focusing on good stuff, here are seven things i am so incredibly thankful for:

early morning softball eyes.  they are the prettiest i’ve seen yet.  those lashes!

little hands, little hearts, BIG impact on their aunt baaaaabs. (& matching jammies).

a view from happy.  my sweet alex reese, a pit of wonder, the garden boxes.

this sound.  this smell.  these stories & dreams shared.  this. this. this.

silliness personified in all its youthful, spirited glory.  summertime.

sweet cool treats (minus the whipped cream for me, of course).

the perspective of lovely evenings, & knowing that this is just earth.

quietest voice

sometimes the quietest voice heeds the loudest boom.

who or what are you listening to?  watching?  is it uplifting to you?  are they making you feel peace?  is it filling you with kindness and happiness?  what about that person or thing is something you’d like to listen to more?

just thoughts on a tuesday.

peace be with all of you.



words of the mother – give away – WINNER



** this giveaway is now closed.  the winner is amanda! since i will be seeing you in a few days friend, i’ll bring it with me.  i was not sure how to get the little random.org generator on here, but amanda was number 1 literally, and as the winner!  🙂  hopefully some new giveaways will happen in the near future, so stay tuned – it’s so fun to give gifts away!  **




before i thought up of be forever lovely, there was a super cool chick that loved people, and loved peace.

she said this:

“Let no one ever come to you without leaving better and happier. Be the living expression of God’s kindness: kindness in your face, kindness in your eyes, kindness in your smile.” Mother Teresa

and every day since my idea for this be forever lovely movement began, i’ve wanted to do just that. leave it all lovelier. the people, the places, the situations.

i don’t have all the answers like most mothers do, and i don’t have all the words for the answer to what my mother and the other mothers i love mean to me.

sure, i’ve messed up.  some may be able to call me a hypocrite.  (myself included).  i may not always be able to be forever lovely all the time.

but, no matter the hour, nor the location, nor the stresses or joys, i will seek to LIVE this statement that the eloquent mother of us all has spoken.

Mother Teresa, you had it right.

Better, Happier.

Happy Mother’s Day to everyone.

and as a gift from me to you, please leave a comment below for your chance to win this:

a handmade typewriter change purse from Aubrey Plays, that i was supposed to give away for my 2 year blogiversary. (whoops it’s already May!)

also, because Aubrey is a kind blogger and handmade shop owner, she said my readers can use the code MRSFRIDAY for 20% off in her shop!

consider it a gift for Mother’s Day, for being happier, and being better.  the only rule is that you leave me your email address.  OH!  and that you try to abide by Mother Teresa’s words above.  thanks.

(if you want to earn one extra entry, mention this on twitter, or facebook, and share it with me on twitter (@beforeverlovely) , or be forever lovely fb page, and you will earn another chance to win this beauty).  and let me know if you do, okay?  🙂

**this was something i purchased to give away.  this giveaway is open to residents of the U.S. and Canada only.  the giveaway ends on 5/15 at 11:59 p.m. EST.  the winner will be announced here on the blog.**

random thought thursday: celebrity dinner party

the guest list:
zooey deschanel  :  drew barrymore  :  jessica simpson  :  tori spelling  :  the pioneer woman  :  ellen page  :    wanda sykes  :  kate hudson  :  keri russell  :  liv tyler  :  whitney cummings  :  reese witherspoon  :  maya angelou  :  lauren graham  :  melissa mccarthy  :  jewel  :  sheryl crow  :  sherri shepherd  :  amy poehler  :  ellen degeneres  :

we’d talk about being famous, paparazzi, & how we hate when US Weekly compares us with Who Wore It Best.

i’d serve something scrumptious from pw’s cookbooks, simple. homemade. devine.

we’d retire to my moroccan themed patio, and sip on mojitos ( i mean diet mojitos), joking about how nice it is that our nannies could watch the kids/dogs/iguanas for the week, while we perused the sites of diane von furstenberg, anthropologie & nordstrom, buying up a storm, not a thought to the prices. & how karl lagerfield really needs to lay off on the tanning situation.

then, as we tweeted & clucked the night away, they would tell me how wonderful it is to have such a down-to-earth friend.  one who can shimmy with the best, & still loves a good campfire in the chimenea, and have i met their trainer yet?  he is the BEST.

we’d give hugs & promises to return to tori’s house for a reunion sooner-rather-than-later, & we’d discuss how to keep in touch better.

if only i were a celebrity, & these women could be my friends (*oh, and i may need to be famous, and live in nyc, la or another faboosh city).

sure, i might have a better wardrobe, a personal chef (heck, i’d settle for a dishwasher), a shoe collection worthy of a museum.



i wouldn’t have stories about going to eat in our pj’s on a lady sunday afternoon, countless laughter fits about who-only-knows-what, & pics of us in dozens of bathrooms this side of the mississippi where we curiously covered our double chins (okay, that was just me).  i wouldn’t know their stories, inside & out, of first loves, of boys that should be banned from memories, cars that were dangerously cool, & late night study/snack-fests.  or their family histories, nephews’ names, stories that became my own story.

in other words, i couldn’t be friends with all of those celebs above, because my heart is so full with the wonderful ladies that i choose to call my friends, that i simply don’t have enough room.

so, instead of wanting a skinnier body to clothe, a fancier checking account total (although an all-healthy-full-fridge-all-the-time remains a dream), or an iguana, i’ll keep my hard earned, true blue girlfriends that i’ve collected, some i’ve known for a few years, some a decade.  (a few even longer).

because no matter what kind of envy i do suffer from on a daily, weekly, or yearly basis, it is never one of friends.

they’ve laughed with me, at me, & cried for me & in front of me.

they are beautiful, & they can’t be compared, because instead of a celebrity, i wannabe like them.  moral:  friends.  i got ’em.  i’m keeping ’em.  and no mega-watt  superstar person is ever going to compare to my girlfriends. (although let’s be serious, if drew barrymore ever asked to hang out, she’d be in the circle ASAP, but she’s the only one).  🙂

enjoy your friends today!  tell them that they make your world better!  to all my girlfriends:  you know who you are, let’s grab a mojito soon, & thanks for being you!

**  drew’s pic source

the upswing of being ungreedy

my Godson E.C.G.

it is not about wanting nice things.  of course i want nice things. 

it is not about how much money i make or have made or will make.  of course i want to be able to support myself and my little family.

it is not about being able to compare my friends, my family’s, my extended family’s, my neighbor’s, my hygientist’s, nor my hairstylist’s style, purse, shoes, vacation, boat, etc.  it would be nice sometimes to have what they have.

it is about what makes me happy.  and i am trying not to value things, as much as i value people and time.

i am supposed to tell a story. it is the real story of our past, their future, and my present. it is the story of times lost to error in judgement. in wanting what we have not earned. we are able to put in the work ourselves.

my parents (role models)

 i am supposed to get back to the basics. food, grown by ourselves, not in a lab. work done by our hands, not a system that fails with the man-made power (outage). health earned, and kept up through pure exercise and sweat. we are to abandon the idea that the earnings of a sum, are equal to the happiness that it will bring.

we are human beings, searching for what will fill our void::  when in question, is not our void, but our presence, what we need to acknowledge? what are we present for? field trips and band concerts? or meetings, and agendas. what happened to the family meal at dinner or supper time when everyone talked about their day? there were no television interruptions, no smart-tech gadgets and gizmos.

rl(best everything)

only real talk, and love. sharing the homemade bread, passing the mashed potatoes.   (notice i mentioned both my favorite type of carbs).  the real culprit behind why we don’t have time for anything, is because we allow others to tell us how we should spend it. think about that. it is OUR time. my time. your time. so what if you are going to be missing a meeting that could promote you? so what if that promotion could give you such a big raise that you could earn a second home. it doesn’t matter if you will never have time to visit that second home. it certainly doesn’t matter to your eight year old, whose soccer game you missed, because you need to earn over what you really need to survive.

younger sister:passion, me, older sister:heart

and in the end, that is what it boils down to. what do we need to make us happy, help us survive? not want, not think we want, not desire because the billion dollar you-know-who systems think we should have, to fatten their pockets. greed of things, greed of spending time trying to earn things that will not matter in a hundred years, guilty, dirty, soul-sucking greed. what type of greed are you feeding into?  it is my belief that if you do not understand that the ascension of greed is directly proportional to the decension of human, then you do not understand love.

nephew D.L.G.

it is okay to have special things that make us happy.  as long as those things don’t hurt people.  it is okay to want special things to make the day easier, more enjoyable.  as long as those things are not overtaking living.   

brother by love, sister c

i would love to feel like the only thing anyone could ever accuse me of, would be being greedy with time with those i love.  i will still want.  sometimes i will “covet” (as my madre likes to say), but please help me re-write our story.  i want to try and live my life with less things, and more hugs, more time with loved ones, more happy.  more simple.

sweet alex reese smiles that make everything worth it

i have taken a long journey from that of a wanting person, to that of a needs person.  i will still want.  but it is different now.  i have lost a lot on my path, and i have hurt those i love.  i need to remember that love is the best gift i can give.

i want to make this journey i am on worth it.

be forever lovely,

my response to her, although i am a stranger

i read the following blog post, by a writer out of new york.  she is lovely, she is talented.  it is how i feel and then some.  sometimes (especially this time of year), i don’t know how to express this to others:

the wily brunette

and then, this is what i wrote to her:

“to be a writer, a poet, a person of art, and to feel that ache for happiness is what bonds us to our art, but for the good.  however, i have felt exact-to-the-word likeness of what you have described here.  it is always something for someone else to exclaim “i am happy”, and for one to feel jealous of that.  but, i feel like someone who needs to be encouraged (albeit by themselves) to be happy, ends up appreciating it even more, since they had to remind themselves that it takes courage. 

well written, again.  :)”

and that today and almost every day of the fall season and then some, is my truth.

speak yours.  be forever truthful.



road to happiness

you are not given a road map –
no global positioning exists (yet) for your heart.
you are to follow it though~

follow through (to figure it out with the tools you are

 given/earn/learn/decipher from this)

*you will get there eventually if you listen, and go s l o w l y


fastfastfast…but it must be your own pace.*

you want to know how.

not to be afraid of not knowing the direction to begin.  fear it.  it will make you push yourself to greater stitches, will make you hunger for the breaking of molds in which you must not fit, or you wouldn’t be on the journey to

begin with.

but alas, my friend. i will be here (inyour heart) telling you that you can.
you will, find your way to that place of happiness.  where you listen to your heart, and your soul laughs with you at the absurdity that it couldn’t have been any other way than this.

if i could weave a thread of wonder into your green knit cap, i would.  remember to have fun with it,

                                                         this life.  laugh and toast,  &

 carry on disproportionately with joy(at the debt of not one soul, not one heart).

but i must tell you to go…otherwise, you will always be lost, if you are not going.


s’more laughter please

(a real scene between my sweet stepdaughter and her friend, and their first sleepover at our house)

l:  don’t roast it so close to the flame. you will burn it!
a:  but i want it gooey like yours! (sticks giant marshmallow closer to flame).
l: (examining a‘s form closely) watch it!…here, let me show you…
a: okay. (sighing) why does this take so long?!? i want to eat my s’more right now! i love s’mores!
r: patience is a virtue child (smiling).
a: what is a virtue?
b: virtues are good things to have;  like patience…kindness…helpfullness, stuff like that.
a: well, i guess i’m not very virtuous then, because i want to eat my s’more!

laughter.  sometimes it is just about laughter and the little (sweet) things that children/people say.  enjoy your weekend with whomever makes your belly ache with laughter!