Women that Dare to Dream

Here’s to the Dreamers…“Here’s to the crazy ones, the misfits, the rebels, the troublemakers, the round pegs in the square holes… the ones who see things differently — they’re not fond of rules… You can quote them, disagree with them, glorify or vilify them, but the only thing you can’t do is ignore them because they change things… they push the human race forward, and while some may see them as the crazy ones, we see genius, because the ones who are crazy enough to think that they can change the world, are the ones who do.” – Steve Jobs

I love hearing stories of people that dare to dream big and live lives that make it possible for their dreams to come true. Having a dream come true is an amazing way to seize the day. Over the past few weeks I have had the opportunity to interview 3 uniquely amazing women that have dared to dream and are living the lives of their dreams.

Jacqui Thompson

Revel

 

 

 

I was introduced to Jacqui earlier this year when I was on a sabbatical from libations at the time she was visiting one of our mutual friends and bought samples of her new Avila, Revel (think tequila but from a different region of Mexico). Everyone at the impromptu dinner party raved about how smooth the Revel tasted and I was disappointed that I couldn’t partake in the tasting. At the end of my libations sabbatical I was surprised when I received a package with samples of Revel from Jacqui. Everyone was right…it’s so smooth; you can sip it straight all night long.

Jacqui is a former music executive; she has worked with music icons like Chaka Khan, Carlos Santana and Prince to name a few. As Jacqui witnessed the changes in the music industry she began to think about her next professional chapter.

The questions:

  • Are you learning anything?
  • Are you having fun?
  • Are you making enough money that if the answer to questions #1 and 2 are no you should stay?

These questions have always served as her personal gage for accessing jobs. The answer to all three questions was NO and Jacqui decided it was time to make a career change. A combination of networking, opportunity and her marketing expertise led to her and two friends launching Revel Spirits.

Revel is in a new category for ultra-premium tequila and its initial launch is going very well. Jacqui’s dream of successfully bringing a product to the market is coming true. Revel is available on premise in California and Minnesota. The product can be purchased online at the Revel Spirits website and should be available for retail purchase nationwide in 2015.

Jacqui believes that her and her business partners’ network of advisers, ability to step out of their comfort zone and perseverance has led to this dream coming true.

Jasmine + Jacqui Thompson, Co-Founder, Revel Spirits

Jasmine + Jacqui Thompson, Co-Founder, Revel Spirits

Koel Thomae

Noosa

 

 

 

I was introduced to Noosa Yoghurt by my dear friend Kirsty Spraggon, host of Kirsty TV in Hawaii earlier this year. I’ve never been a big fan of yogurt but after 2 bites of Noosa Yoghurt I was hooked. I was delighted when I returned home and found Noosa at my local Target and Lunds grocery stores. I’ve become a self-proclaimed brand ambassador for Noosa telling my friends, family members and colleagues about this yummy, tasty and healthy product.

As The Universe would have it I was given the rare opportunity to have a conversation with Koel Thomae, co-founder of Noosa Yoghurt and learn more about the product I call yogurt goodness and the dream that made it all possible.

Koel credits a trip to her home country of Australia to visit her parents, a cold call and a long lunch meeting for changing the trajectory of her life and leading to her co-founding Noosa Yoghurt. It was during a 2008 trip to visit her parents in Queensland, Australia where Koel first tasted the product that has become Noosa Yoghurt. She did some research and discovered that the yoghurt that intrigued her taste buds and left an indelible mark in her memory was a family recipe produced by the Mathewson Family.

Koel returned to the United States and back to her job as a supply chain manager for Izze with memories of the yoghurt she tasted during her most recent visit home still on her mind. Those memories and a little encouragement from her boss led to her cold calling the Mathewson Family and arranging a lunch meeting with them during her next trip to Australia. The long lunch led to the beginning of what we now know as Noosa Yoghurt.

The process of launching Noosa Yoghurt wasn’t as simple as a visit home, a cold call and long lunch meeting but those actions served as the foundation to Noosa Yoghurt being launched in the United States. Koel found something she was passionate about and the courage to take the necessary steps to follow her passion and dreams. Koel’s advice for anyone daring to follow a dream is to, “Be vocal and bold, don’t be afraid to ask for what you want and need because the worst thing someone can say is NO and that doesn’t really hurt.”

Jasmine + Koel Thomae, Co-Founder, Noosa Yoghurt
Jasmine + Koel Thomae, Co-Founder, Noosa Yoghurt

Amy Purdy

amy-purdy-340x440

 

 

 

Amy Purdy danced on my radar during her participation in the last season of Dancing with the Stars* but it was her participation in Oprah Winfrey’s Life You Want Tour that provided me with additional background on her trials, tribulations and successes. During the Atlanta stop of Oprah Winfrey’s Life You Want Tour Toyota invited me to have lunch with Amy Purdy. The lunch afforded me the opportunity to meet Amy; learn more about life and dreams; and her role as a Toyota Brand Ambassador.

Amy is a medal winning Paralympian, World Cup and World Champion snowboarder but that’s only one dimension of who she is as a person. During our lunch I learned that she is dreamer, a giver, modest and a true inspiration to not only those facing obstacles but for anyone making bold choices and creating change. Amy began snowboarding as a teenager but a case bacterial meningitis at the age of 19 led to her having both of her legs amputated below the knee and needing a kidney. Fortunately, her father was a match and was able to donate one of his kidneys to his daughter.

Amy’s positive outlook on life and her successes on and off the slopes are an inspiration and testimony to what one can accomplish with hard work and commitment. Amy’s desire to return to snowboarding led her to work hand in hand with her prosthetic maker to design prosthetic feet that would allow her to return to her beloved sport. Additionally, she co-founded Adaptive Action Sports; a non-profit organization that is dedicated to introducing people with physical challenges to action sports.

During our lunch Amy said she doesn’t know who she would be if her life had not taken a detour. What others may view as a challenge has taught Amy to take her life to the next level by getting creative, using her imagination, following her passion and hard work. She finds irony in the fact that her legs are considered her disability but she’s able to use them 100% and they take her everywhere she needs to go. She said, “My legs have enabled me and helped me to go further than I ever could have imagined.”

This has been a world wind year for Amy and she hasn’t finished dreaming. She’s working on a book that will be released in December of this year and she has a lot of great projects planned for next year. We know that on the course of following one’s dreams you may experience obstacles. Amy believes that that “Obstacles can only do two things; stop you in your tracks or force you to get creative.” Here’s to creativity.

Jasmine + Amy Purdy, World-class Snowboarder, 2014 Paralympic Bronze Medalist, Co-Founder of Adaptive Action Sports and Team Toyota Brand Ambassador

Jasmine + Amy Purdy, World-class Snowboarder, 2014 Paralympic Bronze Medalist, Co-Founder of Adaptive Action Sports and Team Toyota Brand Ambassador

 

I learned so much from my conversations with Jacqui, Koel and Amy. I truly appreciate them taking the time to meet with me, their honesty and their willingness to share their experiences and learnings. I learned that daring to dream and having your dreams come true involves stepping out of your comfort zone; asking for what you want and need and getting creative!

I love hearing your thoughts and comments. What have you learned as you strive to seize the day and follow your dreams?

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What I Know For Sure

 

What I know for Sure Plain

What do you know for sure, sounds like a pretty simple question, but when one really takes a moment to reflect on the true meaning of the question it can provoke the need for one to pause and reflect. That’s exactly what it did to Oprah Winfrey 16 years ago when Gene Siskal asked her the question, “What Do You Know For Sure,” during an interview about the movie Beloved.

So many of us spend our lives operating at the surface failing to go ever really deep….to the core of our spirit; the essence of who we are and who we are meant to be; the place where our dreams, hopes and disappointments lie. The question that originally stumped Oprah led her to do a lot of thinking about what’s certain, what’s real, what’s true and 14 years ago it became her monthly column in “O, The Oprah Magazine” and a source of inspiration, motivation and reflection for me. In fact, it’s one of the first articles in “O, The Oprah Magazine” I read I receive my monthly subscription.

I was thrilled when I received an advance copy of the audiobook of What I Know for Sure from the publisher. Listening to Oprah read her essays with inflection, passion, understanding and humor was like having a personal conversation with her. The essays organized by the themes of joy, resilience, connection, gratitude, possibility, awe, clarity, and power made me laugh, cry, feel inspired and inquisitive. There really was something special garnered from hearing Oprah share her experiences and learnings in her own voice.

If you’re looking for a little encouragement, reassurance or simply enjoy learning from others I highly recommend you purchase a copy of What I Know for Sure. It’s a timeless book that will nourish your soul, feed your spirit and it’s inevitable that you will start to think about what you know for sure!

I love hearing from you….have you downloaded Oprah Winfrey’s What I Know For Sure? If so, what do you think? What do you know for sure?

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A little EXTRA

  1. I’m giving away a FREE copy of Oprah’s What I Know for Sure. Enter to win below

What I Know For Sure Giveaway

 

  1. Here’s a sample from Oprah Winfrey’s What I Know for Sure audiobook. Click the quote below listen.

What I Know For Sure Quote

 

MLB All-Star Weekend in the Twin Cities

Allstar weekend game

One of the BEST things about living in Minneapolis is summer! The Major League Baseball All-Star Game is taking place on July 15th. This weekend thousands of people will get a taste of the city I love. There are tons of FUN activities taking place so if you live in “The Cities” or are visiting from out of town here are a few affordable All-Star activities.

All-Star Game FanFest

The All-Star Game FanFest is being held at the Minneapolis Convention Center from Friday through Tuesday. Tickets to the family-friendly event are significantly cheaper than attending most of the games inside Target Field.

Visitors at FanFest can practice their baseball skills during clinics hosted by baseball legends and current players, view baseball trophies and memorabilia from the National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum, take photos and get autographs with former Twins players and MLB legends.

Tickets, which are still available, are $35 for adults and $30 for children ages 12 and under (children two and under are admitted free), senior citizens, college students and military personnel. FanFest tickets are sold on a timed-entry basis. Click here to buy tickets.

There are also a number of discount options, click here for additional information.

Fan Fest_ credit_ MLB All-star Facebook Page

All-Star Sunday at Target Field

All-Star Sunday is a doubleheader, including the futures game and the all-star legends and  celebrity softball game. Tickets start at $20 and include a ticket to the All-Star FanFest on Monday or Tuesday. I’m excited to see Bravo’s Andy Cohen, Fat Joe, Minnesota Lynx, Maya Moore and Mr. Bizarre Foods, Andrew Zimmern take to the diamond for the all-star legends celebrity softball game.

The futures game showcases top minor league prospects. The United States will compete against the world team.

Baseball field_block party

Ultimate Fan Experience with 3 World Champion Baseball Players  at Macy’s Downtown Minneapolis

Join Macy’s Downtown Minneapolis for In Conversation – the ultimate up-close-and-personal fan experience with baseball world champion Juan Berenguer (Senor Smoke) and two-time Series champs Al Newman and Kent Hrbek, click here for additional information.

Summer Block Party (FREE Event)

The All-Star Summer Pepsi Block Party is being held Sunday through Tuesday in Butler Square (6th Street and 1st Avenue) near Target Field. Admission to the event is free, although you have to pay for food and drinks. Starting at noon each day there will be all kinds of bands and demonstrations by celebrity chefs, including local chef Andrew Zimmern.

The Color Run

This 5K paint race is a can’t miss MLB All-Star experience that will feature mascots, special guests, and baseball legends. Whether this is your first race or you’re a seasoned runner, The Color Run MLB All-Star 5K, Presented by Nike is an event for the whole family.

I ran the color run a few weeks ago with KBS and had a FUN time!

color run

Red Carpet Parade (FREE Event)

For a chance to see the All-Star Game players  in person check out the Red Carpet Parade. Players will be riding in a parade down Nicollet Mall, between 7th and 13th streets, starting at 1 p.m. Tuesday.

For more MLB All-Star Week information, please visit AllStarGame.com, the All-Star Game Twitter account (@AllStarGame) and All-Star Game Facebook account (Facebook.com/MLBAllStarGame)

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4th of July Entertaining

Those of you know that know me, you know I love celebrating holidays and I enjoying entertaining and hosting. The 4th of July is one of my favorite summer holidays! It’s the celebration of the day the thirteen colonies claimed their independence from England, an event which eventually led to the formation of the United States. Americans typically celebrate the 4th of July barbecuing, spending times with friends and family and fireworks.

This past Saturday I discussed “Festive 4th of July Snacks” on WCCO Saturday Morning. All of the recipes were SUPER easy (TRUST ME, if I can make them anyone can ) but they’ll add a WOW factor to your 4th of July BBQ or Potluck this weekend!

Kim and Jasmine on Set{LINK} to WCCO Saturday Morning June 28, 2014

 1. Red, White and Blue Fruit Salad

Photo Credit: Heather Hesinngton

Photo Credit: Heather Hesinngton

Ingredients:

  • 1 pound of strawberries
  • 2 bunches of bananas
  • 1 quart of blueberries

Directions:

Slice strawberries and bananas

Make a 6 x 6 blueberry square at upper right hand corner of flag. To the right, place a row of strawberries , followed by a row of bananas. A row of strawberries should line up with the top of the blueberries to complete the flag.

Serve with ice cream, whipped cream, or a sprinkle of fresh mint if desired.

 

2. Buffalo Puppies

 

Photo Credit:  Food Network

Photo Credit: Television Food Network

Ingredients:

  • 3 ounces cream cheese
  • 1/2 cup mayonnaise
  • 1/4 cup crumbled strong blue cheese, such as Maytag blue
  • 2 ribs celery, finely chopped (about 1 cup), plus extra ribs cut into sticks for serving
  • 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
  • 48 cocktail hot dogs
  • 1/4 cup hot pepper sauce, plus extra for drizzling, such as Frank’s
  • 24 slider potato rolls
  • 1/4 cup finely chopped red onion
  • 1 cup blue potato chips, crushed with your hands

Directions:

Combine the cream cheese, mayonnaise and blue cheese in a small saucepan. Cook over medium heat until smooth, stirring frequently, about 3 minutes. Set aside to cool slightly, about 5 minutes, and then stir in the celery.

Heat the butter in a large skillet over medium heat until melted. Add the hot dogs and cook until heated through, stirring occasionally, 5 minutes. Stir in the hot sauce and cook until the hot dogs are coated, 1 to 2 minutes.

Slice vertically through each potato bun, about halfway through so it resembles a top-split hot dog bun, and place 2 buffalo dogs in each. Top with 1 to 2 teaspoons of the blue cheese sauce, a drizzle of hot sauce (as spicy as you like it), some red onions and crushed blue chips.

Serve the sliders with any extra blue cheese sauce and celery sticks on the side for dipping.

Recipe from www.foodnetwork.com

 

3. Red Velvet- Blueberry Ive Cream Pie

Photo Credit: Con Poulos, Television Food Network

Photo Credit: Con Poulos, Television Food Network

Ingredients:

  • 4 store-bought red velvet cupcakes
  • 1 1/2 pints vanilla ice cream
  • 1 1/2 pints blueberry sorbet
  • 2 cups cold heavy cream
  • 2 tablespoons confectioners’ sugar
Directions:Scrape off and discard the frosting from the cupcakes; crumble the cupcakes into crumbs. Press all but 1/4 cup crumbs into the bottom and up the sides of a 9-inch deep-dish pie plate. Freeze 30 minutes.Meanwhile, let the ice cream and sorbet soften at room temperature, about 15 minutes. Spread the ice cream evenly over the crust using an offset spatula or rubber spatula; spread the sorbet on top. (Return the pie to the freezer between layers if the ice cream gets too soft.) Freeze while you make the whipped cream.Beat the heavy cream and confectioners’ sugar in a large bowl with a mixer on medium-high speed until soft peaks form, about 3 minutes. Top the pie with the whipped cream and sprinkle the reserved cupcake crumbs around the edge. Freeze until firm, at least 4 hours or overnight.

Recipe from www.foodnetwork.comHope you enjoy these recipes. I’ll be posting a few festive low calories beverage options later this week!
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Father’s Day 2014

Perhaps you’re like me and you thought Father’s Day was next weekend, however we’re wrong! Father’s Day is tomorrow and I discussed “Last Minute Father’s Day” ideas on WCCO Saturday Morning today.

WCCO Saturday Morning, June 14, 2014

{LINK} to WCCO Saturday Morning, June 14, 2014

For the SPIRITED DAD

Pick up a bottle or two of his favorite spirits. Prairie Organic Vodka with lemonade is the perfect refreshing cocktail this summer. I’m all about gin and tonics they have a great corn harvested gin too.

For the OUTDOOR DAD

There are TONS of great online deals that will allow you to spend a little outdoor quality time with the dads in your life. A few suggestions are a segway tour, round of golf or attending an outdoor festival (Twin Cities readers: this a jammed packed weekend with several FREE options including Northern Spark, The Stone Arch Bridge Festival or FREE ride on the NEW Green Line).

For the MODERN DAD

OYOBox is an eyewear organizer that will allow the modern stylish dad to store and organize all his frames in style.

OYOBox

Bijouxx Jewels has a full line of men’s bracelets, cufflinks and money clips. While you’re picking up something for dad don’t forget to check out their beautiful women’s collection for little something for yourself!

For the HANDS ON DAD

Craft beer is extremely popular. If the dads in your life have ever wanted to brew their own beer Vine Park is the perfect place. It’s the only place in the Midwest where one can brew their own beer.

For the SIMPLE DAD

Brunch or dinner is always a nice way to spend quality time with dad. I had the opportunity to eat at the newly remodeled Lakeshore Grill at Macy’s Ridgedale this week. They have a full menu with tasty entrees and signature cocktails. Additionally, Lakeshore Grill is located right by the Macy’s Men’s Department so after your meal you can pick up a gift for dad.

Wishing all the dad’s, especially my dad a HAPPY FATHER’S DAY!!!

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Graduation Parties

We talked graduation parties on WCCO Saturday Morning today!

Graduation is a special time in person’s life. It’s a celebration of one’s educational accomplishments and it marks the beginning of a new chapter.

WCCO on Set

{LINK} to WCCO Saturday Morning Segment, March 17, 2014

 

A little something extra….

We ran out of time during today’s segment but I think this Polaroid cut-out makes a great addition to a graduation party. You can post the pictures on social media or you can print them out and put them in a scrapbook. It’s a new twist on a photo booth.

Polaroid

 

I’m totally GAGA over River of Goods Heartfelt Memories line. It’s the perfect way to add a lasting effect to a floral arrangement. The people at River of Goods are so NICE (maybe because they’re a Minnesota Company) they’re offering my readers and friends 10% off their purchases with the promo code CARPEDIEM.  HAPPY SHOPPING at River of Goods!

 

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Where are you going?

This past weekend I had the honor of being the keynote speaker at the Delta Chi Chapter of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Incorporated Rhapsody in Pink Scholarship Ball.

A few have requested to listen to my speech.  Here it is!

YouTube Preview Image

Special THANKS to KBS for the iPad recording.

 

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Add a Little Spice to Your Oscar Experience

Friends here’s a look at my latest Lifestyle segment on WCCO in Minneapolis, MN.

WCCO Saturday Morning March 1{LINK} to WCCO Saturday Morning, March 1, 2014

1. Fun clutches were from the Kardashian Kollection available at Sears.

2. Oscar Ballot available from www.cbsnews.com.

3. Dips and other tasty food ideas were from Tastefully Simple.

3. Cocktails: Champagne, CÎROC*, Pierrer and Stack Wine.

CÎROC Cocktail –  CÎROC Coco Light Martini (127 Cal)

 1.5 oz Unsweetened Coconut Water (8c cal)

1.5 oz CÎROC Coconut (94 cal)

1 oz Pineapple Juice (17 cal)

.25 oz Fresh Lime Juice (4 cal)

Shake and strain into coupe glass // Combine all ingredients in martini shaker with ice  // Garnish with lemon twist

4. If you’re in Minneapolis and you don’t have plans for The Oscars please join me at The Oscar Experience. Discounted tickets are available using the discount code, WCCO.

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*CÎROC*, Johnnie Walker & Bailey’s are partnering official spirits of the 83rd Academy Awards Governors Ball.

 

 

Seize the Day Lovers!

HAPPY VALENTINES DAYValentine’s Day is often a day of mixed emotions. For those that have a special person in their life it’s a day to commemorate their  love and special feelings for one another. It often involves gifts, a special meal and romance. Some people dread the day due to the fact that it reminds them that they are single; while others choose not to acknowledge the day because they believe it’s a “capitalist holiday” designed to encourage people to spend money. Many simply honor the day by spending time with their loved ones.

No matter how you feel I want to encourage you to celebrate LOVE today. There’s so much more than being in love or Eros love (passionate love, with sensual desire and longing). There’s self love (sincere appreciation for oneself), Agape love (unconditional love/God’s Love) and Philia love (used for love between family, between friends, a desire or enjoyment of an activity). Whatever the type of love…know that that you are loved!

TO THE VIRGINS, TO MAKE MUCH OF TIME*

GATHER ye rosebuds while ye may,
Old time is still a-flying :
And this same flower that smiles to-day
To-morrow will be dying.

The glorious lamp of heaven, the sun,
The higher he’s a-getting,
The sooner will his race be run,
And nearer he’s to setting.

That age is best which is the first,
When youth and blood are warmer ;
But being spent, the worse, and worst
Times still succeed the former.

Then be not coy, but use your time,
And while ye may go marry :
For having lost but once your prime
You may for ever tarry.

 Wishing you a Valentine’s Day filled with love, happiness + peace!

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*TO THE VIRGINS, TO MAKE MUCH OF TIME was written by Robert Herrick

NEW New Year’s Resolution

“At some point in time everyone has been at the corner of New Year’s Resolutions and maybe I need a NEW New Year’s Resolution.” -Walgreens

The first month of this year has been plagued by severe cold weather all over the United States. Between the Polar Vortex I and II and the Deep Freeze it may have been hard for you to keep your 2014 New Year’s Resolutions. Or perhaps you’re like me and the majority of the participants in a recent Bizrate Insights survey and you “don’t make New Year’s Resolutions.”  Whatever bucket you fit into here are a few practical approaches that you can put into practice to ensure you are intentional about what you accomplish in 2014.

Choose a Word of the Year

This was a new concept and practice for me in 2013. However, I found a lot of focus and strength from the Word of the Year that I established for 2013. My Word of the Year for 2013 was UNLIMITED. UNLIMITED served as a guidepost for my life throughout 2013. It served has a centering mantra at times when I felt overwhelmed, it encouraged me as I chartered a new journey and more importantly it was a reminder of the goodness, love and blessings that have been bestowed upon my life and of the love and compassion I should share. My Word of the Year for 2014 is BETTER. I’m looking forward to a 2014 that is BETTER than 2013.

There’s a great book entitled, One Word that Will Change Your Life  by Jon Gordon, Dan Britton, and Jimmy Page that can help you establish your Word of the Year. Additionally, President and Founder of Uplevel You, Christine Kane has a great online discovery tool that can help you identify your Word of the Year.

 

Create a Vision Board

A vision board is any sort of board on which you display images that represent whatever you want to be, do or have in your life. It’s a common practice for people to tear pictures from magazines that represent the vision for their life they are attempting to manifest. I like to include words and affirmations on my vision board too. In addition to traditional poster boards and bulletin boards you can also digitize your vision board. I have a digital  vision board that I created on Pinterest.

Vision Board 1

 

Establish Two Daily Goals

A dear friend shared this concept with me at the beginning of the New Year when I asked about his New Year’s Resolutions. Instead of making new resolutions he said he establishes two daily goals. I love the practice of two daily goals because it allows me to be intentional and realistic about what I want to accomplish for the day. Additionally, if I keep it up all year long I would have accomplished 730 goals for the year! My Type A personality likes the sound of that.

Two Daily Goals

If you’ve already thrown in the towel on your New Year’s Resolutions  or if you didn’t journey down the New Year’s Resolution path I would encourage you to try one of these ideas. I firmly believe success begins with intention. Words of the Year, vision boards and daily goals are great foundational tools that we can use to establish our intentions for 2014.