Building the LTD 7 Puzzle: Teen to Young Adult (series 1 of 5)

How did I come to love retail and start my own business? It is truly a series of puzzle pieces that have formed this career.  Let’s start with my history. As a baby boomer, I have to dig deep, 39 years ago (ouch, that hurts) I was 16 years old, living in Staunton…..It was time for me to get a job……I just wanted to have “my own money”.  My very first job?  The Visulite Theatre.  I was ‘the popcorn girl”. Mr. Spade, owner/manager of both the Dixie and the Visulite hired me and I also worked with a wonderful soul, Peggy, the ticket lady wearing her red and white striped smock. Anyone remember them?  Peggy was so special and we remained in contact through the years until her death.  I have always prided myself with my work ethic and I honestly think this is where the love of working  grew deeper in my heart. I have not stopped since this first job and still prefer to be busy.

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I kept this job, as well as babysitting, until I left Staunton for College. I was a A/B student but Academics was not my favorite.  I knew I had to go to college and I was blessed that my parents were open to allowing me to go out of state as long as I “just went” to college.  I applied to Old Dominion and UNCW and chose the latter. Why UNCW?  Well for those that know me well or as a Facebook Follower, you know the beach is in my heart, so why not study near the beach?  As a Navy Brat, NC stole my heart years before plus my older sister was in Emerald Isle, NC.  To this day North Carolina is still one of my favorite states.

Screen Shot 2018-04-04 at 12.37.31 PM ~ Apr-4I lived in the dorms for ½ a semester and then got my own place, got a dog, went to school in the morning and worked in the afternoon. I have always worked hard but don’t get me Wrong, I like my down time.  I had 3 different jobs in college, a summer job……you won’t believe this……are you ready?….I was the drive thru girl serving early morning coffee and biscuits at Hardees in Wrightsville Beach (laughing).  In the summer, I would get up at 4 am!  I guess those early mornings got to me and they did not work with my school schedule during the year. “The Plant Place” in Wilmington worked better with my schedule.  This was my very first taste of a privately owned small business.  Until now, I did not realize the impact this job had on my life.  I loved this job. I learned so much about plants, retail gifts and customer service.  I admired Bobby and Bill.  I loved them and what they created.  I worked for them, in 1982  and now looking back, they were exactly where I am with LTD 7, about 5/6 years into their business. We  did not stay in contact but I was so glad to look them up and see they are still VERY successful. An inspiring retail story for sure.

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Love for fashion started at a young age…… family always joked with me saying I never wore anything twice to school. My last job in College was corporate retail working for Casual Corner in our mall.  In all of my retail jobs, I moved up very quickly and knew that serving the public came naturally for me. I started in sales and by the end of graduation was promoted to Asst. Manager.  As a young college grad, I listened to the naysayers and was thinking…..I got a four year degree to work retail? Is this where I want to be?  I let them put doubt in my mind with something I truly enjoyed. I was actually a Criminal Justice Major. I did my senior internship in a halfway home for trouble youth.  Although I loved them dearly, I quickly found that my heart could not handle the emotional rips I felt with each child. Taking them back to their abusive environment for weekend visits was heart wrenching.  I wanted to “adopt” them all and provide the love and security I had when I was growing up.

I also applied for other positions in Criminal Justice, with interviews as a juvenile Probation officer and also with the FBI.  None of these panned out.  As a young adult, making my own money was important to me and I was making more as a retail asst. manager than what they were offering me as a college graduate entering the field of Criminal Justice. I knew I did not want more school….so Casual Corner is where I stayed for another year after college until I figured out the right path for me.

I researched Management/Buying programs in bigger cities and in 1986, I received an offer to move to Atlanta with hopes of entering the Management Training Program for Lord and Taylor@Phipps Plaza.  Atlanta was a big place for a small town girl but I jumped at the opportunity. While living in Atlanta, I met up with a highschool friend, Rebecca, we became roommates and and we explored the ups and downs of young adulthood together.


Lord and Taylor was fun, I quickly became a department manager in the junior dept. it was perfect fit or so I thought. I quickly found I preferred a smaller store atmosphere rather than the large department store……another piece of the puzzle. Funny as it seems, I still prefer to shop independent shops rather than department stores.

I applied and became an Asst. Manager  at The Limited/Perimeter Mall and learned  a great deal with this company. They also owned other popular stores such as Bath and Body Works and Limited Express.  At that time they were doing everything right…..a top rated company and looking back, the one I learned the most from as far as standards and practices in the retail industry.  Enjoying this position and mentoring under my Manger Sonya, I was soon promoted and transferred to Gainesville GA as a Manager of my own Limited Store.  Scared me to death to be the Manager at the ripe age of 23-24 but I was ready and loved it!  As a young adult in corporate retail, getting your own store was an honor and I had to “fake it until I make it” with this one.  I knew customer service like the back of my hand but hiring and firing, payroll, figures and reports at that young age were a bit daunting to me. Remember, I did not study business or finance in college. I grew to love it but I could not have done it without my Assistant manager, Donna, who soon became a lifelong friend.

After more downs than ups in GA, many lessons and more experience to add to my resume, I decided I needed to return to my roots in Virginia. I ended up in Charlottesville back at Casual Corner, Fashion Square Mall. I still was not where I wanted to be emotionally and personally. I was impatient and I was like any other girl in her mid twenties, My friends were all getting married and I was still in a female dominated industry….how would I ever meet the man of my dreams? I know you are laughing but I am keeping it real.  Majority of girls, at that age are searching for Love, if they have not already found it.  I was still searching… I started asking myself questions,  Is retail what I really want to do with my life?  Is Retail a “real” career? Maybe I should try something like Banking! Yep that’s it……I will enter the banking industry!  I am sure my parents were scratching their heads at my job hopping but they let me be, guided me and let me stand tall or let me fall when needed.  In 1988, I was hired by Jefferson National Bank, I started as a Teller and quickly moved into the Marketing Dept…………  where I was asked to fill-in for a co-worker and teach the week long Teller school.  Enter Duane Breeden into my life….. the handsome, born and bred, Charlottesville Management Trainee that was assigned to my class. I am not saying change your career to find a man, this is just the path my life led me on.

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It was frowned upon for Employees to date, so you guessed it, I went back to Casual Corner……..and continued dating Duane.  Its now a family joke that I taught him to count money.  If I had only known how intelligent he was as a UVA Business School graduate in Finance! I would have been very intimidated! But it all worked out and we are now 28 years into our marriage.

At that point in my christian life, I knew about God but I did not “know” God. Although, I asked for him to come into my life as a teen, I strayed and only called upon him when discouraged or in trouble…But he stayed with me and guided me. I listened to that tiny voice within, followed my heart and yes, as crazy as it seems, I did find the man of my dreams but…..there is one change in our family…….. Now Duane controls the money. 😉

As you can see, in my early days of working, I explored, took chances and followed my gut. Its very much like dating….You have to kiss a lot of frogs to find your prince.  I remained open and allowed myself to learn from each and every job keeping a mental log of what worked and what did not.

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Advice for my younger self

Don’t be afraid to try new things, be open and allow yourself to grow
Follow your heart, be you and have confidence in your decisions
Each rise and fall is a puzzle piece in your life…. keep building your puzzle
Money is not everything and does not always bring happiness
Pray, listen & let God guide you.
Relax, have fun & be patient, everything is going to be ok.
You are capable & you are worthy
Retail is a career

Stay tuned, for the next ten years, on our next blog.

Living the dream,

Lynne 🙂

Pillow Talk

A Conversation with Leslie Leedy, Owner of Leslie & Co.

Today I would like to introduce you to Leslie Leedy, a multi-talented artist whose artful pillow creations are featured at LTD2, our Rowe location. I love a good pillow, not only for the design elements they bring to a room, but also, many times, for the messages and scenes and colors they depict. A pillow is huggable art to me!

Leslie is a hairdresser by trade and just recently added a very special member of her family to her team. She also tells me she is branching out in her business. We are proud to introduce you to Leslie Leedy, owner of Leslie & Co, and another wonderful member of our Dream Team!

Living the Dream,





“What’s your story?” Tell us about your family and where you are from.


 I come from a family of artists – art and sewing have always been part of my life, from my grandmother’s carvings, pen & inks, and yarn work to my mother’s painting and quilts – but I have been working towards becoming a serious “wanna be” full-time creator within the last 10 years.

I’m originally from New Jersey but I say I grew up in Virginia, moving here when I was seventeen. The influences of my youth have help mold my love of art and marketing. Taking in the vibes of NYC are a large part of those influences.

I understand you are in business with your mother in law and that you are a hairdresser by trade. That’s an interesting combination.


Leslie & Co. pillows just recently came to be when my mother-in-law moved in with my husband and me.  I casually mentioned my yearning to create some pillows. My mother-in-law was extremely excited to use some of her time and expertise and meticulous sewing talents.

As of now, Leslie & Co. is a small one person hair studio with a part-time home-based pillow factory (meaning my house is a mess).  The positive side of our recent move from Virginia Beach to this area, is the time I have had to explore my true passions.

Tell us about your company. How did LTD 7 come into play with your business?

Leslie & Co. pillows are new being sold at LTD 7.2 in Staunton off I-81. I feel this shop is a great fit for us as they attract many travelers from throughout the country. Also, the loyal shoppers to LTD 7’s sister store in another part of Staunton are encouraged to visit both locations.

I met Lynne, owner of LTD, by chance – I had been searching for a store in this area that I felt met the “fit” for our pillows and art.  I had a large bag of pillows in my vehicle.  I was making cold-calls…pillow peddling, I call it.  Lynne wasn’t quite sure if we were a fit, but I pushed until she gave me an, “Ok, let’s try it.”  The Rowe Rd. location seemed a great fit for me – everything from management to LTD7’s dream team seemed right.

 Do you dream of branching out? What are your long range plans?


 I recognized the older I got, the more important my inner creative spirit drove me to become a more complete me. Leslie & Co. has recently dived into another creative avenue – recycling and painting furniture, and incorporating paints with fabrics and home décor to the pillow line. Things such as banners and vintage wallpaper art are all part of a whole vision

What would you like to share with dreamers like you? What one piece of advice would you say pushed you the furthest in your dream?

I read once that a true entrepreneur keeps moving toward a goal no matter how large or minimal it may seem to others. If your passion is real, the fruits of your labor will present themselves in a positive way for all the universe to enjoy.




One Scent Sational Woman

Call her the Poo Lady, call her “Miss Sunshine”, call her  our “game for anything” gal, she is our beloved Wendi, a joy to behold, source of so many smiles, a talented and multi-faceted phenom-a- woman empire. Enjoy a special glimpse into the life of dear, Wendi B.True.  She has her own artistic bend, a special range of products and that mysterious & specialized scent we all know and love.

Today we feature a woman with a true heart of gold and one of LTD 7’s biggest team players: A vendor at both of our locations, Wendi B. True.


Living the Dream,



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Even though you express yourself through your work, our readers want to know:

How did you get started? “What’s your story?”

 My Dad loved photography.  For the first ten years of my life, there was always a Polaroid camera sitting on the china cabinet, loaded and ready so we wouldn’t miss “that moment.”  When Dad traveled, he would use his 35mm camera and shoot slides.  Upon his return home, I would sit down with him in the kitchen and watch him project each image on the dining room wall. He would tell me where each picture was taken and then he would critique his images.  I found the whole process fascinating!

I carried my Fisher Price camera with me everywhere.  My father passed away when I was 10 years old of a massive heart attack, but his love of photography quickly turned into my passion as I hit my high school years.  I joined the yearbook staff and took photo journalism.  I was living the dream! The school furnished me with an amazing camera, film, and I got to attend every event the school had and capture it on film.

“Santa” bought me my first 35mm camera, flash and zoom lenses my freshman year in high school.  The summer between my Sophomore and Junior year, Mr. Burdick, our Principal, contacted me and asked if I would be interested in learning how to operate a dark room.  Of course,  I said, “Yes!”  The school purchased all the needed supplies and allowed me access to the dark room that was already set up in the AG department.

I grew and learned so much those last two years in high school.  Being able to take my work from raw material to finished product was such an amazing feeling.  I went on to Blue Ridge Community College where I became a photographer for the SCA.  I photographed and sent to press the very first, “People and Places of BRCC,”  a calendar of students in a variety of places in and around the communities that serve the school.

From there, I went on to work at Clemmer Photography, running the dark room, and assisting on photo shoots and weddings. I learned to frame and cut mats. Then I went to Gitchell’s, F-Stop, and eventually I opened my own business.  In my prime, I photographed over 40 weddings in one year, photographed more sports teams than I can remember, took photos for UVA alumni weekend formals, Spinsters, and all of the individual class photos for Mary Baldwin College’s yearbook, and did the photography for one of Dr. Fox’s huge capital campaigns. I also photographed her Christmas card for three seasons. The list goes on and on… Staunton has been very good to me.

 Is this a full time job? Do you think some day it will be?

 This is not my full time job.  At one time it was, but the timing was wrong.  I was a single Mom, with two small children and it only took 3 years to realize that owning my own business was not the best option for my family.  I do not see it becoming full time again until I can retire from my current Marketing profession.

You are an animal lover. How did you become so attached/interested in animals? I understand you have a service animal. That is a special bond. Please explain.

Screen Shot 2016-09-04 at 7.49.47 PM ~ Sep-4                                   Artemis /Wendi:    TWIN DAY AT WORK AND MIGHT I ADD.. WE WON!

 I have always loved being around animals. To this day, I still want a Monkey.  Growing up, I had a Persian cat, named Sam.  He lived to be 19 years old.  I had fish, lizards, hamsters, hermit crabs, and a couple of dogs.

I have a service dog named Artemis.  It is very hard to describe the amazing bond she and I have.  I adopted her when she was 4 months old.  We started training together and once she completed her intermediate training, she began spending every moment with me….and  I mean-every moment. She went to the bathroom with me, went to work, shopping, sleeping-you name it-she was there.  She “learned” me, basically.

After a lot of training and “together” time, she learned to detect if my heart rate was too high or too low or if my blood pressure was too high or too low and she can also detect my blood sugar levels.  I recently got a pacemaker and she was in the hospital bed with until they wheeled me into the procedure room. She was waiting to get back in bed with me as soon as I was wheeled out.  We are a team.  I look after her and she takes care of me. 

What else do you do? Why license plate art? That sounds interesting. Is there a plate you don’t have and want? Where do you get them?

License plate art just kinda happened.  I started by purchasing a few plates at local yard sales, then it grew into bulk ebay purchases, because the demand became far greater than what was available locally.  I make key chains and signs on old barn wood. I have also offered license plate coozies and bracelets.  Some letters are much harder to find than others and you really have to search to find them. I get creative sometimes: a “7” turned upside down can be an “L,” in a pinch.

 Tell us about your letter photography? That is very specialized. What made you become interested in that genre?

Lynne Breeden inspired my letter photography.  She called me one day and said, “Hey, what do you think of this?” and told me about the idea.  I said, “Let me try.”  Then the bug bit me! I loved it!  It was not uncommon for me to head downtown or to a college campus and get lost for hours looking at the architecture and roaming around to find “letters” hidden in the most bizarre places.  I can easily say that not one week goes by that I don’t add letters to my collection.  Even my kids love finding them and telling me about them.  The best was when my daughter was a freshman in college; one morning, I get a text from her with an attachment and a note saying” “Hey Mom, my waffle looked like a great ‘E’ this morning. Thought you could use it.”  I did use it and I still do.

 How did LTD 7 come into your work?

 I met Lynne through The MaDee Project and we became friends.  She knew my work ethic and my drive in the entreprenurial world.  She called me one day and asked if I was interested in being part of a new adventure she was about to embark on. Without hesitation or even knowing what she was going to do, I said, “Yes!”

Do you ever encounter resistance from the public, taking pictures, or with your animals?

The biggest resistance I encounter with taking photos is that people in general hate to have their photo taken. I try to explain to them that it only takes a second and if they keep throwing their hand in front of their face it only prolongs the inevitable and gives me a challenge to get their photograph. Landscapes and still life photos are much easier.

I have a million stories I could tell you about Artemis and me in public.  People just go bonkers when they see an animal in a store or a restaurant.  Ok, I know it is out of the norm, but we have all seen dogs before, so why do most folks act as though it is their first time ever seeing a four legged creature?  One of the best stories I guess is when the greeter at Applebee’s in Suffolk asked me if I needed a Braille menu.  There are a lot of misconception about service dogs.  They do much more than help the blind.

What is the most unusual thing that has ever happened to you while working?

The most unusual thing that has ever happened to me while working happened during a wedding, many years ago.  We had just arrived at the reception after a beautiful ceremony at a nearby church.  Everyone was milling about, getting their seats and such.  The bride and groom came in, were announced, and things were going well.  But then, one of the guests comes up to the groom and states, very jolly and bright, that this wedding was “…much better than the groom’s first and he hopes this one is his last.”  Well, guess what?  The bride did not know her husband had ever been married before!  A huge upset happened and the bride and groom left and the reception was ended.  No cake, no nothing.  That is still the craziest thing I have witnessed on a job, to date.

You have a nickname…the poo lady. Can you tell us about that?

I am the POO lady.  Funny though.  Until, I became the POO lady, I frowned upon folks talking about their bathroom #2 escapades and especially jokes of such nature.  Then I saw a Poo Pourri ad.  I thought, “How fantastic!”

Spritz the bowl before you go and no one else will ever know.

What a great jingle! What a wonderful way to “cut” down on all of those #2 smell jokes. Our customers loved it!  Then I became obsessed with POO.  I have carried note pads, made from elephant poo; and sold elf poo, snowman poo, and reindeer poo mints at the holidays. Lynne has had to veto quite a few of my POO items.  She has had to be the voice of reason or I would have the most bazaar poo items that are at best, “tacky.”  (Thanks, Lynne, for keeping me in check.)  But fear not, I am always on the look out for the best POO items.  

What would you like to share with dreamers like you? What one piece of advice would you say pushed you the furthest in this dream?

To all of my dreamer friends out there:  Stay focused and never loose sight of your dreams.  Strive everyday to do one thing, be it 1 minute or most of the day, toward your passion and dreams.  Surround yourself with like-minded people and get rid of the ‘Negative Nellies’ in your life; there is no place for them on your path to success.

The one idea and inspiration that has stuck in my mind the longest, came from an older man, over 25 years ago, and I don’t even know his name. He said to me, “I barely know you, but I know that whatever you decide to do in life, you will be successful. Follow your dreams.”  I found it odd at the time, but as the years pass, I find myself remembering his words and thinking, “I can do it.”

Other items carried by Wendi: Locally made dog treats(Augusta), gourmet dog bakery (Augusta) treats, Corkcicle (Rowe) and Swell bottles (both locations) Snow-to-go




The Manse: Have You Seen It?



The modern holiday of Mother’s Day was first celebrated in 1908, when Anna Jarvis held a memorial for her mother at St. Andrew’s Methodist Church in Grafton, West Virginia. Her campaign to make “Mother’s Day” a recognized holiday in the United States began in 1905, the year her mother, Ann Reeves Jarvis, died. Ann Jarvis had been a peace activist who cared for wounded soldiers on both sides of the American Civil War, and created Mother’s Day Work Clubs to address public health issues. Anna Jarvis wanted to honor her mother by continuing the work she started and to set aside a day to honor all mothers, because she believed that (they) mothers were “the person who has done more for you than anyone in the world.”

Sitting atop the crest of a hill in downtown Staunton’s Gospel Hill historic district is the birthplace of President Woodrow Wilson. The house is often referred to as a manse which is the term the Presbyterian Church used to identify the residence of their minister.

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Way back in 1855, the Reverend Joseph Ruggles Wilson, a professor at Hampden-Sydney College, accepted a call to be pastor of Staunton Presbyterian Church.  Mr. Wilson, his wife, Jessie Woodrow Wilson, and their daughters Marion and Annie moved into the Staunton manse in March 1855.

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One year and nine months later on December 28, 1856 the third Wilson child was born “at 12¾ o’clock at night” as his proud father recorded in the family Bible. The child was named Thomas Woodrow Wilson for his maternal grandfather. The family called him “Tommy.”

Have you visited the Birthplace and Museum of Woodrow Wilson? Many of us might be shy to say that we drive by it every day and have never been inside.

The handsome Manse erected on the lot may have been designed by the Reverend Rufus W. Bailey, founder of Augusta Female Seminary in 1842 (now Mary Baldwin College), and designer of its classical main building (1844), for he served on the church’s building committee. The manse and the college’s old building are strikingly similar in style.

Builder of the manse was John Fifer of Augusta County. His son, later Governor of Illinois, recalled that the bricks were fired just west of Staunton along the Parkersburg Turnpike, and that some of the construction workers left the job to become soldiers in the Mexican War. Church records indicate that the total cost of constructing the 12-room Greek Revival style brick house with its center halls and four chimneys was about $4,000.

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Only four ministers’ families occupied the manse following the Wilson family. To cover debts from construction of a new church, the Presbyterian trustees sold two sections of the large lot surrounding the manse in 1874. Woodrow Wilson returned to Staunton many times during his childhood. His Aunt, Marion Woodrow Bones, and her family lived here, and his sisters and several cousins attended Augusta Female Seminary under its principal, Miss Mary Julia Baldwin, a friend of his mother. But Woodrow Wilson did not visit the manse again until the year 1912 when, as President-elect of the United States, he returned to Staunton to celebrate his 56th birthday on December 28th in the house in which he was born.

Following President Wilson’s death in 1924, the trustees of Mary Baldwin College determined to raise funds for a memorial building to the President. The congregation of First Presbyterian Church gave its approval in 1925 to the sale of the manse to the college for $30,000 and the college held it until a group could be formed to preserve and interpret the home as a Birthplace museum for the late President of the United States. The Woodrow Wilson Birthplace Foundation was established in 1938. The first restoration of the manse started in 1940 and was completed in 1941 bringing the Presbyterian Manse back to its appearance of 1856 when Thomas Woodrow Wilson was born. In May 1941 President Franklin Delano Roosevelt came to Staunton to dedicate the restored Woodrow Wilson Birthplace as a “shrine to freedom.”


A child was born and Jesse Wilson became a mother for the third time. Wilson, his two older sisters, and a younger brother experienced a comfortable childhood, enjoying the affection of a warm, attentive mother and the instruction of a gregarious yet demanding Presbyterian minister father. That child, who struggled and did not learn to read until he was 10, received the love and support of his parents. It is said in the history books that he may have suffered a learning disability. Woodrow Wilson went from these early beginnings to become a graduate of Princeton University and Johns Hopkins University and the only President to hold an earned doctoral degree.

He later grew up to become the 28th President of the United States.

During his tenure as U. S. President, in 1914, Woodrow Wilson, as President, signed a proclamation designating Mother’s Day, held on the second Sunday in May, as a national holiday to honor mothers.

On this Mother’s Day, as you drive by the birthplace, give a nod to “Tommy.”

He “done good.”

Happy Mother’s Day, Mom!



And, Happy Mother’s Day to all our Mothers and Grandmothers and Moms-In-Waiting and those who might someday become a mom and most especially, to the dear women far and wide, who long to become a mother, may this day be one of hope and promise for you.


Living the Dream,



Its a Wrap: LTD 7 Spring Market

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My secret photographer, (a/k/a the man with the beard that is married to my mother), got some great views of our Spring Market at LTD 7 today. See if you can spot someone you know! (P.S. Thanks, Dad!)

market collage


The place was rockin’ and rollin,’ wasn’t it? So many of you were able join us and it made my heart sing! It was a blast and I loved seeing everyone! Thanks to all of you who stopped by and shopped with our visiting vendors. This is how we support those who are connected to their passion and living out their dreams.

I am thrilled and honored that LTD 7 was also able to recognize and support The Daily Living Center, Virginia. We strongly believe in sharing our blessings and giving back to the community. But you must know, the only way we can do this is by being supported by you-the customers! You are the tick in our clock, the orange in our juice and the pea in our pod.


We love you!


Thank you, thank you, thank you, thank you-from all of us at LTD 7!

Living the Dream,



Trading my FOMO for the JOMO

First of all, sincerely, thank you for all of the wonderful and heartfelt blessings and messages this weekend on our family’s move into our new house. We are pleased to finally have roots again and a place to call home. We have been in limbo for quite some time deciding which direction to take. Special thanks to Sevenodd, Inc, a/k/a my brother, Todd, for yet again building us a special home.

As I was reading the messages on Facebook, it struck me that some of you wondered how in the world I could find the time, to be a mom, a wife, and have the energy, and the stamina to open a new store, manage two others and still find away to oversee a house construction, and yet another move. Let me assure you, up front, I. AM. NOT. SUPERWOMAN…not even close! No indeed! Instead, I am one very tired lady with way too much on her plate! There. I said it!  (I ALSO have a dedicated Dream Team and one of the BEST management teams around!)


My southern upbringing wouldn’t have me do anything less than to say “yes” all of the time, but I know this pace can only be temporary or other aspects of your life will suffer.  Socrates once said, “Beware the bareness of a busy life.” More times than I can count, I am hearing, “You are just so busy! How do you do it?” I do not want to get to the point in life where all this activity feels barren.

When I look back at how I let my life get so busy, I realize it wasn’t a conscious effort to become busier, do more, own more, and owe more. In a good way, things just keep building up and falling into place.  One of the most important things I am now setting out to do is quietly begin a “busy boycott.”

In a society that always wants more, it’s important to draw a line in the sand. Have you ever done “it?” Have you ever set boundaries? It is so hard for me to say “no”, sometimes!  But what I’ve learned is if I can draw the line with my heart, I can take a stand with a smile, dump the guilt around doing less, and instead of disappointing others, remind them what’s important in their own lives by honoring what’s important in mine. My “manifesto” is a list of my non negotiable priorities that guide me, especially when I struggle with the call to do more.

Observe an Anchor Day, and Keep it Holy.

This isn’t a Sabbath in the traditional sense. It’s not a Saturday or a Sunday and it’s not primarily dedicated to spiritual nourishment. But it is a Sabbath—a day set apart for refreshing. I call it an Anchor Day because I can position it in the middle of the week, to ground me in the hustle and bustle of a busy life.


Now that I, once again, have a place to call “home”, I don’t want to plan a single thing outside the home on this day. Everything I do on my Anchor Day will be home-centered. DIYs, trying out a new crock pot recipe, organizing a messy space… these are all things I get to do on my Anchor Day.  I really identify with the words of Maya Anglou:

“The ache of home lives in all of us.”


Anchor Day addresses this ache and fills me up so I can be better at all that I do.

Won’t you join me? Let’s trade our FOMO for the JOMO.

FOMO. The Fear of missing out

Let’s begin to protect our health, our loves, and our life. If we do this with a kind heart, our efforts won’t be seen as selfish or isolating, but instead will allow us to be and give our best self. Creating boundaries makes room to expand in all directions. We will free up time, space, and attention to expand in any direction.

By committing to do less, we are going to miss out on things, but instead of fear, we can feel joy; joy that we have a choice, joy that we are protecting what matters most, and joy because we will feel well, or at least well rested. Because we are doing less, we get to choose the things that mean the most, and we have the attention and energy to be engaged and truly enjoy what we’re doing.



The opposite of a busy life isn’t a lazy life, it’s a full life. No need to apologize for daydreaming, stargazing, or any activity that speaks to your soul. Take a long walk, a short nap, or sit quietly.


How about you? Does an anchor day sound like a good idea? Can you skip the FOMO and relish the JOMO?

I will (fingers crossed) be on vacation soon. Or maybe I will vacation and wonder into a few states and shop, leisurely. Not sure when, but soon. Until then I will (hopefully) honor my Anchor Day, refreshed and renewed.

Have a restful and peaceful week, everyone!

Living the Dream,





Dreams Really Do Come True: The Grand Reopening of Grandma’s Bait



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One store makeover, pallets of clothing and shoes, delightful additions to the toy lines and a lot of blood, sweat and tears later, Grandma’s Bait is ready for its Grand Reopening! But once I’ve opened the doors, the thought comes to me, whatever will I dream of next? That’s the thing about living the dream, I just keep on dreaming until my dreams come true. But more about that later…much later.

This is the week. The doors to Grandma’s Bait will open on Wednesday, March 16th to allow our staff and me to work out any kinks in a successful and smooth reopening celebration later that week. A “soft open” is an unannounced or lightly announced business opening, prior to a grand opening.

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A soft opening is much like the final dress rehearsal before a play. It brings together those who have been with us at LTD 7 and supported us as we opened LTD 7.2. It acts as a place where those of you who have gotten us off the ground in so many ways come together to quietly celebrate and tweak any necessary “flubs” as they occur. We all want to enjoy the Grand Reopening celebration that is to come, so the more familiar we are with the workings of the machinery and the merchandise, before the BIG day, the better.

It is also nice to receive feedback in the initial early stages. During a soft opening, we welcome our first customers and enjoy their comments and observations. Customers may say something that sparks a new idea for us. They may be coming in just to show support and we welcome that, wholeheartedly! And finally, a soft open allows us all to get super excited about the big day…the Grand Reopening.

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Grandma’s Bait will officially (re)open its doors this coming Saturday. It will be a day you do not want to miss!

We cordially invite you to celebrate with us on Saturday, March 19th from 10am to 5pm. Most of the activities will take place between 10:00am and 2:00pm, but the store will be open all day!

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We will have activities for the children, a strolling magician, and refreshments. We have apparel, shoes, gifts and toys that are sure to bring a sparkle to your eye. Please tell all your friends about our store and plan to join us as we unveil our latest dream.

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I will see you next week! Until then, Happy St. Patrick’s Day, my cherished leprechauns. Here is to hoping that you find that four leaf clover!

Living the Dream,