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Welcome to Mirth and Motivation!

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Photo Challenge: Against The Odds


“If something is important enough, even if the odds are against you, you should still do it.” Elon Musk

Photo Challenge: Against The Odds - A Horse on the Porch

Photo Challenge: Against The Odds – A Horse on the Porch

How often do you come across a full size, alabaster horse on a city home porch? As fate would have it, I was minding my own business, on an early morning jaunt to the gym, when a huge, white, structure caught the corner of my eye. I blinked and took another look and, sure enough, it was what I imagined I had seen. Someone had placed a full size, white alabaster horse on a relatively small porch, attached to a building, on the corner of a quiet street. It was magnificent and I was flabbergasted. I stopped in my tracks and took it all in.

Clearly, someone had gone against the grain, and against all odds, to create and place that horse on that porch. All sorts of heroic stories and fantastic fairy tales danced before my eyes. Was it made in the image of a beloved family pet? Was it placed there for shock value or to entertain? Was it in transit to some magical place where unicorns and homeless horses reside? I pondered the powerful sculpture before me; it looked like it was eager to jump right off that porch and … head for the woods. I laughed!

Against all odds by afireinthisheart via
Against all odds I will survive
despite whatever you’re thinking
For I’ve been through this before
even at times when I’ve been sinking

Because I’ve learned many lessons
Earned the hard way and thus I’ll say
Before my peers I’m standing tall
because I’m more than ready to play

Against all odds and look at me now
I’ve been beaten yet finds that hope
A hope that when my days are done
I’ve found many ways learning to cope. Continued below


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Motivation Mondays: Happy Valentine’s Day


“Doubt thou the stars are fire, Doubt that the sun doth move. Doubt truth to be a liar, But never doubt I love.” William Shakespeare

Motivation Mondays: Happy Valentine's Day

Motivation Mondays: Happy Valentine’s Day

Where there is great love, there are always wishes. Willa Cather
How did it happen that their lips came together? How does it happen that birds sing, that snow melts, that the rose unfolds, that the dawn whitens behind the stark shapes of trees on the quivering summit of the hill? A kiss, and all was said. Victor Hugo
The minute I heard my first love story, I started looking for you, not knowing how blind that was. Lovers don’t finally meet somewhere. They’re in each other all along. Rumi

– ✿♡✿Happy Valentine’s Day!✿♡✿ – Every year, on Valentine’s Day, we spend enormous effort thinking of ways to impress our loved ones; we buy chocolates, flowers, and other special trinkets, and blow them sweet kisses to show our deepest affections. Yet, as these experiences dance around our heads and fill us with memories of magical or miserable moments, we must NOT forget that love is an every day affair. That love affair carries over to everything we do so while we are enjoying our simple or extravagant gifts, we should take a moment to express our gratitude for the goodwill and good folks in our lives. While we’re at it, we can take some time to pamper ourselves and nurture our souls. Self love precedes all the loving gestures we mete out on this and any other day.

Do you remember your first Valentine? Your memorable or saddest Valentine? Valentine’s Day can be a trigger for good memories and not so good ones of unrequited love, shattered dreams and long gone lovers…All of these memories count for something and add to our bag of life stories we carry with us; sometimes they are tucked away as scars or as sacred events. What matters most is that we motivate ourselves to build healthier, positive and fulfilling experiences and memories. While love can be exhilarating and enervating, it can heat us up and leave us cold and we must learn to move forward with life and not get stuck. We can take the experiences, bundle them up, tie them with a glorious bow, and offer them to the Gods; asking for a compassionate lover, a lasting companion, gratitude for loved ones, grace for future loves, and above all, blessings for fulfilling love. Happy Valentine’s Day!

Each year, when Valentine’s Day comes around, I am reminded of an article “Do You Love Yourself?” by inspirational author Louise Hay. It is an important one I recommend to all to read because She offers twelve important tools/tips on self love that we can use to help us push past our old tired thinking and get back on the path to self love and growth. Since Valentine’s Day focuses on the subject of love, these tips are powerful and timely for this season, and I encourage you to add them to your daily motivation/inspiration guide and routine.  They are:

Stop All Criticism.                               Support Yourself.
Forgive Yourself.                                 Do Mirror Work
Don’t Scare Yourself.                         Be Loving to Your Negatives.
Be Gentle and Kind and Patient.    Love Yourself
Be Kind to Your Mind.                       Take Care of Your Body.
Praise Yourself.                                    Do It Now.

What do you know about Valentine’s Day? On February 14th, in countries around the world, lovers coo words of affection in celebration of the love they share. According to historical sources, this popular love-fest is held in remembrance of possibly three (3) martyred Saints named Valentine; a priest, a bishop, and a Christian missionary in Africa, and was created by Pope Gelasius I in AD 496. Yet, other accounts suggest Valentine’s Day is truly in observance of Lupercalia; an ancient rite of fertility and that any ties to the aforementioned saints are merely coincidental. Some believe the tradition grew from the days of Claudius I and the sacrifice young men made in leaving for war instead of staying home to raise a family; the celebration honored a wish those left behind had for the safe return of their beloved. The wistful sentiments that arise on this day prevails as lovers return to share a gift or a special moment and memory with their beloved.

A POEM: Here Is The Deepest Secret Nobody Knows. by E. E. Cummings
Here is the deepest secret nobody knows
Here is the root of the root and the bud of the bud
And the sky of the sky of a tree called life;
Which grows higher than soul can hope or mind can hide.
And this is the wonder that’s keeping the stars apart.
I carry your heart.
I carry it in my heart.

The details for Motivation Mondays are below. Join in! The themes for January and February 2017 are:

01/01   –  01 New Year’s Day, Hanukkah ends, 06 Epiphany, 06 Three Kings
01/08   –  08 Golden Globes Award,  11 Human Trafficking Awareness Day, 12 Full Moon
01/16   –  16  Martin Luther King Day, 18 Winnie the Pooh Day, 20 Inauguration Day
01/23 –  27 Commemoration Victims of the Holocaust, 28 Chinese New Year
01/29  –  29 Inspire your heart with art

0/6 – Lame Duck Day, 12, Lincoln’s Birthday
0/13 – 14, Valentine’s Day, 15, Constitution Day,
0/20 – 20, Presidents’ Day, Washington’s Birthday, 24, Carnival/Flag Day, 26, New Moon
0/27 – 27, Clean Monday, 28, Mardi Gras, Fat Tuesday,

Are You Looking for Ways to Stay Creative in 2017?

– Join the Daily Post Post-a-day or Post-a-week Challenge.


— Join the BlogHer Writing Lab

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Vogue VIP Subscription: A Review


“I want ‘Vogue’ to be pacy, sharp, and sexy – I’m not interested in the super-rich or infinitely leisured. I want our readers to be energetic executive women, with money of their own and a wide range of interests…”  Anna Wintour

Vogue VIP Subscription: A Review

Vogue VIP Subscription: A Review

An Introduction to the first members-only program with special access to the world of Vogue: Sometime last year, I received an email from REVOLVE inviting me to check out the Vogue VIP Subscription and join a legion of fashionistas as a subscriber. I thought about it for a while and set the email aside. Another reminder email came a few days later and so, I decided to take a closer look. Now, you might wonder why I would be interested in such a thing given that I’m not an all out fashion blogger, right? Yes, I considered the idea too, and decided it was just the right thing for me to do; it’s a way to reconnect with a world I know quite well… I’ve always been a fashionista and back in my London days, I followed the trends and all the classic/traditional and up and coming designers religiously. When I moved to NY, I kept up my love for fashion and, like every starry eyed fashionista, I went to shows and dropped my earnings on gorgeous designer duds and accessories. I had many friends in the fashion world and did some modeling gigs on the side until my dad and other demands put a stop to it all… But I digress.

With the followup email, I decided to jumped right in and signed up for the Vogue VIP Membership and haven’t looked back. Give it a try if you want to reconnect or stay connected to the movers and shakers of the fashion world, and enjoy some very special perks too. When my first gift arrived, I was impressed by how beautifully packaged the items were, and the welcome note from Anna Wintour was like a cool breeze on a hot summer night. I adore the clutch by Clare V which is a deep black plush suede purse that folds over and can be carried with a few extra items in it. The magazines are choc-a-bloc with lots of newsy stories and fashion updates in lieu of NY Fashion week that is going on as I write. I am enjoying all of it and the gifts keep showing up! Besides my welcome box, I have received a personalized notepad, a beautiful calendar and promises of more goodies down the road. What do you get for the $200 per year membership? Included with your subscription comes the following:

A limited-edition Clare V. x Vogue clutch
Monthly Facebook Live Q&As with Vogue editors
A one-year subscription to Vogue, plus a six-month gift subscription to share
Special issues, including It Girl Style
Exclusive gifts, offers and experiences
All presented with a welcome message from Anna Wintour, Condé Nast Artistic Director and Editor in Chief of Vogue

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