LIVING IN THE OVERFLOW: Fill Up Your Love Tank This Weekend [Candid Vlog]

Happy Weekend My Sistas,

Many of you have asked me to please continue sharing the candid “Motivational Monday” vlog style webisodes that I have posted the past few weeks. Since last Monday was a holiday, I thought I would share some SOS love & encouragement at the end of the week. No makeup or fancy lighting- just my heart to yours: 

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Who is going to take this assignment seriously? I want to hear all about what you did for YOU this weekend and how it felt to “fill” yourself up. Remember, let go of the guilt and flip your thinking if you find that “me time” leaves you feeling selfish. You are actually doing your family & friends a disservice by not taking care of yourself. Living in the overflow will allow you to give- without resentment– to those who need you.

GIVEAWAY REMINDER: 

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(2) SOS Blog Subscribers will win either 2 of the products mentioned in the Summer Beauty Regimen video or a TARGET gift card plus both will receive a signed copy of my hubby’s new CD, Octobersong and an “ALIVE” V-neck Tee. Go HERE for the details to enter! Winners announced June 6th. Good luck! 

 

Comment, Tweet, Share the SOS Love!

Make a date with yourself this weekend & let me know how it went.

It’s the last day of May! Remember to set your intentions for June, but then surrender it all.

Love, Tiff

 

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7 SUMMER DRUGSTORE STEALS {NEW WEBISODE & GIVEAWAY}

Who’s ready for the long holiday weekend? I sure am and this is the perfect time to share my new drugstore steals to help you get your Summer Beauty Regimen started right.

Check it out…

Product List: 

  • Palmer’s Coconut Oil Deep Conditioner, $1.47 Target
  • Treseme Fresh Start Dry Shampoo, $4.99 Walgreens
  • Garnier Fructis Triple Nutrition Miracle Dry Oil Spray, $6.29 CVS
  • Tree Hut Olive & Shea Hawaiian Kukui Sugar Scrub, $7.99 Target
  • Dry Brush with long back handle, $4.49 Target
  • Jergens Natural Glow Gradual Tan Moisturizer, $11.99 Target
  • Banana Boat Sport SPF Sunscreen, $6.94 Wal Mart
  • Sonia Kashuk Yellow Alluriana Fragrance, $19.99 Target

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SPECIAL GIVEAWAY FOR BLOG SUBSCRIBERS ONLY

To kick off Summer, I will be giving (2) blog subscribers the following-

1. Two of the products I spoke about in the video OR a gift card to Target. Will be a surprise!

2. Signed Aaron Hendra Project Limited Edition CD, Octobersong.

3. White V-Neck “Alive” T-shirt.

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TO ENTER:

1. Must be a subscriber to this blog.

2. Leave a comment on this post and let us know how you plan to STRUT it this summer.

3. Share this post via Twitter tagging @tiffanyhendra

ENDS FRIDAY, JUNE 6th. WINNERS ANNOUNCED 5:00pm THAT EVENING. GOOD LUCK!

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Remember, during the holiday festivities take a moment to send a silent prayer to all the families who have lost a loved one while fighting for our country.

Happy Memorial Weekend. Be safe!

Love, Tiff

LIGHT UP TOMORROW By Very Special Guest Writer, Aaron Hendra

Hey Fab Fashionistas!

I wanted to share the other side of my life with you all. When you hear me saying I can’t shoot a new webisode because my cameraman hubby is out of town or my mention of stressful moments- well, these are the types of situations we’re dealing with. Noooo biggie just treading floods in Africa. Here’s a glimpse into our world. This is the orphanage we visited and support in South Sudan. If you are pressed for time and unable to read…scroll down to the ending video: 

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It was early August last year and I anxiously pushed an overloaded airport cart with seven items of baggage to the Qantas international check in desk. I was on the way to South Sudan with a with a very important item in my possession, a prototype LED light panel which I hoped to install in the mud brick church at the Machine Gun Preacher orphanage.  It was 9.30pm at LAX and I wasn’t even sure if I had a seat, I was flying standby to save a few dollars. It was also imperative that I be at the MGP headquarters in Kampala, Uganda in 3 days to meet Sam Childers, Kevin Evans and Gigi otherwise the whole trip could be a disaster. One thing about the Machine Gun Preacher is he doesn’t wait for anybody. I was feeling slight pressure at this moment. 

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Leaving LAX…

A guy at the Qantas desk called me forward with a very unimpressed look on his face. “How many bags are you checking?”, he asked. I began to explain that this was a humanitarian trip and I had a special light I was going to install at an orphanage. He didn’t seem to warm at all and said I would have to check four bags. $800US for just the first leg to Melbourne. This could cost thousands in extra baggage fees by the time I got to Uganda and my heart sank.

It had been a journey of faith just to get everyone onboard and behind this new idea of bringing efficient LED lights and Solar power to the Children’s Village. I’ll never forget the shouts of excitement when Sam started up the gasoline generator at dusk, the night of our first visit in 2010. That trip had been to record the children sing on One Man’s War, we were there for music mainly but the idea and possibilities of bringing clean energy and lights to their lives was born that night. There is no grid supplied electricity there, only one old gasoline generator. We heard the kids screams of excitement the moment the power kicked in and the light bulbs started to flicker in the dimly light church.  For us it’s so easy to flick a switch but electricity in this part of the world is a luxury. The kids are incredibly smart and they love to study. Imagine if they could study and work at night time as well… the seed was planted that night.

I quickly tried to consolidate my luggage. With some heavy duty duct tape I was able to kinda make four bags into two. Satisfied that this was the best I could do, I  pushed my carts over to the standby area and continued praying and hoping I would get on the flight. After about an hour, the desk called my name. Hallelujah, I had a seat, but what was going to happen with luggage?  He shook his head at what I had come up with. “You can’t do that”, he stated and walked over to his supervisor. They both then walked over to me as I pleaded my case again. After a few moments the supervisor gave instructions and walked away and I received the first of what would be many signs that I was putting my faith in the right direction for this trip. Qantas made me repack everything but only charged for one bag to Australia. Away we went.

I flew via Melbourne, Sydney, Johannesberg to Uganda. I don’t have time in this blog to tell all the stories but let me just say it took every bit of charm and determination to get all seven bags to Uganda. In the end it only cost a few hundred dollars in extra baggage fees. I reached Kampala on time and breathed a sigh of relief!

We arrived at the MGP base in Kampala safe and sound and, after enjoying a few laughs with Sam and Kevin, Gigi and I settled down to map out the next leg. One of Sam’s guys was stuck on the South Sudan border driving a truck loaded with a new tractor for Sam’s farm. He had been detained for two days already due to a paperwork issue and as a result Sam’s schedule would need to change. He could no longer go to the orphanage with us and suggested Kevin and I take the little RAV 4 and fly up to Sudan right away. Gigi would not be able to fit in the car with the LED light, camera gear etc so he would stay with Sam and we would all meet up at the new farm in Northern Uganda in two days. This all sounded good except for one small problem. Apparently the last part of the road to the South Sudan border had been closed temporarily due to flooding. Again, we’re faced with a dilemma. Do we push forward and have faith the road will reopen in time? We decided to go and the next morning before light, Kevin and I loaded the small 4WD and departed Kampala. 

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Sam Childers and Gigi Gonaway breaking ground in Northern Uganda

 

The weather was good for most of the day. We only really hit a few slow areas where big trucks had made a mess in the mud. The road from Gulu (Northern Uganda) to South Sudan is littered with massive pot holes and it’s actually so rough that it vibrates vehicles to pieces. We were making good time. All of a sudden we see rows of halted trucks, busses and lots of people out of the cars. It was 4pm by now and even though there was only about 30-40 km’s to go, the fact that more and more people we’re turning back and walking the other direction wasn’t encouraging. Another hour went by and contingency plans started to creep into our minds. It was at least four hours back to Gulu and, even though it’s safer now than 5 years ago, we really didn’t want to be driving at night. Time was ticking with no movement or sign of the road opening. About a dozen local police and army continued to block the road. Aware that the border was closing in less than an hour, Kevin who is a seasoned pro at navigating his way through Africa, expressed his fears stating, “I hate to say it buddy, but it’s not looking good”.

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Waiting at the road closure in northern Uganda

 

 

Suddenly there is movement as one car darts through the road block and the police move aside. Several cars follow but it’s still uncertain whether we are good to go or not.  We decide to move, anything is better than just sitting there, so we push forward. It quickly becomes evident why the road was closed. In parts, the road had become a river. There were lines of trucks stopped in deep water and people walking through 4 or more feet of flooding. We realize that even if we make it through, the border will be closed and Mr Magok, our border contact was not answering the phone. We pushed on. 

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Treacherous roads nearing the South Sudan border

 

“I don’t believe it, I think I just saw Magok”, Kevin yelled as he pulled the RAV4 to a stop. Somehow, in all of this mayhem we had run into the very person, the only person that could get us across the border into South Sudan that night. I was blown away. That was a miracle! Magok rode with us the rest of the way, at points walking in front of the vehicle to make sure we could pass. At about 7pm we handed our passports to the border office, fully amazed to have actually made it to our destination. 

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Mr Magok Majok (S Sudan Border Info Officer) leading us through the flooded roads

 

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Arrival at the orphanage

 

The next 24 hours were amazing. I got up early to film the sunrise and get shots of the orphanage. The kids weren’t sure what we were doing but they all got together and held the Evolucia banner, a symbol of what we hope to achieve with this project. A few of the lads joined in and were a big help installing the light and it was really great to work with them. For me, one of the absolute highlights of this trip arrived that evening when the children gathered in the church to see us plug in the LED light and turn it on for the first time. I really hoped that after bringing this fixture all the way it would live up to expectations. We were not disappointed and I have to say that the folks at Evolucia have done an amazing job. Not only was this fixture spectacular in terms of light quality and coverage, it only uses 65-70 watts and will last for 15-20 years maintenance free.  To power the lights we are also raising funds to purchase and install a 5kw Solar Farm on the property. There is no shortage of sunlight and having clean, renewable energy to power lights and other potential tools and appliances is a very exciting and realistic goal. 

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Local lads helping me install the Evolucia LED Light Panel

 

 

We did it, phase one complete and a success. To top it all off, it was Kevin’s birthday, so after a long day, we celebrated with some food at a local Ethiopian eatery on the main street of Nimule. I want to especially thank Kevin Evans for going beyond on this trip, we couldn’t have done it without him. Kevin is the cinematic genius behind the MACHINE GUN PREACHER visuals, videos and photography. This trip was a great testament to a guy who is so selfless that he would go out of his way, drive through floods and spend his birthday in the bush, all on faith. I take my hat off to you Mr Evans.

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Wishing Kevin a happy birthday

 

 

Thank you for taking the time to read this story. This project is dear to our hearts and we are determined to raise the funds needed to make this LED Light / Solar Farm project a reality.

I am also extremely grateful to Evolucia Lighting for donating their resources and this LED light panel, hopefully the first of many that will be installed in the coming years.

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Lastly, I want to sincerely thank Sam Childers for his hospitality and for the incredible work that he and his organization continues to do to help the lives of so many children in East Africa and across the world. You’re an inspiration! www.machinegunpreacher.org

Light Up Tomorrow Project: Song By Aaron Hendra

 

 

 

MERRY CHRISTMAS! SOS Stocking Stuffer Giveaway

HO HO HO Sistas!

If you received this blog post to your inbox, you are automatically entered to win this year’s SOS Stocking Stuffer Giveaway. The only thing you need to do now (before Sunday, Dec 22nd at 12:00noon CST) is hop over to the SOS FACEBOOK PAGE and make one comment anywhere on the page. How easy is that?!? If you aren’t part of the SOS community yet and would like to enter, simply subscribe to the blog at the top right of this website AND make a comment on the Facebook Page as well. I just love playing Mrs. Santa Claus and giving fun things away. Check out what’s inside the stocking:

PC_physical-sunscreen-with-titanium-dioxide-720x720PERFECTIVE CEUTICUALS Ultra-light Sunscreen SPF 40 ($48.)

Ultra-light Sunscreen SPF 40 with Titanium Dioxide is a non-comedogenic, broad-spectrum sunscreen formulated with naturally occurring Titanium Dioxide and cellular-protecting plant extracts. Ultra-light technology glides on smoothly leaving the skin with a soft, non-greasy finish.

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PERFECTIVE CEUTICALS Replenish Moisture Cream for Sensitive Skin ($61.)

Replenish Moisture Cream for Sensitive Skin is a restorative moisturizer designed to complement the skin’s natural healing process. The cream features Sodium Hyaluronate and Rosa Canina Fruit Extract as two of its key components.

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AARON HENDRA PROJECT “Vintage Microphone Hoodie” ($39.)

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AARON HENDRA PROJECT Limited “Alive” EP ($5.)

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GOLD CHAIN & TASSEL EARRINGS (Unknown Brand, $22.)

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A signed copy of LeeAnne Locken’s book, WHAT’S YOUR STATUS? Finding Your Way To A More Positive Life One Day At A Time. ($13.99)

What’s Your Status is a collection of daily posts designed to Motivate, Inspire and Encourage others to be their best! Take a daily journey with LeeAnne as she encourages you to live a more POSITIVE LIFE one post at a time!

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My signature nail polish by AVON in Gunmetal Bronze Canon. ($6.)

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(3) Winners will receive a signed copy of Susie Augustin’s book, SEXY FIT & FAB At Any Age! ($13.95)

This book was written to help you uncover the eight keys to being Sexy, Fit & Fab at Any Age! It’s intended to support you in exploring your inner beauty while watching your confidence increase.

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Again, it’s simple to enter. You must be a subscriber of this blog site and make (1) comment on the Facebook Page. Ends Sunday, Dec 22nd at 12:00noon CST. GOOD LUCK! 

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It’s been eventful since we have hung our hats in Texas and was wonderful to attend the private party for Duck Dynasty’s KORIE ROBERTSON and her opening of the fabulous boutique, Duck & Dressing! 

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(This tassel necklace I’m rockin’ is from Aftershock London)

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Excited to experience the Face Of Aftershock’s Finale and congrats to winner, Samantha McCoy! Spectacular event with the most Fashionable + Fabulous peeps in Dallas. 

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Aaron_Tiff_HOBFrom our family to yours, we wish you a Very Merry Christmas & Abundant New Year! Revel in the beauty of the season and take some time to slow down long enough to truly enjoy this time of year. Yes, the mall traffic is nuts… our to-do list for shopping/cooking/parties seems endless- but, make sure to take some time to pamper yourself.  As much as I love staying connected on social media, it’s more important to unplug and be totally present with your loved ones. I mean, isn’t everyone’s thumbs and necks stiff from all the cell phone use? 

Also, I’ve had several conversations lately about how so many of us have gone through major challenges and changes in 2013. If you have as well, consider yourself stronger & wiser as you go into 2014 sista! Challenges and changes strengthen, stretch and sharpen us. It may be unbearable when you’re in the midst of it, but shift your focus to how exciting it is that you are better equipped now. See yourself as a warrior! Pheww- I have gone through so many changes over the past year myself. I’ll be honest- I’ve had my pitty-party days, but as the year is ending I exhale and give thanks for everything I’ve learned, for the thicker skin and softer heart… and the fact that nothing killed me- it just made me stronger and it did you, too. 

You are ALL Warrior Women and I am so honored to be part of this Sista-hood with each and every one of you. 

I want to leave you all with one of my favorite Promises. Regardless of your religious beliefs, this is a great encouragement for the New Year:

“For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plan to PROSPER you and not to harm you, to give you HOPE and a future.” Jeremiah 29:11

Love, Tiff

SOS BEACH BAG GIVEAWAY {Thank You to my YouTube Channel}

Tiff_HaydenReis1 copy{Large “DITTY” Tote $144}

Hey Fabulous Ones!

There are so many reasons to celebrate these days… my YouTube Channel reaching 10K subscribers, August is here (my all time favorite month) and we’re ALIVE + FABULOUS! You know the way I love to celebrate is by giving cool stuff away. The beach bag giveaways have become very popular over the past few years and this year SOS has partnered with an amazing bag line based out of Florida called Hayden Reis to bring you the best beach bag giveaway yet! I love spoiling my community with the latest + greatest, plus I get the chance to promote my hubby and sister in their endeavors! This giveaway is valued at $300. Woop Woop!

WATCH THIS…

 

Here’s what is in the bag: (plus a few surprises)

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www.aaronhendra.com

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corpus_dei_pool1/2 ounce  perfume oil concentrate roll-on – $75

http://www.corpusdeiperfumes.com

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http://www.sexyfitfab.com

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http://www.siabotanics.com

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http://www.gillettevenus.com

DETAILS TO ENTER:

1. Must be a subscriber of my YouTube Channel.
2. Like my sister’s FB page- https://www.facebook.com/corpusdeiperfumes
3. Like the Hayden Reis FB page- https://www.facebook.com/HaydenReis
4. Stay on the Hayden Reis FB page and post a comment letting us know what your #1 beach bag essential is.

WINNER ANNOUNCED ON THE YOUTUBE CHANNEL + THE SOS FACEBOOK PAGE ON FRIDAY, AUG 9th!

Good Luck and Thank You from the bottom of my heart for being part of this community.

Love, Tiff

 

A 72 HOUR LOVE FEST

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Hi Lovelies!

This past weekend I had the privilege of being part of one of the most spectacular weekends EVER!  The Gerard Butler GALS and the Rising Phoenix Charitable Foundation’s Annual Fundraising Gala in Las Vegas.  This event raises money for the Angels of East  Africa (the orphanage we visited in Sudan a few years ago) and The Shade Tree which shelters women, children and their pets.  Last year, my husband and his band performed at the event and I was invited to join as a guest speaker this year.  Our connection came via our friend Sam Childers aka The Machinegun Preacher whom actor Gerard Butler portrayed in the movie.   I knew this was going to be a great weekend, but– WHOA BABY, it blew my headscarf right off my head and far exceeded my expectations.  

I want to thank ALL the wonderful women of GB Gals and RPCF for inviting me and I look forward to making a difference alongside you ladies for years to come! 

I instantly felt part of the amazing sisterhood these women have created and was greeted with so many warm hugs.  They call themselves “boobie squishers”.  I joined right in on the boobie squishing and fell in love with these women.  On Friday, I led an SOS workshop on Compassion/Connection/Confidence + Courage and soon found out that this encouraging group and the connection it has provided rescued many of the women from various circumstances in their lives.  We laughed, we cried and I am grateful for their transparency and open hearts.  A few weeks ago, I wrote about “connection” here on the blog and witnessed it’s affects right in front of my eyes over the course of the 72 hour love fest. SO BEAUTIFUL! These women are genuine instruments of love and compassion.  

I have so many new sistas for life! 

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On Saturday, we all visited The Shade Tree where several of the GALS did volunteer work and fed lunch.  Sam’s wife, Lynn, spoke to the women and shared her personal testimony and my husband and bandmate Irwin Thomas sang for the women and their children.  We also got a tour of the entire facility by the beautiful soul, Marlene Richter– Executive Director of TST. To end our visit, we got to hold and show love to a few of the pets over in Noah’s House, the animal shelter.  TST is filled with so much love, hope and opportunity for healing.  I encourage you to take a deeper look and visit their site.  They are always in need of everything from donations, clothing, toiletries, diapers, toys, bedding and pet food.  Please go to this link for a detailed list of urgent needs: http://www.theshadetree.org/UrgentNeeds.html

photo-44{Visiting The Shade Tree w/ Lynn Childers + Marlene Richter, Ex. Director}

photo-41{GB Gal Melissa adding a bit of color + happiness to TST sleeping areas}

A visual that left a deep impression on my heart was seeing just a small bag or two underneath the bunkbeds.  This is all these women own. Talk about putting things into crystal clear perspective!  TST accommodates women and their children for emergency care when they need a safe place for a night or two as well as providing transitional shelter programs for up to 2 years.  The women receive assistance with finding employment and helping them move forward in becoming self-sufficient. 

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Noah’s Animal House is a pet sanctuary for shelter residents which allow women to escape abusive situations without leaving behind their pet. In homes where there is violence, pets are often threatened or injured by the violent partner. It is not uncommon for an abuser to continue to control the relationship using the family pet. Noah’s is the first full service facility of its kind located on the grounds of the women’s shelter in the western region of the United States.

photo-48{My hubby + his bandmate, Irwin singing for the kids at TST}

photo-42{A few of my fab new friends, Kristine aka KB who is an SOS Sista + Sweet Giny}

photo-49{Chris Mann, finalist from The Voice performed at the gala}

photo-46{AHP performing at the gala}

Do you have your own pillow to lay your head on tonight in a comfy bed with clean sheets?  If so, consider yourself richly blessed sista! There are so many women out there without a bed to call their own. They are forced to flee their home because of abuse with only the shirt on their back. Can you imagine fitting everything you own under a 4×6 bunkbed? My heart is so full of love, gratitude and compassion. For the week ahead, let our focus be to appreciate everything in our lives, give gratitude (even for clean sheets) and open our hearts more than ever to those in need. WE ARE ALL SO BLESSED.

This experience is a gift I will cherish forever!  If what I shared tugged at your heartstrings, I encourage you to reach out to TST, Angels of East Africa or find a shelter in your area that could use your help.

Please share this post and help me spread awareness. Thank you. 

Love, Tiff

YOU ARE BLESSED {Sunday Eve Affirmations}

Hey Style + Spirit Sistas!

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Christmas is in just a few days and I’m sure you are all having a blast with family and friends this weekend so I am keeping it super short and sweet today!  I simply want you all to remember in the coming week that YOU ARE BLESSED!  Let’s define “blessed”…

bless·ed adjective: 1. Worthy of adoration. 2. Divinely or supremely favored; fortunate:  (i.e. to be blessed with a strong, healthy body; blessed with an ability to find friends. 3. Blissfully happy or contented.

Despite how difficult the past year was for you or perhaps you are in a challenging situation right now, you are still blessed!  When we focus on how blessed we are, the difficulties of life seem much smaller.

THIS WEEK I WILL……

  1. Be grateful and count my many blessings.
  2. Ignore my problems and focus on how blessed I am.
  3. Stop complaining about the things I don’t have.
  4. Shower myself with adoration instead of waiting for someone to do it for me.
  5. Remember…I AM WORTHY!
  6. Pamper myself with a foot massage or facial.
  7. Rock a bit of bling everyday.
  8. Be a blessing to others.
  9. Stop neglecting my needs.
  10. Indulge in my fave holiday treats without beating myself up afterwards.
  11. Stop for a moment, during the hustle + bustle and take in the beauty of the season, be totally present, take a deep breath and say to myself…YOU ARE BLESSED!

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I want to thank all the fabulous companies who participated in making the SOS Stocking Stuffer Giveaways extra special this year:

Drink Chia!

Sia Botanics

Luscious Soul

Steele Jewel

Liberty Emma Collections

Plexus Slim and Loveforpink.com

Aaron Hendra Project

Also, a big thanks to all you ladies who participated and congrats to all the winners.  It was a blast!

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Woohoo! I am taping new webisodes today so stay tuned.

I wish you all a magical and beautiful Christmas!  Revel in each moment.  You are all a blessing to me. 

Love, Tiff

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