“Pass On” Poem by Michael Lee

We all deal with loss of a loved one in different ways. I’ve never really considered myself a poetry fan, but this particular piece grabbed me instantly. Therefore, I’m going to prep you for something very artistic and deep to those who aren’t ready to read/watch what is below.  (serious tone)

“Pass On”

When searching for the lost remember 8 things.

We are vessels.
We are rooms.
We are so much less important than the things inside of us.
We are circuit boards
swallowing the electricity of life upon birth.
It wheels through us creating every moment,
the pulse of a story, the soft hums of labor and love.
In our last moment it will come rushing
from our chests and be given back to the wind.
When we die. We go everywhere.

Newton said energy is neither created nor destroyed.
In the halls of my middle school I can still hear
my friend Stephen singing his favorite song.
In the gymnasium I can still hear
the way he dribbled that basketball like it was a mallet
and the earth was a xylophone.
With an ear to the Atlantic I can hear
the Titanic’s band playing her to sleep,
Music. Wind. Music. Wind.
If you listen to the wind and don’t hear a thousand years of music, you’re not listening hard enough.

The day my grandfather passed away there was the strongest wind,
I could feel his gentle hands blowing away from me.
I knew then they were off to find someone
who needed them more than I did.
On average 1.8 people on earth die every second.
There is always a gust of wind somewhere.

The day Stephen was murdered
everything that made us love him rushed from his knife wounds
as though his chest were an auditorium
his life an audience leaving single file.
Every ounce of him has been
wrapping around this world in a windstorm
I have been looking for him for 9 years.

Our bodies are nothing more than hosts to a collection of brilliant things.
When someone dies I do not weep over polaroids or belongings,
I begin to look for the lightning that has left them,
I feel out the strongest breeze and take off running.

After 9 years I found Stephen.
I passed a basketball court in Boston
the point guard dribbled like he had a stadium roaring in his palms
Wilt Chamberlain pumping in his feet,
his hands flashing like x-rays,
a cross-over, a wrap-around
rewinding, turn-tables cracking open,
camera-men turn flash bulbs to fireworks.
Seven games and he never missed a shot,
his hands were luminous.
Pulsing. Pulsing.
I asked him how long he’d been playing,
he said nine 9 years

The theory of six degrees of separation
was never meant to show how many people we can find,
it was a set of directions for how to find the people we have lost.

I found your voice Stephen,
found it in a young boy in Michigan who was always singing,
his lungs flapping like sails
I found your smile in Australia,
a young girls teeth shining like the opera house in your neck,
I saw your one true love come to life on the asphalt of Boston.

We are not created or destroyed,
we are constantly transferred, shifted and renewed.
Everything we are is given to us.
Death does not come when a body is too exhausted to live
Death comes, because the brilliance inside us can only be contained for so long.
We do not die. We pass on, pass on the lightning burning through our throats.
when you leave me I will not cry for you
I will run into the strongest wind I can find
and welcome you home.


The Happiest People In The World Spend Their Money

People can feel trapped by their careers–whether it’s because they’re earning too little, are waiting for a big payout, or have grown accustomed to a certain lifestyle. Laura Vanderkam’s new book, All the Money in the World: What the Happiest People Know About Getting and Spending, offers a new approach to finances for a modern, more flexible reality.

Work, life, and money are intertwined intimately, and yet they’re rarely addressed together. As the traditional boundaries that used to define “work” and “life” disappear, the conventional beliefs related to money must also evolve.

This is the message of Laura Vanderkam’s new book, All the Money in the World: What the Happiest People Know About Getting and Spending (Portfolio, 2012). By taking on outdated money beliefs, Vanderkam offers a new approach to finances for a modern, more flexible reality. Some of the changes she advocates include:

Be more mindful about what your money could buy. Make purchases that improve your happiness.  For many, that means spending on experiences, not things.  Using the example of the money we have traditionally paid for expensive engagement rings and weddings, Vanderkam calculates how many trips, periodic bouquets of flowers, date nights, babysitters, and hours of housecleaning that money could buy over the years.  These are services and experiences that, in the long run, could bring more enjoyment to a couple than a big ring and wedding.

Challenge the big house, big yard, two car “American dream.”  Vanderkam points out that these purchases often come with a longer commute by car, more responsibilities for lawn care, and housekeeping.  Studies show that none of these activities increase happiness.

Don’t just scrimp and save. Find ways to increase your earnings.  Yes, the increased flexibility in work and careers can be scary and unsettling, but it also provides new, exciting opportunities to make more money.  Vanderkam calls it the “1099 mindset.”  Even if you have a more traditional job, think about work the way freelancers or contract workers–people who get 1099s–do. If you are a teacher, tutor. If you’re interested in a topic, start a blog that you monetize. Be creative.

Rethink retirement. In other words, don’t expect to ever retire.  Instead, embrace a second or “encore” career.

Yes, work and life have transformed over the past two decades. With All the Money in the World, Laura Vanderkam is shows us that we have to update and evolve that way we think about money as well.  In addition to the book, you can connect with Vanderkam on her blog, on Twitter, and on Facebook.

What do you think?  How have you found yourself rethinking the way to approach and manage money as your work and career have become less traditional and more flexible?


Modern Day Relationships AND Social Dating Tips

February is the month of love…

Relationships these days seem to be slightly disposable. There’s no doubt about how the digital world has drastically accelerated relationships in modern-day.  The physical world and digital world are confused into a shade of grey.

In the physical, old fashion day you would slowly get to know someone, trust them, perhaps have this bond and naturally you move into this psychical place. Where now modern-day, you can log into Facebook or Google someone and know exactly who their friends are to what they ate for dinner.

Unnatural? Fast moving? OH YES.

Facebook official or not … cheating,  jealously,  and commitment may have taken their meaning to a whole new level. Social media awkwardness, embarrassment, or rejection can all take place within a few clicks.

Society is at an all time high with being judgmental and superficial, which is why one must have a grasp on who your TRUE FRIENDS are. Please sensor to what you share and don’t share with the world. Your track record and digital identity is all being captured.

But most of all….Keep it classy.

Many people have asked me to post some basic steps of dating via social media, so here are some basic tips to follow:

1.) Don’t push someone to be “Facebook Official” unless it comes natural. Less is always more. Keep your new relationship status under wraps… your close friends should know what’s going on. If you need to tell the world, go scream it on a cliff somewhere.

2.) Don’t “Facebook friend” random people unless you know them. It makes it less awkward for EVERYONE in the party.

3.) Keep the photos classy. If you have class I shouldn’t have to explain what this means.

4.)  If you meet a potential person of interest, don’t social stalk them or friend them on Facebook. Let the relationship happen natural. That butterfly feeling doesn’t happen often so resist the urge.

5.) Most importantly be interesting on your social outlets. Do the simple 60-30-10 Rule. 60% of the time use your social accounts to make people laugh. 30% of the time use your account to inspire people. 10% of the time use it promote or sell your business/brand.

A lot of people are over or under utilizing  their social presence in every which way, and it can ruin things when one promotes everything they do. It’s a total turn off.

Hope this helps!!

*Virtual Hugs*

Thoughts On Life

Everyone needs a little pick me up and/or some words of wisdom every once in awhile… enjoy this short video about Thoughts on Life from the inspirational Steve Jobs!


Inspirational Quote of the Day: “The 3 C’s of Life: Choices, Chances, Changes ….You must make a Choice to take a Chance or your life will never Change.”

Two Words: Layla Grayce


Amazing Motto. How could you not love this brand already?

Layla Grayce is the epitome of mother meets shabby chic meets pottery barn. Their earrings and bracelets are some of my favorite pieces to own. Full of fresh vibrant colors for day time or night time. I’m also a big fan of their frilly girly-girl aprons.

Thought I would share my favorites below!

Kendra Scott Oralie Hula Earrings in Hula

Drops of Jupiter Earl Grey Gold Earrings

Hot Rocks Vermeil Bangles

Jessie Steele Apron Josephine Goodie Two Shoes


Best Practices in Social Media

Engagement. Not the love-romance-white dress-wedding kind… I’m talking about the social media kind!

I’m spilling my secret sauce to those who are looking for ways to build their brand via social media– beyond just push messaging. Many of my friends are entrepreneurs and have asked me to share my best practices in social media, so I decided to include it on my blog.

I try and break down everything that I do to a “stupid simple” situation. A Facebook Fan Page is like going to a party, no one goes to it to hear one song play on repeat. It’s about the food, the drinks, the people, the atmosphere, and essentially the whole purpose of the party.

Who is going to break the ice? The Brand.

Having a conversation and humanizing your product is what talks to people and sells your authenticity. That being said below are some nitty gritty posting suggestions to get the crowd going…

1) Use Real Photo Images. Use an image with every post! No one wants to see a picture they can see in a menu. It’s okay if the picture is not perfect. When we order food from a restaurant it never comes out the way it looks anyways, but we still eat it. Right?

2) Tag brands/names/companies by using the @ sign in status updates. This generates more organic growth and connects pages instantaneously.

3) Bit.ly Shorten all your links by using this amazing site. Not only does this make the post more attractive, it TRACKS how many people click on your link and where they are coming from in real time. (I love using this on my personal account sometimes too)

Caution:  Sometimes it enables a thumbnail to populate, so make sure there is always an image with the link that you post, therefore making it visually enhancing.

4) PinterestThis is next HOT social media site– a new social media/ online pin board. Use this strategically for images and creative ideas. This website is especially popular among women, who account for 58% of Pinterest’s traffic. This has exploded within the past 3 months with 7.51 million unique visitors in December alone. Pinterest is now driving more referral traffic on the web than Google+, YouTube, Reddit, and LinkedIn — combined. Get Pinning ASAP!!!

5) Fill in the blank. This type of post has very high engagement and can give you a chuckle into how creative people can get.

6) Share Button. Asking your fans to “share ” if they agree with your post. The share button is way more powerful than “like” could ever be. This continues the organic social sharing method. Hold contests and randomly pick winners that share an image rather than “like”

The Facebook algorithm concludes that 30% of your Facebook Friends see your status updates and you see 10% of Brands Status Updates.

More social insights to come! So Party on Brands and get Social!