Phoenix, AZ – Abundant Sunshine and Happiness!

This past Memorial Day, a trip to Phoenix, Arizona trip was planned for a couple reasons:

  • I live in the Midwest and it always seems to rain on Memorial Day weekend here (and I wanted sunshine after a long winter and rainy spring)
  • Summer is my favorite season, but in the Midwest it can be chilly, cool, chilly or extremely humid around the end of May; it’s unpredictable in the Midwest, and I wanted warm weather

So Phoenix seemed to be an excellent solution: the dessert with dry heat and sunshine, and it was!  We chose the Pointe Hilton at Squaw Peak for the extended holiday weekend; and it turned out to be perfect for us!  This resort is close to the airport so you don’t even need a car, we used a shuttle service  from the airport simply looking for a place to rest and relax; we didn’t intend to be sightseeing on this trip.

DAY 1 (Friday 5.26.17)

We arrived early, got settled into our room, then headed to River Ranch, the onsite water park, our view  perfect setting for R&R!  It was an early morning and we were tired so we had some BBQ at the Hole in the Wall then ended our day.

 

Day 2 (Saturday 5.27.17)

Started the day with a hike to Squaw Peak, gorgeous day and fun hike with Ken and Skylar from the resort, then relaxed pool side enjoying the lazy river, ending with a fun birthday, Italian dinner at Tutti Santi Ristorante by Nina, topped off with a shot of Sambuca with 3 espresso beans (which I was told represented the past, present and future) I recently searched and found the common representation of the 3 espresso beans is Health, Happiness and Prosperity.  Must try the family recipe for the Ravioli, it’s their signature dish!

 

 

Day 3 (Sunday 5.28.17)

We started with a Stretch and Relax Class at Tocasierra Spa in the morning with a wonderful instructor for the class; after the class, we asked her what suggestions she would have for “natural settings” and places to go for people who enjoy the outdoors, she suggested Slide Rock for the day, we also used the onsite workout facility, but unfortunately my son was too young (13 years old) to be allowed to use it so we went to the sports pool and enjoyed some volleyball and basketball!  We were so happy that we could rent a car for the day when we visited the concierge in the lobby; the car was onsite and ready to go for the next day; we decided to depart in the morning for Slide Rock State Park.   The concierge also told us about a fabulous airport restaurant in Mesa, AZ with incredible views, so we planned to visit there for lunch after Slide Rock.  The evening featured a dive in movie and the nights get cool, so we enjoyed sitting fireside and having smores to end the evening.

Day 4 (Monday 5.29.17 – Memorial Day)

Three days was enough time for all of us to enjoy poolside activities and we were ready to explore with our rental; the 3 hour drive to Sedona from Phoenix is beautiful once you hit the Red Rocks and heading to Slide Rock State Park was even more gorgeous  (click to view the trip); lunch at Mesa Grill was fabulous too!  We absolutely loved Sedona and spent time shopping at the retail there too.  By the time we got home, we didn’t have much more energy, so the next day we were treated to a Swedish Massage to end our visit, just before heading back home.

Day 5 (Tuesday 5.30.17 – Spa and Departure Day)Tocasierra Spa

We were so pleased with the resort and the staff and had a wonderful trip; it was a great long weekend visit and highly recommended.  We ran out of time to participate in the miniature golf, but night time would have been fun!

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A Taste of Cali: 5 cities!

Traveling and exploring the outdoors are definite favorites of mine (tied with music, of course); but there are so many places to go and things to see with limited time that planning can be time consuming.  It’s hard making decisions on what to see when we want to do it all.

This trip, we were lucky enough to have family living in California, who provided local insight and created this perfect “Taste of California” itinerary: visiting Sacramento, Folsom Lake, Lake Tahoe, Napa Valley and San Francisco.  Brief highlights and pictures of the places and restaurants we visited are included next, all highly recommended. Hope you find something you will enjoy when traveling!

SACRAMENTO

First Stop:  A visit to the  historic town of Old Sacramento shortly after our plan landed, we had lunch on the stationary historic riverboat located on the Sacramento River, the Delta King and drove around Old Sacramento to sightsee.OHBU4633

Capital Park    Capital Park is home to the California Vietnam Veteran’s Memorial and landscaped with numerous varieties of trees, plants and flowers native to California. Of course after the park we had to get Gelato.

We also visited the Sacramento Choral Society to hear the music of Downton Abbey, after having dinner at the nearby Esquire Grill.

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Folsom Lake

The sun rises over the lake, but unfortunately I took some wrong turns and didn’t make it there early enough. The lake level was down in March to accommodate the future snow melt, but it was gorgeous even with low lake levels.  There are bike and walking trails leading to the State Park and lake, as well as a nearby bike rental place, perfect for morning exercise and exploring!

Lake Tahoe

Definitely a highlight of the trip!  The weather turned beautiful when we visited.

Before arriving at Lake Tahoe, we stopped at this cute place with Chalets banked along the rushing water of the South Yuba River:  Rainbow Lodge; so picturesque!

Arriving at Lake Tahoe…ready for lunch…must stop at Garwoods!

Look at this lunch view!

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Garwoods at Lake Tahoe
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Garwoods at Lake Tahoe- that view!

Squaw Valley Ski Resort…next stop

Resort at Squaw Creek– the perfect place to relax and enjoy the views!  Very quiet in March if you are looking for privacy!

Empire Mine:  (Grass Valley, CA)

Learn about the Gold Rush, see the estate and visit the mine.

Napa Valley – off to the wineries

Lunch first at Farmstead at Long Meadow Ranch

Sterling Vineyards : the tram ride is unique from other area wineries. Sterling Vineyards is elevated and tucked into the mountainside whereas other vineyards we passed were in the flatter valley areas.

Beringer Estates: Tour the cave and the oldest continuous running winery in Napa Valley; they didn’t even close during prohibition because they provided wine to the Catholic church for communion!

The Harvest Inn – a relaxing place to stay after visiting the wineries and excellent dinner!

From Napa to San Francisco stopping for lunch in Larkspur, CA at  “Left Bank Larkspur Braserie”

San Francisco Arrival….it was a wet one!

but cleared for us to enjoy a beautiful setting and dinner at Sutro’s at the Cliff House

The next day cleared and we took the tour by water of the San Francisco Bay area,  the Golden Gate Bridge, Alcatraz Island, and the Oakland Bridge then had lunch at the Crab House at Pier 39, then visited China Beach, Golden Gate Park, and had diner at the Beach Chalet Brewery & Restaurant to watch the Sunset.

 

This itinerary worked perfectly and we didn’t feel rushed, still had time to relax and enjoy the places we visited on the “Taste of Cali” trip!

Waiting

Thought and Questions on “Waiting”?

Personally, I’m not one to wait, “patience is a virtue” doesn’t  come naturally to me; I’m all about taking action. As time progresses, I’ve acquired more “tolerance”(the best descriptive word to me) for patience, even though it’s not natural for me and a continual struggle.

EXPERIENCES

Not waiting has given me some amazing opportunities: ones I wasn’t fully ready for, but worked out. On the other hand, it’s also put me in bad situations. So what is the right choice waiting or not waiting?

In 2017, I’ve made some changes, and realized that I probably need to work on patience and waiting.  For the first time ever, I searched “waiting” in the back of the Bible I bought and read the passages:

waiting-reference

 

Waiting and patience are not natural to me, so this is a change I will try.  Sometimes the application of what we read to our own lives is confusing…to me at least, but I’m trying!  I already heavily booked my weekends through mid June, so I’m going to try to hold back now and slow down.

WAITING

I can see “both sides” of this:

A) Patience and waiting can bring good things, like the examples in the Bible

however, I’m also a strong believer in:

B) If you want something, you have to get off your butt and work for it, you can’t wait for it…

So which is it?  Or does each one apply to different subjects?  Or is this taking it out of context?  Questions!!?

Pros

  • We get what we truly want; we don’t settle for something less.
  • Waiting means trusting in God’s timing; having faith…

it’s interesting that I bought this necklace awhile ago, maybe I was missing “a message” to me?

Cons

  • Experiencing patience: time feels like it’s slowed down, and not in a good way
  • Missing an opportunity (even though this is true, if we act on this, aren’t we are acting out of fear, which often leads to regret?)
  • Not taking action to achieve; Inaction – we aren’t using our time wisely if we wait? This is probably the one reason that I don’t often wait…

This past weekend’s message at The Crossing was about:  suffering > perseverance > character > hope ….maybe this thought I woke up with, on waiting, is something I need to explore more?  I don’t have the answers!

FEAR

ALLOWING FEAR = A LIFETIME OF REGRET

The next time you feel anxiety, consider this:  Fear will give you a lifetime of regret!  What do you want?  There is a certain amount of fear that protects us from harm, but we should understand that limit:  Does it mean life or death?  If it doesn’t, then get over it, or we will regret avoiding fear, maybe the rest of our lives if we don’t get that second opportunity.

Facing fear translates to growth, learning new things, improving, becoming better, and experiencing life. Avoiding fear leads to life’s regrets.

My First Fear

I remember fear from very early in my life, my first memory of fear was pre-kindergarten. My parents enrolled me in swimming lessons because my dad had a fear of the water and neither of my parents were avid swimmers, so they wanted me to learn how to swim early. I remember standing at the edge of the high dive with the instructor and a couple other people in the water telling me to jump in. I stood there with my hands crossed, shaking my head “no.” (I’ve always been a little head strong.) It wasn’t so much the water that scared me, I always loved water, but for me, it was the fear of heights.  I stood there for some time at the edge of the diving board, the ascent up the ladder wasn’t bad, but the jump scared me more than anything.  I must have delayed the instructors long enough because someone was headed up the ladder to give me a push off the dive, which I didn’t want either, so I jumped!  Splash! It wasn’t as bad as I made it in my mind.  Because I faced this fear and jumped in, years later, at 17, I became a life guard.  I faced fear and was glad I did.

Pre-Teen Fear

My family visited my Aunt, Uncle and cousins in California and I fell in love with California, deciding I wanted to go to college there after that vacation.  I loved the ocean, the hiking, Disneyland and our camping trip to Yosemite National Park.

yosemite-camping-tripOnce again, my fear of heights surfaced.  We were hiking and my adventurous Aunt planned to hike to the top of “Puppy Dome,” of course I wanted to do it too, but knew I would be scared as well.  I can remember getting to the top, my heart was racing so fast, my body was lying flat practically glued to the granite, with my hands in the crevasses as we reached the top.  I don’t think I could stand, I was too scared, but I made it, with my Aunt’s encouragement and loved that I did that. The memory has remained with me my entire life.  I faced fear and was glad I did.

So later in life when it was time for college, fear set in again.  I had a boyfriend and I was afraid to leave my home state and pursue my dream of college in California because I feared the relationship would end.  I really liked this guy and chose to stay in town, rather than go away to college.  Big mistake!  My relationship ended with that guy and I’ve always regretted my decision of not going away to college and have thought about:  What would my life have been like if I had pursued what I really wanted, instead of acting based on fear?   I let fear take over me, and I regretted it, no second chance on this one.

Adult Fear

I still challenge myself by facing fear of heights:  zip lining, jumping off elevated ledges into water, scaling walls, climbing up the ladder to the roof hatch of a commercial building roof top, and by walking a parapet catwalk during a property inspection.  The fear hasn’t gone away, but each time, I’m glad I faced the fear; I don’t have regrets, and the fear lessens.

The physical fears I seem to face willingly, but often it’s the fear involving people that I don’t, and then regret it later.  In fact, there are several times where I’ve regretted not facing a fear, later in life, involving people. Facing fear is about becoming vulnerable; and when we become vulnerable, we are not protected; so, we are fearful.  This is not the way to live though, unless we want a life of regrets.  Just as any other fear, if we face it, we become stronger.

As an adult, I had the surprise opportunity to spend New Year’s Eve in Key West with a guy I really cared about, but I had planned a party with friends at my house and had sent invitations, not knowing about the surprise trip that was planned. I didn’t want to let my friends down, but being honest I preferred and wanted to go on that trip with him.  I stayed home out of fear of disappointing my friends, and believing I should stay independent, and I regretted that decision ever since.

Fear also leads to us to “Settle” for what we wouldn’t choose normally.  We begin to justify settling, to protect ourselves, so we don’t have to face the fear.  I believe lack of self-confidence is the reason we don’t face fear involving people. People with confidence face fear; they overcome the fear and therefore become more confident people. Don’t let fear be the reason behind decisions.

Being Independent to the extreme is Acting in Fear

Fear involving people is evident in those who want to do everything for themselves and don’t ask for help. I know that because I have been that person, most of my life: independent.  I still don’t like to rely on anyone, relying on someone makes us vulnerable, and being independent protects us:  we don’t need anyone!  I’ve always admired independent people, but there should be a balance in life, nothing to the extreme ever ends up good.  (This is continuous work for me, relying on others.)  If we let fear take over, we won’t grow, we can’t follow our purpose, or develop the gift we were born with. Fear sets limits.  If we limit ourselves, we can’t possibly be all that is possible, if we had no limitations.  Letting fear take over leads us to the:  “What if….?”  (Our regrets).

FACING FEAR = REWARDS

So next time, face fear:  stand up for beliefs, suggest that new idea, take a risk, say “no,” push ourselves to the next level, act with courage, speak your mind, be authentic/be you, go for it, ask for what we need, just do it,have that conversation, follow passions, take that vacation (work will always be there), ask “Will I regret this later, if I don’t do it now?”

I’m not saying be reckless, but if we want to live life to the fullest and be the best person we can be, don’t limit ourselves, don’t let fear control our actions:  Face fear and be rewarded!

ARBONNE REVIEW

If you read my prior blog and article published by Prsuit: “DEALING WITH JUDGEMENT OF YOUR ASPIRATIONS BY OTHERS” then you will know that part of this experience had to do with my joining Arbonne International as an Independent Consultant, so I wanted to share my experiences with you about what it’s been like for me since I joined this past October 2016.   This is a network marketing company and many are skeptical of those type of companies, I was too, until I opened my mind to learn more about it and dispelled the myths.  The truth is nothing happens overnight and it requires dedication and perseverance to build a business, so as long as people know that, they will not be misled.  The reality about reputation is, when a company is growing, some people who affiliate themselves with the company may not reflect the company very well and that of course damages a reputation.  Arbonne International is not a new business, but is 35 plus years and growing. Reputation is a concern for every growing business because as a company grows, the people in front of us represent the company, and if those people don’t make a good impression, the company is then tied to that impression.

REFLECTION OF OUR VALUES

My opinion and experience throughout my life is that we should not get involved with a company unless it truly mirrors our values and purpose in life, because we become a reflection of the company and the company becomes a reflection of us.  If a company changes and no longer reflects the values and purpose that drew us to the company, we should end our relationship with that company.  As in life, nothing is perfect, a company is the makeup of its affiliates or employees, and likewise if a person no longer reflects the core values and purpose of a company, they are usually terminated.

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ARBONNE: PURE, SAFE, BENEFICIAL

Arbonne has done a great job of summarizing in the three words: Pure, Safe and Beneficial, the inspiration behind their products.  When I joined Arbonne, I had done a little research on my own on nutrition, but nothing on cosmetics or skincare, that was something I didn’t think about. What impacted me most of all was the statement that our skin is the largest organ of our body and absorbs what we put on it, which affects us and our health.   It does matter what we use for skincare and obviously, our nutrition too.   I’ve researched more since joining because I wanted to verify statements and there was so much I didn’t know, and I’ve learned a lot already.  I encourage you to research on your own too, not necessarily blogs, but medical research clinics and hospitals, such as Mayo Clinic or Johns Hopkins on various topics that we may question.

ARBONNE: MANIFESTO

This is what I connected with and related to when I made the decision to align with the company, it matched my core values:

manifesto

 

ARBONNE: THE PRODUCTS:  NUTRITION, SKINCARE, COSMETICS, BATH/BODY

Before I would recommend any products to my friends or family, I wanted to try them myself.  That is just who I am, I can’t stand behind something I don’t believe in.  My experiences with Arbonne are in process and being reflected on my Facebook Page:  annm2705 but truly I haven’t used something I didn’t like, I do have favorites and products that maybe are not necessary for me personally, but they still are high quality, effective plus I feel comfortable using them or recommending them because of my experience as well as Arbonne’s stated product purpose:  PURE, SAFE, BENEFICIAL.

essentials-daily-health_instagram_imageNUTRITION

In January 2017, I started the 30 Days to Healthy Living and Beyond Program and I am so impressed by the resources offered to those who participate. Of course, we buy a 30-day supply of Arbonne products that may seem expensive at first, because we are buying a 30-day supply, but when you break it down to a per meal cost, you can get the products, for less than the cost of a muffin and cup of coffee.  When you participate in the program, you will also receive the resources of Nutritionists who provide a weekly grocery list, recipes for nutritious meals, as well as suggestions for challenges we face in our eating habits, cravings etc.  I’ve found that my grocery bills are less, but I’m eating healthier.  My shopping cart is primarily filled with organic vegetables, some fruits and protein:  lean meat:  chicken, turkey, grass fed beef, and fish.  And yes, organic is more expensive, but I’m eliminating the sugar and not so good for you type of carbohydrates, so that offsets the organic cost.  And when I thought about what I’m feeding myself and my family and how it so greatly affects our health, this will likely offset medical bills in the future, by taking a vested interest in healthy eating! Not all medical bills of course, but this is something we should all consider with the rising cost of healthcare:  taking better care of ourselves and our family.  I have met people who changed their diets and then no longer needed medications. Medications are expensive and some of the side effects are destructive too.  Take some time to think about that.  If you want to join a future 30 Days to Healthy Living program with Arbonne, I provide my contact information at the end of this article.

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ARBONNE INDEPENDENT CONSULTANTS

I decided to become an Independent Consultant to get the greatest product discount after using a few skincare sample products, because I liked the products and knew I would be buying more.  It wasn’t a significant upfront cost, so I could justify it.  I wanted to learn more before I suggested the products to anyone else, which is what I’ve been doing these past several months. When I joined Arbonne, the products and the company reflected something important to me: a healthy life style and improvement, so I decided to do it; there was no downside.  Becoming an Independent Consultant has its advantages:  a discount on the products plus we can make income from products that others buy through our introduction, so why not?  Especially if we like the products and will be using them ourselves. If others like the products and want to join as Independent Consultants, they can too, there is no competition here, this is a team and growing!   The more products I tried and the more people I met through Arbonne, my thoughts on this expanded.  I saw this as such a great business opportunity for motivated individuals, who have a passion for the products: the freedom and personal development it offers too.  The improvement side of Arbonne is amazing! Not only do the products help improve others, but the Independent Consultants are provided with such great positivity, motivation, self-improvement, personal development from what I’ve experienced.  I have never met so many positive uplifting people in one place, the positive energy/vibes from the people are the best I’ve ever been around.  So vibrant, supportive, welcoming, fun, dedicated, ambitious, motivating, positive people who want to help others too.  We all have seen quotes that say we become what we surround ourselves with, right?  And I must say, this truly describes the ensemble of Arbonne Independent Consultants whom I’ve met personally.  It wasn’t long after joining that we were making plans socially, outside of the business, to have get togethers.

I met Independent Consultants who have had their lives changed by embracing this as a business and from the nutritional aspect; this certainly doesn’t happen without efforts, but, it is possible for anyone motivated to build success and willing to work for it. And the great thing about it, our team can be our friends, family, or anyone around the world, all we need is internet access to connect!  The success is not overnight like so many may be led to believe with online business promotions, it takes years of dedication and staying with it, but it is a possibility.  You truly get what you give to others…you will be improving yourself and improving the lives of others!

SIDE OBSERVATION

I have not seen this emphasized in the company, but after hearing from or talking to Independent Consultants with Arbonne, I noticed there is a tremendous amount who openly talk about their faith in God (as you may know, I am Christian; however, it doesn’t matter if others believe in something different, I have respect for all.  We each choose our belief based on our culture, experiences and connection with something Greater than us.)  Anyway, this faith component is important to me personally and I wonder if there is more purpose here than what is initially seen, especially because the core is all about improvement and giving back?   There are some amazing heartwarming stories that have happened as a result of someone’s Arbonne business success. Truly inspiring!

If you are interested in anything I’ve shared,  joining my team, or have questions, you can reach me as follows:

Facebook at:  annm2705 (Ann Dulle- Arbonne Independent Consultant Page, on this account, my purpose is posting beneficial and informative information about the products, how I’m using them, health and nutrition, my personal experiences or promoting upcoming informative events (which I have yet to do!)– so “Like” my page and follow if you are interested in receiving updates)

or Instagram:  annm2705 (this is my personal account where I post anything related to Faith, Family, Friends, Travel, Fitness, Improvement = My passions in life)

or my Arbonne Independent Consultant Page (where you can shop Arbonne Products):  www.anndulle.arbonne.com

Wishing you success in 2017!  I hope it is a great year for you!

 

DEALING WITH JUDGEMENT OF YOUR ASPIRATIONS BY OTHERS

 

I wanted to share my article published last week by Prsuit, click on this link to read my article.  It’s about my own experiences and realizations with judgement.

Life doesn’t always follow the path we expect; the only thing constant is change. And when there is change, I’ve experienced judgement as a side effect: sometimes good, sometimes bad, but other people always have an opinion, only some voice it.

Secondly there will be a forthcoming related article about my experiences with my new venture mentioned in the article, near the end of January or early February.

CREDITS:

If you arrived at this article from Instagram  @annm2705, then you’ve already seen this, but if you found this article in another way, I should recognize a few who are making a meaningful contribution to entrepreneurship and creators, if you don’t know them already, you should check them out and get to know them on Instagram @prsuit @hdfmagazine, or their websites:  PRSUIT, HDFMAGAZINE, podcasts:  The Hustle Sold Separately

If you read my very first blog, you will see how I found them in the spring of 2016 on Instagram and since then have seen so much growth from their companies.  Matt Gottesman and Case Kenny have an incredible drive and are helping others:  great resources for entrepreneurs and creators!