Look what I found on my walk!

Where do we find inspiration?  Joy? Gratitude?  Sometimes I get stressed out and negative and then something will remind me of the beauty and LOVE that makes life worthwhile. The other day, I had been working too long and was feeling particularly burned out and anxious, so I headed out for a walk around my neighborhood.  I was walking really briskly, and then this caught my eye... It was a little heart sticker turned upside down with some dirt on it.  There was something about it that made me smile, so I took this photo with my phone.  I continued walking and soon came across this... It was a heart shaped hole in the sidewalk!  How cool!  I snapped a photo and continued walking. A block later I saw this... So pretty right?  I love the red brick it was sitting on.  By this time I was feeling like a little kid on a scavenger hunt - excitedly looking at the ground as I walked.   Just a bit down that block I saw this one too... I noticed that my anxiety had melted away in marveling at these simple little gifts of nature.  My mind started taking stock of all the beauty that is right in front of us - beauty we can't see because we're so busy thinking negatively.  And then this... How stunning is this one?  I guess it's old chewing gum in the shape of a heart!  By this point I was really feeling the LOVE!  Kept walking and sure enough... It had rained earlier that morning and this little wet spot looked like a heart!  If you back away from the picture you see it even more and that's how I saw it from a little distance. I love how subtle this one is.  As I walked along pondering that one I realized that sometimes love is more of a whisper than a siren.  A whisper that guides the best things we do in life. As I rounded the corner to my apartment, I saw this one.  The leaves were just sitting there like this and the whole thing was getting pretty amazing at this point... After my 30 minute adventure, my mindset was totally changed.  I went from feeling on the verge of an anxiety attack to coming home energized and positive.  Taking a walk always turns around my mood, but the little hearts along the way made me extra joyful.  I walked up my apartment stairs and on the wall of the building I noticed this... It was a TINY bit of paint from the trim of the building that was shaped like a heart.  It was only a 1/4" in size so I never noticed before. Today, take time to notice the beauty around you, and though all life's challenges, you'll be reminded that LOVE really is all around us.  And see if you can find some hearts around you too!  I bet you'll see them... *If you have photos of hearts you've discovered, post them on Facebook and then post the link in a comment below so we can see! ** Feel free to share this post with your friends on Pinterest and Facebook.  I'm going to start writing more blog posts and would love to build my mailing list.  If you're not signed up just put your e-mail in the box to your right and be sure to check your e-mail to confirm  your subscription. Love, Sarah Jane owner/designer www.lifeisrosey.com Handstamped Jewelry That Speaks

Life is Rosey MEMORIAL DAY Benefit for Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America

For many Americans, Memorial Day represents the beginning of summer with backyard BBQs and maybe even an extra day off work.  On the long weekend we often gather with friends and family to "chill."  We see more flags around than usual, but often don't spend a tremendous amount of time thinking about veterans. Last year I wanted my kids to connect to the meaning of Memorial Day, so my husband and I took our daughter Rosey and son Mateo to put flags on graves of veterans.  As 5 year old Rosey went from grave to grave placing flags and "straightening" up the vases and flowers that had blown over in the wind, I noticed families driving up. I watched them get out of their cars carrying flowers, flags, and balloons. One grave was freshly buried and a large group of men, women, children of all ages gathered. I tried to imagine what Memorial Day would be like if my son, daughter, mother, or father had given their LIFE serving our country.  I shed some tears at the thought... Last month, I attended a West Los Angeles Chamber of Commerce breakfast with special guest speaker Paul Rieckhoff who is the founder and executive director of the Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America (IAVA).  His story and his message really impacted me.  We all know that many veterans gave their lives, but there are also so many who come home in great need of support and healing. Reickhoff created an organization that serves those needs. I was shocked when he said, "Unemployment for Iraq and Afghanistan veterans is nearly 17% - eight percentage points higher than the national average as reported by the Department of Labor. Nearly 2.4 million veterans have been leading the way overseas. It’s time for us to welcome them back with jobs so they can continue leading here at home.”  He encouraged employers to seek out veterans for hiring and demystified some of the misconceptions that keep veterans unemployed.  He noted that they are hardworking, disciplined, able think on their feet, technologically savvy, and will very likely have a good haircut, shined shoes.  That last part got a laugh, but is also a very good point. IAVA works hard in Washington to push for policies like protecting the GI Bill and getting better healthcare for veterans.  Did you know that a veteran could wait up to 300 days to get a mental health appointment with the VA?  I was blown away by this fact. Rieckhoff said, "These are veterans who have experienced first-hand the psychological toll of war. Since the Iraq war began, suicide rates and other signs of psychological injury, like marital strain and substance abuse, have been increasing every year." Mental Health services need to be READILY AVAILABLE to veterans. After hearing that speech I went home to my jewelry design business and wondered what I could do...  The result was this:                                     My Hand Stamped EAGLE Charm Necklace has a 1/4" sterling silver disc hand stamped with one letter, number, or symbol.  It comes with solid sterling silver Eagle charm as well as a Swarovski crystal or pearl of your choice handwrapped with sterling silver wire. 50% of all profits from sale of this item from Saturday May 26th - Saturday June 2nd will be donated to the Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America. Place your order and get more info at www.lifeisrosey.com I also encourage you to visit www.iava.org to learn more about the Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America. And as you enjoy your Memorial Day BBQ I hope you'll take time to pause for a moment of silence for the men, women, and families who have made many great sacrifices to serve our country. With Love and Gratitude, Sarah Jane www.sarahjanenelson.com