Life Happens, Now What?

Company’s a Comin’! “Fur” Real

Company’s a comin’ and you have a pet that sheds….👀 yikes!

Ever feel self conscious about the prospect of company and getting your furniture free of fur? FUR NOT MY FRIEND! 🐕🐩🐈🐱🐇🐰

This is a quick and simple solution that is a theee-fur…😁

Supplies needed:

  • One NEW Fabric softener sheet or so depending on the amount of furniture you have.
  • A shopping bag for the used sheets and fur.
  • Once again, our trusty elbow grease.

Quite simply, rub the dryer sheet on your furniture. You will notice the fur gathering up. The results? 

  1. Black pants will now survive a sit with little to no hair.
  2. Fresh smelling furniture.
  3. Slight fur repellent. The more you use this to clean up that fur, the less fur you will find on your furniture. (This works on draperies as well.)

Company to me means a sweet treat and coffee, join me for a simple dessert.

Black forest cake or cupcakes depending on how much time you have.


  • Chocolate cake mix (I prefer devil’s food)
  • ⅓ cup oil (or melted butter)
  • 3 large eggs (don’t throw out the shells)
  • 1 can of cherry pie filling
  • For cake 1 tub chocolate frosting (For cupcakes 2 tubs chocolate frosting)

Preheat oven to 350°F.

In a bowl combine cake mix, oil, eggs, and pie filling. Stir until all powder is gone.

Spray a 9×13 inch baking pan with cooking spray, add mix and bake for 40-45 minutes. Toothpick should be moist but not have any residue.

Let cool and frost.

**For cupcakes 

  • (12) I prefer liners sprayed with cooking spray.
  • Fill ¾ full and bake for 30-35 minutes.
  • Again the toothpick should be moist without residue when done.

Let the cupcakes cool for five minutes.

As you wait:

  • Put the first tub of frosting in a quart sized ziploc bag.
  • I push my first finger in the middle of each cupcake to make a divot.
  • Cut a hole in the corner of the ziploc bag and fill the divots with the frosting while still warm.

Once cool take a second ziploc bag and the second tub of frosting. Cut the corner and add another dollop of frosting, covering the divot.

Don’t forget the coffee… 1/3 cup ground coffee for every 10 cups of coffee.

Waste not want not” tip:

Eggshells and coffee grounds are great to add to your garden to enhance the soil.

The fur from your couch is a great deterrent of pests in your garden. Simply spread the fur on the soil around your plants. This will also enrich the soil for next year. It’s a win/win all around!

Hope these ideas help when you are in a pinch. But most importantly? Enjoy the simple pleasure of your company!

Thanks bunches!


Life Happens, Now What?!

Have you ever been in the middle of cooking, cleaning, or just trying to freshen up your home and everything falls apart? In this lifestyle series you will find random tips to salvage those “Oh no!” moments and turn them into, “I’ve got this!” successes.

You may ask like many do… “Where did you learn that?!” Well I will tell you I have no clue! I enjoy reading and often don’t realize how much I remember until there is a problem needing a solution. You guessed it, I’m a fixer… not the mob kind 😂 but the hands on, fingers flying on the keyboard solution finder.

Oh yes… brief introduction on why I’m posting here…. My name is Nicole and I am the Director of Finance and Administration for Nicklaus Counseling Center, S. C. I have come to be known in the office as being the problem solver.

We are coming up on spring, the time has changed and the sun stays up later. It’s a time for renewal and regeneration. For many of us, it’s a time for spring cleaning. Here are some simple and fun cleaning ideas to get you started.

We are coming up on the end of prime citrus season here in Wisco, so if you get that orange, lemon, lime, or grapefruit that just feels questionable, don’t throw it out just yet!!! Instead, let’s get the house smelling great!

I’m guessing in your cabinet somewhere you have coarse salt… if not table salt also works but you will need a little more elbow grease. You may be saying, “Citrus…fruit…salt…elbow grease? Spring cleaning? What am I getting myself into?

Well, here is a toxin free cleaning lesson for your shower, tub, or sink basin…(DO NOT USE ON PORCELAIN THOUGH!)

  • Cut your citrus fruit in half between the stem and navel.
  • Pour some coarse salt on the fruit.
  • Begin rubbing the surface you are working on in small circles.
  • When the salt is gone, add some more salt until that half of the fruit is mangled.
  • Set it aside. It is not compost yet.
  • Grab the other half and finish off the surface you are working on until you have covered everything.

Let your work sit five minutes.


Do you have a garbage disposal?

Rip up those mangled citrus bits and put them in the garbage disposal. Add ¼ c baking soda and 2 tbsp white vinegar. Let sit five minutes.

(I know, five minutes here, five minutes there, here a min, there a min everywhere a min min…🎵 🎶 🎵 Did you sing that to Old McDonald? I did 😀)

I know, waiting again. But guess what? It is time to go back to what you were cleaning and rinse off the citrus smelling goodness. I love using my removable shower head for this. Hot water is best to use here:

  1. Because it helps enhance the wonderful citrus smell.
  2. And second, because some soap scum won’t budge without a little heat.

Guess what? We can now return to our disposal. Time to turn on the water and get that bad boy running. Mmmmm more citrus goodness!

Just a note, if your disposal is older or low powered you may need to get a cutting board or grater to make small enough pieces for it to handle.

Another quick side note, if you have wooden cutting boards, use these salty mangled bits to clean out onion or garlic smells by grinding the fruit into the board as you are breaking it up into pieces for your disposal. Rinse the board with hot water and let it dry naturally.

You will learn I hate waste. We can find something useful for almost everything! I hope you enjoyed these tips! Please join me again for another one soon. I’ve got many more where these came from and I love to share ideas💡!

Thanks for reading. I love hearing comments, so please drop me a line below!


Is It Real or Is It Memorex?

Recently I wrote a “birthday tribute” on Facebook to my forever love of 34 years. My husband and I started dating when we were 17, high school sweethearts. I was feeling sentimental and wanted to thank him for the ways in word and deed that he loves myself and my family. He is a good, good man. I am blessed and I am grateful.

However, I began to ponder as the days passed, how our social media posts are never an accurate representation of a life, a relationship, an accomplishment, etc. Mine included.

What we see in visual or written form in the cyber world, only ever shows the best versions of ourselves. The happy moments, the sand filled, sunshine laden vacation photos, the children photos of awards and accomplishments, etc.

The result of this can foster a sense of “I am less than.”, “My relationships (marriages, partnerships, children, coworkers) are less than.”, “My life is less than.”

Don’t get me wrong, I LOVE seeing my friends’ and family’s special moments! It makes my distant dear ones feel closer to my heart.

What comes to mind are some of the precious posts from loved ones living afar sharing the pure joy of their wee daughter riding a scooter for the first time or making basketball shots from their couch. These make me smile, warm my heart, and remind me to live life through the eyes of a child, with a pureness of wonder and delight.

But the flip side of that coin however, if left unchecked is an undercurrent of dissatisfaction with our own life. If we spend too much time on social media, we can fall prey to the deceptiveness of one “social media worldview”.

I will use myself as an example.

If one were to judge my relationship with my husband based on the post I mentioned above, one might be left with the illusion of a perfect marriage. Or foster thoughts such as, “I wish….” You get the train of thought.

I have looked at social media posts and caught myself in that mental trap.

However, what you don’t get to see are examples of the days that we are crabby with each other, times that we take a bad day out on the other, times when I am PMS’ing and my family looks at each other and says, “Ohhhh, she must be close to her time of the month.”

Forgive me if you feel that was TMI (too much information). The truth of the matter is, I KNOW I am not alone in these moments. I am not sharing this to disprove or disavow my birthday tribute. I am allowing myself to be vulnerable and share for a purpose.

As with anything worthwhile in life, my husband and I have to work a process to have a healthy marriage. In fact, a marriage without the ups and downs of life and the human frailty that we all display at times in dealing with them is not reality. That, is a Disney movie.

To further my vulnerability, I will share a specific example of what I mean.

A few years back, my husband and I had a DOOZY of a fight. It even has a name that we chuckle over now.

“The Big Flea Fiasco”

Our dog Chester got fleas. My husband and I were both so upset about it, blamed each other, took it out on each other to such an extent that we literally did not talk for 48 hours.

It took that long for us both to calm down enough to talk, to say “I’m sorry”, to deal with the problem, and to examine how best to avoid this in the future.

We had to work past the anger and the “I don’t like you so much right now” to genuinely resolve our conflict through understanding, thinking of the other’s feelings and perspective, and genuinely communicate in order to return to a place of love.

That is healthy. That is real. Not the absence of real life moments.

To foster healthy relationships, I have learned:

* I must be honest with myself. This requires looking in the mirror and acknowledging my part in a conflict or relationship status.

* When I am honest with myself, it always requires an action that may not be the most fun. Example being, “I am sorry.” But it must be spoken from a heart and mind that has calmed down from anger in order to be a pure and genuine apology when we know we have done wrong.

* I push my internal pause button and reflect on where the other is coming from. Looking at a situation or conflict in this manner allows compassion and understanding to soften our hearts.

* I work on leaving defensiveness at the door when difficult conversations take place. This is especially hard for me at times but I am a work in progress as we all are.

* I work to increase awareness of my body language, tone of voice, and facial expressions, for these can inhibit or enhance conflict resolution and healthy communication.

* And lastly, I try to use “I statements” to claim and own the thoughts and feelings I am expressing.

By pondering, writing, and sharing my own vulnerabilities from this post, it is my hope that you will remember that behind every post, is the real, the raw, the human in us all.

It is also my wish, that my vulnerability with you dear reader, will create a greater communal connection in the knowledge that we are not alone in this journey we call life.

Blessings and love dear ones,


Be the Change You Want to See in the World

I have always been a person, for as long as I can remember, that feels things deeply. Like in my heart. My eyes leak (like the Grinch says). At times I have visceral reactions to injustices and other people’s pain.

“And I’m leaking” ~ The Grinch in How the Grinch Stole Christmas by Dr. Seuss

There was a day that I LOATHED this part of me. I did not want to feel so deeply. I didn’t know what to do with the depth and breadth of my emotions. It lead to many problems in my life as I tried to outrun, stuff, not feel what I felt.

Of course, looking back, I understand now that I struggled with depression from my early teens on. That led to an eating disorder and other unhealthy means of coping.

But by working my own process of healing, growth, and recovery I have experienced the peace, joy, confidence, love, and healing that ARE on the other side of the pain. It’s why I BELIEVE in working a process because I know it works. I am living proof.

However, to circle the wagon back to my opening statement about my personal truth… I feel deeply…

I now accept it. It is a part of my makeup. How God created me. Because of that and because of my own life experiences, it keeps me grounded in the human condition, MY human condition.

Why I am writing about this on this beautiful spring like morning, is because my body feels the trouble of my soul.

You see, I am a member of many different Facebook groups and other social media platforms.

This morning I am unsettled by the harsh and cruel comments posted on social media platforms by individuals that I would consider global colleagues.

I am left pondering and grieving and feeling… and asking myself “Why?” and “What can I DO about this?”

I find myself angry, truly angry at what feels like a lack of love and compassion for our neighbors. Not just that however, I realize how harsh, judge-mental, unyielding, dismissive we can often be towards those closest to us.

As I ponder these things, I return to what I have learned. I must first look within. I must start with myself. I must root out the examples of that which bothers me in others and remove it in my own heart and life.

For example, I have always been bothered by those that judge others. Perhaps I have felt judged and it doesn’t feel good.

But guess what? I have discovered that I “reverse judge”.

That’s right. I judge the “judgers” and thereby, dare I be honest enough, to say feel better about myself?

The reality is that I am doing the exact same thing. And worse? Putting myself on a self-righteous platform while doing it.

While condemning those that judge, I am judging those that judge. (I don’t just feel deeply, I think deeply as well. Lol)

This is not the love that I seek to see in the world towards others. It is the opposite. And I do not like to see it in myself.

I am working towards creating my own awareness of when I “reverse judge”. When I recognize it, I no longer accept it. I acknowledge that it is not a mindset or “heart state of being” that is okay with me.

It takes some work I admit. I must push my pause button to examine what is taking place in my own heart. I challenge myself to look at the person and the situation (that I think is judging) from a lens of love, an acceptance of where a person is at.

It is changing the internal place that I function from and I enact new actions that promote love and acceptance.

I Must Live What I Believe

A dear and fellow blogger from Out an About blog (see “Starting Fresh in 2021” link below) talks about cleansing our lives of that which no longer serves us.

I vow to do a “Reverse Judging” cleanse.

I vow to look in the mirror and take a good hard look at what else needs to be cleansed. Because if I want the world to be a little more loving, a little more forgiving, I must start with myself. It is really quite humbling.

But as with any journey worth embarking on, I “know that I know that I know”, it WILL be worth it.

We can change our corners of the world by changing, growing, healing and sharing that with others. Won’t you join me?

Blessings dear ones,


Body Shaming Gets the Boot!

I am fired up as I sit down to write. I want to kick body shaming to the curb, yet again!

Recently I encountered body shaming through the lens of someone I love and adore.

“Body shaming is known as the action or practice of expressing humiliation about another individual’s body shape or size.”

Resource:, “Body Shaming”

When we criticize the outward appearance of self or others, we are body shaming.

My heart beat quickens and my blood pressure rises when I encounter body shaming. This, my body’s visceral reaction.

You see, I struggled with an eating disorder for six years in my teens and early 20’s. I remember all too well feeling completely uncomfortable in my own skin.

It wasn’t just body shaming back then, it was more like body hatred.

It wasn’t until I was in my 40’s that I learned self-love; the kind that allowed me to love and accept my body and my soul. And with that came a mental and emotional freedom that I now cherish and protect.

Here are a few tips on how I kicked body shaming to the curb and how I keep it there.

I accept how God created me, inside and out. Back when I was growing up, I bought into “You can never be too… skinny.” and “Skinny equals pretty, popular, happy, boyfriends, good life…”

This became my motto and my belief system. I had to begin to chip away at the foundation of this belief system to reveal a new truth.

I am ME size! I AM ME SIZE!

And you my friends, are YOU size!

I challenge the “Skinny equals…” destructive path by replacing it with “healing, growth, and recovery”.

Healing, growth, and recovery are what lead to “pretty” from the inside, happiness based on life’s precious moments, excitement in discovering purpose and fulfillment.

THIS is the good stuff, the sweet spot that has NOTHING to do with a number on a scale or the size of clothes.

How about we try this on for size and discover it’s perfect fit!

I recognize and celebrate my own uniqueness and that of others. I look at others through the eyes of my heart and I see their beauty. I really do.

I accept my own short comings (which are many) and my own humanness. I acknowledge, own, apologize for, and learn from my mistakes. I no longer mentally flog myself for days on end.

And I love and accept others where they are at. I meet them there and walk along beside them.

We are all on this journey called life. Human connectedness helps us survive and thrive. Sometimes we loose sight of this, especially during a pandemic.

I recognize and appreciate the gift of life that my body gives me every day I wake. It is not guaranteed. And I remember the feeling of being in the depths of despair. Having walked through the pain to get through to the other side, I cherish each day now.

Without the storms of life, I wouldn’t be able to appreciate the sunshine.

When I hear people body shaming, I gently but firmly put a kibosh to it. If I catch myself body shaming, I put the double kibosh to it.

I understand that what I allow to take root in my thoughts will manifest in my life. I only water the beautiful seeds and pluck out the weeds (the “stinkin’ thinkin’”).

Lastly, I do NOT accept what society tells me is beautiful. I now determine it. I look for it and I see it all around me; in myself, in others, in life’s moments, in nature, in my dear ones.

May you see the beauty in and around you today.

Blessings dear ones,


For more information on body shaming, click the ANAD (Anorexia Nervosa and Associated Disorders) link below.

Last Days to Register for the Virtual Educator Self-Care Support Group! Registration Ends Wednesday, February 17

Click the All Products Button Above to Register Today!

Meet with other educators to strengthen your support systems
Take some time to take care of yourself- YOU DESERVE THIS!

The Joy of Evolving

The original goal for my blog was to write from my heart with a desire to encourage and inspire people in their life journey. 

And I just wanted to write. Because I love writing.

I’m not sure that I’m any good at it but it gives me joy. And thus, this blog began. A journey of my heart.

In the few short months of its existence, my vision has expanded. At first I wanted to inspire by sharing little glimpses of my heart and life and journey. But I realized that along with a desire to inspire, I wanted to share mental health tips and tools with my own stories of what I am learning as I use them.

There is an aspect of vulnerability that I am allowing myself as I write and share. I do so because I want others to know that we are all human.

I am experiencing my own evolution in real time as I post and share.

And then it occurred to me…

You see, I have the MOST AMAZING team that I am blessed to work alongside.

These amazing women have heart my friends. The genuine kind. Authentic. The real deal. ❤️

And the wealth of education, career experience, life experience is immense. I learn from them every day. They inspire me. They challenge me. But most important, they love, accept and support me, their fallible leader. And I like to think I do the same for them. 

So, I have invited them to share with you dear friends. We may cover topics like parenting, early childhood, autism spectrum, ADHD, addictions and recovery, resilience, mindfulness, lifestyle tips and tools, and more. I will support them and celebrate their blogging adventures.

I will be asking each of my team to share a little about themselves. I want you to get to know them as I do. ❤️ And I will dedicate an area of the blog to each, so you know where to find them. ☺️

I am so excited for what is to come. 🌈

Stay tuned dear ones! 




I Want More of That! What Happens When We Apply the “I Think I Can!” Mentality

I have been hard at work with my colleague of late. Our recent project is learning and developing the technology to launch a Self-Care Support Group for educators.

We’ve had to learn about launch sites, internal/external links, landing pages, yada yada yada. My head swims. At the end of a work session I literally am left with brain fog.

I often look something like this…

Have you ever felt like this when working on a project? Or just with life in general?

I am pushing myself out of my comfort zone here. And as I do so, I am working equally hard on myself.

This is what I am learning.

We call it a “comfort zone” for a reason. Doing new things and pursuing new goals and dreams is bound to be uncomfortable, frustrating, painful…

You get the picture.

But I am now settling in to the discomfort. I am learning to be okay with it. I am accepting this as part of the process.

This is a REALLY big deal for me! It has helped me push through my “non-starts”.

This has helped me to move beyond paralyzing self-doubt. And move into “I can do” this thing.

This mentality my friends, is invigorating! And contagious!

A specific action that I am learning to apply with this “I think I can” mentally is:

I am CELEBRATING each little victory! I take a moment to feel good about each new success!

This too is a REALLY big deal for me.

What is happening is:

I am enjoying the journey!

I look forward to tackling the next piece of my projects.

I feel joy.

I feel a sense of accomplishment.

I feel a sense of pride in hard work.

I feel good about myself.

The flip side of that coin was feeling stuck, beating myself up for what I didn’t understand, wanting to believe in myself but giving in to self-doubt.

Try applying these simple tools 🛠 🧰

1. Settle into the discomfort of being out of your comfort zone. It’s part of the process.

2. Celebrate your successes EVERY.STEP.OF.THE.WAY!

You will begin to grow, develop new skills, and gain confidence.

I get REALLY excited about learning and growing! If you know me, this is what happens when this happens. 😂

My motto continues to be… “I want more of that!

Won’t you join me? 😀

Blessings dear ones,

Christine Nicklaus



This year, like so many, I have had my challenges navigating life and a business through the pandemic. You are not alone dear ones.

I would like to share my favorite, most effective tool.

Hint… it has to do with filling the “empty jar” in my mind with positive thoughts, gratitude, and reframing my experiences.

Honestly, I can say that I continue to experience peace and joy in the midst of stress, worries, challenges, and setbacks.

Let me share an example:

In the beginning of our state wide “stay at home” order, our dishwasher died and our wash machine did not drain all the water leaving the clothes a big sopping mess.

Rather than complain, which I wanted to mind you, I switched my thoughts to the following:

Thank God I am healthy and can wash the dishes myself. I am grateful for warm water, soap, and the food I was able to eat on my dishes.”

When I went to put my laundry in the dryer, I thought:

I can’t imagine the women of ages gone by that had to do all their laundry by hand. Thank God for the energy to wring out my laundry 🧺 by hand and the dryer that will dry the clothes I am blessed to wear.

Forgive me if this sounds “Pollyanna-ish”. But truly, it made a difference in my outlook and my ability to cope with these two inconveniences.

Let’s consider the opposite approach for a moment.

I can’t believe it. What a time for not one, but TWO appliances to go on the fritz. This just stinks. I think the whole world is against me. Ugh! Grr!!!” Insert 🤬😡😤 here.

I found myself actually frowning and furling my brow just typing those thoughts.

Even that realization makes me thankful that I did not take that approach! You see, I, like everyone was adjusting to everything that the pandemic required of us. It was not an easy time.

Setting our minds to choosing our outlook each day, boosts our mental and emotional resiliency to handle large and small challenges.

For those that are skeptical, I simply ask you to test it in your life.

Start with a Positive Word/Thought Jar.

Do it for a month.

Pause and reflect.

If you experience a positive difference (lowered stress level, more positive outlook, increased overall sense of well-being), repeat. ☺️

Blessings on your journey dear one,


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