Thursday, December 31, 2015

Last Minute New Year's Eve Recipes (The Salonniere)

One of my obsessions is The Salonniere created by Texas native Carla McDonald. Today they shared some favorite New Year's Eve recipes just in time for your last minute trip to the grocery store.

Check out The Salonniere for all the two favorites are below:

Truffle Popcorn This fancy popcorn from Outstanding Chef winner Patrick O'Connell is so delicious you'll want to make enough to last beyond the end credits. O'Connell's secret is adding a pinch of sugar to bring out the rich truffle flavor.

Ingredients: 1/2 cup popcorn kernels, popped 1/4 cup (1/2 stick) unsalted butter, melted 2 tablespoons good quality truffle oil 1 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese 2 tablespoons finely minced fresh flat-leaf parsley Coarse salt and freshly ground black pepper Pinch of sugar 1 small fresh white or black truffle (optional)
Yield: 6 to 8 servings
Method:Place the popcorn in a large bowl; add the butter and truffle oil and toss to coat. Add the cheese, parsley, and sugar and season with salt and pepper; toss to combine. Grate truffle over popcorn just before serving, if desired.

A simple potato chip dressed in ruby red tuna tartare.

Servings: Serves 10
  • 1/2 pound sushi-grade tuna , cut into 1/4" dice
  • 1 tablespoon snipped chives , plus more for garnish
  • 1 tablespoon toasted sesame oil
  • 2 teaspoons soy sauce
  • Pinch of salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon grated lemon zest , plus more for garnish
  • 2 large bags premium-quality potato chips
In a nonreactive bowl, combine tuna, 1 tablespoon chives, sesame oil, soy sauce, salt and 1/2 teaspoon zest. Cover and marinate 1 hour in refrigerator.

To serve, spoon 1 teaspoon tuna mixture onto each chip. Garnish with remaining chives and zest.

Happy New Year's Eve!

Wednesday, December 23, 2015

Steve Harvey, Miss Universe and a Man's Test of Character

I woke up the morning after the Miss Universe pageant with several notes, messages and tagged Facebook posts.

It took me several minutes to get oriented as to what was going on...I had no idea what had occurred the night before.

The main reason for the messages was relating to the fact that people know that I consider Steve Harvey a living, breathing hero.

Two weeks before the Miss Universe pageant, I made the following post on Instagram:

This man right here (@iamsteveharveytv) is one of my biggest inspirations of all time. I have known of him when he was a comedian on the chitlin' circuit over 15 years ago. Seeing his success and hustle at this stage of the game is incredibly inspiring. He just announced that he is the new host of the Miss Universe pageant...keep going Steve Harvey. All the people like me who started at the bottom like you and who see your vast achievements...we SEE you!

So people were aware of my adoration of Steve Harvey.

After reading all the messages and tagged posts, I felt particularly inclined to make this Facebook post in response to the Miss Universe fallout. It created a lot of dialogue amongst my friends around the world:

My Two Cents on Steve Harvey Miss Universe Mixup: a few people have touched base with me regarding this incident since they know Steve Harvey is one of my heroes. This mixup changes nothing. What I know to be true is that if you EVER want to do anything great or anything that has the capacity to touch many lives, you have to also accept the fact that you could fail or make mistakes. It appears that the people who have the most adverse comments are the ones who have never been stretched outside their comfort zones nor done something that put them in a situation where there was intense pressure. I have...many times. It's tough. I understand and #IStandWithSteveHarvey

I was actually way more interested in seeing all the things Steve would do post-scandal than recanting the actual mistake he made because as I said above....the greatest way to truly see a person's character is not in times of smooth sailing but in times of adversity.

The last time I checked, there were over five million tweets regarding Miss Universe... The most in its entire history.

As a long time fan of Steve Harvey, there is one thing that none of them have mentioned. When you have started from nothing and had to struggle building your success through much experience, a one-time mistake (even on an international scale) can ever break you.

The struggles create something so solid that no wave of rough seas can sink it.

Mark my words...we are about to see an even greater level of the man we know as Steve Harvey.

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Friday, December 18, 2015

#LifeHack: Create Your 2016 Theme Word

I was pleasantly surprised to see that Gretchen Rubin wrote a LinkedIn article on creating 2016 resolutions around the development of a theme word!

I have been doing this for years! It first started for me as a senior in college. I was having a hard time focusing because I was staying a little longer in school to get a Finance minor to accompany my Economics major.

I also felt the weight that I was about to be the first of my family (in our entire history) to graduate with a four year college degree.

I needed some theme to help me make that last PUSH.

I created the theme of a song that was popular at the time: "I'm Coming Up" by Puff Daddy that was based on the original performed by Diana Ross!

Creating a theme to keep me focused on a specific, big goal was so effective that I continued to do it throughout my life.

Gretchen associates creating a theme in conjunction with New Year's resolutions but don't make that the only thing you do when creating themes for your life!

They work just as effectively for team projects, major transitions, big moves, big opportunities that have you excited or fearful...themes work brilliantly in these scenarios. And don't be restricted by just a word. Your theme can be a song, a vision board theme, a book, etc. There are no limits to what you use to focus and create your theme!

My 2016 Theme
I start planning my next year and it's goals in September.... Way before the holidays and the actual calendar year starts. I do this personally and for my coaching clients.

For me, 2016 will be about this one word: Refine.

Refine: * improve (something) by making small changes, in particular make (an idea, theory, or method) more subtle and accurate * the improvement or clarification of something by the making of small changes * cultured elegance in behavior or manners

I won't go into any great detail as to why this word is particularly meaningful to me on this post but if you've been reading past posts, you'll understand that as I usher in life in my 40s, I'm going through a metamorphosis. A damn good metamorphosis to be exact.

My life is getting richer, more meaningful and more whole. It's a process that has taken a lot of courage, focus, intentional actions, faith and letting go. I don't know when it happened but as I've aged and had so many deaths and losses of loved ones, I have discovered I'd rather do a few things great than a lot of things mediocre or sheerly for what millenials have coined FOMO (Fear of Missing Out)...I actually really don't fear FOMO!

I am not completely there yet but I honestly don't think you ever "arrive", per se. Life is about learning, growing, making mistakes, loving and, in my opinion...refinement.

So stay tuned as I continue to give you my best honesty, growth, evolution and brilliant experiences as I strive to live out one of the key words of this blog's mission statement... Authenticity.



Yep, Curva-Lish is growing to another level...

Wednesday, December 16, 2015

Tips for Slaying Your Worry & Conquering Fear

I am an avid estate sale prowler and love buying great linens and vintage from the hundreds I've perused over my lifetime.

One of THE most valuable purchases I've EVER made from an estate sale is this old classic "How to Stop Worrying and Start Living" I purchased for $1. This book was first published in 1948 and my reprint copy looks to be from the 1970s.

I am not necessarily a person who deals with constant worry but it definitely surfaces when I get fearful about being single, not having any parents or grandparents alive, and when I feel squeezed financially.

When I feel worry creeping up, I pick up this book and read a chapter. Afterwards, I use my gratitude knot and force myself to focus on three things (one for each knot) I'm immensely grateful for.

I might have to do this practice daily for a week until the worry and fear subsides but it always works!

What's different about this book is that it's not just information or theory. Like my writing style, it gives you applicable methods that helps you face and deal with worry and fear. 

Here are three of my favorite time tested methods from the book for dealing with worry:

Method #1: Live in "Day-Tight Compartments"
I can't tell you how many conferences I've attended where success Coaches talk about how successful people focus on the 24 hours in front of them. Every time I hear it, I think in my head...that's from Carnegie!

What is the thinking behind this method? This method forces you to "compartmentalize" (FYI, as a woman who relates everything, this is extremely hard for me to do!) your life into what actions and beliefs you can do for the next 24 hours. Not next week, not next! Just 24 hours.

Modern success Coaches have expanded on this principle to be related to time management and focusing your energies but technically, the principle is rooted in helping us deal with worry.

Method #2: Use the Magic Formula
The Magic Formula Carnegie suggests has been reiterated by several psychological publications. The Magic Formula is rooted in asking yourself these three questions:
  • Ask yourself, "What is the worst that can possibly happen if I can't solve my problem?" Step: Analyze the situation fearlessly and honestly and figure out what is the worst that could happen as a result of the failure.
  • Prepare mentally to accept the worst--if necessary. Step: After you figure out what the worst that could possibly happen, reconcile yourself to accepting it if necessary. (Note: doctors have found that after people face ansituationswhat could be the worst case scenario of what was causing their worry, they relaxed and faced a sense of peace.)
  • Then calmly try to improve upon the worst--which you have already mentally agreed to accept. Step: Calmly devote your time and energy to trying to improve upon the worst which you already mentally accepted.
Y'all, when I first read this I was like "Why would I want to think of the worst???"

Remember, this is not the only-positive-thoughts-on-steroids book. It's about time tested methods to deal with worry.

The genius behind forcing yourself to conjure the worst case scenario is it has a way of grounding you. Seriously.

No matter if it's potentially impending financial ruin, job loss, health crisis, etc., this method empowers you to process what's at the root of your worry.

This is one of my favorite methods in the whole book. Why? Because of the Coaching work I do, I see too many times where people use their faith ("God will just take care of it") and positive psychology ("I don't want to be around any negativity. ") as excuses to run from dealing with some of life's biggest challenges. This deeply concerns me.

I maybe the only one that ever tells you this but I speak truth in love: there are some things in life you will HAVE to deal with. 

No one's coming to save you. You can't just mentally think positive thoughts and it all goes away.

And don't get me wrong, I am a Christian AND I'm a member of the Harvard/McLean Medical School's Professional Coaches Association that has positive psychology as one if it's foundational pillars. So I believe in using your faith and positive psychology to navigate life...just make sure you are not using it to run from your fears and hard situations. Use your faith and positive psychology as a (important) catalyst for courageously facing the situations that are causing your worry.

Method #3 Take Charge of Your Worry and Live in Health
This method had a quote at the very beginning that was eye opening...

"Those who do not know how to fight worry die young." -Dr. Alexis Carrel

I won't get into great detail because the book certainly makes a convincing case of how worry (and fear) is the root cause of a large percentage of diseases that kill millions per year...from heart disease, ulcers, diabetes and hypertension.

The famous Mayo brothers declared that more than half of the hospital beds are occupied by people with nervous troubles. Their "nervous troubles" are caused by futility, anxiety, worry, fear, defeat and despair. We destroy our minds and bodies by anxiety, frustration, hatred, resentment, rebellion and fear.

Are you as amazed by these statements as I was upon reading it?

A famous specialist in the book who had his own issues with worry created this plaque in his waiting room that I thought was brilliant:

Relaxation and Recreation
The most relaxing recreating forces are a healthy
religion, sleep, music and laughter.
Have faith in God--learn to sleep well--
Love good music--see the funny side of life--
And health and happiness will be yours.

I hope this post blesses you and please share it with those you love who maybe living with worry...practicing these methods may be the life line that creates a new normal (and truly a New Year) for them!

I believe in you, Curva-Lish

Monday, December 7, 2015

Slay Your Fear and Get Free

This post (and picture) was inspired by a client and my own experiences with making the choice to face self-imposed fears.

What I Know For Sure: Dealing/managing your fear and living a brave life is not just a one-time decision nor one season of life. 

To live bravely entails multiple decisions throughout one's lifetime (see my post from yesterday) made (bravely) over and over and over and over again. 

No amount of money, connections, support or insider information will give you a free pass from fear.

Do it anyway.

Get free. Live free. Be free. Again and again.

And keep checking Curva-Lish...there will always be something posted to empower you to live authentic-ally with purpose, with grace and in style. It's the mission I created almost four years ago and it hasn't changed since! 


Your New Normal: Adopting Successful Habits

No matter what I write or when I write it, I strive to give the readers a unique way of being empowered based on real life experiences and by connecting dots in ways that I don't personally see in media.

I'm okay if this style doesn't reach certain people because honestly, I don't have the time or bandwidth to write about things that someone can easily and quickly Google. My ultimate goal for writing is to get to real life scenarios, events and wisdom that causes you to know you are not alone, an authentic life can be messy/complex to achieve and "failing forward" is not failing...

So let me get to today's post: I wish someone would have explained this to me.

Once you set a NEW goal or resolution for your life, go through a transition, or have a major change in your life, you will experience a peek of the new-ness of that goal (I call this the Honeymoon Phase) but guess what...once the euphoria of the Honeymoon Phase wears out, you will be immediately smacked upside the head with the real world of impending failure if you don't engage new disciplines required to allow time and experience to manifest that goal.

In all my years of living, I have yet to read or hear about one person on this planet reaching a goal based on the euphoria of the Honeymoon Phase.

And let me be clear, I am not referring to goals that are easily reach-able, well within your grasp and/or only requires short term focus.

When I say goal in this instance, I'm referring to B-I-G goals:

  • I want to lead my Mompreneur Group and take it global so that more women know they can be Moms and entrepreneurs;
  • I want to be a Vice President of my company because I want to have a voice in policies that directly impact women;
  • I want to be a great Mom for my adopted children who come from broken homes;
  • I want my community leadership to unite my broken city and give a voice to the voice-less;
  • I want to volunteer 40 hours per month and Become a Board Member of that nonprofit because it's saving the lives of girls who are illegally trafficked;
  • I want to be the worship leader at my place of worship because I believe I'm gifted to touch people around the world.
  • I want to be the #1 in sales for my company so I can retire early and spend the latter part of my life be a blessing to orphanages around the world.

Why is this important enough for me to take 30 minutes to write this post hoping to empower you?

Because I didn't understand it; the lack of knowledge about this topic has caused failures in my life.

For example, when I became an entrepreneur I did what most people do during the Honeymoon Phase, I used my capital to buy fancy websites, listened to the opinions of non-entrepreneur friends, spent a ton of time on social media trying to "impress people" with my new decision (instead of using it to brand and get clients), assumed I would get massive clients because people "like" me, giving "free" sessions assuming the client would hire me/help me get access to their network, modeled my life after women entrepreneurs who had husbands/inheritances/etc.

In other words, I was putting everyone else's opinions, goals, thoughts and causes before my own!  And to compound it, I never took the time, training or secured Coaching to help me adopt new Habits for what needed to be a new normal. I continued the same Habits as when I was in corporate that made me successful.

Once the Honeymoon Phase wore off about a year and some months later, I had little to show (business wise) for the bubble I lived in during the Honeymoon Phase.

Don't get me wrong, I had successes including membership on Boards, events, trips, etc. That might seem "successful" but my business was failing fast! 

Entrepreneurship is is no respecter of race, money, or any other supposed advantage. Entrepreneurship respects hustle (and time)...period.

Estee Lauder reflecting back when she first started her company: "In business, you have to marry it. It has to be your focus or you won't last long. You eat thinking about it, you wake up thinking about. It's required for greatness."

Don't believe me? Key Stat: 9 out of 10 businesses fail within first three years and 8 out of 10 fail within first five years.

I'm using my very personal example of entrepreneurship to illustrate the point of this post: no matter your goal, you won't reach it (that's not intended to be negative) if you don't become obsessed with the achievement of that goal as your new normal and guess what fuels that obsession besides the obvious things like passion and having a "why"? 


Yes, unsexy, got to will yourself to do it Habits.

And guess who's responsible for your Habits...YOU.

This post is getting long so I'll post the tips I have for you to WIN at achieving your goals for whatever new normal you have before you tomorrow...again, I wish someone would have shared this real-ness with me.

And quick note, just in case you're thinking it, yes, I have mentors and loved ones. Three of my four mentors highly discouraged me from starting my Coaching & Strategic Advisory firm (nor offered to connect me with paying clients or contacts) no matter how much I tried to convince them that I felt " called" to do this...they are no longer mentors.

And this will relate to one of the tips I'll share tomorrow: Re-assess your advisors.

Check back tomorrow and I hope you read this with the Love in my heart in which I wrote it...I believe in you!

Signed, #CurvaLish

Tuesday, December 1, 2015

The Power of Self-Awareness (Taylor Swift)

As a professional Coach, I am always "preaching" to people about the importance of self-awareness and taking one of my four assessments to help them get clarity on who they true, lasting and purposeful success is possible without self-awareness!

So imagine my surprise seeing this quote by Taylor Swift in GQ magazine (I'm a Conde Nast Style Society member) on the power of self-awareness! #Boom

Swift's Quote: “I used to watch Behind the Music every day,” she says. (Her favorite episode was the one about the Bangles.) “When other kids were watching normal shows, I’d watch Behind the Music. And I would see these bands that were doing so well, and I’d wonder what went wrong. I thought about this a lot. And what I established in my brain was that a lack of self-awareness was always the downfall. That was always the catalyst for the loss of relevance and the loss of ambition and the loss of great art. So self-awareness has been such a huge part of what I try to achieve on a daily basis. It’s less about reputation management and strategy and vanity than it is about trying to desperately preserve self-awareness, since that seems to be the first thing to go out the door when people find success.” 

One of the assessments I offer is free to download on the "Resources" page. It gives you self-awareness of how your Self-Confidence is supporting (or sabotaging) your success towards your goals! Go download now!