The Kondo Craze

Have you jumped on the Marie Kondo Bandwagon? I have, well, I am a little bit of a de-clutterer anyway. Clutter is not good for my state of mind. It creates stress and reduces my creativity. Trust me, I am in no way perfect at the clutter crisis in my home. In fact, with 2 teenagers, two fur babies, a husband on the go and a modern lifestyle, we collect just as much stuff as anybody else! Oftentimes, it finds itself pile up next to the refrigerator, stacked in a “pending” bin in my office, or waiting in some inconvenient location in my house for me to “deal” with it. If you are ever a guest in my home, there are a few scary closets and drawers that I would advise you not to open!

With all of that being said, I am also a big advocate of getting rid of things. Quite frankly, we do not need it all. It clutters our mind, spirit, and well-being. Clutter can attribute to debt, weight, and other types of hoarding or excess tendencies. Master Organizer, Peter Walsh, is a good resource on that type of clutter and has several books on the topic. Marie Kondo is another organizer on the scene that has ignited the sparking joy approach. She has taken Netflix and the world by storm with her “Tidying Up” program inspiring many to toss the junk and tidy up! Both of these organizing gurus are inspiration for me to live an unmuted and uncluttered life!

I talk more about tossing the clutter and the Kondo Craze on my latest podcast. You can listen here:

Have you started your own decluttering journey?

Pearls of Wisdom with Carolyn Gray

Carolyn Gray and I were destined to be friends. She wore pearls and a feather boa and talked of business and etiquette, while I sported wild curly hair with a 4-year-old in tow speaking on communication and marketing. We met through a local business association geared toward the success of women in business (MCABW). Our energies connected instantly! At every exchange, we had a synergistic escalation of ideas and thoughts wrapped in a whole bunch of laughter. Yes, we were certainly going to be good friends.

In those days, we were both promoting our books. I had just finished, “My Mom Has Eyes in the Back of her Head,” and she was promoting her manners and etiquette book for children, “All About Me* for Teens and Tweens (*Manners & Etiquette),” as well as hosting workshops at the local children’s museum. We would do small shows together to market our books, supporting and encouraging each other along the way. Even in those early days, we knew we would be doing something BIG together in the future!

April 24, 2012 at the MCABW meeting.

While I have known Carolyn in the capacity of author, coach, speaker and workshop facilitator, she additionally has nearly 30 years experience in Human Resources and leadership. Now, she brings that wealth of knowledge, love for people, and desire to make the world a better place into her practice, Zircon Consulting. Her initial push into manners and etiquette came when leaving a church service where she became angry and appalled at the disruptive behavior of some of the youth. She told me that she thought, “Someone needs to do something with all these half -raised kids!” Then, she heard the small, still voice (you know the one) and received quite the answer, “Well, what are you doing about it?” That was her push into teaching manners to the youth. Over the years, she has expanded that concept to executive manners and social etiquette. She wrote a book entitled, “Network Etiquette: Frazzle Don’t Dazzle,” that explores those concepts.

She has written 6 books over the years. Each one touching on a topic that enhances daily life. Her personal favorite is, “365 Days of Gratitude.” She tells the story of how that book resulted after her mother’s passing as a way of healing for Carolyn’s sorrow. Click the podcast link below to hear the full story from Carolyn. You can see all of her other titles here.

Meet Carolyn Gray on The Unmuted Life Podcast

Carolyn Gray
Zircon Consulting

Over the years we have many meet-ups, lunches, and breakfasts together, pondering business, brainstorming about marketing, sharing our upcoming events, and gleaning into the strengths and experience of the other. And each time we departed we were more convinced that we would connect our energy in a bigger way. We have explored many ideas, but the timing was not quite right.

Now, nearly 10 years in the making, everything has come together. With a merging of minds and talent, we are combining our strengths and strategy to share with others. Since the beginning, we have continued to grow and sharpen our skills so that we would be ready to be ready when the opportunity arose

Carolyn is known for her vision board workshops. She has a unique way of helping people create a vision and be bold in their display. She helps them understand the power of a vision board and what role it can play in their life and goal achievement.

Her vision board session coupled with the creative, written, life design that I share will empower our guests to be courageous in their lives, intentional with their direction, and open to their potential. It is important to have the opportunity to achieve this type and level of clarity so that energy is activated into action.

We are excited to come together and offer a unique and energetic workshop to help others build a map to navigate a great year! Our hope is that we will inspire and equip our guests with tools that will not just assist them in 2019, but in the years to come as well. With our pearls and sparkles, Carolyn and I are ready to empower others for a great year!

January 29, 2019
9am – 2pm
The Woodlands Chamber of Commerce
Click here for information.

How are 2019 and Fanny Packs related?

Well, I got brave and took off my chicken hat and formally kicked off my Podcast! If you are one of the brave listeners, thank you. We are all a work in progress and each of us has dreams to embrace and fears to kick to the curb! This podcast, my friends, is BOTH for me!!

If you are in the mood to listen to me gab- you will get to hear me discuss fanny packs, haters, one-word selection, and living a life unmuted!

Thank you for your support! (And kindness!)

Photo by Pixabay on

Realign Your Compass Mini-Retreat

39161560_2037346349643825_3594712916072333312_nWhile it is difficult to get away for a full weekend, it is still important and desirable to decompress and come back to center. On occasion, it is necessary to refill our spiritual self so that we can continue to pour out into our daily obligations and loves.

As women, we possess the “feminine genius.” We are uniquely designed to have many files open at once and take care of the complexities of life. We are blessed with emotional endurance and sacrifice greatly in all areas of life and love. We embrace, empower, organize, rush, balance, and attempt to do it all with grace. Each of those areas provides an added hole in our bucket, which can drain quickly if we are not mindful.

To replenish ourselves, it is important that we seek to refuel and recenter. By putting ourselves first, even for a few hours, our spirit buckets are filled and we are ready to gracefully step back into our lives with a clearer vision of our self and greater love for those that we encounter.

In the spirit of putting ourselves into an intentional time out, I invite you to the Realign Your Compass Mini-Retreat.

At the relaxing Salt Remedy, Nature’s Therapy location on 1488, we will partake in a little “wine down,” breathe in the healing and relaxing salt air and visit the topics of mission and purpose.

Please come join me for this 2-hour retreat. The space is very limited, you will want to reserve your space early.


What I Learned from a Rabbi and How it Helped me Become a Better Parent and Live an Intentional Life

light sunset people water
Photo by Negative Space on

I once read a book by a Rabbi, I forget the name of the book, but in it, he asked a powerful question,”What kind of person do you want to be?”

He used this simple question to help his children navigate life and their decision making. When they made choices that were wrong, displayed negative character, greedy, or ended with ill-intended consequences, he asked them that particular question.

Many times over, I have asked my children the same question– from the time that they were very small. I changed the word person to boy/girl/man /woman depending on what was appropriate at the time. They would typically answer me the same way: “I want to be a good person.”

“What does that mean?” I would ask.

“That I am kind, nice to my sister and help around the house,” might have been an answer on any given day.

I still ask my children the same question. Their answers are bolder and more solid now that they are older. It teaches them reflection and evaluation. Mistakes will always be made, the power is found in the evaluated mistake.

Equally as important, I ask myself, “What kind of person do I want to be?” or rather, “What kind of person does God want me to be.” When I honestly answer those questions, I become more aware of my current state and how I am leading myself. We all lead ourselves first.

The very wise Rabbi understood that we are always in a state of growth. That growth may be positive, towards a better version of ourselves, or negative, taking us further away from our desired self. He knew that by teaching his children to answer that simple question, he was helping them to become people of strong character with the ability to learn forward and take responsibility for their actions and choices.

I am very grateful for stumbling across that insightful Rabbi’s words so many years ago. He has created a ripple in the world.

What kind of person do you want to be?

What Does the Blue Flame Have to Do with Burnt Chicken


This article contains affiliate links.

A book review.

Anyone who puts a burnt chicken on the front cover of their book has my attention. It is a completely relatable item, burned food. I felt an immediate kindred mother spirit with Jennifer Fulwiler before I even read the first page of her book, One Beautiful Dream! As soon as I began reading, I quickly found myself absorbed in her wacky throws of motherhood. I completely related to this harry-carry, first-hand account of motherhood, pursuing dreams, and passion, all while holding it together.

Jennifer Fulweiler’s personal story of following her blue flame passion of writing and story-telling while growing her family is funny, charming, engaging and at times, gut-wrenching. There were many times during her recollection that I found myself identifying with her lost dreams, thoughts of failing at motherhood, and the surreal moments of parenting gone bad. She is raw and real, and I believe that is what I like most about her writing style.

Jennifer’s first book, Something Other Than God, was a personal account of atheist turned Catholic and the journey of conversion. In One Beautiful Dream, she is at it again, letting us take a look into her life and how she came to terms with the guilt of motherhood while hearing the siren’s call of her passion writing. She shares her doubts, fears, a-ha moments, irrational thoughts as well as her love, sensitivity, and kindness. She takes you on a journey of faith as she seeks to find the answer to her calling while raising a family. Is it selfish? Is this right? Should I wait? Is my family suffering because of my choices? Am I the worst mother ever? Can I do this? Where is God in all this? Can I trust him with my beautiful mess? Am I doing this right? These are questions many of us ponder, though we may not articulate. At one point, she has an internal conflict with the realization that she is unhappy in her life but afraid to express it because she did not want to be misunderstood that she was unhappy as a mother. She was afraid no one would understand her.

In one moment of the book, she shares about the “perfect” mom (Christy) who swoops in and effortlessly made everything look so easy, resulting in Jennifer identifying her feeling of inadequacy. However, in their exchange was the pearl. Christy begins the dialog:

‘People see that I like to keep my home super clean and I love getting the kiddos all dressed up. They hold me up like I’m doing of this only out of some really strong sense of duty. But let me tell you, that is my thing that I love to do, what was that term you used for it?’

‘Blue Flame.'”

As she shares her journey’s revelations and the idea of the blue flame within all of us, she provides a story of peace and a place for all moms to share in. Her story is about the beauty of family and the journey we are on. If we are brave we can follow our blue flame and achieve a harmonious life!

What if all desires to create–both with children and with work–are, in fact, all pointed in the same direction? What if both are different but complementary ways of getting in touch with the ultimate Source of creativity? What if following your God-given passion is not just okay to do during the baby years, but actually something that has the potential to enhance your whole family’s life?”

I always tell my children that if you don’t laugh and cry with the story, then it wasn’t a great story. I did both during the pages of this book. Interestingly, I did not cry tears of sadness, but tears of hope. It touched me in my core because it centers around our callings, purpose, and dreams and aligns it with the reality of life. How do they merge together? And that, my friends, is what makes One Beautiful Dream beautiful. In story-telling form, Jennifer Fulwiler opens up the possibility of a remarkable journey for all of us!

I vote YES to this book!!

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