It was love at first sight – bloom Daily Planners

It was love at first sight – bloom Daily Planners

I love, I mean love-love-love, buying my new planner for an upcoming year!

It’s like school supply shopping for grown-ups!

I think one of the reasons I love to buy a new planner is that the nice, blank, clean pages seem to make me feel like anything is possible for the upcoming year. All the ideas I continually have running through my mind, the goals, the plans, they all seem possible!

So naturally, I want a functional planner. The layout has to make sense for me. I need a monthly view, daily sections with enough room to write in my appointments, reach-outs and new contacts made for my businesses, etc. But to find a planner with extra goodies included, makes me extra happy.

Let me share my favorite features of bloom Daily Planners’ Vision Planner and Calendar, which is the planner I am currently using (and loving).

  • First of all, the cover!  “This Year is For Blooming” is the quote on the front of my planner.  And if you know anything about me, and since you are here on my “Bloom with Bec” website, I’ll assume you do; you know this resonated with me and had me pulling my wallet out of my purse!  There are plenty of other gorgeous designs to choose from!!
  • And in addition to the planner that I purchased, there are academic year, teacher, wedding, pregnancy and baby’s first year planners, to name a few other options for you to choose from.
  • There is a VISIONS page – that’s right, a page right inside your planner to create your own mini vision board.  How awesome is that!!  I actually teach Vision Board Workshops, so this is right up my alley and something I’ve never had in my planner before.  #MakesMeHappy
  • Planning pages – there are a bunch of cool pages: a place to record your goals, places you’d like to visit, identify things you want to improve on, a place to design your perfect week, keep track of monthly tasks, etc.  They have thought of it all.
  • Each month has its own visions page with space to track personal, relationship, health & fitness, family & home, work & school, and financial goals.  There is also a place to track “fun & adventure”.
  • And maybe a looked over benefit to some people, but one I love, an inside back pocket!  This is something every planner should have in my opinion.

So, I think you see my point…my planner is the bomb!  Couldn’t love it more.  But now let me tell you about the FUN PART!  THE STICKERS!  You can purchase all sorts of stickers on bloom’s site!  I guess it’s the little kid in me, but I’ve always loved using stickers.  If I can use a sticker to record my workouts, keep track of my coffee dates, remind me of appointments, when to pay my bills, etc., I’m all in!!

After my initial purchase of my planner and a set of stickers, I was pleasantly surprised one morning by an email from bloom!!  (And yes, I know I’m not capitalizing the name of their company…and it’s a struggle for me, a self-proclaimed grammar nerd…but that is how they actually write their company’s name.)  After interacting with them a bit on their social media platforms, they were curious enough to check me out.  I guess “Bloom with Bec” caught somebody’s attention at the company. YAY!  They took a peek at my website and found that we shared a similar mission: to help women bloom into their best lives!

They offered to send me a few additional products to use and review for them, here on my blog.  I jumped at the opportunity to partner with them and practically skipped my way to their website to send my wish list over to them.  About a week later, I received a goodie box in the mail from my friends at bloom.

I selected a few accessories to try out: the Elastic Planner Bands with Pen Loops, Magnetic Bookmarks, and an Inspirational Perpetual Desk Easel.  The elastic planners are great, and come in a pack of three.  These work great to mark your place in your planner.  No more flipping pages to find the current week.   I plan to use the extra bands in the several journals I seem to be working in at any given time.  The magnetic bookmarks need no explanation.  They work great, are adorable, and will come in handy with the books I’m currently reading.

What turned out to be my favorite item in my goodie box is the Inspirational Desk Easel.  It’s lovely, with a floral background on each page, and displays a – wait for it – inspirational quote on each day.  I love that I’ll be able to re-use this year after year.  Currently I’m displaying this on my kitchen table.  I enjoy being able to flip to a new page, and a new quote, each morning as I’m enjoying my breakfast.  It really helps to start my day with a dose of positivity.

If you are a master “to do list” maker, you will love bloom’s selection of planning pads.  They offer various sizes and types of “to do lists”: grocery lists, daily lists, weekly lists, meeting lists, and even a meal planning list.  You will be in heaven if you like to make lists, I assure you.

If you love being organized and enjoy creativity, beauty, whimsy, and fun in the process, look no further:  bloom Daily Planners will assist in keeping your personal, as well as professional, life running smoothly and beautifully accessorized.  Their mission is to help women to “use (their) products as a vehicle to inspire and encourage women around the world to accomplish their dreams.”  Their goal, as well as mine, is to help you “never stop dreaming, never stop blooming.”

A match made in planner heaven?  Yep, I’d say so.  I’m a loyal customer, here to stay.  I invite you to visit their site!  If you find something you are interested in buying for yourself, I invite you to use this discount link to receive 20% off your entire first order.  Tell them Bec sent you. 🙂  Cheers to planning your most productive year yet!

Don’t just grow when you can BLOOM. 

Six Lessons I’ve Learned From Winnie the Pooh

Six Lessons I’ve Learned From Winnie the Pooh

I have always loved Winnie the Pooh.

 

I loved him when I was a little girl and used to sing his theme song all the time.
I loved reading books about him to my baby girl.
I love the photo I have of my husband holding a stuffed Pooh Bear when he was a little boy.
I love that my Mom cleaned up and restored my husband’s worn and loved stuffed Winnie the Pooh, and that he now resides in our home.

 

 

The bond is real and deep. 

 

But did you realize that there are COUNTLESS LESSONS to be learned from Pooh??  He’s brilliant!  Wise beyond his years.  Enjoy these six lessons from Pooh Bear.

 

“We didn’t realize we were making memories, we just knew we were having fun.” 
I am often amazed when my kids share their memories with me.  Sometimes I am completely surprised that these are things they remember.  You never really know when you are creating a memory for other people.  Sure there are times we go out of our way to try to create fond memories: holiday traditions come to mind.  But it’s often the everyday activities, shared laughs, shared stories etc. that are turning into memories.  Cherish the fun and celebratory times, but also cherish the day-to-day, because you just might be making a sweet memory for somebody you love.

 

“Don’t underestimate the value of doing nothing, of just going along, listening to all the things you can’t hear, and not bothering.” 
Today we are so busy, so over scheduled, always on the run.  How often do you have a day, or even simply a few hours, to just be?  What just might turn out to be a blessing in disguise is the forced downtime, the time spent a home, with our family, away from others, during this coronavirus pandemic.  It’s allowing us to clear our schedules, have more white space in our lives, more downtime, more time to simply be.  Enjoy the slower pace of things in this season we find ourselves in.  Take time to meditate, to think, to journal, to have conversation, to imagine, to dream…to just be.

 

“What day is it?” 
“Today,” said Piglet.
“Ah,” said Pooh.  “My favorite day.” 
This to me is simply a reminder to enjoy EVERY day; to find joy in each new day you are given.  Imagine the day you could have, if you work up with the mindset that THIS was your favorite day!  Come on, let’s all give it a try.

 

“The things that make me different are the things that make me, ME!” 
Stop comparing yourself to others.  Stop worry about what others think.  Stop worrying about what others may or may not be saying about you, your family, your business, your style, your looks.  Just be YOU!  Be thankful for those qualities that make you uniquely you.  Be thankful for what makes you different, what draws people to you, what others enjoy and adore about you.  Be the best YOU that you can be.

 

“Pooh,” whispered Piglet. 
“Yes, Piglet?” said Pooh. 
“Oh nothing,” said Piglet.
“I was just making sure of you.” 
Be thankful for, and express the joy you feel for simply being with those you love.  That’s all!

 

And I leave you with this one: “Promise me you’ll always remember, you’re braver than you believe, and stronger than you seem, and smarter than you think.” 
I don’t even think I need to, nor could I, elaborate any more on that one!

 

Winnie the Pooh, that “tubby little cubby all stuffed with fluff”, is so much more than a children’s story book character.  He’s a wise and trusted friend.
How to Stay POSITIVE in Trying Times

How to Stay POSITIVE in Trying Times

In these uncertain times we are finding ourselves in, doing our best to fend off a global pandemic, finding ourselves captives of forced downtime, one of the most common complaints or concerns that I’m hearing is that of being bored.
I find this very interesting to say the least.  God forbid if we aren’t running at Mach speed, we don’t know what to do with ourselves.
So I thought I’d share a few ideas of things that I plan to do during the next few weeks to keep my body and mind occupied and dwelling on positive things.  Perhaps a few of these will resonate with you and will inspire you to seek out the positive in these unsettling times.
  • Read a book (or listen to one!) ~ There are many different genres, why not try something out of the norm.  If you usually read personal development, why not try a novel or biography for a change of pace.
  • Declutter a space in your home ~ This might be your closet, your office, the junk drawer.  It doesn’t have to be a major undertaking.  Even the smallest decluttering project, when completed, can lighten your mood and lift your spirits.
    Don’t forget about local charities that could benefit from donated goods.  I usually try to separate items into different piles to allow me to donate where they can do the most good.
  • Declutter your mind ~ by journaling!  This will look different to all of us.  You may want to spend time writing about things that are troubling you, thing that you need to do/tend to (your never ending “to do list”).  The idea here is to get it down on paper, so your mind can relax.  Known as a “brain dump”, it’s fascinating how once you’ve jotted it down on paper, your brain realizes that you’ve “got it” and can stop worrying (as much) about it.
    Not to say this will completely ease your worries or concerns, but it will greatly help.  Give it a try!
  • Practice gratitude ~ You may find yourself back in your journal.  Practicing daily gratitude is a sure fire way to lift your spirits.  When you purposely seek out things to be thankful for throughout your day, it forces you to focus on the positive.
    Maybe you owe a few people thank you notes.  This would be a great time to catch up on them.  All caught up?  Then how about sending out a few encouraging notes (messages or texts work too) to some friends.
  • Try out a new recipe ~ Get in the kitchen!  Not my favorite place, but I will admit, I tried out a new recipe this week, got rave reviews from my family, and actually enjoyed myself.  I MAY give this another go even.
  • Get some fresh air ~ I’m fortunate to live near the beach, so this is my destination of choice: walking on the beach.  Whatever this looks like for you, get out in the sunshine and enjoy some nice, spring weather.   Still cold where you are?  A short, brisk walk will do the trick.
  • Kick back and relax ~ Don’t feel guilty for enjoying some downtime.  Instead, why not be thankful for the opportunity to slow life down a bit and take some time to relax and enjoy time with your family, and even some alone time.
It’s easy to get caught up with worry and fear, but I advise you to take a deep breath, look around and observe all that you have to be thankful for; then take me up on a few of these suggestions.  Here’s to your health and sanity as we all get through the next few weeks.
xo Bec
March 2020
It Might Be Time To Conduct a Friendship Inventory

It Might Be Time To Conduct a Friendship Inventory

It just might be time for a Friendship Inventory.

I’ve heard it said that you are most like the 5 people you spend the majority of your time with.  LOOK AROUND.  Are they who you want to emulate?  Do they possess opinions/beliefs that you want to adopt for yourself?  Are they kind?  Are they loyal?  Do they strive to grow, to continue to learn, to stretch themselves, to work towards goals and bettering themselves and their surroundings?  Are they happy?

These are qualities/values that are important to me; things that I am personally working on.

So when I look around at my friends, family, who I’m choosing to spend time with, if I don’t see these same qualities/values in them, I have to stop and ask myself, why am I spending time with them.

Have you ever been in a great mood, then interact with somebody who is a “Debbie Downer” (sorry to the cheerful Debbie’s out there!) and all the sudden you notice your mood dropping.  Maybe irritation starts to swoop in.  You find yourself jumping on the negativity train and talking poorly about somebody or a situation that “Debbie” has an issue with.

WAIT!!  What just happened??

You just picked up Debbie’s negative energy and she sucked you down into her funk.

When I accidentally let this happen, I get so irritated with myself.  This isn’t who I want to be!  This isn’t the mood I want to be in!  This isn’t how I want to present myself to the world.

Then on the flip side, do you have that “Susie Sunshine” friend who makes you happy and puts a smile on your face every time you see her?  She is fun to be around, puts you in a better mood, and makes you feel better about yourself when you are in her presence?

Yes, THAT GIRL!  That is who I want to be.  The person who puts a smile on somebody’s face when they see me.  Again, it’s the same thing happening here.  You pick up Susie’s positive energy and rise up to her level.

People’s vibes are contagious…trust me.  So what do you do?

You choose wisely who you spend your time with!  You seek out friendships with people who inspire you.  You make sure you aren’t the smartest person in the room, because if you are, what do you have to learn?

You limit your time with people who “suck the life” or positive energy from you.  You limit, or eliminate, time spent with people who have no desire to grow, to learn, to improve.  They do not bring out the best in you.  They are not your tribe.

But what if you are related to those people?  Ouch, now this can be tricky.  You probably aren’t going to completely eliminate them from your life.  Although there are people who are so toxic, this might be necessary.  But in most instances, you can simply limit the time spent with them.  You choose when you see them, or interact with them.  You choose how much of your time and energy to give to them.

Then you move on to YOUR TRIBE!  Your peeps.  The people who inspire, uplift and encourage you, those you look up to, learn from.  Seek out as much time as possible with these people.  They will elevate you and help to level up your life.  They will nourish your soul.

So friend, go ahead and take a friendship inventory today.  Choose wisely.  We are talking about your energy, your sanity, your life.  Want to be better?  Hang out with better!

Why I Love Shopping From My Friends – Cheers to Network Marketers

Why I Love Shopping From My Friends – Cheers to Network Marketers

Network Marketing sometimes gets a bad rap and I just can’t figure out why.  

For starters, let’s admit, the way we shop has changed over time.  When I was little, you’d go to the mall – or even like a JC Penney’s in a strip mall location.  If your family was on a budget, you’d wait for sales. If you were a military family, like mine, you frequently shopped on base at the PX (similar to a department store). 

Then I remember catalogs being a big thing but you’d actually CALL ON THE TELEPHONE to place orders!  Can you imagine? ha ha

Today you can purchase pretty much anything right off of your cell phone!  I’m gonna venture to say that many of us order, and have delivered, more items than we physically go to a store to purchase.  Shoot, you can even have your groceries delivered!  

Somebody, somewhere, is benefiting when you make a purchase.  Several people actually. It may be a small business owner, it may be a stockholder, it could even be a FRIEND!  I don’t know about you, but if a FRIEND can benefit by a purchase that I am going to make somewhere, from somebody, I’m all the happier. 

I buy many items routinely through friends that are in some sort of network marketing organization.  Let me tell you about them: 

For 14 years I have been buying vitamins, first aid, and non-toxic cleaning products from a sweet friend.  She and her husband are retired and I’m happy to be able to contribute a little towards their living expenses. 

I buy eye shadows and lipstick from another sweet friend who was a young Marine wife when I met her.  Her husband just got out of the Marine Corps and they have transitioned to civilian life. First of all, nobody serving in the military is rich – so you can get that out of your head right now…even the Generals and Admirals (and I’ve seen their LES’s).  When you consider the training and expertise and years dedicated to their careers to get to that level, it’s a joke what they get paid! (rant over) But especially a young, enlisted Marine who is now looking for a job to support his young family. You can bet if I can help out his wife’s business and contribute even a little to their family, I will gladly do so! 

I buy a vitamin from another friend who is also retired.  Again, happy to be contributing to her income. AND – bonus – the company she works with supports children in need of food and nutritional support with their Buy 1, Nourish 2 mode with every purchase.  So not only am I improving my health, helping a friend, I’m also indirectly helping to nourish a child in need of proper nutrition and food. Um, YES PLEASE!  

I’m sure I could go on and on….but those three examples came quickly to mind.  

Yeah, but in Network Marketing, people up the ladder are making profit off of other people.  Common argument, right?

When you purchase gas at a gas station, do you think the owner of the gas station is the only person making a profit? When you buy a new car, just the salesman is getting a profit? NOPE….there are a whole bunch of people “up the chain” that are profiting from EVERY purchase we make.  

So again, if I know somebody I love and care about is one of the people profiting from a purchase I’m going to make regardless, my vote is to shop from the friend, the small business owner, the person doing a craft they love and are passionate about every. single. time. 

Not sure WHY they are doing their business?  Selling the thing? Why not take a minute and ASK THEM!  I’m sure they’d love to tell you what they are working for/towards.  I don’t think the clerk at the retailer or the person behind the counter at the gas station has a CLUE what the person benefiting from your purchase is working for/towards.

For more information on the skincare line I sell, check out the IMPROVE YOUR SKIN link on my site to request information.  You may also visit my product site at becmartin.myrandf.com.

Friendship Garden

Friendship Garden

Friendships are like flowers.  I love flowers.  They bring me joy; they make me happy.  Friends bring me joy and make me happy also.

Some flowers, annuals, only last in our gardens for a season; and some, perennials, have longevity, coming back year after year with repeated beauty.  Some friendships only last for a short time and others last a lifetime.

If you’ve ever had a friendship that has faded over time, you’ve undoubtedly feel some sadness over it.  I know I’ve had a few of these friendships.  Often, they simply faded away since one of us physically moved away from the other.  With both my father and husband serving as career Marines, I have moved frequently my entire life.  Even though these were close friendships at the time, the distance between us eventually won out.

Other friendships ended over a particular circumstance: a difference of opinion, a difference in values, something a little more substantial.  Sometimes these friendships were easily dismissed and other times the termination of the friendship hurt deeply.

The friends that were in my life for a moment remind me of annuals.  They were beautiful and filled in and complimented the garden of my life for a season.

Then, there are those friendships that are so deep, so intertwined, time and distance mean absolutely nothing.  You may see these friends daily, you may go years between seeing them, but when you are together, your friendship and connection never misses a beat.  You would do anything for them, and the feeling is mutual.  They are there to uplift, comfort, support, encourage, and celebrate you.  They are there for you through thick and thin, year after year.

These enduring friendships remind me of perennials.  Their beauty shows up year after year.  They are faithful and always there for you.  Even though they may not be blooming all year long, you know they will be back, ready to show up and delight you.

As I reflect on those “annual friendships,” I’ve decided not to feel bad about them fading away or ending.  Just like annual flowers, who fill in your garden for a season, those friends were there for me when I needed them.  Maybe they were never intended to be long-term friendships.  I am thankful for the gift of them, what they brought to my life and hopefully what I was able to contribute to their lives for the season we had together.

All friendships should be celebrated, no matter how short lived or permanent they are in our lives.  In the same way, every flower is a gift from the earth to beautify our world and fill us with joy.