"Sammy G."

11 Things NOT to Stress Over in 2014

The number one reason why we don’t carry out our new years resolutions throughout the entire year, and instead drop them like a hot potato before Valentines Day, is because once we fall short of those resolutions, we tend to give up completely.  What we should do is keep them in the realm of “doability.”  SO WHAT if you eat a cup cake when you were supposed to lose 5 lbs!!  Does that mean we you drop your resolution and eat a double-double-animal style right after??  -NO!  It means, get back on that horse and try again!

Along the lines of meeting expectations experts say that the way to happiness in 2014 is free yourself from stressors and guilt!  So, here are the top 11 things I have found people to stress over… and I’m here to tell you… Don’t sweat the small stuff!!!

1.  So you left your phone at home.  Stress level is pretty high here, right folks!  Admit it, on a scale of 1-10, this falls close to the 10!  -Don’t worry, you’ll get to work, have access to email and a land line, and it’s all good!  Your “check-in” status for lunch can wait!  Enjoy the day with no distractions.  And instead of stopping to take a selfie, stop to smell the roses!

2. You call in sick.  Don’t feel so bad, the work will still be there tomorrow, and that’s what sick days are for- to use!!!  Sleep in, give  yourself a rest from your horrid morning commute and enjoy your morning cup of joe in bed:)!!!

3. So you haven’t caught the craze of a Cross Fit Gym.  No biggie.  I haven’t either, and look at me!  I don’t look any worse for not jumping on the band wagon!

4. All your friends have engagement rings and/or babies.  Don’t worry, that means that you can still mingle and they can’t!  Besides, you get to have your beauty rest and still make time for yourself!  Everyone’s time and journey is different, so instead of comparing your blessings to someone else’s, start counting them!!  “The grass is always greener…”

5.  So you found a few more white hairs.  Don’t go jumping off a building!  Think of it as a badge of honor… you made it this far!!!  That’s what I tell myself before I go to Target for my Garnier Nutrisse-darkest brown.  Besides, that’s what hair dye is for… to cover our white streaks of wisdom!

6. You don’t have the newest iphone.  Eh!  There’s no way to keep up with technology!  Just get yourself a new case!  It’ll feel like new and you’d have just saved yourself $400!!!  Heck, spoil yourself with 2 new cases!

7. The smell of cigarettes from your neighbor’s balcony.  Unless you’re pregnant, don’t stress!!  I bet we inhale far worse just sitting in traffic during rush hour!  You never know what your neighbor is going through to need that smoke!  He might have just lost his savings on AAPL stock.  -You never know!!

8. Not getting enough “likes” on your posts.  Release yourself from that unnecessary need to be liked right this second!!  When you can’t afford those ridiculously delicious mystery-meat tacos from Jack in the Crack, then you can stress!  Studies have actually shown that social media creates a greater feeling of loneliness, and that selfies open up new doors to insecurities!  Don’t fall into the trap!  I happen to think you’re very cool!!!

9. Your ex is dating someone new.  Not much you can do here, except move on yourself!  You don’t live until you’ve experienced love and loss.  Chances are that you will be upgrading anyway.  Happiness is the best revenge!!!  Now comb your hair and go get ’em!

10. Your 13 year old daughter is wearing make-up.  That’s about that age!  Don’t stress.  These days, if that’s your daughter’s only pickle, you’re in great shape!!!  Stress when she hits 15!!!!  Stress a lot!

11. When you gain 5lbs.  No one will notice, trust me!!!  If you gained it quickly, you can probably lose it quickly if you just try!  I know most of my readers, and I think you look fantastic:)!!!

So, don’t sweat the small stuff… and don’t give up on your resolutions!  Have a great day!  And even if you didn’t leave your phone at home, don’t forget to smell the roses!!!

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Sickies on New Years Eve

No NYE party for me (cough-cough)!  My cold just got the best of me, so I couldn’t shake my money maker as I had planned :(.  But there’s nothing sweeter than my man taking good care of me.  He’s like honey in my hot tea.  Like the lotion in the Kleenex.  Like the tiny lil marshmallows in my hot chocolate.  Sweet, sweet, sweet!

As I sat surrounded by slimy tissues and cough drop wrappers, watching reruns of Sex and the City (the Writer is genius!), I was thinking about how I want to start the new year.  One thing I said I’d do more of in 2013 that I didn’t do enough of, was take more pictures!!  So, I’m going to carry that resolution over into 2014!  I don’t know what my 2014 is going to look like, but with a book bar to work on, family living back in Cali, a better outlook on life, and one year wiser than last, I’m very excited to see what kinds of opportunities I can take pictures of!

First thing’s first!  Go to the gym regularly!!  How original, right!  But this year, I’m going to make it stick beyond the first 2 weeks!  2nd priority, my relationships.  I have to admit, I’ve put my personal life on the backburner a bit, but this year, it’s so going on the front burner!!!  3rd priority, local traveling!  I’m lucky enough to have had a decent amount of international travelling under my belt, but this year I’d really like to take in the sights of our very own Golden State.  After all, there are few places better than California, right?!  (Especially when you live by the beach ::bragging::)  I might as well take advantage of this impeccable weather that I pay for!!!

Well, I hope you had a memorable new years eve celebration, but even if you stayed in like I did, I hope that new years eve marks a day to tie up any loose ends, and refresh yourself with new intentions!

To my readers:  I wish you all a strong start to the new year and a positive outlook!  2014: A time to right old wrongs, and write new chapters!!!!  HAPPY NEW YEAR!

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“Dare Greatly” says Brene Brown

In the past few months of working on creating this idea of a book bar, I’ve had to turn up the heat with my networking skills and get heavy on being a socialite.  That means that I’ve had to become chatty-cathy to pitch this idea, get back into Facebook, and I’ve had to turn “it” on to really sell myself.  Being a sales person, does NOT come easy, especially when you’re not selling Cutco knives (which are totally cool by the way), but you’re selling your kooky idea of creating a place where you can drink while you read!

In the last 13 years of selling myself, it was usually in the context of a job interview or dare I say it, the dating scene.  In both cases, I’d dress to impress and I’d talk about my current job, past history, strengths, dreams, goals, interests, fears, etc.  But now that I am selling myself for neither a job nor a second date, I’m finding that I’m getting the greatest outcome when I am not trying so hard.  I’m not trying so hard to win the approval of someone else, to spout out my resume, or to care how many Likes I have on my Facebook status.  Let me tell you, when you stop building a wall with a certain picture painted on it, there is so much peace on the other side.

baptism. may 2013Some of you know that I became Christian in the last year (baptized in Long Beach -literally in the Long  Beach ocean, okay, the Pacific Ocean if you want to get technical.)  I was someone who had no faith for many years and now am a woman of very strong faith.  And if you combine trusting in something greater than yourself and letting go of the perfect veneer that you’re fronting, it makes you very vulnerable, humble, but extremely authentic.  It’s very scary to step out from behind that wall, and be willing to be seen just as you are.  Remove the job, the money, the car, the Coach purses, the Prada sunglasses, and just be imperfect you!  -Even coming out to write about my new found faith is admittingly a bit awkward!  But so is opening up a book bar!!

I recently watched a Ted Talks video of Brene Brown, an expert researcher in sociology, where she talks about her studies of vulnerability, courage, and fear.  Rather than butchering her findings with my attempt at recapping it, I thought I’d let you get a little bit of inspiration from her.  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iCvmsMzlF7o  This video, among other inspiring things and people in my life are what remind me to “dare greatly.”  She says that it’s not about winning or losing, but about showing up to fight!  And what I’ve found over these past few months is that the authentic-me is actually more likeable than my old Sales Rep-me!  If this idea is something you’ve already discovered, then bare with me, I’m slow!!  But if you’re like me, and just realizing the power in vulnerability, then cheers, I’ll have a cold glass of beer waiting for you at The Brass Lamp!  And if you haven’t come around to this yet and you want to keep your Pradas, it’s all good… I’ll have a beer waiting for you too!

For those of you who click on the link to actually get an update about The Brass Lamp’s progress, instead of the sappy thoughts in my head, I’m glad you did!  I’m still waiting to hear back from the bank with an answer on the loan.  I should be hearing back from them any day now.  In the meantime, I’m starting to work on my Kickstarter video… so please stay tuned for that!

On a different note, while doing Christmas shopping this weekend, I realized that Bath & Body Works repackages their bottles of lotion to make it seem like they are new scents, when really, they are the same overdone scents from the past 6 years!  I’m just over White Citrus and anything Amber.  But kudos to them for expanding on the men’s collection.  Men need lube too!  -Heehee, I made a funny!

Living with Purpose

I’m sure that the recent shocking deaths of well-known people have made you stop and think about how short life can be.  I’m sure that watching clips of Paul Walker and Nelson Mandela’s past accomplishments gave you a good sense of the imprint they left on this earth!  Did it make you stop and wonder what your life span will be… or perhaps what your accomplishments were, are, and will be…

As I talk to more and more people about The Brass Lamp, I get a chance to also hear their story.  And with recent Artists that I’ve spoken to, they’ve all had a common purpose, and that is to make themselves known for their individual artistic talents.  For others, it’s to be a Mother or a Father, to be an Evangelist, an Actor, a Teacher, or a Community Leader -all very worthy purposes!  And I believe that each of these people will make their unique imprint on this earth.  I, no longer find it amusing or in the least bit interesting when people say, “I just want to be rich.”  But that’s just my opinion!  Someone once told me, that if money can solve your problems, then it wasn’t really a problem in the first place.  I agree!  The journey is about getting through the problem when money isn’t an option to solve it!  Let’s take my book bar for example; if I had $300,000 laying around, I wouldn’t of had to spend nearly four months on creating a 33 page business plan for the bank in order to ask for a loan.  Instead, I could have had The Brass Lamp already open and ready for you to enjoy by now!  If I had money, I would have bought a building to have my book bar.  Instead, I’m in search of space that has limitations and drawbacks.  But in all honesty, this journey so far, has already been incredibly rewarding and fulfilling, and I don’t even have an approval from the bank yet!

5e8a0917a18785d4f6b796a5bc2c2aa5[1]Building the plans, forming the ideas, meeting professionals to help me build this, talking to people about their excitement for my book bar, reading, researching, blogging, and simply putting one brick on top of the other has really been truly gratifying.  My proudest moment thus far, was when someone told me that they might be losing their job and have always wanted to start their own business, then asked me about my experience and how I got to making my decision to leave my job to start my own.  -You’re asking ME!?  …lil ole me!??  I certainly didn’t feel worthy to be asked!  But really, I do hope that I keep getting those questions, because the most valuable aspect about building a business from the ground up -not to mention, a business with a new and interesting concept :)- is that not only will I have given people a place to read, write, DRINK 🙂, but more importantly, I would have built a forum for myself to do much MORE!  And to me, “more” is helping people.  The learned characteristics of success and greed aside, don’t we all innately want to help others?!  You may think you don’t, but you do!  If there’s ever an imprint that I can leave behind, whether my book bar is a success or a failure, I hope that through this, it’s perseverance!

As 2013 comes to a close, you will start to think about your “new year’s resolutions,” and I encourage you to add another item on the list behind “losing weight or spending less,” that you make it your purpose to have a purpose!  Yes, it’s cliché, but try to live each day as if it was your last!!!

“Do not judge me by my successes, judge me by how many times I fell down and got back up again.” -Nelson Mandela

Fall Back & Fall Beer

November 3rd, we fall back!  But now is the time for fall beer!!

6282002108_3216099288_z[1]Summer is gone, People!  Over in Huntington Beach, the morning dew is cool and crisp!  Sadly, I’m saying farewell to my tank tops, tongs, and tan lines!!!  It’s time to turn the season, kiss those summery martini’s good-bye and say helloooo hearty, festive, fall ales!!!

I can’t believe it’s almost November!!  Although time is slipping away faster than Two and a Half Men’s ratings, the good news is that there’s still time to squeeze in Oktoberfest!!!  I haven’t gone to Old World in Huntington Beach this year, so I can’t tell you if it’s worth a visit.  But a family member (nameless) was plastered from Oktoberfest at the LA Fairplex in Pomona, so it must have been a good time!!  But if you’re like me and won’t make it to Oktoberfest this year, I say, make your own Oktoberfest at home!!  It’s cheaper, it’s warmer, and more importantly, no check points!!

Having walked through the aisles of BevMo and Total Wine for beer research, a few bottles of pumpkin beers mysteriously appeared in my basket.  So, here are my recommendations:  Elysian Night Owl Pumpkin Ale: This one’s got a lot of pie spice flavors to it, and basically smells like warm pumpkin pie in the glass. It’s not as sweet as that aroma would lead you to believe, though, which is probably a good thing.  Oakshire Big Black Jack Imperial Pumpkin Porter: This beer is not nearly as heavy on the palate as the name would make you fear.  This beer is plenty rich without being overwhelmingly sweet.  Highly recommended.  A non-season beer that was just introduced to me is Gulden Draak!  I think of the word “Dracula” here because it’s got a perfect bite!  Not too bitter, not too light, not to heavy, just a perfect balance of flavorful beer!  So, CHEERS to your Oktoberfest, CHEERS to Halloween, and just CHEERS to life!!!!!

I’m down-shifting a bit with The Brass Lamp.  I was overly ambitious to think I can get doors open by February, but come to realize that just like most of the best things in life, they have to be handled with TLC… so I’m pacing myself to work diligently on what the bank is asking for.  This is my baby which I will handle with care!  Rather than seeing this as a race to be the mightiest little super Sam (where’s my cape!??), I’m going to relish in building every piece of this book bar with my own hands.  Besides, I thrive off of this stuff!!!  This book bar is my new hobby!!!  So I proudly raise my 20 oz. pilsner glass and will cheers to that!!!

There are few things that bring people closer together… Food, Holidays, and Beer!!

“The only way to do great work is to love what you do.” –Steve Jobs

My Featured Successful Person of the Week

The Average Woman who Invented Spanx: Sarah Blakely cut the feet out of her pantyhose in 2000!  Today, Spanks does more than $350 million in global retail sales annually.

She said that she kept her idea to herself for a year while she worked on it.  She said  that when she later came out with her idea to her family and girlfriends, they said, “Sweetie, if it’s such a good idea, why doesn’t it already exist?”  And, “Even if it is a good idea, those big guys are going to blow you out of the water in the first couple of months.”  She admits that if she had heard those things in the beginning stages of her idea, she’d still be the average woman at a very average job.

Sarah Blakely- 42 years old, Founder of Spanx

One of the best accidental fortunes in modern day history, if you ask me!!!

Sara Blakely

There are so many Entrepreneurs to admire: Sean Combs (AKA Puff Daddy, I mean, P-Diddy, I mean just Diddy), Bill Gates-Co founder of Microsoft, Steve Jobs-Co founder of Apple, Jeff Bezos- Founder of Amazon, Tony Hsieh- CEO of Zappos.com; Mark Zuckerberg- Founder of Facebook… and the list goes on.  To call them “influential” people, wouldn’t give them enough credit.  Similarly, they all said that they followed their heart and their dreams despite having to defend their idea to many, many, many people!

So, if you have an idea, that is “within reason,” pursue it until you turn blue in the face!!!  That’s certainly what I’m attempting to do!!!  I’ll let you know how that turns out for me!

But what do people do with themselves when they have so much money?  And when does money become a character changer???  Well, here’s what Sara Blakely says, “Money makes you more of who you already are.  If you are a jerk, it will make you a bigger jerk; if you are insecure, you become even more insecure; if you are generous, you become even more generous; if you are nice, you become even more nice.  Making money is like holding up a magnifying glass to who you are, personally and professionally.  It creates a lot of energy and power, and it’s up to you to use that in a really good way.”  -Sara, I agree with that statement!  I’d say that I’d be more generous, and obviously more funny (heehee)!  I mean, funnier!

What would you be with an obscene amount of money?!?!?!

Have a great week, and remember, life is like a box of chocolates, you never know what you’re gonna get!

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