Monday, April 30, 2018

Fill Your Ordinary World with Beautiful Light! IDP003

"Darkness reduces our ability to see clearly. It dims our vision of that which was at one time plain and clear. When we are in darkness, we are more likely to make poor choices because we cannot see dangers in our path. When we are in darkness, we are more likely to lose hope because we cannot see the peace and joy that await us if we just keep pressing forward." - D.F. Uchtdorf
I took this picture from my front porch last May.
The ordinary daily world is full of beautiful LIGHT!


Let's spread light today! 

Saturday, April 28, 2018

The Global Supply Chain isn't Truly Global

Learning how to escape extreme poverty! The ultimate #StrategySaturday

"This picture is of a women's cooperative in Pampa de los Silva. They are raising ducks as a cooperative business and have become very successful. Poverty is eliminated when the poor recognize the resources that they have, and their ability to use those resources to be successful. The CHOICE Humanitarian Peru team works with the cooperative to help them scale their business." - Lonny Ward

Friday, April 27, 2018

Road Trip! IDP002 - Show Notes & Photos - Part Two: Montana

For today's #FamilyFriday post, I'm going to finish up the show notes and promised photos from our last family vacation that I talked about during last Saturday's Podcast Episode #002. I know these posts are so mixed up!! But you are reading JUMBLED Sunshine after all!! 🌞 You can listen to this Podcast episode here: Road Trip! Beautiful Wyoming and Montana - IDP002

Part Two: Places to Visit in Montana:

Darby, Montana:

Darby, MT - Huckleberry Cinnamon Rolls - YUM!

Billings, Montana:

Billings, MT - Huckleberry Ice Cream Sandwiches!
Photo Credit: Yelp Aj S.

Shepherd, Montana:

Shepherd, MT - Elk country!

Florence, Montana:

Florence, MT - Gorgeous properties with so many trees!

Bitterroot National Forest, Montana:

Bitterroot Canyon, MT - So pretty!

Recommended Hotels from Our Trip:

Evanston, Wyoming - Holiday Inn Express

Missoula, Montana - Stone Creek Lodge

Minimize costs on a road trip, stay with friends! It's so rewarding to spend time visiting with people and catching up and just connecting in person. With all of our digital connectedness, sometimes we just need to sit and talk and look each other in the eyes. We loved getting to know some of Jessica's great friends on this trip!

Travel Tidbits:

Purchase snacks from the grocery store before your trip.

  • Peanut butter singles (dip bananas, apples, celery)
  • Hummus singles (dip pita chips, veggies)
  • Trail mix, jerky, crackers
  • Hershey’s kisses, mints, gum
  • Fruit snacks, cookies
  • Drink packet singles to add to water bottles

For Trip Journaling along the way:

Thursday, April 26, 2018

Introduction to the Jumbled Sunshine Podcast - IDP000 - Transcription & Show Notes

The following is a transcript of my first podcast! I recorded it several weeks ago, so these posts are getting all out of order, but you gotta start somewhere and just keep putting one foot in front of the other, right?

Being my first podcast recording and all, it honestly starts out kinda awkward!  But then I get going and it's gets better. So don't give up on it after the first few minutes! πŸ˜› I explain what the plan is for the podcast and where I'm going with my whole Jumbled Sunshine online experiment. I think I even said a few valuable things in there! ;) So if you like podcasts, here's an opportunity to check out my new one! It's kind of an experiment and we'll see how it goes.

Here's the audio of the podcast episode if you want to download it, pull it into your podcast app, or listen online:

Have a wonderful #ThankfulThursday and be sure to show those around you how much you appreciate having them in your lives!
~JS~ 🌞


Transcript: Introduction to the Jumbled Sunshine Podcast - IDP000

Hey everybody, Jumbled Sunshine here! How are you doing today? I hope you're having a wonderful day. If everything goes the way I plan, this may be the first official podcast that I've ever recorded. But I am just getting started, so it's probably gonna be a little bit awkward.

I'm not the kind of person who has trouble talking about things. In fact, I have to be careful to not talk too much when I am in social circles, and make sure that I stop, and I listen, and I let other people share as well. So talking is not the issue. It's more thinking and pausing and saying, "Um," actually. And "actually" and "so" and "anyway." Those would be the big ones! So I apologize ahead of time for any of those that happen.

Jumbled Sunshine Online - Where I've Been

This is sort of a little experiment, because I have been really working hard on my Jumbled Sunshine business for the last couple of months. I am trying to get it back off the ground because if you go back and look at my blog posts since 2013, I think? When I started it? No, 2013 ... anyway, I started it a long time ago. Like 2010 or earlier. [Correction: I started in 2012, however I had been doing other blog and website projects on and off since the late 90's, so we'll just leave it at that!]

You will see that there were some years when I only wrote one post for the whole year, yikes! And that's because I was trying to decide what I was doing with it. But lately I've been posting a lot, and I have kind of started to get into a rhythm that I really love that I am hoping will help me to really get some good content and interesting information out there for people like me. If you want to know what my personality is, just keep on listening, or you can go have a look at my blog, But you will get to know me here, and I hope that I will get to know you.

Anyway, the reason I am starting this today is because for the past while I have been doing these themed posts every day. Well, I decided I'm gonna call it nearly every day. Because ideally, I am blogging or posting or at least mentioning something about one of the themes every day. But I realize that with my personality, that may not be totally realistic. So I'm gonna call it ideally-daily, or something like that, I don't know. I'll probably change it a couple times!

But recently, most days, I have been either blogging, posting, tweeting, instagramming, steemit-ing, and I can't think of what the other social media things are at the moment, but I have been posting online about a different theme every day. My current themes are #MotivationMonday, #TechTuesday, #WellnessWednesday, #ThankfulThursday, #FamilyFriday, #StrategySaturday and #SacredSunday. And lately I've been doing that.

Podcasting Possibilities

One of the ways that I have been brainstorming for ideas of what to post is by just free-talking to my phone into a little app I use called Easy Voice Recorder Pro on Android. I have been free-talking into it, and then I take what I said and I transcribe it, and then I kind of edit it up and make it into a post. And then I shorten it for all the different social media outlets, and I put it out there.

And so the irony was not lost on me that since I have become obsessed with podcasting lately, that I should just be recording these for a podcast, instead of only for my personal self. But you know, I didn't want to start a podcast until I had my theme music and all my cover photos and the perfect title, and had my notes, and my strategy and my plan. And if you relate to this, you will probably enjoy my podcast haha.

I didn't want to start because of a couple things. One is, I was afraid that I would stop posting and recording, and that has been an issue, as you can see if you look over my blog for the past decade. But I want to point out to myself at the moment and to you for your own struggles and challenges, that I didn't stop! Because guess what? Here I am. It's 2018 and I am not only posting most days, but I am starting a podcast. And I have been just working on it a little bit at a time, every day.

What is Jumbled Sunshine All About?

And so what my blog is about, I guess I'll go into a lot more detail in the future. I'll do that later. But what it's basically about is to, I guess in the words of Dori from Finding Nemo, "Just keep swimming." You need to just keep putting one foot in front of the other, and moving forward, and congratulating yourself on your small wins and big wins, and recognizing those wins. And seeing the good in life around you, not just looking for the negative and the depressing and the sad.

I recognize that motivational speaking and memes are necessarily going to solve your problems if you are dealing with a clinical depression, or anxiety and things like that. And I will just put out there right now that I have dealt with some of those issues myself on and off throughout my life, so I do get it. I know, of course I don't get your situation totally because nobody does except for you. But I get the idea. I have had my own struggles, as we all do, and I realize that it is not something that's just gonna be fixed by posting happy things or whatever.

However, I have also found that no matter how low I've gone in my life, just making myself look for the positive and try to do those things that they say will make you feel better, even if they're not making me feel better, those things have helped a little bit and helped me to keep going when it was tough.So yeah, I wasn't going to go into details about what the blog is about, but that's kind of a really general thing.

The other half of it is Jumbled. What does jumbled mean? So that was kind of the Sunshine side. The jumbled side, you've probably already figured out by just listening to the first couple minutes of this. But I have a ton of interests. Everything is interesting to me. I'm one of those people that can really relate to the "squirrel" thing! And I just love learning and experimenting, and trying, and doing, and creating, and sharing, and listening, and learning, and I could go on and on and on and on, about everything.

And I want ... well okay, so when I came up with the idea of Jumbled Sunshine, it was one of those things, you can go look on my blog if you want for a post called "Are You Jumbled Too?" And I can't tell you what year it is, but I will put it in the show notes because I guess if I'm doing a podcast, I need to have show notes, don't I?

When I first came up with the idea, it was because I woke up in the middle of the night and was just like, "Boom. Okay, I need to stop fighting who I am, and celebrate who I am." Rather than trying to fix all of the things around me using other people's systems and kind of looking for that perfect system, I need to just celebrate who I am, accept that I'm probably gonna try systems and read books and do things in my life that I'm gonna then completely quit and abandon. And that's fine! It doesn't matter.

Why? Because everything we do in our lives gives us wisdom. It gives us experience. It gives us fun in some cases! Everything we're doing ... you hear, "Life is a journey, not a destination." It's not just a clichΓ©, it's true. Every single thing you do, every single day, everything you read, everything you try, is all part of the experience of what your life is.

So instead of looking for that end destination, and trying to find the perfect system that, "I will do every day from now on, all the way until the end of time," I need to just say to myself, "Hey, what did I learn from trying that system? What did I like about that system? What didn't work about that system? And why did I quit doing it?" And then acknowledge that for whatever reason, I'm moving on, and I want to try something new. And I can archive that into my experiential archive of the things that I've learned over my life.

I hope that makes sense! If it does, then this podcast is for you! Because ... I don't know where I was going with that, and that's the other part of jumbled, haha. So I think you've probably got an idea of what jumbled is. It is about enjoying and celebrating who you are, what your interests are, what's around you, and finding the joy and the positiveness in life. And recognizing that you don't have time to do all of them, all the time, in your life. And so just enjoy the jumbled sunshine of your life. That's what it's about.

I didn't even originally intend to call myself Jumbled Sunshine, it was just the blog was gonna be Jumbled Sunshine. But then over time, people would be like, "Oh, Jumbled Sunshine, that's a good name for you." Haha. "That describes you perfectly!" or whatever. And I'm like, "Oh, okay." So my actual name is Erika Ward, and I live in Utah. And I grew up in the MidWest. And that is enough background information, I probably shouldn't have even gone there. But the point is that my real name is Erika, but I will refer to myself sometimes as Jumbled Sunshine, because it's just kind of become a habit, I guess!

What's the Plan from Here?

Anyway, so I guess this is my first official podcast, and I just want to tell you what the plan is. The plan is that when I do my ideally-daily brain dumps to figure out what I'm gonna post about that day, or what I'm gonna focus on for that day, I'm going to record it into my little Easy Voice Recorder Pro app with my nice headset and microphone that I bought because I wanted to do podcasting. And I'm gonna record it in there, and then I'm going to post that.
At least right now, it will not have any frills. I don't have music, I don't have sponsors (of course because, you know, it's the first one). I don't even totally have a plan, except that ideally-daily, I will post about my themes. Motivation Monday, Tech Tuesday, Wellness Wednesday, Thankful Thursday, Family Friday, Strategy Saturday and Sacred Sunday.

Sacred Sunday

Now, let me make very clear, which you may be wondering, especially in today's world, with the Sacred Sunday on the end there. This is not a religious podcast. I am a religious person, but I will be posting things that I believe are universal principles. They may refer to God or Jesus because that's is where my belief stems from. But Sacred Sunday will be about taking a special day to reflect, and to do whatever it is you do to prepare yourself for the upcoming week.

Strategy Saturday

I guess I'll just work backwards from there. Strategy Saturday will be, at least for now, until I change it [I don't have plans to change this, so I'm not sure why I said that!] will be about strategies for making your life better. It may also have some things about online business. It may have some things about, you know, just anything that to me seems like a strategy, will probably end up on Strategy Saturday. I will also say that #StrategySaturday is probably gonna be one of the hardest ones for me to be consistent on because, you know, it's Saturday! And so I apologize ahead of time if the ideally-daily leaves out #StrategySaturday sometimes.

But I will try as best as I can to, at the very least, retweet something or post somebody else's post on my Facebook page, which by the way, you can find me at or I will try to at least put something out there. So if you really want to get a daily thing from me (even though I realize that's ideal and possibly won't happen totally), you will want to probably be following me on at least Facebook, as well as listening to this.

I do have a YouTube channel which I haven't posted on for awhile, but I'm hoping that I feel really motivated, and I've actually gotten dressed up, I will also video myself doing this little brain dump so that I can post it as a video. But those days where I'm not in pajamas with wet hair, like I am today haha, may be few and far between. So I may or may not always have a video up.
So I guess what I'm saying is that if you want the whole experience, you'll need to follow me on all my different social media channels, and I will put those in the show notes. But I am being diverted, as usually happens. So Strategy Saturday, yeah. My strategy for getting back on topic is to notice that I'm off, and to get right back on!

Family Friday

So Family Fridays. I am a mother of seven children. I have been married to my spouse since 1991, you can do the math. And I feel very blessed, I've got young adults, I have a couple teenagers left at home. I have one little, cute, two-week-old grandson, who's the son of my oldest son and his wife. And so that's where I'm at, at this point in my life in 2018.

I think I've probably learned a couple of things about families, so I might post things about parenting, appreciating your family, things like that. Things that have to do with family. Just pretty much, if it has to do with family, it can go on Family Friday.

As well as, family history! Because I am a little bit of a family history nut, although I am very jumbled in my application and dipping into my interest on that. So that comes and goes. But it's one of those interests that I don't think will ever go away for me. So I will also be talking a little bit about genealogy, family history, things like that. That's Family Friday.

Thankful Thursday

Thankful Thursday is about being thankful for what you have in your life. Sometimes it will just be a little quick gratitude post, or a beautiful picture of a sunset like I posted last week. Oh my gosh, I woke up and I was just like, "Oh my gosh! I need to take a picture!" I take so many pictures of sunrises ... it was a sunrise, not a sunset ... I take so many pictures of sunrises and sunsets where I live, it's just insane. It is unbelievable, I'll tell you.

Anyway, Thankful Thursday will also have a little bit to do with giving back to show your gratitude for what you have. It's gonna be about looking for the good around you, and then finding ways to give back. My husband works for an international charity and we have been involved in international charity work for awhile now. I don't want to try to even come up with a date, because I couldn't tell you, but that's a whole other story that actually, I believe is out there on my blog also, of that career change and how we made the decision to get involved in international charity work. [Here's the link from my husband's blog:]

Anyway, so sometimes it will talk about some of the projects he's doing, or maybe even encourage you to donate a little bit to either the charity that we are involved with, or other worthy charities, or wherever you want. So Thankful Thursday is about being thankful and giving back.

Wellness Wednesday

Wellness Wednesday. I've been on a journey, my whole life, as most of you probably have been, to try and be healthy. I'd better not go into a bunch of detail, because this is gonna get too long. But Wellness Wednesday will talk about things that have to do with health and wellness. Originally it was gonna be #WeightLossWednesday because I am currently in the middle of a weight loss journey. I have already lost somewhere around 25 pounds and my total goal is 50, so I'm about halfway there.

And I'll just talk about things that have to do with health and wellness. Sometimes it will have to do with weight loss. Sometimes it will be an update on my personal journey. Sometimes it will be sharing things like, tips about things that help you to be well, or taking care of yourself. So that's what Wellness Wednesday will be about.

Tech Tuesday

Tech Tuesday. Okay, so I'm a little bit of a technology geek. I mean, I'm not like ... just from the dates and things I've told you, that I'm not a young Millennial that knows current things necessarily all the time about technology. Although I do have quite a few of my children who are at that age, and so I really do know about a lot of the brand new things going on. But Tech Tuesday is really more about how we can use technology to make our life better.

Sometimes it will have to do with things that, ways that I am using technology to do things, like perhaps my podcast setup right now. Or ways that I'm using spreadsheets to organize things, or the way I made job charts for my family, using technology, when they were young, and things like that. So sometimes it might be a review about a new phone that I get, or whatever. It's just, you know, stuff that has to do with technology. So that'll be Tech Tuesday.

Motivation Monday

Motivation Monday is just all about being motivated. I came up with motivation Monday because I need to be motivated on Mondays myself, haha, and I figure most people need to be motivated that Monday. So that's what I'm going to talk about time management, things that are inspirational and get you up off your chair and things that make you want to move forward and just positive motivating stuff. So yeah, that's what motivation Monday is.

That's the Plan!

So that is the line up, and that's what I'm going to be doing. Ideally this will be daily, but I am going to promise you right now that it won't be absolutely every day, especially the podcast part. But I will try as hard as I can every day, unless I'm taking like a vacation or some kind of a hiatus, to move forward and do this and bring you along with me.

So I think it's gonna be really fun I hope that you are interested in some of those topics. I will say that I came up with those hashtags, even though as I've been posting about them I realized that a lot of other people use some of those hash tags as well. But I really did think, "Okay what are my interests and how can I make them fit the days of the week?" because that just seemed like a framework that I could work with. So I did come up with those ideas on my own but then a couple of them were tweaked by, for instance, changing Weight Loss Wednesday to Wellness Wednesday because I saw somebody else had it and I was like, "Oh, that's so much better."

So I'm not claiming to own the hash tags or be the creators of them, but I did kind of come up with those ideas because they fit my interests and I hope they fit yours. I'm gonna go ahead and end. I'm gonna try to make these always be, well I was gonna say less than fifteen minutes, but I just looked at my timer and it's twenty two! They will not go over half an hour if I have to stop in the middle and divide it in two, because I know that really long podcasts can sometimes be, well, too long.

So this is where we're at. This is my introduction post, and I just wanted to kind of put it out there and and say what I'm planning to do. I will hopefully be transcribing these to then use as online posts sometimes. I don't know, we'll just kind of see how it goes because it's a lot of work to post every day, which sounds silly but, you know, to compose something meaningful every day. So we'll see how it goes.

But I hope you stick with me, and probably if you're listening to this, it's because I actually have done it for awhile and I have a few out there, and people have started listening! So... yay! If it didn't succeed, probably nobody will ever listen to it, except maybe my future descendants haha. And they'll be like, "Oh, sweet Granny, she sure was trying!"

Anyway, I will stop rambling and end this. I hope you have a wonderful day! This is Jumbled Sunshine and I will talk to you again soon. Bye bye!

Tuesday, April 24, 2018

Road Trip! IDP002 - Show Notes & Photos - Part One: Wyoming

Instead of doing a #TechTuesday post today, I'm going to share the show notes and promised photos from Saturday's Podcast Episode #002. You can listen to this Podcast episode here: Road Trip! Beautiful Wyoming and Montana - IDP002

Part One: Places to Visit in Wyoming:

Thermopolis, Wyoming:

Thermopolis Hot Springs State Park

Worland, Wyoming:

Welcome to Worland, Wyomning!
Taco Barn
Wooly Mammoth Statue and Washakie Museum
Amish Origins Facory
Home of Deep Penetrating Pain Relief Products

Ten Sleep, Wyoming

How Ten Sleep Got it's Name,_Wyoming/

Ten Sleep Canyon, Bighorn Mountains:

Sheridan, Wyoming:

The next four pictures are all from the amazing miniature historical displays at the Sheridan County Fulmer Library ( I couldn't choose!!

Overall we had a great trip! I hope you enjoyed these few representative pictures and it gives you a few ideas for a fun road trip with your family. 

Have a great day!
~JS~ 🌞

Monday, April 23, 2018

How to Have An Unproductive Day

"If you really want to have an unproductive day, just Google productivity and watch how much time you can waste doing that!'
-Scott Smith #MotivationMonday

#productivity #timemanagement #startup #entrepreneur
#success #goalsetting #mondaymotivation

Saturday, April 21, 2018

Road Trip! Beautiful Wyoming and Montana - IDP002

Just published today's podcast full of travel info, tips and recommended places from our recent trip to Wyoming and Montana! Later today I'll get the full blog post up with all the other pictures and information in text form. ENJOY and Happy Saturday!! 

Listen to the podcast episode here:

Friday, April 20, 2018

What Happens in Your House?

"You must read to your children and you must hug your children and you must love your children. Your success as a family, our success as a society, depends not on what happens in the White House, but in what happens inside your house." - Barbara Bush

Happy #FamilyFriday!
~JS~ 🌞

Thursday, April 19, 2018

Canyon Drive in the Bitterroot Mountains of Montana

Today we drove through this beautiful Canyon in the Bitterroot Mountains of Montana. I'm so grateful for this beautiful world!
~JS~ 🌞

Wednesday, April 18, 2018

What is Your Motivation to Exercise?

"Workout because you love your body, not because you hate it." YES!!! 😍😍😍 #WellnessWednesday

Tuesday, April 17, 2018

Awesome Travel Jacket Launches Wildly Successful Crowdfunding Campaigns

I came across this video for a really cool travel jacket last week. It caught my attention because it has so many great features that look like they would be so handy when traveling on a plane!


I'm thinking about getting one of these for my globe-trotting husband for his birthday. (shh!) But I'm still undecided if the perks outweigh the price. You can get the full details about the features and see some other video clips about the various features here: Travel Jacket Kickstarter Campaign

What do you think? Would these features be useful to you the next time you were on a flight? Would you pay for one of these if you traveled often? I'd love to get any feedback that you have!

I hope you have a wonderful #TechTuesday!
~JS~ 🌞

Monday, April 16, 2018

Ten Sleep Canyon, Wyoming

What could be more motivating than driving through a beautiful canyon in the Bighorn Mountains of Wyoming?
~JS~ 🌞 #MotivationMonday

Sunday, April 15, 2018

Receive All Things with Thankfulness

"And he who receiveth all things with thankfulness shall be made glorious; and the things of this earth shall be added unto him, even an hundred fold, yea, more." #SacredSunday

Saturday, April 14, 2018

Pursuing Your Future Dream by Living Your Dream Now

Hey everybody, Happy #StrategySaturday! I wanted to just share with you what I found for today's post when I was searching the hashtag #StrategySaturday on Twitter this morning. I found this quote and picture that was posted by Michael Simons (Twitter hashtag @AsBoldAsCaleb) that I just loved. Check it out!

It says, "In pursuit of your dream, making money isn't to be the end-all. Wealth is not about having a lot of money. It is about having a lot of options. Imagine your legacy when you share that wealth to accomplish good in this world."

Isn't that great? I had to read it a couple times, actually, because it's quite powerful. I just want to break it down just a tiny bit.

"In the pursuit of your dream, making money isn't to be the end-all. Wealth is not about having a lot of money. It's about having a lot of options."

So when you're pursuing your dream, I don't think it should be about making money really. For me, pursuing my dream is about doing something actually meaningful. It's not about just making dollars, because all dollars do is give you options.

So when pursuing your dream, your dream shouldn't be the money itself. The actual dream, in my mind, is not so much the end destination. It's the vehicle you use to get there. Because there's a lot of different ways to get to a dream. But if the way that you're trying to get there is something that makes you miserable and you hate it, that's just really torturous.

So here's my question for you today: Is there a way to get to your future dream by starting to live your dream now?

When my husband and first had the spark of interest to go into international charity work, we were still in college, had just started our family, and barely had two dimes to rub together. But we had one of those "tuning fork moments" when hearing one of our mentors, Paul Johnston of BYU, speak to the Animal Science students about working with chicken farmers in Central and South America. It was one of those moments when you're like, "Okay, there's something about this that we need to pay attention to."

What's a tuning fork moment you ask? Let me just explain it really quick. If you take a tuning fork and you strike it against something, it starts vibrating a certain pitch. If you then draw it closer to another tuning fork, the other tuning fork that you did not strike starts ringing the exact same pitch. So the idea of a tuning fork moment is when you get close to something that is your purpose, your dream, something that just hits you in way that you say, "Wow, this is something that I want to be a part of."

We both had that feeling. We loved the idea of being able to take basic agriculture principles and go teach them in developing countries. we thought we would wait until we "had it made" and then we could go out and travel and make a difference. But life doesn't always go as smoothly as you plan, and this dream kept getting farther and farther away. So one day we decided that the time was right to start pursuing our dream as a vehicle to get to our dream. We thought to ourselves, "You know what? It's now or never."

The road was not easy. We struggled with underemployment for three years as we made the transition. We spent all of our savings and even went into some debt in pursuit of what we knew was what we were supposed to do. But we knew that it was the only way to break into the industry of international development work.

Now we've been in the industry for about 10 years and looking back we can see that pursuing our dream ended up not being about making enough money so we could stop earning a living and then pursue our dreams. It was about living our dream now as a vehicle to get to our dream. In this new field, we don't make as much money as we could in the corporate world, but we love what we're involved in, and that's what really matters. We're able to be living our dream while we're still pursuing our dream.

Someday we'd like to be traveling more together and pursuing the dream at a higher level. But in the meantime, since we need to continue providing for our family, we can still live a portion of our dream now while we're pursuing our end goals. Today we're both so grateful that we got involved in our dream right away rather than putting it off endlessly, even though that interim time was an extremely difficult trial to go through.

Listen to the last part of the quote: "Imagine your legacy when you share that wealth [or that dream] to accomplish good in this world."

That second part of the quote really stood out to me because What greater good than to be able to help people who are in extreme poverty develop their talents and learn, and be able to raise themselves out of that poverty state. It's just the most fulfilling work that I could imagine, and it's what we've chosen.

So I would just challenge you, as you're thinking about your dreams and the strategies you're gonna use to get them, think about this. Is there a way that those strategies themselves could be fulfilling your dream in part? Think about ways that you can get to your long term dream by living your dream now.

Wealth is not just about money. Wealth is about the joy and the contentment and the fulfillment you feel inside when you are doing what really fills you up. You are pursuing your tuning fork moments and having them make your life meaningful.

I would encourage you today to think about the strategies for your life, if you have felt tuning fork moments like that, just think, "Is there something I could be doing toward that just a little bit?" And figure out how you can reach your dreams and make your life better.

I hope you have a wonderful weekend!
~JS~ 🌞


Listen to the full podcast episode about this post here:

Friday, April 13, 2018

Go Tell Your Child That You Love Them. Seriously, do it now!

"Your kids being rooted in your love is important, and you can’t take for granted that they KNOW that’s how you feel. In the advertising industry, you are told that it takes people seven times to hear a message about your product before they buy it. Yet I have friends who tell me (especially men) that they can count on one hand the number of times their parents (usually their dads) told them they loved them ... Don’t be one of these parents."

"It is your parental duty to uplift your children and make them confident individuals so that they can be productive citizens of the world ... That, in turn, makes this planet a better place to live! On top of that, if they love themselves, they will be better equipped to have healthy, loving relationships with someone else. And don’t we want that for our children?"
πŸ’– - Powerful Penny -

I love this! 😍 And I love my awesome kids who make my life so much richer than I ever imagined. I'm committing to tell them each individually by the end of the day. Are you with me?

 ~JS~ 🌞

Wednesday, April 11, 2018

Desktop Yoga - No Excuses!

If you really want to make a difference with your health, exercise is key! No matter what your situation is, you can find a way to get some exercise in. Check out this great Desktop Yoga routine from Benchmark Recuit.

I'm doing this simple routine in my work chair today! Will you join me?

~JS~ 🌞
#exercise #workfromhome #office #work

Tuesday, April 10, 2018

This Technology Can Turn Seawater into Drinking Water

I love the potential of this technology that can efficiently turn sea water into clean drinking water. Wow! πŸ’¦πŸ’§πŸ’¦πŸ’§πŸ’¦πŸ’§πŸ’¦ 
~JS~ 🌞 

Monday, April 9, 2018

Daily Rules of Happiness from The Daily Boost Podcast

The last few months I've really gotten into listening to podcasts. I have an Android phone, so I've been using the Player FM Podcast Player, which I love! I'll probably write more details about this app and why I love it so much in another post. But today, I just wanted to share with you one of the podcasts that I really enjoy.

It's called "The Daily Boost" and it's a great motivational podcast that is only 9 minutes long! They also offer "daily nuggets" that you can have sent to you as messages if podcasts aren't your thing. I love getting these quick motivational thoughts every day. And the host is such a positive guy!

Here's a little summary about today's podcast message, to give you a sample.

Daily Rules of Happiness:

Happy people tend to see the world differently. Here's why:
  • They realize that being alive includes challenges, which are part of the privilege of being alive.
  • Yes, they get frustrated, but they don't give up because having challenges just means that, well, life is normal.
  • Happy people accept responsibility for solving challenges. 
  • They deal with what life throws at them each day, knowing that after a good night's sleep, they will be refreshed to get up and do it all again.
  • When you think like a happy person, it will probably start to feel like not as many challenges show up in the first place, because you are seeing them as a normal part of life.
You can listen to the podcast related to these Daily Rules of Happiness, plus find more episodes and information about The Daily Boost podcast here:

Happy #MotivationMonday!!
~JS~ 🌞

Sunday, April 8, 2018

Becoming Your Best Self

“God cares a lot more about who we are, and who we are becoming, than about who we once were.”
— Dale G. Renlund


#hope #chaseyourdreams #setgoals  #createyourself #selfdevelopment #selfimprovement #inspiration #motivationalquotes

Saturday, April 7, 2018

What's Your Fashion Strategy?

If you've been thinking about trying a subscription clothing service, here is a great article reviewing several dozen options.

I'm considering trying one. Any suggestions?
~JS~ 🌞

#clothing #style #fashion

Friday, April 6, 2018

Amazing Family Karaoke of Les Miserables

Wow!!! This is what I'd call an amazing family reunion! They had gathered for Easter weekend, and spontaneously decided to do some karaoke.

You won't believe the kind of karaoke this family can belt out! And all while holding babies and toddlers.
#FamilyFriday #goals


Thursday, April 5, 2018

Surround Yourself with those who Light Your Path

I'm grateful for everyone who brings light into my life! #ThankfulThursday

Wednesday, April 4, 2018

How I Organize My Health Supplements

Today for #WellnessWednesday, I thought I'd show you how I have my health supplements organized! There is one container for daily supplements, and another one for "as needed" supplements. It has been awesome!

This is a really good way for me to remember to take my supplements everyday, because every time I go into my bathroom, they're sitting there on the shelf. It's easy to open up a container, grab a couple, and put it right back. This helps me spread my supplements all throughout the day whenever I think about it without having to open lots of bottles.

Let me know if you have any questions about any of the supplements I take and why. I'm not going to write about that right now because this post is just about the system, not trying to sell you supplements or anything.

Here is a closeup of the daily supplement container. You may notice a little red bead in the far left section. I use this wooden bead to remind myself which supplement I took last, so I can rotate them throughout the day.

Also, don't forget to exercise common sense caution! If you have small children in your home and decide to try something like this, be sure to keep your containers in a safe place where they can't be accessed by little hands.

Have a wonderful #WellnessWednesday! ~JS~🌞

Tuesday, April 3, 2018

Dishonest Son Drains Mom's Accounts - Use Technology to Help Protect Your Money

Did you see the news story about the woman whose account was drained by her credit union to pay off bogus charges made by her son who was addicted to drugs and abusing his power of attorney? It's an outrageous story and was a reminder to me to take advantage of today's technology to keep an eye on my financial accounts, and to remind all of you to do the same!

This woman was living in an assisted care facility and her son had been given what was supposed to be temporary power of attorney years ago. But in her credit union's records, it specifically says that the son had the ability to act as if he was her, as far as their records were concerned. Well unfortunately, he had started doing drugs and being dishonest, and had totally taken advantage of this power, and had started draining his mother's accounts.

You can read all about it here: Credit Union Abuse Story.

It's just a really sad story and very upsetting that someone who was given that trust would abuse his mother in that way. Unfortunately, the credit union did not catch the change in spending behavior for quite some time, which is surprising to me, because I know my bank alerts me regularly. I'll get those little fraud protection alerts if I do things different than my normal spending. You know how it goes, you get the phone call and they'll be like, "Hey, this is your credit union's fraud protection," and they'll have you verify transactions. It's annoying, but also wonderful, because you know your accounts are being protected.

But for whatever reason, in this case, the credit union didn't notice the change in behavior for a long time. When they did finally meet with her to resolve it, they ended up deciding that the charges were not considered fraudulent at all, since her son had been legally given the power to act for her. For all intents and purposes, it was as if she had been making those charges herself.

She was able to revoke the power of attorney at that point, but she was still legally obligated for all the transactions that had happened in the past. This was taken to court by lawyers representing the woman, and the most recent ruling on the case is that really there's not legal thing that the credit union did wrong. So there's nothing she can do to get back these tens of thousands of dollars. Especially because her son is now deceased, complicating things further.

Anyway, it's just a sad reminder to all of us to make sure that we realize that we can't depend on the credit untion or the bank, or anybody else to be checking our accounts and making sure they're being used wisely. While most banks will, in good faith, deal with fraudulent charges, and we have Visa guarantees and things like that, in this case, the charges are not actually considered fraudulent because he had power of attorney.

This case reminded me of the fact that we have the power of today's technology to help us keep an eye on these types of things, and we should be using it to our advantage!

You can set things up to get alerts and reminders when things are different on your account. I would strongly encourage you to take a few minutes to see what technologies are available at your financial institutions. You can get text messages or emails when, for instance, your spending patterns change dramatically, so that you will be notified. This will give you the heads up to go in and check your accounts and make sure everything is okay, and catch things early so that you don't end up in a bad situation like what happened to this woman.

Also, just a reminder: If you have an elderly parent or someone else that you are responsible for, be sure to set these up for them as well. Just double check on things with them and make sure these alerts are in place and that you will be notified to help them as needed. We need to take better care of the elderly who spent their lives doing things for all of us so that we can have the lives we have today.

Have a safe and tech savvy week!
~JS~ 🌞

Monday, April 2, 2018

The Wisest Person I Ever Met - Inspiring Speech!

For #MotivationMonday today, I wanted to share with you this awesome video of a commencement speech that I came across last night. It is just so inspiring and I encourage you to watch the entire thing! There were so many amazing concepts presented in this speech that I'm not sure how I can narrow it down to the most impactful ones. But here are just a few, followed by the embedded video published by Goalcast on YouTube.

  • The first one is the idea of combining knowledge and wisdom to make an impact. He calls his father a "simple cook" and refers to his father as a third grade dropout. I know he's using that term for impact, but I wouldn't use the term dropout to describe this incredible man who left third grade to help out on the family farm because he was needed. I would call that sacrificing oneself for the good of others, for the good of your family.
  • I love the quote by Mark Twain: "I've never allowed my schooling to get in the way of my education." Despite being someone who has finished a college bachelor's degree myself, and though I have been married for nearly 27 years to someone who has two post-graduate degrees, I fully realize that formal education is not the only way to educate oneself. While it does provide a framework of stepping stones that can help you to "become educated" (whatever that really means) by those who have gone before you and know something about what types of things you need to learn to understand about the field you are going into, learning is not about attending classes per se, or getting a bunch of letters behind your name. Education is really more about having a thirst for knowledge and continually seeking it out each and every day. This small habit of being curious and exploring the world around you, and learning with an open mind about everything around you is how you will prepare yourself for everything that will come your way, and prepare you to teach the next generation.
  • The next amazing principle in this speech is the idea of challenging oneself each and every day to be the best that you can be. This can be tough order to fill, because sometimes we just don't feel motivated to be motivated! This is part of why I created #MotivationMonday, because I need the motivation myself! But it's so important, in the word's of Dori from Finding Nemo, to just keep swimming! Never, ever give up is another lesson we learn from this speech in a very powerful way.
  • The speaker's father taught him, "I won't have a problem if you aim high and miss, but I'll have a real problem if you aim low and hit." What great advice! It's important to reach high enough to stretch yourself so that you can become a little bit better every single day. 
  • Aristotle said, "You are what you repeatedly do." I learned this in another setting just yesterday when I heard a speaker explain how over time, all of the seemingly insignificant, private decisions that we make over and over, can shape our lives. Thousands of little positive habits, when made consistently over time, can lift us to great things.
  • The next quote I really like is, "I know you're tough, but don't ever forget to be kind." It's one of those things you learn in primary school, "Remember this, kindness begins with me!"

There are so many more great quotes and principles in this talk that I just don't have time to share them all! I encourage you to watch it all the way through, think about the truths that speak to your heart, and resolve to take just one of them and integrate it into your day today.

Go make today a great one!
~JS~ 🌞


Join the Conversation!

I'd love to have you connect up with me on social media. For a list of all the places where we can connect online, visit: I'd love to get to know you, see your channel, your page, your social media stuff that you're doing out there. I just love learning and meeting people and connecting with people, so I'm excited to get to know you. ~JS~ 🌞