received some flack in the comment section on youtube for her answer.  I think she gave an age appropriate response to a four year old child.  Some got hung up on doctrine and failed to see her point.  Small children are more literal than abstract thinkers.  Her answer was age relatable to what a four year old could understand.  

I think she's right.  Joy, happiness, patience, acceptance, kindness, generosity, and humility are Universal laws (or God's laws) which one can know and experience by feel.  Or in your gut, as I would say. Like her, I know that I feel God. I feel Him in the warmth of the sun that shines on my skin. I see Him in the colorful, vibrant flowers in my garden.  I receive Him in the kindness of friendly smile when I least expect it.  I hear Him through the melodies of music and the precious giggles of my children.  I feel His generosity when someone reaches out to me when I am in need.  

Just take a simple barefoot walk in the grass and let yourself feel Him.
How about it? 

As you root yourself with nature, 
check out tentree  and learn how along with tentree,
each of us has the ability to contribute to the social well-being of our environment.
For each purchase, 10 trees are planted.

Monday, April 28, 2014

Believe Me-

When people show you who they are believe them.
-Maya Angelou
-the players

I believe this quote is a definite Universal law.  Generally, when I think of this infamous quote from Maya it is in the form of someone I need to be cautious of.  You know, the person who has shown to be untrustworthy, gossipy,  or attracts drama in some way.  There have been times in my life when I've been drawn to people that initially I think rock.  But, sadly with time realize are not necessarily good for me in the long run. It is usually when I am in a transition of some sort.  Through trial and error I have learned what those traits are and steer clear.

Yesterday, I experienced an 'ah-ha' moment while watching my pets interact.  As I watched the scene play out in front of me, out of the blue, this quote from Maya immediately popped into my head.  When people show you who they are believe them.  Yet, it was on a positive note. Not my standard, holy cow take mental note and watch out kind of way.

It began with Mrs. Ferguson our rescue cat. She is the quintessential feline; unflappable, savvy, resourceful, and a total zen chick.  Then there is Jesse.  The typical friendly, lick your face (or anything stationary for that matter), people pleaser golden retriever.  Whom quickly learned that she and Mrs. Ferfuson were not going to be besties immediately.  And last, Shatzi, the snappy little malitpoo.  Who in time realized she had to share, "Her kingdom," that she guards and reigns over as Mrs. Ferguson was not going to be a mere guest.

In the scene Mrs. Ferguson stayed true to who she is.  Laying sprawled out on the floor like Cleopatra as Jesse, head down, saunters quietly by her with a flailing tail and friendly glance as if to say, "Hello! I'm here if you wanna play.  Can I lick your face today?"  And Shatzi napping nearby with a half watchful eye guarding the two of them amid her imaginary kingdom.

Mrs. Ferguson sitting pretty while outstretched across the cool floor knows she will not become the slurpy to Jesse's wandering tongue.  And confident to know Shatzi is guarding her and not laying siege to her.  She taught them early on that she wants to be left alone until she decides otherwise.  They took note.  They believe her.  And they like her for it.

"Don't walk behind me; I may not lead.  Don't walk in front of me; I may not follow.  Just walk beside me and be my friend." -Albert Camus

Please stop by  
For every purchase  10 trees are planted.
Can you believe?  I do! 

Stay tuned...I will be blogging about this fabulous company and all that they are doing for all of us! 

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Aging Gracefully...A Real Knee Slapper!

I'm aging, and the world is seeing it.
-Ray Romano

Around my birthday for the last several years,  age decides to pull a cute little knee slapper on me.  "Hey, you're the bees knees. Ha, I got you to look, just take a gander at those suckers.  Don't look the same as when you were 20 or 30, do they?  And wait, Oh I'm laughing too hard, look in the mirror.  Yes, just around the corner of your mouth...right there...where you smile.  See that?  Why ain't that funny!"

Aging gracefully, that is the knee slapping question.  What is aging gracefully how the heck can I get 'er done?  I happen to think it lies within one's attitude and self awareness.  I watched Deepak on Super Soul Sunday and he spoke about his wife being his teacher on self-esteem.  He said her innate high self-esteem taught him, "Do not confuse your image with your self.  The real self within you is beneath no one.  It's immune to criticism and it's fearless." Deepak explains, "Your self image is what other people think of you and your self is what you think of you."

Knowing yourself is about self-confidence, attitude, acceptance, and general happiness.  Let's be real, caring about how others see us is just part of human nature.  I'm not opposed to anyone getting a little repair work.  Hey, a little self-maintenance never hurts in the self-esteem department.  But how much is too much and for whom is it being done? Personally, I'm exhausted at what I see on the tele.  A lot of women my age with overly plumped up faces and lips trying to hold on to the way they looked in their 20's.  What's wrong with looking 40, 50, 60, or 70 and being fearless to outward criticism?

I get it, I want to look decent when I look in the mirror at my image.  I would be lying if I said it didn't matter, because it does.  I wish I were more evolved.  But I do know, self care is crucial. Caring for what I eat, how I groom, how I keep my muscles strong.  I like to eat healthy and work out, because I like how it makes me feel on the inside and how it makes me look (image) on the outside.  It all boils down to balance.  Do what 'cha gotta do.

As for now, I choose self, which includes a little here (work my body-self image) and a lot there (work my attitude-self).   So, I'll be the 40+ year old with the fine lines, wrinkles, and creases around the knees.  Because it's gonna happen and I'm ok with that image.  But, I won't lie.  I'll do what I gotta do and slow it down with a good dose of Olay Regenerist cream slathered on the face nightly and the daily squats to rock that once 20 year old tight ass!

"Nothing brings down walls as surely as acceptance."
-Deepak Chopra, The Third Jesus:  The Christ We Cannot Ignore

This weeks cause:  4 Paws 4 Ability. Their mission is to place quality service dogs with children with disabilities and veterans who have lost use of limbs and hearing; help with animal rescue, and educate the public regarding use of service dogs in public places. 

Just a sampling of the super cool tee's available this week.  

Friday, February 21, 2014

Dummie's Guide to Blog Post Titles...

Is it weird in here, or is it just me?
-Steven Wright

Oh boy, oh boy...I just thought I was oh, so very popular in the blogging world.  Even with my brief hiatus of, "Finding my blogging voice." I kept getting numerous hits and my numbers were oh, so wonderfully high.

Allow me to give you a little back story...we bloggers like to check our stat reports on our blog traffic from time to time.  How many hits did I get today, week, month?  It's a fun game (let's be real it's good for the ego). Also, you can see where your hits are coming from.  And you can even go to sites like  and plug in your blog name and view what your 'blog worth' is at the moment.  Yea, it's true.  And I have no idea what that actually means and how to even utilize informatin like that.

As I was going through finding my blog voice crisis, I kept getting all these anonymous hits and my somewhat high traffic numbers just didn't make sense to me.  I was like what the?  Golly gee you really, really like me (my Sally Field Oscar moment)! Gosh, I feel so important, face blushing, hands in pockets, foot kicking up sand.  

The funny thing is, most of the time the hits are on this one particular post of mine. Hmmm...head scratcher.  I can be a bit naive and slow to react at times.  This seems odd, maybe I should look in to this. Why is this one blog post title, My Favorite App...AllWomenStalk, getting so many hits and where are they coming from?

Well, I'll just check and on these sites that are just so supportive of me! Oh.My.Goodness. Who is this lady?  Oh, golly gee, hello in the?...hello things I really!  Grab yo sunglasses 'cuz the sun is shinin' and it ain't in the sky.  Get my drift...   

If it's a penny for your thoughts and you put in your two cents worth, then someone, somewhere is making a penny.
-Steven Wright

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Self Care Says What?

“I took a deep breath and listened to the old brag of my heart. I am, I am, I am.” 
― Sylvia PlathThe Bell Jar

I can recall three times in my life when words literally jumped off the page from what I was reading.  It was like I had a magnifying glass embedded in my eyes.  Each time this happened to me, I was looking for answers for something I was going through.  The first time was when I was a teenager and reading from my bible.  Second, when I was a newlywed and reading from a newspaper.  The third time was just the other day when I was reading from a text from a really good friend of mine (I like to call her one of my life teachers).

I was having one of those self-pity days and complaining and whining about feeling like a bloated whale and not wanting to give up a certain thing in my diet that makes me feel special (but not really good for me), grande soy latte anyone?  Poor me. Yea, like whatever, as she pointedly flips her hair.  This is what I read, "Use the way you are feeling about your body to start on a new path to self care." Willis said what?

Why are the words self care vibrating in large font in front of my eyes?  What the?  Self-care? Ohhhh...I get it.  It's about having concern for myself and not about self deprivation. I never thought of it that way. I need to change how I think.  I need to change my perspective of poor, pitiful me look what I need to give up because I am unable to feel special without it, as she removes the latte from her mouth.  Instead, see it through the eyes of this is the change I should make in order to feel better and take better care of myself.  It's a good thing!

The conversation was more than just the drink. The point she was making is if I am feeling unease in my body that means I must not be taking care of me. How can I find a solution while complaining about the problem? Instead, use the way I feel as fuel to drive my thinking on a new path of self care.  As my parents would say, Hallelujah Nathan!

    "Reality is a projection of your thoughts or the things you habitually think about."
-Stephen Richards

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

They Say....

We think we live in the world, but the world lives in us.
-Deepak Chopra
They is like a box of chocolates and you never know what you're going to get.  You could also say, "You never know what to expect next."  In the movie, Forrest Gump,  Mama says to Forrest further in the quote, "You know, they've got these chocolate assortments, and you like some but you don't like others?  And you eat all the ones you don't like as much?  I always think about that when something painful comes up." So, as the saying goes, each chocolate is different and you never know what you're going to bite in to.

The box of chocolate is just like our life.  As each piece of chocolate is different and unique, so is each day that we are so fortunate to wake up to and breath in.  Chaos and circumstances can arise that challenge us and test our integrity and character.  Or, the day can hold beauty, laughter, and happiness if we are wise enough to recognize its power.

As Deepak conveys in the quote above, we all live in the same world, however the way we live is established on how we were trained, what we know based on our experiences, and how those experiences and training create the way we think.  For instance, when life presents a challenge how will you spin that challenge in your mind?  Where will you allow your thoughts to go?

I believe our thoughts create our world.  And the universe will match those thoughts.  So if we are choosing happiness or acceptance, then the universe will give us a match.  If we are choosing bitterness or victimization then the universe will find a perfect fit for that too.

So how do we better our thoughts to make sure we don't allow them to spin out of control?  Well, we can relax (breathe), take a step back (remove ourselves from the situation either physically or mentally), and view the circumstance from all view points.  Not just our own ego driven view point.

Instead of reacting (or over reacting) we can make a conscious choice how and where we allow our emotions to go and not compete with the insulted emotion.  And last, talk with ourselves.  Think positively and have confidence in our own abilities, which can help you and me overcome the challenges that life brings..."Now just polish these off, and everything will be ok, life is like a box of chocolates."

The greater part of human pain is unnecessary.  It is self-created as long as the unobserved mind runs your life.
-Eckhart Tolle

A shout out to my new fabulous friends Lisa, Memaw, and Auntie Bert (The Forga Clan)!  
Thank you for our fun conversation and kind, encouraging words about this blog.  

Peace Bella's, charity of the week End7, your purchase protects 14 children from 7 debilitating diseases for 1 year

Thursday, December 19, 2013

Let that Hair Whip in the Wind Ya'll!

"I am living breathing freedom"
-Hiroko Sakai

I was driving home from taking my knuckleheads to school this morning and witnessed a dog leaning out the back seat window of a car.  As I was watching the dog's hair blowing in the wind, big huge smile on his face (or wind in his's how you look at it), and his chest out with his body standing bold without a care in the world a few things came over me.  First, the word carefree came to mind.  Second, the feeling of happiness (because I smiled), laughter (because he was so stinkn' cute he made me chuckle), and pleasure (because he looked like he was enjoying himself).  Third, the concept that acting carefree brings on the feeling of freedom.  And freedom mixed with happiness, laughter, and pleasure breeds contentment.  And contentment means an ease of mind which fuels the thought that life is yours and you can control it.  It's that simple.
 "For after all, the best thing one can do when it is raining is let it rain."
-Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

For your last minute Christmas shopping please stop by Sevenly.  Charity of the week is Invisible Girl Project.  Let's help give young girls of India a chance to know what it feels like to be and feel carefree.  As of this posting over $18,000 has been raised this week.
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