Meaning of Life

A few weeks ago, I went to an event at Jared’s school where a professor was giving a speech to future students. I hear you okay: “Ah, a speech, how boring! Bla! What a waste of time!” But I have to say that I was stunned. He talked about his life and how he turned it around when he was in his 40’s. The professor, lets call him Dr. Bob, mentioned different motivational sources. I was very impressed by his story. One of the sources he mentioned was Marshall Brain. I decided to do some research on Brain and found tons of stuff and just started reading. Marshall David Brain is an American author, public speaker, and entrepreneur, a former college instructor and computer programmer. Brain is the founder of HowStuffWorks. Dr. Bob, as well as Marshall Brain, are great examples of success stories. Work hard, be smart and act loyal – that way you will find your path and reach your goals.

I stumbled over another website by Marshall Brain – d2bb.org (Deciding To Be Better). This is a motivational blog, that will help you to become the best human being possible. It gives you a platform to make positive changes in your community and our world as a whole. The ultimate goal is to be a force for self-improvement, goodness and togetherness that helps humanity to eliminate evil. In one of his blogs he talks about meaning of life. You should not ask what the meaning of life is! What you actually should ask is; What is the meaning of MYlife! Did you know that the average life expectancy is 82 years old? That means we have an average of 30,000 days on earth. Think about how many days are already passed. Did you use your past days in a smart way? By now have you brought meaning to your life?

Marshall Brain points out four different ways how to give your life a meaning.

Way 1 – Generosity, Giving: I read an awesome story about this 14-year-old homeless girl and how she finds her way back just with some help. A man, that calls himself WarToad, recognized this girl on a nasty and cold day, sitting outside in the cold, holding on to something while begging for money. WarToad went over to her and gave her $5. Suddenly he realizes that the thing she was holding on to, was her 2 month-old baby. Makayla ran away from home with $5000 she stole from her parents. Here she was, one year later, hopeless, scared, hungry – holding her everything in her arms. He bought her groceries, diapers and formula for the baby. Then he took her for dinner. They started talking and she told  her story. He convinced her to call her parents – her mom answered – when she realized it was her daughter, she started crying. The end of the story – WarToad bought Makayla a bus ticket and she and Joe (her baby) went back home. Every year for Christmas WarToad gets a card from Makayla. She’s 21 now and in college. (read the full story here)  How would that make you feel? Generosity and giving are ways to give MY life a meaning!

Way 2 – Design: The second way is pretty simple. Design your own life! Brain says it really nicely – your life is a series of choices. Your life is a series of opportunities. Your life is a series of decisions. Your life is a series of actions. You control your life, and its meaning, with your daily actions. We often ignore that. Many people often go through life and completely miss it. Please ask yourself this key question: What will I do with my existence? We have 30,000 days to think, to imagine and to dream. Take the option to make choices in everything we do!

Way 3 – Projects: Everyone is taking on different projects during their lifetime. You can change lives with taking on a project. Take a look at Albert Einstein; he changed millions of lives. Think of the thousands of authors and artists who have enriched our lives and brought clarity to complicated issues. Are you working on your project?

Way 4 – Unity: There are 7 billion of us living on this peppercorn floating in space. We are born, we live, we die. Shouldn’t we all pull on the same string? Shouldn’t we all have the same goal? We should be a team but we don’t act like one. When people come together in groups with common goals and common purpose, we often are able to accomplish amazing things. What do we hope to accomplish as a species? How can we work together to achieve those goals? Our individual lives would have much more meaning if we did this, because we are each playing a part in this larger effort. What IS our goal as a species?

Everybody has to discover their own way to find the meaning of their lives. But you only have 30,000 days. Live healthy – that way you have that many more days on earth and can find the meaning of YOUR life! Don’t waste it and stop putting things off 😉 ! If you found already the meaning of your life, I would love to know. You can leave comments or email me.

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Casual or Chic with one Dress

I hope everyone stayed safe and dry over past few days. Florida weather is nasty right now – but that’s how summer in the sun state works, right?! For nicer days with lots of sun and no rain, I have two cute outfits that I found on Shopstyle. You have a great day. Don’t forget to smile! 😉

Wet Seal, Big Buddha, jcpenney, Topshop, Leslie Danzis

ShopStyle

My gorgeous step-daughter Elle

I met Elle when she was 5 years old. She flew all the way from Michigan to Orlando by herself to see her daddy. Today Elle is 9 and she continues to impress everybody around her, including me. She lives with her mommy, step-dad and little sister in Michigan and for every summer vacation, Thanksgiving, Christmas or Easter she comes all the way to Florida. Everybody here gets so excited to spend time with her, especially her grandparents, aunts, uncles, and cousins! Elle is such a joy to be around.

Elle is going to be in 4th grade after the summer. We can’t believe how fast the time is flying by. When you ask her what she wants to be when she grows up – you will hear: “I want to be a teacher!” This summer she has a chance to help in her Nanie’s school. Elle is a very bright 9-year-old. She enjoys playing with friends and helping other kids. If you ask her what her favorite thing to do in Florida is – she will answer straight forward: “SWIMMING!” And all that with the biggest smile you can imagine. Last summer she was able to meet her German side of the family. My parents, her Oma Karin and Opa Harald, as well as all the rest of the family were looking forward to meet her. She had a blast and left more than just a big positive impression – everybody fell in love with her! Back home in Michigan she lives on a big farm. She loves her country life as much as she does the city life in Orlando, but one person she dearly misses is her baby sister Lauren. Sometimes Elle helps feed the chickens and cows, but her new favorite animal is Daisy, aka Lucky, a white kitten.

This summer Elle will spent a week with her Nana and Grandaddy at the beach. She loves the beach. Besides being a great swimmer, she loves playing soccer, dancing, reading and is great at entertaining you. Her best friend Erin can definitely be a happy girl because if you have Elle on your side you are good to go, even on those snowy days in Michigan 😉  I am very proud to call Elle my step-daughter! You are beautiful inside and -out. I love you Elle!

I am back with some stripes

I am back 😉 Today with some stripes. It’s been a little crazy the last couple of weeks, but I don’t want to complain. It’s better to be busy, be a help for others, be creative, get work done, or get your life straightened out, then bored and not knowing what to do with your life. If you have such a day, when you don’t know what to do, get pretty, dress up, make yourself feel good and get out there. Don’t even think about wasting one day of your life! Color, floral print, stripes or even just a clean white can change your whole view of the day.

 Sometimes all you need is a cute shirt, some heels, and cute earrings then you are all set to go. My navy-blue heels I got from Payless.  They have some sweet shoes for the summer, just take a look! 😉 White shorts you can find pretty much everywhere. Me personally, I need well fitted ones. If not, it drives me nuts. I believe I bought my white shorts from Kohl’s. Also the earrings and the watch I got for a steal from Kohl’s, from the sales rack. My gorgeous flower ring I got from a dear friend. And last but not least, the blue-white stripes shirt is from New Yorker, on my last Germany trip. So get up, get dressed, and make everyday a good day!

Happy Father’s Day and congrats to Germany

Happy Sunday everybody. I hope you all had a great weekend so far! America is celebrating Father’s Day, Germany is celebrating the Europe Cup. Today’s inspiration was the game, Denmark vs. Germany 🙂 The Germans won again! {happy}

Lets talk some fashion now. Here we have a simple black dress. I just took some color to spice it up. Blazers, jackets or a vest can change a whole outfit. If you don’t like colored pants and shorts or don’t like floral dresses – no problem, just add color with accessories, jackets, shoes and what not. Just try it. I bet you’ll like it.

business casual in black and red or black and yellow
Octavia, Kate Spade, Carven, Brahmin, Charlotte Russe

Dress Up the Blue Denim

I am deeply in love with colored pants. Don’t look for colored shirt and blouses, look for colored bottoms! I saw this perfectly fitted, turquoise denim pants and feel the urge to buy them now 🙂 Today I would like to show you a more classic style. Give your business look a nice color splash with your bottoms. I think the adorable bow-blouse works well in combination with this petite, black blazer. It makes the whole style look very chic. Just add some long earrings, maybe hoops, with matching bracelets to give it that final pop. You could also add a watch if you like wearing them.

Dress Up the Blue Denim
Balenciaga, Aldo, Metradamo, Michael Kors

One Yellow Dress – Two Shiny Outfits

Hey there, since I do not have much time right now to get a photo shoot done, I decided to give you some inspirations with a new passion of mine that a friend showed me, www.shopstyle.com. You can create super cute outfits for any occasion.

looks for every day
MICHAEL Michael Kors, Tignanello, Kelsi Dagger
 

I found this cute yellow dress. I think it’s perfect for summer and with a nice tan it literally makes you shine. Let me show you two different looks with one outfit. I chose a lot of color for both, the more chic turquoise-yellow variant and the casual red-yellow style. I see myself wearing the yellow dress with the turquoise accessories for an appetizer and a cocktail with friends. The red accessories I would chose for a nice shopping day. Comfortable sandals for painless feet and a clutch, because that’s all you need and for bright summer days some stylish sunglasses.

“Must-haves” for Summer 2012

If you are like me, then you want to have it all, but not everything fits me well. Here are some fun and trendy things you might want to keep watch for this season. Lets start with the color trends.

The big color trend this season is mint green. You probably noticed the shelves are already stocked up with different mint shades. Let me give you some ideas…

Another trend color this summer, especially in handbags and shoes is neon’s. You can find bright blues, yellows, greens, oranges, and hot pinks – of all of these colors, the most popular is orange.

neon
Charlotte Russe, Steve Madden, jcpenney, Mng
Blazers
<a style=”color: #606060;

ShopStyle

Believe it or not, but it’s time to rest  your feet. Kitten heels are back. The kitten heel is a good choice this season. They are feminine and classic, as well as comfortable.

kitten heels
Joan & David, Pierre Hardy, Sesto Meucci, Salvatore Ferragamo

If you didn’t notice, I will tell you know now: stripes are back in different colors, shapes, and sizes. Just a couple of months ago I would have never imagined myself in stripes. You always hear horrible stories about how they make you look and I have to say I would still not wear everything. It is what it is, not everybody is made for everything 😉  and I am good with that – now. I still have my moments when I see something and I really want to wear. Deep inside I know it will look disheveled, but I still try it on. Well, I should know better, because most of the time I end up with a sad face.

Everyone is blogging about it and a few are wearing the next style: floral print. I like looking at them, but I have to admit I don’t have any yet – not yet 😉

flower print
Coloriffics, Forever 21, Lafayette 148 New York

Another big come-back – the high-waisted pants. I like wearing this style of pants with a nice pair of heels, just to give the old look a bit of a touch up with some flair. The new flare pants, as a rule, have loops for a skinny belt, so you can spice up the look with a flashy thin belt.

high-waisted pants
Levi's, Charlotte Russe, Asos

The one thing that is on my shopping list for summer is a colored blazer. You can change-up a simple outfit with a splash of color in a nice blazer.

colored blazer
Charlotte Russe, Fred Flare, Aqua

The last “must-have” I would like to share with you is the famous and loved maxi dress. You can used it for every occasion and it’s the most comfortable outfit. I love them and could wear them every day!

What makes the perfect Swimsuit?!

It’s June, it’s summer, it’s sunny, and we have perfect beach-weather – of course I am in Florida and we always have great beach weather. If you wonder – yes, we went to the beach again. Our favorite is Cocoa Beach especially because it is close by, but I also like Clearwater Beach; it’s just a little further away from where we live. The beach was busy, I mean really busy. Kids are out of school, tourists start their vacation, and locals enjoyed a nice day at the beach. I love looking around and finding all kinds of different swimsuits – different colors, different cuts, something for every body-type. And then it hit me: I realized, that I got my last bikini 2 years ago. Can you believe it? 2 years ago! Swimsuit shopping has got to be one of the most hated shopping experiences for women. It certainly is for me by now.

Over the past years I got a nice collection of bikinis so I should actually have enough to choose from, but over the last 2 to 4 years my body changed and I am not just talking about gaining and losing weight. Let’s take a look…

So I tried them all and be surprised or not, but I might wear 3 or 4 out of my 17 bikinis. Since my last bathing suit shopping experience is quite a while ago, I made myself go last weekend and let me tell you the things I learned from it. Usually, when you are going to purchase a new swim suit, then most of the time you are about to go on a trip, meaning your skin hasn’t been exposed to sunshine and lacks a glowing tan. Those factors make it hard to find a suitable piece, and on top of that you start paying even more attention to the wrong things.

Know your body and how to dress it.

How to Determine your Body Shape

  • Shoulders, waist and hips are about the same width = Rectangle
  • Waist is wider than hips and shoulders = Apple (sometimes referred to as an Oval)
  • Shoulders are narrower than hips (or measurements get larger from top to bottom) = Pear (also referred to as Triangle)
  • Shoulders and waste are about the same width but waist is smaller =Hourglass 

Source

Rectangle

If you are a rectangle you want to create an illusion of a waist. Monokinis are perfect for that. The cutouts create the curves. Large patterns ruffled tops and rings holes are also a nice help. Some tops that have wide or low necklines like V-neck or U-neck to break up a wide torso or elongate your upper body.

  

Apple

Define your waist and create a balance if you are an apple. Hip length tops and tunics help create balance. Select tailored tops made of crisp materials instead of items that are clingy. V-neck tops are also a great option for you.

  

Pear

This one is the most most common shape among women. You again want to create visual balance and to do so you want to draw attention away from your hips and emphasize your upper body. To help that, select tops that are bright colors, have eye catching designs (ruffles, detailing, etc), have wide necklines (boat neck, cowl neck) or are strapless. There are two aspects to the pear shape swimsuits.  For most pears, there bust is very small.  Bandeaus and ruffles will add volume to the bust.  Pears are also tend to have big hips and thighs.  String and bikini bottoms are perfect for lengthing legs and making the hips appear smaller.

  

  

Hourglass

You can pull off just about any swimsuit style. Go sleek with one color or be daring in a fun-loving print. String bikinis allow you to select a size for curvier hips and halter tops or a deep plunging neckline looks good too.

  

After all the good advice, tips, and ideas let me show you the one I got. By the way, I am a pear like Sandra Bullock, Jennifer Lopez, Christina Aguilera and Shakira.  😉

Showing off my White Dress

Here it is: we have June of 2012. Can you believe how fast this year is going by? Even more a reason to enjoy every minute of the day, no matter how rainy it is! It is crazy how one minute of your life can affect the next million!

Today I am wearing this beautiful white dress from JCPenney. I love wearing it. JCPenny has a June-Sale going on – 20% -30% discount of already low-priced items. The dress you can combine with pretty much everything – dress it up with heels (like mine from dots) and nice jewelry, or dress it down with some sandals and maybe a denim jacket or a scarf. The purse I found at H&M.  They have those in all kinds of different colors in the stores – go and check it out! H&M has super cute clothes, gorgeous accessories, and good deals.  

The beautiful necklace I am wearing is from a friend. She loaned it to me and said I should post it on my blog. She bought this gorgeous piece from a fundraiser at the Chicago Roberto Clemente Health Advisory. I am honored to show it of.