Tuesday, August 29, 2006

The Real Thing

So, I'm getting ready to go to Starbucks as I do just about every morning and I wonder, why in the heck do I go? (Besides the fact that one was just opened less than two miles away from my home.) I mean, I get the same thing every morning- a venti iced latte. Pretty simple stuff. Heck, I have an espresso machine on my kitchen counter. Why don't I just make them at home? For the convenience of getting my morning sunshine handed directly to me through my car window? Is it for the sake of routine? Just a habit I developed? Or is it that trademark green straw that I love so much? That little something special, that no other coffee shop has.

I think we all like a little something special in our day. Olive Garden gives Andes chocolate mints after a meal. Hallmark employees drop a shiny gold seal in the consumer's bag for every greeting card purchased. Crane's stationary is watermarked with the Crane's logo.

And starbucks has green straws.

Countless companies have a trademark touch that is unique to them. That way, a person knows he or she is getting the real thing.

My entire life, I dreamed about having a Burberry purse. Finally, several years ago, I made the purchase. (Yeah... Seriously need to get that thing out of my closet...) There are imitation plaid purses out there, but those imitations just don't stack up to the original, you know? That fabulous Burberry one-of-a-kind plaid.

In life, I believe everyone likes a little something special in their day. The thing that assures, "Yes. You made a good choice! You made the right choice. The best choice." I mean, who knows if Starbucks would have succeeded in the beginning had it not been for the green straws?! There were plenty of coffee shops in Seattle before Starbucks saturated the market. I mean, isn't it Hallmark that has "When you care enough to send the very best." printed on their bags?? People want the best. The real thing. So what if the color of a straw or a round piece of gold foil makes the difference between the best company persay, and the other companies out there peddling the very same things? (Starbucks coffee is utterly DIVINE, by the way, and Hallmark does always have a nice selection.)

It's a mental thing.
People. Need. To. Feel. Special.

We need to take this utterly genius business philosophy and apply it to our everyday lives. Cut your child's peanut butter and jelly sandwich into a star at lunch time. (We like Christmas trees at our house.) Add a drop of food coloring to your child's oatmeal. One drop won't kill him. He might actually eat it all for a change if it's his favorite color. Write a note in lipstick on the bathroom mirror for your sweetie. Fold napkins in a fan shape at the dinner table.

So, make a person's day. Make them feel special. Sometimes the smallest things can make the biggest difference. (I still remember that instead of fruit salad at my birthday parties, my mother used to spend countless hours putting together "fruit kababs" on skewers for all of my friends.) The little things matter. I need to remember that. I need to remember that I don't need to spend a ton of money on someone to make them feel special. (Or to make myself feel special.) So make someone's day with a little special something unique. Let them know that they're getting the real thing. The best thing.

So, I am going to continue drinking from my green Starbucks straw every morning.

And I'm going to like it.

Because I'm drinking some of the best coffee ever made by God!


Monday, August 28, 2006

Safe Zone

This past weekend, I shopped with the one goal of adding more color to my wardrobe. If a person was to open my closet, she would see a seemingly neverending sea of black. Black. And more black.

Why is this, I wonder? It's classic. Slimming. (Which I so need.) ~And it doesn't show stains! ~A huge plus to evey stay at home mom. Yet, I'm beginning to wonder, is it because black is part of my "safe zone"? Just a personal preference?

Countless times in life, we as human beings cower in the "safe zone", whether unknowingly or on purpose. I'm trying to break out of it. I'm trying to execute the unexpected every once in a while. I recently changed my hairstyle. I poured my heart out on a scrapbook page. I'm trying new recipes. The point is, get out of the comfort zone. Slide down slides at the playground with the kiddos. Jump in a mud puddle. Buy an article of clothing that you like, but you don't think is "you". Try that new hairstyle you've seen in a magazine.

Don't get me wrong, there's nothing wrong with the "safe zone". I think my black sweater and jeans look pretty darn good today. Just don't get boxed in. Step outside of the boundaries every once in a while.

Tomorrow, I think I'll wear green.

A New Outlook

I'm traveling down the path of life now with a new outlook. A happy one. I still hold the belief that "everything happens for a reason", however, I have learned that I must make things happen! I can't sit back and think to myself, "Well, if it's meant to happen, it will in the end."

Too much of the time, we go through life with that former attitude. I have seen so many wonderful things happen to people who make them happen! That's what I'm going to start doing. Concentrate on the happy things. Make my life a reflection of who I really am! I think I lost myself somewhere between the hustle and bustle and overwhelming thoughts of my day to day life. It's changed. It's been redefined. My style is simple elegance. That's me. Hopefully my thoughts, my home, my activities, and my work will reflect that now. (Thus the reason for my blog's name.)

I vow to not lose myself again.
I vow to create from deep within my soul.
I vow to [attempt to] please He who matters in life.
I vow to stop trying to make others happy.

Concentrate on what really matters in life.
Create happy memories.
Capture them.
Remember them.
How I want to remember them.
With elegance.