Girlfriend’s Network…

Do you have a bucket list?  I don’t, but my childhood friend Tracey does.  A year ago December, some of the PJ girls took a 60th birthday celebration cruise. I met them for breakfast before they left on the cruise. PJ girls date back as far as elementary school. We all grew up together in Waterloo, Ontario, Canada. At breakfast that day, Tracey was talking about her bucket list. I asked her what was on her bucket list. Reluctant to share with me, she finally told me one of her bucket list items was to experience Mardi Gras in New Orleans on a float.

I told her it was a long shot, but I would ask my dear friend Tiffani if she could assist in this matter.  She is a native of New Orleans.  You never know the power of the girlfriend’s network. That December day, Laurie, Lorna, Bev and I all agreed we would share Tracey’s bucket list experience with her if this long shot happened.

This year’s Mardi Gras in New Orleans, Tracey will be riding in Orpheus on Smoky Mary – the largest float of all Mardi Gras floats, on the 6th car on the bottom floor on the right hand side of the train.  Laurie, Lorna and Bev will be with Tracey to share the experience. Share the fun!

Never be reluctant to share your goals and bucket list items. You never know!  Girlfriend’s Network…  Amazing how powerful it can be!

I want to thank Tiffani and her girlfriend Debbie from New Orleans for making it possible for Tracey to experience Mardi Gras this year on a float with her girlfriends enjoying it with her.

Happy Mardi Gras!

Tracey, Laurie, Lorna and Bev with you in spirit!

Have a blast!! Hugs

same goal and determination

It’s hard to find someone who has the same goal and determination. Who would be as dedicated to achieving a goal as you are?

It’s Andrea’s and my one-year anniversary of playing tennis together. We met while I was walking Monty my dog around the Del Vista. I had rented a furnished apartment at the Del Vista for 2 month’s last year when I first moved to Florida. We started playing when I moved into my place, which is across the golf coarse from Del Vista.

Andrea and I have played 49 weeks out of 52, 5 days a week, for 1 hour and half to 2 hours in the morning. Surprisingly weather was only a few times the reason we couldn’t play.

In the beginning we sucked. As we persisted slowly we got better. The better we got the more fun it became. Always play in the morning at Del Vista. I text, Andrea when I arrived at the front gate of Del Vista gives her time to get ready, start my coffee and get out the door. Andrea makes me coffee every morning we play. I supplied the balls. Monday’s when we play you can tell we hadn’t played since Friday. Some days we play better than other but Fridays seem to be our best day for hitting back and forth.  061A0868-BCD3-4F3C-8CE8-2D6BADCC2133

We do play games. But both agreed that it was more fun and a better workout if we didn’t. It’s hard enough being able to keep up a controlled rally.

Andrea being a working mother of two young children it’s not easy to crave out time for your self. With the support of her husband and children it made it easier for her to play tennis. For a bit Britta would come hit with Andrea and I on Wednesday mornings. She would bring her son he was not quite a year old so Andrea and I would take turns watching her son. Britta played for her college team in Hawaii so it was great practice for both of us.

Being able to hit a tennis ball back and forth has always been something I have wanted to be able to do since I was 8 years old. Since I started playing with Andrea we have pushed each other to strive to be much better players. Getting up to play at 7:30 am something I would of never consider until it was the best time to play in Florida summers.

I sweat. Not a little but a lot. That is normal for a good workout. That is health! Drinking lots of water has been something we both do. I like to put electrolyte in my water. Wearing makeup is a waste of product and time when working out. Stretching is part of normal things you do. You can’t keep up a work schedule like ours and not eat healthy too.

Both of us have seen noticeable change in both our bodies. Stronger toned tight more muscle definition both of us look and are physically fitter. Now both of us can run back and forth on the court to keep it in play. Hitting a ball for both of us has been really good therapy. My hand eye coordination has greatly improved. One of the great-unexpected surprises is Andrea’s two children now love to play tennis with their Mom. Their abilities are greatly approving they are both looking forward to taking lessons.

It’s hard to find someone who has the same goal and determination and I’m glad we have each other Andrea. It’s been a fabulous year. Looking forward to another year of playing tennis with you. Happy 1 year Anniversary!



How’s your New Year’s resolution going?

Did you know that 40% of people make New Year’s resolutions? Only 8% of that 40% successfully achieve their resolution. What’s their secret? They set them selves up to succeed.

I like making New Year resolutions. Some of my resolutions this year are to expand my cooking skills, improve my tennis game, always working to improve my relationships. What’s your resolution? Losing weight, starting a workout plan, new job, better relationships are the most popular resolutions. Overall most popular resolutions – goals are to live a healthier, happier, lifestyle.

I have found in helping other’s to achieve their career and personal goals you have to have a starting point. Understand better key areas about youself; diet, exercise, lifestyle, what makes you smile to determine what you are currently doing. A starting point before you start losing weight, getting fit or start living a happier life. What do you eat? And what are your fitness habits? What’s your style? What makes you special?

Diet+ Exercise+ Emotions work together. If one is out of balance it affects the other two. When two are off, your whole equilibrium system goes into overload. There are very few things we can control. Eating and exercise we are in total control of.  Emotions are much harder. But when you like the person looking back at you in the mirror it’s easier to handle most everything. The health benefits are so positive. The fact is, it slows down the aging process. It’s the secret to an Ageless Healthier Happier Life.

Looking at Diet+ Exercise+ Emotions at the same time gives you full view of you. After answering the different “Baseline Balance” questions pertaining to diet, exercise and what makes you happy we are able to determine a starting point. Most are surprised how a little change to what you are currently doing is all that is needed to lose weight, get fit or make you happy. How little things like standing straight or smiling can make you look 5 years younger. By not eating after 8 or cutting the amount of rice you eat in half you would be astonished how much weight you would lose. What if you could take a walk before or after dinner around the block? Make it your special time. A time to be shared or time alone to meditate. Your time for thinking about all the things you achieve rather than the pile that needs to be done. Or something simple like going to bed early and sleeping 8 hours which could make such a big difference.

Would you like to have a little help to achieve your resolutions? Asking for assistance and sharing is something we need to learn how to do better. It sparks conversations, new ways and approaches to doing things, good to have support and it’s fun to share! Maybe it’s time to do something different?

Schedule your free first step “Baseline Balance” session. Maybe creating your own “Baseline Balance” is the secret to you being one of the 8%. Actually losing weight and maintaining it too, starting a workout plan that you enjoy, land that new job or re-entering the job market, and have better relationships. Enjoy a healthier, happier, lifestyle that will make you happy.

Amazing Women

My fellow Canadian and fashion designer Gilles Montezin is well known for his elegant haute couture style. You can find his stunning outfits in the closets of high-profile celebrities and featured in films, such as Sex and the City and Confessions of a Shopaholic. IMG_2754

I am very excited about Gilles’ new project, Women Artists of the World ( 

It’s the perfect virtual gallery space to make women look their best..

The project provides female artists with a platform to exhibit their work. Women Artists of the World creates the opportunity for artists to network and share their work to an international art world.  This collaboration reduces the gap between artists and fans /clients and enables artists to reach new audiences. How amazing is that!

I encourage you to visit and support Women Artists of the World.

Giardini Hanbury Luglio 2013 021Make sure to view the different virtual gallery space profiles. To my delight one of my favorite artists, Monica Vazio located in Genova Italy, has her virtual gallery space opened.  Love her work! Missed her last show, wish I could be at her next show in April. Excited that I can attend virtually…….

Make the Stars Work for You

I enjoy reading my horoscope while drinking my morning Manhattan-20130908-00181coffee every day. I like to believe. It’s fun to see what the stars have in store for me that day. I also read the horoscopes for people who are close to me. Sounds silly, but if it is not a great horoscope I may text them a happy, feel-good message… just in case they are having one of those days. Some days my horoscope is on the money. Then, there are the days it’s so off I have to laugh…

For all you non-believes, it’s okay…I get it.  You may think, horoscopes are too general and can be interpreted any way you want. But what is the worst that can happen? Reading your horoscope may give you an idea, provide insight into a relationship, help resolve a conflict, or forecast the approaching year.

Year in Review

At the beginning of the year, the astrology world does an overview of the year.. It’s a must read!  My overview from said this year I’m going to:

Broaden my Horizons.      With an emphasis on long distance travel philosophy and all forms of conscious awareness. Unprecedented adventure awaits.. Life is sure to take me on some important journeys (literally, figuratively or both).

Prioritize Work.     Work and career goals continue to be top priorities, according to the stars.

Love & Travel.    My forecast noted the possibility that I could fall in love with someone from a foreign country or at least while visiting one. The more I jet, the happier and luckier my love life will be!..

My Reaction…

IMG_1669It’s not too far fetched for me to travel long distances. Last year, my travels took me to Italy and Moscow. After loving Moscow so much,  I can’t wait to visit Saint Petersburg. How romantic, the possibility of falling in love! How fun me a jetter! Unprecedented adventure, that could be fun! There is no doubt, according to the star’s, I have an exciting year ahead.

Forecast Check-in

I encourage you to read what the stars have in store for your year. This is fun exercise:

Save your astrology forecast for the year (I print it & post it up). Throughout the year, if I need a smile or to center myself, I revisit my astrological forecast.  It’s also a great conversation at the end of the year. How accurate was my astrological prediction? How could I have better used my forecast to navigate difficult situations?IMG-20130704-00008_2

I would like to think my horoscope could happen. I will make a diligent effort to make 2014 the unprecedented adventure my horoscope predicted.


It’s that time of year again, the holiday season.

IMG_2561It’s been a “Good” year. I’m pleased to say, I have had some “Excellent” moments. I feel very lucky and blessed. I promised myself that I would continue on the same path, it seems to be working for me.

Celebrating this time of year to its fullest sounds like a good plan.  Both my children were born around Hanukkah and Christmas, so birthday celebrations are a part of my extended holiday season.  I start celebrating on Thanksgiving and continue until around January 10th.

This holiday season I plan on:

Cooking and Baking     Cooking and baking makes me happy; I smile through the process, and it makes my home smell inviting (added bonus!)

The oatmeal cookies I made (without raisins) for the ninth graders at FDNY High School Prep For Success’ after school program were a huge hit! I’m looking forward to spending more time in my kitchen this holiday season. Holidays, for me, are about the list of dishes that are “must have” favorites. It’s also a wonderful time to try new recipes. My friends are not shy about asking me to bring something to their place.  My Lemon Pound and Sour Cream Cakes are everyone’s favorite gift.Sour Cream Cake

Entertaining     This summer, while visiting with friends in Moscow and Italy, I was inspired to fix up my place.  From the minute I got back home, I had the remodeling bug. One day, I couldn’t look at the carpet in my place any more. So, I ripped out.  Once everything was gone I discovered a floor under the carpet! Getting rid of the carpet forced me to get rid of more “stuff”. . I now have room in my closets! I rearranged everything.   I still have a lot to do. But I am having the grandest time transforming my home to fit me.  For the first time, in a long time, I’m looking forward to hanging out at home with my family and friends.   IMG_0044

Getting out of the House     It’s been so long since I went to the movies that I forgot what I saw? I need to do new stuff too. It’s been too long since I crossed the park to visit the Guggenhuim.  I plan to be out and about this holiday season!

Starting with the Macy’s Thanksgiving Parade,  New York City has a special holiday energy. All the stores and buildings are decorated for the holidays.  The classic New York Christmas “must see” traditional spots: Rock Center Christmas Tree, 5th Ave Store displays, Macy’s. Madison Avenue store windows must be lovely at this time of year too- I’ll have to check them out. I’ve never ice skated in Central Park, maybe I’ll try that.

Closing out the Year    Year ending means goal setting for the New Year. Getting ready for the New Year is exciting.  During the holiday season, I assess my work year and think about strategy.  I reflect on what I did.  What I should have done differently. I’m glad some commitments have ended, excited to begin new endeavors, and I’m very proud of on-going projects that are moving to the next level- super cool!

Enjoying Downtime     Home spa days are a “must do” for girls any time of the year. On spa days, I love wearing the most comfortable clothes, looking through fashion and cooking magazines or watching Lifetime romance stories. This time of the year, how can you not watch all the Christmas classics?

Connecting with My “girlfriends”     Sharing the holidays with my girlfriends makes it more fun. Some of my closest friends live in different parts of the world. Getting together is hard. It is especially hard to stay in touch during this time of year with work hectic schedules family and holiday obligations. Modern technology has made it so easier to bring the world together. Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, email, texting and phones make it so easy for girlfriends to keep in touch. It’s not the same as being in person, but it’s fun having coffee together via Skype.

IMG_0009Saying Thank you     I plan on making a conscience effort to thank people.  I discovered when you say and give from your heart it reverses the aging process, as well as, numerous other health benefits.  I suggest putting it into your daily routine.  This time of the year is the perfect time to get started by saying “thank you”, “you are the best”, “greatly appreciated”, “I’m grateful”,  “ I like you”, “I love you”.

Holiday Magic     I plan on making this holiday season memorable by saying “yes” to the out of the ordinary.  Say “yes” to unknown surprises or any unexpected spontaneous things that come up.  Friends from out of town visiting…yes.  Letting someone show me the holidays though their eyes…Yes. Go with the flow; Let it all happen like magic.

That’s a long list. I’m excited to start the celebrating and enjoying the holiday season to the fullest.IMG_0010

I want to wish you and your family a wonderful, healthy & happy holiday season.  Make a promise to yourself to enjoy the holiday season to the fullest. Make your own holiday “to do” list with all the things that will make the holiday special for you.

Join me on my holiday adventure @NewLifeSusanne or Facebook.

Hugs  Susanne



Being Happy is Not Always Easy

Being happy is not always easy. Life is never going to be free of challenges or stress.  Our lives get complicated. Complicated is not bad, unless your view of life is  “half empty”.  A negative outlook makes it even harder to see the bright side of a situation.  With a “half empty” outlook towards life, nothing ever goes your way; making it next to impossible to be happy!  There comes a point when you need to let go of inhibition or negativity and start enjoying life. We all have challenges and stress – why not be happy despite them?

Are you Happy?

It’s important when you do the below exercise that you are honest. If dishonest, the only person you are fooling is yourself.   Fill in the below graph by asking yourself, how is/are my __________ (relationships, friends, career, finances, health, your general well being) and rate them as: Excellent, Good, OK, Not Good, Bad.



If you have indicated “Not Good” or “Bad” for an area of your life.

With time and a positive outlook, happiness will return. Remain positive and work towards happiness.  It can sometimes seem easier to feel “Not Good” or “Bad”. Change is not easy, but the benefits of working on you far outweigh giving up.  Have no fear for the unknown!

If you indicated “Not Good” or “Bad” for more than one area of your life.

You need to work on yourself.  Prolonged periods of extreme negativity can lead to worse, sometime destructive, behavior to mask your depressed state. Be willing and open to accept change and humble enough to ask for help.

 If you have indicated “OK” for one or more areas of your life.

That is cool! A small change or adjustment will get you to “Good”.  Things could be better, but truth be told, everything is fine. Maybe there is room for improvement, small needed changes. You are moving in the right direction. Work on positive changes. Change can be slow; don’t let the small pitfalls inhibit your journey.

If you have indicated “Good” for one or more areas of your life.

Checking Good indicates that you perceive this area in your life to be secure. While there is always room for improvement, you are confident with your position in this arena.

If you have indicated “Excellent” for one or more areas of your life.

You are probably experiencing a high point in life. Falling in love, promotions, babies, graduations, and celebrations of any kind…. All the wonderful things that make us feel super amazing excited and happy.   If you are feeling Excellent in one or more area in your life – congratulations and enjoy!

The Objective of this Exercise

Checking “Good” for all the areas in your life is the goal of this exercise.  No ones’ life is “Excellent” all the time. Excellent is reserved for the wonderful highs. Checking good, indicates that you probably enjoy a wonderful balanced life. All the parts of your life are in check. You are in check.

Why are you unhappy?

When one part of your life is out of whack it can make your overall existence fall off balance.   It’s easy to fall trap to a downward spiral of negativity when one aspect of your life isn’t going as planned.

When you are unhappy, it’s best to isolate the area of your life makes you miserable.  Are you between jobs? Experiencing a life changing moment – like a divorce, death or loss of any kind? Are you lonely?  Has weight gain caused you to be insecure?  Are you bored?  Once you isolate the real reason you are unhappy – compartmentalize it.  Don’t use this shortcoming as an excuse for not seeking happiness and wallowing in negativity.   Address your issues; don’t let your issues consume you.

How do you get happy?

Once you admit you are unhappy you are the only one who can change.  Life challenges will always be there. It’s important to counterbalance the less pleasant aspects of your life with positivity.  Having positive outlets makes it easier to cope with the harder moments. Stepping away and giving yourself a timeout may also enable you to handle or cope easier with difficult subjects.  Don’t avoid your problems. Instead, increase opportunities to lessen negative pressures – make them less overbearing

Where do you go to get some of this happiness?

Stay busy with activities that make you happy.

Keep it simple- easy things. Try sitting in your favorite park and reading a book. Spend time doing something you love, like dancing in your PJ’s to your favorite tunes.  It doesn’t matter what you do, as long as it’s fun and makes you feel good. Find activities YOU enjoy. Can’t come up with any ideas?  Walking is easy and you never know what you will get into.

Mutual respect

Start treating others like you would like to be treated. Being nice to others will result in people being nice to you.

Smile More

It’s hard to be unhappy when you are smiling. Not to mention, smiling prevents premature aging and wrinkles, that’s something to be happy about.

Making these small steps will make it easier to get to a happier place.  Stay upbeat, keep it positive, embrace health, LIVE HAPPY.

What is stopping you from starting a new fitness routine… NOW?

Fall is the best time to get started and get active. The weather is still warm enough to enjoy the outdoors.

Central Park Tennis Courts on a perfect Fall day...

Central Park Tennis Courts
on a perfect Fall day…

Not to mention, starting in the Fall gets you prepared for the holidays. If you start now, by the time the holidays are here, you will start to notice how the increased activity is making you look and feel. You will sparkle at all your holiday functions!  You smile more. All that positive energy motivates you to continue the fitness program into the New Year.

By the time Winter rolls around, if you stick with it, you’ll start to look forward to being physically active. Winter is much more enjoyable when are more active.  Instead of hibernating for the winter and gaining additional weight, you are working out and feeling good.  Too cold to go outside?  Create an indoor exercise routine. It can be something you are doing already or something that is fun and a bit outrageous. You are now dancing while cleaning now. Why? It makes you happy and keeps you physically active.

 Why make physical activity a part of your everyday life?

Physical activity makes you feel good. When you feel good, you look good and are more confident.

sea buckthornWhen you work out, you will find that you take better care of yourself and eating healthy will probably become part of your routine too. Bonus! Your lifestyle will be healthier.  All because you made a few small changes.

How do you start a fitness routine?

It’s easy to start. Start slow and have realistic goals.  Walking a few days a week is an easy way to get started. No fancy equipment required, you can walk anywhere.  Plus, walking is a great stress reliever.  All you need to do is take a 15 minute walk 4 days a week. 15 minutes is manageable too – no matter how crazy your schedule, you can spare 15 minutes.  Soon enough, you will look forward to “your 15 minutes”.

I recommend listening to positive fun happy music while walking or working out. The type that makes you dance! It’s ok to walk and dance. It’s your time, make it fun…Don’t forget to smile!

IMG_2228 So, get started, get active….

I promise by spring,

you’ll be thankful you started now!


Setting Goals and Achieving Success Series

In the comments section I welcome you to share: what has been your most rewarding achievement.

Part 3: Reaching your Goal & Feeling Good About It

Baby Steps

Everyone loves instant gratification, especially me!  But that is simply not how goals are achieved. If you start slow and keep it simple, you will make small but incremental strides towards your goal.  You will be surprised how the little successes will make you smile. When you smile it will make you feel better about yourself and your progress. You’ll find yourself wanting to set more goals to make you feel even better.  In no time at all you will be setting harder goals.

Some of your aspirations may take longer. Yes, you will have too many moments that you doubt yourself. However, there are the rare, but fulfilling, times where you are reminded why you are on the path you chose.  I often surprise myself that I have been able to achieve some of my most challenging goals. Those moments are wonderful and made me feel super special and outweigh all of my bouts of insecurity. What I’m most proud of is, I haven’t given up; nor should you.

How will that End Result Make you Feel IMG_1314

It doesn’t matter if your goals are big or small, it’s more important that at the end you feel like you have achieved something. Visualize what you think that moment will feel like when you achieve your goal- reflect on this when you are in a negative space, it will help get you through some tantrums.

IMG_1259Whether your goal is a weekend away, because you need a timeout, or that dress that went on sale that you will look amazing in… It’s important to know the end result will make you feel good. When you feel good you become more confident.  Confidence has a way of making you glow from within. Trust me, you will achieve your goals; the world is yours!