How to Use Charm to Benefit You at Your Next Party

Be a master of the social game.

Fortune Cookie Life Lesson #21

You will always possess a charm and sense of humor that attracts others.

Do charming people have more carefree times in social settings? Thinking about this question gets me thinking how I socialize in specific environments. For the most part, I feel that I am warm and comfortable to communicate with and don’t see myself struggling in this area. I was a personal trainer for nine years and gave seminars where I needed to speak to an audience, and when I first started I was shy and many times would get the butterfly feeling in the pit of my gut before I was to speak. As the years gone by and I kept giving seminars, teaching classes, and working with new people these insecurities disappeared. The one talent I do wish I had more of was that of being charming. What is so wonderful about being charming? I feel that being lovely with those around us can benefit us much especially when it comes to critical social settings such as business meetings. Being charming can bring positive attention to you. This behavior can help make connections that may not have been made otherwise, and will even build one’s self-confidence. Sometimes when I try, I can be a bit socially awkward, and this is something that I know I could benefit from doing in social settings. Here are four ways that I plan on becoming more charming to those around me.

1. Stepping Outside the Comfort Zone

Why must we always step out of the comfort zone to get anything done? If we are comfortable, we won’t try as hard to get what we want. People like to associate with others who think outside the box. Think about the times you have conversations and who you like to talk with, are they boring or are they interesting to you? What makes them that way? Being creative in your discussions brings a little spice of life to the party, and you will get more people interested. Think of fun and creative ways that you can communicate with those around you. If you are at an office party, don’t start the conversation off about work instead find some common interest outside of work to discuss. Talking about hiking on the weekends will be far more interesting than the spreadsheets you look at every day.

2. Listen

Please be a good listener. Listening to those around us can be a hard one to follow and if you are like me and always thinking about what to say next. I have had to practice this one in the last few years and can say that I am grasping at this concept. I never knew how annoying this could be to be in a conversation and not listen till I started catching myself in this dangerous behavior. You will make more friends by lending an ear instead of a mouth. People love those that listen and pay attention to what they are talking about. Many times people don’t listen, and it is scarce to find a good listener. Remember when in a conversation don’t keep thinking about what you are going to say next, you won’t be listening, and that can get you into trouble. Recieve their message in full so that you can give a response that is meaningful to another person.

3. Focus on the Emotions

Make sure to check those emotions at the door. Making sure my feelings didn’t get the best of me was the lesson I learned when I was a trainer. It doesn’t matter what people think of me I can’t be shy and nervous when I needed to be confident and motivating. I would have never kept a client being shy and timid. I had to suck it up buttercup and put on that confident face to get through many of my seminars and sessions. After they were done and I had positive feedback it gave me the confidence to do the next one and pretty soon I no longer needed to check my emotions at the door. Give yourself a break and relax. Being able to relax and not worry about what and how you are going to start a conversation makes communication with others so much more comfortable. Don’t be hard on yourself and have fun in whatever setting you are involved with. If you are fumbling for your words and awkward, this will be a no-win situation for you, and you will inevitably crash and burn.

charm

4. Body Language Says More than you Think

Body language says a lot in a conversation and how you hold yourself will tell others quite a bit about you, and you want to make a good impression. If you stand tall, you are showing confidence. When we stand slouched and hunched over, we may give off the idea there is a weakness. Giving eye contact shows that you are listening and interested in what the other person is saying. Often matching the way others in the conversation are holding their body language will make you and them comfortable.

Everyone can have a certain amount of charm, and it takes a little practice to master the skill. Make sure to get outside of your box and be creative when engaging in a social conversation. Listening to those around us and paying attention to what is being said will make us valuable to those that are telling the story. Make sure to keep those emotions where they need to be and that it is better to be relaxed and confident then it is to be awkward and nervous. Take your body language and make it work for any social situation. Practicing these qualities will bring us closer to being the charming individuals we have always wanted to be.

How to Design a House and Make it Your Own

Add a personal touch to your living space.

Fortune Cookie Life Lesson #18

Keep in mind that home is where your heart is.

How important is it to make a house your own? A home should be where you feel happy and safe. A place where you can go away from all the worldly distractions and breathe. A person’s home has their memories of the life they have lived and loved. Here are ten ways to take any home and make it your own.

1. I love plants

I love plants but plants tend not to like me very well. I am not the best at being a green thumb and have had many failed attempts at keeping greenery in my home. Over the years I have come to realize I do best with plants that are low maintenance. I enjoy succulents especially as they are easy to care for and are very beautiful. Plants clean the air in the home and are aesthetically pleasing to the eyes. Putting a small herb garden in the kitchen will also help with cooking. If you are not too fond of plants putting up plant pictures can brighten up any mood.

2. Decorate in your style

Everyone has there own take on style and using yours will make a home feel more inviting to your senses if you incorporate it. If you are looking to add or replace things in the house, take a look at what you already own and decide if these things are what make you happy. Find the things you already love and work off those and discard the things that don’t connect. Take a mental picture of what you want this room to look like and work off that. It helps if you already have a few things in the space you love, and you can add more to it. Also incorporate the shapes, colors, and textures that make you happy. If you have a room that seems plain add a pop of color or add a different texture and by doing this you will give your space life.

4. Make Your Living Space Comfortable

Comfort is key when living in a house. I prefer my home to be comfortable especially after a long day. I like a place to relax and put up my feet and enjoy the remainder of my day in a peaceful setting that is warm and inviting. Add pillows to couches, chairs or beds. Pillows are always welcoming and who doesn’t love a beautiful soft pillow? Blankets are the bomb especially if you are coming home on a cold and blustery day. I am very picky when it comes to blankets and bedding and prefer softness to the touch. One of my favorite comforting blankets I own is a Berkshire Blanket. They are soft and keep you nice and toasty. You can wash them, and they stay the same just as you bought them. If you have hardwood floors, get an inviting rug that feels great on the feet, and place a lovely lamp on a side table for evening reading.

5. Clean Your Home

A clean home is a happy home. Keeping your home clean and organized will help you relax after a long day. Clutter is chaos and if you don’t get a handle on the clutter how can you have space to give you the peace you need. You don’t have to be a clean freak either to keep your home clean. Back in the day, I would slave all day to clean my house to perfection. I did chores that merely only had to be done once a week, and I found I caused more chaos for myself when that is all I would do is clean all day. I never gave myself a chance to enjoy life. Nowadays I don’t have enough hours in the day to be the cleaning freak I used to be and so I usually only spend 45 minutes to an hour doing the things I consider priorities and whatever doesn’t get done will then move to my preference the next day. It also helps to have a small cleaning crew which I have enlisted both of my children when it comes to laundry, dishes, and bedrooms.

6. Every Item Has its Place

Practicing this method can also help keep your home nice and tidy. Make sure that you don’t fill your house with too much stuff. My family has been guilty of this, and the last couple of years I have taken a minimalist turn in the way I live, and this is by far a way better option. I make sure every item in the house has a place to go, and if it does not, I will then decide if something needs to go so that I can find a place for this item. By making sure each possession has its spot not only does it keep the clutter out but I feel it will also help you from spending extra on the things you don’t need. An excellent example of this is clothing. I will only buy new clothing when I need to replace an item. If my jeans have holes or my top is too worn to wear I will replace it and not discard the object that is no longer needed.

7. If Your Space is Bare Spruce it up

I usually have trouble with making sure my walls are not too bare. If I come across a wall or space that is bare I typically add a cool looking print or maybe add a nice shelf and fill it full of your favorite trinkets or books. It doesn’t take much to make a spot more appealing a little can go a long way.

8. Flowers are a Nice Addition

Not only do flowers make a house smell great they are gorgeous to look at and will boost any mood when walking in the door. My kitchen is pretty dull, and when I need to add some flair to it, I do it with flowers. I love orchids, and nowadays you can find them in exciting bright colors that can catch any eye. Not only are flowers an excellent piece for most any space they are pleasing to smell and can brighten our day.

9. Find an Empty Wall and Decorate It

I did this with our wall that goes to our downstairs, and I will say it is my most favorite spot. I didn’t like the space that it left and decided that I would decorate the wall with pictures in a variety of frames and also some of the artwork that my kids have done. It is by far my favorite decorating spot. Walls are blank canvases, and you can decorate them any way you want. You can also use anything to decorate a wall. Prints, shelves and even plants can be used to put some decoration on your wall. Make your walls your own.

10. All Else Fails Change Your Sheets

I do this quite frequently, and I would say I change my bedding in my house more than anything else to add something new. When my covers start to look drab, and I want to spruce up the bedroom I go new sheets. You can change the color, texture and it does make a difference. I also will add different pillows and maybe a different throw to give it a total bed makes over and who doesn’t love new bedding that is probably my most favorite thing in the world.

When trying to make a home your own remember this place will be a piece of you.  Adding plants and flowers will give you not only a wonderful aroma but adding them can help elevate how you are feeling that day.  Make the space you live about you and what you like and discard the things that you are not so fond of, and of course, try to build a home of comfort that gives you an escape from the rest of the world.  Keeping a clean and clutter free house will reduce stress levels and help keep things organized.  Decorate your walls with pictures or colorful items to add pop to a spot that has been ignored and make sure that your bed make you happy and if it doesn’t change it.  Doing small changes and adding things here and there will take an ordinary home into your extraordinary space.

Beauty Inspiration

What does beautiful mean to you?

Fortune Cookie Life Lesson #8
There is no reference for beauty.

What does it mean to be beautiful? When I first picked this piece of paper out of my jar, I wasn’t sure I was going to be able to write about this. My first thought was when I read this was the phrase “Beauty is in the eye of the beholder.” because many things can be beautiful. It is not just about physical appearance, and many things around us can be considered attractive. There is also more to beauty than just what you see on the outside sometimes inner beauty can outshine what we see on the surface.
Growing up I always considered beauty to be nothing but a physical attribute. I did not find myself a beauty growing up. I was a small red-haired freckle-faced awkward child who shied away from most of the world. Many kids gave me tons of havoc for those physical attributes, so I considered those things a negative trait that I was cursed with. Thinking this, of course, was far from the truth. No one around me ever said I was beautiful so I grew up thinking there wasn’t much to me. With this thought process came lots of uphill battles and it took me a very long time to know and understood what real beauty meant. As I have come along in my life, I have genuinely found a meaning to what I feel beauty is, and I embrace these things every day.
1. Beauty is where I live.
I love where I live. I live in Fort Collins Colorado and this by far is one of the most beautiful places I have ever lived. I love being close to the mountains and being able to take in what is around me. I like to be able to hike a trail to the top and take in the fresh mountain air and the freedom of the wide open spaces. To be able to get to the top and sit and experience a quiet that gives me the most peace and calm.
Take a look around you and recognize the beauty that surrounds you. Everyone’s vision of beauty is different and to be able to stop for a moment and look at the place in which you live and recognize all the things that are around you that make you who you are and take a moment to appreciate these places.
2. Relationships with special people are beautiful.
I adore my relationship with my husband. He is my rock, my support, and best friend. If it were not for him to show me real beauty, I would not be where I am today. Being able to share life with those that are close to you is a beautiful thing. With those we love we get to experience some of the best parts of being.
I feel one of the ways to find beauty in a relationship is to look past the faults of our relationships. Nothing is perfect, and it takes lots of work to make it happen, but once we get past the thinking that everything should be perfect and finding fault we then get to appreciate the ones around us.
When a seed is planted, it needs care and time to grow. Once the seed has sprouted, it then turns into a beautiful flower. We can’t expect our relationships to be beautiful overnight. Just like flowers our relationships need nurturing to grow and become what we have always wanted.
3. My kids are beautiful.
I don’t want to brag, but I do believe I have some beautiful kids. Not just because they are cute but because they are beautiful human beings. I love to watch them grow and learn. Being able to teach them and help them along their path I feel has been my most significant purpose in life.
I want my kids to have a good life. I want them to be able to learn the things that I did not have the chance to learn right away. I want them to know that they are beautiful outside as well as inside and to take those traits with them in their lives. I want them to appreciate the world around them and find beauty in all things. For them to help make this world a more beautiful place would be something I would always hold in my heart.

4. I am beautiful.
A few years ago these words would never venture out of my mouth, and this was something that was hard for me to say, but I didn’t fully understand what that statement meant. One thing that I have learned through all my trials and tribulations is that you can not love others unless you like yourself. Learning to love myself was one of the biggest lessons that I have ever had to learn. I realized a few years ago that I was not doing what I needed to do as a wife, mother, and individual all because I lacked love for myself. I decided to dig deep and reevaluate my life, my upbringing and teach myself that I am worth it. I have worked very hard to get to this point, but I can honestly say that I do love who I have become. I love myself enough to be happy even with my flaws and be able to be the mom and wife that I need to be.
I love myself enough to take care of myself and work hard every day to let that freckled- face red- haired girl know she is beautiful and worth every minute of the day.
There is no reference to beauty. Beauty is not something that can be labeled. We are all different, and all of us have different qualities that add to the beauty of the world. Go out today and find the beauty that surrounds you. Not only is beauty around you but take a look at yourself and know that you are beautiful. There will be days when you will struggle but understand that the days that bring you down the most are the days that bring you strength. Make your beauty your inspiration.