Category: Home & Crafts

Note to Self


A year ago one of the Shine Tips featured on the front page of our website read, "Write yourself a letter to be opened one year from now."

I did. And then I tucked it in the corner of my desk at our house in Florida and forgot about it.

Until last week when I stumbled on the white envelope and immediately curled up in a porch chair to revisit what I wrote.

What fun it was to revisit topics such as: how I was feeling physically and emotionally; what I was working on; goals for the House of Shine; new ideas that were brewing; lingering questions that, little did I know, would be answered just days later; observations about my marriage; and fun anecdotes about each of my boys.

I even recorded the weather and the date and time the letter was penned - Eighty-eight and sunny, June 14, 2013, at 1:03 p.m. 

We shove out of Key Largo later this afternoon and I decided I couldn't leave without writing a new letter to myself.

It's an update on many of the same kinds of topics: how I am feeling physically and emotionally; what I'm working on; goals for the House of Shine; new ideas that are brewing; lingering questions that, I am sure, will be answered any day now; observations about my marriage; and fun anecdotes about each of my boys. Even the weather, date, and time.

The new letter sits sealed in an envelope... with the letter from the year before also tucked inside.

There's something poignant about writing a letter to yourself, knowing that you're going to read it a year later, but having no real idea what's in store over the next 365 days.

I suggest giving it a try. Find a chair where you can curl up and set your pen free.

Next July you'll be glad you did.

Posted on 7/30/2014 4:00 AM By Claudia In: [Home & Crafts], [Inspiration], [Miscellaneous], [Personal Development]

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Serentripity: The History of Fun

Someone suggested that, since Heather, Cheryl, and I will be pushing out on our Fifth Annual Serentripity any day now, I should take a moment to share the history of Serentripity. How it started, why it started, and its purpose.

I wish I had a headier answer, but really the history of Serentripity is based on good and simple F-U-N.

It started five years ago on a hot July day in Texas when Katie, long-time friend and partner of the House of Shine, and I decided to take a road trip. When we left my house early that morning the only thing we knew was that we were in hot pursuit of some ice cream.

July is National Ice Cream Month, so our goal was to have fun playing Scoop-The-Reporter, while searching for a newsworthy story about, well... a scoop of ice cream.

We had no plan, no set destination, and no preconceived ideas about what kind of story we were looking for. But boy, did we have F-U-N! All along the way we made stops at places that looked interesting, we took lots of pictures, and we solicited suggestions from strangers about where to go next. After a long and circuitous route, Katie and I ended that day at an infamous ice cream shop in Denton, Texas - a place neither of us had traveled to before.

But the experience was so much fun, we knew we needed to do it again.

So we did. Only the next time we invited Heather and Cheryl to come along and we refined the process a little bit. We set a start time and determined the finish time would be at exactly 2:18 p.m.. 

The "why", though remained the same; be together, while having F-U-N.

The reason we continue carving out a day each summer for this annual trip has become clearer as the years march on:

We value the investment in our friendship, that one day a year we all commit to clearing our calendars;

we love the exercise of being both open and curious, as we travel from person to person and town to town ready to receive our next set of directions;

we enjoy the day as an opportunity to spread shine, by doing random acts of kindness and by leaving our shine message in every town we visit;

and we are inspired by the stories that await us each year at 2:18 when we finally stop the car and discover why fate brought us to our destination.

But really, again, the purpose is the same as it was five years ago. F-U-N.

Our trip will be underway next week at this time and we expect to be broadcasting the experience, via Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.

Stay tuned, as we are hoping to include some of you in the next chapter of our book, The History of F-U-N.

Posted on 7/26/2014 4:00 AM By Claudia In: [Home & Crafts], [Miscellaneous]

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