Tuesday, December 27, 2011

"Manners of the heart"

The idea of teaching manners came to me after spending years working in my children's classrooms at school and interacting with their friends and peers. I noticed that in general, kids are not aware of their behavior and the impact that they have on others.

I believe that we've all been taught manners by parents, grandparents and teachers.
It's just that our society has become so casual that we don't practice or re-inforce the importance of manners today.

For me, it's about the behavior more than formalities. Please and Thank You, Excuse Me and I'm sorry for starters. I like to call it "Universal Kindness". When your request includes "Please" it is kind and may make the other person feel good about fulfilling your request.

Some may think that they should use these words sparingly because overuse seems insincere.
Actually, the opposite is true. These words should be used even in the most mundane conversations, over and over in effort to make it habit!

Add a smile and a kind demeanor and just think how this idea could catch on?

When I began my research on "Manners and Etiquette" I was surprised to find so much information on the subject in books, websites and blogs. I was also surprised at the lack of programs that were dedicated to teaching this lost art to children.

My theory in creating "Manners and Etiquette" classes for children is that by helping them become more aware, it will raise awareness in general.

Many times parents are present during our classes. I see pleasure on their faces when
they experience their children participating in discussions and roleplaying!

As we grow our programs we will include resources for you that will help strengthen our message of "Inspiring personal growth and confidence through self awareness and self discipline."

I look forward to the opportunity to help parents in teaching kindness, compassion and empathy to children (of all ages).

I am always available to offer advice on these topics.

As Always Inspiringly Yours,


Up next....

"Teaching Manners a Lifetime Job"

Saturday, December 17, 2011

The "Heart" of the Matter

What you'll find as you get to know me is that I am a walking example of "Destiny"!
I don't share all of it with everyone because some are a little uncomfortable
when you talk about these things. I can tell you that many of the experiences in my life are the driving force of the essence of "Hearts of Inspiration".

Here's the short version:

The name "Hearts of Inspiration" was inspired as a result of our family's experience with surviving cardiac arrest and several strokes. Only to have my heart repaired and find that
my son had the same defect that nearly took my life!

We were both born with a Congenital Heart Defect called an ASD (Atrial Septal Defect) or a hole in the heart. Mine was undiagnosed by many Medical people until I was 40. Evan's was only detected at 9 years old because I asked his pediatrician to check him for it.

Facts about CHDs:
  • CHDs are the most common of Birth Defects. (March of Dimes, American Heart Association)
  • Most of the time these defects are detected at birth. Sometimes before birth, while the mother is pregnant.
  • Even though 1 in 100 babies are born with some form of CHD, there is not a standard protocol in hospitals to screen newborns for CHDs.
  • It is estimated that 10% of the population is walking around with undetected heart defects. Some simple and some more serious.
  • The best way to detect a CHD is through a heart history, exam, EKG and an Echocardiogram.
  • Heart related deaths are the leading cause of death (American Heart Association)
What can you do?
  1. Be aware and keep a record of any heart history in your family.
  2. Make your Dr. aware of any family members who have died from a heart related deaths before the age of 40.
  3. Report any symptoms such as: shortness of breath, frequent upper respiratory infections, heart palpitations, chest pains, easily exhausted.
  4. For peace of mind have your heart as well as your children's screened at Beaumont Hospital Heart Center or one of their Free "Student Heart Screening" events.
For more information on Congenital Heart Defects visit these websites:

American Heart Association - www.heart.org
March of Dimes - www.marchofdimes.com
Anthony Bates Foundation - www.anthonybates.org

Inspiringly Yours,

Next: "Manners of the Heart"

Thursday, December 15, 2011

The "Vision"

When I started thinking about what Hearts of Inspiration would look like I envisioned Crisp, Clean lines with a mixture of Soft touches of pink and lots of "White", my favorite color.

I wanted to carry merchandise that would make girls of all ages feel pretty!

The "Pink Party Suite" is a place where little girls can be a princess or a fairy for a day. Whatever inspires them to feel pretty and have fun with friends.

We layered shades of pink and a few sprinkles of green. Then we added fresh white china, tea pots and tea cups.

For extra fun we can add crafts, a visit with a fairy, music or story time.

But it's not just for little girls, big girls like to feel pretty too.

Pretty pink parties are perfect for older girls birthdays, baby showers, bridal showers,
girls get togethers, group meetings and tea parties for any occasion!

Think of the possibilities. Pampering parties, jewelry parties, creating together or just a few friends getting together for tea in your own private suite.

You don't have to have a party to have a cup of tea.

The water's hot and it's always tea time!

Saturday, December 10, 2011

Inspired Hearts Want to Know!

What inspired the concept for Hearts of Inspiration?

1 Part Experience - 1 Part Passion

Retail is in my blood. My parents were in the antique business in Vermont and Michigan
since I was 7 years old. At 19 I started in the children's furniture business and worked my way up to buying and merchandising for 5 stores! During that time, I developed and taught child safety classes to expectant parents. We focused on how to modify your home to make it a safe environment for children, starting with the trip home from the hospital with your new bundle of joy! We had big stores with 20 or more room settings. I loved to create beautiful displays but always imagined owning a small boutique.

My Buying philosophy: I only buy what I would want for myself!

Being creative brained, I've always had a need to create things. I wouldn't call myself an expert but I have been known create some pretty neat things! I found this helpful when my children were little.

I spent a lot of time in the kids school planning events and helping in the classroom.

Spending time interacting with kids in school was enlightening.
Call me old fashioned but I couldn't help noticing how disrespectful and disengaged the kids were to each other and the teachers! Doing their own thing instead of listening to the teacher or even their peers. No acknowledgement when something was done for them. Loud voices as is there were no one else in the room! I felt like I should doing something to encourage kids to be more aware of how their actions affect other people. So, I started with my own children and found that I could have some success with consistency and good examples!

As my children got older there was less opportunity to help out. I found myself looking for ways to put my skills to use and make a living too!

I knew that retail was tough in our economy but I also knew that it would drive me crazy if I just set up a party room and had no interaction with people except on the day of events.

So I put the two together!
Of course there is more to it but you're not here to read my book.

I'll be sure to give you more on my thoughts on why I am so passionate about Hearts of Inspiration!