By Vernalee
Happy Thanksgiving!
As we cook, bless the food, and enjoy the day off, it is a joyous time of reflections.
Oh yes … Thanksgiving is more than a day of the huge feast – turkey, ham, dressing, cakes, and pies; though the delectable food is yummy to our tummies! It’s more than a day of parades and countless football games.
It is a day to be thankful – thankful for life, loved ones, family, friends, and the amenities of living!
Recognized as one of the busiest travel times, many people travel near and far to be with and share time with people that they love. Kindred spirits are the order of the day.
On the flip side, the holidays can be a lonely time for some!
There are some folks who are not as fortunate as others. The bread of loneliness they may eat.
They may have few people who sincerely and lovingly care about them. Regretfully, some may even spend the day alone.
So this holiday season, let’s share our fortunes of love, kindness, and resources with others.
Give financial blessings and blessings of your time.
Let not your love be selfish and superficial; ignoring the needs of others.
Turning your head should not be an option.
God will see you if you do.
Let your love be overflowing like a cornucopia. I am sure that the recipients of your generosity will be thankful!
For certain, you would have left them better than you found them!
That feeling should fill your soul as much as the Thanksgiving meal filled your tummy!
Happy Thanksgiving!
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By Vernalee

Thanksgiving starts the holiday countdown. We start preparing meals, giving gifts, attending parties, and being festive. Happiness and joy fill the air.
That’s great!
But … what about those people who don’t have anyone to celebrate or share their time with? What do they do? How can we help them?
There are so many pointers that we can give to those who are lonely at the holiday times.
Take a look.
1. Understand that you are not all alone.
2. Rethink your expectations.
3. Get connected.
4. Cultivate gratitude.
5. Give to others.
6. Examine your feelings.
7. Remember, alone doesn’t mean lonely.
8. Change up things.
9. Make someone else happy.
10. Don’t be afraid to initiate. Reach out to family and friends.
11. The holidays are not a time to open up old wounds.
12. Limit how much you take on.
13. Send care packages.
14. Volunteer. Get involved.
15. When no one is around, you always have God.
For those who have recently lost loved ones, these holidays will certainly feel different because they will not be here as they traditionally have been to cut the turkey at Thanksgiving, open presents at Christmas, or bring in the New Year. Let’s pray for strength.
In closing, here’s a shout out to those people who may feel lonely and a little down and out this holiday season.
Don’t have a pity party.
As difficult as it may be, be uplifted; be thankful; stay prayerful.
May God Bless you and relieve your loneliness during this holiday season.
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By Vernalee

Have you ever been anxiously waiting to hear from someone to get the latest news or results?
Have you been so anxious that you paced the floor walking as if there is no tomorrow?
For reasons of anxiety, you simply cannot sit down!
If the answer is yes, join the crowd.
Many refer to this anxiousness as sitting on pins and needles.
So, what does that mean?
“Sitting on pins and needs” is used to describe someone who can’t sit still/rest easily, often because of anxiousness/worry/impatience.
That terminology could describe many facets of our lives.
Our emotionality can be all over the board.
It begs to ask – How can we effectively deal with anxiety?
Let’s see what the experts recommend that we do to cope.
Here are some suggested steps.
1. Identify the source of your anxiety.
2. Determine if your worry is solvable.
3. Consider the worst.
4. Accept uncertainty.
5. Consider the use of your worry.
6. Focus on both the positive and the negative.
7. Avoid thinking in terms of all or nothing.
8. Don’t make it into a catastrophe.
9. Try not to jump to conclusions.
10. Don’t let your emotions control your reasoning.
11. Avoid making everything personal.
The more we practice reducing our stress, the better.
There are so many issues that we cannot escape or run away from; so many that we must face.
Once we deal with the stress pockets, we can move on.
If we don’t, we will resort back to sitting on pins and needles!
Pins and needles hurt!
They pierce your skin.
Be comfortable.
I want my buttock to be cushioned.
Don’t you?
No one go looking for trouble.
No one wants to be purposefully hurt and feel the accompanying pain and anxiety.
If you can avoid what you know will hurt, why not?
Replacing anxieties with pleasurable comfort is the goal.
Let’s work toward that goal.
Are you ready?
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By Vernalee
Undoubtedly, you have heard the expression that a person has a “cloud hanging over their head.”
That quote refers to a situation or future event that makes you worry or feel unhappy.
Another equivalent saying that is spiced up slightly adds that there is a
“Black cloud hanging over your head” which refers to a
feeling you have that something unpleasant is in the air or it can mean that you’re depressed or unhappy about something. Adding further, the black cloud may signify that you are in a dicey situation or that Lady Luck has vanished.” Though it is an expression and a feeling, for illustrative purposes, do know that we may have people floating on those clouds that are the root of our uneasiness and discomfort.
Now in real life, we know that clouds are visible masses of condensed water vapor floating in the atmosphere, typically high above the ground; and that although we feel the figurative effects, we are not literally walking around with our personal one over our heads. However, when we feel uneasy or uncomfortable, our inferences to visible references heighten our understanding sometimes. So when we feel those clouds, (and we will) be they “black” or not,
“here are some strategies that we can use that will help banish the stress.

1. Support Systems. If you’re constantly running on empty, your mind, body, and soul will suffer the repercussions of your tenacity. There’s no shame in asking for a helping hand. Sometimes, you’ll be able lean on a spouse, coworker, or friend, but if you find the need to talk to a therapist; do so. Start with having a discussion with your partner or family and see if you can brainstorm a way to eliminate daily stress pockets.
2. Self Care. What do you enjoy doing? Knitting, relaxing in a bubble bath, drawing, lounging in bed watching reruns of Sex and the City? Indulge yourself in your favorite restful activity a few times each week; carving out a few hours each weekend to indulge in your favorite lazy activity. Choose at least one weeknight to relax after work. Start with a walk outside. You might need your sunglasses because you have been under that dark cloud for so long. But trust me — there is sunshine, fresh air, beautiful things to look at out there!
3. Simplify life. Simplify your routines, your commitments, your information intake, your cluttered rooms, and have less stress as a result. Identify those things that are most important in your life…and then get rid of the rest. It may not be quite that easy, but you can certainly start somewhere with this idea. Think of just one thing that has been bothering you that you can remove and do it. Once you start with one, you will see a ray of sunlight.
4. Meditation. With meditation, we can learn to transform our minds from chaos to calm. And it is really not as hard as you might think. A favorite meditation is a “Breathing Meditation”. It is simple and you can do it anywhere. Sit in any comfortable position, with your eyes partially closed. Now breathe. Just breathe normally through your nose. Notice how your body moves and what the air feels like. If your mind wanders, just bring it back to your breath. Even just practicing this for two minutes a day will add another ray of sunlight.”
Into each life, the clouds give way to water and a little rain will fall. Taking this advice in stride though, the sky is the limit as we look to make our days and life pleasantly enjoyable. Removing the gloom and doom with a replacement of brightness and happiness is a good thing! Let’s get started! Take out your umbrella, let the sun rays hit your face, and start your day and journey by walking out of a dark cloudy day to a scorching sunny day. Let’s “feel fine on Cloud 9;” in our euphoric state of natural happiness!
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By Vernalee
“Do not judge and you will not be judged. Do not condemn and you will not be condemned. Forgive and you will be forgiven.” Luke 6:37
Who are you to judge?
Who made you the superior watchdog?
Did you know that in God’s eyes that you are not any better than anyone else? Don’t let your valuable material possessions and fat bank account fool you!
Because of a misguided spirit of superiority, some people spend too much time monitoring and judging other folks while letting their business go astray.
In fact, many wait on others to make mistakes so that they can be the first to bring down their gavel pronouncing condemnation!
Sad, but true!
There are a few things that all should realize.
1. First, only God can judge because he sees all actions; those that are visible as well as the hidden and disguised.
2. Secondly, if we properly utilize our time to keep our lives on track, we won’t have the time to judge others.
3. Thirdly, it is a huge job to do the right thing. It is tough to stay focused and remain on course.
4. Lastly, we all want to be able to stand before God on judgment day and have him say, “Well done, my good and faithful servant!”
In other words, because of the weakness of the flesh, it is easier to do what’s wrong instead of what’s right.
In Matthew 26:41, we find –
“Watch and pray so that you will not fall into temptation. The spirit is willing, but the flesh is weak.”
We have to constantly work at it.
There are so many challenges.
Minding our own business is one!
Forgiveness is another.
When people error, it is critical that we possess a forgiving spirit.
We must stop looking at others to find their dirt.
Isn’t it a monumental task to just keep our “house” clean and life in order?
If you are like most people, that is a job in and of itself.
Do your work and let God do his!
Judge not; condemn not; forgive – yes!
Happy Sunday.
Photo credit:


By Vernalee
women powering
Many viewers tune in on Thursday’s nights to watch Kerry Washington in her role as Scandal’s star, Olivia Pope, a crisis management expert to the President and high profiled individuals.
However, some of us need not wait to see the weekly series, when we can get a daily snapshot of scandalous activities in our respective workplaces!
The intriguing / inappropriate accompaniments – lies, harassment, innuendoes – are included in the roundup that has become standard office conduct. How about that!
If shouting matches, humiliating comments, degradation of coworkers, sexual escapades, theft, abuse, sabotage of material, discrediting others’ professional character, intellectual gymnastics to prove who is the smartest …. describe your office environment, you can perhaps identify with several, if not all of the above illustrations/post it notes.
Incredible, isn’t it?
If your office environment can put the successful “Scandal” to shame, send a brief narrative and character descriptions to its creative creator, Shonda Rhimes.
It may become her next blockbuster television series!
You then will “be in the money” and not in your scandalous office!
I’ll drink to that!
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By Vernalee
I had a fabulous shopping experience last week.
My finds were terrific.
Guess where I went?
No, I did not go to Macy’s or Saks Fifth Avenue at Legacy Village or Beachwood Place. Waking up to see the Eiffel Tower out of my Hilton Hotel window and walking the streets of Paris cruising from one boutique to another would have been great. It is on my bucket list!
But I was in none of those places.
Instead and not as exciting as Paris or NYC, I walked into my guest room and went shopping in my closet.
That’s right!
It was there that I found a number of items with price tags on them.
I am serious!
Where did these items come from? The answer is simple.
I went shopping some time ago, bought some items that I liked, put them in the closet, and forgot that they were there. That’s right.
How many folks can tell the same story? Hush!
Yet, I don’t know how many times that I have said, “I don’t have anything to wear!” What about you? Shame … on you and me!
What I realized is that my closet was not organized so I didn’t know exactly what I had. Oh my!
It didn’t surprise me that surveys stipulate that the average woman spends over $3500.00 a year and some change on clothing.
However, I am here to testify that my recent shopping experience was within arms reach as I did an archival dig in my closet.
I found what I wanted within the comfort of my home.
Take it from me! So before you go to the store, go to your closet first.
A new outfit and accessories probably await you.
Afterwards, here’s what you need to do:
* Team up with your tailor.
* Repair and Renew.
* Accessorize outside your jewelry box.
* Get crafty.
* Mix and Match it up.
* Strategically reposition and organize your clothing.
Now because I took a few steps, walked into the next room, and pulled out a few hangers that were already there, I have about 10 – 12 new outfits. Groovy!
I am thrilled. I have new glamorous outfits to sport a new look with no money spent!.
I am also rethinking my look and style. It’s time for a makeover since I got up off my rear end to move beyond my comfort zone of wearing the same things over and over.
To my fan club, you will be seeing me in a flash of more colors than my standard traditional black. While searching, I also found colorful scarves and attachments that I didn’t know I had! I plan to add a little spice to my life by accessorizing with vibrant sun bright colors … and more.
You go girl!
Time and energy are my only hurdles because I have 3 more closets to go! Then I’m off to search through my jewelry boxes.
Vintage jewelry, anyone?
Join me … but do so in your own closets … not mine!
Photo credit:


By Vernalee
Want to go shopping anyone?
When you go to the stores, be prepared.
Have a plan.
Smart shopping requires research, skills, and time.
My daughter Phoebe and I tend to go to a particular shop, purchase the items we desire, and go home.
My nieces, however are shopping divas with a skill set that can rival the best.
They are the “shop till you drop” ladies.
They can dig up a pricey Saks Fifth Avenue designer suit at a bargain warehouse for such a ridiculous price that it is laudable. I kid you not!
I marvel at their skills!
Their finds leave you speechless!
I don’t know if they have telescopic vision, but they know where all the sales are (near and far; on line and off) including the moment of their occurrence. Finding the “blue light” specials is their specialty as they emerge into one or several of the smart shoppers categories below:
1. The Bargain Hunter – Gets the best price.
2. The Impulse Buyer – Acts quickly to snag a deal.
3. The Loyalist – Uses rewards to save big.
4. The Researcher – Compares every offer.
5. The Negotiator – Always haggles.
6. The Shopper on a mission – Plans strategically.
To my nieces, I am recommending that you set up a personal shopping business.
You will make a mint!
Sometimes, I wonder who is the best shopper – Beverly, Sharon, Stefe, or Stacy.
It’s too close to call. They are all … just that good!
Here’s my advice girls –
To get you started, I’ll prepare your business plan and develop the necessary business particulars.
Use your skills and talents to shop for others and make big money doing the one thing that you love – shopping!
Cha Ching!
Photo credit:; Illustration by Aimee Camilien; Source: Essence Magazine


By Vernalee
Though your nose may not grow like the fictitious Pinocchio if you tell a lie, it is a statistical fact that we all lie – from time to time. Shut your mouth!
Stop lying by saying that you don’t!
Some of us are better liars than others; some can even lie convincingly without blinking an eye.
It may be a little lie, a big lie, or a “shading” of the truth lie by withholding critical information.
Yet, for certain, regardless of the size or content of the story – a lie is a lie!
Yes, that’s right, though admission may not be easy, you may be a big, fat liar.
According to current research, “by age four, 90% of children have grasped the concept of lying, and it just gets worse from there.
Just how bad is it?
Let’s see.
A. How frequent do we lie?
1. According to a recent study conducted by the University of Massachusetts, 60% of adults can’t have a ten minute conversation without lying at least once. But even that number makes it sound better than it really is; those people in the study who did lie actually told an average of 3 lies during their brief chat. And I know you’re sitting there right now insisting you would be part of the 40% that didn’t lie. That’s what the liars in the study thought, too. When they watched the taped conversations back, they were shocked at how many fibs they had told. The average number of lies told per day was 1.65. That number is surprisingly low. Many participants were lying about the extent of their lying!
B. Who do we lie to?
1. We lie to everyone. Our parents get the worst of it, according to “The Day America Told the Truth,” with 86% of us lying to them regularly; followed by friends (75%); siblings (73%); and spouses (69%). But in general we lie about things that aren’t important, little things that we think will make us look better or more like-able.
C. What do we lie about?
1. Liars are indiscriminate on their subject matter. However, sometimes we do lie about things that matter. According to one estimate, 40% of people lie on their resumes. According to a study by Scientific American, a whopping 90% of people looking for a date online, lie in their profile. The biggest fib told by women is an obvious one; on average ladies claim to weigh eight and a half pounds less than they actually do. Men, on the other hand, try to use their profile to convince potential partners that they are taller, richer, and/or better educated than they actually are. But before you vow never to trust anyone again, here’s some food for thought: A study by the University of Toronto found that it is actually the most trusting people who are best able to tell when they are being lied to.”
Lie detector tests are definitely out of the question. No telling how we would fare there!
It is highly likely that many would be too stressed to take the test because they can’t conceal the lies.
Are you in awe of those who lie and think that you think that they told the truth?
Let’s not forget that the so called “private” conservative people who are reluctant to tell you stuff are not reserved when it comes to lying.
They are often times the bigger offenders since their lives are built around not telling their business.
Keeping secrets and keeping you out of their business remain their number one goal. Lies aid in that process.
Did I hear someone reciting the childhood poem, “Liar, liar, pants on fire?” The fireman’s truth is to hose you down with water to extinguish the flames! Unbelievable – once you dry out, you start lying again!
All of this tells us one thing:
The truth is a luxury; it is worth its weight in gold since we hear so little of it!
Photo credit:; Source:;


By Vernalee

“Don’t doubt yourself, that’s what haters are for.”
― Turcois Ominek
The biggest difference between successful people and unsuccessful people isn’t intelligence or opportunity or resources. It’s the belief that they can make their goals happen.
We all deal with vulnerability, uncertainty, and failure. Trust in yourself that you can move forward, then you will figure it out.
The below views should be encompassed in your belief system. Take a look.
A. Nurturing Positive Views
1. Make a list of past accomplishments.
2. Talk to people who love you.
3. Find a cause that you believe in.
4. Set realistic goals.
5. Reflect at the end of each day.
6. Be persistent.
B. Furthering Good Habits
1. Connect with people
2. Build yourself up.
3. Find ways to keep moving forward.
4. Be proactive.
5. Focus on the positive.
6. Do things that are hard.
7. Practice speaking up for yourself.
8. Help others.
C. Taking Care of Yourself
1. Pay attention to your appearance and hygiene.
2. Nourish your body with healthy food.
3. Exercise every day.
4. Get plenty of sleep.
5. Relax every day.
6. Maintain a pleasant environment.
Believe in yourself!
Move forward.
Photo credit:; Source: www.wikihow.con

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