Surefire Way to Clear Paper Clutter

I didn’t think this would be such a great tool for clutter clearing, but oh my – I have become a fan! I read about scanners and thought, just one more piece of equipment to dust – not so.

I finally purchased the one with the best reviews that is  portable and lightweight. Do yourself a huge favor and get the Fujitsu ScanSnap S1300 Instant PDF Sheet-Fed Mobile Scanner (PA03603-B005). The price has gone up a bit in the past year, but for the work it does, it is great and it ships for free on Amazon.

I am still wading through scanning 7 years of taxes, but my home and mind will be several hundred pounds lighter (normal taxes and 2 businesses) because of this machine! Already have one completely empty big file drawer — if I sound exited, I am. I LOVE efficiency and I love to share my finds.

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7 Life Lessons from Romance Novels

Find out what steamy reads can teach you about love, relationships and more

By Denise Schipani Posted February 02, 2011 from

7 Life Lessons from Romance Novels

You may know them as “bodice rippers,” but modern romance novels offer much more than long-haired, big-breasted heiresses fainting and fawning over bare-chested (and also long-haired—remember Fabio?) men. Instead, the heroines of these books embody strength, fortitude and smarts—and we could all take a page from a story like that! One of the greatest lessons to derive from romance novels, says Debra Holland, PhD, a psychotherapist and romance novelist herself, is that “characters in these books struggle with many of the same issues we do and they still end up happy and deserving of love.” Below, seven important lessons you can learn from romantic reads.

1. Authenticity matters. As a romance novel progresses, the heroine learns that the only way she’ll get what she wants is to remain authentic to who she is; in fact, part of the progress of the story involves her journey of self-discovery. “Until she believes in herself, no one else will either,” says Diana Cosby, who pens romantic suspense novels set in medieval Scotland. Think of it in terms of your own life: If you want to change careers or get a promotion, you’re less likely to get others to believe in you if you don’t endorse yourself first.

2. Listen to your gut. Romance novelist Lenore Edwards calls this lesson “searching for when your heart calls,” and it’s a romance novel staple we should all remember. “Never tell your heart, your gut or your instincts to be quiet,” says Edwards. So stop and listen when something’s telling you that a situation, job or relationship is wrong—your intuition is usually right.

3. Never give up. Life—both your everyday nonfiction life and a romance novel heroine’s fictional life––is intense and filled with obstacles. The difference, of course, is that “romance novels always end on a note of hope,” says Cosby. As the heroine faces challenges, even ones wildly different from your own, “you see her digging in, persisting and moving on.” Her constant search for a more fulfilled life may inspire you to find new solutions to vexing problems and, ultimately, take a chance on something new.

4. You can redefine your life. “Stuck” is something romance heroines are not—at least not for long, and definitely not by the final chapter, says Cosby. “I can put my characters in situations where they go through what real-life people do, but the difference is they don’t stay in those situations.” They may stumble and make mistakes and run into roadblocks, but they keep going, changing tactics and redefining goals until they get there. The lesson: You can change your circumstances and become unstuck, whether it’s from a toxic friendship or a mundane job.

5. There are no knights on white horses. Old-style romance novels featured heroes who arrived just in the nick of time to “save” the heroine. “What I’ve discovered in my own life and through my modern characters is that I have to find my own white horse and rescue myself,” says Edwards. Reading about a main character who goes on a personal quest for fulfillment creates a powerful message that only you can save yourself.

6. Fall in love with yourself. In the very best of the romance genre, the heroine is “someone who falls in love with herself” before she falls in love with the guy, says Edwards. “That’s when her life gets a whole lot happier.” The lesson here is that relationships are more satisfying when you start out in love with who you are on your own, not who you are as part of a couple.

7. Take charge of your sexual needs. Let’s not forget that a major part of romance novels is, of course, sex! “Much of the courting and sex in romance novels is the woman’s ideal,” says Dr. Holland—meaning that the man takes his time and is equal parts strong and sensitive. Let this inspire you to take charge of your own sex life, ensuring all of your needs are met in the bedroom. To start, read a great sex scene from a romance novel aloud to spark some intimacy (and ideas) with your man.

Read More About: lifestyle tips, marriage tips, relationship tips

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Why Don’t Women Listen to Men?

I think one of the reasons why women don’t listen to men, is that men and women often speak a different language. This all goes back to how we were raised and socially conditioned as male or female. Even though society has grown and evolved, a great deal, the old behavioral model still has a great deal of influence.

Consider this and add it to the equation:

  • Men are supposed to be strong
  • Men are supposed to be unemotional
  • Men are supposed to fix problems

1. What a woman wants to hear, especially in the beginning of a relationship, often gets in the way of actual listening. For example, a man may say to you when you begin dating, “I have a real problem with dating just one woman.” When you wonder why this man doesn’t want to commit you should remember he told you up front he had a problem with commitment!

2. Men and women express themselves very differently – it is almost 2 completely different languages. Women approach things with the language of feeling. Men approach things in a more linear style. This is not sexist, it is an evolving reality.

3. A woman wants her mate or partner to give her support and to commiserate with her problems, instead, a man gives you solutions how to handle the problem. After a while, a woman stops telling the man what went on during the day and communication lessens.

4.   A man’s interest is different from his partners. He may be wild about whether his football team wins or loses, his mate may have absolutely no interest. Of course, the reverse also occurs. Compromise is needed and each partner needs to take time and pay attention to the other’s needs and interests.

5.   A woman may be very concerned what is happening in her girlfriends’ lives, it may not be of any interest to the man, so he doesn’t comment. She stops telling him stories of the things that are important in her life.

6.   A woman may expect a man to be like her best girlfriend – he’s not! He’s your mate and a male, and has a very different point of view and a different measuring stick about what’s important and what is not. Appreciate that.

7.   A woman may expect a man to read her mind and is upset when he doesn’t. Even if you buy him a crystal ball, it’s not possible! Sometimes you don’t even know your own mind

8.   A woman may read underlying meanings into what a man said when in reality, what they said is what they meant. This is a deadly trap for all people. When we make assumptions about what the other person really meant instead of asking them what they meant, we get into big trouble.

9.   A woman may assume her words didn’t hurt her mate. We are all sensitive and want a fulfilling relationship. That takes time and effort.

10.  Both parties need to practice listening. Respectful listening goes a long way toward deepening and heightening communication between the sexes

Do you agree or disagree?Do tell.

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Is a Kiss Just a Kiss?

It’s almost Valentine’s Day so when asked by a fellow coach how important a good kiss was and what my favorite kissing techniques was, such wonderful memories flooded my mind, except. . .

I’m shocked, but I don’t remember my first kiss. Do you? If you do, please share. Was it memorable or completely forgettable like mine? But I know how important kissing is to keep romance alive.

Kissing involves all of our senses, taste, scent, touch. It is a tremendously intimate form of contact and can be a high art. The first six months of any relationship, we’re so darn fascinated with each other that everything, including the lobe of someone’s ear, or the fact that they snore, or their adorable habit of picking their teeth, is sheer poetry.

After that, especially when kids arrive for many couples, life takes on a largely unromantic quality filled with errands, work, responsibilities, soccer games, appointments with the vet, and the everyday business of life.

We don’t take the time anymore to kiss, to savor each other. We’re too busy tweeting that we just found Manolo’s New Shoes (this book is a great gift for the shoeaholic on your list) at an incredible price, or catching the latest installment of Cake Boss.

Take the time for romance

If you want romance, guess what? You have to take the time and make the effort to create it. It doesn’t just happen by itself.

I found really fun presents for my honey this Valentine’s Day. I bought 2 different sets of lovers’ dice, slightly X-rated.

I found little scratch off cards, i. e. you have won. . . A kiss behind the ear, etc. I found old-fashioned Valentine cards that I intend to put in unexpected places. He will find them on the bathroom mirror, in his toolbox, his underwear drawer, his closet, the refrigerator, taped to a bottle of his favorite wine, inside his shoes — be silly, it’s so much fun and not only will both of you laugh, but who knows where the laughter will lead?

The Anatomy of a Kiss

I hope at the very least, it leads to kissing. S L O W L Y. . .

  • really look into each other’s eyes.
  • bring your faces close together and just breathe.
  • Inhale the fragrance of each other
  • let your lips get close, but not touch
  • let your eyes speak
  • allow your lips to meet gently, tenderly, softly
  • let the silence of loving surround you
  • now, let the kissing begin
And the sunlight clasps the earth,
And the moonbeams kiss the sea—
What are all these kissings worth
If thou kiss not me?

Percy Bysshe Shelley

Download my new romance Skies of Fire, here, right now. Available in e-book formats and until the end of February, for a special Valentine’s Day price! Add this special code VE73G, to the order form, and romance is yours for only $1.99.
Lovingly yours,
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How To Give Your Pain Away

Don’t get overwhelmed

So where do we start? Start with one space; a room you think you actually have a chance of making a dent. Give yourself an hour on a kitchen timer. Tip: I use that trick to get though all sorts of things I don’t like to do. Try it. It works. If an hour seems too long, make it 30 min. Bring 3 boxes into the room and one of those FlexForce bags that wears like iron & it won’t break, no matter what you put in it. Label one box, SHARE, label another, REDISTRIBUTE (the things you want to keep but belong in another place), and the last one, DON’T KNOW. The thing that makes this fun for me is, I’m racing against time to see just how fast I can go. Most of the time when I’ve completed one hour, I give myself another hour to see if I can complete the room.

Sometimes you need to begin with one small closet, a drawer! Just make sure that you give yourself a definable space you’re going to be able to see a before and after. If you need to get more inspired, take pictures and send them to your BFF and tell her, “This is my before and after, wanna have a contest?”

As for the DON’T KNOW box – use the timer trick for 30 minutes and ask first, who might be able to use this? If you haven’t used it in six months or maximum one year, guess what – you don’t need it. I know you might think the minute you give it away you will need it. That might happen because your mind is so afraid of not having enough. We’ve been taught you’re supposed to hang onto stuff just in case. I’ve been teaching myself a just in time mentality.

Just in time

What a shift it would be to trust that when we actually need something, it will be there. Or even more significant, if we must go out and buy another, we will have the resources to do so? That is a tough one for me. My parents taught scarcity, not abundance. On the other hand, If something brings you pleasure, like a work of art, enjoy it every moment and that pleasure will infuse your cells. Get into the habit of knowing that whenever you need something, it will show up, somewhere near you will possess it and can loan it to you, or you will easily have the resources to buy it if you must. It’s a spiritual concept that I’m working on.

Create a vacuum

Let’s start a clear-out-the-old-revolution! Join me. Let me know how it works for you and pass it around. Tell me what happens when you have tried it. Celebrate yourself. Get rid of the extraneous in your life. That includes people who make you feel badly about yourself. You don’t need them in your life. You need people who ask you to grow, people who want the best from you and for you.

Let us create a vacuum and discard everything we don’t need – we’re going to have a lot of space. It’s a natural occurrence – when we create a vacuum, that vacuum will be filled with what we hold in our minds, by our intentions, by what our higher self needs, if we take the time to listen to our heart of hearts.

Take the time to not only clean and discard what you don’t need on the outside, but work on the inside – your thoughts as well. Our thoughts create our lives. When your mind becomes as clear as your space, there will be room for miracles.

Download my new romance Skies of Fire, here, right now. Available in e-book formats and until the end of February, for a special Valentine’s Day price!
Add this special code VE73G, to the order form, and romance is yours for only $1.99.
Lovingly yours, Lenore
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Give Your Pain Away

Its time to get rid of the old! I’m sure there are things in your house, certainly in your garage, and heaven forbid, a storage facility, that someone else can use. You can sell it on Craigslist, eBay, and actually get some money together. How about giving it all away to people whom you know might need it? How about calling the Salvation Army or the Vietnam Veterans?

Feng Shui

When I was running my business, Organizer Bunny, I learned about Feng Shui and I wanted to have different things come into my life. I needed to clear my space. One of the best books on the subject is Clear Your Clutter with Feng Shui by Karen Kingston. She’s the author of Creating Sacred Space With Feng Shui: Learn the Art of Space Clearing and Bring New Energy into Your Life. This can have a huge effect on your life; it certainly did on mine. I wanted a new relationship that was very different from what I had in the past – it worked!

Another fun book I love is: Move Your Stuff, Change Your Life : How to Use Feng Shui to Get Love, Money, Respect and Happiness by Karen Rauch Carter. Denise Linn’s Feng Shui for the Soul has such clarity and all are inspiring to get clear and light. You will be surprised at the things in your house or your closets that bring your energy down.

One time I was wearing a fun jumpsuit and I overheard a very unflattering comment. Whether or not I like to admit it, the comment was true when I looked at myself in the mirror. I realized it wasn’t flattering. Well, because I loved the color and the cut so much, it hung in my closet for a couple of years. Now isn’t that ridiculous? Out it went.

If you don’t love it. . .

Something else comes to mind as I write this. You don’t need to keep your grandmother’s silverware if you really don’t like the pattern and never use it. Sell it and buy another pattern. It doesn’t matter what your family says if it’s yours. None of us is taking any of this stuff when we leave the planet. So, be happy with it or get rid of it. By the way, Replacements Limited in the Carolinas are absolutely great for buying unwanted silver and china or a source for missing pieces in sets.

But my mom gave it to me

Many times, we keep things because family members may feel badly if we give them away. My motto is once you give a gift to a person, if you have truly GIVEN that gift, it is now theirs, and it is their choice to with it whatever they wish. If there is something very special that you love and you do not want it to leave your family, then you need to give it to this person with very clear instructions. “If you are not thrilled with this and you will not use it or wear it, I will not feel bad at all, simply return it to me; I want it to stay in the family.” So if you’re wondering about getting rid of that old hulking black couch with chintz pillows in the living room, don’t think twice. Sell it or give it away and spread your wealth around.

In my next post will talk about how to give it away and have fun at the same time.

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Life Lessons in Romance Novels? Fact or Fiction

How many times have you heard people make fun of romance novels? Well, no more. Do you realize that our beloved romance genre is the best selling of all books available? Is it all escapism? I think not.

Let’s hear it for escapism

First I ask, what’s wrong with escaping the harsh reality of life? Life is difficult. Period. Its a fact. Do you realize that most all music, literature and art is about the first six months of a passionate relationship? Either the beginning or the end.

Composers & authors don’t usually write about:

  • I served her breakfast and she went to work at the bank
  • The kids enjoyed their first day at school
  • I found a great bargain on disposable diapers
  • Did you remember to buy the dog food?
  • Damn, the fuel pump just went
  • Do we have enough in checking for the chimney repair?

These are the mundanities of life and they are necessary, but so ordinary. The ordinary is not refreshing. The extra-ordinary is.

Not all Romance Novels are Created Equal

I have traveled the world and lived about 3 lifetimes in this one. My adventures lend depth and reality to the stories I tell. I have learned so much and my life lessons weave their way into the tales almost unconsciously.

The value of a woman honoring her own needs and speaking her truth are essential to my life and to my heroines. Authenticity and integrity give them strength to handle the challenges they face.

The most exciting journey is not just an exotic location, but the journey of the leading lady to her own heart and self discovery. The escape is in the romance,the happy ever after, and the quality of elegance and beauty that weaves through every tale.

You, the readers

I believe my readers and I deserve some refreshment. I am passionate about extreme self-care. My heroines inspire me to take better care of myself. We women shoulder the weight of the world. Whether we are being a supermom and handling kids and work, or you are the CEO of your own company, or your cantankerous boss’s personal assistant, the refuge of a good book, a comfortable couch, a purring cat, and a rich Shiraz are gifts to ourselves that we should never hide from anyone.

We should allow our children, our mates and our friends see us taking a rest, putting our feet up and reading something wonderful – something that makes our hearts feel better, that lifts our spirits, puts a smile on our faces and a glint in our eyes. after all, it gives us the strength to pick up our world again and keep walking.

What do you think, ladies? Let me know.

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