My Daily Observation: 11/15/17



The types of people you allow to have influence in your life is one of the most important decisions you can make.  I’ve heard parents tell their kids “you are who you hang out with” and it is true for adults as well.

Yesterday I sat down with a gentleman who owns an IT business with 2 offices locally.  We spoke about his business for a couple of hours and then wrapped up.  Standing in the lobby of one of the downtown Charlotte high-rises, we began to talk about life in general, the power of words and the power in having a positive mindset.  Our conversation recharged me for the afternoon and filled my emotional and spiritual sails!

The people you allow to have influence over you will steer your life in particular directions.  This is why you must be selective and choose wisely.  If you have people surrounding you who focus on great habits, practice being positive and focus on being productive people, then that reinforcement of those values will have a positive influence on your life.

On the other hand, if you surround yourself with people who practice negativity, people focused on material things, liars, manipulators and the like, then those values will have a negative influence on you.  It will be incredibly difficult to fight that current.

I like being around people who remind me, teach me, coach me and encourage me to remain focused on making sure my mind, body and spirit are aimed in the right direction.

I spent years walking the negative mindset avenue and I have no plans of returning to that route any time soon.


My Top 5 Tips To Build A Thriving Blog



The most common email I get in my inbox is the one that asks a question about blogging.  “How do I grow?”  “How do I get more followers?”  “How do I network with others?”  There are so many of these questions that it is easier for me to answer via a post instead of responding to each of them individually.  I believe that growth comes for some and not for others.  I do not believe that just any blog can be popular, but I do believe any blog can build a following; and the two are vastly different.  With that said here are 5 tips I focus on  to build a thriving blog:

  1. You must interact.  Unless you are incredibly SEO savvy, you are going to have to spend the majority of your time building your blog with grass-roots tactics.  The way I achieved this was by using tag searches and then going through that feed and reading new pages.  I also spent time reading the pages of those people who decided to follow my page.  I then comment and like as I see fit and try to interact on a real level.  I avoided commenting just to show up in notifications as I think this is a bit fake.  I only comment if I feel compelled to comment.  If not I will always leave a LIKE to show my support of said blogger.
  2. Build a community.  When I started seeing my numbers grow it was because I began focusing on building a network of blog friends who cared about the same types of things of which I cared.  They didn’t have to think like me, but they definitely had to share some common bond with me.  To date that bond has been twofold: multiple sclerosis/chronic pain suffers and/or inquisitive people who enjoy getting inspired.  One of my most popular posts day in and day out is the Let Me Ask You a Question post.  When you surround yourself with people who believe what it is that you believe, now you are building a community.  After all, why should anyone care?  When you tap in to getting people to care, half the battle is over.  Next all you have to do is give the a reason to want to return.  Make sense?
  3. Publish content that people want to read and produce it on a regular basis.  Sometimes people don’t engage with a page because the blogger produces crap content.  This is not easy for some people to hear, but in some cases it is the tough truth.  And next of course you must produce regularly scheduled content.  Publishing posts once ever 2 weeks is simply not enough unless the blogger has incredible SEO skills and is driving hundreds of thousands of views via search engines.  I don’t know a lot of top bloggers who don’t produce content on a daily/weekly basis.  And the content MUST add value to people’s lives.  Why should they visit your page?  There are tons of blogs on the internet.  If you are not producing relevant, value-adding content then maybe you need to adjust your focus?
  4. Connect with bloggers that have what it is that you want.  What you want depends on you and your goals.  If you want a blog that gets tons of interaction, then email a blogger you know who gets a lot of comments and build a relationship.  Watch what they do and use their example as a way for you to develop your own plan.  Ask them if it is okay if you email questions so you can learn, but be careful not to overstep your welcome.  I have learned that it might take you emailing quite a few bloggers so don’t get discouraged if the first few don’t respond.  When I first began blogging, Jason over at Harsh Reality took me under his wing so-to-speak and allowed me to email on a regular basis.  He taught me some of the finer points of networking, producing content, SEO, Alexa tips, etc.  We talked about a lot of stuff and I took copious notes every time he opened his mouth.  What I wanted was to have a huge following and at that time he had 50,000 followers and I had a few hundred.  Because of Jason’s help and a lot of hard work I am now over halfway to my goal of reaching 100,000 followers.  But you will have to determine what you want for your page and then befriend someone who has what it is that you want; which might have nothing to do with the size of the blog.  That is the beautiful thing about a blog…you can make it whatever you want it to be!
  5. Stay active, stay consistent.  This is the toughest tip of all.  Why?  Because this requires a blogger to blog every single day.  Blogging for me is not a part-time interest.  Since I started my page in November 2014 I have never taken a day off.  I’ve had days of lower activity, but never a day when I ignored my page.  Also, blogging is not writing as some might think.  Blogging is a verb which includes producing content, reading other pages, commenting on friend’s posts, liking posts, finding new pages that interest you, etc.  Blogging is a verb which means it is so much more than writing.  I believe writing and blogging are completely different things which is why so many authors struggle when it comes to blogging; you don’t have the luxury of publishing a post and then watching the masses flock to your page.  As a blogger you must be present on a consistent basis.  Think of your blog as a store front in a mall.  If people are in the mall and your shutters are pulled shut, then people will walk past.  But if the doors are open, people will more likely step in and say hi.  You must be present and you must participate every single day.

If you interact, work to build community, publish content that people enjoy, connect with successful bloggers and participate in blogging every day, then I believe you are on your way to building a blog that will thrive.  All you need to do is define what you expect from the word “thrive” and you will be off and running.

One last bit of advice.  Be patient.  Blogs are not built overnight.  It takes time to reach blogging goals so keep at it and stick to your plan.  You’ll get there, but it’s not magic; it will take time.  Have a wonderful Saturday!


My Daily Observation: 11/6/17



When life feels complicated or things are not going as you had hoped, sometimes it is best to reduce things down to the bare bones and get back to the basics.  I’ve always said this in the past to golfers in golf instruction: “Go back to the fundamentals when everything seems to be falling apart.”

This past weekend I did this with my blog.

For the last few months I would say I have been struggling with blogging; I felt like my page had become a little stale.  So on Thursday I told everyone that I would be returning to some of the types of posts that I published in the beginning days of Dream Big and boy did you guys respond!  The Share and Meet and Greet posts were wildly visited and it reminded me of the simple principle I mentioned above.

Life isn’t always super complicated.  Often times we compound our problems by lumping many problems into one so that it appears as if things are really worse than they might actually be.  It helps me to do a few simple things:

  1. Stop and breathe.  This might sound silly to some, but the point is to stop thinking for a moment and take a quick second to collect yourself.
  2. Stop asking others for their opinion or advice.  Too many voices is never a good thing so eliminate the exterior noise.
  3. Reduce the situation down to its basics.  So many times issues can seem much bigger and much more complicated so try to cut through all the “what ifs” to see the problem for exactly what it is.
  4. Look at the problem as an outsider and try to give yourself the same advice you might give a friend if they were going through the same issue.  This is one of my favorites and I use it often.  That is, right after I remind myself of step 1!
  5. Sometimes you don’t or can’t have an immediate solution so don’t think about fixing the problem.  Instead, try to determine what the next best step might be and focus on that.  Problems sometimes can seem overwhelming or frustrating and focusing on “how am I going to fix this” only makes things worse.  The better question is “what is my next best step?” and I find it reduces a lot of stress and anxiety.

I used these when thinking about my blog page over the last week and I was able to realize it was time for me to get back to the basics of my early years.  Guess what?  It worked or is working so far.

Try not to be your own enemy is these situations.  Turn the brain off and reduce things down a bit.  I think you might find that most problems are made worse by our brains!

Just a quick thought for a Monday morning!  Hope you have a great week and be sure to say hi.  I’d love to know some ways you make complicated things simple.



Let Me Ask You A Question – 10/30/17



Let me ask you a question:

What would be the worst thing to hear as you are going under anesthesia before heart surgery?  

Review; Maroon 5: “Red Pill Blues”

What's So Special About Music Anyways?

“Best 4 U” starts with a simple melodic figure through instrumentation and electronics that establish a faint groove that holds firm throughout the whole song. Vocals for the first verse join in quickly after, and these vocals emulate the relaxed vibe that the instrumental section has previously introduced. Throughout the selection, the band toys with the adding and subtracting of instruments; however, the instrumental part of this selection is primarily minimal so the vocals are clearly heard, and the vibe can remain mellow.

“What Lovers Do” features SZA, and it starts with a small, single tone motive that leads into the first verse that has a more upbeat back-track compared to the precious track. The background music to this song is minimal; however, it supplies a thicker groove that helps it to remain upbeat throughout the entire work. The lyrics of this song aren’t overly comprehensive, but they are quite…

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Pad Thai and Paddling at Karon Beach

Keeping up with Kulsum

The island of Phuket has a grand total of 36 beautiful beaches, all with soft, white sand and clear, blue sea. Ranging from beaches with restaurants, bars and buzzing nightlife to hidden spots offering ultimate seclusion, there is something to suit everyone. We opted for a beach that presented the best of both worlds: Karon Beach. This is one of Phuket‘s more popular beaches but is big enough that it never feels crowded.

To get to Karon Beach we took the local blue bus from Phuket Town. This is a great option costing only about 20 Baht (~£0.50). The journey took around 40 minutes and dropped us offjust in time for lunch.

A major factor in our decision to visit Karon was The Pad Thai Shop; a local, modest restaurant rumoured to serve the best pad thai in Phuket,and maybe even the world!

The kitchen…

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My sister Phillo is heartbroken today. David Cassidy was her teenage idol. She had posters of him all over the bedroom wall and on the ceiling.  Da used to go mad at her for ripping the paint off  with the sellotape…

David Cassidy 2

  • David Cassidy but Bernie, can you believe it?
  • Too sad Phillo…too sad
  • When I hear him singing, it’s like I’m fourteen again
  • I remember you and your mates going mad for him on The Partridge Family
  • Keith, he was gorgeous
  • Keith?
  • Keith Partridge, that was his name in the show
  • Ah I’m a bit too young to remember that Phillo
  • Feck off, you’re not that much younger than me
  • I do remember him on Top of The Pops alright
  • My teenage crush
  • Da said he looked like a girl
  • The cheek of him
  • Just because he had long hair
  • …and wore a pink shirt
  • Sure aren’t all the young…

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Leave Me A Link and I’ll Reblog Your Page!


I’m reblogging while on vacation so take advantage of this opportunity and leave me your link to share!

If you feel so inclined you can share this post with your readers.

I’ll Share Your Post…Click Here!!

Blog Networking: 11/23/17


Blog networking is one of the most undervalued and underused strategies for most.  But I believe it is at the core for growing a blog.

You will find links in this post to help eliminate some of the work; all you have to do is LIKE, COMMENT and FOLLOW others. The more you network with other blogs, the more other blogs will network with you!


A Christian In Bloom

Pearls Before Swine

Rafa Farihah

Advocate for Mental Illness


The Courage To Shift

Who’s My Favorite Today?

The Purple Almond

are you beautiful? – simply apoorva


if you’re reading this, you’re either a beauty enthusiast who stumbled upon my blog by chance or are my husband because its mandatory for you to read and point out any error whatsoever, for even i should benefit from you being an editor professionally. but because fate brought you here (…or i forced you) to read this, i just wanted to take a moment to…

via are you beautiful? – simply apoorva

Wednesday’s Word


Wednesday’s word is…….wait for it………thanksgiving! 🦃🦃❤️❤️

I like this quote: “Gratitude is not only the greatest of virtues, but the parent of all the others.” — Cicero

(According to Wikipedia, Marcus Tullius Cicero was a Roman politician and lawyer, who served as consul in the year 63 BC. He came from a wealthy municipal family of the Roman equestrian order, and is considered one of Rome’s greatest orators and prose stylists.)

One of the email devotions I read on a daily basis is from the Ravi Zacharias international ministries. I wanted to share today’s post by Margeret Manning Schull titled “Finding Gratitude”.

“Interestingly, recent studies have concluded that the expression of gratitude can have profound and positive effects on health, mood, and social connections. In one study on gratitude, researchers randomly assigned participants to groups given one of three tasks. Each week, participants kept a short journal. One group…

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Meet and Greet Link

The Meet and Greet continues today through Thanksgiving Day so be sure to jump in and have some fun!

And don’t forget, you can leave your link multiple times!!

Meet and Greet Link

Which Leper Are You This Thanksgiving?

The Light Breaks Through

lightstock_370168_small_byrene_haneyOn the way to Jerusalem he was passing along between Samaria and Galilee. And as he entered a village, he was met by ten lepers, who stood at a distance and lifted their voices, saying, “Jesus, Master, have mercy on us.” When he saw, them he said to them, “Go and show yourselves to the priests.” And as they went they were cleansed. Then one of them, when he saw that he was healed, turned back, praising God with a loud voice; and he fell on his face at Jesus’ feet, giving him thanks. Now he was a Samaritan. Then Jesus answered, “Were not ten cleansed? Where are the nine? Was no one found to return and give praise to God except this foreigner?” And he said to him, “Rise and go your way; your faith has made you well.” Luke 17:11-17
Sigmund Freud had a horrible cancer to his mouth…

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Black Friday Deals and Steals


Thanksgiving is coming up and as much as I’m looking forward to cooking up a feast for my family, I’m especially excited about the Black Friday shopping. There are so many trends I’ve been eying at Zara, Forever 21, and more. Although many stores mark up their items before adding on a “holiday discount,” some sales are just too good to pass up.


 As if their clothes aren’t cheap enough, Boohoo is offering 60% off its entire store on Black Friday. You can get most of the tops, dresses, and jackets for $10 or less. Definitely a steal!


Shein is one of my favorite online stores. Starting Thanksgiving Day, Shein is offering 60% off its entire store, along with a BOGO 99% off deal for some items. Make sure to snag their tops and sweaters for $5-$10!

10% off if you order using a new email

$10 off…

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