My Favorite Toy

Growing up I remember my favorite toy as my Barbie dream house.  My mother still has the dream house, intact, in her basement.  My children play with it when they visit grandma’s house.  What I loved about the Barbie dream house was the ability to set the furniture up however I wanted.  I could put the couch in the kitchen and the bed in the bathroom.  There were no rules or boundaries.  It was my house and I made the decisions.  I lived in a world of creativity and originality.  The Barbie dream house had its limitations, however.  It was a two-story house, and there were no stairs or elevator.  I was frustrated at times because my dream house wasn’t a reality.  I was reminded that even though it was called a “dream house” it still had its imperfections.

Last Christmas Santa left my daughter a Barbie dream house.  It is still just as magical to me…..and Santa’s elves even put in an elevator:)


This is what my Barbie dream house looks like. Mine is a lot more played with. It is missing 90% of the outside plants!


Magical Me Makeover Day 2 Questions

Day 1 of the Magical Me Makeover has been exciting!  Let’s move on to Day 2!  Here are the questions for your reflection!

What was your favorite toy as a child?  What did you like about it?  What happened to it?  Do you still have it?  What were the positive aspects of that toy?  Negative aspects?

My girl with her American Girl doll...she loves that doll so much!

My girl with her American Girl doll…she loves that doll so much!

My Favorite Animal

As promised I am going to answer the questions publicly for the Magical Me Makeover!  My favorite animal is a dolphin.  Dolphins amaze me.  They are free to roam and explore the mysterious underwater world.  Dolphins move with grace through the water in a methodic manner.  However, dolphins cannot roam freely without limitations.  They cannot stay underwater indefinitely because they need to come to the surface for air.  The need for dolphins to exit the water forces the creature to find a delicate balance between pushing the limits, and acceptance to vulnerability.

Photo excerpted from

Photo excerpted from

Magical Me Makeover Day 1 Questions

Here we go!  Day 1 questions:  What is your favorite animal?  Why?  What draws you to that animal?  What are some positive attributes of that animal?  Negative attributes?  Reflect away!

My 10 year old dog, Gracie.  She is magical!

My 10 year old dog, Gracie. She is magical!

The Magical Me Makeover Purpose

The Magical Me Makeover begins now.  Since we live in a crazy, spinning, stressful world I thought it was time to bring some simplicity back to our lives.  When I think of a simpler time I reflect on my childhood.  Maybe that is why I am a play therapist – because children have a right to live freely.  Think about it – for a majority of us as children you had no concept of work or bills; clothing magically appeared in your closet, dinner was on the table.  As a child you could be whatever you wanted – often changing your mind on a daily basis.  There was no stress.  There was no running from appointment to appointment.  I was tea time all day!

The Magical Me Makeover is designed to bring out your true loves, and then use those true loves to rejuvenate yourself.  For the next ten days I will post a question.  You can choose how you want to reflect on it – or if you even want to (you don’t have to answer all the questions – it’s not graded;).  Some people may journal, some may paint or draw, some may just think about the question.  There is no right or wrong way to do this – just like when you were a kids – anything goes!

I will post the question in one blog post, and later in the day I will post my reflection to the question for you all to see.  If anything, I hope this journey will inspire you to feel the freedom of a child – even if it is only for five minutes a day!

Here we go!!!

My ruby red slippers all ready for the Magical Me Makeover journey!

My ruby red slippers all ready for the Magical Me Makeover journey!

In 2 Days….

In two days I will be blogging the “Magical Me Makeover” (Nicole Ross, 2013).  The Magical Me Makeover will consist of 10 days of interactive blog posts designed to take a deeper look at yourself.  The Magical Me Makeover is self-paced, private and free of judgements.  You choose which topics you want to explore about yourself, and can answer all or none of the questions.  In the end it is hoped you will have discovered some new, exciting aspects of youself that can be implemented immediately into your lifestyle.  Check back for the Magical Me Makeover!


My little one’s Magical Me Makeover!  Not afraid to be himself!

New Year’s Resolutions

Happy New Year!  It is 2013, and, as with every new year, it is a great time for resolutions.  Honestly, I hate the thought of a new years resolution.  So many of us fabulous human beings say we are going to change something in our life, but abandon the motivation to change within weeks of making the resolution.  How does one avoid this constant cycle year after year?  Follow these simple steps to success:

1)  Don’t set ONE BIG goal for the whole year.  When a person sets one big goal for the entire year it is a set-up for failure.

2)  Set smaller goals, like daily, weekly or monthly.  This will take you down the right path to be successful.

3)  Get a dry-erase board (or chalkboard, or piece of paper – whatever).  Write down your smaller goals.  For example, I use a dry-erase board and write down my small goals for the day (a new blog post is the last one on my list today;)

4)  Clear blocks or barriers for avoiding the completion of your goals.  These barriers are your problems and do not belong to anybody else.  Address them, face them, and get rid of them!

5)  Reward yourself.  Once you have reached your smaller goals give yourself a reward.  It can be something simple like a piece of gum or something big like a shopping spree!

Before you know it all your small goals will have added up to one big goal.  It is like a puzzle.  Take the time to put the pieces together.  If you take it slow, you will enjoy the achievement when you have completed the puzzle;)

Kindergarten Taught Me All I Needed To Know…

A fun fact about me is that I start each day with a cup of coffee, the news, and my rocking chair.  While I rock in my chair and sip my coffee I hear words of hatred, death, and fighting on the newscast.  I ask myself “why do I want to watch the news each morning?  Is this really how I want to start my day?”  The answer is no, yet I continue to do it.  Am I hoping that one morning I will turn on the news and find that one country baked cookies with pink frosting and sprinkles for another country as a peace-offering?  Maybe.  I just wonder what life would be like if we remembered what we all learned in Kindergarten….

First, we learned how to play nice in the sandbox.  If you didn’t play nice – you didn’t get to play.  Throwing of sand, and taking of shovels was not permitted.  It was simple – you play mean = you don’t get to play.  You sat quietly outside the sandbox and watched the other children play.

Secondly, I truly believe the teachers were onto something with the nap time theory.  Young children (heck even adults) get cranky when they are tired.  When people are cranky they have a tendency to snap at or be rude to other people.  A well-rested individual is in much better spirits to play in the sandbox.  I am just saying….

Third, we had snack time.  This is really the same concept as above.  A full tummy is a happy person.  It is way more fun to play in the sandbox with a happy person.

Fourth, ALL the children’s art was beautiful.  There was no judgement.  Heck, I cut out an apple in Kindergarten that looked like a square, but boy did that apple look perfect to my teacher and parents! (My mom still has that apple).

And lastly, don’t eat paste (do they even still use paste)?  Some things may look appealing on the outside, but when you get into the goo of it all, it really just leaves a sour taste in your mouth.  Yes – I am referring to HATE and HATEFUL words.

So you see, life could be more simple if we all remembered what we learned in Kindergarten.

First day of school!!!

Your Life Journey

New chapters happen everyday in our lives.  I recently had  to close a chapter in my life – one that had been near and dear to me for many years.  People change and grow apart.  Human behavior can be analyzed, but never really explained.  When you find yourself at a crossroads in your life allow yourself time to celebrate the good times, keep the good memories close to your heart, and grieve what you have lost.  Move forward with strength and courage, knowing that you are on a journey through life.  You write your story – make it one worth reading.

The place where I renewed my wedding vows with my wonderful husband on Laguna Beach.

What Brings You Joy?

I was reading an article today and the author posed the question “what brings you joy?”  It caused me to pause for a moment, but it was only a moment before I rushed to grab my journal so I could to explore the vast question.  As I sat staring at the blank page of my journal I wondered if other people had ever really thought about this particular question.  I mean, we know what makes us happy, but joy is an entirely different emotion.  When I think of the word joy I picture myself bubbling over with happiness, being engulfed with laughter and feeling the emotion throughout my entire body.  Once I was able to envision myself being overtaken with joy I was able to easily list the things that bring me joy.  Some things were deep and meaningful such as snuggling with my children, and having a romantic dinner with my husband while others items were simple like having a latte by the fire and dancing.

Once I identified what brings me joy in my life I realized that some of the items on the list were things I was not doing!  Why would I not make time to create joy in my life?  Many of us do not take the time to live our life to the fullest.  We often dwell on the sad drama-driven events in our lives, and don’t take the time to celebrate the joys that we have each day.

I challenge you to create a list, or a visual journal page of what brings you joy.  Ask yourself: are you doing these joyful things or do you need more joy in your life?  What are you dwelling on that will not move you forward with your journey of life, but continue to keep you stuck in the mud?  Are you celebrating the “little” joys in your life?  Once you have identified what joys you need more of in your life create a plan on how you are going to integrate joy into your daily living.

Always live joyfully!  Could you imagine a world where everyone lived in joy?  It would be a world of feetie jammies, snuggles, and dancing!  Live joy-FULLY!

It brings me joy to pick out pumpkins each fall with my kids. This was many years ago, but still one of my favorite pics!