All posts by Elle

3 SureFIRE Ways to Keep your COOL!

how to keep your cool Responsible, Cool, Level-headed, Even- tempered…these are all words that people have used to describe me.  I consider myself to be the calm in the storm; the person that everyone gravitates to for sound advice when things get a little hectic.  And let me tell you, that doesn’t always go over well!  For instance, it gets on my mom’s nerves sometimes! LOL!  She likes a reaction!  If she’s upset with something, she wants me to show the same level of emotion as her!  Don’t get me wrong, I believe that emotion is good!  It’s great actually!  We are all human.  There are things that will make us happy, sad, mad, excited, confused, etc.  We are extremely complex, so it’s natural for us to experience and display a range of emotions.  But one thing I’ve always worked on is making sure that people, things, and situations don’t get the best of me.  I never want to be so affected by someone else’s actions, situations, or the lack/abundance of things that my emotions go haywire every time the wind blows!

Life is a beautiful complexity, isn’t it??  We have control over nothing and at the same time have control over everything!   On one hand, we don’t know what’s going to happen from day to day, hour to hour, or minute to minute.  On the other hand, we have control over ourselves!  In this crazy, unpredictable world, you have the power to control you. .. control your thoughts, actions, and words.  The way you view situations, the way you handle adversity, the way you handle blessings, the things you say… everything you do shapes your reality.  We all represent different threads that make up the fabric of the world in which we live.  Although there are things we can’t control, so much of what we do as individuals impact the world around us.  Don’t let the world change you, you change it!  Remember, a thermometer changes based on the environment in which it is emerged, a thermostat sets the temperature and controls the environment in which it is used! Have a thermostat mentality… set the atmosphere, don’t let the atmosphere set you!!

3 SureFIRE Ways to Keep Your COOL!

  1. Focus on what you can control- Why stress over something that you have no control over?  It will only make you more upset!  Focus on what you can do and do it.  It will give you a sense of control, accomplishment, and progression.
  2. Understand that in every situation, you win-   Regardless of the situation you encounter, good or bad, you learn something.  And you know what they say, when you know better, you do better… and with that YOU will definitely become BETTER!  We can all agree that becoming a better person is always a WIN, right?!
  3. Be Grateful- You may not have been expecting this tip, but it’s probably the most important one of them all.  There is always somebody dealing with issues and situations that are worse than yours.  When you keep this in mind, it will put everything back into perspective.  It will take you from the mindset of “why me?” to “why not me?”  When you get to that train of thought, you begin to go back to Step 1- Focusing on what you can control…and doing it!

Now go out there and be COOL!

Elle Zsanee

Why Being USED can be a Good Thing

AuuBannerImage2011FBProfileWhen I was younger, I always made sure my homework got completed on time and studied for every test.  Well since everyone knew that, a few would want to copy my homework or cheat off of my test…and I wasn’t having that! LOL!  My philosophy was, “Oh no! You’re not going to use me!  I didn’t work my behind off while you were out having fun so that you could just copy my work!”  Years later, I noticed that I developed a problem with sharing, always afraid of being taken advantage of.

So fast-forward to today, one day before the one month anniversary of the loss of my stepfather.  Sometimes that word “stepfather” can have a negative connotation, like it’s a step below or beneath your biological parents.  So I’ll call him my “bonus” Dad!  He was in my life since the age of 1 years old.  With Father’s Day around the corner, it hit me while I was shopping for Father’s Day cards that I don’t have to get two cards this year.  I usually get one for my Dad and one for my “Bonus” Dad.  I can’t lie; I shed a couple tears walking out of the store that day because the fact of the matter is… he’s gone.  I’m pretty sure that when his birthday comes around and when we hit the major holidays it’s going to be tough.  But one thing that gives me joy is that he’s basking in the glory of HEAVEN!  And we will definitely meet again!

With the death of my “Bonus” Dad and the recent death of Dr. Maya Angelou, it really hit me, more than ever, that life isn’t promised.  We won’t be here forever.  God has blessed us with so many gifts and talents and has provided an abundance of wondrous things in this world for us to view and explore.  Don’t be afraid to share what God has deposited in you because you’re afraid of people taking advantage of or belittling what you have to offer!  Get used up!!  When your time has come, you shouldn’t want there to be anything left to give!  Live life in a way so that everything that God has deposited in you will be planted as a seed which will grow and bless many generations after you!!  Be USED, Be BLESSED, and Be a BLESSING!

Elle Zsanee

Why the idea of being #1 Scares You?

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The word “first” according to the Merriam-Webster dictionary, is defined as preceding all others in time, order, or importance.  “Afraid” is defined as feeling fear or anxiety; frightened.  The root of fear is most commonly the unknown; and  let’s face it, I don’t care how much of a daredevil you are, we all want to have a slight idea of what to expect when going into a situation!

As you continue reading, keep these three words at the forefront of your mind:

  1. First
  2. Afraid
  3. Unknown

The African American Network at my company hosted a Black History Celebration honoring elementary students who wrote essays regarding influential African Americans in our history.  Garrett Johnson, CEO and co-founder of SendHub, was invited to be the guest speaker.

Initially I was expecting Garrett’s speech to be centered only on SendHub.  However, it was an extremely inspiring speech on how he went from being an undergraduate at Florida State University to a Rhodes Scholars Recipient (1st African American Male at FSU), to the Senate, and now an entrepreneur!  The most inspiring piece of advice that he gave was simply this:

“Never be afraid to be the first.”

As simple as that may sound, so many of us have not taken action on our dreams and our passions because we’re afraid to be first; afraid of the unknown.  Being first, means being a trailblazer.  Being a trailblazer means blazing a trail of unknowns.  Blazing a trail of unknowns can make us afraid.  It can be a trail of being the first person in your family/social circle to: graduate from college, create a new invention, become a multimillion dollar entrepreneur, become a famous actor/actress, and the list goes on and on…

Don’t let the fear of the unknown be the reason why your dreams continue to be just that….dreams and NOT a reality!! Never be afraid to be different, to be bold, to be singular…to be the FIRST!

Garrett Johnson, CEO and Co-Founder of SendHub and I at the Black History Celebration
Garrett Johnson, CEO and Co-Founder of SendHub and I at the Black History Celebration

Be Blessed!

It’s OK to NOT be OK…

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I’m the person people call when they need encouragement.  Whether they are upset, need advice, have relationship issues, career issues, or overall life issues.  This is the main reason why I started this blog.  I believe that I have a God-given gift of being uplifting, positive, and encouraging and I wanted to embrace that fully.  If I can uplift or inspire one person, that is a reward in itself.

Even though I try to maintain a positive attitude, I’m human.  I go through life issues too!  And I must admit, I’m a little tired ya’ll!!  I’m a single woman, and  trying to navigate this single life, while keeping your mind and heart in check can be draining!   On top of that, my Stepdad has been battling cancer for about 2 years now.  It’s not only extremely  tough on him, but the family as well.  An 8-5 job, working on new business ventures, exercising 3 to 4 times a week, participating in community programs,  Sorority commitments, family commitments, etc can  just become a lot to manage at times.

I’ve just been feeling spiritually drained lately.  Have you ever felt tired even though you’ve gotten physical rest?  To me that’s a sign that you are spiritually tired…an inward type of tiredness.  I know I’m not the only one going through life issues, as a matter of fact, I know people are going through much worse.  So all I’m saying is that there are days when I’m not OK, but it’s OK.  We all go through valleys in our lives, we just need to not be consumed by them.  Here are a few steps to help you with “not being OK”…

  1. Admit that you are feeling some type of way.  You don’t even need to know what that “way” is.  But by acknowledging it, you give yourself an opening to explore and understand your feelings freely without any additional feelings of failure, guilt, or shame.
  2. Say a “May I”.  This is something new that I came across while watching a YouTube video of Tracee Ellis Ross.  A “May I” acknowledges where you are at,  yet invites you in a gentle way to where you want to go.  A “May I” can be anything you want it to be.  One of Tracee’s most popular “May I” is: “May the space between where I am and where I want to be inspire me.”  Tracee’s You Tube channel has really been giving me life!  Subscribe to her channel if you want to get great little nuggets of knowledge in a quirky way!
  3. Last but not least, keep God FIRST.  Every time I get out of sorts, it is a direct sign that I’ve taken my eyes off the prize.  Mathew 6:33 says, ” But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you.”  When God is first, he will put all your broken pieces back together in a way that makes an even better picture!  I actually just signed up to do the 3030 Challenge with Joyce Meyer.  It’s time for me to get my focus back in order… God first, and then everything else.  If you would like to take the challenge with me, feel free to sign up here!  Life can be draining at times, and the Word is the only thing that can truly refresh your soul.

Hopefully, after following these steps, you will become much better than OK!  Don’t get consumed in the valley…the mountain top is just ahead!! :-)

Be blessed!

Elle Zsanee

 

 

Valentine’s Day: Are you ready??

As we all know, Valentine’s Day is right around the corner, but are you ready?! Find out how to create and enjoy a romantic retreat without stepping one foot outside your door with the help of Signatures Spaces, LLC.!! I caught up with the owners of Signature Spaces, LLC., Chantel R. Chalwell and Brian R. Porter, to get some tips on how to create a romantic retreat inside the comforts of your own home!! And of course, I’m giving you the scoop on how they’ve been able to find and utilize their gift!! Enjoy!

First, let’s find out more about Signature Spaces, LLC

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Owners of Signature Spaces, LLC: Chantel R. Chalwell and Brian R. Porter

What is Signature Spaces, LLC?
Signature Spaces, LLC. is a home staging and interior redesign business based in the Metro Atlanta and all surrounding areas. The business promotes two aspects, Staging to Sell and Staging to Live. Staging to sell focuses on helping homeowners market their greatest investment by decorating their home that appeals to the broadest number of buyers. Staging to live focuses on refreshing or designing the home that gives that “wow” factor while adhering to the client’s lifestyle and budget. Our mission is to provide design solutions with custom creations.

In your blog posting, Passion is Everything, you said, “When it is all said and done, we all want to find our passion and live our dreams out loud!” I am in total agreement with that statement!! How did you go about utilizing your gift or “living your dream out loud”?
Chantel: “When I figured out what I was passionate about, I was well into adulthood, and at the time it was just a hobby. I didn’t think interior design was within my reach yet alone doing it on a professional level. So I began to research and was thrilled to find out that my passion was not just a hobby anymore but I could actually make a living doing it.” In essence when you make the decision to do what you truly love, you finally begin to live your dreams out loud.

What’s the #1 piece of advice you can give to those trying to find their passion or gift?
Pay attention to the things you do exceptionally well. Things that come easy to you but others may struggle with. God gives us all gifts and special talents. Take the time to observe and recognize what is extraordinary within you. We are obligated in our lives to not only discover our passions but create a path that allows you to find your purpose. If you are willing to do it for (free), without fame or notoriety, stop you may have found it!

What advice can you give to those who are trying to turn their gift into a viable business or better yet, utilize their gift for a larger purpose?
We are put on this earth to serve in some sort of capacity. Whether it is to inspire, challenge, influence, deliver, offer solutions, or perhaps to change an undesirable outcome. Our gifts should be used for the greater good. Even though you may have the natural ability to do something, it is wasted talent if you don’t engage and get in the game (life). In order to be taken seriously, first take the necessary steps. Do your homework and research, chances are there is already a roadmap in place you can follow. Utilize all available resources at your fingertips. Second, hone in on your craft and abilities. Read and study as many articles and publications on your area of expertise you can get your hands. Become the expert, be the go to person, this will not only make your business viable but it also will help set you apart from the benchwarmers. Lastly, invest in yourself and your gift. Adopt the mindset that success is within reach and your return on that investment will be immeasurable.

Here are a few tips from Signatures Spaces, LLC. on how to create that romantic retreat for your special someone….

1. De-clutter and tidy up the room…it should be spotless. No one likes to step on dirty clothes or other unmentionables!

1Clean

2. Place a soft rug on the floor. It not only adds texture to the space, but also gives your feet a warm place to step on.

2Rug

3. Invest in a new pillow. There’s nothing worse than trying to pillow talk with your boo and you’re laying on pancake shaped pillows. Think 4 or 5 star hotels. Luxurious linens, fluffy pillows and soft cashmere throw for cuddling.

3Pillows

4. Consider hanging a canopy, draped with sheer panels. This will add softness and make the bed appear airy and light, while giving the room a focal point.

4Canopy

5. Incorporate a mirrored tray and place it on the night stand. Add to the tray fresh flowers in a vase, along with a bottle of wine and wine glasses. The tray also keeps your side table items neat and organized.

5Wine Tray

6. Create a signature scent in the bedroom. This can be accomplished by shopping at local home décor stores that carry an array of pillow mists, linen sprays and the occasional perfumed sachets or the infamous fragrance plug-ins. My favorite thing to do is to burn a scented candle which makes for a win-win. The room smells divine and the candle light gives off an ambient glow in the space.

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To get the ultimate design experience, visit Signature Spaces, LLC. !!

Be Happy!!

Happy Friday!!!  Enjoy your weekend and most of all ENJOY LIFE!!  Hopefully these simple rules will help you along the way!

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Friday Fun Desserts!

My company recently had a Chili Cook-Off where you could entire either a chili dish or a concoction into the competition.  My team decided to get creative and make a dessert concoction that resembled chili… it was called “Chilly Chili”!!  And let me tell you… it was delicious!!!  We adapted the recipe from the blog Because I’m Me .  We won 1st place in the Concoction Category and 2nd place in the Presentation Category!  Well , it’s finally Friday; and I don’t know about you, but it’s been a long week!  Sometimes we get so caught up in the everyday hustle and bustle , that we forget to relax!!  Relaxing is an essential part of life.  In life we need balance, and you know what they say…too much of one thing (such as work!) is never good!  So make sure you take at least a few moments this weekend to relax and possibly enjoy some “Chilly Chili”!!  See pictures of the award winning “Chilly Chili” below!

NOTE:

*We only used vanilla and chocolate pudding

*We replaced the Boston Baked Beans candy with chocolate M&Ms (just in case someone had peanut allergies)

* We created Cinnamon Tortilla Chips to dip into our “chilly chili” (very tasty!)

Chilly Chili1  Chilly Chili2Chilly Chili3

 

Have a Blessed and Relaxing Weekend!!

Elle Zsanee

What I learned from a near death experience…

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Yesterday morning on the way to work, I almost caused a major accident!  I decided to take a different route to work since the interstate traffic was backed up into the main highway.  It was the second time this week that it rained during the morning hours, and this was the second time that there had been a backup.  Due to this, and the fact that I was already pressed for time, I went another way.  While sitting at the light of a major intersection, I accidently start to drive forward thinking that the light had turned green…but to my surprise it had not!  Have you ever been at a light and automatically assumed that the light had turned green because the traffic opposite of you had started moving??  Well…that was me.  The light had turned green, but only for the turning lane!  So there I was, maybe a couple of feet away from a line of turning cars in the middle of the road!!  After a moment of shock, I reversed my car and waited for the light to turn green before moving again.  But before this happened, while sitting at the light, I had decided to check my phone.  I always thought that it was safer to use your phone at a stop light than while driving, but obviously, I proved myself wrong.  Even though you’re physically stopped, a cell phone can still divert your attention.  If I hadn’t checked my phone, I would’ve been more aware of the stop light before moving.  With that being said, I would like to share with you my 3 takeaways from the morning’s event:

  1. INVEST in a hands free cell phone device or DO NOT engage in any cell phone activities while on the road, regardless of if you’re driving or physically stopped.  Here are a couple of hands free devices you can try.
  2. PRAY!  Every morning I pray for my family, friends, myself, and the world in general.  I always pray for traveling mercies, and He came through for me big time!  They say that God watches over babies and fools, and I was definitely the fool!
  3. Our lives have PURPOSE!  The fact that I am able to write this post is a miracle in itself; I and others could have died yesterday.  God saw fit to spare our lives, which is proof that we are all put here for a purpose.  He will not be satisfied until our purpose is fulfilled; therefore, it is our duty to continually push toward finding and living out our gift…our purpose!

 

Be Safe and Be Blessed

Elle Zsanee

 

Get Over the Hump

Don’t let this become a weary Wednesday…continue to move confidently toward your goals and get over the hump!!

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Watch Your Mouth!

Sometimes we need to be reminded to watch our mouths.  Let the Word of God guide your footsteps.  He will make all your crooked places straight (Isaiah 45:2).  Have a blessed Tuesday!

God Says

Be Blessed!

Elle Zsanee