Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Business unusual

In lieu of writing my own thoughts today I tought I would share my sentiments with you through the words of Cal Thomas.
Whatever your beliefs, I hope that this encourages you dear readers.
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Business unusual By Cal Thomas In an age when "big business" and "corporate greed" seem to be synonymous in the public mind, some bright lights occasionally emerge from the darkness brought on by AIG big spenders and over-the-top high-livers. One such light is the CEO of the Aflac Insurance Company (known for the duck in the TV commercials). Dan Amos announced last week he would forego a $13 million golden parachute his company would owe him were he to be fired or lose his job in a merger or acquisition. In an interview with USA Today, Amos said, "If they don't think I am doing a good job, they don't have to worry about paying me off." How refreshing. It would be nice to know how many honest, humble and philanthropic business leaders we have in America. I'm sure they far outnumber the bad ones so often profiled in the media. But then honesty, charity and virtue are not "news," we are told. Maybe not, but by promoting the sleazy and tawdry, rather than the virtuous and admirable, you are likely to get more of the one and less of the other. The Philanthropy Roundtable, a national association of individual donors, foundation trustees and staff, and corporate giving officers, this month awarded the founder and CEO of the Chick-fil-A restaurant chain, S. Truett Cathy, its William E. Simon Prize for Philanthropic Leadership. The prize, named after the late secretary of the treasury, recognizes the highest ideals of corporate and individual philanthropy. Cathy is the poster boy (if at 87 one can still be called a "boy") for selflessness and integrity. He is also a model for what giving back can do for individuals and a nation. "My wife and I were brought up to believe that the more you give, the more you have," Cathy told Philanthropy magazine. "Few people actually believe in this, but we do." What has been lost in this model, which is reflective of another age, is the amount of satisfaction one gets by pouring one's life into other people. In our marketing environment, big houses and boats, private planes and lots of money in personal accounts are said to be the source of pleasure and contentment. Cathy's wealth, while considerable in dollars, is defined by nonmaterial standards. This includes the $18 million his WinShape Foundation spent just last year on foster homes, college scholarships, a summer camp and marriage-counseling programs. Marriage counseling? Cathy believes a stable home is fundamental to bringing up stable children. For those children damaged by broken family ties, Cathy's foundation operates a dozen homes headed by husband-wife teams. The goal is "to provide a loving, nurturing home to those children who are victims of circumstances and need a stable, secure family environment in which to grow and mature." The homes accept boys and girls between the ages of six and 13. They can accommodate as many as 12 children at a time. He is currently a "grandfather" to 150 of them. For 51 years, Cathy taught a Sunday school class made up of 13-year-old boys. In an age when business functions 24 hours a day, 365 days a year, Cathy is a throwback to the blue laws era. None of his restaurants is open on Sunday. Cathy thinks this provides his employees with a biblical "day of rest" that is good for them. While too many customers at retail and food establishments often complain about indifferent employees, Cathy is a stickler for kindness. He insists his employees demonstrate respect for customers and show appreciation for their patronage because it is good for business. "It doesn't cost you any more to be gracious in a service industry, but it sure pays great dividends," he told Philanthropy. If more people knew the pleasure derived from giving for the purpose of changing lives perhaps those ineffective government programs so many conservatives complain about could be dismantled. S. Truett Cathy has found that true wealth is not in possessions, but in giving. This not only benefits individuals, but ultimately society. Rather than build a personal empire, he is storing up treasures. "Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy, and where thieves break in and steal. But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where moth and rust do not destroy, and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also" (Matthew 6:19). In a day when the stock market is unpredictable, Cathy's investments in people will pay dividends long into the future.

Friday, September 26, 2008

Gorgeously Green!

I've recently read the most facinating and amazing book. It changed my life and I feel compelled to tell everyone I know about it! The book is called Gorgeously Green. Written by Sophie Uliano, it takes a "glamorous" look at being eco-concious.
I recently took a vacation down to Costa Rica. While waiting for the plane to load it's passengers, I wandered through the overpriced bookstore. There sitting in the bargain book was ths book. Not thinking much of it I didn't give it a second glance. But then my boyfriend picked it up and said that I looked like the girl on the cover...Well of course I picked it up immediately (wink). But there beneath the cover was a world of information that was incredible. Here was this woman who talked about being eco-concious WITHOUT feeling like you had to walk around in a burlap sack, never wear makeup or bathe. Instead she detailed out 8 steps in which you could help protect our planet and still be "glamorous" doing it! Take a look at this video for yourself. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UtyV1RsQBfI
I was hooked and over the next few weeks I learned about all kinds of ways to help the environment and ourselves. For me, I had always thought that being green meant that you had to be an activist. You know hear about it on the news all the time, people tying themselves to trees and oil tankers or throwing red paint on fur coats. That's not what I wanted to do. I wanted to (as Ghandi said) "be the change I want to see in the world." To me, that meant making small changes that have BIG impacts. God made us caretakers of this world. It is our responsibilty to protect it, preserve it, and conserve it. Too people have this view that the enivironment is something outside of ourselves, but really we are apart of the environment. We are part of the eco-system.
This country spends millions (perhaps even billions) of dollars every year promoting health, diet, recovered youth, and weight loss. We put into our bodies all kinds of "magic" pills, oinment, and syrums that are supposed to heal, and safe guard us against the tides of time and the environment. Did ever occur to anyone that all we need to stay strong, healthy, and slim has been provided to us right here on this earth. Or that these magic pills might be doing more damage to you that it is good?
We have become a society of instant gratification. I'm guilty of it and I'm sure that there are others. We want to see results now. We want change now. I believe that because of this attitude that modern day society adopted we have lost (and are losing) something very dear in the process. Our humanity, our connection to others, our connection to ourselves, and our world.
This book teaches us that by pausing, taking and breath and slowing down just a little we can do so much good in ourselves, our homes, and the world. I encourage you to look at the website and buy the book. You don't have to completely rearrange your life to green you can make a big impact with one small change. If we each make one small change in our daily lives, think about how those changes add up. I read in a book the other day, "If every U.S. citizen ate just one meal a week (any meal) composed of locally and organically raised meats and produce, we would reduce our country’s oil consumption by over 1.1 million barrels of oil every week. That’s not gallons, but barrels. Small changes in buying habits can make big differences. Becoming a less energy-dependent nation may just need to start with a good breakfast(Animal, Vegetable, Miracle http://www.animalvegetablemiracle.com/Steven%20Excerpt.html)." I assure you that once you make one small change, others will follow. You'll feel better about yourself and the world around you.
We only have one world and only we have the power to protect it. I leave you with a quote from Gorgeously Green: "In Nazi Germany, it was said, 'the road to hell was paved with indifference.' I think it's the same way with saving the planet (http://gorgeouslygreen.com/)."

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Why!

Why is it that we are so good at doing things we don't enjoy? I'd also like to know why people can't except decisions that you make for your life and career. Just be happy for me. If I don't want to follow a career that makes good money, but stresses the hell out of me and makes me crazy and unhappy, don't keep suggesting that I do. If I want to make a career path that pays less, but makes me happy and fulfilled... be happy for me.
C'mon people! You wouldn't want me to do that to you! Lay off!
I'm happy with the choices that I've made. Why can't you just support me and be happy for me in that choice? Why!?

Saturday, July 12, 2008

30 . . . what does it all mean?

I turned 30 this summer... Wow! 30! I couldn't believe it... I don't feel 30. I feel 22, some days younger. As a child I looked at older people and thought wow 30 is so old. Even as a teenager, it felt like 30 was that definitive moment when you would have some sort of epiphany and know the answers to all of life questions. Since turning the BIG 3...0... I have realized that I know absolutely nothing. I don't have all the answers, I don't need to know all the answers and... I don't want to know all the answers.
It's kind of liberating in a way...

Sunday, March 16, 2008

True Beauty

I have been having a query of late. What is true beauty? You may think to yourself, "this is an easy answer, it's your inner self, it's your inner light and confidence." Or you may think, "no it's Angelina Jolie's lips, Jennifer Garner's collar bone, or Jessica Beal's tush." Not to be cliche, but does Beauty truly lie in the eye of the beholder? To you, the reader, this may be seem an easy answer. But for me, Southern Girl in the Big Apple, it is something that I have been thinking about a lot lately. I work in an area populated with models, photography studios, movie sets, and aspiring fashionistas. I walk past hundreds of women everyday that are tall, leggy, platinum blondes and burgundy brunettes. They are all draped in the most dramatic and sensuous blacks, greys and other thought provoking earth tones. Each one of them covering their faces with over sized "Jackie O" sunglasses and carrying a cigarette or Starbucks tall extra skim soy latte (Let the writer add a disclaimer here, there is nothing wrong with Starbucks tall extra skin soy lattes, they are quite good; the cigarettes I cannot recommend). Each one of them are, no doubt, going off to a photo shoot, set call, or studio to be fitted. Is this beauty? The way they command the runways, streets and attention of all testosterone packing beings in the city is something to be admired. These women that I have detailed to you, are considered beautiful. But what about me? I am beautiful too. I am not tall or leggy. My hair is blonde, but not platinum. I go to Starbucks, but don't smoke. I am beautiful because my inner beauty shines through. My inner beauty is comprised of confidence, calmness, humility, gentleness, goodness, and self control... A man named Peter wrote a letter in the first century with wise words that still apply today: "Beauty should not come from what you wear. Instead, it should be that of your inner self, the unfading beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is of great worth."

Tuesday, January 1, 2008

Christmas 2007

Merry Christmas, Happy Holidays, and Happy New Year!
It's been a while since my last entry. I've been busy with the holidays. My guy and I came home to the south for a little Southern Christmas hospitality.
It has been my experience that Christmas in New York and Christmas in the South are two very different experiences. Since I am a Southern girl I have certain expectations of what the Holiday season should be like. Since this has been my second Christmas in New York, I've been able to see some of the differences between the "North"and "South."
In the South there is lots of cooking; cooking of recipes that have been passed down from generation to generation of women. I have delicious childhood memories of my Mother, Grandmother, and Great-grandmother all in the kitchen cooking cakes, pies, and cookies. Each one giving her own opinion of how sift the flour, or stir the batter, or whether or not the baking soda should be cold or room temperature. As a child I remember wondering what the difference was and why was it worth arguing over, but to these Matriarchs of my family, it was of the greatest importance. As an adult, I now find myself defending and arguing over the process at which these women spent so much time.
My experience in the North (particularly people in the city) has been that when people spend time visiting with friends or family, as we do in the South, they order their dishes from the local deli or pastry shop. Instead of arguing over recipe secrets, they argue over which has found the best deli or pastry shop. They make reservations at delicious restaurants hidden in tucked away corners of the city. They pride themselves on getting reservations at hard to reserve restaurants. They argue over the best italian cuisine instead over the best fried chicken.
In the South we tease that Northerners are gruff and harsh, just as they tease that we are stubborn and slow. But I have learned that so many people in the North are warm and friendly even if they do have a rougher exterior than what I am accustomed to. So many people up here have been so helpful and kind. When the temperatures drop, the holiday spirit rises. There's a smell in the air of pine, and mistletoe and cheer. The strange thing is that same smell makes its way into the South at this time of year as well. Maybe its a coincidence, maybe its the season. Maybe its the Reason for the Season.
I love my family and I love how intergrated food is into the Southern culture. A family or family gathering is defined by the food that is served there. It is essential to setting the mood of any event by what is served and how it is prepared. It seems though, that whether you labor in the kitchen or labor over which deli to patronize every dish is selected and gathered with love.
For those Northern city women who may read this entry I must beg your forgiveness as I have simply expressed the humble opinion of a Southern Girl in the Big City.
Happy New Year!

About Me

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Hello. I'm Bree Tuttle, owner of You in Mind Designs, LLC. I've been a designer for 13 years and I work with you in mind. There's much joy in discovering those treasures in your home that are, perhaps, misplaced or even in the attic. I will help you making every room a reflection of who you are personally. It's my philosophy that if you feel proud, safe, and at peace in your home, then it will affect all aspects of your life. You stand straighter, walk taller, dress better, work harder, sleep more soundly, and ultimately have a more fulfilling life. If I can help you do that, then I'll consider my job as your designer a success.