How To Create Your Very Own Dream Board

Goal: To create a magnificent piece of inspiration in under an hour (or two) that encourages you to pursue your very own beautiful life.

• Old magazines (libraries sometimes give these away if you don’t have any or ask your friends)
• Scissors
• Glue-stick
• Colored markers (yes, you can use crayons)
• Large poster board (I prefer foam core because I save these for years!)
• Fabric, buttons, embellishments of any kind to add
• Good upbeat or soothing music (depending on the mood you want to create to)
• Cup of tea or a Diet Coke
Hint: This is a perfect project to do with a girlfriend (don’t invite anyone who doesn’t know how to dream…they’ll kill the project.)

How-To Dream: Most of us have tucked our dreams away deep down in the recesses of our hearts. Sometimes this happens because we’ve failed at something and are stuck. Sometimes we were never taught to dream at all and we have to be taught. Perhaps we’re living too comfy, cozy and need to stretch a bit. Wherever you are, it’s ok. Open your heart.

How-To Start: Start by flipping through the magazines. As you flip the pages, I want you to start listening to your heart. Tear out pictures that you love. Lots of them. No editing allowed. Focus on what colors draw you in and inspire you. Let the pictures pile up.

If you have particular things stored on your computer (your Pinterest boards, quotes you love, pics of family) that you want to use, print these out. If beautiful houses inspire you, use home decorating magazines. If you’re a foodie (which I’m not other than eating it), use gourmet food magazines.

You might have 50 or 100 pages of inspiration by the time you’re finished. Watch for words that inspire you and really, really let your dreams come out. Don’t filter your dreams. They are real. They were given to you for a unique reason. You matter. No dream is to big or unreasonable or impractical.

If you’re arty, draw your dreams. If you’re like me, cutting and gluing will be as good as it gets.

How-To Edit: Now, start sorting. Stack up all the pictures and start editing them down. You might have pictures of puppies or families or Italy or the beach. Look at the pictures and decide what you really want your dreams to be. Are those really your dreams? Or are they someone else’s dream? Differentiate.

Edit and start gluing. Overlap photos and words and turn it all into a whimsical treasure that belongs solely to you and your heart. .

Add fabric or embellishments, buttons or old pics. Use the colored markers to draw borders or words with

When you’re done gluing and drawing, stand back. Take a picture if you can. Post your dream board where you can refer to it often and don’t let anyone put a damper on your dreams. They are YOURS. They belong to your life. They are no one else’s. (I post mine in my closet so I can see it everyday, at least twice a day.)

When You’re Done: Celebrate! Do a happy dance. Call a supportive friend. Smile.

Dreams are real. They exist. It is up to you to create the life you want to live, no matter what it looks like today. I want you to make your life your DREAM come true. And I especially hope that your Dream Board will inspire you to do it.

Dream BIG and never, ever, ever give up on your dreams!

Love-Cheryl XXOO


I Am Who I Am…

Too often, life becomes one big pile of mush. We lose ourselves to what others want for us or we spend our life trying to live up to another’s expectations. All this does is leave us empty and bruised.

This is an exercise for every woman. I call it the “I Am Who I Am” exercise.

All you need is a piece of paper. Don’t edit your thoughts. Simply write down what comes out first. Don’t think, do.

“I am who I am. You cannot change me.

I am __________________, ______________________, ____________, __________ and ________________.

I love to __________________ and ____________________.

I despise _______________ and ______________.

It is my mission to _______________ _______ _________________.

I will never rest until I ______________________.”

That’s it. I am. You are. Enough.

Be true. To you.

The Most Perfect Wedding Shower Game Ever

There is nothing I abhor more than those stupid wedding shower games that you buy out of a book at the gift store or Wal-Mart.  They’re filled with word matches, word unscrambles and questions about the bride that you’d never know in a million years unless you were going to marry her.

They make me miserable.  I’ve even tried to go a little late to a shower just so I didn’t have to be subjected to the pain.

But last week I was a co-hostess.  That meant I had to get there early.  I was responsible for mailing out the invitations and for the “game”.  That meant I didn’t have to endure the stupid game.  I had to figure out how to make it ‘not stupid.”

Continue reading “The Most Perfect Wedding Shower Game Ever”

“I love you not only for what you are, but for what I am when I am with you. I love you not only for what you have made of yourself, but for what you are making of me. I love you for the part of me that you bring out.” – Elizabeth Barrett Browning

My friend Stacey just formally announced her engagement to her beau Willy Nelson.  Now I know what you’re thinking but NO, it isn’t the country western singer Willie Nelson.    They’re planning a Christmastime wedding in a beautiful chapel nestled deep in the Ozarks of southern Missouri.  So what’s so amazing about this engagement?

Everything.  But mostly, because it’s love worth waiting for.

In a society where we get impatient waiting in the Taco Bell drive-through to get our double decker taco, waiting decades on love seems incredulous.

Willy and Stacey collectively waited half a century to write their own love story together.  You see, Willy’s 39 and never been married.  Stacey’s getting set to celebrate the big 5-0 this year and has been divorced for over a decade.  She’s raised 2 kids pretty much on her own and was committed to getting her babies raised before she allowed herself the luxury of love again.

Rare.  Even shocking in the 21st century.

Willy and Stacey were introduced to each other through a home-based business, the Body by Vi Challenge.   Stacey had nixed dating, even putting the thought of it out of her mind until her son had graduated from high school.    She hurried to work, to soccer, to the Mediterranean touring groups of seniors, to church, to the grocery store and back again.  There was never time to even sit down to think about love.

Willy had instituted a new rule of not dating anyone in his business, having been hurt by that before and so he put his head down and kept growing his business. 

Both hearts wanted love.   Both hearts deserved love.   And the heart knows what even the mind won’t allow.   Because the right love is worth waiting for.

Both had their guards up and were content to be business partners and friends.  What started as team members became business partners, partners became best friends and it blossomed from there. 

They continued to work together, noticing their skills complemented each others.  They were helping each other grow their businesses without realizing the amount of time they were spending together and doing things others would have considered ‘dating.’    After being asked by friends and team members if they were dating, it finally became obvious to them and they admitted to themselves they were falling in love.  They began dating as best they could, 2,500 miles apart. 

Yesterday, a full 12 months from their first date, Willy got down on his knee to ask Stacey to be his bride in Loose Park near the rose garden with a honkin’ diamond and a Body by Vi bag draped over his arm.  Her grown daughter Katie (whom he had asked for her blessing) was hiding in the nearby parking lot to hug and congratulate her Mom once it was official.

The engagement is official.  The wedding date is set.  Stacey and Willy are both breathless and giddy with their newfound love.   Their joy is contagious.   We’re planning an engagement party and anxiously awaiting an invitation to their winter wedding.   And most of what I know about this is…it’s a love worth waiting for.    My Grandma was right…good things come to those who wait.

The 5th Detour of Every Overwhelmed Woman

This is the 5th detour in the series…The 5 Detours of Every Overwhelmed Woman (and why you have to steer clear of them).

Hiding in Smalltown — this is where we keep our personal talents and gifts hidden, almost secretly hoping no one will notice us. Then, we won’t really have to deliver on anything, will we? Almost every woman I meet is living smaller in some way than she should, thinking comfort and security are the most important ingredients to a good life, when the most important ingredient to a good life is following your passion.

To leave our place of overwhelm and live the life of our dreams, to really comnnect with the people that matter to us, we have to escape, to completely steer clear of these 5 detours that are waiting to derail us. We have to quit hiding, quit fretting, quit being busy. We have to start caring for ourselves and begin to allow our personal light to shine in the world.

To be the BIGGER you, you must remember…you are meant for joy, for glorious things. You are sacred energy. You are unique and special. You are meant to live BIG!

Shameless Sex and the Empty Soul

Sex is good. The problem is…we use it in the wrong ways. Advertisers use it to sell things (i.e. the Victoria Secret Angels). TV shows use it to gain audiences (Dancin’ with the Stars or Sex in the City.) Football teams use it to inspire the fans (the Dallas Cowboy Cheerleaders).

Sex is wonderful. Sex is what we use to populate the earth. Sex is the closest union of intimacy between a man and a woman. I believe God gave it to us to create a tiny bit of Heaven in our everyday, mundane lives.

Too many women give their bodies away like Kool-Aid. They throw their boobs and their vaginas around like New Year’s Eve confetti and then wonder why they feel empty and alone and sad. They meet the right guy and then wonder why they gave it away to all the wrong guys…except the right guy isn’t stickin’ around for used goods. Seconds…as my college age son likes to call them.

Call me old-fashioned. I am. I love it that I still believe in purity and virginity and romance. I still believe in first love and a spiritual connection between a man and a woman. Shameless sex brings an empty soul. You can’t give yourself away to multiple partners and still feel whole yourself. It creates a gaping hole…in your heart and your spirit. Sex requires the body, but it impacts the soul.

Keeping yourself pure for one man or one woman is enlightening. There’s no guilt or remorse. There’s no ‘if only’s’ or ‘I wish’. How do I know? Because I did it. I’ve been with the same man for the past 36 years…married to him for the past 30. True love, like meaningful sex, never gets old.

Is Revenge Good?

Last week I was a vision of character and grace. Bear with me and I’ll tell you why.

I’m hooked on ABC’s newest evening soap opera “Revenge” in which Emily Thorne lives solo in the Hamptons in a mega-mansion and executes a master plot to avenge the death of her father 10 years earlier. While she is masterminding and scheming to rip the rug out from under the lives of those who took her Dads, she ever so sweetly attends Hampton galas with ladies who lunch.

I’ve never aspired to the ladies who lunch lifestyle so I can’t figure out what’s got me so intriqued. I’d love to have the Hamptons mansion she lives in but I don’t think that’s why I watch. I think it’s the thought of sweet revenge. Getting back at someone who took something from you with malice.

Last Friday morning I sat in the Hy-Vee grocery store cafe while my husband Dennis and I ate huge helpings of biscuits and gravy and hash browns. While washing it down with an enormous Diet Coke, I noticed a couple sitting 2 booths over. They looked familiar. I scanned my memory. I couldn’t place them.

And then it hit me. He was the creep who stole $200,000 from my husband and I in a real estate deal.

You’d think his image would be seared in my brain forever. His boney little wife with dyed black hair sat ever so sweetly eating her eggs while I was channeling Emily Thorne in my own way.

Should I say something? Embarrass them publicly. Throw my hash browns in his lap and walk off? Hurl 4-letter words. No. I would do none of those.

I simply sat with a smirk on my face. I knew they’d seen me. Now I was the one getting to make them uncomfortable, if even for a short 20 minutes. They knew who I was.

They darted off into the store, seeing if they could escape my glares. Somehow, I kept running into them. With glee I kept making them more uncomfortable.

I’m still $200,000 down. But just the fact that I could make them squirm was a teeny-weeny little bit of satisfaction. They knew they’d done us wrong. It showed in their demeanor. I was a vision of character and grace. (I didn’t dare tell my husband they were there, he’d have his own version of Revenge.)

Perhaps bad karma is the best revenge. We may not get to see how someone whose done us wrong is affected, but I can guarantee you, they are.

For now, I’ll just keeping watching Revenge. It makes me feel better.