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The only Salt and Pepper Shaker Museum in the country is located in Gatlinburg, Tennessee and it’s a must-visit!

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beanpole pottery

Beanpole Pottery

The minute I saw these pieces on Kristine Van Raden’s Facebook page, where she introduced her new venture, Beanpole Pottery, I sent her a private message and said I had to have them.

I mean, how gorgeous are they?

As you know, I love words on things. And I love birds on things.

So these pieces were kind of destined to be mine. [Read more…]

Matters That Matter: Be Someone’s Reason to Give Thanks

It is, indeed, the season for us to give thanks for all that we have. And, for many of us, in this part of the world, we have more to be thankful for than most. The giving of thanks is an incredible practice — one that we will hopefully continue to fine tune for the rest of our days. 

But what about giving the giving of thanks a slightly different twist? Rather than consider that for which I am thankful, maybe I should reflect on my own life, and whether it is a cause for someone else’s giving of thanks. 

The truth is that each one of us has our fingerprints on the lives of every person we encounter.  The question is, “Are we touching those lives with intention or not?” Do we give others reason to be thankful?  Probably, for most of us, the answer is sometimes yes — and sometimes no. 

While practice may not make perfect, it undoubtedly will make better. Like any other practice, we hone our skills by doing. Lucky for us, we are surrounded by opportunities to perfect our ability to be a reason for another human being to give thanks. In our homes, places of work, unemployment offices, gas stations, grocery stores, health clubs, doctor’s offices, planes, trains, cars, restaurants, check-out lines, street corners, cyberspace, telephone lines — even airport security lines. You name it … it is a place to perfect our craft.  

If you are like me, sometimes you will get it right, sometimes not so much, and sometimes I will get it dead wrong.  Thankfully, there will be other chances to practice right around the corner.  And, for that, I am thankful.

Matters That Matter: Making Over “Makeovers”

When we hear the word “makeover,” most of us think of improving our physical appearance, as well as making adjustments to our psychological, spiritual, and professional selves.  The implication is that who we are, as we are, is not enough.  We are in need of improvement, often extreme improvement. We only need thumb through the glossy, Photoshopped pages of almost any magazine, surf the web, flip the TV channels or listen to the radio to be reminded of our imperfections. The more we compare, the less we measure up.

We are ready to declare, “Enough already!”  Rather than make ourselves over, it is time to make over the notion that we should be anything other than ourselves.  The truth is that we are all flawed. And the truth is that we are all perfect.  Perfectly imperfect human beings, every one of us.

Imagine what might happen if we quit trying to measure up.  No one is forcing us to buy into this idea, but it is a seductive call, and one that is hard to resist.  Someone has to break the cycle and, as we know Lois believes, women have the power to change the world.  We couldn’t agree more, and we believe that this is an idea that needs changing. Not only for ourselves, but for those who follow after us. The young women following in our footsteps — daughters, sisters, employees or the young women serving up our lattes — are watching. The only way we can begin to break the cycle of comparison is to stop comparing.  And get on with the sacred calling to know, understand and love ourselves.  When we do that, when we show up for life as our own unique and irreplaceable selves, we each add to the world something no one else can.

By being ourselves we might just make over something greater: How about the world!

This post originally appeared on my former blog, StyleSubstanceSoul.