Who do you want to be in the New Year?

new-year-resolutionsA new year is upon us and with it, a chance to renew.  Many of us are getting ready to make resolutions to change something about our lives in the new year. The top resolutions for me were always losing weight, eating healthy and getting more organized. As good as my intentions are, by mid-March I usually forget the resolutions and don’t think about them again till years end (or bathing suit season-ugh) only to promise myself, “this will be the year I achieve these goals!”.

01smarter-resolutions-facebookJumboNew Year is a chance to start fresh, so this year I am going to try something different and start the year off right with small, manageable changes to my lifestyle. Seriously, who is this person I believe I will become if I finally organize my house, lose the 40 lbs., join a gym, etc.? These are my LIFE goals and daily struggles not my New Year’s resolutions.  So, I started to ask myself, “Who do you actually want to become within this new year?” And the answer is an impactful positive influencer who is giving and gracious.

newyearresolutions2016-1200x630Here is my plan for achieving my resolutions. I am going to practice gratitude by taking time to notice and reflect upon all things I am thankful for.  I will start prioritizing the people that matter most in my life and make more time for them. I plan to remember important dates, be present in the moment, promote positivity by showing others small tokens of appreciation, practice daily acts of kindness, affect change by inspiring others and I will learn to be kind to myself. Whew!

Sixty-and-Me-6-New-Years-Resolution-Ideas-for-Amazing-Women-Over-60Now that I have my plan, I can think of ways to achieve my goals. Volunteering will always be a huge part of my life and can be as big or small a commitment as time allows, but it’s always time worth spending. By donating your time, energy, and money to others, you’re practicing selflessness and kindness. Please consider volunteering for a cause close to your heart at least once a year.  Helping others can improve your well-being and give you a great sense of fulfillment. There is no greater gift than helping others. You’re not just making a positive impact—you’re being positively impacted, too.

new-years-day-open-houseIf you are looking for ways to help others this year and do not have time to volunteer, one of the easiest things you can do is to donate your clothes instead of throwing them out. Donating things that you do not use or have in excess can help many that are homeless, fire victims and in a financial crisis right in your own neighborhood.

960x0Also, make your spare change count. Save up coins and then donate them to a good cause once you’ve accumulated a sizable amount. Our Girl Talk chapter saves our change and donates the funds to children in our school’s lunch accounts. Another suggestion is spending time with the elderly, or helping the disabled or underprivileged. Help combat loneliness by spending an hour a week with someone who needs a friend. We all have a special skill or ability. Share your talents and offer your skills to a non-profit that could benefit from your help.

newyear2018_25As I work on my plan, I hope you will think of your own and how you can improve someone else’s life and make the world a better place. By helping others, being kind and spreading love to those around you, the world would be a much happier place. Happy New Year!

 

~MB

Queen of Wishful Thinkin

Will YOU Give Back this Holiday Season?

joyThis is one of my favorite times of the year, it is not the weather I like (I prefer the sun and beach), but it’s the season of giving I adore.  Although giving back is a great thing to do all year round, everyone seems a little more generous and charitable as the holidays draw near. Our country has been through so much with recent devastation to millions of families from hurricanes, flooding, wildfires, and other disasters, now is a great time to help.

5a1ddc36ca37b.image.jpgIt is easy to get caught up in the hustle and bustle that the season brings. The endless commercials and advertisements combined with the pressures to shop, bake, decorate and wrap overshadow the true meaning of the holiday and can turn anyone into a Grinch. But take a second to stop and breathe. Count your blessings- your family, your friends, your job, and all that you have to celebrate. Just things we take for granted. Many people in our community do not have it as lucky as we do-and YES, even in our town.

give_6152c.jpgOne of the best things I believe you can do is teach your children that the holiday season isn’t just about getting gifts. Start some new holiday traditions by engaging your family in community service projects. Spend one day thinking of others and to help spread your holiday cheer to more than just your family. Donate some non-perishable foods to help community members facing food insecurity during the holiday season. No matter your income level, you can find time to donate to others.  Find ways to practice kindness, a kind word or smile to a homeless person, serving others during the holidays, drawing a picture, writing a note, or comforting a friend or family member does not cost a thing but will be priceless.5a1cb02a75e46

Enjoying the little things, special moments, and the people in your life is a great way to celebrate the holiday season. But there’s nothing like the warm and fuzzy feeling you get from making someone else happy, and that taps into the true meaning of the holiday season.

If you would like some ideas to help local families this holiday season, please reach out to me at GirlTalkMarlton@gmail.com

Happy Holidays to you & yours,

Mary Beth

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HAPPINESS is an Inside Job

happiness-is-a-choiceHappiness is an attitude and a choice that begins within you. Don’t wait for bliss to come to you, with just a few adjustments to your outlook on life, happiness can enter your soul. How you let the world around you, affect you, could be the key to your happiness. You can’t control everything that happens in life, but you can choose how you respond. Learn to see opportunity where others see misfortune. It is not easy to do this, but you CAN do this. Start by changing the way you react to situations and your life can become stress-free and happy, IF you choose.6

We tend to depend on external things to make us happy. Like our favorite food, movie or music, but those are just temporary. To experience true happiness, you need to dig deeper inside yourself. This may feel undoable at first, but just breathe, relax and follow these few steps. And remember every day is a new day, and that is a blessing within itself.

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First recognize what makes you happy, find out what inspires you, whether it is hanging out with friends, going to the beach, or getting a great night’s sleep. Look at what you’re good at, particularly what you lose yourself in – whether it’s writing, travelling, cooking, reading, sports. Whatever it is, make a list and get those things into your daily routines. These activities that you enjoy will make you happy – do them more.

c762e6048a5436970066d1d7d3f73f53--quotes-about-happiness-quotes-about-lifeBegin to foster positive emotions, such as empathy, serenity, and especially gratitude. Start speaking positive words and compliment others. Learn to trust others, start being more open and loving, even to strangers. Help others and give to those less fortunate. Gratitude is a part of being happy. Be thankful for all the blessings that you have in your life and what is going well. Learn to listen to others and become genuinely interested in all they want to say, this shows compassion. Choose to forgive those who have hurt you. Forgiveness is an act of kindness and you will feel that burden lifted.

happy-smile-happiness-quotesShow appreciation and respect for all the good in your life. You ARE blessed, know it. Focus on being the best version of yourself. Nobody in the world can beat you at being you. Be who you are and confident in the real you. Fill your inner circle with those who accept you the way you are and radiate positivity. The people around you should love you, challenge you, and lift you higher. Some people just suck the life right out of you. Simply let them go, now.

c5efbff3d26263126315439829345a07--happy-quotes-wise-quotesEmbrace change. Where there is resistance, flow around it. Where there is opportunity, flow right through it. Let go of your fears, they aren’t real. Live in the now. Find out your life’s true purpose, whatever it is, focus in on what actions you can take to move towards this higher purpose. Become someone who makes a lasting impression on the world with your own amazing creations.

be-happyTake the lessons learned from past mistakes, life is all about trial and error. Learn to let go of what you cannot control and allow peace to enter your life. Don’t look to others to validate who you are or affect you in any way. We’ve all got weaknesses and areas in which we lack confidence, accept them and don’t get hung up on them. Know who you are and be confident. Get rid of the negative emotions such as pessimism, resentment, and anger. The world has enough negativity. Don’t contribute to it anymore.

AAEAAQAAAAAAAAKXAAAAJDRkYTczM2Q3LWEwZjktNDI3Yi05NGE4LWIzNjQwY2IxNDc1ZQAccept responsibility for everything in your life. Never blame others for your unhappiness. Tell yourself it’s in your hands, because it IS. We have the power and ability to control our own thoughts and feelings, regardless of what is happening to us externally. Feeling in control internally is highly liberating and will make you feel happier. Remember, YOU are enough, and nobody deserves happiness more than you.

 

3b079527fa45dce6c713d4b410c6578015971ad886ed008cdc9034aee0d4abaa--happy-wife-happy-dayFinal Thought:

I know, sounds great, right? Who doesn’t want to be happy. Easier said than done. I never said being happy will be easy to achieve but it will be worth it. Try the steps, if you fail-and you will, we all do-try again. Keep trying. Every day is a new day and a new opportunity to become a happier you. 😊

The purpose of life is to discover your gift. The meaning of life is to give your gift away.”

-David Viscott

~Mary Beth Iannarella

Girl Talk Marlton

 

Summer Lovin’

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Summer is the time to enjoy late night dinner with friends, strolls on the beach, and back yard BBQ’s! There’s something about getting home from work when it’s still light out that gives you bundles of energy! Summer is a time of leisure and good times with the people you love. There’s so much to do every night of the week in the summer and when the evenings are longer why not get out there and have some fun. Sleep is for winter-get out there and enjoy summer!

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The beach is my number one favorite thing about summer. I love everything from the glowing hot sun, the various striped and colored umbrellas titled in the burning sand, the refreshing cool salty water, and the hunt for beautiful seashells. I can look for hours into the ocean hoping to see dolphins and watching the waves. It is my happy place.

 

The boardwalk is quite entertaining. The food, the drinks, the Ice-cream and the peoplewatching. I used to love the rides but in my old age I prefer a nice safe arcade game instead.

Early sunshine and late sunsets, vacations, holidays, baseball games, fireworks, flip flops, why-i-love-summer-break.jpgbonfires, summer storms, tanned skin, sweet corn on the cob, sunglasses, sangria, blooming flowers, fruits & vegetables, dog parks, ice coffee, driving with the windows open and music loud, stepping out into the sun after sitting in a/c all day, floating in the pool, rainy movie days, sleeping in the a/c with a blanket. Late nights, long sleep-ins, catch-ups with family and friends, happy hours, new hobbies and craft projects, home revamps and new experiences to be etched in our memories forever.

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We are lucky here in NJ that we are close to many major cities including New York and Philadelphia, dozens of beaches and boardwalks, state parks, amusement parks and the mountains. There are so many summer activities from outdoor concerts and movies, festivals, fairs and carnivals, drive-in movie theaters, zoos, museums, farmers markets, lakes, lighthouses and more. So, if you are bored, it is your own fault. Get out your phone and look up to see what is going on in your neck of the woods. Go out and enjoy the summer and have some fun!

~Mary Beth Iannarella

Girl Talk Marlton

 

100 Reasons to LOVE SUMMER  ♥ ocean ♥ sand♥ sun ♥ warmth ♥ beach days ♥ ice cream ♥ popsicles ♥ smoothies ♥ BBQs ♥ green grass ♥ salty air ♥ salty skin ♥ sandy feet ♥ bare feet ♥ relaxation ♥ vacations ♥ road trips ♥ visiting the lake house ♥ long nights ♥ star gazing ♥ fireworks ♥ sparklers ♥ bonfires ♥ s’mores ♥ blooming flowers/trees ♥ morning walks ♥ sunsets ♥ surf boarding ♥ boogie boarding ♥ paddle boarding ♥ tubing ♥ boat cruises ♥ outdoor concerts/festivals ♥ cliff jumping into water ♥ swimming pools ♥ yard games ♥ flip flops ♥ sun dresses ♥ shorts ♥ t shirts ♥ waves ♥ a nice tan ♥ naps ♥ naps in hammocks ♥ time for reading ♥ blasting music with the windows down ♥ reuniting with old friends/family ♥ bike rides ♥ thunderstorms ♥ kayaking ♥ sailboats ♥ corn ♥ watermelon ♥ seafood ♥ golf ♥ tiki torches ♥ late night swims ♥ spontaneous adventures ♥ fourth of July ♥ carnivals ♥ fishing ♥ laying under an umbrella ♥ laying in the sand ♥ beach chairs ♥ floating on rafts ♥ fresh air ♥ constantly wearing your bathing suit under your clothes ♥ laying in the shade ♥ puzzles and board games on the rainy days ♥ rainy movie/Netflix days ♥ camping ♥ building tents ♥ carefree ♥ lemonade ♥ picnics ♥ eating outside ♥ shell/sea glass collecting ♥ picking flowers ♥ hikes ♥ day trips to the city ♥ outdoor markets/festivals ♥ parades ♥ rollerblading ♥ pie ♥ chips and salsa ♥ bubbles ♥ running through the sprinkler ♥ snorkeling ♥ smell of sunscreen and bug spray ♥ refreshing ♥ swims/showers ♥ sand castles ♥ drive-in movies ♥ climbing trees ♥ fresh fruit ♥ coconut ♥ sea creatures ♥ car washes ♥ flying kites ♥buzzing bees ♥ trips to the park ♥ Hawaiian shirts ♥ dancing

 

St. Baldrick’s & Nico’s Army

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I’m not going to lie, there are some things in this world that makes me question my faith and one of them is cancer, particularly Childhood cancer. The universe is random and chaotic. Bad things happen to good people. Good things happen to bad people. I can’t make sense of it and try not to spend my time focusing on the why. I rather admire the courage and determination of these brave soldiers fighting this hard battle and join the army full of passion to make a difference in doing my part to contributing to advancements in childhood cancer research. Honestly, what else can I do? Of course, I pray but I also argue with my God for allowing these children and families to suffer.

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Over the years, I have unfortunately lost family and friends to cancer, as many of you have also. And we have watched them suffer thru sickness, some lucky enough to beat it and some who have left this world. It is a horrible disease and I wish for a cure- quickly.

 

 

 

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The Unforgotten Haven, which I am proud to be one of the managers of, has been a huge supporter and friend of 10 yr. old Nico, a blackwood resident battling Neuroblastoma. Nico was diagnosed with stage IV high risk neuroblastoma in August 2010 at the age of 3. The Haven has helped raise money for his bucket list and took part in this year’s St. Baldrick’s event. A few team members even shaved their heads! It was an amazing fundraising event. Cancer sucks and it breaks my heart to see the suffering it causes. But through all the tears and hugs, the heroes, miracles and truly good hearted people that have gathered- all for the good of the cause-has touched my heart so much.

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Nico has touched so many lives, more than he will ever know. I am very grateful that he has allowed us to follow him along the way through social media. Nico’s Army posts updates on Facebook showing pictures of Nico, with his approval, at the many hospital and doctor visits and tests that he needs. He is a quiet hero to all. He is a personal inspiration for me not to sweat the small stuff and not to take anything for granted.  Nico’s family, friends, Army and supporters are also hero’s. Please keep them all in your prayers, as I will continue to do.

 

 

Together we can make a difference against childhood cancer.

~Mary Beth Iannarella

Girl Talk Marlton

Celebrate Mother’s Day

As we near another Mother’s Day celebration, we make our way to the Hallmark store and the florist. But it is not all about the commercialized holiday festivities, at least to me it is not. Call me selfish, but it is about the time I get to spend with my lovies doting on me. The hugs, the kisses, and yes, OK, the flowers and cards. LOL. No matter what we do or where we go, as long as we are together, it is a Happy Mother’s Day for me. When you’ve lost your mom like I have, Mothimageser’s Day is a tough day—but my lovies make my heart full.

Mother’s Day is a celebration honoring the mother of the family, as well as motherhood, maternal bonds, and the influence of mothers in society. It is observed in over 40 countries around the world.

Let’s face it, moms are those amazing people in our lives who act as our guardian angels, cheerleaders, defense attorneys and personal assistants. They do more than we can ever imagine or pay them for. You of course, won’t understand this until you are a mom (or a parent).

Mother’s Day is also a good opportunity to celebrate women in general and to ponder THM_HappyMothersDay_1how to act to achieve equal rights for all. Not all women are mothers, of course – and not all want to be. But, Mother’s Day is a great day for thinking about the diversity of women in general and how all women should be respected equally.

So, whether it be in person, by card or phone, connect with the mother figure in your life and let them know you care.

Enjoy your Mother’s Day.

Mary Beth Iannarella

Girl Talk Marlton

 

The Greatest Love of All

44fad4f6843f1b92f5d97ab041a3709aI believe the children are our future, teach them well and let them lead the way, Show them all the beauty they possess inside, give them a sense of pride to make it easier, Let the children’s laughter remind us how we used to be.

Everybody searching for a hero, People need someone to look up to,
I never found anyone who fulfill my needs, A lonely place to be,
So I learned to depend on me.

I decided long ago, never to walk in anyone’s shadows, If I fail, if I succeed,
At least I’ll live as I believe, no matter what they take from me, they can’t take away my dignity.

Because the greatest love of all Is happening to me.
I found the greatest love of all, inside of me. The greatest love of all, is easy to achieve.
Learning to love yourself, it is the greatest love of all.

I decided long ago, never to walk in anyone’s shadows, If I fail, if I succeed, At least I’ll live as I believe. No matter what they take from me, they can’t take away my dignity.
Because the greatest love of all, is happening to me. I found the greatest love of all,
Inside of me. The greatest love of all, is easy to achieve.

Learning to love yourself, it is the greatest love of all.

And if by chance, that special place, that you’ve been dreaming of,
Leads you to a lonely place, Find your strength in love.

This song by Whitney Houston came on the radio as I was stuck in traffic last week. For the very first time I listened to every single word. She sings of self-love and standing up for your beliefs. But we all know the decision to love one’s self is not quite as easy as the lyrics suggest. There are many struggles faced in learning to love yourself and being happy with who you are, even the parts of yourself you aren’t too fond of.

Given all that has been happening in our country with youth on youth violence and youth suicide, I was struck by the timeliness of the message of this song. However, it was the chorus, which resonated with my spirit. I believe we need to teach our youth how to connect with themselves so they can create a better future for themselves and the next generation. We must teach our youth, and ourselves, the true meaning of self-love, The Greatest Love of All.

Mary Beth Iannarella

Girl Talk Marlton