I heart L.A.

Posted January 23, 2009 by Royally Awesome
Categories: LA-la Land

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I love L.A. The randomness that abounds here is without precedence for me. I love that I can hop in the elevator at work on any random day and Reese Witherspoon will be standing in it. I find it hilarious that I can walk home from work and be randomly stopped on Robertson by Gary Busey (or at least his look alike if it wasn’t him – and he’s a pretty distinct guy) saying, “Nice hat.” “Thanks.” “I mean Barret, it’s a Barret right, not a hat?” “Yes, it’s a Barret. Thanks.” “It’s really cute I like that.” Or that I can head out to a movie and it randomly happens to be a film premiere and there’s a red carpet rolled out, a hundred cameras and celebrities. This is truly the most random city I have ever lived in. I find it fascinating and hilarious simultaneously.

But back to business. I have good news, The Duchess Digest Article is up today at SingleMindedWoman. This week’s article is called “The Midas Touch” and it’s my reflections on the ways technology can disconnect us. I hope you enjoy and have a wonderful weekend.





New and Exciting

Posted January 22, 2009 by Royally Awesome
Categories: Inspiration

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Well the Duchess Digest Column is still M.I.A. this week. I had notice from my editor it may be so, but I’ll keep checking until everything is fixed and back up. Until then . . .

This week I’m all about motion. It’s all about hustling and getting things moving again. My energy has become rather stale at the close of last year so I’m really trying to shake things up and get moving. As part of the Yes, we can! Challenge I threw down yesterday I now am heading to dinner and a movie tonight, found a date for my ballet dance performance extra ticket tomorrow night, am attending a creative writing workshop on Saturday and accepted an invitation to spend the weekend in Monterrey next month. Fun and exciting. A note on the Yes, we can! Challenge; pay attention to what you’re saying yes to, or rather when you’re saying yes. Because I inadvertently double booked myself tonight and had to gracefully decline one of my yeses (can’t be two places at once). So calendar yourself a little better then me.

With that said, onward and upward! Keep hustling. Keep making plans and doing what you can to get them rolling. A gentle push can start an avalanche, so see what you can be a catalyst for today.

“You must not for one instant give up the effort to build new lives for yourself.”

-Daisaku Ikedo


The “Yes, we can!” Challenge

Posted January 21, 2009 by Royally Awesome
Categories: Inspiration

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Today is Duchess Digest Day – but with a twist. The SingleMindedWoman site is revamping so this week’s article isn’t up yet. When it is I will send you all a nice big update.

Until then, there is SO much going on here at Duchess that I am very excited. For one, I am working on a new article for a new website called www.MarsVenusLiving.com It is the website for author John Gray who wrote the book series “Men are from Mars, Women are from Venus.” Any chance I get to write makes me happy so I will let you all know when the article posts and will link to it. Also, I’m in the process of working with a designer to get the all new fancy, schmancy, awesome Duchess website totally re-vamped. We’re talking one site does it all, and very beautifully, so while it will be a bit, I’m so amped up about being in the process. There are many other things but those are the two biggies for now.

Oh, and I thought I’d mention we have a new President. In case any of you don’t follow politics (tee-hee). I thought his acceptance speech was so motivating. It is definitely time to pick ourselves up, dust ourselves off and get to it. I’ve been doing that all week, but President Obama re-stoked that fire under my ass to hustle. Gotta hustle.

So in the spirit of our new President, and our new and improved state of mind, I’m throwing down the “Yes, we can!” Challenge. Mainly, because someone challenged me. I’m making it my goalto say “Yes” to everything that comes my way this week. Whether it’s a new assignment, something at work, a night out, whatever. I’m saying yes. I’ve been motivated and happy and I want to keep that kinetic energy moving. This object in motion wants to stay in motion.

“You must take chances. If you do nothing, you reduce the possibilities you have for greater joy.”

-Walter Anderson


A New Dawn

Posted January 20, 2009 by Royally Awesome
Categories: Inspiration

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Good Morning Ladies!

Today’s message is simply this: Yes, we can!

Not only does that message apply to our new administration, but to each of us. So whenever you’re doubting yourself, your power, your dreams or your decisions just remember – Yes, you can!

Now roll up your sleeves and get to work 🙂

The long and winding road

Posted January 16, 2009 by Royally Awesome
Categories: Inspiration, LA-la Land

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It is hard for me to remember that there is bitter cold elsewhere in the country. I saw the footage of the passengers being rescued off the sinking plane in the Hudson River (what a story that is – amazing!), the trains derailing in Chicago, and the ice and snow sweeping the mid-west. My own mom and sister live in Denver and I hear their tales of sub-zero temperatures and snow. Meanwhile, back at the ranch, I woke up last night and opened my balcony doors to sleep. My room was too hot and our air conditioning isn’t working. It is January 16th and I’m sleeping with the windows open to cool down the room. What a luxury Los Angeles can be in the winter. Especially this winter. Because while the country seems to be experiencing record lows, I think L.A. is experiencing record highs. Mid-80’s every day this week. Its been warm.

So I’m looking forward to a long, warm weekend. Even if the long weekend doesn’t include travel, as I’d hoped, it will include travling around the city. Hopefully to the beach, and on some hikes with Labrador, and to the new exhibit at The Getty.

With Monday being the Martin Luther King, Jr. Holiday, I was reflecting on the man and his influence. I was trying to think of a really great quote to put up today in honor of his life, but I didn’t want the traditional “I have a dream” speech. Not that it isn’t wonderful, but I wanted to know him and what he said in a way outside of what’s taught in school. So I did some searching and found this wonderful quote excerpted from a speech. I like it because it reminds us all to walk in faith and purpose; we don’t need to see the end. It’s a healthy detachment from the outcome at the top of the stairs and to just start walking.

So whatever your weekend plans, whatever your goals for this year, take the step. Take it now. Action is the great catalyst. Thinking can overrule and outweigh sometimes when action is all we need. Take those first steps.

“Faith is taking the first step, even when you don’t see the whole staircase.”


Rainbow Country

Posted January 15, 2009 by Royally Awesome
Categories: Inspiration

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I came home last night to a pitch black apartment. The power was out and after a phone call to my landlord and then the power company, I got the news it would be a few hours. The good news is that they would come look. The bad news was that until then, no laptop, no internet, no lights for reading or writing, no stereo for dancing, nadda.

Without my usual comforting  companions to work through the night with I had a lot of quiet time. Actually, that’s funny because my Goddess card yesterday said “Quiet Time.” I just made that connection. Ha! Anyway, I spent the evening trying to meditate and pray and be open to some answers. I’ve been feeling restless again. The palmist told me everything I needed was here, in Los Angeles. Some days I just don’t see it. I’m trying to see it; but I don’t necessarily. I am yearning for a change, some kind of mix-up. An extended trip out of the U.S., a great and well funded writing gig to present itself, some new opportunities, a weekend away, a new job. . .

I feel ready. I’ve been working at it for several years now, and very intensely for the last year. I’m ready for Duchess to start taking off and becoming my business. I’m ready to find a sample maker to manufacture my backpack. I’m ready for travel again. I’m ready for love and romance and adventure again. But last night especially, I was ready for the power to come back on!

I called around 10pm to check again with the power company and the operator told me the crew had stopped by and checked the meter. Someone had turned off the switch to our apartment (he couldn’t say malicious or accidental – but certainly with purpose).

Me: So how do I turn it back on?

Him: Walk to the side of the building and open up the meter panels.

Me: Are you going to talk me through it? I don’t know how.

Him: Yes. It’s easy but I can talk you through it. Grab a flashlight.

Me: I don’t have a flashlight.

Him: Young lady, this is earthquake country. You need a radio, a flashlight and extra batteries in the house at all times. Will you do that?

Me: Yes (thinking, earthquake country? I’d rather be in Bob Marley’s world and have the power operator say, it’s Rainbow Country, grab your bag of skittles).

And so I used my lifeline option to call a “friend” at the power company who showed me how to restore light into my life. And who helped me wise up a little on the emergency preparedness. By the way, it was simple, just a flip of a switch outside on the meter. I even said, “It’s that easy to turn on?” And the operator responded, “Yes, but it’s that easy to turn off too.” I felt like we were discussing philosophy. Some throw back to a Nietzsche conversation.

The experience helped to put the darkness in perspective for me. So today’s quote is a Swedish proverb about facing fear and its illusions. I hope it helps to keep things in perspective and to help you turn on the light. It can be that easy.

“Worry often gives a small thing a big shadow.”


Duchess Digest Wednesday

Posted January 14, 2009 by Royally Awesome
Categories: Inspiration

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I enjoyed a fabulous, fun and inspiring dinner last night with “That Happened to Me” founder Vanessa Torres. What a delight she is! I am so appreciative of her spirit, her purpose and her wonderful light. Oh – and her wise dog-loving disposition! What a gem. She and I are up to some planning for a great new idea – so ladies of Los Angeles, be prepared!

Be sure to check out “That Happened to Me”– it’s on the blog roll list of loved links on the right ——> 

Vanessa has really great resources and writes articles for a Female Entrepreneur Blog; so check it out!

And while you’re out there looking around, playing the field (don’t worry my blog won’t know you’re checking out all your options ;)) be sure to read this week’s article called “What you Speak is Seeking You”on the Single Minded Woman website (also linked on the blog roll favorites to the right ———>). Last year was like running a marathon for me. I’m glad I did it, but damn it was hard. I feel a bit bloodied, beat up and tired; but that sense of accomplishment is priceless and leads to the kind of happiness I’m starting to enjoy now.


Here’s to an inspiring, adventurous Wednesday full of fabulous information and reading. Long may you reign Duchesses!

*Postscript: I really did run a marathon. The Park City Mid-Mountain Marathon in September 2007. Nothing like 26 miles of single track trail running through the gorgeous Aspen forests from Deer Valley Ski Resort through Park City Mountain Resort and ending at the base of The Canyons Resort. I got worked; but finished. I was 5th for women in my age group with a time of 4 hours and 48 minutes.