Wednesday, April 27, 2011

GUEST BLOG: Nice Girls Rule 60-Day Challenge: Day 34

I am fortunate enough to have another guest blogger for today's challenge! Australian born writer living in China with her fiance, Jen Saunders founded My Smiling Heart and is a writer committed to spreading happiness. However, it wasn't all rainbows and butterflies for Jen at first. After moving across the world to Northern China for an English teaching position, she was unfairly fired and had her passports withheld until the Chinese policed helped her retrieve them. Shortly after that, she became so sick that she was bed ridden for a month.

It was during this time that Jen made a conscious decision to look on the bright side of things. She chose to dedicate herself and her writing to being happy and searching out and focusing on those things that made her so. She started her blog, My Smiling Heart, and has been sharing her smile ever since.

As poetic as she is poignant, here is Jen's challenge for you today:

Nice Girls Challenge Day 34: Fall in Love With Yourself

Love yourself so much that all you ever want to do is follow your heart. Love yourself so much that you are so overflowing with love that it spills onto others. Love yourself so much that the words and opinions of others fade into the background.

Embrace your whole self, the light and the dark, just as you embrace the day and the night, the sun and the moon. Our light helps us shine, and our dark helps us grow.

By recognising and celebrating your own light, your own magnificent power, and by nurturing and accepting your own darkness, you become more attuned to what you really want in life, your purpose is clearer, and you will have the courage you need to create your own path in life.

Loving yourself isn’t the same as being conceited. People who truly love themselves do not put others down or spread negativity. Putting others down is a sign of weakness, not strength. People who truly love themselves and believe in their own power are known to lift others up, not push them down.

Make loving yourself your top priority, and everything else will fall into place.

Blog: My Smiling Heart

Twitter: @smiling_heart!/smiling_heart


Monday, April 25, 2011

Nice Girls Rule 60-Day Challenge: Day 33

Nice Girls Challenge Day 33: Treasure the Little Things in Order to Appreciate the Bigger Things

Thought of the Day: I just moved into a new house. Prior to that I had been living in a studio above my parents garage with my infant son and my husband. Having recently moved and had a baby, our new life had become quite different than what it was just mere months ago when we both worked full time and had loads of free time and date nights.

For the last 10 months of my life, I was living in a constant state of perpetual humbling. Granted, I was blessed to have parents that so graciously gave us a place to stay, but I felt like I had a big sticker on my forehead whenever I went anywhere that said, "homeless in Seattle". This is a total "Americanism"- where we think we have to have certain things to be successful. For me, I had serious house envy. I just wanted a place to call my own and a nursery for my son.

And now that I have those things, I realize that the time I had to spend in a state of limbo, where I wasn't certain what our future held or when we would finally have some semblance of a schedule and security, I learned that you don't need those things to be successful- and instead it is the lack of material things that enable us to treasure what we do have If you are "going without" (which is a term I use loosely, since no one in our country is truly without)- look for the opportunity to be humbled and for the beauty in the simple things.

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Nice Girls Rule 60-Day Challenge: Day 32

Nice Girls Challenge Day 32: Lose Yourself

Thought of the Day:It is important to look out for number one sometimes. If you are walking in a dark alley, see a car about to swerve in your lane, or are being harassed at work- those are perfect examples of needing to put your foot down, and put yourself and those needs first.

However, far too often we take too much liberty in the name of self. In a world that advertises about all the things we "deserve" its easy to forget how much we already have. So today try to lose yourself for the sake of someone else. Let someone else go first in the grocery line. Let someone in front of you in bad traffic (even if you are running late), or simply let someone else talk about themselves without interjecting a tidbit about you.

This simple act of denying yourself privileges, is a single step towards embracing everyone around you and the important role that each of us play in this crazy world.

Friday, April 15, 2011

Nice Girls Rule 60-Day Challenge: Day 31

Nice Girls Challenge Day 31: Invest in Others

Thought of the Day: Whether in business or friendships it is important to invest in others without expecting to get anything back. There are women out there that believe in the beauty of their dreams and see the importance in partnering with those who have like dreams and goals. All nice girls should see the value of other women's gifts and abilities.

My book launch is happening in a week and a half, and I can not say enough about these amazing "glambitious" entrepreneurs that donated their awesome and unique items to the 40 swag bags that will be given to "first comers" at my Seattle B&N book launch. Here is a shout out to all of the amazing women and companies who have supported the Nice Girls Rule Movement one product at a time!

Thank you so very much!

Hangers Couture |

Sensible Source |

Queen Latifah/ LSZ Communications

Poetic Soul Gifts |

Two Poodle Press |

Toni Love Hair Cleansing System

Musselman’s Online Publishing |

Hope to see you at the launch so you can get these amazing gifts for free!

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Nice Girls Rule 60-Day Challenge: Day 30

Nice Girls Challenge Day 30: Don't Be a "Half-Way Hattie"

Thought of the Day: Today's challenge marks the half-way point in the Nice Girls Rule 60-Day Challenge, so to stay in step with our half point, I wanted to challenge you to do everything to completion. This is a tough one for those of us who don't have a lot of time or get easily distracted. Far too often, we set out to do something only to leave it half-way done.

To finish what you start is not only a good way to conduct business it is always an important step in validating your character. If we want to be a force in our world for the better than we must take on projects until completion.

For example, when I was in the studio recording One More Broken String, there were many times that I wanted to quit. I was tired, couldn't get into the groove, and quite frankly was sick of messing up. However, with a few attitude adjustments and a couple more glasses of hot tea I pushed through until completion and now have a collection of songs that have completely encapsulated that time in my life.

Don't walk away from something- whether a relationship, a job, or a dream in the middle of pursuing it. Half way is not a destination.

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

GUEST BLOG: Nice Girls Rule 60-Day Challenge: Day 29

I am happy to say that today's nice girl challenge is offered by the founder of, Brianne Burrowes. Her website is dedicated to encouraging women to chase after their dream job and not settle for less than that. Her writing has appeared in Seventeen and CosmoGIRL, and now on Nice Girls Rule. Welcome Brianne- this challenge is a great one!

Nice Girls Challenge Day 29: Remember the Art of a “Thank You”

Thought of the day: I can’t tell you how many times someone has surprised me with an unexpected “thank you.” In fact, I’m happy to share that it happens quite often. Yes, I’m incredibly blessed to have the people that I do in my life, but that feeling of appreciation never goes unnoticed.

Lately I’ve had a friend say “thank you” for staying at my house by buying me something I’ve wanted since, get this, high school! I’ve had a girl I met at an event introduce me to her boss for a feature on my website, I Want Her Job. And I’ve even received a gorgeous Papyrus card in the mail from my friend “just because.”

Whenever someone does something nice for me it makes me feel so appreciated that I want to do three more nice things for others (and one nice thing for that person) to keep spreading the love. And I’ve found so much joy in this, that I want you to give it a try.

So today, I urge you to thank three people. It doesn’t have to be something big or extraordinary. A thoughtful card, $7 hydrangeas from Trader Joe’s or a nice comment on Facebook will suffice. But no matter what you do, make sure you tell someone how much you appreciate them.

Photo Credit: Flickr

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Nice Girls Rule 60-Day Challenge: Day 28

Nice Girls Challenge Day 28: Go Out of Your Way

Thought of the Day: Everything is so easy these days. With the touch of the button we can send an entire letter, take a job, or make a lunch date. In our cars we can dictate climate control, by simply turning a dial or turning on our heated seats. In an era of convenience, it is good practice to go out of your way to do something for someone else.

Far too often, I find myself planning on doing something nice for someone if it doesn't require too much of me. "I have to drive all the way to where?" "But that's during rush hour!", "Gas is ridiculous right now."
And while these are all very valid points, exercise your "not about me" muscle and go out of your way to bring a coffee to a new mom, help someone paint their bedroom, or just grab a drink with a friend who needs you when all you really want to do is go home and relax.

These little things aren't convenient, but you're investing in relationships when it matters most and those who you share your life with won't forget you going the extra mile.
Besides when it comes to life, the important things are never easy to do.

Monday, April 11, 2011

Nice Girls Rule 60-Day Challenge: Day 27

Nice Girls Challenge Day 27: Be a "Mary" in a "Martha" World

Thought of the day: It's an ancient parallel, one taken from the Bible, but it has massive modern day application. In the story, Martha is whipping up a last minute meal for Jesus who stopped by unannounced, and while she is slaving away in the kitchen Mary is just sitting on the floor visiting with Jesus.

I don't know about you, but in my family if you just sit on your butt while everyone else helps that's considered rude. But Jesus, one of the only perfect human beings that ever existed, said Mary had chosen the better way to occupy her time. Wait a minute...the lazy girl who didn 't lift a finger to help was being admonished by Jesus? The message is this: far too often we lose ourselves in busyness.

We do too much. We work too hard, and we miss the opportunity to enjoy each other. If you are the type to want to serve up the perfect party and be the ideal hostess, but you miss the jokes in the living room or are absent when your friend's begin telling you of their struggles in their marriage or the loss of their home, you aren't really present at all.

In a world, where we are constantly distracted by email alerts, texts, and social networking, it is becoming an even bigger and more essential necessity to turn off the world and leave your "duties" for a moment to engage with one another.

We have lost a sense of community because we are busy. Don't let busyness rob you of the beauty of investing in relationships.

Photo Credit: Corona, Stock.xchng

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Nice Girls Rule 60-Day Challenge: Day 26

Nice Girls Challenge Day 26: Mind your P's" and "Q's"

Thought of the day: The original meaning of this phrase remains uncertain, however in the 1785 edition of The Dictionary of the Vulgar Tongue, Francis Grose defines it like this, "To mind one's P's and Q's; to be attentive to the main chance."

So how does this apply to you? Well in today's age, when someone says this phrase it is usually referring to minding your manners. And while I am an advocate for manners in a time where it seems they are quickly becoming extinct, I also think that Mr. Grose's estimation of the phrase is profound.

"To be attentive to the main chance"

Far too often, we forget that minding our p's and q's goes much farther than being polite, it is also a way of showing respect to the people we share our lives with. Respecting people, whether we like them or not, should be a rule we abide by. If we don't, the "main chance"- this life we have been given- will be spent chasing after our own desires without regard for those we meet along the way.

So today, I urge you to mind your p's and q's and to be attentive to the way you treat everyone in your life from the barista to your boyfriend.

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Nice Girls Rule 60-Day Challenge: Day 25

For the next few months, every time I post a Blog/Twitter/Facebook message it will be about one simple way to increase your nice girl power. These will be simple ways to make your corner of the world a better place and to celebrate who you are, a woman who has committed herself to giving nice a good name. Here's today's challenge!

Nice Girls Challenge Day 25: Be "let-down"able

Thought of the day: O.k., so maybe I made this term up, but it's something that I have learned through a lifetime of dealing with the normal highs and lows that occur when you're human. I am sure we have all had "one of those days", where nothing seems to go right.

We sleep in, we get bad news, we lock ourselves out, we run out of gas, we lost the job, we didn't get the job, we were forgotten, we were singled out....on and on and on. Life has its own way of refining our ability to be patient and optimistic in spite of the ugly days. I tend to get easily run down when one bad day turns into several, and as a result have learned the importance of managing my expectations.

The truth is that we will be let down from time to time. The question is, can we do it gracefully? When our pride is hurt, things go awry, or our feelings are bruised, try to say a little prayer, count your blessings, or let out one big scream and move on.

Monday, April 4, 2011

Nice Girls Rule 60-Day Challenge: Day 24

For the next few months, every time I post a Blog/Twitter/Facebook message it will be about one simple way to increase your nice girl power. These will be simple ways to make your corner of the world a better place and to celebrate who you are, a woman who has committed herself to giving nice a good name. Here's today's challenge!

Nice Girls Challenge Day 24: Let yourself off the hook

Thought of the day: Nice girls tend to be pretty hard on themselves. A lot of us can be perfectionists, or simply caught up in the comparison game. In an economy where money is hard to come by for everyone, it is a perfect time to let go off our predisposed ideas of success and invest in those things that really bring us joy.

Sign up for a free cooking class, re-purpose old furniture in your garage, paint, take some pictures of a garden, read a book, or simply enjoy the beauty of where you live. Far too often we are so busy getting somewhere that we can't enjoy where we are at.

Today, let yourself off the hook. Don't beat yourself up over your weaknesses, and instead do something (or nothing) that will make you feel stronger, more at peace, and more connected to life.